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great naturalist takes the human being in its wholeness, in its mortal as well as its spiritual strength. Capable of sounding and sympathizing with the whole range of its passions, he brings one majestic harmony out of them all; he represents it fearlessly in all its acts and thoughts, in its haste, its anger, its sensuality, and its pride, as well as in its fortitude or faith, but makes it noble in them all; he casts aside the veil from the body, and beholds the mysteries of its form like an angel looking down on an inferior creature: there is nothing which he is reluctant to behold, nothing that he is ashamed to confess; with all that lives, triumphing, falling, or suffering, he claims kindred, either in majesty or in mercy, yet standing, in a sort, afar off, unmoved even in the deepness of his sympathy; for the spirit within him is too thoughtful to be grieved, too brave to be appalled, and too pure to be polluted.
How far beneath these two ranks of men shall we place in the scale of being those whose pleasure is only in sin or in suffering; who habitually contemplate humanity in poverty or decrepitude, fury or sensuality; whose works are either temptations to its weakness, or triumphs over its ruin, and recognize no other subjects for thought or admiration than the subtlety of the robber, the rage of the soldier, or the joy of the Sybarite. It seems strange, when thus definitely stated, that such a school should exist. Yet consider a little what gaps and blanks would disfigure our gallery and chamber walls, in places that we have long approached with reverence, if every picture, every statue, were removed from them, of which the subject was either the vice or the misery of mankind, portrayed without any moral purpose: consider the innumerable groups having reference merely to various forms of passion, low or high; drunken revels and brawls among peasants, gambling or fighting scenes among soldiers, amours and intrigues among every
as man is regarded in his relations to the exist-class, brutal battle-pieces, banditti subjects,
harvest brightens the sunbeams for harvests yet unsown, and that the volcano which buries a city preserves a thousand from destruction! But the evil is not for the time less fearful, because we have learned it to be necessary; and we easily understand the timidity or the tenderness of the spirit which would withdraw itself from the presence of destruction, and create in its imagination a world of which the peace should be unbroken, in which the sky should not darken nor the sea rage, in which the leaf should not change nor the blossom wither. That man is greater, however, who contemplates with an equal mind the alternations of terror and of beauty; who, not rejoicing less beneath the sunny sky, can bear also to watch the bars of twilight narrowing on the horizon; and, not less sensible to the blessing of the peace of nature, can rejoice in the magnificence of the ordinances by which that peace is protected and secured. But separated from both by an immeasurable distance would be the man who delighted in convulsion and disease for their own sake; who found his daily food in the disorder of nature mingled with the suffering of humanity; and watched joyfully at the right hand of the Angel whose appointed work is to destroy as well as to accuse, while the corners of the house of feasting were struck by the wind from the wilderness.
And far more is this true when the subject of contemplation is humanity itself. The passions of mankind are partly protective, partly beneficent, like the chaff and grain of the corn; but none without their use, none without nobleness when seen in balanced unity with the rest of the spirit which they are charged to defend. The passions of which the end is the continuance of the race; the indignation which is to arm it against injustice, or strengthen it to resist wanton injury; and the fear1 which lies at the root of prudence, reverence, and awe, are all honourable and beautiful, so long
ing world. The religious Purist, striving to conceive him withdrawn from those relations, effaces from the countenance the traces of all transitory passion, illumines it with holy hope and love, and seals it with the serenity of heavenly peace; he conceals the forms of the body by the deep-folded garment, or else represents them under severely chastened types, and would rather paint them emaciated by the fast, or pale from the torture, than strengthened by exertion or flushed by emotion. But the
1 Not selfish fear, caused by want of trust in God, or of resolution in the soul.
gluts of torture and death in famine, wreck, or slaughter, for the sake merely of the excitement-that quickening and suppling of the dull spirit that cannot be gained for it but by bathing it in blood, afterwards to wither back into stained and stiffened apathy; and then that whole vast false heaven of sensual passion, full of nymphs, satyrs, graces, goddesses, and I know not what, from its high seventh circle in Correggio's Antiope, down to the Grecized ballet-dancers and smirking Cupids of the Parisian upholsterer. Sweep away all this remorselessly, and see how much art we should have left.-The Stones of Venice.
THE CONSOLATIONS OF THE MUSE.
BY GEORGE WITHERS.
She doth tell me where to borrow
By her help I also now
She hath taught me by her might
Therefore then, best earthly bliss, I will cherish thee for this! Poesy, thou sweet'st content That e'er Heaven to mortals lent; Though they as a trifle leave thee, Whose dull thoughts cannot conceive thee, Though thou be to them a scorn, That to nought but earth are born;
Let my life no longer be,
Than I am in love with thee!
A JOCULAR BARONET. BY T. SMOLLETT. 1
I believe there is something mischievous in my disposition, for nothing diverts me so much as to see certain characters tormented with false terrors. We last night lodged at the house of Sir Thomas Bulford, an old friend of my uncle, a jolly fellow, of moderate intellects, who, in spite of the gout, which hath lamed him, is resolved to be merry to the last; and mirth he has a particular knack in extracting from his guests, let their humour be ever so caustic or refractory. Besides our company, there was in the house a fat-headed justice of the peace, called Frogmore, and a country practitioner in surgery, who seemed to be our landlord's chief companion and confidant. We found the knight sitting on a couch, with his crutches by his side, and his feet supported on cushions; but he received us with a hearty welcome, and seemed greatly rejoiced at our arrival. After tea we were entertained with a sonata on the harpsichord, by Lady Bulford, who sang and played to admiration; but Sir Thomas seemed to be a little asinine in the article of ears, though he affected to be in raptures; and begged his wife to favour us with an arietta of her own compos ing. This arietta, however, she no sooner began to perform, than he and the justice fell asleep; but the moment she ceased playing, the knight waked snorting, and exclaimed: "O cara! what d'ye think, gentlemen? Will you talk any more of your Pergolesi and your Corelli?" At the same time he thrust his tongue in one cheek, and leered with one eye at the doctor and me, who sat on his left hand. He concluded the pantomime with a loud laugh, which he could command at all times extempore. Notwithstanding his disorder, he did not do penance at supper, nor did he ever refuse his glass when the toast went round, but rather encouraged a quick circulation, both by precept and example.
I soon perceived the doctor had made himself very necessary to the baronet: he was the whetstone of his wit, the butt of his satire, and his operator in certain experiments of humour which were occasionally tried on strangers. Justice Frogmore was an excellent subject for this species of philosophy: sleek and corpulent, solemn and shallow, he had
1 From Smollett's last novel, The Briedition of Humphry Clinker, which was written at Monte Novo, near Leghorn, in 1770-71. Scott characterized this work as "the last, and, like music, 'sweetest in the close, the most pleasing of his compositions."
studied Burn with uncommon application: | robbed; that, without doubt, the villains had but he studied nothing so much as the art of taken away his clothes, fastened the door, and living (that is, eating) well. This fat buck set the house on fire, for the staircase was in had often afforded good sport to our landlord; flames. In this dilemma the poor lieutenant and he was frequently started with tolerable ran about the room naked, like a squirrel in a success in the course of this evening: but the cage, popping out his head at the window bebaronet's appetite for ridicule seemed to between whiles, and imploring assistance. At chiefly excited by the appearance, address, and length the knight in person was brought out conversation of Lismahago, whom he attempted in his chair, attended by my uncle and all in all the different modes of exposition; but he the family, including our aunt Tabitha, who put me in mind of a contest that I once saw screamed, and cried, and tore her hair, as if between a young hound and an old hedgehog. she had been distracted. Sir Thomas had alThe dog turned him over and over, and ready ordered his people to bring a long ladder, bounced, and barked, and mumbled; but as which was applied to the captain's window, often as he attempted to bite, he felt a prickle and now he exhorted him earnestly to descend. in his jaws, and recoiled in manifest confusion. There was no need of much rhetoric to persuade The captain, when left to himself, will not Lismahago, who forthwith made his exit by fail to turn his ludicrous side to the company; the window, roaring all the time to the people but if any man attempts to force him into below to hold fast the ladder. that attitude, he becomes stubborn as a mule, and unmanageable as an elephant unbroken.
Notwithstanding the gravity of the occasion, it was impossible to behold this scene without being seized with an inclination to laugh. The rueful aspect of the lieutenant in his shirt, with a quilted nightcap, fastened under his chin, and his long lank limbs and haunches exposed to the wind, made a very picturesque appearance when illuminated by the links and torches which the servants held up to light him in his descent. All the company stood round the ladder except the knight, who sat in his chair, exclaiming from time to time:
"Lord have mercy on us!-save the gentleman's life-mind your footing, dear captain!
Divers tolerable jokes were cracked on the justice, who ate a most unconscionable supper, and, among other things, a large plate of boiled mushrooms, which he had no sooner swallowed than the doctor observed, with great gravity, that they were of the kind called champignons, which in some constitutions had a poisonous effect. Mr Frogmore, startled at this remark, asked, in some confusion, why he had not been so kind as to give him that notice sooner? He answered, that he took it for granted, by his eating them so heartily, that he was used to the dish; | —softly!-stand fast!-clasp the ladder with but as he seemed to be under some apprehension, both hands there!-well done, my dear boy! he prescribed a bumper of plague-water, which—O, bravo!—an old soldier for ever!-bring the justice drank of immediately, and retired to a blanket-bring a warm blanket to comfort rest, not without marks of terror and disquiet. his poor carcass-warm the bed in the greenroom-give me your hand, dear captain—I'm rejoiced to see thee safe and sound, with all my heart.'
At midnight we were shown to our different chambers, and in half an hour I was fast asleep in bed; but about three o'clock in the morning I was awaked with a dismal cry of "Fire!" and, starting up, ran to the window in my shirt. The night was dark and stormy; and a number of people, half dressed, ran backwards and forwards through the courtyard, with links and lanterns, seemingly in the utmost hurry and trepidation. Slipping on my clothes in a twinkling, I ran downstairs, and, on inquiry, found the fire was confined to a back stair, which led to a detached apartment where Lismahago lay. By this time the lieutenant was alarmed by a bawling at his window, which was in the second story, but he could not find his clothes in the dark, and his room-door was locked on the outside. The servants called to him that the house had been 1 Burn's Justice of Peace.
Lismahago was received at the foot of the ladder by his inamorato, who, snatching a blanket from one of the maids, wrapped it about his body; two men-servants took him under their arms, and a female conducted him to the green room, still accompanied by Mrs. Tabitha, who saw him fairly put to bed. During this whole transaction he spoke not a syllable, but looked exceeding grim, sometimes at one, sometimes at another of the spectators, who now adjourned in a body to the parlour where we had supped, every one surveying another with marks of astonishment and curiosity.
The knight being seated in an easy-chair, seized my uncle by the hand, and, bursting into a long and loud laugh
Mat," cried he, "crown me with oak, or ivy, or laurel, or parsley, or what you will, and acknowledge this to be a coup de maître in the way of waggery-ha, ha, ha! Such a camisicata, scagliata, beffata! O che roba! O what a subject! O what a caricatura! O for a Rosa, a Rembrandt, a Schalken! Zooks, I'll give a hundred guineas to have it painted —what a fine descent from the cross, or ascent to the gallows! what lights and shadows! what a group below! what expression above! what an aspect! Did you mind the aspect? Ha, │ ha, ha! and the limbs, and the muscles-every ¦ “a fair exchange is no robbery. Oblige me so far, captain, as to let me keep your mull as a memorial."
"No mistake at all," cried the baronet;
toe denoted terror! ha, ha, ha! Then the blanket! O what costume! St. Andrew! St. Lazarus! St. Barsabas! ha, ha, ha!"
"After all, then," cried Mr Bramble, very gravely, "this was no more than a false alarm? We have been frightened out of our beds, and, almost out of our senses, for the joke's sake!"
"Ay, and such a joke!” cried our landlord -"such a farce! such a dénouement! such a catastrophe!"
"Have a little patience," replied our squire; "we are not yet come to the catastrophe; and pray God it may not turn out a tragedy instead of a farce. The captain is one of those saturnine subjects who have no idea of humour. He never laughs in his own person; nor can he bear that other people should laugh at his expense. Besides, if the subject had been properly chosen, the joke was too severe in all conscience."
"'Sdeath!" cried the knight, "I could not have bated him an ace, had he been my own father; and as for the subject, such another does not present itself once in half a century.'
Here Mrs. Tabitha interposing, and bridling up, declared she did not see that Mr. Lismahago was a fitter subject for ridicule than the knight himself; and that she was very much afraid he would very soon find he had mistaken his man. The baronet was a good deal disconcerted by this intimation, saying that he must be a Goth and a barbarian if he did not enter into the spirit of such a happy and humorous contrivance. He begged, however, that Mr. Bramble and his sister would bring him to reason; and this request was reinforced by Lady Bulford, who did not fail to read the baronet a lecture on his indiscretion, which lecture he received with submission on one side of the face, and a leer on the other.
We now went to bed for the second time; and before I got up, my uncle had visited Lismahago in the green room, and used such arguments with him, that, when we met in the parlour, he seemed to be quite appeased. He
received the knight's apology with a good grace, and even professed himself pleased at finding he had contributed to the diversion of the company. Sir Thomas shook him by the hand, laughing heartily; and then desired a pinch of snuff, in token of perfect reconciliation. The lieutenant, putting his hand in his waistcoat-pocket, pulled out, instead of his own Scotch mull, a very fine gold snuff-box, which he no sooner perceived than he said: Here is a small mistake."
"Sir," said the lieutenant, "the mull is much at your service, but this machine I can by no means retain. It looks like compounding a sort of felony in the code of honour. Besides, I don't know but there may be another joke in this conveyance; and I don't find myself disposed to be brought on the stage again: I won't presume to make free with your pockets, but I beg you will put it up again with your own hand."
So saying, with a certain austerity of aspect he presented the snuff-box to the knight, who received it in some confusion, and restored the mull, which he would by no means keep, except on the terms of exchange.
This transaction was like to give a grave cast to the conversation, when my uncle took notice that Mr. Justice Frogmore had not made his appearance either at the night alarm, or now at the general rendezvous. The baronet, hearing Frogmore mentioned—
"Odso!" cried he, "I had forgotten the justice. Prithee, doctor, go and bring him out of his kennel." Then laughing till his sides were well shaken, he said he would show the captain that he was not the only person of the drama exhibited for the entertainment of the company. As to the night scene, it could not affect the justice, who had been purposely lodged in the further end of the house, remote from the noise, and lulled with a dose of opium into the bargain.
In a few minutes Mr. Justice was led into the parlour in his night-cap and loose morninggown, rolling his head from side to side, and groaning piteously all the way.
"Why! neighbour Frogmore," exclaimed the baronet, "what is the matter? you look as if you was not a man for this world. Set him down softly on the couch-poor gentleman! Lord, have mercy on us! What makes him so pale, and yellow, and bloated?" "Oh, Sir Thomas!" cried the justice, “I
Heaven protect us all!” cried Sir Thomas, "what a melancholy spectacle! Never did I see a man so suddenly swelled but when he was either just dead or just dying. Doctor, canst thou do nothing for this poor object?"
"I don't think the case is quite desperate," said the surgeon, "but I would advise Mr. Frogmore to settle his affairs with all expedition; the parson may come and pray by him, while I prepare a clyster and an emetic draught." The justice, rolling his languid eyes, ejaculated with great fervency: "Lord, have mercy on us!" Then he begged the surgeon to despatch. "As for my worldly affairs," said he, "they are all settled but one mortgage, which must be left to my heirs; but my poor soul! my poor soul! what will become of my poor soul!-miserable sinner that I am!"
Nay, prithee, my dear boy, compose thyself," resumed the knight; "consider the mercy of Heaven is infinite; thou canst not have any sins of a very deep dye on thy conscience, or the devil's in't.'
"Name not the devil," exclaimed the terrified Frogmore; "I have more sins to answer for than the world dreams of. Ah, friend, I have been sly-sly-d......d sly! Send for the parson without loss of time, and put me to bed, for I am posting to eternity.'
He was accordingly raised from the couch, and supported by two servants, who led him back to his room; but before he quitted the parlour, he entreated the good company to assist him with their prayers. He added: Take warning by me, who am suddenly cut off in my prime, like a flower of the field; and Heaven forgive you, Sir Thomas, for suffering such poisonous trash to be eaten at your table."
He was no sooner removed out of hearing than the baronet abandoned himself to a violent fit of laughing, in which he was joined by the greatest part of the company; but we could hardly prevent the good lady from going to undeceive the patient, by discovering that, while he slept, his waistcoat had been straitened by the contrivance of the surgeon, and that the disorder in his stomach and bowels
He was visited
was occasioned by some antimonial wine, which he had taken overnight, under the denomination of plague-water. She seemed to think that his apprehension might put an end to his life: the knight swore he was no such chicken, but a tough old rogue, that would live long enough to plague all his neighbours. On inquiry, we found his character did not entitle him to much compassion or respect, and therefore we let our landlord's humour take its course. A clyster was actually administered by an old woman of the family, who had been Sir Thomas' nurse, and the patient took a draught made with oxymel of squills to forward the operation of the antimonial wine, which had been retarded by the opiate of the preceding night. by the vicar, who read prayers, and began to take an account of the state of his soul. The knight and I, with the doctor, entered the chamber at this juncture, and found Frogmore crying for mercy, confessing his sins, or asking the vicar's opinion of his case; and the vicar answered in a solemn, snuffling tone, that heightened the ridicule of the scene. The emetic having done its office, the doctor interfered, and ordered the patient to be put to bed again. He declared that much of the virus was discharged; and, giving him a composing draught, assured him he had good hopes of his recovery. This welcome hint he received with tears of joy in his eyes, protesting that, if he should recover, he would always think himself indebted for his life to the great skill and tenderness of his doctor, whose hands he squeezed with great fervour; and thus he was left to his repose.
We were pressed to stay dinner, that we might be witnesses of his resuscitation; but my uncle insisted on our departing before noon, that we might reach this town before it should be dark. In the meantime Lady Bulford conducted us into the garden to see a fish-pond, just finished, which Mr. Bramble censured as being too near the parlour, where the knight now sat by himself, dozing in an elbow-chair, after the fatigues of his morning achievement. In this situation he reclined, with his feet wrapped in flannel, and supported in a line with his body, when, the door flying open with a violent shock, Lieutenant Lismahago rushed into the room, with horror in his looks, exclaiming: "A mad dog! a mad dog!" and throwing up the window-sash, leaped into the garden. Sir Thomas, waked by this tremendous exclamation, started up, and, forgetting his gout, followed the lieutenant's example by a kind of instinctive impulse. He not only