I'm a consumer. The busy world || can contribute to the human stock are producers, and we idlers are in the whole course of their lives.';. consumers. ,

In short, I observed that people Having thus, in my own mind, di- were respected and esteemed in provided the world into producers and portion to their means of consumpa consumers, I began to draw a com- | tion; while, on the other hand, he parison between these two orders of who most contributed to production society. The former, thought I, is by his personal labour was the least doubtless a very useful class, but the regarded. This was further con, other is certainly the more important;firmed in my mind by observing, that for though things must be produced all producers wished to be thought before they can be consumed, yet consumers, and would, in faet, do without demand their could be no every thing in their power and run supply. I observed too that the many risks to become such. - 1.1 world was quite of this opinion, for. On further considering the subthe producer always bows to theject, I also found, that the disting, consumer. One man thanks you for tions of gentle and simple, into which walking in his shoes, and another society is divided, meant neither more for wearing his coat. Mine host nor less, than consumers and produmakes you a low reverence for con- || cers. By gentility or gentleness, descending to eat his dinner, and the consumer does the tradesman another looks upon you as a pitiful out of his produce, and this latter is fellow if you do not drink his cla- simple enough to feel himself honourret. That insignificant wretch, whose ed by the acceptance of it. So it worn-out frame and squalid looks is in literature. The simple author speak him infinitely more of a pro- offers his goods to the "gentle readducer than a consumer, what a poor er," who perhaps consumes at one figure he cuts along side of that port- | sitting what took the poor wretch ly gentleman, who consumes as much years of toil to compose. Now, food as would supply a whole family thatgirl just launched from the board of poor producers, and whose tai ing-school, with what ayidity she lor's bill would clothe half a parish! consumes whole volumes of novels

Again, what a wide difference and romances, in the production of there is between the tax-gatherer which countless inches of tallow-canwho produces the revenue and the dle (quarts of midnight oil would minister who consumes it! The one have been more classical, but not so you envy, and the other, you despise.true,) must have been expended! She

Then conquerors and heroes, those has already nearly exhausted: the vast consumers of the human spe || circulating library. God send her cies, are they not dignified with the soon a husband and brats; for not epithet of great, solely for their suc- even can that literary mint, the soicess in the art and practice of con- disant modern Athens, keep pace with sumption? An Alexander or a Na- her present novel-reading appetite. poleon will consume you whole mil- | Look again at that greedy hawklions of their fellow-creatures in a eyed politician. He will swallow few years; while a dozen or so is you at one gulp what took the states. the most that a pair of producers man full twenty-four hours to come

nes as most sittin. Who po

pose, two hours more to deliver, and instance in which I ever acted in the gentlemen connected with the that humble capacity, I consoled mypress (as they are called) at least self in the determination to bring up six hours additional to put into Eng- all my children as consumers; and 80 lish. Indeed, the superiority in the fully acted up to this resolution, powers of consumption over those that, by dint of stuffing and overof production needs no other proof, clothing, I actually drove them into than to witness the effects of fire, a consumption. Withn an inte that mighty consumer, whose power Being then left to ourselves, my is proclaimed by so many noble insti- partner and I went on consuming tutions. In one brief hour will it at such a rate, that from interest we not consume what has been the work got to principal, and from of years to produce?

credit, till at last I had just interest a Then, that greatest of all consum enough left to get a birth in the

ers, Death, what a sublime person- King's Bench, just principle enough age he is! how awful! how dreaded! | to prevent my cutting my throat, and while the supplier of subjects for his credit only for having spent my forinsatiable jaws is not even dignified | tune like a gentleman. with a name, birth being in nowise What a return for my efforts to personified,

be useful in my generation! 0. unIn short, throughout nature, pro- l grateful world! Here we are then duction is ignoble, and toilsome con- in durance vile, with little or nothing sumption honourable and easy. to consume but time, and that is

Having thus satisfied my mind of doled out to me in driblets from a the importance of being a consumer, neighbouring clock, whose incessant I sat myself down' to consuming in tick, tick, tick, strikes my ear as if in earnest. Hitherto I had been ra- mockery of my miserable plight. In ther economical, having judged it the attempt to consume this enemy wrong to spend much on myself; to the rich and idle, but friend to but from that moment I spent every the industrious and poor, I have been farthing of my income, and that being delivered of this production, which a good one, I consumed of course it hath pleased thee, gentle reader, "no small quantity of productions. My to consume. May many others con

conscience became less troublesome, sume it also! I care not how. Let my disposition less fidgety, and gra- them light their pipes with it if they dually I swelled into the dignity of a like. It is all the same to me, so as most useful and important member they pay for the copies, and I and of society. I married another con- my wife get something for the consümer like myself, never dreaming sumption of our hungry jaws. ** that I should then become a producer. However, as it was the only


som bin,

THE COMPENSATION.. - ARTHUR, a poor clerk, lived at St. || Respected by his superiors, and bePetersburg, and contrived to main- loved by his equals, he was content tain himself with his small salary. with his sphere: always cheerful,




[ocr errors]

without wishes or cares, if he did not Time, however, can effect a great -despise wealth, he could at least dis- deal, and already did this adventure pense with it. Hier!

begin gradually to fade from his me88 One day Arthur was sent by his mory, when one holiday, intending to employer to Count Paulowsko, a no- | avail himself of the fine weather, he bleman equally well known for his was just putting on his coat, that coat influence and his wealth.' As his er- | which he had never worn since his rand was not important, his visit was visit to Count Paulowsko, and which soon over; he took his leave of the strongly reminded him of the cruel count, and proceeded through halls, usage he had received. All at once corridors, and courts, with the inten- he heard a knock at his door; he tion of returning home. He was opened it, and a well dressed man just opening the last door when he entered. “I come," said he, bowing was suddenly intercepted by twenty to the very floor, " from Count Pauretainers, who surrounded and seiz- lowsko,"_" From Count Paulowed him, and without farther expla- sko!" rejoined Arthur, glowing with nation began to administer fifty blows anger. “What would the barbarian with a stick. In vain he cried, that have with me?"_“Sir," replied the they must be mistaken, and that he stranger, bowing incessantly, "the had just come from the count; they count expects you in his palace." did not release him till he had receis. " I go to him again? No, never!"ed the prescribed number of strokes." Yet go you must; but he would Furious with rage, he snatched the much rather you went voluntarily." weapon from their hands, and laid -“ By what right can I be compelabout him at random on all sides. led?”—“ It is the count's pleasure," One of the serfs assured him, that replied the stranger, again bowing: they had but obeyed the commands "according to his orders I am to conof their master: at these words he duct you to him.”—“ I am my own paused; but again overcome by in- master, and "-" That may be, dignation, he was for returning, and but as my master anticipated your calling to account the barbarian by refusal, he sent twenty of his peowhom he had been so insulted. He ple along with me, to be employed in was actually hastening back for this case of necessity. A carriage is purpose, when a person, whom he did waiting for you at the door. Consinot know, but who had witnessedder then, sir, whether it would not this scene, laid hold of him, and be better to go of your own accord thrust him out of the palace with than by compulsion." diy these words: "Be gone, unfortunate | Arthur hesitated for a moment. man! Draw not down on thyself the Who was there to protect him if he hatred of so potent a noble: nothing resisted? Should he suffer himself to would screen thee from his ven- be dragged away like a slave, and geance.” It was in vain to make far- thus lose the advantage which he ther opposition: he was obliged to might derive from a spirited step? put up with the affront, in spite of At length the singularity of the invihis just indignation, and to resume tation, and the carriage that was sent his usual employment.

for him, piqued his curiosity, and he ** Vol. IV. No. XXIII.


resolved to brave the issue of the ad- | moment." Arthur was struck by it: venture, Assuming a firm and tran- | Elisca's voice, her look, penetrated quil air, he accompanied the stran- his heart. The charming girl, with ger, who now made himself known no other view than to make amends to him as the count's steward, and for her father's injustice, occupied followed him bareheaded. He had herself almost exclusively with Aractually to pass through a troop of thur. How could he help being transtwenty sturdy serfs drawn up before ported with her kindness, and forhis door, and unconsciously frowned getting all that had passed ? He was on recognising them to be the very agreeable, amiable, and easy it was same rogues who had handled him for him to be so, for he was happy. so roughly, and who now bent their The other distinguished guests, who heads down to the very ground. were at first surprised at the atten· On reaching the palace, Arthur tions which the count and his daughalighted: the steward conducted him ter lavished on Arthur, were at length to the count's apartment and retired. obliged to do him justice, and to adThe young man's eyes sparkled when mit that a very poor fellow may somehe beheld his enemy: he entered times be rich in mental endowments. boldly and with clenched fist. Pau- From this day forward, whenever lowsko received him with open arms Arthur shewed a reluctance to apand pressed him to his bosom. “My pear at the palace, the count sent for dear friend," said he,“ how rejoiced him with fresh solicitations and fresh I am to see you!"--Arthur was filled menaces. Arthur deemed it right with astonishment. “ You are an- to comply with this whim, or to congry with me," he resumed, “ for the fess the truth, a secret charm drew scurvy trick I lately played you: Ihim thither against his will; and the have done wrong, very wrong, I con- gracious reception which he expefess, and beg your pardon. Let us rienced from the amiable Elisca be better friends in future, and to produced a ready obedience. It was make a beginning, pass the rest of not long before he became the fathe day with me. In future, a co vourite and dearest friend of the ver shall be placed for you regularly man whom he thought himself bound at my table, and if you do not come to hate as long as he lived. Arthur, voluntarily, I shall bave you fetched however, though in such high favour by force: for this is a fancy that I with Paulowsko, received neither any have taken into my head. Choose appointment nor pecuniary assistthen between my friendship and my ance from him. A single word from enmity."

this powerful patron might have Arthur actually spent that day in opened to him the most brilliant caPaulowsko’s palace; the count placed reer; but the count, so far from prohim at table between himself and his nouncing this word, did not seem to daughter, an amiable girl of sixteen. harbour any intention of doing so. She was acquainted with her father's One day, it was just a year after ill treatment of Arthur, and had that event which left behind it such employed all hier influence to induce painful recollections in Arthur's him to compensate for it. Joy at her mind, he happened to be alone with success heightened her beauty at that the count. “My dear friend," said

she is !" At the yourself—look, hehe man of neithe

the latter with a smile, "on this me- | modestembarrassment,and the blushmorable day I have a little proposal ||es that covered the cheeks of the loto make to you, which you must not vers, they would have suspected the refuse. I wish you to- to marry. truth; but how could they suppose The lady whom I have selected for that the sole heiress of the Paulowski you is a good match; she has talents, was destined to be the wife of a young beauty, and some property. For the man of neither rank nor property, of rest judge for yourself-look, here an obscure person, who brought his she is !" At these words the count illustrious consort nothing but a cultook his daughter by the hand and tivated understanding, an excellent led her to the young man. Ar- | heart, and the most ardent affection? thor's astonishment, emotion, and |Midnight arrived. The count, whið joy may, be better conceived than had quitted the company for a short described. Elisca blushed; but a time, returned. Profound 'silence sweet smile signified that she would prevailed. “You have partaken," not be disobedient to the will of her said he," of my daughter's weddings father. Arthur threw himself at the feast; before you go, you shall wit. feet of the count: he was unable to ness the nuptial ceremony which is express his gratitude, and merely about to be performed in my domes. covered his hand with kisses and tic chapel. Come, Arthur, 'give your tears. What language, indeed, could arm to your bride!"_" Arthur! Arhave spoken so eloquently as his thur!" reiterated the illustrious aslooks!

semblage: “is it possible? Did any The same day the count gave a one ever see the like before?" "No, splendid entertainment, to which a my friends," replied the count, smilselect company was invited. When ing at the chorus of exclamations; all his guests were seated, Paulow-" but you shall presently see that it sko thùs addressed them: “ Dear is nevertheless possible enough." || and noble friends, the feast of which And they did actually see not only you are about to partake is given in this, but something more, which exhonour of the nuptials of my daugh- cited not less astonishment. At the ter. You all know the husband | moment when the guests were pres whom I have selected for her: I will paring to depart, the count embraced not name him, you shall have the his children. “ Now, my friends," pleasure of guessing who he is, and said he, “it is time for all of us to I am convinced that you will approve retire to rest. My carriage will be my clioice.” The guests strove in ready directly, Arthur: take your vain to guess the happy man. One | wife along with you; we shall see one mentioned the young Prince P , another to-morrow, so good night! another the wealthy Count N- ; Arthur at first smiled, froin a thoand a third the elegant Baron S- : rough conviction that this was only in short, every one concluded that it one of the count's jokes; but his must be some distinguished person- grave look, the perfect seriousness age; and all consoled themselves with which he ordered the carriage with the idea, that they should not and hastened their departure, left nó have to wait long for the solution of room for doubt: to remonstrate would the mystery. Had they noticed the have been useless; he was obliged to

P p 2 ' ' . ..

« VorigeDoorgaan »