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writers, not indeed confined to his day, responsible for his actions lies his only by the example of Hudibras, who told claim to be called an honest man. He the clock by algebra, or of the lady proudly proclaimed himself to have in Young's Satires, who drank tea by been a great rebel but never a traitor. stratagem. The mind of Ferguson But this claim his biographer has himwas of the same cast; but instead of self helped to demolish. “To know contenting himself with the follies and not reveal was treason in any,” ridiculed by the satirists, he took for he writes about the necessity for conhis playthings the fortunes of kingdoms cealing Monmouth's knowledge of the and the lives of men. The dark and Rye House plot, “but something more tortuous ways of a conspirator, the ex in the son of a king.” If to know citement and the danger, were to him as and not reveal be treason, if to comthe very breath of his nostrils. We mit treason makes a traitor, what, in have not the smallest doubt that if the name of the English language, William had rewarded him with a sine was Robert Ferguson ? cure worth five thousand instead of
we have been forced to five hundred pounds a year, he would disagree with the Plotter's biographer, have begun to plot for the Stuarts we owe him our thanks for an exbefore he had drawn six months' pay ; tremely interesting book. He is not and we have no more doubt that, if indeed a very close or acute reasoner: the Stuarts had been restored, the he does not seem always to clearly first plot formed against them would understand the true force of his arguhave been formed by Ferguson. It is ments or even of his words. But he possible that in the first instance his writes often with spirit, and some. action may have been undertaken for times with eloquence : he is never conscience' sake, aggravated by a violent, or rude, or disingenuous, as sense of personal injustice ; but it is so frequently the way with those must be clear to every one who reads who essay to set historians right; this book that all other feelings soon
and his candour is beyond all praise. became lost in the sheer love of plotting And his book is interesting for yet for plotting's sake, aggravated by that
another reason. It is, as one may last of notoriety which in all ages and say, a reductio ad absurdum of that in every country has been the main passion for rewriting history which spring of half the political follies of animates so many able men in these mankind. As Monmouth's army
days. This passion is in itself most marched out of Taunton for Bridge- laudable, has often produced the water, he swaggered among the spec- happiest results, and will no doubt tators brandishing a drawn sword and produce many still happier as time shouting, “I am Ferguson ! That fa and place bring fresh rewards to man's mous Ferguson for whose head so many patience and ingenuity. Yet it is a hundred pounds have been offered! Í passion which, like all human emotions, am that man, I am that man !” And needs a strong curb. The followers of this is the man to whose exertions we Cortez “stared at each other with a are to believe the happy consummation wild surmise” when their captain first of the Revolution of 1688 was mainly showed them the waters of the Pacific ; due, and who was glaringly neglected but at least they stood silent. Our bold by the gift of a sinecure worth five travellers into the dusty regions of hundred pounds a year! In truth State Paper offices and family archives Macaulay, to whose confusion this are full of yet wilder surmises; and volume has been written, is its hero's they do not keep silence. They rush best apologist when he dubs him a into print, and too late lament, as Mr. brainsick and half-witted fanatic. In Ferguson is no doubt now lamenting, the belief that for the most part of their neglect of Jonathan Oldbuck's bis life he may not have been really warning to all antiquaries, to publish
no pamphlet till they have got to the they have sometimes proved him to be bottom of the matter. The discovery wrong in his conjectures, have very of a bundle of letters and a manuscript rarely indeed proved him to be wrong inspired Mr. Ferguson with the design in his facts. No historian who has of repairing the reputation of a man been so often indicted has come so who had been grossly slandered by a well out of court; and the frequent famous historian. The result of bis efforts made to discredit him have, by pious labour has been to establish the the delightful irony of fate, but served historian whom he wished to confound, to increase the general admiration for and to confound the reputation which his prodigious talents. The failure of he wished to establish.
these attacks, even when there has Even if these papers had materially been some appearance of reason for altered or even destroyed Macaulay's them, has often been aggravated by portrait of the Plotter, it would be the clumsiness and bad temper of the absurd to charge him with wilful per assailant. But more often they have version of the truth, or to call him a failed for the simple reason that, gross and notorious historical male blinded by the false triumph of a factor, because he was ignorant of discovery, the assailant has been undocuments which were not known to able to see that what he takes for be in existence till a quarter of a cen errors of fact are in reality differences tury after he wrote. Every authority of opinion. which it was possible for him to con But though Macaulay needs no sult told him the same story. It may champion, the spirit which raises a be said that these papers were in the howl of delight whenever a State Paper Office, which was as open higher stature than his fellows is to him as to Mr. Marsh
discovered to have blundered needs Ferguson. But it is common know- checking. It is both foolish and disledge that till within recent years the quieting. It is foolish when turned vast majority of the contents of that against the dead, because it forgets treasure-house of history were as in that every day almost increases the accessible to mortal eyes as the lost stock of human knowledge, and that decades of Livy are, and the
of the knowledge of one letters of Keats to Fanny Brawne generation is but a part of the knowought to be.
ledge of the next. It is disquieting Macaulay, of course, needs when turned against the living, beguardian of his fame. He was but cause it suggests an ignoble pleasure in à human being, even as his critics defacing the greatness it cannot emuwill some day prove to be: he was late. It is well that mistakes should man of strong political feelings, be corrected and pretensions rebuked.
the author of Obiter Dicta It has even been said that it is not humorously observes, when we take the critic's business to be thankful. up his history we know it is going In a certain sense this is so ; and he to be a bad time for the Tories": he who said it knew well in what sense. had a wonderful command of lan But at least it is not the critic's guage and a style of extraordinary business to be unthankful, or to give brilliancy and force,—“his marvel all his ingenuity to prove that the lous power of style," says Sir James greatest have their moments of weakStephen, “ blinded him to the effect ness even as the least. It is only the which his language produced.” Yet the front of brass that is always bent discoveries made since his death, though upon the feet of clay.
AN EPISODE OF THE LONG VACATION.
CHANCE had thrown them together lands of leaves and flowers stretched in a little inn on the Moselle, the across the streets: every little inn, briefless Barrister, wandering melan and there are many of them, hums choly and alone, and these charming and throbs with music and dancing. English girls with their brothers, the The gastwirthschaft-schneiders, where Artist and the young Oxonian. And the “ better people
congregate, is now on a glorious August day they already crammed. The long benches were dining like old friends together indoors and out of doors are packed in the leafy verandah overlooking the
with bronzed festive faces : on every river, amid a litter of home newspapers woman's lips is a smile: in each male ten days old, paint-boxes, camp-stools, mouth a heavy porcelain pipe: the half-finished sketches and cigars. “Are tables are brilliant with tall glasses of we going, or are we not, to the fest bright yellow wine. From the tanzat Pinderich to-morrow?” said the saal overhead come the inspiriting Wanderer to his fair neighbour, the strains of waltz and polka, and the talented Titania. 66 Of course we are,” measured thump of heavy feet. A replied Titania. “ Who ever dreamt of space is cleared for the new comers at anything else?” chimed in Speranza, the end of the garden, chairs and table darting a fiery glance at their guar set down, the wine ordered,—the dians, the head and under-keepers, the choicest at one shilling the bottle ! Student and the Artist, the brothers ! and preparations made instantly for The Artist shook his head and looked the fray. The etiquette is simple but solemnly at the canvas by his side; severe—the young man selects his but the Student said nothing, for he partner, approaches her without inquailed under Speranza’s glance. troduction, makes a ceremonious bow,
So it was arranged, and the two offers his arm, and away! Only, when horses of the village with its ancient once his arm has been taken by the waggonette bespoken. Next day at young lady, she must not let it go two they start, leaving the Artist to until he brings her back flushed and his labours, but taking with them for breathless to her friends, acknowledgsponsors the daughters of their host, ing his happiness with second the stalwart Henriette and Augusta, ceremonious bow. and their cousin Mathilde with the Henriette, Augusta, and Mathilde blue revolving eyes. On rumbles the are soon snapped up by old friends. ancient waggonette through the fruit Nothing daunted, the Wanderer, having tree avenues which line the river, flow with due ceremony invited Titania, ing swift between climbing, rock threads a way through the crowded crowned vineyards, past old-world garden alleys, up the twisting ramvillages and tall, white gabled houses shackle staircase, and emerging finally adorned with wonderful carvings, past through a cloud of tobacco smoke, which countless wayside shrines decked with rises from the tables encroaching upon fresh flowers.
the tanz-saal, bursts upon the admiring Pünderich is reached by four. The gaze of the dancers. The youth of Pünlittle village is gay with flags and gar derich is troubled by Titania's entry.
It is something strange to them, this —for no gloves are worn! And how
“ Are things what they seem,
Or are visions about ?" fast and furious—the hop-waltz, in fact, affected by illustrious personages as he watches the pride of London at home. No guidance is attempted, drawing-rooms tearing round in the nor indeed is possible: the method of clutches of these horny-handed sons of holding partners being designed to toil, these sunburnt vine-growers in make each couple as like a ball as their heavy boots. Mark Hermann's possible, so as to profit by the frequent face as he bobs round with Titania
clasped to his heart, what a smile illuBut if the dance is fast and furious minates its capacious contours ! But, it stops suddenly: the “half-dance,” alas, in the interval for the collection as they call it, is over. From his of the orchestral pence, his expression narrow gallery in the corner, the suddenly clouds over, and a cold perchef d'orchestre steps down and walks spiration bathes bis forehead. And slowly round the room collecting from why? Titania's arm is pricked by the each gentleman one penny for himself great pin which fastens the rose in his and his partner, the price of the coat! German is too rough a tongue dance.
for her lips—at least she does not speak During the interval the young men's it-and he takes her gesture to mean eyes are fixed upon Titania, reveren that she would like the rose. Poor tially, but not without a glad expect- fellow ! Dorothea is watching him with ancy. However, the money has been jealous eyes-Dorothea, who pinned collected. The music strikes up again, in the rose that afternoon ! Was there and the dance proceeds merrily to its ever a more poignant situation ?
He close. Then the couples come pouring has torn the rose desperately from his into the garden, and ere Titania is buttonhole, and handed it over with seated, a dozen claimants for her hand trembling hand and averted eyes. But present themselves. Speranza bas al instantly he feels Titania's deft fingers ready been borne off by some impetuous pinning it in again: his relief is too youth. The Wanderer meantime is heartfelt to be concealed: the budnot idle, and his roving eye soon en ding tragedy is nipped, and the wide counters the belle of Pünderich. She smile settles once more on his face. is embarrassed between
The dance over, he seeks Dorothea, suitors : the Wanderer steps up to still smiling, but less widely, and make another, and with a smile she somewhat guiltily. She has no ancuts the Gordian knot by walking off swering smile for him, and the hold with the Englishman.
she lays on his arm is not relaxed she is in her dress of simple grey, her until the evening is done. soft brown hair lying in glossy coils So waltz follows polka, and polka upon her head, her brown eyes brim waltz, with the occasional interlude of ming with truth, the touch of the sun a Rhinelander, just to try the visitors' on her firm cheeks, straight little nose, prowess by its awkward hitch, until and the backs of her dimpled hands ten o'clock is reached. Then carriages,
or rather carts, for the ox-cart is the be torn from their grasp. Henriette, pative equivalent for the brougham, Augusta, and Mathilde, each appeals begin to be announced. The Wanderer in vain for one more last dance with is seen descending the staircase with the favoured swain : the ancient wagthe belle of Pünderich upon his arm, gonette stops the way, the Student but the vine-embowered porch dis with an expression of absolute detercreetly shields the tender parting as mination has already taken his seat, he hands her into the straw-laden ox and off they must go. Warm farewells cart. He watches the slow jolting all round, a parting cheer, and home vehicle out of sight, and then turns they drive in the starlight, waking on sadly into the house, thinking of Nau the way the thousand and one echoes sicaa. Titania and Speranza have been
of the winding valley. danced off their feet by insatiable partners, and even now can scarcely