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Title: The doctor, &c., vol. 3 (of 7)
Author: Anonymous, Southey, Robert
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The doctor, &c., vol. 3 (of 7)" ***
7) ***


There is a kind of physiognomy in the titles of books no less than in 
the faces of men, by which a skilful observer will as well know what 
to expect from the one as the other.



[Illustration: a tetrahedron]








            Ἄγε νῦν, ὧ—καρδία
  ῎απελθ᾿ ἐκεῖσε,—
  ——————————————εἰποῦσ᾿ ἃττ᾿ ἂν αὐτῇ σοι δοκῇ,
  τόλμησον, ἲθι, χώρησον, ἄλαμαι καρδιάς.


_Je vas de nouveau percer mon tonneau, et de la traicte, laquelle par 
deux precedents volumes vous est assez cogneuë, vous tirer du creux de 
nos passetemps epicenaires un galant tiercin, et consecutivement un 
joyeux quart de sentences Pantagruelliques. Par moy vous sera licite 
les appeller Diogeniques.—Et peur n'ayez que le vin faille.—Autant que 
vous en tireray par la dille, autant en entonneray per le bondon. 
Ainsi demourera le tonneau inexpuisible. Il a source vive et veine 


  The wholesom'st meats that are will breed satiety
  Except we should admit of some variety.
    In music, notes must be some high, some base.
  And this I say, these pages have intendment,
    Still kept within the lists of good sobriety,
  To work in men's ill manners good amendment.
    Wherefore if any think the book unseasonable,
  Their stoic minds are foes to good society,
    And men of reason may think them unreasonable.
  It is an act of virtue and of piety,
    To warn men of their sins in any sort,
    In prose, in verse, in earnest, or in sport.


The great cement that holds these several discourses together is one 
main design which they jointly drive at, and which, I think, is 
confessedly generous and important, namely, the knowledge of—true 
happiness, so far as reason can cut her way through those darknesses 
and difficulties she is encumbered with in this life: which though 
they be many and great, yet I should belie the sense of my own 
success, if I should pronounce them insuperable; as also, if I were 
deprived of that sense, should lose many pleasures and enjoyments of 
mind, which I am now conscious to myself of: amongst which, there is 
none so considerable as that tacit reflection within myself, what real 
service may be rendered to religion by these my labours.


  _Scribere fert animus multa et diversa, nec uno
   Gurgite versari semper; quo flamina ducent
   Ibimus, et nunc has, nunc illas nabimus undas;
   Ardua nunc ponti, nunc littora tuta petemus.
   Et quanquam interdum fretus ratione, latentes
   Naturæ tentabo vias, atque abdita pandam,
   Præcipuè tamen illa sequar quæcunque videntur
   Prodesse, ac sanctos mortalibus addere mores,
   Heu penitus (liceat verum mihi dicere) nostro
   Extinctos ævo._


  _Ja n'est besoin (amy Lecteur!) t'escrire
   Par le menu le prouffit et plaisir
   Que recevras si ce livre veux lire,
   Et d'icelluy le sens prendre au desir;
   Veuille donc prendre à le lire loisir,
   Et que ce soit avecq intelligence.
   Si tu le fais, propos de grand plaisance
   Tu y verras, et moult prouffiteras;
   Et si tiendras en grand resjouissance
   Le tien esprit, et ton temps passeras._


  “Gods me! how now! what present have we here?”
    “A Book that stood in peril of the press;
  But now it's past those pikes, and doth appear
    To keep the lookers on from heaviness.”
  “What stuff contains it?”—“Fustian, perfect spruce,
    Wit's gallimalfry, or wit fried in steaks.”
  “From whom came it, a God's name?”—“From his Muse,
    (Oh do not tell!) that still your favour seeks.”
  “And who is that?”—“Truth that is I.”—“What I?
    I per se I, great I, you would say.”—“No!
  Great I indeed _you_ well may say; but I
    Am little i, the least of all the row.”


_Lector, esto libro te ofrezco, sin que me aya mandado Señor alguno 
que le escriva, ni menos me ayan importunado mis amigos que le 
estampe, sino solamente por mi gusto, por mi antojo y por mi 


The reader must not expect in this work merely the private 
uninteresting history of a single person. He may expect whatever 
curious particulars can with any propriety be connected with it. Nor 
must the general disquisitions and the incidental narratives of the 
present work be ever considered as actually digressionary in their 
natures, and as merely useful in their notices. They are all united 
with the rest, and form proper parts of the whole. They have some of 
them a necessary connexion with the history of the Doctor; they have 
many of them an intimate relation, they have all of them a natural 
affinity to it. And the Author has endeavoured, by a judicious 
distribution of them through the work, to prevent that disgusting 
uniformity, and to take off that uninteresting personality, which must 
necessarily result from the merely barren and private annals of an 
obscure individual. He has thus in some measure adopted the elegant 
principles of modern gardening. He has thrown down the close hedges 
and the high walls that have confined so many biographers in their 
views. He has called in the scenes of the neighbouring country to his 
aid, and has happily combined them into his own plan. He has drawn off 
the attention from the central point before it became languid and 
exhausted, by fetching in some objects from society at large, or by 
presenting some view of the philosophy of man. But he has been 
cautious of multiplying objects in the wantonness of refinement, and 
of distracting the attention with a confused variety. He has always 
considered the history of the Doctor, as the great fixed point, the 
enlivening centre, of all his excursions. Every opening is therefore 
made to carry an actual reference, either mediate or immediate, to the 
regular history of the Doctor. And every visto is employed only for 
the useful purpose of breaking the stiff straight lines, of lighting 
up the dark, of heightening the little, and of colouring over the 
lifeless, in the regular history of the Doctor.

Preface to WHITAKER'S History of Manchester,
  _mutatis mutandis_.

  _Chi tristezza da se cacciar desia,
   Legga quest' opra saporita e bella._


I exhort all People, gentle and simple, men, women and children, to 
buy, to read, to extol, these labours of mine. Let them not fear to 
defend every article; for I will bear them harmless. I have arguments 
good store, and can easily confute, either logically, theologically, 
or metaphysically, all those who oppose me.


  _Scripta legis passim quamplurima, lector, in orbe,
     Quæ damni plus quam commoditatis habent.
   Hæc fugienda procul cum sint, sic illa petenda,
     Jucunda utilibus quæ bene juncta docent._


  Out of the old fieldes, as men saith,
    Cometh all this new corn fro' year to year;
  And out of old bookes, in good faith,
    Cometh all this new science that men lere.





  You play before me, I shall often look on you,
  I give you that warning before hand.
  Take it not ill, my masters, I shall laugh at you,
  And truly when I am least offended with you;
  It is my humour.




To smell a turf of fresh earth is wholesome for the body; no less are 
thoughts of mortality cordial to the Soul. “_Earth thou art, to earth 
thou shalt return._”




You will excuse me if I do not strictly confine myself to narration, 
but now and then intersperse such reflections as may offer while I am 




_Vorrei, disse il Signor Gasparo Pallavicino, che voi ragionassi un 
poco piu minutamente di questo, che non fate; che in vero vi tenete 
molto al generale, et quasi ci mostrate le cose per transito._




_El Amor es tan ingenioso, que en mi opinion, mas poetas ha hecho el 
solo, que la misma naturaleza._




  Read ye that run the aweful truth,
    With which I charge my page;
  A worm is in the bud of youth,
    And at the root of age.




    —Thus they who reach
  Grey hairs, die piecemeal.




  O even in spite of death, yet still my choice,
  Oft with the inward all-beholding eye
  I think I see thee, and I hear thy voice!




  Long-waiting love doth entrance find
  Into the slow-believing mind.




_Pand._ He that will have a cake out of the wheat, must tarry the 

_Troilus._ Have I not tarried?

_Pand._ Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the bolting.

_Troilus._ Have I not tarried?

_Pand._ Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.

_Troilus._ Still have I tarried.

_Pand._ Aye, to the leavening: but here's yet in the word hereafter, 
the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the 
baking; nay, you must stay the cooling too; or you may chance to burn 
your lips.




_Enobarbus._            Every time
  Serves for the matter that is then born in it.

_Lepidus._ But small to greater matters must give way.

_Enobarbus._ Not if the small come first.




  _Lass mich den Stunde gedenken, und jedes kleineren umstands.
     Ach, wer ruft nicht so gern unwiederbringliches an!
   Jenes süsse Gedränge der leichtesten irdischen Tage,
     Ach, wer schätzt ihn genug, diesen vereilenden Werth!
   Klein erscheinet es nun, doch ach! nicht kleinlich dem Herzen;
     Macht die Liebe, die Kunst, jegliches kleine doch gross._




  _Que sea Medico mas grave
   Quien mas aforismos sabe,
       Bien puede ser.
   Mas que no sea mas experto
   El que mas huviere muerto,
       No puede ser._




                 I wander 'twixt the poles
  And heavenly hinges, 'mongst eccentricals,
  Centers, concentricks, circles and epicycles.




_Diré aqui una maldad grande del Demonio._




_Quid de pulicibus? vitæ salientia puncta._


CHAPTER XC.—p. 144.


_Voulant doncques satisfaire à la curiosité de touts bons compagnons, 
j'ay revolvé toutes les Pantarches des Cieux, calculé les quadrats de 
la Lune, crocheté tout ce que jamais penserent touts les Astrophiles, 
Hypernephelistes, Anemophylaces, Uranopetes et Ombrophores._


CHAPTER XCI.—p. 157.


_Si j'avois dispersé ceci en divers endroits de mon ouvrage, j'aurois 
évité la censure de ceux qui appelleront ce chapitre un fatras de 
petit recueils. Mais comme je cherche la commodité de mes lecteurs 
plutôt que la mienne, je veux bien au depens de cette censure, leur 
épargner la peine de rassembler ce que j'aurois dispersé._




A man that travelleth to the most desirable home, hath a habit of 
desire to it all the way; but his present business is his travel; and 
horse, and company, and inns, and ways, and weariness, &c., may take 
up more of his sensible thoughts, and of his talk and action, than his 




  Ὦ πολλὰ λέξας ἄρτι κάνόνητ᾽ ἔπη,
  Οὐ μνημονεύεις οὐκέτ᾽ οὐδὲν;




  And music mild I learn'd that tells
  Tune, time and measure of the song.


CHAPTER XCV.—p. 207.


  Thus may ye behold
  This man is very bold,
  And in his learning old
  Intendeth for to sit.
  I blame him not a whit;
  For it would vex his wit,
  And clean against his earning
  To follow such learning
  As now a-days is taught.




_Noi intendiamo parlare alle cose che utili sono alla umana vita, 
quanto per nostro intendimento si potrà in questa parte comprendere; e 
sopra quelle particelle che detto avemo di comporre._




  The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
  Into his study of imagination;
  And every lovely organ of her life
  Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,
  More moving delicate, and full of life,
  Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
  Than when she lived indeed.




  The voice which I did more esteem
    Than music in her sweetest key;
  Those eyes which unto me did seem
    More comfortable than the day;
  Those now by me, as they have been,
  Shall never more be heard, or seen;
  But what I once enjoyed in them,
  Shall seem hereafter as a dream.

  All earthly comforts vanish thus;
    So little hold of them have we,
  That we from them, or they from us,
    May in a moment ravished be.
  Yet we are neither just nor wise,
  If present mercies we despise;
  Or mind not how there may be made
  A thankful use of what we had.




_Non è inconveniente, che delle cose delettabili alcune ne sieno 
utili, cosi come dell' utili molte ne sono delettabili, et in tutte 
due alcune si truovano honeste._


CHAPTER C.—p. 258.


  Sweet were the sauce would please each kind of taste,
    The life, likewise, were pure that never swerved;
  For spiteful tongues, in cankered stomachs placed,
    Deem worst of things which best, percase, deserved.
  But what for that? This medicine may suffice,
  To scorn the rest, and seek to please the wise.


CHAPTER CI.—p. 266.


_Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem._




  Take this in good part, whatsoever thou be,
  And wish me no worse than I wish unto thee.


CHAPTER CII.—p. 280.


I doubt nothing at all but that you shall like the man every day 
better than other; for verily I think he lacketh not of those 
qualities which should become any honest man to have, over and besides 
the gift of nature wherewith God hath above the common rate endued 




  Opinion is the rate of things,
    From hence our peace doth flow;
  I have a better fate than kings,
    Because I think it so.


CHAPTER CIV.—p. 307.


                    —Now I love,
  And so as in so short a time I may;
  Yet so as time shall never break that so,
  And therefore so accept of Elinor.


CHAPTER CV.—p. 318.


  _Un mal que se entra por medio los ojos,
     Y va se derecho hasta el corazon;
     Alli en ser llegado se torna aficion,
   Y da mil pesares, plazeres y enojos:
   Causa alegrias, tristezas, antojos;
     Haze llorar, y haze reir,
     Haze cantar, y haze plañir;
   Da pensamientos dos mil a manojos._




Ἔνϑα γαρ τι δεῖ ψεῦδος λεγεσϑαι λεγἐσϑω.




  Ha, ha, ha, now ye will make me to smile,
  To see if I can all men beguile.
  Ha, my name, my name would ye so fain know?
    Yea, I wis, shall ye, and that with all speed.
  I have forgot it, therefore I cannot show.
    A, a, now I have it! I have it indeed!
  My name is Ambidexter, I signify one
    That with both hands finely can play.





  You play before me, I shall often look on you,
  I give you that warning before hand.
  Take it not ill, my masters, I shall laugh at you,
  And truly when I am least offended with you;
  It is my humour.


When St. Thomas Aquinas was asked in what manner a man might best 
become learned, he answered, “by reading one book;” “meaning,” says 
Bishop Taylor, “that an understanding entertained with several objects 
is intent upon neither, and profits not.” Lord Holland's poet, the 
prolific Lope de Vega tells us to the same purport;

   _Que es estudiante notable
    El que lo es de un libro solo.
  Que quando no estavan llenos
    De tantos libros agenos,
    Como van dexando atras,
    Sabian los hombres mas
    Porque estudiavan en menos._

The _homo unius libri_ is indeed proverbially formidable to all 
conversational figurantes. Like your sharp shooter, he knows his piece 
perfectly, and is sure of his shot. I would therefore modestly 
insinuate to the reader what infinite advantages would be possessed by 
that fortunate person who shall be the _homo hujus libri_.

According to the Lawyers the King's eldest son is for certain purposes 
of full age as soon as he is born,—great being the mysteries of Law! I 
will not assume that in like manner _hic liber_ is at once to acquire 
maturity of fame; for fame, like the oak, is not the product of a 
single generation; and a new book in its reputation is but as an 
acorn, the full growth of which can be known only by posterity. The 
Doctor will not make so great a sensation upon its first appearance as 
Mr. Southey's Wat Tyler, or the first two Cantos of Don Juan; still 
less will it be talked of so universally as the murder of Mr. Weire. 
Talked of however it will be, widely, largely, loudly and _lengthily_ 
talked of: lauded and vituperated, vilified and extolled, heartily 
abused, and no less heartily admired.

Thus much is quite certain; that before it has been published a week, 
eight persons will be named as having written it: and these eight 
positive lies will be affirmed each as positive truths on positive 

Within the month Mr. Woodbee will write to one Marquis, one Earl, two 
Bishops, and two Reviewers-Major assuring them that he is _not_ the 
Author. Mr. Sligo will cautiously avoid making any such declaration, 
and will take occasion significantly to remark upon the exceeding 
impropriety of saying to any person that a work which has been 
published anonymously is supposed to be his. He will observe also that 
it is altogether unwarrantable to ask any one under such circumstances 
whether the report be true. Mr. Blueman's opinion of the book will be 
asked by four and twenty female correspondents, all of the order of 
the stocking.

Professor Wilson will give it his hearty praise. Sir Walter Scott will 
deny that he has any hand in it. Mr. Coleridge will smile if he is 
asked the question. If it be proposed to Sir Humphrey Davy he will 
smile too, and perhaps blush also. The Laureate will observe a 
careless silence; Mr. Wordsworth a dignified one. And Professor 
Porson, if he were not gone where his Greek is of no use to him, would 
accept credit for it, though he would not claim it.

The Opium-Eater while he peruses it, will doubt whether there is a 
book in his hand, or whether he be not in a dream of intellectual 

“My little more than nothing” Jeffrey the second,—(for of the small 
Jeffreys Jeffrey Hudson must always be the first)—will look less when 
he pops upon his own name in its pages. Sir Jeffrey Dunstan is Jeffrey 
the third: he must have been placed second in right of seniority, had 
it not been for the profound respect with which I regard the 
University of Glasgow. The Rector of Glasgow takes precedence of the 
Mayor of Garratt.

And what will the Reviewers do? I speak not of those who come to their 
office, (for such there are, though few,) like Judges to the bench, 
stored with all competent knowledge and in an equitable mind; 
prejudging nothing, however much they may foreknow; and who give their 
sentence without regard to persons, upon the merits of the case;—but 
the aspirants and wranglers at the bar, the dribblers and the 
spit-fires, (there are of both sorts;)—the puppies who bite for the 
pleasure which they feel in exercising their teeth, and the dogs whose 
gratification consists in their knowledge of the pain and injury that 
they inflict;—the creepers of literature, who suck their food like the 
ivy from what they strangulate and kill; they who have a party to 
serve, or an opponent to run down; what opinion will they pronounce in 
their utter ignorance of the author? They cannot play without a bias 
in their bowls!—Aye, there's the rub!

  Ha ha, ha ha! this World doth pass
    Most merrily, I'll be sworn,
  For many an honest Indian Ass
    Goes for a Unicorn.
      Farra diddle dyno,
      This is idle fyno!
  Tygh hygh, tygh hygh! O sweet delight!
    He tickles this age that can
  Call Tullia's ape a marmasite,
    And Leda's goose a swan.[1]


Then the discussion that this book will excite among blue stockings, 
and blue beards! The stir! the buzz! the bustle! The talk at tea 
tables in the country and _conversazione_ in town,—in Mr. Murray's 
room, at Mr. Longman's dinners, in Mr. Hatchard's shop,—at the Royal 
Institution,—at the Alfred, at the Admiralty, at Holland House!—Have 
you seen it?—Do you understand it? Are you not disgusted with it?—Are 
you not provoked at it?—Are you not delighted with it? Whose is it? 
Whose can it be?

Is it Walter Scott's?—There is no Scotch in the book,—and that hand is 
never to be mistaken in its masterly strokes.—Is it Lord Byron's?—Lord 
Byron's! Why the Author fears God, honours the King, and loves his 
country and his kind. Is it by Little Moore?—If it were we should have 
sentimental lewdness, Irish patriotism which is something very like 
British treason, and a plentiful spicing of personal insults to the 
Prince Regent. Is it the Laureate?—He lies buried under his own 
historical quartos! There is neither his mannerism, nor his moralism, 
nor his methodism. Is it Wordsworth?—What,—an Elephant cutting capers 
on the slack wire!—Is it Coleridge?—The method indeed of the book 
might lead to such a suspicion,—but then it is intelligible 
throughout. Mr. A——?—there is Latin in it. Mr. B——?—there is Greek in 
it. Mr. C——?—it is written in good English. Mr. Hazlitt? It contains 
no panegyric upon Bonaparte; no imitations of Charles Lamb; no 
plagiarisms from Mr. Coleridge's conversation; no abuse of that 
gentleman, Mr. Southey and Mr. Wordsworth,—and no repetitions of 
himself. Certainly therefore it is _not_ Mr. Hazlitt's.

Is it Charles Lamb?

  Baa! Baa! good Sheep, have you any wool?
  Yes marry, that I have, three bags full.

_Good_ Sheep I write here, in emendation of the nursery song; because 
nobody ought to call this Lamb a _black_ one.

Comes it from the Admiralty? There indeed wit enough might be found 
and acuteness enough, and enough of sagacity, and enough of knowledge 
both of books and men; but when

  The Raven croaked as she sate at her meal
  And the Old Woman knew what he said,—[2]

the Old Woman knew also by the tone who said it.

[Footnote 2: SOUTHEY.]

Does it contain the knowledge, learning, wit, sprightliness, and good 
sense, which that distinguished patron of letters my Lord Puttiface 
Papinhead has so successfully concealed from the public and from all 
his most intimate acquaintance during his whole life?

Is it Theodore Hook with the learned assistance of his brother the 
Archdeacon?—A good guess that of the Hook: have an eye to it!

“I guess it is our Washington Irving,” says the New Englander. The 
Virginian replies “I reckon it may be;” and they agree that none of 
the Old Country Authors are worthy to be compared with him.

Is it Smith?

Which of the Smiths? for they are a numerous people. To say nothing of 
Black Smiths, White Smiths, Gold Smiths, and Silver Smiths, there is 
Sidney, who is Joke-Smith to the Edinburgh Review; and William, who is 
Motion Smith to the Dissenters Orthodox and Heterodox, in Parliament, 
having been elected to represent them,—to wit the aforesaid 
Dissenters—by the citizens of Norwich. And there is _Cher Bobus_ who 
works for nobody; and there is Horace and his brother James, who work 
in Colburn's forge at the sign of the Camel. You probably meant these 
brothers; they are clever fellows, with wit and humour as fluent as 
their ink; and to their praise be it spoken with no gall in it. But 
their wares are of a very different quality.

Is it the Author of Thinks I to myself?—“Think you so,” says I to 
myself I. Or the Author of the Miseries of Human Life? George Coleman? 
Wrangham,—unfrocked and in his lighter moods? Yorick of Dublin? Dr. 
Clarke? Dr. Busby? The Author of My Pocket Book? D'Israeli? Or that 
phenomenon of eloquence, the celebrated Irish Barrister, Counsellor 
Phillips? Or may it not be the joint composition of Sir Charles and 
Lady Morgan? he compounding the speculative, scientific and erudite 
ingredients; she intermingling the lighter parts, and infusing her own 
grace, airiness, vivacity and spirit through the whole. A well-aimed 
guess: for they would throw out opinions differing from their own, as 
ships in time of war hoist false colours; and thus they would enjoy 
the baffled curiosity of those wide circles of literature and fashion 
in which they move with such enviable distinction both at home and 

Is it Mr. Mathurin? Is it Hans Busk?—

  Busk ye, busk ye my bonny bonny bride,
    Busk ye, my winsome marrow!

Is it he who wrote of a World without Souls, and made the Velvet 
Cushion relate its adventures?

Is it Rogers?—The wit and the feeling of the book may fairly lead to 
such an ascription, if there be sarcasm enough to support it. So may 
the Pleasures of Memory which the Author has evidently enjoyed during 
the composition.

Is it Mr. Utinam? He would have written it,—if he could.—Is it Hookham 
Frere? He could have written it,—if he would.—Has Matthias taken up a 
new Pursuit in Literature? Or has William Bankes been trying the 
experiment whether he can impart as much amusement and instruction by 
writing, as in conversation?

Or is it some new genius ‘breaking out at once like the Irish 
Rebellion a hundred thousand strong?’ Not one of the Planets, nor 
fixed stars of our Literary System, but a Comet as brilliant as it is 
eccentric in its course.

Away the dogs go, whining here, snuffing there, nosing in this place, 
pricking their ears in that, and now full-mouthed upon a false 
scent,—and now again all at fault.

Oh the delight of walking invisible among mankind!

“Whoever he be,” says Father O'Faggot, “he is an audacious heretic.” 
“A schoolmaster, by his learning,” says Dr. Fullbottom Wigsby. The 
Bishop would take him for a Divine, if there were not sometimes a 
degree of levity in the book, which though always innocent, is not 
altogether consistent with the gown. Sir Fingerfee Dolittle discovers 
evident marks of the medical profession. “He has manifestly been a 
traveller” says the General, “and lived in the World.” The man of 
letters says it would not surprize him if it were the work of a 
learned Jew. Mr. Dullman sees nothing in the book to excite the 
smallest curiosity; he really does not understand it, and doubts 
whether the Author himself knew what he would be at. Mr. M^cDry 
declares, with a harsh Scotch accent, “Its just parfit nonsense.”



To smell to a turf of fresh earth is wholesome for the body; no less 
are thoughts of mortality cordial to the Soul. “_Earth thou art, to 
earth thou shalt return._”


The Commentators in the next millennium, and even in the next century, 
will I foresee, have no little difficulty, in settling the chronology 
of this opus. I do not mean the time of its conception, the very day 
and hour of that happy event having been recorded in the seventh 
chapter, A. I.: nor the time of its birth, that, as has been 
registered in the weekly Literary Journals, having been in the second 
week of January, 1834. But at what intervening times certain of its 
Chapters and Inter Chapters were composed.

A similar difficulty has been found with the Psalms, the Odes of 
Horace, Shakespeare's Plays, and other writings sacred or profane, of 
such celebrity as to make the critical enquiry an object of reasonable 
curiosity, or of real moment.

They however who peruse the present volume while it is yet a new book, 
will at once have perceived that between the composition of the 
preceding Chapter and their perusal thereof, an interval as long as 
one of Nourjahad's judicial visitations of sleep must have elapsed. 
For many of the great performers who figured upon the theatre of 
public life when the anticipations in that Chapter were expressed, 
have made their exits; and others who are not there mentioned, have 
since that time made their entrances.

The children of that day have reached their stage of adolescence; the 
youth are now in mid life; the middle-aged have grown old, and the old 
have passed away. I say nothing of the political changes that have 
intervened. Who can bestow a thought upon the pantomime of politics, 
when his mind is fixed upon the tragedy of human life?

Robert Landor, (a true poet like his great brother, if ever there was 
one) says finely in his Impious Banquet,

  There is a pause near death when men grow bold
  Toward all things else:

Before that awful pause, whenever the thought is brought home to us, 
we feel ourselves near enough to grow indifferent to them, and to 
perceive the vanity of all earthly pursuits, those only excepted which 
have the good of our fellow creatures for their object, and tend to 
our own spiritual improvement.

But this is entering upon a strain too serious for this place; though 
any reflection upon the lapse of time and the changes that steal on us 
in its silent course leads naturally to such thoughts.

  _Omnia paulatim consumit longior ætas,
   Vivendoque simul morimur, rapimurque manendo.
   Ipse mihi collatus enim non ille videbor;
   Frons alia est, moresque alii, nova mentis imago,
   Voxque aliud mutata sonat._[1]

[Footnote 1: PETRARCH.]

Sir Thomas Lawrence was told one day that he had made a portrait which 
he was then finishing, ten years too young, “Well,” he replied, “I 
have; and I see no reason why it should not be made so.” There was 
this reason: ten years if they bring with them only their ordinary 
portion of evil and of good, cannot pass over any one's head without 
leaving their moral as well as physical traces, especially if they 
have been years of active and intellectual life. The painter therefore 
who dips his brush in Medea's kettle, neither represents the 
countenance as it is, nor as it has been.

“And what does that signify?” Sir Thomas might ask in rejoinder.—What 
indeed! Little to any one at present, and nothing when the very few 
who are concerned in it shall have passed away,—except to the artist. 
The merits of his picture as a work of art are all that will then be 
considered; its fidelity as a likeness will be taken for granted, or 
be thought of as little consequence as in reality it then is.

Yet if Titian or Vandyke had painted upon such a principle, their 
portraits would not have been esteemed as they now are. We should not 
have felt the certainty which we now feel, that in looking at the 
pictures of the Emperor Charles V. and of Cortes; of King Charles the 
Martyr, and of Strafford, we see the veritable likeness and true 
character of those ever-memorable personages.

Think of the changes that any ten years in the course of human life 
produce in body and in mind, and in the face, which is in a certain 
degree the index of both. From thirty to forty is the decade during 
which the least outward and visible alteration takes place; and yet 
how perceptible is it even during that stage in every countenance that 
is composed of good flesh and blood! For I do not speak of those which 
look as if they had been hewn out of granite, cut out of a block, cast 
in bronze, or moulded either in wax, tallow, or paste.

Ten years!

Quarles in those Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man, which he presents 
to the Reader as an Egyptian dish drest in the English fashion; 
symbolizes it by the similitude of a taper divided into eight equal 
lengths, which are to burn for ten years each,—if the candle be not 
either wasted, or blown out by the wind, or snuffed out by an 
unskilful hand, or douted (to use a good old word) with an 
extinguisher, before it is burnt down to the socket. The poem which 
accompanies the first print of the series, begins thus, in pyramidal 
stanzas; such they were designed to be, but their form resembles that 
of an Aztecan or Mexican Cu, rather than of an Egyptian pyramid.

                        How short a span
                     Was long enough of old
                 To measure out the life of man!
          In those well-temper'd days, his time was then
    Surveyed, cast up, and found but threescore years and ten.

                        And what is that!
                  They come and slide and pass
                Before my pen can tell thee what.
          The posts of life are swift, which having run
  Their seven short stages o'er, their short-liv'd task is done.

“I had an old grand-uncle,” says Burns, “with whom my mother lived 
awhile in her girlish years. The good man was long blind ere he died, 
during which time his highest enjoyment was to sit down and cry, while 
my mother would sing the simple old song of the Life and Age of Man.”

It is certain that this old song was in Burns's mind when he composed 
to the same cadence those well-known stanzas of which the burthen is 
that “man was made to mourn.” But the old blind man's tears were tears 
of piety, not of regret; it was his greatest enjoyment thus to listen 
and to weep; and his heart the while was not so much in the past, as 
his hopes were in the future. They were patient hopes; he knew in Whom 
he believed, and was awaiting his deliverance in God's good time. 
_Sunt homines qui cum patientiâ moriuntur; sunt autem quidam perfecti 
qui cum patientiâ vivunt._[2] Burns may perhaps have been conscious in 
his better hours (and he had many such,) that he had inherited the 
feeling (if not the sober piety,) which is so touchingly exemplified 
in this family anecdote;—that it was the main ingredient in the 
_athanasia_ of his own incomparable effusions; and that without it he 
never could have been the moral, and therefore never the truly great 
poet that he eminently is.

[Footnote 2: ST. AUGUSTIN.]



You will excuse me if I do not strictly confine myself to narration, 
but now and then intersperse such reflections as may offer while I am 


But the most illustrious exemplification of the difficulty which the 
Doctorean or Dovean commentators will experience in settling the 
chronology of these chapters, is to be found in the history of the 

Mahommedan Doctors are agreed that the first part or parcel of their 
sacred book which was revealed to the Prophet, consisted of what now 
stands as the first five verses of the ninety-sixth chapter; and that 
the chapter which ought to be the last of the whole hundred and 
fourteen, because it was the last which Mahommed delivered, is placed 
as the ninth in order.

The manner in which the book was originally produced and afterwards 
put together explains how this happened.

Whenever the Impostor found it convenient to issue a portion, one of 
his disciples wrote it, from his dictation, either upon palm-leaves or 
parchment, and these were put promiscuously into a chest. After his 
death Abubeker collected them into a volume, but with so little regard 
to any principle of order or connection, that the only rule which he 
is supposed to have followed was that of placing the longest chapters 

Upon this M. Savary remarks, _ce bouleversement dans un ouvrage qui 
est un recueil de préceptes donnés dans différens temps et dont les 
premiers sont souvent abrogés par les suivans, y a jetté la plus grand 
confusion. On ne doit donc y chercher ni ordre ni suite._ And yet one 
of the chapters opens with the assertion that “a judicious order 
reigns in this book,”—according to Savary's version, which here 
follows those commentators who prefer this among the five 
interpretations which the words may bear.

Abubeker no doubt was of opinion that it was impossible to put the 
book together in any way that could detract from its value and its 
use. If he were, as there is every reason to think, a true believer, 
he would infer that the same divine power which revealed it piece-meal 
would preside over the arrangement, and that the earthly copy would 
thus miraculously be made a faithful transcript of the eternal and 
uncreated original.

If, on the other hand, he had been as audacious a knave as his 
son-in-law, the false prophet himself, he would have come with equal 
certainty to the same conclusion by a different process: for he would 
have known that if the separate portions, when they were taken out of 
the chest, had been shuffled and dealt like a pack of cards, they 
would have been just as well assorted as it was possible to assort 

A north-country dame in days of old economy, when the tailor worked 
for women as well as men, delivered one of her nether garments to a 
professor of the sartorial art with these directions:

“Here Talleor, tak this petcut; thoo mun bin' me't, and thoo mun 
tap-bin' me't; thoo mun turn it rangsid afoor, tapsid bottom, insid 
oot: thoo can do't, thoo mun do't, and thoo mun do't speedly.”—Neither 
Bonaparte nor Wellington ever gave their orders on the field of battle 
with more precision, or more emphatic and authoritative conciseness.

Less contrivance was required for editing the Koran, than for 
renovating this petticoat: The Commander of the Faithful had only to 
stitch it together and bin' me't.

The fable is no doubt later than Abubeker's time that the first 
transcript of this book from its eternal and uncreated original in the 
very essence of the Deity, is on the Preserved Table, fast by the 
throne of God; on which Table all the divine decrees of things past, 
passing and to come are recorded. The size of the Table may be 
estimated by that of the Pen wherewith these things were written on 
it. The Great Pen was one of the first three created things; it is in 
length, five hundred years' journey, and in breadth, eighty; and I 
suppose the rate of an Angel's travelling is intended, which 
considerably exceeds that of a rail-road, a race-horse, or a 
carrier-pigeon. A copy of the Koran, transcribed upon some celestial 
material from this original on the Preserved Table, bound in silk, and 
ornamented with gold and set with precious stones from Paradise, was 
shown to the Prophet by the Angel Gabriel, once a year, for his 
consolation, and twice during the last year of his life.

Far later is the legend transmitted by the Spanish Moor, Mahomet 
Rabadan, that Othman arranged the fragments and copied them in the 
Prophet's life-time; and that when this transcript was compleated 
Gabriel presented the Prophet with another copy of the whole, written 
by his own arch-angelic hand in heaven, whereby the greatest honour 
and most perfect satisfaction that could be given to man were 
imparted, and the most conclusive proof afforded of the fidelity with 
which Othman had executed his holy task. For when his copy was 
collated with the Angel's it was found to be so exact, “that not the 
least tittle was variated or omitted, but it seemed as if the same 
hand and pen had written them both,” the only difference being in the 
size of the letters, and consequently of the two books, and in their 

Gabriel's copy was contained in sixteen leaves, the size of a Damascus 
coin not larger than an English shilling; and the strokes of the 
letters were so much finer than any human hair, or any visible thread, 
that they are compared to the hairs of a serpent, which are so fine 
that no microscope has ever yet discovered them. They were plainly 
legible to all who were pure and undefiled; but no unclean person 
could discern a single syllable, nor could any pen ever be made fine 
enough to imitate such writing. The ink was of a rich purple, the 
cover of a bright chesnut colour. Mahommed continually carried this 
wonderful book about him in his bosom, and when he slept he had it 
always under his pillow or next his heart. After his decease it 
disappeared, nor though Othman and Ali diligently sought for it, could 
it ever be found; it was believed therefore to have returned to the 
place from whence it came.

But this is a legend of later date; and learned Mahommedans would 
reject it not merely as being apocryphal, but as false.

Before I have done with the subject, let me here, on the competent 
authority of Major Edward Moore, inform the European reader, who may 
be ignorant of Arabic, that the name of the Arabian False Prophet is, 
in the language of his own country, written with four letters—M. H. M. 
D.—a character called _teshdid_ over the medial M denoting that sound 
to be prolonged or doubled; so that Mahammad would better than any 
other spelling represent the current vernacular pronunciation.

Here let me observe by the way that the work which the reader has now 
the privilege of perusing is as justly entitled to the name of the 
Koran as the so called pseudo-bible itself, because the word signifies 
“_that which ought to be read_;” and moreover, that, like the 
Musselman's Koran, it might also be called Dhikr, which is, being 
interpreted, “_the Admonition_,” because of the salutary instruction 
and advice which it is intended to convey.

  Take, if ye can, ye careless and supine,
  Counsel and caution from a voice like mine!
  Truths that the theorist could never reach,
  And observation taught me, I would teach.[1]

[Footnote 1: COWPER.]

Haying given the reader this timely intimation I shall now explain in 
what my commentators will find a difficulty of the same kind as that 
which Abubeker would have had, if, in putting together the disorderly 
writings entrusted to his care, he had endeavoured to arrange them 
according to the order in which the several portions were produced.

When Mahommed wanted to establish an ordinance for his followers, or 
to take out a license for himself for the breach of his own laws, as 
when he chose to have an extra allowance of wives, or coveted those of 
his neighbours, he used to promulgate a fragment of the Koran, 
revealed _pro re natâ_, that is to say in honest old English _for the 
nonce_. It has been determined with sufficient accuracy at what times 
certain portions were composed, because the circumstances in his 
public or private history which rendered them necessary, or 
convenient, are known. And what has been done with these parts, might 
have been done with the whole, if due pains had been taken, at a time 
when persons were still living who knew when, and why, every separate 
portion had been,—as they believed,—revealed. This would have required 
more diligence than the first Caliph had either leisure or inclination 
to bestow, and perhaps more sagacity than he possessed: the task would 
have been difficult, but it was possible.

But my commentators will never be able to ascertain anything more of 
the chronology of this Koran, than the dates of its conception, and of 
its birth-day, the interval between them having been more than twenty 



_Vorrei, disse il Signor Gasparo Pallavicino, che voi ragionassi un 
poco piu minutamente di questo, che non fate; che en vero vi tenete 
molto al generale, et quasi ci mostrate le cose per transito._


Henry More, in the Preface General to the collection of his 
philosophical writings, says to the reader, “if thy curiosity be 
forward to enquire what I have done in these new editions of my books, 
I am ready to inform thee that I have taken the same liberty in this 
Intellectual Garden of my own planting, that men usually take in their 
natural ones; which is, to set or pluck up, to transplant and 
inoculate, where and what they please. And therefore if I have rased 
out some things, (which yet are but very few) and transposed others, 
and interserted others, I hope I shall seem injurious to no man in 
ordering and cultivating this Philosophical Plantation of mine 
according to mine own humour and liking.”

Except as to the rasing out, what our great Platonist has thus said 
for himself, may here be said for me. “Many things,” as the happy old 
lutanist, Thomas Mace, says, “are good, yea, very good; but yet upon 
after-consideration we have met with the comparative, which is better; 
yea, and after that, with the superlative, (best of all), by adding 
to, or altering a little, the same good things.”

During the years that this Opus has been in hand, (and in head and 
heart also) nothing was expunged as if it had become obsolete because 
the persons therein alluded to had departed like shadows, or the 
subjects there touched on had grown out of date; but much was 
introduced from time to time where it fitted best. Allusions occur in 
relation to facts which are many years younger than the body of the 
chapter in which they have been grafted, thus rendering it impossible 
for any critic, however acute, to determine the date of any one 
chapter by its contents.

What Watts has said of his own Treatise upon the Improvement of the 
Mind may therefore with strict fidelity be applied to this book, which 
I trust, O gentle Reader, thou wilt regard as specially conducive to 
the improvement of thine. “The work was composed at different times, 
and by slow degrees. Now and then indeed it spread itself into 
branches and leaves, like a plant in April, and advanced seven or 
eight pages in a week; and sometimes it lay by without growth, like a 
vegetable in the winter, and did not increase half so much in the 
revolution of a year. As thoughts occurred to me in reading or 
meditation, or in my notices of the various appearances of things 
among mankind, they were thrown under appropriate heads, and were, by 
degrees, reduced to such a method as the subject would admit. The 
language and dress of these sentiments is such as the present temper 
of mind dictated, whether it were grave or pleasant, severe or 
smiling. And a book which has been twenty years in writing may be 
indulged in some variety of style and manner, though I hope there will 
not be found any great difference of sentiment.” With little 
transposition Watts' words have been made to suit my purpose; and when 
he afterwards speaks of “so many lines altered, so many things 
interlined, and so many paragraphs and pages here and there inserted,” 
the circumstances which he mentions as having deceived him in 
computing the extent of his work, set forth the embarrassment which 
the commentators will find in settling the chronology of mine.

The difficulty would not be obviated were I, like Horace Walpole, 
(though Heaven knows for no such motives as influenced that posthumous 
libeller,—) to leave a box containing the holograph manuscript of this 
Opus in safe custody, with an injunction that the seals should not be 
broken till the year of our Lord, 2000. Nothing more than what has 
been here stated would appear in that inestimable manuscript. Whether 
I shall leave it as an heir-loom in my family, or have it deposited 
either in the public library of my Alma Mater, or that of my own 
College, or bequeath it as a last mark of affection to the town of 
Doncaster, concerns not the present reader. Nor does it concern him to 
know whether the till-then-undiscoverable name of the author will be 
disclosed at the opening of the seals. An adequate motive for placing 
the manuscript in safe custody is, that a standard would thus be 
secured for posterity whereby the always accumulating errors of the 
press might be corrected. For modern printers make more and greater 
blunders than the copyists of old.

In any of those works which posterity will not be “willing to let 
perish,” how greatly would the interest be enhanced, if the whole 
history of its rise and progress were known, and amid what 
circumstances, and with what views, and in what state of mind, certain 
parts were composed. Sir Walter, than whom no man ever took more 
accurate measure of the public taste, knew this well; and posterity 
will always be grateful to him for having employed his declining years 
in communicating so much of the history of those works which obtained 
a wider and more rapid celebrity than any that ever preceded them, and 
perhaps than any that ever may follow them.

An author of the last generation, (I cannot call to mind who,) treated 
such an opinion with contempt, saying in his preface that “there his 
work was, and that as the Public were concerned with it only as it 
appeared before them, he should say nothing that would recal the 
blandishments of its childhood:” whether the book was one of which the 
maturity might just as well be forgotten as the nonage, I do not 
remember. But he must be little versed in bibliology who has not 
learnt that such reminiscences are not more agreeable to an author 
himself, than they are to his readers, (if he obtain any,) in after 
times; for every trifle that relates to the history of a favourite 
author, and of his works, then becomes precious.

Far be it for me to despise the relic-mongers of literature, or to 
condemn them, except when they bring to light things which ought to 
have been buried with the dead; like the Dumfries craniologists, who, 
when the grave of Burns was opened to receive the corpse of his wife, 
took that opportunity of _abstracting_ the poet's skull that they 
might make a cast from it! Had these men forgotten the malediction 
which Shakespeare utters from his monument? And had they never read 
what Wordsworth says to such men in his Poet's epitaph—

           Art thou one all eyes,
  Philosopher! a fingering slave,
  One that would peep and botanize
  Upon his mother's grave?

  Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,
  O turn aside,—and take, I pray,
  That he below may rest in peace,
  Thy pin-point of a soul away!

O for an hour of Burns' for these men's sake! Were there a Witch of 
Endor in Scotland it would be an act of comparative piety in her to 
bring up his spirit; to stigmatize them in verses that would burn for 
ever would be a gratification for which he might think it worth while 
to be thus brought again upon earth.

But to the harmless relic-mongers we owe much; much to the Thomas 
Hearnes and John Nichols, the Isaac Reids and the Malones, the 
Haslewoods and Sir Egertons. Individually, I owe them much, and 
willingly take this opportunity of acknowledging the obligation. And 
let no one suppose that Sir Egerton is disparaged by being thus 
classed among the pioneers of literature. It is no disparagement for 
any man of letters, however great his endowments, and however 
extensive his erudition, to take part in those patient and humble 
labours by which honour is rendered to his predecessors, and 
information preserved for those who come after him.

But in every original work which lives and deserves to live there must 
have been some charms which no editorial diligence can preserve, no 
critical sagacity recover. The pictures of the old masters, suffer 
much when removed from the places for which, (and in which, many of 
them,) they were painted. It may happen that one which has been 
conveyed from a Spanish palace or monastery to the collection of 
Marshal Soult, or any other Plunder-Master-General in Napoleon's 
armies, and have past from thence,—honestly as regards the 
purchaser,—to the hands of an English owner, may be hung at the same 
elevation as in its proper place, and in the same light. Still it 
loses much. The accompaniments are all of a different character; the 
air and odour of the place are different. There is not here the 
locality that consecrated it,—no longer the _religio loci_. Wealth 
cannot purchase these; power may violate and destroy, but it cannot 
transplant them. The picture in its new situation is seen with a 
different feeling, by those who have any true feeling for such things.

Literary works of imagination, fancy or feeling, are liable to no 
injury of this kind; but in common with pictures they suffer a partial 
deterioration in even a short lapse of time. In such works as in 
pictures, there are often passages which once possessed a peculiar 
interest, personal and local, subordinate to the general interest. The 
painter introduced into an historical piece the portrait of his 
mistress, his wife, his child, his dog, his friend, or his faithful 
servant. The picture is not as a work of art the worse where these 
persons were not known, or when they are forgotten: but there was once 
a time when it excited on this account in very many beholders a 
peculiar delight which it can never more impart.

So it is with certain books; and though there is perhaps little to 
regret in any thing that becomes obsolete, an author may be allowed to 
sigh over what he feels and knows to be evanescent.

Mr. Pitt used to say of Wilberforce that he was not so single minded 
in his speeches as might have been expected from the sincerity of his 
character, and as he would have been if he had been less dependent 
upon popular support. Those who knew him, and how he was connected, he 
said, could perceive that some things in his best speeches were 
intended to _tell_ in such and such quarters,—upon Benjamin Sleek in 
one place, Isaac Drab in another, and Nehemiah Wilyman in a 
third.—Well would it be if no man ever looked askant with worse 

Observe, Reader, that I call him simply Wilberforce, because any 
common prefix would seem to disparage that name, especially if used by 
one who regarded him with admiration; and with respect, which is 
better than admiration, because it can be felt for those only whose 
virtues entitle them to it; and with kindliness, which is better than 
both, because it is called forth by those kindly qualities that are 
worth more than any talents, and without which a man, though he may be 
both great and good, never can be amiable. No one was ever blest with 
a larger portion of those gifts and graces which make up the measure 
of an amiable and happy man.

It will not be thought then that I have repeated with any 
disrespectful intention what was said of Wilberforce by Mr. Pitt. The 
observation was brought to mind while I was thinking how many passages 
in these volumes were composed with a double intention, one for the 
public and for posterity, the other private and personal, written with 
special pleasure on my part, _speciali gratiâ_, for the sake of 
certain individuals. Some of these which are calculated for the 
meridian of Doncaster the commentators may possibly, if they make due 
research, discover; but there are others which no ingenuity can 
detect. Their quintessence exhales when the private, which was in 
these cases the primary intention has been fulfilled. Yet the 
consciousness of the emotions which those passages will excite, the 
recollections they will awaken, the surprize and the smile with which 
they will be received,—yea and the melancholy gratification,—even to 
tears,—which they will impart, has been one and not the least of the 
many pleasures which I have experienced while employed upon this work.

    Πολλά μοι ὑπ᾽ ἀγκῶ–
  –νος ὠκέα βέλη
  Ἒνδον ἐντὶ φαρέτρας
  Φωνᾶντα συνετοῖσιν.[1]

[Footnote 1: PINDAR.]

But while thus declaring that these volumes contain much covert 
intention of this kind, I utterly disclaim all covert malevolence. My 
roving shafts are more harmless even than bird bolts, and can hurt 
none on whom they fall. The arrows with which I take aim carry tokens 
of remembrance and love, and may be likened to those by which 
intelligence has been conveyed into besieged places. Of such it is 
that I have been speaking. Others indeed I have in the quiver which 
are pointed and barbed.

    ἐμοὶ μὲν ὧν Μοῖσα καρτερώ-
  -τατον βέλος ἀλκᾷ τρἐφει.[2]

When one of these is let fly, (with sure aim and never without just 
cause,) it has its address written on the shaft at full length, like 
that which Aster directed from the walls of Methone to Philip's right 

[Footnote 2: PINDAR.]

_Or' c'est assez s' estre esgare de son grand chemin: j'y retourne et 
le bats, et le trace comme devant._[3]

[Footnote 3: BRANTOME.]



_El Amor es tan ingenioso, que en mi opinion, mas poetas ha hecho el 
solo, que la misma naturaleza._


I return to the loves of Leonard and Margaret.

That poet asked little from his mistress, who entreated her to bestow 
upon him, not a whole look, for this would have been too great a mercy 
for a miserable lover, but part of a look, whether it came from the 
white of her eye, or the black: and if even that were too much, then 
he besought her only to seem to look at him:

  _Un guardo—un guardo? no, troppo pietate
     E per misero Amante un guardo intero;
   Solo un de' vostri raggi, occhi girate,
     O parte del bel bianco, o del bel nero.
   E se troppo vi par, non mi mirate;
     Ma fate sol sembiante di mirarmi,
     Che nol potete far senza bearmi._[1]

This is a new thought in amatory poetry; and the difficulty of 
striking out a new thought in such poetry, is of all difficulties the 
greatest. Think of a look from the white of an eye! Even part of a 
look however is more than a lady will bestow upon one whom she does 
not favour; and more than one whom she favours will consent to part 
with. An Innamorato Furioso in one of Dryden's tragedies says:

  I'll not one corner of a glance resign!

[Footnote 1: CHIABRERA.]

Poor Robert Greene, whose repentance has not been disregarded by just 
posterity, asked his mistress in his licentious days, to look upon him 
with one eye, (no doubt he meant a sheep's eye;) this also was a new 
thought; and he gave the reason for his request in this sonnet—

  On women nature did bestow two eyes,
  Like heaven's bright lamps, in matchless beauty shining,
  Whose beams do soonest captivate the wise,
  And wary heads, made rare by art's refining.
  But why did nature, in her choice combining,
  Plant two fair eyes within a beauteous face?
  That they might favour two with equal grace.
  Venus did soothe up Vulcan with one eye,
  With the other granted Mars his wished glee.
  If she did so whom Hymen did defy,
  Think love no sin, but grant an eye to me!
  In vain else nature gave two stars to thee.
  If then two eyes may well two friends maintain,
  Allow of two, and prove not nature vain.

Love, they say, invented the art of tracing likenesses, and thereby 
led the way to portrait painting. Some painters it has certainly made; 
whether it ever made a poet may be doubted: but there can be no doubt 
that under its inspiration more bad poetry has been produced than by 
any, or all other causes.

  Hæc via jam cunctis nota est, hæc trita poetis
    Materia, hanc omnis tractat ubique liber.[2]

         As the most forward bud
  Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
  Even so by Love the young and tender wit
  Is turn'd to folly.[3]

Vanity, presumption, ambition, adulation, malice and folly, flatulent 
emptiness and ill digested fulness, misdirected talent and misapplied 
devotion, wantonness and want, good motives, bad motives, and mixed 
motives have given birth to verses in such numberless numbers, that 
the great lake of Oblivion in which they have sunk, must long ago have 
been filled up, if there had been any bottom to it. But had it been so 
filled up, and a foundation thus laid, the quantity of love poems 
which have gone to the same place, would have made a pile there that 
would have been the eighth wonder of the world. It would have dwarfed 
the Pyramids. Pelion upon Ossa would have seemed but a type of it; and 
the Tower of Babel would not, even when that Tower was at its highest 
elevation, have overtopt it, though the old rhyme says that

  Seven mile sank, and seven mile fell,
  And seven mile still stand and ever shall.

  _Ce n'est que feu de leurs froids chaleurs,
   Ce n'est qu' horreur de leurs feintes douleurs,
   Ce n'est encor de leurs souspirs et pleurs,
     Que vents, pluye, et orages:
   Et bref, ce n'est à ouir leurs chansons,
   De leurs amours, que flammes et glaçons,
   Fleches, liens, et mille autres façons
     De semblables outrages._

  _De voz beautez, ce n'est que tout fin or,
   Perles, crystal, marbre, et ivoyre encor,
   Et tout l'honneur de l'Indique thresor,
     Fleurs, lis, œillets, et roses:
   De voz doulceurs ce n'est que succre et miel,
   De voz rigueures n'est qu' aloës, et fiel,
   De voz esprits c'est tous ce que le ciel
     Tient de graces encloses._

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Il n'y a roc, qui n'entende leurs voix,
   Leurs piteux cris ont faict cent mille fois
   Pleurer les monts, les plaines, et les bois,
     Les antres et fonteines.
   Bref, il n'y a ny solitaires lieux,
   N'y lieux hantez, voyre mesmes les cieux,
   Qui ça et là ne montrent à leurs yeux
     L'image de leurs peines._

  _Cestuy-la porte en son cueur fluctueux
   De l'Ocean les flots tumultueux,
   Cestuy l'horreur des vents impetueux
     Sortans de leur caverne:
   L'un d'un Caucase, et Mongibel se plaingt,
   L'autre en veillant plus de songes se peingt,
   Qu'il n'en fut onq' en cest orme, qu'on feinct
     En la fosse d'Averne._

  _Qui contrefaict ce Tantale mourant
   Bruslé de soif au milieu d'un torrent,
   Qui repaissant un aigle devorant,
     S'accoustre en Promethee:
   Et qui encor, par un plus chaste vœu,
   En se bruslant, veult Hercule estre veu,
   Mais qui se mue en eau, air, terre, et feu,
     Comme un second Protee._

  _L'un meurt de froid, et l'autre meurt de chauld;
   L'un vole bas, et l'autre vole hault,
   L'un est chetif, l'autre a ce qui luy fault;
     L'un sur l'esprit se fonde,
   L'autre s'arreste à la beauté du corps;
   On ne vid onq' si horribles discords
   En ce cahos, qui troubloit les accords
     Dont fut basty le monde._[4]

But on the other hand if love, simple love, is the worst of poets, 
that same simple love, is beyond comparison the best of letter 
writers. In love poems conceits are distilled from the head; in love 
letters feelings flow from the heart; and feelings are never so 
feelingly uttered, affection never so affectionately expressed, truth 
never so truly spoken, as in such a correspondence. Oh if the 
disposition which exists at such times, were sustained through life, 
marriage would then be indeed the perfect union, the “excellent 
mystery” which our Father requires from those who enter into it, that 
it should be made; and which it might always be, under His blessing, 
were it not for the misconduct of one or the other party, or of both. 
If such a disposition were maintained,—“if the love of husbands and 
wives were grounded (as it then would be) in virtue and religion, it 
would make their lives a kind of heaven on earth; it would prevent all 
those contentions and brawlings which are the great plagues of 
families, and the lesser hell in passage to the greater.” Let no 
reader think the worse of that sentence because it is taken from that 
good homely old book, the better for being homely, entitled the Whole 
Duty of Man.

[Footnote 2: SCAURANUS.]

[Footnote 3: SHAKESPEARE.]

[Footnote 4: JOACHIM DU BELLAY.]

I once met with a book in which a servant girl had written on a blank 
leaf, “_not much love after marriage, but a good deal before!_” In her 
station of life this is but too true; and in high stations also, and 
in all those intermediate grades where either the follies of the 
world, or its cares, exercise over us an unwholesome influence. But it 
is not so with well constituted minds in those favorable circumstances 
wherein the heart is neither corrupted by wealth, nor hardened by 
neediness. So far as the tendency of modern usages is to diminish the 
number of persons who are thus circumstanced, in that same proportion 
must the sum of happiness be diminished, and of those virtues which 
are the only safeguard of a nation. And that modern policy and modern 
manners have this tendency, must be apparent to every one who observes 
the course both of public and private life.

This girl had picked up a sad maxim from the experience of others; I 
hope it did not as a consequence, make her bestow too much love before 
marriage herself, and meet with too little after it. I have said much 
of worthless verses upon this subject; take now, readers, some that 
may truly be called worthy of it. They are by the Manchester Poet, 
Charles Swain.


    Love?—I will tell thee what it is to love!
    It is to build with human thoughts a shrine,
    Where Hope sits brooding like a beauteous dove;
    Where Time seems young, and Life a thing divine.
    All tastes, all pleasures, all desires combine
    To consecrate this sanctuary of bliss.
    Above, the stars in shroudless beauty shine;
    Around, the streams their flowery margins kiss;
  And if there's heaven on earth, that heaven is surely this!


    Yes, this is Love, the stedfast and the true,
    The immortal glory which hath never set;
    The best, the brightest boon the heart e'er knew:
    Of all life's sweets the very sweetest yet!
    Oh! who but can recall the eve they met
    To breathe, in some green walk, their first young vow,
    While summer flowers with moonlight dews were wet,
    And winds sigh'd soft around the mountain's brow,
  And all was rapture then which is but memory now!

The dream of life indeed can last with none of us,—

  As if the thing beloved were all a Saint,
  And every place she entered were a shrine:[5]

but it must be our own fault, when it has past away, if the realities 
disappoint us: they are not “weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,” 
unless we ourselves render them so. The preservation of the species is 
not the sole end for which love was implanted in the human heart; that 
end the Almighty might as easily have effected by other means: not so 
the developement of our moral nature, which is its higher purpose. The 
comic poet asserts that

  _Verum illud verbum est vulgo quod dici solet,
   Omnes sibi esse melius malle, quam alteri:_[6]

but this is not true in love. The lover never says

  _Heus proximus sum egomet mihi;_[6]

He knows and understands the falsehood of the Greek adage,

  φιλεῖ δ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ πλεῖον οὐδείς οὐδένα.

and not lovers alone, but husbands and wives, and parents feel that 
there are others who are dearer to them than themselves. Little do 
they know of human nature who speak of marriage as doubling our 
pleasures and dividing our griefs: it doubles, or more than doubles 

[Footnote 5: GONDIBERT.]

[Footnote 6: TERENCE.]



  Read ye that run the aweful truth,
    With which I charge my page;
  A worm is in the bud of youth,
    And at the root of age.


Leonard was not more than eight and twenty when he obtained a living, 
a few miles from Doncaster. He took his bride with him to the 
vicarage. The house was as humble as the benefice, which was worth 
less than £50. a year; but it was soon made the neatest cottage in the 
country round, and upon a happier dwelling the sun never shone. A few 
acres of good glebe were attached to it; and the garden was large 
enough to afford healthful and pleasurable employment to its owners. 
The course of true love never ran more smoothly; but its course was 

  O how this spring of love resembleth
    The uncertain glory of an April day,
  Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
    And by and by a cloud takes all away![1]

Little more than five years from the time of their marriage had 
elapsed, before a headstone in the adjacent churchyard told where the 
remains of Margaret Bacon had been deposited in the 30th year of her 

[Footnote 1: SHAKESPEARE.]

When the stupor and the agony of that bereavement had past away, the 
very intensity of Leonard's affection became a source of consolation. 
Margaret had been to him a purely ideal object during the years of his 
youth; death had again rendered her such. Imagination had beautified 
and idolized her then; faith sanctified and glorified her now. She had 
been to him on earth all that he had fancied, all that he had hoped, 
all that he had desired. She would again be so in Heaven. And this 
second union nothing could impede, nothing could interrupt, nothing 
could dissolve. He had only to keep himself worthy of it by cherishing 
her memory, hallowing his heart to it while he performed a parent's 
duty to their child; and so doing to await his own summons, which must 
one day come, which every day was brought nearer, and which any day 
might bring.

    ——'Tis the only discipline we are born for;
  All studies else are but as circular lines,
  And death the centre where they must all meet.[2]

[Footnote 2: MASSINGER.]

The same feeling which from his childhood had refined Leonard's heart, 
keeping it pure and undefiled, had also corroborated the natural 
strength of his character, and made him firm of purpose. It was a 
saying of Bishop Andrews that “good husbandry is good divinity;” “the 
truth whereof,” says Fuller, “no wise man will deny.” Frugality he had 
always practised as a needful virtue, and found that in an especial 
manner it brings with it its own reward. He now resolved upon 
scrupulously setting apart a fourth of his small income to make a 
provision for his child, in case of her surviving him, as in the 
natural course of things might be expected. If she should be removed 
before him,—for this was an event the possibility of which he always 
bore in mind,—he had resolved that whatever should have been 
accumulated with this intent, should be disposed of to some other 
pious purpose,—for such, within the limits to which his poor means 
extended, he properly considered this. And having entered on this 
prudential course with a calm reliance upon Providence in case his 
hour should come before that purpose could be accomplished, he was 
without any earthly hope or fear,—those alone excepted, from which no 
parent can be free.

The child had been christened Deborah after her maternal grandmother, 
for whom Leonard ever gratefully retained a most affectionate and 
reverential remembrance. She was a healthy, happy creature in body and 
in mind; at first

        ——one of those little prating girls
  Of whom fond parents tell such tedious stories;[3]

afterwards, as she grew up, a favourite with the village 
school-mistress, and with the whole parish; docile, good-natured, 
lively and yet considerate, always gay as a lark and busy as a bee. 
One of the pensive pleasures in which Leonard indulged was to gaze on 
her unperceived, and trace the likeness to her mother.

                     Oh Christ!
  How that which was the life's life of our being,
  Can pass away, and we recall it thus![4]

[Footnote 3: DRYDEN.]

[Footnote 4: ISAAC COMNENUS.]

That resemblance which was strong in childhood, lessened as the child 
grew up; for Margaret's countenance had acquired a cast of meek 
melancholy during those years in which the bread of bitterness had 
been her portion; and when hope came to her, it was that “hope 
deferred” which takes from the cheek its bloom, even when the heart 
instead of being made sick, is sustained by it. But no unhappy 
circumstances depressed the constitutional buoyancy of her daughter's 
spirits. Deborah brought into the world the happiest of all nature's 
endowments, an easy temper and a light heart. Resemblant therefore as 
the features were, the dissimilitude of expression was more apparent; 
and when Leonard contrasted in thought the sunshine of hilarity that 
lit up his daughter's face, with the sort of moonlight loveliness 
which had given a serene and saint-like character to her mother's, he 
wished to persuade himself that as the early translation of the one 
seemed to have been thus prefigured, the other might be destined to 
live for the happiness of others till a good old age, while length of 
years in their course should ripen her for heaven.



    ——Thus they who reach
  Grey hairs, die piecemeal.


The name of Leonard must now be dropt as we proceed. Some of the 
South-American tribes, among whom the Jesuits laboured with such 
exemplary zeal, and who take their personal appellations, (as most 
names were originally derived,) from beasts, birds, plants and other 
visible objects, abolish upon the death of every individual the name 
by which he was called, and invent another for the thing from which it 
was taken, so that their language, owing to this curiously 
inconvenient custom, is in a state of continual change. An abolition 
almost as complete with regard to the person had taken place in the 
present instance. The name, Leonard, was consecrated to him by all his 
dearest and fondest recollections. He had been known by it on his 
mother's knees, and in the humble cottage of that aunt who had been to 
him a second mother; and by the wife of his bosom, his first, last, 
and only love. Margaret had never spoken to him, never thought of him, 
by any other name. From the hour of her death no human voice ever 
addressed him by it again. He never heard himself so called, except in 
dreams. It existed only in the dead letter; he signed it mechanically 
in the course of business, but it had ceased to be a living name.

Men willingly prefix a handle to their names, and tack on to them any 
two or more honorary letters of the alphabet as a tail; they drop 
their surnames for a dignity, and change them for an estate or a 
title. They are pleased to be Doctor'd and Professor'd; to be 
Captain'd, Major'd, Colonel'd, General'd, or Admiral'd;—to be Sir 
John'd, my-Lorded, or your-Graced. “You and I,” says Cranmer in his 
Answer to Gardiner's book upon Transubstantiation—“you and I were 
delivered from our surnames when we were consecrated Bishops; sithence 
which time we have so commonly been used of all men to be called 
Bishops, you of Winchester, and I of Canterbury, that the most part of 
the people know not that your name is Gardiner, and mine Cranmer. And 
I pray God, that we being called to the name of Lords, have not 
forgotten our own baser estates, that once we were simple squires!” 
But the emotion with which the most successful suitor of Fortune hears 
himself first addressed by a new and honourable title, conferred upon 
him for his public deserts, touches his heart less, (if that heart be 
sound at the core,) than when after long absence, some one who is 
privileged so to use it, accosts him by his christian name,—that 
household name which he has never heard but from his nearest 
relations, and his old familiar friends. By this it is that we are 
known to all around us in childhood; it is used only by our parents 
and our nearest kin when that stage is past; and as they drop off, it 
dies as to its oral uses with them.

It is because we are remembered more naturally in our family and 
paternal circles by our baptismal than our hereditary names, and 
remember ourselves more naturally by them, that the Roman Catholic, 
renouncing, upon a principle of perverted piety, all natural ties when 
he enters a convent and voluntarily dies to the world, assumes a new 
one. This is one manifestation of that intense selfishness which the 
law of monastic life inculcates, and affects to sanctify. Alas, there 
need no motives of erroneous religion to wean us from the ties of 
blood and of affection! They are weakened and dissolved by fatal 
circumstances and the ways of the world, too frequently and too soon.

“Our men of rank,” said my friend one day when he was speaking upon 
this subject, “are not the only persons who go by different 
appellations in different parts of their lives. We all moult our names 
in the natural course of life. I was Dan in my father's house, and 
should still be so with my uncle William and Mr. Guy if they were 
still living. Upon my removal to Doncaster my master and mistress 
called me Daniel, and my acquaintance Dove. In Holland I was Mynheer 
Duif. Now I am the Doctor, and not among my patients only; friends, 
acquaintance and strangers address me by this appellation; even my 
wife calls me by no other name; and I shall never be any thing but the 
Doctor again,—till I am registered at my burial by the same names as 
at my christening.”



  O even in spite of death, yet still my choice,
  Oft with the inward all-beholding eye
  I think I see thee, and I hear thy voice!


In the once popular romance of Astrea the question _si Amour peut 
mourir par la mort de la chose aimée?_ is debated in reference to the 
faithful shepherd, Tyrcis, who having lost his mistress Cleon (Cleon 
serving for a name feminine in French, as Stella has done in English,) 
and continuing constant to her memory, is persecuted by the 
pertinacious advances of Laonice. The sage shepherd, Sylvandre, before 
whom the point is argued, and to whom it is referred for judgement, 
delivers, to the great disappointment of the lady, the following 
sentence. _Qu'une Amour perissable n'est pas vray Amour; car il doit 
suivre le sujet qui luy à donné naissance. C'est pourquoy ceux qui ont 
aimé le corps seulement, doivent enclorre toutes les amours du corps 
dans le mesme tombeau ou il s'enserre: mais ceux qui outre cela ont 
aimé l'esprit, doivent avec leur Amour voler apres cet esprit aimé 
jusques au plus haut ciel, sans que les distances les puissent 

The character of a constant mourner is sometimes introduced in 
romances of the earlier and nobler class; but it is rare in those 
works of fiction, and indeed it is not common in what has happily been 
called the romance of real life. Let me however restrict this 
assertion within its proper bounds. What is meant to be here asserted 
(and it is pertinent to this part of our story,) is, that it is not 
common for any one who has been left a widow, or widower, early in 
life, to remain so always out of pure affection to the memory of the 
dead, unmingled with any other consideration or cause. Such constancy 
can be found only where there is the union of a strong imagination and 
a strong heart,—which perhaps is a rare union; and if to these a 
strong mind be united, the effect would probably be different.

It is only in a strong imagination that the deceased object of 
affection can retain so firm a hold, as never to be dispossessed from 
it by a living one; and when the imagination is thus possessed, unless 
the heart be strong, the heart itself, or the intellect is likely to 
give way. A deep sense of religion would avert the latter alternative; 
but I will not say that it is any preservative against the former.

A most affecting instance of this kind is related by Dr. Uwins in his 
Treatise on Disorders of the Brain. A lady on the point of marriage, 
whose intended husband usually travelled by the stage-coach to visit 
her, went one day to meet him, and found instead of him an old friend 
who came to announce to her the tidings of his sudden death. She 
uttered a scream, and piteously exclaimed—“he is dead!” But then all 
consciousness of the affliction that had befallen her ceased. “From 
that fatal moment,” says the Author, “has this unfortunate female 
daily for fifty years, in all seasons, traversed the distance of a few 
miles to the spot where she expected her future husband to alight from 
the coach; and every day she utters in a plaintive tone, ‘He is not 
come yet! I will return to-morrow!’”

There is a more remarkable case in which love, after it had long been 
apparently extinct, produced a like effect upon being accidentally 
revived. It is recorded in a Glasgow newspaper. An old man residing in 
the neighbourhood of that city found a miniature of his wife, taken in 
her youth. She had been dead many years, and he was a person of 
strictly sedate and religious habits; but the sight of this picture 
overcame him. From the time of its discovery till his death, which 
took place some months afterwards, he neglected all his ordinary 
duties and employments, and became in a manner imbecile, spending 
whole days without uttering a word, or manifesting the slightest 
interest in passing occurrences. The only one with whom he would hold 
any communication was a little grandchild, who strikingly resembled 
the portrait; to her he was perfectly docile; and a day or two before 
his death, he gave her his purse, and strictly enjoined her to lay the 
picture beside him in his coffin,—a request which was accordingly 

Mr. Newton, of Olney, says, that once in the West Indies, upon not 
receiving letters from his wife in England, he concluded that surely 
she was dead, and this apprehension affected him so much that he was 
nearly sinking under it. “I felt,” says he, “some severe symptoms of 
that mixture of pride and madness which is commonly called a broken 
heart: and indeed, I wonder that this case is not more common than it 
appears to be. How often do the potsherds of the earth presume to 
contend with their Maker! and what a wonder of mercy is it that they 
are not all broken!”

This is a stern opinion; and he who delivered it held stern tenets, 
though in his own disposition compassionate and tender. He was one who 
could project his feelings, and relieve himself in the effort. No 
husband ever loved his wife more passionately, nor with a more 
imaginative affection; the long and wasting disease by which she was 
consumed, affected him proportionably to this deep attachment; but 
immediately upon her death he roused himself, after the example of 
David, threw off his grief, and preached her funeral sermon. He ought 
to have known that this kind of strength and in this degree, is given 
to very few of us;—that a heart may break, even though it be 
thoroughly resigned to the will of God, and acquiesces in it, and has 
a lively faith in God's mercies;—yea that this very resignation, this 
entire acquiescence, this sure and certain hope, may even accelerate 
its breaking; and a soul thus chastened, thus purified, thus ripened 
for immortality, may unconsciously work out the deliverance which it 
ardently, but piously withal, desires.

What were the Doctor's thoughts upon this subject, and others 
connected with it, will appear in the proper place. It is touched upon 
here in relation to Leonard. His love for Margaret might be said to 
have begun with her life, and it lasted as long as his own. No thought 
of a second marriage even entered his mind; though in the case of 
another person, his calm views of human nature and of the course of 
life would have led him to advise it.



  Long-waiting love doth entrance find
  Into the slow-believing mind.


When Deborah was about nineteen, the small pox broke out in Doncaster, 
and soon spread over the surrounding country, occasioning every where 
a great mortality. At that time inoculation had very rarely been 
practised in the provinces; and the prejudice against it was so strong 
that Mr. Bacon though convinced in his own mind that the practice was 
not only lawful, but advisable, refrained from having his daughter 
inoculated till the disease appeared in his own parish. He had been 
induced to defer it during her childhood, partly because he was 
unwilling to offend the prejudices of his parishioners, which he hoped 
to overcome by persuasion and reasoning when time and opportunity 
might favour; still more because he thought it unjustifiable to 
introduce such a disease into his own house, with imminent risk of 
communicating it to others, which were otherwise in no danger, in 
which the same preparations would not be made, and where consequently 
the danger would be greater. But when the malady had shown itself in 
the parish, then he felt that his duty as a parent required him to 
take the best apparent means for the preservation of his child; and 
that as a pastor also it became him now in his own family to set an 
example to his parishioners.

Deborah, who had the most perfect reliance upon her father's 
judgement, and lived in entire accordance with his will in all things, 
readily consented; and seemed to regard the beneficial consequences of 
the experiment to others with hope, rather than to look with 
apprehension to it for herself. Mr. Bacon therefore went to Doncaster 
and called upon Dr. Dove. “I do not,” said he, “ask whether you would 
advise me to have my daughter inoculated; where so great a risk is to 
be incurred, in the case of an only child, you might hesitate to 
advise it. But if you see nothing in her present state of health, or 
in her constitutional tendencies, which would render it more than 
ordinarily dangerous, it is her own wish and mine, after due 
consideration on my part, that she should be committed to your 
care,—putting our trust in Providence.”

Hitherto there had been no acquaintance between Mr. Bacon and the 
Doctor, farther than that they knew each other by sight and by good 
report. This circumstance led to a growing intimacy. During the course 
of his attendance the Doctor fell in friendship with the father, and 
the father with him.

“Did he fall in love with his patient?”

“No, ladies.”

You have already heard that he once fell in love, and how it happened. 
And you have also been informed that he caught love once, though I 
have not told you how, because it would have led me into too 
melancholy a tale. In this case he neither fell in love, nor caught 
it, nor ran into it, nor walked into it; nor was he overtaken in it, 
as a boon companion is in liquor, or a runaway in his flight. Yet 
there was love between the parties at last, and it was love for love, 
to the heart's content of both. How this came to pass will be related 
at the proper time and in the proper place.

For here let me set before the judicious Reader certain pertinent 
remarks by the pious and well known author of a popular treatise upon 
the Right Use of Reason,—a treatise which has been much read to little 
purpose. That author observes that “those writers and speakers, whose 
chief business is to amuse or delight, to allure, terrify or persuade 
mankind, do not confine themselves to any natural order, but in a 
cryptical or hidden method, adapt every thing to their designed ends. 
Sometimes they omit those things which might injure their design, or 
grow tedious to their hearers, though they seem to have a necessary 
relation to the point in hand: sometimes they add those things which 
have no great reference to the subject, but are suited to allure or 
refresh the mind and the ear. They dilate sometimes, and flourish long 
upon little incidents; and they skip over, and but lightly touch the 
drier part of the theme.—They omit things essential which are not 
beautiful; they insert little needless circumstances and beautiful 
digressions; they invert times and actions, in order to place every 
thing in the most affecting light;—they place the first things last, 
and the last things first with wonderous art; and yet so manage it as 
to conceal their artifice, and lead the senses and passions of their 
hearers into a pleasing and powerful captivity.”



_Pand._ He that will have a cake out of the wheat, must tarry the 

_Troilus._ Have I not tarried?

_Pand._ Ay, the grinding; but you must tarry the bolting.

_Troilus._ Have I not tarried?

_Pand._ Ay, the bolting; but you must tarry the leavening.

_Troilus._ Still have I tarried.

_Pand._ Aye, to the leavening: but here's yet in the word hereafter, 
the kneading, the making of the cake, the heating of the oven, and the 
baking; nay, you must stay the cooling too; or you may chance to burn 
your lips.


I passed over fourteen years of the Doctor's boyhood and adolescence, 
as it may be remembered was stated in the twenty-fifth Chapter; but I 
must not in like manner pass over the years that intervened between 
his first acquaintance with Deborah Bacon, and the happy day whereon 
the bells of St. George's welcomed her to Doncaster as his bride. It 
would be as inconsistent with my design to pretermit this latter 
portion of his life, as it would have been incompatible with my limits 
to have recorded the details of the former, worthy to be recorded as 
they were. If any of my readers should be impatient on this occasion, 
and think that I ought to have proceeded to the marriage without 
delay, or at least to the courtship, I must admonish them in the words 
of a Turkish saying, that “hurry comes from the Devil, and slow 
advancing from Allah.”—“Needs must go when the Devil drives,” says the 
proverb: but the Devil shall never drive me. I will take care never to 
go at such a rate, “as if haste had maimed speed by overrunning it at 

“The just composer of a legitimate piece,” says Lord Shaftesbury, “is 
like an able traveller, who exactly measures his journey, considers 
his ground, premeditates his stages and intervals of relaxation and 
intention, to the very conclusion of his undertaking, that he happily 
arrives where he first proposed at setting out. He is not presently 
upon the spur, or in his full career, but walks his steed leisurely 
out of the stable, settles himself in his stirrups, and when fair road 
and season offer, puts on perhaps to a round trot, thence into a 
gallop, and after a while takes up. As down, or meadow, or shady lane 
present themselves, he accordingly suits his pace, favours his 
palfrey, and is sure not to bring him puffing, and in a heat, into his 
last inn.”

Yes, Reader,

  ——matter needless, of importless burden[1]

may as little be expected to flow from the slit of my pen, as to 
“divide the lips” of wise Ulysses. On the other hand what is needful, 
what is weighty in its import, let who will be impatient, must not be 
left unsaid.

         _varie fila a varie tele
  Uopo mi son, che tutte ordire intendo._[2]


[Footnote 2: ARIOSTO.]

It is affirmed by the angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, that of 
corporeal things the quantity is in proportion to the quality, that 
which is best being always in the same degree the greatest. “Thus in 
this our universe,” he says “the water is more than the earth, the air 
more than the water, the fire more than the air: the first heaven 
larger than the sphere of fire, the second than the first, the third 
than the second; and so they proceed increasing to the tenth sphere, 
and to the empyrean, which is, _inestimabilis et incomparabilis 

Upon the principle which this greatest of the schoolmen has assumed, I 
leave the reader to infer what would be the probable and proper extent 
of the present opus, were I to indulge my genius and render justice to 
the subject.

To make it exceed in length the histories of Sir Charles Grandison and 
of Clarissa Harlowe, or the bulkier romances of Calprenede and the 
Scuderys, it would not be necessary to handle it in the manner of a 
lawyer who, having no more argument than would lie in a nut-shell, 
wire-draws it and hammers at it, and hammers at it and wire-draws it, 
and then wire-draws it and hammers at it again, like a lecturer who is 
exhibiting the infinite ductility of gold.

“What a gift,” says Fuller, “had John Halsebach, Professor at Vienna, 
in tediousness, who being to expound the Prophet Isaiah to his 
auditors, read twenty-one years on the first chapter, and yet finished 
it not!” Mercator, in the description of Austria in his Atlas, has 
made mention of this Arch-Emperor of the Spintexts.

If I had been in John Halsebach's place, my exposition of that first 
chapter would have been comprized in one lecture, of no hungry or 
sleepy duration. But if John Halsebach were in mine, he would have 
filled more volumes than Rees's Cyclopedia with his account of Daniel 

And yet Rabbi Chananiah may contest the palm with the Vienna 
Professor. It is recorded of him that when he undertook to write a 
commentary upon part of the Prophet Ezekiel, he required the Jews to 
supply him with three hundred tons of oil for the use of his lamp, 
while he should be engaged in it.

It is well known upon one of the English circuits that a leading 
barrister once undertook to speak while an express went twenty miles 
to bring back a witness whom it was necessary to produce upon the 
trial. But what is this to the performance of an American counsellor, 
who upon a like emergency held the judge and the jury by their ears 
for three mortal days! He indeed was put to his wits end, for words 
wherewith to fill up the time; and he introduced so many truisms, and 
argued at the utmost length so many indisputable points, and 
expatiated so profusely upon so many trite ones, that Judge Marshal 
(the biographer of Washington and the most patient of listeners,) was 
so far moved at last as to say, “Mr. Such a one!—(addressing him by 
his name in a deliberate tone of the mildest reprehension,)—there are 
some things with which the Court should be supposed to be acquainted.”

I can say with Burton, _malo decem potius verba, decies repetita 
licet, abundare, quam unum desiderari._ “To say more than a man can 
say, I hold it not fit to be spoken: but to say what a man ought to 
say,—there,”—with Simon the tanner of Queenborough,—“I leave you.”



_Enobarbus._            Every time
  Serves for the matter that is then born in it.

_Lepidus._ But small to greater matters must give way.

_Enobarbus._ Not if the small come first.


In the last chapter an illustration of tediousness was omitted, 
because it so happily exhibits the manner in which a stop may be put 
to a tedious discourse without incivility, that it deserves a chapter 
to itself.

When Madame de Stael resided at Copet, it was her custom to collect 
around her in the evening a circle of literati, the blue legs of 
Geneva, by some one of whom an essay, a disquisition, or a portion of 
a work in progress was frequently read aloud to entertain the rest. 
Professor Dragg's History of Religion had occupied on one of those 
evenings more time than was thought necessary, or convenient by the 
company, and especially by the lady of the chateau. It began at the 
beginning of the world, and did not pass to the Deluge with the 
rapidity which Dandin required from the pleader in Racine's comedy, 
who in like manner opened his case before the Creation. Age after age 
rolled away over the Professor's tongue, the course of which seemed to 
be interminable as that of the hand of the dial, while the clock 
struck the hour, and the quarter, and the half hour, and the third 
quarter, and then the whole hour again, and then again the quarters. 
“A tedious person,” says Ben Jonson, “is one a man would leap a 
steeple from.” Madame de Stael could tolerate nothing that was dry, 
except her father; but she could neither leap out of her own window, 
nor walk out of her own room, to escape from Professor Dragg. She 
looked wistfully round, and saw upon many a countenance an occasional 
and frequent movement about the lips, indicating that a yawn was at 
that moment painfully stifled in its birth. Dumont committed no such 
violence upon nature; he had resigned himself to sleep. The Professor 
went steadily on. Dumont slept audibly. The Professor was deaf to 
every sound but that of his own voice. Madame de Stael was in despair. 
The Professor coming to the end of an eloquent chapter declaimed with 
great force and vehemence the emphatic close, and prepared to begin 
the next. Just in that interstice of time, Dumont stirred and snorted. 
Madame de Stael seized the opportunity; she clapped her hands and 
ejaculated _Mon Dieu! Voyez Dumont! Il a dormi pendant deux siecles!_ 
Dumont opened his eyes, and Professor Dragg closed his manuscript.



  _Lass mich den Stunde gedenken, und jedes kleineren umstands.
     Ach, wer ruft nicht so gern unwiederbringliches an!
   Jenes süsse Gedränge der leichtesten irdischen Tage,
     Ach, wer schätzt ihn genug, diesen vereilenden Werth!
   Klein erscheinet es nun, doch ach! nicht kleinlich dem Herzen;
     Macht die Liebe, die Kunst, jegliches Kleine doch gross._


The circumstances of my friend's boyhood and early youth, though 
singularly favourable to his peculiar cast of mind, in many or indeed 
most respects, were in this point disadvantageous, that they afforded 
him little or no opportunity of forming those early friendships, 
which, when they are well formed, contribute so largely to our future 
happiness. Perhaps the greatest advantage of public education, as 
compared with private, is, that it presents more such opportunities 
than are ever met with in any subsequent stage of human life. And yet 
even then in friendship, as afterwards in love, we are for the most 
part less directed by choice than by what is called chance.

Daniel Dove never associated with so many persons of his own age at 
any other time as during his studies at Leyden. But he was a foreigner 
there, and this is almost as great an obstacle to friendship as to 
matrimony; and there were few English students among whom to choose. 
Dr. Brocklesby took his degree, and left the University the year 
before he entered it; Brocklesby was a person in whose society he 
might have delighted; but he was a cruel experimentalist, and the 
dispathy which this must have excited in our friend, whose love of 
science, ardent as it was, never overcame the sense of humanity, would 
have counteracted the attraction of any intellectual powers however 
brilliant. Akenside, with whom in many respects he would have felt 
himself in unison, and by whose society he might have profited, 
graduated also there just before his time.

He had a contemporary more remarkable than either in his countryman 
John Wilkes, who was pursuing his studies there, not without some 
diligence, under the superintendence of a private tutor; and who 
obtained much notice for those lively and agreeable talents which were 
afterwards so flagrantly abused. But the strict and conscientious 
frugality which Dove observed rendered it unfit for him to associate 
with one who had a liberal allowance, and expended it lavishly: and 
there was also a stronger impediment to any intimacy between them; for 
no talents however companionable, no qualities however engaging, could 
have induced him to associate with a man whose irreligion was of the 
worst kind, and who delighted in licentious conversation.

There was one of his countrymen indeed there (so far as a Scotchman 
may be called so) with whom he formed an acquaintance that might have 
ripened into intimacy, if their lots had fallen near to each other in 
after life. This was Thomas Dickson, a native of Dumfries; they 
attended the same lectures, and consorted on terms of friendly 
familiarity. But when their University course is completed men 
separate, like stage-coach travellers at the end of a journey, or 
fellow passengers in a ship when they reach their port. While Dove 
“pursued the noiseless tenor of his way” at Doncaster, Dickson tried 
his fortune in the metropolis, where he became Physician to the London 
Hospital, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He died in the year 1784, 
and is said in his epitaph to have been “a man of singular probity, 
loyalty and humanity; kind to his relations, beloved by all who knew 
him, learned and skilful in his profession. Unfeed by the poor, he 
lived to do good, and died a christian believer.” For awhile some 
intercourse between him and the Doctor had been kept up by letters; 
but the intervals in their correspondence became longer and longer as 
each grew more engaged in business; and new connections gradually 
effaced an impression which had not been made early, nor had ever been 
very deep. The friendship that with no intercourse to nourish it, 
keeps itself alive for years, must have strong roots in a good soil.

Cowper regarded these early connections in an unfavourable and 
melancholy mood. “For my own part,” says he, “I found such 
friendships, though warm enough in their commencement, surprisingly 
liable to extinction; and of seven or eight whom I had selected for 
intimates out of about three hundred, in ten years time not one was 
left me. The truth is that there may be, and often is, an attachment 
of one boy to another, that looks very like a friendship; and while 
they are in circumstances that enable them mutually to oblige and to 
assist each other, promises well and bids fair to be lasting. But they 
are no sooner separated from each other, by entering into the world at 
large, than other connexions and new employments in which they no 
longer share together, efface the remembrance of what passed in 
earlier days, and they become strangers to each other for ever. Add to 
this the _man_ frequently differs so much from the _boy_,—his 
principles, manners, temper, and conduct, undergo so great an 
alteration,—that we no longer recognize in him our old play-fellow, 
but find him utterly unworthy and unfit for the place he once held in 
our affections.” These sentiments he has also expressed in verse.—

    ——-school-friendships are not always found,
  Though fair in promise, permanent and sound;
  The most disinterested and virtuous minds,
  In early years connected, time unbinds;
  New situations give a different cast
  Of habit, inclination, temper, taste;
  And he that seem'd our counterpart at first,
  Soon shews the strong similitude reversed.
  Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are warm,
  And make mistakes for manhood to reform.
  Boys are, at best, but pretty buds unblown,
  Whose scent and hues are rather guessed than known;
  Each dreams that each is just what he appears,
  But learns his error in maturer years,
  When disposition, like a sail unfurled,
  Shews all its rents and patches to the world.

Disposition however is the one thing which undergoes no other change 
than that of growth in after life. The physical constitution, when any 
morbid principle is innate in it, rarely alters; the moral 
constitution—(except by a miracle of God's mercy,) never.

          ἀνθρώποις δ᾽ ἀεὶ
  Ὁ μὲν πονηρὸς, οὐδὲν ἄλλο πλὴν κακὸς.[1]

“Believe if you will,” say the Persians, “that a mountain has removed 
from one place to another, but if you are told that a man has changed 
his nature, believe it not!”

[Footnote 1: EURIPIDES.]

The best of us have but too much cause for making it part of our daily 
prayer that we fall into no sin! But there is an original pravity 
which deserves to be so called in the darkest import of the term,—an 
inborn and incurable disease of the moral being, manifested as soon as 
it has strength to show itself; and wherever this is perceived in 
earliest youth, it may too surely be predicted what is to be expected 
when all controul of discipline is removed. Of those that bring with 
them such a disposition into the world, it cannot be said that they 
fall into sin, because it is too manifest that they seek and pursue it 
as the bent of their nature. No wonder that wild theories have been 
devised to account for what is so mysterious, so aweful, and yet so 
incontestable! Zephaniah Holwell, who will always be remembered for 
his sufferings in the Black Hole, wrote a strange book in which he 
endeavoured to prove that men were fallen angels, that is, that human 
bodies are the forms in which fallen angels are condemned to suffer 
for the sins which they have committed in their former state. Akin to 
this is the Jewish fancy, held by Josephus, as well as his less 
liberalized countrymen, that the souls of wicked men deceased, got 
into the bodies of the living and possessed them; and by this agency 
they accounted for all diseases. Holwell's theory is no doubt as old 
as any part of the Oriental systems of philosophy and figments; it is 
one of the many vain attempts to account for that fallen nature of 
which every man who is sincere enough to look into his own heart, 
finds there what may too truly be called an indwelling witness. 
Something like the Jewish notion was held by John Wesley and Adam 
Clarke; and there are certain cases in which it is difficult not to 
admit it, especially when the question of the demoniacs is considered. 
Nor is there any thing that shocks us in supposing this to be possible 
for the body, and the mind also, as depending upon the bodily 
organs.—But that the moral being, the soul itself, the life of life, 
the immortal part, should appear, as so often it undoubtedly does, to 
be thus possessed, this indeed is of all mysterious things the 

For a disposition thus evil in its nature it almost seems as if there 
could be no hope. On the other hand there is no security in a good 
one, if the support of good principles, (that is to say, of 
religion—of christian faith—) be wanting. It may be soured by 
misfortunes, it may be corrupted by wealth, it may be blighted by 
neediness, it may lose “all its original brightness.”

School friendships arise out of sympathy of disposition at an age when 
the natural disposition is under little controul and less disguise; 
and there are reasons enough, of a less melancholy kind than Cowper 
contemplated, why so few of these blossoms set, and of those which 
afford a promise of fruit, why so small a proportion should bring it 
to maturity. “The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily 
untie;”[2] and even when not thus dissolved, the mutual attachment 
which in boyhood is continually strengthened by similarity of 
circumstance and pursuits, dies a natural death in most cases when 
that similarity ceases. If one goes north in the intellectual bearings 
of his course in life, and the other south, they will at last be far 
as the poles asunder. If their pursuits are altogether different, and 
their opinions repugnant, in the first case they cease to think of 
each other with any warm interest; in the second, if they think of 
each other at all, it is with an uncomfortable feeling, and a painful 
sense of change.

[Footnote 2: SHAKESPEAR.]

The way in which too many ordinary minds are worsened by the mere 
course of time is finely delineated by Landor, in some verses which he 
designed as an imitation, not of a particular passage in a favourite 
Greek author, but of his manner and style of thought.

  Friendship, in each successive stage of life,
  As we approach him, varies to the view;
  In youth he wears the face of Love himself,
  Of Love without his arrows and his wings.
  Soon afterwards with Bacchus and with Pan
  Thou findest him; or hearest him resign,
  To some dog-pastor, by the quiet fire,
  With much good will and jocular adieu,
  His age-worn mule, or broken-hearted steed.
  Fly not, as thou wert wont, to his embrace;
  Lest, after one long yawning gaze, he swear
  Thou art the best good fellow in the world,
  But he had quite forgotten thee, by Jove!
  Or laughter wag his newly bearded chin
  At recollection of his childish hours.
  But wouldst thou see, young man, his latest form,
  When e'en this laughter, e'en this memory fails,
  Look at yon fig-tree statue! golden once,
  As all would deem it, rottenness falls out
  At every little hole the worms have made;
  And if thou triest to lift it up again
  It breaks upon thee! Leave it! touch it not!
  Its very lightness would encumber thee.
  Come—thou has seen it: 'tis enough; be gone!

The admirable writer who composed these verses in some melancholy 
mood, is said to be himself one of the most constant and affectionate 
of friends. It may indeed safely be affirmed, that generous minds when 
they have once known each other, never can be alienated as long as 
both retain the characteristics which brought them into union. No 
distance of place, or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those 
who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth. There are even 
some broken attachments in friendship as well as in love which nothing 
can destroy, and it sometimes happens that we are not conscious of 
their strength till after the disruption.

There are a few persons known to me in years long past, but with whom 
I lived in no particular intimacy then, and have held no 
correspondence since, whom I could not now meet without an emotion of 
pleasure deep enough to partake of pain, and who, I doubt not, 
entertain for me feelings of the same kind and degree; whose eyes 
sparkle when they hear, and glisten sometimes when they speak of me; 
and who think of me as I do of them, with an affection that increases 
as we advance in years. This is because our moral and intellectual 
sympathies have strengthened; and because, though far asunder, we know 
that we are travelling the same road toward our resting place in 
heaven. “There is such a pleasure as this,” says Cowper, “which would 
want explanation to some folks, being perhaps a mystery to those whose 
hearts are a mere muscle, and serve only for the purposes of an even 



  _Que sea Medico mas grave
   Quien mas aforismos sabe,
       Bien puede ser.
   Mas que no sea mas experto
   El que mas huviere muerto,
       No puede ser._


Of all the persons with whom Daniel Dove associated at Doncaster, the 
one who produced the most effect upon his mind was his master and 
benefactor, Peter Hopkins. The influence indeed which he exercised, 
insensibly as it were, upon his character, was little less than that 
whereby he directed and fixed the course of his fortune in life. A 
better professional teacher in his station could no where have been 
found; for there was not a more skilful practitioner in the Three 
Ridings, consequently not in England; consequently not in Christendom, 
and by a farther consequence not in the world. Fuller says of 
Yorkshire that “one may call, and justify it to be the best shire in 
England; and that not by the help of the general katachresis of _good_ 
for _great_, (as a _good_ blow, a _good_ piece, &c.) but in the proper 
acceptation thereof. If in Tully's Orations, all being excellent, that 
is adjudged _optima quæ longissima_, the best which is the longest; 
then by the same proportion, this Shire, partaking in goodness alike 
with others, must be allowed the best.” Yorkshire therefore being the 
best county in England, as being the largest, of necessity it must 
have as good practitioners in medicine, as are to be found in any 
other county; and there being no better practitioner than Peter 
Hopkins there, it would have been in vain to seek for a better 

As good a one undoubtedly might have been found;

  I trust there were within this realm
  Five hundred as good as he,[1]

though there goes more to the making of a Peter Hopkins than of an 
Earl Percy. But I very much doubt, (and this is one of the cases in 
which doubt scarcely differs a shade from disbelief)—whether there 
could any where have been found another person whose peculiarities 
would have accorded so curiously with young Daniel's natural bent, and 
previous education. Hopkins had associated much with Guy, in the early 
part of their lives; (it was indeed through this connection that the 
lad was placed at Doncaster); and like Guy he had tampered with the 
mystical sciences. He knew the theories, and views, and hopes—

           which set the Chymist on
  To search that secret-natured stone,
  Which the philosophers have told,
  When found, turns all things into gold;
  But being hunted and not caught,
  Oh! sad reverse! turns gold to nought.[2]

[Footnote 1: CHEVY CHACE.]

[Footnote 2: ARBUTHNOT.]

This knowledge he had acquired, like his old friend, for its own 
sake,—for the pure love of speculation and curious enquiry,—not with 
the slightest intention of ever pursuing it for the desire of riches. 
He liked it, because it was mysterious; and he could listen with a 
half-believing mind to the legends (as they may be called) of those 
Adepts who from time to time have been heard of, living as erratic a 
life as the Wandering Jew; but with this difference, that they are 
under no curse, and that they may forego their immortality, if they do 
not choose to renew the lease of it, by taking a dose of the elixir in 
due time.

He could cast a nativity with as much exactness, according to the 
rules of art, as William Lilly, or Henry Coley, that Merlinus Anglicus 
Junior, upon whom Lilly's mantle descended; or the Vicar of Thornton 
in Buckinghamshire, William Bredon, a profound Divine, and “absolutely 
the most polite person for nativities in that age;” who being Sir 
Christopher Heydon's chaplain, had a hand in composing that Knight's 
Defence of Judicial Astrology; but withal was so given over to tobacco 
and drink, that when he had no tobacco, he would cut the bell ropes, 
and smoke them.

Peter Hopkins could erect a scheme either according to the method of 
Julius Firmicus, or of Aben-Ezra, or of Campanus, Alcabitius, or 
Porphyrius, “for so many ways are there of building these houses in 
the air;” and in that other called the Rational Way, which in a great 
degree superseded the rest, and which Johannes Muller, the great 
Regiomontanus, gave to the world in his Tables of Directions drawn up 
at the Archbishop of Strigonia's request. He could talk of the fiery 
and the earthly Trigons, the aerial and the watery; and of that 
property of a triangle—(now no longer regarded at Cambridge) whereby 
Sol and Jupiter, Luna and Venus, Saturn and Mercury, respectively 
become joint Trigonocrators, leaving Mars to rule over the watery 
Trigon alone. He knew the Twelve Houses as familiarly as he knew his 
own; the Horoscope, which is the House of Life, or more awfully to 
unlearned ears _Domus Vitæ_; the House of Gain and the House of 
Fortune;—for Gain and Fortune no more keep house together in heaven, 
than either of them do with Wisdom and Virtue, and Happiness on earth; 
the Hypogeum, or House of Patrimony, which is at the lowest part of 
heaven, the _Imum Cœli_, though it be in many respects a good house to 
be born in here below; the Houses of Children, of Sickness, of 
Marriage and of Death; the House of Religion; the House of Honours, 
which being the Mesouranema, is also called the Heart of Heaven; the 
Agathodemon, or House of Friends, and the Cacodemon, or House of 
Bondage. All these he knew, and their Consignificators, and their 
Chronocrators or Alfridarii, who give to these Consignificators a 
septennial dominion in succession.

He could ascertain the length of the planetary hour at any given time 
and place, anachronism being no where of greater consequence,—for if a 
degree be mistaken in the scheme, there is a year's error in the 
prognostication, and so in proportion for any inaccuracy more or less. 
Sir Christopher Heydon, the last great champion of this occult 
science, boasted of possessing a watch so exact in its movements, that 
it would give him with unerring precision not the minute only, but the 
very scruple of time. That erudite professor knew—

  _In quas Fortunæ leges quæque hora valeret;
   Quantaque quam parvi facerent discrimina motus._[3]

[Footnote 3: MANILIUS.]

Peter Hopkins could have explained to a student in this art, how its 
astronomical part might be performed upon the celestial globe “with 
speed, ease, delight, and demonstration.” He could have expatiated 
upon conjunctions and oppositions; have descanted upon the four 
Cardinal Houses; signs fixed, moveable, or common; signs human and 
signs bestial; semi-sextiles, sextiles, quintiles, quartiles, 
trediciles, trines, biquintiles and quincunxes; the ascension of the 
planets, and their declination; their dignities essential and 
accidental; their exaltation and retrogradation; till the hearer by 
understanding a little of the baseless theory, here and there, could 
have persuaded himself that he comprehended all the rest. And if it 
had been necessary to exact implicit and profound belief, by 
mysterious and horrisonant terms, he could have amazed the listener 
with the Lords of Decanats, the Five Fortitudes, and the Head and Tail 
of the Dragon; and have astounded him by ringing changes upon Almugea, 
Cazimi, Hylech, Aphetes, Anacretes and Alcochodon.

“So far,” says Fabian Withers, “are they distant from the true 
knowledge of physic which are ignorant of astrology, that they ought 
not rightly to be called physicians, but deceivers:—for it hath been 
many times experimented and proved, that that which many physicians 
could not cure or remedy with their greatest and strongest medicines, 
the astronomer hath brought to pass with one simple herb, by observing 
the moving of the signs.—There be certain evil times and years of a 
man's life, which are at every seven years' end. Wherefore if thou 
wilt prolong thy days, as often as thou comest to every seventh or 
ninth year (if thou givest any credit to Marsilius Ficinus, or 
Firmicus), diligently consult with an astronomer, from whence and by 
what means any peril or danger may happen, or come unto thee; then 
either go unto a physician, or use discretion and temperance, and by 
that means thou mayest defer and prolong thy natural life through the 
rules of astronomy, and the help of the physician. Neither be ashamed 
to enquire of the physician what is thy natural diet, and of the 
astronomer what star doth most support and favour thy life, and to see 
in what aspect he is with the moon.”

That once eminent student in the mathematics and the celestial 
sciences, Henry Coley, who, as Merlin junior continued Lily's Almanac, 
and published also his own yearly _Nuncius Sydereus_, or Starry 
Messenger,—the said Coley, whose portrait in a flowing wig and 
embroidered band, most unlike to Merlin, has made his Ephemeris in 
request among the Graingerites,—he tells us it is from considering the 
nature of the planets, together with their daily configurations, and 
the mixture of their rays or beams of light and heat, that astrologers 
deduce their judgement of what may _probably_, not _positively_ 
happen: for Nature, he observes, works very abstrusely; and one person 
may be able to make a better discovery than another, whence arise 
diversities of opinion too often about the same thing. The physician 
knows that the same portion of either single or compound simples will 
not work upon all patients alike; so neither can the like portion and 
power of qualities stir up, or work always the same; but may sometimes 
receive either _intention_ or _remission_ according to the disposed 
aptness of the subject, the elements or elementary bodies not always 
admitting of their powers alike, or when they be overswayed by more 
potent and prevalent operations. For universal and particular causes 
do many times differ so as the one hinders the operation of the other; 
and Nature may sometimes be so abstrusely shut up, that what we see 
not may overpower and work beyond what we see.

Thus were these professors of a pseudo-science always provided with an 
excuse, however grossly their predictions might be contradicted by the 
event. It is a beautiful specimen of the ambiguity of the art that the 
same aspect threatened a hump-back, or the loss of an eye; and that 
the same horoscope which prognosticated a crown and sceptre, was held 
to be equally accomplished if the child were born to a fool's-cap, a 
bauble, and a suit of motley. “The right worshipful, and of singular 
learning in all sciences, Sir Thomas Smith, the flower in his time of 
the University of Cambridge,” and to whom, more than to any other 
individual, both Universities are beholden; for when Parliament, in 
its blind zeal for ultra-reformation, had placed the Colleges, as well 
as the Religious Houses, at the King's disposal, he, through Queen 
Katharine Par, prevailed upon Henry to preserve them, instead of 
dividing them also among the great court cormorants; and he it was who 
reserved for them the third part of their rents in corn, making that a 
law which had always been his practice when he was Provost of 
Eton:—This Sir Thomas used, as his grateful pupil Richard Eden has 
recorded, to call astrology _ingeniosissimam artem mentiendi_,—the 
most ingenious art of lying.

Ben Jonson's servant and pupil[4] has given some good comic examples 
of the way in which those who honestly endeavoured to read the stars 
might be deceived,—though when the stars condescended “to palter in a 
double sense” it was seldom in so good a humour.

               One told a gentleman
  His son should be a man-killer, and be hang'd for't;
  Who after proved a great and rich physician,
  And with great fame, in the University
  Hang'd up in picture for a grave example!
          ——Another schemist
  Found that a squint-eyed boy should prove a notable
  Pick-purse, and afterwards a most strong thief;
  When he grew up to be a cunning lawyer,
  And at last died a Judge!

[Footnote 4: BROOME.]



          I wander 'twixt the poles
  And heavenly hinges, 'mongst eccentricals,
  Centers, concentricks, circles and epicycles.


The connection between astrology and the art of medicine is not more 
firmly believed in Persia at this day, than it was among the English 
people during the age of almanack-makers. The column which contained 
the names of the saints for every day, as fully as they are still 
given in Roman Catholic almanacks, was less frequently consulted than 
those in which the aspects were set down, and the signs and the parts 
of the human body under their respective governance. Nor was any page 
in the book regarded with more implicit belief than that which 
represented the “Anatomy of Man's body as the parts thereof are 
governed by the twelve Constellations, or rather by the Moon as she 
passeth by them.” In those representations man indeed was not more 
uglily than fearfully made,—as he stood erect and naked, spiculated by 
emitted influences from the said signs, like another St. Sebastian; or 
as he sate upon the globe placed like a butt for him, while they 
radiated their shafts of disease and pain.

Portentous as the Homo in the almanack is, he made a much more 
horrific appearance in the Margarita Philosophica which is a 
Cyclopedia of the early part of the 16th century. There Homo stands, 
naked but not ashamed, upon the two Pisces, one foot upon each, the 
Fish being neither in air, nor water, nor upon earth, but 
self-suspended as it appears in the void. Aries has alighted with two 
feet on Homo's head, and has sent a shaft through the forehead into 
his brain. Taurus has quietly seated himself across his neck. The 
Gemini are riding astride a little below his right shoulder. The whole 
trunk is laid open, as if part of the old accursed punishment for high 
treason had been performed upon him. The Lion occupies the thorax as 
his proper domain, and the Crab is in possession of the abdomen. 
Sagittarius, volant in the void, has just let fly an arrow, which is 
on the way to his right arm. Capricornius breathes out a visible 
influence that penetrates both knees; Aquarius inflicts similar 
punctures upon both legs. Virgo fishes as it were at his intestines; 
Libra at the part affected by schoolmasters in their anger; and 
Scorpio takes the wickedest aim of all.

The progress of useful knowledge has in our own days at last banished 
this man from the almanack; at least from all annuals of that 
description that carry with them any appearance of respectability. If 
it has put an end to this gross superstition, it has done more than 
the Pope could do fourteen centuries ago, when he condemned it, as one 
of the pernicious errors of the Priscillianists.

In a letter to Turribius, Bishop of Astorga, concerning that heresy, 
Pope St. Leo the Great says: “_Si universæ hæreses, quæ ante 
Priscilliani tempus exortæ sunt, diligentius retractentur, nullus pene 
invenitur error de quo non traxerit impietas ista contagium: quæ non 
contenta eorum recipere falsitates, qui ab Evangelio Christi sub 
Christi nomine deviarunt, tenebris se etiam paganitatis immersit, ut 
per magicarum artium prophana secreta, et mathematicorum vana 
mendacia, religionis fidem, morumque rationem in potestate dæmonum, et 
in affectu syderum collocarent. Quod si et credi liceat et doceri, nec 
virtutibus præmium, nec vitiis pœna debebitur, omniaque non solum 
humanarum legum, sed etiam divinarum constitutionum decreta solventur: 
quia neque de bonis, neque de malis actibus ullum poterit esse 
judicium, si in utramque partem fatalis necessitas motum mentis 
impellit, et quicquid ab hominibus agitur, non est hominum, sed 
astrorum. Ad hanc insaniam pertinet prodigiosa illa totius humani 
corporis per duodecim Cœli signa distinctio, ut diversis partibus 
diversæ præsideant potestates; et creatura, quam Deus ad imaginem suam 
fecit, in tantâ sit obligatione syderum, in quantâ est connectione 

But invention has been as rare among heretics as among poets. The 
architect of the Priscillian heresy (the male heresy of that name, for 
there was a female one also) borrowed this superstition from the 
mathematicians,—as the Romans called the astrological impostors of 
those times. For this there is the direct testimony of Saint 
Augustine: _Astruunt etiam fatalibus stellis homines colligatos, 
ipsumque corpus nostrum secundum duodecim signa cœli esse compositum; 
sicut hi qui Mathematici vulgo appellantur, constituentes in capite 
Arietem, Taurum in cervice, Geminos in humeris, Cancrum in pectore, et 
cetera nominatim signa percurrentes ad plantas usque perveniunt, quas 
Piscibus tribuunt, quod ultimum signum ab Astrologis nuncupatar._

These impostors derived this part of their craft from Egypt, where 
every month was supposed to be under the care of three Decans or 
Directors, for the import of the word must be found in the 
neighbouring language of the Hebrews and Syrians. There were 
thirty-six of these, each superintending ten days; and these Decans 
were believed to exercise the most extensive influence over the human 
frame. Astrological squares calculated upon this mythology are still 
in existence. St. Jerome called it the opprobrium of Egypt.

The medical superstition derived from this remote antiquity has 
continued down to the present generation in the English almanacks, is 
still continued in the popular almanacks of other countries, and 
prevails at this time throughout the whole Mahommedan and Eastern 
world. So deeply does error strike its roots, and so widely scatter 
its seeds; and so difficult is it to extirpate any error whatsoever, 
or any evil, which it is the interest of any class of men to maintain. 
And the rogues had much to say for themselves.

“Notwithstanding the abuses put upon the art of Astrology,” said an 
eminent Professor, “doubtless some judgement may be made thereby what 
any native may be by nature prone or addicted to. For the aspects of 
the Planets among themselves, as also the Fixed Stars, 'tis more than 
supposed, may cause many strange effects in sublunary bodies, but 
especially in those that have been almost worn out with decrepit age, 
or debilitated with violent or tedious diseases; wherefore this 
knowledge may be requisite, and of excellent use to physicians and 
chirurgeons, &c. for old aches and most diseases do vary according to 
the change of the air and weather, and that proceeds from the motion 
of the heavens and aspects of the planets.”—Who that has any old aches 
in his bones,—or has felt his corns shoot—but must acknowledge the 
truth that was brought forward here in support of an impudent system 
of imposture? The natural pride, and the natural piety of man, were 
both appealed to when he was told that the stars were appointed for 
signs and tokens,—that “the reason why God hath given him an upright 
countenance is, that he might converse with the celestial bodies, 
which are placed for his service as so many diamonds in an azure 
canopy of perpetuity,”—and that astrologers had a large field to walk 
in, for “all the productions of Time were the subjects of their 
science, and there is nothing under the Sun but what is the birth of 
Time.” There is no truth however pure, and however sacred, upon which 
falsehood cannot fasten, and engraft itself therein.

Laurence Humphrey, who was sufficiently known in Queen Elizabeth's 
days as one of the standard-bearers of the non-conformists, but who, 
like many others, grew conformable in the end as he grew riper in 
experience and sager in judgement,—in his Optimates or Treatise 
concerning Nobility, which he composed for the use of that class and 
of the Gentry, observed how “this science above all others was so 
snatched at, so beloved, and even devoured by most persons of honour 
and worship, that they needed no excitement to it, but rather a 
bridle; no trumpeter to set them on, but a reprover to take them off 
from their heat. Many,” he said, “had so trusted to it, that they 
almost distrusted God.” He would not indeed wholly condemn the art, 
but the nobility should not have him a persuader nor an applauder of 
it; for there were already enough! In vain might a Bishop warn his 
hearers from the pulpit and from the press that “no soothsayer, no 
palterer, no judicial astrologer is able to tell any man the events of 
his life.” Man is a dupeable animal. Quacks in medicine, quacks in 
religion, and quacks in politics know this, and act upon that 
knowledge. There is scarcely any one who may not, like a trout, be 
taken by tickling.



_Diré aqui una maldad grande del Demonio._


While I was writing that last chapter, a flea appeared upon the page 
before me, as there did once to St. Dominic.

But the circumstances in my case and in St. Dominic's were different.

For, in the first place I, as has already been said, was writing; but 
St. Dominic was reading.

Secondly, the flea which came upon my paper was a real flea, a flea of 
flea-flesh and blood, partly flea-blood and partly mine, which the 
said flea had flea-feloniously appropriated to himself by his own 
process of flea-botomy. That which appeared upon St. Dominic's book 
was the Devil in disguise.

The intention with which the Devil abridged himself into so diminutive 
a form, was that he might distract the Saint's attention from his 
theological studies, by skipping upon the page, and perhaps provoke 
him to unsaintlike impatience by eluding his fingers.

But St. Dominic was not so to be deceived: he knew who the false flea 

To punish him therefore for this diabolical intrusion, he laid upon 
him a holy spell whereby Flea Beelzebub was made to serve as a marker 
through the whole book. When Dominic, whether in the middle of a 
sentence or at the end, lifted his eyes from the page in meditation, 
Flea Beelzebub moved to the word at which the Saint had paused,—he 
moved not by his own diabolical will, but in obedience to an impulse 
which he had no power to resist; and there he remained, having as 
little power to remove, till the Saint's eye having returned to the 
book, and travelled farther, stopt at another passage. And thus St. 
Dominic used him through the volume, putting him moreover whenever he 
closed the book to the _peine forte et dure_.

When Dominic had finished the volume, he dismissed his marker. Had it 
been a heretic, instead of the Devil, the canonized founder of the 
Friars Predicant, and Patron Saint of the Inquisition, would not have 
let him off so easily.

Indeed I cannot but think that his lenity in this case was ill-placed. 
He should have dealt with that flea as I did with mine.

“How, Mr. Author, was that?”

“I dealt with it, Sir, as Agesilaus unceremoniously did with one 
victim upon the altar of Chalciœcious Pallas, at the same time that 
with all due ceremony he was sacrificing another. An ox was the 
premeditated and customary victim; the extemporaneous and 
extraordinary one was a six-footed ‘small deer.’ Plutarch thought the 
fact worthy of being recorded; and we may infer from it that the 
Spartans did not always comb their long hair so carefully as the Three 
Hundred did at Thermopylæ, when on the morning of that ever glorious 
fight, they made themselves ready to die there in obedience to the 
institutions of their country. What the King of Lacedæmon did with his 
crawler, I did with my skipper;—I cracked it, Sir.”

“And for what imaginable reason can you have thought fit to publish 
such an incident to the world?”

“For what reason, Sir?—why, that Hop-o'-my-thumb the critic may know 
what he has to expect, if I lay hold of him!”



_Quid de pulicibus? vitæ salientia puncta._


Now, Reader, having sent away the small Critic with a flea in his ear, 
I will tell you something concerning one of the curiosities of 

The most famous flea, for a real flea, that has yet been heard of,—for 
not even the King of the Fleas, who, as Dr. Clarke and his fellow 
traveller found to their cost, keeps his court at Tiberias, approaches 
it in celebrity,—nor the flea of that song, which Mephistopheles sung 
in the cellar at Leipzig,—that flea for whom the King ordered breeches 
and hose from his own tailor; who was made prime minister; and who, 
when he governed the realm, distinguished himself, like Earl Grey, by 
providing for all his relations:—the most illustrious, I say, of all 
fleas,—_pulicum facile princeps_—was that flea which I know not 
whether to call Mademoiselle des Roches's flea, or Pasquier's flea, or 
the flea of Poictiers.

In the year 1579, when the _Grands Jours_, or Great Assizes, were held 
at Poictiers under President de Harlay, Pasquier, who was one of the 
most celebrated advocates, most accomplished scholars, and most 
learned men in France, attended in the exercise of his profession. 
Calling there one day upon Madame des Roches and her daughter, 
Mademoiselle Catherine, whom he describes as _l'une des plus belles et 
sages de nostre France_, while he was conversing with the young lady 
he espied a flea, _parquée au beau milieu de son sein_.

Upon this Pasquier made such a speech as a Frenchman might be expected 
to make upon so felicitous an occasion, admiring the taste of the 
flea, envying its happiness, and marvelling at its boldness _de 
s'estre mise en si beau jour; parce que jaloux de son heur, peu s'en 
falloit,_ he says, _que je ne misse la main sur elle, en deliberation 
de luy faire un mauvais tour; et bien luy prenoit qu'elle estoit en 
lieu de franchise!_ This led to a _contention mignarde_ between the 
young lady and the learned lawyer, who was then more than fifty years 
of age; _finalement, ayant esté l'autheur de la noise,_ says Pasquier, 
_je luy dis que puisque ceste Puce avoit receu tant d'heur de se 
repaistre de son sang, et d'estre reciproquement honorée de nos 
propos, elle meritoit encores d'estre enchâssée dedans nos papiers, et 
que tresvolontiers je m'y employerois, si cette Dame vouloit de sa 
part faire le semblable; chose qu'elle m'accorda liberalement._ Each 
was in earnest, but each, according to the old Advocate, supposed the 
other to be in jest: both went to work upon this theme after the 
visit, and each finished a copy of verses about the same time, 
_tombants en quelques rencontres de mots les plus signalez pour le 
subject._ Pasquier thinking to surprize the lady, sent his poem to her 
as soon as he had transcribed it, on a Sunday morning,—the better the 
day the better being the deed: and the lady apprehending that they 
might have fallen upon some of the same thoughts, lest she should be 
suspected of borrowing what she knew to be her own, sent back the 
first draught of her verses by his messenger, not having had time to 
write them fairly out. _Heureuse, certes, rencontre et jouyssance de 
deux esprits, qui passe d'un long entrejet, toutes ces opinions 
follastres et vulgaires d'amour. Que si en cecy tu me permets d'y 
apporter quelque chose de mon jugement je te diray, qu'en l'un tu 
trouveras les discours d'une sage fille, en l'autre les discours d'un 
homme qui n'est pas trop fol; ayants l'un et l'autre par une 
bienseance des nos sexes joüé tels roolles que devions._

The Demoiselle after describing in her poem the feats of the flea, 
takes a hint from the resemblance in sound between _puce_ and 
_pucelle_, and making an allegorical use of mythology, makes by that 
means a decorous allusion to the vulgar notion concerning the unclean 
circumstances by which fleas, as they say, are bred:

  _Puce, si ma plume estoit digne,
   Je descrirois vostre origine;
   Et comment le plus grand des Dieux,
   Pour la terre quittant les cieux,
   Vous fit naître, comme il me semble,
   Orion et vous tout ensemble._

She proceeds to say that Pan became enamoured of this sister of Orion; 
that Diana to preserve her from his pursuit, metamorphosed her into a 
flea (_en puce_,) and that in this transformation nothing remained of 

  La crainte, l'adresse, et le nom._

Pasquier in his poem gave himself a pretty free scope in his imaginary 
pursuit of the flea, and in all the allusions to which its name would 
on such an occasion invite an old Frenchman. If the story had ended 
here, it would have been characteristic enough of French manners, _Or 
voy, je te prie,_ says Pasquier, _quel fruict nous a produit cette 
belle altercation, ou pour mieux dire, symbolization de deux ames. Ces 
deux petits Jeux poëtiques commencerent à courir par les mains de 
plusieurs, et se trouverent si agreables, que sur leur modelle, 
quelques personnages de marque voulurent estre de la partie; et 
s'employerent sur mesme subject à qui mieux mieux, les uns en Latin, 
les autres en François, et quelquesuns en l'une et l'autre langue: 
ayant chacun si bien exploté en son endroict, qu' à chacun doit 
demeurer la victoire._

Among the distinguished persons who exercised their talents upon this 
worthy occasion, Brisson was one; that Brisson of whom Henri III. said 
that no king but himself could boast of so learned a subject; who lent 
the assistance of his great name and talents towards setting up the 
most lawless of all tyrannies, that of an insurrectionary government; 
and who suffered death under that tyranny, as the reward which such 
men always (and righteously as concerns themselves however iniquitous 
the sentence) receive from the miscreants with whom they have leagued. 
He began his poem much as a scholar might be expected to do, by 
alluding to the well known pieces which had been composed upon 
somewhat similar subjects.

  _Fœlices meritò Mures Ranæque loquaces
     Queis cæci vatis contigit ore cani:
   Vivet et extento lepidus Passerculus ævo
     Cantatus numeris, culte Catulle tuis.
   Te quoque, parve Culex, nulla unquam muta silebit
     Posteritas, docti suave Maronis opus.
   Ausoniusque Pulex, dubius quem condidit auctor,
     Canescet sæclis innumerabilibus.
   Pictonici at Pulicis longè præclarior est sors,
     Quem fovet in tepido casta puella sinu.
   Fortunate Pulex nimium, tua si bona noris,
     Alternis vatum nobilitate metris._

In the remainder of his poem Brisson takes the kind of range which, if 
the subject did not actually invite, it seemed at least to permit. He 
produced also four Latin epigrams against such persons as might 
censure him for such a production, and these, as well as the poem 
itself, were translated into French by Pasquier. This was necessary 
for the public, not for Madame des Roches, and her daughter, who were 
versed both in Latin and Greek. Among the numerous persons whom the 
Assizes had brought to Poictiers, whether as judges, advocates, 
suitors, or idlers, every one who could write a Latin or a French 
verse tried his skill upon this small subject. _Tout le Parnasse latin 
et françois du royaume,_ says Titon du Tillet, _voulut prendre part a 
cette rare decouverte, sur tout apres avoir reconnu que la fille, 
quoique tressage, entendoit raillerie._ There is one Italian sonnet in 
the collection, one Spanish, and, according to the Abbe Goujet, there 
are some Greek verses, but in the republication of Pasquier's works 
these do not appear: they were probably omitted, as not being likely 
ever again to meet with readers. Some of the writers were men whose 
names would have been altogether forgotten if they had not been thus 
preserved; and others might as well have been forgotten for the value 
of any thing which they have left; but some were deservedly 
distinguished in their generation, and had won for themselves an 
honourable remembrance, which will not pass away. The President Harlay 
himself encouraged Pasquier by an eulogistic epigram, and no less a 
person than Joseph Scaliger figures in Catullian verse among the 

The name of the Demoiselle des Roches afforded occasion for such 
allusions to the rocks of Parnassus as the dealers in common place 
poetry could not fail to profit by.

  _Nil rerum variat perennis ordo.
   Et constant sibi Phæbus et sorores;
   Nec Pulex modo tot simul Poetas,
   Sed Parnassia fecit ipsa rupes
   Rupes, aut Heliconia Hippocrene._

These verses were written by Pithou, to whose satirical talents his 
own age was greatly indebted for the part which he took in the Satyre 
Menippée; and to whose collections and serious researches his country 
will always remain so. Many others harped upon the same string; and 
Claude Binet, in one of his poems, compared the Lady to Rochelle, 
because all suitors had found her impregnable.

Nicolas Rapin, by way of varying the subject, wrote a poem in 
vituperation of the aforesaid flea, and called it _La Contrepuce_. He 
would rather, he said, write in praise of a less mentionable insect; 
which however he did mention; and moreover broadly explained, and in 
the coarsest terms, the Lady's allusion to Orion.

The flea having thus become the business, as well as the talk of 
Poictiers, some epigrams were sported upon the occasion.

  _Causidicos habuit vigilantes Curia; namque
     Illis perpetuus tinnit in aure Pulex._

The name of Nicolas Rapinus is affixed to this; that of Raphael 
Gallodonius to the following,

_Ad consultissimos Supremi Senatus Gallici Patronos, in Rupeæ Pulicem 

  _Abdita causarum si vis responsa referre,
     Hos tam perspicuos consule Causidicos:
   Qui juris callent apices, vestigia morsu
     Metiri pulicum carmine certa sciunt.
   Ecquid eos latuisse putas dum seria tractant,
     Qui dum nugantur, tam bene parva canunt?_

The President of the Parliament of Paris, Pierre de Soulfour, compared 
the flea to the Trojan horse, and introduced this gigantic compliment 
with a stroke of satire.

  _Quid Magni peperêre Dies? res mira canenda est,
     Vera tamen; Pulicem progenuere brevem.
   Quicquid id est, tamen est magnum; Magnisque Diebus
     Non sine divino numine progenitum.
   Ille utero potuit plures gestare poetas,
     Quam tulit audaces techna Pelasga duces.
   Tros equus heröes tantos non fudit ab alvo,
     Dulcisonos vates quot tulit iste Pulex:_

Pasquier was proud of what he had done in starting the flea, and of 
the numerous and distinguished persons who had been pleased to follow 
his example in poetizing upon it; _pour memorial de laquelle,_ he 
says, _jai voulu dresser ce trophée, qui est la publication de leurs 
vers._ So he collected all these verses in a small quarto volume, and 
published them in 1582, with this title. LA PUCE; _ou Jeux Poëtiques 
Francois et Latins: composez sur la Puce aux Grands Jours de Poictiers 
l'an 1579: dont Pasquier fut le premier motif._ He dedicated the 
volume to the President Harlay, in the following sonnet:

  _Pendant que du Harlay de Themis la lumiere,
     Pour bannir de Poictou l'espouventable mal,
     Exerçant la justice à tous de poids égal,
   Restablessoit l'Astrée en sa chaire premiere;
   Quelques nobles esprits, pour se donner carriere,
     Voulourent exalter un petit animal,
     Et luy coler aux flancs les aisles du cheval
   Qui prend jusque au ciel sa course coutumiere.
   Harlay, mon Achille, relasche tes esprits;
   Sousguigne d'un bon œil tant soit peu ces escrits,
     Il attendent de toy, ou la mort, ou la vie:
   Si tu pers à les lire un seul point de ton temps,
   Ils vivront immortels dans le temple des ans,
     Malgre l'oubly, la mort, le mesdire et l'envie._

The original volume would have passed away with the generation to 
which it belonged, or if preserved, it would, like many others more 
worthy of preservation, have been found only in the cabinets of those 
who value books for their rarity rather than their intrinsic worth: 
this would have been its fate if it had not been comprized in the 
collective edition of Pasquier's works, which, as relating to his own 
times, to the antiquities of his country, and to French literature, 
are of the greatest importance. It was properly included there, not 
merely because it is characteristic of the nation, and of the age, but 
because it belongs to the history of the individual.

Here in England the Circuit always serves to sharpen the wits of those 
who are waiting, some of them hungrily, and but too many hopelessly, 
for practice; and as nowhere there is more talent running to seed than 
at the bar, epigrams circulate there as freely as opinions,—and much 
more harmlessly. But that the elders of the profession, and the judges 
should take part in such levities as the _Jeux Poetiques_ of 
Poictiers, would at all times have been as much out of character in 
England, as it would be still in character among our lighter-heeled, 
lighter-hearted, and lighter-headed neighbours. The same facility in 
composing Latin verse would not now be found at the French bar; but if 
a flea were started there, a full cry might as easily be raised after 
it, as it was at the _Grands Jours_ held under the President Harlay; 
and they who joined in the cry would take exactly the same tone. You 
would find in their poetry just as much of what Pasquier calls 
_mignardise_, and just as little exertion of intellect in any other 

It is not language alone, all but all-powerful in this respect as 
language is, which makes the difference in whatever belongs to poetry, 
between the French and the English. We know how Donne has treated this 
very subject; and we know how Cleveland, and Randolph and Cowley would 
have treated it, licentiously indeed, but with such a profusion of 
fantastic thought, that a prodigality of talent would seem even 
greater than the abuse. In later times, if such a theme had presented 
itself, Darwin would have put the flea in a solar microscope, and 
painted the monster with surprizing accuracy in the most elaborate 
rhymes: he would then have told of fleas which had been taken and 
tamed, and bound in chains, or yoked to carriages; and this he would 
have done in couplets so nicely turned, and so highly polished, that 
the poetical artist might seem to vie with the flea-tamer and 
carriage-builder in patience and in minute skill. Cowper would have 
passed with playful but melancholy grace

  From gay to grave, from lively to severe,

and might have produced a second Task. And in our own days, Rogers 
would case the flea, like his own gnat, in imperishable amber. Leigh 
Hunt would luxuriate in a fairy poem, fanciful as Drayton's Nymphidia, 
or in the best style of Herrick. Charles Lamb would crack a joke upon 
the subject; but then he would lead his readers to think while he was 
amusing them, make them feel if they were capable of feeling, and 
perhaps leave them in tears. Southey would give us a strain of 
scornful satire and meditative playfulness in blank verse of the 
Elizabethan standard. Wordsworth,—no, Wordsworth would disdain the 
flea: but some imitator of Wordsworth would enshrine the flea in a 
Sonnet the thought and diction of which would be as proportionate to 
the subject matter, as the Great Pyramid is to the nameless one of the 
Pharaohs for whose tomb it was constructed. Oxford and Cambridge would 
produce Latin verses, good in their manner as the best of Pasquier's 
collection, and better in every thing else; they would give us Greek 
verses also, as many and as good. Landor would prove himself as 
recondite a Latinist as Scaliger, and a better poet; but his 
hendecasyllables would not be so easily construed. Cruikshank would 
illustrate the whole collection with immortal designs, such as no 
other country, and no other man could produce. The flea would be 
introduced upon the stage in the next new Pantomime; Mr. Irving would 
discover it in the Apocalypse; and some preacher of Rowland Hill's 
school would improve it (as the phrase is) in a sermon, and exhort his 
congregation to _flee_ from sin.

I say nothing of Mr. Moore, and the half dozen Lords who would 
_mignardise_ the subject like so many Frenchmen. But how would Bernard 
Barton treat it? Perhaps Friend Barton will let us see in one of the 
next year's Annuals.

I must not leave the reader with an unfavourable opinion of the lady 
whose flea obtained such singular celebrity, and who _quoique tres 
sage entendoit raillerie_. Titon du Tillet intended nothing equivocal 
by that expression; and the tone which the Flea-poets took was in no 
degree derogatory to her, for the manners of the age permitted it. Les 
Dames des Roches both mother and daughter, were remarkable, and 
exemplary women; and there was a time when Poictiers derived as much 
glory from these blue ladies as from the Black Prince. The mother 
after living most happily with her husband eight and twenty years, 
suffered greatly in her widowhood from vexatious lawsuits, difficult 
circumstances, and broken health; but she had great resources in 
herself, and in the dutiful attachment of Catherine, who was her only 
child, and whom she herself had nursed and educated; the society of 
that daughter enabled her to bear her afflictions, not only with 
patience but with cheerfulness. No solicitations could induce 
Catherine to marry; she refused offers which might in all other 
respects have been deemed eligible, because she would not be separated 
from her mother, from whom she said death itself could not divide her. 
And this was literally verified, for in 1587 they both died of the 
plague on the same day.

Both were women of great talents and great attainments. Their joint 
works in prose and verse were published in their life time, and have 
been several times reprinted, but not since the year 1604. The poetry 
is said to be of little value; but the philosophical dialogues are 
praised as being neither deficient in genius nor in solidity, and as 
compositions which may still be perused with pleasure and advantage. 
This is the opinion of a benevolent and competent critic, the Abbe 
Goujet. I have never seen the book.

Before I skip back to the point from which my own flea and the 
Poictiers' flea have led me, I must tell a story of an English lady 
who under a similar circumstance was not so fortunate as Pasquier's 
accomplished friend. This lady, who lived in the country, and was 
about to have a large dinner party, was ambitious of making as great a 
display as her husband's establishment, a tolerably large one, could 
furnish; so that there might seem to be no lack of servants, a great 
lad who had been employed only in farm work was trimmed and dressed 
for the occasion, and ordered to take his stand behind his Mistress's 
chair, with strict injunctions not to stir from the place, nor do any 
thing unless she directed him; the lady well knowing that altho' no 
footman could make a better appearance as a piece of still life, some 
awkwardness would be inevitable, if he were put in motion. Accordingly 
Thomas having thus been duly drilled and repeatedly enjoined took his 
post at the head of the table behind his mistress, and for awhile he 
found sufficient amusement in looking at the grand set-out, and 
staring at the guests: when he was weary of this, and of an inaction 
to which he was so little used, his eyes began to pry about nearer 
objects. It was at a time when our ladies followed the French fashion 
of having the back and shoulders under the name of the neck uncovered 
much lower than accords either with the English climate, or with old 
English notions;—a time when, as Landor expresses it, the usurped 
dominion of _neck_ had extended from the ear downwards, almost to 
where mermaids become fish. This lady was in the height, or lowness of 
that fashion; and between her shoulder-blades, in the hollow of the 
back, not far from the confines where nakedness and clothing met, 
Thomas espied what Pasquier had seen upon the neck of Mademoiselle des 
Roches. The guests were too much engaged with the business and the 
courtesies of the table to see what must have been worth seeing, the 
transfiguration produced in Thomas's countenance by delight, when he 
saw so fine an opportunity of shewing himself attentive, and making 
himself useful. The Lady was too much occupied with her company to 
feel the flea; but to her horror she felt the great finger and thumb 
of Thomas upon her back, and to her greater horror heard him exclaim 
in exultation, to the still greater amusement of the party—_a vlea, a 
vlea! my lady, ecod I've caucht 'en!_



_Voulant doncques satisfaire à la curiosité de touts bons compagnons, 
j'ay revolvé toutes les Pantarches des Cieux, calculé les quadrats de 
la Lune, crocheté tout ce que jamais penserent touts les Astrophiles, 
Hypernephelistes, Anemophylaces, Uranopetes et Ombrophores._


A minute's recollection will carry the reader back to the chapter 
whereon that accidental immolation took place, which was the means of 
introducing him to the _bas-bleus_ of Poictiers. We were then engaged 
upon the connection which in Peter Hopkins's time still subsisted 
between astrology and the practice of medicine.

Court de Gebelin in his great hypothetical, fanciful, but withal 
ingenious, erudite, and instructive work, says that the almanack was 
one of the most illustrious and most useful efforts of genius of the 
first men, and that a complete history of it would be a precious 
canvas for the history of the human race, were it not that 
unfortunately many of the necessary materials have perished. _On peut 
assurer,_ he says, _que sans almanach, les operations de l'agriculture 
seroient incertaines; que les travaux des champs ne se rencontreroient 
que per hazard dans les tems convenables: qui il n'y auroit ni fêtes 
ni assemblées publiques, et que la memoire des tems anciens ne seroit 
qu'un cahos._

This is saying a little too much. But who is there that has not 
sometimes occasion to consult the almanack? Maximilian I. by 
neglecting to do this, failed in an enterprize against Bruges. It had 
been concerted with his adherents in that turbulent city, that he 
should appear before it at a certain time, and they would be ready to 
rise in his behalf, and open the gates for him. He forgot that it was 
leap year, and came a day too soon; and this error on his part cost 
many of the most zealous of his friends their lives. It is remarkable 
that neither the historian who relates this, nor the writers who have 
followed him, should have looked in the almanack to guard against any 
inaccuracy in the relation; for they have fixed the appointed day on 
the eve of St. Matthias, which being the 23d of February, could not be 
put out of its course by leap year.

This brings to my recollection a legal anecdote, that may serve in 
like manner to exemplify how necessary it is upon any important 
occasion to scrutinize the accuracy of a statement before it is taken 
upon trust. A fellow was tried (at the Old Bailey if I remember 
rightly) for high-way robbery, and the prosecutor swore positively to 
him, saying he had seen his face distinctly, for it was a bright 
moon-light night. The counsel for the prisoner cross-questioned the 
man, so as to make him repeat that assertion, and insist upon it. He 
then affirmed that this was a most important circumstance, and a most 
fortunate one for the prisoner at the bar: because the night on which 
the alleged robbery was said to have been committed was one in which 
there had been no moon; it was during the dark quarter! In proof of 
this he handed an almanack to the bench,—and the prisoner was 
acquitted accordingly. The prosecutor however had stated every thing 
truly; and it was known afterwards that the almanack with which the 
counsel came provided, had been prepared and printed for the occasion.

There is a pleasing passage in Sanazzaro's Arcadia, wherein he 
describes two large beechen tablets, suspended in the temple of Pan, 
one on each side of the altar, _scritte di rusticane lettere; le quali 
successivamente di tempo in tempo per molti anni conservate dai 
passati pastori, contenevano in se le antiche leggi, e gli 
ammaestramenti della pastorale vita: dalle quali tutto quello che fra 
le selve oggi se adopra, ebbe prima origine._ One of these tablets 
contained directions for the management of cattle. In the other _eran 
notati tutti i di dell' anno, e i varj mutamenti delle stagioni, e la 
inequalità delle notte e del giorno, insieme con la osservazione delle 
ore, non poco necessarie a viventi, e li non falsi pronostici delle 
tempestati: e quando il Sole con suo nascimento denunzia serenita, e 
quando pioggia, e quando venti, e quando grandini; e quali giorni son 
della luna fortunati, e quali infelici alle opre de' mortali: e che 
ciascuno in ciascuna ora dovesse fuggire, o seguitare, per non 
offendere le osservabili volonta degli Dii._

It is very probable that Sanazzaro has transferred to his pastoral, 
what may then have been the actual usage in more retired parts of the 
country; and that before the invention of printing rendered almanacks 
accessible to every one, a calendar, which served for agricultural as 
well as ecclesiastical purposes, was kept in every considerable 
church. Olaus Magnus says that the northern countrymen used to have a 
calendar cut upon their walking sticks (_baculos annales_, he calls 
them); and that when they met at church from distant parts, they laid 
their heads together and made their computations. The origin of these 
wooden almanacks, which belong to our own antiquities, as well as to 
those of Scandinavia, is traced hypothetically to the heathen temple, 
authentically to the church. It has been supposed that the Cimbri 
received the Julian calendar from Cæsar himself, after his conquest as 
it is called of Britain; and that it was cut in Runic characters for 
the use of the priests, upon the rocks, or huge stones, which composed 
their rude temples, till some one thought of copying it on wood and 
rendering it portable, for common use:—_donec tandem_, (are Wormius's 
words), _ingenii rarâ dexteritate emersit ille, quisquis tandem 
fuerit, qui per lignea hæcce compendia, tam utile tamque necessarium 
negotium plebi communicandum duxit: cujus nomen si exstaret æquiore 
jure fastis hisce insereretur, quam multorum tituli, quos boni publici 
cura vix unquam tetigit._

The introduction of the Julian calendar at that time is however 
nothing better than an antiquary's mere dream. At a later period the 
Germans, who had much more communication with the Romans than ever the 
Scandinavians had, divided the year into three seasons, if Tacitus was 
rightly informed; this being one consequence of the little regard 
which they paid to agriculture. _Hyems et ver et æstas intellectum ac 
vocabula habent; autumni perinde nomen ac bona ignorantur._

Moreover Wormius was assured, (and this was a fact which might well 
have been handed down by memory, and was not likely to have been 
recorded), that the wooden almanacks were originally copied from a 
written one in a very antient manuscript preserved in the church at 
Drontheim. There is no proof that a pagan _Rimstoke_ ever existed in 
those countries. The clergy had no interest in withholding this kind 
of knowledge from the people even in the darkest ages of papal tyranny 
and monkish imposture. But during the earlier idolatries of the Romans 
it seems to have been withheld; and it was against the will of the 
Senate that the Fasti were first divulged to the people by Cneius 
Flavius Scriba.

The carelessness of the Romans during many ages as to the divisions of 
time, seems scarcely compatible even with the low degree of 
civilization which they had attained. We are told that when the Twelve 
Tables were formed, no other distinctions of the day than those of 
sunrise and sunset were known among them by name; that some time after 
they begun to compute from noon to noon; and that for three hundred 
years they had nothing whereby to measure an hour, nor knew of any 
such denomination, _tamdiu populi Romani indiscreta lux fait._ A 
brazen pillar, which marked the hour of noon by its shortest shadow, 
was the only means of measuring time, till, in the first Punic war, 
the Consul M. Valerius Messala brought thither a sun-dial from the 
spoils of Catana in Sicily. This was in the 477th year of the City; 
and by that dial the Romans went ninety-nine years without adapting it 
to the meridian of Rome. A better was then erected; but they were 
still without any guide in cloudy weather, till in the year 595 after 
the building of the City, Scipio Nasica introduced the water-clock, 
which is said to have been invented about eighty years before by 
Ctesibius of Alexandria. When the Romans had begun to advance in 
civilization, no people ever made a more rapid progress in all the 
arts and abuses which follow in its train. Astrology came with 
astronomy from the East, for science had speedily been converted into 
a craft, and in the age of the Cæsars the Egyptian professors of that 
craft were among the pests of Rome.

More than one Roman calendar is in existence, preserved by the 
durability of the material, which is a square block of marble. Each 
side contains three months, in parallel columns, headed by the 
appropriate signs of the zodiac. In these the astronomical information 
was given, with directions for the agricultural business of the month, 
and notices of the respective gods under whose tutelage the months 
were placed, and of the religious festivals in their course, with a 
warning to the husbandmen against neglecting those religious duties, 
upon the due performance of which the success of their labours 

Those learned authors who look in the Scriptures for what is not to be 
found there, and supply by conjectures whatever they wish to find, 
have not decided whether astronomy was part of Adam's infused 
knowledge, or whether it was acquired by him, and his son Seth; but 
from Seth they say it descended to Abraham, and he imparted it to the 
Egyptians. Whatever may be thought of this derivation, the Egyptian 
mind seems always to have pullulated with superstition, as the slime 
of their own Nile is said to have fermented into low and loathsome 
forms of miscreated life. The Rabbis say that ten measures of 
witchcraft were sent into the world, and Egypt got nine of them.

The Greeks are said to have learnt from the Babylonians the twelve 
divisions of the day. The arrow-headed inscriptions at Babylon are 
supposed by some of those who have bestowed most attention upon them 
to be calendars: and there can be little doubt that where the 
divisions of time were first scientifically observed, there the first 
calendar would be formed. In Egypt however it is that we hear of them 
first; and such resemblances exist between the Egyptian calendar, and 
the oldest of those which have been discovered in the north of Europe, 
that Court de Gebelin supposes they must have had a common origin, and 
in an age anterior to those Chaldeans whose astronomical observations 
ascended nineteen hundred years before the age of Alexander. This is 
too wild an assumption to be soberly maintained. What is common to 
both found its way to Scandinavia in far later times. Christianity was 
imported into those countries with all the corruptions which it had 
gathered in the East as well as in the West; and the Christian 
calendar brought with it as many superstitions of European growth, as 
there was room for inserting. There was room for many even upon the 
Norwegian staff.

The lineal descendant of that _rimstoke_ was still in use in the 
middle of England at the close of the 17th century; though it was 
then, says Plot, a sort of antiquity so little known that it had 
hardly been heard of in the southern parts, and was understood but by 
few of the gentry in the northern. Clogg was the English name, whether 
so called from the word log, because they were generally made of wood, 
and not so commonly of oak or fir as of box; or from the resemblance 
of the larger ones to the clogs, “wherewith we restrain the wild, 
extravagant, mischievous motions of some of our dogs,” he knew not. 
There were some few of brass. Some were of convenient size for the 
pocket; and there were larger ones, which used to hang at one end of 
the mantle tree of the chimney for family use; as in Denmark the 
_rimstoke_ was found in every respectable yeoman's house at the head 
of the table, or suspended from a beam. Plot minutely and carefully 
described these, and endeavoured, but not always with success, to 
explain some of the hieroglyphes or symbols by which the festivals 
were denoted; all which he had seen had only the Prime (or Golden 
Number) and the immoveable feasts; the Prime, so called as indicating 
_primas lunas_ through the year, our ancestors set in the margin of 
their calendars in characters of gold,—and thence its other name.

The rudest that has ever been discovered was found in pulling down 
part of a chateau in Bretagne. Its characters had so magical an 
appearance, that it would have been condemned by acclamation to the 
flames, if the Lord of the Chateau had not rescued it, thinking it was 
more likely to puzzle an antiquary than to raise the Devil. He sent it 
to Sainte-Palaye, and M. Lancelot succeeded in fully explaining it. 
Most barbarous as it was, there is reason for concluding that it was 
not older than the middle of the 17th century.

In Peter Hopkins's time the clogg was still found in farm houses. He 
remembered when a countryman had walked to the nearest large town, 
thirty miles distant, for the express purpose of seeing an almanack, 
the first that had been heard of in those parts. His enquiring 
neighbours crowded round the man on his return. “Well—well,” said he, 
“I know not! it maffles and talks. But all I could make out is that 
Collop Monday falls on a Tuesday next year.”



_Si j'avois dispersé ceci en divers endroits de mon ouvrage, j'aurois 
évité la censure de ceux qui appelleront ce chapitre un fatras de 
petit recueils. Mais comme je cherche la commodité de mes lecteurs 
plutôt que la mienne, je veux bien au depens de cette censure, leur 
épargner la peine de rassembler ce que j'aurois dispersé._


There is no superstition, however harmless it may appear, and may 
indeed long continue to be, but has in it some latent evil. Much has 
arisen from the distinction of unlucky days, which may very innocently 
and naturally have originated, though it was afterwards dexterously 
applied by astrologers, and by the priests of false religions, to 
their own purposes. No one would willingly commence an important 
undertaking on the anniversary of a day which had brought to him some 
great and irreparable calamity. It would be indecent to fix upon St. 
Bartholomew's for a day of public rejoicing in France; or in Portugal 
upon that day on which Lisbon was laid in ruins by the great 
earthquake. On the other hand an English General, and an English army, 
would feel something more than their wonted hope and expectation of 
victory, if they gave the enemy battle on the anniversaries of 
Waterloo, or Blenheim, Cressy, Poictiers, or Agincourt. God be thanked 
neither our fleets, or armies have ever yet caused a day to be noted 
with black in the English calendar!

But many a good ship has lost that tide which might have led to 
fortune, because the captain and the crew thought it unlucky to begin 
their voyage on a Friday. You were in no danger of being left behind 
by the packet's sailing on that day, however favourable the wind, if 
it were possible for the captain to devise any excuse for remaining 
till the morrow in harbour. Lord Byron partook this superstition; and 
if any thing of the slightest importance in which he was concerned 
were commenced on a Friday, he was seriously disconcerted.

Such however are the effects of superstitious animosity, that (as the 
Puritans in the next generation made Christmas-day a fast by an 
ordinance of Parliament) in James the first's reign Friday was kept as 
a sort of holyday. The biographer of a Spanish lady, who came to 
England for the purpose of secretly serving the Roman Catholic cause, 
says “that among her other griefs she had that of hearing the wheel go 
round, by which they roasted whole quarters of beef on every Friday, 
delighting to profane with forbidden food that day on which the 
catholics, by fasting and other works of penitence, manifested their 
sense, every week throughout the year, of the sufferings of their Lord 
and Saviour. In all English houses,” he says, “both private and public 
(to which latter great part of the people went for their meals) all 
kinds of meat roasted and boiled, are seen on Fridays, Good Friday not 
excepted, as if it were a land of Jews or Turks. The nobles in 
particular reserve their feasts and entertainments of all kinds of 
meats and delicacies for Fridays. It is the sport of the great, and 
their sort of piety, to testify by these sacrileges their hatred to 
the Roman church.”

There is probably some exaggeration in this statement; and if the 
biographer was conversant with the history of his own country, he must 
have known that there was a time when his own countrymen made it a 
point of duty to eat pork on Saturdays, for the sake of despiting the 
Jews. But the practice cannot have been so common as he represents it, 
for if it had, Friday would not have retained its inauspicious 
character to the present time. Yet even this which is in common 
opinion the most unlucky of all the days, may, from particular 
circumstances, deserve it appears to be marked with a white stone. 
Upon a trial brought at the Chelmsford Assizes, by a disconsolate 
widow against a faithless suitor, for breach of promise, a letter of 
the defendant's was produced, containing this passage: “Mrs. Martha 
Harris, you say I have used you ill; but I do not think I have at all; 
for I told you not to count too much, lest something should happen to 
disappoint. You say the day was mine; but respecting that, I said, ‘if 
before harvest it must be very soon, or it would be in harvest;’ and 
you said ‘fix any time soon.’ But you said you should like to marry on 
a Friday, for you thought that a good day; for on a Friday your 
husband died, and on a Friday I first came to see you, and Friday was 
market day.”

Old opinions, however groundless, are not often so easily overcome. 
The farmer has let precious days pass by without profiting by 
favourable weather, because he was warned against them by his 
almanack, or by tradition; and for the same reason, measures which 
might have relieved and saved a patient, have been fatally 
procrastinated. There were about thirty days in the christian year to 
which such malignant influences were imputed, that the recovery of any 
person who fell ill upon them was thought to be almost impossible: in 
any serious disease how greatly must this persuasion have increased 
the danger!

More than half the days in the year are unlucky in Madagascar: and the 
Ombiasses, as the sort of bastard Mahomedan jugglers in that great 
island are called, have made the deluded people believe that any child 
born on one of those days, will, if it be allowed to grow up, prove a 
parricide, be addicted to every kind of wickedness, and moreover be 
miserable throughout the whole course of its life. The infant is 
always exposed in consequence; and unless some humaner parents employ 
a slave or relation to preserve it, and remove it for ever from their 
knowledge, it is left for beasts, birds, or reptiles to devour!

The unfortunate days in Christendom, according to the received 
superstition in different countries, were either a little more or less 
than thirty,—about a twelfth part of the year; the fortunate were not 
quite so many, all the rest are left, if the astrologers had so 
pleased, in their natural uncertainty. And how uncertain all were is 
acknowledged in the oldest didactics upon this subject, after what 
were then the most approved rules had been given.

  Ἃιδε μεν ἡμέραι εἰσίν ἐπιχθονίοις μέγ’ ὄνειαρ.
  Ἃι δ’ἄλλαι μεταδουποι, ἀκήριοι, οὔτι φερουσαι.
  Ἂλλος δ’ἀλλοίην αἰνεῖ, παῦροι δε τ’ἴσασιν.
  Ἀλλοτε μητρυιὴ πελει ἡμέρη, ἄλλοτε μήτηρ.
  Τάων ἐυδαίμων τε και ὄλβιος ὃς τάδε πάντα
  Ἐιδὼς ἐργάζηται ἀναίτιος ἀθανάτοισιν,
  Ὂρνιθας κρίνων, και ὑπερβασίας ἀλεείνων.[1]

[Footnote 1: HESIOD.]

    These are the days of which the careful heed
  Each human enterprise will favouring speed:
  Others there are, which intermediate fall,
  Mark'd with no auspice, and unomen'd all:
  And these will some, and those will others praise;
  But few are vers'd in mysteries of days.
  Now as a stepmother the day we find
  Severe, and now as is a mother kind.
  O fortunate the man! O blest is he,
  Who skill'd in these, fulfills his ministry:—
  He to whose note the auguries are giv'n,
  No rite transgress'd, and void of blame to Heaven.[2]

[Footnote 2: ELTON.]

The fixed days for good and evil were said to have been disclosed by 
an angel to Job. I know not whether it comes from the Rabbinical mint 
of fables that Moses determined upon Saturday for the Israelites' 
Sabbath, because that day is governed by Saturn, and Saturn being a 
malignant planet, all manner of work that might be undertaken on the 
Saturday might be expected not to prosper. The Sabbatarians might have 
found here an astrological argument for keeping their sabbath on the 
same day as the Jews.

Sunday however is popularly supposed in France to be a propitious day 
for a Romish sabbath,—which is far better than a Sir-Andrew-Agnewish 
one. _Il est reconnu_, says a Frenchman, whose testimony on such a 
point is not invalidated by his madness,—_que les jours de la semaine 
ne peuvent se ressembler, puisqu'ils coulent sous l'influence de 
differentes planettes. Le soleil, qui preside au dimanche, est censé 
nous procurer un beau jour plus riant que les autres jours de la 
semaine; et voila aussi pourquoi on se reserve ce jour pour se livrer 
aux plaisirs et amusements honnêtes._

The Jews say that the Sun always shines on Wednesdays, because his 
birth day was on Wednesday, and he keeps it in this manner every week. 
In Feyjoo's time the Spaniards had a proverbial saying, that no 
Saturday is ever without sunshine; nor could they be disabused of this 
notion because in their country it is really a rare thing to have a 
Saturday, or any other day, in some part or other of which the sun is 
not seen. But on the Wednesday in Passion week they held that it 
always rains, because on that day it was that Peter went out and wept 
bitterly, and they think that it behoves the heavens to weep, after 
this manner, as if in commemoration of his tears.

The saints indeed have been supposed to affect the weather so much 
upon their own holydays, that a French Bishop is said to have formed 
an ingenious project for the benefit of a particular branch of 
agriculture, by reforming a small part of the Calendar. This prelate 
was the Bishop of Auxerre, Francis D'Inteville, first of that name. He 
had observed that for many years the vineyards had suffered severely 
on certain Saints days, by frost, hail, cold rains or blighting winds, 
and he had come to the conclusion that though the said Saints had 
their festivals during the time when the sun is passing through 
Taurus, they were nevertheless _Saints gresleurs, geleurs, et gasteurs 
du bourgeon_.

Now this Bishop loved good wine, _comme fait tout homme de bien;_ and 
he conceived that if these foul weather Saints, who seemed in this 
respect to act as if they had enrolled themselves in a Temperance 
Society, were to have their days changed, and be calendared between 
Christmas Day and St. Typhaines, they might hail, and freeze and 
bluster to their hearts content; and if their old festivals were 
assigned to new patrons, who were supposed to have no dislike for 
vineyards, all would go on well. St. George, St. Mark, St. Philip and 
St. Vitalis were some of the Saints who were to be provided for at 
Christmas; St. Christopher, St. Dominic, St. Laurence and St. 
Magdalene, the most illustrious of those who should have been 
installed in their places,—for on their days _tant s'en faut qu'on 
soit en danger de gelèe, que lors mestier au monde n'est qui tant soit 
de requeste comme est des faiseurs de friscades, et refraischisseurs 
de vin_. These changes however in the Saints' administration were not 
effected; and it appears by Rabelais' manner of relating the fact, 
that the Bishop never got from the optative to the potential mood.

Master Rabelais says that the Bishop called the mother of the Three 
Kings St. Typhaine;—it is certain that such a Saint was made out of 
_La Sainte Epiphanié_, and that the Three Kings of Cologne were 
filiated upon her. But whether or not this Prelate were in this 
respect as ignorant as his flock, he is praised by writers of his own 
communion for having by his vigilance and zeal kept his diocese as 
long as he lived, free from the Lutheran pestilence. And he deserves 
to be praised by others for having given a fine organ to his 
cathedral, and a stone pulpit, which was scarcely surpassed in beauty 
by any in the whole kingdom.

The Japanese, who are a wise people, have fixed upon the five most 
unfortunate days in the year for their five great festivals; and this 
they have done purposely, and prudently, in order by this universal 
mirth to divert and propitiate their Camis, or Deities; and also by 
their custom on those days of wishing happiness to each other, to 
avert the mishaps that might otherwise befall them. They too are 
careful never to begin a journey at an inauspicious time, and 
therefore in all their road and house books there is a printed table, 
shewing what days of the month are unfortunate for this purpose: they 
amount to four and twenty in the year. The wise and experienced 
Astrologer, Abino Seimei, who invented the table, was a personage 
endowed with divine wisdom, and the precious gift of prognosticating 
things to come. It is to be presumed that he derived this from his 
parentage, which was very remarkable on the mother's side. Take, 
gentle Reader, for thy contentment, what Lightfoot would have called 
no lean story.

Prince Abino Jassima was in the Temple of Inari, who, being the God 
and the Protector of Foxes, ought to have a temple in the Bishoprick 
of Durham, and in Leicestershire, and wherever Foxes are preserved. 
Foxes' lungs, it seems, were then as much esteemed as a medicine by 
the Japanese, as Fox-glove may be by European physicians; and a party 
of Courtiers were fox-hunting at this time in order to make use of the 
lungs in a prescription. They were in full cry after a young fox, when 
the poor creature ran into the temple, and instead of looking for 
protection to the God Inari, took shelter in Prince Jassima's bosom. 
The Prince on this occasion behaved very well, and the fox-hunters 
very ill, as it may be feared most fox-hunters would do in similar 
circumstances. They insisted upon his turning the fox out; he 
protested that he would commit no such crime, for a crime it would 
have been in such a case; they attempted to take the creature by 
force, and Prince Jassima behaved so bravely that he beat them all, 
and set the fox at liberty. He had a servant with him, but whether 
this servant assisted him, has not been recorded; neither is it stated 
that the Fox God, Inari, took any part in the defence of his own 
creature and his princely votary; though from what followed it may be 
presumed that he was far from being an unconcerned spectator. I pass 
over the historical consequences which make “the hunting of that day” 
more important in Japanese history, than that of Chevy Chace is in our 
own. I pass them over because they are not exactly pertinent to this 
place. Suffice it to say that King Jassima, as he must now be called, 
revenged his father's murder upon these very hunters, and succeeded to 
his throne; and then, after his victory, the fox appeared, no longer 
in vulpine form, but in the shape of a lady of incomparable beauty, 
whom he took to wife, and by whom he became the happy father of our 
Astrologer, Abino Seimei. Gratitude had moved this alopegyne, 
gynalopex, fox-lady, or lady-fox, to love; she told her love 
indeed,—but she never told her gratitude: nor did King Jassima know, 
nor could he possibly suspect, that his lovely bride had been that 
very fox whose life he had with so much generosity and courage 
preserved,—that very fox, I say, “another and the same;”—never did he 
imagine, nor never could he have imagined this, till an extraordinary 
change took place in his beautiful and beloved wife. Her ears, her 
nose, her claws and her tail began to grow, and by degrees this 
wonderful creature became a fox again! My own opinion is, that she 
must have been a daughter of the great Fox-God Inari himself.

Abino Seimei, her son, proved to be, as might have been expected, a 
cunning personage, in the old and good meaning of that word. But as he 
inherited this cunning from his mysterious mother, he derived also an 
equal share of benevolence from his kind-hearted father, King Jassima: 
and therefore, after having calculated for the good of mankind the 
table of unfortunate days, he, for their farther good, composed an 
_Uta_, or couplet, of mystical words, by pronouncing which, the poor 
traveller who is necessitated to begin a journey upon one of those 
days, may avert all those evils, which, if he were not preserved by 
such a spell, must infallibly befall him. He did this for the benefit 
of persons in humble life, who were compelled at any time to go 
wherever their lords and masters might send them. I know not whether 
Lord Byron would have ventured to set out on a Friday, after reciting 
these words, if he had been made acquainted with their value; but here 
they are, expressed in our own characters, to gratify the “curious in 

  Sada Mejesi Tabicatz Fidori Josi Asijwa,
      Omojitatz Figo Kitz Nito Sen.



A man that travelleth to the most desirable home, hath a habit of 
desire to it all the way; but his present business is his travel; and 
horse, and company, and inns, and ways, and weariness, &c., may take 
up more of his sensible thoughts, and of his talk and action, than his 


Few things in this world are useless,—none indeed but what are of 
man's own invention. It was one of Oberlin's wise maxims that nothing 
should be destroyed, nothing thrown away, or wasted; he knew that 
every kind of refuse which will not serve to feed pigs, may be made to 
feed both man and beast in another way by serving for manure: perhaps 
he learnt this from the Chinese proverb, that a wise man saves even 
the parings of his nails and the clippings of his beard, for this 
purpose. “To burn a hair,” says Darwin, “or a straw, unnecessarily, 
diminishes the sum of matter fit for quick nutrition, by decomposing 
it nearly into its elements: and should therefore give some 
compunction to a mind of universal sympathy.” Let not this cant about 
universal sympathy nauseate a reader of common sense, and make him 
regard Darwin's opinion here with the contempt which his affectation 
deserves. Every thing may be of use to the farmer. And so it is with 
knowledge; there is none, however vain in itself and however little it 
may be worth the pains of acquiring it, which may not at some time or 
other be turned to account.

Peter Hopkins found that his acquaintance with astrology was sometimes 
of good service in his professional practice. In his days most of the 
Almanacs contained Rules Astrological showing under what aspects and 
positions different modes of remedy were to be administered, and 
different complections were to let blood. He had often to deal with 
persons who believed in their Almanack as implicitly as in their 
Bible, and who studied this part of it with a more anxious sense of 
its practical importance to themselves. When these notions were 
opposed to the course of proceeding which the case required, he could 
gain his point by talking to them in their own language, and 
displaying, if it were called for, a knowledge of the art which might 
have astonished the Almanack-maker himself. If he had reasoned with 
them upon any other ground, they would have retained their own 
opinion, even while they submitted to his authority; and would neither 
have had faith in him, nor in his prescriptions.

Peter Hopkins would never listen to any patient who proposed waiting 
for a lucky day before he entered upon a prescribed course of 
medicine. “Go by the moon as much as you please,” he would say; “have 
your hair cut, if you think best while it wexes, and cut your corns 
while it wanes; and put off any thing till a lucky day that may as 
well be done on one day as another. But the right day to be bled is 
when you want bleeding; the right day for taking physic is when physic 
is necessary.”

He was the better able to take this course, because he himself 
belonged to the debateable land between credulity and unbelief. Some 
one has said that the Devil's dubitative is a negative,—_dubius in 
fide, infidelis est_;[1] and there are cases, as in Othello's, in 
which from the infirmity of human nature, it is too often seen that

            to be once in doubt
  Is—once to be resolved.


There is however a state of mind, or to speak more accurately a way of 
thinking, in which men reverse the Welshman's conclusion in the old 
comedy, and instead of saying ‘it may be, but it is very impossible,’ 
resolve within themselves that it is very impossible, but it may be. 
So it was in some degree with Peter Hopkins; his education, his early 
pursuits, and his turn of mind disposed him to take part with what was 
then the common opinion of common men, and counterbalanced, if they 
did not perhaps a little preponderate against the intelligence of the 
age, and his own deliberate judgment if he had been called upon 
seriously to declare it. He saw plainly that astrology had been made a 
craft by means whereof knaves practised upon fools; but so had his own 
profession; and it no more followed as a necessary consequence from 
the one admission that the heavenly bodies exercised no direct 
influence upon the human frame, than it did from the other that the 
art of medicine was not beneficial to mankind.

In the high days of astrology when such an immediate influence was 
affirmed upon the then undisputed authority of St. Augustin, it was 
asked how it happened that the professors of this science so 
frequently deceived others, and were deceived themselves? The answer 
was that too often instead of confining themselves within the 
legitimate limits of the art, they enlarged their phylacteries too 
much. Farther, that there were many more fixed stars than were known 
to us, yet these also must have their influence; and moreover that the 
most learned professors differed upon some of the most important 
points. Nevertheless so many causes and effects in the course of 
nature were so visibly connected, that men, whether astrologers or 
not, drew from them their own conclusions, and presaged accordingly: 
_mirum non est, si his et similibus solerter pensiculatis, non tam 
astrologi quam philosophi, medici, et longâ experientiâ edocti 
agricolæ et nautæ, quotidie de futuris multa vera predicunt, etiam 
sine astrologiæ regulis de morbis, de annonâ, deque tempestatibus._

All persons in Peter Hopkins's days believed that change of weather 
may be looked for at the change of the Moon; and all men except a few 
philosophers believe so still, and all the philosophers in Europe 
could not persuade an old sailor out of the belief. And that the tides 
have as much influence over the human body in certain stages of 
disease, as the moon has over the tides, is a popular belief in many 
parts of the world. The Spaniards think that all who die of chronic 
diseases breathe their last during the ebb. Among the wonders of the 
Isle and City of Cadiz, which the historian of that city, Suares de 
Salazar, enumerates, one is, according to P. Labat, that the sick 
never die there while the tide is rising or at its height, but always 
during the ebb: he restricts the notion to the Isle of Leon, but 
implies that the effect was there believed to take place in diseases 
of any kind, acute as well as chronic. “Him fever,” says the Negro in 
the West Indies, “shall go when the water come low. Him alway come hot 
when the tide high.”

If the Negroes had ever heard the theory of the tides which Herrera 
mentions, they would readily believe it, and look upon it as 
completely explaining the ground of their assertion; for according to 
that theory the tides are caused by a fever of the sea, which rages 
for six hours, and then intermits for as many more.

But the effect of the tides upon the human constitution in certain 
states is not a mere vulgar opinion. Major Moor says that near the 
tropics, especially in situations where the tide of the sea has a 
great rise and fall, scarcely any person, and certainly no one 
affected with feverish or nervous symptoms, is exempted from 
extraordinary sensations at the periods of spring tides. That these 
are caused by the changes of the moon he will not say, for he had 
never fully convinced himself, however plausible the theory, that the 
coincident phenomena of spring tides, and full and change of the moon, 
were cause and effect; but at the conjunction and opposition, or what 
amounts to the same, at the spring tides, these sensations are 
periodically felt. There is an account of one singular case in which 
the influence was entirely lunar. When Mr. Galt was travelling in the 
Morea, he fell in with a peasant, evidently in an advanced stage of 
dropsy, who told him, that his father had died of a similar complaint, 
but differing from his in this remarkable respect—the father's 
continued to grow regularly worse, without any intervals of 
alleviation; but at the change of the moon the son felt comparatively 
much easier. As the moon advanced to the full, the swelling enlarged; 
and as she waned, it again lessened. Still, however, though this 
alteration continued, the disease was gaining ground.

“The moon,” Mr. Galt observes, “has, or is believed to have, much more 
to say in the affairs of those parts, than with us. The climate is 
more regular; and if the air have tides, like the ocean, of course 
their effects are more perceptible.”

In an early volume of the Philosophical Transactions are some 
observations made by Mr. Paschal on the motions of diseases, and on 
the births and deaths of men and other animals, in different parts of 
the day and night. Having suspected, he says, that the causes of the 
tides at sea exert their power elsewhere, though the effect may not be 
so sensibly perceived on the solid as on the fluid parts of the globe, 
he divided, for trial of this notion, the natural day into four 
senaries of hours; the first consisting of three hours before the 
moon's southing, and three after; the second, of the six hours 
following; and the third and fourth contained the two remaining 
quarters of the natural day. Observing then the times of birth and 
death, both in human and other subjects, as many as came within the 
circle of his knowledge, he found, he says, none that were born or 
died a natural death in the first and third senaries, (which he called 
first and second tides,) but every one either in the second or fourth 
senaries, (which he called the first and second ebbs). He then made 
observations upon the motions of diseases, other circumstances 
connected with the human frame, alterations of the weather, and such 
accounts as he could meet with of earthquakes and other things, and he 
met with nothing to prevent him from laying down this as a maxim:—that 
motion, vigour, action, strength, &c., appear most and do best, in the 
tiding senaries; and that rest, relaxation, decay, dissolution, belong 
to the ebbing ones.

This theorist must have been strongly possessed with a favorite 
opinion, before he could imagine that the deep subterranean causes of 
earthquakes could in any degree be affected by the tides. But that the 
same influences which occasion the ebb and flow of the ocean have an 
effect upon certain diseases, is a conclusion to which Dr. Pinckard 
came in the West Indies, and Dr. Balfour in the East, from what they 
observed in the course of their own practice, and what they collected 
from the information of others. “In Bengal,” Dr. Balfour says, “there 
is no room to doubt that the human frame is affected by the influences 
connected with the relative situations of the sun and moon. In certain 
states of health and vigour, this influence has not power to show 
itself by any obvious effects, and in such cases its existence is 
often not acknowledged. But in certain states of debility and disease 
it is able to manifest itself by exciting febrile paroxysms. Such 
paroxysms shew themselves more frequently during the period of the 
spring tides, and as these advance become more violent and obstinate, 
and on the other hand tend no less invariably to subside and terminate 
during the recess.

“I have no doubt,” says this practitioner, “that any physician who 
will carefully attend to the diurnal and nocturnal returns of the 
tides, and will constantly hold before him the prevailing tendency of 
fevers to appear at the commencement, and during the period of the 
spring; and to subside and terminate at the commencement and during 
the period of the recess, will soon obtain more information respecting 
the phenomena of fevers, and he able to form more just and certain 
judgements and prognostics respecting every event, than if he were to 
study the history of medicine, as it is now written, for a thousand 
years. There is no revolution or change in the course of fevers that 
may not be explained by these general principles in a manner 
consistent with the laws of the human constitution, and of the great 
system of revolving bodies which unite together in producing them.”

Dr. Balfour spared no pains in collecting information to elucidate and 
confirm his theory during the course of thirty years practice in 
India. He communicated upon it with most of the European practitioners 
in the Company's dominions; and the then Governor General, Lord 
Teignmouth, considered the subject as so important, that he properly 
as well as liberally ordered the correspondence and the treatise, in 
which its results were embodied, to be printed and circulated at the 
expense of the government. The author drew up his scheme of an 
Astronomical Ephemeris, for the purposes of Medicine and Meteorology, 
and satisfied himself that he had “discovered the laws of febrile 
paroxysms,” and unfolded a history and theory of fevers entirely new, 
consistent with itself in every part, and with the other appearances 
of nature, perfectly conformable to the laws discovered by the 
immortal Newton, and capable of producing important improvements in 
medicine and meteorology. He protested against objections to his 
theory as if it were connected with the wild and groundless delusions 
of astrology. Yet the letter of his correspondent, Dr. Helenus Scott, 
of Bombay, shews how naturally and inevitably it would be connected 
with them in that country. “The influence of the moon on the human 
body,” says that physician, “has been observed in this part of India 
by every medical practitioner. It is universally acknowledged by the 
doctors of all colours, of all casts, and of all countries. The people 
are taught to believe it in their infancy, and as they grow up, they 
acknowledge it from experience. I suppose that in the northern 
latitudes this power of the moon is far less sensible than in India. 
Here we universally think that the state of weakly and diseased bodies 
is much influenced by its motions. Every full and change increases the 
number of the patients of every practitioner. That the human body is 
affected in a remarkable manner by them I am perfectly convinced, and 
that an attention to the power of the moon is highly necessary to the 
medical practitioner in India.”

This passage tends to confirm, what indeed no judicious person can 
doubt, that the application of astrology to medicine, though it was 
soon perverted, and debased till it became a mere craft, originated in 
actual observations of the connection between certain bodily 
affections, and certain times and seasons. Many, if not most of the 
mischievous systems in physics and divinity have arisen from dim 
perceptions or erroneous apprehensions of some important truth. And 
not a few have originated in the common error of drawing bold and 
hasty inferences from weak premises. Sailors say, what they of all men 
have most opportunities of observing, that the moon as it rises clears 
the sky of clouds: _a puesta del sol_, says a Spanish chronicler, 
_parescio la luna, e comio poco a poco todas las nuves._ The “learned 
and reverend” Dr. Goad, sometime Master of Merchant Taylors' School, 
published a work “of vast pains, reading and many years experience,” 
which he called “_Astro-Meteorologia_, or a Demonstration of the 
Influences of the Stars in the alterations of the Air; proving that 
there is not an Earthquake, Comet, Parhelia, Halo, Thunder-storm or 
Tempest, or any other Phenomena, but is referable to its particular 
planetary aspect, as the sub-solar cause thereof.”



  Ὦ πολλὰ λέξας ἄρτι κάνόνητ᾽ ἔπη,
  Οὐ μνημονεύεις οὐκέτ᾽ οὐδὲν;


Novel readers are sometimes so impatient to know how the story is to 
end, that they look at the last chapter, and so—escape, should I 
say—or forfeit that state of agitating suspense in which it was the 
author or authoress's endeavour to keep them till they should arrive 
by a regular perusal at the well-concealed catastrophe. It may be 
apprehended that persons of this temper, having in their composition 
much more of Eve's curiosity than of Job's patience, will regard with 
some displeasure a work like the present, of which the conclusion is 
not before them; and some perhaps may even be so unreasonable as to 
complain that they go through chapter after chapter without making any 
progress in the story. “What care the Public,” says one of these 
readers, (for every reader is a self-constituted representative of 
that great invisible body)—“what do the Public care for Astrology and 
Almanacks, and the Influence of the Tides upon diseases, and 
Mademoiselle des Roches's flea, and the Koran, and the Chronology of 
this fellow's chapters, and Potteric Carr, and the Corporation of 
Doncaster, and the Theory of Signatures, and the Philosophy of the 
Alchemists, and the Devil knows what besides! What have these things 
to do with the subject of the book, and who would ever have looked for 
them in a Novel?”

“A Novel do you call it, Mr. Reader?”

“Yes, Mr. Author, what else should I call it? It has been reviewed as 
a Novel and advertised as a Novel.”

“I confess that in this very day's newspaper it is advertised in 
company with four new Novels; the first in the list being ‘Warleigh, 
or the Fatal Oak,’ a Legend of Devon, by Mrs. Bray: the second, 
‘Dacre,’ edited by the Countess of Morley; Mr. James's ‘Life and 
Adventures of John Marston Hall,’ is the third: fourthly, comes the 
dear name of ‘The Doctor;’ and last in the list, ‘The Court of 
Sigismund Augustus, or Poland in the Seventeenth Century.’”

I present my compliments to each and all of the authoresses and 
authors with whom I find myself thus associated. At the same time I 
beg leave to apologize for this apparent intrusion into their company, 
and to assure them that the honour which I have thus received has been 
thrust upon me. Dr. Stegman had four patients whose disease was that 
they saw themselves double: “they perceived,” says Mr. Turner, 
“another self, exterior to themselves!” I am not one of Dr. Stegman's 
patients; but I see myself double in a certain sense, and in that 
sense have another and distinct self,—the one incog, the other out of 
cog. Out of cog I should be as willing to meet the novelist of the 
Polish Court, as any other unknown brother or sister of the quill. Out 
of cog I should be glad to shake hands with Mr. James, converse with 
him about Charlemagne, and urge him to proceed with his French 
biography. Out of cog I should have much pleasure in making my bow to 
Lady Morley or her editee. Out of cog I should like to be introduced 
to Mrs. Bray in her own lovely land of Devon, and see the sweet 
innocent face of her humble friend Mary Colling. But without a proper 
introduction I should never think of presenting myself to any of these 
persons; and having incog the same sense of propriety as out of cog, I 
assure them that the manner in which my one self has been associated 
with them is not the act and deed of my other self, but that of 
Messrs. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, my very worthy 
and approved good publishers.

“Why, Mr. Author, you do not mean to say that the book is not printed 
as a novel, does not appear as one, and is not intended to pass for 
one. Have you the face to deny it?”

“_Lecteur, mon ami, la demande est bien faite sans doute, et bien 
apparente; mais la response vous contentera, ou j'ai le sens 

“_Lecteur, mon ami!_ an Incog has no face. But this I say in the face, 
or in all the faces, of that Public which has more heads than a Hindu 
Divinity, that the character and contents of the book were fairly, 
fully, carefully and considerately denoted,—that is to say, notified 
or made known, in the title-page. Turn to it, I intreat you, Sir! The 
first thing which you cannot but notice, is, that it is in motley. 
Ought you not to have inferred, concerning the author, that in his 

         —he hath strange places cramm'd
  With observation, the which he vents
  In mangled forms.[1]

And it you could fail to perceive the conspicuous and capacious


which in its omnisignificance may promise anything, and yet pledges 
the writer to nothing; and if you could also overlook the mysterious 

[Illustration: a tetrahedron]

your attention was invited to all this by a sentence of Butler's on 
the opposite page, so apposite that it seems as if he had written it 
with a second-sight of the application thus to be made of it: ‘There 
is a kind of physiognomy in the titles of books no less than in the 
faces of men, by which a skilful observer will as well know what to 
expect from the one as the other.’ This was the remark of one whose 
wisdom can never be obsolete; and whose wit, though much of it has 
become so, it will always be worth while for an Englishman to study 
and to understand.

[Footnote 1: SHAKESPEARE.]

“Mr. D'Israeli has said that ‘the false idea which a title conveys is 
alike prejudicial to the author and the reader, and that titles are 
generally too prodigal of their promises;’ but yet there is an error 
on the other hand to be avoided, for if they say too little they may 
fail of attracting notice. I bore in mind what Baillet says upon this 
subject, to which he has devoted a long chapter: _le titre d'un Livre 
doit être son abregé, et il en doit renfermer tout l'esprit, autant 
qu'il est possible. Il doit être le centre de toutes les paroles et de 
toutes les pensées du Livre; de telle sorte qu'on n'y en puisse pas 
même trouver une qui n'y dit de la correspondance et du rapport._ From 
this rule there has been no departure. Every thing that is said of 
Peter Hopkins relates to the Doctor prospectively, because he was the 
Doctor's master: every thing that may be said of, or from myself, 
relates to the Doctor retrospectively, or reflectively, because he, 
though in a different sense, was mine: and every thing that is said 
about anything else, relates to him collaterally, being either 
derivative or tributary, either divergent from the main subject, or 
convergent to its main end.

“But albeit I claim the privilege of motley, and in right thereof

                  I must have liberty
  Withal, as large a charter as the wind,
  To blow on whom I please;——[2]

yet I have in no instance abused that charter, nor visited any one too 
roughly. Nor will I ever do against all the world what John Kinsaider 
did, in unseemly defiance,—nor against the wind either; though it has 
been no maxim of mine, nor ever shall be, to turn with the tide, or go 
with the crowd, unless they are going my road, and there is no other 
way that I can take to escape the annoyance of their company.”

[Footnote 2: SHAKESPEARE.]

“And is this any reason, Mr. Author, why you should get on as slowly 
with the story of your book, as the House of Commons with the business 
of the nation, in the present reformed Parliament, with Lord Althorpe 
for its leader?”

“Give me credit, Sir, for a temper as imperturbably good as that which 
Lord Althorpe presents, like a sevenfold shield of lamb's wool, to 
cover him against all attacks, and I will not complain of the 
disparagement implied in your comparison.”

“Your confounded good temper, Mr. Author, seems to pride itself upon 
trying experiments on the patience of your readers. Here I am in the 
middle of the third volume, and if any one asked me what the book is 
about, it would be impossible for me to answer the question. I have 
never been able to guess at the end of one chapter, what was likely to 
be the subject of the next.”

“Let me reply to that observation, Sir, by an anecdote. A collector of 
scarce books was one day showing me his small but curious hoard; ‘Have 
you ever seen a copy of this book?’ he asked, with every rare volume 
that he put into my hands: and when my reply was that I had not, he 
always rejoined with a look and tone of triumphant delight, ‘I should 
have been exceedingly sorry if you had!’

“Let me tell you another anecdote, not less to the purpose. A 
thorough-bred fox-hunter found himself so much out of health a little 
before the season for his sport began, that he took what was then 
thought a long journey to consult a physician, and get some advice 
which he hoped would put him into a condition for taking the field. 
Upon his return his friends asked him what the Doctor had said. ‘Why,’ 
said the Squire, ‘he told me that I've got a dyspepsy:—I don't know 
what that is: but it's some damn'd thing or other I suppose!’—My good 
Sir, however much at a loss you may be to guess what is coming in the 
next chapter, you can have no apprehension that it may turn out 
anything like what he, with too much reason, supposed a dyspepsy to 

“_Lecteur, mon ami_, I have given you the advantage of a motto from 
Sophocles, and were it as apposite to me, as it seems applicable when 
coming from you, I might content myself with replying to it in a 
couplet of the honest old wine-bibbing, Water-poet:—

  That man may well be called an idle mome
  That mocks the Cock because he wears a comb.

But no one who knows a hawk from a hernshaw, or a sheep's head from a 
carrot, or the Lord Chancellor Brougham in his wig and robes, from a 
Guy Vaux on the fifth of November, can be so mistaken in judgment as 
to say that I make use of many words in making nothing understood; nor 
as to think me,

  ἄνθρωπον ἀγριοποἰον, αὐθαδόστομον,
  ἔχοντ᾽ ἀχαλινον, ἀκρατὲς, ἀπύλωτον στόμὰ,
  ἀπεριλάλητον, κομποφακελοῤῥήμονα.[3]

[Footnote 3: ARISTOPHANES.]

“Any subject is inexhaustible if it be fully treated of; that is, if 
it be treated doctrinally and practically, analytically and 
synthetically, historically and morally, critically, popularly and 
eloquently, philosophically, exegetically and æsthetically, logically, 
neologically, etymologically, archaiologically, Daniologically and 
Doveologically, which is to say, summing up all in one, 

“Now, my good Reader, whether I handle my subject in any of these 
ways, or in any other legitimate way, this is certain, that I never 
handle it as a cow does a musquet; and that I have never wandered from 
it, not even when you have drawn me into a Tattle-de-Moy.”

“_Auctor incomparabilis_, what is a Tattle-de Moy?”

“_Lecteur mon ami_, you shall now know what to expect in the next 
chapter, for I will tell you there what a Tattle-de-Moy is.”



  And music mild I learn'd that tells
  Tune, time and measure of the song.


A Tattle-de-Moy, reader, was “a new-fashioned thing” in the year of 
our Lord 1676, “much like a Seraband, only it had in it more of 
conceit and of humour: and it might supply the place of a seraband at 
the end of a suit of lessons at any time.” That simple-hearted, and 
therefore happy old man, Thomas Mace, invented it himself, because he 
would be a little modish, he said; and he called it a Tattle-de-Moy, 
“because it tattles, and seems to speak those very words or syllables. 
Its humour,” said he, “is toyish, jocund, harmless and pleasant; and 
as if it were one playing with, or tossing, a ball up and down: yet it 
seems to have a very solemn countenance, and like unto one of a sober 
and innocent condition, or disposition; not antic, apish, or wild.”

If indeed the gift of prophecy were imparted, or imputed to musicians 
as it has sometimes been to poets, Thomas Mace might be thought to 
have unwittingly foreshewn certain characteristics of the unique opus 
which is now before the reader: so nearly has he described them when 
instructing his pupils how to give right and proper names to all 
lessons they might meet with.

“There are, first, Preludes; then, secondly, Fancies and Voluntaries; 
thirdly, Pavines; fourthly, Allmaines; fifthly, Airs; sixthly, 
Galliards; seventhly, Corantoes; eighthly, Serabands; ninthly, 
Tattle-de-Moys; tenthly, Chichonas; eleventhly, Toys or Jiggs; 
twelfthly, Common Tunes; and, lastly, Grounds, with Divisions upon 

“The Prelude is commonly a piece of confused, wild, shapeless kind of 
intricate play, (as most use it) in which no perfect form, shape, or 
uniformity can be perceived; but a random business, pottering and 
grooping, up and down, from one stop, or key, to another; and 
generally so performed, to make trial, whether the instrument be well 
in tune or not; by which doing after they have completed their tuning, 
they will (if they be masters) fall into some kind of voluntary or 
fancical play more intelligible; which (if he be a master able) is a 
way whereby he may more fully and plainly shew his excellency and 
ability, than by any other kind of undertaking; and has an unlimited 
and unbounded liberty, in which he may make use of the forms and 
shapes of all the rest.”

Here the quasi-prophetic lutanist may seem to have described the 
ante-initial chapters of this opus, and those other pieces which 
precede the beginning thereof, and resemble

  A lively prelude, fashioning the way
  In which the voice shall wander.[1]

For though a censorious reader will pick out such expressions only as 
may be applied with a malign meaning; yet in what he may consider 
confused and shapeless, and call pottering and grooping, the competent 
observer will recognize the hand of a master, trying his instrument 
and tuning it; and then passing into a voluntary whereby he approves 
his skill, and foreshows the spirit of his performance.

[Footnote 1: KEATS.]

The Pavines, Master Mace tells us, are lessons of two, three, or four 
strains, very grave and solemn; full of art and profundity, but seldom 
used in “these our light days,” as in many respects he might well call 
the days of King Charles the Second. Here he characterises our graver 
Chapters, which are in strains so deep, so soothing, and so solemn 
withal, that if such a Pavine had been played in the hall of the 
palace at Aix, when King Charlemagne asked the Archbishop to dance, 
the invitation could not have been deemed indecorous.

Allmaines are very airy and lively, and generally in common or plain 
time. Airs differ from them only in being usually shorter, and of a 
more rapid and nimble performance.—With many of these have the readers 
of the Doctor been amused.

Galliards, being grave and sober, are performed in a slow and large 
triple time. Some of the chapters relating to the history of Doncaster 
come under this description: especially that concerning its 
Corporation, which may be called a Galliard _par excellence_.

The Corantoes are of a shorter cut, and of a quicker triple time, full 
of sprightfulness and vigour, lively, brisk and cheerful: the 
Serabands of the shortest triple time, and more toyish and light than 
the Corantoes. There are of both kinds in these volumes, and skilfully 
are they alternated with the Pavines:

                     Now the musician
  Hovers with nimble stick o'er squeaking crowd
  Tickling the dried guts of a mewing cat—[2]

and anon a strain is heard—

  Not wanting power to mitigate and swage,
  With solemn touches, troubled thoughts, and chase
  Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain
  From mortal or immortal minds.[3]

And there are Chichonas also, which consist of a few conceited notes 
in a grave kind of humour; these are the Chapters which the Honourable 
Fastidious Feeblewit condemns as being in bad taste, and which Lord 
Makemotion Ganderman pronounces poor stuff; but at which Yorickson 
smiles, Macswift's countenance brightens, and Fitzrabelais laughs 

[Footnote 2: MARSTON.]

[Footnote 3: MILTON.]

No prophecies can be expected to go upon all fours; and nothing in 
this opus corresponds to Master Mace's Toys, or Jiggs, which are 
“light, squibbish things, only fit for fantastical and easy 
light-headed people;” nor to his common Tunes.

Last in his enumeration is the Ground: this, he says, is “a set number 
of slow notes, very grave and stately; which, after it is expressed 
once or twice very plainly, then he that hath good brains and a good 
hand, undertakes to play several divisions upon it, time after time, 
till he has shewed his bravery, both of invention and execution.” My 
worthy friend Dr. Dense can need no hint to make him perceive how 
happily this applies to the ground of the present work, and the manner 
of treating it. And if Mr. Dulman disputes the application, it can 
only be because he is determined not to see it. All his family are 
remarkable for obstinacy.

And here taking leave for awhile of the good old lutanist, I invite 
the serious and the curious to another Pavine among the stars.



  Thus may ye behold
  This man is very bold,
  And in his learning old
  Intendeth for to sit.
  I blame him not a whit;
  For it would vex his wit,
  And clean against his earning
  To follow such learning
  As now a-days is taught.


Lord Byron calls the Stars the poetry of heaven, haying perhaps in 
mind, Ben Jonson's expression concerning bell-ringing. Ronsard calls 
them the characters of the sky:

      _—Alors que Vesper vient embrunir nos yeux,
  Attaché dans le ciel je contemple les cieux,
  En qui Dieu nous escrit, en notes non obscures,
  Les sorts et les destins de toutes creatures.
  Car luy, en desdaignant (comme font les humains)
  D'avoir encre et papier et plume entre les mains,
  Par les astres du ciel, qui sont ses caracteres,
  Les choses nous predit et bonnes et contraires.
  Mais les hommes, chargez de terres et du trespas,
  Meprisent tel escrit, et ne le lisent pas._

The great French poet of his age probably did not know that what he 
thus said was actually believed by the Cabalists. According to them 
the ancient Hebrews represented the stars, severally and collectively, 
by the letters of their alphabet; to read the stars, therefore, was 
more than a metaphorical expression with them. And an astral alphabet 
for genethliacal purposes was published near the close of the 
fifteenth century, at Cracow, by Rabbi Kapol Ben Samuel, in a work 
entitled “The Profundity of Profundities.”

But as this would rest upon an insecure foundation,—for who could be 
assured that the alphabet had been accurately made out?—it has been 
argued that the Heavens are repeatedly in the Scriptures called a 
Book, whence it is to be inferred that they contain legible 
characters: that the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis ought 
to be translated, “In the beginning God created the letter, or 
character of the Heavens;” and that in the nineteenth Psalm we should 
read “their line,” instead of “their sound has gone forth into all 
lands,” this referring to their arrangement in the firmament like 
letters upon a roll of parchment. Jews, Platonists and Fathers of the 
Church, are shewn to have believed in this celestial writing. And 
there can be no question but that both the language and the characters 
must be Hebrew, that being the original speech, and those the original 
characters, and both divinely communicated to man, not of human 
invention. But single stars are not to be read as letters, as in the 
Astral Alphabet. This may be a convenient mode of noting them in 
astronomical observations; the elements of this celestial science are 
more recondite in proportion as the science itself is more mysterious. 
An understanding eye may distinguish that the stars in their groups 
form Hebrew letters, instead of those imaginary shapes which are 
called the signs of the Zodiac.

But as the Stars appear to us only as dots of light, much skill and 
sagacity are required for discovering how they combine into the 
complex forms of the Hebrew alphabet. The astral scholar reads them as 
antiquaries have made out inscriptions upon Roman buildings by the 
marks of the nails, when the letters themselves had been torn away by 
rapacious hands for the sake of the metal. Indeed it is not unlikely 
that the Abbé Barthelemi took the hint from the curiously credulous 
work of his countryman, Gaffarel, who has given examples of this 
celestial writing from the Rabbis Kapol, Chomer and Abiudan. In these 
examples the stars are represented by white spots upon the black lines 
of the Hebrew letter. The Abbé, when he writes upon this subject to 
Count Caylus, seems not to have known that Peiresc had restored 
ancient inscriptions by the same means; if, however, he followed the 
example of Peiresc without chusing to mention his name, that 
omni-erudite man himself is likely to have seen the books from whence 
Gaffarel derived his knowledge.

There is yet another difficulty; even the book of Heaven is not 
stereotyped; its types are continually changing with the motion of the 
heavenly bodies, and changes of still greater importance are made by 
the appearance of new stars.

One important rule is to be observed in perusing this great 
stelliscript. He who desires to learn what good they prefigure, must 
read them from West to East; but if he would be forewarned of evil, he 
must read from North to West; in either case beginning with the stars 
that are most vertical to him. For the first part of this rule, no 
better reason has been assigned than the conjectural one, that there 
is a propriety in it, the free and natural motion of the stars being 
from West to East; but for the latter part a sufficient cause is found 
in the words of the Prophet Jeremiah: _septentrione pandetur malum_. 
“Out of the North evil shall break forth.”

Dionyse Settle was persuaded that Martin Frobisher, being a 
Yorkshire-man, had, by his voyage in search of a north-west passage, 
repelled the rehearsal of those opprobrious words; not only he, but 
many worthy subjects more, as well as the said Dionyse, who was in the 
voyage himself, being “Yorkshire too.”

But why should evil come from the North? “I conceive,” says Gaffarel, 
“it would stand with sound philosophy to answer, by reason of the 
darkness and gloominess of the air of those parts, caused by the great 
distance of the Sun; and also by reason of the Evil Spirits which 
inhabit dark places.” This reason becomes stronger when it is 
considered that the word which in the Vulgate is rendered _pandetur_, 
may also be rendered _depingetur_, so that the verse might be 
translated, “all evils shall be described (or written), from the 
North;” and if written, then certainly to be read from that direction.

This theory of what Southey has called “the language of the lights of 
Heaven,” is Jewish. Abu Almasar (nominally well known as Albumazar, by 
which name the knaves called him who knew nothing of him or his 
history), derived all religions from the Planets. The Chaldean, he 
said, was produced by the conjunction of Jupiter with Mars; the 
Egyptian, by Jupiter with the Sun; Judaism, by Jupiter with Saturn; 
Christianity, by Jupiter with Mercury; Mahommedanism, by Jupiter with 
Venus. And in the year 1460, when, according to his calculation, the 
conjunction of Jupiter and Mercury would again occur, he predicted 
that the Christian religion would receive its death blow, and the 
religion of Antichrist begin. Pursuing these fancies, others have 
asserted that the reason why the Jewish nation always has been 
miserable, and always must be so, is because their religion was formed 
under the influences of Saturn:—

  Spiteful and cold, an old man melancholy,
  With bent and yellow forehead, he is Saturn.[1]

A malevolent planet he is, and also an unfortunate one, and it was he 

  With lead-coloured shine lighting it into life,[1]

threw a tincture of severity and moroseness over the religion of the 
Jews; he it was that made them obstinate and covetous, and their 
Sabbath accordingly is his day. In like manner the character of the 
Turks and their day of rest have been determined by the planet Venus, 
which is the star of their religion. And as Christianity began under 
the influence of the Sun, Sunday is the Christian Sabbath; and the 
visible head of the Christian Church has his seat in Rome, which is a 
solar city, its foundations having been laid when the Sun was in Leo, 
his proper House. Farther proof of this influence is, that the 
Cardinals wear red, which is a solar colour.

[Footnote 1: WALLENSTEIN.]

Dr. Jenkin, in his Discourses upon the Reasonableness and certainty of 
the Christian Religion, takes into his consideration the opinion of 
those persons who thought that the stars would shine to little purpose 
unless there were other habitable worlds besides this earth whereon we 
dwell. One of the uses for which they serve he supposes to be this, 
that in all ages the wits of many men whose curiosity might otherwise 
be very ill employed, have been busied in considering their end and 
nature, and calculating their distances and motions:—a whimsical 
argument, in advancing which he seems to have forgotten the 
mischievous purposes to which so much of the wit which had taken this 
direction had been applied.

Yet these fancies of the wildest astrologers are not more absurd than 
the grave proposition of John Craig, whose “_Theologiæ Christianæ 
Principia Mathematica_” were published in London at the close of the 
17th century. He asserted, and pretended to show by mathematical 
calculations, that the probability of the truth of the Gospel history 
was as strong at that time, as it would have been in the days of our 
Saviour himself, to a person who should have heard it related by 
twenty-eight disciples; but that, upon the same mathematical grounds, 
the probability will entirely cease by the year 3150; there would then 
be no more faith on earth, and, consequently, according to St. Luke, 
the world would then be at an end, and the Son of Man would come to 
judge the quick and the dead.

Bayle always ridiculed that sort of evidence which is called 
mathematical demonstration.



_Noi intendiamo parlare alle cose che utili sono alla umana vita, 
quanto per nostro intendimento si potrà in questa parte comprendere; e 
sopra quelle particelle che detto avemo di comporre._


When Miller talked of his friend Herschel's good fortune, and of his 
astronomical discoveries, and of his sister, Miss Caroline Herschel, 
who, while in his absence she could get possession of his twenty-feet 
reflector, amused herself with sweeping the sky, and searching for 
comets in the neighbourhood of the sun, the warm-hearted and 
musical-minded man used to wish that the science of acoustics had been 
advanced in the same degree as that of optics, and that his old 
friend, when he gave up music as a profession, had still retained it 
as a pursuit; for, had he constructed auditory tubes of proportionate 
power and magnitude to his great telescope, “who knows,” said Miller, 
“but we might have been enabled to hear the music of the spheres!” 
Pythagoras used to listen to that music, when he retired into the 
depths of his own being; and, according to his disciples, to him alone 
of all mortals has it been audible. But philosophers in modern times 
have thought that the existence of this music is more than an 
enthusiast's dream, a poet's fiction, or an impostor's fable. They say 
it may be inferred as probable from some of Newton's discoveries; and 
as a consequence of that principle of harmony which in some parts of 
the system of nature is so clearly shown, and in others so 
mysteriously indicated.

As for the Doctor, when Miller talked to him of Miss Herschel's 
performances in sky-sweeping and comet-hunting, it reminded him of the 
nursery song, and he quoted the lines,

  Old woman, old woman whither so high?
  I'm going to sweep cobwebs off the sky,
  And I shall be back again by and bye:

not meaning, however, any disrespect to the lady, nor knowing any 
thing of her age.

Herschel would have opened no new field of speculation for Peter 
Hopkins, if Hopkins had lived till that day; but he would have 
eradicated the last remains of his lurking belief in astrology, by 
showing how little those who pretended to read the stars, had seen or 
known of them. The old man would have parted with it easily, though he 
delighted in obsolete knowledge, and took as much interest in making 
himself acquainted with the freaks of the human mind, as with the 
maladies of the human frame. He thought that they belonged to the same 
study; and the affection which he had so soon contracted for his 
pupil, was in no small degree occasioned by his perceiving in him a 
kindred disposition. Mr. Danby says, “there is perhaps more of 
instinct in our feelings than we are aware of, even in our esteem of 
each other;” it is one of the many wise remarks of a thoughtful man.

This intellectual sympathy contributed much to the happiness of both, 
and no little to the intellectual progress of the younger party. But 
Hopkins's peculiar humour had rendered him indifferent upon some 
points of great moment. It had served as a prophylactic against all 
political endemics, and this had been a comfortable security for him 
in times when such disorders were frequent and violent; and when 
though far less malignant than those of the present age, they were far 
more dangerous, in individual cases. The reader may perhaps remember 
(and if not, he is now reminded of it), how, when he was first 
introduced to Peter Hopkins, it was said that any king would have had 
in him a quiet subject, and any church a contented conformist. He 
troubled himself with no disputations in religion, and was troubled 
with no doubts, but believed what he was taught to believe, because he 
had been taught to believe it; and owing to the same facility of mind, 
under any change of dynasty, or revolution of government that could 
have befallen, he would have obeyed the ruling power. Such would 
always be the politics of the many, if they were let alone; and such 
would always be their religion. As regards the civil point this is the 
best condition in which a people can be, both for themselves and their 
rulers; and if the laws be good and well administered, the form of 
government is good so far as it is causative of those effects, and so 
far as it is not causative, it is a trifle for which none but fools 
would contest. The proper end of all government being the general 
good, provided that good be attained it is infinitesimally 
insignificant by what means. That it can be equally attained under any 
form, is not asserted here. The argument from the analogy of nature 
which might seem to favour such an assertion cannot be maintained. The 
Bees have their monarchy, and the Ants their republic; but when we are 
told to go to the Ant and the Bee, and consider their ways, it is not 
that we should borrow from them formic laws or apiarian policy. Under 
the worst scheme of government the desired end would be in a great 
degree attainable, if the people were trained up as they ought to be 
in the knowledge of their Christian duties; and unless they are so 
trained, it must ever be very imperfectly attained under the best.

Forms of government alone deserving to be so called of whatever kind, 
are here intended, not those of savage or barbarous times and 
countries. Indeed it is only in advanced stages of society that men 
are left sufficiently to themselves to become reasonably contented; 
and then they may be expected, like our friend Peter Hopkins, to be 
better subjects than patriots. It is desirable that they should be so. 
For good subjects promote the public good at all times, and it is only 
in evil times that patriots are wanted,—such times as are usually 
brought on by rash, or profligate and wicked men, who assume the name.

From this political plasticity, in his days and in his station, no 
harm could arise either to himself or others. But the same temperament 
in religion, though doubtless it may reach the degree of saving faith, 
can hardly consist with an active and imaginative mind. It was 
fortunate therefore for the Doctor, that he found a religious friend 
in Mr. Bacon. While he was at Leyden his position in this respect had 
not been favorable. Between the Dutch language and the Burgemeester's 
daughter, St. Peter's Kirk had not been a scene of much devotion for 
him. Perhaps many Churches in his own Country might have produced no 
better effect upon him at that time of life; but the loose opinions 
which Bayle had scattered were then afloat in Holland, and even these 
were less dangerous to a disposition such as his, than the fierce 
Calvinistic tenets by which they were opposed. The former might have 
beguiled him into scepticism, the latter might have driven him into 
unbelief, if the necessary attention to his professional studies, and 
an appetite for general knowledge, which found full employment for all 
leisure hours, had not happily prevented him from entering without a 
guide upon a field of enquiry, where he would either have been 
entangled among thorns, or beset with snares and pitfalls.

True indeed it is that nothing but the most injurious and inevitable 
circumstances could have corrupted his natural piety, for it had been 
fostered in him by his father's example, and by those domestic lessons 
which make upon us the deepest and most enduring impressions. But he 
was not armed, as it behoved him to be, against the errors of the age, 
neither those which like the pestilence walked in noon day, nor those 
which did their work insidiously and in darkness.

Methodism was then in its rampant stage; the founders themselves had 
not yet sobered down; and their followers, though more decent than the 
primitive Quakers, and far less offensive in their operations, ran, 
nevertheless, into extravagancies which made ill-judging magistrates 
slow in protecting them against the insults and outrages of the 
rabble. The Dissenters were more engaged in controversy amongst 
themselves than with the Establishment; their old leaven had at that 
time no mass whereon to work, but it was carefully preserved. The 
Nonjurors, of all sects (if they may be called a sect), the most 
respectable in their origin, were almost extinct. The Roman Catholics 
were quiet, in fear of the laws,—no toleration being then professed 
for a Church which proclaimed, and every where acted upon, the 
principle of absolute intolerance; but there were few populous parts 
of the kingdom in which there was not some secular priest, or some 
regular, not indeed

  Black, white and grey with all their trumpery,

for neither the uniform nor the trumpery were allowed,—but Monk, or 
Friar or Jesuit in lay-clothing, employed in secretly administering to 
the then decreasing numbers of their own communion, and recruiting 
them whenever they safely could; but more generally venturing no 
farther than to insinuate doubts, and unsettle the belief, of unwary 
and unlearned members of the established religion, for this could 
always be done with impunity. And in this they aided, and were aided 
by, those who in that age were known by the name, which they had 
arrogated to themselves, of Free-thinkers.

There was among the higher classes in those days a fashion of 
infidelity, imported from France; Shaftesbury and “the cankered 
Bolingbroke” (as Sir Robert Walpole used justly to call that 
profligate statesman), were beholden for their reputation more to 
this, than to any solidity of talents, or grace of style. It had made 
much less way in middle life than in the higher and lower ranks; for 
men in middle life, being generally trained up when children in the 
way they should go, were less likely to depart from it than those who 
were either above or below them in station; indeed they were not 
exposed to the same dangers. The principles which were veiled, but not 
disguised, by Lord Chesterfield and Horace Walpole, and exposed in 
their nakedness by Wilkes and his blasphemous associates at their 
orgies, were discussed in the Robin Hood Society, by men who were upon 
the same level with the holders-forth at the Rotunda in our own times, 
but who differed from them in these respects, that they neither made a 
trading profession of impiety, nor ventured into the treason-line.

Any man may graduate in the schools of Irreligion and Mispolicy, if he 
have a glib tongue and a brazen forehead; with these qualities, and a 
small portion of that talent which is producible on demand, he may 
take a wrangler's degree. Such men were often met with in the common 
walks of society, before they became audacious enough to show 
themselves upon the public theatre, and aspire to form a party in the 
state. Peter Hopkins could listen to them just with as much 
indifference as he did to a Jacobite, a Nonjuror, or one to whom the 
memory of Oliver and the Saints in buff was precious. The Doctor, 
before he happily became acquainted with Mr. Bacon, held his peace 
when in the presence of such people, but from a different cause: for 
though his heart rose against their discourse, and he had an 
instinctive assurance that it was equally pernicious and false, he had 
not so stored himself with needful knowledge as to be able to confute 
the common places of an infidel propagandist. But it has an ill effect 
upon others, when a person of sounder judgment and more acquirements 
than themselves, remains silent in the company of such talkers; for, 
from whatever motive his silence may proceed, it is likely to be 
considered, both by the assailants of the truth, and by the listeners, 
as an admission of his inability to maintain the better cause. Great 
evil has arisen to individuals, and to the community, from allowing 
scoffers to go unrebuked in private life; and fallacies and falsehoods 
to pass uncontradicted and unexposed in those channels through which 
poison is conveyed to the public mind.



  The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
  Into his study of imagination;
  And every lovely organ of her life
  Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,
  More moving delicate, and full of life,
  Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
  Than when she lived indeed.


In a Scotch village the Manse is sometimes the only good house, and 
generally it is the best; almost, indeed, what in old times the 
Mansion used to be in an English one. In Mr. Bacon's parish, the 
vicarage, though humble as the benefice itself, was the neatest. The 
cottage in which he and Margaret passed their childhood had been 
remarkable for that comfort which is the result and the reward of 
order and neatness: and when the reunion which blessed them both, 
rendered the remembrance of those years delightful, they returned in 
this respect to the way in which they had been trained up, practised 
the economy which they had learnt there, and loved to think how 
entirely their course of life, in all its circumstances, would be 
after the heart of that person, if she could behold it, whose memory 
they both with equal affection cherished. After his bereavement it was 
one of the widower's pensive pleasures to keep every thing in the same 
state as when Margaret was living. Nothing was neglected that she used 
to do, or that she would have done. The flowers were tended as 
carefully as if she were still to enjoy their fragrance and their 
beauty; and the birds who came in winter for their crumbs, were fed as 
duly for her sake, as they had formerly been by her hands.

There was no superstition in this, nor weakness. Immoderate grief, if 
it does not exhaust itself by indulgence, easily assumes the one 
character, or the other, or takes a type of insanity. But he had 
looked for consolation, where, when sincerely sought, it is always to 
be found; and he had experienced that religion effects in a true 
believer all that philosophy professes, and more than all that mere 
philosophy can perform. The wounds which stoicism would cauterize, 
religion heals.

There is a resignation with which, it may be feared, most of us 
deceive ourselves. To bear what must be borne, and submit to what 
cannot be resisted, is no more than what the unregenerate heart is 
taught by the instinct of animal nature. But to acquiesce in the 
afflictive dispensations of Providence,—to make one's own will conform 
in all things to that of our Heavenly Father,—to say to Him in the 
sincerity of faith, when we drink of the bitter cup, “Thy will be 
done!”—to bless the name of the Lord as much from the heart when He 
takes away, as when He gives, and with a depth of feeling of which 
perhaps none but the afflicted heart is capable,—this is the 
resignation which religion teaches, this the sacrifice which it 
requires. This sacrifice Leonard had made, and he felt that it was 

Severe, therefore, as his loss had been, and lasting as its effects 
were, it produced in him nothing like a settled sorrow, nor even that 
melancholy which sorrow leaves behind. Gibbon has said of himself, 
that as a mere philosopher he could not agree with the Greeks, in 
thinking that those who die in their youth are favored by the Gods: ὅν 
ὅι θεοι φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνησκε νεός. It was because he was “a mere 
philosopher,” that he failed to perceive a truth which the religious 
heathen acknowledged, and which is so trivial, and of such practical 
value, that it may now be seen inscribed upon village tombstones. The 
Christian knows that “blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; even 
so saith the Spirit.” And the heart of the Christian mourner, in its 
deepest distress, hath the witness of the Spirit to that consolatory 

In this faith Leonard regarded his bereavement. His loss, he knew, had 
been Margaret's gain. What if she had been summoned in the flower of 
her years, and from a state of connubial happiness which there had 
been nothing to disturb or to alloy? How soon might that flower have 
been blighted,—how surely must it have faded! how easily might that 
happiness have been interrupted by some of those evils which flesh is 
heir to! And as the separation was to take place, how mercifully had 
it been appointed that he, who was the stronger vessel, should be the 
survivor! Even for their child this was best, greatly as she needed, 
and would need, a mother's care. His paternal solicitude would supply 
that care, as far as it was possible to supply it; but had he been 
removed, mother and child must have been left to the mercy of 
Providence, without any earthly protector, or any means of support.

For her to die was gain; in him, therefore, it were sinful as well as 
selfish to repine, and of such selfishness and sin his heart acquitted 
him. If a wish could have recalled her to life, no such wish would 
ever have by him been uttered, nor ever have by him been felt; certain 
he was that he loved her too well to bring her again into this world 
of instability and trial. Upon earth there can be no safe happiness.

  _Ah! male FORTUNÆ devota est ara MANENTI!
       Fallit, et hæc nullas accipit ara preces._[1]

[Footnote 1: WALLIUS.]

All things here are subject to Time and Mutability:

  _Quod tibi largâ dedit Hora dextrâ,
   Hora furaci rapiet sinistrâ._[2]

[Footnote 2: CASIMIR.]

We must be in Eternity before we can be secure against change. “The 
world,” says Cowper, “upon which we close our eyes at night, is never 
the same with that on which we open them in the morning.”

It was to the perfect Order he should find in that state upon which he 
was about to enter, that the judicious Hooker looked forward at his 
death with placid and profound contentment. Because he had been 
employed in contending against a spirit of insubordination and schism 
which soon proved fatal to his country; and because his life had been 
passed under the perpetual discomfort of domestic discord, the 
happiness of Heaven seemed, in his estimation, to consist primarily in 
Order, as indeed in all human societies this is the first thing 
needful. The discipline which Mr. Bacon had undergone was very 
different in kind: what he delighted to think, was, that the souls of 
those whom death and redemption have made perfect, are in a world 
where there is no change, nor parting, where nothing fades, nothing 
passes away and is no more seen, but the good and the beautiful are 

  _Miser, chi speme in cosa mortal pone;
   Ma, chi non ve la pone?_[3]

[Footnote 3: PETRARCH.]

When Wilkie was in the Escurial, looking at Titian's famous picture of 
the Last Supper, in the Refectory there, an old Jeronimite said to 
him, “I have sate daily in sight of that picture for now nearly 
three-score years; during that time my companions have dropt off, one 
after another,—all who were my seniors, all who were my 
contemporaries, and many, or most of those who were younger than 
myself; more than one generation has passed away, and there the 
figures in the picture have remained unchanged! I look at them till I 
sometimes think that they are the realities, and we but shadows!”

I wish I could record the name of the Monk by whom that natural 
feeling was so feelingly and strikingly expressed.

  “The shows of things are better than themselves,”

says the author of the Tragedy of Nero, whose name also, I could wish 
had been forthcoming; and the classical reader will remember the lines 
of Sophocles:—

  Ὁρῶ γὰρ ἡμᾶς οὐδὲν ὄντας ἄλλο, πλἡν
  Ἔιδωλ᾽, ὅσοιπερ ζῶμεν, ἤ κούφην σκιάν.[4]

[Footnote 4: SOPHOCLES.]

These are reflections which should make us think

    Of that same time when no more change shall be,
    But stedfast rest of all things, firmly stayd
    Upon the pillars of Eternity,
    That is contraire to mutability;
    For all that moveth doth in change delight:
    But thenceforth all shall rest eternally
    With Him that is the God of Sabaoth hight,
  O that great Sabaoth God grant me that sabbath's sight![5]

[Footnote 5: SPENCER.]



  The voice which I did more esteem
    Than music in her sweetest key;
  Those eyes which unto me did seem
    More comfortable than the day;
  Those now by me, as they have been,
  Shall never more be heard, or seen;
  But what I once enjoyed in them,
  Shall seem hereafter as a dream.

  All earthly comforts vanish thus;
    So little hold of them have we,
  That we from them, or they from us,
    May in a moment ravished be.
  Yet we are neither just nor wise,
  If present mercies we despise;
  Or mind not how there may be made
  A thankful use of what we had.


There is a book written in Latin by the Flemish Jesuit Sarasa, upon 
the Art of rejoicing always in obedience to the Apostle's 
precept,—‘_Ars semper gaudendi, demonstrata ex solâ consideratione 
Divinæ Providentiæ._’ Leibnitz and Wolf have commended it; and a 
French Protestant minister abridged it under the better title of 
_L'Art de se tranquiliser dans tous les evenemens de la vie_. “I 
remember,” says Cowper, “reading many years ago, a long treatise on 
the subject of consolation, written in French; the author's name I 
have forgotten; but I wrote these words in the margin,—‘special 
consolation!’ at least for a Frenchman, who is a creature the most 
easily comforted of any in the world!” It is not likely that this 
should have been the book which Leibnitz praised; nor would Cowper 
have thus condemned one which recommends the mourner to seek for 
comfort, where alone it is to be found, in resignation to God's will, 
and in the prospect of the life to come. The remedy is infallible for 
those, who, like Mr. Bacon, faithfully pursue the course that the only 
true philosophy prescribes.

At first, indeed, he had felt like the bereaved maiden in Schiller's 
tragedy, and could almost have prayed like her, for a speedy 

  Das Herz ist gestorben, die Welt ist leer,
  Und weiter giebt sie dem Wunsche nichts mehr.
  Du Heilige, rufe dein Kind zurück!
  Ich habe genossen das irdische Glück,
      Ich habe gelebt und geliebet.

But even at first the sense of parental duty withheld him from such a 
prayer. The grief, though “fine, full, perfect,” was not a grief that

        violenteth in a sense as strong
  As that which causeth it.[1]

[Footnote 1: SHAKESPEARE.]

There was this to compress, as it were, and perhaps to mitigate it, 
that it was wholly confined to himself, not multiplied among others, 
and reflected from them. In great public calamities when fortunes are 
wrecked in revolutionary storms, or families thinned or swept off by 
pestilence, there may be too many who look upon it as

  _Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris;_[2]

and this is not so much because

    —fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,[3]

and that

    —the mind much sufferance doth oerskip
  When grief hath mates and bearing fellowship[3]

as because the presence of a fellow sufferer at such times calls forth 
condolence, when that of one who continues in the sunshine of fortune 
might provoke an envious self-comparison, which is the commonest of 
all evil feelings. But it is not so with those keener griefs which 
affect us in our domestic relations. The heart-wounds which are 
inflicted by our fellow creatures, are apt to fester: those which we 
receive in the dispensations of Almighty wisdom and the course of 
nature, are remedial and sanative. There are some fruits which must be 
punctured before they can ripen kindly; and there are some hearts 
which require an analogous process.


[Footnote 3: SHAKESPEARE.]

He and Margaret had been all in all to each other, and the child was 
too young to understand her loss, and happily just too old to feel it 
as an infant would have felt it. In the sort of comfort which he 
derived from this sense of loneliness, there was nothing that 
resembled the pride of stoicism; it was a consideration that tempered 
his feelings and assisted in enabling him to control them, but it 
concentrated and perpetuated them.

Whether the souls of the departed are cognizant of what passes on 
earth, is a question which has been variously determined by those who 
have reasoned concerning the state of the dead. Thomas Burnet was of 
opinion that they are not, because they “rest from their labours.” And 
South says, “it is clear that God sometimes takes his Saints out of 
the world for this very cause, that they may not see and know what 
happens in it. For so says God to King Josiah, ‘Behold, I will gather 
thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace; 
neither shall thy eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this 
place, and the inhabitants thereof.’” This he adduces as a conclusive 
argument against the invocation of Saints, saying the “discourse would 
have been hugely absurd and inconsequent, if so be the saints 
separation from the body gave them a fuller and a clearer prospect 
into all the particular affairs and occurrences that happen here upon 

Aristotle came to an opposite conclusion; he thought not only that the 
works of the deceased follow them, but that the dead are sensible of 
the earthly consequences of those works, and are affected in the other 
world by the honour or the reproach which is justly ascribed to their 
memory in this. So Pindar represents it as one of the enjoyments of 
the blessed, that they behold and rejoice in the virtues of their 

  Ἔστι δε καί τι θανόντεσσιν μέρος
      Καννόμον ἑρδόμενον,
  Κατακρύπτει δ᾽οὐ κόνις
  Συγγόνων κεδνὰν χάριν.[4]

[Footnote 4: PINDAR.]

So Sextus, or Sextius, the Pythagorean, taught; “_immortales crede te 
manere in judicio honores et pœnas._” And Bishop Ken deemed it would 
be an addition to his happiness in Paradise, if he should know that 
his devotional poems were answering on earth the purpose for which he 
had piously composed them:

    —should the well-meant songs I leave behind
  With Jesus' lovers an acceptance find,
  'Twill heighten even the joys of Heaven to know
  That in my verse the Saints hymn God below.

The _consensus gentium universalis_, is with the Philosophers and the 
Bishop, against South and Burnet: it affords an argument which South 
would not have disregarded, and to which Burnet has, on another 
occasion, triumphantly appealed.

All sacrifices to the dead, and all commemorations of them, have 
arisen from this opinion, and the Romish Church established upon it 
the most lucrative of all its deceitful practises. Indeed the belief 
in apparitions, could not prevail without it; and that belief, which 
was all but universal a century ago, is still, and ever will be held 
by the great majority of mankind. Call it a prejudice if you will: 
“what is an universal prejudice,” says Reginald Heber, “but the voice 
of human nature?”—And Shakespeare seems to express his own opinion 
when he writes, “They say miracles are past; and we have our 
philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar, things 
supernatural and causeless. Hence it is that we make trifles of 
terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should 
submit ourselves to an unknown fear.”

That the spirits of the departed are permitted to appear only for 
special purposes, is what the most credulous believer in such 
appearances would probably admit, if he reasoned at all upon the 
subject. On the other hand, they who are most incredulous on this 
point, would hardly deny that to witness the consequences of our 
actions may be a natural and just part of our reward or punishment in 
the intermediate state. We may well believe that they whom faith has 
sanctified, and who upon their departure join the spirits of the “just 
made perfect,” may at once be removed from all concern with this world 
of probation, except so far as might add to their own happiness, and 
be made conducive to the good of others, in the ways of Providence. 
But by parity of reason, it may be concluded that the sordid and the 
sensual, they whose affections have been set upon worldly things, and 
who are of the earth earthy, will be as unable to rise above this 
earth, as they would be incapable of any pure and spiritual enjoyment. 
“He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption.” 
When life is extinguished, it is too late for them to struggle for 
deliverance from the body of that death, to which, while the choice 
was in their power, they wilfully and inseparably bound themselves. 
The popular belief that places are haunted where money has been 
concealed (as if where the treasure was and the heart had been, there 
would the miserable soul be also), or where some great and 
undiscovered crime has been committed, shews how consistent this is 
with our natural sense of likelihood and fitness.

There is a tale in the Nigaristan of Kemal-Pascha-zade, that one of 
the Sultans of Khorassan saw in a dream, Mahmoud a hundred years after 
his death, wandering about his palace,—his flesh rotten, his bones 
carious, but his eyes full, anxious and restless. A dervise who 
interpreted the dream, said that the eyes of Mahmoud were thus 
troubled, because the kingdom, his beautiful spouse, was now in the 
embrace of another.

This was that great Mahmoud the Gaznevide, who was the first 
Mohammedan conqueror that entered India, and the first who dropt the 
title of Malek and assumed that of Sultan in its stead. He it was, who 
after having broken to pieces with his own hands the gigantic idol of 
Soumenat, put to death fifty thousand of its worshippers, as a further 
proof of his holy Mohammedan indignation. In the last days of his 
life, when a mortal disease was consuming him, and he himself knew 
that no human means could arrest its course, he ordered all his 
costliest apparel, and his vessels of silver and gold, and his pearls 
and precious stones, the inestimable spoils of the East, to be 
displayed before him,—the latter were so numerous that they were 
arranged in separate cabinets according to their colour and size. It 
was in the royal residence which he had built for himself in Gazna, 
and which he called the Palace of Felicity, that he took from this 
display, wherewith he had formerly gratified the pride of his eye, a 
mournful lesson; and in the then heartfelt conviction that all is 
vanity, he wept like a child. “What toils,” said he, “what dangers, 
what fatigues of body and mind have I endured for the sake of 
acquiring these treasures, and what cares in preserving them, and now 
I am about to die and leave them!” In this same palace he was 
interred, and there it was that his unhappy ghost, a century 
afterwards, was believed to wander.



_Non è inconveniente, che delle cose delettabili alcune ne sieno 
utili, cosi come dell' utili molte ne sono delettabili, et in tutte 
due alcune si truovano honeste._


Mr. Bacon's parsonage was as humble a dwelling in all respects as the 
cottage in which his friend Daniel was born. A best kitchen was its 
best room, and in its furniture an Observantine Friar would have seen 
nothing that he could have condemned as superfluous. His college and 
later school books, with a few volumes which had been presented to him 
by the more grateful of his pupils, composed his scanty library: they 
were either books of needful reference, or such as upon every fresh 
perusal might afford new delight. But he had obtained the use of the 
Church Library at Doncaster, by a payment of twenty shillings, 
according to the terms of the foundation. Folios from that collection 
might be kept three months, smaller volumes, one or two, according to 
their size; and as there were many works in it of solid contents as 
well as sterling value, he was in no such want of intellectual food, 
as too many of his brethren are, even at this time. How much good 
might have been done, and how much evil might probably have been 
prevented, if Dr. Bray's design for the formation of parochial 
libraries had been every where carried into effect!

The parish contained between five and six hundred souls. There was no 
one of higher rank among them than entitled him, according to the 
custom of those days, to be stiled gentleman upon his tombstone. They 
were plain people, who had neither manufactories to corrupt, 
ale-houses to brutalize, nor newspapers to mislead them. At first 
coming among them he had won their good will by his affability and 
benign conduct, and he had afterwards gained their respect and 
affection in an equal degree.

There were two services at his church, but only one sermon, which 
never fell short of fifteen minutes in length, and seldom extended to 
half an hour. It was generally abridged from some good old divine. His 
own compositions were few, and only upon points on which he wished 
carefully to examine and digest his own thoughts, or which were 
peculiarly suited to some or other of his hearers. His whole stock 
might be deemed scanty in these days; but there was not one in it 
which would not well bear repetition, and the more observant of his 
congregation liked that they should be repeated.

Young ministers are earnestly advised long to refrain from preaching 
their own productions, in an excellent little book addressed by a 
Father to his Son, preparatory to his receiving holy orders. Its title 
is a “Monitor for Young Ministers,” and every parent who has a son so 
circumstanced, would do well to put it into his hands. “It is not 
possible,” says this judicious writer, “that a young minister can at 
first be competent to preach his sermons with effect, even if his 
abilities should qualify him to write well. His very youth and 
youthful manner, both in his style of writing and in his delivery, 
will preclude him from being effective. Unquestionably it is very rare 
indeed for a man of his age to have his mental abilities sufficiently 
chastened, or his method sufficiently settled, to be equal to the 
composition of a sermon fit for public use, even if it should receive 
the advantage of chaste and good delivery. On every account therefore, 
it is wise and prudent to be slow and backward in venturing to produce 
his own efforts, or in thinking that they are fit for the public ear. 
There is an abundant field of the works of others open to him, from 
the wisest and the best of men, the weight of whose little fingers, in 
argument or instruction, will be greater than his own loins, even at 
his highest maturity. There is clearly no _want_ of new compositions, 
excepting on some new or occasional emergencies: for there is not an 
open subject in the Christian religion, which has not been discussed 
by men of the greatest learning and piety, who have left behind them 
numerous works for our assistance and edification. Many of these are 
so neglected, that they are become almost new ground for our 
generation. To these he may freely resort,—till experience and a 
rational and chastened confidence shall warrant him in believing 
himself qualified to work upon his own resources.”

“He that learns of young men,” says Rabbi Jose Bar Jehudah, “is like a 
man that eats unripe grapes, or that drinks wine out of the 
wine-press; but he that learneth of the ancient, is like a man that 
eateth ripe grapes, and drinketh wine that is old.”[1]

[Footnote 1: LIGHTFOOT.]

It was not in pursuance of any judicious advice like this, that Mr. 
Bacon followed the course here pointed out, but from his own good 
sense and natural humility. His only ambition was to be useful; if a 
desire may be called ambitious which originated in the sincere sense 
of duty. To think of distinguishing himself in any other way, would 
for him, he well knew, have been worse than an idle dream. The time 
expended in composing a sermon as a perfunctory official business, 
would have been worse than wasted for himself, and the time employed 
in delivering it, no better than wasted upon his congregation. He was 
especially careful never to weary them, and therefore never to preach 
any thing which was not likely to engage their attention, and make at 
least some present impression. His own sermons effected this, because 
they were always composed with some immediate view, or under the 
influence of some deep and strong feeling: and in his adopted ones, 
the different manner of the different authors produced an awakening 
effect. Good sense is as often to be found among the illiterate, as 
among those who have enjoyed the opportunities of education. Many of 
his hearers who knew but one meaning of the word stile, and had never 
heard it used in any other, perceived a difference in the manner of 
Bishops Hall, and Sanderson and Jeremy Taylor, of Barrow, and South 
and Scott, without troubling themselves about the cause, or being in 
the slightest degree aware of it.

Mr. Bacon neither undervalued his parishioners, nor overvalued the 
good which could be wrought among them by direct instruction of this 
kind. While he used perspicuous language, he knew that they who 
listened to it would be able to follow the argument; and as he drew 
always from the wells of English undefiled, he was safe on that point. 
But that all even of the adults would listen, and that all even of 
those who did, would do any thing more than hear, he was too well 
acquainted with human nature to expect.

A woman in humble life was asked one day on the way back from church, 
whether she had understood the sermon; a stranger had preached, and 
his discourse resembled one of Mr. Bacon's neither in length nor 
depth. “Wud I hae the persumption?” was her simple and contented 
answer. The quality of the discourse signified nothing to her; she had 
done her duty, as well as she could, in hearing it; and she went to 
her house justified rather than some of those who had attended to it 
critically; or who had turned to the text in their Bibles, when it was 
given out.

“Well Master Jackson,” said his Minister, walking homeward after 
service, with an industrious labourer, who was a constant attendant; 
“well Master Jackson, Sunday must be a blessed day of rest for you, 
who work so hard all the week! And you make a good use of the day, for 
you are always to be seen at Church!” “Aye Sir,” replied Jackson, “it 
is indeed a blessed day; I works hard enough all the week; and then I 
comes to Church o' Sundays, and sets me down, and lays my legs up, and 
thinks o' nothing.”

“Let my candle go out in a stink, when I refuse to confess from whom I 
have lighted it.”[2] The author to whose little book[3] I am beholden 
for this true anecdote, after saying “Such was the religion of this 
worthy man,” justly adds, “and such must be the religion of most men 
of his station. Doubtless, it is a wise dispensation that it is so. 
For so it has been from the beginning of the world, and there is no 
visible reason to suppose that it can ever be otherwise.”

[Footnote 2: FULLER.]

[Footnote 3: Few Words on many Subjects.]

“In spite,” says this judicious writer, “of all the zealous wishes and 
efforts of the most pious and laborious teachers, the religion of the 
bulk of the people must and will ever be little more than mere habit, 
and confidence in others. This must of necessity, be the case with all 
men, who from defect of nature or education, or from other worldly 
causes, have not the power or the disposition to think; and it cannot 
be disputed that the far greater number of mankind are of this class. 
These facts give peculiar force to those lessons which teach the 
importance and efficacy of good example from those who are blessed 
with higher qualifications; and they strongly demonstrate the 
necessity that the zeal of those who wish to impress the people with 
the deep and aweful mysteries of religion, should be tempered by 
wisdom and discretion, no less than by patience, forbearance, and a 
great latitude of indulgence for uncontrolable circumstances. They 
also call upon us most powerfully to do all we can to provide such 
teachers, and imbue them with such principles as shall not endanger 
the good cause by over earnest efforts to effect more than, in the 
nature of things, can be done; or disturb the existing good by 
attempting more than will be borne, or by producing hypocritical 
pretences of more than can be really felt.”



  Sweet were the sauce would please each kind of taste,
    The life, likewise, were pure that never swerved;
  For spiteful tongues, in cankered stomachs placed,
    Deem worst of things which best, percase, deserved.
  But what for that? This medicine may suffice,
  To scorn the rest, and seek to please the wise.


The first thing which Mr. Bacon had done after taking possession of 
his vicarage, and obtaining such information about his parishioners as 
the more considerate of them could impart, was to enquire into the 
state of the children in every household. He knew that to win the 
mother's good will was the surest way to win that of the family, and 
to win the children was a good step toward gaining that of the mother. 
In those days reading and writing were thought as little necessary for 
the lower class, as the art of spelling for the class above them, or 
indeed for any except the learned. Their ignorance in this respect was 
sometimes found to be inconvenient, but by none, perhaps, except here 
and there by a conscientious and thoughtful clergyman, was it felt to 
be an evil,—an impediment in the way of that moral and religious 
instruction, without which men are in danger of becoming as the beasts 
that perish. Yet the common wish of advancing their children in the 
world, made most parents in this station desire to obtain the 
advantage of what they called book-learning for any son who was 
supposed to manifest a disposition likely to profit by it. To make him 
a scholar was to raise him a step above themselves.

  _Qui ha les lettres, ha l'adresse
   Au double d'un qui n'en ha point._[1]

Partly for this reason, and still more that industrious mothers might 
be relieved from the care of looking after their children, there were 
few villages in which, as in Mr. Bacon's parish, some poor woman in 
the decline of life and of fortune, did not obtain day-scholars enough 
to eke out her scanty means of subsistence.

[Footnote 1: BAIF.]

The village Schoolmistress, such as Shenstone describes in his 
admirable poem, and such as Kirke White drew from the life, is no 
longer a living character. The new system of education has taken from 
this class of women the staff of their declining age, as the spinning 
jennies have silenced the domestic music of the spinning wheel. Both 
changes have come on unavoidably in the progress of human affairs. It 
is well when any change brings with it nothing worse than some 
temporary and incidental evil; but if the moral machinery can 
counteract the great and growing evils of the manufacturing system, it 
will be the greatest moral miracle that has ever been wrought.

Sunday schools, which make Sunday a day of toil to the teachers, and 
the most irksome day of the week to the children, had not at that time 
been devised as a palliative for the profligacy of large towns, and 
the worsened and worsening condition of the poor. Mr. Bacon 
endeavoured to make the parents perform their religious duty toward 
their children, either by teaching them what they could themselves 
teach, or by sending them where their own want of knowledge might be 
supplied. Whether the children went to school or not, it was his wish 
that they should be taught their prayers, the Creed and the 
Commandments, at home. These he thought were better learnt at the 
mothers' knees than from any other teacher; and he knew also how 
wholesome for the mother it was that the child should receive from her 
its first spiritual food, the milk of sound doctrine. In a purely 
agricultural parish, there were at that time no parents in a state of 
such brutal ignorance as to be unable to teach these, though they 
might never have been taught to read. When the father or mother could 
read, he expected that they should also teach their children the 
catechism; in other cases this was left to his humble co-adjutrix the 

During the summer and part of the autumn, he followed the good old 
usage of catechizing the children, after the second lesson in the 
evening service. His method was to ask a few questions in succession, 
and only from those who he knew were able to answer them; and after 
each answer he entered into a brief exposition suited to their 
capacity. His manner was so benevolent, and he had made himself so 
familiar in his visits, which were at once pastoral and friendly, that 
no child felt alarmed at being singled out; they regarded it as a mark 
of distinction, and the parents were proud of seeing them thus 
distinguished. This practice was discontinued in winter; because he 
knew that to keep a congregation in the cold is not the way either to 
quicken or cherish devotional feeling. Once a week during Lent he 
examined all the children, on a week day; the last examination was in 
Easter week, after which each was sent home happy with a homely cake, 
the gift of a wealthy parishioner, who by this means contributed not a 
little to the good effect of the pastor's diligence.

The foundation was thus laid by teaching the rising generation their 
duty towards God and towards their neighbour, and so far training them 
in the way that they should go. In the course of a few years every 
household, from the highest to the lowest,—(the degrees were neither 
great nor many), had learnt to look upon him as their friend. There 
was only one in the parish whose members were upon a parity with him 
in manners, none in literary culture; but in good will, and in human 
sympathy, he was upon a level with them all. Never interfering in the 
concerns of any family, unless his interference was solicited, he was 
consulted upon all occasions of trouble or importance. Incipient 
disputes, which would otherwise have afforded grist for the lawyer's 
mill, were adjusted by his mediation; and anxious parents, when they 
had cause to apprehend that their children were going wrong, knew no 
better course than to communicate their fears to him, and request that 
he would administer some timely admonition. Whenever he was thus 
called on, or had of himself perceived that reproof or warning was 
required, it was given in private, or only in presence of the parents, 
and always with a gentleness which none but an obdurate disposition 
could resist. His influence over the younger part of his flock was the 
greater because he was no enemy to any innocent sports, but on the 
contrary was pleased to see them dance round the may-pole, encouraged 
them to dress their doors with oaken boughs on the day of King 
Charles's happy restoration, and to wear an oaken garland in the hat, 
or an oak-apple on its sprig in the button hole; went to see their 
bonfire on the fifth of November, and entertained the morris-dancers 
when they called upon him in their Christmas rounds.

Mr. Bacon was in his parish what a moralizing old poet wished himself 
to be, in these pleasing stanzas:—

  I would I were an excellent divine,
    That had the Bible at my fingers' ends,
  That men might hear out of this mouth of mine
    How God doth make his enemies his friends;
  Rather than with a thundering and long prayer
  Be led into presumption, or despair.

  This would I be, and would none other be
    But a religious servant of my God:
  And know there is none other God but He,
    And willingly to suffer Mercy's rod,
  Joy in his grace and live but in his love,
  And seek my bliss but in the world above.

  And I would frame a kind of faithful prayer
    For all estates within the state of grace;
  That careful love might never know despair,
    Nor servile fear might faithful love deface;
  And this would I both day and night devise
  To make my humble spirits exercise.

  And I would read the rules of sacred life,
    Persuade the troubled soul to patience,
  The husband care, and comfort to the wife,
    To child and servant due obedience,
  Faith to the friend and to the neighbour peace,
  That love might live, and quarrels all might cease;

  Pray for the health of all that are diseased,
    Confession unto all that are convicted,
  And patience unto all that are displeased,
    And comfort unto all that are afflicted,
  And mercy unto all that have offended,
  And grace to all, that all may be amended.[2]

[Footnote 2: N. B., supposed to be NICHOLAS BRETON.]



_Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem._


In all Mr. Bacon's views he was fortunate enough to have the hearty 
concurrence of the wealthiest person in the parish. This was a good 
man, Allison by name, who having realized a respectable fortune in the 
metropolis as a tobacconist, and put out his sons in life according to 
their respective inclinations, had retired from business at the age of 
threescore, and established himself with an unmarried daughter, and a 
maiden sister some ten years younger than himself, in his native 
village, that he might there, when his hour should come, be gathered 
to his fathers.

“The providence of God,” says South, “has so ordered the course of 
things, that there is no action the usefulness of which has made it 
the matter of duty and of a profession, but a man may bear the 
continual pursuit of it, without loathing or satiety. The same shop 
and trade that employs a man in his youth, employs him also in his 
age. Every morning he rises fresh to his hammer and his anvil: custom 
has naturalized his labour to him; his shop is his element, and he 
cannot with any enjoyment of himself, live out of it.” The great 
preacher contrasts this with the wearisomeness of an idle life, and 
the misery of a continual round of what the world calls pleasure. “But 
now,” says he, “if God has interwoven such a contentment with the 
works of our ordinary calling, how much superior and more refined must 
that be that arises from the survey of a pious and well-governed 

This passage bears upon Mr. Allison's case, partly in the consolatory 
fact which it states, and wholly in the application which South has 
made of it. At the age of fourteen he had been apprenticed to an Uncle 
in Bishopsgate Street-within; and twenty years after, on that Uncle's 
death, had succeeded to his old and well-established business. But 
though he had lived there prosperously and happily six and twenty 
years longer, he had contracted no such love for it as to overcome the 
recollections of his childhood. Grateful as the smell of snuff and 
tobacco had become to him, he still remembered that cowslips and 
violets were sweeter; and that the breath of a May morning was more 
exhilarating than the air of his own shop, impregnated as it was with 
the odour of the best Virginia. So having buried his wife, who was a 
Londoner, and made over the business to his eldest son, he returned to 
his native place, with the intention of dying there; but he was in 
sound health of body and mind, and his green old age seemed to 
promise,—as far as any thing can promise,—length of days.

Of his two other sons, one had chosen to be a clergyman, and approved 
his choice both by his parts and diligence, for he had gone off from 
Merchant-Taylors' School to St. John's, Oxford, and was then a fellow 
of that college. The other was a Mate in the Merchants' service, and 
would soon have the command of a ship in it. The desire of seeing the 
world led him to this way of life; and that desire had been 
unintentionally implanted by his father, who, in making himself 
acquainted with every thing relating to the herb out of which his own 
fortune was raised, had become fond of reading voyages and travels. 
His conversation induced the lad to read these books, and the books 
confirmed the inclination which had already been excited; and as the 
boy was of an adventurous temper, he thought it best to let him follow 
the pursuit on which his mind was bent.

The change to a Yorkshire village was not too great for Mr. Allison, 
even after residing nearly half a century in Bishopsgate 
Street-within. The change in his own household indeed rendered it 
expedient for him to begin, in this sense, a new life. He had lost his 
mate; the young birds were full-fledged and had taken flight; and it 
was time that he should look out a retreat for himself and the single 
nestling that remained under his wing, now that his son and successor 
had brought home a wife. The marriage had been altogether with his 
approbation; but it altered his position in the house, and in a still 
greater degree his sister's; moreover, the nest would soon be wanted 
for another brood. Circumstances thus compelled him to put in effect 
what had been the dream of his youth, and the still remote intention 
of his middle age.

Miss Allison, like her brother, regarded this removal as a great and 
serious change, preparatory to the only greater one in this world that 
now remained for both; but like him she regarded it rather seriously 
than sadly, or sadly only in the old sober meaning of the word; and 
there was a soft, sweet, evening sunshine in their prospect, which 
both partook, because both had retained a deep affection for the 
scenes of their childhood. To Betsey, her niece, nothing could be more 
delightful than the expectation of such a removal. She, who was then 
only entering her teens, had nothing to regret in leaving London; and 
the place to which she was going was the very spot which, of all 
others in this wide world, from the time in which she was conscious of 
forming a wish, she had wished most to see. Her brother, the sailor, 
was not more taken with the story of Pocahontas and Captain Smith, or 
Dampier's Voyages, than she was with her aunt's details of the farm 
and the dairy at Thaxted Grange, the May-games and the Christmas 
gambols, the days that were gone, and the elders who were departed. To 
one born and bred in the heart of London, who had scarcely ever seen a 
flock of sheep, except when they were driven through the streets, to 
or from Smithfield, no fairy tale could present more for the 
imagination than a description of green fields and rural life. The 
charm of truth heightened it, and the stronger charm of natural piety; 
for the personages of the tale were her near kin, whose names she had 
learnt to love, and whose living memory she revered, but whose 
countenances she never could behold till she should be welcomed by 
them in the everlasting mansions of the righteous.

None of the party were disappointed when they had established 
themselves at the Grange. Mr. Allison found full occupation at first 
in improving the house, and afterwards in his fields and garden. Mr. 
Bacon was just such a clergyman as he would have chosen for his parish 
priest if it had been in his power to chuse, only he would have had 
him provided with a better benefice. The single thing on which there 
was a want of agreement between them, was, that the Vicar neither 
smoked nor took snuff; he was not the worse company on this account, 
for he had no dislike to the fragrance of a pipe; but his neighbour 
lost the pleasure which he would have had in supplying him with the 
best pig-tail, and with Strasburg or Rappee. Miss Allison fell into 
the habits of her new station the more easily, because they were those 
which she had witnessed in her early youth; she distilled waters, 
dried herbs, and prepared conserves,—which were at the service of all 
who needed them in sickness. Betsey attached herself at first sight to 
Deborah, who was about five years elder, and soon became to her as a 
sister. The Aunt rejoiced in finding so suitable a friend and 
companion for her niece; and as this connection was a pleasure and an 
advantage to the Allisons, so was it of the greatest benefit to 

                What of her ensues
  I list not prophecy, but let Time's news
  Be known, when 'tis brought forth. Of this allow
  If ever you have spent time worse ere now;
  If never yet, the Author then doth say
  He wishes earnestly you never may.[1]

[Footnote 1: SHAKSPEARE.]



  Take this in good part, whatsoever thou be,
  And wish me no worse than I wish unto thee.


The wisest of men hath told us that there is a time for every thing. I 
have been considering what time is fittest for studying this elaborate 
_opus_, so as best to profit by its recondite stores of instruction, 
as the great chronicler of Garagantua says, _avec espoir certain 
d'acquerrir moult prudence et preud 'hommie à la ditte lecture, la 
quelle vous relevera de tres-hauts sacrements et mysteres 

The judicious reader must ere this have perceived that this work, to 
use the happy expression of the Demoiselle de Gournay, is, _edifié de 
telle sort que les mots et la matière sont consubstantiels._ In one 
sense indeed it is,

  Meet for all hours and every mood of man;[1]

but all hours are not equally meet for it. For it is not like Sir 
Walter Scott's novels, fit for men, women and children, at morning, 
noon, or night, summer and winter, and every day, among all sorts of 
people,—Sundays excepted with the religious public. Equally sweet in 
the mouth it may be to some; but it will not be found equally light of 

[Footnote 1: DR. BUTT.]

Whether it should be taken upon an empty stomach, must depend upon the 
constitution of the reader. If he is of that happy complexion that he 
awakes in the morning with his spirits elastic as the air, fresh as 
the dawn, and joyous as the sky-lark, let him by all means read a 
chapter before breakfast. It will be a carminative, a cordial for the 
day. If on the contrary his faculties continue to feel the influence 
of the leaden sceptre till breakfast has resuscitated them, I advise 
him not to open the book before the stomach has been propitiated by a 
morning offering.

Breakfast will be the best time for batchelors, and especially for 
lawyers. They will find it excellent to prime with.

I do not recommend it at night. Rather, indeed, I caution the reader 
against indulging in it at that time. Its effect might be injurious, 
for it would counteract the genial tendency to repose which ought then 
to be encouraged. Therefore when the hour of sleep approaches, lay 
this book aside, and read four pages upon political economy,—it 
matters not in what author, though the Scotch are to be preferred.

Except at night, it may be perused at any time by those who have the 
_mens sana in corpore sano_; those who fear God, honor the King, love 
their country and their kind, do their duty to their neighbours, and 
live in the performance and enjoyment of the domestic charities.

It will be an excellent Saturday book for Rowland Hill; his sermon 
will be pleasanter for it next day.

The book is good for valetudinarians, and may even be recommended in 
aid of Abernethy's blue-pill. But I do not advise it with water-gruel 
nor sago; hardly with chicken-broth, calf's-foot-jelly or beef-tea. It 
accords well with a course of tonics. But a convalescent will find it 
best with his first beef-steak and glass of wine.

The case is different for those who have either a twist in the head or 
a morbid affection about the pericardium.

If Grey Bennet will read it,—(from which I dehort him) he should 
prepare by taking the following medicine to purge choler:

  Rx. _Extract: Colocynth: Comp: gr. x.
       Calomel: gr. v.
       Syr: q. s. f. Massa in pilulas iij. dividenda.
      —Sumat pilulas iij horâ somni._

It will do Lord Holland no harm.

Lord John Russel is recommended to use sage tea with it. If this 
operate as an alterative, it may save him from taking oil of rue 
hereafter in powerful doses.

For Mr. Brougham, a strong decoction of the herb _lunaria_, will be 
needful,—a plant “elegantly so named by the elder botanists, and by 
all succeeding ones, from _luna_, the moon, on account of the silvery 
semi-transparent aspect, and broad circular shape of its 
seed-vessels.” _Honesty_, or _satin-flower_, are its trivial names. It 
is recommended in this case not so much for the cephalic properties 
which its Linnean appellation might seem to denote, as for its 
emollient and purifying virtue.

The Lord Chancellor must never read it in his wig. Dr. Parr, never 
without it.

Mr. Wilberforce may dip into it when he will. At all times it will 
find him in good humour, and in charity with all men. Nay, if I 
whisper to him that it will be no sin to allow himself a few pages on 
a Sunday, and that if the preacher under whom he has been sitting, 
should have given his discourse a strong spice of Calvinism, it may 
then be useful to have recourse to it;—though he should be shocked at 
the wholesome hint, the worst thing he will say of the incognizable 
incognito from whom it comes, will be Poo-oo-oo-r cree-ee-eature! 
shaking his head, and lowering it at the same time till his forehead 
almost touches the table, and his voice, gradually quickening in speed 
and sinking in tone, dies away to a whisper, in a manner which may 
thus be represented in types:

  Pooo-oo-oo-oo-r Crēēēature
   Poo-oo-oo-oo-r Crēēature
      Poo-oo-ŏŏ-r Crēature
         Pōō-ŏŏ-r Crĕature
           Pōōŏŏr Crĕature
            Pōŏŏr Crĕature
             Pŏŏr Crĕature
             Pŏŏr Crĕture
             Poor Cretur
             Poor Crtur
              Poo Crtr



I doubt nothing at all but that you shall like the man every day 
better than other; for verily I think he lacketh not of those 
qualities which should become any honest man to have, over and besides 
the gift of nature wherewith God hath above the common rate endued 


Mr. Allison was as quiet a subject as Peter Hopkins, but he was not 
like him a political quietist from indifference, for he had a warm 
sense of loyalty, and a well rooted attachment to the constitution of 
his country in church and state. His ancestors had suffered in the 
Great Rebellion, and much the greater part of their never large 
estates had been alienated to raise the fines imposed upon them as 
delinquents. The uncle whom he succeeded in Bishopsgate Street, had, 
in his early apprenticeship, assisted at burning the Rump, and in 
maturer years had joined as heartily in the rejoicings, when the Seven 
Bishops were released from the Tower: he subscribed to Walker's 
“Account of the Sufferings of the Clergy,” and had heard sermons 
preached by the famous Dr. Scott, (which were afterwards incorporated 
in his great work upon the Christian Life,) in the church of St. Peter 
le Poor (oddly so called, seeing that there are few districts within 
the City of London so rich, insomuch that the last historian of the 
metropolis believed the parish to have scarcely a poor family in it); 
and in All-hallows, Lombard Street, where, during the reign of the 
Godly, the puritanical vestry passed a resolution that if any persons 
should come to the church “on the day called Christ's birth-day,” they 
should be compelled to leave it.

In these principles Mr. Allison had grown up; and without any 
profession of extra-religion, or ever wearing a sanctified face, he 
had in the evening of his life attained “the end of the commandment, 
which is charity, proceeding from a pure heart, and a good conscience, 
and a faith unfeigned.” London in his days was a better school for 
young men in trade than it ever was before, or has been since. The 
civic power had quietly and imperceptibly put an end to that club-law 
which once made the apprentices a turbulent and formidable body, at 
any moment armed as well as ready for a riot; and masters exercised a 
sort of parental controul over the youth entrusted to them, which in 
later times it may be feared has not been so conscientiously exerted, 
because it is not likely to be so patiently endured. Trade itself had 
not then been corrupted by that ruinous spirit of competition, which, 
more than any other of the evils now pressing upon us, deserves to be 
called the curse of England in the present age. At all times men have 
been to be found, who engaged in hazardous speculations, 
gamester-like, according to their opportunities, or who mistaking the 
means for the end, devoted themselves with miserable fidelity to the 
service of Mammon. But “Live and let live,” had not yet become a maxim 
of obsolete morality. We had our monarchy, our hierarchy and our 
aristocracy,—God be praised for the benefits which have been derived 
from all three, and God in his mercy continue them to us! but we had 
no plutarchy, no millionaires, no great capitalists to break down the 
honest and industrious trader with the weight of their overbearing and 
overwhelming wealth. They who had enriched themselves in the course of 
regular and honourable commerce, withdrew from business, and left the 
field to others. Feudal tyranny had past away, and moneyed tyranny had 
not yet arisen in its stead—a tyranny baser in its origin, not more 
merciful in its operations, and with less in its appendages to redeem 

Trade in Mr. Allison's days was a school of thrift and probity, as 
much as of profit and loss; such his shop had been when he succeeded 
to it upon his uncle's decease, and such it continued to be when he 
transmitted it to his son. Old Mr. Strahan the printer (the founder of 
his typarchical dynasty) said to Dr. Johnson, that “there are few ways 
in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money;” 
and he added, that “the more one thinks of this, the juster it will 
appear.” Johnson agreed with him; and though it was a money-maker's 
observation, and though the more it is considered now, the more 
fallacious it will be found, the general system of trade might have 
justified it at that time. The entrance of an Exciseman never 
occasioned any alarm or apprehension at No. 113, Bishopsgate 
Street-Within, nor any uncomfortable feeling, unless the officer 
happened to be one, who, by giving unnecessary trouble, and by 
gratuitous incivility in the exercise of authority, made an equitable 
law odious in its execution. They never there mixed weeds with their 
tobacco, nor adulterated it in any worse way; and their snuff was 
never rendered more pungent by stirring into it a certain proportion 
of pounded glass. The duties were honestly paid, with a clear 
perception that the impost fell lightly upon all whom it affected, and 
affected those only who chose to indulge themselves in a pleasure 
which was still cheap, and which, without any injurious privation, 
they might forego. Nay, when our good man expatiated upon the uses of 
tobacco, which Mr. Bacon demurred at, and the Doctor sometimes 
playfully disputed, he ventured an opinion that among the final causes 
for which so excellent an herb had been created, the facilities 
afforded by it toward raising the revenue in a well-governed country 
like our own, might be one.

There was a strong family likeness between him and his sister, both in 
countenance and disposition. Elizabeth Allison was a person for whom 
the best and wisest man might have thanked Providence, if she had been 
allotted to him for help-mate. But though she had, in Shakspeare's 
language, “withered on the virgin thorn,” hers had not been a life of 
single blessedness: she had been a blessing first to her parents; then 
to her brother and her brother's family, where she relieved an 
amiable, but sickly sister-in-law, from those domestic offices which 
require activity and forethought; lastly, after the dispersion of his 
sons, the transfer of the business to the eldest, and the breaking up 
of his old establishment, to the widower and his daughter, the only 
child who cleaved to him,—not like Ruth to Naomi, by a meritorious act 
of duty, for in her case it was in the ordinary course of things, 
without either sacrifice or choice; but the effect in endearing her to 
him was the same.

In advanced stages of society, and no where more than in England at 
this time, the tendency of all things is to weaken the relations 
between parent and child, and frequently to destroy them, reducing 
human nature in this respect nearer to the level of animal life. 
Perhaps the greater number of male children who are “born into the 
world” in our part of it, are _put out_ at as early an age, 
proportionally, as the young bird is driven from its nest, or the 
young beast turned off by its dam as being capable of feeding and 
protecting itself; and in many instances they are as totally lost to 
the parent, though not in like manner forgotten. Mr. Allison never saw 
all his children together after his removal from London. The only time 
when his three sons met at the Grange, was when they came there to 
attend their father's funeral; nor would they then have been 
assembled, if the Captain's ship had not happened to have recently 
arrived in port.

This is a state of things more favorable to the wealth than to the 
happiness of nations. It was a natural and pious custom in patriarchal 
times that the dead should be gathered unto their people. “Bury me,” 
said Jacob, when he gave his dying charge to his sons,—“bury me with 
my fathers, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is 
before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the 
field of Ephron the Hittite, for a possession of a burying place. 
There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac 
and Rebecca his wife; and there I buried Leah.” Had such a passage 
occurred in Homer, or in Dante, all critics would have concurred in 
admiring the truth and beauty of the sentiment. He had buried his 
beloved Rachel by the way where she died; but although he remembered 
this at his death, the orders which he gave were that his own remains 
should be laid in the sepulchre of his fathers. The same feeling 
prevails among many, or most of those savage tribes who are not 
utterly degraded. With them the tree is not left to lie where it 
falls. The body of one who dies on an expedition is interred on the 
spot, if distance or other circumstances render it inconvenient to 
transport the corpse; but however long the journey, it is considered 
as a sacred duty that the bones should at some time or other be 
brought home. In Scotland, where the common rites of sepulture are 
performed with less decency than in any other Christian country, the 
care with which family burial-grounds in the remoter parts are 
preserved, may be referred as much to natural feeling, as to 
hereditary pride.

But as indigenous flowers are eradicated by the spade and plough, so 
this feeling is destroyed in the stirring and bustling intercourse of 
commercial life. No room is left for it: as little of it at this time 
remains in wide America as in thickly peopled England. That to which 
soldiers and sailors are reconciled by the spirit of their profession 
and the chances of war and of the seas, the love of adventure and the 
desire of advancement cause others to regard with the same 
indifference; and these motives are so prevalent, that the dispersion 
of families and the consequent disruption of natural ties, if not 
occasioned by necessity, would now in most instances be the effect of 
choice. Even those to whom it is an inevitable evil, and who feel it 
deeply as such, look upon it as something in the appointed course of 
things, as much as infirmity and age and death.

It is well for us that in early life we never think of the 
vicissitudes which lie before us; or look to them only with 
pleasurable anticipations as they approach.

  Knows nought of changes: Age hath traced them oft,
  Expects and can interpret them.[1]

The thought of them, when it comes across us in middle life, brings 
with it only a transient sadness, like the shadow of a passing cloud. 
We turn our eyes from them while they are in prospect, but when they 
are in retrospect many a longing lingering look is cast behind. So 
long as Mr. Allison was in business he looked to Thaxted Grange as the 
place where he hoped one day to enjoy the blessings of 
retirement,—that _otium cum dignitate_, which in a certain sense the 
prudent citizen is more likely to attain than the successful 
statesman. It was the pleasure of recollection that gave this hope its 
zest and its strength. But after the object which during so many years 
he had held in view, had been obtained, his day-dreams, if he had 
allowed them to take their course, would have recurred more frequently 
to Bishopsgate Street than they had ever wandered from thence to the 
scenes of his boyhood. They recurred thither oftener than he wished, 
although few men have been more masters of themselves; and then the 
remembrance of his wife, whom he had lost by a lingering disease in 
middle age; and of the children, those who had died during their 
childhood, and those who in reality were almost as much lost to him in 
the ways of the world, made him alway turn for comfort to the prospect 
of that better state of existence in which they should once more all 
be gathered together, and where there would be neither change nor 
parting. His thoughts often fell into this train, when on summer 
evenings he was taking a solitary pipe in his arbour, with the church 
in sight, and the church yard wherein at no distant time he was to be 
laid in his last abode. Such musings induced a sense of sober 
piety,—of thankfulness for former blessings, contentment with the 
present, and humble yet sure and certain hope for futurity, which 
might vainly have been sought at prayer meetings, or evening lectures, 
where indeed little good can ever be obtained without some deleterious 
admixture, or alloy of baser feelings.

[Footnote 1: ISAAC COMMENUS.]

The happiness which he had found in retirement was of a different kind 
from what he had contemplated: for the shades of evening were 
gathering when he reached the place of his long-wished-for rest, and 
the picture of it which had imprinted itself on his imagination was a 
morning view. But he had been prepared for this by that slow change of 
which we are not aware during its progress till we see it reflected in 
others, and are thus made conscious of it in ourselves; and he found a 
satisfaction in the station which he occupied there, too worthy in its 
nature to be called pride, and which had not entered into his 
anticipations. It is said to have been a saying of George the Third, 
that the happiest condition in which an Englishman could be placed, 
was just below that wherein it would have been necessary for him to 
act as a Justice of the Peace, and above that which would have 
rendered him liable to parochial duties. This was just Mr. Allison's 
position: there was nothing which brought him into rivalry or 
competition with the surrounding Squirarchy, and the yeomen and 
peasantry respected him for his own character, as well as for his 
name's-sake. He gave employment to more persons than when he was 
engaged in trade, and his indirect influence over them was greater; 
that of his sister was still more. The elders of the village 
remembered her in her youth, and loved her for what she then had been 
as well as for what she now was; the young looked up to her as the 
Lady Bountiful, to whom no one that needed advice or assistance ever 
applied in vain. She it was who provided those much approved 
plum-cakes, not the less savoury for being both homely and wholesome, 
the thought of which induced the children to look on to their Lent 
examination with hope, and prepare for it with alacrity. Those offices 
in a parish which are the province of the Clergyman's wife, when he 
has made choice of one who knows her duty and has both will and 
ability to discharge it, Miss Allison performed; and she rendered Mr. 
Bacon the farther, and to him individually the greater service of 
imparting to his daughter those instructions which she had no mother 
to impart. Deborah could not have had a better teacher; but as the 
present chapter has extended to a sufficient length,

  _Diremo il resto in quel che vien dipoi,
   Per non venire a noja a me e voi._[2]




  Opinion is the rate of things,
    From hence our peace doth flow;
  I have a better fate than kings,
    Because I think it so.


The house wherein Mr. Allison realized by fair dealing and frugality 
the modest fortune which enabled him to repurchase the homestead of 
his fathers, is still a Tobacconists, and has continued to be so from 
“the palmy days” of that trade, when King James vainly endeavoured by 
the expression of his royal dislike, to discountenance the 
newly-imported practice of smoking; and Joshua Sylvester thundered 
from Mount Helicon a Volley of Holy Shot, thinking that thereby 
“Tobacco” should be “battered, and the Pipes shattered, about their 
ears that idly idolize so base and barbarous a weed, or at least-wise 
overlove so loathsome vanity.” For he said,

  “If there be any Herb in any place
   Most opposite to God's good Herb of Grace,
   'Tis doubtless this; and this doth plainly prove it,
   That for the most, most graceless men do love it.”

Yet it was not long before the dead and unsavoury odour of that weed, 
to which a Parisian was made to say that “sea-coal smoke seemed a very 
Portugal perfume,” prevailed as much in the raiment of the more 
coarsely clad part of the community, as the scent of lavender among 
those who were clothed in fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 
and it had grown so much in fashion, that it was said children “began 
to play with broken pipes, instead of corals, to make way for their 

Louis XIV. endeavoured just as ineffectually to discourage the use of 
snuff-taking. His _valets de chambre_ were obliged to renounce it when 
they were appointed to their office; and the Duke of Harcourt was 
supposed to have died of apoplexy in consequence of having, to please 
his Majesty, left off at once a habit which he had carried to excess.

I know not through what intermediate hands the business at No. 113 has 
past, since the name of Allison was withdrawn from the firm; nor 
whether Mr. Evans, by whom it is now carried on there, is in any way 
related by descent with that family. Matters of no greater importance 
to most men have been made the subject of much antiquarian 
investigation; and they who busy themselves in such investigations 
must not be said to be ill employed, for they find harmless amusement 
in the pursuit, and sometimes put up a chance truth of which others, 
soon or late, discover the application. The house has at this time a 
more antiquated appearance than any other in that part of the street, 
though it was modernized some forty or fifty years after Mr. Bacon's 
friend left it. The first floor then projected several feet farther 
over the street than at present, and the second several feet farther 
over the first; and the windows, which still extend the whole breadth 
of the front, were then composed of small casement panes. But in the 
progress of those improvements which are now carrying on in the city 
with as much spirit as at the western end of the metropolis, and which 
have almost reached Mr. Evans's door, it cannot be long before the 
house will be either wholly removed, or so altered as no longer to be 

The present race of Londoners little know what the appearance of the 
city was a century ago;—their own city, I was about to have said; but 
it was the city of their great grandfathers, not theirs, from which 
the elder Allisons retired in the year 1746. At that time the kennels 
(as in Paris) were in the middle of the street, and there were no foot 
paths; spouts projected the rain-water in streams against which 
umbrellas, if umbrellas had been then in use, could have afforded no 
defence; and large signs, such as are now only to be seen at country 
inns, were suspended before every shop, from posts which impeded the 
way, or from iron supports strongly fixed into the front of the house. 
The swinging of one of these broad signs in a high wind, and the 
weight of the iron on which it acted, sometimes brought the wall down; 
and it is recorded that one front-fall of this kind in Fleet-street 
maimed several persons, and killed “two young ladies, a cobler, and 
the King's Jeweller.”

The sign at No. 113 was an Indian Chief, smoking the calumet. Mr. 
Allison had found it there; and when it became necessary that a new 
one should be substituted, he retained the same figure,—though if he 
had been to chuse he would have greatly preferred the head of Sir 
Walter Raleigh, by whom, according to the common belief, he supposed 
tobacco had been introduced into this country. The Water-Poet imputed 
it to the Devil himself, and published

      A Proclamation,
      Or Approbation,
  From the King of Execration
      To every Nation,
  For Tobacco's propagation.

Mr. Allison used to shake his head at such libellous aspersions. 
Raleigh was a great favorite with him, and held indeed in especial 
respect, though not as the Patron of his old trade, as St. Crispin is 
of the Gentle Craft, yet as the founder of his fortune. He thought it 
proper, therefore, that he should possess Sir Walter's History of the 
World, though he had never found inclination, or summoned up 
resolution, to undertake its perusal.

Common sense has been defined by Sir Egerton Brydges, “to mean nothing 
more than an uneducated judgement, arising from a plain and coarse 
understanding, exercised upon common concerns, and rendered effective 
rather by experience, than by any regular process of the intellectual 
powers. If this,” he adds, “be the proper meaning of that quality, we 
cannot wonder that books are little fitted for its cultivation.” 
Except that there was no coarseness in his nature, this would apply to 
Mr. Allison. He had been bred up with the notion that it behoved him 
to attend to his business, and that reading formed no part of it. 
Nevertheless he had acquired some liking for books by looking casually 
now and then over the leaves of those unfortunate volumes with which 
the shop was continually supplied for its daily consumption.

        ——Many a load of criticism,
  Elaborate products of the midnight toil
  Of Belgian brains,[1]

went there; and many a tome of old law, old physic, and old divinity; 
old history as well; books of which many were at all times rubbish; 
some, which though little better, would now sell for more shillings by 
the page than they then cost pence by the pound; and others, the real 
value of which is perhaps as little known now, as it was then. Such of 
these as in latter years caught his attention, he now and then rescued 
from the remorseless use to which they had been condemned. They made a 
curious assortment with his wife's books of devotion or amusement, 
wherewith she had sometimes beguiled, and sometimes soothed the weary 
hours of long and frequent illness. Among the former were Scott's 
“Christian Life,” Bishop Bayly's “Practice of Piety,” Bishop Taylor's 
“Holy Living and Dying,” Drelincourt on Death, with De Foe's lying 
story of Mrs. Veal's ghost as a puff preliminary, and the Night 
Thoughts. Among the latter were Cassandra, the Guardian and Spectator, 
Mrs. Rowe's Letters, Richardson's Novels and Pomfret's Poems.

[Footnote 1: AKENSIDE.]

Mrs. Allison had been able to do little for her daughter of that 
little, which, if her state of health and spirits had permitted, she 
might have done; this, therefore, as well as the more active duties of 
the household, devolved upon Elizabeth, who was of a better 
constitution in mind as well as body. Elizabeth, before she went to 
reside with her brother, had acquired all the accomplishments which a 
domestic education in the country could in those days impart. Her book 
of receipts, culinary and medical, might have vied with the “Queen's 
Cabinet Unlocked.” The spelling indeed was such as ladies used in the 
reign of Queen Anne, and in the old time before her, when every one 
spelt as she thought fit; but it was written in a well-proportioned 
Italian hand, with fine down-strokes and broad up-ones, equally 
distinct and beautiful. Her speech was good Yorkshire, that is to say, 
good provincial English, not the worse for being provincial, and a 
little softened by five and twenty years residence in London. Some 
sisters, who in those days kept a boarding school of the first repute 
in one of the midland counties, used to say, when they spoke of an old 
pupil, “_her went to school to we_.” Miss Allison's language was not 
of this kind,—it savoured of rusticity, not of ignorance; and where it 
was peculiar, as in the metropolis, it gave a raciness to the 
conversation of an agreeable woman.

She had been well instructed in ornamental work as well as ornamental 
penmanship. Unlike most fashions, this had continued to be in fashion 
because it continued to be of use; though no doubt some of the 
varieties which Taylor the Water-Poet enumerates in his praise of the 
Needle, might have been then as little understood as now:

  Tent-work, Raised-work, Laid-work, Prest-work, Net-work.
  Most curious Pearl, or rare Italian Cut-work,
  Fine Fern-stitch, Finny-stitch, New-stitch and Chain-stitch,
  Brave Bred-stitch, Fisher-stitch, Irish-stitch and Queen-stitch,
  The Spanish-stitch, Rosemary-stitch and Maw-stitch,
  The smarting Whip-stitch, Back-stitch and the Cross-stitch.
        All these are good, and these we must allow;
        And these are every where in practice now.

There was a book published in the Water Poet's days, with the title of 
“School House for the Needle;” it consisted of two volumes in oblong 
quarto, that form being suited to its plates “of sundry sorts of 
patterns and examples;” and it contained a “Dialogue in Verse between 
Diligence and Sloth.” If Betsey Allison had studied in this “School 
House,” she could not have been a greater proficient with the needle 
than she became under her Aunt's teaching: nor would she have been 

      ——versed in the arts
  Of pies, puddings and tarts,[2]

if she had gone through a course of practical lessons in one of the 
Pastry Schools which are common in Scotland, but were tried without 
success in London, about the middle of the last century. Deborah 
partook of these instructions at her father's desire. In all that 
related to the delicacies of a country table, she was glad to be 
instructed, because it enabled her to assist her friend; but it 
appeared strange to her that Mr. Bacon should wish her to learn 
ornamental work, for which she neither had, nor could foresee any use. 
But if the employment had been less agreeable than she found it in 
such company, she would never have disputed, nor questioned his will.

[Footnote 2: T. WARTON.]

For so small a household, a more active or cheerful one could no where 
have been found than at the Grange. Ben Jonson reckoned among the 
happinesses of Sir Robert Wroth, that of being “with unbought 
provision blest.” This blessing Mr. Allison enjoyed in as great a 
degree as his position in life permitted; he neither killed his own 
meat nor grew his own corn; but he had his poultry yard, his garden 
and his orchard; he baked his own bread, brewed his own beer, and was 
supplied with milk, cream and butter from his own dairy. It is a fact 
not unworthy of notice, that the most intelligent farmers in the 
neighbourhood of London, are persons who have taken to farming as a 
business, because of their strong inclination for rural employments; 
one of the very best in Middlesex, when the Survey of that County was 
published by the Board of Agriculture, had been a Tailor. Mr. Allison 
did not attempt to manage the land which he kept in his own hands; but 
he had a trusty bailiff, and soon acquired knowledge enough for 
superintending what was done. When he retired from trade he gave over 
all desire for gain, which indeed he had never desired for its own 
sake; he sought now only wholesome occupation, and those comforts 
which may be said to have a moral zest. They might be called luxuries, 
if that word could be used in a virtuous sense without something so to 
qualify it. It is a curious instance of the modification which words 
undergo in different countries, that luxury has always a sinful 
acceptation in the southern languages of Europe, and lust an innocent 
one in the northern; the harmless meaning of the latter word, we have 
retained in the verb _to list_.

Every one who looks back upon the scenes of his youth, has one spot 
upon which the last light of the evening sunshine rests. The Grange 
was that spot in Deborah's retrospect.



                    —Now I love,
  And so as in so short a time I may;
  Yet so as time shall never break that so,
  And therefore so accept of Elinor.


One summer evening the Doctor on his way back from a visit in that 
direction, stopt, as on such opportunities he usually did, at Mr. 
Bacon's wicket, and looked in at the open casement to see if his 
friends were within. Mr. Bacon was sitting there alone, with a book 
open on the table before him; and looking round when he heard the 
horse stop, “Come in Doctor,” said he, “if you have a few minutes to 
spare. You were never more welcome.”

The Doctor replied, “I hope nothing ails either Deborah or yourself?” 
“No,” said Mr. Bacon, “God be thanked! but something has occurred 
which concerns both.”

When the Doctor entered the room, he perceived that the wonted 
serenity of his friend's countenance was overcast by a shade of 
melancholy thought; “Nothing,” said he, “I hope has happened to 
distress you?”—“Only to disturb us,” was the reply. “Most people would 
probably think that we ought to consider it a piece of good fortune. 
One who would be thought a good match for her, has proposed to marry 

“Indeed!” said the Doctor; “and who is he?” feeling, as he asked the 
question, an unusual warmth in his face.

“Joseph Hebblethwaite, of the Willows. He broke his mind to me this 
morning, saying that he thought it best to speak with me before he 
made any advances himself to the young woman: indeed he had had no 
opportunity of so doing, for he had seen little of her; but he had 
heard enough of her character to believe that she would make him a 
good wife; and this, he said, was all he looked for, for he was well 
to do in the world.”

“And what answer did you make to this matter-of-fact way of 

“I told him that I commended the very proper course he had taken, and 
that I was obliged to him for the good opinion of my daughter which he 
was pleased to entertain: that marriage was an affair in which I 
should never attempt to direct her inclinations, being confident that 
she would never give me cause to oppose them; and that I would talk 
with her upon the proposal, and let him know the result. As soon as I 
mentioned it to Deborah, she coloured up to her eyes; and with an 
angry look, of which I did not think those eyes had been capable, she 
desired me to tell him that he had better lose no time in looking 
elsewhere, for his thinking of her was of no use. Do you know any ill 
of him? said I; No, she replied, but I never heard any good, and 
that's ill enough. And I do not like his looks.”

“Well said, Deborah!” cried the Doctor: clapping his hands so as to 
produce a sonorous token of satisfaction.

“Surely, my child, said I, he is not an ill-looking person? Father, 
she replied, you know he looks as if he had not one idea in his head 
to keep company with another.”

“Well said, Deborah!” repeated the Doctor.

“Why Doctor, do you know any ill of him?”

“None. But as Deborah says, I know no good; and if there had been any 
good to be known, it must have come within my knowledge. I cannot help 
knowing who the persons are to whom the peasantry in my rounds look 
with respect and good will, and whom they consider their friends as 
well as their betters. And in like manner, I know who they are from 
whom they never expect either courtesy or kindness.”

“You are right, my friend; and Deborah is right. Her answer came from 
a wise heart; and I was not sorry that her determination was so 
promptly made, and so resolutely pronounced. But I wish, if it had 
pleased God, the offer had been one which she could have accepted with 
her own willing consent, and with my full approbation.”

“Yet,” said the Doctor, “I have often thought how sad a thing it would 
be for you ever to part with her.”

“Far more sad will it be for me to leave her unprotected, as it is but 
too likely that, in the ordinary course of nature, I one day shall; 
and as any day in that same ordinary course, I so possibly may! Our 
best intentions, even when they have been most prudentially formed, 
fail often in their issue. I meant to train up Deborah in the way she 
should go, by fitting her for that state of life in which it had 
pleased God to place her, so that she might have made a good wife for 
some honest man in the humbler walks of life, and have been happy with 

“And how was it possible,” replied the Doctor, “that you could have 
succeeded better? Is she not qualified to be a good man's wife in any 
rank? Her manner would not do discredit to a mansion; her management 
would make a farm prosperous, or a cottage comfortable; and for her 
principles, and temper and cheerfulness, they would render any home a 
happy one.”

“You have not spoken too highly in her praise, Doctor. But as she has 
from her childhood been all in all to me, there is a danger that I may 
have become too much so to her; and that while her habits have 
properly been made conformable to our poor means, and her poor 
prospects, she has been accustomed to a way of thinking, and a kind of 
conversation, which have given her a distaste for those whose talk is 
only of sheep and of oxen, and whose thoughts never get beyond the 
range of their every day employments. In her present circle, I do not 
think there is one man with whom she might otherwise have had a chance 
of settling in life, to whom she would not have the same intellectual 
objections as to Joseph Hebblethwaite: though I am glad that the moral 
objection was that which first instinctively occurred to her.

“I wish it were otherwise, both for her sake and my own; for hers, 
because the present separation would have more than enough to 
compensate it, and would in its consequences mitigate the evil of the 
final one, whenever that may be; for my own, because I should then 
have no cause whatever to render the prospect of dissolution otherwise 
than welcome, but he as willing to die as to sleep. It is not owing to 
any distrust in Providence, that I am not thus willing now,—God 
forbid! But if I gave heed to my own feelings, I should think that I 
am not long for this world; and surely it were wise to remove, if 
possible, the only cause that makes me fear to think so.”

“Are you sensible of any symptoms that can lead to such an 
apprehension?” said the Doctor.

“Of nothing that can be called a symptom. I am to all appearance in 
good health, of sound body and mind; and you know how unlikely my 
habits are to occasion any disturbance in either. But I have 
indefinable impressions,—sensations they might almost be called,—which 
as I cannot but feel them, so I cannot but regard them.”

“Can you not describe these sensations?”

“No better than by saying, that they hardly amount to sensations, and 
are indescribable.”

“Do not,” said the Doctor, “I entreat you, give way to any feelings of 
this kind. They may lead to consequences, which without shortening or 
endangering life, would render it anxious and burthensome, and destroy 
both your usefulness and your comfort.”

“I have this feeling, Doctor; and you shall prescribe for it, if you 
think it requires either regimen or physic. But at present you will do 
me more good by assisting me to procure for Deborah such a situation 
as she must necessarily look for on the event of my death. What I have 
laid by, even if it should be most advantageously disposed of, would 
afford her only a bare subsistence; it is a resource in case of 
sickness, but while in health, it would never be her wish to eat the 
bread of idleness. You may have opportunities of learning whether any 
lady within the circle of your practice, wants a young person in whom 
she might confide, either as an attendant upon herself, or to assist 
in the management of her children, or her household. You may be sure 
this is not the first time that I have thought upon the subject; but 
the circumstance which has this day occurred, and the feeling of which 
I have spoken, have pressed it upon my consideration. And the inquiry 
may better be made and the step taken while it is a matter of 
foresight, than when it has become one of necessity.”

“Let me feel your pulse!”

“You will detect no other disorder there,” said Mr. Bacon, holding out 
his arm as he spake, “than what has been caused by this conversation, 
and the declaration of a purpose, which though for some time 
perpended, I had never till now fully acknowledged to myself.”

“You have never then mentioned it to Deborah?”

“In no other way than by sometimes incidentally speaking of the way of 
life which would be open to her, in case of her being unmarried at my 

“And you have made up your mind to part with her?”

“Upon a clear conviction that I ought to do so; that it is best for 
herself and me.”

“Well then, you will allow me to converse with her first, upon a 
different subject.—You will permit me to see whether I can speak more 
successfully for myself, than you have done for Joseph 
Hebblethwaite.—Have I your consent?”

Mr. Bacon rose in great emotion, and taking his friend's hand prest it 
fervently and tremulously. Presently they heard the wicket open, and 
Deborah came in.

“I dare say, Deborah,” said her father, composing himself, “you have 
been telling Betsy Allison of the advantageous offer that you have 
this day refused.”

“Yes,” replied Deborah; “and what do you think she said? That little 
as she likes him, rather than that I should be thrown away upon such a 
man, she could almost make up her mind to marry him herself.”

“And I,” said the Doctor, “rather than such a man should have you 
would marry you myself.”

“Was not I right in refusing him, Doctor?”

“So right, that you never pleased me so well before; and never can 
please me better,—unless you will accept of me in his stead.”

She gave a little start, and looked at him half incredulously, and 
half angrily withal; as if what he had said was too light in its 
manner to be serious, and yet too serious in its import to be spoken 
in jest. But when he took her by the hand, and said, “Will you, dear 
Deborah?” with a pressure, and in a tone that left no doubt of his 
earnest meaning, she cried, “Father, what am I to say? speak for 
me!”—“Take her my friend!” said Mr. Bacon, “My blessing be upon you 
both. And if it be not presumptuous to use the words,—let me say for 
myself, ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace!’”



  _Un mal que se entra por medio los ojos,
     Y va se derecho hasta el corazon;
     Alli en ser llegado se torna aficion,
   Y da mil pesares, plazeres y enojos:
   Causa alegrias, tristezas, antojos;
       Haze llorar, y haze reir,
       Haze cantar, y haze plañir,
   Da pensamientos dos mil a manojos._


“Nobs,” said the Doctor, as he mounted and rode away from Mr. Bacon's 
garden gate, “when I alighted and fastened thee to that wicket, I 
thought as little of what was to befal me then, and what I was about 
to do, as thou knowest of it now.”

Man has an inward voice as well as an “inward eye,”[1] a voice 
distinct from that of conscience. It is the companion, if not “the 
bliss of solitude;”[1] and though he sometimes employs it to deceive 
himself, it gives him good counsel perhaps quite as often, calls him 
to account, reproves him for having left unsaid what he ought to have 
said, or for having said what he ought not to have said, reprehends or 
approves, admonishes or encourages. On this occasion it was a joyful 
and gratulatory voice, with which the Doctor spake mentally, first to 
Nobs and afterwards to himself, as he rode back to Doncaster.

[Footnote 1: WORDSWORTH.]

By this unuttered address the reader would perceive, if he should 
haply have forgotten what was intimated in some of the ante-initial 
chapters, and in the first post-initial one, that the Doctor had a 
horse, named Nobs; and the question Who was Nobs, would not be 
necessary, if this were all that was to be said concerning him. There 
is much to be said; the tongue that could worthily express his merits, 
had need be like the pen of a ready writer; though I will not say of 
him as Berni or Boiardo has said of

  _quel valeroso e bel destriero,_

Argalia's horse, Rubicano, that

  _Un che volesse dir lodando il vero,
   Bisogno aria di parlar piu ch' umano._

At present, however, I shall only say this in his praise, he was 
altogether unlike the horse of whom it was said he had only two 
faults, that of being hard to catch, and that of being good for 
nothing when he was caught. For whether in stable or in field, Nobs 
would come like a dog to his master's call. There was not a better 
horse for the Doctor's purpose in all England; no, nor in all 
Christendom; no, nor in all Houyhnhnmdom, if that country had been 
searched to find one.

_Cæsarem vehis_, said Cæsar to the Egyptian boatman. But what was that 
which the Egyptian boat carried, compared to what Nobs bore upon that 
saddle to which constant use had given its polish bright and brown?

  _Virtutem solidi pectoris hospitam
   Idem portat equus, qui dominum._[2]

Nobs therefore carried—all that is in these volumes; yea, and as all 
future generations were, according to Madame Bourignon, actually as 
well as potentially, contained in Adam,—all editions and translations 
of them, however numerous.

[Footnote 2: CASIMIR.]

But on that evening he carried something of more importance; for on 
the life and weal of his rider there depended from that hour, as far 
as its dependence was upon anything earthly, the happiness of one of 
the best men in the world, and of a daughter who was not unworthy of 
such a father. If the Doctor had been thrown from his horse and 
killed, an hour or two earlier, the same day, it would have been a 
dreadful shock both to Deborah and Mr. Bacon; and they would always 
have regretted the loss of one whose company they enjoyed, whose 
character they respected, and for whom they entertained a feeling of 
more than ordinary regard. But had such a casualty occurred now, it 
would have been the severest affliction that could have befallen them.

Yet till that hour Deborah had never thought of Dove as a husband, nor 
Dove of Deborah as a wife,—that is, neither had ever looked at the 
possibility of their being one day united to each other in that 
relation. Deborah liked him, and he liked her; and beyond this sincere 
liking neither of them for a moment dreamt that the inclination would 
ever proceed. They had not fallen in love with each other; nor had 
they run in love, nor walked into it, nor been led into it, nor 
entrapt into it; nor had they caught it.

How then came they to be in love at last? The question may be answered 
by an incident which Mr. John Davis relates in his Travels of Four 
Years and a Half in the United States of America. The traveller was 
making his way “faint and wearily” on foot to a place called by the 
strange name of Frying Pan,—for the Americans have given all sorts of 
names, except fitting ones, to the places which they have settled, or 
discovered, and their Australian kinsmen seem to be following the same 
absurd and inconvenient course. It will occasion, hereafter, as much 
confusion as the sameness of Mahommedan proper names, in all ages and 
countries, causes in the history of all Mahommedan nations. Mr. Davis 
had walked till he was tired without seeing any sign of the place at 
which he expected long before to have arrived. At length he met a lad 
in the wilderness, and asked him, “how far, my boy, is it to Frying 
Pan?” The boy replied, “you be in the Pan now.”

So it was with the Doctor and with Deborah;—they found themselves in 
love, as much to their surprize as it was to the traveller when he 
found himself in the Pan, and much more to their satisfaction. And 
upon a little after reflection they both perceived how they came to be 

              There's a chain of causes
  Link'd to effects,—invincible necessity
  That whate'er is, could not but so have been.[3]

Into such questions, however, I enter not. “_Nolo altum sapere_,” they 
be matters above my capacity: the Cobler's check shall never light on 
my head, “_Ne sutor ultra crepidam._”[4] Opportunity, which makes 
thieves, makes lovers also, and is the greatest of all match-makers. 
And when opportunity came, the Doctor,

  _Por ubbidir chi sempre ubbidir debbe
   La mente,_[5]

acted promptly. Accustomed as he was to weigh things of moment in the 
balance, and hold it with as even and as nice a hand, as if he were 
compounding a prescription on which the life of a patient might 
depend, he was no shillishallier, nor ever wasted a precious minute in 
pro-and-conning, when it was necessary at once to decide and act.

  _Chi ha tempo, e tempo aspetta, il tempo perde._[6]

His first love, as the reader will remember, came by inoculation, and 
was taken at first sight. This third and last, he used to say, came by 
inoculation also; but it was a more remarkable case, for eleven years 
elapsed before there was an appearance of his having taken the 
infection. How it happened that an acquaintance of so many years, and 
which at its very commencement had led to confidence and esteem and 
familiarity and friendship, should have led no farther, may easily be 
explained. Dove, when he first saw Deborah, was in love with another 

[Footnote 3: DRYDEN.]

[Footnote 4: THOMAS LODGE.]

[Footnote 5: PULCI.]


He had attended poor Lucy Bevan from the eighteenth year of her age, 
when a tendency to consumption first manifested itself in her, till 
the twenty-fifth, when she sunk under that slow and insidious malady. 
She, who for five of those seven years, fancied herself during every 
interval, or mitigation of the disease, restored to health, or in the 
way of recovery, had fixed her affections upon him. And he who had 
gained those affections by his kind and careful attendance upon a case 
of which he soon saw cause to apprehend the fatal termination, 
becoming aware of her attachment as he became more and more mournfully 
convinced that no human skill could save her, found himself unawares 
engaged in a second passion, as hopeless as his first. That had been 
wilful; this was equally against his will and his judgment: that had 
been a folly, this was an affliction. And the only consolation which 
he found in it was, that the consciousness of loving and of being 
beloved, which made him miserable, was a happiness to her as long as 
she retained a hope of life, or was capable of feeling satisfaction in 
anything relating to this world. Caroline Bowles, whom no authoress or 
author has ever surpassed in truth and tenderness and sanctity of 
feeling, could relate such a story as it ought to be related,—if 
stories which in themselves are purely painful ought ever to be told. 
I will not attempt to tell it:—for I wish not to draw upon the 
reader's tears, and have none to spare for it myself.

This unhappy attachment, though he never spoke of it, being always but 
too certain in what it must end, was no secret to Mr. Bacon and his 
daughter: and when death had dissolved the earthly tie, it seemed to 
them, as it did to himself, that his affections were wedded to the 
dead. It was likely that the widower should think so, judging of his 
friend's heart by his own.

  Sorrow and Time will ever paint too well
  The lost when hopeless, all things loved in vain.[7]

His feelings upon such a point had been expressed for him by a most 
prolific and unequal writer, whose poems, more perhaps than those of 
any other English author, deserve to be carefully winnowed, the grain, 
which is of the best quality, being now lost amid the heap of chaff.

  Lord keep me faithful to the trust
    Which my dear spouse reposed in me:
  To her now dead, preserve me just
    In all that should performed be.
  For tho' our being man and wife
  Extendeth only to this life,
  Yet neither life nor death should end
  The being of a faithful friend.[8]

The knowledge that the Doctor's heart was thus engaged at the time of 
their first acquaintance, had given to Deborah's intercourse with him 
an easy frankness which otherwise might perhaps not have been felt, 
and could not have been assumed; and the sister-like feeling into 
which this had grown, underwent no change after Lucy Bevan's death. He 
meantime saw that she was so happy with her father, and supposed her 
father's happiness so much depended upon her, that to have entertained 
a thought of separating them (even if the suitableness of such a 
marriage in other respects had ever entered into his imagination), 
would have seemed to him like a breach of friendship. Yet, if Mr. 
Bacon had died before he opened his mind to the Doctor upon occasion 
of Joseph Hebblethwaite's proposal, it is probable that one of the 
first means of consolation which would have occurred to him, would 
have been to offer the desolate daughter a home, together with his 
hand; so well was he acquainted with her domestic merits, so highly 
did he esteem her character, and so truly did he admire the gifts with 
which Nature had endowed her,—

                      her sweet humour
  That was as easy as a calm, and peaceful;
  All her affections, like the dews on roses,
  Fair as the flowers themselves, as sweet and gentle.[9]

[Footnote 7: ROBERT LANDOR.]

[Footnote 8: WITHER.]

[Footnote 9: BEAUMONT and FLETCHER.]



Ἔνϑα γαρ τι δεῖ ψεῦδος λεγεσϑαι λεγἐσϑω.


There is more gratitude in the world, than the worldly believe, or 
than the ungrateful are capable of believing. And knowing this, I 
consequently know how great a sacrifice I make in remaining incognito.

Reputation is a bubble upon the rapid stream of time; popularity, a 
splash in the great pool of oblivion; fame itself but a full-blown 
bladder, or at best a balloon. There is no sacrifice in declining 
them; for in escaping these you escape the impertinences and the 
intrusions which never fail to follow in their train. But that this 
book will find some readers after the Author's own heart is certain; 
they will lose something in not knowing who the individual is with 
whom they would delight to form a personal, as they have already 
formed a moral and intellectual friendship;

  For in this world, to reckon every thing,
    Pleasure to man there is none comparable
  As is to read with understanding
    In books of wisdom, they ben so delectable
    Which sound to virtue, and ben profitable.[1]

And though my loss is not of this kind, yet it is great also, for in 
each of these unknown admirers I lose the present advantage of a 
well-wisher, and the possible, or even probable benefit of a future 

[Footnote 1: TREVISA.]

Eugenius! Eusebius! Sophron! how gladly would ye become acquainted 
with my outward man, and commune with me face to face! How gladly 
would ye, Sophronia! Eusebia! Eugenia!

With how radiant a countenance and how light a step would Euphrosyne 
advance to greet me! With how benign an aspect would Amanda silently 
thank me for having held up a mirror in which she has unexpectedly 
seen herself!

Letitia's eyes would sparkle at the sight of one whose writings had 
given her new joy. Penserosa would requite me with a gentle look for 
cheering her solitary hours, and moving her sometimes to a placid 
smile, sometimes to quiet and pleasurable tears.

And you, Marcellus, from whom your friends, your country and your kind 
have every thing to hope, how great a pleasure do I forego by 
rendering it impossible for you to seek me, and commence an 
acquaintance with the sure presentiment that it would ripen into 
confidence and friendship!

There is another and more immediate gratification which this 
resolution compels me to forego, that of gratifying those persons who, 
if they knew from whom the book proceeded, would peruse it with 
heightened zest for its author's sake;—old acquaintance who would 
perceive in some of those secondary meanings which will be understood 
only by those for whom they were intended, that though we have long 
been widely separated, and probably are never again to meet in this 
world, they are not forgotten; and old friends, who would take a 
livelier interest in the reputation which the work obtains, than it 
would now be possible for me to feel in it myself.

“And why, Sir,” says an obliging and inquisitive reader, “should you 
deprive your friends and acquaintance of that pleasure, though you are 
willing to sacrifice it yourself?”

“Why, Sir,—do you ask?”

    Ah that is the mystery
    Of this wonderful history,
  And you wish that you could tell![2]

[Footnote 2: SOUTHEY.]

“A question not to be asked,” said an odder person than I shall ever 
pretend to be, “is a question not to be answered.”

Nevertheless, gentle reader, in courtesy I will give sundry answers to 
your interrogation, and leave you to fix upon which of them you may 
think likely to be the true one.

The Author may be of opinion that his name, not being heretofore known 
to the public, could be of no advantage to his book.

Or, on the other hand, if his name were already well known, he might 
think the book stands in no need of it, and may safely be trusted to 
its own merits. He may wish to secure for it a fairer trial than it 
could otherwise obtain, and intend to profit by the unbiassed opinions 
which will thus reach his ear; thinking complacently with Benedict, 
that “happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to 
mending.” In one of Metastasio's dramatic epithalamiums, Minerva says,

          _l'onore, a cui
   Venni proposta anch' io
   Piu meritar, che conseguir desio;_

and he might say this with the Goddess of Wisdom.

He may be so circumstanced that it would be inconvenient as well as 
unpleasant for him to offend certain persons,—Sir Andrew Agnewites for 
example,—whose conscientious but very mischievous notions he 
nevertheless thinks it his duty to oppose, when he can do so 
consistently with discretion.

He may have wagers dependent upon the guesses that will be made 
concerning him.

Peradventure it might injure him in his professional pursuits, were he 
to be known as an author, and that he had neglected “some sober 
calling for this idle trade.”

He may be a very modest man, who can muster courage enough for 
publication, and yet dares not encounter any farther publicity.

  Unknown, perhaps his reputation
  Escapes the tax of defamation,
  And wrapt in darkness, laughs unhurt,
  While critic blockheads throw their dirt;
  But he who madly prints his name,
  Invites his foe to take sure aim.[3]

[Footnote 3: LLOYD.]

He may be so shy, that if his book were praised he would shrink from 
the notoriety into which it would bring him; or so sensitive, that his 
mortification would be extreme, if it were known among his neighbours 
that he had been made the subject of sarcastic and contemptuous 

Or if he ever possessed this diffidence he may have got completely rid 
of it in his intercourse with the world, and have acquired that easy 
habit of simulation without which no one can take his degree as Master 
of Arts in that great University. To hear the various opinions 
concerning the book and the various surmises concerning the author, 
take part in the conversation, mystify some of his acquaintance and 
assist others in mystifying themselves, may be more amusing to him 
than any amusement of which he could partake in his own character. 
There are some secrets which it is a misery to know, and some which 
the tongue itches to communicate; but this is one which it is a 
pleasure to know and to keep. It gives to the possessor, _quasically_ 
speaking, a double existence: the exoteric person mingles as usual in 
society, while the esoteric is like John the Giganticide in his coat 
of darkness, or that knight who in the days of King Arthur used to 
walk invisible.

The best or the worst performer at a masquerade may have less delight 
in the consciousness or conceit of their own talents, than he may take 
in conversing with an air of perfect unconcern about his own dear 
book. It may be sport for him to hear it scornfully condemned by a 
friend, and pleasure to find it thoroughly relished by an enemy.

          The secrets of nature
  Have not more gift in taciturnity.[4]

Peradventure he praises it himself with a sincerity for which every 
reader will give him full credit; or peradventure he condemns it, for 
the sake of provoking others to applaud it more warmly in defence of 
their own favourable and pre-expressed opinion. Whether of these 
courses, thinkest thou, gentle reader, is he most likely to pursue? I 
will only tell thee that either would to him be equally easy and 
equally entertaining. “Ye shall know that we may dissemble in earnest 
as well as in sport, under covert and dark terms, and in learned and 
apparent speeches, in short sentences and by long ambage and 
circumstance of words, and finally, as well when we lie, as when we 
tell truth.”[5]

[Footnote 4: TROILUS and CRESSIDA.]

[Footnote 5: PUTTENHAM.]

In any one of the supposed cases sufficient reason is shown for his 
keeping, and continuing to keep his own secret.

   _En nous formant, nature a ses caprices,
  Divers penchans en nous elle fait observer.
  Les uns, à s'exposer, trouvent mille délices;
    Moi, j'en trouve à me conserver._[6]

And if there be any persons who are not satisfied with this 
explanation, I say to them, in the words of Jupiter,


[Footnote 6: MOLIERE.]

Moreover, resting my claim to the gratitude of this generation, and of 
those which are to come, upon the matter of these volumes, and 
disclaiming for myself all merit except that of fidelity to the 
lessons of my philosopher and friend, I shall not fear to appropriate, 
_mutatis mutandis_ and having thus qualified them, the proud words of 

᾽Αλλ᾽ ἐκεῖνο ἀναγράφω, ὅτι ἐμοὶ πατρίς τἐ, καὶ γένος, καὶ ἀρχαι, οἵδε 
οἱ λὁγοι εἰσι τέ—καὶ ἐπὶ τῶ δἐ οὐκ ἀπαξιῶ ἐμαυτὸν τῶν πρώτων ἐν τῇ 
φωνῇ τῇ Αγγλὶκῇ, εἴπερ οῦν καὶ Δανιὴλ ὅ ἰατρὸς ἐμος τῶν έν τοῖς 



  Ha, ha, ha, now ye will make me to smile,
  To see if I can all men beguile.
  Ha, my name, my name would ye so fain know?
    Yea, I wis, shall ye, and that with all speed.
  I have forgot it, therefore I cannot show.
    A, a, now I have it! I have it indeed!
  My name is Ambidexter, I signify one
    That with both hands finely can play.


But the question has been mooted in the literary and cerulean circles 
of the metropolis, whether this book be not the joint work of two or 
more authors. And this duality or plurality of persons in one 
authorship has been so confidently maintained, that if it were 
possible to yield upon such a point to any display of evidence and 
weight of authority, I must have been argued out of my own indivisible 

  _Fort bien! Je le soutiens par la grande raison
   Qu'ainsi l'a fait des Dieux la puissance suprême;
   Et qu'il n'est pas en moi de pouvoir dire non,
     Et d'etre un autre que moi-même._[1]

[Footnote 1: MOLIERE.]

Sometimes I have been supposed to be the unknown Beaumont of some 
equally unknown Fletcher,—the moiety of a Siamese duplicate; or the 
third part of a Geryonite triplicity; the fourth of a quaternion of 
partners, or a fifth of a Smectymnuan association. Nay, I know not 
whether they have not cut me down to the dimensions of a tailor, and 
dwindled me into the ninth part of an author!

Me to be thus served! me, who am an integral, to be thus split into 
fractions! me, a poor unit of humanity, to be treated like a polypus 
under the scissars of an experimental naturalist, or unnaturalist.

The reasons assigned in support of this pluri-personal hypothesis are, 
first, the supposed discrepancy of humour and taste apparent in the 
different parts of the book. Oh men ignorant of humorology! more 
ignorant of psychology! and most ignorant of Pantagruelism!

Secondly, the prodigal expenditure of mottoes and quotations, which 
they think could only have been supported by means of a pic-nic 
contribution. Oh men whose diligence is little, whose reading less, 
and whose sagacity least of all!

Yet looking at this fancy of the Public,—a creature entertained with 
many fancies, beset with many tormenting spirits, and provided with 
more than the four legs and two voices which were hastily attributed 
to the son of Sycorax;—a creature which, though it be the fashion of 
the times to seek for shelter under its gaberdine, is by this good 
light, “a very shallow monster,” “a most poor credulous monster!”—I 
say looking at this fancy of the Public in that temper with which it 
is my wish to regard every thing, methinks I should be flattered by 
it, and pleased (if any thing flattering could please me) by having it 
supposed upon such grounds, that this book, like the _Satyre 
Menippée_, is the composition of several _bons et gentils esprits du 
tems,—dans lequel souz paroles et allegations pleines de raillerie, 
ils boufonnerent, comme en riant le vray se peut dire_; and which _ils 
firent, selon leurs humeurs, caprices et intelligences, en telle sorte 
qu'il se peut dire qu'ils n'ont rien oublié de ce qui se peut dire 
pour servir de perfection à cet ouvrage, qui bien entendu sera 
grandement estimé par la posterité._[2]

[Footnote 2: CHEVERNY.]

The same thing occurred in the case of Gulliver's Travels, and in that 
case Arbuthnot thought reasonably; for, said he, “if this Book were to 
be decyphered merely from a view of it, without any hints, or secret 
history, this would be a very natural conclusion: we should be apt to 
fancy it the production of two or three persons, who want neither wit 
nor humour; but who are very full of themselves, and hold the rest of 
mankind in great contempt; who think sufficient regard is not paid to 
their merit by those in power, for which reason they rail at them; who 
have written some pieces with success and applause, and therefore 
presume that whatever comes from them must be implicitly received by 
the public. In this last particular they are certainly right; for the 
superficial people of the Town, who have no judgment of their own, are 
presently amused by a great name: tell them, by way of a secret, that 
such a thing is Dr. Swift's, Mr. Pope's, or any other person's of note 
and genius, and immediately it flies about like wild-fire.”[3]

[Footnote 3: GULLIVER decyphered.]

If the Book of the Doctor, instead of continuing to appear, as it 
originally went forth, _simplex munditiis_, with its own pithy, 
comprehensive, and well-considered title, were to have a name 
constructed for it of composite initials, like the joint-stock volume 
of the five puritanical ministers above referred to, once so well 
known, but now preserved from utter oblivion by nothing but that 
name,—_vox et præterea nihil_;—if, I say, the Book of the Doctor were 
in like manner to be denominated according to one or other of the 
various schemes of bibliogony which have been devised for explaining 
its phenomena, the reader might be expected in good earnest to 

          Bless us! what a word on
  A title page is this!

For among other varieties, the following present themselves for 


And thus, my Monster of the Isle, while I have listened and looked on 
like a spectator at a game of blind-man's-buff, or at a blindfold 
boat-race, have you, with your errabund guesses, veering to all points 
of the literary compass, amused the many-humoured yet single-minded 
Pantagruelist, the quotationipotent mottocrat, the entire unit, the 
single and whole _homo_, who subscribes himself,

        with all sincerity and good will,
            Most delicate Monster,
  and with just as much respect as you deserve,
      not your's, or any body's humble Servant,
  (saving always that he is the king's dutiful subject)
      and not your's, but his own, to command,



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