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Title: Old Friends, Epistolary Parody
Author: Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcribed from the 1890 Longmans, Green, and Co. edition by David
Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

        [Picture: The Baron at St. Andrews.  From an old painting]



                               OLD FRIENDS


                      _ESSAYS IN EPISTOLARY PARODY_

                                * * * * *

                                    BY
                               ANDREW LANG

                                * * * * *

                                  LONDON

                        LONGMAN’S, GREEN, AND CO.
                    AND NEW YORK: 15 EAST 16th STREET
                                   1890

                          _All rights reserved_

                                * * * * *

                                PRINTED BY
                 SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE
                                  LONDON

                                * * * * *

                                   _TO_

                          _MISS RHODA BROUGHTON_



PREFACE


THE studies in this volume originally appeared in the “St. James’s
Gazette.”  Two, from a friendly hand, have been omitted here by the
author of the rest, as _non sua poma_.  One was by Mr. RICHARD SWIVELLER
to a boon companion and brother in the lyric Apollo; the other, though
purporting to have been addressed by Messrs. DOMBEY & SON to Mr. TOOTS,
is believed, on internal evidence, to have been composed by the patron of
the CHICKEN himself.  A few prefatory notes, an introductory essay, and
two letters have been added.

The portrait in the frontispiece, copied by Mr. T. Hodge from an old
painting in the Club at St. Andrews, is believed to represent the Baron
Bradwardine addressing himself to his ball.

                                                                     A. L.



CONTENTS

                                                                  PAGE
                                  I.
_From Mr. Clive Newcome to Mr. Arthur Pendennis_                    27
                                 II.
_From the Hon. Cecil Bertie to the Lady Guinevere_                  31
                                 III.
_From Mr. Redmond Barry to his Uncle_                               37
                                 IV.
_From Mrs. Gamp to Mrs. Prig_                                       42
                                  V.
_From Herodotus of Halicarnassus to Sophocles the                   49
Athenian_
                                 VI.
_From Mrs. Proudie to Mrs. Quiverful_                               55
_From Mrs. Quiverful to Mrs. Proudie_                               60
                                 VII.
_From Robert Surtees_, _Esq._, _of Mainsforth_, _to                 64
Jonathan Oldbuck_, _Esq._, _of Monkbarns_
_From Jonathan Oldbuck_, _Esq._, _of Monkbarns_, _to                72
Robert Surtees_, _Esq._, _Mainsforth_
_From Robert Surtees_, _Esq._, _to Jonathan Oldbuck_,               74
_Esq._
                                VIII.
_From Nicholas to the Editor of the_ ‘_St. James’s                  75
Gazette_’
                                 IX.
_From the Earl of Montrose to Captain Dugald Dalgetty_              82
_From Captain Dugald Dalgetty_, _of Drumthwacket_, _to the          84
Most Noble and Puissant Prince James_, _Earl of Montrose_,
_commanding the musters of the King in Scotland_
                                  X.
_From Mr. Lovelace to John Belford_, _Esq._                         90
                                 XI.
_From Miss Catherine Morland to Miss Eleanor Tilney_                97
                                 XII.
_From Montague Tigg_, _Esq._, _to Mr. David Crimp_                 102
_From Mr. David Crimp to Montague Tigg_, _Esq._                    112
                                XIII.
_From Christian to Piscator_                                       113
_From Piscator to Christian_                                       115
                                 XIV.
_From Truthful James to Mr. Bret Harte_                            120
                                 XV.
_From Professor Forth to the Rev. Mr. Casaubon_                    123
_From the Rev. Mr. Casaubon to James Forth_, _Esq._,               126
_Professor of Etruscan_, _Oxford_
_From Professor Forth to Rev. Mr. Casaubon_                        128
_From Mrs. Forth_, _Bradmore Road_, _Oxford_, _to David            128
Rivers_, _Esq._, _Milnthorpe_, _Yorkshire_
_From David Rivers_, _Esq._, _to Mrs. Forth_, _Oxford_             129
_From Mrs. Casaubon to William Ladislaw_, _Esq._,                  129
_Stratford-on-Avon_
_From William Ladislaw_, _Esq._, _to the Hon. Secretary of         131
the Literary and Philosophical Mechanics’ Institute_,
_Middlemarch_
_From William Ladislaw_, _Esq._, _to Mrs. Casaubon_                132
_From Mrs. Casaubon to Mrs. Forth_                                 132
                                 XVI.
_From Euphues to Sir Amyas Leigh_, _Kt._                           135
_From Sir Amyas Leigh to Euphues_                                  137
                                XVII.
_From Mr. Paul Rondelet to the Very Rev. Dean Maitland_            139
                                XVIII.
_From Harold Skimpole_, _Esq._, _to the Rev. Charles               144
Honeyman_, _M.A._
_From the Rev. Charles Honeyman to Harold Skimpole_,               149
_Esq._
                                 XIX.
_From Miss Harriet to M. Guy de Maupassant_                        153
                                 XX.
_From S. Gandish_, _Esq._, _to the_ ‘_Newcome                      156
Independent_’
_From Thomas Potts_, _Esq._, _of the_ ‘_Newcome                    164
Independent_,’ _to S. Gandish_, _Esq._
                                 XXI.
_From Monsieur Lecoq_, _Rue Jérusalem_, _Paris_, _to               167
Inspector Bucket_, _Scotland Yard_
_From Inspector Bucket to M. Lecoq_                                169
_From Count Fosco to Samuel Pickwick_, _Esq._,                     170
_G.C.M.P.C._, _Goswell Road_
_From Mr. Pickwick to the Count Fosco_                             172
_From Inspector Bucket to M. Lecoq_                                173
_From Mr. Pickwick to Mr. Perker_, _Solicitor_, _Gray’s            174
Inn_
_From Monsieur Lecoq to Inspector Bucket_                          175
                                XXII.
_From Mr. Allan Quatermain to Sir Henry Curtis_                    178
                                XXIII.
_From the Baron Bradwardine to Edward Waverley_, _Esq._,           189
_of Waverley Honour_
                               APPENDIX
_Note on Letter of Mr. Surtees to Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck_            197



FRIENDS IN FICTION


EVERY fancy which dwells much with the unborn and immortal characters of
Fiction must ask itself, Did the persons in contemporary novels never
meet?  In so little a world their paths must often have crossed, their
orbits must have intersected, though we hear nothing about the adventure
from the accredited narrators.  In historical fiction authors make their
people meet real men and women of history—Louis XI., Lazarus, Mary Queen
of Scots, General Webbe, Moses, the Man in the Iron Mask, Marie
Antoinette; the list is endless.  But novelists, in spite of Mr.
Thackeray’s advice to Alexandre Dumas, and of his own example in “Rebecca
and Rowena,” have not introduced each other’s characters.  Dumas never
pursued the fortunes of the Master of Ravenswood after he was picked up
by that coasting vessel in the Kelpie’s Flow.  Sometimes a meeting
between characters in novels by different hands looked all but
unavoidable.  “Pendennis” and “David Copperfield” came out simultaneously
in numbers, yet Pen never encountered Steerforth at the University, nor
did Warrington, in his life of journalism, jostle against a reporter
named David Copperfield.  One fears that the Major would have called
Steerforth a tiger, that Pen would have been very loftily condescending
to the nephew of Betsy Trotwood.  But Captain Costigan would scarcely
have refused to take a sip of Mr. Micawber’s punch, and I doubt, not that
Litimer would have conspired darkly with Morgan, the Major’s sinister
man.  Most of those delightful sets of old friends, the Dickens and
Thackeray people, might well have met, though they belonged to very
different worlds.  In older novels, too, it might easily have chanced
that Mr. Edward Waverley of Waverley Honour, came into contact with
Lieutenant Booth, or, after the Forty-five, with Thomas Jones, or, in
Scotland, Balmawhapple might have foregathered with Lieutenant
Lismahagow.  Might not even Jeanie Deans have crossed the path of Major
Lambert of the “Virginians,” and been helped on her way by that good man?
Assuredly Dugald Dalgetty in his wanderings in search of fights and
fortune may have crushed a cup or rattled a dicebox with four gallant
gentlemen of the King’s Mousquetaires.  It is agreeable to wonder what
all these very real people would have thought of their companions in the
region of Romance, and to guess how their natures would have acted and
reacted on each other.

This was the idea which suggested the following little essays in parody.
In making them the writer, though an assiduous and veteran novel reader,
had to recognise that after all he knew, on really intimate and friendly
terms, comparatively few people in the Paradise of Fiction.  Setting
aside the dramatic poets and their creations, the children of Molière and
Shakspeare, the reader of novels will find, may be, that his airy friends
are scarce so many as he deemed.  We all know Sancho and the Don, by
repute at least; we have all our memories of Gil Blas; Manon Lescaut does
not fade from the heart, nor her lover, the Chevalier des Grieux, from
the remembrance.  Our mental picture of Anna Karénine is fresh enough and
fair enough, but how few can most of us recall out of the myriad progeny
of George Sand!  Indiana, Valentine, Lélia, do you quite believe in them,
would you know them if you met them in the Paradise of Fiction?  Noun one
might recognise, but there is a haziness about La Petite Fadette.
Consuelo, let it be admitted, is not evanescent, oblivion scatters no
poppy over her; but Madame Sand’s later ladies, still more her men, are
easily lost in the forests of fancy.  Even their names with difficulty
return to us, and if we read the roll-call, would Horace and Jacques cry
_Adsum_ like the good Colonel?  There are living critics who have all Mr.
George Meredith’s heroines and heroes and oddities at their finger ends,
and yet forget that musical name, like the close of a rich hexameter,
Clare Doria Forey.  But this is a digression; it is perhaps admitted that
George Sand, so great a novelist, gave the world few characters who live
in and are dear to memory.  We can just fancy one of her dignified later
heroines, all self-renunciation and rural sentiment, preaching in vain to
that real woman, Emma Bovary.  _Her_ we know, her we remember, as we
remember few, comparatively, of Balzac’s thronging faces, from La Cousine
Bette to Séraphitus Séraphita.  Many of those are certain to live and
keep their hold, but it is by dint of long and elaborate preparation,
description, analysis.  A stranger intermeddleth not with them, though we
can fancy Lucien de Rubempré let loose in a country neighbourhood of
George Sand’s, and making sonnets and love to some rural _châtelaine_,
while Vautrin might stray among the ruffians of Gaboriau, a giant of
crime.  Among M. Zola’s people, however it may fare with others, I find
myself remembering few: the guilty Hippolytus of “La Curée,” the poor
girl in “La Fortune des Rougon,” the Abbé Mouret, the artist in
“L’Oeuvre,” and the half idiotic girl of the farm house, and Hélène in
“Un Page d’Amour.”  They are not amongst M. Zola’s most prominent
creations, and it must be some accident that makes them most memorable
and recognisable to one of his readers.

Probably we all notice that the characters of fiction who remain our
intimates, whose words come to our lips often, whose conduct in this or
that situation we could easily forecast, are the characters whom we met
when we were young.  We may be wrong in thinking them the best, the most
true and living of the unborn; perhaps they only seem so real because
they came fresh to fresh hearts and unworn memories.  This at least we
must allow for, when we are tempted to say about novelists, “The old are
better.”  It was we who, long ago, were young and better, better fitted
to enjoy and retain the pleasure of making new visionary acquaintances.
If this be so, what an argument it is in favour of reading the best books
first and earliest in youth!  Do the ladies who now find Scott slow, and
Miss Austen dull, and Dickens vulgar, and Thackeray prosy, and Fielding
and Richardson impossible, come to this belief because they began early
with the volumes of the circulating library?  Are their memories happily
stored with the words and deeds of modern fictitious romps, and
passionate governesses, and tremendous guardsmen with huge cigars?  Are
the people of—well, why mention names of living authors?—of whom you
will—are those as much to the young readers of 1890 as Quentin Durward,
and Colonel Newcome, and Sam Weller, and Becky Sharp, and Anne Elliot,
and Elizabeth Bennett, and Jane Eyre were to young readers of 1860?  It
may very well be so, and we seniors will not regret our choice, and the
young men and maids will be pleased enough with theirs.  Yet it is not
impossible that the old really are better, and do not gain all their life
and permanent charm merely from the unjaded memories and affections with
which we came to them long ago.

We shall never be certain, for even if we tried the experiment of
comparing, we are no longer good judges, our hearts are with our old
friends, whom we think deathless; their birth is far enough off in time,
but they will serve us for ours.

These friends, it has been said, are not such a very numerous company
after all.  Most of them are children of our own soil, their spirits were
made in England, or at least in Great Britain, or, perhaps, came of
English stock across the seas, like our dear old Leather Stocking and
Madam Hester Prynne.  Probably most of us are insular enough to confess
this limitation; even if we be so unpatriotic to read far more new French
than new English novels.  One may study M. Daudet, and not remember his
Sidonie as we remember Becky, nor his Petit Chose or his Jack as we
remember David Copperfield.  In the Paradise of Fiction are folk of all
nations and tongues; but the English (as Swedenborg saw them doing in his
vision of Heaven) keep very much to themselves.  The American visitors,
or some of them, disdain our old acquaintances, and associate with
Russian, Spanish, Lithuanian, Armenian heroes and heroines, conversing,
probably, in some sort of French.  Few of us “poor islanders” are so
cosmopolitan; we read foreign novels, and yet among all the brilliant
persons met there we remember but a few.  Most of my own foreign friends
in fiction wear love-locks and large boots, have rapiers at their side
which they are very ready to draw, are great trenchermen, mighty fine
drinkers, and somewhat gallant in their conduct to the sex.  There is
also a citizen or two from Furetière’s “Roman Bourgeois,” there is Manon,
aforesaid, and a company of picaroons, and an archbishop, and a lady
styled Marianne, and a newly ennobled Count of mysterious wealth, and two
grisettes, named Mimi and Musette, with their student-lovers.  M. Balzac
has introduced us to mystics, and murderers, and old maids, and doctors,
and adventurers, and poets, and a girl with golden eyes, and malefactors,
and bankrupts, and mad old collectors, peasants, _curés_, critics,
dreamers, debauchees; but all these are somewhat distant acquaintances,
many of them undesirable acquaintances.  In the great “Comédie Humaine”
have you a single real friend?  Some of Charles de Bernard’s folk are
more akin to us, such as “La Femme de Quarante Ans,” and the owner of the
hound Justinian, and that drunken artist in “Gerfaut.”  But an Englishman
is rather friendless, rather an alien and an outcast, in the society of
French fiction.  Monsieur de Camors is not of our _monde_, nor is the
Enfant du Siècle; indeed, perhaps good Monsieur Sylvestre Bonnard is as
sympathetic as anyone in that populous country of modern French romance.
Or do you know Fifi Vollard?

Something must be allowed for strange manners, for exotic ideas, and ways
not our own.  More perhaps is due to what, as Englishmen think, is the
lack of _humour_ in the most brilliant and witty of races.  We have
friends many in Molière, in Dumas, in Rabelais; but it is far more
difficult to be familiar, at ease, and happy in the circles to which
Madame Sand, M. Daudet, M. Flaubert, or M. Paul Bourget introduce us.  M.
Bourget’s old professor, in “Le Disciple,” we understand, but he does not
interest himself much in us, and to us he is rather a curiosity, a
“character,” than an intimate.  We are driven to the belief that humour,
with its loving and smiling observation, is necessary to the author who
would make his persons real and congenial, and, above all, friendly.  Now
humour is the quality which Dumas, Molière, and Rabelais possess
conspicuously among Frenchmen.  Montaigne has it too, and makes himself
dear to us, as the humorous novelists make their fancied people dear.
Without humour an author may draw characters distinct and clear, and
entertaining, and even real; but they want atmosphere, and with them we
are never intimate.  Mr. Alfred Austin says that “we know the hero or the
heroine in prose romance far more familiarly than we know the hero or
heroine in the poem or the drama.”  “Which of the serious characters in
Shakspeare’s plays are not indefinite and shadowy compared with Harry
Esmond or Maggie Tulliver?”  The _serious_ characters—they are seldom
very familiar or definite to us in any kind of literature.  One might
say, to be sure, that he knows Hotspur a good deal more intimately than
he knows Mr. Henry Esmond, and that he has a pretty definite idea of
Iago, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, as definite as he has (to follow Mr.
Austin) of Tito Melema.  But we cannot reckon Othello, or Macbeth, or
King Lear as _friends_; nay, we would rather drink with the honest
ancient.  All heroes and the heroines are usually too august, and also
too young, to be friendly with us; to be handled humorously by their
creators.  We know Cuddie Headrigg a great deal better than Henry Morton,
and Le Balafré better than Quentin Durward, and Dugald Dalgetty better
than anybody.  Humour it is that gives flesh and blood to the persons of
romance; makes Mr. Lenville real, while Nicholas Nickleby is only a
“walking gentleman.”  You cannot know Oliver Twist as you know the Dodger
and Charlie Bates.  If you met Edward Waverley you could scarce tell him
from another young officer of his time; but there would be no chance of
mistake about the Dugald creature, or Bailie Nicol Jarvie, or the Baron
Bradwardine, or Balmawhapple.

These ideas might be pushed too far; it might be said that only the
persons in “character parts”—more or less caricatures—are really vivid in
the recollection.  But Colonel Newcome is as real as Captain Costigan,
and George Warrington as the Chevalier Strong.  The hero is commonly too
much of a _beau ténébreux_ to be actual; Scott knew it well, and in one
of his unpublished letters frankly admits that his heroes are wooden, and
no favourites of his own.  He had to make them, as most authors make
their heroes, romantic, amorous, and serious; few of them have the life
of Roland Graeme, or even of Quentin Durward.  Ivanhoe might put on the
cloak of the Master of Ravenswood, the Master might wear the armour of
the Disinherited Knight, and the disguise would deceive the keenest.
Nay, Mr. Henry Esmond might pass for either, if arrayed in appropriate
costume.

To treat a hero with humour is difficult in romance, all but impossible.
Hence the heroes are rarely our friends, except in Fielding, or, now and
then, in Thackeray.  No book is so full of friends as the novel that has
no hero, but has Rawdon Crawley, Becky, Lady Jane, Mr. Jim Crawley,
MacMurdo, Mrs. Major O’Dowd, and the rest.  Even Dobbin is too much the
hero to be admitted among our most kindly acquaintances.  So unlucky are
heroes that we know Squire Western and the Philosopher Square and Parson
Adams far better than even that unheroic hero, Tom Jones, or Joseph
Andrews.  The humour of Fielding and his tenderness make Amelia and
Sophia far more sure of our hearts than, let us say, Rowena, or the Fair
Maid of Perth, or Flora MacIvor, or Rose Bradwardine.  It is humour that
makes Mr. Collins immortal, and Mrs. Bennett, and Emma; while a multitude
of nice girls in fiction, good girls too, are as dead as Queen Tiah.

Perhaps, after all, this theory explains why it is so very hard to recall
with vividness the persons of our later fiction.  Humour is not the
strong point of novelists to-day.  There may be amateurs who know Mr.
Howells’s characters as their elders know Sophia and Amelia and Catherine
Seyton—there may be.  To the old reader of romance, however earnestly he
keeps up with modern fiction, the salt of life seems often lacking in its
puppets or its persons.  Among the creations of living men and women I,
for one, feel that I have two friends at least across the sea, Master
Thomas Sawyer and his companion, Huckleberry Finn.  If these are not real
boys, then Dr. Farrar’s Eric _is_ a real boy; I cannot put it stronger.
There is a lady on those distant shores (for she never died of Roman
fever) who I may venture to believe is not unfriendly—Miss Annie P.
Miller—and there is a daughter of Mr. Silas Lapham whom one cannot
readily forget, and there is a beery journalist in a “Modern Instance,”
an acquaintance, a distant professional acquaintance, not a friend.  The
rest of the fictitious white population of the States are shadowy to
myself; I have often followed their fortunes with interest, but the
details slip my aging memory, which recalls Topsy and Uncle Remus.

To speak of new friends at home is a more delicate matter.  A man may
have an undue partiality for the airy children of his friends’ fancy.
Mr. Meredith has introduced me to an amiable Countess, to a strange
country girl named Rhoda, to a wonderful old Æschylean nurse, to some
genuine boys, to a wise Youth,—but that society grows as numerous as
brilliant.  Mr. Besant has made us friends with twins of literary and
artistic genius, with a very highly-cultured Fellow of Lothian, with a
Son of Vulcan, with a bevy of fair but rather indistinguishable damsels,
like a group of agreeable-looking girls at a dance.  But they are too
busy with their partners to be friendly.  We admire them, but they are
unconcerned with us.  In Mr. Black’s large family the Whaup seems most
congenial to some strangers; the name of one of Mr. Payn’s friendly lads
is Legion, and Miss Broughton’s dogs, with _their_ friend Sara, and Mrs.
Moberley, welcome the casual visitor with hospitable care.  Among the
kindly children of a later generation one may number a sailor man with a
wooden leg; a Highland gentleman, who, though landless, bears a king’s
name; an Irish chevalier who was out in the ’45; a Zulu chief who plied
the axe well; a private named Mulvaney in Her Majesty’s Indian army; an
elderly sportsman of agile imagination or unparalleled experience in
remote adventure. {20}  All these a person who had once encountered them
would recognise, perhaps, when he was fortunate enough to find himself in
their company.

There are children, too, of a dead author, an author seldom lauded by
critics, who, possibly, have as many living friends as any modern
characters can claim.  A very large company of Christian people are fond
of Lord Welter, Charles Ravenshoe, Flora and Gus, Lady Ascot, the boy who
played fives with a brass button, and a dozen others of Henry Kingsley’s
men, women, and children, whom we have laughed with often, and very
nearly cried with.  For Henry Kingsley had humour, and his children are
dear to us; while which of Charles Kingsley’s far more famous offspring
would be welcome—unless it were Salvation Yeo—if we met them all in the
Paradise of Fiction?

It is not very safe, in literature as in life, to speak well of our
friends or of their families.  Other readers, other people, have theirs,
whom we may not care much for, whom we may even chance never to have met.
In the following Letters from Old Friends (mainly reprinted from the “St.
James’s Gazette”), a few of the writers may, to some who glance at the
sketches, be unfamiliar.  When Dugald Dalgetty’s epistle on his duel with
Aramis was written, a man of letters proposed to write a reply from
Aramis in a certain journal.  But his Editor had never heard of any of
the gentlemen concerned in that affair of honour; had never heard of
Dugald, of Athos, Porthos, Aramis, nor D’Artagnan.  He had not been
introduced to them.  This little book will be fortunate far beyond its
deserts if it tempts a few readers to extend the circle of their
visionary acquaintances, of friends who, like Brahma, know not birth, nor
decay, “sleep, waking, nor trance.”

A theme more delicate and intimate than that of our Friends in fiction
awaits a more passionate writer than the present parodist.  Our _Loves_
in fiction are probably numerous, and our choice depends on age and
temperament.  In romance, if not in life, we can be in love with a number
of ladies at once.  It is probable that Beatrix Esmond has not fewer
knights than Marie Antoinette or Mary Stuart.  These ladies have been the
marks of scandal.  Unkind things are said of all three, but our hearts do
not believe the evil reports.  Sir Walter Scott refused to write a life
of Mary Stuart because his opinion was not on the popular side, nor on
the side of his feelings.  The reasoning and judicial faculties may be
convinced that Beatrix was “other than a guid ane,” but reason does not
touch the affections; we see her with the eyes of Harry Esmond, and, like
him, “remember a paragon.”  With similar lack of logic we believe that
Mrs. Wenham really had one of her headaches, and that Becky was guiltless
on a notorious occasion.  Bad or not so bad, what lady would we so gladly
meet as Mrs. Rawdon Crawley, whose kindness was so great that she even
condescended to be amusing to her own husband?  For a more serious and
life-long affection there are few heroines so satisfactory as Sophia
Western and Amelia Booth (_née_ Harris).  Never before nor since did a
man’s ideal put on flesh and blood—out of poetry, that is,—and apart from
the ladies of Shakspeare.  Fielding’s women have a manly honour,
tolerance, greatness, in addition to their tenderness and kindness.
Literature has not their peers, and life has never had many to compare
with them.  They are not “superior” like Romola, nor flighty and
destitute of taste like Maggie Tulliver; among Fielding’s crowd of
fribbles and sots and oafs they carry that pure moly of the Lady in
“Comus.”  It is curious, indeed, that men have drawn women more true and
charming than women themselves have invented, and the heroines of George
Eliot, of George Sand (except Consuelo), and even of Miss Austen, do not
subdue us like Di Vernon, nor win our sympathies like Rebecca of York.
They may please and charm for their hour, but they have not the
immortality of the first heroines of all—of Helen, or of that Alcmena who
makes even comedy grave when she enters, and even Plautus chivalrous.
Poetry, rather than prose fiction, is the proper home of our spiritual
mistresses; they dwell where Rosalind and Imogen are, with women perhaps
as unreal or as ideal as themselves, men’s lost loves and unforgotten, in
a Paradise apart.



I.


            _From Mr. Clive Newcome to Mr. Arthur Pendennis_.

Mr. Newcome, a married man and an exile at Boulogne, sends Mr. Arthur
Pendennis a poem on his undying affection for his cousin, Miss Ethel
Newcome.  He desires that it may be published in a journal with which Mr.
Pendennis is connected.  He adds a few remarks on his pictures for the
Academy.

                                                       Boulogne, March 28.

DEAR PEN,—I have finished Belisarius, and he has gone to face the
Academicians.  There is another little thing I sent—“Blondel” I call it—a
troubadour playing under a castle wall.  They have not much chance; but
there is always the little print-shop in Long Acre.  My sketches of
mail-coaches continue to please the public; they have raised the price to
a guinea.

Here we are not happier than when you visited us.  My poor wife is no
better.  It is something to have put my father out of hearing of her
mother’s tongue: that cannot cross the Channel.  Perhaps I am as well
here as in town.  There I always hope, I always fear to meet _her_ . . .
my cousin, you know.  I think I see her face under every bonnet.  God
knows I don’t go where she is likely to be met.  Oh, Pen, _hæret lethalis
arundo_; it is always right—the Latin Delectus!  Everything I see is full
of her, everything I do is done for her.  “Perhaps she’ll see it and know
the hand, and remember,” I think, even when I do the mail-coaches and the
milestones.  I used to draw for her at Brighton when she was a child.  My
sketches, my pictures, are always making that silent piteous appeal to
her, _Won’t you look at us_? _won’t you remember_?  I dare say she has
quite forgotten.  Here I send you a little set of rhymes; my picture of
Blondel and this old story brought them into my mind.  They are _gazés_,
as the drunk painter says in “Gerfaut;” they are veiled, a mystery.  I
know she’s not in a castle or a tower or a cloistered cell anywhere; she
is in Park Lane.  Don’t I read it in the “Morning Post?”  But I can’t, I
won’t, go and sing at the area-gate, you know.  Try if F. B. will put the
rhymes into the paper.  Do they take it in in Park Lane?  See whether you
can get me a guinea for these tears of mine: “Mes Larmes,” Pen, do you
remember?—Yours ever,

                                                                     C. N.

The verses are enclosed.

                              THE NEW BLONDEL.

                                _O ma Reine_!

   Although the Minstrel’s lost you long,
      Although for bread the Minstrel sings,
   Ah, still for you he pipes the song,
      And thrums upon the crazy strings!

   As Blondel sang by cot and hall,
      Through town and stream and forest passed,
   And found, at length, the dungeon wall,
      And freed the Lion-heart at last—

   So must your hapless minstrel fare,
      By hill and hollow violing;
   He flings a ditty on the air,
      He wonders if you hear him sing!

   For in some castle you must dwell
      Of this wide land he wanders through—
   In palace, tower, or cloistered cell—
      He knows not; but he sings to _you_!

   The wind may blow it to your ear,
      And you, perchance, may understand;
   But from your lattice, though you hear,
      He knows you will not wave a hand.

   Your eyes upon the page may fall,
      More like the page will miss your eyes;
   You may be listening after all,
      So goes he singing till he dies.



II.


           _From the Hon. Cecil Bertie to the Lady Guinevere_.

Mr. Cecil Tremayne, who served “Under Two Flags,” an officer in her
Majesty’s Guards, describes to the Lady Guinevere the circumstances of
his encounter with Miss Annie P. (or Daisy) Miller.  The incident has
been omitted by Ouida and Mr. Henry James.

YOU ask me, Camarada, what I think of the little American _donzella_,
Daisy Miller?  _Hesterna Rosa_, I may cry with the blind old bard of
Tusculum; or shall we say, _Hesterna Margaritæ_?  Yesterday’s Daisy,
yesterday’s Rose, were it of Pæstum, who values it to-day?  _Mais où sont
les neiges d’automne_?  However, yesterday—the day before yesterday,
rather—Miss Annie P. Miller was well enough.

We were smoking at the club windows on the Ponte Vecchio; Marmalada,
Giovanelli of the Bersaglieri, young Ponto of the K.O.B.’s, and
myself—men who never give a thought save to the gold embroidery of their
_pantoufles_ or the exquisite ebon laquer of their Russia leather
cricket-shoes.  Suddenly we heard a clatter in the streets.  The
riderless chargers of the Bersaglieri were racing down the Santo Croce,
and just turning, with a swing and shriek of clattering spurs, into the
Maremma.  In the midst of the street, under our very window, was a little
thing like a butterfly, with _yeux de pervenche_.  You remember,
Camarada, Voltaire’s love of the _pervenche_; we have plucked it, have we
not? in his garden of Les Charmettes.  _Nous n’irons plus aux bois_!
_Basta_!

But to return.  There she stood, terror-stricken, petrified, like her who
of old turned her back on Zoar and beheld the incandescent hurricane of
hail smite the City of the Plain!  She was dressed in white muslin, _joli
comme un cœur_, with a myriad frills and flounces and knots of
pale-coloured ribbon.  Open-eyed, open-mouthed, she stared at the tide of
foaming steeds, like a maiden martyr gazing at the on-rushing waves of
ocean!  “Caramba!” said Marmalada, “voilà une jeune fille pas trop bien
gardée!”  Giovanelli turned pale, and, muttering _Corpo di Bacco_,
quaffed a _carafon_ of green Chartreuse, holding at least a quart, which
stood by him in its native pewter.  Young Ponto merely muttered, “Egad!”
I leaped through the open window and landed at her feet.

The racing steeds were within ten yards of us.  Calmly I cast my eye over
their points.  Far the fleetest, though he did not hold the lead, was
Marmalada’s charger, the Atys gelding, by Celerima out of Sac de Nuit.
With one wave of my arm I had placed her on his crupper, and, with the
same action, swung myself into the saddle.  Then, in a flash and thunder
of flying horses, we swept like tawny lightning down the Pincian.  The
last words I heard from the club window, through the heliotrope-scented
air, were “Thirty to one on Atys, half only if declared.”  They were
wagering on our lives; the slang of the paddock was on their lips.

Onward, downward, we sped, the fair stranger lifeless in my arms.  Past
scarlet cardinals in mufti, past brilliant έτᾶιραὶ like those who swayed
the City of the Violet Crown; past _pifferari_ dancing in front of many
an _albergo_; through the Ghetto with its marmorine palaces, over the
Fountain of Trevi, across the Cascine, down the streets of the Vatican we
flew among yells of “Owner’s up,” “The gelding wins, hard held,” from the
excited _bourgeoisie_.  Heaven and earth swam before my eyes as we
reached the Pons Sublicia, and heard the tawny waters of Tiber swaying to
the sea.

_The Pons Sublicia was up_!

With an oath of despair, for life is sweet, I rammed my persuaders into
Atys, caught him by the head, and sent him straight at the flooded Tiber!

“_Va-t-en donc_, _espèce de type_!” said the girl on my saddle-bow,
finding her tongue at last.  Fear, or girlish modesty, had hitherto kept
her silent.

Then Atys rose on his fetlocks!  Despite his double burden, the good
steed meant to have it.  He deemed, perchance, he was with the Quorn or
the Baron’s.  He rose; he sprang.  The deep yellow water, cold in the
moon’s rays, with the farthest bank but a chill grey line in the mist,
lay beneath us!  A moment that seemed an eternity!  Then we landed on the
far-off further bank, and for the first time I could take a pull at his
head.  I turned him on the river’s brim, and leaped him back again.

The runaway was now as tame as a driven deer in Richmond Park.

Well, Camarada, the adventure is over.  She was grateful, of course.
These _pervenche_ eyes were suffused with a dewy radiance.

“You can’t call,” she said, “for you haven’t been introduced, and Mrs.
Walker says we must be more exclusive.  I’m dying to be exclusive; but
I’m very much obliged to you, and so will mother be.  Let’s see.  I’ll be
at the Colosseum to-morrow night, about ten.  I’m bound to see the
Colosseum, by moonlight.  Good-bye;” and she shook her pale parasol at
me, and fluttered away.

Ah, Camarada, shall I be there?  _Que scais-je_?  Well, ’tis time to go
to the dance at the Holy Father’s.  Adieu, Carissima.—Tout à vous,

                                                                      CIS.



III.


Mr. Redmond Barry (better known as Barry Lyndon) tells his uncle the
story of a singular encounter at Berlin with Mr. Alan Stuart, called Alan
Breck, and well known as the companion of Mr. David Balfour in many
adventures.  Mr. Barry, at this time, was in the pay of Herr Potzdorff,
of his Prussian Majesty’s Police, and was the associate of the Chevalier,
his kinsman, in the pursuit of fortune.

                                                    Berlin, April 1, 1748.

UNCLE BARRY,—I dictate to Pippi, my right hand being wounded, and that by
no common accident.  Going down the Linden Strasse yesterday, I
encountered a mob; and, being curious in Potzdorff’s interest, penetrated
to the kernel of it.  There I found two men of my old regiment—Kurz and
another—at words with a small, dark, nimble fellow, who carried bright
and dancing eyes in a pock-marked face.  He had his iron drawn, a heavy
box-handled cut-and-thrust blade, and seemed ready to fall at once on the
pair that had been jeering him for his strange speech.

“Who is this, lads?” I asked.

“Ein Engländer,” answered they.

“No Englishman,” says he, in a curious accent not unlike our brogue, “but
a plain gentleman, though he bears a king’s name and hath Alan Breck to
his by-name.”

“Come, come,” says I in German, “let the gentleman go his way; he is my
own countryman.”  This was true enough for them; and you should have seen
the Highlander’s eyes flash, and grow dim again.

I took his arm, for Potzdorff will expect me to know all about the
stranger, and marched him down to the _Drei Könige_.

“I am your host, sir; what do you call for, Mr. Stuart of —?” said I,
knowing there is never a Scot but has the name of his kailyard tacked to
his own.

“A King’s name is good enough for me; I bear it plain.  Mr. —?” said he,
reddening.

“They call me the Chevalier Barry, of Ballybarry.”

“I am in the better company, sir,” quoth he, with a grand bow.

When a bowl of punch was brought he takes off his hat, and drinks, very
solemnly, “To the King!”

“Over the water?” I asked.

“Nay, sir, on _this_ side,” he said; and I smoked the Jacobite.  But to
shorten the story, which amuses my tedium but may beget it in you, I
asked him if he knew the cards.

“I’m just daft when I get to the cartes,” he answered in his brogue, and
we fell to piquet.  Now my Scot wore a very fine coat, and on the same
very large smooth silver buttons, well burnished.  Therefore, perceiving
such an advantage as a skilled player may enjoy, I let him win a little
to whet his appetite, but presently used his buttons as a mirror, wherein
I readily detected the strength of the cards he held.  Before attempting
this artifice, I had solemnly turned my chair round thrice.

“You have changed the luck, sir,” says Mr. Breck, or Stuart, presently;
and, rising with a mighty grave air, he turned his coat and put it on
inside out.

“Sir,” says I, “what am I to understand by this conduct?”

“What for should not I turn my coat, for luck, if you turn your chair?”
says he.  “But if you are not preceesely satisfied, I will be proud to
step outside with you.”

I answered that we were not in a Highland wilderness, and that if no
malice were meant no affront was taken.  We continued at the game till,
though deprived of my mirror, I had won some 500 Fredericks.  On this he
rose, saying, “Sir, in this purse you will find the exact sum that I am
owing you, and I will call for my empty sporran the morn.  It was Rob
Roy’s before it was mine.”  Therewith he laid on the table a sort of
goatskin pouch, such as Highlanders gird about their loins, and marched
forth.

I set to work at opening his pouch, that was fastened by a spring and
button, seeming easy enough of access.  But I had scarce pressed the
button when lo! a flash, a pistol shot, and my right hand is grazed with
a bullet that flew out of the bag.  This Highlander of the Devil had some
mechanism in his purse that discharged a small steel pistol when unwarily
opened.  My hand is but slightly wounded, yet I cannot hold my sword, nor
hath my search brought me any news of Alan Breck.  He has vanished like
an emissary of the Devil or the Pretender, as I doubt not he is.  But I
will have his blood, if he is not one of their Scotch fairies.—Your
loving Nephew,

REDMOND BARRY, OF BALLYBARRY.

P.S.—The Fredericks were in the bag, all told.



IV.


                      _From Mrs. Gamp to Mrs. Prig_.

Mrs. Gamp nurses an old friend who is under a singular delusion.

                                                                Todgers’s.

MY PRECIOUS BETSY,—Which when last we parted it was not as I could wish,
but bearing malice in our hearts.  But, as often and often Mrs. Harris
have said it before me, with the tears in her angel eyes—one of them
having a slight cast from an accident with the moderator lamp, Harris
being quick in his temper—often and often have she said to me: “Ah,
Sairey, the quarrels of friends is affection’s best restorer.”  And good
reason to know it she have, with a husband as was ever true, and never
gave her no cause to form the wish to pizen them as has good looks, but,
for I will not deceive you, ready with his hands.

And so, between you and me may it be, Betsy Prig, as was constant
partners afore them Chuzzlewidges, and Nadgetts, and Lewsomses, and
Tiggses, and Chuffeys got that mixed and that aggerawating that to
remember who of them poisoned which or for why in a slime draught, it
makes my poor head go round, nor could such be soothing to the temper.
So let bygones be bygones between us.  For, wanting of my Betsy, I am now
in a nice state of confusion, with a patient as was well beknown to me in
younger days, when there wasn’t so much of a shadder on this mortial
vial, {43} meaning Mr. Pecksniff.  Which you will not forget of him, by
reason of his daughter as married that Jonadge, and his collars as mints
of money must have gone to the getting them up; but is now at Todgers’s,
and confused in his poor mind, thinking hisself Somebody else high in
Parliament.  And wonder at it I do not, them Chuzzlewidges and Chuffeys
being that distracting, and ever proving to be some other pusson in
disguise, as would confuge a calkilating boy.

So being applied to for to nightly him, there in that very sick room—for
why should I deceive you?—I meets the daily nuss; and, Betsy, I was that
overcome to have such a pardner propoged to me as I had to ring and ask
the young woman immediate for a small glass of their oldest rum, being
what I am not accustomed to but having had a turn.  For, will you believe
it, she was not a widger woman as has experience in the ways of men, but
a huzzy in a bragian cap like them the Nuns wear in “Mariar Monk,” as you
may have seen it in the small sweet-shops, at a penny.  And her hands as
white as her papistry cap, and she a turning up of her nose at what I had
took, and a presuming to give _me_ advice about nussing, as St.
Pancradge’s Churchyard wouldn’t hold them I’ve seen comfortable to their
long homes, and no complaints made but ever the highest satigefaction.
So I ups and gives her a bit of my mind; and Mrs. Todgers coming down,
“It’s she goes or me,” says I, “for never will Sairey Gamp nuss, sick or
monthly, with a pardner as has not confidence in me, nor I in her, but
contrary.”  Then _she_ says she’ll go and speak to the doctor about it;
and out she tramps with her nose in the air, and sneezing most awful, not
being accustomed to that which I take, find it strengthening, but as it
have been a cause of sorrow and strife let it be nameless between you and
me.  For to have the name “Snuffey” brought forward it is what the heart
can forgive, but never forget in this valley of the shaddock.

I have nussed a many lunacies, Betsy, and in a general way am dispoged to
humour them rather than set them right up agin the fire when fractious.
But this Pecksniff is the tryingest creature; he having got it in his
mind as he is Somebody very high, and talking about the House, and Bills,
and clauses, and the “sacred cause of Universal Anarchy,” for such was
his Bible language, though meaning to me no more than the babe unborn.
Whereby Mrs. Harris she have often said to me, “What _do_ them blessed
infants occupy their little minds with afore they are called into that
condition where, unless changed at nuss, Providence have appointed them?”
And many a time have I said, “Seek not, Mrs. Harris, to diskiver; for we
know not wot’s hidden in our own hearts, and the torters of the
Imposition should not make me diwulge it.”

But Pecksniff is that aggravating as I can hardly heed the words I now
put on the paper.

“Some of my birds have left me,” says he, “for the stranger’s breast, and
one have took wing for the Government benches. {47}  But I have ever
sacrificed my country’s happiness to my own, and I will not begin to
regulate my life by other rules of conduct now.  I know the purity of my
own motives, and while my Merry, my little Sir William, playful warbler,
prattles under this patriarchal wing, and my Cherry, my darling Morley,
supports the old man’s tottering walk, I can do without my Goschy, my
dears, I can do without him.”  And wants to borrer _my_ umbreller for
them “to rally round,” the bragian idgiot!

A chattering creature he always were, and will be; but, Betsy, I have
this wery momink fixed him up with a shoehorn in his mouth, as was lying
round providential, and the strings of my bonnet, and the last word as he
will say this blessed night was some lunacy about “denouncing the
clogeure,” as won’t give much more trouble now.

So having rung for a shilling’s worth of gin-and-water warm, and wishing
you was here to take another of the same, I puts my lips to it, and
drinks to one as was my frequent pardner in this mortial vale, and am, as
in old days, my Betsy’s own

                                                              SAIREY GAMP.



V.


       _From Herodotus of Halicarnassus to Sophocles the Athenian_.

Herodotus describes, in a letter to his friend Sophocles, a curious
encounter with a mariner just returned from unknown parts of Africa.

TO Sophocles, the Athenian, greeting.  Yesterday, as I was going down to
the market-place of Naucratis, I met Nicaretê, who of all the _hetairai_
in this place is the most beautiful.  Now, the _hetairai_ of Naucratis
are wont somehow to be exceedingly fair, beyond all women whom we know.
She had with her a certain Phocæan mariner, who was but now returned from
a voyage to those parts of Africa which lie below Arabia; and she saluted
me courteously, as knowing that it is my wont to seek out and inquire the
tidings of all men who have intelligence concerning the ends of the
earth.

“Hail to thee, Nicaretê,” said I; “verily thou art this morning as lovely
as the dawn, or as the beautiful Rhodopis that died ere thou wert born to
us through the favour of Aphrodite.” {50}

Now this Rhodopis was she who built, they say, the Pyramid of Mycerinus:
wherein they speak not truly but falsely, for Rhodopis lived long after
the kings who built the Pyramids.

“Rhodopis died not, O Herodotus,” said Nicaretê, “but is yet living, and
as fair as ever she was; and he who is now my lover, even this Phanes of
Phocæa, hath lately beheld her.”

Then she seemed to me to be jesting, like that scribe who told me of
Krôphi and Môphi; for Rhodopis lived in the days of King Amasis and of
Sappho the minstrel, and was beloved by Charaxus, the brother of Sappho,
wherefore Sappho reviled him in a song.  How then could Rhodopis, who
flourished more than a hundred years before my time, be living yet?

While I was considering these things they led me into the booth of one
that sold wine; and when Nicaretê had set garlands of roses on our heads,
Phanes began and told me what I now tell thee but whether speaking truly
or falsely I know not.  He said that being on a voyage to Punt (for so
the Egyptians call that part of Arabia), he was driven by a north wind
for many days, and at last landed in the mouth of a certain river where
were many sea-fowl and water-birds.  And thereby is a rock, no common
one, but fashioned into the likeness of the head of an Ethiopian.  There
he said that the people of that country found him, namely the Amagardoi,
and carried him to their village.  They have this peculiar to themselves,
and unlike all other peoples whom we know, that the woman asks the man in
marriage.  They then, when they have kissed each other, are man and wife
wedded.  And they derive their names from the mother; wherein they agree
with the Lycians, whether being a colony of the Lycians, or the Lycians a
colony of theirs, Phanes could not give me to understand.  But, whereas
they are black and the Lycians are white, I rather believe that one of
them has learned this custom from the other; for anything might happen in
the past of time.

The Amagardoi have also this custom, such as we know of none other
people; that they slay strangers by crowning them with amphoræ, having
made them red-hot.  Now, having taken Phanes, they were about to crown
him on this wise, when there appeared among them a veiled woman, very
tall and goodly, whom they conceive to be a goddess and worship.  By her
was Phanes delivered out of their hands; and “she kept him in her hollow
caves having a desire that he should be her lover,” as Homer says in the
Odyssey, if the Odyssey be Homer’s.  And Phanes reports of her that she
is the most beautiful woman in the world, but of her coming thither,
whence she came or when, she would tell him nothing.  But he swore to me,
by him who is buried at Thebes (and whose name in such a matter as this
it is not holy for me to utter), that this woman was no other than
Rhodopis the Thracian.  For there is a portrait of Rhodopis in the temple
of Aphrodite in Naucratis, and, knowing this portrait well, Phanes
recognised by it that the woman was Rhodopis. {53}  Therefore Rhodopis is
yet living, being now about one hundred and fifty years of age.  And
Phanes added that there is in the country of the Amagardoi a fire; and
whoso enters into that fire does not die, but is “without age and
immortal,” as Homer says concerning the horses of Peleus.  Now, I would
have deemed that he was making a mock of that sacred story which he knows
who has been initiated into the mysteries of Demeter at Eleusis.  But he
and Nicaretê are about to sail together without delay to the country of
the Amagardoi, believing that there they will enter the fire and become
immortal.  Yet methinks that Rhodopis will not look lovingly on Nicaretê,
when they meet in that land, nor Nicaretê on Rhodopis.  Nay, belike the
amphora will be made hot for one or the other.

Such, howbeit, was the story of Phanes the Phocæan, whether he spoke
falsely or truly.  The God be with thee.

                                                                HERODOTUS.



VI.


Mrs. Proudie, wife of the Bishop of Barchester, admits Mrs. Quiverful
into her confidence.  Mrs. Proudie first takes pleasure in a new and
pious acquaintance, Lady Crawley (_née_ Sharp), but afterwards discovers
the true character of this insidious and dangerous woman.

                                          The Palace, Barchester, July 17.

DEAR LETITIA,—The appearance of mumps in a small family of fourteen like
yours, is indeed one of those dispensations which teach us how mysterious
are the ways!  But I need not tell you to be most careful about cold,
which greatly adds to the virulence of the complaint, and it is difficult
for you, in lodgings at Brighton, to keep a watchful eye on so many at
once.  May this discipline be blessed to you, and to the dear children!

I have much to tell you of Barchester.  The light worldly tone of some
families in this place (I will not mention the Grantleys nor the Arabins)
has been checked, I hope, by one of those accidents which surely, surely,
are not to be considered accidents alone!  You know how strong is my
objection to fancy fairs or bazaars, too often rather scenes of giddy
merriment than exhibitions of genuine Christian feeling.  Yet by means of
one of these (how strangely are things ordered!) a happy change, I trust,
is being brought about in our midst.

You have heard of Hogglestock, though you may never have visited that
benighted and outlying parish.  Indeed, I was never there myself till
last week, when Tom felt it his duty (though woefully misdirected, to my
mind, but we are fallible creatures) to go and open a bazaar in that
place for the restoration of the church. {56}  I accompanied him; for I
trusted that an opportunity might be made for me, and that I might
especially bear in on the mind of the rector’s wife the absolute
necessity of Sabbath-day schools.  The rector is a Mr. Crawley.  He led
us on our arrival into a scene of red cloth, wax dolls most indelicately
displayed, cushions, antimacassars, and similar _idols_.  The Bishop’s
speech (I composed it myself) you will read in the “Barchester Guardian,”
which I send you.  While approving the _end_ he rebuked the _means_, and
took the opportunity to read a much-needed lesson on _Jesuitry_ and the
dangers of worldliness in high ecclesiastical places.  Let those wince
who feel a sense of their own backslidings.  When the Bishop had ended, I
determined to walk once through the bazaar just to make sure that there
were no lotteries nor games of chance—a desecration of our _mites_ now
too, too frequent.  As I was returning through the throng, alas! of
_pleasure-seekers_, and wishing that I might scourge them out of the
schoolroom, Mr. Crawley met me, in company with a lady who desired, he
said, to be presented to me.  He is a distant relation of the well-known
county family, the Crawleys, of Queen’s Crawley; the present baronet, Sir
Rawdon, having recently married Miss Jane Dobbin, daughter of Colonel
Dobbin.  The lady who was now introduced to me, and whose _still
pleasing_ face wears an aspect of humble devoutness, was Lady Crawley,
mother of the present baronet.

“Madam,” she said, “I came here in the belief that I was discharging a
pious duty.  My life, alas! has been one of sore trial, and I only try to
do good.” . . .

I was going to say that I had seen her name in a score of charity lists,
and knew her as a patroness of the Destitute Orange-Girls, the Neglected
Washerwomen, and the Distressed Muffin-Men.  But she shook her head; and
then, looking up at me with eyes like a _saint’s_ (if our _privileges_
permitted us to believe in these fabulous beings of the Romish
superstition), she said, “Ah, no!  I have always been in the wrong.  The
beautiful address of the Bishop of Barchester has awakened me, and
convinced me that the _path_ does not lie through Fancy Fairs.  I have to
begin again.  Who shall guide me?”

I trust I am not subject to vanity; but the news that I (for I composed
the Charge, as I may almost call it) had been the instrument of so
affecting a change did not fail to please me.  I thanked Lady Crawley,
and expressed my deep interest in her altered convictions.  Finally she
promised to come on a visit to us at the Palace (she usually resides at
Bath or Cheltenham), and has been three days an inmate.  Never have I met
a more singular example of what the Truth can do for one who, as she
admits, was long ago a worldling.  “I have seen the vanity of it,” she
tells me, with tears in her eyes; and from her example I expect an
_awakening_ among our worldlings.  They will follow the path of a
_titled_ person.  Tom is much interested in his _convert_, as he thinks
her.  Not to _me_ be the glory!—Your assured friend,

                                                       EMILY BARNUM. {60a}

                                * * * * *

                  _From Mrs. Proudie to Mrs. Quiverful_.

                                          The Palace, Barchester, July 22.

DEAR LETITIA,—My hand trembles so with indignation that I can hardly
direct my pen.  Pray _burn_ my letter of July 17 at once, if you have not
already done so. {60b}  We have been _deceived_ in that woman!  She is a
brazenfaced, painted daughter of Heth, and has no more right to the title
of Lady Crawley than _you_ have.  I am told that she was at one time the
paramour of Lord Steyne, and that her conduct made it impossible for her
husband to live with her.  And this is the woman who has come within the
gates of the palace of a Christian prelate; nay, more, who has secured
his signature to a cheque of very considerable value.  I think my
suspicions were first excited by the disappearance of the brandy in the
liqueur-stand, and by meeting “her ladyship’s” maid carrying the bottle
up to her room!  I spoke to the Bishop, but he would not listen to
me—quite unlike himself; and even turned on me in her defence.

Entering his study hastily on the following day, I found her kneeling at
his feet, her yellow hair (dyed, no doubt, for she must be sixty if she
is a day) about her shoulders, doing what do you suppose—?  _Confessing
herself to the Bishop of Barchester_!

And he was listening to her “confession” with an appearance of interest,
and with one of her hands in his.

“Serpent!” I said—and her green eyes glittered just like one—“unhand his
lordship!”  She gave a little laugh and said, “Dear Mrs. Proudie, do not
let me monopolise the Bishop’s time.  Perhaps I am in the way?”

“And you shall go out of it,” I said.  “You are one of those who cause
Israel to sin.  You bring the Confessional, for it is no better, into the
house of a Prelate of the Protestant Church of England!”  Would you
believe that she had the assurance to answer me with a passage from the
Prayer Book, which I have often felt certain must be _mistranslated_?

“Pack, madam,” said I; “we know who can quote Scripture for his own
ends!”

And I pretty soon saw her out of the house, though _not in time_; for the
infatuated Bishop had already given her a cheque for a sum which I cannot
bring myself to tell you, for the Funds of the Destitute Orange-Girls.
Not a penny of it will they ever see; nor do I approve of such
ostentatious alms in any case.—Yours in haste,

                                                             EMILY BARNUM.

P.S.—I have heard from Lady Courtney all her history.  It is
_abominable_.



VII.


  _From Robert Surtees_, _Esq._, _of Mainsforth_, _to Jonathan Oldbuck_,
                         _Esq._, _of Monkbarns_.

It is well known that Mr. Surtees of Mainsforth not only palmed off on
Sir Waiter Scott several ballads of his own manufacture, but also
invented and pretended to have found in a document (since burned) the
story of the duel with the spectre knight which occurs in Marmion.  In
the following letter this ingenious antiquary plays the same game with
Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck, of Monkbarns, the celebrated antiquary.  A note on
the subject is published in the Appendix.

                                                  Mainsforth, May 9, 1815.

DEAR SIR,—I am something of the Mussulman’s humour, as you know, and
never willingly pass by a scrap of printed paper, however it comes in my
way.  I cannot, indeed, like the “Spectator,” “mention a paper kite from
which I have received great improvement,” nor “a hat-case which I would
not exchange for all the beavers in Great Britain.”  It is in a less
unlikely place that I have made a little discovery which will interest
you, I hope; for as it chances, not only has a lost ballad been at least
partially recovered, but . . . however, I will keep your learned patience
on the tenterhooks for a while.

Business taking me to Newcastle of late, I found myself in Bell’s little
shop on the quay. {65}  You know the man by report at least; he is more a
collector than a bookseller, though poor; and I verily believe that he
would sell all his children—Douglas Bell, Percy Bell, Hobbie Bell, and
Kinmont Bell—“for a song.”  Ballads are his foible, and he can hardly be
made to part with one of the broadsides in his broken portfolios.  Well,
_semel insanivimus omnes_ (by the way, did it ever strike you that the
Roman “cribbed” that line, as the vulgar say, from an epigram in the
Anthology?), and you and I will scarce throw the first stone at the poor
man’s folly.  However, I am delaying your natural eagerness.  So now for
the story of my great discovery.  As our friend Bell would scarce let his
dusty broadsheet lumber out of his hands, I was turning to leave him in
no very good humour, when I noticed a small and rather long octavo, in
dirty and crumpled vellum, lying on the top of a heap of rubbish,
Boston’s “Crook in the Lot,” “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” and other
chap-book trumpery.  I do not know what good angel that watches over us
collectors made me take up the thing, which I found to be nothing less
than a copy of old Guillaume Coquillart.  It was not Galliot du Pré’s
edition, in _lettres rondes_, but, still more precious had it only been
complete, an example in black letter.  I give you the whole title.  First
the motto, in the frieze of an architectural design, ΑΓΑΘΗ ΤΥΧΗ.  Then,
in small capitals—

    LES ŒUVRES
    MAISTRE GVIL
    LAUME COQUIL
    LART EN SON VI
    VANT OFFICIAL
    DE REIMS.  NOV
    VELLEMENT RE
    VEVES ET CORRI
    GEES.

    M. D. XXXV.

    On les vend à Lyon en la
    Maison de Françoys Juste,
    Demourant devant nostre
    Dame de Confort.

By bad (or good) luck this rare piece was imperfect—the back gaping and
three sheets gone.  But, in turning over the leaves, I saw something that
brought my heart, as they say, into my mouth.  So, beating down Bell from
his upset price of fourpence to six bawbees, I pushed the treasure
carelessly in my pocket, and never stopped till I was in a lonely place
by Tyne-side and secure from observation.  Then, with my knife, I very
carefully uncased Maistre Guillaume, and extracted the sheet of
parchment, printed in black letter with red capitals, that had been used
to line the binding.  A corner of it had crept out, through the injuries
of time, and on that, in Bell’s “crame” (for it is more a crame than a
shop), I had caught the mystic words Runjt macht Gunjt.

And now, I think, Monkbarns, you prick up your ears and wipe your
spectacles.  That is the motto, as every one of the learned family of
antiquaries is well aware, and, as you have often told me, of your great
forbear, the venerable and praiseworthy Aldobrand Oldenbuck the
Typographer, who fled from the Low Countries during the tyrannical
attempt of Philip II. to suppress at once civil and religious liberty.
As all the world knows, he withdrew from Nuremberg to Scotland, and set
up his Penates and (what you may not hitherto have been aware of) his
Printing Press at Fairport, and under your ancestral roof of Monkbarns.
But, what will surprise you yet more, the parchment sheet which bears
Aldobrand’s motto in German contains printed matter in good Scots!  This
excellent and enterprising man must have set himself to ply his noble art
in his new home, and in our unfamiliar tongue.

Yet, even now, we are not at the end of this most fortunate discovery.
It would appear that there was little demand for works of learning and
religion in Scotland, or at least at Fairport; for the parchment sheet
contains fragments of a Ballad in the Scots tongue.  None but a poor and
struggling printer would then have lent his types to such work, and
fortunate for us has been the poverty of your great ancestor.  Here we
have the very earliest printed ballad in the world, and, though
fragmentary, it is the more precious as the style proves to
demonstration, and against the frantic scepticism even of a Ritson, the
antique and venerable character of those compositions.  I send you a copy
of the Ballad, with the gaps (where the tooth of time or of the worm,
_edax rerum_, hath impaired it) filled up with conjectural restorations
of my own.  But how far do they fall short of the original simplicity!
_Non cuivis contingit_.  As the title is lacking, as well as the imprint,
I have styled it

             THE FRAGMENT OF THE FAUSE LOVER AND THE DEAD LEMAN.

    O Willie rade, and Willie gaed
       Atween the shore and sea,
    And still it was his dead Lady
       That kept him company.

    O Willie rade, and Willie gaed
       Atween the [loch and heather],
    And still it was his dead Lady
       That [held his stirrup leather].

    “O Willie, tak’ me up by ye,
       Sae far it is I gang;
    O tak’ me on your saddle bow,
       Or [your day shall not be lang].”

    “Gae back, gae back, ye fause ill wife,
       To the grave wherein ye lie,
    It never was seen that a dead leman
       Kept lover’s company!

    “Gae back, gae back frae me,” he said,
       “For this day maun I wed,
    And how can I kiss a living lass,
       When ye come frae the dead?

    “If ye maun haunt a living man,
       Your brither haunt,” says he,
    “For it was never my knife, but his
       That [twined thy life and thee!]”

                                  * * * * *

We are to understand, I make no doubt, that Willie had been too fortunate
a lover, and that in his absence—the frailty of his lady becoming
conspicuous—her brother had avenged the family honour according to that
old law of Scotland which the courteous Ariosto styles “l’ aspra legge di
Scozia, empia e severa.”

Pray let me know, at your leisure, what you think of this _trouvaille_.
It is, of course, entirely at your service, if you think it worthy of a
place in a new edition of the “Minstrelsy.”  I have no room to inflict
more ballads or legends on you; and remain, most faithfully yours,

                                                               R. SURTEES.

                                * * * * *

  _From Jonathan Oldbuck_, _Esq._, _of Monkbarns_, _to Robert Surtees_,
                          _Esq._, _Mainsforth_.

                                                        Monkbarns, June 1.

MY DEAR SIR,—How kind hath Fortune been to you, and, in a secondary
degree, to myself.  Your letter must dispel the unreasoning and I fear
envious scepticism of MacCribb, who has put forth a plaunflet (I love
that old spelling) in which he derides the history of Aldobrand Oldenbuck
as a fable.  The Ballad shall, indeed, have an honoured place in my poor
Collection whenever the public taste calls for a new edition.  But the
original, what would I not give to have it in my hands, to touch the very
parchment which came from the press of my revered ancestor, and, gloating
on the crabbed letters, confute MacCribb to his face _ipso visu et tactu_
of so inestimable a rarity.  Exchanges—or “swaps,” as the vulgar call
them—are not unknown among our fraternity.  Ask what you will for this
treasure, to the half of my kingdom: my gold Aurelius (found at
Bermuckety, on the very limits of Roman Caledonia), my “Complaynte of
Scotland” (the only perfect copy known),

    My copperplate, with almanacks
    Engrav’d upon’t, and other knacks;
    My moon-dial, with Napier’s bones
    And several constellation stones.

Make your choice, in fact, of all my Gabions, as honest old George
Ruthven called them.

Nay, excuse the covetousness of an Antiquary, my dear sir; I well know
that nothing I could offer were worth a tithe of your priceless
discovery, the oldest printed Scots Ballad extant.  It shall suffice for
me to look on it, under the roof of Mainsforth, when next I make a raid
across the Border.  I have conquered my passions, and can obey the last
of the Commandments.  _Haud equiden invideo_, _minor magis_.  I need not
bid you be watchful of your booty.—Yours most faithfully,

                                                         JONATHAN OLDBUCK.

                                * * * * *

       _From Robert Surtees_, _Esq._, _to Jonathan Oldbuck_, _Esq._

                                                                  June 11.

MY DEAR SIR,—Alas, your warning comes too late.  An accursed example of
womankind, fit descendant of that unhappy Betty Barnes, cook to Mr.
Warburton, who destroyed his ancient manuscript plays, hath invaded my
sanctum, and the original black-letter text of the ballad has gone to
join Shakspeare’s “Stephen” and “Henry II.”  She hath lit with it my
study fire, and it is fortunate indeed that I had made the copy of the
ballad for you.  But the volume of Coquillart is alive to testify to the
authenticity of the poem; which, after all, is needless evidence, as not
even Ritson could suspect of either the skill or the malice of such a
forgery, Yours most faithfully,

                                                           ROBERT SURTEES.



VIII.


        _From Nicholas to the Editor of the St. James’s Gazette_.

It is only too probable that a later generation has forgotten “Nicholas,”
the sporting Prophet of “Fun,” in the reign of Mr. Hood the younger.  The
little work, “Nicholas’s Notes,” in which Mr. W. J. Prowse collected the
papers of the old Prophet, is, indeed, not an “edition de looks,” as the
aged Seer says, with his simple humour.  From the Paradise of Fiction,
however (and the Paradise of Touts), Nicholas has communicated, perhaps
to the Psychical Society, the following Epistle.  His friendly mention of
a brother journalist speaks well for the Old Man’s head and heart.

                                    The Paradise of Fiction, Feb. 9, 1888.

SIR,—My dear young friend, it is ten to one, and no takers, that the
public, than whom, between you and me, I do not think much of them, have
forgotten Nicholas, or even never heard of the Prophet.  Youth will be
served; and it is now between twenty years since he left off vaticinating
in “Fun,” during young Mr. Hood’s time, of future sportive events for to
come, and came to live _here_ with the other celebrated characters of
Fiction, than whom I am sure a more mixed lot, though perhaps a little
gay.  It having come to the Prophet’s knowledge that some of them was
writing letters to “The St. James’s Gazette” (than which I am sure none
more respectable, though perhaps a little not quite so attentive to
sportive interests as it might be), he have decided that Nicholas will
take up his pen once more, as of old.

The State of the Turf, my dear young friend, since an old but still
handsome bird would freely alight (when not warned off) on Newmarket
Heath, have caused Nicholas some anxiety.  Sir, between you and me, _it
is rapidly getting no better_.  Here is Lord — (than whom a more sterling
sportsman) as good as saying to Sir — (than whom, perhaps), “Did you ever
hear of a sporting character called Swindells?”  And the Prophet _have_
been told that it may furnish matter for the gentlemen of the long
robe—which, in my time, many of them was backers of horses.

And all along of what?  Why, of the “inexplicable in-and-out running of
horses,” as the “Standard” says, and as will often happen, you, perhaps,
having a likely dark one as you want to get light into a high-class
autumn handicap.  The days is long past since Nicholas was nuts on the
game little Lecturer, but still has the interests of the Turf at heart;
and, my dear young friend, if horses never ran in and out, where would be
“the glorious uncertainty of the sport”?  On the whole, then, if asked my
opinion on this affair, the Prophet would say—putting it
ambiguous-like—“Gentlemen, when there’s so much dirty linen to wash,
can’t you remember that we’re all pretty much tarred with the same
brush?”  A great politician—which a lot of his family is here, Coningsby,
and the Young Duke, and many other sportsmen—used to say as what the Turf
was “a gigantic engine of national demoralisation;” which Nicholas is not
quite sure but what he was right for him, though his language on rather a
large scale.  Horses running in and out is inexplicable!  Why, gents all,
which of us _wouldn’t_ do it, if he had the chance to put the pot on
handsome, human nature being what it is, especially considering the
lowness of the market odds as you have often and often to be content
with.  In short, the more you stir it the more it won’t exactly remind
you of gales from Araby the Blest; than which a more delightful country,
only not to be found on any atlas as Nicholas ever cast a glance at the
map, however large.

But enough of a subject than which perhaps one more painful to me; the
Prophet having often and often, in early days, been warned off Newmarket
Heath himself, and called a “disreputable old tout,” though only
labouring in his vocation.

(Make a new beginning here, please, Printer.)

It have come to the knowledge of the Prophet that his “Notes” are not
quite so much read as they once was, partly owing, no doubt, to the book
being not so much an “edition de looks” as rather a low-lived lot, to a
casual eye, at fourpence; the picture outside representing Nicholas
rather as having had too much for to drink than as a prominent member of
the Blue Ribbon Society, which it did not exist in his period, nor would
it have enjoyed, to any considerable extent, my personal or pecuniary
support, he having something else to do with his money.  (Printer, please
put in a full stop somewhere here, Nicholas being a little out of the
habit of writing for the periodical press.)  He have also heard that it
is proposed in literary circles to start a “Nicholas Society” for the
purpose of printing a limited edition of my works including my lost
treatise of Knur and Spell, on Japanese paper, illustrated with
photo-gravelures; they having come in since the Prophet’s period, though
perhaps a little gay.

But, my dear though exquisite young friends, is there no better way of
rallying round the Prophet than _this_?  I have heard, from characters in
ancient literature, such as Agamemnon—than whom a more energetic soldier,
though perhaps a trifle arbitrary—the Prophet _have_ heard, I say, that a
deal of liquor used to be poured on the graves of coves like him and me,
and that it did them good.  This may be the case, and anyway the
experiment is well worth trying; though, I would say, do not let it be
milk, as I gather was customary in early times, as didn’t know any
better; but, if possible, a bottle or two of sherry wine, to which, as is
well beknown, Nicholas was partial.  He will now conclude; and the
Prophet hopes that an experiment, than which, I am sure, one more deeply
interesting, will not be deferred; he not much taking to the liquor here,
though the company makes up for a great deal, especially an Irish officer
by the name of Costigan, than whom a sweeter singer or a more honourable
gentleman; and signs himself, with gratitude for past favours, and kind
respects to the Editor of the “Guardian,”

                                                                 NICHOLAS.



IX.


         _From the Earl of Montrose to Captain Dugald Dalgetty_.

Whoever has read the “Memoirs of Monsieur d’Artagnan”—a Marshal in the
French King’s service—as they are published by Monsieur Alexandre Dumas
in “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” will not have forgotten that duel behind
the Luxembourg, in which, as is declared, an Englishman ran away from the
Chevalier d’Herblay, called Aramis in his regiment.  Englishmen have
never held that Monsieur Dumas was well informed about this affair.  The
following letters of the Great Marquis and Captain Dalgetty from the
“Kirkhope Papers” prove that Englishmen were in the right.

                                                                  —, 164-.

SIR,—Touching that I did, to your apprehension, turn away from you with
some show of coldness on your late coming, it may be that you but little
misread me.  But, for that no man is condemned without a hearing, I would
fain know under your own hand the truth concerning that whereof a
shameful report is bruited abroad, even in the “Gallo Belgicus” and the
“Fliegender Mercoeur” of Leipsic—namely, that in a certain duel lately
fought in Paris behind the Palace of the Luxembourg, four Englishmen
encountering as many Musketeers of the French King’s, one out of this
realm, to our disgrace, shamefully fled; and he (by report) Rittmaster
Dugald Dalgetty.  Till which, bruit be either abolished, and the stain—as
an ill blot on a clean scutcheon—wiped away, or as shamefully
acknowledged as it is itself shameful, I abide, as I shall hear from
yourself,

                                                                 MONTROSE.

                                * * * * *

_From Captain Dugald Dalgetty_, _of Drumthwacket_, _to the Most Noble and
Puissant Prince James_, _Earl of Montrose_, _commanding the musters of
the King in Scotland_.  _These_—

MY LORD,—As touching the bruit, or _fama_, as we said at the Mareschal
College, I shall forthwith answer, and that _peremptorie_.  For this
story of the _duello_, as a man may say (though, indeed, they that fought
in it were not in the dual number, as your Grecian hath it, but eight
soldados—seven of them gallant men), truly the story is of the longest;
but as your lordship will have it, though more expert with the sword than
the goosequill, I must even buckle to.

Let your lordship conceive of your poor officer, once lieutenant and
Rittmaster under that invincible monarch, the bulwark of the Protestant
faith, Gustavus the Victorious; conceive, I say, Dugald Dalgetty, of
Drumthwacket that should be, in Paris, concerned with a matter of weight
and moment not necessary to be mooted or minted of.  As I am sitting at
my tavern ordinary, for I consider that an experienced cavalier should
ever lay in provenant as occasion serveth, comes in to me a stipendiary
of my Lord Winter, bidding me know that his master would speak to me: and
that not _coram populo_, as I doubt not your lordship said at St.
Leonard’s College in St. Andrews, but privily.  Thereon I rise and wait
on him; to be brief—_brevis esse laboro_, as we said lang syne—his
lordship would have me to be of his backers in private rencontre with
four gentlemen of the King’s Musketeers.

Concerning the cause of this duello, I may well say _teterrima causa_.
His lordship’s own sister Milady Clarik was in question; she being, I
fear me, rather akin in her way of life to Jean Drocheils (whom your
lordship may remember; for, the Baillies expulsing her from Aberdeen, she
migrated to St. Andrews, _ad eundem_, as the saying is) than like, in her
walk and conduct, to a virtuous lady of a noble family.  She was, indeed,
as current rumour had it, the light o’love or _belle amie_ of Monsieur
d’Artagnan, his lordship’s adversary.

But of siclike least said soonest mended.  I take cloak and sword, and
follow with his lordship and two other experienced cavaliers unto the
place of rencontre, being a waste croft whereon a loon was herding goats,
behind the Palace of the Luxembourg.  Here we find waiting us four
soldados, proper tall men of their hands, who receive us courteously.  He
that first gave cause of quarrel to my Lord Winter bore a worthy name
enough out of Gascony, that is _arida nutrix_, as we said at the
Mareschal College, of honourable soldados—to wit, as I said, he was
Monsieur d’Artagnan.  To his friends, howbeit, he gave sic heathen titles
as I never saw or heard of out of the Grecian books: namely, Monsieur
Porthos, a very tall man, albeit something of a _lourdaud_; Monsieur
Athos; and he that was to be mine own opposite, Monsieur Aramis.  Hearing
these outlandish and insolent appellations, I thought it becoming me, as
an honourable cavalier, to resent this fashion of presenting: and
demurred that a gentleman of the House of Dalgetty of Drumthwacket could
neither take affront from, nor give honourable satisfaction to, a
nameless landlouper.  Wherein your lordship, I doubt me not, will hold me
justificate.

Lord Winter homologating mine opinion, he that called himself Athos drew
each of us apart, and whispered the true names and qualities territorial
of these gentlemen; the whilk, as may befall honourable soldados, they
had reason sufficient to conceal while serving as private gentlemen in a
regiment, though disdaining to receive halberds, as unbecoming their
birth.  He that aligned himself forenenst me was styled the Chevalier
d’Herblay; and, the word being given, we fell to.

Now, mine adversary declining to fight _comminus gladio_, but breaking
ground in a manner unworthy of a gallant soldado, and the place, saving
your presence, being somewhat slippery and treacherous because of the
goats that were fed there, I delivered a sufficient onslaught; and he
fell, his sword flying from his hand.  When I had taken his weapon—the
_spolia opima_, as we said at Mareschal College—I bid him rise, and then
discoursed him on the dishonour of such a hasty defeat.  Then, he
confessing himself to me that, though under arms, he was a young
fledgeling priest in Popish orders, I began upon him with such words on
his disgracing the noble profession of arms as might have made him choose
to return to his cloister; when suddenly he fled, and, being young and
light-footed, robbed me, not only of such caduacs and casualties as an
experienced cavalier might well take from his prisoner for ransom, but
also, as now it appears, of my good name.  For I doubt not that this
musketeer priest, Monsieur Aramis, or l’Abbé d’Herblay (for he hath as
many names as I have seen campaigns), was the loon that beguiled with a
lying tale the newsman of the “Gallo Belgicus.”  And I have ever seen
that an honourable soldado will give the go-by to these newsmen and their
flying sheets, as unworthy of the notice of honourable cavaliers; of whom
(recommending your lordship for the truth of my tale to my Lord Winter,
now with his gracious Majesty the King) I am fain to subscribe myself
one, and your lordship’s poor officer, as ye shall entreat him,

                                         DUGALD DALGETTY, of Drumthwacket,

                          Late Commander of the whole stift of Dunklespiel
                                                       on the Lower Rhine.



X.


               _From Mr. Lovelace to John Belford_, _Esq._

The following letter must have been omitted from the papers to which Mr.
Samuel Richardson, the editor of “Clarissa,” had access.  It was written,
apparently, after the disgraceful success of Lovelace’s disgraceful
adventure, and shows us that scoundrel in company not choice, indeed, but
better than he deserved, the society of Mr. Thomas Jones, a Foundling.
Mr. Jones’s admirable wife (née Western), having heard of Lovelace’s
conduct, sent her husband to execute that revenge which should have been
competed for by every man of heart.  It will be seen that Mr. Jones was
no match for the perfidies of Mr. Lovelace.  The cynical reflections of
that bad man on Lord Fellamar, and his relations with Mrs. Jones, will
only cause indignation and contempt among her innumerable and honourable
admirers.  They will remember the critical and painful circumstances as
recorded in Mr. Henry Fielding’s biography of Mr. Jones.

    _Parcius junctas quatiunt fenestras_
    _Ictibus crebris juvenes protervi_.

CURSE upon thy stars, Jack!  How long wilt thou beat me about the head
with thy musty citations from Nat Lee and thy troop of poetical divines?
Thou hast driven me to motto-hunting for the comeliness of mine epistle,
like the weekly scribblers.  See, Jack, I have an adventure to tell thee!
It is not the avenging Morden that hath flashed through the window, sword
in hand, as in my frightful dream; nor hath the statue of the Commandant
visited me, like Don Juan, that Rake of Spain; but a challenger came
hither that is not akin to my beloved Miss.  Dost remember a tall,
fresh-coloured, cudgel-playing oaf that my Lady Bellaston led about with
her—as maids lead apes in hell, though he more of an ape than she of a
maid—’tis a year gone?  This brawny-beefed chairman hath married a
fortune and a delicious girl, you dog, Miss Sophia Western, of Somerset,
and is now in train, I doubt not, to beget as goodly a tribe of
chuckle-headed boys and whey-faced wenches as you shall see round an old
squire’s tomb in a parish church.  Wherefore does he not abide at this
his appointed lawful husbandry, I marvel; but not a whit!

Our cursed adventure hath spread from the _flippanti_ of both sexes down
to the heathenish parts of Somerset; where it hath reached Madam Jones’s
ears, and inflamed this pretty vixen with a desire to avenge Miss Harlowe
on me, and by the cudgel of Mr. Jones, his Sophia having sent him up to
town for no other purpose.  De la Tour, my man, came to me yesterday
morning with the tidings that the New Giant, as he supposes, waits on me
to solicit the favour of my patronage.  I am in the powdering closet,
being bound for a rout, and cry, “Let the Giant in!”  Then a heavy tread:
and, looking up, what do I see but a shoulder-of-mutton fist at my nose,
and lo! a Somerset tongue cries, “Lovelace, thou villain, thou shalt
taste of this!”  A man in a powdering closet cannot fight, even if he be
a boxing glutton like your Figs and other gladiators of the Artillery
Ground.  Needs must I parley.  “What,” says I, “what, the happy Mr. Jones
from the West!  What brings him here among the wicked, and how can the
possessor of the beauteous Sophia be a moment from her charms?”

“Take not her name,” cries my clod-hopper, “into thy perjured mouth.
’Tis herself sends me here to avenge the best, the most injured . . . ”
Here he fell a-blubbering!  Oh, Belford, the virtue of this world is a
great discourager of repentance.

“If Mr. Jones insists on the arbitrament of the sword . . . ” I was
beginning—“Nay, none of thy Frenchified blades,” cries he, “come out of
thy earth, thou stinking fox, and try conclusions with an English
cudgel!”

Belford, I am no cudgel-player, and I knew not well how to rid myself of
this swasher.

“Mr. Jones!” I said, “I will fight you how you will, where you will, with
what weapon you will; but first inform me of the nature of our quarrel.
Would you blazon abroad yet further the malignant tales that have injured
both me and a lady for whom I have none but the most hallowed esteem?  I
pray you sit down, Sir; be calm, the light is ill for any play with
cudgel or sword.  De la Tour, a bottle of right Burgundy; Mr. Jones and I
have business, and he hath travelled far.”

In a trice there was a chicken, a bottle, a set of knives and forks, a
white cloth, and a hungry oaf that did eat and swear!  One bottle
followed another.  By the third Mr. Jones embraced me, saying that never
had a man been more belied than I; that it was Lord Fellamar, not I, was
the villain.  To this effect I own that I did myself drop a hint;
conceiving that the divine Sophia must often have regretted our friend
Fellamar when once she was bound to the oaf, and that Jones was capable
of a resentful jealousy.  By midnight I had to call a chair for my
besotted challenger, and when the Avenger was there safely bestowed, I
asked him where the men should carry him?  His tongue being now thick,
and his brains bemused, he could not find the sign of his inn in his
noddle.  So, the merry devil prompting me, I gave the men the address of
his ancient flame, my Lady Bellaston, and off they jogged with Jones.

Was there ever, Belford, a stranger _amoris redintegratio_ than this must
have been, when our Lydia heard the old love at the rarely shaken doors:

    Me tuo longas pereunte noctes,
             Lydia, dormis?

Ah, how little hath Madam Sophia taken by despatching her lord to town,
and all to break my head.  My fellow, who carries this to thee, has just
met Fellamar’s man, and tells me that _Fellamar yesterday went down into
Somerset_.  What bodes this rare conjunction and disjunction of man and
wife and of old affections? and hath “Thomas, a Foundling,” too, gone the
way of all flesh?

                                                             Thy LOVELACE.

No news of the dear fugitive!  Ah, Belford, my conscience and my cousins
call me a villain!  Minxes all.



XI.


          _From Miss Catherine Morland to Miss Eleanor Tilney_.

Miss Catherine Morland, of “Northanger Abbey,” gives her account of a
visit to Mr. Rochester, and of his governess’s peculiar behaviour.  Mrs.
Rochester (_née_ Eyre) has no mention of this in her Memoirs.

                                                      Thornfield, Midnight

AT length, my dear Eleanor, the terrors on which you have so often
rallied me are become _realities_, and your Catherine is in the midst of
those circumstances to which we may, without exaggeration, give the
epithet “horrible.”  I write, as I firmly believe, from the mansion of a
maniac!  On a visit to my Aunt Ingram, and carried by her to Thornfield,
the seat of her wealthy neighbour, Mr. Rochester, how shall your
Catherine’s trembling pen unfold the mysteries by which she finds herself
surrounded!  No sooner had I entered this battlemented mansion than a
cold chill struck through me, as with a sense of some brooding terror.
All, indeed, was elegance, all splendour!  The arches were hung with
Tyrian-dyed curtains.  The ornaments on the pale Parian mantelpiece were
of red Bohemian glass.  Everywhere were crimson couches and sofas.  The
housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax, pointed out to my notice some vases of fine
purple spar, and on all sides were Turkey carpets and large mirrors.
Elegance of taste and fastidious research of ornament could do no more;
but what is luxury to the mind ill at ease? or can a restless conscience
be stilled by red Bohemian glass or pale Parian mantelpieces?

No, alas! too plainly was this conspicuous when, on entering the library,
we found Mr. Rochester—alone!  The envied possessor of all this opulence
can be no happy man.  He was seated with his head bent on his folded
arms, and when he looked up a morose—almost a malignant—scowl blackened
his features!  Hastily beckoning to the governess, who entered with us,
to follow him, he exclaimed, “Oh, hang it all!” in an accent of despair,
and rushed from the chamber.  We distinctly heard the doors clanging
behind him as he flew!  At dinner, the same hollow reserve; his
conversation entirely confined to the governess (a Miss Eyre), whose
position here your Catherine does not understand, and to whom I
distinctly heard him observe that Miss Blanche Ingram was “an extensive
armful.”

The evening was spent in the lugubrious mockery of pretending to consult
an old gipsy-woman who smoked a short black pipe, and was recognised _by
all_ as Mr. Rochester in disguise.  I was conducted by Miss Eyre to my
bedroom—through a long passage, narrow, low, and dim, with two rows of
small black doors, all shut; ’twas like a corridor in some Blue Beard’s
castle.  “Hurry, hurry, I hear the chains rattling,” said this strange
girl; whose position, my Eleanor, in this house causes your Catherine
some natural perplexity.  When we had reached my chamber, “Be silent,
silent as death,” said Miss Eyre, her finger on her lip and her meagre
body convulsed with some mysterious emotion.  “Speak not of what you
hear, do not remember what you see!” and she was gone.

I undressed, after testing the walls for secret panels and looking for
assassins in the usual place, but was haunted all the time by an
unnatural sound of laughter.  At length, groping my way to the bed, I
jumped hastily in, and would have sought some suspension of anguish by
creeping far underneath the clothes.  But even this refuge was denied to
your wretched Catherine!  I could not stretch my limbs; for the sheet, my
dear Eleanor, had been so arranged, in some manner which I do not
understand, as to render this impossible.  The laughter seemed to
redouble.  I heard a footstep at my door.  I hurried on my frock and
shawl and crept into the gallery.  A strange dark figure was gliding in
front of me, stooping at each door; and every time it stooped, came _a
low gurgling noise_!  Inspired by I know not what desperation of courage,
I rushed on the figure and seized it by the neck.  It was Miss Eyre, the
governess, filling the boots of all the guests with water, which she
carried in a can.  When she saw me she gave a scream and threw herself
against a door hung with a curtain of Tyrian dye.  It yielded, and there
poured into the passage a blue cloud of smoke, with a strong and odious
smell of cigars, into which (and to what company?) she vanished.  I
groped my way as well as I might to my own chamber: where each hour the
clocks, as they struck, found an echo in the apprehensive heart of

                              THE ILL-FATED

                                                        CATHERINE MORLAND.



XII.


           _From Montague Tigg_, _Esq._, _to Mr. David Crimp_.

The following letter needs no explanation for any who have studied the
fortunes and admired the style of that celebrated and sanguine financier,
Mr. Montague Tigg, in “Martin Chuzzlewit.”  His chance meeting with the
romantic Comte de Monte Cristo naturally suggested to him the plans and
hopes which he unfolds to an unsympathetic capitalist.

                                             1542 Park Lane, May 27, 1848.

MY PREMIUM POMEGRANATE,—Oracles are not in it, David, with you, my
pippin, as auspicious counsellors of ingenious indigence.  The remark
which you uttered lately, when refusing to make the trumpery advance of
half-a-crown on a garment which had been near to the illustrious person
of my friend Chevy Slime, that remark was inspired.  “Go to Holborn!” you
said, and the longest-bearded of early prophets never uttered aught more
pregnant with Destiny.  I went to Holborn, to the humble establishment of
the tuneful tonsor, Sweedle-pipe.  All things come, the poet says, to him
who knows how to wait—especially, I may add, to him who knows how to wait
behind thin partitions with a chink in them.  Ensconced in such an
ambush—in fact, in the back shop—I bided my time, intending to solicit
pecuniary accommodation from the barber, and studying human nature as
developed in his customers.

There are odd customers in Kingsgate Street, Holborn—foreign gents and
refugees.  Such a cove my eagle eye detected in a man who entered the
shop wearing a long black beard streaked with the snows of age, and who
requested Poll to shave him clean.  He was a sailor-man to look at; but
his profile, David, might have been carved by a Grecian chisel out of an
iceberg, and that steel grey eye of his might have struck a chill, even
through a chink, into any heart less stout than beats behind the vest of
Montague Tigg.  The task of rasping so hirsute a customer seemed to sit
heavy on the soul of Poll, and threatened to exhaust the resources of his
limited establishment.  The barber went forth to command, as I presume, a
fresher strop, or more keenly tempered steel, and glittering cans of
water heated to a fiercer heat.  No sooner was the coast clear than the
street-door opened, and my stranger was joined by a mantled form, that
glided into Poll’s emporium.  The new-comer doffed a swart sombrero, and
disclosed historic features that were not unknown to the concealed
observer—meaning me.  Yes, David, that aquiline beak, that long and waxed
moustache, that impassible mask of a face, I had seen them, Sir,
conspicuous (though their owner be of alien and even hostile birth) among
England’s special chivalry.  The foremost he had charged on the Ides of
April (I mean against the ungentlemanly Chartist throng) and in the
storied lists of Eglinton.  The new-comer, in short, was the nephew of
him who ate his heart out in an English gaol (like our illustrious
Chiv)—in fact, he was Prince Louis N— B—.

Gliding to the seat where, half-lathered, the more or less ancient
Mariner awaited Poll’s return, the Prince muttered (in the French lingo,
familiar to me from long exile in Boulogne):

“Hist, goes all well?”

“Magnificently, Sire!” says the other chap.

“Our passages taken?”

“Ay, and private cabins paid for to boot, in case of the storm’s
inclemency.”

The Prince nodded and seemed pleased; then he asked anxiously,

“The Bird?  You have been to Jamrach’s?”

“Pardon me, Sire,” says the man who was waiting to be shaved, “I can slip
from your jesses no mercenary eagle.  These limbs have yet the pith to
climb and this heart the daring to venture to the airiest crag of Monte
d’Oro, and I have ravished from his eyrie a true Corsican eagle to be the
omen of our expedition.  Wherever this eagle is your uncle’s legions will
gather together.”

“’Tis well; and the gold?”

“_Trust Monte Cristo_!” says the bearded man; and then, David, begad!  I
knew I had them!

“We meet?”

“At Folkestone pier, 7.45, tidal train.”

“I shall be there without fail,” says the Prince, and sneaks out of the
street-door just as Poll comes in with the extra soap and strop.

Well, David, to make it as short as I can, the man of the icy glance was
clean-shaved at last, and the mother who bore him would not have known
him as he looked in the glass when it was done.  He chucked Poll a
diamond worth about a million piastres, and, remarking that he would not
trouble him for the change, he walked out.  By this characteristic
swagger, of course, he more than confirmed my belief that he was, indeed,
the celebrated foreigner the Count of Monte Cristo; whose name and
history even _you_ must be acquainted with, though you may not be what I
have heard my friend Chevy Slime call himself, “the most literary man
alive.”  A desperate follower of the star of Austerlitz from his youth, a
martyr to the cause in the Château d’If, Monte Cristo has not deserted it
now that he has come into his own—or anybody else’s.

Of course I was after him like a shot.  He walked down Kingsgate Street
and took a four-wheeler that was loitering at the corner.  I followed on
foot, escaping the notice of the police from the fact, made only too
natural by Fortune’s cursed spite, that under the toga-like simplicity of
Montague Tigg’s costume these minions merely guessed at a cab-tout.

Well, David, he led me a long chase.  He got out of the four-wheeler (it
was dark now) at the Travellers’, throwing the cabman a purse—of sequins,
no doubt.  At the door of the Travellers’ he entered a brougham; and,
driving to the French Embassy in Albert Gate, he alighted, _in different
togs_, quite the swell, and _let himself in with his own latch-key_.

In fact, Sir, this conspirator of barbers’ shops, this prisoner of the
Château d’If, this climber of Corsican eyries, is to-day the French
Minister accredited to the Court of St. James’s!

And now perhaps, David, you begin to see how the land lies, the Promised
Land, the land where there is corn and milk and honey-dew.  I hold those
eminent and highly romantic parties in the hollow of my hand.  A letter
from me to M. Lecoq, of the Rue Jerusalem, and their little game is up,
their eagle moults, the history of Europe is altered.  But what good
would all that do Montague Tigg?  Will it so much as put that delightful
coin, a golden sovereign, in the pocket of his nether garments?  No, Tigg
is no informer; a man who has charged at the head of his regiment on the
coast of Africa is no vulgar spy.  There is more to be got by making the
Count pay through the nose, as we say; _chanter_, as the French say;
“sing a song of sixpence”—to a golden tune.

But, as Fortune now uses me, I cannot personally approach his Excellency.
Powdered menials would urge me from his portals.  An advance, a small
advance—say 30_l._—is needed for preliminary expenses: for the charges of
the clothier, the bootmaker, the hosier, the barber.  Give me 30_l._ for
the restoration of Tigg to the semblance of the Montagues, and with that
sum I conquer millions.  The diamonds of Monte Cristo, the ingots, the
rubies, the golden crowns with the image and superscription of Pope
Alexander VI.—all are mine: I mean are ours.

More, David; more, my premium tulip: we shall make the Count a richer man
than ever he has been.  We shall promote new companies, we shall put him
on the board of directors.  I see the prospectuses from afar.

              UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL TREASURE RECOVERY COMPANY.

                                 _Chairman_.

    His Excellency the COMTE DE MONTE CRISTO.  K.G., K.C.B., Knight of
    the Black Eagle.

                                 _Directors_.

    CHEVY SLIME, Esq., Berkeley Square.

    MONTAGUE TIGG, Esq., Park Lane.

    M. VAUTRIN (Les Bagnes près de Toulon).

    M. JEAN VALJEAN.

    The CHEVALIER STRONG.  (Would he come in?)

    _Hon. Secretary_.—DAVID CRIMP, Esq.

    Archæological Adviser.—Dr. SPIEGELMANN, Berlin.

Then the prospectus!  Treasure-hunting too long left to individual and
uneducated enterprise.  Need of organised and instructed effort.
Examples of treasure easily to be had.  Grave of Alaric.  Golden chain of
Cuzco.  Galleons of Vigo Bay.  Loot of Delphi.  Straits of Salamis.
Advice of most distinguished foreign experts already secured.  Paid-up
capital, a 6 and as many 0’s as the resources of the printing
establishment can command.  The public will rush in by the myriad.  And I
am also sketching a

‘Disinterested Association for Securing the Rights of Foundlings,’ again
with Monte Cristo in the chair.  David, you have saved a few pounds; in
the confidence of unofficial moments you have confessed as much (though
not exactly _how_ much) to me.  Will you neglect one of those
opportunities which only genius can discover, but which the humble
capitalist can help to fructify?  With thirty, nay, with twenty pounds, I
can master this millionaire and tame this Earthly Providence.  Behind us
lies penury and squalor, before us glitters jewelled opulence.  You will
be at 1542 Park Lane to-morrow _with the dibs_?—Yours expectantly,

                                                            MONTAGUE TIGG.

                                * * * * *

             _From Mr. David Crimp to Montague Tigg_, _Esq._

                                                 The Golden Balls, May 28.

DEAR MR. TIGG,—You always _were_ full of your chaff, but you must have
been drinking when you wrote all that cock-and-a-bull gammon.  Thirty
pounds!  No; nor fifteen; nor as many pence.  I never heard of the party
you mention by the name of the Count of Monte Cristo; and as for the
Prince, he’s as likely to be setting out for Boulogne with an eagle as
you are to start a monkey and a barrel-organ in Jericho; or may be
_that’s_ the likeliest of the two.  So stow your gammon, and spare your
stamps, is my last word.—Yours respectfully to command,

                                                                 D. CRIMP.



XIII.


                      _From Christian to Piscator_.

Walton and Bunyan were men who should have known each other.  It is a
pleasant fancy, to me, that they may have met on the banks of Ouse, while
John was meditating a sermon, and Izaak was “attentive of his trembling
quill.”

SIR,—Being now come into the Land of Beulah; here, whence I cannot so
much as see Doubting Castle; here, where I am solaced with the sound of
voices from the City,—my mind, that is now more at peace about mine own
salvation, misgives me sore about thine.  Thou wilt remember me,
perchance, for him that met thee by a stream of the Delectable Mountains,
and took thee to be a man fleeing from the City of Destruction.  For,
beholding thee from afar, methought that thou didst carry a burden on thy
back, even as myself before my deliverance did bear the burden of my sins
and fears.  Yet when I drew near I perceived that it was but a
fisherman’s basket on thy back, and that thou didst rather seek to add to
the weight of thy burden than to lighten it or fling it away.  But, when
we fell into discourse, I marvelled much how thou camest so far upon the
way, even among the sheep and the shepherds of that country.  For I found
that thou hadst little experience in conflict with Apollyon, and that
thou hadst never passed through the Slough of Despond nor wandered in the
Valley of the Shadow.  Nay, thou hadst never so much as been distressed
in thy mind with great fear, nor hadst thou fled from thy wife and
children, to save, if it might be, thy soul for thyself, as I have done.
Nay, rather thou didst parley with the shepherds as one that loved their
life; and I remember, even now, that sweet carnal song

    The Shepherd swains shall dance and sing,
    For thy delight, each May morning;
    If these delights thy mind may move,
    Then live with me and be my love.

These are not the songs that fit the Delectable Country; nay, rather they
are the mirth of wantons.  Yet didst thou take pleasure in them; and
therefore I make bold to ask how didst thou flee at all from the City of
Destruction, and come so far upon thy way?  Beware lest, when thou
winnest to that brook wherein no man casts angle, even to that flood
where there is no bridge to go over and the River is very deep—beware, I
say, of one Vain Hope, the Ferryman!  For I would not have thee lost,
because thou art a kindly man and a simple.  Yet for Ignorance there is
an ill way, even from the very gates of the City.—Thy fellow-traveller,

                                                                CHRISTIAN.

                                * * * * *

                      _From Piscator to Christian_.

SIR,—I do indeed remember thee; and I trust thou art amended of these
gripings which caused thee to groan and moan, even by the pleasant
streams from the hills of the Delectable Mountains.  And as for my
“burden” ’twas pleasant to me to bear it; for, like not the least of the
Apostles, I am a fisher, and I carried trout.  But I take no shame in
that I am an angler; for angling is somewhat like poetry; men are to be
born so, and I would not be otherwise than my Maker designed to have me.
Of the antiquity of angling I could say much; but I misdoubt me that thou
dost not heed the learning of ancient times, but art a contemner of good
learning and virtuous recreations.  Yet it may a little move thee that in
the Book of Job mention is made of fish-hooks, and without reproof; for
let me tell you that in the Scriptures angling is always taken in the
best sense.

Touching my flight from the City of Destruction, I love that place no
more than thou dost; yet I fear not its evil communications, nor would I
so hastily desert it as to leave my wife and children behind therein.
Nor have I any experience of conflict with the Evil One; wherefore I
thank Him that hath set me in pleasant fields, by clear waters, where
come no wicked whispers (be they from Apollyon or from our own hearts);
but there is calmness of spirit, and a world of blessings attending upon
it.  And hence can no man see the towers of Doubting Castle, for the
green trees and the hedges white with May.  This life is not wholly vile,
as some of thy friends declare (Thou, who makest thy pilgrims dance to
the lute, knowest better); and, for myself, I own that I love such mirth
as does not make men ashamed to look upon each other next morning.  Let
him that bears a heavy heart for his ill-deeds turn him to better, but
not mourn as though the sun were taken out of the sky.  What says the
song?—nay, ’tis as good balm for the soul as many a hymn:

    A merry heart goes all the day,
    Your sad one tires in a mile-a!

He that made the world made man to take delight in it; even as thou
saw’st me joyful with the shepherds—ay, with godly Mr. Richard Hooker,
“he being then tending his small allotment of sheep in a common field,”
as I recount in a brief life of a good man.  As to what awaits me on the
other side of that River, I do expect it with a peaceful heart, and in
humble hope that a man may reach the City with a cheerful countenance, no
less than through groans and sighs and fears.  For we have not a tyrant
over us, but a Father, that loveth a cheerful liver no less than a
cheerful giver.  Nevertheless, I thank thee for thy kind thought of one
that is not of thy company, nor no Nonconformist, but a peaceful
Protestant.  And, lest thou be troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins
and evil spirits, read that comfortable sermon of Mr. Hooker’s to weak
believers, on the _Certainty of Adherence_, though they want the inward
testimony of it.

But now falls there a sweet shower, “a singing shower” saith old George
Chapman, and methinks I shall have sport; for I do note that the mayfly
is up; and, seeing all these beautiful creatures playing in the air and
water, I feel my own heart play within me; and I must out and dape under
yonder sycamore tree.  Wherefore, prithee, pardon me a longer discourse
as at this time.—Thy friend,

                                                                 PISCATOR.



XIV.


                 _From Truthful James to Mr. Bret Harte_.

                        WILLIAM NYE’S EXPERIMENT.

                                                                  Angel’s.

          DEAR BRET HARTE,
                            I’m in tears,
          And the camp’s in the dust,
       For with anguish it hears
          As poor William may bust,
    And the last of the Nyes is in danger of
       sleeping the sleep of the just.

       No revolver it was
          Interfered with his health,
       The convivial glass
          Did not harm him by stealth;
    It was nary!  He fell by a scheme which
       he thought would accumulate wealth!

       For a Moqui came round
          To the camp—Injun Joe;
       And the dollars was found
          In his pockets to flow;
    For he played off some tricks with live
       snakes, as was reckoned a competent show.

       They was rattlers; a pair
          In his teeth he would hold,
       And another he’d wear
          Like a scarf to enfold
    His neck, with them dangerous critters
       as safe as the saint was of old.

       Sez William, “That same
          Is as easy as wink.
       I am fly to his game;
          For them rattlers, I think,
    Has had all their incisors extracted.
       They’re harmless as suthin’ to drink.”

       So he betted his pile
          He could handle them snakes;
       And he tried, with a smile,
          And a rattler he takes,
    Feeling safe as they’d somehow been
       doctored; but bless you, that sarpent awakes!

       Waken snakes! and they _did_
          And they rattled like mad;
       For it was not a “kid,”
          But some medicine he had,
    Injun Joe, for persuadin’ the critters but
       William’s bit powerful bad.

       So they’ve put him outside
          Of a bottle of Rye,
       And they’ve set him to ride
          A mustang as kin shy,
    To keep up his poor circulation; and
       that’s the last chance for Bill Nye.

       But a near thing it is,
          And the camp’s in the dust.
       He’s a pard as we’d miss
          If poor Bill was to bust—
    If the last of the Nyes were a-sleepin
       the peaceable sleep of the just.



XV.


             _From Professor Forth to the Rev. Mr. Casaubon_.

The delicacy of the domestic matters with which the following
correspondence deals cannot be exaggerated.  It seems that Belinda (whose
Memoirs we owe to Miss Rhoda Broughton) was at Oxford while Mr. and Mrs.
Casaubon were also resident near that pleasant city, so famed for its
Bodleian Library.  Professor Forth and Mr. Casaubon were friends, as may
be guessed; their congenial characters, their kindred studies,
Etruscology and Mythology, combined to ally them.  Their wives were not
wholly absorbed in their learned pursuits, and if Mr. Ladislaw was
dangling after Mrs. Casaubon, we know that Mr. Rivers used to haunt with
Mrs. Forth the walks of Magdalen.  The regret and disapproval which Mrs.
Casaubon expresses, and her desire to do good to Mrs. Forth, are, it is
believed, not alien to her devoted and exemplary character.

                                            Bradmore-road, Oxford, May 29.

DEAR MR. CASAUBON,—In the course of an investigation which my researches
into the character of the Etruscan “Involuti” have necessitated, I
frequently encounter the root _Kâd_, _k2âd_, or _Qâd_.  Schnitzler’s
recent and epoch-making discovery that _d_ in Etruscan = _b2_, has led me
to consider it a plausible hypothesis that we may convert _Kâd_ or _Qâd_
into _Kab2_, in which case it is by no means beyond the range of a
cautious conjecture that the Involuti are identical with the _Cab-iri_
(Cabiri).  Though you will pardon me for confessing, what you already
know, that I am not in all points an adherent to your ideas concerning a
“Key to All Mythologies” (at least, as briefly set forth by you in Kuhn’s
_Zeitung_), yet I am deeply impressed with this apparent opportunity of
bridging the seemingly impassable gulf between Etrurian Religion and the
comparatively clear and comprehensible systems of the Pelasgo-Phoenician
peoples.  That Kâd or Kâb can refer either (as in _Quatuor_) to a
four-footed animal (quadruped, “quad”) or to a four-wheeled vehicle
(_esseda_, Celtic _cab_) I cannot for a moment believe, though I
understand that this theory has the support of Schrader, Penka, and
Baunder. {125}  Any information which your learning can procure, and your
kind courtesy can supply, will be warmly welcomed and duly
acknowledged.—Believe me, faithfully yours,

                                                              JAMES FORTH.

P.S.—I open this note, which was written from my dictation by my
secretary, Mrs. Forth, to assure myself that her inexperience has been
guilty of no error in matters of so much delicacy and importance.  I have
detected no mistake of moment, and begin to hope that the important step
of matrimony to which I was guided by your example may not have been a
rash experiment.

                                * * * * *

    _From the Rev. Mr. Casaubon to James Forth_, _Esq._, _Professor of
                           Etruscan_, _Oxford_.

DEAR MR. FORTH,—Your letter throws considerable light on a topic which
has long engaged my earnest attention.  To my thinking, the _Cab_ in
_Cabiri_ = CAV, “hollow,” as in _cavus_, and refers to the Ark of Noah,
which, of course, before the entrance of every living thing according to
his kind, must have been the largest artificial hollow or empty space
known to our Adamite ancestors.  Thus the Cabiri would answer, naturally,
to the Patæci, which, as Herodotus tells us, were usually figured on the
prows of ships.  The Cabiri or Patæci, as children of Noah and men of the
“great vessel,” or Cave-men (a wonderful anticipation of modern science),
would perpetuate the memory of Arkite circumstances, and would be
selected, as the sacred tradition faded from men’s minds, as the guides
of navigation.  I am sorry to seem out of harmony with your ideas; but it
is only a matter of seeming, for I have no doubt that the Etruscan
Involuti are also Arkite, and that they do not, as Max Müller may be
expected to intimate, represent the veiled or cloudy Dawns, but rather
the Arkite Patriarchs.  We thus, from different starting-places, arrive
at the same goal, the Arkite solution of Bryant.  I am aware that I am
old-fashioned—like Eumæus, “I dwell here among the swine, and go not
often to the city.”  Your letters with little numerals (as _k_2) may
represent the exactness of modern philology; but more closely remind me
of the formulæ of algebra, a study in which I at no time excelled.

It is my purpose to visit Cambridge on June 3, to listen to a most
valuable address by Professor Tösch, of Bonn, on Hittite and Aztec
affinities.  If you can meet me there and accept the hospitality of my
college, the encounter may prove a turning point in Mythological and
Philological Science.—Very faithfully yours,

                                                              J. CASAUBON.

P.S.—I open this note, written from my dictation by my wife, to enclose
my congratulations on Mrs. Forth’s scholarly attainments.

                                * * * * *

               _From Professor Forth to Rev. Mr. Casaubon_.
                               (Telegram.)

Will be with you at Cambridge on the third.

                                * * * * *

 _From Mrs. Forth_, _Bradmore-road_, _Oxford_, _to David Rivers_, _Esq._,
                        _Milnthorpe_, _Yorkshire_.

He goes on Saturday to Cambridge to hear some one talk about the Hittites
and the Asiatics.  Did you not say there was a good Sunday train?  They
sing “O Rest in the Lord” at Magdalen.  I often wonder that Addison’s
Walk is so deserted on Sundays.  He stays over Sunday at Cambridge. {129}

                                * * * * *

         _From David Rivers_, _Esq._, _to Mrs. Forth_, _Oxford_.

DEAR MRS. FORTH,—Saturday is a half-holiday at the Works, and I propose
to come up and see whether our boat cannot bump Balliol.  How
extraordinary it is that people should neglect, on Sundays, the favourite
promenade of the Short-faced Humourist.  I shall be there: the old
place.—Believe me, yours ever,

                                                                D. RIVERS.

                                * * * * *

  _From Mrs. Casaubon to William Ladislaw_, _Esq._, _Stratford-on-Avon_.

DEAR FRIEND,—Your kind letter from Stratford is indeed interesting.  Ah,
when shall I have an opportunity of seeing these, and so many other
interesting places!  But in a world where duty is _so much_, and so
_always_ with us, why should we regret the voids in our experience which,
after all, life is filling in the experience of others?  The work is
advancing, and Mr. Casaubon hopes that the first chapter of the “Key to
All Mythologies” will be fairly copied and completed by the end of
autumn.  Mr. Casaubon is going to Cambridge on Saturday to hear Professor
Tösch lecture on the Pittites and some other party, I really forget
which; {130} but it is not often that he takes so much interest in mere
_modern_ history.  How curious it sometimes is to think that the great
spirit of humanity and of the world, as you say, keeps working its
way—ah, to what wonderful goal—by means of these obscure difficult
politics: almost unworthy instruments, one is tempted to think.  That was
a true line you quoted lately from the ‘Vita Nuova.’  We have no books of
poetry here, except a Lithuanian translation of the Rig Veda.  How
delightful it must be to read Dante with a sympathetic fellow-student,
one who has also loved—and _renounced_!—Yours very sincerely,

                                                        DOROTHEA CASAUBON.

P.S.—I do not expect Mr. Casaubon back from Cambridge before Monday
afternoon.

                                * * * * *

 _From William Ladislaw_, _Esq._, _to the Hon. Secretary of the Literary
         and Philosophical Mechanics’ Institute_, _Middlemarch_.

MY DEAR SIR,—I find that I can be in your neighbourhood on Saturday, and
will gladly accept your invitation to lecture at your Institute on the
Immutability of Morals.—Faithfully yours,

                                                              W. LADISLAW.

                                * * * * *

           _From William Ladislaw_, _Esq._, _to Mrs. Casaubon_.

DEAR MRS. CASAUBON,—Only a line to say that I am to lecture at the
Mechanics’ Institute on Saturday.  I can scarcely hope that, as Mr.
Casaubon is away, you will be able to attend my poor performance, but on
Sunday I may have, I hope, the pleasure of waiting on you in the
afternoon?—Very sincerely yours,

                                                              W. LADISLAW.

P.S.—I shall bring the ‘Vita Nuova’—it is not so difficult as the
‘Paradiso’—and I shall be happy to help you with a few of the earlier
sonnets.

                                * * * * *

                   _From Mrs. Casaubon to Mrs. Forth_.

                                                                   June 5.

DEAR LADY,—You will be surprised at receiving a letter from a stranger!
How shall I address you—how shall I say what I ought to say?  Our
husbands are not unknown to each other, I may almost call them friends,
but we have met only once.  You did not see me; but I was at Magdalen a
few weeks ago, and I could not help asking who you were, so young, so
beautiful; and when I saw you so lonely among all those learned men my
heart went out to you, for I too know what the learned are, and how
often, when we are young, we feel as if they were so cold, so remote.
Ah, then there come _temptations_, but they must be conquered.—We are not
born to live for ourselves only, we must learn to live for others—ah! not
for _Another_!

Some one {133} we both know, a lady, has spoken to me of you lately.  She
too, though you did not know it, was in Magdalen Walk on Sunday evening
when the bells were chiming and the birds singing.  She saw you; you were
not alone!  Mr. Rivers (I am informed that is his name) was with you.
Ah, stop and think, and hear me before it is too late.  A word; I do not
know—a word of mine may be listened to, though I have no right to speak.
But something forces me to speak, and to implore you to remember that it
is not for Pleasure we live, but for Duty.  We must break the dearest
ties if they do not bind us to the stake—the stake of all we owe to all!
You will understand, you will forgive me, will you not?  You will forgive
another woman whom your beauty and sadness have won to admire and love
you.  You _will_ break these ties, will you not, and be free, for only in
Renunciation is there freedom?  He _must not_ come again, you will tell
him that he must not.—Yours always,

                                                        DOROTHEA CASAUBON.



XVI.


                 _From Euphues to Sir Amyas Leigh_, _Kt._

This little controversy on the value of the herb tobacco passed between
the renowned Euphues and that early but assiduous smoker, Sir Amyas
Leigh, well known to readers of “Westward Ho.”

(He dissuadeth him from drinking the smoke of the Indian weed.)

SIR AMYAS,—Take it not unkindly that a traveller (though less wide a
wanderer than thou) dissuadeth thee from a new-found novelty—the wanton
misuse, or rather the misuseful wantonness, of the Indian herb.  It is a
blind goose that knoweth not a fox from a fern-bush, and a strange
temerity that mistaketh smoke for provender.  The sow, when she is sick,
eateth the sea-crab and is immediately recovered: why, then, should man,
being whole and sound, haste to that which maketh many sick?  The lobster
flieth not in the air, nor doth the salamander wanton in the water;
wherefore, then, will man betake him for nourishment or solace to the
fire?  Vesuvius bringeth not forth speech from his mouth, but man, like a
volcano, will utter smoke.  There is great difference between the table
and the chimney; but thou art for making both alike.  Though the Rose be
sweet, yet will it prove less fragrant if it be wreathed about the skunk;
and so an ill weed from the land where that beast hath its habitation
defileth a courteous knight.  Consider, if this practice delights thee,
that the apples of Sodom are outwardly fair but inwardly full of ashes;
the box-tree is always green, but his seed is poison.  Mithridate must be
taken inwardly, not spread on plasters.  Of his nature smoke goeth upward
and outward; why wilt thou make it go inward and downward?  The manners
of the Cannibal fit not the Englishman; and this thy poison is unlike
Love, which maimeth every part before it kill the Liver, whereas tobacco
doth vex the Liver before it harmeth any other part.  Excuse this my
boldness, and forswear thy weed, an thou lovest

                                                                  EUPHUES.

                                * * * * *

                    _From Sir Amyas Leigh to Euphues_.

Whereas thou bringest in a rabble of reasons to convince me, I will
answer thee in thine own kind.  Thou art like those that proffer a man
physic before he be sick, and, because his pleasure is not theirs, call
him foolish that is but early advised.  Nature maketh nothing without an
end: the eye to see with, the ear to hear, the herb tobacco to be smoked.
As wine strengtheneth and meat maketh full, tobacco maketh the heart at
rest.  Helen gave Nepenthe to them that sorrowed, and Heaven hath made
this weed for such as lack comfort.  Tobacco is the hungry man’s food,
the wakeful man’s sleep, the weary man’s rest, the old man’s defence
against melancholy, the busy man’s repose, the talkative man’s muzzle,
the lonely man’s companion.  Indeed, there was nothing but this one thing
wanting to man, of those that earth can give; wherefore, having found it,
let him so use as not abusing it, as now I am about doing.—Thy servant,

                                                              AMYAS LEIGH.



XVII.


      _From Mr. Paul Rondelet to the Very Rev. Dean Maitland_. {139}

That Dean Maitland should have taken the political line indicated in Mr.
Rondelet’s letter will amaze no reader of ‘The Silence of Dean Maitland.’
That Mr. Paul Rondelet flew from his penny paper to a Paradise meet for
him is a matter of congratulation to all but his creditors.  He really is
now in the only true Monastery of Thelema, and is simply dressed in an
eye-glass and a cincture of pandanus flowers.  The natives worship him,
and he is the First Æsthetic Beach-comber.

                                                    Te-a-Iti, The Pacific.

DEAR MAITLAND,—As my old friend and tutor at Lothian, you ask me to join
the Oxford Home Rule Association.  Excuse my delay in answering.  Your
letter was sent to that detested and long-deserted newspaper office in
Fleet Street, and from Fleet Street to Te-a-Iti; thank Heaven! it is a
long way.  Were I at home, and still endeavouring to sway the masses, I
might possibly accept your invitation.  I dislike crowds, and I dislike
shouting; but if shout I must, like you I would choose to chime in with
the dingier and the larger and the more violent assembly.  But, having
perceived that the masses were very perceptibly learning to sway
themselves, I have retired to Te-a-Iti.  You have read “Epipsychidion,”
my dear Dean?  And, in your time, no doubt you have loved? {140}  Well,
this is the Isle of Love, described, as in a dream, by the rapt fancy of
Shelley.  Urged, perhaps, by a reminiscence of the Great Aryan wave of
migration, I have moved westward to this Paradise.  Like Obermann, I hide
my head “from the wild tempest of the age,” but in a much dearer place
than “chalets near the Alpine snow.”  Long ago I said, to one who would
not listen, that “all the religions of the world are based on false
foundations, resting on the Family, and fatally unsound.”  Here the
Family, in our sense, has not been developed.  Here no rules trammel the
best and therefore the most evanescent of our affections.  And as for
Religion, it is based upon Me, on Rondelet of Lothian.  Here nobody asks
me why or how I am “superior.”  The artless natives at once perceived the
fact, recognised me as a god, and worship me (do not shudder, my good
Dean) with floral services.  In Te-a-Iti (vain to look for it on the
map!) I have found my place—a place far from the babel of your brutal
politics, a place where I am addressed in liquid accents of adoration.

You may ask whether I endeavour to raise the islanders to my own level?
It is the last thing that I would attempt.  Culture they do not need:
their dainty hieratic precisions of ritual are a sufficient culture in
themselves.  As I said once before, “it is an absurdity to speak of
married people being one.”  Here we are an indefinite number; and no
jealousy, no ambitious exclusiveness, mars the happiness of all.  This is
the Higher Life about which we used ignorantly to talk.  Here the gross
temporal necessities are satisfied with a breadfruit, a roasted fish, and
a few pandanus flowers.  The rest is all climate and the affections.

Conceive, my dear Dean, the undisturbed felicity of life without
newspapers!  Empires may fall, perhaps have fallen, since I left Fleet
Street; Alan Dunlop may be a ditcher in good earnest on an estate no
longer his; but here we fleet the time carelessly, as in the golden
world.  And you ask me to join a raucous political association for an
object you detest in your heart, merely because you want to swim with the
turbid democratic current!  You are an historian, Maitland: did you ever
know this policy succeed?  Did you ever know the respectables prosper
when they allied themselves with the vulgar?  Ah, keep out of your
second-hand revolutions.  Keep your hands clean, whether you keep your
head on your shoulders or not.  You will never, I fear, be Bishop of
Winkum, with all your historical handbooks and all your Oxford
Liberalism.

But I am losing my temper, for the first time since I discovered
Te-a-Iti.  This must not be.—Yours regretfully,

                                                            PAUL RONDELET.

P.S.—Don’t give any one my address; some of these Oxford harpies are
still unappeased.  The only European I have seen was not an University
man.  He was a popular Scotch novelist, and carried Shorter Catechisms,
which he distributed to my flock.  I only hope he won’t make “copy” out
of me and my situation.

                                                                     P. R.



XVIII.


  _From Harold Skimpole_, _Esq._, _to the Rev. Charles Honeyman_, _M.A._

These letters tell their own tale of Genius and Virtue indigent and in
chains.  The eloquence of a Honeyman, the accomplishments of a Skimpole,
lead only to Cursitor Street.

                                        Coavins’s, Cursitor Street, May 1.

MY DEAR HONEYMAN,—It is May-day, when even the chimney-sweeper,
developing the pleasant unconscious poetry of his nature, forgets the
flues, wreathes the flowers, and persuades himself that he is
Jack-in-the-Green.  Jack who?  Was he Jack Sprat, or the young swain who
mated with Jill!  Who knows?  The chimney-sweeper has all I ask, all that
the butterflies possess, all that Common-sense and Business and Society
deny to Harold Skimpole.  He lives, he is free, he is “in the green!”  I
am in Coavins’s!  In Cursitor Street I cannot hear the streams warble,
the birds chant, the music roll through the stately fane, let us say, of
Lady Whittlesea’s.  Coavins’s (as Coavins’s man says) is “a ’ouse;” but
how unlike, for example, the hospitable home of our friend Jarndyce!  I
can sketch Coavins’s, but I cannot alter it: I can set it to music, on
Coavins’s piano; but how melancholy are the jingling strains of that
dilapidated instrument!  At Jarndyce’s house, when I am there, I am in
possession of it: here Coavins’s is in possession of me—of the person of
Harold Skimpole.

And why am I here?  Why am I far from landscape, music, conversation?
Why, merely because I will follow neither Fame nor Fortune nor Faith.
They call to us in the market-place, but I will not dance.  Fame blows
her trumpet, and offers her shilling (the Queen’s).  Faith peals her
bells, and asks for _my_ shilling.  Fortune rattles her banking-scales.
They call, and the world joins the waltz; but I will not march with them.
“Go after glory, commerce, creeds,” I cry; “only let Harold Skimpole
live!” {146}  The world pursues the jangling music; but in my ear sound
the pipes of Pan, the voices of the river and the wood.

Yet I cannot be in the playground, whither they invite me.  Harold
Skimpole is fettered—by what?  By items!  I regret my incapacity for
details.  It may be the tinker or the tailor at whose suit I am detained.
I am certain it is not at that of the soldier, or the sailor, or the
ploughboy, or the thief.  But, for the apothecary—why, yes—it _may_ be
the apothecary!  In the dawn of life I loved—who has not?—I wedded.  I
set about surrounding myself with rosy cheeks.  These cheeks grow pallid.
I call for the aid of Science—Science sends in her bill!  “To the Mixture
as Before,” so much to “the Tonic,” so much.  The cheeks are rosy again.
I pour forth the blessings of a father’s heart; but there stands Science
inexorable, with her bill, her items.  I vainly point out that the
mixture has played its part, the tonic has played _its_ part; and that,
in the nature of things, the transaction is ended.  The bill is
unappeasable.  I forget the details; a certain number of pieces of yellow
and white dross are spoken of.  Ah, I see it is fifteen and some odd
shillings and coppers.  Let us say twenty.

My dear Honeyman, you who, as I hear, are about to follow the flutes of
Aphrodite into a temple where Hymen gilds the horns of the victims
{147}—you, I am sure, will hurry to my rescue.  You may not have the
specie actually in your coffers; but with your prospects, surely you can
sign something, or make over something, or back something, say a _post
obit_ or _post vincula_, or employ some other instrument?  Excuse my
inexperience; or, I should say, excuse my congenital inability to profit
by experience, now considerable, of _difficulties_—and of friendship.
Let not the sun of May-day go down on Harold Skimpole in Coavins’s!—Yours
ever,

                                                                     H. S.

P.S.—A youthful myrmidon of Coavins’s will wait for a reply.  Shall we
say, while we are about it, Twenty-five?

                                * * * * *

       _From the Rev. Charles Honeyman to Harold Skimpole_, _Esq._

                                                   Cursitor Street, May 1.

MY DEAR SKIMPOLE,—How would I have joyed, had Providence placed it within
my power to relieve your distress!  But it cannot be.  Like the
Carthaginian Queen of whom we read in happier days at dear old
Borhambury, I may say that I am _haud ignarus mali_.  But, alas! the very
evils in which I am not unlearned, make it impossible for me to add
_miseris succurrere disco_!  Rather am I myself in need of succour.  You,
my dear Harold, have fallen among thieves; I may too truly add that in
this I am your neighbour.  The dens in which we are lodged are
contiguous; we are separated only by the bars.  Your note was sent on
hither from my rooms in Walpole Street.  Since we met I have known the
utmost that woman’s perfidy and the rich man’s contumely can inflict.
But I can bear my punishment.  I loved, I trusted.  She to whose hand I
aspired, she on whose affections I had based hopes at once of happiness
in life and of extended usefulness in the clerical profession, _she_ was
less confiding.  She summoned to her council a minion of the Law, one
Briggs.  _His_ estimate of my position and prospects could not possibly
tally with that of one whose _hopes_ are not set where the worldling
places them.  Let him, and such as he, take thought for the morrow and
chaffer about settlements.  I do not regret the gold to which you so
delicately allude.  I sorrow only for the bloom that has been brushed
from the soaring pinions of a pure and disinterested affection.  _Sunt
lacrymæ rerum_, and the handkerchief in which I bury my face is dank with
them.

Nor is this disappointment my only _cross_.  The carrion-birds of
commerce have marked down the stricken deer from their eyries in Bond
Street and Jermyn Street.  To know how Solomons has behaved, and the
_black_ colours in which Moss (of Wardour Street) has shown himself, is
to receive a new light on the character of a People chosen under a very
different Dispensation!  Detainers flock in, like ravens to a feast.  At
this moment I have endured the humiliation of meeting a sneering child of
this world—Mr. Arthur Pendennis—the emissary of one {151} to whom I gave
in other days the sweetest blossom in the garden of my affections—my
sister—of one who has, indeed, behaved like a brother—_in law_!  My word
distrusted, my statements received with a chilling scepticism by this
_Nabob_ Newcome, I am urged to make some “composition” with my creditors.
The world is very censorious, the ear of a Bishop is easily won; who
knows how those who have _envied_ talents not misused may turn my
circumstances to my disadvantage?  You will see that, far from aiding
another, I am rather obliged to seek succour myself.  But that saying
about the sparrows abides with me to my comfort.  Could aught be done,
think you, with a bill backed by our joint names?  On July 12 my
pew-rents will come in.  I swear to you that they _have not been
anticipated_.  Yours afflictedly,

                                                         CHARLES HONEYMAN.

P.S.—Would Jarndyce lend his name to a small bill at three months?  You
know him well, and I have heard that he is a man of benevolent character,
and of substance.  But “how hardly shall a rich man”—you remember the
text.—C. H.



XIX.


               _From Miss Harriet to M. Guy de Maupassant_.

This note, from one of the English damsels whom M. Guy de Maupassant
dislikes so much, is written in such French as the lady could muster.  It
explains that recurrent mystery, _why Englishwomen abroad smell of
gutta-percha_.  The reason is not discreditable to our countrywomen, but
if M. de Maupassant asks, as he often does, why Englishwomen dress like
scarecrows when they are on the Continent, Miss Harriet does not provide
the answer.

                           Miss Pinkerton’s, Stratford-atte-Bowe, Mars 12.

MONSIEUR,—Vous devez me connaître, quoique je ne vous connais pas le
moins du monde.  Il m’est défendu de lire vos romans, je ne sais trop
pourquoi; mais j’ai bien lu la notice que M. Henry James a consacrée,
dans le _Fortnightly Review_, à votre aimable talent.  Vous n’aimez pas,
à ce qu’il paraît, ni ‘la sale Angleterre’ ni les filles de ce pays
immonde.  Je figure moi-même dans vos romans (ou _moâ_-même, car les
Anglais, il est convenu, prononcent ce pronom comme le nom d’un oiseau
monstrueux et même préhistorique de New Zealand)—oui, ‘Miss Harriet’ se
risque assez souvent dans vos contes assez risqués.

Vous avez posé, Monsieur, le sublime problème, ‘Comment se prennentelles
les demoiselles anglaises pour sentir toujours le caoutchouc?’ (‘_to
smell of india-rubber_’: traduction Henry James).  En premier lieu,
Monsieur, elles ne ‘smell of india-rubber’ quand elles se trouvent chez
elles, dans les bouges infectes qu’on appelle les ‘stately homes of
England.’ {154}  C’est seulement à l’étranger que nous répandons l’odeur
saine et réjouissante de caoutchouc.  Et pourquoi?  Parce que, Monsieur,
Miss Harriet tient à son tub—ou tôb—la chose est anglaise; c’est permis
pourtant à un galant homme d’en prononcer le nom comme il veut, ou comme
il peut

Or, quand elle voyage, Miss Harriet trouve, assez souvent, que le ‘tub’
est une institution tout-à-fait inconnue à ses hôtes.  Que fait-elle
donc?  Elle porte dans sa malle un tub de caoutchouc, ‘patent
compressible india-rubber tub!’  Inutile à dire que ses vêtements se
trouvent imprégnés du “smell of india-rubber.”  Voici, Monsieur, la
solution naturelle, et même fort louable, d’une question qui est faite
pour désespérer les savants de la France!

Vous, Monsieur, qui êtes un _styliste_ accompli, veuillez bien me
pardonner les torts que je viens de faire à la belle langue française.
Dame, on fait ce qu’on peut (comme on dit dans les romans policiers) pour
être intelligible à un écrivain si célèbre, qui ne lit couramment,
peut-être, l’idiôme barbare et malsonnant de la sale Angleterre.  M. Paul
Bourget lui-même ne lit plus le Grec.  _Non omnia possumus omnes_.

Agréez, Monsieur, mes sentiments les plus distingués.

                                                             MISS HARRIET.



XX.


       _From S. Gandish_, _Esq._, _to the_ ‘_Newcome Independent_.’

                            THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

It appears that Mr. Gandish, at a great age—though he was not older than
several industrious Academicans—withdrew from the active exercise of his
art and employed his learning and experience as Art Critic of the
“Newcome Independent.”  The following critique appears to show traces of
declining mental vigour in the veteran Gandish.

OUR great gallery has once more opened her doors, if not to the public,
nor even to the fashionable _élite_, at least to the critics.  They are a
motley throng who lounge on Press Days in the sumptuous halls; ladies,
small boys, clergymen are there, and among them but few, perhaps, who
have received the training in High Art of your correspondent, and have
had their eye, through a lifetime more than commonly prolonged, on the
glorious Antique.  And what shall we say of the present Academy?  In some
ways, things have improved a little since my “Boadishia” came back on my
hands (1839) at a time when High Art and the Antique would not do in this
country: they would not do.  As far as the new exhibition shows, they do
better now than when the century was younger and “Portrait of the Artist,
by S. Gandish”—at thirty-three years of age—was offered in vain to the
jealously Papist clique who then controlled the Uffizi.  Foreigners are
more affable now; they have taken Mr. Poynter’s of himself.

To return to the Antique, what the President’s “Captive Andromache” must
have cost _in models alone_ is difficult to reckon.  When times were
cheaper, fifty years since, my ancient Britons in “Boadishia” stood me in
thirty pounds: the central figures, however, were members of my own
family.  To give every one his due, “Andromache” is high art—yes, it is
high—and the Antique has not been overlooked.  About the back-view of the
young party at the fountain Mr. Horsley may have something to say.  For
my part, there seems a want of muscle in vigorous action: where are the
_biceps_, where are the thews of Michael Angelo?  The President is a
touch too quiet for a taste framed in the best schools.  As to his
colour, where is that nutty brown tone of the flesh?  But the designs on
the Greek vase are carefully rendered; though I have heard it remarked by
a classical scholar that these kind of vases were not in use about
Homer’s time.  Still, the intention is good, though the costumes are not
what _we_ should have called Ancient Roman when the President was a
boy—ay, or earlier.

Then, Mr. Alma-Tadema, he has not turned _his_ back on the glorious
Antique.  “The Roses of Heliogabalus” are not explained in the catalogue.
As far as I understand, there has been an earthquake at a banquet of this
unprincipled monarch.  The King himself, and his friends, are safe enough
at a kind of high table; though which _is_ Heliogabalus (he being a
consumptive-looking character in his coins in the Classical Dictionary)
your critic has not made out.  The earth having opened down below, the
heads of some women, and of a man with a beard and his hair done up like
a girl, are tossing about in a quantity of rose-leaves, which had
doubtless been strown on the floor, as Martial tells us was the custom,
_dum regnat rosa_.  So I overheard a very erudite critic remarking.  The
composition of the piece would be thus accounted for; but I cannot
pretend that Mr. Tadema reminds one of either Poussin or Annibale
Carracci.  However, rumour whispers that a high price has been paid for
this curious performance.  To my thinking the friends of Heliogabalus are
a little flat and leathery in the handling of the flesh.  The silver
work, and the marble, will please admirers of this eccentric artist; but
I can hardly call the whole effect “High.”  But Mr. Armitage’s “Siren”
will console people who remember the old school.  This beautiful girl
(somewhat careless in her attitude, though she has been sensible enough
_not_ to sit down on the damp rock without putting her drapery beneath
her) would have been a true gem in one of the old Books of Beauty, such
as the Honourable Percy Popjoy and my old friend, Miss Bunnion, used to
contribute to in the palmy days of the English school.  Mr. Armitage’s
“Juno,” standing in mid-air, with the moon in the neighbourhood, is also
an example to youth, and very unlike the way such things are generally
done now.  Mr. Burne-Jones (who does not exhibit) never did anything like
this.  Poor Haydon, with whom I have smoked many a pipe, would have
acknowledged that Mr. Goodall’s “David’s Promise to Bathsheba” and “By
the Sea of Galilee” prove that his aspirations are nearly fulfilled.
These are extremely large pictures, yet well hung.  The figure of Abishag
is a little too much in the French taste for an old-fashioned painter.
_Ars longa_, _nuda veritas_!  I hope (and so will the Liberal readers of
the “Newcome Independent”) that it is by an accident the catalogue
reads—“The Traitor.”  “Earl Spencer, K.G.”  “The Moonlighters.”  (Nos.
220, 221, 225.)  Some Tory _wag_ among the Hanging Committee may have
taken this juxtaposition for wit: our readers will adopt a different
view.

There is a fine dog in Mr. Briton Riviere’s “Requiescat,” but how did the
relations of the dead knight in plate armour acquire the embroidery, at
least three centuries later, on which he is laid to his last repose?
This destroys the illusion, but does not diminish the pathos in the
attitude of the faithful hound.  Mr. Long’s large picture appears to
exhibit an Oriental girl being tried by a jury of matrons—at least, not
having my Diodorus Scriblerus by me, I can arrive at no other conclusion.
From the number of models engaged, this picture must have been designed
quite regardless of expense.  It is a study of the Antique, but I doubt
if Smee would have called it High Art.

Speaking of Smee reminds me of portraits.  I miss “Portrait of a Lady,”
“Portrait of a Gentleman;” the names of the sitters are now always
given—a concession to the notoriety-hunting proclivities of the present
period.  Few portraits are more in the style of the palmy days of our
school (just after Lawrence) than a study of a lady by Mr. Goodall (687).
On the other hand, young Mr. Richmond goes back to the antiquated manner
of Reynolds in one of his representations.  I must admit that I hear this
work much admired by many; to me it seems old-fashioned and lacking in
blandness and affability.  Mr Waterhouse has a study of a subject from a
poem that Mr. Pendennis, the novelist (whom I knew well), was very fond
of when he first came on the town: “The Lady of Shalott.”  It represents
a very delicate invalid, in a boat, under a counterpane.  I remember the
poem ran (it was by young Mr. Tennyson):—

    They crossed themselves, their stars they blest,
    Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.
    There lay a parchment on her breast
    That puzzled more than all the rest
             The well-fed wits of Camelot:
    “The web was woven curiously,
    The charm is broken utterly;
    Draw near and fear not, this is I
             The Lady of Shalott.”

I admit that the wonder and dismay of the “well-fed wits,” if the Lady
was like Mr. Waterhouse’s picture of her, do not surprise me.  But I
confess I do not understand modern poetry, nor, perhaps, modern painting.
Where is historical Art?  Where is Alfred and the Cake—a subject which,
as is well known, I discovered in my researches in history.  Where is
“Udolpho in the Tower”? or the “Duke of Rothsay the Fourth Day after He
was Deprived of his Victuals”? or “King John Signing Magna Charta”?  They
are gone with the red curtain, the brown tree, the storm in the
background.  Art is revolutionary, like everything else in these times,
when Treason itself, in the form of a hoary apostate and reviewer of
contemporary fiction, glares from the walls, and is painted by Royal—mark
_Royal_!—Academicians! . . .

                                * * * * *

  _From Thomas Potts_, _Esq._, _of the_ ‘_Newcome Independent_,’ _to S.
                             Gandish_, _Esq._

                                                           Newcome, May 3.

MY DEAR SIR,—I am truly sorry to have to interrupt a connection with so
old and respected a contributor.  But I think you will acknowledge, on
reading the proof of your article on the Academy, which I enclose, that
the time has arrived when public criticism is no longer your province.  I
do not so much refer to the old-fashioned tone of your observations on
modern art.  I know little about it, and care not much more.  But you
have entirely forgotten, towards the end of the notice, that the “Newcome
Independent,” as becomes its name, is a journal of Liberty and Progress.
The very proper remarks on Lord Spencer’s portrait elsewhere show that
you are not unacquainted with our politics; but, at the close
(expressing, I fear, your true sentiments), you glide into language which
makes me shudder, and which, if printed in the “Independent,” would spell
ruin.  Send it, by all means, to the “Sentinel,” if you like.  Send your
Tory views, I mean.  As for your quotation from the “Lady of Shalott,” I
can find it nowhere in the poem of that name by the author you strangely
style “young Mr. Tennyson.” {165}

I enclose a cheque for a quarter’s salary, and, while always happy to
meet you as man with man, must get the notice of the Academy written up
in the office from the “Daily Telegraph,” “Standard,” and “Times.”
{166}—Faithfully and with deep regret yours,

                                                             THOMAS POTTS.



XXI.


 _From Monsieur Lecoq_, _Rue Jérusalem_, _Paris_, _to Inspector Bucket_,
                             _Scotland Yard_.

This correspondence appears to prove that mistakes may be made by the
most astute officers of police, and that even so manifest a Briton as Mr.
Pickwick might chance to find himself in the toils of international
conspiracy.

(Translated.)

                                                             May 19, 1852.

SIR AND DEAR FELLOW-BROTHER (_confrère_).—The so cordial understanding
between our countries ought to expand itself into a community of the
political police.  But the just susceptibilities of the Old England
forbid at this moment the restoration to a friendly Power of political
offenders.  In the name of the French police of surety I venture to
present to the famous officer Bucket a prayer that he will shut his eyes,
for once, on the letter, and open his heart to the spirit of the laws.

No one needs to teach Monsieur Bucket that a foreign miscreant can be
given up, under all reserves, to the justice!  A small vial of a harmless
soporific, a closed carriage, a private cabin on board a Channel
steamer—with these and a little of the adroitness so remarked in the
celebrated Bucket, the affair is in the bag! (_dans le sac_).  All these
things are in the cords (_dans les cordes_) of my esteemed English
fellow-brother; will he not employ them in the interest of a devoted
colleague and a friendly Administration?  We seek a malefactor of the
worst species (_un chenapan de la pire espèce_).  This funny fellow
(_drôle_) calls himself Count of Fosco, and he resides in Wood Road 5,
St. John’s Forest; worth abode of a miscreant fit for the Forest of
Bondy!  He is a man bald, stout, fair, and paying well in countenance
(_il paie de mine_), conceiving himself to resemble the great Napoleon.
At the first sight you would say a philanthrope, a friend of man.  On his
right arm he bears a small red mark, round, the brand of a society of the
most dangerous.  Dear Sir, you will not miss him?  When once he is in our
hands, faith of Lecoq, you shall tell us your news as to whether France
can be grateful.  Of more words there is no need.—I remain, all to you,
with the assurance of my most distinguished consideration,

                                                                    LECOQ.

                                * * * * *

                   _From Inspector Bucket to M. Lecoq_.

                                                                   May 22.

DEAR SIR,—Your polite favour to hand, and contents noted.  You are a man
of the world; I am a man of the world, and proud to deal with you as
between man and man.  The little irregularity shall be no consideration,
all shall be squared, and the man wanted run in with punctuality and
despatch.  Expect him at Calais on the 26th current,—Faithfully yours,

                                                                C. BUCKET.

                                * * * * *

  _From Count Fosco to Samuel Pickwick_, _Esq._, _G.C.M.P.C._, _Goswell
                                  Road_.

                                   5 Forest Road, St. John’s Wood, May 23.

DEAR SIR,—When we met lately at the hospitable board of our common
friend, Benjamin Allen, Esq., lately elected Professor of Chemistry in
the University of London, our conversation turned (if you can pass me the
intoxicating favour of remembering it) on the glorious science of
chemistry.  For me this knowledge has ever possessed irresistible
attractions, from the enormous power which it confers of heaping benefits
on the suffering race of mankind.  Others may rejoice in the advantages
which a knowledge of it bestows—the power which can reduce a Hannibal to
the level of a drummer boy, or an all-pervading Shakspeare to the
intellectual estate of a vestryman, though it cannot at present reverse
those processes.  The consideration of the destructive as compared with
the constructive forces of chemistry was present, as I recollect, to your
powerful intellect on the festive occasion to which I refer.  “Yes!” you
said (permit me to repeat your very words)—“Yes, Count Fosco, Alexander’s
morning draught shall make Alexander run for his life at the first sound
of the enemy’s trumpet.  So much chemistry can achieve; but can she help
as well as harm?  Nay, can she answer for it that the lemon which
Professor Allen, from the best and purest of motives, has blended with
this milk-punch, shall not disagree with me to-morrow morning?  Can
chemistry, Count Fosco, thus thwart malign constitutional tendency?”

These were your words, sir, and I am now ready to answer your
deep-searching question in the affirmative.  Prolonged assiduous
application to my Art has shown me how to preserve the lemon in Milk
Punch, and yet destroy, or disengage, the deleterious elements.  Will you
so greatly honour science, and Fosco her servant, as to sup with me on
the night of the twenty-fifth, at nine o’clock, and prove (you need not
dread the test) whether a true follower of knowledge or a vain babbler
signs—in exile—the name of

                     ISIDOR OTTAVIO BALDASSARE FOSCO?

                                * * * * *

                 _From Mr. Pickwick to the Count Fosco_.

                                                                   May 24.

MY DEAR SIR,—Many thanks for your very kind invitation.  Apart from the
interests of science, the pleasure of your company alone would be more
than enough to make me gladly accept it.  I shall have the enjoyment of
testing your milk-punch to-morrow night at nine, with the confident
expectation that your admirable studies will have overcome a tendency
which for many years has prevented me from relishing, as I could wish,
one of the best things in this good world.  Lemon, in fact, has always
disagreed with me, as Professor Allen or Sir Robert Sawyer will be able
to assure you; so your valuable experiment can be put, in my case, to a
crucial test.—Very faithfully yours,

                                                          SAMUEL PICKWICK.

                                * * * * *

                   _From Inspector Bucket to M. Lecoq_.

                                                            May 26, 1 A.M.

MY DEAR SIR,—We have taken your man without difficulty.  Bald,
benevolent-looking, stout, perhaps fancies himself like Napoleon; if so,
is deceived.  We nabbed him asleep over his liquor and alone, at the
address you meant to give, 5 Forest Road, St. John’s Wood.  The house was
empty, servants out, not a soul but him at home.  He speaks English well
for a foreigner, and tries to make out he is a British subject.  Was
rather confused when took, and kept ejaculating “Cold Punch,” apparently
with the hope of persuading us that such was his name or alias.  He also
called for one Sam—probably an accomplice.  He travels to Calais to-day
as a lunatic patient in a strait-waistcoat, under charge of four
“keepers” belonging to the force; and I trust that you have made
preparations for receiving your prisoner, and that our management of the
case has given satisfaction.  What I like is doing business with a man
like you.  We may not be so smart nor so clever at disguises as the
French profession, but we flatter ourselves we are punctual and
cautious.—Faithfully yours,

                                                                C. BUCKET.

                                * * * * *

      _From Mr. Pickwick to Mr. Perker_, _Solicitor_, _Gray’s Inn_.

                                                   Sainte Pélagie, May 28.

DEAR PERKER,—For heaven’s sake come over here at once, bringing some one
who can speak French, and bail me out, or whatever the process of their
law may be.  I have been arrested, illegally and without warrant, at the
house of a scientific friend, Count Fosco, where I had been supping.  As
far as I can understand, I am accused of a plot against the life of the
Emperor of the French; but the whole proceedings have been unintelligible
and arbitrary to a degree.  I cannot think that an English citizen will
be allowed to perish by the guillotine—innocent and practically unheard!
Please bring linen and brushes, &c., but not Sam, who would be certain to
embroil himself with the French police.  I am writing to the _Times_ and
Lord Palmerston.—Sincerely yours,

                                                          SAMUEL PICKWICK.

                                * * * * *

                _From Monsieur Lecoq to Inspector Bucket_.

                                                                   May 27.

SIR,—There has arrived a frightful misunderstanding.  The man you have
sent us is not Fosco.  Of Fosco he has only the baldness, the air
benevolent, and the girth.  The brand on his right arm is no more than
the mark of vaccination.  Brought before the Commissary of Police, the
prisoner, who has not one word of French, was heard through an
interpreter.  He gives himself the name of Piquouique, _rentier_,
English; and he appeals to his Ambassador.  Of papers he had letters
bearing the name Samuel Pickwick, and, on his buttons, the letters P.C.,
which we suspect are the badge of a secret society.  But this is not to
the point; for it is certain that, whatever the crimes of this brigand,
he is _not_ Fosco, but an Englishman.  That he should be found in the
domicile of Fosco when that droll had evaded is suspicious (_louche_),
and his explanation does not permit itself to be understood.  I have fear
that we enjoy bad luck, and that M. Palmerston will make himself to be
heard on this matter.

Accept, Monsieur, the assurance of my high consideration.

                                                                    LECOQ.

P.S.—Our comrade, the Count Smorltork, of the Police of Manners (_police
des moeurs_), has come to present himself.  Confronted with the bandit,
he gives him reason, and offers his faith that the man is Piquouique,
with whom he encountered himself when on a mission of secrecy to England
it is now some years.  What to do?  (_Que faire_?)



XXII.


             _From Mr. Allan Quatermain to Sir Henry Curtis_.

Mr. Quatermain offers the correct account of two celebrated right and
left shots, also an adventure of the stranger in the Story of an African
Farm.

DEAR CURTIS,—You ask me to give you the true account, in writing, of
those right and left shots of mine at the two lions, the crocodile, and
the eagle.  The brutes are stuffed now, in the hall at home—the lions
each on a pedestal, and the alligator on the floor with the eagle in his
jaws—much as they were when I settled them and saved the Stranger.  All
sorts of stories have got into the papers about the business, which was
simple enough; so, though no hand with a pen, I may as well write it all
out.

I was up on the Knobkerry River, prospecting for diamonds, in
Omomborombunga’s country.  I had nobody with me but poor Jim-jim, who
afterwards met with an awful death, otherwise he would have been glad to
corroborate my tale, if it needed it.  One night I had come back tired to
camp, when I found a stranger sitting by the fire.  He was a dark, fat,
Frenchified little chap, and you won’t believe me, but it is a fact that
he wore gloves.  I asked him to stay the night, of course, and inspanned
the waggons in laager, for Omomborombunga’s impis were out, swearing to
wash their spears in the blood of The Great White Liar—a Portuguese
traveller probably; if not, I don’t know who he can have been; perhaps
this stranger: he gave no name.  Well, we had our biltong together, and
the Stranger put himself outside a good deal of the very little brandy I
had left.  We got yarning, so to speak, and I told him a few of the
curious adventures that naturally fall to the lot of a man in those wild
countries.  The Stranger did not say much, but kept playing with a huge
carved walking-stick that he had.  Presently he said, “Look at this
stick; I bought it from a boy on a South African Farm.  Do you understand
what the carvings mean?”

“Hanged if I do!” I said, after turning it about.

“Well, do you see that figure?” and he touched a thing like a Noah out of
a child’s ark.  “That was a hunter like you, my friend, but not in all
respects.  That hunter pursued a vast white bird with silver wings,
sailing in the everlasting blue.”

“Everlasting bosh!” said I; “there is no bird of the kind on the veldt.”

“That bird was Truth,” says the Stranger, “and, judging from the anecdote
you tell me about the Babyan woman and the Zulu medicine-man, it is a
bird _you_ don’t trouble yourself with much, my friend.”

This was a pretty cool thing to say to a man whose veracity is known like
a proverb from Sheba’s Breasts to the Zambesi.

_Foide Macumazahn_, the Zulus say, meaning as true as a yarn of Allan
Quatermain’s.  Well, my blood was up; no man shall call Allan Quatermain
a liar.  The fellow was going on with a prodigious palaver about a white
feather of Truth, and Mount Sinai, and the Land of Absolute Negation, and
I don’t know what, but I signified to him that if he did not believe my
yarns I did not want his company.  “I’m sorry to turn you out,” I said,
“for there are lions around”—indeed they were roaring to each other—“and
you will have a parroty time.  But you apologise, or you go!”

He laughed his short thick laugh.  “I am a man who hopes nothing, feels
nothing, fears nothing, and believes nothing that you tell me!”

I got up and went for him with my fists, and whether he feared nothing or
not I don’t know; but he scooted, dropping a yellow French novel, by one
Catulle Mendes, that I could make neither head nor tail of.  I afterwards
heard that there was something about this stranger in a book called “The
Story of an African Farm,” which I once began, but never finished, not
being able to understand most of it, and being vexed by the gross
improbability of the girl not marrying the baby’s father, he being ready
and willing to make her an honest woman.  However, I am no critic, but a
plain man who tells a plain tale, and I believe persons of soul admire
the book very much.  Any way, it does not say who the Stranger was—an
allegorical kind of bagman I fancy; but I am not done with him yet.

Out he went into the dark, where hundreds of lions could be plainly seen
making love (at which season they are very dangerous) by the flashes of
lightning.

It was a terrific yet beautiful spectacle, and one which I can never
forget.  The black of night would suddenly open like a huge silver
flower, deep within deep, till you almost fancied you could see within
the gates of heaven.  The hills stood out dark against the illimitable
splendour, and on every koppie you saw the huge lions, like kittens at
play, roaring till you could scarcely hear the thunder.  The rain was
rushing like a river, all glittering like diamonds, and then, in the
twinkling of an eye, all was black as a wolf’s mouth till the next flash.
The lightning, coming from all quarters, appeared to meet above me, and
now was red, now golden, now silver again, while the great cat-like
beasts, as they leaped or lay, looked like gold, red, and silver lions,
reminding me of the signs of public-houses in old England, far away.
Meantime the donga beneath roared with the flooded torrent that the rain
was bringing down from the heights of Umbopobekatanktshiu.

I stood watching the grand spectacle for some time, rather pitying the
Stranger who was out in it, by no fault of mine.  Then I knocked the
ashes out of my pipe, ate a mealy or two, and crept into my _kartel_,
{184} and slept the sleep of the just.

About dawn I woke.  The thunder had rolled away like a bad dream.  The
long level silver shafts of the dawn were flooding the heights, raindrops
glittered like diamonds on every kopje and karroo bush, leaving the deep
donga bathed in the solemn pall of mysterious night.

My thoughts went rapidly over the millions of leagues of land and sea,
where life, that perpetual problem, was now awaking to another day of
struggle and temptation.  Then the golden arrows of the day followed
fast.  The silver and blue sky grew roseate with that wide wild blush
which testifies to the modest delight of nature, satisfied and grateful
for her silent existence and her amorous repose.  I breakfasted, went
down into the donga with a black boy, poor Jim-jim, who was afterwards,
as I said, to perish by an awful fate, otherwise he would testify to the
truth of my plain story.  I began poking among the rocks in the dry basin
of the donga, {185} and had just picked up a pebble—I knew it by the
soapy feel for a diamond.  Uncut it was about three times the size of the
koh-i-noor, say 1,000 carats, and I was rejoicing in my luck when I heard
the scream of a human being in the last agony of terror.  Looking up, I
saw that on either side of the donga, which was about twenty feet wide, a
great black lion and lioness were standing with open jaws, while some
fifty yards in front of me an alligator, in a deep pool of the flooded
donga, was stretching his open snout and gleaming teeth greedily upwards.
Over head flew an eagle, and _in mid-air between_, as I am a living and
honourable man, a human being was leaping the chasm.  He had been pursued
by the lion on my left, and had been driven to attempt the terrible leap;
but if he crossed he was certain to fall into the jaws of the lion on my
right, while if he fell short in his jump, do you see, the alligator was
ready for him below, and the great golden eagle watched the business from
above, in case he attempted to escape _that_ way.

All this takes long to tell, though it was passing in a flash of time.
Dropping the diamond (which must have rolled into a crevice of the rock,
for I never saw it again), I caught up my double-barrelled rifle (one of
Wesson & Smith’s), aimed at the lion on the right hand of the donga with
my right barrel, and then hastily fired my left at the alligator.  When
the smoke cleared away, the man had reached the right side of the donga
safe and sound.  Seeing that the alligator was dying, I loaded again,
bowled over the lioness on the left, settled the eagle’s business (he
fell dead into the jaws of the dying alligator, which closed on him with
a snap).  I then climbed the wall of the donga, and there lay, fainting,
the Stranger of last night—the man who feared nothing—the blood of the
dead lion trickling over him.  His celebrated allegorical walking-stick
from the African Farm had been broken into two pieces by the bullet after
it (the bullet) had passed through the head of the lion.  And, as the
“Ingoldsby Legends” say, “nobody was one penny the worse,” except the
wild beasts.  The man, however, had had a parroty time, and it was a good
hour before I could bring him round, during which he finished my brandy.
He still wore gloves.  What he was doing in Omuborumbunga’s country I do
not know to this day.  I never found the diamond again, though I hunted
long.  But I must say that two better right and left shots, considering
that I had no time to aim, and that they were really snapshots, I never
remember to have made in my long experience.

This is the short and the long of the matter, which was talked of a good
deal in the Colony, and about which, I am told, some inaccurate accounts
have got into the newspapers.  I hate writing, as you know, and don’t
pretend to give a literary colour to this little business of the shots,
but merely tell a “plain, unvarnished tale,” as the “Ingoldsby Legends”
say.

As to the Stranger, what he was doing there, or who he was, or where he
is now, I can tell you nothing.  He told me he was bound for “the
almighty mountains of Dry-facts and Realities,” which he kindly pointed
out to me among the carvings of his walking-stick.  He then sighed
wearily, very wearily, and scooted.  I think he came to no good; but he
never came in my way again.

And now you know the yarn of the two stuffed lions and the alligator with
the eagle in his jaws.

                               Ever yours,

                                                         ALLAN QUATERMAIN.



XXIII.


  _From the Baron Bradwardine to Edward Waverley_, _Esq._, _of Waverley
                                 Honour_.

The Baron explains the mysterious circumstances of his affair with his
third cousin, Sir Hew Halbert.—“Waverley,” chap. xiv.

                                               Tully Veolan, May 17, 1747.

SON EDWARD,—Touching my quarrel with Sir Hew Halbert, anent which I told
you no more than that it was “settled in a fitting manner,” you have long
teased me for an ampler explanation.  This I have withheld, as conceiving
that it tended rather to vain quolibets and jesting, than to that respect
in which the duello, or single combat, should be regarded by gentlemen of
name and coat armour.  But Sir Hew being dead, and buried with his
fathers, the matter may be broached as among friends and persons of
honour.  The ground of our dispute, as ye know, was an unthinking scoff
of Sir Hew’s, he being my own third cousin by the mother’s side, Anderson
of Ettrick Hall having intermarried, about the time of the Solemn League
and Covenant, with Anderson of Tushielaw, both of which houses are
connected with the Halberts of Dinniewuddie and with the Bradwardines.
But _stemmata quid faciunt_?  Sir Hew, being a young man, and the maut,
as the vulgar say, above the meal, after a funeral of one of our kin in
the Cathedral Kirkyard of St. Andrews, we met at Glass’s Inn, where, in
the presence of many gentlemen, occurred our unfortunate dissension.

We encountered betimes next morning, on a secluded spot of the sands hard
by the town, at the Eden-mouth. {190}  The weapons were pistols, Sir Hew,
by a slight passing infirmity, being disabled from the use of the sword.
Inchgrabbit was my second, and Strathtyrum did the same office for my
kinsman, Sir Hew.  The pistols being charged and primed, and we aligned
forenent each other at the convenient distance of twelve paces, the word
was given to fire, and both weapons having been discharged, and the smoke
having cleared away, Sir Hew was discovered fallen to the ground,
_procumbus humi_, and exanimate.  The blood was flowing freely from a
face-wound, and my unhappy kinsman was senseless.  At this moment we
heard a voice, as of one _clamantis in eremo_, cry “_Fore_!” to which
paying no heed in the natural agitation of our spirits, we hurried to
lift my fallen opponent and examine his wound.  Upon a closer search it
proved to be no shot-wound, but a mere clour, or bruise, whereof the
reason was now apparent, he having been struck by the ball of a golfer
(from us concealed by the _dunes_, or bunkers, of sand) and not by the
discharge of my weapon.  At this moment a plebeian fellow appeared with
his _arma campestria_, or clubs, cleeks, irons, and the like, under his
arm, who, without paying any attention to our situation, struck the ball
wherewith he had felled my kinsman in the direction of the hole.
Reflection directed us to the conclusion that both pistols had missed
their aim, and that Sir Hew had fallen beneath a chance blow from this
fellow’s golf-ball.  But as my kinsman was still _hors de combat_, and
incapable of further action, being unwitting, too, of the real cause of
his disaster, Inchgrabbit and Strathtyrum, in their discretion as
seconds, or _belli judices_, deemed it better that we should keep a still
sough, and that Sir Hew should never be informed concerning the cause of
his discomfiture.  This resolution we kept, and Sir Hew wore, till the
day of his late lamented decease, a bullet among the seals of his watch,
he being persuaded by Strathtyrum that it had been extracted from his
brain-pan, which certainly was of the thickest.  But this was all a bam,
or bite, among young men, and a splore to laugh over by our three selves,
nor would I have it to go abroad now that Sir Hew is dead, as being
prejudicial to the memory of a worthy man, and an honourable family
connected with our own.  Wherefore I pray you keep a still sough
hereanent, as you love me, who remain—Your loving good father,

                                                              BRADWARDINE.



APPENDIX


Note on Letter of Mr. Surtees to Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck, p. 64.

NO literary forgeries were ever much better done than the sham ballads
which Surtees of Mainsforth imposed on Sir Walter Scott.  The poems were
spirited and good of their kind; and though we wonder now that some of
them could take in an expert, it is by no means assured that we are even
to-day acquainted with the whole of Surtees’ frauds.  Why a man otherwise
honourable, kindly, charitable, and learned, exercised his ingenuity so
cruelly upon a trusting correspondent and a staunch friend, it is hardly
possible to guess.  The biographers of Surtees maintain that he wanted to
try his skill on Scott, then only known to him by correspondence; and
that, having succeeded, he was afraid to risk Scott’s friendship by a
confession.  This is plausible; and if good may come out of evil, we may
remember that two picturesque parts of “Marmion” are due to one confessed
and another certain _supercherie_ of Surtees.  It cannot be said in his
defence that he had no conception of the mischief of literary frauds; in
more than one passage of his correspondence he mentions Ritson’s
detestation of these practices.  “To literary imposition, as tending to
obscure the path of inquiry, Ritson gave no quarter,” says this arch
literary impostor.

A brief account of Surtees’ labour in the field of sham ballad writing
may be fresh to many people who merely know him as the real author of
“Barthram’s Dirge” and of “The Slaying of Anthony Featherstonhaugh.”  In
an undated letter of 1806, Scott, writing from Ashestiel, thanks Surtees
for his “obliging communications.”  Surtees manifestly began the
correspondence, being attracted by the “Border Minstrelsy.”  Thus it
appears that Surtees did _not_ forge “Hobbie Noble” in the first edition
of the “Minstrelsy”; for he makes some suggestions as to the “Earl of
Whitfield,” dreaded by the hero of that ballad, which Scott had already
published.  But he was already deceiving Scott, who writes to him about
“Ralph Eure,” or “Lord Eure,” and about a “Goth, who melted Lord Eure’s
gold chain.”  This Lord Eure is doubtless the “Lord Eurie” of the ballad
in the later editions of the “Border Minstrelsy,” a ballad actually
composed by Surtees.  That wily person immediately sent Scott a ballad on
“The Feud between the Ridleys and Featherstones,” in which Scott believed
to the day of his death.  He introduced it in “Marmion.”

          The whiles a Northern harper rude
          Chaunted a rhyme of deadly feud,
    How the fierce Thirlwalls and Ridleys all, &c.

In his note (“Border Minstrelsy,” second edition, 1808, p. xxi.) Scott
says the ballad was taken down from an old woman’s recitation at the
Alston Moor lead-mines “by the agent there,” and sent by him to Surtees.
Consequently, when Surtees saw “Marmion” in print he had to ask Scott not
to print “_the_ agent,” as he does not know even the name of Colonel
Beaumont’s chief agent there, but “an agent.”  Thus he hedged himself
from a not impossible disclaimer by the agent at the mines.

Readers of “Marmion” will remember how

    Once, near Norham, there did fight
    A spectre fell, of fiendish might,
    In likeness of a Scottish knight,
          With Brian Bulmer bold,
    And trained him nigh to disallow
    The aid of his baptismal vow.

This legend is more of Surtees’ fun.  “The most singular tale of this
kind,” says Sir Walter, “is contained in an extract communicated to me by
my friend Mr. Surtees, of Mainsforth, who copied it from a MS. note in a
copy of Burthogge “On the Nature of Spirits, 1694, 8vo,” which had been
the property of the late Mr. Gill.  It was not in Mr. Gill’s own hand:
but probably an hundred years older, and was said to be “E libro Convent.
Dunelm. per T. C. extract.;” this T. C. being Thomas Cradocke, Esq.
Scott adds, that the passage, which he gives in the Latin, suggested the
introduction of the tourney with the Fairy Knight in “Marmion.”  Well,
_where_ is Cradocke’s extract?  The original was “lost” before Surtees
sent his “copy” to Sir Walter.  “The notes had been carelessly or
injudiciously shaken out of the book.”  Surtees adds, another editor
confirms it, that no such story exists in any MS. of the Dean and Chapter
of Durham.  No doubt he invented the whole story, and wrote it himself in
mediæval Latin.

Not content with two “whoppers,” as Mr. Jo Gargery might call them,
Surtees goes on to invent a perfectly incredible heraldic bearing.  He
found it in a MS. note in the “Gwillim’s Heraldry” of Mr. Gyll or
Gill—the name is written both ways.  “He beareth per pale or and arg.,
over all a spectre passant, _shrouded sable_”—“he” being Newton, of
Beverley, in Yorkshire.  Sir Walter actually swallowed this amazing fib,
and alludes to it in “Rob Roy” (1818).  But Mr. Raine, the editor of
Surtees’ Life, inherited or bought his copy of Gwillim, that of Mr. Gill
or Gyll; “and I find in it no trace of such an entry.”  “Lord
Derwentwater’s Good-Night” is probably entirely by Surtees.  “A friend of
Mr. Taylor’s” gave him a Tynedale ballad, “Hey, Willy Ridley, winna you
stay?” which is also “aut Diabolus aut Robertus.”  As to “Barthram’s
Dirge,” “from Ann Douglas, a withered crone who weeds my garden,” copies
with various tentative verses in Surtees’ hand have been found.  Oddly
enough, Sir Walter had once discovered a small sepulchral cross, upset,
in Liddesdale, near the “Nine Stane Rig;” and this probably made him more
easily deceived.  Surtees very cleverly put some lines, which _could_ not
have been original, in brackets, as his own attempt to fill up lacunæ.
Such are

       [When the dew fell cold and still,
    When the aspen grey forget to play,
       And the mist clung to the hill.]

Any one reading the piece would say, “It must be genuine, for the
_confessed_ interpolations are not in the ballad style, which the
interpolator, therefore, could not write.”  An attempt which Surtees made
when composing the song, and which he wisely rejected, could not have
failed to excite Scott’s suspicions.  It ran—

    They buried him when the bonny may
       Was on the flow’ring thorn;
    And she waked him till the forest grey
       Of every leaf was lorn;

    Till the rowan tree of gramarye
       Its scarlet clusters shed,
    And the hollin green alone was seen
       With its berries glistening red.

Whether Surtees’ “Brown Man of the Muirs,” to which Scott also gave a
place in his own poetry, was a true legend or not, the reader may decide
for himself.

Concerning another ballad in the “Minstrelsy”—“Auld Maitland”—Professor
Child has expressed a suspicion which most readers feel.  What Scott told
Ellis about it (Autumn, 1802) was, that he got it in the Forest, “copied
down from the recitation of an old shepherd by a country farmer.”  Who
was the farmer?  Will Laidlaw had employed James Hogg, as shepherd.
Hogg’s mother chanted “Auld Maitland.”  Hogg first met Scott in the
summer of 1801.  The shepherd had already seen the first volume of the
“Minstrelsy.”  Did he, thereupon, write “Auld Maitland,” teach his mother
it, and induce Laidlaw to take it down from her recitation?  The old lady
said she got it from Andrew Moir, who had it “frae auld Baby Mettlin, who
was said to have been another nor a gude ane.”  But we have Hogg’s own
statement that “aiblins ma gran’-mither was an unco leear,” and this
quality may have been hereditary.  On the other side, Hogg could hardly
have held his tongue about the forgery, if forgery it was, when he wrote
his “Domestic Manners and Private Life of Sir Walter Scott” (1834).  The
whole investigation is a little depressing, and makes one very shy of
unauthenticated ballads.

                                * * * * *

                                PRINTED BY
                 SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE
                                  LONDON



FOOTNOTES


{20}  Who knows what may happen?  I may die before he sees the light; so
I will add among my friends SKALAGRIM LAMB’S-TAIL.

{43}  Can Mrs. Gamp mean ‘dial’?

{47}  1887.

{50}  In his familiar correspondence, it will be observed, Herodotus does
not trouble himself to maintain the dignity of history.

{53}  Mr. Flinders Petrie has just discovered and sent to Mr. Holly, of
Trinity, Cambridge, the well-known traveller, a wall-painting of a
beautiful woman, excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society, from the
ruined site of the Temple of Aphrodite in Naucratis.  Mr. Holly, in an
affecting letter to the _Academy_, states that he recognises in this
picture “an admirable though somewhat archaic portrait of SHE.”  There
can thus be little or no doubt that SHE was Rhodopis, and therefore
several hundred years older than she said.  But few will blame her for
being anxious not to claim her full age.

This unexpected revelation appears to throw light on some fascinating
peculiarities in the behaviour of SHE.

{56}  The great intimacy between Mrs. Proudie and Mrs. Quiverful,
indicated by Mrs. Proudie’s use of the Bishop’s Christian name—and that
abbreviated—has amazed the discoverer and editor of her correspondence.

{60a}  This signature of Mrs. Proudie’s is so unusual an assumption of
the episcopal style, that it might well cast a doubt on the authenticity
of her letter.  But experts pronounce it genuine.  “Barnum,” of course,
is “Baronum Castrum,” the rather odd Roman name of Barchester.

{60b}  It has been seen that Mrs. Quiverful did not obey this injunction.

{65}  This man was well known to Sir Walter Scott, who speaks of his
curious habits in an unpublished manuscript.

{125}  Mr. Forth, we are sure, is quite wrong, and none of the scholars
he quotes has said anything of the kind.

{129}  “He” clearly means, not Addison, but Professor Forth, the lady’s
husband.

{130}  It was not Asiatics, but Aztecs; not Pittites, but Hittites!
Woman cares little for these studies!—A.L.

{133}  The editor has no doubt that some one was—Miss Watson.  Cf.
‘Belinda.’

{139}  Owing to the sudden decease of the Dean in well-known and
melancholy circumstances, this letter was not delivered.

{140}  Alas, not wisely!  But any careful reader of “The Silence of Dean
Maitland” will see that the Baby was an anachronism.—ED.

{146}  This appears to have been a favourite remark of Mr. Skimpole’s.
It will be noticed that, quite without intending it, Mr. Skimpole was the
founder of our New Cyrenaic School.

{147}  Mr. Skimpole’s recollections of classical ritual are a little
mixed hereabouts.  He refers to Mr. Honeyman’s projected union with the
widow of Mr. Bromley, the famous hatter.

{151}  Colonel Newcome, indeed.

{154}  Non, Monsieur, je ne cite ni “Woodsworth” ni “le vieux Williams.”

{165}  Mr. Potts ought to have consulted the edition of 1833, where he
would have found the verse as quoted by Mr. Gandish.

{166}  And a nice mixture it must have been!—A. L.

{184}  The wooden bed fastened in an ox-waggon.

{185}  Mr. Quatermain has just said that the donga was filled by a
roaring torrent.  Is there not some inconsistency here?

{190}  At the _High Hole_, indeed.—A. L.





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