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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
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JOHN GALT

The Destruction of Jerusalem

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THE

BACHELOR’S WIFE;

A SELECTION OF

CURIOUS AND INTERESTING EXTRACTS,

WITH

CURSORY OBSERVATIONS .

_______

BY JOHN GALT, ESQ.

_______
“What’s in a name? The rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
_______

 

EDINBURGH;
PUBLISHED BY
OLIVER & BOYD, TWEEDDALE-COURT,
AND
G. & W. B. WHITTAKER, LONDON .

1824.

[ v ]

CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE BOOK

P R E F A C E .

 

THE only apology which this work perhaps requires is with regard to the title, for otherwise it belongs to a class of publications, of which the value is so obvious as to admit of no question.

   As a compilation, it will be readily seen, that it has been generally formed upon the principle of affording specimens of the literature of different epochs, not indeed methodically arranged, but so chosen as to exhibit a more extensive view of the literary mind of the country, historically considered, than has been attempted in any previous selection of extracts.

   The works of popular authors of the present time have not been particularly resorted to, because Mr M‘Diarmid, by his tasteful and judicious selection in “The Scrap Book,” has rendered this inexpedient. It was also thought, and the reader will not be backward in acknowledging the propriety of the opinion,

iv

that there are many gems, both in prose and verse, hidden in works, which, however much esteemed in their day, have long since ceased to be generally accessible. To gather a few of these, and to bring them again to light, was one of the objects which the compiler proposed to himself in this undertaking; but it would have been inconsistent with the light and cursory nature of his design, to have brought them forward, either in any sort of chronological order, or with any particular formality of disquisition. In fact, the colloquies which he has prefaced the extracts were suggested by an after-thought, in order to give an air of freshness to the results of a task that necessary excluded originality.
   To accomplish this, he has therefore not scrupled to assume opinions, which he would hesitate, in many instances, to acknowledge as his own, and also to maintain paradoxes, calculated rather to excite reflection than to induce persuasion; at the same time, nothing will be found either in the one or the other, to which any objection can be reasonably made. The book has indeed been prepared for the parlour table, and is likely to afford amusement, in the intervals of business, to a class of readers who would never

vii

think of looking at many of the originals from which the selections have been made. Every thing, accordingly, doubtful in principle, or questionable in tendency, has been carefully excluded; and, although it is in appearance a production of very humble pretensions, it will perhaps be found more valuable than some other publications, to which the public has been so indulgent as to receive with favour.

FEBRUARY 20, 1824.
 

[v]
 

CONTENTS.

________

Page

Chap. I. —Eloquence,................................................ 2
           II. —Calamities, ............................................. 19
                An Earthquake, ......................................... 20
               A Volcano, ................................................ 24
               A Massacre, .............................................. 82
III. —Manners, ........................................................ 32
                Greek Manners, ....................................... 33
               African Manners, ...................................... 38
IV. —Dramatic Poetry, ............................................ 44
V. —Periodical Literature, ....................................... 61
               Popular Mythology, .................................. 67
VI. —Stray Essays, ................................................. 76
               On the Literary Character, ........................ 77
               On Deformity ............................................ 84
VII. —A singular Speech, ........................................ 91
VIII. —Sir Philip Sidney, ......................................... 95
IX. —Sir Walter Raleigh, ........................................ 98
               Domestic Economy, ................................. 99
X. —Stray Poetry, ................................................. 101
               The Shipwreck, ........................................ ib.
               The Old Man’s Reverie, ........................... 103
                 Elegy by a School-boy, .......................... 105
               A Ballad on Old Age, .............................. 107
               The Call of Morven, ................................ 109
                The Swiss Beggar, .................................. ib.

vi

Page

               Ode to Patriotism, .................................. 111
               The Poet to his Works, .......................... 113
XI. —Miscellaneous Extracts, ............................... 114
XII. —Witchcraft, ................................................. 119
               Initiation of a Witch, ................................ 121
XIII. —The Wandering Jew, ................................. 127
               The Destruction of Jerusalem, ................ 129
               Arabian Antiquities, ................................ 134
               Death of a Cynic, .................................... 136
              Authors, .................................................. 140
              The Sibylline Books, ............................... 142
XIV. —Neglected Poets, ...................................... 147
              To Lucasta, ............................................ 148
              To the Grasshopper, ............................... 149
              To the Rose, .......................................... 150
              Song, ..................................................... 152
XV. —The Excommunicant, ................................. 155
               St. Augustine, ....................................... 157
XVI. —Sotheby’s Saul, ........................................ 162
XVII. —African Sketches, ................................... 168
XVIII. —Plague Poets, ........................................ 172
XIX. —Grandeur of the Ancients, ........................ 176
              Ancient Rome, ...................................... 177
               Roman Palaces, ................................... 181
XX. —Steam-Engines, ........................................ 185
XXI. —Adventures, ............................................ 194
XXII. —Peter the Great, ..................................... 204
XXIV. —The West Indies, ................................. 217
XXV. —Battle of the Titans, ................................ 221
XXVI. —Southey’s Roderick, .............................. 224
XXVII. —Rhymes of Idleness, ............................. 231
               The Lawyer’s Farewell to his Muse ........ ib.

vii

Page

Chap. XXVIII. — Liberty of the Press, ................. 235 XXIX. —Character of Luther, ............................... 243
XXX. —A Mist on the Shore, ............................... 250
XXXI. —German Genius, ..................................... 255
XXXII. —Falls of Niagara, .................................. 285
XXXIII. — Moscow, .......................................... 292
               Nobility, ................................................. 283
               The City, ................................................ 296
XXXIV. —High Mass in St. Peter’s, ......................299
XXXV. —Miss Baillie’s Songs, ............................. 303
XXXVI. —Prince Eugene, .................................... 307
XXXVII. — Milton ’s Cottage, ............................. 313
XXXVIII. —The Battle of Cressy, ........................ 317
XXXIX. —Shakspeare’s Dramas, ......................... 321
XL. —Old English Manners, ................................. 328
               Littlecote-House, .................................... ib.
               The Squire’s Daughter, ........................... 332
               The Upstart of Elizabeth’s Time, ............. 333
               A Squire of the Revolution, .................... 334
               A Squire of Queen Anne’s Time, ............ 336
               Yeomen, ................................................ 338
               The Growth of Luxury ............................ 339
               The Clown, ............................................ 342
XLI. —Scottish Scenery, ...................................... 344
XLII. —Cycles of Literature, ................................ 350
XLIII. —Bürger, the German Poet, ....................... 355
               Lenora, .................................................. 356
               The Lass of Fair Wone, .......................... 366
XLIV. —Bishop Warburton and Dr Johnson ......... 373
XLV. —Descriptive Poetry, .................................. 397 XLVI. —standard Novels and Romances, ............. 415
XLVII. —The Fine Arts, ....................................... 426
               Conclusion, ............................................ 443

[ 1 ]

THE

BACHELOR’S WIFE.

 

“Egeria! sweet creation of some heart
Which found no moral resting-place so fair
As thine ideal breast; whate’er thou art
Or wert,—a young Aurora of the air,
The nympholepsy of some fond despair;
Or, it might be, a beauty of the earth,
Who found a more than common votary there
Too much adoring; whatsoe’er thy birth,
Thou wert a beautiful thought and softly bodied forth.”

_________

OF the perfections of bachelors’ wives it is unnecessary to speak : they are so well known that no eulogy, even from the ablest pen, could do them any degree of justice. But the manner in which those sweet intellectual creatures entertain their solitary husbands, their conjugal conversation, and the manifold poetical graces and rational blandishments with which they render their society so delightful and endearing, are not generally known. We have therefore undertaken the agreeable task of informing the world with respect to topics so interesting, and we doubt not that, before our labours are completed, we shall have persuaded all our fair and gentle readers to emulate the fascinating intelligence of the faultless, the ever-placent, ever-pleasant companion, Egeria.

[ 2]

CHAP. I.

______

ELOQUENCE.

ONE evening, soon after the marriage of our old chum Benedict, during the honey-moon, as his dear Egeria and he were sitting enjoying the beatitude of his lonely chambers in the Paper buildings, the conversation happened to turn on public speaking, Benedict being at the time ambitious to acquire distinction in that department, the lady, like a fond and faithful Wife, did all in her power to encourage his predilections for the art.
   “It has often been urged,” said she, “as an objection against the study of eloquence, that it is a delusive art; unnecessary when it is employed on the side of truth and justice, which their own intrinsic weight and evidence will always sufficiently recommend; and when found in opposition to them, as, from the variety and imperfection of human characters must frequently be the case, highly dangerous to society. In this objection, eloquence is considered as an engine for swaying the minds of men, not only independent of the moral character of the speaker, but of the truth or falsehood of the propositions he endeavours to inculcate; and which may, with equal facility, be employed to give a gloss to false opinions, and to acts of treachery and injustice, as to enforce truth, or to support virtue. According to this view of the subject, there can be little doubt but that eloquence is an evil which ought to be banished from

3

the writings and discourses of men; for though the advantages on both sides may seem equally balanced, as eloquence may as frequently be an auxiliary to truth as to error, yet truth and justice can much better support the absence of extrinsic ornament than falsehood and injustice, which never fail, when shewn in their true colours, to excite aversion and detestation.
   “It is, however, by no means clear that eloquence, or at least that noble and commanding species of it which we at present consider, is equally adapted to all characters, and to all causes and circumstances. Eloquence, it would seem, depends, in a great measure, on the strength of the moral feelings; and I am strongly inclined to imagine that, wherever it produces its highest effects, it produces them only through the medium of those natural sentiments of equity and public spirit common to all mankind, which can seldom be excited but in a good cause. No man becomes eloquent but by having his mind roused and agitated by some ennobling sentiment or passion, which he communicates by sympathy to his hearers : but self-interest, however strongly it may urge a man to the accomplishment of his designs, wants power to excite that noble enthusiasm of mind which is essential to true eloquence. Even supposing this enthusiasm excited in the speaker’s own breast, by what means is it to be conveyed to the minds of his audience? It is only the generous and social affections that are communicable by sympathy, and which circulate with rapidity from breast to breast; interest, on the contrary, is a cold and solitary feeling, which shrinks from the eye of public

4

observation, and which every individual carefully conceals within himself.”
   “Your observations, my love,” replied the Bachelor,” are exceedingly just as regards eloquence in general. In this country, however, where it is not used as an occasional engine, but is in fact one of the manufacturing machines of our multiform commerce, it is decidedly an art in which the power of persuasion consists in something distinct, both from the personal feelings and the personal character of the orator. Eloquence among us is the art of reasoning; we attain nothing, either at the bar or in parliament, by impassioned declamation, and scarcely more than a shout even on the hustings.”
   “You would imply by that, Benedict,” replied the nymph, “that eloquence is not among us so eminent a faculty as it was among the ancients.”
   “It is so thought,” said he.
   “It is so said, I allow,” interrupted Egeria; “but how far justly is another thing. I am however inclined to think that as it enters so much more largely into the management of public affairs in England than in any other country, either ancient or modern, it ought to flourish here in greater perfection than it ever did elsewhere.”
   “But confessedly it does not,” said the Bachelor. “We have had no orator to compare either with Demosthenes or with Cicero; and until we have such, we must bow the head of homage to their genius, and acknowledge our inferiority.”
   “I do not see the question in that light, my dear,” replied the nymph. “We have had, it is true, no orators who exactly resemble them, but we have had

5

others, who, in their own line, were not less powerful. Besides, we have carried the art farther than ever it was carried, either among the Greeks, or the Romans, or any other people. IN REPLY, the orators of England have no masters. It is from that department of oratory that the evidence of our attainments should be adduced. Can any thing be finer, or, if you like the term better, more impassioned, than that masterly reply of the Earl of Kildare to Cardinal Wolsey, as it has been preserved by Campion, the historian of Ireland?—It appeared that the Earl of Kildare has been accused of treasonous partialities during his administration as the king’s deputy in Ireland, for which he was summoned before the privy-council in England. On his appearance there, Wolsey attacked him with great vehemence.

   “I know well, my lord,” exclaimed the cardinal, “that I am not the fittest man at this table to accuse you, because your adherents assert that I am an enemy to all nobility, and particularly to your blood. But the charges against you are so strong that we cannot overlook them, and so clear that you cannot deny them. I must therefore beg, notwithstanding the stale slander against me, to be the mouth and orator of these honourable gentlemen, and to state the treasons of which you stand accused, without respecting how you may like it. My lord, you well remember how the Earl of Desmond, your kinsman, sent emissaries with letters to Francis, the French king, offering the aid of Munster and of Connaught for the conquest of Ireland; and, receiving but a cold answer, applied to Charles, the emperor. How many letters, what precepts, what messages, what threats, have been sent to you to apprehend him, and it

6

is not yet done. Why? Because you could not catch him; nay, my lord, you would not, forsooth! catch him. If he be justly suspected, why are you so partial? If not, why are you so fearful to have him tried? But it will be sworn to your face, that, to avoid him you have winked willfully, shunned his haunts, altered your course, advised his friends, and stopped both ears and eyes in the business; and that, when you did make a show of hunting him out, he was always beforehand, and gone. Surely, my lord, this juggling little became an honest man called to such honour, or a nobleman adorned with so great a trust. Had you lost but a cow or a carrion of your own, two hundred retainers would have started up at your whistle, to rescue the prey from the farthest edge of Ulster. All the Irish in Ireland must have made way for you. But, in performing your duty in this affair, merciful God! How delicate, how dilatory, how dangerous, have you been! One time he is from home; another time he is at home; sometimes fled, and sometimes in place where you dare not venture. What! the Earl of Kildare not venture! Nay, the King of Kildare; for you reign more than you govern the land. When you are offended, the lowest subjects stand as rebels; when you are pleased, rebels are very dutiful subjects. Hearts and hands, lives and lands, must all be at your beck. Who fawns not to you cannot live within your scent, and your scent is so keen that you track them out at pleasure.”

   While the cardinal was thus speaking, the earl frequently changed colour, and vainly endeavoured to master himself. He affected to smile; but his face was pale, his lips quivered, and his eyes lightened with rage.

   “My lord chancellor!” he exclaimed fiercely; “my

7

lord chancellor, I beseech you, pardon me. I have but a short memory, and you know that I have to tell a long tale. If you proceed in this way I shall forget the half of my defence. I have no school-tricks, nor art of recollection. Unless you hear me while I remember, your second charge will hammer the first out of my head.

   Several of the counsellors were friends of the earl; and knowing the acrimony of the cardinal’s taunts, which they were themselves often obliged to endure, interfered, and entreated that the charges might be discussed one by one. Wolsey assenting to this, Kildare resumed.

   “It is with good reason that your grace is the mouth of this council; but, my lord, the mouths that put this tale into yours are very wide, and have gaped long for my ruin. What my cousin Desmond has done I know not; beshrew him for holding out so long. If he be taken in the traps that I have set for him, my adversaries, by this heap of heinous charges, will only have proved their own malice. But if he be never taken, what is Kildare to blame more than Ossory, who, notwithstanding his high promises, and having now the king’s power, you see, takes his own time to bring him in? Cannot the Earl of Desmond stir, but I must advise? Cannot he be hid, but I must wink? If he is befriended, am I therefore a traitor? It is truly a formidable accusation! My first denial confounds my accusers. Who made them so familiar with my sight? When was the earl in my view? Who stood by when I let him slip? But, say they, I sent him word. Who was the messenger? Where are the letters? Confute my denial.
   “Only see, my lord, how loosely this idle gear of their hangs together! Desmond is not taken. Well!

8

Kildare is in fault. Why? Because he is. Who proves it? Nobody. But it is thought; it is said. By whom? His enemies. Who informed them? They will swear it. Will they swear it, my lord? Why, then they must know it. Either they have my letters to show, or can produce my messengers, or were present at a conference, or were concerned with Desmond, or somebody betrayed the secret to them, or they were themselves my viceregents in the business : which of these points will they choose to maintain? I know them too well to reckon myself convicted by their assertions, hearsays, or any oaths which they may swear. My letters could soon be read, were any such things extant. My servants and friends are ready to be sifted. Of my cousin Desmond they may lie loudly; for no man here can contradict them. But as to myself, I never saw in them integrity enough to make me stake on their silence the life of a hound, far less my own. I doubt not, if your honours examine them apart, you will find that they are the tools of others, suborned to say, swear, and state any thing but truth; and that their tongues are chained, as it were, to some patron’s trencher. I am grieved, my lord cardinal, that your grace, whom I take to be passing wise and sharp, and who, of your own blessed disposition, wishes me so well, should be so far gone in crediting these corrupt informers that abuse your ignorance of Ireland. Little know you, my lord, how necessary it is, not only for the governor, but also for every nobleman in that country, to hamper his uncivil neighbours at discretion. Were we to wait for processes of law, and had not those hearts and hands, of which you speak, we should soon lose both lives and lands. You hear of our case as in a dream, and feel not the smart of suffering that we endure. In England, there is not a subject that dare extend his arm to fillip a peer of the realm. In Ireland, unless

9

the lord have ability to his power, and power to protect himself, with sufficient authority to take thieves and varlets whenever they stir, he will find them swarm so fast, that it will soon be too late to call for justice. If you will have our service to effect, you must not bind us always to judicial proceedings, such as you are blessed with here in England. As to my kingdom, my lord cardinal, I know not what you mean. If your grace thinks that a kingdom consists in serving God, in obeying the king, in governing the commonwealth with love, in sheltering the subjects, in suppressing rebels, in executing justice, and in bridling factions, I would gladly be invested with so virtuous and royal a state. But if you only call me king, because you are persuaded that I repine at the government of my sovereign, wink at malefactors, and oppress well-doers, I utterly disclaim the odious epithet, surprised that your grace should appropriate so sacred a name to conduct so wicked.—But however this may be, I would you and I, my lord, exchanged kingdoms for one month. I would in that time undertake to gather more crumbs than twice the revenues of my poor earldom. You are safe and warm, my lord cardinal, and should not upbraid me. While you sleep in your bed of down, I lie in a hovel; while you are served under a canopy, I serve under the cope of heaven; while you drink wine from golden cups, I must be content with water from a shell; my charger is trained for the field, your gennet is taught to amble; and while you are be-lorded and be-graced, and crouched and knelt to, I get little reverence, but when I cut the rebels off by the knees.”

   “It is not in REPLY alone,” resumed Egeria, “that the British orators have surpassed the Greek and Roman; among us another species of eloquence has been cultivated with equal success. It belongs to a

10

class which may be called descriptive oratory, but it comprehends higher qualities than those of description; its effects are similar to the impressions of argument, but it does not apparently employ any form of ratiocination; appealing to knowledge previously existing in the minds of the auditors, it works out its object and intent, by placing facts together in such a manner as to produce all the force of argument combined with the interest which lively description never fails to awaken. You will find a very splendid specimen of this species of oratory, which might, I think, be described as the statmentative (if we may coin such a term,) in Mr Burke’s speech on Mr Fox’s East India Bill, 1st December 1783.

   “Now, sir, according to the plan I proposed, I shall take notice of the Company’s internal government, as it is exercised first on the dependent provinces, and then as it affects those under the direct and immediate authority of that body. And here, sir, before I enter into the spirit of their interior government, permit me to observe to you, upon a few of the many lines of difference which are to be found between the vices of the Company’s government, and those of the conquerors who preceded us in India, that we may be enabled a little the better to see our way in an attempt to the necessary reformation.
   The several irruptions of Arabs, Tartars, and Persians, into India were, for the greater part, ferocious, bloody, and wasteful in the extreme; our entrance into the dominion of that country was, as generally, with small comparative effusion of blood; being introduced by various frauds and delusions, and by taking advantage of the incurable, blind, and senseless animosity, which the

11

several country powers bear towards each other, rather than by open force. But the difference in favour of the first conquerors is this : the Asiatic conquerors very soon abated of their ferocity, because they made the conquered country their own. They rose or fell with the rise or fall of the territory they lived in. Fathers there deposited the hopes of their posterity and children there beheld the monuments of their fathers. Here their lot was finally cast; and it is the natural wish of all, that their lot should not be cast in a bad land. Poverty, sterility, and desolation, are not a recreating prospect to the eye of man; and there are very few who can bear to grow old among the curses of a whole people. If their passion or their avarice drove the Tartar lords to acts of rapacity or tyranny, there was time enough, even in the short life of man, to bring round the ill effects of an abuse of power upon the power itself. If hoards were made by violence and tyranny, they were still domestic hoards, and domestic profusion, or the rapine of a more powerful and prodigal hand, restored them to the people. With many disorders, and with few political checks upon power, nature had still fair play; the sources of acquisition were not dried up; and therefore the trade, the manufacturers, and the commerce of the country flourished. Even avarice and usury itself operated, both for the preservation and the employment of national wealth. The husbandman and manufacturer paid heavy interest, but then they augmented the fund from whence they were again to borrow. Their resources were dearly bought, but they were sure; and the general stock of the community grew by the general effort.
   “But under the English government all this order is reversed. The Tartar invasion was mischievous; but it is our protection that destroys India. It was their enmity, but it is our friendship. Our conquest there,

12

after twenty years, is as crude as it was the first day. The natives scarcely know what it is to see the grey head of an Englishman. Young men (boys almost) govern there, without society, and without sympathy with the natives. They have no more social habits with the people than if they still resided in England; nor indeed any species of intercourse but that which is necessary to making a sudden fortune, with a view to a remote settlement. Animated with all the avarice of age, and all the impetuosity of youth, they roll in one after another; wave after wave; and there is nothing before the eyes of the natives but an endless, hopeless prospect of new flights of birds of prey and passage, with appetites continually renewing for a food that is continually wasting. Every rupee of profit made by an Englishman is lost for ever to India. With us are no retributory superstitions, by which a foundation of charity compensates, through ages, to the poor, for the rapine and injustice of a day. With us no pride erects stately monuments which repair the mischiefs which pride had produced, and which adorn a country out of its own spoils. England has erected no churches, no hospitals, no palaces, no schools; England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigations, dug out no reservoirs. Every other conqueror of every other description has left some monument, either of state or beneficence, behind him. Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by any thing better than the ouran-out-ang or the tiger.
   “There is nothing in the boys we send to India worse than in the boys whom we are whipping at school, or that we see trailing a pike, or bending over a desk at home. But as English youth in India drink the intoxicating draught of authority and dominion before their heads

13

are able to bear it, and as they are full-grown in fortune long before they are ripe in principle, neither nature nor reason have any opportunity to exert themselves for remedy of the excesses of their premature power. The consequences of their conduct, which in good minds (and many of theirs are probably such) might produce penitence or amendment, are unable to pursue the rapidity of their flight. Their prey is lodged in England; and the cries of India are given to seas and winds, to be blown about in every breaking up of the monsoon, over a remote and unhearing ocean.
   “In India all the vices operate by which sudden fortune is acquired; in England are often displayed by the same persons the virtues which dispense hereditary wealth. Arrived in England, the destroyers of the nobility and gentry of a whole kingdom will find the best company in this nation, at a board of elegance and hospitality. Here the manufacturer and husbandman will bless the just and punctual hand that in India has torn the cloth from the loom, or wrested the scanty portion of rice and salt from the peasant of Bengal, or wrung from him the very opium in which he forgot his oppressions and his oppressor. They marry into your families; they enter into your senate; they ease your estates by loans; they raise their value by demand; they cherish and protect your relations which lie heavy on your patronage; and there is scarcely a house in the kingdom that does not feel some concern and interest that makes all reform of our eastern government appear officious and disgusting; and, on the whole, a most discouraging attempt. In such an attempt you hurt those who are able to return kindness or to resent injury. If you succeed, you save those who cannot so much as give you thanks.”

   “But,” said Egeria,” perhaps you will say that

14

this kind of eloquence belongs almost exclusively to the style of Mr Burke, and I will not dispute the point with you. I acknowledge, that he seems to have been in it the greatest master, as he was of all modern orators, nay, I will assert of all orators whatsoever, the most magnificent in phraseology. His diction wants the round and rolling cadence of Cicero’s, and in argument he was far inferior in clearness, closeness, and vehemence to Demosthenes, but neither the Greek nor the Roman have excelled him in his own particular style. The desolation of the Carnatic by Hyder Ali, as described in his speech of February 28th 1785, on the Nabob of Arcot’s debts, is not surpassed by any description in poetry.
   “Let me hear it,” said the Bachelor, and his air-handed lady took down the volume and read—

   “The great fortunes made in India in the beginnings of conquest, naturally excited an emulation in all the parts, and through the whole succession of the Company’s service. But in the Company it gave rise to other sentiments. They did not find the new channels of acquisition flow with equal riches to them. On the contrary, the high flood-tide of private emolument was generally in the lowest ebb of their affairs. They began also to fear, that the fortune of war might take away what the fortune of war had given. Wars were accordingly discouraged by repeated injunctions and menaces; and that the servants might not be bribed into them by the native princes, they were strictly forbidden to take any money whatsoever from their hands. But vehement passion is ingenious in resources. The Company’s servants were not only stimulated, but better instructed

15

by the prohibition. They soon fell upon a contrivance which answered their purposes far better than the methods which were forbidden; though in this also they violated an ancient, but, they thought, an abrogated order. They reversed their proceedings. Instead of receiving presents, they made loans. Instead of carrying on wars in their own name, they contrived an authority, at once irresistible and irresponsible, in whose name they might ravage at pleasure, and being thus freed from all restraint, they indulged themselves in the most extravagant speculations of plunder. The cabal of creditors who have been the object of the late bountiful grant from his Majesty’s ministers, in order to possess themselves, under the name of creditors and assignees, of every country in India, as fast as it should be conquered, inspired into the mind of the nabob of Arcot, (then a dependant on the company of the humblest order,) a scheme of the most wild and desperate ambition that I believe ever was admitted into the thoughts of a man so situated. First, they persuaded him to consider himself as a principal member in the political system of Europe. In the next place, they held out to him, and he readily imbibed, the idea of the general empire of Indostan. As a preliminary to this undertaking, they prevailed on him to propose a tripartite division of that vast country. One part of the Company; another to the Mahrattas; and the third to himself. To himself he reserved all the southern part of the great peninsula, comprehended under the general name of the Decan.
   “On this scheme of their servants, the Company was to appear in the Carnatic in no other light than as a contractor for the provision of armies and the hire of mercenaries for his use, and under his direction. This disposition was to be secured by the nabob’s putting himself under the guarantee of France, and by the means of that rival nation preventing the English for ever

16

from assuming an equality, much less a superiority, in the Carnatic. In pursuance of this treasonable project, treasonable on the part of the English, they extinguished the Company as a sovereign power in that part of India; they withdrew the Company’s garrisons out of all the forts and strong-holds of the Carnatic; they declined to receive the ambassadors from foreign courts, and remitted them to the nabob of Arcot; they fell upon and totally destroyed the oldest ally of the Company, the king of Tanjore, and plundered the country to the amount of near five millions sterling; one after another, in the nabob’s name, but with English force, they brought into a miserable servitude all the princes and great independent nobility of a vast country. In proportion to these treasons and violences, which ruined the people, the fund of the nabob’s debt grew and flourished.
   “Among the victims to this magnificent plan of universal plunder, worthy of the heroic avarice of the projectors, you have all heard (and he has made himself to be well remembered) of an Indian chief called Hyder Ali Khan. This man possessed the western, as the Company, under the name of the nabob of Arcot, does the eastern division of the Carnatic. It was among the leading measures in the design of this cabal (according to their own emphatic language) to extirpate this Hyder Ali. They declared the nabob of Arcot to be his sovereign, and himself to be a rebel, and publicly invested their instrument with the sovereignty of the kingdom of Mysore. But their victim was not of the passive kind. They were soon obliged to conclude a treaty of peace and close alliance with this rebel at the gates of Madras. Both before and since this treaty, every principle of policy pointed out this power as a natural alliance; and on his part it was courted by every sort of amicable office. But the cabinet council of English creditors

17

would not suffer their nabob of Arcot to sign the treaty, nor even to give to a prince, at least his equal, the ordinary titles of respect and courtesy. From that time forward a continued plot was carried on within the divan, black and white, of the nabob of Arcot, for the destruction of Hyder Ali. As to the outward members of the double, or rather treble, government of Madras, which had signed the treaty, they were always prevented by some overruling influence (which they do not describe, but which cannot be misunderstood,) from performing what justice and interest combined so evidently to enforce.
   “When at length Hyder Ali found that he had to do with men who either would sign no convention, or whom no treaty and no signature could bind, and who were the determined enemies of human intercourse itself, he decreed to make the country possessed by these incorrigible and predestinated criminals a memorable example to mankind. He resolved, in the gloomy recesses of a mind capacious of such things, to leave the whole Carnatic an everlasting monument of vengeance, and to put perpetual desolation as a barrier between him and those against whom the faith which holds the moral elements of the world together was no protection. He became at length so confident of his force, so collected in his might, that he made no secret whatsoever of his dreadful resolution.
   “Having terminated his disputes with every enemy and every rival, who buried their mutual animosities in their common detestation against the creditors of the nabob of Arcot, he drew from every quarter whatever a savage ferocity could add to his new rudiments in the arts of destruction; and compounding all the materials of fury, havock, and desolation, into one black cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities of the mountains. Whilst the authors of all these evils were idly and stupidly

18

gazing on this menacing meteor, which blackened all their horizon, it suddenly burst, and poured down the whole of its contents upon the plains of the Carnatic. Then ensued a scene of woe, the like of which no eye had seen, no heart conceived, and which no tongue can adequately tell. All the horrors of war, before known or heard of, were mercy to that new havock. A storm of universal fire blasted every field, consumed every house, destroyed every temple. The miserable inhabitants, flying from their flaming villages, in part were slaughtered; others, without regard to sex, to age, to the respect of rank or sacredness of function, fathers torn from children, husbands from wives, enveloped in a whirlwind of cavalry, and amidst the goading spears of drivers, and the trampling of pursuing horses, were swept into captivity in an unknown and hostile land. Those who were able to evade this tempest fled to the walled cities. But escaping from fire, sword, and exile, they fell into the jaws of famine.
   “The alms of the settlement, in this dreadful exigency, were certainly liberal, and all was done by charity that private charity could do; but it was a people in beggary; it was a nation which stretched out the hands for food. For months together these creatures of sufferance, whose very excess and luxury, in their most plenteous days, had fallen short of the allowance of our austerest fasts, silent, patient, resigned, without sedition or disturbance, almost without complaint, perished by an hundred a-day in the streets of Madras; every day seventy at least laid their bodies in the streets, or on the glacis of Tanjore, and expired the famine of the granary of India. I was going to awake your justice towards this unhappy part of our fellow-citizens, by bringing before you some of the circumstances of this plague of hunger. Of all the calamities which beset and waylay the life of man, this comes the nearest to our heart, and

19

is that wherein the proudest of us all feels himself to be nothing more than he is; but I find myself unable to manage with decorum; these details are of a species of horror so nauseous and disgusting; they are so degrading to the sufferers and to the hearers; they are so humiliating to human nature itself, that, on better thoughts, I find it more advisable to throw a pall over this hideous object, and to leave it to your general conceptions.”

 

CHAP. II.
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CALAMITIES.

IT is very strange,” said the Bachelor,” when Egeria had laid down the book, that we should enjoy so much pleasure from the description of calamities.”
   “It argues,” said the nymph,” nothing very favourable to the benevolence of the human heart.”
   “Yes; it is a proof of the malice of our nature, that we should find delight in hearing of the sufferings of our fellow-creatures,” replied the Bachelor.
   “I did not make the remark with any reference to so great a sentiment,” said Egeria;—“But, now that you call my attention to it so particularly, I must own that it does look as if we had a latent penchant to be pleased with evil. May not, however, our pleasure in perusing descriptions of sorrows and calamities arise from the degree of excitement which they produce on our sympathetic feelings? Be the

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source of our enjoyment, however, in the good or the bad properties of our own heart, there is no disputing the fact, that we do receive great pleasure from well-drawn pictures, whether they be with words or with colours, of those scenes in which the nothingness of man, as an object of the care of Providence, is most strikingly delineated. This morning for example, in turning over the leaves of De Humboldt’s Travels, I felt myself very pleasingly interested by his vigorous description of the catastrophe which befell the city of Caraccas. I shall read it to you.”

AN  EARTHQUAKE.

   “A great drought prevailed at this period in the province of Venezuela. Not a single drop of rain had fallen at Caraccas, or in the country ninety leagues round, during the five months which preceded the destruction of the capital. The 26th of March was a remarkably hot day. The air was calm and the sky unclouded. It was Holy Thursday, and a great part of the population was assembled in the churches. Nothing seemed to presage the calamities of the day. At seven minutes after four in the afternoon the first shock was felt; it was sufficiently powerful to make the bells of the churches toll; it lasted five or six seconds, during which time the ground was in a continual undulating movement, and seemed to heave up like a boiling liquid. The danger was thought to be past, when a tremendous subterraneous noise was heard, resembling the rolling of thunder, but louder, and of longer continuance, than that heard within the tropics in time of storms. This noise preceded a perpendicular motion of three or four seconds, followed by an undulatory movement somewhat longer. The shocks were in opposite directions, from north to

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south, and from east to west. Nothing could resist the movement from beneath upward, and undulations crossing each other. The town of Caraccas was entirely overthrown. Thousands of the inhabitants (between nine and ten thousand) were buried under the ruins of the houses and churches. The procession had not yet set out; but the crowd was so great in the churches, that nearly three or four thousand persons were crushed by the fall of their vaulted roofs. The explosion was strong toward the north, in that part of the town situated nearest the mountain of Avila, and the Silla. The churches of La Trinidad, and Alta Gracia, which were more than one hundred and fifty feet high, and the naves of which were supported by pillars of twelve or fifteen feet diameter, left a mass of ruins scarcely exceeding five or six feet in elevation. The sinking of the ruins has been so considerable, that there now scarcely remain any vestiges of pillars or columns. The barracks, called El Quartel de San Carols, situate farther north of the church of the Trinity, on the road from the custom-house de la Pastora, almost entirely disappeared. A regiment of troops of the line, that was assembled under arms, ready to join the procession, was, with the exception of a few men, buried under the ruins of this great edifice. Nine-tenths of the fine town of Caraccas were entirely destroyed. The walls of the houses that were not thrown down, as those of the street San Juan, near the Capuchin Hospital, were cracked in such a manner that it was impossible to run the risk of inhabiting them. The effects of the earthquake were somewhat less violent in the western and southern parts of the city, between the principal square and the ravin of Caraguata. There the cathedral, supported by enormous buttresses, remains standing.
   “Estimating at nine or ten thousand the number of dead in the city of Caraccas, we do not include those

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unhappy persons, who, dangerously wounded, perished several months after for want of food and proper care. The night of Holy Thursday presented the most distressing scene of desolation and sorrow. The thick cloud of dust, which, rising above the ruins, darkened the sky like a fog, had settled on the ground. No shock was felt, and never was a night more calm or more serene. The moon, nearly full, illumined the rounded domes of the Silla, and the aspect of the sky formed a perfect contrast to that of the earth, covered with the dead and heaped with ruins. Mothers were seen bearing in their arms their children, whom they hoped to recall to life. Desolate families wandered through the city seeking a brother, a husband, a friend, of whose fate they were ignorant, and whom they believed to be lost in the crowd. The people pressed along the streets, which could no more be recognised but by long lines of ruins.
   “All the calamities experienced in the great catastrophes of Lisbon, Messina, Lima, and Riobamba, were renewed on the fatal day of the 26th of March 1812. The wounded, buried under the ruins, implored by their cries the help of the passers-by, and nearly two thousand were dug out. Never was pity displayed in a more affecting manner; never had it been seen more ingeniously active, than in the efforts employed to save the miserable victims, whose groans reached the ear. Implements for digging and clearing away the ruins were entirely wanting; and the people were obliged to use their bare hands to disinter the living. The wounded, as well as the sick who had escaped from the hospitals, were laid on the banks of the small river Guayra. They found no shelter but the foliage of trees. Beds, linen to dress the wounds, instruments of surgery, medicines, and objects of the most urgent necessity, were buried under the ruins. Every thing, even food, was wanting during the first days. Water became alike scarce in the

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interior of the city. The commotion had rent the pipes of the fountains; the falling in of the earth had choaked up the springs that supplied them; and it became necessary, in order to have water, to go down to the river Guayra, which was considerably swelled; and then vessels to convey the water were wanting.
   “There remained a duty to be fulfilled toward the dead, enjoined at once by piety and the dread of infection. It being impossible to inter so many thousand corpses, half-buried under the ruins, commissaries were appointed to burn the bodies; and for this purpose funeral piles were erected between the heaps of ruins. This ceremony lasted several days. Amid so many public calamities, the people devoted themselves to those religious duties, which they thought were the most fitted to appease the wrath of Heaven. Some, assembling in processions, sang funeral hymns; others, in a state of distraction, confessed themselves aloud in the streets. In this town was now repeated, what had been remarked in the province of Quito after the tremendous earthquake of 1797;—a number of marriages were contracted, between persons who had neglected for many years to sanction their union by the sacerdotal benediction; children found parents, by whom they had never till then been acknowledged; restitutions were promised by persons who had never been accused of fraud; and families, who had long been enemies were drawn together by the tie of common calamity.”

   “Doubtless,” said the Bachelor,” in that description of De Humboldt many things give us pleasure which reasonably ought not to do so; but does it not arise from the satisfaction that we derive from the contemplation of the vast power exerted to produce such appalling effects?”
   “Yes,” replied Egeria,” I think you are

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right. Man is naturally a power-worshipping creature, and he enjoys the very highest degree of delight from the contemplation of power in action, where neither danger nor suffering is visible. Dr Clarke’s description of the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, in the year 1793, is an instance of this. The passage is vigorously and even sublimely written. In so far, from the power displayed by the author, it necessarily affords pleasure; but the main source of enjoyment unquestionably arises from the vastness of the power of the element that causes the phenomenon described.”

A VOLCANO.

   “Upon proceeding up the cone of Vesuvius, the party found the crater at the summit, in a very active state, throwing out volleys of immense stones translucent with vitrification, and such heavy showers of ashes, involved in dense sulphureous clouds, as to render any approach to it extremely dangerous. The party ascended, however, as near to the summit as possible; then crossing over to the side whence the lava was issuing, they reached the bed of the torrent, and attempted to ascend by the side of it to its source. This they soon found to be impossible, owing to an unfortunate change of wind; in consequence of which, all the smoke of the lava came hot upon them, accompanied at the same time with so thick a mist of minute ashes from the crater, and such suffocating fumes of sulphur, that they knew not what course to steer. In this perplexity, the author called to mind an expedient recommended by Sir William Hamilton upon a former occasion, and proposed crossing immediately the current of the flowing lava, with a view to gain its windward side. All his companions were against this measure, owing to the very liquid appearance

25

the lava then had so near its source; but while they stood deliberating what was to be done, immense fragments of rocks that had been ejected from the crater, and huge volcanic bombs, which the smoke had prevented their observing, fell thick among them; vast masses of slag and of other matter, rolling upon their edges like enormous wheels, passed by them with a force and velocity sufficient to crush every one of the party to atoms, if directed to the spot where they all stood huddled together. There was not a moment to be lost; the author, therefore, covering his face with his hat, descended the high bank beneath which the lava ran, and rushing upon the surface of the melted matter, reached the opposite side, having only his boots burned, and his hands somewhat scorched. Here he saw clearly the whole of the danger to which his friends were exposed: the noise was such as almost prevented his being heard; but he endeavoured, by calling and by gestures, to persuade them to follow. Vast rocks of indurated lava from the crater were bounding by them, and others falling, that would have overwhelmed a citadel. Not one of the party would stir; not even the guides accustomed for hire to conduct persons over the mountain. At last he had the satisfaction to see them descend, and endeavour to cross the torrent somewhat lower down, where the lava from its redness appeared to be less liquid, and where the stream was narrower. In fact, the narrowness of the stream deceived them : the current had divided into two branches; in the midst of which was an island, if such might be called, surrounded by liquid fire. They crossed over the first stream in safety; but being a good deal scorched upon the island, they attempted the passage of the second branch; in doing which, one of the guides, laden with torches and other things, fell down and was terribly burned.

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   “Being now all on the windward side, they continued their ascent; the bellowings, belchings, and explosions, as of cannon, evidently not from the crater, (which sent forth one uniform roaring and deafening noise) convinced them they were now not far from the source. The lava appeared whiter and whiter as they advanced, owing to its intense heat; and in about half an hour they reached the chasm through which the melted matter had opened itself a passage. It was a narrow fissure in the solid lava of the cone. The sides, smooth, compact, and destitute of that porous appearance which the superficies of lava exhibits when it is cooled under exposure to atmospheric air, resembled the most solid trap or basalt. To describe the rest of the spectacle here displayed is utterly beyond all human ability; the author can only appeal to those who participated the astonishment he felt upon the occasion, and to the sensations which they experienced in common with him, the remembrance of which can only be obliterated with their lives. All he had previously seen of volcanic phenomena, had not prepared him for what he then beheld. He had often witnessed the rivers of lava, after their descent into the valley between Somma and Vesuvius; they resembled moving heaps of scoriæ falling over one another with a rattling noise, which, in their further progress, carried ruin and devastation into the plains. But from the centre of this arched chasm, and along a channel cut finer than art can imitate, beamed the most intense light, radiating with such ineffable luster, that the eye could only contemplate it for one instant, and by successive glances.—While, issuing with the velocity of a flood, and accompanied with a rushing wind, this light itself, in milder splendour, seemed to melt away into a translucent and vivid stream, exhibiting matter in the most perfect fusion, running like liquid silver down the side of the mountain. In its

27

progress downwards, and as soon as the air began to act upon it, the superficies lost its whiteness; becoming first red, and afterwards of a darker hue, until, lower down, black scoriæ began to form upon its surface. Above the arched chasm, there was a natural chimney, about four feet in height, throwing up occasionally stones, attended with detonations. The author approached near enough to this aperture to gather from the lips of it some incrustations of pure sulphur, the fumes of which were so suffocating, that it was with difficulty and only at intervals a sight could be obtained of what was passing below. It was evident, however, that the current of lava, with the same indescribable splendour, was flowing rapidly at the bottom of this chimney towards the mouth of the chasm; and, had it not been for this vent, it is probable the party now mentioned could never have been able to approach so nearly as they had done to the source of the lava. The eruptions from the crater increased with such violence, that it was necessary to use all possible expedition in making the remaining observations.
   “The eruptions from the crater were now without intermission, and the danger of remaining any longer near this place was alarmingly conspicuous. A huge mass, cast to an immense height in the air, seemed to be falling in a direction so fatally perpendicular, that there was not one of the party present who did not expect to be crushed by it; fortunately it fell beyond the spot on which they stood, where it was shattered into a thousand pieces; and these rolling onwards, were carried with great velocity into the valley below.”
   “In these and other descriptions,” resumed Egeria,” if the pleasure arises from the contemplation of the exercise of power, what shall we say of those narratives of which the subjects are the enormities of

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man? Miot’s account, for example, of the massacre of the Turks at Jaffa by Buonaparte, is neither so vigorously written in the original, nor so susceptible of vigour in any translation, as to awaken pleasurable emotions, in so far as the power of the author is concerned, and yet the vastness of the crime makes the impression almost as awful as that of many descriptions which are considered and felt to be sublime. Let me read it to you.”

A MASSACRE.

   “Here it is that I must make a most painful recital. The frankness, I will venture to say the candour, which may be observed in these memoirs, make it a duty that I should not pass over in silence the event which I am about to relate, and of which I was witness. If I have pledged myself in writing this work not to judge the actions of the man who will be judged by posterity, I have also pledged myself to reveal every thing which may enlighten opinion concerning him. It is just, therefore, that I should repeat the motives which were enforced at the time, to authorise a determination so cruel as that which decided the fate of the prisoners at Jaffa. Behold then the considerations which seem to have provoked it.
   “The army, already weakened by its loss at the sieges of El Arish and of Jaffa, was still more so by diseases, whose ravages became from day to day more alarming. It had great difficulties in maintaining itself, and the soldier rarely received his full ration. This difficulty of subsistence would augment in consequence of the evil disposition of the inhabitants towards us. To feed the Jaffa prisoners while we kept them with us, was not only to increase our wants, but also constantly

29

to encumber our own movements; to confine them at Jaffa would, without removing first inconvenience, have created another—the possibility of a revolt, considering the small force that could have been left to garrison the place; to send them into Egypt would have been obliging ourselves to dismiss a considerable detachment, which would greatly reduce the force of the expedition; to set them at liberty upon their parole, notwithstanding all the engagements into which they could have entered, would have been sending them to increase the strength of our enemies, and particularly the garrison of St. John d’Acre; for Djezzar was not a man to respect promises made by his soldiers, men also little religious themselves as to a point of honour of which they knew not the force. There remained then only one course which reconciled every thing; it was a frightful one; however it appears to have been believed to be necessary.
   “On the 20th Ventose (March 10), in the afternoon, the Jaffa prisoners were put in motion in the midst of a vast square battalion formed by the troops of General Bon’s division. A dark rumour of the fate which was prepared for them determined me, as well as many other persons, to mount on horseback, and follow this silent column of victims, to satisfy myself whether what had been told me was well-founded. The Turks, marching pell-mell, already foresaw their fate: they shed no tears; they uttered no cries; they were resigned. Some, who were wounded, and could not march so fast as the rest, were bayoneted on the way. Some others went about the crowd, and appeared to be giving salutary advice in this imminent danger. Perhaps the boldest might have thought that it would not be impossible for them to break through the battalion which surrounded them: perhaps they hoped that, in dispersing themselves over the plains which they were crossing, a certain number

30

might escape death. Every means had been taken to prevent this, and the Turks made no attempt to escape. Having reached the sand-hills to the south-west of Jaffa, they were halted near a pool of stagnant water. Then the officer who commanded the troops had the mass divided into small bodies; and these being led to many different parts, were there fusilladed. This horrible operation required much time, notwithstanding the number of troops employed in this dreadful sacrifice: I owe it to these troops to declare, that they did not without extreme repugnance submit to the abominable service which was required from their victorious hands. There was a group of prisoners near the pool of water, among whom were some old chiefs of a noble and resolute courage, and one young man whose courage was dreadfully shaken. At so tender an age he must have believed himself innocent, and that feeling hurried him on to an action which appeared to shock those about him. He threw himself at the feet of the horse which the chief of the French troops rode, and embraced the knees of that officer, imploring him to spare his life, and exclaiming, ‘Of what am I guilty? What evil have I done? His tears, his affecting cries, were unavailing; they could not change the fatal sentence pronounced upon his lot. With the exception of this young man, all the other Turks made their ablutions calmly in the stagnant water of which I have spoken; then taking each other’s hand, after having laid it upon the heart and the lips, according to the manner of salutation, they gave and received an eternal adieu. Their courageous spirits appeared to defy death; you saw in their tranquillity the confidence which in these last moments was inspired by their religion, and the hope of a happy hereafter. They seemed to say, I quit this world to go and enjoy with Mahommed a lasting happiness. Thus the reward after this life which the Koran promises, supported

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the Mussulman, conquered indeed, but still proud in his adversity.
   “I saw a respectable old man, whose tone and manners announced a superior rank. I saw him coolly order a hole to be made before him in the loose sand, deep enough to bury him alive; doubtless he did not choose to die by any other hands than those of his own people; within this protecting and dolorous grave he laid himself upon his back; and his comrades addressing their supplicatory prayers to God, covered him presently with sand, and trampled afterwards upon the soil which served him for a winding-sheet, probably with the idea of accelerating the end of his sufferings. This spectacle, which makes my heart palpitate, and which I paint but too feebly, took place during the execution of the parties distributed about the sand hills. At length there remained no more of all the prisoners than those who were placed near the pool of water. Our soldiers had exhausted their cartridges, and it was necessary to destroy them with the bayonet and the sword. I could not support this horrible sight, but hastened away, pale and almost fainting. Some officers informed me in the evening, that these unhappy men, yielding to that irresistible impulse of nature which makes us shrink from death even when we have no longer a hope of escaping it, strove to get one behind another, and received in their limbs the blows aimed at the heart, which would at once have terminated their wretched lives. Then was there formed, since it must be related, a dreadful pyramid of the dead and of the dying streaming with blood; and it was necessary to drag away the bodies of those who had already expired, in order to finish the wretches who, under cover of this frightful and shocking rampart, had not yet been reached. This picture is exact and faithful; and the recollection makes my hand tremble, though the whole horror is not described.

[ 32 ]

CHAP. III.
_____

MANNERS.

I THINK,” said Egeria one morning, after reading some account of the Greek insurrection in a morning paper,” that there must be a great deal of exaggeration in these stories. This war has now raged a long time, and dreadful events have taken place on both sides; but nothing yet appears to indicate what it is that the Greeks propose to do for themselves when they shall have thrown off the Ottoman yoke. They are fighting for freedom; but there is no freedom without security, and the Greek insurgents are doing nothing to provide for the preservation of public or private rights. By continuing the contest, an army will probably be formed among them, and the commander of that army, whoever he may be, will of course become their king—their tyrant I should rather say, for it is impossible to conceive that a modern Greek soldier, semi-barbarians as they all are, can be aught else. I should therefore like to know in what their condition will be improved, by the establishment of a despotism of their own at Athens, from what it has been under the sultans of Constantinople.”
   “I suspect,” replied the Bachelor, “that we are not very accurately informed with respect to the condition of the Greeks under the Turks. Slavery

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of every kind is to the free imagination of the people of this country rightly and wisely held in dread and abhorrence; but the thraldom which the Greeks suffer under their Mahommedan masters is rather of the nature of a caste-exclusion than a servitude. They live in their own houses, they pursue their own avocations, they buy, sell, and serve on their own account, and I believe they may even purchase slaves. It is not, I think, very easy to adjust our ideas of a bondman to the description which Dr Holland gives of the condition and household of the superior classes of the Greeks at Ioannina, under the notorious Ali Pashaw. I shall read to you what he says.”

GREEK MANNERS.

   “The habitation of our host resembled those which are common in the country. Externally to the street nothing is seen but a high stone wall, with the summit of a small part of the inner building. Large double gates conduct you into an outer area, from which you pass through other gates into an inner square, surrounded on three sides by the buildings of the house. The basement story is constructed of stone, the upper part of the structure almost entirely of wood. A broad gallery passes along two sides of the area, open in front, and shaded overhead by the roof of the building. To this gallery you ascend by a flight of stairs, the doors of which conduct to the different living-rooms of the house, all going from it. In this country it is uncommon, except with the lower classes, to live upon the ground-floor, which is therefore generally occupied as out-buildings, the first floor being that always inhabited by the family. In the house of our host there were four or five living-rooms, furnished with couches, carpets,

34

and looking-glasses, which, with the decorations of the ceiling and walls, may be considered as almost the only appendages to a Grecian apartment. The principal room (or what with us would be the drawing-room) was large, lofty, and decorated with much richness. Its height was sufficient for a double row of windows along three sides of the apartment; all these windows, however, being small, and so situated as merely to admit light without allowing any external view. The ceiling was profusely ornamented with painting and gilding upon carved wood, the walls divided into panels, and decorated in the same way, with the addition of several pier-glasses. A couch or divan, like those described in the seraglio, passed along three sides of the apartment, and superseded equally the use of chairs and tables, which are but rarely found in a Greek house.
   “The dining-room was also large, but furnished with less decoration; and the same with the other living-apartments. The kitchen and servants’ rooms were connected by a passage with the great gallery; but this gallery itself formed a privileged place to all the members of the family, and it was seldom that some of the domestics might not be seen here partaking in the sports of the children, and using a familiarity with their superiors which is sufficiently common in the south of Europe, but very unusual in England. Bedchambers are not to be sought for in Greek or Turkish habitations. The sofas of their living-apartments are the place of nightly repose with the higher classes; the floor with those of inferior rank. Upon the sofas are spread their cotton or woolen mattresses, cotton sheets, sometimes with worked muslin trimmings, and ornamented quilts. Neither men nor women take off more than a small part of their dress; and the lower classes seldom make any change whatever before throwing themselves down among the coarse woollen cloaks which form their

35

nightly covering. In this point the oriental customs are much more simple than those of civilized Europe.
   “The separate communication of the rooms with an open gallery renders the Greek houses very cold in winter, of which I had reason to be convinced during both my residences at Ioannina. The higher class of Greeks seldom use any other means of artificial warmth than a brazier of charcoal in the middle of the apartment, trusting to their pelisses and thick clothing for the rest. Sometimes the brazier is placed under a table, covered with a thick rug cloth which falls down to the floor. The heat is thus confined, and the feet of those sitting round the table acquire an agreeable warmth, which is diffused to the rest of the body.
   “The family of Metzou generally rose before eight o’clock. Their breakfast consisted simply of one or two cups of coffee, served up with a salver of sweetmeats, but without any more substantial food. In consideration to our grosser morning appetites, bread, honey, and rice-milk, were added to the repast which was set before us. Our host, who was always addressed with the epithet of Affendi by his children and domestics, passed much of the morning in smoking, in walking up and down the gallery, or in talking with his friends who called upon him. Not being engaged in commerce, and influenced perhaps by his natural timidity, he rarely quitted the house; and I do not recollect to have seen him more than five or six times beyond the gates of the area of his dwelling. His lady, meanwhile, was engaged either in directing her household affairs, in working embroidery, or in weaving silk thread. The boys were occupied during a part of the morning in learning to read and write the Romaic with a young man who officiated as tutor, the mode of instruction not differing much from that common elsewhere.

36

   “The dinner hour of the family was usually between twelve and one, but from complaisance to us they delayed it till two o’clock. Summoned to the dining-room, a female domestic, in the usage of the east, presented to each person in succession a large basin with soap, and poured tepid water upon the hands from a brazen ewer. This finished, we seated ourselves at the table, which was simply a circular pewter tray, still called trapeza, placed upon a stool, and without cloth or other appendage. The dinner consisted generally of ten or twelve dishes, presented singly at the table by an Albanian servant, habited in his national costume. The dishes afforded some, though not great variety; and the enumeration of those at one dinner may suffice as a general example of the common style of this repast in a Greek family of the higher class:—First, a dish of boiled rice flavoured with lemon-juice; then a plate of mutton boiled to rags; another plate of mutton cooked with spinach or onions and rich sauces; a Turkish dish composed of force-meat with vegetables, made into balls; another Turkish dish, which appears as a large flat cake, the outside of a rich and greasy paste, the inside composed of eggs, vegetables, with a small quantity of meat : following this, a plate of baked mutton, with raisins and almonds, boiled rice with oil, omelet balls, a dish of thin cakes made of flour, eggs, and honey; or sometimes, in lieu of these, small cakes made of flour, coffee, and eggs; and the repast finished by a dessert of grapes, raisins, and chestnuts. But for the presence of strangers, the family would have ate in common from the dishes successively brought to the table; and even with separate plates before them this was frequently done. The thin wine of the country was drunk during the repast; but neither in eating or drinking is it common for the Greeks to indulge in excess.

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   “The dinner tray removed, the basin and ewer were again carried round,—a practice which is seldom omitted even among the inferior classes in this country. After an interval of a few minutes, a glass of liquor and coffee were handed to us, and a Turkish pipe presented to any one who desired it. In summer a short siesta is generally taken at this hour, but now it was not considered necessary. After passing an hour or two on the couches of the apartment, some visitors generally arrived, and the family moved to the larger room before described. These visitors were Greeks of the city, some of them relations, other friends of the family, who did not come on formal invitation, but in an unreserved way, to pass the evening in conversation. This mode of society is common in Ioannina, and, but that the women take little part in it, it might be considered extremely pleasant. When a visitor enters the apartment, he salutes and is saluted by the right hand placed on the left breast,—a method of address at once simple and dignified. Seated on the couch, sweetmeats, coffee, and a pipe, are presented to him; and these form, in fact, the only articles of entertainment.”

   “Truly,” said Egeria, “that does not indeed look very much like a description of the habitation of a slave. I must confess that of late my ideas of slavery and barbarism have been strangely unsettled. Bowdich’s mission to Ashantee has opened up a view of the state of Africa of which I had formed no previous conception. Really it would seem that the barbaric pearl and gold there are wonderfully like the pomps and pageantries among ourselves. Turn up the volume at page 34, and you will find the description to which I allude.”

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AFRICAN MANNERS.

   “An area of nearly a mile in circumference was crowded with magnificence and novelty. The king, his tributaries and captains, were resplendent in the distance, surrounded by attendants of every description, fronted by a mass of warriors which seemed to make our approach impervious. The sun was reflected with a glare scarcely more supportable than the heat, from the massy gold ornaments which glistened in every direction. More than a hundred bands burst at once on our arrival, with the peculiar airs of their several chiefs; the horns flourished their defiances, with the beating of innumerable drums and metal instruments, and then yielding for a while to the soft breathings of their long flutes, which were truly harmonious; and a pleasing instrument, like a bagpipe without the drone, was happily blended. At least a hundred large umbrellas, or canopies, which could shelter thirty persons, were sprung up and down by the bearers with brilliant effect, being made of scarlet, yellow, and the most showy cloths and silks, and crowned on the top with crescents, pelicans, elephants, barrels, and arms and swords of gold: they were of various shapes, but mostly dome; and the valances (in some of which small looking glasses were inserted) fantastically scalloped and fringed : from the fronts of some the proboscis and small teeth of elephants projected, and a few were roofed with leopard skins, and crowned with various animals naturally stuffed. The state hammocks, like long cradles, were raised in the rear, the poles on the heads of the bearers; the cushions and pillows were covered with crimson taffeta, and the richest cloths hung over the sides. Innumerable small umbrellas, of various coloured stripes, were crowded in the intervals,

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whilst several large trees heightened the glare by contrasting the sober colouring of nature:

‘Discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit.’

   “The king’s messengers, with gold breast-plates, made way for us, and we commenced our round, preceded by the canes and the English flag. We stopped to take the hand of every caboceer; which, as their household suites occupied several spaces in advance, delayed us long enough to distinguish some of the ornaments in the general blaze of splendour and ostentation.
   “The caboceers, as did their superior captains and attendants, wore Ashantee cloths of extravagant price, from the costly foreign silks which had been unravelled to weave them in all the varieties of colour as well as pattern : they were of an incredible size and weight, and thrown over the shoulder exactly like the Roman toga. A small silk fillet generally encircled their temples; and massy gold necklaces, intricately wrought, suspended Moorish charms, dearly purchased, and enclosed in small square cases of gold, silver, and curious embroidery. Some wore necklaces reaching to the navel, entirely of aggry beads; a band of gold and beads encircled the knee, from which several strings of the same depended; small circles of gold, like guineas, rings, and casts of animals, were strung round their ancles; their sandals were of green, red, and delicate white leather; manillas, and rude lumps of rock-gold, hung from their left wrists, which were so heavily laden as to be supported on the head of one of their handsomest boys. Gold and silver pipes and canes dazzled the eye in every direction. Wolves’ and rams’ heads as large as life, cast in gold, were suspended from their gold-handled swords, which were held around them in great numbers; the blades were shaped like round bills, and

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rusted in blood; the sheaths were of leopard skin, or the shell of a fish like shagreen. The large drums, supported on the head of one man, and beaten by two others, were braced around with the thigh-bones of their enemies, and ornamented with their skulls. The kettle-drums, resting on the ground, were scraped with wet fingers, and covered with leopard skin. The wrists of the drummers were hung with bells and curiously-shaped pieces of iron, which gingled loudly as they were beating. The smaller drums were suspended from the neck by scarves of red cloth; the horns (the teeth of young elephants) were ornamented at the mouth-piece with gold, and the jaw-bones of human victims. The war-caps of eagles’ feathers nodded in the rear, and large fans, of the wing-feathers of the ostrich, played around the dignitaries. Immediately behind their chairs (which were of black wood, almost covered by inlays of ivory and gold embossment) stood their handsomest youths, with corslets of leopard’s skin covered with gold cockle-shells, and stuck full of small knives, sheathed in gold and silver, and the handles of blue agate; cartouch-boxes of elephants’ hides hung below, ornamented in the same manner; a large gold-handled sword was fixed behind the left shoulder, and silk scarves and horses’ tails (generally white) streamed from the arms and waist-cloth : their long Danish muskets had broad rims of gold at small distances, and the stocks were ornamented with shells. Finely-grown girls stood behind the chairs of some, with silver basins. Their stools, of the most laborious carved work, and generally with two large bells attached to them, were conspicuously placed upon the heads of favourites; and crowds of small boys were seated around, flourishing elephants’ tails curiously mounted. The warriors sat on the ground close to these, and so thickly as not to admit of our passing without treading on their feet, to

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which they were perfectly indifferent; their caps were of the skin of the pangolin and leopard, the tails hanging down behind; their cartouch belts (composed of small gourds which hold the charges, and covered with leopard of pig’s skin) were embossed with red shells, and small brass bells thickly hung to them; on their hips and shoulders was a cluster of knives; iron chains and collars dignified the most daring, who were prouder of them than of gold; their muskets had rests affixed of leopard’s skin, and the locks a covering of the same; the sides of their faces were curiously painted in long white streaks, and their arms also striped, having the appearance of armour.
   “The prolonged flourishes of the horns, a deafening tumult of drums, and the fuller concert of the intervals, announced that we were approaching the king; we were already passing the principal officers of his household; the chamberlain, the gold horn-blower, the captain of the messengers, the captain for royal executions, the captain of the market, the keeper of the royal burial-ground, and the master of the bands, sat surrounded by a retinue and splendour which bespoke the dignity and importance of their offices. The cook had a number of small services covered with leopard’s skin held behind him, and a large quantity of massy silver plate was displayed before him, punch-bowls, waiters, coffee-pots, tankards, and a very large vessel with heavy handles and clawed-feet, which seemed to have been made to hold incense; I observed a Portuguese inscription on one piece, and they seemed generally of that manufacture. The executioner, a man of immense size, wore a massy gold hatchet on his breast; and the execution-stool was held before him, clotted in blood, and partly covered with a cawl of fat. The king’s four linguists were encircled by a splendour inferior to none, and their peculiar insignia, gold canes, were elevated in all directions,

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tied in bundles, like fasces. The keeper of the treasury added to his own magnificence by the ostentatious display of his service; the blow-pan, boxes, scales and weights, were of solid gold.
   “A delay of some minutes, while we severally approached to receive the king’s hand, afforded us a thorough view of him : his deportment first excited my attention; native dignity in princes we are pleased to call barbarous was a curious spectacle; his manners were majestic, yet courteous; and he did not allow his surprise to beguile him for a moment of the composure of the monarch : he appeared to be about thirty-eight years of age, inclined to corpulence, and of a benevolent countenance : he wore a fillet of aggry beads round his temples, a necklace of gold cockspur shells strung by their largest ends, and over his right shoulder a red silk cord, suspending three saphies cased in gold : his bracelets were the richest mixtures of beads and gold, and his fingers covered with rings : his cloth was of a dark green silk; a pointed diadem was elegantly painted in white on his forehead; also a pattern resembling an epaulette on each shoulder, and an ornament like a full-blown rose, one leaf rising above another until it covered his whole breast : his knee-bands were of aggry beads, and his ancle-strings of gold ornaments of the most delicate workmanship, small drums, sankos, stools, swords, guns, and birds, clustered together : his sandals, of a soft white leather, were embossed across the instep-band with small gold and silver cases of saphies : he was seated in a low chair, richly ornamented with gold : he wore a pair of gold castanets on his finger and thumb, which he clapped to enforce silence. The belts of the guards behind his chair were cased in gold, and covered with small jaw-bones of the same metal : the elephants’ tails, waving like a small cloud before him, were spangled with gold, and large plumes of feathers were flourished

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amid them. His eunuch presided over these attendants, wearing only one massy piece of gold about his neck : the royal stool, entirely cased in gold, was displayed under a splendid umbrella, with drums, sankos, horns, and various musical instruments, cased in gold, about the thickness of cartridge-paper; large circles of gold hung by scarlet cloth from the swords of state, the sheaths as well as the handles of which were also cased; hatchets of the same were intermixed with them : the breasts of the Ocrahs, and various attendants, were adorned with large stars, stools, crescents, and gossamer wings, of solid gold.

   “Shall we call a people, in the enjoyment of such wealth and splendour, barbarians?” added Egeria, laying down the book,—“what then shall we say of those who are living in the midst of the wretchedness of Ireland? Look at Miss Edgeworth’s description of an Irish cottage; you will find it at the 94th page of the first volume of her Fashionable Tales.”

   “It was a wretched-looking, low, mud-walled cabin. At one end it was propped by a buttress of loose stones, upon which stood a goat reared on his hind-legs, to browse on the grass that grew on the house-top. A dunghill was before the only window, at the other end of the house; and close to the door was a puddle of the dirtiest of dirty water, in which ducks were dabbling. At my approach, there came out of the cabin a pig, a calf, a lamb, a kid, and two geese, all with their legs tied, followed by cocks, hens, chickens, a dog, a cat, a kitten, a beggar-man, a beggar-woman with a pipe in her mouth; children innumerable, and a stout girl with a pitchfork in her hand; altogether more than I, looking down upon the roof as I sat on horseback, and measuring the superficies with my eye, could have possibly

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supposed the mansion capable of containing. I asked if Ellinor O’Donoghoe was at home? but the dog barked, the geese cackled, the turkeys gobbled, and the beggars begged, with one accord so loudly, that there was no chance of my being heard. When the girl had at last succeeded in appeasing them all with her pitchfork, she answered, that Ellinor O’Donoghoe was at home, but that she was out with the potatoes; and she ran to fetch her, after calling to the boys, who were within in the room smoking, to come out to his honour. As soon as they had crouched under the door, and were able to stand upright, they welcomed me with a very good grace, and were proud to see me in the kingdom. I asked if they were all Ellinor’s sons. ‘All entirely,’ was the first answer. ‘Not one but one,’ was the second answer. The third made the other two intelligible. ‘Plase your honour, we are all her sons-in-law, except myself, who am her lawful son.’ ‘Then you are my foster-brother?’ ‘No, plase your honour; it’s not me, but my brother, and he’s not in it.’ ‘Not in it?’ ‘No, plase your honour; because he’s in the forge up above. Sure he’s the blacksmith, my lard, ‘And what are you?’ ‘I’m Ody, plase your honour;’ the short for Owen.”

 

CHAP. IV.
____

DRAMATIC POETRY.

“No department of English poetry,” said Egeria, one evening after tea, on taking up a volume of Ben Jonson’s works, “no department of English poetry is more rich in beautiful passages than the dramatic and none of which the riches are so little known.

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   “The speech of Petreius in THE CATILINE of this author, I have always thought one of the most magnificent passages in the whole compass of English literature,—listen.”

   “Petreius. The straits and needs of Catiline being such,
As he must fight with one of the two armies
That then had near enclosed him, it pleased fate
To make us th’ object of his desperate choice,
Wherein the danger almost poised the honour :
And, as he rose, the day grew black with him,
And fate descended nearer to the earth,
As if she meant to hide the name of things
Under her wings, and make the world her quarry.
At this we roused, lest one small minute’s stay
Had left it to be inquired what Rome was;
And (as we ought) arm’d in the confidence
Of our great cause, in form of battle stood,
Whilst Catiline came on, not with the face
Of any man, but of a public ruin :
His countenance was a civil war itself;
And all his host had, standing in their looks,
The paleness of the death that was to come;
Yet cried they out like vultures, and urged on,
As if they would precipitate our fates.
Nor stay’d we longer for ’em, but himself
Struck the first stroke, and with it fled a life,
Which out, it seem’d a narrow neck of land
Had broke between two mighty seas, and either
Flow’d into other; for so did the slaughter;
And whirl’d about, as when two violent tides
Meet and not yield. The furies stood on hills,
Circling the place, and trembling to see men
Do more than they; whilst piety left the field,
Grieved for that side, that in so bad a cause
They knew not what a crime their valour was.

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The sun stood still, and was, behind a cloud
The battle made, seen sweating, to drive up
His frightened horse, whom still the noise drove backward:
And now had fierce Enyo, like a flame,
Consumed all it could reach, and then itself,
Had not the fortune of the commonwealth
Come, Pallas-like, to every Roman thought;
Which Catiline seeing, and that now his troops
Cover’d the earthy they ’ad fought on with their trunks,
Ambitious of great fame to crown his ill,
Collected all his fury, and ran in
(Arm’d with a glory high as his despair)
Into our battle, like a Libyan lion
Upon his hunters, scornful of our weapons,
Careless of wounds, plucking down lives about him,
Till he had circled-in himself with death :
Then fell he too, t’ embrace it where it lay.
And as in that rebellion ’gainst the gods,
Minerva holding forth Medusa’s head,
One of the giant brethren felt himself
Grow marble at the killing sight; and now,
Almost made of stone, began to inquire what flint,
What rock, it was that crept through all his limbs;
And, ere he could think more, was that he fear’d :
So Catiline, at the sight of Rome in us,
Became his tomb; yet did his look retain
Some of his fierceness, and his hands still moved,
As if he labour’d yet to grasp the state
With those rebellious parts.
   Cato. A brave bad death!
Had this been honest now, and for his country,
As ’twas against it, who had e’er fall’n greater?”

   “It is very fine,” said Benedict; “but, after all, my love, I should not much like to see many of the old dramatists, even with all their merits, restored to

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the use of the general reader. You will find, I suspect, that they have deservedly fallen into obscurity on account of their impure language and gross allusions. It may be said of them as it was said of Marston by one of his contemporaries,—‘He cared not for modest close-couched terms, but dealt in plain naked words, stripped from their shirts.’ ”
   “And yet,” replied the nymph, “a judicious section from their works would be a valuable addition to the library of the boudoir. Many passages of Marston himself are of the very highest order of poetry. Look at his explanation of what it is to be a King.”

“Why, man, I never was a prince till now.
’Tis not the bared pate, the bended knees,
Gilt tipstaffs, Tyrian purple, chairs of state,
Troops of pied butterflies, that flutter still
In greatness’ summer, that confirm a prince :
’Tis not the unsavoury breath of multitudes,
Shouting and clapping with confused din,
That makes a prince. No, Lucio, he’s a king.
A true right king, that dares do aught, save wrong;
Fears nothing mortal, but to be unjust :
Who is not blown up with the flattering puffs
Of spungy sycophants : who stands unmoved,
Despite the justling of opinion :
Who can enjoy himself, maugre the throng
That strive to press his quiet out of him :
Who sits upon Jove’s footstool, as I do,
Adoring, not affecting, majesty :
Whose brow is wreathed with the silver crown
Of clear content : this, Lucio, is a king,
And of this empire, every man’s possess’d,
That’s worth his soul.”

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   “The description of Antonio’s visit to the vaults in which the body of his father lies, affords also a specimen of very splendid poetry.”

“I purify the air with odorous fume.
Graves, vaults, and tombs, groan not to bear my weight.
Cold flesh, bleak trunks, wrapt in your half-rot shrouds,
I press you softly with a tender foot.
Most honour’d sepulchre, vouchsafe a wretch
Leave to weep o’er thee. Tomb, I’ll not be long
Ere I creep in thee, and with bloodless lips
Kiss my cold father’s cheek. I pr’ythee, grave,
Provide soft mould to wrap my carcass in.
Thou royal spirit of Adrugio, where’er thou hoverest,
(Airy intellect) I heave up tapers to thee (view thy son),
On celebration of due obsequies.
Once every night I’ll dew thy funeral hearse
With my religious tears.
O blessed father of a cursed son!
Thou diedst most happy, since thou livedst not
To see thy son most wretched, and thy wife
Pursued by him that seeks my guiltless blood.
O, in what orb thy mighty spirit soars,
Stoop and beat down this rising fog of shame,
That strives to blur thy blood, and girt defame
About my innocent and spotless brows.”

   “And the death of Mellida is full of tenderness and beauty. The fool alluded to is Antonio in disguise.”

   “Being laid upon her bed, she grasp’d my hand,
And kissing it, spake thus : Thou very poor,
Why dost not weep? The jewel of thy brow,
The rich adornment that enchased thy breast,
Is lost; thy son, my love, is lost, is dead.

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And do I live to say Antonio’s dead?
And have I lived to see his virtues blurr’d
With guiltless blots? O world, thou art too subtle
For honest natures to converse withal;
Therefore I’ll leave thee; farewell, mart of woe,
I fly to clip my love, Antonio.
With that her head sunk down upon her breast;
Her cheek changed earth, her senses slept in rest;
Until my fool, that crept unto the bed,
Screech’d out so loud, that he brought back her soul,
Call’d her again, that her bright eyes ’gan ope,
And stared upon him : he, audacious fool,
Dared kiss her hand, wish’d her soft rest, loved bride;
She fumbled out thanks good, and so she died.”

   “And, my dear Benedict, could even you yourself say anything finer than the lewd Marston has done of conjugal love?”

“If love be holy, if that mystery
Of co-united hearts be sacrament;
If the unbounded goodness have infused
A sacred ardour of a mutual love
Into our species; if those amorous joys,
Those sweets of life, those comfort even in death,
Spring from a cause above our reason’s reach;
If that clear flame deduce its heart from Heaven,
’Tis, like its cause, eternal; always one,
As is th’ instiller of divinest love,
Unchanged by time, immortal, maugre death.
But, oh, ’tis grown a figment; love a jest;
A comic posey; the soul of man is rotten
Even to the core, no sound affection.
Our love is hollow, vaulted, stands on props
Of circumstance, profit, or ambitious hopes.”

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   “And,” continued the nymph, “I doubt very much if any equal number of lines of Lord Byron would furnish finer extracts, in what may be termed his lordship’s own peculiar style, than the “DUKE OF BYRON” of old Chapman. The story consists of two parts, or distinct plays, THE CONSPIRACY and THE TRAGEDY. The first part opens with the arrive of the Duke of Savoy at the court of Henry IV. of France openly, but with the secret design of corrupting and drawing over Byron, the marshal of France; and he thus addresses his own minister:”

   “Sav. I would not, for half Savoy, but have bound
France to some favour, by my personal presence
More than yourself, my Lord Ambassador,
Could have obtain’d; for all ambassadors,
You know, have chiefly these instructions :
To note the state and chief sway of the court
To which they are employ’d; to penetrate
The heart and marrow of the king’s designs,
And to observe the countenance and spirits
Of such as are impatient of the rest,
And wring beneath some private discontent :
But past all these, there are a number more
Of these state-criticisms, that our personal view
May profitably make, which cannot fall
Within the powers of our instruction
To make you comprehend. I will do more
With my mere shadow than you with your persons.
All you can say against my coming here,
Is that which, I confess, may, for the time,
Breed strange affections in my brother Spain;
But when I shall have time to make my cannons
The long-tongued heralds of my hidden drifts,
Our reconcilement will be made with triumphs.”

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   “Lafin is also another object for Savoy to gain; and the task is facilitated by Henry’s rejection of Lafin’s suit, as described in the following spirited scene.—The king enters with Lafin :”—

   “Hen.. I will not have my train
Made a retreat for bankrupts, nor my court
A hive for drones : proud beggars and true thieves,
That, with a forced truth they swear to me,
Rob my poor subjects, shall give up their arts,
And henceforth learn to live by their deserts.
Though I am grown, by right of birth and arms,
Into a greater kingdom, I will spread
With no more shade than may admit that kingdom
Her proper, natural, and wonted fruits :
Navarre shall be Navarre, and France still France :
If one may be better for the other
By mutual right, so neither shall be worse.
Thou art in law, in quarrels, and in debt,
Which thou would’st quit with count’nance. Borrowing
With thee is purchase, and thou seek’st by me,
(In my supportance) now our old wars cease,
To wage worse battles with the arms of peace.
   Laf. Peace must not make men cowards, nor keep calm
Her pursie regiment with men’s smother’d breaths.
I must confess my fortunes are declined,
But neither my deservings nor my mind.
I seek but to sustain the right I found
When I was rich, in keeping what is left,
And making good my honour as at best,
Though it be hard : man’s right to every thing
Wanes with his wealth; wealth is his surest king.
Yet justice should be still indifferent.
The overplus of kings, in all their might,
Is but to piece out the defects of right :

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And this I sue for; nor shall frowns and taunts,
(The common scarecrows of all good men’s suits,)
Nor misconstruction, that doth colour still, )
Licentiate justice, punishing good for ill,
Keep my free throat from knocking at the sky,
If thunder chid me from my equity.
   Hen. Thy equity is to be ever banish’d
From court, and all society of noblesse,
Amongst whom thou throw’st balls of all dissension.
Thou art at peace with nothing but with war;
Hast no heart but to hurt, and eat’st thy heart
If it but think of doing any good :
Thou witchest with thy smiles; suck’st blood with praises;
Mock’st all humanity; society poison’st;
Cozen’st with virtue : with religion
Betray’st and massacre’st; so vile thyself,
That thou suspect’st perfection in others;
A man must think of all the villanies
He knows in all men to decipher thee,
That art the centre of impiety.
Away, and tempt me not.
   Laf. But you tempt me
To what, thou Sun be judge, and make him see.

[ Exit.

   “At the time of the Duke of Savoy’s arrival, Byron is ambassador at the court of the archduke, where attempts are also made to draw him from his allegiance. The character of Byron is conceived with great strength and animation. He is represented as bold in the field, boastful, filled with a proud conceit of his own merits, and weakly addicted to flattery, which his enemies know how to manage. On his embassy, he is approached with

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the must profound but artful respect, and is thus ushered in to the sound of music : ”

   “Byr. What place is this, what air, what region,
In which a man may hear the harmony
Of all things moving? Hymen marries here
Their ends and uses, and makes me his temple.
Hath any man been blessed and yet lived?
The blood turns in my veins; I stand on change,
And shall dissolve in changing; ’tis so full
Of pleasure, not to be contained in flesh;
To fear a violent good, abuseth goodness;
’Tis immortality to die aspiring,
As if a man were taken quick to heaven :
What will not hold perfection, let it burst :
What force hath any cannon, not being charged,
Or being not discharged? To have stuff and form,
And to lie idle, fearful, and unused,
Nor form, nor stuff shews. Happy Semele,
That died comprest with glory. Happiness
Denies comparison, of less, or more,
And not at most, is nothing.—Like the shaft,
Shot at the sun by angry Hercules,
And into shivers by the thunder broken,
Will I be if I burst : and in my heart
This shall be written, yet ’twas high and right.
Here too! they follow all my steps with music,
And if my feet were numerous, and trod sounds
Out of the centre, with Apollo’s virtue,
That out of every thing his each part touch’d
Struck musical accents. Wheresoe’er I go
They hide the earth from me with coverings rich,
To make me think that I am here in heaven.”

[ Music again.

   “The duke, however, does not immediately fall

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into the designs of the enemies of his master, but replies to the incitements of one of their agents”—

   “Byr. O ’tis a dangerous and a dreadful thing
To steal prey from a lion, or to hide
A head distrustful in his open’d jaws;
To trust our blood in others’ veins, and hang
’Twixt heaven and earth in vapours of their breaths :
To leave a sure space on continuate earth,
And force a gate in jumps from tower to tower,
As they do that aspire from height to height.
The bounds of loyalty are made of glass,
Soon broke, but can in no date be repair’d;
And as the Duke D’Aumall (now here in court)
Flying his country, had his statue torn
Piecemeal with horses; all his good confiscate;
His arms of honour kick’d about the streets;
His goodly house at Annet razed to th’ earth;
And, for a strange reproach to his foul treason,
His trees about it cut off by their waists;
So, when men fly the natural clime of truth,
And turn themselves loose, out of all the bounds
Of justice, and the straightway to their ends,
Forsaking all the sure force in themselves,
To seek, without them, that which is not theirs,
The forms of all their comforts are distracted;
The riches of their freedoms forfeited;
Their human noblesse shamed; the mansions
Of their cold spirits eaten down with cares,
And all their ornaments of wit and valour,
Learning and judgment, cut from all their fruits.”

   “Lafin, being brought over by the Duke of Savoy, is made
the means of seducing Byron. He commences his operations by throwing himself in the duke’s way, in a pretended fit of furious indignation.

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Lafin, it will be observed, hints at the skill in magic which he was supposed to possess, and the duke supposed to believe in.”

   “Byr. Here is the man. My honour’d friend, Lafin,
Alone and heavy-count’nanced! On what terms
Stood th’ insultation of the king upon you?
   Laf. Why do you ask?
   Byr. Since I would know the truth.
   Laf. And when you know it, what?
   Byr. I’ll judge betwixt you.
And, as I may, make even th’ excess of either.
   Laf. Alas, my lord, not all your loyalty,
Which is in you more than hereditary,
Nor all your valour, which is more than human,
Can do the service you may hope of me,
In sounding my displeased integrity.
Stand for the king, as much in policy
As you have stirr’d for him in deeds of arms,
And make yourself his glory, and your country’s,
Till you be suck’d as dry, and wrought as lean
As my flay’d carcass : you shall never close
With me as you imagine.
   Byr. You much wrong me
To think me an intelligencing lord.
   Laf. I know not how your so affected zeal
To be reputed a true-hearted subject
May stretch or turn you. I am desperate;
If I offend you, I am in your power :
I care not how I tempt your conq’ring fury;
I am predestined to too base an end
To have the honour of your wrath destroy me,
And be a worthy object for your sword.
I lay my hand, and head too, at your feet,
As I have ever; here I hold it still :
End me directly, do not go about.

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   Byr. How strange is this! The shame of his disgrace
Hath made him lunatick.
   Laf. Since the king hath wrong’d me,
He thinks I’ll hurt myself: no, no, my lord;
I know that all the kings in Christendom,
If they should join in my revenge, would prove
Weak foes to him, still having you to friend.
If you were gone (I care not if you tell him)
I might be tempted then to right myself.              [ Exit.
   Byr. He has a will to me, and dares not shew it :
His state decay’d, and he disgraced, distracts him.

Re-enter Lafin.

   Laf. Change not my words, my lord, I only said
I might be tempted then to right myself—
Temptation to treason is no treason;
And that word “tempted” was conditional too,
If you were gone. I pray inform the truth.
    Byr. Stay, injured man, and know I am your friend.
Far from these base and mercenary reaches
I am, I swear to you.
   Laf. You may be so;
And yet you’ll give me leave to be Lafin,
A poor and expuate humour of the court :
But what good blood came out with me; what veins
And sinews of the triumphs now it makes,
I list not vaunt; yet will I now confess,
And dare assume it, I have power to add
To all his greatness, and make yet more fix’d
His bold security. Tell him this, my lord;
And this (if all the spirits of earth and air
Be able to enforce) I can make good.
If knowledge of the sure events of things,
Even from the rise of subjects into kings,
And falls of kings to subjects, hold a power
Of strength to work it, I can make it good.

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And tell him this too : if in midst of winter
To make black groves grow green; to still the thunder;
And cast out able flashes from mine eyes,
To beat the light’ning back into the skies,
Prove power to do it, I can make it good.
And tell him this too: if to lift the sea
Up to the stars, when all the winds are still,
And keep it calm when they are most enraged;
To make earth’s driest palms sweat humorous springs;
To make fix’d rocks walk, and loose shadows stand;
To make the dead speak; midnight see the sun;
Mid-day turn midnight; to dissolve all laws
Of nature and of order—argue power
Able to work all, I can make all good;
And all this tell the king.
   Byr. ’Tis more than strange,
To see you stand thus at the rapier’s point
With one so kind and sure a friend as I.
   Laf. Who cannot friend himself, is foe to any,
And to be fear’d of all, and that is it
Makes me so scorn’d : but make me what you can,
Never so wicked and so full of fiends,
I never yet was traitor to my friends.
The laws of friendship I have ever held
As my religion; and, for other laws,
He is a fool that keeps them with more care
Than they keep him, rich, safe, and popular.
For riches and for popular respects
Take them amongst ye, minions; but for safety
You shall not find the least flaw in mine arms,
To pierce or taint me. What will great men be
To please the king, and bear authority!         [ Exit.
   Byr.
How fit a sort were this to hansel fortune!
And I will win it though I lose myself.
Though he prove harder than Egyptian marble,
I’ll make him malleable as th’ Ophir gold.”

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   “The following speech of Henry is, I think eminently wise, humane, and, as a poetical composition, truly beautiful. Roiseau has just described the attempts to seduce the duke.”

   “Hen. It may be he dissembled, or, suppose
He be a little tainted : men whom virtue
Forms with the stuff of fortune, great and gracious,
Must needs partake with fortune in her humour
Of instability; and are like shafts
Grown crook’d with standing, which to rectify
Must twice as much be bow’d another way.
He that hath borne wounds for his worthy parts,
Must for his worst be borne with. We must fit
Our government to men, as men to it.
In old time, they that hunted savage beasts
Are said to clothe themselves in savage skins :
They that were fowlers, when they went on fowling,
Wore garments made with wings resembling fowls :
To bulls we must not shew ourselves in red,
Nor to the warlike elephant in white.
In all things govern’d, their infirmities
Must not be stirr’d nor wrought on. Duke Byron
Flows with adust and melancholy choler,
And melancholy spirits are venomous,
Not to be touch’d but as they may be cured.
I therefore mean to make him change the air,
And send him further from those Spanish vapours,
That still bear fighting sulphur in their breasts,
To breathe awhile in temperate English air,
Whose lips are spiced with free and loyal counsels;
Where policies are not ruinous but saving;
Wisdom is simple, valour righteous,
Humane, and hating facts of brutish force,
And whose grave natures scorn the scoffs of France,
The empty compliments of Italy.

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The any-way encroaching pride of Spain,
And love men modest, hearty, just, and plain.”

   “But,” resumed Egeria, “it is not my intention to analyze the play; I shall therefore only read to you one or two of the similes.—The state of a man whose fortunes have shot beyond the foundation of his merits is thus magnificently compared :”

“As you may see a mighty promontory,
More digg’d and under-eaten than may warrant
A safe supportance to his hanging brows,
All passengers avoid him; shun all ground
That lies within his shadow, and bear still
A flying eye upon him; so great men,
Corrupted in their grounds, and building out
Too swelling fronts for their foundations,
When most they should be propp’d are most forsaken,
And men will rather thrust into the storms
Of better-grounded states, than take a shelter
Beneath their ruinous and fearful weight;
Yet they so oversee their faulty bases,
That they remain securer in conceit;
And that security doth worse presage
Their near destruction, than their eaten grounds.”

    “And I think the following description of a horse very spirited :—it is Byron’s comparison of his own manner.”

“To whom I came, methought, with such a spirit
As you have seen a lusty courser shrew,
That hath been long time at his manger tied,
High fed, alone, and when, his head-stall broken,
He runs his prison, like a trumpet neighs,

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Cuts air in high curvets, and shakes his head;
With wanton stoopings ’twixt his forelegs, mocking
The heavy centre; spreads his flying crest,
Like to an ensign; hedge and ditches leaping,
Till in the fresh meat, at his natural food
He sees free fellows, and hath met them free.”

   “Henry’s blessing upon his infant son is also a very fine passage, and much deserves to be better known.”

   “Hen. Have thy old father’s angel for thy guide;
Redoubled be his spirit in thy breast;
Who when this state ran, like a turbulent sea,
In civil hates and bloody enmity,
Their wraths and envies, like so many winds,
Settled and burst, and like the halcyon’s birth,
Be thine to bring a calm upon the shore,
In which the eyes of war may ever sleep,
As overmatch’d with former massacres,
When guilty, made noblesse fed on noblesse;
All the sweet plenty of the realm exhausted :
When the naked merchant was pursued for spoil;
When the poor peasants frighted neediest thieves
With their base leanness, noting left on them
But meager carcasses sustain’d with air,
Wandering like ghosts affrighted from their graves;
When, with the often and incessant sounds,
The very beasts knew the alarum-bell,
And, hearing it, ran bellowing to their home :
From which unchristian broils and homicides
Let the religious sword of justice free
Thee and thy kingdoms govern’d after me.”

[61]

CHAP. V.

____

PERIODICAL LITERATURE.

ONE morning as the Bachelor’s Wife, having no other household care, was reading the backs of his books, she paused before a goodly range of reviews and magazines, and said to him,
   “I do not think it has been half considered by the world how much has been added to our pleasures by the invention of periodical publications. It has domesticated learning, deprived it of all its formality, put the shovel-hat, the square cap, the wig, the gown, and all those antique trappings and devices, which were wont to inspire so much wonder and awe, quite out of fashion. It has made gentlemen of authors, and authors of gentlemen. For this, as well as for its other singular merits, the Edinburgh Review stands pre-eminent. You cannot open a volume without finding some topic of science, or of erudition, treated in a much more popular and engaging form than it was ever done before.”
   In saying this she put forth her hand, and taking down the tenth volume, opened it, and read aloud the following excellent condensed account of the religious sentiments of the Turks.

MAHOMETANISM.

   “The religion of the Turks is Mahometanism in its utmost purity, and in complete preservation from the

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days of its founder. They believe in one God, and in the divine mission of his prophet. They scrupulously follow, as the rule of their conduct, his precepts contained in the Koran, and his example; together with certain sayings not recorded in that book, but handed down by tradition. The leading maxims thus delivered and religiously observed, are, the maintenance of the faith, the performance of certain outward ceremonies, and hatred of other sects. Their belief is inculcated as so necessary to eternal salvation, and so sure of working to this end without the aid of good works, that we need not be surprised to find scarcely one freethinker in the whole of the Turkish population. A few reasoning men may here and there be found, who hold that a life of sanctity, independent of faith, is sufficient; but the church condemns this as the worst of heresies, and those persons must keep their doctrines carefully to themselves. The inducements to hold the faith of their fathers are so strong among an indolent and sensual people, that any doubt or scruple is likely to be rejected as a present injury. ‘Whatever happens during this life is well; God ordains it. If we live, we shall smoke so much tobacco, enjoy so many Circassians, saunter away so many hours in our baths. If death comes tomorrow, we have kept the faith, and shall inevitably sup in paradise,—with better tobacco, fairer women, and more voluptuous baths.’ A notion of this sort, once rivetted in the mind, at an early period of society, will account for the horror with which every question relative to articles of belief must afterwards be received. It will account for the exclusive attention of those true believers to the concerns of the present moment, and their carelessness about futurity; for their implicit obedience to the easy injunctions of the Koran, and their steady rejection of all more unpleasant doctrines. Besides holding this faith, they have only to perform the

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ceremonies of prayer, ablution, and fasting,—troublesome, indeed, in some respects, from their frequent recurrence, but far more easy than the restraint of a single wicked inclination, the sacrifice of an interested to a principled view, or the fulfillment of any active duty; and their lives are pure before Allah.
   “As the object of the founder of this religion was power, he carefully enjoined such an implicit obedience to himself or his successors as might ensure his divine authority in the state, and such a hatred of unbelievers as might both keep alive the faith among his followers, and prepare the way for the conquest of foreign nations. The most unresisting and passive obedience to the sacred person of him who is at the head both of the church and state is inculcated as a primary religious duty. He is the Zil-ullah, or shadow of God; the Padishah-islam, or emperor of Islamism; the Imam-ul-musliminn, * or pontiff of Mussulmans; the Sultandinn, or protector of the faith. The title of Caliph was first acquired on the conquest of Egypt; but the prerogatives annexed to it, of sovereign pontiff and depositary of the divine will, as handed down from Mahomet, had all along been exercised by the Turkish emperor. He is further, in his temporal capacity, denominated Hunkiar, or the man-slayer; it is the name commonly given him, and denotes the absolute power which he has over the life of each of his subjects, in virtue of his divine commission. Who ever submits without resistance to death inflicted by his order, is looked upon as sure of that eternal felicity of the highest order which belongs to martyrdom. His edicts, always received with religious veneration, are welcomed with peculiar awe, when accompanied by a note under his hand enjoining obedience; and whatever
__________________________________________
* “Muslim is the singular, Mussulman the dual, and Musliminn the plural : it signifies ‘resigned to God. ’ ”

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may be the tenor of such a command, the devout Mussulman kisses it as soon as it is presented to him, and piously wipes the dust from it with his cheek. The Pashas who rebel against his authority are careful to mention his name with holy reverence; and, during the course of their disobedience, scrupulously comply with his orders in every point, except when he requires a resignation of their independence, or some sacrifice injurious to it. When he sends his executioners to dispatch a rebellious chieftain, it is not uncommon to see the mere production of the imperial mandate, unaided by any force, silence all opposition, and command obedience from the rebel and his followers. Frequently, indeed, the executioner is stopped in his attempts to gain admittance, and himself put to death. But if he once performs his office, and the insurgent leader falls, there is no instance of his troops revenging his death on the bearer of so sacred a commission, though he comes singly, and trusts himself among an armed multitude of men, the moment before in the act of rebellion. Rycaut affirms, though Mr Thornton calls it an exaggerated picture, that the emperor would be obeyed, were he ‘to command whole armies to precipitate themselves from a rock, or build a bridge with piles of their bodies for him to pass rivers, or to kill one another to afford him pastime and pleasure.’
   “The disciple of Mahomet is educated in a haughty belief of the superiority of his own faith, and a suitable aversion towards all infidels. ‘I withdraw my foot and turn away my face, ‘says the prophet, ‘from a society in which the faithful are mixed with the ungodly.’— ‘The prayers of the infidel are not prayers, but wanderings.’—Pray not for those whose death is eternal; and defile not thy feet by passing over the graves of men the enemies of God and his prophet.’ The example of the prophet himself, who is recorded to have frequented

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the society of infidels, is of no avail in counteracting those insolent precepts; and the more other nations have distinguished themselves from the Turk by their progress in wisdom and civility, the more obdurate has been his determination to keep within the pale of his own faith, and to despise their advances. The spirit of proselytism has been shown, not in any attempts to convert by argument : the extension of dominion was the only object of the prophet in proclaiming rewards to such as propagated the faith. Whoever refused the proffered creed was either to be cut off, or reduced to the state of a vassal paying tribute; and those who die in this holy war pass immediately into paradise. ‘Wash not their bodies,’ says the prophet; ‘every wound which they bear will smell sweeter than musk in the day of judgment.’ While to Jews and Christians the alternative of conversion or tributary vassalage was held out, the idolater was doomed to death. ‘Kill and exterminate all worshippers of plurality,’ says the Koran; and this command has not infrequently been literally complied with. The Persians are, however, held in peculiar abhorrence; and it is deemed more praiseworthy in the sight of God to kill a single worshipper of fire than seventy infidels of any other religion.
   “The Turks abhor the worship of images, yet think it decent to reverence departed saints, and to visit their tombs. They chiefly invoke the names of Mahomet and his four immediate successors. They conceive idiots to be favoured by Heaven, from their apparent insensibility to the evils of life, and their indifference to its enjoyments. They prize relics, or substances which have been in contact with persons of extraordinary piety; and ascribe to them cures and other miracles, similar to those which the Roman Catholic superstitions inculcate. They dread the effect of sorcery, and provide against it by much the same contrivances as are used in the

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northern countries of Europe and Asia. They carefully observe dreams, and other accidental notions, as ominous of future events; and have a superstitious aversion to all pictures of the human body, believing that angels cannot enter the house where these are. The pilgrimage to Mecca is well known; they believe that it cures all former transgressions, and hold that a man should set about it as soon as his means are double the expense of the journey. Such, at least, is the injunction of the Koran; and only necessary impediments, as blindness, poverty, lameness, &c. are deemed to justify a Mussulman in neglecting this act of devotion. The black stone at Mecca is an object of peculiar reverence; it is expected to be endowed with speech at the day of judgment, for the purpose of declaring the names of those who performed the pilgrimage. The sanjac-sherif, or standard of Mahomet, being the curtain of the chamber-door of his favourite wife, is kept as the palladium of the empire, upon which no infidel can look with impunity. It is carried to battle with great formality before the sultan or vizier; and its return is hailed by all the Mussulmans of the capital going out to meet it.”

   When Egeria had read these passages, she returned the book into its place, and took down the twenty-second volume of the Quarterly Review.
   “The two greatest literary journals of the present time,” said she,—“perhaps of any epoch, are undoubtedly the rival publications of Edinburgh and London. In point of literary merit I am sometimes at a loss which to prefer. The northern luminary is, I believe, regarded as the most ingenious of the two, and the southern as the most learned, especially in subjects of a classical interest. Perhaps they may be considered as affording, in their respective merits,

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fair specimens of the difference in effect between the systems of education cultivated in England and in Scotland. But at hap-hazard I will open this volume, and I doubt not that the first article which meets my view will present an agreeable and characteristic contrast to the general observations and metaphysical reflections of the paragraphs which I have just read.”
   She accordingly opened the book and read—

POPULAR MYTHOLOGY.

   “Tales of supernatural agency are not read to full advantage except in the authors by whom they are first recorded. When treated by moderns, much of their original character must necessarily evaporate; like tombs, which lose their vulnerable sanctity when removed from the aisles of a cathedral, and exposed in a museum. We reason where the writers of former days believed, and the attention of the reader is rivetted by the earnestness of their credulity. Besides which, the very outward appearance of their volumes diffuses a quiet charm; the mellow tint of the pages, the full glossy black letter, the miniated capitals, the musky odour of the binding, all contribute to banish the present busy world, and to revive the recollection of the monastic library. And once within the cloistered precinct, we are reluctant to doubt the veracity of that grave friar, the venerable Henry Institor, seated at his desk in the sunny oriel, and devoutly employed in describing the terrific Sabbath of Satan, and the nocturnal flights and orgies of his worshippers.
   “When the fables of popular superstition are contemplated in detail, we discover a singular degree of uniformity in that realm wherein most diversity might be expected in the ideal world. Imagination seems to possess a boundless power of creation and combination;

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and yet the beings which have their existence only in fancy, when freely called into action, in every climate and every age, betray so close an affinity to one another, that it is scarcely possible to avoid admitting that imagination had little share in giving them their shape and form. The attributes and character are impressed by tokens, proving that they resulted rather from a succession of doctrines than from invention; that they were traditive, and not arbitrary. The vague credulity of the peasant agrees with the systematic mythology of the sages and of primeval times. Nations whom the ocean separates are united by their delusions. The village gossip recognises, though in ignorance, the divinities of classical antiquity, and the Hamadryads of Greece and the Elves of Scandinavia join the phantoms who swarm around us when, under the guidance of the wizard, we enter that gloomy dell,—

——————————“Where the sad mandrake grows,
Whose groans are deathful,, the dead-numbing nightshade,
The stupefying hemlock, adder’s tongue,
And martagan.—The shrieks of luckless owls
We hear, and croaking night-crows in the air;
Green-belied snakes, blue fire-drakes in the sky,
And giddy flitter-mice with leather wings,
And scaly beetles with their habergeons,
That make a humming murmur as they fly.
There in the stocks of trees white fays do dwell,
And span-long elves that dance about a pool
With each a little changeling in their arms;
The airy spirits play with falling stars,
And mount the sphere of fire.”

   “Amidst the evanescent groups, whose revels are embodied in the noble lines of the moral dramatist, the Fairies are the most poetical and the most potent; and many theories respecting their origin have been founded on their names. Morgain la Fay has been readily identified with Mergian Peri. We may, however, be

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allowed to observe, that arguments drawn from similarity of sound are frequently convincing without being conclusive. The romance of Merlin describes Morgain as a brunette; in spite, however, of this venerable authority, the fairy dame is evidently Mor-Gwynn, the white damsel, corresponding with the white women of ghostly memory, and a true-born child of the Cymry. It is not our wish to dispute about words : we merely object to the inferences drawn from this coincidence, which, united to others of the same class, seem to have given some plausibility to the supposition that the character of the fairy has arisen from the amalgamation of Roman, Celtic, Gothic, and Oriental mythology. We are loth to dissent from an opinion which has been advocated by that mighty master, Walter Scott; but the converse of the proposition is the truth. The attributes have been dispersed and not collected. Fables have radiated from a common centre, and their universal consent does not prove their subsequent reaction upon each other, but their common derivation from a common origin.
   “Mythology has not been diffused from nation to nation, but all nations have derived their belief of one primitive system. It is with fable as with language. The dialects of the Hindoo, the Gothic, and the Pelasgic tribes betray a constant affinity, but they did not interchange their nomenclatures. Neither did one tribe borrow the religious fictions of the other. Each retained a modification of the belief of the parent stock. The Dewtas of Meru, the warlike forms of Asgard, and the inhabitants of Olympus, all emanated from the thrones and powers which had been worshipped by one mighty and energetic race.—Sabaism announced itself in another mode. But all mythology has been governed by a uniform principle, pervading its creations with plastic energy, and giving an unfaltering and unalterable semblance

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of consistency to the successive developments of error. Divested of its mythic or poetic garb, it will be found that the creative power is the doctrine of fatality. Oppressed by the wretchedness of its nature, without some infallible guide, the human mind shrinks from contemplation, and cowers in its own imbecility; it reposes in the belief of predestination, which enables us to bear up against every misery, and solves those awful doubt which are scarcely less tolerable than misery.—The Gordian knot is cut, and the web is unravelled, when all things are seen subordinate to Fate, to that stern power which restrains the active intelligence of good and evil, dooming the universe of spirit and of matter to be the battle-field of endless strife between the light and the darkness.—Whether the rites of the ‘false religions, full of pomp and gold,’ have been solemnized in the sculptured cavern or in the resplendent temple, in the shade of the forest or on the summit of the mountain, still the same lesson has been taught. Men and gods vainly struggle to free themselves from the adamantine bonds of destiny. The oracle, or the omen which declares the impending evil, affords no method of averting it. All insight into futurity proves a curse to those on whom the power descends. We hear the warning which we cannot obey. The gleam of light which radiates athwart the abyss only increases its horror. No gift which the favouring intelligence strives to bestow upon a mortal can be received without an admixture of evil, from which the powerful spirit of beneficence cannot defend it; but neither can the malice of the eternal enemy prevail and triumph; it may scath but not consume.
   “Upon fatality and the tenet of conflicting power, popular mythology is wholly founded, the basis reappears in every trivial tale of supernatural agency, and the gossip sitting in the chimney-nook is imbued with

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all the wisdom of the hierophants of Greece, or the magi of Persia. As the destroying principle appears more active in this lower world, Oromanes has prevailed in popular belief. Orb is involved in orb, the multiplied reflections become fainter and fainter, the strange and fantastic forms are variously tinted and refracted, some are bright and glorious as the rainbow, others shadowy and grey, yet all turn unto the central image, the personification of the principle of Evil.
   “The legendary Satan is a being wholly distinct from the theological Lucifer. He is never ennobled by the sullen dignity of the fallen angel. No traces of celestial origin are to be discerned on his brow. He is not a rebellious Æon who once was clothed in radiance. But he is the Fiend, the Enemy, evil from all time past in his very essence, foul and degraded, cowardly and impure; his rage is oftenest impotent, unless his cunning can assist his power. He excites fright rather than fear. Hence, wild caprice and ludicrous malice are his popular characteristics; they render him familiar, and diminish the awe inspired by his name,; and these playful elements enter into all the ghost and goblin combinations of the evil principle. More, the platonist, did not perceive the psychological fitness of these attributes, and he was greatly annoyed in his lucubrations by the uncouth oddity of the pranks ascribed to goblins and elves; they discomposed the gravity of his arguments, and in order to meet the objections of such reasoners as might venture to suspect that merriment and waggery degraded a spiritual being, he sturdily maintains, that ‘there are as great fools in the body as there are out of it.’ He would not observe that the mythological portrait was consistent in its features. Laughter is foreign to the serenity of beneficence. Angels may weep, but they would forfeit their essence were they to laugh. Mirth, on the contrary, is the consort of

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concealed spite, and if not invariably wicked or mischievous, yet always blending itself readily with wickedness and mischief. Sport, even when intended to be innocent, degrades its object; though the best and wisest of us cannot always resist the temptation of deriving pleasure from the pains which we inflict upon our fellow-creatures by amusing ourselves with their weakness. From this alliance between laughter and malice arose the burlesque malignants whom the mythologists have placed amongst the deities. Such is the Momus of the Greeks, and his counterpart Loki, the attendant of the banquets of Valhalla. And the same idea is again the substance of the Vice of the ancient allegorical drama.
   “Equally dramatic and poetical is the part allotted to Satan in those ancient romances of religion, the Lives of the Saints : he is the main motive of the action of the narrative, to which his agency gives fulness and effect. But in the conception of the legendary Satan, the belief in his might melts in the ideality of his character. Amidst clouds of infernal vapour, he develops his form, half in allegory and half with spiritual reality :—and his horns, his tail, his saucer eyes, his claws, his taunts, his wiles, his malice, all bear witness to the simultaneous yet contradictory impressions to which the hagiologist is compelled to yield. This confusion is very apparent in the demons introduced by St Gregory in his Life of St Benedict. A poet would maintain that they are employed merely as machinery to carry on the holy epic. A monk must believe in them more strongly than in the gospel.
   “When the saint was once saying his prayers in the oratory of St John, on Monte Casino, he saw the Devil in the shape of a horse-doctor, but with a horn in one hand, and a tether in the other. Satan spoke civilly to St Benedict, and informed him that he was going to administer a drench to the beasts upon two legs, the fathers

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of the monastery. By an interpunctuation the text has been made to import that St Benedict saw the Devil in the more questionable shape of a doctor of physic, riding, as the doctors were wont to do before the introduction of carriages, upon a mule. This has been the favourite reading; and accordingly, when the old painters treated the miracle, they usually represented the Devil in the regular medical costume, with a urinal, and a budget full of doctor’s stuff behind him. It is hardly necessary to observe, that the Saint did not allow the Devil to do much mischief in his medical capacity.
   “Another time a complaint was made to St Benedict respecting the conduct of a monk belonging to one of the affiliated monasteries, who would not or could not pray with assiduity. After praying a little while, he used to walk away and leave the rest of the fraternity at their devotions. Benedict ordered him to be brought to Monte Casino, and when the monk, as usual, became heartily tired of prayer and prepared to go out of the oratory, the saint saw a little black Devil tugging at the skirts of his gown as hard as he could pull, and leading him to the door, ‘See ye not who leadeth our brother?’ quoth St Benedict to Father Maurus and Pompeianus, the prior. ‘We see nought,’ answered they. After two days’ prayer, Maurus, who was in training to be a saint, was able to see the little black Devil at the skirts of the monk’s gown as clearly as St Benedict himself; but the imp continued invisible to Pompeianus. On the third day St Benedict followed the monk out of the oratory and struck him with his staff. He was not sparing, we may suppose, of the baculine exorcism, for after it had been administered, the monk, as we are told by St Gregory, was never more infested by the little black Devil, and remained always steady at his prayers.
   “Amongst the innumerable anecdotes and histories of the Devil in the lives of the saints, some are more ludicrous,

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and, if possible, more trivial, others more picturesque. Saint Anthony saw the Devil with his head towering above the clouds, and stretching out his hands to intercept the souls of the departed in their flight to heaven. According to our modes of thinking we should be apt to consider such representations merely as apologues. But there was an honest confidence in the actual existence of the machinery of devotional romance. The hagiologist told his tale in right earnest : he was teaching matters of faith and edification; and we may be charitable enough to believe that he was persuaded of the truth of his legends. Yet the dullest piety could not peruse them without an obscure though indelible sensation of the affinity between allegorical imagery, and these supposed approaches of the evil one. Obedient devotion thus struggled against the reasoning faculty, which felt the impersonality of the personification, yet without being able to attain either vivid belief in the fiction, or a clear perception of its non-entity. Just as when we dream between watchfulness and slumber; we are conscious that the sounds which we hear, and the sights which we see, originate wholly from the brain, but our reason refuses to obey our judgment; and we cannot rouse ourselves and think, and shake off the delusion.
   “Sometimes the Devil is a thorough monkey, and his malice is merely playful. Year after year did he lie in wait for the purpose of defeating the piety of Saint Gudula. Manifold were the assaults to which her virgin frailty was exposed. But all were vain. At length he summoned up all his power for one grand effort. It was the custom of this noble and pious maiden to rise at cock-crowing, and to go to church to say her prayers, her damsel walking before her with a lantern. What did the author of all malice now do? . . . . . he put out the candle! The Saint set it a-light again, not by any vulgar method, but by her prayers. And this is her

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standard miracle. The relation in this legend is a wonderful and almost unparalleled specimen of bombast and bathos.
   “The Devil also appears to be a very thoughtless devil. Once, whilst St Martin was saying mass, St Britius, whose name hath retained a place in the protestant calendar, officiated as a deacon, and behind the altar he espied the Devil busily employed in writing down on a slip of parchment, as long as a proctor’s bill, all the sins which the congregation were actually committing. Now St Martin’s congregation were any thing but serious; they buzzed and giggled, and the men looked upwards, and the women did not look down, and were guilty of so many transgressions, that the Devil soon filled one whole side of his parchment with shorthand notes from top to bottom, and was forced to turn it. This side was also soon covered with writing : the Devil was now in sad perplexity; he could not stomach losing a sin, he could not trust his memory, and he had no more parchment about him. He therefore clenched one end of the scroll with his claws, and took the other between his teeth, and pulled it as hard as he could, thinking that it would stretch. The uneslastic material gave way and broke : he was not prepared for this; so his head flew back, and bumped against the wall. St. Britius was wonderfully amused by the Devil’s disaster, he laughed heartily, and incurred the momentary displeasure of St Martin, who did not at first see what was going forward. St Britius explained, and St Martin took care to improve the accident for the edification of his hearers. The moral is not to our purpose; but we quote the anecdote as an exemplification of the stupidity involved in the popular allegory of Satan. In all his dealings he is sure to be baffled and cheated. When he sues, his bill is dismissed, or he is nonsuited and sent out of court ‘without a day, ‘with his ears drooping and

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his tail clapped betwixt his legs. After paying a fair market-price for the body and soul of the wizard, he is sure to lose his bargain from the equivocal wording of the covenant. And at the moment that he is agreeing for the first living thing which is to pass over the bridge which he has built over the yawning chasm, the free-mason joyfully anticipates the disappointment of the infernal workman, when compelled to accept the worthless animal by which the literal meaning of the contract is to be satisfied.
   “More familiar demons are such as are enumerated in the homely rhymes of John Heywood, who tells us that

“In John Milesius any man may read
Of divels in Sarmatia honoured
Called KOTRI or KOBALDIi, such as we
PUGS and HOBGOBLINS call; their dwellings be
In corners of old houses least frequented,
Or beneath stacks of wood; and these convented
Make fearful noise in buttries and in dairies,
ROBIN GOODFELLOWS some, some call them FAIRIES.
In solitaire rooms these uproars keep,
And beat at doors to wake men from their sleep,
Seeming to force locks be they ne’re so strong,
And keeping Christmasse gambols all night long.”

CHAP. VI.
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STRAY ESSAYS

WELL, my love,” said Egeria one morning to her Lord, when he returned from his customary walk, and found her engaged with a number of manuscripts before her,—“I have been looking over these Stray Essays, and really they have a great deal of merit. The style is perhaps here and there a little harsh;

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but the general effect is classical, and the spirit of good sense breathes throughout the composition. The reflections on the literary character are both philosophical and highly original.”

ON THE LITERARY CHARACTER.

   To those who are capable of appreciating the immense improvement which the human mind derives from the study of literature, it cannot but appear surprising, that the same superiority of talents and information which qualifies a man for becoming the public instructor of his species, through the medium of the press, should yet give him little or no advantage in the ordinary intercourse of active life. Nothing in fact can be more unequal than the character of a man of letters, when considered in relation to the separate functions of the author and the private citizen. In the one view, we behold him enlarging the general stock of human knowledge, directing the opinions of whole nations, and perhaps deciding the fortunes of yet unborn millions; but in the other, we would often look in vain for the proofs of that superior acuteness and ability which he displays in his literary capacity. This inconsistency is so glaring, that it has not failed to strike those who are least in the habit of weighing with critical minuteness the characters of such as are subject to their observation. The vulgar, who are remarkably prone to admire learned men at a distance, are astonished to find, on a nearer acquaintance, that the scholar is only great when he has the pen in his hand; that on all other occasions he is a mere common mortal, often inferior in sagacity and practical wisdom to the most illiterate. Men of letters themselves look with disdain on this revolution of opinion in the vulgar, and consider their peculiar merits as too remote from common apprehension to be understood by any but those of their own class.

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   May they not, however, have formed to themselves a criterion of merit, which a rational and candid view of things would not justify? The vulgar are certainly excusable in regulating their opinion of those with whom they are connected in society, by the ability which they discover on such occasions as fall with the sphere of their own judgment; more especially when the transaction is of a nature so interesting to the individual in question, as that it may be reasonably supposed to have called for the full strength of his mind. It is too much a common feature with the literary class, that they confine all the praise of intellectual merit to their own favourite pursuits, and consider nothing as pertaining to mental exertion, but what appears in the form of a poem or a philosophical treatise. Surely, however, this is a very circumscribed mode of thinking. As much of all that belongs to genius, as much originality of conception, as great powers of argument and persuasion, knowledge as profound of human nature, may be displayed by a man of the world in the management of his private concerns, as by an author in the design and execution of a literary composition; and, perhaps, to a benevolent mind, the obscure struggles of the former will not be a less interesting object of contemplation, than the more splendid labours of the latter, but less immediately connected with human happiness or misery. It by no means appears, that mind has so little share in the government of the world as many are willing to imagine. On close imagination it will probably be found, that every individual naturally enjoys that degree of influence and authority in his particular circle (which is usually composed of his equals in rank), to which the rate of his understanding entitles him, and is followed, consulted, and attended to by those around him, in exact proportion to their experience of the soundness of his judgment, and the extent of his mental resources.

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Who is the man, in whatever circle, on whom, in any emergency, all eyes are turned, in whose opinion all acquiesce with alacrity, or are speedily brought over by his arguments, and who, in cases of more than common difficulty and importance, is always selected to act as the common representative? Be assured that this man, however uncultivated by letters, possesses talents of no ordinary standard; and as in mere abstract capacity he may be equal to the literary character, so, with respect to the application of his powers, he need not blush at a comparison.
   It is seldom that we find the man of letters acting this responsible part, however qualified he might appear by the cultivation of his powers, and the superiority of his acquired knowledge, to take the lead of the ablest of those who are merely men of the world. There are certain active qualities, to the acquisition of which the habits of a studious life are unfavourable, the want of which renders his advantages in other respects in a great measure unavailing. That confidence in our own resources, and the presence and intrepidity of mind resulting from it, which are so necessary to the conducting business with dignity and success, can only be acquired by familiarity with scenes of bustle and difficulty; from such experience of our own powers as may enable us to act without timidity, and to retain the full possession of the faculty of recollection. In vain will the man of retirement, in the view of engaging in some public scene, fortify himself with the consciousness of his own superiority, and endeavour to reason himself out of his fears. In the moment of trial his presence of mind will infallibly forsake him, and he will act and speak with an ability as much below his ordinary standard as the importance of the occasion would require him to rise above it. On all occasions, therefore, when, not the mere parade of intellect, but real strength of mind is required;

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firmness in danger, energy of language and sentiments, a cool yet decisive judgment; on all such occasions he will find himself thrown into the shade, and when his own safety is involved, will be glad to follow in the train of some less accomplished, but more experienced leader.
   They who are conversant in the private history of men of genius, must have observed with surprise, that not an inconsiderable proportion of those who were distinguished by their superiority in the higher qualities of mind, have yet been unusually deficient in good sense. If we endeavour, however, to analyze this useful faculty, according to Pope, “Although no science, fairly worth the seven,” our wonder will in a great measure cease. That intuitive sense of propriety in which good sense chiefly consists, is the result of natural quickness of apprehension, combined with much experience crowded into a little space, by an observation perpetually on the watch to dissect little incidents apparently not worth examining. In the former of these qualifications, the man of letters is generally abundantly provided, but he is seldom willing to bestow the time and attention requisite to collect the materials of judgment. Those minute forms of business and ceremony, which the customs of society render necessary to be known and practised, either escape his notice, or, if observed, appear beneath his regard. Hence, in the ordinary intercourse of life, he is perpetually liable to small mistakes and blunders, which place him in an awkward and inferior point of view, and are sometimes attended with more serious consequences.
   It may perhaps have an invidious appearance to insist farther on the peculiar imperfections to which literary men are liable, but I cannot help adding, that there is often a defect in that very department in which they might be supposed to excel, in their scientific

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knowledge, that renders it comparatively of little real utility to its possessor, or to others. Their information is not sufficiently minute or particular; they are versed in the general principles of things, but they are not exercised in applying them to practical purposes; and thus they lose both the benefit that would accrue to themselves from their knowledge, and the credit it would give them with those around them. It is too much the characteristic of the general scholar, that he never has his knowledge ready to produce on sudden emergencies; satisfied with obtaining the principles of any process, he refers to the book in which it is found for the detail and manipulation, in case he should ever have occasion to apply it to practice. Books, however, are too unwieldy an apparatus for a man to carry about with him; and it will frequently happen that, before the requisite information can be obtained, the occasion is lost. The mind of such a person is merely an index to his library, and is nearly as useful by itself as the table of contents torn out of a book.
   From an impression of these facts, men of the world have set it down as a maxim, that nothing is more adverse to a man’s success in life than a taste for literature. Were this really the case, it would indeed be matter of regret to every ingenuous mind. That the most exquisite pleasures of which the mind of man is susceptible, should be incompatible with the proper discharge of his active duties; that studies, which enlarge his understanding, and refine his affections, should render him less capable of sustaining his part in the social intercourse of his species, would argue a degree of depravity in society, or an inconsistency in the constitution of human nature, more than our experience of either will authorise us to allow. If we examine, however, the grounds of this opinion, as stated by those who entertain it, we will uniformly find it to be the result of

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narrow and confined experience, not the dictate of those liberal views which fix upon general principles, and have the human constitution for their basis. To those who observe the close analogy that exists betwixt all the different occupations in which the mind of man can be engaged, it will appear that the study of literature, when it produces its proper effect, is not only no barrier, but, on the contrary, a powerful assistant to the attainment of what every man desires,—authority and influence, and an honourable station in society. It must be admitted, that nothing improves the human mind so much as exercise. Even when its habitual exertions are confined to one direction, the beneficial influence of labour extends to all its powers, and its general capacity is found to be increased. But, in fact, the operations of the mind in the pursuit of scientific truth, and in the conduct of actual affairs, are pretty nearly the same. The same powers of memory, judgment, and imagination, are employed in the one case as in the other; and the methodical arrangement of ideas, the habits of analyzing complex objects, and of tracing various effects to their respective causes, which the man of cultivated mind is accustomed to exert in his literary studies, would be equally useful and properly applied to the pursuits of active life. In affirming, however, that literature might be rendered conducive to the usefulness and respectability of its votaries in society, it is understood that they consider it as of subordinate value, and not as the most important business of life, and that, with superior faculties, they bestow on their affairs the same degree of industry and attention as other men. Till they can bring themselves to this resolution, men of letters will never attain their due weight and influence in society. In fact, ill success in the world is not confined to literary men, but is common to them with all who, from the love of pleasure, or any other species of dissipation,

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neglect solid happiness for transient amusement. The objection which would probably have the greatest weight with many against reducing these ideas into practice, is the abridgment which a more active life would necessarily occasion those intellectual enjoyments, which all who know them prefer to every other kind of pleasure. In this respect, however, as well as in point of literary progress, the difference, on trial, would be found much less considerable than might at first be imagined. We never take up a book with so keen an appetite, or taste its beauties with such an exquisite relish, as after a day passed in useful and moderate industry. It is well known also, to all who are accustomed to mental labour, that the faculties of the mind are at no time so vigorous and alert as when the attention is concentrated by our being somewhat straitened in point of time. Unlimited leisure, especially in men of letters, is apt to induce a listless indolence, and a spirit of procrastination, which not only destroy enjoyment, but dissolve the elastic vigour of the mind, and incapacitate it for any thing honourable and useful, by rendering it incapable of labour and perseverance. But though the peculiar enjoyments of literary men would be to a certain extent diminished, those sources of satisfaction, which they have in common with the rest of mankind, would be increased in a much higher proportion. After all the eloquent encomiums that have been written on the pleasures of philosophical retirement, and the exquisite sensations of a refined taste, it must be confessed that the great materials of happiness are the same to all human beings, and are equally within the reach of all who know how to estimate their value, and build the superstructure. Successful industry, domestic neatness and comfort, the affection of a few, the esteem and respect of the many; from these sources is derived the mass of human enjoyments.

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To these sources literature forms a most valuable supplement; but I am convinced, that the experience of the majority of its votaries will declare, that when it is pursued as the chief business of life, the sum of its enjoyments is below the ordinary standard of human happiness.

ON DEFORMITY.

   Of more disquisitions, the most useful probably are those which, leaving out of view the considerations common to the species, exclusively address themselves to particular classes of readers. In this way of writing, what is lost by the limitation of the subject is abundantly compensated by the additional interest excited in those whom it concerns; for, in proportion as we recede from abstraction and approach to individuality, we touch the feelings of self more nearly, and hence awaken a more animated attention. The circumstances which afford a basis for the classification of the moralist are infinitely diversified, and admit of all gradations of descent, from the broadest generality to the most subtle minuteness. Among such as hold an important rank may be reckoned those defects of conformation which destroy the symmetry of the person, and render it an object of surprise and disgust to the beholder. Deformity, as a circumstance of considerable importance in the state of the individual, must exert a specific influence over his mind, and will, therefore, in the majority of instances, produce a certain distinctive character, which is very perceptible to an accurate observer. It was evidently the opinion of Lord Verulam, though he has expressed himself with reserve and tenderness, that this character is by no means that of benevolence; and certainly, on a general view, the charge seems not entirely destitute of foundation. By making the case our own for a moment, we may form a tolerably correct idea of the

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feelings which must pass through the mind of a deformed person, on comparing himself with those of the same age and rank around him. He will necessarily feel indignant at being thus disgraced by the hand of nature; and, for want of a direct object on which to vent his resentment, he will be apt to transfer a part of it to mankind in general, who, he thinks, can never look upon him but with aversion. If he be of an aspiring disposition, his ambition will prompt him rather to make himself feared than beloved, as the chief pleasure which he proposed to himself in the exercise of power, is to punish mankind for their imagined contempt, by enjoying their homage and mortifying their pride.—Obscure feelings of this kind will occasionally enter even the best-regulated minds, however carefully they may be repressed and discouraged; but in tempers of a bold and unprincipled cast, they will be explicitly stated and avowedly acted upon. Shakspeare has admirably exemplified this effect of deformity in his character of Richard the Third; and, contrary to his usual manner of leaving the character to develop itself by degrees, has expressly stated it in the soliloquy with which the play opens:—

“I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature,
Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;—
Why in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on my own deformity;
And therefore,—since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,—
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.”

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With the sentiments here expressed, every man of a form like Richard’s cannot help feeling a momentary sympathy; nor is it possible for him to possess the same complete detestation of the tyrant as an indifferent spectator of the drama.
   This tendency to malignity, every reflecting person will consider as by much the most serious evil attending deformity; and he will exert himself to overcome it, with an energy of resolution proportioned to the comprehension of his views and the strength of his moral feelings. Besides the common motives, he has an interest peculiar to himself in avoiding the displeasure of mankind, because on him it would fall with an accumulated weight. It may be remarked, that, owing to the salutary restraints imposed by civilized manners, the natural sentiments of mankind, with respect to deformity, are seldom displayed in their full extent. We sometimes observe them very strongly expressed by the vulgar, who are less accustomed than their superiors to disguise their emotions, or to repress them by considerations of propriety. Sensible of the injustice of treating an involuntary misfortune as a crime, mankind endeavour as much as possible to rectify their sentiments. But when malice and deformity are united in the same individual, they think themselves at liberty to indulge their feelings to the utmost. Fear and hatred then combined with disgust to produce a fervour of abhorrence, in many cases to be compared only to that sensation with which the sight of a venomous reptile inspires us.
   A regard to safety, therefore, as well as to tranquility of mind, should prompt the deformed by every honest method to cultivate the good graces of mankind; and this is only to be done effectually by cherishing real benevolence, which alone has the power of exciting

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reciprocal sentiments in the breasts of others. To this purpose nothing would contribute more essentially than a sober and philosophical view of his case, considered merely as an abstract subject of investigation. Such a view, however, like all the children of misfortune, he is very little disposed to take. On the contrary, he willfully shuts his eyes to the alleviating circumstances of his lot, and dwells on those which accord with the gloomy state of his feelings. He laments that the tenderest affection he conceives for others can only be returned with a fixed aversion or a cold pity; that, by the sentence of nature written on his forehead, he is cut off from the common privilege of the human face divine, endearing smiles and sympathetic expression; and, amid the gayety of the festive circle, even while his heart overflows with kindness, is compelled to look on with the countenance of a demon repining at human happiness. Such exaggerated complaints are not unfrequently poured into the ear of friendship; but they imply an evident inattention to the power of custom, in familiarizing and rendering indifferent whatever is originally most shocking to imagination. There are few who have not remarked how completely the greatest deformity of countenance is overlooked and forgotten after some acquaintance, especially when there are agreeable qualities of mind to counterbalance its impression.—Custom, in this respect, exert an equalizing property, and diminishes the power both of beauty and deformity. On this principle, by which the female is prompted to half conceal her charms, the deformed person ought boldly to bring his defects into view, that those with whom he associates may the sooner arrive at the state of indifference. The less he seems to think of his misfortune, the more quickly will they forget it. By this magnanimous policy, he will at the same time avoid the many awkward tricks contracted by those who are constantly

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endeavouring to hide defects impossible to be concealed, which endeavours only serve to draw the attention of the spectator more particularly.
   Besides custom, there is another principle, which has probably a considerable influence in reconciling us to deformity. In proportion as we become familiar with the countenance, we acquire a knowledge of its peculiar modes of expression; and hence are often enabled to discern benevolence, where we formerly thought we saw only malignity. It is the happiness of beauty that the external signs of kindness are natural to it, and, whenever they appear, are intelligible at first sight to all mankind. In deformity, on the contrary, these signs are perhaps various and accidental; or at least, they are so strongly obscured by the unfavourable cast of the features, that they require to be studied in order to be understood. When this has been done, however, we learn to make such ample allowances, that a homely countenance will come in time to communicate its emotions not less distinctly than the most finished beauty. To this consideration may be added, the progressive effect of habitual good-nature in moulding the looks to a conformable expression, which is universally admitted to be considerable, and is perhaps still greater than is commonly apprehended. The sunshine of the mind will at last break through the cloudiest features. The elegant, but mystical genius of Lavater, has both illustrated and obscured this subject, which, stript of the dress of imagination, may be comprehended in this plain and rational position, that a homely face, though it can never produce the appropriate sensation of beauty, may yet serve as the index of so many agreeable moral qualities in the mind, as to be on the whole a pleasing object.
   An important mistake, into which deformed people and old men are very apt to fall is to suppose themselves

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incapable of being beloved. The observations already made may have tended to remove this prejudice; but, in order more distinctly to perceive its fallacy, it will be of use to take a view of the manner in which the passion of love is generated in the mind. According to the system of Hartley, which affords by far the most satisfactory explication of the mental phenomena that has yet been given, the various pleasurable perceptions received from the beloved object, being associated together, coalesce into one idea, which, though in reality very complex, is apparently simple. Although, therefore, some disagreeable sensations, arising from moral or personal defects, should blend themselves with this idea, yet, being strongly counteracted by those of an opposite kind, they will be overpowered and rendered imperceptible, and the result will be a balance of pure pleasure, which is the efficient cause of attachment. The consequence is, that these defects no longer excite the disagreeable feelings which they would originally raise, but will be viewed with that complacency which constitutes the predominant impression in the mind.—Common observation confirms the truth of this theory. The lover is blind to the faults of his mistress; or, if he at all perceives them, he loves them as a part of her; he thinks they become her better than the opposite virtues do others; and he would hardly wish to remove them, even though it were in his power. This system likewise shews clearly, what indeed must be known to every one, that beauty is only one of the causes which excite affection; that elegant accomplishments, good-humour, wit, the arts of pleasing conversation; whatsoever, in short, serves to connect agreeable feelings with the presence or recollection of the individual, also tend to produce it. It were absurd to suppose, that the single disadvantage of person or of age must necessarily overcome a combination of these

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causes; and, in fact, instances to the contrary so frequently occur in common life, as to draw upon the fair sex an imputation of whimsicalness from superficial observers. The affection of Desdemona for the Moor Othello is strictly according to nature, and is perhaps much less improbable than the villany of Iago.— At any rate, it is a sufficient consolation to the deformed, to know that they are capable of inspiring that calm and rational attachment, which is the true foundation of domestic happiness, and which, being fixed on moral qualities, is not liable to decay with years, or to pall by satiety.
   It will probably, however, be thought by many, that consolation of this kind is very little wanted by the description of persons under consideration, and that observations like the foregoing will be rather detrimental than useful, by increasing that absurd personal vanity for which they are already so remarkable. This opinion, that deformed people are peculiarly subject to vanity, is very generally entertained, and seems to lie at the bottom of that persuasion of their mental inferiority which may be observed among the vulgar. It is, however, evidently a mistake, occasioned by not adverting to the fact, that states of mind in many respects similar often arise from contrary causes. Thus, the handsome and the deformed are both much occupied about their persons, but from motives precisely opposite; the one because he is conscious of being an agreeable object in the sight of mankind; the other because he feels that he is the reverse. Both are fond of dress, and equally ready to adopt every new ornament; but in the former, this arises from a desire to increase his attractions; in the latter, from a wish to palliate or conceal his defects. Their actions are therefore similar, and hence are ascribed to the same motive; though in the one, vanity or conceit is the moving principle; in the other, perhaps

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too deep a sense of inferiority. It must be acknowledged, however, that this principle in the minds of the deformed, by keeping the attention constantly fixed on the personal appearance, produces many of the effects of vanity. In its excess, it is the great source of their unhappiness; as its usual effect is either a total want of firmness, in so much that, like bashful children, they are hardly able to look up to meet the eye of a stranger; or an irritable jealousy of temper, which is constantly watching the looks of others for symptoms of contempt or ridicule, and finds matter of resentment and complaint in the most indifferent circumstances. The only effectual remedy against it, is a just and manly confidence in the superiority of the mind over the body, together with an assiduous cultivation of those intellectual and moral graces which form the best counterpoise to corporeal imperfections.

CHAP. VII.
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A SINGULAR SPEECH.

“WHY do you smile, Egeria?” said the Bachelor one day, as the nymph of his affections was looking over an old Magazine, from which she was in the practice of occasionally tearing a leaf to curl her hair with.
   “The smartest hit at the bachelors which I have ever met with. It professes to be the speech of Miss Polly Baker before a court of judicature in Connecticut, where she was prosecuted the fifth time for having a bastard child. It is said that this address

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not only influenced the court to dispense with her punishment, but so captivated one of the judges, that he married her next day, and to whom she had afterwards fifteen children. Listen.”

   “May it please the honourable bench to indulge me in a few words. I am a poor unhappy woman, who have no money to fee lawyers to plead for me, being hard put to it to get a tolerable living. I shall not trouble your honours with long speeches; for I have not the presumption to expect that you may, by any means, be prevailed on to deviate in your sentence from the law in my favour. All I humbly hope is, that your honours would charitably move the governor’s goodness on my behalf that my fine may be remitted. This is the fifth time, gentlemen, that I have been dragged before your court on the same account; twice I have paid heavy fines, and twice have been brought to public punishment for want to money to pay those fines. This may have been agreeable to the laws, and I don’t dispute it; but since laws are sometimes unreasonable in themselves, and therefore repealed, and others bear too hard on the subject in particular circumstances, and therefore there is left a power somewhat to dispense with the execution of them, I take the liberty to say, that I think this law, by which I am punished, is both unreasonable in itself, and particularly severe with regard to me, who have always lived an inoffensive life in the neighbourhood where I was born, and defy my enemies (if I have any) to say I ever wronged man, woman, or child. Abstracted from the law, I cannot conceive (may it please your honours) what the nature of my offence is. I have brought five fine children into the world at the risk of my life; I have maintained them well by my own industry, without burdening the township, and would have done it

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better, if it had not been for the heavy charges and fines I have paid. Can it be a crime (in the nature of things I mean) to add to the number of the king’s subjects in a new country that really wants people? I own it, I should think it a praiseworthy rather than a punishable action. I have debauched no other woman’s husband, nor enticed any youth : these things I never was charged with, nor has any one the least cause of complain against me, unless perhaps the minister or the justice, because I have had children without being married, by which, they have missed a wedding-fee. But can this be a fault of mine? I appeal to your honours. You are pleased to allow I don’t want sense; but I must be stupefied to the last degree, not to prefer the honourable state of wedlock to the condition I have lived in. I always was, and still am, willing to enter into it; and doubt not my behaving well in it, having all the industry, frugality, fertility, and skill in economy, appertaining to a good wife’s character. I defy any person to say I ever refused an offer of that sort : on the contrary, I readily consented to the only proposal of marriage that ever was made me, which was when I was a virgin; but, too easily confiding in the person’s sincerity that made it, I unhappily lost my own honour by trusting to his; and he then forsook me. That very person you all know; he is now become a magistrate of this county, and I had hopes he would have appeared this day on the bench, and have endeavoured to moderate the court in my favour; then I should have scorned to have mentioned it; but I must now complain of it as unjust and unequal, that my betrayer and undoer, the first cause of all my faults and miscarriages (if they must be deemed such), should be advanced to honour and power in the government that punishes my misfortunes with stripes and infamy. I

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should be told, ’tis like, that, were there no act of assembly in the case, the precepts of religion are violated by my transgressions. If mine is a religious offence, leave it to religious punishments. You have already excluded me from the comforts of your church communion. Is not that sufficient? You believe I have offended Heaven, and must suffer eternal fire : will not that be sufficient? But how can it be believed that Heaven is angry at my having children, when, to the little done by me towards it, God has been pleased to add his divine skill and admirable workmanship in the formation of their bodies, and crowned it by furnishing them with rational and immortal souls. Forgive me, gentlemen, if I talk a little extravagantly on these matters. I am no divine; but if you, gentlemen, must be making laws, take into your wise consideration the great and growing number of bachelors in the country, many of whom, from the mean fear of the expenses of a family, have never sincerely and honourably courted a woman in their lives. Is not their a greater offence against the public good than mine? Compel them, then, by law, either to marriage, or to pay double the fine. What must poor young women do, whom custom hath forbid to solicit the men, and who cannot force themselves upon husbands, when the laws take no care to provide them with any? Is not increase and multiply the first and great commandment of nature and nature’s God? and are those that contravene the law by human institutions not greater offenders than the mother of five children that now supplicates your mercy for having fulfilled its obligations? No, gentlemen; though the king’s statues make me guilty of wrong against society, as it happens at present to be constituted, it is your duty, by obeying the natural feelings to which my poor estate and condition cannot but move you, at this time

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to mitigate the rigour of those artificial penalties which I have unfortunately incurred.

CHAP. VIII.

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SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.

I HAVE never been able to understand,” said the Bachelor one day, “how it happens that Sir Philip Sidney enjoys so high a name in literature. He has done nothing to merit so much renown. His Arcadia is a sad namby-pamby affair; it scarcely shows even the promise of any masculine talent.
   “Certainly, if you judge of the merits of that celebrated favourite of his age by the Arcadia only, your opinion must be allowed to be just,” replied Egeria; “but the Arcadia is not so mawkish a thing as you seem to consider it. Not only does it possess many literary beauties, but there is the spirit of a fine enthusiasm spread over it, breathing virtue and benevolence; and in this respect it has not yet been excelled. I allow that the story lingers, and that the sentiments are rather long-winded; but, nevertheless, the melody of the style is sweet and pleasing, and nothing can exceed the charm of the disposition in which the subject seems to have been conceived.
   “The conversation in which Pyrocles describes to Musidorus the pleasures of the solitude to which he had retired is full of delightful poetry.

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   “Eagles,” says he, “we see, fly alone, and they are but sheep which always herd together : condemn not therefore my mind sometimes to enjoy itself; nor blame the taking of such times as serve most fit for it. And, alas! dear Musidorus, if I be sad, who knows better than you the just causes I have of sadness? And here Pyrocles suddenly stopped, like a man unsatisfied in himself, though his wit might well have served to have satisfied another. And so looking with a countenance as though he desired he should know his mind without hearing him speak, and yet desirous to speak, to breathe out some part of his inward evil, sending again new blood to his face, he continued his speech in this manner : and, Lord (dear cousin, said he), doth not the pleasantness of this place carry in itself sufficient reward for any time lost in it? Do you not see how all things conspire together to make this country a heavenly dwelling? Do you not see the grass, how in colour they excel the emeralds, every one striving to pass his fellow, and yet they are all kept of an equal height? And see you not the rest of these beautiful flowers, each of which would require a man’s wit to know, and his life to express? Do not these stately trees seem to maintain their flourishing old age with the only happiness of their seat, being clothed with a continual spring, because no beauty here should ever fade? Doth not the air breathe health, which the birds (delightful both to ear and eye) do daily solemnize with the sweet consent of their voices? Is not every echo there of a perfect music; and these fresh and delightful brooks, how slowly they slide away, as loth to leave the company of so many things united in perfection, and with how sweet a murmur they lament their forced departure? Certainly, certainly, cousin, it must needs be that some goddess inhabiteth this region, who is the soul of this soil; for neither is any less than a goddess worthy to be shrined

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in such a heap of pleasures, nor any less than a goddess could have made it so perfect a plot of the celestial dwellings.”

   “The prayer of Pamela, under the afflictions which she suffered from Cecropia, is not only a splendid specimen of elevated composition, but in the sentiment reaches the sublime.”

   “O All-seeing Light and Eternal Life of all things, to whom nothing is either so great that it may resist, or so small that it is contemned; look upon my misery with thine eye of mercy, and let thine infinite power vouchsafe to limit out some proportion of deliverance unto me, as to thee shall seem most convenient. Let not injury, O Lord, triumph over me, and let my faults by thy hand be corrected, and make not mine unjust enemy the minister of thy justice. But yet, my God, if in thy wisdom this be the aptest chastisement for my unexcusable folly; if this low bondage be fittest for my over-high desires; if the pride of my not enough humble heart be thus to be broken; O Lord, I yield unto thy will, and joyfully embrace what sorrow thou wilt have me suffer. Only thus much let me crave of thee (let my craving, O Lord, be accepted of thee, since even that proceeds from thee, ) let me crave, even by the noblest title, which in my greatest affliction I may give myself, that I am thy creature, and by thy goodness (which is thyself) that thou wilt suffer some beam of thy Majesty so to shine into my mind, that it may still depend confidently on thee. Let calamity be the exercise, but not the overthrow, of my virtue : let their power prevail, but prevail not to destruction : let my greatness be their prey : let my pain be the sweetness of their revenge : let them (if so seem good unto thee) vex me with more and more punishment : but, O Lord,

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let never their wickedness have such a hand, but that I may carry a pure mind in a pure body.”

CHAP. IX

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SIR WALTER RALEIGH.

LAST night,” said the Bachelor, “you were speaking in commendation of Sidney’s Arcadia; I have since thought it somewhat remarkable, that although all scholars, well read in English authors, regard the writers of Queen Elizabeth’s age as the master-minds of the language, few of their works have of late years been reprinted.
    “It is certainly remarkable,” replied the Lady; “for, with the exception of Bacon’s Essays, I scarcely recollect any of the little works of that period which have been republished in our time; but his, you will say, belong rather to the age of her successor James.—It may be so; but his mind was formed in the same circumstances which inspired the genius of Shakspeare. I wonder, indeed, that nobody has thought of bringing out a new edition of “Sir Walter Raleigh’s Remains,’—a work which, in many respects, deserves to stand by the side of Bacon’s Essays. It is the private thoughts, if I may use the term, of a very great man; one who had examined the world with a sharp eye, and whose mind was rich in observations and experience. He was, undoubtedly, a man of much wisdom, though it may

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be said that there is a leaning to worldliness in his reflections which somewhat diminishes the impression that the justness of his remarks is calculated to produce;—and his advice to his son has always been considered as a proof of it. Take, for example, his rules for the preservation of a man’s estate.”

DOMESTIC ECONOMY.

   “Amongst all other things of the world, take care of thy estate, which thou shalt ever preserve, if thou observe three things; first, that thou know what thou hast, what every thing is worth that thou hast, and to see that thou are not wasted by thy servants and officers. The second is, that thou never spend any thing before thou have it; for borrowing is the canker and death of every man’s estate. The third is, that thou suffer not thyself to be wounded for other men’s faults, and scourged for other men’s offences; which is the surety for another, for thereby millions of men have been beggared and destroyed, paying the reckoning of other men’s riot, and the charge of other men’s folly and prodigality; if thou smart, smart for thine own sins, and, above all things, be not made an ass to carry the burdens of other men; if any friend desire thee to be his surety, give him a part of what thou hast to spare; if he press thee farther, he is not thy friend at all, for friendship rather chooseth harm to itself than offereth it; if thou be bound for a stranger, thou art a fool; if for a merchant, thou puttest thy estate to learn to swim; if for a churchman, he hath no inheritance; if for a lawyer, he will find an invasion by a syllable or word to abuse thee; if for a poor man, thou must pay it thyself; if for a rich man, it need not; therefore from suretyship, as from a man-slayer or enchanter, bless thyself, for the best profit and return will be this, that

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if thou force him, for whom thou art bound, to pay it himself, he will become thy enemy; if thou use to pay it thyself, thou wilt be a beggar; and believe thy father in this, and print it on thy thought, that what virtue soever thou hast, be it never so manifold, if thou be poor withal, thou and thy qualities shall be despised; besides, poverty is oft times sent as a curse of God, it is a shame amongst men, an imprisonment of the mind, a vexation of every worthy spirit; thou shalt neither help thyself nor others, thou shalt drown thee in all thy virtues, having no means to shew them; thou shalt be a burden and a eye-sore to thy friends—every man will fear thy company—thou shalt be driven basely to beg and depend on others—to flatter unworthy men—to make dishonest shifts, and to conclude, poverty provokes a man to do infamous and detested deeds; let no vanity therefore, or persuasion, draw thee to that worst of worldly miseries.
   “If thou be rich, it will give thee pleasure in health, comfort in sickness, keep thy mind and body free, save thee from many perils, relieve thee in thy elder years, relieve the poor and thy honest friends, and give means to thy posterity to live, and defend themselves and thine own fame. Where it is said in the Proverbs, that he shall be sore vexed that is surety for a stranger, and he that hateth suretyship is sure; it is further said, The poor is hated even of his own neighbour, but the rich have many friends. Lend not to him that is mightier than thyself, for if thou lendest him, count it but lost; be not surety above thy power, for if thou be surety, think to pay it.”

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CHAP. X
______

STRAY POETRY.

THE other day,” said Egeria one evening after tea, “I called your attention to that bundle of manuscripts which you brought for us to look over, and I read to you two very clever and philosophical little essays. In looking this afternoon again into the same papers, I have found several other things no less deserving of attention. I wonder who is the author. It is surprising that one who writes so well, should be so little known.”
   The Bachelor did not reply to this question, but, giving a sigh, said, “Let me hear you read these which have given you so much pleasure.”
   Egeria, with affecting to notice the pensive reminiscence which her question had awakened, took the following little poem from the bundle.

THE SHIPWRECK.
The ship is unmoor’d,
All hands are on board,
Released from the bonds of affection;
High-mounted, the crew
Bid a cheering adieu,
To stifle each fond recollection.

The sails are all spread,
The ship shoots ahead,
The rough billows proudly dividing;

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Now plunging amain,
Now rising again,
Like a sea-bird on white bosom riding.

The wind louder grows,
And fiercer it blows,
Now shrill, and then hoarse as the thunder;
The masts all are bent,
And the topsail is rent,
By the swift-rushing blast burst asunder.

Awe-struck, from the skies
The pilot descries
The whirlwind in circles descending,
And marks over head,
Up-looking with dread,
The waves in white ridges impending.

The rudder is broke;
She reels from the stroke;
O’erwhelm’d, for a moment she’s sinking:
In silence their fate
The seamen await;
On the sweetness of home they are thinking.

The twilight is gone,
Dark night is come on,
All dreary and wild is the ocean;
And shoreward in haste
The billows are chased,
High-raging in boundless commotion.

The breakers are heard,
And all are prepar’d;
To the rigging with cords they have bound them:

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No star in the sky,
Nor light they espy,
But the foam of the waves all around them.

The landsman shall start,
As his slumbers depart,
On his soft couch so peacefully lying,
And hear with affright,
Through the darkness of night,
The groans and the shrieks of the dying.

   “Yes,” said the Bachelor,” It is a very beautiful poem.”
   “And,” added Egeria, “both original and striking in the conception and execution. It is what I would call a talismanic composition : it produces its effect not by what it describes, but by what it recalls to recollection, or by the associations which it awakens. This other is, however, still more beautiful. I have seldom met with any thing so simple and touching.”

THE OLD MAN’S REVERIE.

Sooth’d by the self-same ditty, see
The infant and the sire;
That smiling on the nurse’s knee,
This weeping by the fire;
Where unobserved he finds a joy
To list its plaintive tone,
And silently his thoughts employ
On sorrows all his own.

At once it comes, by memory’s power,
The loved habitual theme,

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Reserved for twilight’s darkling hour,
A voluntary dream;
And as with thoughts of former years
His weakly eyes o’erflow,
None wonders at an old man’s tears,
Or seeks his grief to know.

Think not he dotes because he weeps;
Conclusion, ah! how wrong!
Reason with grief joint empire keeps,
Indissolubly strong;
And oft in age a helpless pride
With jealous weakness pines,
(To second infancy allied)
And every woe refines.

How busy now his teeming brain,
Those murmuring lips declare;
Scenes never to return again
Are represented there.
*     *     *     *

He ponders on his infant years,
When first his race began,
And, oh! how wonderful appears
The destiny of man!
How swift those lovely hours were past,
In darkness closed how soon!
As if a winter’s night o’ercast
The brightest summer’s noon.

His wither’d hand he holds to view,
With nerves once firmly strung,
And scarcely can believe it true
That ever he was young.

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And as he thinks o’er all his ills,
Disease, neglect, and scorn,
Strange pity of himself he feels,
Thus aged and forlorn.

   “This is not only pathetic,” continued the nymph, “but it is poetical in the truest sense of the term; for it presents at once an image to the mind, an argument to the judgment, and a subject interesting to the universal feelings of our nature. Pray, do tell me by whom it was written.”
    “Some other time I may,” replied Benedict,— “when the proper occasion arises; meanwhile, have you found any thing else that pleases you?”
   “O they all please me,” said Egeria briskly; “and here is a humorous effusion, that seems to have been written as a companion to the affecting little piece which I have just read.”

ELEGY BY A SCHOOL-BOY.

How blest was I at Dobson’s ball!
The fiddlers come, my partner chosen!
My oranges were five in all,
Alas! they were not half-a-dozen!

For sooner a richer rival came,
And soon the bargain was concluded;
My Peggy took him without shame,
And left me hopeless and deluded.

To leave me for an orange more!
Could not your pockets-full content ye?
What could you do with all that store?
He had but six, and five were plenty.

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And mine were biggest, I protest
For some of his were only penny ones,
While mine were all the very best,
As juicy, large, and sweet as any one’s.

Could I have thought, ye beaux and belles,
An orange would have so undone me!
Or any thing the grocer sells,
Could move my fair one thus to shun me!

All night I sat in fixed disdain,
While hornpipes numberless were hobbled;
I watch’d my mistress and her swain,
And saw his paltry present gobbled.

But when the country-dance was call’d,
I could have cried with pure vexation;
For by the arms I saw her haul’d,
And led triumphant to her station.

What other could I think to take?
Of all the school she was the tallest;
What choice worth making could I make,
None left me, but the very smallest!

But now all thoughts of her adieu!
This is no time for such diversion;
Mair’s Introduction lies in view,
And I must write my Latin version.

Yet all who that way are inclined,
This lesson learn from my undoing;
Unless your pockets are well lined,
’Tis labour lost to go a wooing.

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   “There is, “resumed the nymph,” not only humour and truth in this little poem, but a naïveté of thought and expression, which shows that the author possesses very amiable dispositions.”
   “Possessed!” replied the Bachelor with a mournful accent,—“but read me the short ballad on old age. I remember, when I heard it at first it struck me as one of the most plaintive and simple complaints I had ever met with. It is my opinion quite a melody, and a sad one too. Alas, that we should grow old!”
   Egeria turn over the papers, till she found the piece, and then began to read.

A BALLAD ON OLD AGE.

Come any gentle poet
Who wants a mournful page,
His theme I soon will show it;
Oh, sing the woes of age!
He sure must weep for pity,
Who sings so sad a lay;
And tears, to grace his ditty,
His sorrow shall repay.

O age is dark and dreary,
As every old man knows;
Without labour he is weary,
In rest finds no repose;
His life affords no pleasure,
For he has lived too long;
A cup with over-measure,
It palls upon the tongue.

His friends long time departed,
That were so true and kind,

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When children are hard-hearted,
He bears them oft in mind:
He silent sits and ponders,
In grief and helpless pride;
And as his fancy wanders,
He thinks them at his side.

O who would strive with nature
For half an hour of gloom,
To live an abject creature,
Usurping others’ room!
I seek not life, but rather
I pray to be at rest:
When friends go all together,
That voyage is surely best.

   “I shall not be content, my dear Benedict,” said the nymph, “till you tell me by whom these papers were written, and how it happened that so many really charming things have never been published.?”
   “Whether any of these poems have ever been published,” replied the Bachelor, “I do not certainly know; but the Essay on Deformity was printed in some periodical work at the time it was written, and I recollect it obtained a warm commendation from the editor. The author then was very young, a mere boy, and the promise of his talent was a blossom that might have come in time to some rich and rare fruit, had he been spared in health.”
   “In health! then he is still alive?’ said the nymph.
   “Do not question me any further at present,” replied the Bachelor; “I have a reason for my silence. Have you looked at any more?”

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   “Yes; and here is a song which is both spirited and highly poetical.”

THE CALL OF MORVEN.

Strike the harp! strike the harp! O ye masters of song!
Call forth your high strains that to glory belong.
The valiant depart, go ye minstrels before,
And lead with proud steps to the fight as of yore.
High flames the red signal on Cruachan’s bound,
And answering swords gleam in thousands around.
The banner of Albin unfurls in its might,
And flaps like an eagle preparing for flight;
Full spread to the blast see it rushes afar,
And the sons of green Morven must follow to war.
Hide your tears! O ye maids, in your brightness o’ercast,
Nor rend your fair locks till the heroes be past!
Approach not, ye mothers, lamenting afar,
For the sons of green Morven are summoned to war!
O ye shores of the ocean, for combats renown’d,
Where the bones of the mighty lie scatter’d around;
Where the Roman was chased from the hill to the plain,
And the haughty Norweyan lies stretched on the Dane :
Again shall ye tell where the valiant have died,
And the spoiler of nations stood check’d in his pride;
Once more shall your echoes redouble from far
The sound of pursuit, and the triumph of war.

   “But,” continued the nymph, “it is in the simple pathetic that the author most excels,—and here is a little piece of that kind which I think affecting and pretty.”

THE SWISS BEGGAR.

O I am not of this countrie,
And much my heart is wrung,
To wander in a foreign land,
And beg in foreign tongue.

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’Tis all to gain a little sum
To bear me o’er the sea;
And hither slowly I am come
To ask your charity.

My home is in the Valteline,
Far inland from the main;
And every day I wish and pine
To see it once again.

I cannot mend this little store;
My wishing is in vain;
And I shall ne’er behold it more,
Ah never, ne’er again!

If you have ever been abroad,
Bestow an alms on me!
And think you speed me on my road
My native land to see.

My cot still rises to my view,
And will not let me stay;
But I am old, and lams are few,
And long is the delay!

And must I ever thus deplore
My labour spent in vain?
And shall I ne’er behold it more?
Ah never, ne’er again!

Your country is a pleasant land,
But, oh, it is not mine!
I have not here a kindred band
As in the Valteline.

When on my native hills I play’d,
I breathed not English air;

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I did not love an English maid
When love was all my care.

But I must die on England ’s strand,
A prisoner of the main!
And ne’er behold my native land,
Ah, never, ne’er again!

   “I am also well pleased with another short poem, which, without being very lofty in the style, is very animated in the conception, and full of lyrical energy.”

ODE TO PATRIOTISM.

O thou who didst thy vigils keep,
On lonely tower or heath-clad steep,
Watching the midnight beacon’s blaze,
That, streaming to the warrior’s gaze,
Told him the invading foe was near,
And bade him grasp the Scottish spear;
O, welcome to this heart again!
Welcome! with all thy radiant train,
Valour with Friendship by his side,
Domestic Love with pinions tied,
And Poesy, the wild and free,
Sweet child of Sympathy and thee!
Too long a stranger to thy shrine,
And heedless of thy songs divine,
I follow’d shadows, false though fair,
That beckoning through the misty air,
Drew me, unwilling and afraid,
To desert paths of deepest shade.
Yet not bereft of thee, sweet Power!
For still, from thine and Virtue’s bower,
Thou follow’dst on the devious track,
Suppliant to win thy votary back;

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And oft, when slumber seal’d mine eyes,
Thou bad’st a pictured vision rise,
My country’s image, fair exprest.
A blooming maid in antique vest;
Such as to Burns his Coila stood,
When smiling in the portal rude,
She caught her poet’s startled eye,
Half-closed in musing ecstasy.
Roused by her danger, lo! I burn;
Visions of childhood, ye return,
When wand’ring by the wonted stream,
Sacred to Fancy’s wildest dream,
I conn’d your lays, ye bards of old,
Simple and rude, yet strong and bold,
What rushing tremors thrill’d my frame,
When he, the chief of glorious name,
Who thrice the Scottish standard rear’d,
While sceptred tyrants saw and fear’d,
Rose to my view in awful might,
Trampling the proud oppressor’s flight;
Or, as with dust and wounds o’erspread,
When faithful ranks retreating bled,
Alone he check’d the foe’s career,
And waved his wide-protecting spear!
O thou! in Danger’s bosom nurst,
Wallace! of Scottish heroes first;
A warrior raised by Heaven’s command
Hail! guardian genius of the land;
For still thy martial spirit reigns,
Still hovers o’er these hills and plains.
Even in the rude unletter’d hynd,
Breathing the firm undaunted mind.
O, never shall thy glories die;
But still thy name, emblazon’d high
On Scotia’s bright historic scroll,
Shall Kindle on the Patriot’s soul.

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First on the lisping infant’s tongue;
Still to the harp by minstrels sung;
And still, O destiny sublime!
Lightning, to the remotest time,
Shall rouse thy country’s sleeping fire,
The watch-word of her vengeful ire,
When hostile feet shall dare to tread
The ashes of her mighty dead.
Such meed is thine, immortal maid!
To whom my contrite vows are paid.

   “But here is a sweet and pleasing effusion. It becomes pathetic by the sorrow that we feel in remembering the author. All of his, we trust, shall not die.”

THE POET  TO HIS  WORKS.

Flowers born beneath a wintry sky,
When shall ye burst the envious shade?
Or, like the bard, fore-doom’d to die,
Unseen, unhonour’d, must ye fade?

Yet droop not hopeless round his urn,
Untimely though your blossoms fall,
Await with him the year’s return,
For you nor he shall perish all.

Sprung through a crevice of the tomb,
A solitary stem may blow,
Gay orphan of the silent gloom,
And point the humble name below.

Some simple, unambitious strain,
Low breathed in beauty’s pensive ear,
The soft complaint of tender pain,
Framed in the flowing of a tear;

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The poet’s pure immortal part,
From all unhallow’d dross refined,
Shall live in many a gentle heart,
The heaven of a poetic mind.

CHAP. XI
____

MISCELLANEOUS EXTRACTS.

THE Russians,” said Egeria one morning, as she was turning carefully over the leaves of several books which happened to be lying on the table, “seem to me to hold a place, in their habits, manners, and pursuits, between the Europeans and Asiatics. They have a great deal of the intelligence, the activity, and the shrewdness of the former, with no small degree of the cunning, the pride, and the selfishness of the latter. Their taste for slaves and magnificence is quite oriental; but they have social and convivial dispositions which do not belong to the Asiatics. The custom among the Muscovite nobility of keeping dwarfs is peculiar, I fancy, to themselves. Porter’s account of these unfortunate little creatures is about one of the best things in his Travels in Russia and Sweden.”

   “They are here the pages and the playthings of the great; and at almost all entertainments stand for hours by their lord’s chair, holding his snuff-box, or awaiting his commands. There is scarcely a nobleman in this country who is not possessed of one or more of these

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frisks of nature; but in their selection, I cannot say that the noblesse display their gallantry, as they choose none but males.
   “These little beings are generally the gayest drest persons on the service of their lord, and are attired in a uniform or livery of very costly materials. In the presence of their owner, their usual station is at his elbow in the character of a page; and during his absence, they are then responsible for the cleanliness and combed locks of their companions of the canine species.
   “Besides these Lilliputians, many of the nobility keep a fool or two, like the motleys of our court in the days of Elizabeth; but like in name alone, for their wit, if they ever had any, is swallowed up by indolence.—Savoury sauce and rich repasts swell their bodies to the most disgusting size; and lying about in the corners of some splendid saloon, they sleep profoundly, till awakened by the command of their lord to amuse the company. Shaking their enormous bulk, they rise from their trance; and, supporting their unwieldy trunks against the wall, drawl out their heavy nonsense, with as much grace as the motions of a sloth in the hands of a reptile-fancier. One glance was sufficient for me of these imbruted creatures; and, with something like pleasure, I turned from them to the less humiliating view of human nature in the dwarf.
   “The race of these unfortunates is very diminutive in Russia, and numerous. They are generally well shaped, and their hands and feet particularly graceful. Indeed, in the proportion of their figures, we should no where discover them to be flaws in the economy of nature, were it not for a peculiarity of feature and the size of the head, which is commonly exceedingly enlarged. Take them on the whole, they are such compact, and even pretty little beings, that no idea can be formed of them from the clumsy deformed dwarfs which

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are exhibited at our fairs in England. I cannot say that we need envy Russia this part of her offspring. It is very curious to observe how nearly they resemble each other; their features are all so alike, that you might easily imagine that one pair had spread their progeny over the whole country.”

   “I would also read to you an anecdote of Gustavus Vasa, which is very cleverly told.

   “On the little hill just mentioned, stood a very ancient habitation, of so simple an architecture, that you would have taken it for a hind’s cottage, instead of place that, in times of old, had been the abode of nobility. It consisted of a long barn-like structure, formed of fir, covered in a strange fashion with scales and odd ornamental twistings in the carved wood. But the spot was hallowed by the virtues of its heroic mistress, who saved, by her presence of mind, the life of the future deliverer of her country. The following are the circumstances alluded to; and most of them were communicated to me under the very roof.
   “Gustavus having, by an evil accident, been discovered in the mines, and after being nearly betrayed by a Swedish nobleman, bent his course towards this house, then inhabited by a gentleman of the name of Pearson (or Peterson), whom he had known in the armies of the late administrator. Here he hoped, from the obligations he had formerly laid on the officer, that he should at least find a safe retreat. Pearson received him with every mark of friendship; nay, treated him with that respect and submission which noble minds are proud to pay to the truly great, when robbed of their external honours. He seemed more afflicted by the misfortunes of Gustavus than that prince was himself; and exclaimed with such vehemence against the Danes, that,

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instead of awaiting a proposal to take up arms, he offered, unmasked, to try the spirit of the mountaineers; and declared that himself and his vassals would be the first to set an example, and turn out under the command of his beloved general.
   “Gustavus was rejoiced to find that he had at last discovered a man who was not afraid to draw his sword in the defence of his country; and endeavoured, by the most impressive arguments, and the prospects of a suitable recompense for the personal risks he ran, to confirm him in so generous a resolution. Pearson answered with repeated assurances of fidelity; he named the gentlemen, and the leading persons among the peasants, whom he hoped to engage in the enterprise. Gustavus relied on his word, and promising not to disclose himself to any while he was absent, some days afterwards saw him leave the house to put his design in execution.
   “It was indeed a design, and a black one. Under the specious cloak of a zealous affection for Gustavus, the traitor was contriving his ruin. The hope of making his court to the Danish tyrant, and the expectation of a large reward, made this son of Judas resolve to sacrifice his honour to his ambition, and, for the sake of a few ducats, violate the most sacred laws of hospitality, by betraying his guest. In pursuance of that base resolution, he went straight to one of Christiern’s officers commanding in the province, and informed him that Gustavus was his prisoner. Having committed this treachery, he had not courage to face his victim; and telling the Dane how to surprise the prince, who, he said, believed himself to be under the protection of a friend, (shame to manhood, to dare to confess that he could betray such a confidence!) he proposed taking a wider circuit home, while they, apparently unknown to him, rifled it of its treasuer. ‘It will be an easy matter,’

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said he, ‘for not even my wife knows that it is Gustavus.’
   “Accordingly, the officer, at the head of a party of well-armed soldiers, marched directly to the lake. The men invested the house, while the leader, abruptly entering, found Pearson’s wife, according to the fashion of those days, employed in culinary preparations. At some distance from her sat a young man in a rustic garb, lopping off the knots from the broken branch of a tree. The officer went up to her, and told her he came in King Christiern’s name to demand the rebel Gustavus, who he knew was concealed under her roof.—The dauntless woman never changed colour; she immediately guessed the man whom her husband had introduced as a miner’s son, to be the Swedish hero. The door was blocked up by soldiers. In an instant she replied, without once glancing at Gustavus, who was motionless with surprise, ‘If you mean the melancholy gentleman my husband has had here these few days, he has just walked out into the wood on the other side of the hill. Some of those soldiers may readily seize him, as he has no arms with him.
   “The officer did not suspect the easy simplicity of her manner; and ordered part of the men to go in quest of him. At that moment, suddenly turning her eyes on Gustavus, she flew up to him, and catching the stick out of his hand, exclaimed, in an angry voice,—‘Unmannerly wretch! What, sit before your betters? Don’t you see the king’s officers in the room? Get out of my sight, or some of them shall give you a drubbing!’ As she spoke, she struck him a blow on the back with all her strength; and opening a side-door, ‘there, get into the scullery,’ cried she, ‘it is the fittest place for such company!’ and giving him another knock, she flung the stick after him, and shut the door. ‘Sure,’ added

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she, in a great heat, ‘never woman was plagued with such a lout of a slave!’
   “The officer begged she would not disturb herself on his account; but she, affecting great reverence for the king, and respect for his representative, prayed him to enter her parlour while she brought some refreshment. The Dane civilly complied; perhaps glad enough to get from the side of a shrew; and she immediately hastened to Gustavus, whom she had bolted in, and by means of a back-passage conducted him in a moment to a certain little apartment, which projected from the side of the house close to the bank of the lake where the fishers’ boats lay, she lowered him down the convenient aperture in the seat, and, giving him a direction to an honest curate across the lake, committed him to Providence.”

CHAP. XII.
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WITCHCRAFT.

ONE windy wintry night, as the Bachelor and his nymph were enjoying together the music of the blast, the lady said to him,—“It was a strange fancy of our ancestors, to suppose that men and women witches and wizards should ever have delighted in causing such weather as this; and, above all, of making choice of it for visiting. But truly, after all that has been written about magic and witchcraft, I think a sound and sober treatise on the subject is still wanted. For my own part, I am of opinion that the laws against witches and witchcraft, though now

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rendered obsolete by the progress of knowledge, were yet, when first enacted, founded in wisdom and on justice.”
   “Really, my love,” replied the Bachelor, looking aghast at this observation, “you begin to grow paradoxical. You do not mean to contend that there was ever any such crime as that for which so many poor wretches suffered death, in consequence of those absurd and superstitious laws?”
   “But I do though,” said Egeria; “I do not, it is true, contend, that ever any such power as that which was ascribed to the wizard and the witch actually existed; but, what was almost the same thing, the belief that it did exist was universal; and wicked and malicious persons, by pretending to the possession of it, acquired an influence over the minds of their neighbours, which they often exercised with the worst and most baneful effect. Think, for a moment, what must have been his feelings who believed himself under the influence of their malignant spells! Misfortunes were not to him merely causes of regret and sorrow, but subjects of the most hideous and horrible contemplation. He saw not his cattle die of disease, but the victims of unutterable incantations. It was not the wind nor the rain of nature by which his corn was laid, but the trampling of hell-hags, furious with enmity against himself. His sleep was not disturbed by indigestion, or by infirm health, but by dreadful charms, mingled by accursed hands, and made efficacious by the ministry of diabolical agents. The anguish of sickness was exasperated by the pangs of mental suffering; and the invalid who pined in consumption, trembled with the

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frightful thought of a waxen image of himself, framed with mysteries under disastrous aspects of the heavens, revolving and melting before an enchanted fire, round which the most loathsome and detestable of beings were convened. The changes of his sensations told him when their cruelty damped the flame, to waste him lingeringly; and, in his sharp and shooting pains, he thought of the witches piercing the image with pins and bodkins. They sat on his heart in his sleep, and they hunted him in his shadow. Were not the causes of such agonies, though but by the management of the imaginations and the ears of the subjects, worthy of punishment? and shall we therefore say, that the laws, which were framed to deter wretches from the practice of impostures so fatal, were either in themselves uncalled for or unwise? That those who practised witchcraft believed themselves possessed of the power to which they pretended is not impossible : but I am more inclined to think, that the spell formed but a part of the devices of their malignant cunning;—thought it cannot be supposed that there ever was any such ceremonies in use among them as those of the absurd tales of the mysteries of their visitations.—For example, look at Gaule’s account of the business; was ever any such absurdities either done or attempted as the following?”

INITIATION OF A WITCH.

   “The convention for such a solemn initiation being proclaimed (by some herald imp) to some others of the confederation, on the Lord’s day, or some great holy-day or chief festival, they meet in some church near the font or high altar, and that very early, before the

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consecrated bell hath tolled, or the least sprinkling of holy water; or else very late, after all services are past and over. Here the party, in some vesture for that purpose, is presented, by some confederate or familiar, to the prince of devils sitting now on a throne of infernal majesty, appearing in the form of a man (only labouring to hide his cloven foot.) To whom, after bowing, and homage done in kissing, &c. a petition is presented to be received unto his association and protection; and first, if the witch be outwardly Christian, baptism must be renounced, the party must be re-baptized in the devil’s name, and a new name is also imposed by him; and here must be god-fathers too, for the devil takes them not to be so adult as to promise and vow for themselves. But above all, he is very busy with his long nails, in scraping and scratching those places of the forehead where the sign of the cross was made, or where the chrism was laid. Instead of both which, he himself impresses or inures the mark of the beast, the devil’s flesh brand, upon one or other part of the body, and teaches them to make an oil or ointment of live infants, stolen out of the cradle (before they be signed with the sign of the cross), or dead ones stolen out of their graves; the which they are to boil to a jelly; and then drinking one part, and besmearing themselves with another, they forthwith feel themselves imprest and endowed with the faculties of this mystical art. Further, the witch (for his or her part) vows, (either by word of mouth, or peradventure by writing, and that in their own blood) to give both body and soul to the devil, to deny and defy God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, but especially the blessed Virgin, convitiating her with one infamous nick-name or other; to abhor the word and sacraments, but especially to spit at the saying of mass; to spurn at the cross, and tread saints’ images under feet; and, as much as possible

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they may, to profane all saints’ reliques, holy water, consecrated salt, wax, &c. To be sure to fast on Sundays, and eat flesh on Fridays, not to confess their sins however they do, especially to a priest. To separate from the Catholic church, and despise God’s vicar’s primacy. To attend his nocturnal conventicles, sabbaths, sacrifices. To take him for their God, and worship, invoke, obey him, &c. To devote their children to him, and to labour all that they may bring others into the same confederacy. Then the devil, for his part, promises to be always present with them, to serve them at their beck. That they shall have their wills upon any body; that they shall have what riches, honours, pleasures, they can imagine. And if any be so wary as to think of their future being, he tells them they shall be principalities ruling in the air; or shall but be turned into imps at worst. Then he preaches to them to be mindful of their covenant, and not to fail to revenge themselves upon their enemies. Then he commends to them (for these purposes) an imp or familiar, in the shape of dog, cat, rat, mouse, weasel, &c. After this they shake hands, embrace in arms, dance, feast, and banquet, according as the devil hath provided in imitation of the supper. Nay, oft-times he marries them ere they part, either to himself, or their familiar, or to one another, and that by the Book of Common Prayer (as a pretender to witch-finding told me in the audience of many.) After this they part, till the next great conventicle, or Sabbath of theirs, which meets thrice in a year, conveyed as swift as the winds from the remotest parts of the earth, where the most notorious of them meet to redintegrate their covenant, and give account of their improvement. Where they have done the most execrable mischief, and can brag of it, make most merry with the devil; and that they have been indiligent, and have done but petty services in comparison, are jeered and derided

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by the devil, and all the rest of the company. And such as are absent, and have no care to be assigned, are amerced to this penalty, so to be beaten on the palms of their feet, to be whipt with iron rods, to be pinched and sucked by their familiars till their heart blood come, till they repent them of their sloth, and promise more attendance and diligence for the future.

   “And what was the condition of the poor wretches,” said the Bachelor, “after all this, think you? Excommunication, horror, and misery, in every form that detestation, contumely, and insult, could inflict. There was no humanity for them. They were regarded as having held hideous commerce with infernal beings. Every evil which befell their neighbours was imputed to their malice. Children fled at their approach, or pursued them with execrations, and hootings, and peltings. Many would not sell to them the necessaries of life. They were tried, by casting them into pools and rivers, and often murdered with impunity. I know few states of human distress more touching, than the condition of an innocent and harmless poor old creature suspected of the crime of witchcraft; an affecting instance of this is mentioned in Satan’s Invisible World Discovered, in the case of a miserable woman condemned in 1649. She had been some time accused of the sin; and, being arrested, confessed to the minister of the parish and other witnesses her guilt. Her confession was however suspected, and she was urged to revoke it; but she persisted, and was doomed to suffer. Being carried to the place of execution, she remained silent during the first, second, and third prayer, at the end of which she cried out,”—

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   “Now, all you that see me this day, know, that I am now to die a witch by my own confession, and I free all men, especially the ministers and magistrates, of the guilt of my blood. I take it wholly upon myself, my blood be upon my own head. And, as I must make answer to God of heaven presently, I declare I am as free of witchcraft as any child; but being delated by a malicious woman, and put in prison under the name of a witch, disowned by my husband and friends, and seeing no ground of hope of my coming out of prison, or ever coming in credit again, through the temptation of the devil I made up that confession, on purpose to destroy my own life, being weary of it, and choosing rather to die than live.”

   “Say you, therefore, Egeria, that the laws which led to such effects were either wise or requisite?”
   “I do not perceive the justness of the remark,” replied the nymph. “You must first shew me that the belief in witchcraft never existed, and likewise never any wretches who availed themselves of it to afflict others. It is however a curious historical fact, that there were persons who openly made a profession of witch-finding; and one of these, Matthew Hopkins, who took the style and title of witch-finder-general, was so proud of his skill and success, that he has recorded his exploits in a pamphlet, which he published, adorned with effigies of himself and of different imps. He ruined his trade however at last; for he went on scorching and swimming poor creatures, till he so roused the indignation of some gentlemen by his barbarity, that they took him and tied his thumbs and toes together as he used to tie those of others, and flung him into

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a water to his fate. The following extract from his book is at once ludicrous and horrible.

   “The discoverer never travelled far for it; but, in March 1644, he had some seven or eight of that horrible sect of witches, living in the town where he lived, (a town in Essex, called Maningtree, ) with divers other adjacent witches of other towns, who every six weeks, in the night, (being always on the Friday night, ) had their meeting close by his house, and had their several solemn sacrifices there offered to the devil, one of which this discoverer heard speaking to her imps one night, and bid them go to another witch, who was thereupon apprehended, and searched by women, who had for many years known the devil’s marks, and found to have some marks about her which honest women have not; so, upon command from the justice, they were to keep her from sleep two or three nights, expecting in that time to see her familiars; which, the fourth night, she called in by their several names, and told them in what shapes to come, a quarter of an hour before they came, there being ten of us in the room. The 1st she called was Holt, who came in like a white kitling. 2. Jarmara, who came in like a fat spaniel, without any legs at all; she said she kept him fat, for he sucked good blood from her body. 3. Vinegar Tom, who was like a long-legged greyhound, with an head like an ox, with a long tail and broad eyes, who, when this discoverer spoke to, and bade him go to the place provided for him and his angels, immediately transformed himself into the shape of a child of four years old, without a head, and gave half a dozen turns about the house, and vanished at the door. 5. Newes, like a polecat. All these vanished away in a little time. Immediately after, this witch confessed several other witches, from whom she had her imps, and named to divers women where their

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marks were, the number of their marks and imps, and imps’ names, as Elemauzer, Pyewacket, Peckin the Crown, Grizzel, Greedigut, &c. which no mortal could invent; and upon their searches, the same marks were found, the same number, and in the same place, and the like confessions from them from the same imps, (though they knew not that we were told before), and so peached one another thereabouts that joined together in the like damnable practice, that in our hundred Essex, twenty-nine were condemned at once, four brought twenty-five miles to be hanged, where this discoverer lives, for sending the devil, like a bear, to kill him in his garden; so by seeing divers of the men’s marks, and trying ways with hundreds of them, he gained this experience, and, for aught he knows, any man else may find them as well as he and his company, if they had the same skill and experience.
   “The devil’s policy is great, in persuading many to come of their own accord to be tried, persuading them their marks are so close they shall not be found out; so divers have come ten or twelve miles to be searched, of their own accord, and hanged for their labour.”

CHAP. XI
____

THE WANDERING JEW.

ONE evening as the Bachelor was reading an agreeable little work ascribed to Lord John Russell, “Essays by a Gentleman who left his Lodgings,” he remarked, on looking at the article which bears the

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title of “The Wandering Jew,” that the idea was a very good one.
   “I wonder,” said he “that nobody has adopted it, and given us the travels of that supposed character during the last seventeen centuries.”
   “O!” exclaimed Egeria, “the thing has been done some time ago,—and I am surprised that the author of the work in your hand should have so palpably taken another’s thought and plan, without any sort of acknowledgment.”
   “I do not recollect of having met with the book to which you allude,” rejoined Benedict.
   “It is called “The Wandering Jew,” or the Travels and observations of Hareach the Prolonged.” I believe the name Hareach is a Hebrew term, signifying the prolonged. The work exhibits a view of the most distinguished events in the history of mankind, since the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus; and the plan of the compilation professes to be a series of extracts from a journal written by the traveller, and left by him in a Greek monastery on mount Parnassus. By the way, now that I recollect it, you will find a copy behind your wig-box; fetch it, and I will read to you a few passages, to show you in what manner the compiler has handled his subject.”
   The Bachelor, like an obedient husband, went for the book, and gave it to Egeria, who, in opening it, said,
   “As the story properly begins with the description of the sack of Jerusalem in the second chapter, we shall take that as the first specimen.”

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THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.

   “Omens and prodigies had long announced that Jehovah was departed from the mercy-seat, but it was not till the7th day of the month Elul, in the year of the world 4077, (A. D. 73), that the daily sacrifice ceased for ever in the temple. Titus the Roman was desirous that the worship should have been continued; for it was an ancient maxim in the policy of his countrymen, to respect the religious rites while they erased the history of the nations they subdued; but the remnant of our people, who had determined to perish with every thing rather than again submit to the Roman arms, rejected the representations which he made to them on this subject. Seeing them thus resolute, and in possession of the sacred edifice, which they had converted into a fortress, he prosecuted the siege with remorseless vigour. But desperate men, determined on death, resisted him with an energy new to his legions, and laughed to scorn the fury alike of the engines and the soldiery. For six days he endeavoured to batter down the walls which surrounded the temple, but was repulsed, with the loss of many of his bravest troops, and the destruction of their eagles. On the seventh, he set fire to the gates, which were plated with silver, and the flames communicated to the porticoes and galleries; but the besieged within answered to the shouts of the Romans with execrations, and made no attempt to extinguish the burning. Next morning, he ordered the legions to stop the progress of the fire, being still anxious to preserve so glorious a building; and having consulted his council, it was determined that, on the 10th of the next month, a general assault should take place. On the preceding night, however, my countrymen made two sallies, with partial success, which greatly exasperated the Romans; and I observed, from the terrace of the house where I had

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witnessed these conflicts, one of the private soldiers, after Titus had retired to take repose, mount on the back of his comrade, and throw a firebrand into one of the windows of the apartments that surrounded the sanctuary. Immediately the whole north side was in a blaze; and the Romans rent the air with acclamations. Titus, surprised by the noise, came running from his tent towards them, and prayed, and threatened, and even struck his men, calling on them to extinguish the flames. But, raging themselves with vengeance against the besieged, they paid no attention to his orders; continuing, on the contrary, to spread the conflagration throughout the whole edifice, and to sacrifice all the unhappy wretches within the reach of their swords.
   “Titus, having thus in vain endeavoured to preserve the temple, then entered the sanctuary, and took possession of the consecrated utensils of gold—the candlestick, the altar of incense, and the table of shew-bread; but when he penetrated behind the veil of the most holy place, he was struck with awe, and instantly retired. In the same moment, a soldier applied a torch to the sacred curtain, and the fire furling up for ever the veil of mystery, shewed that the God was not there! The Jews shrieked with horror, and a wail and lamentation spread throughout the city; even the Romans paused in consternation,—but it was only to return to the work of slaughter with redoubled fury.
   “From the destruction of the temple the overthrow of the nation may be dated, although possession of the upper town was not obtained till the eighth of the month Elat (September), when, as soon as the work of massacre and pillage was over, Titus ordered his army to demolish the city, with all its structures, palaces, and towers. He left nothing standing but a piece of the western wall, and the three towers of Hippicos, Phasael, and Mariamne; the former to serve as a redoubt to one of his

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legions, which he left there to prevent the Jews from re-assembling, and the three latter as monuments to give future ages some idea of the strength of the city, and the valour that was necessary to the conquest. Thus was the bow of Israel for ever broken, and her quiver emptied; and since that time I have wandered among men, like a creature of another state of being, without communion of mind, without sympathy, without participation in any cares, without the hazard of any greater misfortunes, without the hope of any improvement in my solitary lot; a spirit interdicted from entering the social circle, living without any motive to action, my feelings seared up, and my purposes all done. But I felt myself fated to be the deathless witness of the ancient greatness of our holy people, and doomed to represent their homeless and outcast condition, till the terrible cycle of their sufferings be complete, and they again assemble to reign in the land of their fathers.
   “When the destruction of the city was completed, Titus ordered a tribunal to be prepared for him in the midst of the ground where he had encamped, and calling his officers around him, he addressed them from that lofty seat; commended their exploits in the siege, and rewarded them, according to their respective rank and merits, with crowns of gold and other precious ornaments. The army applauded this munificence to the skies. He then descended; and the Roman priests who attended the army having provided a number of oxen, a prodigious sacrifice was offered to the idolatrous gods of the Romans, and the remainder was disturbed among the soldiery. The following day, leaving the tenth legions to prevent my miserable brethren from returning to the ruins to the city of their fathers, he marched with his army to Cesaria.
   “When the main body of the Romans had been thus removed from Jerusalem some time, several of the inhabitants,

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who had been scattered by the issue of the siege, returned to look among the wreck of their habitations for any relics that might yet be found of their former property. One morning, as I was wandering among the ruins, observing these unhappy persons, and burning with indignation at the taunts which they endured from the Roman soldiers, I beheld a ghastly form, clothed in white, and wearing a purple cloak, rising out of the earth in the centre of the spot where the temple once stood. The soldiers, so loud in their derision, were struck with awe at the sight, and stood still for some time, believing that it was a supernatural apparition. Having, however, mustered courage, they approached, and demanded who he was, and what he wanted. But the mysterious being, instead of answering, ordered them to call their captain. I now also advanced, and saw that it was no other than Simon, who had taken so large a share in the revolt against the Romans, and whom it was thought had perished in the burning of the temple. He had, however, concealed himself, with a few of his most devoted followers, in a secret cavern; and, having provided themselves with a stock of provisions, they had there remained until their stores were consumed. Terentius Rufus, the Roman commander, on being informed by the troops, hastened to the spot, and hearing from Simon his name, ordered him to be seized, and sent in chains to grace the triumph of Titus.
   “My heart was greatly wrung by the fate of this man; for, although his factious spirit had raised many enemies even among ourselves, none laboured with a more earnest spirit to break those galling shackles with which the Romans had held us in slavery, while they insulted our customs, and endeavoured to destroy the records of our national independence and glorious history. It is true, that by the revolt the nation was dispersed, and our kindred carried into captivity; but Jerusalem fell not

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without a struggle. The greatness of the vengeance of Titus bore testimony to the valour of Israel; and the indignities offered to Simon was evidence of the fidelity and enterprise with which he had endeavoured to redeem the independence of the people.
   “Seeing the melancholy condition to which Simon was reduced, and having myself no home, I resolved to pass with the captives to Italy; and reached the neighbourhood of Rome on the evening proceeding the day appointed for the triumph decreed to Titus.
   “Early in the morning, Vespasian the emperor, and Titus, who had rested during the night in the temple of Isis, came out crowned with laurel; and, clothed in the ancient purple robes of their dignity, walked to where a stage, with ivory chairs, had been prepared for them, and where the senate, the magistrates of Rome, and the members of the equestrian order, were assembled. When they had seated themselves, and received the congratulations of these public personages, amidst the acclamation of the soldiers and the people, a solemn sacrifice was offered to their gods, and the whole army feasted, according to the Roman custom, on the choicest portions of the victims. But the triumphal procession I cannot describe : my eyes were dazzled with the splendour, while my spirit mourned for Israel. I have therefore retained but a confused recollection of pictures embroidered by the Babylonians, the images of the Roman gods and of great men carried on superb chariots, and vast machines, towering above the houses, loaded with the richest trophies. I bowed my head to the earth when I beheld the sacred vessels of the holy temple borne along; and heard and saw not that this gorgeous train of ruin was terminated by a person bearing that copy of the law, which had been preserved for so many ages in the hallowed archives of the sanctuary. Soon after, a terrible shout announced that the unfortunate

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Simon, who had been ignominiously dragged by a rope round his neck, was put to death in the forum.
   “The Romans thus gloried in the victories of Titus, thus honoured his achievements, and erected monuments to perpetuate his fame; but the Jews, of all the nations that they subdued, alone preserved the integrity of their ancient character. We were broken, but not destroyed; scattered, but not lost!”

   His description of the city of Petræa, and the tribes of Abraham and Aaron is also a striking picture.

ARABIAN ANTIQUITIES.

   “When Aulus Cornelius Palma, the Roman governor of Syria, reduced Arabia Petræa to the dominion of the emperor, the capital of the country was still a considerable city, though much declined from its former grandeur. It would seem as if all states and kingdoms, whether great or small, indicate, by a certain visible decay, the approach of their political death; but the city of Petræa, like the wonders of Egypt, possessed a sort of everlasting character, that was calculated to transmit the impress of its ancient kings to an interminable period. Desolation sat weaving in unmolested silence the cobwebs of oblivion in her temples, but Ruin was denied admission.
   “The structures of this venerable metropolis have existed from an unknown antiquity. They are the works of the same epoch in which the imperishable fabrics of Egypt and India were constructed; nor can they be destroyed, but by the exertion of a power and perseverance equal to the original labour bestowed on their formation; for they are not built, but hewn, with incredible industry, from the masses and precipices of the living rock.
   “We crossed a clear and sparkling rivulet, whose

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cool and delicious appearance irresistibly invited our horses to drink; and we halted to indulge them. We were then near one of the chief entrances to the town; but, instead of the busy circumstances which commonly indicate a vicinity of such a place, a solemn silence reigned in the air; while the drowsy chirping of the grasshoppers, and the lulling murmurs of the flowing stream, served as an accompaniment that deepened its awful effect.
   “When we had again mounted, we rode forward without speaking; and the first object that attracted our attention was a magnificent mausoleum, the gate of which was open, as if ready for the reception of new offerings to oblivion. Two colossal sphinx stood at each side the portal; but their forms were defaced, and they seemed to be the monuments of a people that were greater and older than the race of man. We then entered a winding chasm between stupendous precipices, whose overhanging cornices frequently darkened the path below. Above us, at a vast height, it was spanned by the arch of an aqueduct, from a small fissure in which the water was continually dropping; and it sounded in my ears as if the genius of the place was mournfully reckoning the passing moments.
   “The sides of this awful passage were in some places hollowed into niches; in others, dark openings into sepulchers yawned, from which a fearful echo within mocked the mortal sound of our passing, which accents so prophetic and oracular, that they thrilled our hearts with superstitious horror; and here and there masses of the rock stood forward from the wall, bearing a mysterious resemblance to living things : but time and ruin had wrapped their sculpture in an irremoveable and eternal veil.
   “As we drew near to the termination of this avenue of death and oblivion, a tremendous spectacle of human

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folly burst upon our view. It was a temple to Victory, adorned with the pomp of centaurs and lapithæ, and the statue of the goddess, with her wings outspread as if just alighted. It seemed placed there to commemorate the funeral triumphs of Destruction, whose innumerable trophies were displayed on all sides.
   “But, although the architects of these works have perished, and their monuments have only outlasted themselves by being formed of a more stubborn substance, the inscrutable memorials of their greatness and power, of their wealth, intelligence, and splendour, still obscurely preserved in the legendary poetry of their descendants, serve to inspire high notions of their refinement; and the ruins of their metropolis bear witness to the truth of this opinion.

   “To this curious remark, I would add,” said Egeria, “that the genii and the talismans of their tales are, perhaps, but the spectral remembrance of the sages and the science that adorned the remote epochs of those kings by whom the temples and palaces of Petræa were excavated.
   “Among other pictures that the wandering Jew gives of ancient manners, his account of the death of Demonax the Cynic, at Athens, may be taken as another specimen of the style of the book.”

DEATH OF A CYNIC.

   “Demonax was a native of Cyprus, and had resided so long at Athens, that he considered that city as his home. At this time he inhabited a small house in a lane not far from the monument of Lysicrates, close under the cliffs of the Acropolis. His apartment was mean, but kept with neatness, and, being on an elevated situation, the

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window commanded a fine view of the temple of the Olympian Jupiter, and other superb edifices, in the hollow along the banks of the Ilyssus, beyond which rose the lofty summits of mount Hymettus.
   “His conversation was sharp,—I might say invidious; for he had looked narrowly into the motives of mankind, and judged with severity and suspicion. His paternal fortune was considerable, and he might have lived in affluence; but his humour, and the principles of his sect, prevented him from partaking of any luxury.
   “In the cool of the evening I sometimes went to converse with him; for he was now exceedingly infirm with age, and could no longer take his wonted walk to the top of the Museum-hill, where, in the shadow of the monument of Philopapas, he was in the practice of discoursing with his friends and disciples.
   “One evening when I happened to call, I found him alone, and pensively seated at the window. The air was serene, and the sun, at that moment on the point of setting, threw the shadow of the Acropolis over the city, and as far as the arch of Adrian; but the temple of Jupiter, and the mountain beyond, were still glowing with his departing radiance.
   “Demonax did not take any notice of me when I first entered the room, but continued to contemplate the magnificent prospect from his window till the sun sunk beneath the horizon, and the twilight began to invest every object with that sober obscurity, which disposes the mind of the spectator to calm and lowly reflections.
   “I sat down unbidden, and looked at the pale and venerable old man in silence. The fading light and the failing life seemed solemnly in unison; and I was touched with a sentiment of inexpressible sadness. When I had been seated some time, Demonax turned round to me, and said, ‘I am glad to see you;—this is my last evening.’

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   “‘How!’ exclaimed I; ‘do you then intend to kill yourself?’
   “‘No,’ replied he, in his usual testy manner; ‘I am not so tired of life; but the spirit, vexed with its falling house, is anxious to quit. It is four-and-twenty hours since I have tasted any food; and, were I now to indulge the craving of that voracious monster, the stomach, I should only voluntarily incur pain; and I do not wish to go out of this world making ugly faces at those I leave in it, however much they may deserve it.’
   “‘But, my friend,’ continued the philosopher, assuming a sedate and grave manner, ‘I wish to ask you a question. You are a person of much experience, and I have been surprised often at the knowledge you seem to have acquired as a traveller,—Can you tell me what that vain fellow Adrian meant, by erecting yonder sumptuous heap of stone to that something to which we have given the name of Jupiter? Piety it was not; for he as little regarded Jupiter as I do the Bull of Memphis.’
   “‘It was, no doubt,’ said I, ‘to perpetuate his name, and to become famous with posterity.’
   “‘I thought so,’ replied Demonax, with a sarcastic smile; ‘I thought so;—but, when these marbles are shaken down by time, and converted into mortar by the barbarians that will then inhabit Athens, where will be the renown of Adrian?’
   “‘The works of poets and historians will commemorate his glory; and by them the fame of his liberality and magnificence will be transmitted to future ages. In that way (said I) Adrian will be rewarded.’
   “‘Rewarded!’ exclaimed the old man with contempt; ‘poets and historians, I grant you, may speak of them to future ages; but they also are human, and their voices are circumscribed. There is a circle in the theatre of time beyond which they cannot be heard. The fate of Adrian, and all like him, is this:—the present age admires

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his structures; the next will do so too; and in the third, the religion to which they were consecrated will be neglected; other temples will then be frequented; these will fall into decay; the priests will desert them,—for the revenues will diminish. The buildings will require repair; the weather will get in; by and by it will be dangerous to enter beneath the roof;—a storm will then put his shoulder to the wreck, or an earthquake will kick it down. The stones will lie more ready to the next race of builders than the marble of Pentilicus. Hammers and hands will help the progress. By this time Athens will have dwindled into a village;—her arts and genius no more;—poets and pilgrims from far countries will come to visit her. They will come again to revive the magnificence of Adrian by their descriptions. But the language in which they write will, in its turn, grow obsolete; and other Adrians and their edifices will arise, to engross the admiration of the world, and to share the fate of ours. Nature ever works in a circle. It is morning, noon, and night;—and then morning comes again. It is Adrian,—renown and neglect;—and then another Adrian. It is birth, life, and death;—and then another takes our place. There is a continual beginning,—continual ending; the same thing over again, and yet still different. But the folly is in thinking, that, by any human effort, the phantom of immortality can be acquired among mankind. It is possible that an individual may spring up with such wonderful talents, as that his name may last on earth five thousand years. But, what are five thousand years, or five millions, or five hundred millions, or any number that computation can reckon, when compared with what has been and is to be?’
    “In saying these words, the philosopher appeared worn out, and almost on the point of expiring. I rose hastily to bring him a little water; but, before I had

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done so, he somewhat recruited, and told me that he would not belie the principles on which he had so long acted, by accepting of any assistance from another. He then rose, and, tottering towards a pallet of straw covered with a piece of hair-cloth, stretched himself down, and ordered me peevishly to go away. ‘I will return in the morning, and see how you are,’ said I, in taking leave.—‘No, don’t’ said he; ‘do not come till the evening, by which time I shall have become a nuisance, and the neighbours will be glad to assist you to put me in a hole.’ Next day he was dead.
   “It was evident (observes our author) that Demonax felt very much like other men, notwithstanding his apparent indifference; for I noticed, on leaving the room, that he followed me with his eye, with a languid and pathetic cast, that expressed more than words could have done; but I could not disturb his last moments by any attempt to violate the principles of his philosophy.”

   “But,” resumed Egeria, “I think the Jew’s account of the state of authors and publications in the third century is still better than this.”

AUTHORS.

   “The suppers of Toxotius are the most delightful repasts in Rome. Every man of celebrity is welcome to them; and the accomplishments of the host, though neither superior nor interesting, qualify him so well to conduct conversation agreeably, that all his guests are afforded an opportunity of appearing to advantage, by speaking on the subjects which they are best acquainted. In other houses, men of greater talent are occasionally met with than the generality of those who frequent the table of this amiable man; but they are there either on business, or to gratify the vanity of the feast-giver.
   “Last night we were gratified by the publication of

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a new book—a short account of the Life of Maximinus, by a young man who evinced considerable ability. Toxotius gave a special banquet on the occasion, and invited a numerous assemblage of his friends; for he was desirous to obtain their patronage for the author. The best public reader in Rome was engaged, for the author himself was too diffident to do justice in that way to his work before so large a company; and, in order that nothing might be wanting to give due eclat to the publication, the manuscript had been carefully perused by the reader some time before.
   “The history was written with commendable brevity, and no one disputed the correctness of the facts, or the views which the author took of the principal incidents; but he dwelt too strongly on the transactions of Maximinus after he became emperor; and it was generally thought that he adopted too much of the vulgar opinion respecting his strength, appetites, and ferocity.
   “The reader acquitted himself so well, that he was much applauded at the conclusion; and the friends of Toxotius expressed themselves so pleased with the book, that the author was requested to furnish them with copies; and, that he might be able to employ the most elegant penmen, they presented him with a very liberal contribution of money.
   “During the time of the reading, the author watched the faces of the company with great anxiety, and was often apparently much distressed, by the curious and inquisitive looks which were from time to time cast towards him, when his expressions were not exactly according to the rules of approved taste, or his statements not in unison with the common opinion. It was, however, of great use to him to undergo this trial, painful as it no doubt was; for it enabled him to see where he failed in producing due effect, and to correct his text and narrative before committing the work to the penman.”

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   “Among other interesting events which Hareach is supposed to have witnessed is the ceremony of the opening of the Sibylline Books, during that disastrous epoch of the fortunes of Rome, when, it is said, no less than thirty pretenders to the imperial dignity started in different provinces, at the head of as many armies. Revolt and invasion resounded on all sides, and frightful portents and calamities seemed to indicate that universal nature sympathised with the political convulsions which shook the Roman world. The sun was overcast with blackness, and a preternatural night continued for the space of several days, attended with peals of thunder, not in the air, but in the bowels of the earth, which opened in many places, and swallowed up towns and villages, with all their inhabitants. The sea swelled above its boundaries, and drowned whole cities, and a pestilence raged in Egypt, Greece, and Italy. These tremendous visitations of Divine wrath had an awful effect on the populace of Rome; and the description which Hareach gives of the opening of the Sibylline books, may be extracted as the final act of national adoration paid in Italy to the genius of the classic mythology.”

THE SIBYLLINE BOOKS.

   “It is now the third day, and the sun has not appeared. The clouds hang so low, that they seem to rest like masses of black marble on the roofs of the city. It is not darkness, but an obscurity much more terrible, that fills the whole air, for still all things are visible,—as distinctly so as in the brightest sunshine; but they are covered with an ashy-coloured wanness, that is the more appalling, as no light can be seen from whence it proceeds.

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   “The Christians expect the day of judgment, and are at prayers openly; and the magistrates tremble and forbear to enforce the edicts against them. The senate has assembled, and, unable to apply any authority to repress the menace of God and Nature, decrees that the books of the sibyls shall be consulted.
   “The preparatory sacrifices are slain, and the offerings to Jupiter laid upon the altar. A prodigious multitude of all ranks and ages has assembled round the capitol, and in the streets leading to the temple of Apollo, where the books were deposited by Augustus.
   “It is announced that the sacrifice is consumed. The portals of the capitol are thrown open; and the senators in their robes, in the great chamber, are standing to receive the books. All is profound silence;—the priests and vestal virgins approach;—the crowd fall on their knees as the procession passes; and the senators, with their hands crossed on their bosoms, bend forward with reverence, as in the presence of a coming God.
   “On a golden salver, borne on the head of a child, and covered with a veil that conceals the face of the bearer, is the sacred casket which contains the prophetic volumes. The chief of the college, with whom they are deposited, and who alone can read the venerable language in which they are written, walks reverentially behind.
   “The priests and vestals form a lane, from the porch of the capitol and down the stairs beyond the bottom of the hill, and the child and the interpreter ascending to the hall of the senators, the ranks close, and follow them up the steps.
   “The procession has filled the area of the hall;—the veil is raised by Faustinius;—the casket is opened;—and the volumes are unfolded.
   “The countenance of the consul is pale with anxiety and dread. The pontiff, who explores the books, searches them in vain. The last of the three volumes is in his

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hand, and every eye is fixed on him as he turns over the leaves; but he returns it also into the casket with a sorrowful look, and Faustinius covers it with the veil.—In the same moment, a dreadful clap of thunder was followed by a sudden shuddering of the earth, and the doors of the capitol were closed with tremendous violence by a blast of cold and furious wind. The multitude, horror-struck by the thunder and the earthquake, fled in all directions; and the senators, priests, augurs, and vestal virgins, no less terrified, came rushing from the doors and windows, and precipitated themselves down the steps as if driven out of the building by some avenging demon. It was soon known, that, although this was but the effect of fear, inspired the by convulsions of Nature, the prophetic wisdom of the Sibylline books offered no consolation to the public despair. The report indeed is, that they are all blank, the writing having entirely vanished from the pages, and this the Christians suppose indicates, that the end of the world is come; while the idolators consider it as the evidence of the Gods having abandoned the protection of Rome.”

   “You see,” said Egeria, “that it is a very curious book, and may aspire to be ranked with those works of which the authors display at least some research and reading.”
   “The description of the last day of the Roman sovereignty is sketched as for a painting. I should not be surprised were Balshazzar Martin to take it up.”

THE LAST DAY OF THE ROMANS.

   “Odoacer has acted with more moderation than was expected from the fierceness of his character. He has spared the life of Augustulus, the young emperor; but has confined him for the present to the castle of Luculkanum,

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after, however, stripping him of all the imperial insignia.
   “He entered the city last night, and has taken possession of the palace. A vague rumours is abroad this morning, that he intends to assume the imperial dignity himself, and will re-assemble the senate. But some doubt the truth of this opinion; alleging, how can he wear the purple but as commander of the Roman armies?
   “Many of the senators have been to the palace, and were received by him with respectful civility; but his conversation related to indifferent topics, and he did not recognise them as possessing any other rank than the common herd of the nobility. This has damped their expectation exceedingly; and they begin to fear that he entertains some undivulged project, fatal to their ancient dignity.
   “A great sensation has been excited throughout the city. The heralds of Odoacer, in their garbs of ceremony, attended by a sumptuous retinue of his guards, have gone towards the Capitol. The whole population of Rome is rushing in that direction. It is a fearful crowd; the high-born and the ignoble, the freeman and the slave, all who have part or interest in the fate of the eternal city,—are animated by one sentiment, and press forward to hear the proclamation of Odoacer.
   “I obtained by accident a favourable place, on the pedestal of a broken statue, for hearing the heralds. The soldiers lined the stairs ascending to the portico, and they made a gay and glittering appearance; the skies were overcast with masses of black clouds, but a splendid burst of sunshine fell on them, and they shone as it were in glorious contrast to the Romans, who were obscured with the shadows of the clouds. The assembled crowd was prodigious. The whole space around the foot of the hill, and as far as the eye could reach along the streets in every direction, was a mosaic of human faces.

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It was an appalling sight to look on such a multitude. It was, as when the waters are out, and the landmarks are flooded, and a wide deluge overspreads the wonted bounds of the river. The slightest simultaneous action of so many thousands seemed, by its own physical mass, capable of treading into dust the conqueror and all his armies; but nothing could more effectually demonstrate the entire extinction of the Roman spirit, than the mercurial fluidity of this enormous multitude.
   “Some little time passed before the chief herald was in readiness to read the proclamation. He at first ascended to the portico of the building, seemingly with the intention of reading it there; but, on some observations from the officer who commanded the guard, he returned between the ranks of the soldiers, about half way down the steps. At this moment a loud rushing sound rose from the crowd; and, when he had taken his station, the trumpets sounded a solemn flourish. My eye involuntarily turned towards the capitol, where, for so many ages, the oracle of the Roman people had proclaimed slavery and degradation to the kingdoms of the earth. It was in ruins. The roof, which had not been repaired since it was stripped of its golden covering by Genseric, had fallen in in several places.
   “The trumpets ceased; there was a profound silence; and the herald, with a loud voice, proclaimed Odoacer king of Italy, without even mentioning the Roman name. An awful response rose from the multitude. It was not a sigh, nor a murmur, nor a sound like any thing I had ever before heard; but a deep and dreadful sob, as if some mighty life had in that ultimate crisis expired. It subdued the soldiers of Odoacer; and I saw them look at one another and grow pale, as if chilled with supernatural fear. The very flesh crawled on my own bones; and it was with difficulty that my faltering knees sustained me where I stood.

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    “But this sublime paroxysm did not last long. The soldiers soon recovered their wonted self-possession, and cried out, ‘Long live Odoacer, king of Italy!’ to which the crowd, as if suddenly transmuted from the Roman into another character, answered, with a magnificent shout, that reverberated through the empty halls of the Capitol, ‘Odoacer, king of Italy!’ Thus was the very name of Rome expunged from the sovereignties of the world; and all her glory, her greatness, and her crimes, reduced to an epitaph.”

CHAP. XIV.
____

NEGLECTED POETS.

OUR Bachelor and his Egeria seldom differed in opinion, but when, as such things sometimes happen in the best-regulated families, a discord chanced to disturb the harmony of their conjugal duets,—if the gentleman was ever positively in the right, the lady certainly was rarely in the wrong. The only occasion on which any thing like a durable controversy arose between them, was one evening when, conversing, with their wonted taste and acumen, on the comparative merits of the ancient and modern poets of England, the nymph remarked, that no improvement had been made in our poetical phraseology since the age of Shakspeare, notwithstanding the manifest advancement of the language generally for every other purpose of communication.

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   “I do not know,” said she, “any poet of our own time that, in the music of his numbers, excels Richard Lovelace for example, especially in those effusions which he appears to have written from the immediate impulse of his feelings. Tommy Moore himself has given us nothing more melodious than some of his songs; indeed, the Irish bard, with all his tenderness, is not often so truly impassioned. I wonder that the musical composers, who seem so sadly at a loss for tolerable verses, and who waste so much of their tuneful sweetness on the rancid rhymes of the lamplighting muses of the green-room, never think of applying to those amiable unfortunates, the neglected poets. I am sure that Bishop can find nothing more worthy of his best music than the following pretty little song by Lovelace.”

TO LUCASTA.

“Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast, and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.

True; a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And, with a stronger faith, embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such,
As you, too, shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honour more.”

   “But although song-writing, particularly of the amatory strain, was, without question, the forte of

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Lovelace, many of his other poems possess a high degree of beauty. His address to the grasshopper is singularly elegant, and so sprinkled over with the sparking dew of true poetical sensibility, that it requires only to be once read to be ever after remembered, and referred to as one of the happiest specimens of the poetry of fancy.”

TO THE GRASSHOPPER.

“O thou that swing’st upon the waving hair
Of some well-filled oaten beard,
Drunk every night with a delicious tear,
Dropp’d thee from heav’n, where now thou’rt rear’d.

The joys of earth and air are thine entire,
That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly;
And, when thy poppy works, thou dost retire
To thy carved acorn-bed to lie.

Up with the day, the sun thou welcom’st then,
Sport’st in the gilt-plats of his beams,
And all these merry days mak’st merry men,
Thyself, and melancholy streams.

But ah, the sickle! golden ears are cropp’d;
Ceres and Bacchus bid good night;
Sharp frosty fingers all your flow’rs have topp’d,
And what scythes spared, winds shave off quite.

Poor verdant fool! and now, green ice, thy joys
Large and as lasting as thy perch of grass,
Bid us lay in ’gainst winter, rain, and poise
Their floods with an o’erflowing glass.”

   “And the little ode addressed to the rose is also

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as sweet and fanciful as any thing of the kind that the best of our bards have since written.”

TO THE ROSE.

“Sweet, serene, sky-like flower,
Haste to adorn her bower;
From thy long cloudy bed
Shoot forth thy damask head.
*        *        *         *

Vermillion ball that’s given
From lip to lip in heaven;
Love’s couch coverlid :
Haste, haste, to make her bed.
*        *        *         *

See! rosy is her bower,
Her floor is all this flower;
Her bed a rosy nest,
By a bud of roses prest.”

   “I acknowledge,” replied Benedict, “that these are very pretty things; and I am, like you, a little disposed to wonder how compositions of so much merit should have fallen so entirely into oblivion, as to be only known to a few bookworms. I suppose it must be owing to a little degree of quaintness,—I would almost say pedantry, which makes the language and imagery not sound quite so pleasantly to our ears as it did to those of our ancestors, when that sort of style was more in unison with the ideas and sentiments then in fashion.”
   “Ah!” said Egeria, “that is just the way that all the moderns depreciate the merits of the predecessors.

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They never think how their own paltry performances will be considered hereafter, but set up a standard of excellence, formed according to a narrow scale of their own, by which they have themselves worked, and will not even allow the grace of success, in having written fashionably according to the taste of the times, to authors to have declined from popularity, although to have written so was nevertheless merit. I scarcely know of one eminent writer, for whom the bad taste of his age is alleged in extenuation of his faults, but Shakspeare; and yet, considering the singular judgment and good sense of that great poet, one should have thought that there was less excuse for him than for his inferiors. But, after all the clatter and criticism that we hear of the Elizabethan age, I hope that some independent editor will yet arise to do justice to the writers of the early part of Charles I.’s reign, particularly to the poets, of whom we never hear mention made, and seldom meet with a quotation. The works of Carew are in themselves a rich treasury of pleasing passages. The following song, in the peculiar fashion of that time, I am sure you will acknowledge, even with the defects of that fashion, is remarkably beautiful.”

“Would you know what’s soft? I dare
Not bring you to the down or air;
Nor to stars to show what’s bright;
Nor to snow to teach you white.

Nor, if you would music hear,
Call the orbs to take your ear;
Nor to please your sense bring forth,
Bruised nard, or what’s more worth.

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Or on food were you thoughts placed,
Bring you nectar for a taste :
Would you have all these in one,
Name my mistress, and ’tis done.”

    “And this other is still more curiously elegant.”

SONG.

“Ask me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauties’ orient deep,
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.

Ask me no more whither doth stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
Those powders, to enrich your hair.

Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat,
She winters and keeps warm her note.

Ask me no more, if east or west
The Phœnix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.”

   “And where will you find a sweeter pastoral, than this sylvan dialogue between a shepherd and a nymph?”

   “Shep. This mossy bank they press’d. Nym. That aged oak
     Did canopy the happy pair
     All night from the damp air.

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Cho. Here let us sit and sing the words they spoke,
     Till the day breaking their embraces broke.
Shep. See, love, the blushes of the morn appear,
     And now she hangs her pearly store,
     (Robb’d from the eastern shore,)
   I’ th’ cowslip’s bell, and rose’s ear :
   Sweet, I must stay no longer here.

Nym. Those streaks of doubtful light usher not day,
     But show my sun must set; no morn
     Shall shine till thou return;
The yellow planets, and the gray
Dawn, shall attend thee on thy way.

Shep. If thine eyes gild my paths, they may forbear
     Their useless shine. Nym. My tears will quite
     Extinguish their faint light.
Shep. Those drops will make their beams more clear,
     Love’s flames will shine in ev’ry tear.

Cho. They kiss’d and wept; and from their lips and eyes,
     In a mix’d dew of briny sweet,
     Their joys and sorrows meet;
     But she cries out. Nym. Shepherd, arise,
     The sun betrays us else to spies.

Shep. The winged hours fly fast, whilst we embrace;
     But when we want their help to meet,
     They move with leaden feet.
Nym. Then let us pinion time, and chase
     The day for ever from this place.

Shep. Hark! Nym. Ay, me, stay! Shep. For ever.
     Nym. No, arise,
     We must be gone. Shep. My nest of spice.
     Nym. My soul. Shep. My paradise.

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Cho. Neither could say farewell, but through their eyes
     Grief interrupted speech with tears supplies.”

    “Carew possessed naturally but little humour; but there is a dignified, pleasing, sly gravity in the lines upon Lord Chief Justice Finch, on paying his addresses to Lady Anne Wentworth. It possesses, moreover, Benedict, what you so much admire, a sort of classical air, which, by the way, is rather a stiffishness of manner than an excellence.”
   “Read the poem,” said the Bachelor, and the Nymph read,—

     “Hear this, and tremble all
     Usurping beauties, that create
   A government tyrannical
     In Love’s free state;
Justice hath to the sword of your edged eyes
His equal balance join’d, his sage lies
In love’s soft lap, which must be just and wise.

   Hark how the stern law breathes
     Forth amorous sighs, and now prepares
   No fetters, but of silken wreaths
      And braided hairs;
His dreadful rods and axes are exiled
Whilst he sits crown’d with roses : Love hath filled
His native roughness, Justice is grown mild.

   The golden age returns,
     Love’s bow and quiver useless lie;
   His shaft, his brand, nor wounds nor burns,
     And cruelty
Is sunk to hell : the fair shall all be kind;
Who loves shall be beloved, the froward mind
To a deformed shape shall be confined.

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   Astræa hath possest
     An earthly seat, and now remains
   In Finch’s heart, but Wentworth’s breast
     That guest contains :
With her she dwells, yet hath not left the skies,
Nor lost her sphere, for, new-enthroned, she cries,
I know no heaven but fair Westworth’s eyes.”

CHAP. XV.
____

THE EXCOMMUNICANT.

ONE morning, after a long debate in the House of Commons on the Catholic question, the Nymph and the Bachelor fell into conversation in reading the report of the speeches in the Morning Chronicle.—“I think.” said she, “that none of the orators venture to touch the marrow of this important subject.”
   “How! what do you mean?” replied Benedict, anticipating, from the tone in which she had made the remark, something paradoxical,—“what other marrow is there in the subject, than that the law as it stands deprives millions of their undoubted political rights?”
   “The law as it stands, you ought rather to say, prevents those millions from disturbing public affairs, merely because such is the state and circumstances of their minds, that they can neither reason nor exercise their judgment like other men.—There can be

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no emancipation of the Catholic but by himself.—He should show that he is as free a moral agent as the rest of the species, before he can hope that they will permit him to take a part in their common affairs.”
   “In what way,” said the Bachelor, “are they to do this? I am sure in all things the Roman Catholic shows himself as much a man, and as good a subject, as any other Christian.”
   “He does no such thing,” replied the Nymph, somewhat fervently, at hearing her beloved repeat this stale assertion. “In the first place, he acknowledges a power to reside in other men, which, were he in a condition to exercise his judgment freely, he would feel himself obliged to confess is not consistent with human nature. I mean the priestly remission of sin;—and, moreover, in believing the irrational doctrine of transubstantiation, he denies the evidence of his own senses. Now, what sort of confidence should we be disposed to give to a person, who asserted that he was intrusted with supernatural powers, and maintained that fire was ice,—treating with contempt the opinion, that supernatural power can never be possessed by man, and asserting that all deserved eternal perdition who did not believe that the fire which he called ice, in despite of the sensations of touch and vision, was ice?”
   “But not to grow polemical.” interrupted the Bachelor,—“those sort of absurdities are mere speculative opinions, and as such have probably as little influence on the conduct of the Catholic as any theoretical dogma whatever has on that of the more philosophical Protestant. It is therefore hard, that

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men should be denied their birthright, because they happen to be a little fantastical in their metaphysics.”
   “You have hit the mark.” replied the Nymph briskly; “The Catholic is just so much more fantastical in his opinions than the Protestant, that it is not fit he should be allowed all the freedom of the Protestant. He is only mad a point or two more : I concede as much. But how much more insane than the heir at law was the Earl of Portsmouth, whom a jury the other day declared incapable of managing his affairs like other men? Besides, the whole history of Catholicism is a continued demonstration, that it is founded on a depravation of human reason. But only last night I was reading in Fordun, the Scottish historian, an adventure of St Augustine, that I am sure no moderate Catholic of the present day can peruse without feeling, at least awkwardly, if not ashamed, that his church should countenance such fables.”

ST AUGUSTINE.

   “When the blessed Augustine,” says Fordun, “was preaching the divine word to the Gentiles, according to his custom, he came to a village in the county of Oxford, six miles distant from a place celebrated at this time, and called Vudiflix Cumentona; there came to him a priest of the same town, saying, ‘Reverend father and lord, I inform your holiness that the lord of this property, though by me admonished with many exhortations, will never consent to pay to the holy church of God the tithe of those things which the celestial bounty has conferred upon him. Moreover, having often threatened him with sentence of excommunication, I find him more rebellious and obstinate than before : let your

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holiness therefore see what is to be done.’ When St Augustine heard this, he made the soldier be brought before him, and said, What is this that I hear of thee? O son, wherefore do you refuse to render tithes to God, the giver of all good things, and to the holy church? Are you ignorant that they are not yours but God’s? Therefore do thou with a ready and willing mind pay thankfully thy debt to Almighty God, lest the severe sentence of a rigorous judge should in the following year take from thee for thine obstinacy, that from whence thou shouldst pay it. At this the soldier being irritated, with the spur of anger, replied to the man of God : Who, said he, cultivated the land? who supplied the seed for it? who caused the ripe corn to be cut down? was it not I? All men therefore may know that he who has the nine sheafs shall have the tenth also. To whom St. Augustine, Speak not thus, my son! for I would not have thee ignorant, that if thou refusest to give thy tithes, according to the custom of the faithful and the tradition of the holy fathers, without doubt I shall excommunicate thee. And this being said, he turned to the Lord’s table, that he might celebrate divine service. And he said before all the people, with a loud voice, On the part of God, I command that no excommunicated person presume to be present at the solemnities of mass. Which when he had said, a thing marvelous and unheard of in former ages happened. For in the very entrance of the church a buried corpse arose, and going out of the cemetery, stood there immovable, as long as the holy man was celebrating the solemnities of mass. Which when he had concluded, the faithful who were then present, being made almost beside themselves, came trembling to the blessed pontiff, and related what had befallen. To whom he said, Fear not! but let the standard of the cross of the Lord go before us, and holy water also, and let us see what this may be which is

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shown us. So the pious pastor preceding, the affrighted sheep of Christ went with him to the entrance of the burial place, and seeing the black and hideous corpse, he said, I command you in the name of the Lord, that you tell me who you are, and wherefore you come here to delude the people of Christ? To whom the corpse made answer, I have not come here to affright the people, neither to deceive them, most holy father Augustine; but when on the part of God you commanded, that no excommunicated person should be present at the solemnities of mass, then the angels of God, who always are the companions of your journeys, cast me from the place where I was buried, saying, that Augustine, the friend of God, had commanded the stinking flesh to be cast out of the church. For in the time of the Britons, before the fury of the heathen Angles had laid waste this kingdom, I was the patron of this town : and, although I was admonished often by the priest of this church, yet I never would consent to give my tithes; but at last, being condemned by him in the sentence of excommunication, ah! me miserable! in the midst of these things I was cut off, and being buried in the place from whence I have now risen, I delivered up my soul to the infernal demons, continually to be tormented with hell fires. Then all who were present wept when they heard this; and the saint himself, plentifully bedewing his face with tears, and manifesting the great grief of his heart by frequent sighs, said to him, Knowest thou the place where the priest who excommunicated thee was buried? He answered that he knew it well, and that he had his grave in that same cemetery. Augustine said, Go before us then, and show us the place.
   “The dead man then went before, and came to a certain place nigh unto the church, where there appeared no sign of any sepulcher, the bishop and all the people following him. And he said with a clear voice, Behold

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the spot, dig here, if it please you, and you will find the bones of the priest concerning whom you ask. Then by command of the pontiff they began to dig, and at length they found a few bones buried very deep in the ground, and by reason of the length of time turned green. But the servant of God inquired if these were the bones of the priest, and the dead man answered, Yes, father. Then St Augustine, having poured forth a long prayer, said, To the end that all may know, that life and death are in the hands of our Lord, to whom nothing is impossible, I say unto thee in his name, Brother, arise! we have need of thee! O marvelous thing, and unheard of by human ears! at the command of the devout priest, all they who were present saw the dust unite itself to dust, and the bones join together with nerves, and thus at last an animated human form raised from the grave. And the blessed man, when he stood before him, said, Knowest this person, brother? He made answer, I know him, father, and wish that I had not known him. The benevolent priest rejoined, Hast thou bound him with an anathema? I have bound him, he replied, and worthily, according to his deserts; for he was a rebel in all things against the holy church : he was always a withholder of his tithes, and moreover, a perpetrator of many crimes even to the last day of his life. Then the man of God, Augustine, groaned deeply, and said, Brother, thou knowest that the mercy of God is upon all his works! therefore it behoves us also to have compassion upon the creature and image of God, redeemed by his precious blood, who now for so long a time shut up in a dark prison has endured infernal punishments. Then he delivered to him a whip, and the corpse kneeling before him, and asking absolution with tears, the dead man absolved the dead man, through the great bounty of the graces of God, for manifesting the merits of his servant Augustine. When he was thus absolved, the

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saint commanded him that he should return to the sepulcher, and there await the last day in peace. He forthwith returning to the place from whence he had been seen to rise, entered the grave, and quickly was resolved into dust and ashes. Then said the saint to the priest, How long hast thou lain here? He answered, An hundred and fifty years, and more. How, said he, hath it been with thee until this time? Well, he replied. I have been placed in the joys of our Lord, and present in the delight of eternal life. Wouldst thou, said Augustine, that I should pray to our common Lord, that you may return to us again, and sowing with us the seeds of the gospel, bring back to their Creator souls which have been deceived by diabolical fraud? Far be it from you, O venerable father, he replied, that you should disturb my soul, and make me return to this laborious and painful life. O great and entire confidence in the mercy of God! O glorious consciousness of a most excellent heart, which doubted not that God was so powerful, and merciful, and that himself had deserved so much, that he should design by him to perform so magnificent a miracle! This, peradventure, may seem impossible to those who believe that any thing can be impossible to God : yet it can be a doubt to none, that unless it had been for great miracles, the stubborn necks of the English would never have submitted to the yoke of Christ. But the blessed Augustine, seeing that the priest would not consent to come again into the ways of this life, said, Go, dearest brother, and remain for a long term of years in peace, and pray for me, and for the universal holy church of god. And the priest entered into the sepulcher, and presently was turned into dust and ashes. Then the holy bishop, turning to the soldier, said to him, Son, how is it now? Do you consent to render your tithes to God, or are you disposed to continue in your obstinacy? But the soldier fell at his feet,

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trembling, and weeping, and crying, and confessing his guilt, and imploring forgiveness. And having forsaken all other things, he cut off his hair, and followed the blessed Augustine all the days of his life, as the author of his salvation. And being thus made perfect in all purity of mind and body, he closed his last day, and entered the joys of eternal felicity, to live without end.”

CHAP. XVI.
____

SOTHEBY’S SAUL.

WELL, after all that has been lectured by criticism,” said Egeria one evening, about an hour after tea, laying down Mr Sotheby’s poem of Saul, “it certainly is not in the thought and conception, but in the expression and the execution, that the excellence of poetry consists. This work, both in point of thought and conception, possesses many beautiful passages; but in general their expression and execution seldom exceed mediocrity. For example, I do not know a finer idea in any poem than Mr Sotheby’s theory, if we may use the expression, of Saul’s frenzy. He supposes the unhappy king to be haunted by a spectre, which successively assumes his own form and character, as in the days of his pastoral innocence, and tortures him with the afflicting contrast of those blameless times, before he had known the cares of royalty or felt the pangs of remorse. But, though elegantly versified, it lacks of the energy and simplicity of natural feeling. The first form in which

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the demon appears, is that of a beautiful youth in shepherd’s weeds, who address the entranced monarch in these polished strains:”—

   “Up from thy couch of wo, and join my path;
And I will wreath thy favourite crook with flowers
Lo! This thy crook, which from the flinty cleft
Sprung wild, where many a gurgling steamlet fell.
Pleasant the spot wherein the sapling grew;
And pleasant was the hour, when o’er the rill
Thy fancy shaped its pliant growth; ’twas spring!
Sweet came its fragrance from the vale beneath,
Strew’d with fresh blossoms, shed from almond bowers.
Still blooms the almond bower: the fragrance still
Floats on the gale: still gush the crystal rills,
And Cedron rolls its current musical.
Why droop’st thou here disconsolate and sad?
Look up! The glad hills cast the snow aside;
The rain is past, the fresh flow’rs paint the field :
Each little bird calls to his answering mate;
The roes bound o’er the mountains. Haste away!
Up from thy couch, and join my gladsome path,
Where shepherds carol on the sunshine lawn!”
   ‘I come, I come, fair angel,’ Saul exclaims.
‘Give me my shepherd’s weeds—my pipe—my crook;
Aid me to cast these cumbrous trappings off.
Yet stay:’—but swift at once the vision gone
Mocks him, evanishing. Groans then, and sighs,
And bitterness of anguish, such as felt
Of him, who on Helvetia ’s heights, a boy,
Sung to the alpine lark; and saw, beneath,
Prone cataracts, and silver lakes, and vales
Romantic; and now paces his night-watch,
Hoar veteran, on the tented field. Not him,
Fresh slaughter fuming on the plain, —not him
The groan of death, familiar to his ear,

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Disquiet : but if, haply heard, the breeze
Bring from the distant mountain low of kine,
With pipe of shepherd leading on his flock
To fold; oh then, on his remembrance rush
Those days so sweet; that roof, beneath the rock,
Which cradled him when sweeping snow-storms burst;
And those within, the peaceful household hearth,
With all its innocent pleasures. Him, far off,
Regret consumes, and inly-wasting grief,
That knows no solace, till in life’s last hour,
When, o’er his gaze, in trance of bliss, once more
Helvetia and her piny summits float.’”

   “Mr Sotheby’s description of the approach of Saul and his guards to the camp of the twelve tribes is magnificent.”

                       “Hark! hark! the clash and clang
Of shaken cymbals cadencing the pace
Of martial movement regular: the swell
Sonorous of the brazen trump of war;
Shrill twang of harps, sooth’d by melodious chime
Of beat on silver bars; and sweet, in pause
Of harsher instrument, continuous flow
Of breath, through flutes, in symphony with song,
Choirs, whose match’d voices fill’d the air afar
With jubilee, and chant of triumph hymn :
And ever and anon irregular burst
Of loudest acclamation, to each host
Saul’s stately advance proclaim’d. Before him, youths
In robes succinct for swiftness : oft they struck
Their staves against the ground, and warn’d the throng
Backward to distant homage. Next, his strength
Of chariots roll’d with each an armed band;
Earth groan’d afar beneath their iron wheels :
Part arm’d with scythe for battle, part adorn’d

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For triumph. Nor there wanting a led train
Of steeds in rich caparison, for show
Of solemn entry. Round about the king,
Warriors, his watch and ward, from every tribe
Drawn out. Of these a thousand each selects,
Of size and comeliness above their peers.
Pride of their race. Radiant their armour: some
In silver cased, scale over scale, that play’d
All pliant to the litheness of the limb;
Some mail’d in twisted gold, link with link
Flexibly ring’d and fitted, that the eye
Beneath the yielding panoply pursued,
When act of war the strength of man provoked,
The motion of the muscles, as they work’d
In rise and fall. On each left thigh a sword
Swung in the broider’d baldric: each right hand
Grasp’d a long shadowing spear. Like them, their chiefs
Array’d; save on their shields of solid ore,
And on their helm, the graver’s toil had wrought
Its subtlety in rich device of war :
And o’er their mail, a robe, Punicean dye,
Gracefully play’d; where the wing’d shuttle, shot
By cunning of Sidonian virgins, wove
Broidure of man-coloured figures rare.
   Bright glow’d the sun, and bright the burnish’d mail
Of thousands ranged, whose pace to song kept time;
And bright the glare of spears, and gleam of crests,
And flaunt of banners flashing to and fro
The noon-day beam. Beneath their coming, earth
Wide glitter’d. Seen afar, amidst the pomp,
Gorgeously mail’d, but more by pride of port
Known, and superior stature, than rich trim
Of war and regal ornament, the king.
Throned in triumphal car, with trophies graced,
Stood eminent. the lifting of his lance
Shone like a sunbeam. O’er his armour flow’d

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A robe, imperial mantle, thickly starr’d
With blaze of orient gems; the clasp, that bound
Its gather’d folds his ample chest athwart,
Sapphire, and o’er his casque, where rubies burnt,
A cherub flamed, and waved his wings in gold.”

   “The song of the virgins is also written with spirit and elegance.”

   “Daughters of Israel! Praise the Lord of Hosts!
Break into song! with harp and tabret lift
Your voices up, and weave with joy the dance :
And to your twinkling footsteps toss aloft
Your arms; and from the flash of cymbals shake
Sweet clangor, measuring the giddy maze.
   Shout ye! And ye! make answer, Saul hath slain
His thousands; David his ten thousands slain.
   Sing a new song. I saw them in their rage,
I saw the gleam of spears, the flash of swords,
That rang against our gates. The warder’s watch
Ceased not. Tower answer’d tower : a warning voice
Was heard without; the cry of wo within!
The shriek of virgins, and the wail of her,
The mother, in her anguish, who fore-wept,
Wept at the breast her babe, as now no more.
   Shout ye! And ye! Make answer, Saul hath slain
His thousands; David his ten thousands slain.
   Sing a new song. Spake not th’ insulting foe?
I will pursue, o’ertake, divide the spoil.
My hand shall dash their infants on the stones :
The ploughshares of my vengeance shall draw out
The furrow, where the tower and fortress rose.
Before my chariot Israel ’s chiefs shall clank
Their chains. Each side, their virgin daughters groan;
Erewhile to weave my conquest on their looms.
   Shout ye! and ye! make answer, Saul hath slain
His thousands; David his ten thousands slain.

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   Thou heard’st, O God of battle! Thou, whose look
Knappeth the spear in sunder. In thy strength
A youth, thy chosen, laid their champion low.
Saul, Saul pursues, o’ertakes, divides the spoil;
Wreaths round our necks these chains of gold, and robes
Our limbs with floating crimson. Then rejoice,
Daughters of Israel! from your cymbals shake
Sweet clangor, hymning God, the Lord of Hosts!
   Ye! shout! and ye! make answer, Saul hath slain
His thousands; David his ten thousands slain.
    Such the hymn’d harmony, from voices breath’d
Of virgin-minstrels, of each tribe the prime
For beauty, and fine form, and artful touch
Of instrument, and skill in dance and song;
Choir answering choir, that on to Gibeah led
The victors back in triumph. On each neck
Play’d chains of gold; and, shadowing their charms
With colour like the blushes of the morn,
Robes, gift of Saul, round their light limbs, in toss
Of cymbals, and the many-mazed dance,
Floated like roseate clouds. Thus these came on
In dance and song: then multitude that swell’d
The pomp of triumph, and in circles ranged
Around the altar of Jehovah, brought
Freely their offerings; and with one accord
Sang, ‘Glory, and praise, and worship, unto God.’
   Loud rang the exultation. ’Twas the voice
Of a free people, from impending chains
Redeem’d : a people proud, whose bosom beat
With fire of glory and renown in arms,
Triumphant. Loud the exultation rang.
   There, many a wife, whose ardent gaze from far
Singled the warrior, whose glad eye gave back
Her look of love. There, many a grandsire held
A blooming boy aloft, and midst th’ array

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In triumph, pointing with his staff, exclaim’d,
‘Lo, my brave son! I now may die in peace.’
   There, many a beauteous virgin, blushing deep,
Flung back her veil, and, as the warrior came,
Hail’d her bethroth’d. But chiefly on one alone
All dwelt.”

CHAP. XV.
____

AFRICAN SKETCHES.

I WISH,” said Egeria, one evening after Benedict had come home to their chambers in the Paper Buildings, from his nightly potched egg and pint of Burton at Offley’s, “that some judicious editor would compile a volume of striking passages from the different numerous publications which we have recently had respecting Africa. It is impossible to read them all;—indeed it would be a task like that of crossing the deserts to attempt it, so many pages are filled with arid and uninteresting details; and yet I am not aware of any class of books which contain more new and curious matter concerning man, than the works of the African travellers. This evening I have been looking over Burckhardt’s Travels in Nubia, which, though far from being an entertaining performance, would, nevertheless, furnish several agreeable and impressive sketches.—Take, for example, his account of the distress of thirst in a caravan.”

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   “After five days march in the mountains, their stock of water was exhausted, nor did they know where they were. They resolved, therefore, to direct their course towards the setting sun, hoping thus to reach the Nile. After two days of thirst, fifteen slaves and one of the merchants died. Another of them, an Abade, who had ten camels with him, thinking that the camels might know better than their masters where water was to be found, desired his comrades to tie him fast upon the saddle of his strongest camel, that he might not fall down from weakness; and thus he parted from them, permitting his camels to take their own way; but neither the man nor his camels were ever heard of afterwards. On the eighth day after leaving Owareyk, the survivors came in sight of the mountains of Shigre, which they immediately recognized, but their strength was quite exhausted, and neither men nor beasts were able to move any farther. Lying down under a rock, they sent two of their servants, with the two strongest remaining camels, in search of water. Before these two men could reach the mountain, one of them dropped off his camel deprived of speech, and able only to wave his hands to his comrade as a signal that he desired to be left to his fate. The survivor then continued his route, but such was the effect of thirst upon him, that his eyes grew dim, and he lost the road, though he had often travelled over it before, and had been perfectly acquainted with it. Having wandered about for a long time, he alighted under the shade of a tree, and tied the camel to one of its branches; the beast, however, smelt the water, (as the Arabs express it, ) and, wearied as it was, broke its halter, and set off galloping furiously in the direction of the spring, which, as it afterwards appeared, was at half an hour’s distance. The man, well understanding the camel’s action, endeavoured to follow its footsteps, but could only move a few yards;

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he fell exhausted on the ground, and was about to breathe his last, when Providence led that way, from a neighbouring encampment, a Bisharye Bedouin, who, by throwing water upon the man’s face, restored him to his senses. They then went hastily to the water, filled the skins, and returning to the caravan, had the good fortune to find the sufferers still alive. The Bisharye received a slave for his trouble. My informer, a native of Yembo in Arabia, was the man whose camel discovered the spring, and he added the remarkable circumstance, that the youngest slaves bore the thirst better than the rest, and that while the grown-up boys all died, the children reached Egypt in safety.”

    “Burckhardt travelled as a pedlar, and raised the funds requisite for his expenses, by disposing in that capacity of his little wares and merchandize. In the practice of this calling he obtained opportunities of seeing the manners of the people, to which he would not perhaps otherwise have had access.”

   “One afternoon, says he, while crying my beads for sale, I was accosted by a Faky, who asked me if could read. On answering in the affirmative, he desired me to follow him to a place where he said I might expect to get a good dinner. He then led me to a house, where I found a great number of people collected to celebrate the memory of some relative lately deceased. Several Fakys were reading the Koran in a low tone of voice. A great Faky afterwards came in, whose arrival was the signal for reciting the Khoran in loud songs, in the manner customary in the east, in which I joined them. This was continued for about half an hour, until dinner was brought in, which was very plentiful, as a cow had been killed upon the occasion. After a hearty meal,

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we recommenced our reading. One of the Shiks produced a basket full of white pebbles, over which several prayers were read. These pebbles were destined to be strewed over the tomb of the deceased in the manner which I had often observed upon tombs freshly made. Upon my inquiries concerning this custom, which I confessed to have never before seen practised in any Mohammedan country, the Faky answered, that it was a mere meritorious action, that there was no absolute necessity for it, but that it was thought that the soul of the deceased, when hereafter visiting the tomb, might be glad to find these pebbles, in order to use them as beads in addressing its prayers to the Creator. When the reading was over, the women began to sing and howl. I then left the room; and on taking my departure my kind host put some bones of roasted meat in my hand to serve for my supper.

   “The following description of Hadji Aly contains traits that, I fear, are not peculiar even to the slave-dealers of Africa.”

   “His travels, and the apparent sanctity of his conduct, had procured him great reputation, and he was well received by the meks and other chiefs, to whom he never failed to bring some small presents from Dijdda. Although almost constantly occupied (whether sitting under a temporary shed of mats, or riding upon his camel on the march) in reading the Koran, yet this man was a complete bon vivant, whose sole object was sensual enjoyment. The profits on his small capital, which were continually renewed by his travelling, were spent entirely in the gratification of his desires. He carried with him a favourite Borgho salve, as his concubine; she had lived with him three years, and had

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her own camel, while his other slaves performed the whole journey on foot. His leathern sacks were filled with all the choice provisions which the Shendy market could afford, particularly with sugar and dates, and his dinners were the best in the caravan. To hear him talk of morals and religion, one might have supposed that he knew vice only by name; yet Hadji Aly, who had spent half his life in devotion, sold last year, in the slave-market of Medinah, his own cousin, whom he had recently married at Mekka. She had gone thither on a pilgrimage from Bornou by the way of Cairo, when Aly unexpectedly meeting with her, claimed her as his cousin, and married her : at Medinah, being in want of money, he sold her to some Egyptian merchants; and as the poor woman was unable to prove her free origin, she was obliged to submit to her fate. The circumstance was well known in the caravan, but the Hadji nevertheless still continued to enjoy all his wonted reputation.

CHAP. XVIII.
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PLAGUE POETS.

ASSUREDLY the most unpromising of all topics for a poet, said the Bachelor, laying down Wilson ’s pathetic City of the Plague, “is this same subject.”
   “And yet,” replied Egeria, “perhaps there are few which admit of so much affecting description; though, with the exception of Wilson, I do think that scarcely any of the Plague Poets have touched the right key.”
   “Plague Poets! what a nickname!” exclaimed

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Benedict. “I was not aware that the subject had ever been set in poetry before; for I do not consider that medical-man-like manner in which Lucretius has done the symptoms into verse deserves to be considered as poetry. As for Virgil’s description of a plague among cattle, in the Georgics, and what Ovid, Statius, Silius Italicus, and Manilius, have said,—in so far as they go, there is nothing very interesting, however correct the painting may be.”
   “Indeed,” said Egeria, “the ancients, generally speaking were not very expert at the pathetic. They were a grave race, and appear to have but seldom either laughed or wept. Thomson and Akenside have shown, in noticing the plague, more true feeling than all the ancients you have named, with Thucydides to boot, even in the verse of Bishop Sprat, and exalted by his Lordship’s additional touches; of which, as a specimen, take the Bishop’s account of the disease first shewing itself in the head and eyes.”

“Upon the head first the disease,
As a bold conqueror doth seize,
Begins with man’s metropolis;
Secured the capitol; and then it knew
It could at pleasure weaker parts subdue :
Blood started through each eye :
The redness of that sky
Foretold a tempest nigh.”

   “But, although Bishop Sprat’s verse is in this extravagant style, there is yet one little passage that might obtain the honour of a second reading among better poetry. I allude to his description of the sleeplessness of the sufferers.”

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          “No sleep, no peace, no rest,
Their wand’ring and affrighted minds possess’d;
           Upon their souls and eyes
           Hell and eternal horror lies,
           Unusual shapes and images,
           Dark pictures and resemblances
Of things to come, and of the world below,
           O’er their distemper’d fancies go :
Sometimes they curse, sometimes they pray unto
The gods above, the gods beneath;
Sometimes they cruelties and fury breathe—
Not Sleep, but Waking now was sister unto Death.”

   “But Wither is the true English laureate of pestilence. The following description of the consternation, packing up, and flight of the Cockneys, during the great plague of London, is equally matchless and original.”

   “Those who, in all their life-time, never went
So far as is the nearest part of Kent :
Those who did never travel, till of late,
Half way to Pancras from the city gate :
Those who might think the sun did rise at Bow,
And set at Acton, for aught they did know :
And dream young partridge suck not, but are fed
As lambs and rabbits, which of eggs are bred :
Ev’n some of these have journeys ventured on
Five miles by land (as far as Edmonton.)
Some hazarded themselves from Lion-key
Almost as far as Erith down by sea :
Some row’d against the stream, and straggled out
As far as Hounslow-heath, or thereabout :
Some climbed Highgate-hill, and there they see
The world so large, that they amazed be;

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Yea, some have gone so far, that they do know,
Ere this, how wheat is made, and malt doth grow.
    Oh, how they trudged and bustled up and down,
To get themselves a furlong out of town.
And how they were becumber’d to provide,
That had about a mile or two to ride.
But when whole households further off were sent,
You would have thought the master of it meant
To furnish forth some navy, and that he
Had got his neighbours venturers to be;
For all the near acquaintance thereabout,
By lending somewhat help to set them out.
What hiring was there of our hackney jades?
What scouring up of old and rusty blades?
What running to and fro was there to borrow
A safeguard, or a cloak, until the morrow?
What shift made Jack for girths? What shift made Gillian
To get her neighbour’s footstool and her pillion,
Which are not yet return’d? how great a pother
To furnish and unfurnish one another,
In this great voyage did there then appear?
And what a time was that for bankrups here?
Those who had thought (by night) to steal away,
Did unsuspected shut up shop by day;
And (if good luck it in conclusion prove)
Two dangers were escaped at one remove :
Some hired palfreys for a day or twain,
But rode so far they came not back again.
Some dealed by their neighbours, as the Jews
As their departure did th’ Egyptians use :
And some, (with what was of their own, content)
Took up their luggage, and away they went.
   And had you heard how loud the coaches rumbled;
Beheld how cars and carts together jumbled :
Seen how the ways with people thronged were;
The bands of foot, the troops of horsemen there;

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What multitudes away by land were sent;
How many thousands forth by water went;
And how the wealth of London thence was borne;
You would have wonder’d; and (almost) have sworn
The city had been leaving her foundation,
And seeking out another situation;
Or, that some enemy, with dreadful power,
Was coming to besiege, and to devour.
   Oh, foolish people, though I justly might
Authorise thus my muse to mock your flight,
And still to flout your follies : yet, compassion
Shall end it in a kind expostulation.”

CHAP. XIX.
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GRANDEUR OF THE ANCIENTS

ONE morning as the Bachelor and his Egeria were looking over a set of Henning’s beautiful casts of the Athenian marbles in the British Museum, Benedict observed, with his characteristic simplicity, “that surely the ancients must have excelled the moderns prodigiously in grandeur of every kind.”
   “If that were the case,” said the nymph, “it is curious that so little of their domestic splendour has come down to us. I shall not go so far as the Irish gentleman, who said of the magnificence of Cæsar, that he had not a shirt to his back; but I very much suspect that the domestic comforts of the ancients were far inferior to our own. At the same time, I confess that the ornaments which have been obtained

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from the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii are stubborn facts against me. However. I think it not to be questioned, that if we form our estimate from the remains of their sacerdotal and other public edifices, we shall be obliged to admit with you, that their grandeur very greatly exceeded that of the moderns; and yet I think it is Aristotle who describes that same Athens, where these beautiful sculptures were executed, and which they so long adorned, as a dirty place, with streets scarcely wide enough for a carriage to pass; the houses chiefly of timber, and overhanging the streets in such a manner as at once to darken the path and confine the air. Indeed, I fancy the state of the citizen-part of the cities of the ancients ought no more to be estimated by the magnificent ruins of the public buildings, than the state of our own old towns in the olden time by the cathedrals and the abbey remains that still render them so interesting. Upon the subject of ancient Roman grandeur, there are some very sensible observations in the fifty-sixth number of the Quarterly Review, which I beg you will allow me to read.”

ANCIENT ROME.

   “Unfortunately, very few travellers approach Rome in the first instance with the moderate expectations of Virgil’s Shepherd; prepared for nothing more splendid than what they had been accustomed to see at their own country-towns on a market-day. They have taken on trust the descriptions of the poets, and orators, and historians, of a country fertile in such characters; and the Queen of Cities, throned upon her seven hills in marble majesty, the mistress of a world conquered by the valour of her sons, holds up to them a picture, the effect

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of which they are perhaps unwilling to spoil by filling up all its parts with too curious accuracy; otherwise it is certain that information enough is to be obtained from Roman authors to prepare them for a scene of much more moderate splendour in the capital of Italy. From them they might have learned, before they put themselves on board the packet, that all those points upon which the imagination reposes with so much complacency, are perfectly consistent with disorder, and misery, and filth : they might have learned, that the Tiber was of old but a torpid and muddy stream; that heretofore the streets of Rome were dark and narrow, and crooked; that carriages of pleasure (of which, by the bye, the carpentum, one of the most common, probably very little surpassed our tilting and jolting tax-cart) were by law prohibited from entering them except on certain days, so little space was there for driving; that the sedans, which were used in their stead, put the people to infinite confusion; that there were few scavengers, and no lamps; that when a Roman returned home from a supper party, he had to pick his way along with a horn lantern, and bless himself if he reached his own door without a shower from an attic alighting on his cap of liberty; that the porticos and approaches to the baths were subject to every species of defilement, so that even the symbols of religion were inlisted for their protection; that the statues with which the city was peopled were treated with that contempt which Launce would have rebuked even in his dog; that the images of the gods were disfigured by painted faces and gilded bears; and that though the Venus de’ Medici never appeared in a hoped petticoat, nor the Apollo Belvedere in a blue swallow-tailed coat with metal buttons, yet that the costume of the day, whatever it was, was very generally bestowed on this representatives of Heaven; that the houses were for the

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most part brick, many of them crazy, and supported upon props, and that such as belonged to a patrician himself, had often the ground-floor assigned to a huckster or a dealer in oil; that in the windows (which were few in number) glass was seldom if ever to be seen, but in its stead a dimly transparent stone, or shutter of wood; that, from a want of chimneys, the rooms were full of smoke, which was left to make its escape by the tiles, the windows, and the door; that on this account Vitruvius expressly forbade carved work or moulding, except in the summer apartments, where no fire was admitted, because in the others they would be covered with soot (lib. vii. c. 4.); that amongst the accomplishments of a cook, it was expected that he should be skilful in detecting which way the wind blew, lest, if he opened the wrong kitchen-window, the smoke should be driven into the broth;—that, under these circumstances, the ancestors of a Roman gentleman, when they had occupied the niches of his hall for a few years, bore a very striking resemblance to modern chimney-sweepers; that the Romans made as much use of their fingers at a meal as Englishmen do of their forks; and that Ovid, in his Art of Love, gives it as a piece of Chesterfield advice to the young gallants of his time, ‘not to smear their mouths with their greasy hands’ more than necessary; that a mappa, or napkin, for each individual, was thus absolutely requisite; that every guest brought his own, and, lest the gravy and sauce-boats overturned should not do it full justice, it was made further serviceable as a pocket handkerchief! They might have learned, moreover, from the same authorities, that the middle ranks of the citizens were clad in white woollen vestures, which were of course as habitually dirty as might be expected from the general poverty of the wearers, whilst the baser plebeians, not able to affect this shabby gentility, contented themselves

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with garments of the colour, and quality, and neatness of a mendicant friar’s; that their shirts, too, were composed of the same material; and that from these causes, aided by the blessing of a warm climate, and the plentiful use of garlic, the effluvia of their public assemblies was so offensive, that even in a roofless theatre the emperor found it expedient to sprinkle his faithful subjects with showers of rose-water :—and having duly weighed these and similar points of minute history, they might certainly have brought themselves to adopt more sober views of the magnificence of ancient Rome, and an ancient Roman, and have advanced to the Porta del Popolo with the reasonable chance of having their anticipations, in many respects at least, completely fulfilled.

   “But,” resumed Egeria, “although this account of the state of ancient Rome is, I doubt not, perfectly just, it would seem that the condition of the modern city is not much better. Without looking farther than the appearance of things as they are, travellers ascribed the slovenliness of the Italians, and chiefly that of the Romans, to the decline of moral energy among them.—which same moral energy is one of those vague generalities that are admitted as things understood; whereas, if I mistake not, they are, for the most part, terms without any distinct or accurate meaning. However, it would be difficult to prove that the slovenliness of the modern Romans is owing to any such cause, as either a failing in their powers of reasoning or in their faculty of intellectual taste; for the probability is, that Rome at present, in what respects the accommodation and comfort of the inhabitants, is superior to what she ever was, even in the palmiest period of her magnificence. In truth,

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I have a notion that the dryness of the Italian air is not favourable to cleanliness. The neatest people, in all their household concerns, are the Dutch,—and, beyond all question, they are incited to the industry which makes them so to their mud and their moist climate. The English are perhaps more delicate than the Dutch; they have, generally speaking, the same love of neatness, but they have also a degree of taste for greater elegance, which I attribute to our climate being more variable than that of Holland; our love of the neat, if I may be permitted so to speak, considering it as a quality different from the bountiful, I would ascribe to the foggy humidity of our climate—the Dutch days—which are not so numerous in the course of the year as to make neatness the sole objects of household thrift,—and our taste for the elegant to those bright and sunny intervals, though few and far between, which occasionally exalt the temperament of our sensations and perceptions to a degree of Italian delicacy. But not to descant on a topic so pregnant with controversy and metaphysics, I will read to you, from a clever female work, entitled, “Rome in the Nineteenth Century,” an account of the state of her palaces, as illustrative of what I have just been saying with regard to the domestic comforts of her inhabitants.”

ROMAN PALACES.

   “Palaces, to an English ear, convey an idea of all that the imagination can figure of elegance and splendour. But after a certain residence in Italy, even this obstinate early association is conquered, and the word immediately brings to our mind images of dirt, neglect, and decay. The palaces of Rome are innumerable;

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but then, every gentleman’s house is a palace,—I should say, every nobleman’s,—for there are no gentlemen in Italy except noblemen; society being, as of old, divided into two classes, the Patricians and the Plebeians : but though every gentleman is a nobleman, I am sorry to say, every nobleman is not a gentleman; neither would many of their palaces be considered by any means fit residence for gentlemen in our country. The legitimate application of the word, which, with us, is confined to a building forming a quadrangle, and enclosing a court within itself, is by no means adhered to here. Every house that has a porte côcher, and many that have not, are called palaces; and, in short, under that high-sounding appellation, are comprehended places, whose wretchedness far surpasses the utmost stretch of an English imagination to conceive.
     “Rome, however, contains real palaces, whose magnitude and magnificence are astonishing to transalpine eyes; but their tasteless architecture is more astonishing still.
     “Though they have the great names of Michael Angelo, Bramante, Versopi, Bernini, &c. &c. among their architects; though they are built of travertine stone, which, whether viewed with the deepened hues of age in the Colosseum, or the brightness of recent finish in St Peter’s, is, I think, by far the finest material for building in the world; and though, from the grandeur of their scale, and the prodigality of their decoration, they admitted of grand combinations and striking effect,—yet they are lamentably destitute of architectural beauty in the exterior; and in the interior, though they are filled with vast ranges of spacious apartments—though the polished marbles and precious spoils of antiquity have not been spared to embellish them—though the genius of painting has made them her modern temples, and sculpture adorned them with the choicest remains

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of ancient art, yet they are, generally speaking, about the most incommodious, unenviable, uncomfortable dwellings you can imagine.
   “I know it may said, that comfort in England and in Italy is not the same thing; but it never can consist in dulness, dirt, and dilapidation, any where. Italian comfort may not require thick carpets, warm fires, or close rooms; but it can be no worse of clean floors, commodious furniture, and a house in good repair.
    “In habitations of such immense size and costly decorations as these, you look for libraries, baths, music-rooms, and every appendage of refinement and luxury; but these things are rarely to be found in Italian palaces. If they were arranged and kept up, indeed, with any thing of English propriety, consistency, order, or cleanliness, many of them would be noble habitations; but in the best of them, you see a barrenness, a neglect, an all-prevailing look of misery—deficiencies every where—and contemptible meannesses adhering to grasping magnificence. But nothing is so offensive as the dirt. Amongst all the palaces, there is no such thing as a palace of cleanliness. You see—and that is not the worst,—you smell abominable dunghills heaped up against the walls of splendid palaces, and foul heaps of ordure defiling their columned courts;—you ascend noble marble staircases whose costly materials are invisible beneath the accumulated filth that covers them; and you are sickened with the noxious odours that assail you at every turn. You pass through long suites of ghastly rooms, with a few crazy old tables and chairs, thinly scattered through them, and behold around you nothing but gloom and discomfort.
   “The custom of abandoning the ground-floor to menial purposes, except when used for shops, which is almost universal throughout Italy, and covering its windows, both for security and economy, with a strong iron grate

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without any glass behind it contributes to give the houses and palaces a wretched and dungeon-like appearance.
   “It is no uncommon thing for an Italian nobleman to go up into the attics of his own palace himself, and to let the principal rooms to lodgers. Proud as he is, he thinks this no degradation; though he would spurn the idea of allowing his sons to follow any profession, save that of arms or of the church. He would sooner see them dependants, flatterers, eaves-droppers, spies, gamblers, cavaliere servanti, polite rogues of any king—or even beggars, —than honest merchants, lawyers, or physicians.
   “The Fiano Palace has its lower story let out into shops, and its superior ones occupied by about twenty different families—among which, the duke and duchess live in a corner of their own palace.
   “It is the same case with more than half the nobles of Rome and Naples. But the Doria, the Borghese, and the Colonna, possess enough of their ancient wealth to support their hereditary dignity, and their immense palaces are filled only with their own families and dependants. Not but that, though lodgings are not let at the Doria Palace, butter is regularly sold there every week; which, in England, would seem rather an extraordinary trade for one of the first noblemen in the land to carry on in his own house. Yet this very butter-selling prince looks down with a species of contempt upon a great British merchant.
   “Commerce seems to be no longer respected in Italy, not even in Florence, where its reigning princes were merchants. Yet the proudest Florentine noblemen sell wine, by the flask, at their own palaces. I wonder the profits of this little huckstering trade never induced them to think of entering into larger concerns, that they might have larger returns. I wonder it never led them

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to remember that commerce was the source of the modern prosperity of Italy. But commerce cannot exist without freedom—a truth that princes and people have yet to learn here.
   “The palaces of all the ancient Roman nobility have, in the entrance hall, a crimson canopy of state, beneath which the prince sits on a raised throne to receive his vassals, hear their complaints, redress their grievances, and administer justice. Perhaps I ought to speak in the past, rather than the present tense; but they still exercise a sort of feudal jurisdiction over their numerous tenantry—among whom their will is law.
   “Above the door of every palace, upon the escutcheon of the family arms, we seldom fail to see the S. P. Q. R. all that is left of the senate and people of Rome.”

CHAP. XX.
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STEAM ENGINES

IN the summer of 1823, the Bachelor and his Nymph projected a tour to Scotland; but in what vehicle was a question that occasioned some discussion between them. Benedict was strongly in favour of a steamer, and urged many reasons, as to speed, novelty, and economy, why they ought to prefer that mode of conveyance. The Nymph, however, pled not only her feminine timidity against all the agencies of fire and water, but contended that the state of the machinery in those sort of vessels was still in so rude a condition, that no person of a true philosophical mind

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would risk himself in them. “They may do very well,” said she,” for people of practical feelings, and habituated experience, but to those who have a correct theoretical conception of the accidents to which the machinery is liable,—the brittleness of the iron, the explosive powers of the steam, the negligence of the engineers, the unknown gaseous substances in the fuel,—the risk of unsoundness in the timber work,—the uncertainty of the winds, the hazards of the waves, and all the manifold ordinary perils of navigation, besides those that peculiarly attach to machinery, and particularly to that of the steam-engine, it would argue almost a brute disregard of consequences, to prefer a steamer to a smack; and who would not prefer a carriage to all the aquatic vessels that have been built since the time of Noah’s ark?”
   “You are indulging yourself in fears little more creditable than hypochondriacal terrors,” replied the Bachelor. “I am assured, on the most perfect report that the steamers are safe and safer than any other mode of conveyance whatever.”
   “The thing is quite impossible,” said Egeria.” The invention is but still in its infancy. Give me the thirteenth volume of the Edinburgh Review from the shelf behind, and I will convince you by its history.”

   “The first idea of the steam-engine is found in the writings of that celebrated projector, the Marquis of Worcester, who, in the year 1663, published a small tract, entitled, “A Century of Inventions,” consisting of short heads, or notices of schemes, many of them obviously

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impracticable, which at various times had suggested themselves to his very fertile and warm imagination. No contemporary record exists to illustrate or verify his description of the contrivance which we presume to call a steam-engine, or to inform us where, and in what manner, it was carried into effect; though it is evident, from his account, that he had actually constructed and worked a machine that raised water by steam. His description of the method is short and obscure; but inclines us to think, contrary to what many have supposed, that the force of his engine was derived solely from the elasticity of steam; and that the condensation of steam by cold was no part of his contrivance. This last, we believe, was the invention of Captain Savary, who, in 1696, published an account of his machine, in a small tract entitled the Miner’s Friend, having erected several engines previous to that period. In these engines the alternate condensation and pressure of the steam took place in the same vessel into which the water was first raised, from a lower reservoir, by the pressure of the atmosphere, and then expelled into a higher one by the elastic force of strong steam.
   “Steam, it must be observed, was thus employed merely to produce a vacuum, and to supply the strength that was applied, for a like effect, to the sucker or piston of an ordinary pump; and it was a great step to have discovered a method of bringing the air to act in this manner, by the application of heat to water, without the assistance of mechanical force.
   “The next essential improvement was made by Newcomen, for which he obtained a patent in 1705. it consisted in separating the parts of the engine in which the steam was to act from those in which the water was to be raised; the weight of the atmosphere being employed only for the purpose of pressure, and the steam for that of first displacing the air, and then forming a

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vacuum by condensation. Newcomen was thus enabled to dispense with the use of steam of great and dangerous elasticity, to work with moderate heats, and to remove at least some part of the causes of wasteful and ineffectual condensation. To him we are indebted for the introduction of the steam cylinder and piston, and for their connexion with the pump by means of the main lever with its rods and chains; to which we might add several other subordinate contrivances, which do great credit to his ingenuity.
   “Still, however, the machine required the constant attendance of a man to open and shut the cocks at the proper intervals, for the alternate admission of steam and cold water : and although traditional report attributes the invention of the mechanism by which the engine was made to perform this work itself, to the ingenuity of an idle boy, we know that the contrivance was first perfected by Mr Henry Beighton 1717, who also improved the construction of several other parts of the engine. From this time to the year 1764, there seems to have been no material improvement in the structure of the engine, which still continued to be known by the appellation of Newcomen’s, or the atmospheric engine. The boilers, however, had been removed from under the cylinder in some of the larger engines, and the cylinder had been fixed down to a solid basis. Still the steam was condensed in the cylinder; the hot water was expelled by the steam; the piston was pressed down by the weight of the atmosphere, and kept tight by being covered with water. It was moreover considered as necessary that the injection cistern should be placed on high, in order that the water might enter with great force. It had been found by experience, that the engine could not be loaded, with advantage, with more than seven pounds on each square inch of the piston; and the inferiority of that power to the known pressure

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of the atmosphere, was, without due consideration, imputed wholly to friction. The bulk of water, when converted into steam, was very erroneously computed; the quantity of fuel necessary to evaporate a given quantity of water was not even guessed at; whether the heat of steam is accurately measured by its temperature was unknown; and no good experiment had been made to determine the quantity of injection water necessary for a cylinder of given dimensions. In a word, no man of science in this country had considered the subject since Desaguliers; and his writings, in many respects, tended more to mislead than instruct.
   “Such was the state of matters, when, fortunately for science and for the arts, Mr Watt, then a mathematical instrument-maker at Glasgow, undertook the repair of the model of a steam engine belonging to the University. In the course of his trials with it, he found the quantity of fuel and injection water it required, much greater in proportion than they were said to be in large engines; and it soon occurred to him, that this must be owing to the cylinder of this small model exposing a greater surface, in proportion to its contents, than larger cylinders did. This he endeavoured to remedy, by making his cylinders and pistons of substances which conducted heat slowly. He employed wood prepared on purpose, and resorted to other expedients, without producing the desired effect in any remarkable degree. He found also, that all attempts to produce a greater degree of exhaustion, or a more perfect vacuum, occasioned a disproportionate expenditure of steam. In reflecting upon the causes of these phenomena, the recent discovery, that water boiled in an exhausted receiver at low degrees of heat (certainly not exceeding 100 degrees of Fahrenheit, but probably, when the vacuum was perfect, much lower), occurred to him; and he immediately concluded, that, to obtain any considerable degree of exhaustion,

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the cylinder and its contents must be cooled down to 100 degrees at least; in which case, the reproduction of steam in the same cylinder must be accompanied with a great expanse of heat, and consequently of fuel. He next endeavoured to ascertain the temperature at which water boils when placed under various pressures; and not having any apparatus at hand, by which he could make his experiments under pressures less than that of the atmosphere, he began with trying the temperature of water boiling under greater pressures; and by laying down a curve, of which the abscissæ represented the temperatures, and the ordinates the pressures, he found the law by which the two are connected, whether the pressure be increased or diminished.
   “Observing also, that there was a great error in Desgaulier’s calculation of the bulk of water when converted into steam, and that the experiment on which he founded his conclusion was in itself fallacious, he thought it essential to determine this point with more accuracy. By a very simple experiment with a Florence flask, which our limits will not allow us to detail, he ascertained, that water, when converted into steam under the ordinary pressure of the atmosphere, occupies about eighteen hundred times its original space.
   “These points being determined, he constructed a boiler in such a manner, as to show by inspection, with tolerable accuracy, the quantity of water evaporated in any given time; and he also ascertained, by experiment, the quantity of coals necessary to evaporate a given quantity of water.
   “He now applied his boiler to the working model above-mentioned; when it appeared, that the quantity of steam expended at every stroke exceeded many times what was sufficient to fill the cylinder; and deducing from thence the quantity of water required to form as much steam as would supply each stroke of the engine,

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he proceeded to examine how much cold water was used for injection, and what heat it gained; which, to his very great surprise, he found to be many times the number of degrees which could have been communicated to it by a quantity of boiling water equal to that of which the steam was composed. Suspecting, however, that there might be some fallacy in these deductions, he made a direct experiment to ascertain the degree of heat communicated by steam to water; when it clearly appeared, that one part of water, in the form of steam, at 212°, had communicated about 140 degrees of heat to six parts of water. The fact, thus confirmed was so contrary to all his previous conceptions, that he at first saw no means of explaining it. Dr Black indeed had, some time before, made his discovery of latent heat; but Mr Watt’s mind being otherwise engaged, he had not attended sufficiently to it, to make himself much acquainted with the doctrine : but upon communicating his observations to the Doctor, he received from him a full explanation of his theory; and this induced him to make further experiments, by which he ascertained the latent heat of steam to be above 900 degrees.
   “The causes of the defects of Newcomen’s engines were now evident. It appeared that the steam could not be condensed so as to form an approximation to a vacuum, unless the cylinder, and the water it contained, were cooled down to less than 100°; and that, at greater degrees of heat, the water in the cylinder must produce steam, which would in part resist the pressure of the atmosphere. On the other hand, when greater degrees of exhaustion were attempted, the quantities of injection water required to be increased in a very great ratio; and this was followed by a proportionate destruction of steam on refilling the cylinder.
   “Mr Watt now perceived, that to make an engine in which the destruction of steam should be the least possible,

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and the vacuum the most perfect, it was necessary that the cylinder should condense no steam on filling it, and that, when condensed, the water, forming the steam, should be cooled down to 100 degrees, or lower. In reflecting on this desideratum, he was not long in finding that the cylinder must be preserved always as hot as the steam that enters it; and that, by opening a communication between this hot cylinder when filled with steam, and another vessel exhausted of air, the steam, being an elastic fluid, would rush into it, until an equilibrium was established between the two vessels; and that if cold water, in sufficient quantity, were injected into the second vessel, the steam it contained would be reduced to water, and no more steam would enter until the whole was condensed.
   “But a difficulty arose—How was this condensed steam and water to be got out of the second vessel without letting in air? Two methods presented themselves. One was, to join to this second vessel (which, after him we shall call the condenser ) a pipe, which should extend downward more than 34 feet perpendicular, so that the column of water contained in it, exceeding the weight of the atmosphere, would run out by its own gravity, and leave the condenser in a state of exhaustion, except in so far as the air, which might enter with the steam and injection water, should tend to render the exhaustion less perfect : this air he proposed to extract by means of a pump. The second method which occurred, was to extract both air and water by means of a pump or pumps; which would possess the advantage over the other, of being applicable in all situations. This latter contrivance was therefore preferred; and is known by the common name of the Air-pump. There still remained some defects unremedied in Newcomen’s cylinder. The piston in that engine was kept tight by water; much of which passing by the sides, injured the vacuum

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below, by its evaporation; and this water, as well as the atmosphere which came into contact with the upper part of the piston and sides of the cylinder at every stroke, tended materially to cool that vessel. Mr Watt removed these defects, by applying oils, wax, and fat of animals, to lubricate his piston and keep it tight; he put a cover on his cylinder (with a hole in it, made air and steam tight, for the piston-rod to pass through), and employed the elastic force of steam to press upon the piston : he also surrounded the cylinder with a case containing steam, or a case of wood, or of other non-conducting substance, which should keep it always of an equable temperature.
   “The improvement of Newcomen’s engine, so far as the saving of steam and fuel was concerned, was not complete in Mr Watt’s mind; and in the course of the following year, 1765, he executed a working model, the effect of which he found fully to answer his expectations. It worked readily with 10½ lib. on the inch, and was even capable of raising 14 lib.; and did not require more than one-third of the steam used in the common atmospheric engine, to produce the same effect. Indeed, the principle of keeping the vessel in which the elasticity of the steam is exerted always hot, and that in which the condensation is performed always cold, is in itself perfect. For the steam never coming in contact with any substance colder than itself until it had done its office, no part is condensed until the whole effect has been obtained in the cylinder; and when it has acted there, it is so condensed in the separate vessel that no resistance remains : accordingly, t he barometer proves a vacuum, nearly as perfect as by the exhaustion of the air-pump. The whole of the steam and heat is usefully employed; and the contrivance appears scarcely to admit of improvement.

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   “The steam-engine,” resumed the Nymph, forgetting the dispute which had given rise to the reading of the foregoing passage, “is the greatest invention, next to that of letters, which the powers of the human mind have yet achieved,—were one to designate remarkable cycles, by emblematic, or hieroglyphical figures, the steam-engine should be the type of the eighteenth century. It has in effect created, as it were by something like a fiat, a prodigious increase, not only to the adult population of this world, but of mechanics in the full maturity of skill. I have heard, that some time ago the productive powers of the steam-engine in this country were considered as equivalent to those of sixty millions of artizans. If, therefore, we consider the invention in a political point of view, it is hardly possible to estimate the accession of strength which it has given to the kingdom.”

CHAP. XXI.
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ADVENTURES.

THE only remnant left among us of that romantic spirit which, in former times, sent so many of the bold peers of Christendom in quest of adventures,” said Egeria one morning as she was turning over the leaves of Legh’s Journey in Egypt, “is, unquestionably, the curiosity of those indefatigable travellers, who go abroad to gather fame by collecting materials for publication. The labours they undergo,—

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the antres vast which they visit, and the “hair-breadth ’scapes, and moving accidents by flood and field,” which they voluntarily encounter, afford matter for much musing. The very least of the hardships which this gentleman has suffered would have furnished a long chapter to the lengthiest romance-writer of the brightest day of chivalry. I question, indeed, if ever Orlando himself met with an adventure more appalling than Mr Legh’s descent into the caverns of the crocodiles near Manfalout. It is not easy to imagine what could induce any Christian gentleman to engage in such an enterprise. To say nothing of the danger, whether from reptiles or azote, the very idea of mingling, like the grub of the grave, among the dried entrails and rattling carcasses of such monsters, is equal in horror to any image that can be formed of the wildest spells and darkest enchantments of the most potent sorcerer that either pagan or knight in Palestine ever dreaded.”
   “Read it, “said Benedict.

   “We had been wandering for more than an hour in low subterranean passages, and felt considerably fatigued by the irksomeness of the posture in which we had been obliged to move, and the heat of our torches in those narrow and low galleries. But the Arabs spoke so confidently of succeeding in this second trial, that we were induced once more to attend them. We found the opening of the chamber which we now approached guarded by a trench of unknown depth, and wide enough to require a good leap. The first Arab jumped the ditch, and we all followed him. The passage we entered was extremely small, and so low in some places as to oblige us to crawl flat on the ground, and almost

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always on our hands and knees. The intricacies of its windings resembled a labyrinth; and it terminated at length in a chamber much smaller than that we had left; but, like it, containing nothing to satisfy our curiosity. Our search hitherto had been fruitless; but the mummies might not be far distant,—another effort, and we might still be successful.
   “The Arab whom I followed, and who led the way, now entered another gallery, and we all continued to move in the same manner as before, each preceded by a guide. We had not gone far before the heat became excessive; for my own part, I found my breathing extremely difficult, —my head began to ache most violently, and I had a most distressing sensation of fullness about the breast. We felt we had gone too far, and yet were almost deprived of the power of returning. At this moment the torch of the first Arab went out. I was close to him, and saw him fall on his side; he uttered a groan—his legs were strongly convulsed, and I heard a rattling noise in his throat—he was dead. The Arab behind me seeing the torch of his companion extinguished, and conceiving he had stumbled, passed me, advanced to his assistance, and stooped. I observed him appear faint, totter, and fall in a moment,—he also was dead. The third Arab came forward, and made an effort to approach the bodies, but stopped short. We looked at each other in silent horror. The danger increased every instant; our torches burnt faintly—our breathing became more difficult—our knees tottered under us, and we felt our strength nearly gone.
   “There was no time to be lost. The American, Barthow, cried to us to take courage, and we began to move back as fast as we could. We heard the remaining Arab shouting after us, calling us Caffres, imploring our assistance, and upbraiding us with deserting him. But we were obliged to leave him to his fate, expecting every moment

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to share it with him. The windings of the passages through which we had come increased the difficulty of our escape; we might take a wrong turn, and never reach the great chamber we had first entered. Even supposing we took the shortest road, it was but too probable our strength would fail us before we arrived. We had each of us, separately and unknown to one another, observed attentively the different shapes of the stones which projected into the galleries we had passed, so that each had an imperfect clue to the labyrinth we had now to retrace. We compared notes, and only on one occasion had a dispute, the American differing from my friend and myself; in this dilemma we were determined by the majority, and fortunately were right. Exhausted with fatigue and terror, we reached the edge of the deep trench, which remained to be crossed before we got into the great chamber.—Mustering all my strength, I leaped, and was followed by the American. Smelt stood on the brink ready to drop with fatigue. He called to us,—“For God’s sake to help him over the fosse, or at least to stop, if only for five minutes, to allow him to recover his strength.” It was impossible—to stay with death, and we could not resist the desire to push on and reach the open air.—we encouraged him to summon all his force, and he cleared the trench. When we reached the open air, it was one o’clock, and the heat in the sun about 160°. Our sailors, who were waiting for us, had luckily a bardak full of water, which they sprinkled upon us; but though a little refreshed, it was not possible to climb the sides of the pit; they unfolded their turbans, and slinging them round our bodies, drew us to the top.
   “Our appearance alone, without our guides, naturally astonished the Arab, who had remained at the entrance of the cavern, and he anxiously inquired for his friends. To have confessed they were dead would have excited suspicion; he would have supposed we had murdered

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them, and have alarmed the inhabitants of Amabdi to pursue us, and revenge the death of their friends. We replied, therefore, they were coming, and were employed in bringing out the mummies we had found, which was the cause of their delay. We lost no time in mounting our asses, re-crossed the Desert, and passed hastily by the village, to regain the ferry at Manfalout.”

    “It is a very hideous story,” said the Bachelor; “but these sorts of horror are not quite so much to my taste as adventures of more varied address,—such, for example, as those of the two Sherleys, in Orme’s Historical Fragments.”

    “The means by which the two extraordinary adventurers of that name obtained such important employment from the ablest and fiercest sovereign of the East, would not have borne much respect in our times, which permit no enthusiasms to cover or consecrate the latent views of luxurious ambition. Anthony Shirley, the elder brother of Robert, was a dependant on the Earl of Essex, who sent him, in 1598, with some soldiers to fight for the Duke of Ferrara against the Pope; but, by the time they arrived in Italy, the quarrel was reconciled. Essex, nevertheless, unwilling that his knight should return to England with the derision of having done nothing, not only consented to his proposal of proceeding to Persia with offer of service to Shah Abbas, whose fame had spread with much renown throughout Europe, but also furnished him with money and bills for the journey. Shirley embarked from Venice in May 1599, with twenty-five followers, some of education, all of resolution, and amongst them his brother Robert, at that time a youth. After various escapes by sea and land, they arrived at Aleppo, where, getting money for their bills, they proceeded in the company of a large

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caravan to Bagdad, Shirley professing himself a merchant, who expected goods by the next; but this pretence, and the number of his retinue, excited suspicions, and all he brought was seized at the custom-house; which reduced them to live on the piece-meal sale of the clothes they wore : his anxiety in this situation was observed by a Florentine, named Victorio Spiciera, who was proceeding to Ormus in order to embark for China, and had frequently conversed with Shirley during the journey from Aleppo. He tried, by repeated questions, to discover his real condition and purpose; but failing, made up his own conjectures, that Shirley intended some signal mischief, either against the Turkish empire, or the sovereignty of the Portuguese in India, of which the one was as detestable to his piety, as the other to his traffic : from these motives, mixed perhaps with admiration of a character, which knew to personate romantic dignity, the Florentine determined not only to extricate him from the dangers of his present situation, but enable him to prosecute his views, whatsoever they might be. The emergency pressed; for the second caravan from Aleppo was come within ten days of Bagdad; and Spiciera knew, that when the goods which Shirley had pretended to expect should not appear, he and all his followers would be doomed to imprisonment, if not worse. Fortunately, a caravan returning from Mecca to Persia arrived at this time, and encamped under the walls. Spiciera hired amongst the camels, horses, with all other necessaries of travel; and, when the caravan was ready to depart, revealed to Shirley the dangers which awaited him, and the measures he had taken for his preservation and success; confirming these assurances by the delivery of a great sum in gold, and many rarities of great value; so much in the whole amount, that Shirley declines to mention it, because he says it would not be believed. The Florentine left it to his honour to

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repay him when he could; and, for five days after the departure of the caravan, diverted suspicions of his escape by living in Shirley’s house, to whom he pretended to have lent his own, that he might recover in more quiet from a fit of illness; he even requested the governor for his physician, knowing he had none; but was afterwards fined severely for these generous collusions.
   “Fifty Janissaries were sent in pursuit of Shirley, but missed the caravan; which employed fifty days on the march to Casbin; where the aids of Spiciera enabled Shirley to equip himself and followers in sumptuous array, to live splendidly, and to make presents; which procured commendations to Shah Abbas, who arrived at Casbin a month after, and was saluted by Shirley and his company at his entrance into the city, when the king distinguished him with the most honourable notice. The next day Shirley sent the king a present of jewels and Italian rarities, which were not only curious, but costly beyond the expectation of homage; and the more he professed that he had come to offer his service on his own account, and at his own expense, the more the king inclined to believe, that the denial was intended, by concealing, to heighten the elegant compliment of his monarch : and at all events, could not resist the complacence of regarding the resort of this band of strangers as a signal proof of the great extent of his own fame, which Shirley took care on all occasions to inculcate.
    “It was the way of Shah Abbas, to discern those he employed by familiarities. Shirley was solemn in behaviour, pompous in elocution, quick in apprehension, and guarded in argument; and having served both at land and sea, was capable of suggesting the military ideas of Europe; which could not fail to attract the attention of a monarch whose ruling passion was the fame

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of war : he even visited Shirley in his house, to examine a book of fortifications; and having, during a daily converse of six weeks, treated him more with the respect of a guest than the distance of a solicitor, on the very day before his departure to Cassan, declared him a Mirza, or lord in his service, and referred him to the treasurer; who, as soon as the king was gone, sent to Shirley a present, which consisted of money to the amount of sixteen thousand ducats; forty horses, all accoutred; two, intended for his brother and himself, with saddles plated with gold, and set with rubies and turquoises; the others, with silver and embroidered velvet; twelve camels laden with tents, and all furniture, not only for the field, but for his house in Casbin, which likewise was bestowed on him : he was ordered to follow the king to Cassan, from whence he accompanied him to Ispahan, and was treated by him with the same deference as before he had accepted his service.
   “Daily and artful suggestions prepared the way to the advice which Shirley had long premeditated, that the king should renew the war against the Turks, and depute an ambassador to excite the princes of Christendom to co-operate by land and sea from the west, whilst Persia invaded the Turkish territories on the east : this commission Shirley designed for himself, but avoided the mention. Nevertheless this intention was penetrated by the vizir, and several other of the principal noblemen, who said that the proposal was the artful scheme of a needy adventurer, seeking the sumptuous enjoyment of exalted fortune at the risk of an empire : but the king inclined to the war, which he regarded as inevitable; and reasoned, that if the mission of Shirley should be ineffectual, the detriment would be no more than the loss of the expense, which he foresaw would, even in this event, increase the reputation of his magnificence, without diminishing the solid estimation of his abilities.

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   “The next morning the king went to Shirley’s house, and entered fully into the discussion of the war and embassy to Europe, affecting to expect little hope from it, but to comply merely as a testimony of his extreme regard to Shirley, from whom he had received such undoubted proof of his own, by the fatigue and expense of his journey to Persia, and the risks to which he now offered to expose himself for his service. Shirley, in a very long discourse, explained all the probabilities of his plan :—that the emperor of Germany was already at war with the Turks; that the Pope would excite all the other catholic princes; that the king of Spain was at continual enmity with the government of Algiers, which was subservient to the Turkish empire; that the invitations of the king would attract merchants and Christians of all other arts, trades, and occupations, who would not only increase the commerce of his country, but introduce new methods and inventions of great utility, especially to the improvement of his warfare; and that the liberal schism of religion, which the king wished to promote as a descendant of Sesi, between his own subjects and the Turks, would be encouraged by the intercourse of Christians, whom they would be accustomed to see drinking wine, and exercising other tolerances, which the Turks held in detestation.
   “The king still cautiously avoided any expressions which might indicate much expectation, or any solicitude of assistance from the Christian princes; in which he properly maintained his own dignity, by not trusting to the report of a stranger such a confession of the hopes or wishes he might entertain; but appeared much content with the probability of drawing European merchants to his country; for the increase of its trade had long been a principal attention of his government. On this ground he consented to the embassy, and required Shirley to undertake it; who, after many apologies of his

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insufficiency, accepted the commission with as much satisfaction as he had pretended diffidence. Shirley requested, that a young nobleman of distinction, named Assan Cawn, might accompany him, to be the witness of his conduct; which was granted, but soon after revoked, by reason of his marriage with an aunt of the king; when Shirley, to conciliate the vizir and other ministers, accepted Cuchin Allabi, a man of ordinary rank and suspected character. As Shirley could not pass through the Turkish dominions to Aleppo, excepting in disguise, it was resolved that he should proceed through Russia; which at this time was so little frequented by travellers, and so suspicious of them, the king sent forward one of his officers as an ambassador to the czar, in order to announce his mission, and to procure him good reception through the country.
   “The day before that appointed for his departure, the king visited him, as if to recapitulate all the points of the various negotiations which he had intrusted to his conduct; and now, with his usual foresight and sagacity, broke his last proposal, which, although dictated by warrantable suspicion, he clothed with the garb of elegant compliment. It was, that Robert Shirley should remain at his court during his brother’s absence. Robert was present; and, without waiting his brother’s answer, proffered himself to remain. This resolution produced a new arrangement in the retinue of Anthony; and several of his English followers were left with Robert. The king, as the last compliment, according to Shirley’s relation, rode with him, when he set out, six miles on the way from Ispahan; and then, he says, took leave of him, not without tears, although they had never spoke to one another but through an interpreter.
   “The travellers were two months, not without evil chances, before they had passed the Caspian to Astrachan, where they found the ambassador sent to the czar.”

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CHAP. XXII.

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PETER THE GREAT.

I THINK,” said Egeria one morning, “it is Dr Clarke who describes the Russians as plated savages,—their magnificence as but lackered barbarity; and I doubt not there is much truth in the remark. They set forward in the march of improvement when the rest of Europe was in comparative maturity, and assumed many of the exterior symbols of civilization before they had passed through the different stages by which the mental refinement can alone be attained. This was undoubtedly owing to the peculiar character and carpenter-accomplishments of Peter the Great. His mind was naturally of the European cast, but his subjects, as I have before observed to you, were in many points essentially Asiatic : his talents were of a rude and coercive kind. His administration may be described as a constant effort, to impose not only civilization in manners, but philosophy and mechanical industry on a people who knew not the worth nor the importance of either. He had, in truth, looked more at the physical results of political strength in other states than at the causes which produced it, and this mistake in any weaker or more delicate hand would have been fatal. His contempt of the lives of his people, and his ambition to build up a state, without reference to the opinions of his subjects, constitute the two grand features of his history. He knew that he could not be great in the community of the European

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states, without fleets, arsenals, and armies. He had seen himself, that all great empires had magnificent capitals, and something too he had heard of Babylon and of Rome, and therefore he resolved to build St Petersburgh. But although all that he did with respect to those undertakings was founded in sagacious conceptions, both of immediate and remote policy, yet it was nevertheless barbaric. The nation for whom he planned and accomplished so many stupendous designs, neither knew their utility nor could comprehend their policy; but there was an intellectual power about the man that awed and commanded his barbarians like the influence of a god.
   “As a monarch, according to our British notions, Peter was one the worst kind. It is because we see his character in what he achieved that we respect the memory of this colossal despot. Were we to consider him in the means he employed, and to read the history of his glorious reign in the details, our aversion towards him would only be mitigated by the scorn with which we would regard his docile and ductile barbarians. Can any thing be more gross than his court was?—Look at the ridiculous account of his visit to that of Berlin.”

   “In the year 1717, Peter the Great came with his empress and the court to pay a visit at Berlin. On his first presentation, the czar took Frederic by the hand, and said, he was glad to see him; he then offered to kiss the queen, but she declined the honour. He next presented his son and daughter, and four hundred ladies in waiting, the greater part of whom, the princess assures us, were washerwomen and scullions promoted to that nominal dignity. Almost every one of them, however,

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she adds, had a baby richly dressed in her arms; and when any one asked whose it was, answered with great coolness and complacency, that ‘the czar had done her the honour to make her the mother of it.’ The czarine was very short, tawny, and ungraceful, dressed like a provincial German player, in an old fashioned robe, covered with dirt and silver, and with some dozens of medals and pictures of saints strung down the front, which clattered every time she moved like the bells of a pack-horse. She spoke little German, and no French; and finding that she got on but ill with the queen and her party, she called her fool into a corner to come and entertain her in Russian—which she did with such effect, that she kept her in a continual roar of laughter before all the court. The czar himself is described as tall and rather handsome, though with something intolerably harsh in his physiognomy. On first seeing our royal author he took her up in his arms, and rubbed the skin off her face in kissing her, with his rough beard; laughing very heartily at the airs with which she resented this familiarity. He was liable at times to convulsive starts and spasms, and being seized with them when at table, with his knife in his hand, put his hosts into no little bodily terror. He told the queen, however, that he would do her no harm, and took her hand in token of his good humour; but squeezed it so unmercifully that she was forced to cry out—at which he laughed again with great violence, and said, ‘her bones were not so well knit as his Catherine’s.’ There was to be a grand ball in the evening; but as soon as he had done eating, he got up, and trudged home by himself to his lodgings in the suburbs. Next day they went to see the curiosities of the place. What pleased him most was a piece of antique sculpture, most grossly indecent. Nothing, however, would serve him but that his wife should kiss this figure; and

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when she hesitated, he told her he would cut off her head if she refused. He then asked this piece and several other things of value from the King, and packed them off for Petersburgh, without ceremony. In a few days after, he took his departure; leaving the palace in which he had been lodged in such a state of filth and dilapidation as to remind one of the desolation of Jerusalem.”

CHAP. XXI.
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THE PHILOSOPHY OF KANT.

WELL, I do think,” said Egeria, one morning in attempting to read Villers’ account of the Transcendental Philosophy of Kant, “that the history of philosophy may be described as the history of human folly; and yet the art of philosophizing purposes to itself the development of the truths and principles of Divine wisdom!—I begin to suspect, that the slow progress which the generality of mankind make in the science of the mind, is owing in a great measure to the many dogmas which every system of metaphysics entertains obnoxious to common sense. But of all systems, that of this ethereal German seems the most pregnant with these sort of absurdities; and yet it is impossible to deny to the author the praise of great acumen, and a degree of subtlety almost without parallel. The history of the man indeed demonstrates, that, by the course of reflection and meditation which he adopted, he necessarily

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disqualified himself from advancing the improvement of mankind,—the sole end and object of all science; for, beyond question, the only authors that have helped forward the process of intellectualizing in the world, are those who have mixed much with the bustle and business of life. There is no example of a mere literary man ever having done much good to his species, except in the capacity of a schoolmaster,—if, in that capacity, it be fair to consider him as exclusively literary; for, perhaps, few situations are more trying, or require more of address to manage, and of discernment to perceive the peculiarities of those to be managed, than that of a schoolmaster.”
   “What is the history of Kant?” said Benedict; “I never recollect to have heard much either of him or of his philosophy,—but that implies nothing derogatory either to his wisdom or his genius. The tardiness with which the discoveries of Newton,—so simple and so important, and so readily corresponding with the general habits of science,—were adopted among ourselves, is well known; and, therefore, we need not wonder that Kant’s philosophy should be so little studied or understood in this country.”
   “It will never be either studied or understood in England, you may rely on that, Benedict,” replied the Nymph; “we are much too practical a people to waste our time or thoughts on the unprofitable phantoms of a flatulent imagination. Kant, the sage or visionary of Köningsberg, is reputed as having, in a life of nearly eighty years, sequestrated himself from the world,—his admirers say, contenting himself, in the true simplicity of a sage, with the occupations

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of study and the society of a few favoured friends. It does not appear in his case more than in that of any other of your solitaries, that retirement is favourable to modesty; for it would seem it is not merely as a metaphysician that he claims to be considered; there is scarcely a science that he has not ventured to attempted to illustrate. ‘He is,’ says his disciple, ‘a mathematician, an astronomer, a chemist;—in natural history, in physics, in physiology, in history, in languages, and literature and the arts,—in all the details of geography, as they related to the exact situation of the parts of the globe, their inhabitants and productions,—every thing is familiar to him;’ that is to say, he was a dabbler and a meddler with every thing of which books treat, and did nothing worth the consideration of a tyro in any of them. It is true, that Monsieur Villers contends that the planet which Herschell discovered ought to have been known to astronomers under the ridiculous name of ‘the Kant;’ because, twenty-six years before the discovery of that portion of the solar system, its existence had been predicted by Kant in some conjectures on the heavenly bodies, which probably went beyond the orbit of Saturn, published in 1755, in a work entitled, ‘The Natural History of the World, and Theory of the Heavens, on the Principles of the Newtonian Philosophy.’ This is a very silly claim to set up. It ought rather to have been called ‘The Newton;’ for, after the demonstration which the English philosopher gave of the Copernican system, the existence of unknown planets, both within and without the orbit of Saturn, could not be

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doubted. The discovery of them depends on the patience and telescopes of the observers.”
   “I see you are no admirer, Nymph as you are,” said the Bachelor, “of the metaphysical German; ‘but what can you tell me of his system—his philosophy?”
   “I can tell you nothing,” replied Egeria, “and I hope ever to be prevented from having it in my power : but, if you have any curiosity on the subject, look into the first volume of the Edinburgh Review, and there you will find quite enough to satisfy you that it very little deserves the attention of things of flesh and blood.
   “Philosophy, in relation to the process which it adopts, is considered by Kant as of three kinds. It is dogmatical, when it founds a system on principles assumed as certain; skeptical, when it shows the insufficiency of those principles which the dogmatist has assumed; and critical, when, after adopting the objections of the sceptic, it does not rest satisfied with doubt, but proceeds to inquire from what principle of our nature the allusions of the dogmatist have arisen, and, by a minute analysis of the cognitive powers of man, traces the whole system of his knowledge through all the modifications of its original elements, by his independent and fundamental forms of thought. It is in this analysis that the spirit of the critical philosophy is to be found : and till the process have become familiar, the whole system must appear peculiarly unintelligible; but, when the reduction of all our feelings to their objective and subjective elements is well understood, though we may still be perplexed by the cumbrous superfluity of nomenclature, we are able to discover,

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through the veil that is cast over us, those dim ideas which were present to the author’s mind. According to Kant, then, it is necessary, in investigating the principles of knowledge, to pay regard to the two sets of laws on which the nature of the object and of the subject depends. It is from their joint result, as directing the influence of the thing perceived, and as directing the susceptibilities of the percipient, that knowledge, which is thus in every instance compound, arises; and this compound of objective and subjective elements might be modified equally, by the change of either set of laws; as the impression of a seal may be varied alike, by a change of figure in the gem, or by a difference of resistance in the parts of the wax which are exposed to its pressure. The subjective elements are by Kant denominated forms; and each function of the mind has its peculiar forms, with which it invests its objects, uniting with them so intimately, as to render apparently one that feeling, which cannot exist but as combined of different elements. Nothing therefore is known to us as it is; since we acquire the knowledge of an object, only by the exertion of those laws, which necessarily modify to us the real qualities of the object known. Philosophy, therefore, in relation to its belief of external things, is empirical, when it believes them to exist exactly as they appear to us in each particular case; it is transcendent, when, using reason to correct the false representation of the senses, it believes that the objects of our senses exist in a manner really known to us, after this correction, though different from their immediate appearance in particular cases. In both these views it has relation only to their objectivity, or to their qualities as independently existing in themselves; and is therefore erroneous, as those qualities cannot be discovered by us. It is transcendental, when, considering them in relation to our own powers, it investigates the

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subjective elements, which necessarily, in the exertion of our independent laws of cognition, modify the qualities or elements of the object as perceived. Since it is thus impossible to know the world as it is, we must content ourselves with the knowledge of the phenomenal world, and with that reality which is merely subjective. The system of our world is thus idealism, but an idealism in which we may safely confide; though we must be assured of erring, whenever we ascribe to it objective certainty. There exists, however, an independent system of noumena, or things in themselves, though we cannot know them as such, from the unavoidable modification of every objective element, by our own forms of cognition. To determine what is subjective in each peculiar perception, the nature of the subject must be investigated. This subject is self, the being to which we give the name of I, when we say, I know, I will. It has three great faculties; cognition, by which we know; volition, by which we act; and judgment, which is in some measure intermediate, being neither wholly speculative, nor absolutely practical, but determining to action, and thus forming the bond of our knowledge and will.
   “Pure cognition is divided into pure sensibility, pure intelligence, and pure reason; the products of sensibility being sensations, the products of intelligence conceptions, and the products of reason ideas. This division is not inconsistent with the absolute fundamental unity of the cognitive being, that unity, of which we are conscious in all the diversity of our feelings, and without which we could not exist. The threefold action is even in some measure aided by the unity itself; for, from a law of our nature, we strive, by a perpetual synthesis of comparison and arrangement, to bring the diversity of our sensations, as nearly as possible, to the oneness of which we are conscious in ourselves.

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   “Pure sensibility, comprehending all those feelings in which space and time are involved, is external, when it refers them to space, and internal when it refers them to time. In itself nothing is larger or smaller, or before or after; for space and time, the forms of sensibility, by which a subjective world arises to us, are not, in any degree, objective and real, but are modes of our own existence as sentient beings. It is impossible for us to imagine any body, which does not exist in space; it is impossible for us to imagine any feeling, which does not exist in time. With the abstraction of these, every thing to us perishes; but the certainty of space and time remains with us, though every objects were conceived to be annihilated. Hence, space is an indispensable condition of the possibility of bodies, but bodies are not necessary to the possibility of space. That it exists in ourselves à priori, and independently of experience, is shown by the impossibility of acquiring it from without. Space includes three dimensions. Sight, smell, taste, hearing, are evidently incapable of affording these; nor is touch, to which Condillac ascribes its origin, more susceptible. We gain the idea, says he, when our hand passes over a surface; but he has already supposed a surface and a hand; and what resemblance is there of a simple feeling to a body of three dimensions? Nor can space be supposed to arise from abstraction, for by abstraction we separate only simple qualities; but space is not a simple quality capable of being perceived separately in bodies, it is the necessary condition of their existence, implied in the first perception of the infant, which supposes an object external to itself. In every sensation there must be elements both objective and subjective; the subjective must be permanent as ourselves, the objective fleeting as the occasion. Space, therefore, being invariably present amid all the apparent changes of quality, is subjective

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in us; occasioned indeed by the sensation, and rising in it, but not an objective part of it depending on experience. If that were its origin, we should be allowed to conclude, only, that all the bodies yet known to us are extended, and not that all bodies must have extension. Yet the certainty of this we believe with equal force; since, space being a subjective condition of knowledge, we feel that every impression, by a law of our nature, must be invested with its form. On this, the apodictic or demonstrative certainty of geometry depends; for, as pure space is the form of the external sensibility of all men, the extensive properties of pure space must, to all men, be the same. It is a peculiar distinction of mathematical ideas, that they consider not intensive but extensive qualities, all the degrees of which are equally capable of being rendered sensible, so as to correspond exactly with a sensible object. Of degrees merely intensive, as of the varieties of force in physics, and of benevolence in ethics, no delineation can be given.
    “The internal sensibility, by which we discover our own mode of being, with all the changes that take place within us, gives us the idea of time in the succession in which it represents to our feelings. All the arguments which prove space to be a form of our cognition are equally applicable to time. By this, we invest our internal affections with succession, as we created to ourselves a subjective world by the investiture with space. From succession we derive our idea of number; and time being, like space, an universal form, the apodictic certainty of arithmetic is easily explained.
   “If we had sensibility alone, the world would be merely a number of detached beings; it would not be that great whole which we call nature. This is produced to us by intelligence; that power, which receiving the products of sensibility, establishes their relations,

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and, arranging them in classes, forms conceptions. As, in sensation, there are the necessary forms of space and time; so are there necessary forms of intelligence, to which Kant, adopting the well-known term invented by Aristotle, gives the name of categories. These are reduced to four orders,—quantity, quality, relation, and modality : To the first of which belong the categories.—1. unity; 2. plurality; 3. totality : To the second, 4. affirmation or reality; 5. negation or privation; 6. limitation : To the third, 7. substance and accident; 8. causation, or the laws of cause and effect; 9. recopricity of action and reaction : To the fourth, 10. possibility and impossibility; 11. existence and non-existence; 12. necessity and contingence. No act of intelligence can take place without the union of these four forms of thought, in some one of their modifications. Like space and time, however, they are not part of the object, but exist à priori, and independently of all experience in the subject who intelligizes. Thus, to take an instance from the categories of quantity, the idea of number cannot form a part of any object. We hear a sound,—we again hear a sound,—but, when we say that we have heard two sounds, we have invested a product of sensibility with a form of our own intelligence. These fundamental conceptions may be combined so as to form other conceptions equally independent of experience; as when, from substance and causation, we derive the conception of force,—or they may be united with the pure forms of sensibility, as when, from the addition of temporary succession to existence and non-existence, we form the conception of commencement. For determining to which of the categories our sensation belongs, there are four forms of reflection, corresponding with the four orders : for the first, identity and diversity; for the second, conformity and contrariety; for the third, interiority and exteriority,

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by which is meant the distinction of the attributes of an object as originally existing in itself, or as acquired from without; for the fourth, matter and form. These four reflective conceptions, though, like the categories, existing à priori, differ from them, as not being applied to the products of sensibility, to fix their relations and mode of being, but to the conceptions of objects, to fix their appropriate place in the system of our knowledge.
   “Pure reason is the third mode of our cognitive faculty. It is applied to our conceptions, and is that which considers them as absolute. Its three great ideas are, absolute unity, absolute totality, and absolute causation. These become objects to us, or ideals of pure reason, by investing them with our own felt and fundamental unity, which individualizes absolute unity, as in the human soul, or absolute totality, as in the universe; and the ideas acquired from practical reason of absolute power and goodness, are, in like manner, individualized in God. Every act of reasoning implies an absolute idea. Thus, when we say, all bodies gravitate, and the air, being a body, must therefore have weight, the validity of our conclusion depends on the universality of the major proposition. To these absolute ideas we are led, by an irresistible impulse of our nature towards infinitude. They are forms existing à priori in the mind; for our senses give us the perception only of that which is divisable, limited, caused. With the unity of the human mind, or the infinity of the universe, or the great source of phenomenal nature, no corporeal organ can make us acquainted.
   “Each of the cognitive functions having thus its peculiar forms, we are guilty of an amphiboly when we ascribe to one the pure forms of another; as when, in material atoms of the philosophy of Epicurus, we invest our external sensations with the idea of absolute simplicity;

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or when, adding to the same sensations the absolute idea of causation, we erect a theory of atheistic materialism. In like manner, the combination of absolute ideas with our internal sensibility, ‘of which the form is time, and the general representation spirit,’ gives rise to all those systems of spiritualism, which suppose a simple unextended soul. The perplexing controversies on the divisibility of matter are the product of a double amphiboly, which confounds sensation and conception.”

CHAP. XXIV.
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THE WEST INDIES

CONSIDERING the almost daily intercourse which exists between this country and the West Indies,” said Egeria, “our intimacy with so many who have resided long in that quarter, and also with natives, it is very singular that there is not one book in the language which gives any thing like a tolerable account, either of the natural history of the islands, or of the manners and customs of the inhabitants. I doubt not that this is partly owing to the unlettered state of those returned adventurers who constitute the chief class of our West Indian acquaintance. They are in general persons come of humble life and very ordinary acquirements, without taste, if they had time, to make the requisite observations, and without time, on account of their original poverty, if they had the taste. When they return home, their habits and predilections render them averse to enter into

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that kind of society where their natural shrewdness,—for I hold all successful adventurers to be naturally shrewd,—might be rendered available to the advancement of knowledge. The consequence is, that almost with every opulent West Indian, a considerable quantity of valuable information perishes unknown; and that although for mercantile, and perhaps political purposes, there be no lack of knowledge with respect to the West Indies, there is very little for any purpose of science or of pastime. The mortality of the climate is, however, the main cause of the state of ignorance in which we are suffered to remain : no literary man in his health and senses, nor any gentleman for amusement, ever thinks of visiting the indigenous region of hurricanes and the yellow fever.”
   “I am not sure,” replied the Bachelor, “that you have hit on the true cause. I think it is more owing to the want, in the first place, of refined society; and, in the second, to the scarcity of interesting historical monuments or remains.”
   “I dare say you are partly in the right, Benedict; man in his general is as much an egotist as he is in his individual capacity; and therefore I suspect it is, that, notwithstanding the luxuriant vegetation,—the delicious fruits,—the turtle and the slaves of the West Indies,—that they are never visited for pleasure : for they contain but few objects calculated to awaken those associations which make so many among us long for the less hospitable and not less pestiferous shores of Egypt and of Greece. In fact, every thing about the West Indies and West Indians savours of barbarity. The trade, manufactures,

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arts, and commerce of the islands, have all reference to tillage,—to the cultivation of the sugar cane, pimento, and such things—and tillage is the earliest occupation of man when he first begins to be civilized. Then the brutalizing effects of slavery, a thing in itself much more dishumanizing to the master than to the slave. The passions there, too, are all of a coarser kind than elsewhere; and any traditions which are preserved among them relative to those qualities which popularly interest mankind, such as bravery, enterprise, or address, the modifications of heroism, are mixed up and alloyed with enormities and crimes. The West Indies have produced no heroes nor warriors, but only buccaneers; and M’Kinnen’s account of John Teach, the famous Black Beard of the Bahamas, affords you some idea of the sort of corsairs a Jamaica Byron would celebrate, if ever it be in the nature of rum, rhobe, and sangree to engender a poet.”

   “This extraordinary man had united in his fortunes a desperate and formidable gang of pirates, styling himself their Commodore, and assuming the authority of a legitimate chief. Under a wild fig-tree, the trunk of which still remains, and was shown to me in the eastern part of the town, he used to sit in council amongst his banditti, concerting or promulgating his plans, and exercising the authority of a magistrate. His piracies were often carried on near the English settlements on the coast of North America, where he met with extraordinary success. Perhaps in the history of human depravity it would be difficult to select actions more brutal and extravagant, than Black Beard’s biographer has recorded of him. As the narrative to which I allude is generally credited, and bears strong internal evidence of

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truth, it may be amusing to mention a few particulars of a man who was for some time considered as sovereign of this island.
   “In person, as well as disposition, this desperado, who was a native of England, seems to have been qualified for the chief of a gang of thieves. The effect of his beard, which gave a natural ferocity to his countenance, he was always solicitous to heighten, by suffering it to grow to an immoderate length, and twisting it about in small tails like a Ramilies wig; whence he derived the name of Black beard. His portrait in time of action is described as that of a complete fury,—with three brace of pistols in holsters slung over his shoulders like bandoliers, and lighted matches under his hat, sticking out over each of his ears. All authority, as well as admiration amongst the pirates, was conferred on those who, committing every outrage on humanity, displayed the greatest audacity and extravagance.—Black Beard’s pretensions to an elevated rank in the estimation of his associates, may be conceived from the character of his jokes. Having often exhibited himself before them as a dæmon, he determined once to shew them a hell of his own creation. For this purpose he collected a quantity of sulphur and combustible materials between the decks of his vessel; when, kindling a flame, and shutting down the hatches upon his crew, he involved himself with them literally in fire and brimstone. With oaths and frantic gestures, he then acted the part of the devil, as little affected by the smoke as if he had been born in the infernal regions, till his companions, nearly suffocated and fainting, compelled him to release them. His convivial humour was of a similar cast. In one of his ecstasies, whilst heated with liquor, and sitting in his cabin, he took a pistol in each hand, then, cocking them under the table, blew out the candles, and, crossing his hands, fired on each side at his

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companions : one of them received a shot which maimed him for life. His gallantry also was of the same complexion as this vein of humour. He had fourteen wives, if they may be so called; but his conduct towards one of them appears to have been too unfeeling and unmanly to admit of description.”

[END OF CHAPTER 24 ]


 

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Date: 28 Dec 2010
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I could not find Part 2 of John Galt's "The Bachelor's wife". There is a link at the end of Part 1 but it does not work.
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