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Title: A Book of English Prose - Part II, Arranged for Secondary and High Schools
Author: Lubbock, Percy, 1879-1965
Language: English
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A Book of English Prose

Part II


_Arranged for Secondary and High Schools_


BY

PERCY LUBBOCK, M.A.



KING'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

Cambridge:

at the University Press

1913



Cambridge:

PRINTED BY JOHN CLAY, M.A.

AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS



PREFATORY NOTE

The Editor desires to record his thanks to Messrs
Macmillan & Co., Ltd., Messrs Chatto & Windus
and Messrs Longmans, Green & Co., for their respective
permission to include in this volume passages from
Walter Pater's _Miscellaneous Studies_, from R. L. Stevenson's
_Random Memories_ and from Newman's _Historical
Sketches_.

P. L.

October 1913



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

Death of Sir Gawaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Sir Thomas Malory_     1

The Queen's Speech to her last
  Parliament . . . . . . . . . . . . _Elizabeth, Queen of England_     4

Death of Cleopatra . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Sir Thomas North_     8

The Vanity of Greatness  . . . . . . . . . . . _Sir Walter Ralegh_    12

The Law of Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Richard Hooker_    16

Of Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Francis Bacon_    17

Meditation on Death  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _William Drummond_    19

Primitive Life   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Thomas Hobbes_    21

Character of a Plodding Student  . . . . . . . . . .  _John Earle_    24

Charity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Sir Thomas Browne_    25

The Danger of interfering with the Liberty
  of the Press   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _John Milton_    27

Death of Falkland  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Earl of Clarendon_    30

The End of the Pilgrimage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . _John Bunyan_    35

Poetry and Music   . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Sir William Temple_    40

A Day in the Country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Samuel Pepys_    42

Captain Singleton in China . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Daniel Defoe_    46

The Art of Conversation  . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Jonathan Swift_    51

The Royal Exchange   . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Joseph Addison_    56

Sir Roger de Coverley's Ancestors  . . . . . . .  _Richard Steele_    60

Partridge at the Play  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Henry Fielding_    65

A Journey in a Stage-coach . . . . . . . . . . .  _Samuel Johnson_    71

Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim . . . . . . . . . . _Laurence Sterne_    76

The Funeral of George II . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Horace Walpole_    79

The Credulity of the English . . . . . . . . . . _Oliver Goldsmith_   83

Decay of the Principles of Liberty . . . . . . . . . _Edmund Burke_   85

The Candidate for Parliament . . . . . . . . . . . _William Cowper_   89

Youth  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Edward Gibbon_   93

First Sight of Dr Johnson  . . . . . . . . . . . .  _James Boswell_   94

Arrival at Osbaldistone Hall . . . . . . . . . . _Sir Walter Scott_  100

A Visit to Coleridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   _Charles Lamb_  107

Diogenes and Plato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   _W. S. Landor_  109

An Invitation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Jane Austen_  113

Coleridge as Preacher  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _William Hazlitt_  118

A Dream  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Thomas de Quincey_  120

The Use of Poetry  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _John Keats_  122

The Flight to Varennes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Thomas Carlyle_  124

The Trial of the Seven Bishops . . . . . . . . . .  _Lord Macaulay_  130

The University of Athens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _J. H. Newman_  135

The House of the Seven Gables  . . . . . . .  _Nathaniel Hawthorne_  140

Denis Duval's first journey to London  . . . . .  _W. M. Thackeray_  144

Storm  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _Charles Dickens_  149

Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester . . . . . . . . . . . _Charlotte Brontë_  153

A Hut in the Woods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _H. D. Thoreau_  157

A Miser  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _George Eliot_  159

Ships  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _John Ruskin_  163

The Child in the House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _Walter Pater_  168

Diving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  _R. L. Stevenson_  171


Notes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   176



{1}

SIR THOMAS MALORY  15th century

DEATH OF SIR GAWAINE

And so, as Sir Mordred was at Dover with his host, there came King
Arthur with a great navy of ships, galleys, and carracks.  And there
was Sir Mordred ready waiting upon his landing, to let his own father
to land upon the land that he was king of.  Then was there launching of
great boats and small, and all were full of noble men of arms; and
there was much slaughter of gentle knights, and many a full bold baron
was laid full low on both parties.  But King Arthur was so courageous,
that there might no manner of knight let him to land, and his knights
fiercely followed him, and so they landed maugre Sir Mordred and all
his power, and put Sir Mordred back, that he fled and all his people.
So when this battle was done, King Arthur let bury his people that were
dead.  And then was the noble knight Sir Gawaine found in a great boat,
lying more than half dead.  When King Arthur wist that Sir Gawaine was
laid so low, he went unto him; and there the king made sorrow out of
measure, and took Sir Gawaine in his arms, and thrice he swooned.  And
when he came to himself again, he said, "Alas! my sister's son, here
now thou liest, the man in the world {2} that I loved most, and now is
my joy gone.  For now, my nephew Sir Gawaine, I will discover me unto
your person.  In Sir Launcelot and you I most had my joy and mine
affiance, and now have I lost my joy of you both, wherefore all mine
earthly joy is gone from me."  "My uncle King Arthur," said Sir
Gawaine, "wit you well that my death's day is come, and all is through
mine own hastiness and wilfulness, for I am smitten upon the old wound
that Sir Launcelot du Lake gave me, of the which I feel that I must
die; and if Sir Launcelot had been with you as he was, this unhappy war
had never begun, and of all this I myself am causer; for Sir Launcelot
and his blood, through their prowess, held all your cankered enemies in
subjection and danger.  And now," said Sir Gawaine, "ye shall miss Sir
Launcelot.  But alas!  I would not accord with him; and therefore,"
said Sir Gawaine, "I pray you, fair uncle, that I may have paper, pen,
and ink, that I may write unto Sir Launcelot a letter with mine own
hands."  And when paper and ink was brought, Sir Gawaine was set up
weakly by King Arthur, for he had been shriven a little before; and he
wrote thus unto Sir Launcelot: "Flower of all noble knights that ever I
heard of or saw in my days, I, Sir Gawaine, King Lot's son of Orkney,
sister's son unto the noble King Arthur, send unto thee greeting, and
let thee have knowledge, that the tenth day of May I was smitten upon
the old wound which thou gavest me before the city of Benwick, and
through the same wound that thou gavest me I am come unto my death day,
and I will that all the world wit that I Sir Gawaine, Knight of the
Round Table, sought my death, and not through thy deserving, {3} but it
was mine own seeking; wherefore I beseech thee, Sir Launcelot, for to
return again unto this realm and see my tomb, or pray some prayer more
or less for my soul.  And that same day that I wrote this letter, I was
hurt to the death in the same wound the which I had of thy hands, Sir
Launcelot, for of a more nobler man might I not be slain.  Also, Sir
Launcelot, for all the love that ever was between us, make no tarrying,
but come over the sea in all the haste that thou mayst with thy noble
knights, and rescue that noble king that made thee knight, that is my
lord and uncle King Arthur, for he is full straitly bestood with a
false traitor, which is my half-brother Sir Mordred, and he hath let
crown himself king, and he would have wedded my lady Queen Guenevere,
and so had he done, if she had not put herself in the Tower of London.
And so the tenth day of May last past, my lord and uncle King Arthur
and we all landed upon them at Dover, and there we put that false
traitor Sir Mordred to flight.  And there it misfortuned me for to be
stricken upon thy stroke.  And the date of this letter was written but
two hours and a half before my death, written with mine own hand, and
so subscribed with part of my heart-blood.  And I require thee, as thou
art the most famost knight of the world, that thou wilt see my tomb."
And then Sir Gawaine wept, and also King Arthur wept; and then they
swooned both.  And when they awaked both, the king made Sir Gawaine to
receive his Saviour.  And then Sir Gawaine prayed the king to send for
Sir Launcelot, and to cherish him above all other knights.  And so at
the hour of noon Sir Gawaine betook his soul into the {4} hands of our
Lord God.  And then the king let bury him in a chapel within the castle
of Dover; and there yet unto this day all men may see the skull of Sir
Gawaine, and the same wound is seen that Sir Launcelot gave him in
battle.  Then it was told to King Arthur that Sir Mordred had pight a
new field upon Barendown.  And on the morrow the king rode thither to
him, and there was a great battle between them, and much people were
slain on both parts.  But at the last King Arthur's party stood best,
and Sir Mordred and his party fled into Canterbury.

(_Morte Darthur_.)



ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF ENGLAND

1533-1603

THE QUEEN'S SPEECH TO HER LAST PARLIAMENT, NOVEMBER 30, 1601

Mr Speaker,--We perceive your coming is to present thanks unto us.
Know I accept them with no less joy than your loves can desire to offer
such a present, and do more esteem it than any treasure or riches; for
those we know how to prize, but loyalty, love, and thanks, I account
them invaluable; and though God hath raised me high, yet this I account
the glory of my crown, that I have reigned with your loves.  This makes
that I do not so much rejoice that God hath made me to be a queen, as
to be a queen over so thankful a people, and to be the means under God
to conserve you in safety, and {5} preserve you from danger, yea to be
the instrument to deliver you from dishonour, from shame and from
infamy, to keep you from out of servitude, and from slavery under our
enemies, and cruel tyranny, and vile oppression intended against us;
for the better withstanding whereof, we take very acceptable your
intended helps, and chiefly in that it manifesteth your loves and
largeness of hearts to your sovereign.  Of myself I must say this, I
never was any greedy scraping grasper, nor a strict fasting-holding
prince, nor yet a waster; my heart was never set upon any worldly
goods, but only for my subjects' good.  What you do bestow on me I will
not hoard up, but receive it to bestow on you again; yea, mine own
properties I account yours to be expended for your good, and your eyes
shall see the bestowing of it for your welfare.

Mr Speaker, I would wish you and the rest to stand up, for I fear I
shall yet trouble you with longer speech.

Mr Speaker, you give me thanks, but I am more to thank you, and I
charge you thank them of the Lower House from me; for had I not
received knowledge from you, I might a' fallen into the lapse of an
error, only for want of true information.  Since I was queen, yet did I
never put my pen to any grant but upon pretext and semblance made me
that it was for the good and avail of my subjects generally, though a
private profit to some of my ancient servants, who have deserved well;
but that my grants shall be made grievances to my people, and
oppressions to be privileged under colour of our patents, our princely
dignity shall not suffer it.

When I heard it, I could give no rest unto my {6} thoughts until I had
reformed it, and those varlets, lewd persons, abusers of my bounty,
shall know I will not suffer it.  And, Mr Speaker, tell the House from
me, I take it exceeding grateful that the knowledge of these things is
come unto me from them.  And though amongst them the principal members
are such as are not touched in private, and therefore need not speak
from any feeling of the grief, yet we have heard that other gentlemen
also of the House, who stand as free, have spoken freely in it; which
gives us to know that no respects or interests have moved them, other
than the minds they bear to suffer no diminution of our honour and our
subjects' love unto us.  The zeal of which affection tending to ease my
people and knit their hearts unto us, I embrace with a princely care
far above all earthly treasures.  I esteem my people's love, more than
which I desire not to merit: and God, that gave me here to sit, and
placed me over you, knows that I never respected myself, but as your
good was conserved in me; yet what dangers, what practices, what perils
I have passed, some, if not all of you, know; but none of these things
do move me, or ever made me fear, but it's God that hath delivered me.

And in my governing this land, I have ever set the last judgment day
before mine eyes, and so to rule as I shall be judged and answer before
a higher Judge, to whose judgment seat I do appeal; in that thought was
never cherished in my heart that tended not to my people's good.

And if my princely bounty have been abused, and my grants turned to the
hurt of my people contrary to {7} my will and meaning, or if any in
authority under me have neglected, or have converted what I have
committed unto them, I hope God will not lay their culps to my charge.

To be a king, and wear a crown, is a thing more glorious to them that
see it than it's pleasant to them that bear it: for myself, I never was
so much enticed with the glorious name of a king, or the royal
authority of a queen, as delighted that God hath made me his instrument
to maintain his truth and glory, and to defend this kingdom from
dishonour, damage, tyranny, and oppression.  But should I ascribe any
of these things to myself or my sexly weakness, I were not worthy to
live, and of all most unworthy of the mercies I have received at God's
hands, but to God only and wholly all is given and ascribed.

The cares and troubles of a crown I cannot more fitly resemble than to
the drugs of a learned physician, perfumed with some aromatical savour,
or to bitter pills gilded over, by which they are made more acceptable
or less offensive, which indeed are bitter and unpleasant to take; and
for my own part, were it not for conscience sake to discharge the duty
that God hath laid upon me, and to maintain his glory, and keep you in
safety, in mine own disposition I should be willing to resign the place
I hold to any other, and glad to be freed of the glory with the
labours, for it is not my desire to live nor to reign longer than my
life and reign shall be for your good.  And though you have had and may
have many mightier and wiser princes sitting in this seat, yet you
never had or shall have any that will love you better.



{8}

SIR THOMAS NORTH 1535-1601

DEATH OF CLEOPATRA

Shortly after Caesar came himself in person to see her, and to comfort
her.  Cleopatra being laid upon a little low bed in poor estate, when
she saw Caesar come in to her chamber, she suddenly rose up, naked in
her smock, and fell down at his feet marvellously disfigured: both for
that she had plucked her hair from her head, as also for that she had
martyred all her face with her nails, and besides, her voice was small
and trembling, her eyes sunk into her head with continual blubbering:
and moreover, they might see the most part of her stomach torn in
sunder.  To be short, her body was not much better than her mind: yet
her good grace and comeliness and the force of her beauty was not
altogether defaced.  But notwithstanding this ugly and pitiful state of
hers, yet she shewed herself within, by her outward looks and
countenance.  When Caesar had made her lie down again, and sat by her
bedside, Cleopatra began to clear and excuse herself for that she had
done, laying all to the fear she had of Antonius.  Caesar, in contrary
manner, reproved her in every point.  Then she suddenly altered her
speech, and prayed him to pardon her, as though she were afraid to die,
and desirous to live.  At length she gave him a brief and memorial of
all the ready money and treasure she had.  But by chance there stood
Seleucus by, one of her treasurers, who, to seem a good servant, came
straight to Caesar to disprove {9} Cleopatra, that she had not set in
all, but kept many things back of purpose.  Cleopatra was in such a
rage with him, that she flew upon him, and took him by the hair of the
head, and boxed him well-favouredly.  Caesar fell a-laughing, and
parted the fray.  "Alas," said she, "O Caesar, is not this a great
shame and reproach, that thou having vouchsafed to take the pains to
come unto me, and hast done me this honour, poor wretch, and caitiff
creature, brought into this pitiful and miserable estate: and that mine
own servants should come now to accuse me, though it may be I have
reserved some jewels and trifles meet for women, but not for me (poor
soul) to set out myself withal, but meaning to give some pretty
presents and gifts unto Octavia and Livia, that they making means and
intercession for me to thee, thou mightest yet extend thy favour and
mercy upon me?"  Caesar was glad to hear her say so, persuading himself
thereby that she had yet a desire to save her life.  So he made her
answer, that he did not only give her that to dispose of at her
pleasure, which she had kept back, but further promised to use her more
honourably and bountifully than she would think for: and so he took his
leave of her, supposing he had deceived her, but indeed he was deceived
himself.

There was a young gentleman Cornelius Dolabella, that was one of
Caesar's very great familiars, and besides did bear no evil will unto
Cleopatra.  He sent her word secretly as she had requested him, that
Caesar determined to take his journey through Syria, and that within
three days he would send her away before with her children.  When this
was told Cleopatra, she requested Caesar that {10} it would please him
to suffer her to offer the last oblations of the dead, unto the soul of
Antonius.  This being granted her, she was carried to the place where
his tomb was, and there falling down on her knees, embracing the tomb
with her women, the tears running down her cheeks, she began to speak
in this sort: "O my dear Lord Antonius, not long sithence I buried thee
here, being a free woman: and now I offer unto thee the funeral
sprinklings and oblations, being a captive and prisoner; and yet I am
forbidden and kept from tearing and murdering this captive body of mine
with blows, which they carefully guard and keep, only to triumph of
thee: look therefore henceforth for no other honours, offerings, nor
sacrifices from me, for these are the last which Cleopatra can give
thee, sith now they carry her away.  Whilst we lived together, nothing
could sever our companies: but now at our death, I fear me they will
make us change our countries.  For as thou, being a Roman, hast been
buried in Egypt: even so, wretched creature I, an Egyptian, shall be
buried in Italy, which shall be all the good that I have received by
thy country.  If therefore the gods where thou art now have any power
and authority, sith our gods here have forsaken us, suffer not thy true
friend and lover to be carried away alive, that in me they triumph of
thee: but receive me with thee, and let me be buried in one self tomb
with thee.  For though my griefs and miseries be infinite, yet none
hath grieved me more, nor that I could less bear withal, than this
small time which I have been driven to live without thee."  Then,
having ended these doleful plaints, and crowned the tomb with garlands
and sundry {11} nosegays, and marvellous lovingly embraced the same,
she commanded they should prepare her bath, and when she had bathed and
washed herself, she fell to her meat and was sumptuously served.

Now whilst she was at dinner there came a countryman, and brought her a
basket.  The soldiers that warded at the gates, asked him straight what
he had in his basket.  He opened the basket, and took out the leaves
that covered the figs, and shewed them that they were figs he brought.
They all of them marvelled to see so goodly figs.  The countryman
laughed to hear them, and bade them take some if they would.  They
believed he told them truly, and so bade him carry them in.

After Cleopatra had dined, she sent a certain table written and sealed
unto Caesar, and commanded them all to go out of the tombs where she
was, but the two women; then she shut the doors to her.  Caesar, when
he received this table, and began to read her lamentation and petition,
requesting him that he would let her be buried with Antonius, found
straight what she meant, and thought to have gone thither himself:
howbeit he sent one before in all haste that might be, to see what it
was.  Her death was very sudden.  For those whom Caesar sent unto her
ran thither in all haste possible, and found the soldiers standing at
the gate, mistrusting nothing, nor understanding of her death.  But
when they had opened the doors, they found Cleopatra stark dead, laid
upon a bed of gold, attired and arrayed in her royal robes, and one of
her two women, which was called Iras, dead at her feet: and her other
woman, called Charmion, half dead, and trembling, trimming the diadem
which {12} Cleopatra ware upon her head.  One of the soldiers, seeing
her, angrily said unto her: "Is that well done, Charmion?"  "Very
well," said she again, "and meet for a princess descended from the race
of so many noble kings."  She said no more, but fell down dead hard by
the bed.

(_Plutarch's Lives_.)



SIR WALTER RALEGH 1552-1618

THE VANITY OF GREATNESS

By this which we have already set down is seen the beginning and end of
the three first monarchies of the world; whereof the founders and
erecters thought, that they could never have ended.  That of Rome,
which made the fourth, was also at this time almost at the highest.  We
have left it flourishing in the middle of the field, having rooted up
or cut down all that kept it from the eyes and admiration of the world.
But after some continuance, it shall begin to lose the beauty it had;
the storms of ambition shall beat her great boughs and branches one
against another; her leaves shall fall off, her limbs wither, and a
rabble of barbarous nations enter the field and cut her down.

Now these great kings and conquering nations have been the subject of
those ancient histories which have been preserved and yet remain among
us; and withal of so many tragical poets, as in the persons of powerful
princes and other mighty men have complained against {13} infidelity,
time, destiny, and most of all against the variable success of worldly
things and instability of fortune.  To these undertakings these great
lords of the world have been stirred up, rather by the desire of fame,
which plougheth up the air and soweth in the wind, than by the
affection of bearing rule, which draweth after it so much vexation and
so many cares.  And that this is true, the good advice of Cineas to
Pyrrhus proves.  And certainly, as fame hath often been dangerous to
the living, so it is to the dead of no use at all, because separate
from knowledge.  Which were it otherwise, and the extreme ill bargain
of buying this lasting discourse understood by them which are
dissolved, they themselves would then rather have wished to have stolen
out of the world without noise, than to be put in mind that they have
purchased the report of their actions in the world by rapine,
oppression, and cruelty, by giving in spoil the innocent and labouring
soul to the idle and insolent, and by having emptied the cities of the
world of their ancient inhabitants, and fitted them again with so many
and so variable sorts of sorrows.

Since the fall of the Roman Empire (omitting that of the Germans, which
had neither greatness nor continuance) there hath been no state fearful
in the east but that of the Turk; nor in the west any prince that hath
spread his wings far over his nest but the Spaniard; who, since the
time that Ferdinand expelled the Moors out of Grenado, have made many
attempts to make themselves masters of all Europe.  And it is true that
by the treasures of both Indies, and by the many kingdoms which they
possess in Europe, they are at this day the most {14} powerful.  But as
the Turk is now counterpoised by the Persian, so instead of so many
millions as have been spent by the English, French, and Netherlands in
a defensive war and in diversions against them, it is easy to
demonstrate that with the charge of two hundred thousand pound
continued but for two years, or three at the most, they may not only be
persuaded to live in peace, but all their swelling and overflowing
streams may be brought back into their natural channels and old banks.
These two nations, I say, are at this day the most eminent and to be
regarded; the one seeking to root out the Christian religion
altogether, the other the truth and sincere profession thereof; the one
to join all Europe to Asia, the other the rest of all Europe to Spain.

For the rest, if we seek a reason of the succession and continuance of
this boundless ambition in mortal men, we may add to that which hath
been already said, that the kings and princes of the world have always
laid before them the actions, but not the ends, of those great ones
which preceded them.  They are always transported with the glory of the
one, but they never mind the misery of the other, till they find the
experience in themselves.  They neglect the advice of God, while they
enjoy life or hope it; but they follow the counsel of Death upon his
first approach.  It is he that puts into man all wisdom of the world,
without speaking a word; which God with all the words of His law,
promises or threats, doth not infuse.  Death, which hateth and
destroyeth man, is believed; God, which hath him and loves him, is
always deferred.  _I have considered_ (saith Solomon) _all the works
that are wider the sun, and behold, all is vanity and vexation of {15}
spirit_: but who believes it, till Death tells it us?  It was Death,
which, opening the conscience of Charles the fifth, made him enjoin his
son Philip to restore Navarre; and King Francis the first of France, to
command that justice should be done upon the murderers of the
Protestants in Merindol and Cabrieres, which till then he neglected.
It is therefore Death alone that can suddenly make man to know himself.
He tells the proud and insolent that they are but abjects, and humbles
them at the instant, makes them cry, complain, and repent, yea, even to
hate their forepassed happiness.  He takes the account of the rich and
proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, which hath interest in nothing but
in the gravel that fills his mouth.  He holds a glass before the eyes
of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein their deformity and
rottenness, and they acknowledge it.

O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast
persuaded; what none hath dared thou hast done; and whom all the world
hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised.
Thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the
pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these
two narrow words, _Hic jacet_.

(_History of the World_.)



{16}

RICHARD HOOKER 1554-1600

THE LAW OF NATIONS

Now besides that law which simply concerneth men as men, and that which
belongeth unto them as they are men linked with others in some form of
politic society, there is a third kind of law which toucheth all such
several bodies politic, so far forth as one of them hath public
commerce with another.  And this third is the Law of Nations.  Between
men and beasts there is no possibility of social communion, because the
well-spring of that communion is a natural delight which man hath to
transfuse from himself into others, and to receive from others into
himself especially those things wherein the excellency of his kind doth
most consist.  The chiefest instrument of human communion therefore is
speech, because thereby we impart mutually one to another the conceits
of our reasonable understanding.  And for that cause seeing beasts are
not hereof capable, forasmuch as with them we can use no such
conference, they being in degree, although above other creatures on
earth to whom nature hath denied sense, yet lower than to be sociable
companions of man to whom nature hath given reason; it is of Adam said
that amongst the beasts "he found not for himself any meet companion."
Civil society doth more content the nature of man than any private kind
of solitary living, because in society this good of mutual
participation is so much larger than otherwise.  Herewith
notwithstanding we are not satisfied, but we covet {17} (if it might
be) to have a kind of society and fellowship even with all mankind.
Which thing Socrates intending to signify professed himself a citizen,
not of this or that commonwealth, but of the world.  And an effect of
that very natural desire in us (a manifest token that we wish after a
sort an universal fellowship with all men) appeareth by the wonderful
delight men have, some to visit foreign countries, some to discover
nations not heard of in former ages, we all to know the affairs and
dealings of other people, yea to be in league of amity with them: and
this not only for traffic's sake, or to the end that when many are
confederated each may make other the more strong; but for such cause
also as moved the Queen of Saba to visit Solomon; and in a word,
because nature doth presume that how many men there are in the world,
so many gods as it were there are, or at leastwise such they should be
towards men.

(_Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity_.)



FRANCIS BACON 1561-1626

OF STUDIES

Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.  Their chief
use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in
discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of
business.  For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of
particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots, and
the marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned.  To
spend too much time in {18} studies is sloth; to use them too much for
ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the
humour of a scholar.  They perfect nature, and are perfected by
experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need
pruning by study: and studies themselves do give forth directions too
much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.  Crafty men
contemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them: for
they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and
above them, won by observation.  Read not to contradict and confute,
nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse,
but to weigh and consider.  Some books are to be tasted, others to be
swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books
are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and
some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.  Some
books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others:
but that would be only in the less important arguments and the meaner
sort of books: else distilled books are like common distilled waters,
flashy things.  Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and
writing an exact man.  And therefore, if a man write little, he had
need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a
present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to
seem to know that he doth not.  Histories make men wise, poets witty,
the mathematics subtle, natural philosophy deep, moral grave, logic and
rhetoric able to contend: _Abeunt studia in mores_.  Nay, there is no
stond or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought {19} out by fit
studies: like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises.
Bowling is good for the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and
breast; gentle walking for the stomach; riding for the head; and the
like.  So if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics;
for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he
must begin again.  If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find
differences, let him study the school-men; for they are _Cymini
sectores_.  If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one
thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers'
cases.  So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.

(_Essays_.)



WILLIAM DRUMMOND 1585-1649

MEDITATION ON DEATH

If on the great theatre of this earth among the numberless number of
men, _to die_ were only proper to thee and thine, then undoubtedly thou
had reason to repine at so severe and partial a law.  But since it is a
necessity, from which never any age by-past hath been exempted, and
unto which they which be, and so many as are to come, are thralled (no
consequent of life being more common and familiar), why shouldst thou
with unprofitable and nought-availing stubbornness, oppose so
inevitable and necessary a condition?  This is the high-way of
morality, and our general home: Behold what millions have trod it
before thee, what multitudes shall after thee, with them which at that
same instant {20} run.  In so universal a calamity (if Death be one)
private complaints cannot be heard: with so many royal palaces, it is
no loss to see thy poor cabin burn.  Shall the heavens stay their
ever-rolling wheels (for what is the motion of them but the motion of a
swift and ever-whirling wheel, which twineth forth and again uprolleth
our life), and hold still time to prolong thy miserable days, as if the
highest of their working were to do homage unto thee?  Thy death is a
pace of the order of this _All_, a part of the life of this world; for
while the world is the world, some creatures must die, and others take
life.  Eternal things are raised far above this sphere of generation
and corruption, where the first matter, like an ever flowing and ebbing
sea, with divers waves, but the same water, keepeth a restless and
never tiring current; what is below in the universality of the kind,
not in itself doth abide: _Man_ a long line of years hath continued,
_This man_ every hundred is swept away.  This globe environed with air
is the sole region of Death, the grave where everything that taketh
life must rot, the stage of fortune and change, only glorious in the
inconstancy and varying alterations of it, which though many, seem yet
to abide one, and being a certain entire one, are ever many.  The never
agreeing bodies of the elemental brethren turn one into another; the
earth changeth her countenance with the seasons, sometimes looking cold
and naked, other times hot and flowery: nay, I cannot tell how, but
even the lowest of those celestial bodies, that mother of months, and
empress of seas and moisture, as if she were a mirror of our constant
mutability, appeareth (by her too great nearness {21} unto us) to
participate of our changes, never seeing us twice with that same face:
now looking black, then pale and wan, sometimes again in the perfection
and fulness of her beauty shining over us.  Death no less than life
doth here act a part, the taking away of what is old being the making
way for what is young.

(_A Cypress Grove_.)



THOMAS HOBBES 1588-1679

PRIMITIVE LIFE

Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is
enemy to every man, the same is consequent to the time, wherein men
live without other security, than what their own strength and their own
invention shall furnish them withal.  In such condition there is no
place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and
consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the
commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no
instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force;
no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no
letters; no society; and, which is worst of all, continual fear, and
danger of violent death; and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty,
brutish, and short.

It may seem strange to some man that has not well weighed these things,
that nature should thus dissociate, and render men apt to invade and
destroy one another: and he may therefore, not trusting to this
inference, {22} made from the passions, desire perhaps to have the same
confirmed by experience.  Let him therefore consider with himself, when
taking a journey, he arms himself, and seeks to go well accompanied;
when going to sleep, he locks his doors; when even in his house he
locks his chests; and this when he knows there be laws and public
officers, armed, to revenge all injuries shall be done him; what
opinion he has of his fellow-subjects, when he rides armed; of his
fellow-citizens, when he locks his doors; and of his children and
servants, when he locks his chests.  Does he not there as much accuse
mankind by his actions, as I do by my words?  But neither of us accuse
man's nature in it.  The desires and other passions of man are in
themselves no sin.  No more are the actions that proceed from those
passions, till they know a law that forbids them; which, till laws be
made, they cannot know; nor can any law be made, till they have agreed
upon the person that shall make it.

It may peradventure be thought, there was never such a time, nor
condition of war as this; and I believe it was never generally so over
all the world; but there are many places where they live so now.  For
the savage people in many places of America, except the government of
small families, the concord whereof dependeth on natural lust, have no
government at all; and live at this day in that brutish manner, as I
said before.  Howsoever, it may be perceived what manner of life there
would be, where there were no common power to fear, by the manner of
life which men that have formerly lived under a peaceful government
used to degenerate into in a civil war.

{23} But though there had never been any time, wherein particular men
were in a condition of war one against another; yet in all times, kings
and persons of sovereign authority, because of their independency, are
in continual jealousies, and in the state and posture of gladiators:
having their weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another;
that is, their forts, garrisons, and guns upon the frontiers of their
kingdoms; and continual spies upon their neighbours; which is a posture
of war.  But, because they uphold thereby the industry of their
subjects, there does not follow from it that misery which accompanies
the liberty of particular men.

To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent,
that nothing can be unjust.  The notions of right and wrong, justice
and injustice, have there no place.  Where there is no common power,
there is no law: where no law, no injustice.  Force and fraud are in
war the two cardinal virtues.  Justice and injustice are none of the
faculties, neither of the body nor mind.  If they were, they might be
in a man that were alone in the world, as well as his senses and
passions.  They are qualities that relate to men in society, not in
solitude.  It is consequent also to the same condition, that there be
no propriety, no dominion, no _mine_ and _thine_ distinct; but only
that to be every man's, that he can get; and for so long as he can keep
it.  And thus much for the ill condition, which man by mere nature is
actually placed in: though with a possibility to come out of it,
consisting partly in the passions, partly in his reason.

(_Leviathan_.)



{24}

JOHN EARLE 1601?-1665

CHARACTER OF A PLODDING STUDENT

_A Plodding Student_ is a kind of alchemist or persecutor of Nature,
that would change the dull lead of his brain into finer metal, with
success many times as unprosperous, or at least not quitting the cost,
to wit, of his own oil and candles.  He has a strange forced appetite
to learning, and to achieve it brings nothing but patience and a body.
His study is not great, but continual, and consists much in the sitting
up till after midnight in a rug gown and a nightcap, to the vanquishing
perhaps of some six lines: yet what he has, he has perfect, for he
reads it so long to understand it, till he gets it without book.  He
may with much industry make a breach into logic, and arrive at some
ability in an argument; but for politer studies, he dare not skirmish
with them, and for poetry, accounts it impregnable.  His invention is
no more than the finding out of his papers, and his few gleanings
there; and his disposition of them is as just as the book-binder's, a
setting or glueing of them together.  He is a great discomforter of
young students, by telling them what travail it has cost him, and how
often his brain turned at philosophy, and makes others fear studying as
a cause of duncery.  He is a man much given to apothegms, which serve
him for wit, and seldom breaks any jest but which belonged to some
Lacedaemonian or Roman in _Lycosthenes_.  He is like {25} a dull
carrier's horse, that will go a whole week together, but never out of a
foot-pace: and he that sets forth on the Saturday shall overtake him.

(_Microcosmography_.)



SIR THOMAS BROWNE 1605-1682

CHARITY

Now for that other virtue of charity, without which faith is a mere
notion and of no existence, I have ever endeavoured to nourish the
merciful disposition and humane inclination I borrowed from my parents,
and regulate it to the written and prescribed laws of charity.  And, if
I hold the true anatomy of myself, I am delineated and naturally framed
to such a piece of virtue; for I am of a constitution so general that
it consorts and sympathizeth with all things; I have no antipathy, or
rather idiosyncrasy, in diet, humour, air, anything.  I wonder not at
the French for their dishes of frogs, snails, and toadstools, nor at
the Jews for locusts and grasshoppers; but, being amongst them, make
them my common viands; and I find they agree with my stomach as well as
theirs.  I could digest a salad gathered in a churchyard as well as in
a garden.  I cannot start at the presence of a serpent, scorpion,
lizard, or salamander; at the sight of a toad or viper, I find in me no
desire to take up a stone to destroy them.  I feel not in myself those
common antipathies that I discover in others: those national
repugnances do not touch me, {26} nor do I behold with prejudice the
French, Italian, Spaniard, or Dutch; but, where I find their actions in
balance with my countrymen's, I honour, love, and embrace them, in the
same degree.  I was born in the eighth climate, but seem to be framed
and constellated unto all.  I am no plant that will not prosper out of
a garden.  All places, all airs, make unto me one country; I am in
England everywhere, and under any meridian.  I have been shipwrecked,
yet am not enemy with the sea or winds; I can study, play, or sleep in
a tempest.  In brief, I am averse from nothing: my conscience would
give me the lie if I should say I absolutely detest or hate any
essence, but the devil, or so at least abhor anything, but that we
might come to composition.  If there be any among those common objects
of hatred I do contemn and laugh at, it is that great enemy of reason,
virtue, and religion, the multitude; that numerous piece of
monstrosity, which, taken asunder, seem men, and the reasonable
creatures of God, but, confused together, make but one great beast, and
a monstrosity more prodigious than Hydra.  It is no breach of charity
to call these _Fools_; it is the style all holy writers have afforded
them, set down by Solomon in canonical scripture, and a point of our
faith to believe so.  Neither in the name of _multitude_ do I only
include the base and minor sort of people: there is a rabble even
amongst the gentry; a sort of plebeian heads, whose fancy moves with
the same wheel as these; men in the same level with mechanics, though
their fortunes do somewhat gild their infirmities, and their purses
compound for their follies.  But, as in casting account three or four
men {27} together come short in account of one man placed by himself
below them, so neither are a troop of these ignorant _Doradoes_ of that
true esteem and value as many a forlorn person, whose condition doth
place him below their feet.  Let us speak like politicians; there is a
nobility without heraldry, a natural dignity, whereby one man is ranked
with another, another filed before him, according to the quality of his
desert, and pre-eminence of his good parts.  Though the corruption of
these times, and the bias of present practice, wheel another way, thus
it was in the first and primitive commonwealths, and is yet in the
integrity and cradle of well-ordered polities: till corruption getteth
ground; ruder desires labouring after that which wiser considerations
contemn; every one having a liberty to amass and heap up riches, and
they a licence or faculty to do or purchase anything.

(_Religio Medici_.)



JOHN MILTON 1608-1674

THE DANGER OF INTERFERING WITH THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS

First, when a city shall be as it were besieged and blocked about, her
navigable river infested, inroads and incursions round, defiance and
battle oft rumoured to be marching up, even to her walls and suburb
trenches; that then the people, or the greater part, more than at other
times, wholly taken up with the study of highest and {28} most
important matters to be reformed, should be disputing, reasoning,
reading, inventing, discoursing, even to a rarity and admiration,
things not before discoursed or written of, argues first a singular
good will, contentedness and confidence in your prudent foresight, and
safe government, lords and commons; and from thence derives itself to a
gallant bravery and well grounded contempt of their enemies, as if
there were no small number of as great spirits among us, as his was who
when Rome was nigh besieged by Hannibal, being in the city, bought that
piece of ground at no cheap rate, whereon Hannibal himself encamped his
own regiment.  Next, it is a lively and cheerful presage of our happy
success and victory.  For as in a body when the blood is fresh, the
spirits pure and vigorous, not only to vital, but to rational
faculties, and those in the acutest and the pertest operations of wit
and subtlety, it argues in what good plight and condition the body is;
so when the cheerfulness of the people is so sprightly up, as that it
has not only wherewith to guard well its own freedom and safety, but to
spare, and to bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of
controversy and new invention, it betokens us not degenerated, nor
drooping to a fatal decay, by casting off the old and wrinkled skin of
corruption to outlive these pangs, and wax young again, entering the
glorious ways of truth and prosperous virtue, destined to become great
and honourable in these latter ages.  Methinks I see in my mind a noble
and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and
shaking her invincible locks: methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her
mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at {29} the full midday
beam; purging and unsealing her long abused sight at the fountain
itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and
flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about,
amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would
prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.

What would ye do then, should ye suppress all this flowery crop of
knowledge and new light sprung up and yet springing daily in this city?
Should ye set an oligarchy of twenty engrossers over it, to bring a
famine upon our minds again, when we shall know nothing but what is
measured to us by their bushel?  Believe it, lords and commons! they
who counsel ye to such a suppressing, do as good as bid ye suppress
yourselves; and I will soon show how.  If it be desired to know the
immediate cause of all this free writing and free speaking, there
cannot be assigned a truer than your own mild and free and humane
government; it is the liberty, lords and commons, which your own
valorous and happy counsels have purchased us; liberty which is the
nurse of all great wits: this is that which hath rarified and
enlightened our spirits like the influence of Heaven; this is that
which hath enfranchised, enlarged, and lifted up our apprehensions
degrees above themselves.  Ye cannot make us now less capable, less
knowing, less eagerly pursuing of the truth, unless ye first make
yourselves, that made us so, less the lovers, less the founders of our
true liberty.  We can grow ignorant again, brutish, formal, and
slavish, as ye found us; but you then must first become that which ye
cannot be, oppressive, arbitrary and tyrannous, as they were from whom
ye have freed us.  {30} That our hearts are now more capacious, our
thoughts more erected to the search and expectation of greatest and
exactest things, is the issue of your own virtue propagated in us; ye
cannot suppress that, unless ye reinforce an abrogated and merciless
law, that fathers may despatch at will their own children.  And who
shall then stick closest to thee and excite others?  Not he who takes
up arms for coat and conduct, and his four nobles of Danegelt.
Although I dispraise not the defence of just immunities, yet love my
peace better, if that were all.  Give me the liberty to know, to utter,
and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

(_Areopagitica_.)



EARL OF CLARENDON 1609-1674

DEATH OF FALKLAND

In this unhappy battle was slain the Lord Viscount Falkland, a person
of such prodigious parts of learning and knowledge, of that inimitable
sweetness and delight in conversation, of so flowing and obliging a
humanity and goodness to mankind, and of that primitive simplicity and
integrity of life, that if there were no other brand upon this odious
and accursed civil war than that single loss, it must be most infamous
and execrable to all posterity.

Before this parliament his condition of life was so happy that it was
hardly capable of improvement.  Before he came to be twenty years of
age, he was master of a noble fortune, which descended to him by the
gift of a {31} grandfather, without passing through his father or
mother, who were then both alive, and not well enough contented to find
themselves passed by in the descent.  His education for some years had
been in Ireland, where his father was Lord Deputy; so that, when he
returned into England to the possession of his fortune, he was
unentangled with any acquaintance or friends, which usually grow up by
the custom of conversation; and therefore was to make a pure election
of his company, which he chose by other rules than were prescribed to
the young nobility of that time.  And it cannot be denied, though he
admitted some few to his friendship for the agreeableness of their
natures, and their undoubted affection to him, that his familiarity and
friendship for the most part was with men of the most eminent and
sublime parts, and of untouched reputation in point of integrity; and
such had a title to his bosom.

He was a great cherisher of wit and fancy and good parts in any man,
and, if he found them clouded with poverty or want, a most liberal and
bountiful patron towards them, even above his fortune; of which, in
those administrations, he was such a dispenser, as, if he had been
trusted with it to such uses, and if there had been the least of vice
in his expense, he might have been thought too prodigal.  He was
constant and pertinacious in whatsoever he resolved to do, and not to
be wearied by any pains that were necessary to that end.  And
therefore, having once resolved not to see London, which he loved above
all places, till he had perfectly learned the Greek tongue, he went to
his own house in the country, and pursued it with that indefatigable
{32} industry, that it will not be believed in how short a time he was
master of it, and accurately read all the Greek historians.

In this time, his house being within little more than ten miles of
Oxford, he contracted familiarity and friendship with the most polite
and accurate men of that university; who found such an immenseness of
wit and such a solidity of judgment in him, so infinite a fancy, bound
in by a most logical ratiocination, such a vast knowledge, that he was
not ignorant in anything, yet such an excessive humility, as if he had
known nothing, that they frequently resorted, and dwelt with him, as in
a college situated in a purer air; so that his house was a university
in less volume; whither they came not so much for repose as study, and
to examine and refine those grosser propositions, which laziness and
consent made current in vulgar conversation. . .

From the entrance into this unnatural war, his natural cheerfulness and
vivacity grew clouded, and a kind of sadness and dejection of spirit
stole upon him, which he had never been used to: yet being one of those
who believed that one battle would end all differences, and that there
would be so great a victory on one side, that the other would be
compelled to submit to any conditions from the victor (which
supposition and conclusion generally sunk into the minds of most men,
and prevented the looking after many advantages that might then have
been laid hold of) he resisted those indispositions.  But after the
King's return from Brentford, and the furious resolution of the two
houses not to admit any treaty for peace, those indispositions, which
had before touched {33} him, grew into a perfect habit of
uncheerfulness, and he, who had been so exactly easy and affable to all
men that his face and countenance was always present and vacant to his
company, and held any cloudiness and less pleasantness of the visage a
kind of rudeness or incivility, became on a sudden less communicable,
and thence very sad, pale, and exceedingly affected with the spleen.
In his clothes and habit, which he had minded before always with more
neatness and industry and expense than is usual to so great a soul, he
was not now only incurious, but too negligent; and in his reception of
suitors, and the necessary or casual addresses to his place, so quick
and sharp and severe, that there wanted not some men (strangers to his
nature and disposition) who believed him proud and imperious, from
which no mortal man was ever more free. . .

When there was any overture, or hope of peace, he would be more erect
and vigorous, and exceedingly solicitous to press anything which he
thought might promote it; and sitting among his friends, often, after a
deep silence and frequent sighs, would, with a shrill and sad accent,
ingeminate the word _Peace, peace_; and would passionately profess that
the very agony of the war, and the view of the calamities and
desolation the kingdom did and must endure, took his sleep from him,
and would shortly break his heart.  This made some think, or pretend to
think, that he was so much enamoured on peace that he would have been
glad the King should have bought it at any price; which was a most
unreasonable calumny.  As if a man that was himself the most punctual
and precise in every circumstance {34} that might reflect upon
conscience or honour, could have wished the King to have committed a
trespass against either.  And yet this senseless scandal made some
impression upon him, or at least he used it for an excuse of the
daringness of his spirit; for at the leaguer before Gloucester, when
his friend passionately reprehended him for exposing his person
unnecessarily to danger (for he delighted to visit the trenches and
nearest approaches, and to discover what the enemy did) as being so
much beside the duty of his place that it might be understood rather to
be against it, he would say merrily, that his office could not take
away the privileges of his age, and that a Secretary in war might be
present at the greatest secret of danger; but withal alleged seriously,
that it concerned him to be more active in enterprises of hazard than
other men, that all might see that his impatiency for peace proceeded
not from pusillanimity or fear to adventure his own person.

In the morning before the battle, as always upon action, he was very
cheerful, and put himself into the first rank of Lord Byron's regiment,
then advancing upon the enemy, who had lined the hedges on both sides
with musketeers; from whence he was shot with a musket in the lower
part of the belly, and in the instant falling from his horse, his body
was not found till the next morning; till when, there was some hope he
might have been a prisoner, though his nearest friends, who knew his
temper, received small comfort from that imagination.  Thus fell that
incomparable young man, in the four and thirtieth year of his age,
having so much despatched the true business of life, {35} that the
eldest rarely attain to that immense knowledge, and the youngest enter
not into the world with more innocency.  Whosoever leads such a life
needs be the less anxious upon how short warning it is taken from him.

(_History of the Rebellion_.)



JOHN BUNYAN 1628-1688

THE END OF THE PILGRIMAGE

After this I beheld until they were come unto the land of Beulah, where
the sun shineth night and day.  Here, because they were weary, they
betook themselves a while to rest.  And because this country was common
for pilgrims, and because the orchards and vineyards that were here
belonged to the King of the Celestial Country, therefore they were
licensed to make bold with any of his things.

But a little while soon refreshed them here, for the bells did so ring,
and the trumpets continually sound so melodiously, that they could not
sleep; and yet they received as much refreshing as if they had slept
their sleep never so soundly.  Here also all the noise of them that
walked the streets was, More pilgrims are come to town.  And another
would answer, saying, And so many went over the water, and were let in
at the golden gates to-day.  They would cry again, There is now a
legion of shining ones just come to town, by which we know that there
are more pilgrims upon the road; for here {36} they come to wait for
them, and to comfort them after all their sorrow.  Then the pilgrims
got up and walked to and fro; but how were their ears now filled with
heavenly noises, and their eyes delighted with celestial visions!  In
this land they heard nothing, saw nothing, felt nothing, smelt nothing,
tasted nothing, that was offensive to their stomach or mind; only when
they tasted of the water of the river, over which they were to go, they
thought that tasted a little bitterish to the palate, but it proved
sweeter when 'twas down.

In this place there was a record kept of the names of them that had
been pilgrims of old, and a history of all the famous acts that they
had done.  It was here also much discoursed, how the river to some has
had its flowings, and what ebbings it has had while others have gone
over.  It has been in a manner dry for some, while it has overflowed
its banks for others.

In this place, the children of the town would go into the King's
gardens, and gather nosegays for the pilgrims, and bring them to them
with much affection.  Here also grew camphor, with spikenard, and
saffron, calamus, and cinnamon, with all its trees of frankincense,
myrrh, and aloes, with all chief spices.  With these the pilgrims'
chambers were perfumed while they stayed here; and with these were
their bodies anointed, to prepare them to go over the river when the
time appointed was come.

Now while they lay here and waited for the good hour, there was a noise
in the town that there was a post come from the Celestial City with
matter of great importance to one Christiana, the wife of Christian the
{37} pilgrim.  So inquiry was made for her, and the house was found out
where she was, so the post presented her with a letter; the contents
whereof was, Hail, good woman, I bring thee tidings that the Master
calleth for thee, and expecteth that thou should stand in His presence,
in clothes of immortality, within this ten days.

When he had read this letter to her, he gave her therewith a sure token
that he was a true messenger, and was come to bid her make haste to be
gone.  The token was an arrow with a point, sharpened with love, let
easily into her heart, which by degrees wrought so effectually with
her, that at the time appointed she must be gone.

When Christiana saw that her time was come, and that she was the first
of this company that was to go over, she called for Mr Great-heart, her
guide, and told him how matters were.  So he told her he was heartily
glad of the news, and could a' been glad had the post come for him.
Then she bid that he should give advice how all things should be
prepared for her journey.

So he told her, saying, Thus and thus it must be, and we that survive
will accompany you to the riverside.

Then she called for her children, and gave them her blessing; and told
them that she yet read with comfort the mark that was set in their
foreheads, and was glad to see them with her there, and that they had
kept their garments so white.  Lastly, she bequeathed to the poor that
little she had, and commanded her sons and her daughters to be ready
against the messenger should come for them. . . .

{38} Now the day drew on that Christiana must be gone.  So the road was
full of people to see her take her journey.  But behold, all the banks
beyond the river were full of horses and chariots, which were come down
from above to accompany her to the city-gate.  So she came forth, and
entered the river with a beckon of farewell to those that followed her
to the river-side.  The last word she was heard to say was, I come,
Lord, to be with thee, and bless thee.

So her children and friends returned to their place, for that those
that waited for Christiana had carried her out of their sight.  So she
went and called, and entered in at the gate with all the ceremonies of
joy that her husband Christian had done before her.

At her departure her children wept, but Mr Great-heart and Mr Valiant
played upon the well-tuned cymbal and harp for joy.  So all departed to
their respective places. . . .

Then it came to pass, a while after, that there was a post in the town
that inquired for Mr Honest.  So he came to his house where he was, and
delivered to his hand these lines: Thou art commanded to be ready
against this day seven-night, to present thyself before thy Lord at His
Father's house.  And for a token that my message is true, "all the
daughters of music shall be brought low."  Then Mr Honest called for
his friends, and said unto them, I die, but shall make no will.  As for
my honesty, it shall go with me; let him that comes after be told of
this.  When the day that he was to be gone was come, he addressed
himself to go over the river.  Now the river at that time overflowed
the banks {39} in some places.  But Mr Honest, in his life-time, had
spoken to one Good-conscience to meet him there, the which he also did,
and lent him his hand, and so helped him over.  The last words of Mr
Honest were, Grace reigns.  So he left the world.

After this it was noised abroad that Mr Valiant-for-truth was taken
with a summons by the same post as the other; and had this for a token
that the summons was true, that his pitcher was broken at the fountain.
When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it.
Then said he: I am going to my Father's, and though with great
difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the
trouble I have been at to arrive where I am.  My sword I give to him
that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him
that can get it.  My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness
for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my Rewarder.

When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to
the river-side; into which as he went he said, Death, where is thy
sting?  And as he went down deeper he said, Grave, where is thy
victory?  So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on
the other side. . . .

But glorious it was to see how the open region was filled with horses
and chariots, with trumpeters and pipers, with singers and players on
stringed instruments, to welcome the pilgrims as they went up, and
followed one another in at the beautiful gate of the city.

(_Pilgrim's Progress_.)



{40}

SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE 1628-1699

POETRY AND MUSIC

But to spin off this thread, which is already grown too long; what
honour and request the ancient poetry has lived in, may not only be
observed from the universal reception and use in all nations from China
to Peru, from Scythia to Arabia, but from the esteem of the best and
the greatest men as well as the vulgar.  Among the Hebrews, David and
Solomon, the wisest kings, Job and Jeremiah, the holiest men, were the
best poets of their nation and language.  Among the Greeks, the two
most renowned sages and lawgivers were Lycurgus and Solon, whereof the
last is known to have excelled in poetry, and the first was so great a
lover of it, that to his care and industry we are said (by some
authors) to owe the collection and preservation of the loose and
scattered pieces, of Homer in the order wherein they have since
appeared.  Alexander is reported neither to have travelled nor slept
without those admirable poems always in his company.  Phalaris, that
was inexorable to all other enemies, relented at the charms of
Stesichorus his muse.  Among the Romans, the last and great Scipio
passed the soft hours of his life in the conversation of Terence, and
was thought to have a part in the composition of his comedies.  Caesar
was an excellent poet as well as orator, and composed a poem in his
voyage from Rome to Spain, relieving the tedious difficulties of his
march with the entertainments {41} of his muse.  Augustus was not only
a patron, but a friend and companion of Virgil and Horace, and was
himself both an admirer of poetry and a pretender too, as far as his
genius would reach, or his busy scene allow.  'Tis true, since his age
we have few such examples of great Princes favouring or affecting
poetry, and as few perhaps of great poets deserving it.  Whether it be
that the fierceness of the Gothic humours, or noise of their perpetual
wars, frighted it away, or that the unequal mixture of the modern
languages would not bear it; certain it is, that the great heights and
excellency both of poetry and music fell with the Roman learning and
empire, and have never since recovered the admiration and applauses
that before attended them.  Yet, such as they are amongst us, they must
be confessed to be the softest and sweetest, the most general and most
innocent amusements of common time and life.  They still find room in
the courts of Princes and the cottages of shepherds.  They serve to
revive and animate the dead calm of poor or idle lives, and to allay or
divert the violent passions and perturbations of the greatest and the
busiest men.  And both these effects are of equal use to human life;
for the mind of man is like the sea, which is neither agreeable to the
beholder nor the voyager in a calm or in a storm, but is so to both
when a little agitated by gentle gales; and so the mind, when moved by
soft and easy passions and affections.  I know very well that many, who
pretend to be wise by the forms of being grave, are apt to despise both
poetry and music as toys and trifles too light for the use or
entertainment of serious men.  But, whoever find {42} themselves wholly
insensible to these charms, would, I think, do well to keep their own
counsel, for fear of reproaching their own temper, and bringing the
goodness of their natures, if not of their understandings, into
question; it may be thought at least an ill sign, if not an ill
constitution, since some of the fathers went so far as to esteem the
love of music a sign of predestination, as a thing divine, and reserved
for the felicities of heaven itself.  While this world lasts, I doubt
not but the pleasure and requests of these two entertainments will do
so too: and happy those that content themselves with these, or any
other so easy and so innocent; and do not trouble the world, or other
men, because they cannot be quiet themselves, though nobody hurts them!

When all is done, human life is, at the greatest and the best, but like
a froward child, that must be played with and humoured a little to keep
it quiet till it falls asleep, and then the care is over.



SAMUEL PEPYS 1633-1703

A DAY IN THE COUNTRY

July 14th (Lord's Day), 1667.  Up, and my wife, a little before four,
and to make us ready; and by and by Mrs Turner come to us, by
agreement, and she and I staid talking below, while my wife dressed
herself, which vexed me that she was so long about it, keeping us till
past five o'clock before she was ready.  She ready; and taking some
bottles of wine, and beer, and some {43} cold fowl with us into the
coach, we took coach and four horses, which I had provided last night,
and so away.  A very fine day, and so towards Epsom, talking all the
way pleasantly.  The country very fine, only the way very dusty.  We
got to Epsom by eight o'clock, to the well; where much company, and
there we 'light, and I drank the water.  Here I met with divers of our
town, among others with several of the tradesmen of our office, but did
talk but little with them, it growing hot in the sun, and so we took
coach again and to the town, to the King's Head, where our coachman
carried us, and there had an ill room for us to go into, but the best
in the house that was not taken up.  Here we called for drink, and
bespoke dinner.  We all lay down after dinner (the day being wonderful
hot) to sleep, and each of us took a good nap, and then rose; and Tom
Wilson come to see me, and sat and talked an hour.  By and by he
parted, and we took coach and to take the air, there being a fine
breeze abroad; and I went and carried them to the well, and there
filled some bottles of water to carry home with me.  Here W. Hewer's
horse broke loose, and we had the sport to see him taken again.  Then I
carried them to see my cousin Pepys's house, and 'light, and walked
round about it, and they like it, as indeed it deserves, very well, and
is a pretty place; and then I walked them to the wood hard by, and
there got them in the thickets till they had lost themselves, and I
could not find the way into any of the walks in the wood, which indeed
are very pleasant, if I could have found them.  At last got out of the
wood again; and I, by leaping down the little bank, coming out of {44}
the wood, did sprain my right foot, which brought me great present
pain, but presently, with walking, it went away for the present, and so
the women and W. Hewer and I walked upon the Downs, where a flock of
sheep was; and the most pleasant and innocent sight that ever I saw in
my life--we find a shepherd and his little boy reading, far from any
houses or sight of people, the Bible to him; so I made the boy read to
me, which he did, with the forced tone that children do usually read,
that was mighty pretty, and then I did give him something, and went to
the father, and talked with him; and I find he had been a servant in my
cousin Pepys's house, and told me what was become of their old
servants.  He did content himself mightily in my liking his boy's
reading, and did bless God for him, the most like one of the old
patriarchs that ever I saw in my life, and it brought those thoughts of
the old age of the world in my mind for two or three days after.  We
took notice of his woollen knit stockings of two colours mixed, and of
his shoes shod with iron shoes, both at the toe and heels, and with
great nails in the soles of his feet, which was mighty pretty: and,
taking notice of them, "Why," says the poor man, "the downs, you see,
are full of stones, and we are fain to shoe ourselves thus; and these,"
says he, "will make the stones fly till they sing before me."  I did
give the poor man something, for which he was mighty thankful, and I
tried to cast stones with his horn crook.  He values his dog mightily,
that would turn a sheep any way which he would have him, when he goes
to fold them: told me there was about eighteen score sheep in his
flock, and that he hath four shillings {45} a week the year round for
keeping them: so we posted thence with mighty pleasure in the discourse
we had with this poor man, and Mrs Turner, in the common fields here,
did gather one of the prettiest nosegays that ever I saw in my life.
So to our coach, and through Mr Minnes's wood, and looked upon Mr
Evelyn's house; and so over the common, and through Epsom town to our
inn, in the way stopping a poor woman with her milk-pail, and in one of
my gilt tumblers did drink our bellyfulls of milk, better than any
cream: and so to our inn, and there had a dish of cream, but it was
sour, and so had no pleasure in it; and so paid our reckoning, and took
coach, it being about seven at night, and passed and saw the people
walking with their wives and children to take the air, and we set out
for home, the sun by and by going down, and we in the cool of the
evening all the way with much pleasure home, talking and pleasing
ourselves with the pleasure of this day's work, Mrs Turner mightily
pleased with my resolution, which, I tell her, is never to keep a
country-house, but to keep a coach, and with my wife on the Saturday to
go sometimes for a day to this place, and then quit to another place;
and there is more variety and as little charge, and no trouble, as
there is in a country-house.  Anon it grew dark, and as it grew dark we
had the pleasure to see several glow-worms, which was mighty pretty,
but my foot begins more and more to pain me, which Mrs Turner, by
keeping her warm hand upon it, did much ease; but so that when we come
home, which was just at eleven at night, I was not able to walk from
the lane's end to my house without being helped, which did trouble {46}
me, and therefore to bed presently, but, thanks be to God, found that I
had not been missed, nor any business happened in my absence.  So to
bed, and there had a cere-cloth laid to my foot and leg alone, but in
great pain all night long.

(_Diary_.)



DANIEL DEFOE 1660-1731

CAPTAIN SINGLETON IN CHINA

In the meantime, we came to an anchor under a little island in the
latitude of 23 degrees 28 minutes, being just under the northern
tropic, and about twenty leagues from the island.  Here we lay thirteen
days, and began to be very uneasy for my friend William, for they had
promised to be back again in four days, which they might very easily
have done.  However, at the end of thirteen days, we saw three sail
coming directly to us, which a little surprised us all at first, not
knowing what might be the case; and we began to put ourselves in a
posture of defence: but as they came nearer us, we were soon satisfied,
for the first vessel was that which William went in, who carried a flag
of truce; and in a few hours they all came to an anchor, and William
came on board us with a little boat, with the Chinese merchant in his
company, and two other merchants, who seemed to be a kind of brokers
for the rest.

{47} Here he gave us an account how civilly he had been used; how they
had treated him with all imaginable frankness and openness; that they
had not only given him the full value of his spices and other goods
which he carried, in gold, by good weight, but had loaded the vessel
again with such goods as he knew we were willing to trade for; and that
afterwards they had resolved to bring the great ship out of the
harbour, to lie where we were, that so we might make what bargain we
thought fit; only William said he had promised, in our name, that we
should use no violence with them, nor detain any of the vessels after
we had done trading with them.  I told him we would strive to outdo
them in civility, and that we would make good every part of his
agreement; in token whereof, I caused a white flag likewise to be
spread at the poop of our great ship, which was the signal agreed on.

As to the third vessel which came with them, it was a kind of bark of
the country, who, having intelligence of our design to traffic, came
off to deal with us, bringing a good deal of gold and some provisions,
which at that time we were very glad of.

In short, we traded upon the high seas with these men, and indeed we
made a very good market, and yet sold thieves' pennyworths too.  We
sold here about sixty ton of spice, chiefly cloves and nutmegs, and
above two hundred bales of European goods, such as linen and woollen
manufactures.  We considered we should have occasion for some such
things ourselves, and so we kept a good quantity of English stuns,
cloth, baize, &c., for ourselves.  I shall not take up any of the
little {48} room I have left here with the further particulars of our
trade; it is enough to mention, that, except a parcel of tea, and
twelve bales of fine China wrought silks, we took nothing in exchange
for our goods but gold; so that the sum we took here in that glittering
commodity amounted to above fifty thousand ounces good weight.

When we had finished our barter, we restored the hostages, and gave the
three merchants about the quantity of twelve hundredweight of nutmegs,
and as many of cloves, with a handsome present of European linen and
stuff for themselves, as a recompense for what we had taken from them;
so we sent them away exceedingly well satisfied.

Here it was that William gave me an account, that while he was on board
the Japanese vessel, he met with a kind of religious, or Japan priest,
who spoke some words of English to him; and, being very inquisitive to
know how he came to learn any of those words, he told him that there
was in his country thirteen Englishmen; he called them Englishmen very
articulately and distinctly, for he had conversed with them very
frequently and freely.  He said that they were all that were left of
two-and-thirty men, who came on shore on the north side of Japan, being
driven upon a great rock in a stormy night, where they lost their ship,
and the rest of their men were drowned; that he had persuaded the king
of his country to send boats off to the rock or island where the ship
was lost, to save the rest of the men, and to bring them on shore,
which was done, and they were used very kindly, and had houses {49}
built for them, and land given them to plant for provision; and that
they lived by themselves.

He said he went frequently among them, to persuade them to worship
their god (an idol, I suppose, of their own making), which, he said,
they ungratefully refused; and that therefore the king had once or
twice ordered them all to be put to death; but that, as he said, he had
prevailed upon the king to spare them, and let them live their own way,
as long as they were quiet and peaceable, and did not go about to
withdraw others from the worship of the country.

I asked William why he did not inquire from whence they came.  "I did,"
said William; "for how could I but think it strange," said he, "to hear
him talk of Englishmen on the north side of Japan?"  "Well," said I,
"what account did he give of it?"  "An account," said William, "that
will surprise thee, and all the world after thee, that shall hear of
it, and which makes me wish thou wouldst go up to Japan and find them
out."  "What do you mean?" said I.  "Whence could they come?"  "Why,"
says William, "he pulled out a little book, and in it a piece of paper,
where it was written, in an Englishman's hand, and in plain English
words, thus; and," says William, "I read it myself:--'We come from
Greenland, and from the North Pole.'"  This indeed, was amazing to us
all, and more so to those seamen among us who knew anything of the
infinite attempts which had been made from Europe, as well by the
English as the Dutch, to discover a passage that way into those parts
of the world; and as William pressed as earnestly to go on to the north
to rescue those poor men, so the ship's {50} company began to incline
to it; and, in a word, we all come to this, that we would stand in to
the shore of Formosa, to find this priest again, and have a further
account of it all from him.  Accordingly the sloop went over; but when
they came there, the vessels were very unhappily sailed, and this put
an end to our inquiry after them, and perhaps may have disappointed
mankind of one of the most noble discoveries that ever was made, or
will again be made, in the world, for the good of mankind in general;
but so much for that.

William was so uneasy at losing this opportunity, that he pressed us
earnestly to go up to Japan to find out these men.  He told us that if
it was nothing but to recover thirteen honest poor men from a kind of
captivity, which they would otherwise never be redeemed from, and
where, perhaps, they might, some time or other, be murdered by the
barbarous people, in defence of their idolatry, it were very well worth
our while, and it would be, in some measure, making amends for the
mischiefs we had done in the world; but we, that had no concern upon us
for the mischiefs we had done, had much less about any satisfactions to
be made for it, so he found that kind of discourse would weigh very
little with us.  Then he pressed us very earnestly to let him have the
sloop to go by himself, and I told him I would not oppose it; but when
he came to the sloop none of the men would go with him; for the case
was plain, they had all a share in the cargo of the great ship, as well
as in that of the sloop, and the richness of the cargo was such that
they would not leave it by any means; so poor William, much to {51} his
mortification, was obliged to give it over.  What became of those
thirteen men, or whether they are not there still, I can give no
account of.

(_Captain Singleton_.)



JONATHAN SWIFT 1667-1745

THE ART OF CONVERSATION

I have observed few obvious subjects to have been so seldom, or, at
least, so slightly handled as this; and, indeed, I know few so
difficult to be treated as it ought, nor yet upon which there seemeth
so much to be said.

Most things, pursued by men for the happiness of public or private
life, our wit or folly have so refined; that they seldom subsist but in
idea; a true friend, a good marriage, a perfect form of government,
with some others, require so many ingredients, so good in their several
kinds, and so much niceness in mixing them, that for some thousands of
years men have despaired of reducing their schemes to perfection.  But,
in conversation, it is, or might be otherwise; for here we are only to
avoid a multitude of errors, which, although a matter of some
difficulty, may be in every man's power, for want of which it remaineth
as mere an idea as the other.  Therefore it seemeth to me, that the
truest way to understand conversation, is to know the faults and errors
to which it is subject, and from thence every man to form maxims to
himself whereby it may be regulated, because it requireth few talents
to which most men are {52} not born, or at least may not acquire
without any great genius or study.  For nature hath left every man a
capacity of being agreeable, though not of shining in company; and
there are an hundred men sufficiently qualified for both, who, by a
very few faults, that they might correct in half an hour, are not so
much as tolerable.

I was prompted to write my thoughts upon this subject by mere
indignation, to reflect that so useful and innocent a pleasure, so
fitted for every period and condition of life, and so much in all men's
power, should be so much neglected and abused.

And in this discourse it will be necessary to note those errors that
are obvious, as well as others which are seldomer observed, since there
are few so obvious, or acknowledged, into which most men, some time or
other, are not apt to run.

For instance: Nothing is more generally exploded than the folly of
talking too much; yet I rarely remember to have seen five people
together, where some one among them hath not been predominant in that
kind, to the great constraint and disgust of all the rest.  But among
such as deal in multitudes of words, none are comparable to the sober
deliberate talker, who proceedeth with much thought and caution, maketh
his preface, brancheth out into several digressions, findeth a hint
that putteth him in mind of another story which he promiseth to tell
you when this is done; cometh back regularly to his subject, cannot
readily call to mind some person's name, holding his head, complaineth
of his memory; the whole company all this while in {53} suspense; at
length says, it is no matter, and so goes on.  And, to crown the
business, it perhaps proveth at last a story the company hath heard
fifty times before; or, at best, some insipid adventure of the relater.

Another general fault in conversation is, that of those who affect to
talk of themselves: Some, without any ceremony, will run over the
history of their lives; will relate the annals of their diseases, with
the several symptoms and circumstances of them; will enumerate the
hardships and injustice they have suffered in court, in parliament, in
love, or in law.  Others are more dexterous, and with great art will
lie on the watch to hook in their own praise: They will call a witness
to remember, they always foretold what would happen in such a case, but
none would believe them; they advised such a man from the beginning,
and told him the consequences, just as they happened; but he would have
his own way.  Others make a vanity of telling their faults; they are
the strangest men in the world; they cannot dissemble; they own it is a
folly; they have lost abundance of advantages by it; but, if you would
give them the world, they cannot help it; there is something in their
nature that abhors insincerity and constraint; with many other
insufferable topics of the same altitude.

Of such mighty importance every man is to himself, and ready to think
he is so to others; without once making this easy and obvious
reflection, that his affairs can have no more weight with other men,
than theirs have with him; and how little that is, he is sensible
enough.

Where company hath met, I often have observed {54} two persons
discover, by some accident, that they were bred together at the same
school or university, after which the rest are condemned to silence,
and to listen while these two are refreshing each other's memory with
the arch tricks and passages of themselves and their comrades.

I know a great officer of the army, who will sit for some time with a
supercilious and impatient silence, full of anger and contempt for
those who are talking; at length of a sudden demand audience, decide
the matter in a short dogmatical way; then withdraw within himself
again, and vouchsafe to talk no more, until his spirits circulate again
to the same point.

There are some faults in conversation, which none are so subject to as
the men of wit, nor ever so much as when they are with each other.  If
they have opened their mouths, without endeavouring to say a witty
thing, they think it is so many words lost: It is a torment to the
hearers, as much as to themselves, to see them upon the rack for
invention, and in perpetual constraint, with so little success.  They
must do something extraordinary, in order to acquit themselves, and
answer their character, else the standers-by may be disappointed and be
apt to think them only like the rest of mortals.  I have known two men
of wit industriously brought together, in order to entertain the
company, where they have made a very ridiculous figure, and provided
all the mirth at their own expense.

I know a man of wit, who is never easy but where he can be allowed to
dictate and preside: he neither expecteth to be informed or
entertained, but to display {55} his own talents.  His business is to
be good company, and not good conversation; and, therefore, he chooseth
to frequent those who are content to listen, and profess themselves his
admirers.  And, indeed, the worst conversation I ever remember to have
heard in my life was that at Will's coffeehouse, where the wits (as
they were called) used formerly to assemble; that is to say, five or
six men, who had writ plays, or at least prologues, or had share in a
miscellany, came thither, and entertained one another with their
trifling composures, in so important an air, as if they had been the
noblest efforts of human nature, or that the fate of kingdoms depended
on them; and they were usually attended with an humble audience of
young students from the inns of court, or the universities, who, at due
distance, listened to these oracles, and returned home with great
contempt for their law and philosophy, their heads filled with trash,
under the name of politeness, criticism and _belles lettres_.

By these means the poets, for many years past, were all overrun with
pedantry.  For, as I take it, the word is not properly used; because
pedantry is the too frequent or unreasonable obtruding our own
knowledge in common discourse, and placing too great a value upon it;
by which definition, men of the court or the army may be as guilty of
pedantry as a philosopher or a divine; and, it is the same vice in
women, when they are over copious upon the subject of their petticoats,
or their fans, or their china.  For which reason, although it be a
piece of prudence, as well as good manners, to put men upon talking on
subjects they are best versed in, yet that is a liberty a wise man
could hardly take; {56} because, beside the imputation of pedantry, it
is what he would never improve by.

(_Polite Conversation_.)



JOSEPH ADDISON 1672-1719

THE ROYAL EXCHANGE

There is no place in the town which I so much love to frequent as the
Royal Exchange.  It gives me a secret satisfaction, and in some measure
gratifies my vanity, as I am an Englishman, to see so rich an assembly
of countrymen and foreigners, consulting together upon the private
business of mankind, and making this metropolis a kind of _emporium_
for the whole earth.  I must confess I look upon high-change to be a
great council, in which all considerable nations have their
representatives.  Factors in the trading world are what ambassadors are
in the politic world; they negotiate affairs, conclude treaties, and
maintain a good correspondence between those wealthy societies of men
that are divided from one another by seas and oceans, or live on the
different extremities of a continent.  I have often been pleased to
hear disputes adjusted between an inhabitant of Japan, and an alderman
of London, or to see a subject of the Great Mogul entering into a
league with one of the Czar of Muscovy.  I am infinitely delighted in
mixing with these several ministers of commerce, as they are
distinguished by their different walks and different languages.
Sometimes I am jostled {57} among a body of Armenians; sometimes I am
lost in a crowd of Jews; and sometimes make one in a group of Dutchmen.
I am a Dane, Swede, or Frenchman at different times; or rather fancy
myself like the old philosopher, who upon being asked what countryman
he was, replied that he was a citizen of the world. . . .

Nature seems to have taken a particular care to disseminate her
blessings among the different regions of the world, with an eye to this
mutual intercourse and traffic among mankind, that the natives of the
several parts of the globe might have a kind of dependence upon one
another, and be united together by their common interest.  Almost every
degree produces something peculiar to it.  The food often grows in one
country, and the sauce in another.  The fruits of Portugal are
corrected by the products of Barbadoes, and the infusion of a China
plant is sweetened with the pith of an Indian cane.  The Philippic
islands give a flavour to our European bowls.  The single dress of a
woman of quality is often the product of an hundred climates.  The muff
and the fan come together from the different ends of the earth.  The
scarf is sent from the torrid zone, and the tippet from beneath the
pole.  The brocade petticoat rises out of the mines of Peru, and the
diamond necklace out of the bowels of Indostan.

If we consider our own country in its natural prospect, without any of
the benefits and advantages of commerce, what a barren and
uncomfortable spot of earth falls to our share!  Natural historians
tell us, that no fruit grows originally among us, besides hips and
haws, acorns and pig-nuts, with other delicacies of the {58} like
nature; that our climate of itself, and without the assistance of art,
can make no further advances towards a plum than to a sloe, and carries
an apple to no greater a perfection than a crab; that our melons, our
peaches, our figs, our apricots and cherries, are strangers among us,
imported in different ages, and naturalised in our English gardens; and
that they would all degenerate and fall away into the trash of our own
country, if they were wholly neglected by the planter, and left to the
mercy of our sun and soil.  Nor has traffic more enriched our vegetable
world, than it has improved the whole face of nature among us.  Our
ships are laden with the harvest of every climate.  Our tables are
stored with spices and oils and wines.  Our rooms are filled with
pyramids of China, and adorned with the workmanship of Japan.  Our
morning's draught comes to us from the remotest corners of the earth.
We repair our bodies by the drugs of America, and repose ourselves
under Indian canopies.  My friend Sir Andrew calls the vineyards of
France our gardens; the spice-islands, our hot-beds; the Persians our
silk-weavers, and the Chinese our potters.  Nature indeed furnishes us
with the bare necessaries of life, but traffic gives us a great variety
of what is useful, and at the same time supplies us with everything
that is convenient and ornamental.  Nor is it the least part of this
our happiness, that whilst we enjoy the remotest products of the north
and south, we are free from those extremities of weather which give
them birth; that our eyes are refreshed with the green fields of
Britain, at the same time that our palates are feasted with fruits that
rise between the tropics.

{59} For these reasons there are not more useful members in a
commonwealth than merchants.  They knit mankind together in a mutual
intercourse of good offices, distribute the gifts of nature, find work
for the poor, add wealth to the rich, and magnificence to the great.
Our English merchant converts the tin of his own country into gold, and
exchanges its wool for rubies.  The Mahometans are clothed in our
British manufacture, and the inhabitants of the frozen zone warmed with
the fleeces of our sheep.

When I have been upon the change, I have often fancied one of our old
kings standing in person, where he is represented in effigy, and
looking down upon the wealthy concourse of people with which that place
is every day filled.  In this case, how would he be surprised to hear
all the languages of Europe spoken in this little spot of his former
dominions, and to see so many private men, who in his time would have
been the vassals of some powerful baron, negotiating like princes for
greater sums of money than were formerly to be met with in the royal
treasury!  Trade, without enlarging the British territories, has given
us a kind of additional empire.  It has multiplied the number of the
rich, made our landed estates infinitely more valuable than they were
formerly, and added to them an accession of other estates as valuable
as the lands themselves.

(_The Spectator_, No. 69.)



{60}

RICHARD STEELE 1672-1729

SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY'S ANCESTORS

I was this morning walking in the gallery, when Sir Roger entered at
the end opposite to me, and advancing towards me, said he was glad to
meet me among his relations, the De Coverleys, and hoped I liked the
conversation of so much good company, who were as silent as myself.  I
knew he alluded to the pictures, and as he is a gentleman who does not
a little value himself upon his ancient descent, I expected he would
give me some account of them.  We were now arrived at the upper end of
the gallery, when the knight faced towards one of the pictures, and as
we stood before it he entered into the matter, after his blunt way of
saying things as they occur to his imagination, without regular
introduction, or care to preserve the appearance of chain of thought.

"It is," said he, "worth while to consider the force of dress; and how
the persons of one age differ from those of another, merely by that
only.  One may observe also that the general fashion of one age has
been followed by one particular set of people in another, and by them
preserved from one generation to another.  Thus the vast jetting coat
and small bonnet, which was the habit in Harry the Seventh's time, is
kept on in the Yeomen of the Guard; not without a good and politic
view, because they look a foot taller, and a foot and a half {61}
broader: besides, that the cap leaves the face expanded, and
consequently more terrible, and fitter to stand at the entrance of
palaces.

"This predecessor of ours, you see, is dressed after this manner, and
his cheeks would be no larger than mine were he in a hat as I am.  He
was the last man that won a prize in the Tilt-Yard (which is now a
common street before Whitehall).  You see the broken lance that lies
there by his right foot; he shivered that lance of his adversary all to
pieces; and bearing himself, look you, sir, in this manner, at the same
time he came within the target of the gentleman who rode against him,
and taking him with incredible force before him on the pommel of his
saddle, he in that manner rid the tournament over, with an air that
showed he did it rather to perform the rule of the lists, than expose
his enemy; however, it appeared he knew how to make use of a victory,
and with a gentle trot he marched up to a gallery where their mistress
sat (for they were rivals) and let him down with laudable courtesy and
pardonable insolence.  I don't know but it might be exactly where the
coffee-house is now.

"You are to know this my ancestor was not only of a military genius,
but fit also for the arts of peace, for he played on the base-viol as
well as any gentleman at court; you see where his viol hangs by his
basket-hilt sword.  The action at the Tilt-Yard you may be sure won the
fair lady, who was a maid-of-honour, and the greatest beauty of her
time; here she stands, the next picture.  You see, sir, my
great-great-great-grandmother has on the new-fashioned petticoat,
except that the {62} modern is gathered at the waist; my grandmother
appears as if she stood in a large drum, whereas the ladies now walk as
if they were in a go-cart.  For all this lady was bred at court, she
became an excellent country-wife, she brought ten children, and when I
show you the library, you shall see in her own hand (allowing for the
difference of the language) the best receipt now in England both for an
hasty pudding and a whitepot.

"If you please to fall back a little, because it is necessary to look
at the three next pictures at one view; these are three sisters.  She
on the right hand, who is so very beautiful, died a maid; the next to
her, still handsomer, had the same fate, against her will; this homely
thing in the middle had both their portions added to her own, and was
stolen by a neighbouring gentleman, a man of stratagem and resolution,
for he poisoned three mastiffs to come at her, and knocked down two
deer-stealers in carrying her off.  Misfortunes happen in all families.
The theft of this romp and so much money, was no great matter to our
estate.  But the next heir that possessed it was this soft gentleman,
whom you see there.  Observe the small buttons, the little boots, the
laces, the slashes about his clothes, and above all the posture he is
drawn in (which, to be sure, was his own choosing); you see he sits
with one hand on a desk writing, and looking as it were another way,
like an easy writer, or a sonneteer.  He was one of those that had too
much wit to know how to live in the world; he was a man of no justice,
but great good manners; he ruined everybody that had anything to do
with him, but {63} never said a rude thing in his life; the most
indolent person in the world, he would sign a deed that passed away
half his estate with his gloves on, but would not put on his hat before
a lady if it were to save his country.  He is said to be the first that
made love by squeezing the hand.  He left the estate with ten thousand
pounds' debt upon it, but however by all hands I have been informed
that he was every way the finest gentleman in the world.  That debt lay
heavy on our house for one generation, but it was retrieved by a gift
from that honest man you see there, a citizen of our name, but nothing
at all akin to us.  I know Sir Andrew Freeport has said behind my back,
that this man was descended from one of the ten children of the
maid-of-honour I showed you above.  But it was never made out; we
winked at the thing indeed, because money was wanting at that time."

Here I saw my friend a little embarrassed, and turned my face to the
next portraiture.

Sir Roger went on with his account of the gallery in the following
manner: "This man (pointing to him I looked at) I take to be the honour
of our house, Sir Humphrey de Coverley; he was in his dealings as
punctual as a tradesman, and as generous as a gentleman.  He would have
thought himself as much undone by breaking his word, as if it were to
be followed by bankruptcy.  He served his country as knight of this
shire to his dying day.  He found it no easy matter to maintain an
integrity in his words and actions, even in things that regarded the
offices which were incumbent upon him, in the care of his own affairs
and relations of life, and therefore dreaded (though he had great
talents) {64} to go into employments of state, where he must be exposed
to the snares of ambition.  Innocence of life and great ability were
the distinguishing parts of his character; the latter, he had often
observed, had led to the destruction of the former, and used frequently
to lament that great and good had not the same signification.  He was
an excellent husbandman, but had resolved not to exceed such a degree
of wealth; all above it he bestowed in secret bounties many years after
the sum he aimed at for his own use was attained.  Yet he did not
slacken his industry, but to a decent old age spent the life and
fortune which was superfluous to himself, in the service of his friends
and neighbours."

Here we were called to dinner, and Sir Roger ended the discourse of
this gentleman, by telling me, as we followed the servant, that this
his ancestor was a brave man, and narrowly escaped being killed in the
Civil Wars.  "For," said he, "he was sent out of the field upon a
private message the day before the Battle of Worcester."  The whim of
narrowly escaping, by having been within a day of danger, with other
matters above mentioned, mixed with good sense, left me at a loss
whether I was more delighted with my friend's wisdom or simplicity.

(_The Spectator_, No. 109.)



{65}

HENRY FIELDING 1707-1754

PARTRIDGE AT THE PLAY

In the first row, then, of the first gallery did Mr Jones, Mrs Miller,
her youngest daughter, and Partridge, take their places.  Partridge
immediately declared it was the finest place he had ever been in.  When
the first music was played, he said, "It was a wonder how so many
fiddlers could play at one time, without putting one another out."
While the fellow was lighting the upper candles, he cried out to Mrs
Miller, "Look, look, madam, the very picture of the man in the end of
the Common-Prayer Book before the gunpowder-treason service."  Nor
could he help observing, with a sigh, when all the candles were
lighted, "That here were candles enough burnt in one night, to keep an
honest poor family for a whole twelve-month."

As soon as the play, which was Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, began,
Partridge was all attention, nor did he break silence till the entrance
of the ghost; upon which he asked Jones, "What man was that in the
strange dress; something," said he, "like what I have seen in a
picture.  Sure it is not armour, is it?"  Jones answered, "That is the
ghost."  To which Partridge replied with a smile, "Persuade me to that,
sir, if you can.  Though I can't say I ever actually saw a ghost in my
life, yet I am certain I should know one, if I saw him, better than
that comes to.  No, no, sir, ghosts don't appear in such dresses as
that, neither."  In this mistake, which caused much {66} laughter in
the neighbourhood of Partridge, he was suffered to continue, till the
scene between the ghost and Hamlet, when Partridge gave that credit to
Mr Garrick, which he had denied to Jones, and fell into so violent a
trembling, that his knees knocked against each other.  Jones asked him
what was the matter, and whether he was afraid of the warrior upon the
stage?  "O la! sir," said he, "I perceive now it is what you told me.
I am not afraid of anything; for I know it is but a play.  And if it
was really a ghost, it could do one no harm at such a distance, and in
so much company; and yet if I was frightened, I am not the only
person."  "Why, who," cries Jones, "dost thou take to be such a coward
here besides thyself?"  "Nay, you may call me coward if you will, but
if that little man there upon the stage is not frightened, I never saw
any man frightened in my life.  Ay, ay: go along with you: Ay, to be
sure!  Who's fool then?  Will you?  Lud have mercy upon such
fool-hardiness!--Whatever happens, it is good enough for you.----Follow
you?  I'd follow the devil as soon.  Nay, perhaps it is the
devil----for they say he can put on what likeness he pleases.--Oh! here
he is again.----No farther!  No, you have gone far enough already;
farther than I'd have gone for all the king's dominions."  Jones
offered to speak, but Partridge cried, "Hush, hush! dear sir, don't you
hear him?"  And during the whole speech of the ghost, he sat with his
eyes fixed partly on the ghost and partly on Hamlet, and with his mouth
open; the same passions which succeeded each other in Hamlet,
succeeding likewise in him.

When the scene was over Jones said, "Why, Partridge, {67} you exceed my
expectations.  You enjoy the play more than I conceived possible."
"Nay, sir," answered Partridge, "if you are not afraid of the devil, I
can't help it, but to be sure, it is natural to be surprised at such
things, though I know there is nothing in them: not that it was the
ghost that surprised me, neither; for I should have known that to have
been only a man in a strange dress; but when I saw the little man so
frightened himself, it was that which took hold of me."  "And dost thou
imagine, then, Partridge," cries Jones, "that he was really
frightened?"  "Nay, sir," said Partridge, "did not you yourself observe
afterwards, when he found it was his own father's spirit, and how he
was murdered in the garden, how his fear forsook him by degrees, and he
was struck dumb with sorrow, as it were, just as I should have been,
had it been my own case?--But hush!  O la! what noise is that?  There
he is again.----Well to be certain, though I know there is nothing at
all in it, I am glad I am not down yonder, where those men are."  Then
turning his eyes again upon Hamlet, "Ay, you may draw your sword; what
signifies a sword against the power of the devil?"

During the second act, Partridge made very few remarks.  He greatly
admired the fineness of the dresses; nor could he help observing upon
the king's countenance.  "Well," said he, "how people may be deceived
by faces!  _Nulla fides fronti_ is, I find, a true saying.  Who would
think, by looking in the king's face, that he had ever committed a
murder?"  He then inquired after the ghost; but Jones, who intended
that he should be surprised, gave him no other satisfaction, than,
"that {68} he might possibly see him again soon, and in a flash of
fire."

Partridge sat in a fearful expectation of this; and now, when the ghost
made his appearance, Partridge cried out, "There, sir, now; what say
you now? is he frightened now or no?  As much frightened as you think
me, and, to be sure, nobody can help some fears.  I would not be in so
bad a condition as what's his name, squire Hamlet, is there, for all
the world.  Bless me! what's become of the spirit?  As I am a living
soul, I thought I saw him sink into the earth."  "Indeed, you saw
right," answered Jones.  "Well, well," cries Partridge, "I know it is
only a play: and besides, if there was anything in all this, Madam
Miller would not laugh so; for as to you, sir, you would not be afraid,
I believe, if the devil was here in person.--There, there--Ay, no
wonder you are in such a passion, shake the vile wicked wretch to
pieces.  If she was my own mother, I would serve her so.  To be sure
all duty to a mother is forfeited by such wicked doings.----Ay, go
about your business, I hate the sight of you."

Our critic was now pretty silent till the play, which Hamlet introduces
before the king.  This he did not at first understand, till Jones
explained it to him; but he no sooner entered into the spirit of it,
than he began to bless himself that he had never committed murder.
Then turning to Mrs Miller, he asked her, "If she did not imagine the
king looked as if he was touched; though he is," said he, "a good
actor, and doth all he can to hide it.  Well, I would not have so much
to answer for, as that wicked man there hath, to sit upon a much higher
{69} chair that he sits upon.  No wonder he runs away; for your sake
I'll never trust an innocent face again."

The grave digging scene next engaged the attention of Partridge, who
expressed much surprise at the number of skulls thrown upon the stage.
To which Jones answered, "That it was one of the most famous
burial-places about town."  "No wonder, then," cries Partridge, "that
the place is haunted.  But I never saw in my life a worse grave-digger.
I had a sexton, when I was clerk, that should have dug three graves
while he is digging one.  The fellow handles a spade as if it was the
first time he had ever had one in his hand.  Ay, ay, you may sing.  You
had rather sing than work, I believe."--Upon Hamlet's taking up the
skull he cried out, "Well! it is strange to see how fearless some men
are: I never could bring myself to touch anything belonging to a dead
man, on any account.--He seemed frightened enough, too, at the ghost, I
thought.  _Nemo omnibus horis sapit_."

Little more worth remembering occurred during the play, at the end of
which Jones asked him, "Which of the players he had liked best?"  To
this he answered, with some appearance of indignation at the question,
"The king, without doubt."  "Indeed, Mr Partridge," says Mrs Miller,
"you are not of the same opinion with the town; for they are all
agreed, that Hamlet is acted by the best player who ever was on the
stage."  "He the best player!" cries Partridge, with a contemptuous
sneer, "why, I could act as well as he myself.  I am sure, if I had
seen a ghost, I should have looked in the very same manner, and done
just as he did.  And then, {70} to be sure, in that scene, as you
called it, between him and his mother, where you told me he acted so
fine, why, Lord help me, any man, that is, any good man, that had such
a mother, would have done exactly the same.  I know you are only joking
with me; but indeed, madam, though I was never at a play in London, yet
I have seen acting before in the country; and the king for my money; he
speaks all his words distinctly, half as loud again as the
other.--Anybody may see he is an actor."

While Mrs Miller was thus engaged in conversation with Partridge, a
lady came up to Mr Jones, whom he immediately knew to be Mrs
Fitzpatrick.  She said, she had seen him from the other part of the
gallery, and had taken that opportunity of speaking to him, as she had
something to say, which might be of great service to himself.  She then
acquainted him with her lodgings, and made him an appointment the next
day in the morning; which, upon recollection, she presently changed to
the afternoon; at which time Jones promised to attend her.

Thus ended the adventure at the play-house; where Partridge had
afforded great mirth, not only to Jones and Mrs Miller, but to all who
sat within hearing, who were more attentive to what he said, than to
anything that passed on the stage.

He durst not go to bed all that night, for fear of the ghost; and for
many nights after sweated two or three hours before he went to sleep,
with the same apprehensions, and waked several times in great horrors,
crying out, "Lord have mercy upon us! there it is."

(_Tom Jones_.)



{71}

SAMUEL JOHNSON 1709-1784

A JOURNEY IN A STAGE-COACH

In a stage coach the passengers are for the most part wholly unknown to
one another, and without expectation of ever meeting again when their
journey is at an end; one should, therefore, imagine, that it was of
little importance to any of them, what conjectures the rest should form
concerning him.  Yet so it is, that as all think themselves secure from
detection, all assume that character of which they are most desirous,
and on no occasion is the general ambition of superiority more
apparently indulged.

On the day of our departure, in the twilight of the morning, I ascended
the vehicle with three men and two women, my fellow travellers.  It was
easy to observe the affected elevation of mien with which every one
entered, and the supercilious civility with which they paid their
compliments to each other.  When the first ceremony was dispatched, we
sat silent for a long time, all employed in collecting importance into
our faces, and endeavouring to strike reverence and submission into our
companions.

It is always observable, that silence propagates itself, and that the
longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find any
thing to say.  We began now to wish for conversation; but no one seemed
inclined to descend from his dignity, or first to propose a topic of
discourse.  At last a corpulent gentleman, who had equipped himself for
this expedition with a scarlet surtout {72} and a large hat with a
broad lace, drew out his watch, looked on it in silence, and then held
it dangling at his finger.  This was, I suppose, understood by all the
company as an invitation to ask the time of the day, but nobody
appeared to heed his overture; and his desire to be talking so far
overcame his resentment, that he let us know of his own accord that it
was past five, and that in two hours we should be at breakfast.

His condescension was thrown away; we continued all obdurate; the
ladies held up their heads; I amused myself with watching their
behaviour; and of the other two, one seemed to employ himself in
counting the trees as we drove by them, the other drew his hat over his
eyes and counterfeited a slumber.  The man of benevolence, to shew that
he was not depressed by our neglect, hummed a tune and beat time upon
his snuff-box.

Thus universally displeased with one another, and not much delighted
with ourselves, we came at last to the little inn appointed for our
repast; and all began at once to recompense ourselves for the restraint
of silence, by innumerable questions and orders to the people that
attended us.  At last, what every one had called for was got, or
declared impossible to be got at that time, and we were persuaded to
sit round the same table; when the gentleman in the red surtout looked
again upon his watch, told us that we had half an hour to spare, but he
was sorry to see so little merriment among us; that all
fellow-travellers were for the time upon the level, and that it was
always his way to make himself one of the company.  "I remember," says
he, "it was on just such a morning as this, that I and my lord Mumble
and the {73} duke of Tenterden were out upon a ramble: we called at a
little house as it might be this; and my landlady, I warrant you, not
suspecting to whom she was talking, was so jocular and facetious, and
made so many merry answers to our questions, that we were all ready to
burst with laughter.  At last the good woman happening to overhear me
whisper the duke and call him by his title, was so surprised and
confounded, that we could scarcely get a word from her; and the duke
never met me from that day to this, but he talks of the little house,
and quarrels with me for terrifying the landlady."

He had scarcely time to congratulate himself on the veneration which
this narrative must have procured him from the company, when one of the
ladies having reached out for a plate on a distant part of the table,
began to remark "the inconveniences of travelling, and the difficulty
which they who never sat at home without a great number of attendants
found in performing for themselves such offices as the road required;
but that people of quality often travelled in disguise, and might be
generally known from the vulgar by their condescension to poor
inn-keepers, and the allowance which they made for any defect in their
entertainment; that for her part, while people were civil and meant
well, it was never her custom to find fault, for one was not to expect
upon a journey all that one enjoyed at one's own house."

A general emulation seemed now to be excited.  One of the men, who had
hitherto said nothing, called for the last news-paper; and having
perused it a while with deep pensiveness, "It is impossible," says he,
"for any man to guess how to act with regard to the stocks: last {74}
week it was the general opinion that they would fall; and I sold out
twenty thousand pounds in order to a purchase: they have now risen
unexpectedly; and I make no doubt but at my return to London, I shall
risk thirty thousand pounds amongst them again."

A young man, who had hitherto distinguished himself only by the
vivacity of his looks, and a frequent diversion of his eyes from one
object to another, upon this closed his snuff-box, and told us, that
"he had a hundred times talked with the chancellor and the judges on
the subject of the stocks; that for his part he did not pretend to be
well acquainted with the principles on which they were established, but
had always heard them reckoned pernicious to trade, uncertain in their
produce, and unsolid in their foundation; and that he had been advised
by three judges, his most intimate friends, never to venture his money
in the funds, but to put it out upon land security, till he could light
upon an estate in his own country."

It might be expected, that upon these glimpses of latent dignity, we
should all have begun to look round us with veneration; and have
behaved like the princes of romance, when the enchantment that
disguises them is dissolved and they discover the dignity of each
other: yet it happened, that none of these hints made much impression
on the company; everyone was apparently suspected of endeavouring to
impose false appearances upon the rest; all continued their
haughtiness, in hopes to enforce their claims; and all grew every hour
more sullen, because they found their representations of themselves
without effect.

{75} Thus we travelled on four days with malevolence perpetually
increasing, and without any endeavour but to outvie each other in
superciliousness and neglect; and when any two of us could separate
ourselves for a moment, we vented our indignation at the sauciness of
the rest.

At length the journey was at an end; and time and chance, that strip
off all disguises, have discovered, that the intimate of lords and
dukes is a nobleman's butler, who has furnished a shop with the money
he has saved; the man who deals so largely in the funds, is a clerk of
a broker in 'Change-alley; the lady who so carefully concealed her
quality, keeps a cook-shop behind the Exchange; and the young man, who
is so happy in the friendship of the judges, engrosses and transcribes
for bread in a garret of the Temple.  Of one of the women only I could
make no disadvantageous detection, because she had assumed no
character, but accommodated herself to the scene before her, without
any struggle for distinction or superiority.

I could not forbear to reflect on the folly of practising a fraud,
which, as the event shewed, had been already practised too often to
succeed, and by the success of which no advantage could have been
obtained; of assuming a character, which was to end with the day; and
of claiming upon false pretences honours which must perish with the
breath that paid them.

But, Mr Adventurer, let not those who laugh at me and my companions,
think this folly confined to a stage coach.  Every man in the journey
of life takes the same advantage of the ignorance of his fellow
travellers, disguises himself in counterfeited merit, and hears those
{76} praises with complacency which his conscience reproaches him for
accepting.  Every man deceives himself, while he thinks he is deceiving
others; and forgets that the time is at hand when every illusion shall
cease, when fictitious excellence shall be torn away, and all must be
shown to all in their real estate.

I am, Sir,
  Your humble servant,
    VIATOR.

(_The Adventurer_.)



LAURENCE STERNE 1713-1768

HOW UNCLE TOBY AND CORPORAL TRIM FOLLOWED MARLBOROUGH'S CAMPAIGNS

If the reader has not a clear conception of the rood and the half of
ground which lay at the bottom of my uncle Toby's kitchen-garden, and
which was the scene of so many of his delicious hours,--the fault is
not in me,--but in his imagination;--for I am sure I gave him so minute
a description, I was almost ashamed of it.

When _Fate_ was looking forwards one afternoon, into the great
transactions of future times,--and recollected for what purposes this
little plot, by a decree fast bound down in iron, had been
destined,--she gave a nod to _Nature_:--'twas enough,--Nature threw
half a spadeful of her kindliest compost upon it, with just so _much_
clay in {77} it as to retain the forms of angles and indenting,--and so
_little_ of it too, as not to cling to the spade, and render works of
so much glory, nasty in foul weather.

My uncle Toby came down, as the reader has been informed, with plans
along with him, of almost every fortified town in Italy and Flanders;
so let the Duke of Marlborough, or the allies, have set down before
what town they pleased, my uncle Toby was prepared for them.

His way, which was the simplest one in the world, was this: as soon as
ever a town was invested--(but sooner when the design was known) to
take the plan of it (let it be what town it would) and enlarge it upon
a scale to the exact size of his bowling green; upon the surface of
which, by means of a large roll of packthread, and a number of small
pickets driven into the ground, at the several angles and redans, he
transferred the lines from his paper; then taking the profile of the
place, with its works, to determine the depths and slopes of the
ditches,--the talus of the glacis, and the precise height of the
several _banquettes_, parapets, etc.--he set the Corporal to work; and
sweetly went it on.--The nature of the soil,--the nature of the work
itself,--and, above all, the good-nature of my uncle Toby, sitting by
from morning to night, and chatting kindly with the Corporal upon past
done deeds,--left _labour_ little else but the ceremony of the name. . .

When the town, with its works, was finished, my uncle Toby and the
Corporal began to run their first parallel,--not at random, or
anyhow,--but from the same points and distances the allies had begun to
run {78} theirs; and regulating their approaches and attacks by the
accounts my uncle Toby received from the daily papers,--they went on,
during the whole siege, step by step, with the allies.

When the Duke of Marlborough made a lodgment,--my uncle Toby made a
lodgment too;--and when the face of a bastion was battered down, or a
defence ruined,--the Corporal took his mattock and did as much,--and so
on;--gaining ground, and making themselves masters of the works, one
after another, till the town fell into their hands.

To one who took pleasure in the happy state of others, there could not
have been a greater sight in the world than on a post-morning, in which
a practicable breach had been made by the Duke of Marlborough in the
main body of the place,--to have stood behind the horn-beam hedge, and
observed the spirit with which my uncle Toby, with Trim behind him,
sallied forth;--the one with the Gazette in his hand,--the other with a
spade on his shoulder, to execute the contents.--What an honest triumph
in my uncle Toby's looks as he marched up to the ramparts! what intense
pleasure swimming in his eye as he stood over the Corporal, reading the
paragraph ten times over to him, as he was at work, lest, peradventure,
he should make the breach an inch too wide,--or leave it an inch too
narrow!--but when the _chamade_ was beat, and the Corporal helped my
uncle up it, and followed with the colours in his hand, to fix them
upon the ramparts,--Heaven!  Earth!  Sea!--but what avail
apostrophes?--with all your elements, wet or dry, ye never compounded
so intoxicating a draught.

{79} In this track of happiness for many years, without one
interruption to it, except now and then when the wind continued to blow
due west for a week or ten days together, which detained the Flanders
mail, and kept them so long in torture, but still it was the torture of
the happy:--in this track, I say, did my uncle Toby and Trim move for
many years, every year of which, and sometimes every month, from the
invention of either the one or the other of them, adding some new
conceit or quirk of improvement to their operations, which always
opened fresh springs of delight in carrying them on.

(_Tristram Shandy_.)



HORACE WALPOLE 1717-1797

THE FUNERAL OF GEORGE II

_Horace Walpole to George Montagu_

ARLINGTON STREET,

_November_ 13, 1760.

Even the honeymoon of a new reign don't produce events every day.
There is nothing but the common saying of addresses and kissing
hands. . .  For the King himself, he seems all good nature, and wishing
to satisfy everybody; all his speeches are obliging.

I saw him again yesterday, and was surprised to find the levee-room had
lost so entirely the air of the lion's den.  This sovereign don't stand
in one spot, with his eyes fixed royally on the ground, and dropping
bits of {80} German news: he walks about, and speaks to everybody.  I
saw him afterwards on the throne where he is graceful and genteel, sits
with dignity and reads his answers to addresses well; it was the
Cambridge address, carried by the Duke of Newcastle in his doctor's
gown, and looking like the _Médecin malgré lui_.  He had been
vehemently solicitous for attendance for fear my Lord Westmoreland, who
vouchsafes himself to bring the address from Oxford, should outnumber
him.  Lord Litchfield and several other Jacobites have kissed hands;
George Selwyn says, "They go to St James', because _now_ there are so
many Stuarts there."

Do you know, I had the curiosity to go to the burying t'other night; I
had never seen a royal funeral; nay, I walked as a rag of quality,
which I found would be, and so it was, the easiest way of seeing it.
It is absolutely a noble sight.  The Prince's chamber, hung with
purple, and a quantity of silver lamps, the coffin under a canopy of
purple velvet, and six vast chandeliers of silver on high stands, had a
very good effect.  The ambassador from Tripoli and his son were carried
to see that chamber.

The procession, through a line of foot-guards, every seventh man
bearing a torch, the horse-guards lining the outside, their officers
with drawn sabres and crape sashes on horse-back, the drums muffled,
the fifes, bells tolling, and minute guns,--all this was very solemn.
But the charm was the entrance of the abbey, where we were received by
the dean and chapter in rich robes, the choir and almsmen bearing
torches; the whole abbey so illuminated, that one saw it to greater
advantage than by {81} day; the tombs, long aisles, and fretted roof,
all appearing distinctly, and with the happiest _chiaroscuro_.  There
wanted nothing but incense, and little chapels here and there, with
priests saying mass for the repose of the defunct; yet one could not
complain of its not being catholic enough.  I had been in dread of
being coupled with some boy of ten years old; but the heralds were not
very accurate, and I walked with George Grenville, taller and older, to
keep me in countenance.  When we came to the chapel of Henry the
Seventh, all solemnity and decorum ceased; no order was observed,
people sat or stood where they could or would; the Yeomen of the Guard
were crying out for help, oppressed by the immense weight of the
coffin; the bishop read sadly and blundered in the prayers; the fine
chapter, _Man that is born of woman_, was chanted, not read; and the
anthem, besides being immeasurably tedious, would have served as well
for a nuptial.  The real serious part was the figure of the Duke of
Cumberland, heightened by a thousand melancholy circumstances.  He had
a dark brown adonis, and a cloak of black cloth, with a train of five
yards.

Attending the funeral of a father could not be pleasant; his leg
extremely bad, yet forced to stand upon it near two hours; his face
bloated and distorted with his late paralytic stroke, which has
affected, too, one of his eyes; and placed over the mouth of the vault
into which, in all probability, he must himself so soon descend; think
how unpleasant a situation!  He bore it all with a firm and unaffected
countenance.  This grave scene was fully contrasted by the burlesque
Duke {82} of Newcastle.  He fell into a fit of crying the moment he
came into the chapel, and flung himself back in a stall, the archbishop
hovering over him with a smelling-bottle; but in two minutes his
curiosity got the better of his hypocrisy, and he ran about the chapel
with his glass to spy who was or was not there, spying with one hand,
and mopping his eyes with the other.  Then returned the fear of
catching cold; and the Duke of Cumberland, who was sinking with heat,
felt himself weighed down, and turning round, found it was the Duke of
Newcastle standing upon his train, to avoid the chill of the marble.
It is very theatric to look down into the vault, where the coffin was,
attended by mourners with lights.  Clavering, the groom of the
bed-chamber, refused to sit up with the body, and was dismissed by the
King's order.

I have nothing more to tell you, but a trifle, a very trifle.  The King
of Prussia has totally defeated Marshal Daun.  This, which would have
been prodigious news a month ago, is nothing to-day; it only takes its
turn among the questions, "Who is to be the groom of the bedchamber?
What is Sir T. Robinson to have?"  I have been to Leicester Fields
to-day; the crowd was immoderate; I don't believe it will continue so.
Good night.

(_Letters_.)



{83}

OLIVER GOLDSMITH 1728-1774

THE CREDULITY OF THE ENGLISH

It is the most usual method in every report, first to examine its
probability, and then act as the conjuncture may require.  The English,
however, exert a different spirit in such circumstances; they first
act, and when too late, begin to examine.  From a knowledge of this
disposition, there are several here, who make it their business to
frame new reports at every convenient interval, all tending to denounce
ruin, both on their contemporaries and their posterity.  This
denunciation is eagerly caught up by the public: away they fling to
propagate the distress; sell out at one place, buy in at another,
grumble at their governors, shout in mobs, and when they have thus for
some time behaved like fools, sit down coolly to argue and talk wisdom,
to puzzle each other with syllogism, and prepare for the next report
that prevails, which is always attended with the same success.

Thus are they ever rising above one report, only to sink into another.
They resemble a dog in a well, pawing to get free.  When he has raised
his upper parts above water, and every spectator imagines him
disengaged, his lower parts drag him down again and sink him to the
nose; he makes new efforts to emerge, and every effort increasing his
weakness, only tends to sink him the deeper. . .

{84} This people would laugh at my simplicity, should I advise them to
be less sanguine in harbouring gloomy predictions, and examine coolly
before they attempted to complain.  I have just heard a story, which,
though transacted in a private family, serves very well to describe the
behaviour of the whole nation, in cases of threatened calamity.  As
there are public, so there are private incendiaries here.  One of the
last, either for the amusement of his friends, or to divert a fit of
the spleen, lately sent a threatening letter to a worthy family in my
neighbourhood, to this effect:

"Sir,--Knowing you to be very rich, and finding myself to be very poor,
I think proper to inform you, that I have learned the secret of
poisoning man, woman, and child, without danger of detection.  Don't be
uneasy, Sir, you may take your choice of being poisoned in a fortnight,
or poisoned in a month, or poisoned in six weeks; you shall have full
time to settle all your affairs.  Though I am poor, I love to do things
like a gentleman.  But, Sir, you must die.  Blood, Sir, blood is my
trade; so I could wish you would this day six weeks take leave of your
friends, wife, and family, for I cannot possibly allow you longer time.
To convince you more certainly of the power of my art, by which you may
know I speak truth, take this letter; when you have read it, tear off
the seal, fold it up, and give it to your favourite Dutch mastiff that
sits by the fire; he will swallow it, Sir, like a buttered toast: in
three hours four minutes after he has taken it, he will attempt to bite
off his own tongue, and half an hour after burst asunder in twenty
pieces.  Blood! blood! blood!  So no more at present from, {85} Sir,
your most obedient, most devoted humble servant to command, till death."

You may easily imagine the consternation into which this letter threw
the whole good-natured family.  The poor man to whom it was addressed
was the more surprised, as not knowing how he could merit such
inveterate malice.  All the friends of the family were convened; it was
universally agreed that it was a most terrible affair, and that the
government should be solicited to offer a reward and a pardon: a fellow
of this kind would go on poisoning family after family; and it was
impossible to say where the destruction would end.  In pursuance of
these determinations, the government was applied to; strict search was
made after the incendiary, but all in vain.  At last, therefore, they
recollected that the experiment was not yet tried upon the dog; the
Dutch mastiff was brought up, and placed in the midst of the friends
and relations; the seal was torn off, the packet folded up with care,
and soon they found, to the great surprise of all--that the dog would
not eat the letter.  Adieu.

(_Citizen of the World_.)



EDMUND BURKE 1729-1797

DECAY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY

We may amuse ourselves with talking as much as we please of the virtue
of middle or humble life; that is, we may place our confidence in the
virtue of those who {86} have never been tried.  But if the persons who
are continually emerging out of that sphere be no better than those
whom birth has placed above it, what hopes are there in the remainder
of the body, which is to furnish the perpetual succession of the state?
All who have ever written on government are unanimous that among a
people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.  And indeed how is
it possible?  When those who are to make the laws, to guard, to
enforce, or to obey them, are by a tacit confederacy of manners
indisposed to the spirit of all generous and noble institutions.

I am aware that the age is not what we all wish.  But I am sure that
the only means of checking its precipitate degeneracy is heartily to
concur with whatever is the best in our time: and to have some more
correct standard of judging what that best is than the transient and
uncertain favour of a court.  If once we are able to find and can
prevail on ourselves to strengthen an union of such men, whatever
accidentally becomes indisposed to ill-exercised power, even by the
ordinary operation of human passions, must join with that society, and
cannot long be joined without in some degree assimilating to it.
Virtue will catch as well as vice by contact, and the public stock of
honest, manly principle will daily accumulate.  We are not too nicely
to scrutinise motives as long as action is irreproachable.  It is
enough (and for a worthy man perhaps too much) to deal out its infamy
to convicted guilt and declared apostasy.

This, gentlemen, has been from the beginning the rule of my conduct;
and I mean to continue it as long as such a body as I have described
can by any possibility {87} be kept together, for I should think it the
most dreadful of all offences, not only towards the present generation
but to all the future, if I were to do anything which could make the
minutest breach in this great conservatory of free principles.  Those
who perhaps have the same intentions but are separated by some little
political animosities will I hope discern at last how little conducive
it is to any rational purpose to lower its reputation.  For my part,
gentlemen, from much experience, from no little thinking, and from
comparing a great variety of things, I am thoroughly persuaded that the
last hope of preserving the spirit of the English constitution, or of
re-uniting the dissipated members of the English race upon a common
plan of tranquillity and liberty, does entirely depend on their firm
and lasting union, and above all on their keeping themselves from that
despair which is so very apt to fall on those whom a violence of
character and a mixture of ambitious views do not support through a
long, painful, and unsuccessful struggle.

There never, gentlemen, was a period in which the stedfastness of some
men has been put to so sore a trial.  It is not very difficult for
well-formed minds to abandon their interest, but the separation of fame
and virtue is a harsh divorce.  Liberty is in danger of being made
unpopular to Englishmen.  Contending for an imaginary power we begin to
acquire the spirit of domination and to lose the relish of an honest
equality.  The principles of our forefathers become suspected to us,
because we see them animating the present opposition of our children.
The faults which grow out of the luxuriance of freedom appear much more
shocking to us than the {88} base vices which are generated from the
rankness of servitude.  Accordingly, the least resistance to power
appears more inexcusable in our eyes than the greatest abuses of
authority.  All dread of a standing military force is looked upon as a
superstitious panic.  All shame of calling in foreigners and savages in
a civil contest is worn off.  We grow indifferent to the consequences
inevitable to ourselves from the plan of ruling half the empire by a
mercenary sword.  We are taught to believe that a desire of domineering
over our countrymen is love to our country, that those who hate civil
war abet rebellion, and that the amiable and conciliatory virtues of
lenity, moderation, and tenderness of the privileges of those who
depend on this kingdom are a sort of treason to the state.

It is impossible that we should remain long in a situation which breeds
such notions and dispositions without some great alteration in the
national character.  Those ingenuous and feeling minds who are so
fortified against all other things, and so unarmed to whatever
approaches in the shape of disgrace, finding these principles, which
they considered as sure means of honour, to be grown into disrepute,
will retire disheartened and disgusted.  Those of a more robust make,
the bold, able, ambitious men who pay some of their court to power
through the people, and substitute the voice of transient opinion in
the place of true glory, will give in to the general mode; and those
superior understandings which ought to correct vulgar prejudice will
confirm and aggravate its errors.  Many things have been long operating
towards a gradual change in our principles.  {89} But this American war
has done more in a very few years than all the other causes could have
effected in a century.  It is therefore not on its own separate
account, but because of its attendant circumstances that I consider its
continuance or its ending in any way but that of an honourable and
liberal accommodation as the greatest evils which can befall us.  For
that reason I have troubled you with this long letter.  For that reason
I entreat you again and again neither to be persuaded, shamed, or
frighted out of the principles that have hitherto led so many of you to
abhor the war, its cause, and its consequences.  Let us not be among
the first who renounce the maxims of our forefathers.

(_Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, on the affairs of America_.)



WILLIAM COWPER 1731-1800

THE CANDIDATE FOR PARLIAMENT

_To the Rev. John Newton_.

_March_ 29, 1784.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--It being his majesty's pleasure that I should yet have
another opportunity to write before he dissolves the parliament, I
avail myself of it with all possible alacrity.  I thank you for your
last, which was not the less welcome for coming, like an extraordinary
gazette, at a time when it was not expected.

{90} As when the sea is uncommonly agitated, the water finds its way
into creeks and holes of rocks, which in its calmer state it never
reaches, in like manner the effect of these turbulent times is felt
even at Orchard side, where in general we live as undisturbed by the
political element, as shrimps or cockles that have been accidentally
deposited in some hollow beyond the water mark, by the usual dashing of
the waves.  We were sitting yesterday after dinner, the two ladies and
myself, very composedly, and without the least apprehension of any such
intrusion in our snug parlour, one lady knitting, the other netting,
and the gentleman winding worsted, when to our unspeakable surprise a
mob appeared before the window; a smart rap was heard at the door, the
boys halloo'd, and the maid announced Mr Grenville.  Puss was
unfortunately let out of her box, so that the candidate, with all his
good friends at his heels, was refused admittance at the grand entry,
and referred to the back door, as the only possible way of approach.

Candidates are creatures not very susceptible of affronts, and would
rather, I suppose, climb in at a window, than be absolutely excluded.
In a minute, the yard, the kitchen, and the parlour, were filled.  Mr
Grenville advancing toward me shook me by the hand with a degree of
cordiality that was extremely seducing.  As soon as he and as many more
as could find chairs were seated, he began to open the intent of his
visit.  I told him I had no vote, for which he readily gave me credit.
I assured him I had no influence, which he was not equally inclined to
believe, and the less, no doubt, because Mr Ashburner, the {91}
drapier, addressing himself to me at this moment, informed me that I
had a great deal.  Supposing that I could not be possessed of such a
treasure without knowing it, I ventured to confirm my first assertion,
by saying, that if I had any I was utterly at a loss to imagine where
it could be, or wherein it consisted.  Thus ended the conference.  Mr
Grenville squeezed me by the hand again, kissed the ladies, and
withdrew.  He kissed likewise the maid in the kitchen, and seemed upon
the whole a most loving, kissing, kind-hearted gentleman.  He is very
young, genteel, and handsome.  He has a pair of very good eyes in his
head, which not being sufficient as it should seem for the many nice
and difficult purposes of a senator, he has a third also, which he wore
suspended by a ribband from his buttonhole.  The boys halloo'd, the
dogs barked, Puss scampered, the hero, with his long train of
obsequious followers, withdrew.  We made ourselves very merry with the
adventure, and in a short time settled into our former tranquillity,
never probably to be thus interrupted more.  I thought myself, however,
happy in being able to affirm truly that I had not that influence for
which he sued; and which, had I been possessed of it, with my present
views of the dispute between the Crown and the Commons, I must have
refused him, for he is on the side of the former.  It is comfortable to
be of no consequence in a world where one cannot exercise any without
disobliging somebody.  The town however seems to be much at his
service, and if he be equally successful throughout the county, he will
undoubtedly gain his election.  Mr Ashburner perhaps {92} was a little
mortified, because it was evident that I owed the honour of this visit
to his misrepresentation of my importance.  But had he thought proper
to assure Mr Grenville that I had three heads, I should not I suppose
have been bound to produce them.

Mr Scott, who you say was so much admired in your pulpit, would be
equally admired in his own, at least by all capable judges, were he not
so apt to be angry with his congregation.  This hurts him, and had he
the understanding and eloquence of Paul himself, would still hurt him.
He seldom, hardly ever indeed, preaches a gentle, well-tempered sermon,
but I hear it highly commended: but warmth of temper, indulged to a
degree that may be called scolding, defeats the end of preaching.  It
is a misapplication of his powers, which it also cripples, and teases
away his hearers.  But he is a good man, and may perhaps outgrow it.

Many thanks for the worsted, which is excellent.  We are as well as a
spring hardly less severe than the severest winter will give us leave
to be.  With our united love, we conclude ourselves yours and Mrs
Newton's affectionate and faithful

  W. C.
  M. U.

(_Letters_.)



{93}

EDWARD GIBBON 1737-1794

YOUTH

At the conclusion of this first period of my life, I am tempted to
enter a protest against the trite and lavish praise of the happiness of
our boyish years, which is echoed with so much affectation in the
world.  That happiness I have never known, that time I have never
regretted; and were my poor aunt still alive, she would bear testimony
to the early and constant uniformity of my sentiments.  It will,
indeed, be replied that _I_ am not a competent judge; that pleasure is
incompatible with pain, that joy is excluded from sickness; and that
the felicity of a school-boy consists in the perpetual motion of
thoughtless and playful agility, in which I was never qualified to
excel.  My name, it is most true, could never be enrolled among the
sprightly race, the idle progeny of Eton or Westminster, who delight to
cleave the water with pliant arm, to urge the flying ball, and to chase
the speed of the rolling circle.  But I would ask the warmest and most
active hero of the play-field whether he can seriously compare his
childish with his manly enjoyments. . . .  A state of happiness arising
only from the want of foresight and reflection shall never provoke my
envy; such degenerate taste would tend to sink us in the scale of
beings from a man to a child, a dog and an oyster, till we had reached
the confines of brute matter, which cannot suffer because it cannot
feel.  The poet may gaily describe the short hours of {94} recreation;
but he forgets the daily, tedious labours of the school, which is
approached each morning with anxious and reluctant steps.  Degrees of
misery are proportioned to the mind rather than to the object; _parva
leves capiunt animos_; and few men, in the trials of life, have
experienced a more painful sensation than the poor school-boy with an
imperfect task, who trembles on the eve of the black Monday.  A school
is the cavern of fear and sorrow; the mobility of the captive youths is
chained to a book and a desk; an inflexible master commands their
attention, which every moment is impatient to escape; they labour like
the soldiers of Persia under the scourge, and their education is nearly
finished before they can apprehend the sense or utility of the harsh
lessons which they are forced to repeat.  Such blind and absolute
dependence may be necessary, but can never be delightful: Freedom is
the first wish of our heart; freedom is the first blessing of our
nature; and, unless we bind ourselves with the voluntary chains of
interest or passion, we advance in freedom as we advance in years.

(_Autobiography_.)



JAMES BOSWELL 1740-1795

FIRST SIGHT OF DR JOHNSON

1763.  This is to me a memorable year; for in it I had the happiness to
obtain the acquaintance of that extraordinary man whose memoirs I am
now writing; an acquaintance which I shall ever esteem as one of {95}
the most fortunate circumstances in my life.  Though then but
two-and-twenty, I had for several years read his works with delight and
instruction, and had the highest reverence for their author, which had
grown up in my fancy into a kind of mysterious veneration, by figuring
to myself a state of solemn abstraction, in which I supposed him to
live in the immense metropolis of London.  Mr Gentleman, a native of
Ireland, who passed some years in Scotland as a player, and as an
instructor in the English language, a man whose talents and worth were
depressed by misfortunes, had given me a representation of the figure
and manner of DICTIONARY JOHNSON! as he was then generally called; and
during my first visit to London, which was for three months in 1760, Mr
Derrick the poet, who was Gentleman's friend and countryman, flattered
me with hopes that he would introduce me to Johnson, an honour of which
I was very ambitious.  But he never found an opportunity; which made me
doubt that he had promised to do what was not in his power; till
Johnson some years afterwards told me, "Derrick, Sir, might very well
have introduced you.  I had a kindness for Derrick, and am sorry he is
dead."

In the summer of 1761 Mr Thomas Sheridan was at Edinburgh, and
delivered lectures upon the English language and Public Speaking to
large and respectable audiences.  I was often in his company, and heard
him frequently expatiate upon Johnson's extraordinary knowledge,
talents, and virtues, repeat his pointed sayings, describe his
particularities, and boast of his being his guest sometimes till two or
three in the morning.  At {96} his house I hoped to have many
opportunities of seeing the sage, as Mr Sheridan obligingly assured me
I should not be disappointed.

When I returned to London in the end of 1762, to my surprise and regret
I found an irreconcileable difference had taken place between Johnson
and Sheridan.  A pension of two hundred pounds a year had been given to
Sheridan.  Johnson, who, as has been already mentioned, thought
slightingly of Sheridan's art, upon hearing that he was also pensioned,
exclaimed, "What! have they given _him_ a pension?  Then it is time for
me to give up mine."  Whether this proceeded from a momentary
indignation, as if it were an affront to his exalted merit that a
player should be rewarded in the same manner with him, or was the
sudden effect of a fit of peevishness, it was unluckily said, and,
indeed, cannot be justified.  Mr Sheridan's pension was granted to him
not as a player, but as a sufferer in the cause of government, when he
was manager of the Theatre Royal in Ireland, when parties ran high in
1753.  And it must also be allowed that he was a man of literature, and
had considerably improved the arts of reading and speaking with
distinctness and propriety. . . .

This rupture with Sheridan deprived Johnson of one of his most
agreeable resources for amusement in his lonely evenings; for
Sheridan's well-informed, animated, and bustling mind never suffered
conversation to stagnate; and Mrs Sheridan was a most agreeable
companion to an intellectual man.  She was sensible, ingenious,
unassuming, yet communicative.  I recollect, with satisfaction, many
pleasing hours which I passed with her {97} under the hospitable roof
of her husband, who was to me a very kind friend.  Her novel, entitled
_Memoirs of Miss Sydney Biddulph_, contains an excellent moral while it
inculcates a future state of retribution; and what it teaches is
impressed upon the mind by a series of as deep distress as can affect
humanity, in the amiable and pious heroine who goes to her grave
unrelieved, but resigned, and full of hope of heaven's mercy.  Johnson
paid her this high compliment upon it: "I know not, Madam, that you
have a right, upon moral principles, to make your readers suffer so
much."

Mr Thomas Davies, the actor, who then kept a bookseller's shop in
Russell Street, Covent Garden, told me that Johnson was very much his
friend, and came frequently to his house, where he more than once
invited me to meet him; but by some unlucky accident or other he was
prevented from coming to us.

Mr Thomas Davies was a man of good understanding and talents, with the
advantage of a liberal education.  Though somewhat pompous, he was an
entertaining companion; and his literary performances have no
inconsiderable share of merit.  He was a friendly and very hospitable
man.  Both he and his wife (who has been celebrated for her beauty),
though upon the stage for many years, maintained an uniform decency of
character; and Johnson esteemed them, and lived in an as easy an
intimacy with them, as with any family which he used to visit.  Mr
Davies recollected several of Johnson's remarkable sayings, and was one
of the best of the many imitators of his voice and manner, while
relating them.  He increased my impatience more and more to see the
{98} extraordinary man whose works I highly valued, and whose
conversation was reported to be so peculiarly excellent.

At last, on Monday the 16th of May, when I was sitting in Mr Davies's
back-parlour, after having drunk tea with him and Mrs Davies, Johnson
unexpectedly came into the shop; and Mr Davies having perceived him
through the glass door in the room in which we were sitting, advancing
towards us,--he announced his aweful approach to me, somewhat in the
manner of an actor in the part of Horatio, when he addresses Hamlet on
the appearance of his father's ghost, "Look, my lord, it comes."  I
found that I had a very perfect idea of Johnson's figure, from the
portrait of him painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds soon after he had
published his _Dictionary_, in the attitude of sitting in his easy
chair in deep meditation, which was the first picture his friend did
for him, which Sir Joshua very kindly presented to me, and from which
an engraving has been made for this work.  Mr Davies mentioned my name,
and respectfully introduced me to him.  I was much agitated; and
recollecting his prejudice against the Scotch, of which I had heard
much, I said to Davies, "Don't tell where I come from."--"From
Scotland," cried Davies, roguishly.  "Mr Johnson (said I) I do indeed
come from Scotland, but I cannot help it."  I am willing to flatter
myself that I meant this as light pleasantry to soothe and conciliate
him, and not as an humiliating abasement at the expense of my country.
But however that might be, this speech was somewhat unlucky; for with
that quickness of wit for which he was so remarkable, he {99} seized
the expression "come from Scotland," which I used in the sense of being
of that country; and, as if I had said that I had come away from it, or
left it, retorted, "That, Sir, I find, is what a very great many of
your countrymen cannot help."  This stroke stunned me a good deal; and
when we had sat down, I felt myself not a little embarrassed, and
apprehensive of what might come next.  He then addressed himself to
Davies: "What do you think of Garrick?  He has refused me an order for
the play for Miss Williams, because he knows the house will be full,
and that an order would be worth three shillings."  Eager to take any
opening to get into conversation with him, I ventured to say, "O, Sir,
I cannot think Mr Garrick would grudge such a trifle to you."  "Sir,
(said he, with a stern look) I have known David Garrick longer than you
have done; and I know no right you have to talk to me on the subject."
Perhaps I deserved this check; for it was rather presumptuous in me, an
entire stranger, to express any doubt of the justice of his
animadversion upon his old acquaintance and pupil.  I now felt myself
much mortified, and began to think that the hope which I had long
indulged of obtaining his acquaintance was blasted.  And, in truth, had
not my ardour been uncommonly strong, and my resolution uncommonly
persevering, so rough a reception might have deterred me for ever from
making any further attempts.  Fortunately, however, I remained upon the
field not wholly discomfited. . . .

I was highly pleased with the extraordinary vigour of his conversation,
and regretted that I was drawn {100} away from it by an engagement at
another place.  I had, for a part of the evening, been left alone with
him, and had ventured to make an observation now and then, which he
received very civilly; so that I was satisfied that though there was a
roughness in his manner, there was no ill-nature in his disposition.
Davies followed me to the door, and when I complained to him a little
of the hard blows which the great man had given me, he kindly took upon
him to console me by saying, "Don't be uneasy.  I can see he likes you
very well."

(_Life of Samuel Johnson_.)



SIR WALTER SCOTT 1771-1832

ARRIVAL AT OSBALDISTONE HALL

"There are hopes of you yet," she said.  "I was afraid you had been a
very degenerate Osbaldistone.  But what on earth brings you to
Cub-Castle?--for so the neighbours have christened this hunting-hall of
ours.  You might have staid away, I suppose, if you would?"

I felt I was by this time on a very intimate footing with my beautiful
apparition, and therefore replied in a confidential undertone,--"Indeed,
my dear Miss Vernon, I might have considered it as a sacrifice to be a
temporary resident in Osbaldistone Hall, the inmates being such as you
describe them; but I am convinced there is one exception that will make
amends for all deficiencies."

"O, you mean Rashleigh?" said Miss Vernon.

{101} "Indeed I do not; I was thinking--forgive me--of some person much
nearer me."

"I suppose it would be proper not to understand your civility?--But that
is not my way--I don't make a curtsey for it, because I am sitting on
horseback.  But, seriously, I deserve your exception, for I am the only
conversible being about the Hall, except the old priest and Rashleigh."

"And who is Rashleigh, for Heaven's sake?"

"Rashleigh is one who would fain have every one like him for his own
sake.--He is Sir Hildebrand's youngest son--about your own age, but not
so--not well looking, in short.  But nature has given him a mouthful of
common sense, and the priest has added a bushelful of learning--he is
what we call a very clever man in this country, where clever men are
scarce.  Bred to the church, but in no hurry to take orders."

"To the Catholic Church?"

"The Catholic Church! what Church else?" said the young lady.  "But I
forgot, they told me you are a heretic.  Is that true, Mr Osbaldistone?"

"I must not deny the charge."

"And yet you have been abroad, and in Catholic countries?"

"For nearly four years."

"You have seen convents?"

"Often; but I have not seen much in them which recommended the Catholic
religion."

"Are not the inhabitants happy?"

"Some are unquestionably so, whom either a profound sense of devotion, or
an experience of the {102} persecution and misfortunes of the world, or a
natural apathy of temper, has led into retirement.  Those who have
adopted a life of seclusion from sudden and overstrained enthusiasm, or
in hasty resentment of some disappointment or mortification, are very
miserable.  The quickness of sensation soon returns, and, like the wilder
animals in a menagerie, they are restless under confinement, while others
muse or fatten in cells of no larger dimensions than theirs."

"And what," continued Miss Vernon, "becomes of those victims who are
condemned to a convent by the will of others? what do they resemble?
especially, what do they resemble, if they are born to enjoy life, and
feel its blessings?"

"They are like imprisoned singing-birds," replied I, "condemned to wear
out their lives in confinement, which they try to beguile by the exercise
of accomplishments, which would have adorned society, had they been left
at large."

"I shall be," returned Miss Vernon--"that is," said she, correcting
herself,--"I should be rather like the wild hawk, who, barred the free
exercise of his soar through heaven, will dash himself to pieces against
the bars of his cage.  But to return to Rashleigh," said she, in a more
lively tone, "you will think him the pleasantest man you ever saw in your
life, Mr Osbaldistone, that is, for a week at least.  If he could find
out a blind mistress, never man would be so secure of conquest; but the
eye breaks the spell that enchants the ear.  But here we are in the court
of the old hall, which looks as wild and old-fashioned as any of its
inmates.  There is {103} no great toilette kept at Osbaldistone Hall, you
must know; but I must take off these things, they are so unpleasantly
warm, and the hat hurts my forehead too," continued the lively girl,
taking it off, and shaking down a profusion of sable ringlets, which,
half laughing, half blushing, she separated with her white slender
fingers, in order to clear them away from her beautiful face and piercing
hazel eyes.  If there was any coquetry in the action, it was well
disguised by the careless indifference of her manner.  I could not help
saying, "that, judging of the family from what I saw, I should suppose
the toilette a very unnecessary care."

"That's very politely said; though, perhaps, I ought not to understand in
what sense it was meant," replied Miss Vernon; "but you will see a better
apology for a little negligence, when you meet the Orsons you are to live
amongst, whose forms no toilette could improve.  But, as I said before,
the old dinner-bell will clang, or rather clank, in a few minutes--it
cracked of its own accord on the day of the landing of King Willie, and
my uncle, respecting its prophetic talent, would never permit it to be
mended.  So do you hold my palfrey, like a duteous knight, until I send
some more humble squire to relieve you of the charge."

She threw me the rein as if we had been acquainted from our childhood,
jumped from her saddle, tripped across the court-yard, and entered at a
side-door, leaving me in admiration of her beauty, and astonished with
the overfrankness of her manners, which seemed the more extraordinary, at
a time when the dictates of politeness, flowing from the court of the
Grand Monarque Louis {104} XIV., prescribed to the fair sex an unusual
severity of decorum.  I was left awkwardly enough stationed in the centre
of the court of the old hall, mounted on one horse, and holding another
in my hand.

The building afforded little to interest a stranger, had I been disposed
to consider it attentively; the sides of the quadrangle were of various
architecture, and with their stone-shafted latticed windows, projecting
turrets, and massive architraves, resembled the inside of a convent, or
of one of the older and less splendid colleges of Oxford.  I called for a
domestic, but was for some time totally unattended to; which was the more
provoking, as I could perceive I was the object of curiosity to several
servants, both male and female, from different parts of the building, who
popped out their heads and withdrew them, like rabbits in a warren,
before I could make a direct appeal to the attention of any individual.
The return of the huntsmen and hounds relieved me from my embarrassment,
and with some difficulty I got one clown to relieve me of the charge of
the horses, and another stupid boor to guide me to the presence of Sir
Hildebrand.  This service he performed with much such grace and
good-will, as a peasant who is compelled to act as guide to a hostile
patrol; and in the same manner I was obliged to guard against his
deserting me in the labyrinth of low vaulted passages which conducted to
"Stun Hall," as he called it, where I was to be introduced to the
gracious presence of my uncle.

We did, however, at length reach a long vaulted room, floored with stone,
where a range of oaken tables, of a weight and size too massive ever to
be moved {105} aside, were already covered for dinner.  This venerable
apartment, which had witnessed the feasts of several generations of the
Osbaldistone family, bore also evidence of their success in field-sports.
Huge antlers of deer, which might have been trophies of the hunting of
Chevy Chace, were ranged around the walls, interspersed with the stuffed
skins of badgers, otters, martens, and other animals of the chase.
Amidst some remnants of old armour, which had, perhaps, served against
the Scotch, hung the more valued weapons of silvan war, cross-bows, guns
of various device and construction, nets, fishing-rods, otter-spears,
hunting-poles, with many other singular devices and engines for taking or
killing game.  A few old pictures, dimmed with smoke, and stained with
March beer, hung on the walls, representing knights and ladies, honoured,
doubtless, and renowned in their day; those frowning fearfully from huge
bushes of wig and of beard; and these looking delightfully with all their
might at the roses which they brandished in their hands.

I had just time to give a glance at these matters, when about twelve
blue-coated servants burst into the hall with much tumult and talk, each
rather employed in directing his comrades than in discharging his own
duty.  Some brought blocks and billets to the fire, which roared, blazed,
and ascended, half in smoke, half in flame, up a huge tunnel, with an
opening wide enough to accommodate a stone-seat within its ample vault,
and which was fronted, by way of chimney-piece, with a huge piece of
heavy architecture, where the monsters of heraldry, embodied by the art
of some Northumbrian {106} chisel, grinned and ramped in red free-stone,
now japanned by the smoke of centuries.  Others of these old-fashioned
serving-men bore huge smoking dishes, loaded with substantial fare;
others brought in cups, flagons, bottles, yea barrels of liquor.  All
tramped, kicked, plunged, shouldered, and jostled, doing as little
service with as much tumult as could well be imagined.  At length, while
the dinner was, after various efforts, in the act of being arranged upon
the board, "the clamour much of men and dogs," the cracking of whips,
calculated for the intimidation of the latter, voices loud and high,
steps which, impressed by the heavy-heeled boots of the period, clattered
like those of the statue in the _Festin de pierre_, announced the arrival
of those for whose benefit the preparations were made.  The hubbub among
the servants rather increased than diminished as this crisis
approached,--some called to make haste,--others to take time,--some
exhorted to stand out of the way, and make room for Sir Hildebrand and
the young squires,--some to close round the table, and be _in_ the
way,--some bawled to open, some to shut a pair of folding-doors, which
divided the hall from a sort of gallery, as I afterwards learned, or
withdrawing-room, fitted up with black wainscot.  Opened the doors were
at length, and in rushed curs and men,--eight dogs, the domestic
chaplain, the village doctor, my six cousins, and my uncle.

(_Rob Roy_.)



{107}

CHARLES LAMB 1775-1834

A VISIT TO COLERIDGE

LONDON, _September_ 24, 1802.

MY DEAR MANNING--Since the date of my last letter I have been a
Traveller.  A strong desire seized me of visiting remote regions.  My
first impulse was to go and see Paris.  It was a trivial objection to
my aspiring mind, that I did not understand a word of the language,
since I certainly intend some time of my life to see Paris, and equally
certainly intend never to learn the language; therefore that could be
no objection.  However, I am very glad I did not go, because you had
left Paris (I see) before I could have set out. . . .  My final resolve
was, a tour to the Lakes.  I set out with Mary to Keswick, without
giving Coleridge any notice, for my time, being precious, did not admit
of it.  He received us with all the hospitality in the world, and gave
up his time to show us all the wonders of the country.  He dwells upon
a small hill by the side of Keswick, in a comfortable house, quite
enveloped on all sides by a net of mountains: great floundering bears
and monsters they seemed, all couchant and asleep.  We got in in the
evening, travelling in a post-chaise from Penrith, in the midst of a
gorgeous sunshine, which transmuted all the mountains into colours,
purple, etc., etc.  We thought we had got into fairyland.  But that
went off (as it never came {108} again; while we stayed we had no more
fine sunsets), and we entered Coleridge's comfortable study just in the
dusk, when the mountains were all dark with clouds upon their
heads. . . .  Coleridge had got a blazing fire in his study; which is a
large antique, ill-shaped room, with an old-fashioned organ, never
played upon, big enough for a church, shelves of scattered folios, an
Aeolian harp, and an old sofa, half bed, etc.  And all looking out upon
the last fading view of Skiddaw, and his broad-breasted brethren: what
a night! . . .  We have clambered up to the top of Skiddaw, and I have
waded up the bed of Lodore.  In fine, I have satisfied myself that
there is such a thing as that which tourists call _romantic_, which I
very much suspected before: they make such a spluttering about it, and
toss their splendid epithets around them, till they give as dim a light
as at four o'clock next morning the lamps do after an illumination.
Mary was excessively tired when she got about half-way up Skiddaw, but
we came to a cold rill (than which nothing can be imagined more cold,
running over cold stones), and with the reinforcement of a draught of
cold water she surmounted it most manfully.  Oh, its fine black head,
and the bleak air atop of it, with a prospect of mountains all about
and about, making you giddy; and then Scotland afar off, and the border
countries so famous in song and ballad!  It was a day that will stand
out, like a mountain, I am sure, in my life.  But I am returned (I have
now been come home near three weeks; I was a month out), and you cannot
conceive the degradation I felt at first, from being accustomed to
wander free as air among mountains, and bathe in rivers {109} without
being controlled by any one, to come home and _work_.  I felt very
_little_, I had been dreaming I was a very great man.  But that is
going off, and I find I shall conform in time to that state of life to
which it has pleased God to call me.  Besides, after all, Fleet Street
and the Strand are better places to live in for good and all than
amidst Skiddaw.  Still, I turn back to those great places where I
wandered about, participating in their greatness.  After all, I could
not _live_ in Skiddaw.  I could spend a year, two, three years among
them, but I must have a prospect of seeing Fleet Street at the end of
that time, or I should mope and pine away, I know.  Still, Skiddaw is a
fine creature. . .  I fear my head is turned with wandering.  I shall
never be the same acquiescent being.  Farewell.  Write again quickly,
for I shall not like to hazard a letter, not knowing where the fates
have carried you.  Farewell, my dear fellow.

C. LAMB.

(_Letters_.)



WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR 1775-1864

DIOGENES AND PLATO

_Diogenes_.  The bird of wisdom flies low, and seeks her food under
hedges: the eagle himself would be starved if he always soared aloft
and against the sun.  The sweetest fruit grows near the ground, and the
plants that bear it require ventilation and lopping.  Were this not to
be done in thy garden, every walk and alley, every {110} plot and
border, would be covered with runners and roots, with boughs and
suckers.  We want no poets or logicians or metaphysicians to govern us:
we want practical men, honest men, continent men, unambitious men,
fearful to solicit a trust, slow to accept, and resolute never to
betray one.  Experimentalists may be the best philosophers; they are
always the worst politicians.  Teach people their duties, and they will
know their interests.  Change as little as possible, and correct as
much.

Philosophers are absurd from many causes, but principally from laying
out unthriftily their distinctions.  They set up four virtues:
fortitude, prudence, temperance, and justice.  Now a man may be a very
bad one, and yet possess three out of the four.  Every cutthroat must,
if he has been a cutthroat on many occasions, have more fortitude and
more prudence than the greater part of those whom we consider as the
best men.  And what cruel wretches, both executioners and judges, have
been strictly just! how little have they cared what gentleness, what
generosity, what genius, their sentence have removed from the earth!
Temperance and beneficence contain all other virtues.  Take them home,
Plato; split them, expound them; do what thou wilt with them, if thou
but use them.

Before I gave thee this lesson, which is a better than thou ever gavest
any one, and easier to remember, thou wert accusing me of invidiousness
and malice against those whom thou callest the great, meaning to say
the powerful.  Thy imagination, I am well aware, had taken its flight
toward Sicily, where thou seekest thy great {111} man, as earnestly and
undoubtingly as Ceres sought her Persephone.  Faith! honest Plato, I
have no reason to envy thy worthy friend Dionysius.  Look at my nose!
A lad seven or eight years old threw an apple at me yesterday, while I
was gazing at the clouds, and gave me nose enough for two moderate men.
Instead of such a godsend, what should I have thought of my fortune if,
after living all my lifetime among golden vases, rougher than my hand
with their emeralds and rubies, their engravings and embossments; among
Parian caryatides and porphyry sphinxes; among philosophers with rings
upon their fingers and linen next their skin; and among singing-boys
and dancing-girls, to whom alone thou speakest intelligibly,--I ask
thee again, what should I in reason have thought of my fortune, if,
after these facilities and superfluities, I had at last been pelted out
of my house, not by one young rogue, but by thousands of all ages, and
not with an apple (I wish I could say a rotten one), but with pebbles
and broken pots; and, to crown my deserts, had been compelled to become
the teacher of so promising a generation?  Great men, forsooth! thou
knowest at last who they are.

_Plato_.  There are great men of various kinds.

_Diogenes_.  No, by my beard, are there not!

_Plato_.  What! are there not great captains, great geometricians,
great dialecticians?

_Diogenes_.  Who denied it?  A great man was the postulate.  Try thy
hand now at the powerful one.

_Plato_.  On seeing the exercise of power, a child cannot doubt who is
powerful, more or less; for power is relative.  All men are weak, not
only if compared to {112} the Demiurgos, but if compared to the sea or
the earth, or certain things upon each of them, such as elephants and
whales.  So placid and tranquil is the scene around us, we can hardly
bring to mind the images of strength and force, the precipices, the
abysses--

_Diogenes_.  Prythee hold thy loose tongue, twinkling and glittering
like a serpent's in the midst of luxuriance and rankness!  Did never
this reflection of thine warn thee that, in human life, the precipices
and abysses would be much farther from our admiration, if we were less
inconsiderate, selfish, and vile?  I will not however stop thee long,
for thou wert going on quite consistently.  As thy great men are
fighters and wranglers, so thy mighty things upon the earth and sea are
troublesome and intractable incumbrances.  Thou perceivedst not what
was greater in the former case, neither art thou aware what is greater
in this.  Didst thou feel the gentle air that passed us?

_Plato_.  I did not, just then.

_Diogenes_.  That air, so gentle, so imperceptible to thee, is more
powerful not only than all the creatures that breathe and live by it;
not only than all the oaks of the forest, which it rears in an age and
shatters in a moment; not only than all the monsters of the sea, but
than the sea itself, which it tosses up into foam, and breaks against
every rock in its vast circumference; for it carries in its bosom, with
perfect calm and composure, the incontrollable ocean and the peopled
earth, like an atom of a feather.

To the world's turmoils and pageantries is attracted, not only the
admiration of the populace, but the zeal of {113} the orator, the
enthusiasm of the poet, the investigation of the historian, and the
contemplation of the philosopher: yet how silent and invisible are they
in the depths of air!  Do I say in those depths and deserts?  No; I say
at the distance of a swallow's flight,--at the distance she rises above
us, ere a sentence brief as this could be uttered.

What are its mines and mountains?  Fragments welded up and dislocated
by the expansion of water from below; the most part reduced to mud, the
rest to splinters.  Afterwards sprang up fire in many places, and again
tore and mangled the mutilated carcass, and still growls over it.

What are its cities and ramparts, and moles and monuments?  Segments of
a fragment, which one man puts together and another throws down.  Here
we stumble upon thy great ones at their work.  Show me now, if thou
canst, in history, three great warriors, or three great statesmen, who
have acted otherwise than spiteful children.

(_Imaginary Conversations_.)



JANE AUSTEN 1775-1817

AN INVITATION

It was now the middle of June and the weather fine, and Mrs Elton was
growing impatient to name the day, and settle with Mr Weston as to
pigeon-pies and cold lamb, when a lame carriage-horse threw everything
into {114} sad uncertainty.  It might be weeks, it might be only a few
days, before the horse were useable, but no preparations could be
ventured on, and it was all melancholy stagnation.  Mrs Elton's
resources were inadequate to such an attack.

"Is not this most vexatious, Knightley?" she cried; "and such weather
for exploring! these delays and disappointments are quite odious.  What
are we to do?  The year will wear away at this rate, and nothing done.
Before this time last year, I assure you, we had had a delightful
exploring party from Maple Grove to Kings Weston."

"You had better explore to Donwell," replied Mr Knightley.  "That may
be done without horses.  Come and eat my strawberries; they are
ripening fast."

If Mr Knightley did not begin seriously, he was obliged to proceed so;
for his proposal was caught at with delight; and the "Oh!  I should
like it of all things," was not plainer in words than manner.  Donwell
was famous for its strawberry-beds, which seemed a plea for the
invitation; but no plea was necessary; cabbage-beds would have been
enough to tempt the lady, who only wanted to be going somewhere.  She
promised him again and again to come--much oftener than he doubted--and
was extremely gratified by such a proof of intimacy, such a
distinguishing compliment as she chose to consider it.

"You may depend upon me," said she; "I certainly will come.--Name your
day, and I will come.--You will allow me to bring Jane Fairfax?"

"I cannot name a day," said he, "till I have {115} spoken to some
others, whom I would wish to meet you."

"Oh, leave all that to me; only give me a carte-blanche.--I am Lady
Patroness, you know.  It is my party.  I will bring friends with me."

"I hope you will bring Elton," said he; "but I will not trouble you to
give any other invitations."

"Oh, now you are looking very sly; but consider,--you need not be
afraid of delegating power to _me_.  I am no young lady on her
preferment.  Married women, you know, may be safely authorized.  It is
my party.  Leave it all to me.  I will invite your guests."

"No," he calmly replied, "there is but one married woman in the world
whom I can ever allow to invite what guests she pleases to Donwell, and
that one is----"

"Mrs Weston, I suppose," interrupted Mrs Elton, rather mortified.

"No,--Mrs Knightley; and till she is in being, I will manage such
matters myself."

"Ah, you are an odd creature!" she cried, satisfied to have no one
preferred to herself.  "You are a humourist, and may say what you like.
Quite a humourist.  Well, I shall bring Jane with me--Jane and her
aunt.  The rest I leave to you.  I have no objections at all to meeting
the Hartfield family.  Don't scruple, I know you are attached to them."

"You certainly will meet them, if I can prevail; and I shall call on
Miss Bates in my way home."

"That's quite unnecessary; I see Jane every day;--but {116} as you
like.  It is to be a morning scheme, you know, Knightley; quite a
simple thing.  I shall wear a large bonnet, and bring one of my little
baskets hanging on my arm.  Here,--probably this basket with pink
ribbon.  Nothing can be more simple, you see.  And Jane will have such
another.  There is to be no form or parade--a sort of gipsy party.  We
are to walk about your gardens, and gather the strawberries ourselves,
and sit under trees; and whatever else you may like to provide, it is
to be all out of doors; a table spread in the shade, you know.
Everything as natural and simple as possible.  Is not that your idea?"

"Not quite.  My idea of the simple and the natural will be to have the
table spread in the dining-room.  The nature and the simplicity of
gentlemen and ladies, with their servants and furniture, I think is
best observed by meals within doors.  When you are tired of eating
strawberries in the garden, there shall be cold meat in the house."

"Well, as you please; only don't have a great set-out.  And, by the
bye, can I or my housekeeper be of any use to you with our opinion?
Pray be sincere, Knightley.  If you wish me to talk to Mrs Hodges, or
to inspect anything----"

"I have not the least wish for it, I thank you.'"

"Well,--but if any difficulties should arise, my housekeeper is
extremely clever."

"I will answer for it that mine thinks herself full as clever, and
would spurn anybody's assistance."

"I wish we had a donkey.  The thing would be for us all to come on
donkeys, Jane, Miss Bates, and me, {117} and my _caro sposo_ walking
by.  I really must talk to him about purchasing a donkey.  In a country
life I conceive it to be a sort of necessary; for, let a woman have
ever so many resources, it is not possible for her to be always shut up
at home; and very long walks, you know--in summer there is dust, and in
winter there is dirt."

"You will not find either between Donwell and Highbury.  Donwell Lane
is never dusty, and now it is perfectly dry.  Come on a donkey,
however, if you prefer it.  You can borrow Mrs Cole's.  I would wish
everything to be as much to your taste as possible."

"That I am sure you would.  Indeed I do you justice, my good friend.
Under that peculiar sort of dry, blunt manner, I know you have the
warmest heart.  As I tell Mr E., you are a thorough humourist.  Yes,
believe me, Knightley, I am fully sensible of your attention to me in
the whole of this scheme.  You have hit upon the very thing to please
me."

Mr Knightley had another reason for avoiding a table in the shade.  He
wished to persuade Mr Woodhouse, as well as Emma, to join the party;
and he knew that to have any of them sitting down out of doors to eat
would inevitably make him ill.  Mr Woodhouse must not, under the
specious pretence of a morning drive, and an hour or two spent at
Donwell, be tempted away to his misery.

He was invited on good faith.  No lurking horrors were to upbraid him
for his easy credulity.  He did consent.  He had not been at Donwell
for two years.  "Some very fine morning, he, and Emma, and Harriet
{118} could go very well; and he could sit still with Mrs Weston while
the dear girls walked about the gardens.  He did not suppose they could
be damp now, in the middle of the day.  He should like to see the old
house again exceedingly, and should be very happy to meet Mr and Mrs
Elton, and any other of his neighbours.  He could not see any objection
at all to his, and Emma's, and Harriet's going there some very fine
morning.  He thought it very well done of Mr Knightley to invite them;
very kind and sensible; much cleverer than dining out.  He was not fond
of dining out."

Mr Knightley was fortunate in everybody's most ready concurrence.  The
invitation was everywhere so well received, that it seemed as if, like
Mrs Elton, they were all taking the scheme as a particular compliment
to themselves.

(_Emma_.)



WILLIAM HAZLITT 1778-1830

COLERIDGE AS PREACHER

It was in January of 1798 that I rose one morning before daylight, to
walk ten miles in the mud to hear this celebrated person preach.
Never, the longest day I have to live, shall I have such another walk
as this cold, raw, comfortless one, in the winter of the year 1798.
When I got there the organ was playing the 100th Psalm, and when it was
done Mr Coleridge rose and gave out {119} his text, "And he went up
into the mountain to pray, _himself, alone_."  As he gave out this text
his voice "rose like a stream of rich distilled perfumes," and when he
came to the two last words, which he pronounced loud, deep, and
distinct, it seemed to me, who was then young, as if the sounds had
echoed from the bottom of the human heart, and as if that prayer might
have floated in solemn silence through the universe.  The idea of St
John came into my mind, "of one crying in the wilderness, who had his
loins girt about, and whose food was locusts and wild honey."  The
preacher then launched into his subject like an eagle dallying with the
wind.  The sermon was upon peace and war; upon church and state--not
their alliance but their separation--on the spirit of the world and the
spirit of Christianity, not as the same, but as opposed to one another.
He talked of those who had "inscribed the cross of Christ on banners
dripping with human gore."  He made a poetical and pastoral
excursion--and to show the fatal effects of war, drew a striking
contrast between the simple shepherd boy, driving his team afield, or
sitting under the hawthorn, piping to his flock, "as though he should
never be old," and the same poor country lad, crimped, kidnapped,
brought into town, made drunk at an alehouse, turned into a wretched
drummer-boy, with his hair sticking on end with powder and pomatum, a
long cue at his back, and tricked out in the loathsome finery of the
profession of blood:

  "Such were the notes our once-loved poet sung."

And for myself, I could not have been more delighted if I had heard the
music of the spheres.  Poetry and {120} Philosophy had met together.
Truth and Genius had embraced, under the eye and with the sanction of
Religion.  This was even beyond my hopes.  I returned home well
satisfied.  The sun that was still labouring pale and wan through the
sky, obscured by thick mists, seemed an emblem of the good cause; and
the cold, dank drops of dew that hung half melted on the beard of the
thistle had something genial and refreshing in them; for there was a
spirit of hope and youth in all nature that turned everything into good.

(_Winterslow_.)



THOMAS DE QUINCEY 1785-1859

A DREAM

Sweet funeral bells from some incalculable distance, wailing over the
dead that die before the dawn, awakened me as I slept in a boat moored
to some familiar shore.  The morning twilight even then was breaking;
and, by the dusky revelations which it spread, I saw a girl, adorned
with a garland of white roses about her head for some great festival,
running along the solitary strand in extremity of haste.  Her running
was the running of panic; and often she looked back as to some dreadful
enemy in the rear.  But when I leaped ashore, and followed on her steps
to warn her of a peril in front, alas! from me she fled as from another
peril, and vainly I shouted to her of quicksands that lay ahead.
Faster and faster she ran; round a promontory of rocks she {121}
wheeled out of sight; in an instant I also wheeled round it, but only
to see the treacherous sands gathering above her head.  Already her
person was buried; only the fair young head and the diadem of white
roses around it were still visible to the pitying heavens; and, last of
all, was visible one white marble arm.  I saw by early twilight this
fair young head, as it was sinking down to darkness--saw this marble
arm, as it rose above her head and her treacherous grave, tossing,
faltering, rising, clutching, as at some false deceiving hand stretched
out from the clouds--saw this marble arm uttering her dying hope, and
then uttering her dying despair.  The head, the diadem, the arm--these
all had sunk; at last over these also the cruel quicksand had closed;
and no memorial of the fair young girl remained on earth, except my own
solitary tears, and the funeral bells from the desert seas, that,
rising again more softly, sang a requiem over the grave of the buried
child, and over her blighted dawn.

I sat, and wept in secret the tears that men have ever given to the
memory of those that died before the dawn, and by the treachery of
earth, our mother.  But suddenly the tears and funeral bells were
hushed by a shout as of many nations, and by a roar as from some great
king's artillery, advancing rapidly along the valleys, and heard afar
by echoes from the mountains.  "Hush!" I said, as I bent my ear
earthwards to listen--"hush!--this either is the very anarchy of
strife, or else"--and then I listened more profoundly, and whispered as
I raised my head--"or else, oh heavens! it is _victory_ that is final,
victory that swallows up all strife."

(_The English Mail-coach_.)



{122}

JOHN KEATS 1795-1821

THE USE OF POETRY

I had an idea that a Man might pass a very pleasant life in this
manner--Let him on a certain day read a certain page of full Poesy or
distilled Prose, and let him wander with it, and muse upon it, and
reflect from it, and bring home to it, and prophesy upon it, and dream
upon it: until it becomes stale--But when will it do so?  Never--When
Man has arrived at a certain ripeness in intellect any one grand and
spiritual passage serves him as a starting-post towards all "the
two-and-thirty Palaces."  How happy is such a voyage of conception,
what delicious diligent indolence!  A doze upon a sofa does not hinder
it, and a nap upon Clover engenders ethereal finger-pointings--the
prattle of a child gives it wings, and the converse of middle-age a
strength to beat them--a strain of music conducts to "an odd angle of
the Isle," and when the leaves whisper it puts a girdle round the
earth.--Nor will this sparing touch of noble Books be any irreverence
to their Writers--for perhaps the honours paid by Man to Man are
trifles in comparison to the benefit done by great works to the "spirit
and pulse of good" by their mere passive existence.  Memory should not
be called Knowledge--Many have original minds who do not think it--they
are led away by Custom.  Now it appears to me that almost any Man may,
like the spider, spin from his own inwards his own airy Citadel--the
points of leaves and twigs on which {123} the spider begins her work
are few, and she fills the air with a beautiful circuiting.  Man should
be content with as few points to tip with the fine Web of his Soul, and
weave a tapestry empyrean--full of symbols for his spiritual eye, of
softness for his spiritual touch, of space for his wandering, of
distinctness for his luxury.  But the minds of mortals are so different
and bent on such diverse journeys that it may at first appear
impossible for any common taste and fellowship to exist between two or
three under these suppositions.  It is however quite the contrary.
Minds would leave each other in contrary directions, traverse each
other in numberless points, and at last greet each other at the
journey's end.  An old man and a child would talk together and the old
man be led on his path and the child left thinking.  Man should not
dispute or assert, but whisper results to his Neighbour, and thus, by
every germ of spirit sucking the sap from mould ethereal, every human
might become great, and humanity instead of being a wide heath of furze
and briars, with here and there a remote Oak or Pine, would become a
grand democracy of forest trees.  It has been an old comparison for
urging on--the bee-hive--however it seems to me that we should rather
be the flower than the Bee--for it is a false notion that more is
gained by receiving than giving--no, the receiver and the giver are
equal in their benefits.  The flower, I doubt not, receives a fair
guerdon from the Bee--its leaves blush deeper in the next spring--and
who shall say between Man and Woman which is the most delighted?  Now
it is more noble to sit like Jove than to fly like Mercury:--let us not
therefore go hurrying about and collecting honey, {124} bee-like,
buzzing here and there impatiently from a knowledge of what is to be
arrived at.  But let us open our leaves like a flower, and be passive
and receptive; budding patiently under the eye of Apollo and taking
hints from every noble insect that favours us with a visit--Sap will be
given us for meat, and dew for drink.

(_Letters_.)



THOMAS CARLYLE 1795-1881

THE FLIGHT TO VARENNES

One finds that in the second week in June Colonel de Choiseul is
privately in Paris; having come "to see his children."  Also that
Fersen has got a stupendous new Coach built, of the kind named
_Berline_; done by the first artists; according to a model: they bring
it home to him, in Choiseul's presence; the two friends take a
proof-drive in it, along the streets; in meditative mood; then send it
up to "Madame Sullivan's, in the Rue de Clichy," far north, to wait
there till wanted.  Apparently a certain Russian Baroness de Korff,
with Waiting-woman, Valet, and two Children, will travel homewards with
some state: in whom these young military gentlemen take interest?  A
Passport has been procured for her, and much assistance shewn, with
Coachbuilders and such-like;--so helpful-polite are young military
men. . .  These are the Phenomena, or visual Appearances, of this
wide-working terrestrial world: which truly is all phenomenal, what
they call spectral; and never rests at any moment; one never at any
moment can know why.

On Monday night, the Twentieth of June 1791, about eleven o'clock,
there is many a hackney-coach and {125} glass-coach still rumbling or
at rest on the streets of Paris.  But of all glass-coaches we recommend
this to thee, O Reader, which stands drawn up in the Rue de l'Echelle,
hard by the Carrousel and outgate of the Tuileries; in the Rue de
l'Echelle that then was, "opposite Ronsin the saddler's door," as if
waiting for a fare there.  Not long does it wait: a hooded Dame, with
two hooded Children has issued from Villequier's door, where no sentry
walks, into the Tuileries' Court-of-Princes; into the Carrousel; into
the Rue de l'Echelle; where the Glass-coachman readily admits them; and
again waits.  Not long; another Dame, likewise hooded or shrouded,
leaning on a servant, issues in the same manner; bids the servant
good-night; and is, in the same manner, by the Glass-coachman,
cheerfully admitted.  Whither go so many Dames?  'Tis his Majesty's
_Couchée_, Majesty just gone to bed, and all the Palace-world is
retiring home.  But the Glass-coachman still waits; his fare seemingly
incomplete.

By-and-by, we note a thickset Individual, in round hat and peruke, arm
in arm with some servant, seemingly of the Runner or Courier sort; he
also issues through Villequier's door; starts a shoebuckle as he passes
one of the sentries, stoops down to clasp it again; is however, by the
Glass-coachman, still more cheerfully admitted.  And _now_, is his fare
complete?  Not yet; the Glass-coachman still waits.--Alas! and the
false Chambermaid has warned Gouvion that she thinks the Royal Family
will fly this very night; and Gouvion, distrusting his own glazed eyes,
has sent express for Lafayette; and Lafayette's Carriage, flaring with
lights, rolls this moment through the inner arch of the
Carrousel,--where a Lady shaded in {126} broad gypsy-hat, and leaning
on the arm of a servant, also of the Runner or Courier sort, stands
aside to let it pass, and has even the whim to touch a spoke of it with
her _badine_,--light little magic rod which she calls _badine_, such as
the Beautiful then wore.  The flare of Lafayette's carriage rolls past:
all is found quiet in the Court-of-Princes; sentries at their post;
Majesties' Apartments closed in smooth rest.  Your false Chambermaid
must have been mistaken?  Watch thou, Gouvion, with Argus' vigilance;
for of a truth treachery is within these walls.

But where is the Lady that stood aside in gypsy-hat, and touched the
wheel-spoke with her _badine_?  O Reader, that Lady that touched the
wheel-spoke was the Queen of France!  She has issued safe through that
inner arch, into the Carrousel itself; but not into the Rue de
l'Echelle.  Flurried by the rattle and rencounter, she took the right
hand, not the left; neither she nor her Courier knows Paris; he is
indeed no Courier, but a loyal stupid _ci-devant_ Body-guard disguised
as one.  They are off, quite wrong, over the Pont Royal and River;
roaming disconsolate in the Rue du Bac; far from the Glass-coachman,
who still waits.  Waits, with flutter of heart; with thoughts--which he
must button close up, under his jarvie-surtout!

Midnight clangs from all the City-steeples; one precious hour has been
spent so; most mortals are asleep.  The Glass-coachman waits; and in
what mood!  A brother jarvie drives up, enters into conversation; is
answered cheerfully in jarvie-dialect: the brothers of the whip
exchange a pinch of snuff; decline drinking together; and part with
good-night.  Be the Heavens blest! here at length is the Queen-lady, in
gypsy-hat; {127} safe after perils; who has had to enquire her way.
She too is admitted; her Courier jumps aloft, as the other, who is also
a disguised Bodyguard, has done; and now, O Glass-coachman of a
thousand,--Count Fersen, for the Reader sees it is thou,--drive!

Dust shall not stick to the heels of Fersen: crack! crack!  The
Glass-coach rattles, and every soul breathes lighter.  But is Fersen on
the right road?  North-eastward, to the Barrier of Saint-Martin and
Metz Highway, thither were we bound: and lo, he drives right Northward!
The royal Individual, in round hat and peruke, sits astonished; but
right or wrong, there is no remedy.  Crack, crack, we go incessant,
through the slumbering City.  Seldom, since Paris rose out of mud, or
the Longhaired Kings went in bullock-carts, was there such a drive.
Mortals on each hand of you, close by, stretched out horizontal,
dormant; and we alive and quaking!  Crack, crack, through the Rue de
Grammont; across the Boulevard; up the Rue de la Chaussée
d'Antin,--these windows, all silent, of Number 42, were Mirabeau's.
Towards the Barrier, not of Saint-Martin, but of Clichy on the utmost
north!  Patience, ye royal Individuals; Fersen understands what he is
about.  Passing up the Rue de Clichy, he alights for one moment at
Madame Sullivan's: "Did Count Fersen's Coachman get the Baroness de
Korff's new Berline?"--"Gone with it an hour and a half ago," grumbles
responsive the drowsy Porter.--"_C'est bien_."  Yes, it is
well;--though had not such hour-and-half been _lost_, it were still
better.  Forth therefore, O Fersen, fast, by the Barrier de Clichy;
then eastward along the Outer Boulevard, what horses and whipcord can
do!

{128} Thus Fersen drives, through the ambrosial night.  Sleeping Paris
is now all on the right-hand of him; silent except for some snoring
hum: and now he is eastward as far as the Barrier of Saint-Martin;
looking earnestly for Baroness de Korff's Berline.  This Heaven's
Berline he at length does descry, drawn up with its six horses, his own
German coachman waiting on the box.  Right, thou good German: now
haste, whither thou knowest!--And as for us of the Glass-coach, haste
too, O haste; much time is already lost!  The august Glass-coach fare,
six Insides, hastily packs itself into the new Berline; two Body-guard
Couriers behind.  The Glass-coach itself is turned adrift, its head
towards the City, to wander where it lists,--and be found next morning
tumbled in a ditch.  But Fersen is on the new box, with its brave new
hammer-cloths; flourishing his whip; he bolts forward towards Bondy.
There a third and final Bodyguard Courier of ours ought surely to be,
with post-horses ready ordered.  There likewise ought that purchased
Chaise, with the two Waiting-maids and their bandboxes, to be; whom
also her Majesty could not travel without.  Swift, thou deft Fersen,
and may the Heavens turn it well!

Once more, by Heaven's blessing, it is all well.  Here is the sleeping
hamlet of Bondy; Chaise with Waiting-women; horses all ready, and
postilions with their churn-boots, impatient in the dewy dawn.  Brief
harnessing done, the postilions with their churn-boots vault into the
saddles; brandish circularly their little noisy whips.  Fersen, under
his jarvie-surtout, bends in lowly silent reverence of adieu; royal
hands wave speechless inexpressible response; Baroness de Korff's
Berline, with {129} the Royalty of France, bounds off; for ever, as it
proved.  Deft Fersen dashes obliquely northward, through the country,
towards Bougret; gains Bougret, finds his German coachman and chariot
waiting there; cracks off, and drives undiscovered into unknown space.
A deft active man, we say; what he undertook to do is nimbly and
successfully done.


And so the Royalty of France is actually fled?  This precious night,
the shortest of the year, it flies, and drives!  _Baroness de Korff_
is, at bottom, Dame de Tourzel, Governess of the Royal Children: she
who came hooded with the two hooded little ones: little Dauphin; little
Madame Royale, known long afterwards as Duchesse d'Angoulême.  Baroness
de Korff's _Waiting-maid_ is the Queen in gypsy-hat.  The royal
Individual in round hat and peruke, he is _Valet_ for the time being.
That other hooded Dame, styled _Travelling-companion_, is kind Sister
Elizabeth; she had sworn long since, when the Insurrection of Women
was, that only death should part her and them.  And so they rush there,
not too impetuously, through the Wood of Bondy;--over a Rubicon in
their own and France's history.

Great; though the future is all vague!  If we reach Bouillé?  If we do
not reach him?  O Louis! and this all round thee is the great
slumbering Earth (and overhead, the great watchful Heaven); the
slumbering Wood of Bondy,--where Longhaired Childeric Do-nothing was
struck through with iron; not unreasonably, in a world like ours.
These peaked stone-towers are Raincy; towers of wicked d'Orleans.  All
slumbers save the {130} multiplex rustle of our new Berline.
Loose-skirted scarecrow of an Herb-merchant, with his ass and early
greens, toilsomely plodding, seems the only creature we meet.  But
right ahead the great North-east sends up evermore his grey brindled
dawn: from dewy branch, birds here and there, with short deep warble,
salute the coming sun.  Stars fade out, and galaxies; street-lamps of
the City of God.  The Universe, O my brothers, is flinging wide its
portals for the levee of the GREAT HIGH KING.  Thou, poor King Louis,
farest nevertheless, as mortals do, towards Orient lands of Hope; and
the Tuileries with _its_ levées, and France and the Earth itself, is
but a larger kind of dog-hutch--occasionally going rabid.

(_The French Revolution_.)



LORD MACAULAY 1800-1859

THE TRIAL OF THE SEVEN BISHOPS

It was dark before the jury retired to consider of their verdict.  The
night was a night of intense anxiety.  Some letters are extant which
were despatched during that period of suspense, and which have
therefore an interest of a peculiar kind.  "It is very late," wrote the
Papal Nuncio; "and the decision is not yet known.  The Judges and the
culprits have gone to their own homes.  The jury remain together.
To-morrow we shall learn the event of this great struggle."

The solicitor for the Bishops sate up all night with a body of servants
on the stairs leading to the room {131} where the jury was consulting.
It was absolutely necessary to watch the officers who watched the
doors; for those officers were supposed to be in the interest of the
crown, and might, if not carefully observed, have furnished a courtly
juryman with food, which would have enabled him to starve out the other
eleven.  Strict guard was therefore kept.  Not even a candle to light a
pipe was permitted to enter.  Some basins of water for washing were
suffered to pass at about four in the morning.  The jurymen, raging
with thirst, soon lapped up the whole.  Great numbers of people walked
the neighbouring streets till dawn.  Every hour a messenger came from
Whitehall to know what was passing.  Voices, high in altercation, were
repeatedly heard within the room: but nothing certain was known.

At first nine were for acquitting and three for convicting.  Two of the
minority soon gave way; but Arnold was obstinate.  Thomas Austin, a
country gentleman of great estate, who had paid close attention to the
evidence and speeches, and had taken full notes, wished to argue the
question.  Arnold declined.  He was not used, he doggedly said, to
reasoning and debating.  His conscience was not satisfied; and he
should not acquit the Bishops.  "If you come to that," said Austin,
"look at me.  I am the largest and strongest of the twelve; and before
I find such a petition as this a libel, here I will stay till I am no
bigger than a tobacco pipe."  It was six in the morning before Arnold
yielded.  It was soon known that the jury were agreed: but what the
verdict would be was still a secret.

{132} At ten the Court again met.  The crowd was greater than ever.
The jury appeared in their box; and there was a breathless stillness.

Sir Samuel Astry spoke.  "Do you find the defendants, or any of them,
guilty of the misdemeanour whereof they are impeached, or not guilty?"
Sir Roger Langley answered, "Not guilty."  As the words passed his
lips, Halifax sprang up and waved his hat.  At that signal, benches and
galleries raised a shout.  In a moment ten thousand persons, who
crowded the great hall, replied with a still louder shout, which made
the old oaken roof crack; and in another moment the innumerable throng
without set up a third huzza, which was heard at Temple Bar.  The boats
which covered the Thames gave an answering cheer.  A peal of gunpowder
was heard on the water, and another, and another; and so, in a few
moments, the glad tidings went flying past the Savoy and the Friars to
London Bridge, and to the forest of masts below.  As the news spread,
streets and squares, market places and coffee-houses, broke forth into
acclamations.  Yet were the acclamations less strange than the weeping.
For the feelings of men had been wound up to such a point that at
length the stern English nature, so little used to outward signs of
emotion, gave way, and thousands sobbed aloud for very joy.  Meanwhile,
from the outskirts of the multitude, horsemen were spurring off to bear
along all the great roads intelligence of the victory of our Church and
nation.  Yet not even that astounding explosion could awe the bitter
and intrepid spirit of the Solicitor.  Striving to make himself heard
above the {133} din, he called on the Judges to commit those who had
violated, by clamour, the dignity of a court of justice.  One of the
rejoicing populace was seized.  But the tribunal felt that it would be
absurd to punish a single individual for an offence common to hundreds
of thousands, and dismissed him with a gentle reprimand.

It was vain to think of passing at that moment to any other business.
Indeed the roar of the multitude was such that, for half an hour,
scarcely a word could be heard in court.  Williams got to his coach
amidst a tempest of hisses and curses.  Cartwright, whose curiosity was
ungovernable, had been guilty of the folly and indecency of coming to
Westminster in order to hear the decision.  He was recognised by his
sacerdotal garb and by his corpulent figure, and was hooted through the
hall.  "Take care," said one, "of the wolf in sheep's clothing."  "Make
room," cried another, "for the man with the Pope in his belly."

The acquitted prelates took refuge from the crowd which implored their
blessing in the nearest chapel where divine service was performing.
Many churches were open on that morning throughout the capital; and
many pious persons repaired thither.  The bells of all the parishes of
the City and liberties were ringing.  The jury meanwhile could scarcely
make their way out of the hall.  They were forced to shake hands with
hundreds.  "God bless you," cried the people; "God prosper your
families; you have done like honest good-natured gentlemen; you have
saved us all to-day."  As the noblemen who had appeared to support the
good cause drove off, they flung from their carriage windows {134}
handfuls of money, and bade the crowd drink to the health of the King,
the Bishops, and the jury.

The attorney went with the tidings to Sunderland, who happened to be
conversing with the Nuncio.  "Never," said Powis, "within man's memory,
have there been such shouts and such tears of joy as to-day."  The King
had that morning visited the camp on Hounslow Heath.  Sunderland
instantly sent a courier thither with the news.  James was in Lord
Feversham's tent when the express arrived.  He was greatly disturbed,
and exclaimed in French, "So much the worse for them."  He soon set out
for London.  While he was present respect prevented the soldiers from
giving a loose to their feelings; but he had scarcely quitted the camp
when he heard a great shouting behind him.  He was surprised, and asked
what that uproar meant.  "Nothing," was the answer.  "The soldiers are
glad that the bishops are acquitted."  "Do you call that nothing?" said
James.  And then he repeated, "So much the worse for them."

(_History of England_.)



{135}

JOHN HENRY NEWMAN 1801-1890

THE UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS

If we would know what a University is, considered in its elementary
idea, we must betake ourselves to the first and most celebrated home of
European literature and source of European civilization, to the bright
and beautiful Athens,--Athens, whose schools drew to her bosom, and
then sent back again to the business of life, the youth of the Western
World for a long thousand years.  Seated on the verge of the continent,
the city seemed hardly suited for the duties of a central metropolis of
knowledge; yet, what it lost in convenience of approach it gained in
its neighbourhood to the traditions of the mysterious East, and in the
loveliness of the region in which it lay.  Hither, then, as to a sort
of ideal land, where all archetypes of the great and the fair were
found in substantial being, and all departments of truth explored, and
all diversities of intellectual power exhibited, where taste and
philosophy were majestically enthroned as in a royal court, where there
was no sovereignty but that of mind, and no nobility but that of
genius, where professors were rulers, and princes did homage, hither
flocked continually from the very corners of the _orbis terrarum_, the
many-tongued generation, just rising, or just risen into manhood, in
order to gain wisdom.

Pisistratus had in an early age discovered and nursed the infant genius
of his people, and Cimon, after the {136} Persian war, had given it a
home.  That war had established the naval supremacy of Athens; she had
become an imperial state; and the Ionians, bound to her by the double
chain of kindred and of subjection, were importing into her both their
merchandize and their civilization.  The arts and philosophy of the
Asiatic coast were easily carried across the sea, and there was Cimon,
as I have said, with his ample fortune, ready to receive them with due
honours.  Not content with patronizing their professors, he built the
first of those noble porticos, of which we hear so much in Athens, and
he formed the groves, which in process of time became the celebrated
Academy.  Planting is one of the most graceful, as in Athens it was one
of the most beneficent, of employments.  Cimon took in hand the wild
wood, pruned and dressed it, and laid it out with handsome walks and
welcome fountains.  Nor, while hospitable to the authors of the city's
civilization, was he ungrateful to the instruments of her prosperity.
His trees extended their cool, umbrageous branches over the merchants,
who assembled in the Agora, for many generations.

Those merchants certainly had deserved that act of bounty; for all the
while their ships had been carrying forth the intellectual fame of
Athens to the western world.  Then commenced what may be called her
University existence.  Pericles, who succeeded Cimon both in the
government and in the patronage of art, is said by Plutarch to have
entertained the idea of making Athens the capital of federated Greece:
in this he failed, but his encouragement of such men as Phidias and
Anaxagoras led the way to her acquiring a far more lasting {137}
sovereignty over a far wider empire.  Little understanding the sources
of her own greatness, Athens would go to war: peace is the interest of
a seat of commerce and the arts; but to war she went; yet to her,
whether peace or war, it mattered not.  The political power of Athens
waned and disappeared; kingdoms rose and fell; centuries rolled
away,--they did but bring fresh triumphs to the city of the poet and
the sage.  There at length the swarthy Moor and Spaniard were seen to
meet the blue-eyed Gaul; and the Cappadocian, late subject of
Mithridates, gazed without alarm at the haughty conquering Roman.
Revolution after revolution passed over the face of Europe, as well as
of Greece, but still she was there,--Athens, the city of mind,--as
radiant, as splendid, as delicate, as young, as ever she had been.

Many a more fruitful coast or isle is washed by the blue Aegean, many a
spot is there more beautiful or sublime to see, many a territory more
ample; but there was one charm in Attica, which in the same perfection
was nowhere else.  The deep pastures of Arcadia, the plain of Argos,
the Thessalian vale, these had not the gift; Boeotia, which lay to its
immediate north, was notorious for its very want of it.  The heavy
atmosphere of that Boeotia might be good for vegetation, but it was
associated in popular belief with the dulness of the Boeotian
intellect: on the contrary, the special purity, elasticity, clearness,
and salubrity of the air of Attica, fit concomitant and emblem of its
genius, did that for it which earth did not;--it brought out every
bright hue and tender shade of the landscape over which it was {138}
spread, and would have illuminated the face even of a more bare and
rugged country.

A confined triangle, perhaps fifty miles its greatest length, and
thirty its greatest breadth; two elevated rocky barriers, meeting at an
angle; three prominent mountains, commanding the plain,--Parnes,
Pentelicus, and Hymettus; an unsatisfactory soil; some streams, not
always full;--such is about the report which the agent of a London
company would have made of Attica.  He would report that the climate
was mild; the hills were limestone; there was plenty of good marble;
more pasture land than at first survey might have been expected,
sufficient certainly for sheep and goats; fisheries productive; silver
mines once, but long since worked out; figs fair; oil first-rate;
olives in profusion.  But what he would not think of noting down, was,
that that olive tree was so choice in nature and so noble in shape,
that it excited a religious veneration; and that it took so kindly to
the light soil, as to expand into woods upon the open plain, and to
climb up and fringe the hills.  He would not think of writing word to
his employers, how that clear air, of which I have spoken, brought out,
yet blended and subdued, the colours on the marble, till they had a
softness and harmony, for all their richness, which in a picture looks
exaggerated, yet is after all within the truth.  He would not tell, how
that same delicate and brilliant atmosphere freshened up the pale
olive, till the olive forgot its monotony, and its cheek glowed like
the arbutus or beech of the Umbrian hills.  He would say nothing of the
thyme and thousand fragrant herbs which carpeted Hymettus; he would
hear nothing of the hum {139} of its bees; nor take much account of the
rare flavour of its honey, since Gozo and Minorca were sufficient for
the English demand.  He would look over the Aegean from the height he
had ascended; he would follow with his eye the chain of islands, which,
starting from the Sunian headland, seemed to offer the fabled
divinities of Attica, when they would visit their Ionian cousins, a
sort of viaduct thereto across the sea: but that fancy would not occur
to him, nor any admiration of the dark violet billows with their white
edges down below; nor of those graceful, fan-like jets of silver upon
the rocks, which slowly rise aloft like water spirits from the deep,
then shiver, and break, and spread, and shroud themselves, and
disappear, in a soft mist of foam; nor of the gentle, incessant heaving
and panting of the whole liquid plain; nor of the long waves, keeping
steady time, like a line of soldiery, as they resound upon the hollow
shore,--he would not deign to notice that restless living element at
all, except to bless his stars that he was not upon it.  Nor the
distinct detail, nor the refined colouring, nor the graceful outline
and roseate golden hue of the jutting crags, nor the bold shadows cast
from Otus or Laurium by the declining sun;--our agent of a mercantile
firm would not value these matters even at a low figure.  Rather we
must turn for the sympathy we seek to yon pilgrim student, come from a
semi-barbarous land to that small corner of the earth, as to a shrine,
where he might take his fill of gazing on those emblems and
coruscations of invisible unoriginate perfection.  It was the stranger
from a remote province, from Britain or from Mauritania, who in a scene
so different from that of his chilly, woody swamps, or of {140} his
fiery choking sands, learned at once what a real University must be, by
coming to understand the sort of country which was its suitable home.

(_Historical Sketches_.)



NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE 1804-1864

THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES

A descriptive paragraph or two, treating of the seven-gabled mansion in
its more recent aspect, will bring this preliminary chapter to a close.
The street in which it upreared its venerable peaks has long ceased to
be a fashionable quarter of the town; so that, though the old edifice
was surrounded by habitations of modern date, they were mostly small,
built entirely of wood, and typical of the most plodding uniformity of
common life.  Doubtless, however, the whole story of human existence
may be latent in each of them, but with no picturesqueness, externally,
that can attract the imagination or sympathy to seek it there.  But as
for the old structure of our story, its white-oak frame, and its
boards, shingles, and crumbling plaster, and even the huge clustered
chimney in the midst, seemed to constitute only the least and meanest
part of its reality.  So much of mankind's varied experience had passed
there,--so much had been suffered, and something, too, enjoyed,--that
the very timbers were oozy, as with the moisture of a heart.  It was
itself like a great human heart, with a life of its own, and full of
rich and sombre reminiscences.

{141} The deep projection of the second story gave the house such a
meditative look, that you could not pass it without the idea that it
had secrets to keep, and an eventful history to moralize upon.  In
front, just on the edge of the unpaved sidewalk, grew the Pyncheon-elm,
which, in reference to such trees as one usually meets with, might well
be termed gigantic.  It had been planted by a great-grandson of the
first Pyncheon, and, though now fourscore years of age, or perhaps
nearer a hundred, was still in its strong and broad maturity, throwing
its shadow from side to side of the street, overtopping the seven
gables, and sweeping the whole black roof with its pendent foliage.  It
gave beauty to the old edifice, and seemed to make it a part of nature.
The street having been widened about forty years ago, the front gable
was now precisely on a line with it.  On either side extended a ruinous
wooden fence, of open lattice-work, through which could be seen a
grassy yard, and, especially in the angles of the building, an enormous
fertility of burdocks, with leaves, it is hardly an exaggeration to
say, two or three feet long.  Behind the house there appeared to be a
garden, which undoubtedly had once been extensive, but was now
infringed upon by other enclosures, or shut in by habitations and
out-buildings that stood on another street.  It would be an omission,
trifling indeed, but unpardonable, were we to forget the green moss
that had long since gathered over the projections of the windows, and
on the slopes of the roof; nor must we fail to direct the reader's eye
to a crop, not of weeds, but flower-shrubs, which were growing aloft in
the air, not a great way from the chimney, in the nook between two of
the gables.  {142} They were called Alice's Posies.  The tradition was,
that a certain Alice Pyncheon had flung up the seeds in sport, and that
the dust of the street and the decay of the roof gradually formed a
kind of soil for them, out of which they grew, when Alice had long been
in her grave.  However the flowers might have come there, it was both
sad and sweet to observe how nature adopted to herself this desolate,
decaying, gusty, rusty old house of the Pyncheon family; and how the
ever-returning summer did her best to gladden it with tender beauty,
and grew melancholy in the effort.

There is one other feature, very essential to be noticed, but which, we
greatly fear, may damage any picturesque and romantic impression which
we have been willing to throw over our sketch of this respectable
edifice.  In the front gable, under the impending brow of the second
story, and contiguous to the street, was a shop-door, divided
horizontally in the midst, and with a window for its upper segment,
such as is often seen in dwellings of a somewhat ancient date.  This
same shop-door had been a subject of no slight mortification to the
present occupant of the august Pyncheon-house, as well as to some of
her predecessors.  The matter is disagreeably delicate to handle; but,
since the reader must needs be let into the secret, he will please to
understand, that about a century ago, the head of the Pyncheons found
himself involved in serious financial difficulties.  The fellow
(gentleman, as he styled himself) can hardly have been other than a
spurious interloper; for, instead of seeking office from the king or
the royal governor, or urging his hereditary claim to eastern lands, he
bethought {143} himself of no better avenue to wealth than by cutting a
shop-door through the side of his ancestral residence.  It was the
custom of the time, indeed, for merchants to store their goods and
transact business in their own dwellings.  But there was something
pitifully small in this old Pyncheon's mode of setting about his
commercial operations; it was whispered, that, with his own hands, all
be-ruffled as they were, he used to give change for a shilling, and
would turn a half-penny twice over, to make sure that it was a good
one.  Beyond all question, he had the blood of a petty huckster in his
veins, through whatever channel it may have found its way there.

Immediately on his death, the shop-door had been locked, bolted, and
barred, and, down to the period of our story, had probably never once
been opened.  The old counter, shelves, and other fixtures of the
little shop remained just as he had left them.  It used to be affirmed,
that the dead shopkeeper, in a white wig, a faded velvet coat, an apron
at his waist, and his ruffles carefully turned back from his wrists,
might be seen through the chinks of the shutters, any night of the
year, ransacking his till, or poring over the dingy pages of his
day-book.  From the look of unutterable woe upon his face, it appeared
to be his doom to spend eternity in a vain effort to make his accounts
balance.

And now--in a very humble way, as will be seen--we proceed to open our
narrative.

(_House of the Seven Gables_.)



{144}

WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY 1811-1863

DENIS DUVAL'S FIRST JOURNEY TO LONDON

At Michaelmas, in the year 1776 (I promise you I remember the year), my
dear and kind friend, Doctor Barnard, having to go to London with his
rents, proposed to take me to London to see my other patron, Sir Peter
Denis, between whom and the Doctor there was a great friendship; and it
is to those dear friends that I owe the great good fortune which has
since befallen me in life.  Indeed, when I think of what I might have
been, of what I have escaped, my heart is full of thankfulness for the
great mercies which have fallen to my share.  Well, at this happy and
eventful Michaelmas of 1776, Doctor Barnard says to me, "Denis, my
child, if thy mother will grant leave, I have a mind to take thee to
see thy god-father, Sir Peter Denis, in London.  I am going up with my
rents, my neighbour Weston will share the horses with me, and thou
shall see the Tower and Mr Salmon's wax-work before thou art a week
older."

You may suppose that this proposition made Master Denis Duval jump for
joy.  Of course I had heard of London all my life, and talked with
people who had been there, but that I should go myself to Admiral Sir
Peter Denis's house, and see the play, St Paul's and Mr Salmon's, here
was a height of bliss I had never hoped to attain.  I could not sleep
for thinking of my pleasure; I had {145} some money, and I promised to
buy as many toys for Agnes as the Chevalier used to bring her.  My
mother said I should go like a gentleman, and turned me out in a red
waistcoat with plate buttons, a cock to my hat, and ruffles to my
shirts.  How I counted the hours of the night before our departure!  I
was up before the dawn, packing my little valise.  I got my little
brass-barrelled pocket-pistol, and I loaded it with shot.  I put it
away into my breast-pocket; and if we met with a highwayman I promised
myself he should have my charge of lead in his face.  The Doctor's
postchaise was at his stables not very far from us.  The stable
lanterns were alight, and Brown, the Doctor's man, cleaning the
carriage, when Mr Denis Duval comes up to the stable-door, lugging his
portmanteau after him through the twilight.  Was ever daylight so long
a-coming?  Ah! there comes the horses at last; the horses from the
"King's Head," and old Pascoe, the one-eyed postillion.  How well I
remember the sound of their hoofs in that silent street!  I can tell
everything that happened on that day; what we had for dinner--viz.,
veal cutlets and French beans, at Maidstone; where we changed horses,
and the colour of the horses.  "Here, Brown! here's my portmanteau!  I
say, where shall I stow it?"  My portmanteau was about as large as a
good-sized apple-pie.  I jump into the carriage and we drive up to the
rectory: and I think the Doctor will never come out.  There he is at
last: with his mouth full of buttered toast, and I bob my head to him a
hundred times out of the chaise window.  Then I must jump out,
forsooth.  "Brown, shall I give you a hand with the luggage?" says I,
and I dare say they all laugh.  Well, {146} I am so happy that anybody
may laugh who likes.  The Doctor comes out, his precious box under his
arm.  I see dear Mrs Barnard's great cap nodding at us out of the
parlour window as we drive away from the Rectory door to stop a hundred
yards further on at the Priory.

There at the parlour window stands my dear little Agnes, in a white
frock, in a great cap with a blue riband and bow, and curls clustering
over her face.  I wish Sir Joshua Reynolds had painted thee in those
days, my dear: but thou wert the very image of one of his little
ladies, that one who became Duchess of Buccleuch afterwards.  There is
my Agnes, and now presently comes out Mr Weston's man and luggage, and
it is fixed on the roof.  Him, his master, Mr George Weston, follows.
This was the most good-natured of the two, and I shall never forget my
sensation of delight, when I saw him bring out two holster-pistols,
which he placed each in a pocket of the chaise.  Is Tommy Chapman, the
apothecary's son of Westgate, alive yet, and does he remember my
wagging my head to him as our chaise whirled by?  He was shaking a mat
at the door of his father's shop as my lordship accompanied by my noble
friends passed by.

First stage, Ham Street, "The Bear."  A grey horse and a bay to change,
_I_ remember them.  Second stage, Ashford.  Third stage--I think I am
asleep about the third stage; and no wonder, a poor little wretch who
had been awake half the night before, and no doubt many nights
previous, thinking of this wonderful journey.  Fourth stage, Maidstone,
"The Bell."  "And here we will stop to dinner, master Shrimp-catcher,"
says the Doctor, and I jump down out of the carriage, nothing {147}
loth.  The Doctor followed with his box, of which he never lost sight.

The Doctor liked his ease in his inn, and took his sip of punch so
comfortably, that I, for my part, thought he never would be gone.  I
was out in the stables and looking at the horses, and talking to the
ostler who was rubbing his nags down.  I dare say I had a peep into the
kitchen, and at the pigeons in the inn-yard, and at all things which
were to be seen at "The Bell," while my two companions were still at
their interminable punch.  It was an old-fashioned inn, with a gallery
round the court-yard.  Heaven bless us!  Falstaff and Bardolph may have
stopped there on the road to Gadshill.  I was in the stable looking at
the nags, when Mr Weston comes out of the inn, looks round the court,
opens the door of the postchaise, takes out his pistols, looks at the
priming, and puts them back again.  Then we are off again, and time
enough too.  It seemed to me many hours since we had arrived at that
creaking old "Bell."  And away we go through Addington, Eynesford, by
miles and miles of hop-gardens.  I dare say I did not look at the
prospect much, beautiful though it might be, my young eyes being for
ever on the look-out for St Paul's and London.

For a great part of the way Doctor Barnard and his companion had a fine
controversy about their respective religions, for which each was alike
zealous.  Nay: it may be the Rector invited Mr Weston to take a place
in his postchaise in order to have this battle, for he never tired of
arguing the question between the two churches.  Towards the close of
the day Master Denis Duval fell {148} asleep on Doctor Barnard's
shoulder, and the good-natured clergyman did not disturb him.

I woke up with the sudden stoppage of the carriage.  The evening was
falling.  We were upon a lonely common, and a man on horseback was at
the window of the postchaise.

"Give us out that there box! and your money!" I heard him say in a very
gruff voice.  O heavens! we were actually stopped by a highwayman!  It
was delightful.

Mr Weston jumped at his pistols very quick.  "Here's our money, you
scoundrel!" says he, and fired point-blank at the rogue's head.
Confusion! the pistol missed fire.  He aimed the second, and again no
report followed!

"Some scoundrel has been tampering with these," says Mr Weston, aghast.

"Come," says Captain Macheath, "come, your--"

But the next word the fellow spoke was a frightful oath; for I took out
my little pistol, which was full of shot, and fired it into his face.
The man reeled, and I thought would have fallen out of his saddle.  The
postillion, frightened, no doubt, clapped spurs to his horse, and began
to gallop.  "Shan't we stop and take that rascal, sir?" said I to the
Doctor.  On which Mr Weston gave a peevish kind of push at me, and
said, "No, no.  It is getting quite dark.  Let us push on."  And,
indeed, the highwayman's horse had taken fright, and we could see him
galloping away across the common.

I was so elated to think that I, a little boy, had shot a live
highwayman, that I dare say I bragged outrageously of my action.  We
set down Mr Weston at his {149} inn in the Borough, and crossed London
Bridge, and there I was in London at last.  Yes, and that was the
Monument, and then we came to the Exchange, and yonder, yonder was St
Paul's.  We went up Holborn, and so to Ormonde Street, where my patron
lived in a noble mansion; and where his wife, my lady Denis, received
me with a great deal of kindness.  You may be sure the battle with the
highwayman was fought over again, and I got due credit from myself and
others for my gallantry.

(_Denis Duval_.)



CHARLES DICKENS 1812-1870

STORM

"Don't you think that," I asked the coachman, in the first stage out of
London, "a very remarkable sky?  I don't remember to have seen one like
it."

"Nor I,--not equal to it," he replied.  "That's wind, sir.  There'll be
mischief done at sea, I expect, before long."

It was a murky confusion--here and there blotted with a colour like the
colour of the smoke from damp fuel--of flying clouds tossed up into
most remarkable heaps, suggesting greater heights in the clouds than
there were depths below them to the bottom of the deepest hollows in
the earth, through which the wild moon seemed to plunge headlong, as
if, in a dread disturbance of the laws of nature, she had lost her way
and were frightened.  {150} There had been a wind all day; and it was
rising then, with an extraordinary great sound.  In another hour it had
much increased, and the sky was more overcast, and it blew hard.

But, as the night advanced, the clouds closing in and densely
overspreading the whole sky, then very dark, it came on to blow, harder
and harder.  It still increased, until our horses could scarcely face
the wind.  Many times, in the dark part of the night (it was then late
in September, when the nights were not short), the leaders turned
about, or came to a dead stop; and we were often in serious
apprehension that the coach would be blown over.  Sweeping gusts of
rain came up before this storm, like showers of steel; and, at those
times, when there was any shelter of trees or lee walls to be got, we
were fain to stop, in a sheer impossibility of continuing the struggle.

When the day broke, it blew harder and harder.  I had been in Yarmouth
when the seamen said it blew great guns, but I had never known the like
of this, or anything approaching to it.  We came to Ipswich--very late,
having had to fight every inch of ground since we were ten miles out of
London; and found a cluster of people in the market-place, who had
risen from their beds in the night, fearful of falling chimneys.  Some
of these, congregating about the inn-yard while we changed horses, told
us of great sheets of lead having been ripped off a high church-tower,
and flung into a bye-street, which they then blocked up.  Others had to
tell of country people, coming in from neighbouring villages, who had
seen great trees lying torn out of the earth, and whole {151} ricks
scattered about the roads and fields.  Still, there was no abatement in
the storm, but it blew harder.

As we struggled on, nearer and nearer to the sea, from which this
mighty wind was blowing dead on shore, its force became more and more
terrific.  Long before we saw the sea, its spray was on our lips, and
showered salt rain upon us.  The water was out, over miles and miles of
the flat country adjacent to Yarmouth; and every sheet and puddle
lashed its banks, and had its stress of little breakers setting heavily
towards us.  When we came within sight of the sea, the waves on the
horizon, caught at intervals above the rolling abyss, were like
glimpses of another shore with towers and buildings.  When at last we
got into the town, the people came out to their doors, all aslant, and
with streaming hair, making a wonder of the mail that had come through
such a night.

I put up at the old inn, and went down to look at the sea; staggering
along the street, which was strewn with sand and seaweed, and with
flying blotches of sea-foam; afraid of falling slates and tiles; and
holding by people I met, at angry corners.  Coming near the beach, I
saw, not only the boatmen, but half the people of the town, lurking
behind buildings; some, now and then braving the fury of the storm to
look away to sea, and blown sheer out of their course in trying to get
zigzag back.

Joining these groups, I found bewailing women whose husbands were away
in herring or oyster boats, which there was too much reason to think
might have foundered before they could run in anywhere for safety.
Grizzled old sailors were among the people, shaking their heads, {152}
as they looked from water to sky, and muttering to one another;
ship-owners, excited and uneasy; children, huddling together, and
peering into older faces; even stout mariners, disturbed and anxious,
levelling their glasses at the sea from behind places of shelter, as if
they were surveying an enemy.

The tremendous sea itself, when I could find sufficient pause to look
at it, in the agitation of the blinding wind, the flying stones and
sand, and the awful noise, confounded me.  As the high watery walls
came rolling in, and, at their highest, tumbled into surf, they looked
as if the least would engulf the town.  As the receding wave swept back
with a hoarse roar, it seemed to scoop out deep caves in the beach, as
if its purpose were to undermine the earth.  When some white-headed
billows thundered on, and dashed themselves to pieces before they
reached the land, every fragment of the late whole seemed possessed by
the full might of its wrath, rushing to be gathered to the composition
of another monster.  Undulating hills were changed to valleys,
undulating valleys (with a solitary storm-bird sometimes skimming
through them) were lifted up to hills; masses of water shivered and
shook the beach with a booming sound; every shape tumultuously rolled
on, as soon as made, to change its shape and place, and beat another
shape and place away; the ideal shore on the horizon, with its towers
and buildings, rose and fell; the clouds flew fast and thick; I seemed
to see a rending and upheaving of all nature. . . .

I went back to the inn; and when I had washed and dressed, and tried to
sleep, but in vain, it was five o'clock in the afternoon.  I had not
sat five minutes by the {153} coffee-room fire, when the waiter coming
to stir it, as an excuse for talking, told me that two colliers had
gone down, with all hands, a few miles away; and that some other ships
had been seen labouring hard in the Roads, and trying, in great
distress, to keep off shore.  Mercy on them, and on all poor sailors,
said he, if we had another night like the last!

(_David Copperfield_.)



CHARLOTTE BRONTË 1816-1855

JANE EYRE AND MR ROCHESTER

"And now, what did you learn at Lowood?  Can you play?"

"A little."

"Of course, that is the established answer.  Go into the library--I
mean, if you please.--(Excuse my tone of command; I am used to say, 'Do
this,' and it is done.  I cannot alter my customary habits for one new
inmate.)--Go, then, into the library; take a candle with you; leave the
door open; sit down to the piano, and play a tune."

I departed, obeying his directions.

"Enough!" he called out in a few minutes.  "You play a _little_, I see,
like any other English school-girl; perhaps rather better than some,
but not well."

I closed the piano, and returned.  Mr Rochester continued--

{154} "Adèle showed me some sketches this morning, which, she said,
were yours.  I don't know whether they were entirely of your doing:
probably a master aided you?"

"No, indeed!" I interjected.

"Ah! that pricks pride.  Well, fetch me your portfolio, if you can
vouch for its contents being original; but don't pass your word unless
you are certain: I can recognise patchwork."

"Then I will say nothing, and you shall judge for yourself, sir."

I brought the portfolio from the library.

"Approach the table," said he; and I wheeled it to his couch.  Adèle
and Mrs Fairfax drew near to see the pictures.

"No crowding," said Mr Rochester: "take the drawings from my hand as I
finish with them; but don't push your faces up to mine."

He deliberately scrutinised each sketch and painting.  Three he laid
aside; the others, when he had examined them, he swept from him.

"Take them off to the other table, Mrs Fairfax," said he, "and look at
them with Adèle;--you" (glancing at me) "resume your seat, and answer
my questions.  I perceive these pictures were done by one hand.  Was
that hand yours?"

"Yes."

"And when did you find time to do them?  They have taken much time, and
some thought."

"I did them in the last two vacations I spent at Lowood, when I had no
other occupation."

{155} "Where did you get your copies?"

"Out of my head."

"That head I see now on your shoulders?"

"Yes, sir."

"Has it other furniture of the same kind within?"

"I should think it may have.  I should hope--better."

He spread the pictures before him, and again surveyed them alternately.

While he is so occupied, I will tell you, reader, what they are, and
first, I must premise that they are nothing wonderful.  The subjects
had, indeed, risen vividly on my mind.  As I saw them with the
spiritual eye, before I attempted to embody them, they were striking;
but my hand would not second my fancy, and, in each case, it had
wrought out but a pale portrait of the thing I had conceived.

These pictures were in water-colours.  The first represented clouds low
and livid, rolling over a swollen sea: all the distance was in eclipse;
so, too, was the foreground; or, rather, the nearest billows, for there
was no land.  One gleam of light lifted into relief a half-submerged
mast, on which sat a cormorant, dark and large, with wings flecked with
foam; its beak held a gold bracelet, set with gems, which I had touched
with as brilliant tints as my pencil could impart.  Sinking below the
bird and mast, a drowned corpse glanced through the green water; a fair
arm was the only limb clearly visible, whence the bracelet had been
washed or torn.

The second picture contained for foreground only the dim peak of a
hill, with grass and some leaves slanting {156} as if by a breeze.
Beyond and above spread an expanse of sky, dark blue, as at twilight;
rising into the sky was a woman's shape to the bust, portrayed in tints
as dusk and soft as I could combine.  The dim forehead was crowned with
a star; the lineaments below were seen as through the suffusion of
vapour; the eyes shone dark and wild; the hair streamed shadowy, like a
beamless cloud torn by storm or by electric travail.  On the neck lay a
pale reflection like moonlight: the same faint lustre touched the train
of thin clouds from which rose and bowed this vision of the Evening
Star.

The third showed the pinnacle of an iceberg piercing a polar winter
sky: a muster of northern lights reared their dim lances, close
serried, along the horizon.  Throwing these into distance, rose, in the
foreground, a head,--a colossal head, inclined towards the iceberg, and
resting against it.  Two thin hands, joined under the forehead, and
supporting it, drew up before the lower features a sable veil; a brow
quite bloodless, white as bone, and an eye hollow and fixed, blank of
meaning but for the glassiness of despair, alone were visible.  Above
the temples, amidst wreathed turban folds of black drapery, vague in
its character and consistency as cloud, gleamed a ring of white flame,
gemmed with sparkles of a more lurid tinge.  This pale crescent was
"the likeness of a Kingly Crown"; what it diademed was "the shape which
shape had none."

(_Jane Eyre_.)



{157}

HENRY DAVID THOREAU 1817-1862

A HUT IN THE WOODS

I did not read books the first summer; I hoed beans.  Nay, I often did
better than this.  There were times when I could not afford to
sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of the
head or hands.  I love a broad margin to my life.  Sometimes, in a
summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny
doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a reverie, amidst the pines and
hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the
birds sang around, or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the
sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller's
waggon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time.  I
grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better
than any work of the hands would have been.  They were not time
subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance.
I realised what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking
of works.  For the most part, I minded not how the hours went.  The day
advanced as if to light some work of mine; it was morning, and lo, now
it is evening, and nothing memorable is accomplished.  Instead of
singing like the birds, I silently smiled at my incessant good fortune.
As the sparrow had its trill, sitting on the hickory before my door, so
I had my chuckle or suppressed warble which he might hear out of my
nest.  My days were not days {158} of the week, bearing the stamp of
any heathen deity, nor were they minced into hours and fretted by the
ticking of a clock; for I lived like the Puri Indians, of whom it is
said that for yesterday, to-day, and to-morrow they have only one word,
and they express the variety of meaning by pointing backward for
yesterday, forward for to-morrow, and overhead for the passing day.
This was sheer idleness to my fellow-townsmen, no doubt; but if the
birds and flowers had tried me by their standard, I should not have
been found wanting.  A man must find his occasions in himself, it is
true.  The natural day is very calm, and will hardly reprove his
indolence.

I had this advantage, at least, in my mode of life, over those who were
obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre, that
my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel.
It was a drama of many scenes and without an end.  If we were always
indeed getting our living, and regulating our lives according to the
last and best mode we had learned, we should never be troubled with
ennui.  Follow your genius closely enough, and it will not fail to show
you a fresh prospect every hour.  House-work was a pleasant pastime.
When my floor was dirty, I rose early, and, setting all my furniture
out of doors on the grass, bed and bedstead making but one budget,
dashed water on the floor, and sprinkled white sand from the pond on
it, and then with a broom scrubbed it clean and white; and by the time
the villagers had broken their fast the morning sun had dried my house
sufficiently to allow me to move in again, and my meditations were
almost uninterrupted.  It was pleasant to see my whole {159} household
effects out on the grass, making a little pile like a gypsy's pack, and
my three-legged table, from which I did not remove the books and pen
and ink, standing amid the pines and hickories.  They seemed glad to
get out themselves, and as if unwilling to be brought in.  I was
sometimes tempted to stretch an awning over them and take my seat
there.  It was worth the while to see the sun shine on these things,
and hear the free wind blow on them; so much more interesting most
familiar objects look out of doors than in the house.  A bird sits on
the next bough; life everlasting grows under the table, and blackberry
vines run round its legs; pine cones, chestnut burs, and strawberry
leaves are strewn about.  It looked as if this was the way these forms
came to be transferred to our furniture, to tables, chairs, and
bedsteads,--because they once stood in their midst.

(_Walden_.)



GEORGE ELIOT (MARY ANN EVANS) 1819-1880

A MISER

Gradually the guineas, the crowns, and the half-crowns grew to a heap,
and Marner drew less and less for his own wants, trying to solve the
problem of keeping himself strong enough to work sixteen hours a day on
as small an outlay as possible. . . .  He handled them, he counted
them, till their form and colour were like the {160} satisfaction of a
thirst to him; but it was only in the night, when his work was done,
that he drew them out to enjoy their companionship.  He had taken up
some bricks in his floor underneath his loom, and here he made a hole
in which he set the iron pot that contained his guineas and silver
coins, covering the bricks with sand whenever he replaced them.  Not
that the idea of being robbed presented itself often or strongly to his
mind: hoarding was common in country districts in those days; there
were old labourers in the parish of Raveloe who were known to have
their savings by them, probably inside their flock-beds; but their
rustic neighbours, though not all of them as honest as their ancestors
in the days of King Alfred, had not imaginations bold enough to lay a
plan of burglary.  How could they have spent the money in their own
village without betraying themselves?  They would be obliged to "run
away"--a course as dark and dubious as a balloon journey.

So, year after year, Silas Marner had lived in this solitude, his
guineas rising in the iron pot, and his life narrowing and hardening
itself more and more into a mere pulsation of desire and satisfaction
that had no relation to any other being.  His life had reduced itself
to the functions of weaving and hoarding, without any contemplation of
an end towards which the functions tended.  The same sort of process
has perhaps been undergone by wiser men, when they have been cut off
from faith and love--only, instead of a loom and a heap of guineas,
they have had some erudite research, some ingenious project, or some
well-knit theory.  Strangely Marner's face and figure shrank and bent
themselves {161} into a constant mechanical relation to the objects of
his life, so that he produced the same sort of impression as a handle
or a crooked tube, which has no meaning standing apart.  The prominent
eyes that used to look trusting and dreamy, now looked as if they had
been made to see only one kind of thing that was very small, like tiny
grain, for which they hunted everywhere; and he was so withered and
yellow, that, though he was not yet forty, the children always called
him "Old Master Marner."

Yet even in this stage of withering a little incident happened, which
showed that the sap of affection was not all gone.  It was one of his
daily tasks to fetch his water from a well a couple of fields off, and
for this purpose, ever since he came to Raveloe, he had a brown
earthenware pot, which he held as his most precious utensil among the
very few conveniences he had granted himself.  It had been his
companion for twelve years, always standing on the same spot, always
lending its handle to him in the early morning, so that its form had an
expression for him of willing helpfulness, and the impress of its
handle on his palm gave a satisfaction mingled with that of having the
fresh clear water.  One day as he was returning from the well, he
stumbled against the step of the stile, and his brown pot, falling with
force against the stones that over-arched the ditch below him, was
broken in three pieces.  Silas picked up the pieces and carried them
home with grief in his heart.  The brown pot could never be of use to
him any more, but he stuck the bits together and propped the ruin in
its old place for a memorial.

{162} This is the history of Silas Marner, until the fifteenth year
after he came to Raveloe.  The livelong day he sat in his loom, his ear
filled with its monotony, his eyes bent close down on the slow growth
of sameness in the brownish web, his muscles moving with such even
repetition that their pause seemed almost as much a constraint as the
holding of his breath.  But at night came his revelry: at night he
closed his shutters, and made fast his doors, and drew forth his gold.
Long ago the heap of coins had become too large for the iron pot to
hold them, and he had made for them two thick leather bags, which
wasted no room in their resting-place, but lent themselves flexibly to
every corner.  How the guineas shone as they came pouring out of the
dark leather mouths!  The silver bore no large proportion in amount to
the gold, because the long pieces of linen which formed his chief work
were always partly paid for in gold, and out of the silver he supplied
his own bodily wants, choosing always the shillings and sixpences to
spend in this way.  He loved the guineas best, but he would not change
the silver--the crowns and half-crowns that were his own earnings,
begotten by his labour; he loved them all.  He spread them out in heaps
and bathed his hands in them; then he counted them and set them up in
regular piles, and felt their rounded outline between his thumb and
fingers, and thought fondly of the guineas that were only half earned
by the work in his loom, as if they had been unborn children--thought
of the guineas that were coming slowly through the coming years,
through all his life, which spread far away before him, the end quite
hidden by countless days of weaving.

(_Silas Marner_.)



{163}

JOHN RUSKIN 1819-1900

SHIPS

Down to Elizabeth's time chivalry lasted; and grace of dress and mien,
and all else that was connected with chivalry.  Then came the ages
which, when they have taken their due place in the depths of the past,
will be, by a wise and clear-sighted futurity, perhaps well
comprehended under a common name, as the ages of Starch; periods of
general stiffening and bluish-whitening, with a prevailing
washerwoman's taste in everything; involving a change of steel armour
into cambric; of natural hair into peruke; of natural walking into that
which will disarrange no wristbands; of plain language into quips and
embroideries; and of human life in general, from a green race-course,
where to be defeated was at worst only to fall behind and recover
breath, into a slippery pole, to be climbed with toil and contortion,
and in clinging to which, each man's foot is on his neighbour's head.

But, meanwhile, the marine deities were incorruptible.  It was not
possible to starch the sea; and precisely as the stiffness fastened
upon men, it vanished from ships.  What had once been a mere raft, with
rows of formal benches, pushed along by laborious flap of oars, and
with infinite fluttering of flags and swelling of poops above,
gradually began to lean more heavily into the deep water, to sustain a
gloomy weight of guns, to draw back its spider-like feebleness of limb,
and open its bosom to the wind, and finally darkened down from all its
painted {164} vanities into the long low hull, familiar with the
over-flying foam; that has no other pride but in its daily duty and
victory; while, through all these changes, it gained continually in
grace, strength, audacity, and beauty, until at last it has reached
such a pitch of all these, that there is not, except the very loveliest
creatures of the living world, anything in nature so absolutely
notable, bewitching, and, according to its means and measure,
heart-occupying, as a well-handled ship under sail in a stormy day.
Any ship, from lowest to proudest, has due place in that architecture
of the sea; beautiful, not so much in this or that piece of it, as in
the unity of all, from cottage to cathedral, into their great buoyant
dynasty.  Yet, among them, the fisher-boat, corresponding to the
cottage on the land (only far more sublime than a cottage ever can be),
is on the whole the thing most venerable.  I doubt if ever academic
grove were half so fit for profitable meditation as the little strip of
shingle between two black, steep, overhanging sides of stranded
fishing-boats.  The clear, heavy water-edge of ocean rising and falling
close to their bows, in that unaccountable way which the sea has always
in calm weather, turning the pebbles over and over as if with a rake,
to look for something, and then stopping a moment down at the bottom of
the bank, and coming up again with a little run and clash, throwing a
foot's depth of salt crystal in an instant between you and the round
stone you were going to take in your hand; sighing, all the while, as
if it would infinitely rather be doing something else.  And the dark
flanks of the fishing-boats all aslope above, in their shining
quietness, hot in the morning sun, rusty and seamed with square patches
of {165} plank nailed over their rents; just rough enough to let the
little flat-footed fisher-children haul or twist themselves up to the
gunwales, and drop back again along some stray rope; just round enough
to remind us, in their broad and gradual curves, of the sweep of the
green surges they know so well, and of the hours when those old sides
of seared timber, all ashine with the sea, plunge and dip into the deep
green purity of the mounded waves more joyfully than a deer lies down
among the grass of spring, the soft white cloud of foam opening
momentarily at the bows, and fading or flying high into the breeze
where the sea-gulls toss and shriek,--the joy and beauty of it, all the
while, so mingled with the sense of unfathomable danger, and the human
effort and sorrow going on perpetually from age to age, waves rolling
for ever, and winds moaning for ever, and faithful hearts trusting and
sickening for ever, and brave lives dashed away about the rattling
beach like weeds for ever; and still at the helm of every lonely boat,
through starless night and hopeless dawn, His hand, who spread the
fisher's net over the dust of the Sidonian palaces, and gave into the
fisher's hand the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Next after the fishing-boat--which, as I said, in the architecture of
the sea represents the cottage, more especially the pastoral or
agricultural cottage, watchful over some pathless domain of moorland or
arable, as the fishing-boat swims humbly in the midst of the broad
green fields and hills of ocean, out of which it has to win such fruit
as they can give, and to compass with net or drag such flocks as it may
find,--next to this ocean-cottage ranks in interest, it seems to me,
the small, over-wrought, {166} under-crewed, ill-caulked merchant brig
or schooner; the kind of ship which first shows its couple of thin
masts over the low fields or marshes as we near any third-rate seaport;
and which is sure somewhere to stud the great space of glittering
water, seen from any sea-cliff, with its four or five square-set sails.
Of the larger and more polite tribes of merchant vessels, three-masted,
and passenger-carrying, I have nothing to say, feeling in general
little sympathy with people who want to go anywhere; nor caring much
about anything, which in the essence of it expresses a desire to get to
other sides of the world; but only for homely and stay-at-home ships,
that live their life and die their death about English rocks.  Neither
have I any interest in the higher branches of commerce, such as traffic
with spice islands, and porterage of painted tea-chests or carved
ivory; for all this seems to me to fall under the head of commerce of
the drawing-room; costly, but not venerable.  I respect in the merchant
service only those ships that carry coals, herrings, salt, timber,
iron, and such other commodities, and that have disagreeable odour, and
unwashed decks.  But there are few things more impressive to me than
one of these ships lying up against some lonely quay in a black
sea-fog, with the furrow traced under its tawny keel far in the harbour
slime.  The noble misery that there is in it, the might of its rent and
strained unseemliness, its wave-worn melancholy, resting there for a
little while in the comfortless ebb, unpitied, and claiming no pity;
still less honoured, least of all conscious of any claim to honour;
casting and craning by due balance whatever is in its hold up to the
pier, in quiet truth of time; spinning of wheel, and {167} slackening
of rope, and swinging of spade, in as accurate cadence as a waltz
music; one or two of its crew, perhaps, away forward, and a hungry boy
and yelping dog eagerly interested in something from which a blue dull
smoke rises out of pot or pan; but dark-browed and silent, their limbs
slack, like the ropes above them, entangled as they are in those
inextricable meshes about the patched knots and heaps of ill-reefed
sable sail.  What a majestic sense of service in all that languor! the
rest of human limbs and hearts, at utter need, not in sweet meadows or
soft air, but in harbour slime and biting fog; so drawing their breath
once more, to go out again, without lament, from between the two
skeletons of pier-heads, vocal with wash of under wave, into the grey
troughs of tumbling brine; there, as they can, with slacked rope, and
patched sail, and leaky hull, again to roll and stagger far away amidst
the wind and salt sleet, from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, winning
day by day their daily bread; and for last reward, when their old
hands, on some winter night, lose feeling along the frozen ropes, and
their old eyes miss mark of the lighthouse quenched in foam, the
so-long impossible Rest, that shall hunger no more, neither thirst any
more,--their eyes and mouths filled with the brown sea-sand.

(_Harbours of England_.)



{168}

WALTER PATER 1839-1894

THE CHILD IN THE HOUSE

As Florian Deleal walked, one hot afternoon, he overtook by the wayside
a poor aged man, and, as he seemed weary with the road, helped him on
with the burden which he carried, a certain distance.  And as the man
told his story, it chanced that he named the place, a little place in
the neighbourhood of a great city, where Florian had passed his
earliest years, but which he had never since seen, and, the story told,
went forward on his journey comforted.  And that night, like a reward
for his pity, a dream of that place came to Florian, a dream which did
for him the office of the finer sort of memory, bringing its object to
mind with a great clearness, yet, as sometimes happens in dreams,
raised a little above itself, and above ordinary retrospect.  The true
aspect of the place, especially of the house there in which he had
lived as a child, the fashion of its doors, its hearths, its windows,
the very scent upon the air of it, was with him in sleep for a season;
only, with tints more musically blent on wall and floor, and some finer
light and shadow running in and out along its curves and angles, and
with all its little carvings daintier.  He awoke with a sigh at the
thought of almost thirty years which lay between him and that place,
yet with a flutter of pleasure still within him at the fair light, as
if it were a smile, upon it.  And it happened that this accident of his
dream was just the thing needed for the beginning of a certain design
he {169} then had in view, the noting, namely, of some things in the
story of his spirit--in that process of brain-building by which we are,
each one of us, what we are.  With the image of the place so clear and
favourable upon him, he fell to thinking of himself therein, and how
his thoughts had grown up to him.  In that half-spiritualised house he
could watch the better, over again, the gradual expansion of the soul
which had come to be there--of which indeed, through the law which
makes the material objects about them so large an element in children's
lives, it had actually become a part; inward and outward being woven
through and through each other into one inextricable texture--half,
tint and trace and accident of homely colour and form, from the wood
and the bricks; half, mere soul-stuff, floated thither from who knows
how far.  In the house and garden of his dream he saw a child moving,
and could divide the main streams at least of the winds that had played
on him, and study so the first stage in that mental journey.

The _old house_, as when Florian talked of it afterwards he always
called it (as all children do, who can recollect a change of home, soon
enough but not too soon to mark a period in their lives) really was an
old house; and an element of French descent in its inmates--descent
from Watteau, the old court-painter, one of whose gallant pieces still
hung in one of the rooms--might explain, together with some other
things, a noticeable trimness and comely whiteness about everything
there--the curtains, the couches, the paint on the walls with which the
light and shadow played so delicately; might explain also the tolerance
of the great poplar in the garden, a tree {170} most often despised by
English people, but which French people love, having observed a certain
fresh way its leaves have of dealing with the wind, making it sound, in
never so slight a stirring of the air, like running water.

The old-fashioned, low wainscoting went round the rooms, and up the
staircase with carved balusters and shadowy angles, landing half-way up
at a broad window, with a swallow's nest below the sill, and the
blossom of an old pear-tree showing across it in late April, against
the blue, below which the perfumed juice of the find of fallen fruit in
autumn was so fresh.  At the next turning came the closet which held on
its deep shelves the best china.  Little angel faces and reedy flutings
stood out round the fire-place of the children's room.  And on the top
of the house, above the large attic, where the white mice ran in the
twilight--an infinite, unexplored wonderland of childish treasures,
glass beads, empty scent-bottles still sweet, thrum of coloured silks,
among its lumber--a flat space of roof, railed round, gave a view of
the neighbouring steeples; for the house, as I said, stood near a great
city, which sent up heavenwards, over the twisting weather-vanes, not
seldom, its beds of rolling cloud and smoke, touched with storm or
sunshine.  But the child of whom I am writing did not hate the fog
because of the crimson lights which fell from it sometimes upon the
chimneys, and the whites which gleamed through its openings, on summer
mornings, on turret or pavement.  For it is false to suppose that a
child's sense of beauty is dependent on any choiceness or special
fineness, in the objects which present themselves to it, though this
indeed comes to be the rule with most of us in later life; earlier, in
{171} some degree, we see inwardly, and the child finds for itself, and
with unstinted delight, a difference for the sense, in those whites and
reds through the smoke on very homely buildings, and in the gold of the
dandelions at the road-side, just beyond the houses, where not a
handful of earth is virgin and untouched, in the lack of better
ministries to its desire of beauty.

(_Miscellaneous Studies_.)



ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON 1850-1894

DIVING

Into the bay of Wick stretched the dark length of the unfinished
breakwater, in its cage of open staging; the travellers (like frames of
churches) over-plumbing all; and away at the extreme end, the divers
toiling unseen on the foundation.  On a platform of loose planks, the
assistants turned their air-mills; a stone might be swinging between wind
and water; underneath the swell ran gaily; and from time to time, a
mailed dragon with a window-glass snout came dripping up the
ladder. . . .  To go down in the diving-dress, that was my absorbing
fancy; and with the countenance of a certain handsome scamp of a diver,
Bob Bain by name, I gratified the whim.

It was grey harsh, easterly weather, the swell ran pretty high, and out
in the open there were "skipper's daughters," when I found myself at last
on the diver's platform, twenty pounds of lead upon each foot and my
{172} whole person swollen with ply and ply of woollen underclothing.
One moment, the salt wind was whistling round my night-capped head; the
next, I was crushed almost double under the weight of the helmet.  As
that intolerable burthen was laid upon me, I could have found it in my
heart (only for shame's sake) to cry off from the whole enterprise.  But
it was too late.  The attendants began to turn the hurdy-gurdy, and the
air to whistle through the tube; some one screwed in the barred window of
the vizor; and I was cut off in a moment from my fellow-men; standing
there in their midst, but quite divorced from intercourse: a creature
deaf and dumb, pathetically looking forth upon them from a climate of his
own.  Except that I could move and feel, I was like a man fallen in a
catalepsy.  But time was scarce given me to realise my isolation; the
weights were hung upon my back and breast, the signal rope was thrust
into my unresisting hand; and setting a twenty-pound foot upon the
ladder, I began ponderously to descend.

Some twenty rounds below the platform, twilight fell.  Looking up, I saw
a low green heaven mottled with vanishing bells of white; looking around,
except for the weedy spokes and shafts of the ladder, nothing but a green
gloaming, somewhat opaque but very restful and delicious.  Thirty rounds
lower, I stepped off on the _pierres perdues_ of the foundation; a dumb
helmeted figure took me by the hand, and made a gesture (as I read it) of
encouragement; and looking in at the creature's window, I beheld the face
of Bain.  There we were, hand to hand and (when it pleased us) eye to
eye; and either might have burst himself with shouting, and not a {173}
whisper come to his companion's hearing.  Each, in his own little world
of air, stood incommunicably separate.

Bob had told me ere this a little tale, a five minutes' drama at the
bottom of the sea, which at that moment possibly shot across my mind.  He
was down with another, settling a stone of the sea-wall.  They had it
well adjusted, Bob gave the signal, the scissors were slipped, the stone
set home; and it was time to turn to something else.  But still his
companion remained bowed over the block like a mourner on a tomb, or only
raised himself to make absurd contortions and mysterious signs unknown to
the vocabulary of the diver.  There, then, these two stood for a while,
like the dead and the living; till there flashed a fortunate thought into
Bob's mind, and he stooped, peered through the window of that other
world, and beheld the face of its inhabitant wet with streaming tears.
Ah! the man was in pain!  And Bob, glancing downward, saw what was the
trouble: the block had been lowered on the foot of that unfortunate--he
was caught alive at the bottom of the sea under fifteen tons of rock.

That two men should handle a stone so heavy, even swinging in the
scissors, may appear strange to the inexpert.  These must bear in mind
the great density of the water of the sea, and the surprising results of
transplantation to that medium.  To understand a little what these are,
and how a man's weight, so far from being an encumbrance, is the very
ground of his agility, was the chief lesson of my submarine experience.
The knowledge came upon me by degrees.  As I began to go forward with the
hand of my estranged companion, a world of tumbled stones {174} was
visible, pillared with the weedy uprights of the staging: overhead, a
flat roof of green: a little in front, the sea-wall, like an unfinished
rampart.  And presently in our upward progress, Bob motioned me to leap
upon a stone; I looked to see if he were possibly in earnest, and he only
signed to me the more imperiously.  Now the block stood six feet high; it
would have been quite a leap to me unencumbered; with the breast and back
weights, and the twenty pounds upon each foot, and the staggering load of
the helmet, the thing was out of reason.  I laughed aloud in my tomb; and
to prove to Bob how far he was astray, I gave a little impulse from my
toes.  Up I soared like a bird, my companion soaring at my side.  As high
as the stone, and then higher, I pursued my impotent and empty flight.
Even when the strong arm of Bob had checked my shoulders, my heels
continued their ascent; so that I blew out sideways like an autumn leaf,
and must be hauled in, hand over hand, as sailors haul in the slack of a
sail, and propped upon my feet again like an intoxicated sparrow.  Yet a
little higher on the foundation, and we began to be affected by the
bottom of the swell, running there like a strong breeze of wind.  Or so I
must suppose; for, safe in my cushion of air, I was conscious of no
impact; only swayed idly like a weed, and was now borne helplessly
abroad, and now swiftly--and yet with dreamlike gentleness--impelled
against my guide.  So does a child's balloon divagate upon the currents
of the air, and touch and slide off again from every obstacle.  So must
have ineffectually swung, so resented their inefficiency, those light
crowds that followed the {175} Star of Hades, and uttered exiguous voices
in the land beyond Cocytus.

There was something strangely exasperating, as well as strangely
wearying, in these uncommanded evolutions.  It is bitter to return to
infancy, to be supported, and directed, and perpetually set upon your
feet, by the hand of some one else.  The air besides, as it is supplied
to you by the busy millers on the platform, closes the eustachian tubes
and keeps the neophyte perpetually swallowing, till his throat is grown
so dry that he can swallow no longer.  And for all these
reasons--although I had a fine, dizzy, muddle-headed joy in my
surroundings, and longed, and tried, and always failed, to lay hands on
the fish that darted here and there about me, swift as humming-birds--yet
I fancy I was rather relieved than otherwise when Bain brought me back to
the ladder and signed to me to mount.  And there was one more experience
before me even then.  Of a sudden, my ascending head passed into the
trough of a swell.  Out of the green, I shot at once into a glory of
rosy, almost of sanguine light--the multitudinous seas incarnadined, the
heaven above a vault of crimson.  And then the glory faded into the hard,
ugly daylight of a Caithness autumn, with a low sky, a grey sea, and a
whistling wind.

(_Across the Plains_.)



{178}

NOTES


Page

1   Sir Mordred, left in charge of the kingdom during King Arthur's
absence oversea, treacherously raised a rebellion and made war on the
king when he returned.  It was in this war that Arthur presently met
his end.


5   The grants to which the Queen refers are the trade-monopolies
granted by her, which she now proceeded to abolish.


8   This account of Cleopatra's death (from North's translation of
Plutarch's _Life of Antony_) is closely followed by Shakespeare in
_Antony and Cleopatra_.


11  The basket of figs contained the asp, from the bite of which
Cleopatra died (_Antony and Cleopatra_, act V. scene ii.).


12  _The three first monarchies of the world_: these, according to
Ralegh's account of the world's history, are those of Assyria, Egypt,
and Persia.


13  _The good advice of Cineas_: when Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was
contemplating the invasion of Italy (B.C. 280) his friend and adviser
Cineas asked him what he would do when he was master of the world.
'Pyrrhus, finding his drift, answered pleasantly, that they would live
merrily: a thing (as Cineas then told him) that they presently might do
without any trouble, if he could be contented with his own' (Ralegh).

_discourse_ here means 'fame.'


16  The two kinds of law which Hooker (as he indicates at the beginning
of this extract) has already dealt with are: the law which binds a
man's private conscience, and the law which regulates his dealings with
the state (or 'politic society') of which he is a member.

_conceits_=conceptions.


18  _But that is a wisdom_: i.e. the wisdom of wise men, who know how
to make a proper use of their studies.

_distilled books_: i.e. books of selections and extracts.

_Abeunt studia, etc_.: 'studies pass into the character.'

_stond_= impediment.


19  _bowling_, i.e. playing bowls.

_schoolmen_: the theological and metaphysical writers of the middle
ages.

_Cymini sectores_: 'splitters of cumin-seed,' i.e. what we should call
'hair-splitters,' the seed of the cumin (a plant something like fennel)
being very minute.


20  _In the universality of the kind, etc_.: i.e. the race endures, the
individual perishes.


24  _Lycosthenes_, a German scholar of the sixteenth century, wrote a
commentary on a book of _Lives of eminent men_, a work attributed to
Pliny the younger (first century A.D.).


26  _The eighth climate_: i.e. England, which lies in the eighth of the
zones (or 'climates') into which the old geographers divided the globe.

_constellated_: i.e. born under a particular 'constellation' or
conjunction of planets (an astrological expression).

_Hydra_: the many-headed monster slain by Hercules.

_in casting account_=in doing sums.


27  _Doradoes_=rich men; a Spanish word, as in the phrase 'El dorado'
('the rich country').

_First, when a city, etc_.: the skeleton of this highly involved
sentence is as follows: 'First, when a city shall be as it were
besieged. . ., that then the people . . . should be disputing. . .,
argues first a singular good will. . ., and from thence derives itself
[i.e. flows on, proceeds] to a gallant bravery. . . .'


28  _as his was who when Rome, etc_.: this story is told by Livy, as an
instance of the undaunted spirit of the Romans during the Punic war.

_mewing_ properly means 'moulting.'  Milton apparently uses it in the
sense of 'renewing by the process of moulting.'


29  _engrossers_: wholesale buyers; here used metaphorically of those
who, by curtailing the liberty of book-printing, would 'buy up' the
stock of knowledge and dole it out as they thought fit.


30  _he who takes up arms for coat and conduct_: this refers to Charles
I's exaction of a tax for the clothing and conducting (i.e. conveying)
of troops.

_his four nobles of Danegelt_: a noble was a coin worth 6s. 8d.
Danegelt was originally the land-tax raised by Ethelred the Unready to
buy off the Danes; the word was afterwards used of any unpopular tax,
here of Charles I's imposition of ship-money, resisted by Hampden.

_In this unhappy battle_: the battle of Newbury, Sept. 20, 1643, in
which the advantage was on the whole with the King against the
Roundheads.


33  _vacant_: i.e. open, unclouded.

_addresses to his place_: i.e. to his office.  Falkland was Secretary
of State to Charles I.


40  _Phalaris_: a Sicilian tyrant of the sixth century B.C., famous for
his cruelties.  The Greek poet Stesichorus was a contemporary of his.


42  Samuel Pepys, from whose diary this extract (slightly abridged) is
taken, wrote solely for his own private amusement, troubling himself
very little about style or grammar.  He held a post in the Navy Office,
and his work did not often allow him to take a day in the country, such
as he here describes.


46  Defoe's _Captain Singleton_ is an imaginary account of the
adventures of certain pirates in different parts of the world.  In the
extract here given they are lying in Chinese waters.  'William,' one of
their crew, has gone ashore to trade with some Chinese merchants.


47  _thieves' pennyworths_: 'things sold at a robber's price,' i.e.
below their real value.


55  _composures_=compositions.


56  _the Great Mogul_: the Emperor of Hindostan.

_Muscovy_=Russia, of which Moscow was formerly the capital.


57  _the old philosopher_: Socrates; see Hooker's reference to the
anecdote on page 17 of this book.

_degree_: i.e. of latitude and longitude.


62  _whereas the ladies now walk, etc_.; this was written in 1711, when
ladies wore very large 'hoops,' or crinolines.


65  Tom Jones, the hero of Fielding's novel of that name, takes some
friends to see Hamlet, acted by Garrick.  Partridge, is a timorous
ex-schoolmaster, without experience of the theatre.


77  _redans_: projecting fortifications.

_the talus of the glacis_: the pitch of the outer slope of an earthwork.

_banquettes_: the raised way running along the inside of a rampart.


78  _chamade_: a signal given by drum, announcing surrender.


79  _a new reign_: George II died on October 25, 1760.


80  _a rag of quality_: Horace Walpole was a younger son of Sir Robert
Walpole (Earl of Orford).


81  _the Duke of Cumberland_: second son of George II.

_a dark brown adonis_: a kind of wig.

_the Duke of Newcastle_: the Prime Minister.


83  Goldsmith's _Citizen of the World_ consists of a series of letters
on European manners and customs, purporting to be written by a Chinaman
who has never before visited England.


86  _whatever accidentally becomes indisposed, etc_.; i.e. whoever
falls out with the authorities.


87  _There never was a period, etc_.: this was written in 1777, during
the American War of Independence.


90  'Puss' was Cowper's tame hare.


92  The initials at the foot of the letter are those of William Cowper
and Mary Unwin, a friend of the poet's.


99  _David Garrick_: the celebrated actor (1717-1779).


100  Frank Osbaldistone, the hero of Scott's novel _Rob Roy_, goes to
Yorkshire on a visit to his uncle, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, whom he
has never seen.  As he approaches his destination he falls in with a
young lady on horseback, who turns out to be Diana Vernon, a niece of
Sir Hildebrand's.  The period of the story is early in the eighteenth
century.


106  _The 'Festin de pierre'_: Moliere's play, in which the hero, Don
Juan, rashly invites the statue of a man he has murdered to dine with
him.  The invitation is unexpectedly accepted.


107  Coleridge, the poet, was an old friend and school-fellow of
Charles Lamb's.


109  An imaginary dialogue between the two philosophers.  Plato, born
427 B.C., was some years the older of the two.


111  Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, with whom Plato had lived for a
time, was overthrown and expelled by his subjects, and driven to
support himself as a schoolmaster at Corinth.

_The Demiurgos_: the Creator.


113  Mrs Elton, in Jane Austen's novel _Emma_, is the somewhat
meddlesome wife of the village parson.  Mr Knightley is a gentleman
living at Donwell, in the neighbourhood.  The rest of the people named
are other neighbours and friends, one of them, Mr Woodhouse, being an
old gentleman of valetudinarian habits.


118  Coleridge, as a young man (he was born in 1772), was for a time in
the habit of preaching in Unitarian chapels.


122  This is an extract from a letter of Keats to a friend, written in
1818.


124  _The Flight to Varennes_: by the middle of 1791 the French
Revolution had gone so far that the king and queen were practically
prisoners in the palace of the Tuileries at Paris.  They at last
determined to try to escape, and the arrangements for their flight were
carried out, in all possible secrecy, by Choiseul, an officer of the
French army, and Fersen, a young Swedish count.  Carlyle's vivid
account tells how the start was made; but the royal party were stopped
at Varennes, not far from the frontier, and brought back to Paris.

_the Carrousel_, or 'tilting-ground,' was an open space in front of the
Tuileries.


130  _Trial of the Seven Bishops_: James II, in 1687, issued a
'declaration of indulgence,' promising to suspend certain laws against
Roman Catholics.  His command that this declaration should be read in
all parish churches was resisted by seven bishops, who were accordingly
brought to trial for sedition.  The declaration was very unpopular in
the country, so that the result of the trial was anxiously awaited.


135  _Cimon_ was one of the Athenian commanders in the Persian war.  He
died in 449 B.C.


140  The scene of Hawthorne's novel, _The House of the Seven Gables_,
is laid in a small town in New England.


148  Mr Weston was in the plot with the highwayman to rob Dr Barnard.
He had himself tampered with his own pistols (in the stable at
Maidstone) so that they should miss fire.  Hence his peevishness with
Denis Duval, for so unexpectedly routing the thief.


153  Jane Eyre is governess to Mr Rochester's daughter, Adèle.  She
describes how he cross-questioned her with regard to her
accomplishments.


157  Thoreau lived for two years in a small hut which he built for
himself in a wood near Concord, in New England.  This extract is from
the account he wrote of his life there.


171  Stevenson came of a family of engineers, and he himself was
supposed to be preparing for the same profession.  But he already
wished to be a writer, and his interest in the harbour-works at Wick,
in Caithness, which he had been sent to study, was romantic rather than
practical.





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