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Title: Cambridge Pieces
Author: Butler, Samuel
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 1914 A. C. Fifield edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                      [Picture: Public domain cover]



                             CAMBRIDGE PIECES


                                    By
                              Samuel Butler
            Author of “Erewhon,” “The Way of All Flesh,” etc.

                                * * * * *

                       Edited by R. A. Streatfeild

                                * * * * *

                          London: A. C. Fifield
                                   1914



CONTENTS

                                                             PAGE
On English Composition and Other Matters                      205
Our Tour                                                      211
Translation from an Unpublished Work of Herodotus             234
The shield of Achilles, with variations                       237
Prospectus of the Great Split Society                         239
Powers                                                        244
A skit on examinations                                        251
An Eminent Person                                             255
Napoleon at St. Helena                                        256
The Two Deans.  I.                                            258
The Two Deans.  II.                                           259
The Battle of Alma Mater                                      261
On the Italian Priesthood                                     265
Samuel Butler and the Simeonites, by A. T. Bartholomew        266



On English Composition and Other Matters


_This essay is believed to be the first composition by Samuel Butler that
appeared in print_.  _It was published in the first number of the_ EAGLE,
_a magazine written and edited by members of St. John’s College_,
_Cambridge_, _in the Lent Term_, 1858, _when Butler was in his fourth and
last year of residence_.

        [From the _Eagle_, Vol. 1, No. 1, Lent Term, 1858, p. 41.]

I sit down scarcely knowing how to grasp my own meaning, and give it a
tangible shape in words; and yet it is concerning this very expression of
our thoughts in words that I wish to speak.  As I muse things fall more
into their proper places, and, little fit for the task as my confession
pronounces me to be, I will try to make clear that which is in my mind.

I think, then, that the style of our authors of a couple of hundred years
ago was more terse and masculine than that of those of the present day,
possessing both more of the graphic element, and more vigour,
straightforwardness, and conciseness.  Most readers will have anticipated
me in admitting that a man should be clear of his meaning before he
endeavours to give to it any kind of utterance, and that having made up
his mind what to say, the less thought he takes how to say it, more than
briefly, pointedly, and plainly, the better; for instance, Bacon tells
us, “Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark”; he does not say,
what I can imagine a last century writer to have said, “A feeling
somewhat analogous to the dread with which children are affected upon
entering a dark room, is that which most men entertain at the
contemplation of death.”  Jeremy Taylor says, “Tell them it is as much
intemperance to weep too much as to laugh too much”; he does not say,
“All men will acknowledge that laughing admits of intemperance, but some
men may at first sight hesitate to allow that a similar imputation may be
at times attached to weeping.”

I incline to believe that as irons support the rickety child, whilst they
impede the healthy one, so rules, for the most part, are but useful to
the weaker among us.  Our greatest masters in language, whether prose or
verse, in painting, music, architecture, or the like, have been those who
preceded the rule and whose excellence gave rise thereto; men who
preceded, I should rather say, not the rule, but the discovery of the
rule, men whose intuitive perception led them to the right practice.  We
cannot imagine Homer to have studied rules, and the infant genius of
those giants of their art, Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven, who composed at
the ages of seven, five, and ten, must certainly have been unfettered by
them: to the less brilliantly endowed, however, they have a use as being
compendious safeguards against error.  Let me then lay down as the best
of all rules for writing, “forgetfulness of self, and carefulness of the
matter in hand.”  No simile is out of place that illustrates the subject;
in fact a simile as showing the symmetry of this world’s arrangement, is
always, if a fair one, interesting; every simile is amiss that leads the
mind from the contemplation of its object to the contemplation of its
author.  This will apply equally to the heaping up of unnecessary
illustrations: it is as great a fault to supply the reader with too many
as with too few; having given him at most two, it is better to let him
read slowly and think out the rest for himself than to surfeit him with
an abundance of explanation.  Hood says well,

    And thus upon the public mind intrude it;
    As if I thought, like Otaheitan cooks,
    No food was fit to eat till I had chewed it.

A book that is worth reading will be worth reading thoughtfully, and
there are but few good books, save certain novels, that it is well to
read in an arm-chair.  Most will bear standing to.  At the present time
we seem to lack the impassiveness and impartiality which was so marked
among the writings of our forefathers, we are seldom content with the
simple narration of fact, but must rush off into an almost declamatory
description of them; my meaning will be plain to all who have studied
Thucydides.  The dignity of his simplicity is, I think, marred by those
who put in the accessories which seem thought necessary in all present
histories.  How few writers of the present day would not, instead of _νὑξ
γὰρ ἐπεγένετο τῷ ἓργῳ_ rather write, “Night fell upon this horrid scene
of bloodshed.” {207}  This is somewhat a matter of taste, but I think I
shall find some to agree with me in preferring for plain narration (of
course I exclude oratory) the unadorned gravity of Thucydides.  There
are, indeed, some writers of the present day who seem returning to the
statement of facts rather than their adornment, but these are not the
most generally admired.  This simplicity, however, to be truly effective
must be unstudied; it will not do to write with affected terseness, a
charge which, I think, may be fairly preferred against Tacitus; such a
style if ever effective must be so from excess of artifice and not from
that artlessness of simplicity which I should wish to see prevalent among
us.

Neither again is it well to write and go over the ground again with the
pruning knife, though this fault is better than the other; to take care
of the matter, and let the words take care of themselves, is the best
safeguard.

To this I shall be answered, “Yes, but is not a diamond cut and polished
a more beautiful object than when rough?”  I grant it, and more valuable,
inasmuch as it has run chance of spoliation in the cutting, but I
maintain that the thinking man, the man whose thoughts are great and
worth the consideration of others, will “deal in proprieties,” and will
from the mine of his thoughts produce ready-cut diamonds, or rather will
cut them there spontaneously, ere ever they see the light of day.

There are a few points still which it were well we should consider.  We
are all too apt when we sit down to study a subject to have already
formed our opinion, and to weave all matter to the warp of our
preconceived judgment, to fall in with the received idea, and, with
biassed minds, unconsciously to follow in the wake of public opinion,
while professing to lead it.  To the best of my belief half the dogmatism
of those we daily meet is in consequence of the unwitting practices of
this self-deception.  Simply let us not talk about what we do not
understand, save as learners, and we shall not by writing mislead others.

There is no shame in being obliged to others for opinions, the shame is
not being honest enough to acknowledge it: I would have no one omit to
put down a useful thought because it was not his own, provided it tended
to the better expression of his matter, and he did not conceal its
source; let him, however, set out the borrowed capital to interest.  One
word more and I have done.  With regard to our subject, the best rule is
not to write concerning that about which we cannot at our present age
know anything save by a process which is commonly called cram: on all
such matters there are abler writers than ourselves; the men, in fact,
from whom we cram.  Never let us hunt after a subject, unless we have
something which we feel urged on to say, it is better to say nothing; who
are so ridiculous as those who talk for the sake of talking, save only
those who write for the sake of writing?  But there are subjects which
all young men think about.  Who can take a walk in our streets and not
think?  The most trivial incident has ramifications, to whose guidance if
we surrender our thoughts, we are oft-times led upon a gold mine
unawares, and no man whether old or young is worse for reading the
ingenuous and unaffected statement of a young man’s thoughts.  There are
some things in which experience blunts the mental vision, as well as
others in which it sharpens it.  The former are best described by younger
men, our province is not to lead public opinion, is not in fact to ape
our seniors, and transport ourselves from our proper sphere, it is rather
to show ourselves as we are, to throw our thoughts before the public as
they rise, without requiring it to imagine that we are right and others
wrong, but hoping for the forbearance which I must beg the reader to
concede to myself, and trusting to the genuineness and vigour of our
design to attract it may be more than a passing attention.

I am aware that I have digressed from the original purpose of my essay,
but I hope for pardon, if, believing the digression to be of more value
than the original matter, I have not checked my pen, but let it run on
even as my heart directed it.

                                                                CELLARIUS.



Our Tour


_This essay was published in the_ EAGLE, _Vol._ 1, _No._ 5. _in the
Easter Term_, 1859.  _It describes a holiday trip made by Butler in
June_, 1857, _in company with a friend whose name_, _which was Joseph
Green_, _Butler Italianised as Giuseppe Verdi_.  _I am permitted by
Professor Bonney to quote a few words from a private letter of his
referring to Butler’s tour_: “_It was remarkable in the amount of ground
covered and the small sum spent_, _but still more in the direction taken
in the first part of the tour_.  _Dauphine was then almost a_ TERRA
INCOGNITA _to English or any other travellers_.”

      [From the _Eagle_, Vol. 1, No. 5.  Easter Term, 1859, p. 241.]

AS the vacation is near, and many may find themselves with three weeks’
time on their hand, five-and-twenty pounds in their pockets, and the map
of Europe before them, perhaps the following sketch of what can be
effected with such money and in such time, may not come amiss to those,
who, like ourselves a couple of years ago, are in doubt how to enjoy
themselves most effectually after a term’s hard reading.

To some, probably, the tour we decided upon may seem too hurried, and the
fatigue too great for too little profit; still even to these it may
happen that a portion of the following pages may be useful.  Indeed, the
tour was scarcely conceived at first in its full extent, originally we
had intended devoting ourselves entirely to the French architecture of
Normandy and Brittany.  Then we grew ambitious, and stretched our
imaginations to Paris.  Then the longing for a snowy mountain waxed, and
the love of French Gothic waned, and we determined to explore the French
Alps.  Then we thought that we must just step over them and take a peep
into Italy, and so, disdaining to return by the road we had already
travelled, we would cut off the north-west corner of Italy, and cross the
Alps again into Switzerland, where, of course, we must see the cream of
what was to be seen; and then thinking it possible that our three weeks
and our five-and-twenty pounds might be looking foolish, we would return,
via Strasburg to Paris, and so to Cambridge.  This plan we eventually
carried into execution, spending not a penny more money, nor an hour’s
more time; and, despite the declarations which met us on all sides that
we could never achieve anything like all we had intended, I hope to be
able to show how we did achieve it, and how anyone else may do the like
if he has a mind.  A person with a good deal of energy might do much more
than this; we ourselves had at one time entertained thoughts of going to
Rome for two days, and thence to Naples, walking over the Monte St.
Angelo from Castellamare to Amalfi (which for my own part I cherish with
fond affection, as being far the most lovely thing that I have ever
seen), and then returning as with a _Nunc Dimittis_, and I still think it
would have been very possible; but, on the whole, such a journey would
not have been so well, for the long tedious road between Marseilles and
Paris would have twice been traversed by us, to say nothing of the sea
journey between Marseilles and Cività Vecchia.  However, no more of what
might have been, let us proceed to what was.

If on Tuesday, June 9 [i.e. 1857], you leave London Bridge at six o’clock
in the morning, you will get (via Newhaven) to Dieppe at fifteen minutes
past three.  If on landing you go to the Hotel Victoria, you will find
good accommodation and a table d’hôte at five o’clock; you can then go
and admire the town, which will not be worth admiring, but which will
fill you with pleasure on account of the novelty and freshness of
everything you meet; whether it is the old bonnet-less, short-petticoated
women walking arm and arm with their grandsons, whether the church with
its quaint sculpture of the Entombment of our Lord, and the sad votive
candles ever guttering in front of it, or whether the plain evidence that
meets one at every touch and turn, that one is among people who live out
of doors very much more than ourselves, or what not—all will be charming,
and if you are yourself in high spirits and health, full of anticipation
and well inclined to be pleased with all you see, Dieppe will appear a
very charming place, and one which a year or two hence you will fancy
that you would like to revisit.  But now we must leave it at forty-five
minutes past seven, and at twelve o’clock on Tuesday night we shall find
ourselves in Paris.  We drive off to the Hôtel de Normandie in the Rue
St. Honoré, 290 (I think), stroll out and get a cup of coffee, and return
to bed at one o’clock.

The next day we spent in Paris, and of it no account need be given, save
perhaps the reader may be advised to ascend the Arc de Triomphe, and not
to waste his time in looking at Napoleon’s hats and coats and shoes in
the Louvre; to eschew all the picture rooms save the one with the
Murillos, and the great gallery, and to dine at the Dîners de Paris.  If
he asks leave to wash his hands before dining there, he will observe a
little astonishment among the waiters at the barbarian cleanliness of the
English, and be shown into a little room, where a diminutive bowl will be
proffered to him, of which more anon; let him first (as we did) wash or
rather sprinkle his face as best he can, and then we will tell him after
dinner what we generally do with the bowls in question.  I forget how
many things they gave us, but I am sure many more than would be pleasant
to read, nor do I remember any circumstance connected with the dinner,
save that on occasion of one of the courses, the waiter perceiving a
little perplexity on my part as to how I should manage an artichoke
served _à la française_, feelingly removed my knife and fork from my hand
and cut it up himself into six mouthfuls, returning me the whole with a
sigh of gratitude for the escape of the artichoke from a barbarous and
unnatural end; and then after dinner they brought us little tumblers of
warm lavender scent and water to wash our mouths out, and the little
bowls to spit into; but enough of eating, we must have some more coffee
at a café on the Boulevards, watch the carriages and the people and the
dresses and the sunshine and all the pomps and vanities which the
Boulevards have not yet renounced; return to the inn, fetch our
knapsacks, and be off to the Chemin de Fer de Lyon by forty-five minutes
past seven; our train leaves at five minutes past eight, and we are
booked to Grenoble.  All night long the train speeds towards the south.
We leave Sens with its grey cathedral solemnly towering in the moonlight
a mile on the left.  (How few remember, that to the architect William of
Sens we owe Canterbury Cathedral.)  Fontainebleau is on the right,
station after station wakes up our dozing senses, while ever in our ears
are ringing as through the dim light we gaze on the surrounding country,
“the pastures of Switzerland and the poplar valleys of France.”

It is still dark—as dark, that is, as the midsummer night will allow it
to be, when we are aware that we have entered on a tunnel; a long tunnel,
very long—I fancy there must be high hills above it; for I remember that
some few years ago when I was travelling up from Marseilles to Paris in
midwinter, all the way from Avignon (between which place and Châlon the
railway was not completed), there had been a dense frozen fog; on neither
hand could anything beyond the road be descried, while every bush and
tree was coated with a thick and steadily increasing fringe of silver
hoar-frost, for the night and day, and half-day that it took us to reach
this tunnel, all was the same—bitter cold dense fog and ever silently
increasing hoar-frost: but on emerging from it, the whole scene was
completely changed; the air was clear, the sun shining brightly, no
hoar-frost and only a few patches of fast melting snow, everything in
fact betokening a thaw of some days’ duration.  Another thing I know
about this tunnel which makes me regard it with veneration as a boundary
line in countries, namely, that on every high ground after this tunnel on
clear days Mont Blanc may be seen.  True, it is only very rarely seen,
but I have known those who have seen it; and accordingly touch my
companion on the side, and say, “We are within sight of the Alps”; a few
miles farther on and we are at Dijon.  It is still very early morning, I
think about three o’clock, but we feel as if we were already at the Alps,
and keep looking anxiously out for them, though we well know that it is a
moral impossibility that we should see them for some hours at the least.
Indian corn comes in after Dijon; the oleanders begin to come out of
their tubs; the peach trees, apricots, and nectarines unnail themselves
from the walls, and stand alone in the open fields.  The vineyards are
still scrubby, but the practised eye readily detects with each hour some
slight token that we are nearer the sun than we were, or, at any rate,
farther from the North Pole.  We don’t stay long at Dijon nor at Châlon,
at Lyons we have an hour to wait; breakfast off a basin of _café au lait_
and a huge hunch of bread, get a miserable wash, compared with which the
spittoons of the Dîners de Paris were luxurious, and return in time to
proceed to St. Rambert, whence the railroad branches off to Grenoble.  It
is very beautiful between Lyons and St. Rambert.  The mulberry trees show
the silkworm to be a denizen of the country, while the fields are
dazzlingly brilliant with poppies and salvias; on the other side of the
Rhône rise high cloud-capped hills, but towards the Alps we strain our
eyes in vain.

At St. Rambert the railroad to Grenoble branches off at right angles to
the main line, it was then only complete as far as Rives, now it is
continued the whole way to Grenoble; by which the reader will save some
two or three hours, but miss a beautiful ride from Rives to Grenoble by
the road.  The valley bears the name of Grésivaudan.  It is very rich and
luxuriant, the vineyards are more Italian, the fig trees larger than we
have yet seen them, patches of snow whiten the higher hills, and we feel
that we are at last indeed among the outskirts of the Alps themselves.  I
am told that we should have stayed at Voreppe, seen the Grande Chartreuse
(for which see Murray), and then gone on to Grenoble, but we were pressed
for time and could not do everything.  At Grenoble we arrived about two
o’clock, washed comfortably at last and then dined; during dinner a
_calèche_ was preparing to drive us on to Bourg d’Oisans, a place some
six or seven and thirty miles farther on, and by thirty minutes past
three we find ourselves reclining easily within it, and digesting dinner
with the assistance of a little packet, for which we paid
one-and-fourpence at the well-known shop of Mr. Bacon, Market-square,
Cambridge.  It is very charming.  The air is sweet, warm, and sunny,
there has been bad weather for some days here, but it is clearing up; the
clouds are lifting themselves hour by hour, we are evidently going to
have a pleasant spell of fine weather.  The _calèche_ jolts a little, and
the horse is decidedly shabby, both _qua_ horse and _qua_ harness, but
our moustaches are growing, and our general appearance is in keeping.
The wine was very pleasant at Grenoble, and we have a pound of ripe
cherries between us; so, on the whole, we would not change with his Royal
Highness Prince Albert or all the Royal Family, and jolt on through the
long straight poplar avenue that colonnades the road above the level
swamp and beneath the hills, and turning a sharp angle enter Vizille, a
wretched place, only memorable because from this point we begin
definitely, though slowly, to enter the hills and ascend by the side of
the Romanche through the valley, which that river either made or
found—who knows or cares?  But we do know very well that we are driving
up a very exquisitely beautiful valley, that the Romanche takes longer
leaps from rock to rock than she did, that the hills have closed in upon
us, that we see more snow each time the valley opens, that the villages
get scantier, and that at last a great giant iceberg walls up the way in
front, and we feast our eyes on the long-desired sight till after that
the setting sun has tinged it purple (a sure sign of a fine day), its
ghastly pallor shows us that the night is upon us.  It is cold, and we
are not sorry at half-past nine to find ourselves at Bourg d’Oisans,
where there is a very fair inn kept by one Martin; we get a comfortable
supper of eggs and go to bed fairly tired.

This we must remind the reader is Thursday night, on Tuesday morning we
left London, spent one day in Paris, and are now sleeping among the Alps,
sharpish work, but very satisfactory, and a prelude to better things by
and by.  The next day we made rather a mistake, instead of going straight
on to Briançon we went up a valley towards Mont Pelvoux (a mountain
nearly 14,000 feet high), intending to cross a high pass above La Bérarde
down to Briançon, but when we got to St. Christophe we were told the pass
would not be open till August, so returned and slept a second night at
Bourg d’Oisans.  The valley, however, was all that could be desired,
mingled sun and shadow, tumbling river, rich wood, and mountain pastures,
precipices all around, and snow-clad summits continually unfolding
themselves; Murray is right in calling the valley above Venosc a scene of
savage sterility.  At Venosc, in the poorest of hostelries was a tuneless
cracked old instrument, half piano, half harpsichord—how it ever found
its way there we were at a loss to conceive—and an irrelevant clock that
struck seven times by fits and starts at its own convenience during our
one o’clock dinner; we returned to Bourg d’Oisans at seven, and were in
bed by nine.

Saturday, June 13.

Having found that a conveyance to Briançon was beyond our finances, and
that they would not take us any distance at a reasonable charge, we
determined to walk the whole fifty miles in the day, and half-way down
the mountains, sauntering listlessly accordingly left Bourg d’Oisans at a
few minutes before five in the morning.  The clouds were floating over
the uplands, but they soon began to rise, and before seven o’clock the
sky was cloudless; along the road were passing hundreds of people (though
it was only five in the morning) in detachments of from two to nine, with
cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats, picturesque enough but miserably lean and
gaunt: we leave them to proceed to the fair, and after a three miles’
level walk through a straight poplar avenue, commence ascending far above
the Romanche; all day long we slowly ascend, stopping occasionally to
refresh ourselves with _vin ordinaire_ and water, but making steady way
in the main, though heavily weighted and under a broiling sun, at one we
reach La Grave, which is opposite the Mont de Lans, a most superb
mountain.  The whole scene equal to anything in Switzerland, as far as
the mountains go.  The Mont de Lans is opposite the windows, seeming
little more than a stone’s throw off, and causing my companion (whose
name I will, with his permission, Italianise into that of the famous
composer Giuseppe Verdi) to think it a mere nothing to mount to the top
of those sugared pinnacles which he will not believe are many miles
distant in reality.  After dinner we trudge on, the scenery constantly
improving, the snow drawing down to us, and the Romanche dwindling
hourly; we reach the top of the Col du Lautaret, which Murray must
describe; I can only say that it is first-class scenery.  The flowers are
splendid, acres and acres of wild narcissus, the Alpine cowslip,
gentians, large purple and yellow anemones, soldanellas, and the whole
kith and kin of the high Alpine pasture flowers; great banks of snow lie
on each side of the road, and probably will continue to do so till the
middle of July, while all around are glaciers and precipices innumerable.

We only got as far as Monêtier after all, for, reaching that town at
half-past eight, and finding that Briançon was still eight miles further
on, we preferred resting there at the miserable but cheap and honest
Hôtel de l’Europe; had we gone on a little farther we should have found a
much better one, but we were tired with our forty-two miles’ walk, and,
after a hasty supper and a quiet pipe, over which we watch the last
twilight on the Alps above Briançon, we turn in very tired but very much
charmed.

Sunday morning was the clearest and freshest morning that ever tourists
could wish for, the grass crisply frozen (for we are some three or four
thousand feet above the sea), the glaciers descending to a level but
little higher than the road; a fine range of Alps in front over Briançon,
and the road winding down past a new river (for we have long lost the
Romanche) towards the town, which is some six or seven miles distant.

It was a fête—the _Fête du bon Dieu_, celebrated annually on this day
throughout all this part of the country; in all the villages there were
little shrines erected, adorned with strings of blue corncockle,
narcissus heads, and poppies, bunches of green, pink, and white calico,
moss and fir-tree branches, and in the midst of these tastefully arranged
bowers was an image of the Virgin and her Son, with whatever other saints
the place was possessed of.

At Briançon, which we reached (in a trap) at eight o’clock, these
demonstrations were more imposing, but less pleasing; the soldiers, too,
were being drilled and exercised, and the whole scene was one of the
greatest animation, such as Frenchmen know how to exhibit on the morning
of a gala day.

Leaving our trap at Briançon and making a hasty breakfast at the Hôtel de
la Paix, we walked up a very lonely valley towards Cervières.  I dare not
say how many hours we wended our way up the brawling torrent without
meeting a soul or seeing a human habitation; it was fearfully hot too,
and we longed for _vin ordinaire_; Cervières seemed as though it never
would come—still the same rugged precipices, snow-clad heights, brawling
torrent, and stony road, butterflies beautiful and innumerable, flowers
to match, sky cloudless.  At last we are there; through the town, or
rather village, the river rushes furiously, the dismantled houses and
gaping walls affording palpable traces of the fearful inundations of the
previous year, not a house near the river was sound, many quite
uninhabitable, and more such as I am sure few of us would like to
inhabit.  However, it is Cervières such as it is, and we hope for our
_vin ordinaire_; but, alas!—not a human being, man, woman or child, is to
be seen, the houses are all closed, the noonday quiet holds the hill with
a vengeance, unbroken, save by the ceaseless roar of the river.

While we were pondering what this loneliness could mean, and wherefore we
were unable to make an entrance even into the little _auberge_ that
professed to _loger à pied et à cheval_, a kind of low wail or chaunt
began to make itself heard from the other side of the river; wild and
strange, yet full of a music of its own, it took my friend and myself so
much by surprise that we almost thought for the moment that we had
trespassed on to the forbidden ground of some fairy people who lived
alone here, high amid the sequestered valleys where mortal steps were
rare, but on going to the corner of the street we were undeceived indeed,
but most pleasurably surprised by the pretty spectacle that presented
itself.

For from the church opposite first were pouring forth a string of young
girls clad in their Sunday’s best, then followed the youths, as in duty
bound, then came a few monks or friars or some such folk, carrying the
Virgin, then the men of the place, then the women and lesser children,
all singing after their own rough fashion; the effect was electrical, for
in a few minutes the procession reached us, and dispersing itself far and
wide, filled the town with as much life as it had before been lonely.  It
was like a sudden introduction of the whole company on to the theatre
after the stage has been left empty for a minute, and to us was doubly
welcome as affording us some hope of our wine.

“Vous êtes Piedmontais, monsieur,” said one to me.  I denied the
accusation.  “Alors vous êtes Allemands.”  I again denied and said we
were English, whereon they opened their eyes wide and said,
“Anglais,—mais c’est une autre chose,” and seemed much pleased, for the
alliance was then still in full favour.  It caused them a little
disappointment that we were Protestants, but they were pleased at being
able to tell us that there was a Protestant minister higher up the valley
which we said would “do us a great deal of pleasure.”

The _vin ordinaire_ was execrable—they only, however, charged us nine
sous for it, and on our giving half a franc and thinking ourselves
exceedingly stingy for not giving a whole one, they shouted out “Voilà
les Anglais, voilà la generosité des Anglais,” with evident sincerity.  I
thought to myself that the less we English corrupted the primitive
simplicity of these good folks the better; it was really refreshing to
find several people protesting about one’s generosity for having paid a
halfpenny more for a bottle of wine than was expected; at Monêtier we
asked whether many English came there, and they told us yes, a great
many, there had been fifteen there last year, but I should imagine that
scarcely fifteen could travel up past Cervières, and yet the English
character be so little known as to be still evidently popular.

I don’t know what o’clock it was when we left Cervières—midday I should
imagine; we left the river on our left and began to ascend a mountain
pass called Izouard, as far as I could make out, but will not pledge
myself to have caught the name correctly; it was more lonely than ever,
very high, much more snow on the top than on the previous day over the
Col du Lautaret, the path scarcely distinguishable, indeed quite lost in
many places, very beautiful but not so much so as the Col du Lautaret,
and better on descending towards Queyras than on ascending; from the
summit of the pass the view of the several Alpine chains about is very
fine, but from the entire absence of trees of any kind it is more rugged
and barren than I altogether liked; going down towards Queyras we found
the letters S.I.C. marked on a rock, evidently with the spike of an
alpine-stock,—we wondered whether they stood for St. John’s College.

We reached Queyras at about four very tired, for yesterday’s work was
heavy, and refresh ourselves with a huge omelette and some good Provence
wine.

Reader, don’t go into that _auberge_, carry up provision from Briançon,
or at any rate carry the means of eating it: they have only two knives in
the place, one for the landlord and one for the landlady; these are clasp
knives, and they carry them in their pockets; I used the landlady’s, my
companion had the other; the room was very like a cow-house—dark, wooden,
and smelling strongly of manure; outside I saw that one of the beams
supporting a huge projecting balcony that ran round the house was resting
on a capital of white marble—a Lombard capital that had evidently seen
better days, they could not tell us whence it came.  Meat they have none,
so we gorge ourselves with omelette, and at half-past five trudge on, for
we have a long way to go yet, and no alternative but to proceed.

Abriès is the name of the place we stopped at that night; it was
pitch-dark when we reached it, and the whole town was gone to bed, but by
great good luck we found a café still open (the inn was shut up for the
night), and there we lodged.  I dare not say how many miles we had
walked, but we were still plucky, and having prevailed at last on the
landlord to allow us clean sheets on our beds instead of the dirty ones
he and his wife had been sleeping on since Christmas, and making the best
of the solitary decanter and pie dish which was all the washing
implements we were allowed (not a toothmug even extra), we had coffee and
bread and brandy for supper, and retired at about eleven to the soundest
sleep in spite of our somewhat humble accommodation.  If nasty, at any
rate it was cheap; they charged us a franc a piece for our suppers, beds,
and two cigars; we went to the inn to breakfast, where, though the
accommodation was somewhat better, the charge was most extortionate.
Murray is quite right in saying the travellers should bargain beforehand
at this inn (_chez_ Richard); I think they charged us five francs for the
most ordinary breakfast.  From this place we started at about nine, and
took a guide as far as the top of the Col de la Croix Haute, having too
nearly lost our way yesterday; the paths have not been traversed much
yet, and the mule and sheep droppings are but scanty indicators of the
direction of paths of which the winds and rain have obliterated all other
traces.

The Col de la Croix Haute is rightly named, it was very high, but not so
hard to ascend until we reached the snow.  On the Italian side it is
terribly steep, from the French side, however, the slope is more gradual.
The snow was deeper at the top of this pass than on either of the two
previous days; in many places we sank deep in, but had no real difficulty
in crossing; on the Italian side the snow was gone and the path soon
became clear enough, so we sent our guide to the right about and trudged
on alone.

A sad disappointment, however, awaited us, for instead of the clear air
that we had heretofore enjoyed, the clouds were rolling up from the
valley, and we entirely lost the magnificent view of the plains of
Lombardy which we ought to have seen; this was our first mishap, and we
bore it heroically.  A lunch may be had at Prali, and there the Italian
tongue will be heard for the first time.

We must have both looked very questionable personages, for I remember
that a man present asked me for a cigar; I gave him two, and he proffered
a _sou_ in return as a matter of course.

Shortly below Prali the clouds drew off, or rather we reached a lower
level, so that they were above us, and now the walnut and the chestnut,
the oak and the beech have driven away the pines of the other side, not
that there were many of them; soon, too, the vineyards come in, the
Indian corn again flourishes everywhere, the cherries grow ripe as we
descend, and in an hour or two we felt to our great joy that we were
fairly in Italy.

The descent is steep beyond compare, for La Tour, which we reached by
four o’clock, is quite on the plain, very much on a level with Turin—I do
not remember any descent between the two—and the pass cannot be much
under eight thousand feet.

Passports are asked at Bobbio, but the very sight of the English name was
at that time sufficient to cause the passport to be returned
unscrutinised.

La Tour is a Protestant place, or at any rate chiefly so, indeed all the
way from Cervières we have been among people half Protestant and half
Romanist; these were the Waldenses of the Middle Ages, they are handsome,
particularly the young women, and I should fancy an honest simple race
enough, but not over clean.

As a proof that we were in Italy we happened while waiting for table
d’hôte to be leaning over the balcony that ran round the house and passed
our bedroom door, when a man and a girl came out with two large pails in
their hands, and we watched them proceed to a cart with a barrel in it,
which was in a corner of the yard; we had been wondering what was in the
barrel and were glad to see them commence tapping it, when lo! out
spouted the blood-red wine with which they actually half filled their
pails before they left the spot.  This was as Italy should be.  After
dinner, too, as we stroll in the showy Italian sort of piazza near the
inn, the florid music which fills the whole square, accompanied by a
female voice of some pretensions, again thoroughly Italianises the scene,
and when she struck up our English national anthem (with such a bass
accompaniment!) nothing could be imagined more incongruous.

Sleeping at La Tour at the hotel kept by M. Gai (which is very good,
clean, and cheap), we left next morning, i.e. Tuesday, June 16, at four
by diligence for Pinerolo, thence by rail to Turin where we spent the
day.  It was wet and we saw no vestiges of the Alps.

Turin is a very handsome city, very regularly built, the streets running
nearly all parallel to and at right angles with each other; there are no
suburbs, and the consequence is that at the end of every street one sees
the country; the Alps surround the city like a horseshoe, and hence many
of the streets seem actually walled in with a snowy mountain.  Nowhere
are the Alps seen to greater advantage than from Turin.  I speak from the
experience, not of the journey I am describing, but of a previous one.
From the Superga the view is magnificent, but from the hospital for
soldiers just above the Po on the eastern side of the city the view is
very similar, and the city seen to greater advantage.  The Po is a fine
river, but very muddy, not like the Ticino which has the advantage of
getting washed in the Lago Maggiore.  On the whole Turin is well worth
seeing.  Leaving it, however, on Wednesday morning we arrived at Arona
about half-past eleven: the country between the two places is flat, but
rich and well cultivated: much rice is grown, and in consequence the
whole country easily capable of being laid under water, a thing which I
should imagine the Piedmontese would not be slow to avail themselves of;
we ought to have had the Alps as a background to the view, but they were
still veiled.  It was here that a countryman, seeing me with one or two
funny little pipes which I had bought in Turin, asked me if I was a
_fabricante di pipi_—a pipe-maker.

By the time that we were at Arona the sun had appeared, and the clouds
were gone; here, too, we determined to halt for half a day, neither of us
being quite the thing, so after a visit to the colossal statue of San
Carlo, which is very fine and imposing, we laid ourselves down under the
shade of some chestnut trees above the lake, and enjoyed the extreme
beauty of everything around us, until we fell fast asleep, and yet even
in sleep we seemed to retain a consciousness of the unsurpassable beauty
of the scene.  After dinner (we were stopping at the Hôtel de la Poste, a
very nice inn indeed) we took a boat and went across the lake to Angera,
a little town just opposite; it was in the Austrian territory, but they
made no delay about admitting us; the reason of our excursion was, that
we might go and explore the old castle there, which is seated on an
inconsiderable eminence above the lake.  It affords an excellent example
of Italian domestic Gothic of the Middle Ages; San Carlo was born and
resided here, and, indeed, if saintliness were to depend upon beauty of
natural scenery, no wonder at his having been a saint.

The castle is only tenanted by an old man who keeps the place; we found
him cooking his supper over a small crackling fire of sticks, which he
had lighted in the main hall; his feeble old voice chirps about San Carlo
this and San Carlo that as we go from room to room.  We have no carpets
here—plain honest brick floors—the chairs, indeed, have once been covered
with velvet, but they are now so worn that one can scarcely detect that
they have been so, the tables warped and worm-eaten, the few, that is,
that remained there, the shutters cracked and dry with the sun and summer
of so many hundred years—no Renaissance work here, yet for all that there
was something about it which made it to me the only really pleasurable
nobleman’s mansion that I have ever been over; the view from the top is
superb, and then the row home to Arona, the twinkling lights softly
gleaming in the lake, the bells jangling from the tall and gaudy
campaniles, the stillness of the summer night—so warm and yet so
refreshing on the water; hush, there are some people singing—how sweetly
their voices are borne to us upon the slight breath of wind that alone is
stirring; oh, it is a cruel thing to think of war in connection with such
a spot as this, and yet from this very Angera to this very Arona it is
that the Austrians have been crossing to commence their attack on
Sardinia.  I fear these next summer nights will not be broken with the
voice of much singing and that we shall have to hush for the roaring of
cannon.

I never knew before how melodiously frogs can croak—there is a sweet
guttural about some of these that I never heard in England: before going
to bed, I remember particularly one amorous batrachian courting _malgrè
sa maman_ regaled us with a lusciously deep rich croak, that served as a
good accompaniment for the shrill whizzing sound of the cigales.

My space is getting short, but fortunately we are getting on to ground
better known; I will therefore content myself with sketching out the
remainder of our tour and leaving the reader to Murray for descriptions.

We left Arona with regret on Thursday morning (June 18), took steamer to
the Isola Bella, which is an example of how far human extravagance and
folly can spoil a rock, which had it been left alone would have been very
beautiful, and thence by a little boat went to Baveno; thence we took
diligence for Domo d’Ossola; the weather clouded towards evening and big
raindrops beginning to descend we thought it better to proceed at once by
the same diligence over the Simplon; we did not care to walk the pass in
wet, therefore leaving Domo d’Ossola at ten o’clock that night we arrived
at Iselle about two; the weather clearing we saw the gorge of Gondo and
walked a good way up the pass in the early morning by the diligence;
breakfasted at Simplon at four o’clock in the morning, and without
waiting a moment as soon as we got out at Brieg set off for Visp, which
we reached at twelve on foot; we washed and dressed there, dined and
advanced to Leuk, and thence up the most exquisitely beautiful road to
Leukerbad, which we reached at about eight o’clock after a very fatiguing
day.  The Hôtel de la France is clean and cheap.  Next morning we left at
half-past five and, crossing the Gemini, got to Frutigen at half-past
one, took an open trap after dinner and drove to Interlaken, which we
reached on the Saturday night at eight o’clock, the weather first rate;
Sunday we rested at Interlaken; on Monday we assailed the Wengern Alp,
but the weather being pouring wet we halted on the top and spent the
night there, being rewarded by the most transcendent evening view of the
Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch in the clear cold air seen through a thin veil
of semi-transparent cloud that was continually scudding across them.

Next morning early we descended to Grindelwald, thence past the upper
glacier under the Wetterhorn over the Scheidegg to Rosenlaui, where we
dined and saw the glacier, after dinner, descending the valley we visited
the falls of Reichenbach (which the reader need not do if he means to see
those of the Aar at Handegg), and leaving Meyringen on our left we
recommenced an ascent of the valley of the Aar, sleeping at Guttannen,
about ten miles farther on.

Next day, i.e. Wednesday, June 24, leaving Guttannen very early, passing
the falls of Handegg, which are first rate, we reached the hospice at
nine; had some wine there, and crawled on through the snow and up the
rocks to the summit of the pass—here we met an old lady, in a blue ugly,
with a pair of green spectacles, carried in a _chaise à porteur_; she had
taken it into her head in her old age that she would like to see a little
of the world, and here she was.  We had seen her lady’s maid at the
hospice, concerning whom we were told that she was “bien sage,” and did
not scream at the precipices.  On the top of the Gemini, too, at
half-past seven in the morning, we had met a somewhat similar lady
walking alone with a blue parasol over the snow; about half an hour after
we met some porters carrying her luggage, and found that she was an
invalid lady of Berne, who was walking over to the baths at Leukerbad for
the benefit of her health—we scarcely thought there could be much
occasion—leaving these two good ladies then, let us descend the Grimsel
to the bottom of the glacier of the Rhône, and then ascend the Furka—a
stiff pull; we got there by two o’clock, dined (Italian is spoken here
again), and finally reached Hospenthal at half-past five after a very
long day.

On Thursday walking down to Amstegg and taking a trap to Flüelen, we then
embarked on board a steamer and had a most enjoyable ride to Lucerne,
where we slept; Friday to Basle by rail, walking over the Hauenstein,
{233a} and getting a magnificent panorama (alas! a final one) of the
Alps, and from Basle to Strasburg, where we ascended the cathedral as far
as they would let us without special permission from a power they called
Mary, and then by the night train to Paris, where we arrived Saturday
morning at ten.

Left Paris on Sunday afternoon, slept at Dieppe; left Dieppe Monday
morning, got to London at three o’clock or thereabouts, and might have
reached Cambridge that night had we been so disposed; next day came
safely home to dear old St. John’s, cash in hand 7_d._

From my window {233b} in the cool of the summer twilight I look on the
umbrageous chestnuts that droop into the river; Trinity library rears its
stately proportions on the left; opposite is the bridge; over that, on
the right, the thick dark foliage is blackening almost into sombreness as
the night draws on.  Immediately beneath are the arched cloisters
resounding with the solitary footfall of meditative students, and
suggesting grateful retirement.  I say to myself then, as I sit in my
open window, that for a continuance I would rather have this than any
scene I have visited during the whole of our most enjoyed tour, and fetch
down a Thucydides, for I must go to Shilleto at nine o’clock to-morrow.



Translation from an Unpublished Work of Herodotus


_This piece and the ten that follow it date from Butler’s undergraduate
days_.  _They were preserved by the late Canon Joseph McCormick_, _who
was Butler’s contemporary at Cambridge and knew him well_.

_In a letter to_ THE TIMES, _published_ 27 _June_, 1902, _shortly after
Butler’s death_, _Canon McCormick gave some interesting details of
Butler’s Cambridge days_.  “_I have in my possession_,” _he wrote_,
“_some of the skits with which he amused himself and some of his personal
friends_.  _Perhaps the skit professed to be a translation from
Thucydides_, _inimitable in its way_, _applied to Johnians in their
successes or defeats on the river_, _or it was the_ ‘_Prospectus of the
Great Split Society_,’ _attacking those who wished to form narrow or
domineering parties in the College_, _or it was a very striking poem on
Napoleon in St. Helena_, _or it was a play dealing with a visit to the
Paris Exhibition_, _which he sent to_ PUNCH, _and which_, _strange to
say_, _the editor never inserted_, _or it was an examination paper set to
a gyp of a most amusing and clever character_.”  _One at least of the
pieces mentioned by Canon McCormick has unfortunately disappeared_.
_Those that have survived are here published for what they are worth_.
_There is no necessity to apologise for their faults and deficiencies_,
_which do not_, _I think_, _obscure their value as documents illustrating
the development of that gift of irony which Butler was afterwards to
wield with such brilliant mastery_.  ‘_Napoleon at St. Helena_’ _and_
‘_The Shield of Achilles_’ _have already appeared in_ THE EAGLE,
_December_, 1902; _the_ “_Translation from Herodotus_,” “_The Shield of
Achilles_,” “_The Two Deans II_,” _and_ “_On the Italian Priesthood_,”
_in_ THE NOTE-BOOKS OF SAMUEL BUTLER; _the_ “_Prospectus of the Great
Split Society_” _and_ “_A Skit on Examinations_” _in_ THE EAGLE, _June_,
1913.

AND the Johnians practise their tub in the following manner: They select
eight of the most serviceable freshmen and put these into a boat, and to
each one of them they give an oar; and having told them to look at the
backs of the men before them they make them bend forward as far as they
can and at the same moment, and having put the end of the oar into the
water pull it back again in to them about the bottom of the ribs; and if
any of them does not do this or looks about him away from the back of the
man before him they curse him in the most terrible manner, but if he does
what he is bidden they immediately cry out:

“Well pulled, number so-and-so.”

For they do not call them by their names but by certain numbers, each man
of them having a number allotted to him in accordance with his place in
the boat, and the first man they call stroke, but the last man bow; and
when they have done this for about fifty miles they come home again, and
the rate they travel at is about twenty-five miles an hour; and let no
one think that this is too great a rate, for I could say many other
wonderful things in addition concerning the rowing of the Johnians, but
if a man wishes to know these things he must go and examine them himself.
But when they have done they contrive some such a device as this, for
they make them run many miles along the side of the river in order that
they may accustom them to great fatigue, and many of them being
distressed in this way fall down and die, but those who survive become
very strong, and receive gifts of cups from the others; and after the
revolution of a year they have great races with their boats against those
of the surrounding islanders, but the Johnians, both owing to the
carefulness of the training and a natural disposition for rowing, are
always victorious.  In this way then the Johnians, I say, practise their
tub.



The Shield of Achilles, with Variations


AND in it he placed the Fitzwilliam and King’s College Chapel and the
lofty towered church of the Great Saint Mary, which looketh toward the
Senate House, and King’s Parade and Trumpington Road and the Pitt Press
and the divine opening of the Market Square and the beautiful flowing
fountain which formerly Hobson laboured to make with skilful art; him did
his father beget in the many-public-housed Trumpington from a slavey
mother, and taught him blameless works; and he, on the other hand, sprang
up like a young shoot, and many beautifully matched horses did he nourish
in his stable, which used to convey his rich possessions to London and
the various cities of the world; but oftentimes did he let them out to
others and whensoever anyone was desirous of hiring one of the
long-tailed horses, he took them in order so that the labour was equal to
all, wherefore do men now speak of the choice of the renowned Hobson.
And in it he placed the close of the divine Parker, and many beautiful
undergraduates were delighting their tender minds upon it playing cricket
with one another; and a match was being played and two umpires were
quarrelling with one another; the one saying that the batsman who was
playing was out, and the other declaring with all his might that he was
not; and while they two were contending, reviling one another with
abusive language, a ball came and hit one of them on the nose, and the
blood flowed out in a stream, and darkness was covering his eyes, but the
rest were crying out on all sides:

“Shy it up.”

And he could not; him then was his companion addressing with scornful
words:

“Arnold, why dost thou strive with me since I am much wiser?  Did I not
see his leg before the wicket and rightly declare him to be out?  Thee
then has Zeus now punished according to thy deserts, and I will seek some
other umpire of the game equally-participated-in-by-both-sides.”

And in it he placed the Cam, and many boats equally rowed on both sides
were going up and down on the bosom of the deep-rolling river, and the
coxswains were cheering on the men, for they were going to enter the
contest of the scratchean fours; and three men were rowing together in a
boat, strong and stout and determined in their hearts that they would
either first break a blood-vessel or earn for themselves the
electroplated-Birmingham-manufactured magnificence of a pewter to stand
on their hall tables in memorial of their strength, and from time to time
drink from it the exhilarating streams of beer whensoever their dear
heart should compel them; but the fourth was weak and unequally matched
with the others, and the coxswain was encouraging him and called him by
name and spake cheering words:

“Smith, when thou hast begun the contest, be not flurried nor strive too
hard against thy fate; look at the back of the man before thee and row
with as much strength as the Fates spun out for thee on the day when thou
fellest between the knees of thy mother, neither lose thine oar, but hold
it tight with thy hands.”



Prospectus of the Great Split Society


IT is the object of this society to promote parties and splits in
general, and since of late we have perceived disunion among friends to be
not nearly so ripe as in the Bible it is plainly commanded to be, we the
members of this club have investigated the means of producing, fostering,
and invigorating strife of all kinds, whereby the society of man will be
profited much.  For in a few hours we can by the means we have discovered
create so beautiful a dissension between two who have lately been
friends, that they shall never speak of one another again, and their
spirit is to be greatly admired and praised for this.  And since it is
the great goddess Talebearer who has contributed especially to our
success, inasmuch as where she is not strife will cease as surely as the
fire goeth out when there is no wood to feed it, we will erect an altar
to her and perform monthly rites at her shrine in a manner hereafter to
be detailed.  And all men shall do homage to her, for who is there that
hath not felt her benefits?  And the rites shall be of a cheerful
character, and all the world shall be right merry, and we will write her
a hymn and Walmisley {239} shall set it to music.  And any shall be
eligible to this society by only changing his name; for this is one of
its happiest hits, to give a name to each of its members arising from
some mental peculiarity (which the gods and peacemakers call “foible”),
whereby each being perpetually kept in mind of this defect and being
always willing to justify it shall raise a clamour and cause much delight
to the assembly.

And we will have suppers once a month both to do honour unto Talebearer
and to promote her interest.  And the society has laid down a form of
conversation to be used at all such meetings, which shall engender
quarrellings even in the most unfavourable dispositions, and inflame the
anger of one and all; and having raised it shall set it going and start
it on so firm a basis as that it may be left safely to work its own way,
for there shall be no fear of its dying out.

And the great key to this admirable treasure-house is Self, who hath two
beautiful children, Self-Love and Self-Pride . . . We have also aided our
project much by the following contrivance, namely, that ten of the
society, the same who have the longest tongues and ears, shall make a
quorum to manage all affairs connected with it; and it is difficult to
comprehend the amount of quarrelling that shall go on at these meetings.

And the monthly suppers shall be ordered in this way: Each man must take
at least two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, which shall make the wit sharp,
or in default thereof one teaspoonful of pepper and mustard; for the rest
we leave the diet to the management of our stewards and bursars, but
after the cloth has been removed the president shall single out some one
of the company, and in a calm and friendly manner acquaint him with his
faults and advise him in what way he may best amend the same.  The member
selected is compelled by the rules to remain silent for the space of
three minutes, and is then to retort and bring up six instances.  He is
to call the present members to witness, and all are to take one side or
the other, so that none be neutral, and the mêlée will doubtless become
general, and we expect that much beautiful latent abusive talent will be
developed in this way.  But let all this be done with an air of great
politeness, sincerity, and goodwill, at least at the commencement, for
this, when evidently fictitious, is a two-edged sword of irritation.

And if any grow weak in spirit and retreat from this society, and
afterwards repent and wish again to join, he shall be permitted to do so
on condition of repeating the words, “Oh, ah!” “Lor!” “Such is life,”
“That’s cheerful,” “He’s a lively man, is Mr. So-and-so” ten times over.
For these are refreshing and beautiful words and mean much (!), they are
the emblems of such talent.

And any members are at liberty to have small meetings among themselves,
especially to tea, whereat they may enjoy the ever fresh and pleasant
luxury of scandal and mischief-making, and prepare their accusations and
taunts for the next general meeting; and this is not only permitted but
enjoined and recommended strongly to all the members.

And sentences shall be written for the training of any young hand who
wishes to become one of us, since none can hope to arrive at once at the
pitch of perfection to which the society has brought the art.  And if
that any should be heard of his own free will and invention uttering one
or more of these sentences and by these means indicate much talent in the
required direction, he shall be waited on by a committee of the club and
induced, if possible, to join us, for he will be an acquisition; and the
sentences required are such as: “I think so-and-so a very jolly fellow,
indeed I don’t know a man in the college I like better than so-and-so,
but I don’t care twopence about him, at least it is all the same to me
whether he cuts me or not.”

The beauty of this sentence is not at first appreciable, for though
self-deceit and self-satisfaction are both very powerfully demonstrated
in it, and though these are some of the society’s most vehement
supporters, yet it is the good goddess Talebearer who nourisheth the seed
of mischief thus sown.

It is also strictly forbidden by this society’s laws to form a firm
friendship grounded upon esteem and a perception of great and good
qualities in the object of one’s liking, for this kind of friendship
lasts a long time—nay, for life; but each member must have a furious and
passionate running after his friend for the time being, insomuch that he
could never part for an instant from him.  And when the society sees this
it feels comfortable, for it is quite certain that its objects are being
promoted, for this cannot be brought about by any but unnatural means and
is the foundation and very soul of quarrelling.  The stroking of the hair
and affectionate embracings are much recommended, for they are so manly.

And at the suppers and the rites of Talebearer each member is to drop an
anonymous opinion of some other member’s character into a common letter
box, and the president shall read them out.  Each member is to defend
himself; the formula for the commencement of each speech being: “I know
who wrote that about me, and it is a very blackguardly thing of him to
say . . . ”

N.B.—Any number of persons are allowed to speak at the same time.  By
these means it is hoped to restore strife and dissension to the world,
now alas! so fatally subjugated to a mean-spirited thing called Charity,
which during the last month has been perfectly rampant in the college.
Yes, we will give a helping hand to bickerings, petty jealousies,
back-bitings, and all sorts of good things, and will be as jolly as
ninepence and—who’ll be the first president?



Powers


BUT, my son, think not that it is necessary for thee to be excellent if
thou wouldst be powerful.  Observe how the lighter substance in nature
riseth by its own levity and overtoppeth that which is the more grave.
Even so, my son, mayest thou be light and worthless, and yet make a
goodly show above those who are of a more intrinsic value than thyself.
But as much circumspection will be necessary for thee to attain this
glorious end, and as by reason of thy youth thou art liable to miss many
of the most able and effective means of becoming possessed of it, hear
the words of an old man and treasure them in thy heart.  The required
qualities, my son, are easily procured; many are naturally gifted with
them.  In order, however, that thou mayest keep them in set form in thy
mind commit to memory the following list of requisites: Love of self,
love of show, love of sound, reserve, openness, distrust.

The love of self, which shall chiefly manifest itself in the obtaining
the best of all things for thyself to the exclusion of another, be he who
he may; and as meal-times are the fittest occasion for the exercise of
this necessary quality, I will even illustrate my meaning that thou
mayest the more plainly comprehend me.  Suppose that many are congregated
to a breakfast and there is a dish of kidneys on the table, but not so
many but what the greater number must go without them, cry out with a
loud voice, immediately that thou hast perceived them: “Kidneys!  Oh, ah!
I say, G., old fellow, give us some kidneys.”  Then will the master of
the house be pleased that he hath provided something to thy liking, and
as others from false shame will fear to do the like thou wilt both obtain
that thy soul desireth, and be looked upon by thy fellows as a bold
fellow and one who knoweth how to make his way in the world, and G. will
say immediately: “Waiter, take this to Mr. Potguts,” and he taketh them,
and so on, my son, with all other meats that are on the table, see thou
refrain not from one of them, for a large appetite well becometh a power,
or if not a large one then a dainty one.  But if thine appetite be small
and dainty see thou express contempt for a large eater as one inferior to
thyself.  Or again, my son, if thou art not at a banquet but enterest any
room where there are many met together, see thou take the arm-chair or
the best seat or couch, or what other place of comfort is in the room;
and if there be another power in the room as well as thyself see thou
fight with him for it, and if thou canst by any craft get rid of him an
he be more thickly set than thyself, see that thou do this openly and
with a noise, that all men may behold and admire thee, for they will fear
thee and yield and not venture to reprove thee openly; and so long as
they dare not, all will be well.  Nevertheless I would have thee keep
within certain bounds, lest men turn upon thee if thy rule is too
oppressive to be borne.  And under this head I would class also the care
and tending of the sick; for in the first place the sick have many
delicacies which those who are sound have not, so that if thou lay the
matter well, thou mayest obtain the lion’s share of these things also.
But more particularly the minds of men being weak and easily overpowered
when they are in sickness, thou shalt obtain much hold over them, and
when they are well (whether thou didst really comfort them or not) they
will fear to say aught against thee, lest men shall accuse them of
ingratitude.  But above all see thou do this openly and in the sight of
men, who thinking in consequence that thy heart is very soft and amiable
notwithstanding a few outward defects, will not fail to commend thee and
submit to thee the more readily, and so on all counts thou art the
gainer, and it will serve thee as an excuse with the authorities for the
neglect or breach of duty.  But all this is the work of an exceedingly
refined and clever power and not absolutely necessary, but I have named
it as a means of making thy yoke really the lighter but nevertheless the
more firmly settled upon the neck of thy fellows.  So much then for the
love of self.

As for the love of show this is to display itself in thy dress, in the
trimming or in the growth of thy whiskers, in thy walk and carriage, in
the company thou keepest, seeing that thou go with none but powers or men
of wealth or men of title, and caring not so much for men of parts, since
these commonly deal less in the exterior and are not fit associates, for
thou canst have nothing in common with them.  When thou goest to thy
dinner let a time elapse, so that thine entry may cause a noise and a
disturbance, and when after much bustling thou hast taken thy seat, say
not: “Waiter, will you order me green peas and a glass of college,” but
say: “Waiter (and then a pause), peas,” and then suffer him to depart,
and when he hath gone some little way recall him with a loud voice, which
shall reach even unto the ears of the fellows, say, “and, waiter,
college”; and when they are brought unto thee complain bitterly of the
same.  When thou goest to chapel talk much during the service, or pray
much; do not the thing by halves; thou must either be the very religious
power, which kind though the less remarked yet on the whole hath the
greater advantage, or the thoughtless power, but above all see thou
combine not the two, at least not in the same company, but let thy
religion be the same to the same men.  Always, if thou be a careless
power, come in late to chapel and hurriedly; sit with the other powers
and converse with them on the behaviour of others or any other light and
agreeable topic.  And, as I said above, under this love of show thou must
include the choice of thine acquaintance, and as it is not possible for
thee to order it so as not to have knowledge of certain men whom it will
not be convenient for thee to know at all times and in all places, see
thou cultivate those two excellent defects of both sight and hearing
which will enable thee to pass one thou wouldst not meet, without seeing
him or hearing his salutation.  If thou hast a cousin or schoolfellow who
is somewhat rustic or uncouth in his manner but nevertheless hath an
excellent heart, know him in private in thine individual capacity, but
when thou art abroad or in the company of other powers shun him as if he
were a venomous thing and deadly.  Again, if thou sittest at table with a
man at the house of a friend and laughest and talkest with him and
playest pleasant, if he be not perfect in respect of externals see thou
pass him the next day without a smile, even though he may have prepared
his countenance for a thousand grins; but if in the house of the same
friend or another thou shouldst happen to stumble upon him, deal with him
as though thy previous conversation had broken off but five minutes
previously; but should he be proud and have all nothing to say unto thee,
forthwith calumniate him to thine acquaintance as a sorry-spirited fellow
and mean.

And with regard to smoking, though that, too, is advantageous, it is not
necessary so much for the power as for the fast man, for the power is a
more calculating and thoughtful being than this one; but if thou smokest,
see that others know it; smoke cigars if thou canst afford them; if not,
say thou wonderest at such as do, for to thy liking a pipe is better.
And with regard to all men except thine own favoured and pre-eminent
clique, designate them as “cheerful,” “lively,” or use some other
ironical term with regard to them.  So much then for the love of show.

And of the love of sound I would have thee observe that it is but a
portion of the love of show, but so necessary for him who would be
admired without being at the same time excellent and worthy of admiration
as to deserve a separate heading to itself.  At meal-times talk loudly,
laugh loudly, condemn loudly; if thou sneezest sneeze loudly; if thou
call the waiter do so with a noise and, if thou canst, while he is
speaking to another and receiving orders from him; it will be a
convenient test of thine advance to see whether he will at once quit the
other in the midst of his speech with him and come to thee, or will wait
until the other hath done; if thou handle it well he will come to thee at
once.  When others are in their rooms, as thou passeth underneath their
windows, sing loudly and all men will know that a power goeth by and will
hush accordingly; if thou hast a good voice it will profit thee much, if
a bad one, care not so long as it be a loud one; but above all be it
remembered that it is to be loud at all times and not low when with
powers greater than thyself, for this damneth much—even powers being
susceptible of awe, when they shall behold one resolutely bent to out-top
them, and thinking it advisable to lend such an one a helping hand lest
he overthrow them—but if thy voice be not a loud one, thou hadst better
give up at once the hope of rising to a height by thine own skill, but
must cling to and flatter those who have, and if thou dost this well thou
wilt succeed.

And of personal strength and prowess in bodily accomplishment, though of
great help in the origin, yet are they not necessary; but the more thou
lackest physical and mental powers the more must thou cling to the
powerful and rise with them; the more careful must thou be of thy dress,
and the more money will it cost thee, for thou must fill well the
bladders that keep thee on the surface, else wilt thou sink.

And of reserve, let no man know anything about thee.  If thy father is a
greengrocer, as I dare say is the case with some of the most mighty
powers in the land, what matter so long as another knoweth it not?  See
that thou quell all inquisitive attempts to discover anything about thine
habits, thy country, thy parentage, and, in a word, let no one know
anything of thee beyond the exterior; for if thou dost let them within
thy soul, they will find but little, but if it be barred and locked, men
will think that by reason of thy strong keeping of the same, it must
contain much; and they will admire thee upon credit.

And of openness, be reserved in the particular, open in the general; talk
of debts, of women, of money, but say not what debts, what women, or what
money; be most open when thou doest a shabby thing, which thou knowest
will not escape detection.  If thy coat is bad, laugh and boast
concerning it, call attention to it and say thou hast had it for ten
years, which will be a lie, but men will nevertheless think thee frank,
but run not the risk of wearing a bad coat, save only in vacation time or
in the country.  But when thou doest a shabby thing which will not reach
the general light, breathe not a word of it, but bury it deeply in some
corner of thine own knowledge only; if it come out, glory in it; if not,
let it sleep, for it is an unprofitable thing to turn over bad ground.

And of distrust, distrust all men, most of all thine own friends; they
will know thee best, and thou them; thy real worth cannot escape them,
think not then that thou wilt get service out of them in thy need, think
not that they will deny themselves that thou mayest be saved from want,
that they will in after life put out a finger to save thee, when thou
canst be of no more use to them, the clique having been broken up by
time.  Nay, but be in thyself sufficient; distrust, and lean not so much
as an ounce-weight upon another.

These things keep and thou shalt do well; keep them all and thou wilt be
perfect; the more thou keep, the more nearly wilt thou arrive at the end
I proposed to thee at the commencement, and even if thou doest but one of
these things thoroughly, trust me thou wilt still have much power over
thy fellows.



A Skit on Examinations


_It should be explained that Tom Bridges was a gyp at St. John’s
College_, _during Butler’s residence at Cambridge_.

WE now come to the most eventful period in Mr. Bridges’ life: we mean the
time when he was elected to the shoe-black scholarship, compared with
which all his previous honours sank into insignificance.

Mr. Bridges had long been desirous of becoming a candidate for this
distinction, but, until the death of Mr. Leader, no vacancy having
occurred among the scholars, he had as yet had no opportunity of going in
for it.  The income to be derived from it was not inconsiderable, and as
it led to the porter fellowship the mere pecuniary value was not to be
despised, but thirst of fame and the desire of a more public position
were the chief inducements to a man of Mr. Bridges’ temperament, in which
ambition and patriotism formed so prominent a part.  Latin, however, was
not Mr. Bridges’ forte; he excelled rather in the higher branches of
arithmetic and the abstruse sciences.  His attainments, however, in the
dead languages were beyond those of most of his contemporaries, as the
letter he sent to the Master and Seniors will abundantly prove.  It was
chiefly owing to the great reverence for genius shown by Dr. Tatham that
these letters have been preserved to us, as that excellent man,
considering that no circumstance connected with Mr. Bridges’ celebrity
could be justly consigned to oblivion, rescued these valuable relics from
the Bedmaker, as she was on the point of using them to light the fire.
By him they were presented to the author of this memoir, who now for the
first time lays them before the public.  The first was to the Master
himself, and ran as follows:—

    Reverende Sir,

    Possum bene blackere shoas, et locus shoe-blackissis vacuus est.
    Makee me shoeblackum si hoc tibi placeat, precor te, quia desidero
    hoc locum.

                                                 Your very humble servant,
                                                      THOMASUS BRIDGESSUS.

We subjoin Mr. Bridges’ autograph.  The reader will be astonished to
perceive its resemblance to that of Napoleon I, with whom he was very
intimate, and with anecdotes of whom he used very frequently to amuse his
masters.  We add that of Napoleon.

                              THOMAS BRIDGES

                                 NAPOLEON

The second letter was to the Senior Bursar, who had often before proved
himself a friend to Mr. Bridges, and did not fail him in this instance.

    BURSARE SENIOR,

    Ego humiliter begs pardonum te becausus quaereri dignitatum
    shoeblacki and credo me getturum esse hoc locum.

                                                      Your humble servant,
                                                      THOMASUS BRIDGESSUS.

Shortly afterwards Mr. Bridges was called upon, with six other
competitors, to attend in the Combination Room, and the following papers
were submitted to him.



I


1.  Derive the word “blacking.”  What does Paley say on this subject?  Do
you, or do you not, approve of Paley’s arguments, and why?  Do you think
that Paley knew anything at all about it?

2.  Who were Day and Martin?  Give a short sketch of their lives, and
state their reasons for advertising their blacking on the Pyramids.  Do
you approve of the advertising system in general?

3.  Do you consider the Japanese the original inventors of blacking?
State the principal ingredients of blacking, and give a chemical analysis
of the following substances: Sulphate of zinc, nitrate of silver,
potassium, copperas and corrosive sublimate.

4.  Is blacking an effective remedy against hydrophobia?  Against
cholera?  Against lock-jaw?  And do you consider it as valuable an
instrument as burnt corks in playing tricks upon a drunken man?

                                * * * * *

This was the Master’s paper.  The Mathematical Lecturer next gave him a
few questions, of which the most important were:—



II


1.  Prove that the shoe may be represented by an equation of the fifth
degree.  Find the equation to a man blacking a shoe: (1) in rectangular
co-ordinates; (2) in polar co-ordinates.

2.  A had 500 shoes to black every day, but being unwell for two days he
had to hire a substitute, and paid him a third of the wages per shoe
which he himself received.  Had A been ill two days longer there would
have been the devil to pay; as it was he actually paid the sum of the
geometrical series found by taking the first _n_ letters of the
substitute’s name.  How much did A pay the substitute?  (Answer, 13_s._
6_d._)

3.  Prove that the scraping-knife should never be a secant, and the brush
always a tangent to a shoe.

4.  Can you distinguish between _meum_ and _tuum_?  Prove that their
values vary inversely as the propinquity of the owners.

5.  How often should a shoe-black ask his master for beer notes?
Interpret a negative result.



An Eminent Person


AMONG the eminent persons deceased during the past week we have to notice
Mr. Arthur Ward, the author of the very elegant treatise on the penny
whistle.  Mr. Ward was rather above the middle height, inclined to be
stout, and had lost a considerable portion of his hair.  Mr. Ward did not
wear spectacles, as asserted by a careless and misinformed contemporary.
Mr. Ward was a man of great humour and talent; many of his sayings will
be treasured up as household words among his acquaintance, for instance,
“Lor!”  “Oh, ah!”  “Sech is life.”  “That’s cheerful.”  “He’s a lively
man is Mr. . . . ”  His manners were affable and agreeable, and his
playful gambols exhibited an agility scarcely to be expected from a man
of his stature.  On Thursday last Mr. Ward was dining off beef-steak pie
when a bit of gristle, unfortunately causing him to cough, brought on a
fit of apoplexy, the progress of which no medical assistance was able to
arrest.  It is understood that the funeral arrangements have been
entrusted to our very respectable fellow-townsman Mr. Smith, and will
take place on Monday.



Napoleon at St. Helena


   I see a warrior ’neath a willow tree;
   His arms are folded, and his full fixed eye
   Is gazing on the sky.  The evening breeze
   Blows on him from the sea, and a great storm
   Is rising.  Not the storm nor evening breeze,
   Nor the dark sea, nor the sun’s parting beam
   Can move him; for in yonder sky he sees
   The picture of his life, in yonder clouds
   That rush towards each other he beholds
   The mighty wars that he himself hath waged.
   Blow on him, mighty storm; beat on him, rain;
   You cannot move his folded arms nor turn
   His gaze one second from the troubled sky.
   Hark to the thunder!  To him it is not thunder;
   It is the noise of battles and the din
   Of cannons on the field of Austerlitz,
   The sky to him is the whole world disturbed
   By war and rumours of great wars.
   He tumbled like a thunderbolt from heaven
   Upon the startled earth, and as he came
   The round world leapt from out her usual course
   And thought her time was come.  Beat on him, rain;
   And roar about him, O thou voice of thunder.
   But what are ye to him?  O more to him
   Than all besides.  To him ye are himself,
   He knows it and your voice is lovely to him.
   Hath brought the warfare to a close.
   The storm is over; one terrific crash
   Now, now he feels it, and he turns away;
   His arms are now unfolded, and his hands
   Pressed to his face conceal a warrior’s tears.
   He flings himself upon the springing grass,
   And weeps in agony.  See, again he rises;
   His brow is calm, and all his tears are gone.
   The vision now is ended, and he saith:
   “Thou storm art hushed for ever.  Not again
   Shall thy great voice be heard.  Unto thy rest
   Thou goest, never never to return.
   I thank thee, that for one brief hour alone
   Thou hast my bitter agonies assuaged;
   Another storm may scare the frightened heavens,
   And like to me may rise and fill
   The elements with terror.  I, alas!
   Am blotted out as though I had not been,
   And am become as though I was not born.
   My day is over, and my night is come—
   A night which brings no rest, nor quiet dreams,
   Nor calm reflections, nor repose from toil,
   But pain and sorrow, anguish never ceasing,
   With dark uncertainty, despair and pain,
   And death’s wide gate before me.  Fare ye well!
   The sky is clear and the world at rest;
   Thou storm and I have but too much in common.”



The Two Deans


I


   WILLIAMS, I like thee, amiable divine!
   No milk-and-water character is thine.
   A lay more lovely should thy worth attend
   Than my poor muse, alas! hath power to lend.
   Shall I describe thee as thou late didst sit,
   The gater gated and the biter bit,
   When impious hands at the dead hour of night
   Forbade the way and made the barriers tight?
   Next morn I heard their impious voices sing;
   All up the stairs their blasphemies did ring:
   “Come forth, O Williams, wherefore thus supine
   Remain within thy chambers after nine?
   Come forth, suffer thyself to be admired,
   And blush not so, coy dean, to be desired.”
   The captive churchman chafes with empty rage,
   Till some knight-errant free him from his cage.
   Pale fear and anger sit upon yon face
   Erst full of love and piety and grace,
   But not pale fear nor anger will undo
   The iron might of gimlet and of screw.
   Grin at the window, Williams, all is vain;
   The carpenter will come and let thee out again.
      Contrast with him the countenance serene
   And sweet remonstrance of the junior dean;
   The plural number and the accents mild,
   The language of a parent to a child.
   With plaintive voice the worthy man doth state,
   We’ve not been very regular of late.
   It should more carefully its chapels keep,
   And not make noises to disturb our sleep
   By having suppers and at early hours
   Raising its lungs unto their utmost powers.
   We’ll put it, if it makes a noise again,
   On gatesey patsems at the hour of ten;
   And leafy peafy it will turn I’m sure,
   And never vex its own dear Sharpey more.



II


SCENE.—_The Court of St. John’s College_, _Cambridge_.  _Enter the two
Deans on their way to morning chapel_.

   JUNIOR DEAN.  Brother, I am much pleased with Samuel Butler,
   I have observed him mightily of late;
   Methinks that in his melancholy walk
   And air subdued whene’er he meeteth me
   Lurks something more than in most other men.

   SENIOR DEAN.  It is a good young man.  I do bethink me
   That once I walked behind him in the cloister;
   He saw me not, but whispered to his fellow:
   “Of all men who do dwell beneath the moon
   I love and reverence most the senior Dean.”

   JUNIOR DEAN.  One thing is passing strange, and yet I know not
   How to condemn it, but in one plain brief word
   He never comes to Sunday morning chapel.
   Methinks he teacheth in some Sunday-school,
   Feeding the poor and starveling intellect
   With wholesome knowledge, or on the Sabbath morn
   He loves the country and the neighbouring spire
   Of Madingley or Coton, or perchance
   Amid some humble poor he spends the day,
   Conversing with them, learning all their cares,
   Comforting them and easing them in sickness.

   SENIOR DEAN.  I will advance him to some public post,
   He shall be chapel clerk, some day a Fellow,
   Some day perhaps a Dean, but as thou say’st
   He is indeed an excellent young man—

_Enter_ BUTLER _suddenly_, _without a coat or anything on his head_,
_rushing through the cloisters_, _bearing a cup_, _a bottle of cider_,
_four lemons_, _two nutmegs_, _half a pound of sugar and a nutmeg
grater_.

_Curtain falls on the confusion of_ BUTLER _and the horror-stricken
dismay of the two Deans_.



The Battle of Alma Mater


I


   THE Temperance commissioners
      In awful conclave sat,
   Their noses into this to poke
   To poke them into that—
   In awful conclave sat they,
      And swore a solemn oath,
   That snuff should make no Briton sneeze,
   That smokers all to smoke should cease,
      They swore to conquer both.



II


   Forth went a great Teetotaller,
      With pamphlet armed and pen,
   He travelled east, he travelled west,
      Tobacco to condemn.
   At length to Cantabrigia,
      To move her sons to shame,
   Foredoomed to chaff and insult,
      That gallant hero came.



III


   ’Tis Friday: to the Guildhall
      Come pouring in apace
   The gownsmen and the townsmen
      Right thro’ the market place—
   They meet, these bitter foemen
      Not enemies but friends—
   Then fearless to the rostrum,
      The Lecturer ascends.



IV


   He cursed the martyr’d Raleigh,
      He cursed the mild cigar,
   He traced to pipe and cabbage leaf
      Consumption and catarrh;
   He railed at simple bird’s-eye,
      By freshmen only tried,
   And with rude and bitter jest assailed
      The yard of clay beside.



V


   When suddenly full twenty pipes,
      And weeds full twenty more
   Were seen to rise at signal,
      Where none were seen before.
   No mouth but puffed out gaily
      A cloud of yellow fume,
   And merrily the curls of smoke
      Went circling ’thro the room.



VI


   In vain th’ indignant mayor harangued,
      A mighty chandler he!
   While peas his hoary head around
      They whistled pleasantly.
   In vain he tenderly inquired,
      ’Mid many a wild “hurrah!”
   “Of this what father dear would think,
      Of that what dear mamma?”



VII


   In rushed a host of peelers,
      With a sergeant at the head,
   Jaggard to every kitchen known,
      Of missuses the dread.
   In rushed that warlike multitude,
      Like bees from out their hive,
   With Fluffy of the squinting eye,
      And fighting No. 5.



VIII


   Up sprang Inspector Fluffy,
      Up Sergeant Jaggard rose,
   And playfully with staff he tapped
      A gownsman on the nose.
   As falls a thundersmitten oak,
      The valiant Jaggard fell,
   With a line above each ogle,
      And a “mouse” or two as well.



IX


   But hark! the cry is “Smuffkins!”
      And loud the gownsmen cheer,
   And lo! a stalwart Johnian
      Comes jostling from the rear:
   He eyed the flinching peelers,
      He aimed a deadly blow,
   Then quick before his fist went down
      Inspector, Marshal, Peelers, Town,
   While fiercer fought the joyful Gown,
      To see the claret flow.



X


   They run, they run! to win the door
      The vanquished peelers flew;
   They left the sergeant’s hat behind,
      And the lecturer’s surtout:
   Now by our Lady Margaret,
      It was a goodly sight,
   To see that routed multitude
      Swept down the tide of flight.



XI


   Then hurrah! for gallant Smuffkins,
      For Cantabs one hurrah!
   Like wolves in quest of prey they scent
      A peeler from afar.
   Hurrah! for all who strove and bled
      For liberty and right,
   What time within the Guildhall
      Was fought the glorious fight.



On the Italian Priesthood


_This an adaptation of the following epigram_, _which appeared in
Giuseppe Giusti’s_ RACCOLTA DI PROVERBI TOSCANI (_Firenze_, 1853)

    _Con arte e con inganno si vive mezzo l’anno_
    _Con inganno e con arte si vive l’altra parte_.

    In knavish art and gathering gear
    They spend the one half of the year;
    In gathering gear and knavish art
    They somehow spend the other part.



Samuel Butler and the Simeonites


_The following article_, _which originally appeared in the_ CAMBRIDGE
MAGAZINE, 1 _March_, 1913, _is by Mr. A. T. Bartholomew_, _of the
University Library_, _Cambridge_, _who has most kindly allowed me to
include it in the present volume_.  _Mr. Bartholomew’s discovery of
Samuel Butler’s parody of the Simeonite tract throws a most interesting
light upon a curious passage in_ THE WAY OF ALL FLESH, _and it is a great
pleasure to me to be able to give Butlerians the story of Mr.
Bartholomew’s_ “_find_” _in his own words_.

READERS of Samuel Butler’s remarkable story _The Way of All Flesh_ will
probably recall his description of the Simeonites (chap. xlvii), who
still flourished at Cambridge when Ernest Pontifex was up at Emmanuel.
Ernest went down in 1858; so did Butler.  Throughout the book the
spiritual and intellectual life and development of Ernest are drawn from
Butler’s own experience.

“The one phase of spiritual activity which had any life in it during the
time Ernest was at Cambridge was connected with the name of Simeon.
There were still a good many Simeonites, or as they were more briefly
called ‘Sims,’ in Ernest’s time.  Every college contained some of them,
but their head-quarters were at Caius, whither they were attracted by Mr.
Clayton, who was at that time senior tutor, and among the sizars of St.
John’s.  Behind the then chapel of this last-named college was a
‘labyrinth’ (this was the name it bore) of dingy, tumble-down rooms,” and
here dwelt many Simeonites, “unprepossessing in feature, gait, and
manners, unkempt and ill-dressed beyond what can be easily described.
Destined most of them for the Church, the Simeonites held themselves to
have received a very loud call to the ministry . . . They would be
instant in season and out of season in imparting spiritual instruction to
all whom they could persuade to listen to them.  But the soil of the more
prosperous undergraduates was not suitable for the seed they tried to
sow.  When they distributed tracts, dropping them at night into good
men’s letter boxes while they were asleep, their tracts got burnt, or met
with even worse contumely.”  For Ernest Pontifex “they had a repellent
attraction; he disliked them, but he could not bring himself to leave
them alone.  On one occasion he had gone so far as to parody one of the
tracts they had sent round in the night, and to get a copy dropped into
each of the leading Simeonites’ boxes.  The subject he had taken was
‘Personal Cleanliness.’”

Some years ago I found among the Cambridge papers in the late Mr. J. W.
Clark’s collection three printed pieces bearing on the subject.  The
first is a genuine Simeonite tract; the other two are parodies.  All
three are anonymous.  At the top of the second parody is written “By S.
Butler.  March 31.”  It will be necessary to give a few quotations from
the Simeonite utterance in order to bring out the full flavour of
Butler’s parody, which is given entire.  Butler went up to St. John’s in
October, 1854; so at the time of writing this squib he was in his second
term, and 18 years of age.

                                                                  A. T. B.

I.—_Extracts from the sheet dated_ “_St. John’s College_, _March_ 13_th_,
1855.”  _In a manuscript note this is stated to be by Ynyr Lamb_, _of St.
John’s_ (_B.A._, 1862).

1.  When a celebrated French king once showed the infidel philosopher
Hume into his carriage, the latter at once leaped in, on which his
majesty remarked: “That’s the most accomplished man living.”

It is impossible to presume enough on Divine grace; this kind of
presumption is the characteristic of Heaven. . .

2.  Religion is not an obedience to external forms or observances, but “a
bold leap in the dark into the arms of an affectionate Father.”

4.  However Church Music may raise the devotional feelings, these bring a
man not one iota nearer to Christ, neither is it acceptable in His sight.

13.  The _one_ thing needful is Faith: Faith = ¼ (historical faith) + ¾
(heart-belief, or assurance, or justification) 1¾ peace; and peace=Ln
Trust - care+joy _n_-_r_+1

18.  The Lord’s church has been always peculiarly tried at different
stages of history, and each era will have its peculiar glory in eternity.
. . . At the present time the trial for the church is peculiar; never
before, perhaps, were the insinuations of the adversary so plausible and
artful—his ingenuity so subtle—himself so much an angel of
light—experience has sharpened his wit—“_While men slept_ the enemy sowed
tares”—he is now the base hypocrite—he suits his blandishments to all—the
Church is lulled in the arms of the monster, rolling the sweet morsel
under her tongue . . .



II.—_Samuel Butler’s Parody_


1.  Beware!  Beware!  Beware!  The enemy sowed tracts in the night, and
the righteous men tremble.

2.  There are only 10 good men in John’s; I am one; reader, calculate
your chance of salvation.

3.  The genuine recipe for the leaven of the Pharisees is still extant,
and runs as follows:—Self-deceit ⅓ + want of charity ½ + outward show ⅓,
humbug ∞, insert Sim or not as required.  Reader, let each one who would
seem to be righteous take unto himself this leaven.

4.  “The University Church is a place too much neglected by the young men
up here.”  Thus said the learned Selwyn, {269} and he said well.  How far
better would it be if each man’s own heart was a little University
Church, the pericardium a little University churchyard, wherein are
buried the lust of the flesh, the pomps and vanities of this wicked
world; the veins and arteries, little clergymen and bishops ministering
therein; and the blood a stream of soberness, temperance and chastity
perpetually flowing into it.

5.  The deluge went before, misery followed after, in the middle came a
Puseyite playing upon an organ.  Reader, flee from him, for he playeth
his own soul to damnation.

6.  Church music is as the whore of Babylon, or the ramping lion who
sought whom he might devour; music in a church cannot be good, when St.
Paul bade those who were merry to sing psalms.  Music is but tinkling
brass, and sounding cymbals, which is what St. Paul says he should
himself be, were he without charity; he evidently then did not consider
music desirable.

7.  The most truly religious and only thoroughly good man in Cambridge is
Clayton, {270} of Cams.

8.  “Charity is but the compassion that we feel for our own vices when we
perceive their hatefulness in other people.”  Charity, then, is but
another name for selfishness, and must be eschewed accordingly.

9.  A great French king was walking one day with the late Mr. B., when
the king dropped his umbrella.  Mr. B. instantly stooped down and picked
it up.  The king said in a very sweet tone, “Thank you.”

10.  The Cam is the river Jordan.  An unthinking mind may consider this a
startling announcement.  Let such an one pray for grace to read the
mystery aright.

11.  When I’ve lost a button off my trousers I go to the tailors’ and get
a new one sewn on.

12.  Faith and Works were walking one day on the road to Zion, when Works
turned into a public-house, and said he would not go any further, at the
same time telling Faith to go on by himself, and saying that “he should
be only a drag upon him.”  Faith accordingly left Works in the ale-house,
and went on.  He had not gone far before he began to feel faint, and
thought he had better turn back and wait for Works.  He suited the action
to the word, and finding Works in an advanced state of beer, fell to, and
even surpassed that worthy in his potations.  They then set to work and
fought lustily, and would have done each other a mortal injury had not a
Policeman providentially arrived, and walked them off to the
station-house.  As it was they were fined Five Shillings each, and it was
a long time before they fully recovered.

13.  What can 10 fools do among 300 sinners?  They can do much harm, and
had far better let the sinners seek peace their own way in the wilderness
than ram it down their throats during the night.

14.  Barnwell is a place near Cambridge.  It is one of the descents into
the infernal regions; nay, the infernal regions have there ascended to
the upper earth, and are rampant.  He that goeth by it shall be scorched,
but he that seeketh it knowingly shall be devoured in the twinkling of an
eye, and become withered as the grass at noonday.

15.  Young men do not seem to consider that houses were made to pray in,
as well as to eat and to drink in.  Spiritual food is much more easily
procured and far cheaper than bodily nutriment; that, perhaps, is the
reason why many overlook it.

16.  When we were children our nurses used to say, “Rock-a-bye baby on
the tree top, when the bough bends the cradle will rock.”  Do the nurses
intend the wind to represent temptation and the storm of life, the
tree-top ambition, and the cradle the body of the child in which the soul
traverses life’s ocean?  I cannot doubt all this passes through the
nurses’ minds.  Again, when they say, “Little Bo-peep has lost her sheep
and doesn’t know where to find them; let them alone and they’ll come home
with their tails all right behind them,” is Little Bo-peep intended for
mother Church?  Are the sheep our erring selves, and our subsequent
return to the fold?  No doubt of it.

17.  A child will often eat of itself what no compulsion can induce it to
touch.  Men are disgusted with religion if it is placed before them at
unseasonable times, in unseasonable places, and clothed in a most
unseemly dress.  Let them alone, and many will perhaps seek it for
themselves, whom the world suspects not.  A whited sepulchre is a very
picturesque object, and I like it immensely, and I like a Sim too.  But
the whited sepulchre is an acknowledged humbug and most of the Sims are
not, in my opinion, very far different.



FOOTNOTES.


{207}  This was called to my attention by a distinguished Greek scholar
of this University.

{233a}  The Hauenstein tunnel was not completed until later.  Its
construction was delayed by a fall of earth which occurred in 1857 and
buried sixty-three workmen.—R. A. S.

{233b}  Mr. J. F. Harris has identified Butler’s rooms in the third court
of St. John’s College.—R. A. S.

{239}  As Walmisley died in January, 1856, this piece must evidently date
from Butler’s first year at Cambridge.—R. A. S.

{269}  William Selwyn D.D., Fellow of St. John’s Lady Margaret Professor
of Divinity, died 1875.—A. T. B.

{270} Charles Clayton, M.A., of Gonville and Caius, Vicar of Holy
Trinity, Cambridge, 1851–65.  Died 1883.—A. T. B.





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