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bad thing to accept a more modest part, and to rest content with observing. Observation is all the thought that most of us can attain to. But we may decline to accept "thinkers" at their own curious and self-satisfied valuation.
How first it dawned upon me that the solution of the information difficulty might be found in the remark of Sir John Vesey - lineal descendant of old Solomon "All humbug; humbug, upon my soul!" was in this wise. When a youngster, fresh from college, admiring knowledge and reverent of facts, but better acquainted with tennis and racquets than with less exact sciences, I dined at my father's table with the late Mr. Strap. The party was small, but he was great. There were "ourselves," and with us my keen college friend, Jack Hardhed, of Bluenose, who even then knew more facts than any man else had ever known, and came on purpose to meet the Historian of Civilization. Open-mouthed we sat, and listened to the oracle, my father included, who in his quiet way had, I think, more true knowledge than greater men; but was wont to hold his tongue and listen, with a quaint and courteous smile, which puzzled people till they knew him, and when they did, made them rather uncomfortable. It gave them an uneasy notion that he was finding them out. The oracle had not then so far advanced with him. In the course of a conversation in which Strap laid down the law about everything,
coming, he goes to his rival in the local | ten up, many and many an Impey, I take practice. to ask if he is threatened with it, will find that, like Lord Dundreary, he typhus, and being assured that he is not only "thank he thunk," after all. It is no (by the authority which on any other case he rightly considers valueless), goes home and takes no medicine, but waits till the cold is gone-what is it to him, I say, when he issues a pamphlet on cerebral disease for the benefit of the public, that only his initiated can translate him when he says that the "effusion of hæmatin and hæmatosin into the lymphatic sheaths, capillary dilatations, atheroma, and infarctions" (Oh! what can an infarction be?) are the signs of that disease? What sets, what cliques, we all are, and all live in When we are young, we look on "wellinformed" people with awe and envy. As we grow older, we ask ourselves what on earth we mean by it?-whether to be well-informed is not, in our eyes, to know the things that we know, another version of the "orthodoxy which is my doxy," and if the constant reader of the Thespis or the Pegasus, who can tell you all that is going on, one in every provincial theatre, and the other in every racing-stable in England, has not as much right (and in his heart uses it, too) to look down on Impey, of St. Nil's, for knowing nothing on earth about these things, as Impey has to regard him, as he does, as an altogether inferior being, the nearer to our common ancestor the catarrhine ape in proportion to his ignorance of molecules. If, in grave and thoughtful earnest, some of us come to believe that there is no higher provable purpose in this world than to live straight, and to do our neighbor no harm, while aiding him in the struggle to the best of our little power, which has the better right to laugh at the other, Impey or the constant reader? It is well to have an interest in life; and as the first has his, so too has the second. But Impey's speculations, on what he admits he cannot know, shake the faith and repose of many a yearning soul, and therein, be he tenfold right in his melancholy creed, they work clear harm in the one world he believes in. If there really prove some day to be another, where the first shall be last and the last first, which will stand best, I wonder, the constant reader, or Impey, of St. Nil's? It is a very curse of the time that half the world must needs "think," which is not so easy as it sounds. When the inevitable "Finis comes to be writ
my father smiling, and passing the wine, Hardhed, respectful and reverent at first, scratching his head at last and fidgeting on his chair, as if anxious to "cut in," the rest of us awestruck and admiring, somebody mentioned a new dictionary with approval. "It is a good book," said the oracle. "It is one of the few dictionaries which I have read through with pleasure." The pause which followed this remark was terrible. The idea at once conjured up by the mind, of a student who was in the habit of reading dictionaries from A to O, all other learning apart, and had liked a few of them, was, to speak with simplicity, tremendous. I have never forgotten the moral they conveyed, and have looked ever since, on all men of information, with a jaundiced eye.
From Golden Hours.
ON SHAKING HANDS.
bing noses, etc., being common. Some Pacific islanders who now shake hands used to show their joy at meeting by AMONGST the Romans a hand was the sniffing at their friends after the fashion emblem of good faith, and the almost uni- of amiable dogs. The Fuegians pat and versal adoption of the clasped hands in slap each other. The Polynesian takes marriage, and other solemn ceremonies, his friend's hand or foot, and strokes his prove this to have been a custom instinc- own face with it. Amongst the Todas of tively considered as emblematic of union the Nilgherry hills respect is shown by and fidelity; unfortunately, just as the raising the right hand to the face, and kiss, at any rate between women and rela- placing the thumb on the bridge of the tions, has ceased to be a token of the tru- nose. The people of Iddah greet you by est and strongest affection, so has the shaking their fist in your face. The cerehand-shake also fallen somewhat from its mony of rubbing or pressing noses is high estate, and become a mere idle cere- common to many countries; Linnæus mony not necessarily conveying an im- found it practised in the Lapland alps, pression of any special interest or regard. while Darwin describes the aborigines of In the ancient usage of striking hands as Australia as invariably pressing the tips a pledge of fidelity in confirming a bar- of their noses together on meeting, congain, is no doubt to be found the origin of tinuing the process for a space of time shaking hands. "Who is he that will somewhat longer than would be required strike hands with me?" asks Job, when for a cordial shake of the hand, and accomplaining of the unmerited contempt companying it with sundry short grunts of and mistrust to which he was subjected. extreme satisfaction. Some of the tribes We also learn that in ancient Rome the in central Africa take one another's hands hand-shake was utilized in a manner not on meeting, but, considering this insuffiunfamiliar to the would-be legislators of cient, at the same time testify their regard modern times; that, in fact, it was one of for a friend by gently rubbing his arm the condescensions practised by those with the other hand. Anything but flatwho aspired to a seat in the Senate, to wintering to one's self-love is the hand-shake the goodwill and adherence of their low-perfunctory, in which the performer, first born constituents; for it is said of Scipio raising your hand, gives it a short, sharp, Nasica, the enemy of Tiberius Gracchus, quick, impressive movement downwards, that in canvassing for votes he exclaimed, and then drops it abruptly, as though he on taking the rough hand of a laborer, would say, There! I have done my "What! Do you walk on your hands?" duty for this time, so far as you are con It is natural that savages in their love of cerned." Then we have also the handimitation should conform by degrees to shake perpendicular, in which the whole the usages of more civilized nations, and arm is moved energetically up and down in nothing is this more marked than in with precisely the action of a pump-hantheir adoption of kissing and shaking dle; and the hand-shake horizontal, in hands as expressive of love and friend- which the arm is moved with equal vigor ship. A certain facetious ethnologist from side to side; representatives of the declares that the existence of savage last two types produce on meeting an adtribes who do not kiss their women is a mirable illustration of the mechanical conclusive proof of primeval barbarism, combination of forces, the result of their since, he says, had they once known the hand-shaking being a curious rotatory practice, they could not possibly have motion so embarrassing to the chief acforgotten it. The Red Indians have cer- tors, so comical to the spectator, that no tainly learned the habit of shaking hands one who has once witnessed the same is in wishing one another good-morrow from ever likely to forget it. One man at least the Europeans, but for many centuries we know who has the curious habit of previously they seem to have clasped embracing his friend's left elbow with his hands as a token of fidelity, in ratifying a disengaged hand while the right is em bond. Some nations have very eccentric, ployed in the customary greeting, a trick not to say unpleasant, modes of saying, which bears a close relationship to the "How do you do?" And the further we arm-rubbing of certain tribes in central descend in the scale of race-development, Africa. The muscular hand-shaker is the more we find the civilities exchanged generally a very good fellow, but the viceby human beings assimilating to those of like pressure of his fist, though it comes the lower animals, such endearments as from the heart, and may be in that sense patting, stroking, sniffing, blowing, rub-pleasing, yet causes his victims nearly as
The aged man, who found in sixty years
And died still smiling: Athens vexed him
When the dawn
First glimmers white o'er Lesser Asia,
much physical discomfort as would the | And risked your own to save him,
And reft of sense; and we who watched him
From The Contemporary Review.
CLEON of Lampsacus to Pericles :-
To you who mourn the master, called him
Beat back th' Athenian wolves who fanged his throat,
And so he dozed, nor dreamed, until the sun
Who bless our fruits and vines in Lampsacus.
The charm of birds, the social whisper of
The ripple of the blue Propontic sea.
Had cast such sacred branches o'er the fields
And never more should know the spring!
You too had grieved to see it, Pericles!
But Anaxagoras owned no sense of wrong;
On your ungrateful city, he but smiled:
Of wisdom and divine astronomy,
But earth and stones, with caverns, hills and | And now the reverend fathers of our town
He paused; and blowing softly from the sea,
And lying in the shadow, all his mind
"Let not your hearts be troubled! All my
Hath all my care been fixed on this vast blue
Nought grasped for certain; sense is circumscribed;
The intellect is weak; and life is short!"
He ceased and mused a little, while we wept.
Are drifting from the earth like morning mist;
Had heard the master's end was very near,
No kindly office done, yet once again
And since 'twere churlish to reject goodwill,
He lay back smiling, and the reverend men
CHINESE ARTILLERYMEN. A good story comes from the north which, if true, forcibly illustrates the rottenness of the official system which in China plays into the hands of Russia, or any other power that meditates hostilities with the Middle Kingdom. The expensive guns which were procured from Europe (Krupp and others) were very soon robbed of their brass sights by certain peculating petty mandarins, and the weapons were of course of no use whatever for actual service. Great was the consternation, therefore, when the 'cute viceroy, Li Hung Chang, gave orders that a review should be held, and that these deadly pieces of artillery should be fired off in his presence. The astute official thieves, however, were equal to the occasion; they speedily improvised pieces of bamboo in shape very nearly resembling the real sights, and gilded
over the more thoroughly to hide the deception, placing them in position and firing by rule of thumb as if the finest calculations and sighting had been elaborated. One of the precious guns burst, it may be remembered at this same review, by overcharging or doubleshotting; but the greatest triumph of the military rogues on that day was the sighting of Krupp's guns with pieces of gilt bamboo. Such are the men who would lead the Chinese braves to victory against disciplined Western troops. We fancy that Tso Tung-tung keeps a better run of his artillery than was done on this memorable occasion. It is not, we believe, an uncommon thing to find the most vital part of a machine stolen (if loose) after having been passed into the hands of the Chinese.
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