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the most constrained and irksome posi- ground with his foot during all that petions. For weeks, and even months, riod, and, on account of his infirmity, was men have sat and walked with their exempted from the usual kinds of convict bodies bent double. A man feigning labour, and employed at work which he palsy of the lower limbs was placed by could do in a sitting posture. When behimself in a room with food which he ing discharged at the expiry of his period could reach only by walking to the place of involuntary service, he coolly observed where it was laid, and at the end of two to an official: “I will try to put down my days he had not tasted it. Another, sim- leg: it may be of use to me now." He ulating paralysis of the arm, allowed the was as good as his word, threw away amputating knife to be placed beneath it, his crutch, and walked off with a firm step! and would have submitted to the opera- With some, the temptation to give an airtion for its removal. A soldier counter- ing to the little secret which they have feiting blindness was placed on the steep been obliged to keep so long, and which bank of a river, and ordered to march for- has stood them in such good part, is ward, which he unhesitatingly did, and wholly irresistible. Without this flaunting fell into the stream. The medical writer of their imposture in the face of their who relates this case queries whether the victims, some rascals would deem their cheat would have gone forward had a triumph only half achieved. A trooper precipice instead of a river been before who pretended he had lost the use of his him. No doubt these may be called ex- right arm, after resisting for a length of ceptional instances of fortitude, as the time the most testing hospital discipline, great majority of malingerers are made of at last succeeded in procuring his dismore commonplace stuff. A mere hint charge. When he was leaving the regifrom a navy surgeon that an equivocal ment, and fairly seated on the top of the complaint would be benefited by transfer-coach, he waved the paralytic arm in trience to an African climate, or the appli- umph, and cheered at the success of his cation of the actual cautery, has been the stratagem. An Irish soldier, reported means of effecting a miraculously rapid unfit for service from loss of power of the cure. A French physician, after watch-lower limbs, arranged for a more dramatic ing a spurious epileptic fit for some time, avowal of his deceit. Having obtained put his hand on the heart of the cheat, his discharge, he caused himself to be and turning to the attendants, said: “It taken on a field-day in a cart to the is all over with him ; carry him to the Phenix Park, Dublin, in front of his regdead-house.” Immediate resuscitation iment, which was drawn up in line. He was the result, and the man never had had the cart driven under a tree, on which another attack. A Shetland clergyman he hung his crutches, jumped suddenly was greatly annoyed at the weekly occur- with agility out of the cart, sprung three rence of a kind of contagious convulsions times from the ground before the faces which attacked many of his congregation of his astonished comrades, then turned in church. At length the good man hit his back to the regiment, and after a on a plan which put a speedy termination series of expressive gestures, which we to the infliction. He announced from cannot particularly describe, scampered the pulpit that he had learned that no off at full speed ! In a case of deception treatment was so efficacious as an imme-once practised in a New York court of diate ducking in cold water ; and as his sessions, there seems to have been no kirk was fortunately contiguous to a pre-arrangement of the dénouement which fresh-water lake, the proper hydropathic occurred. A man who had been for some treatment could always be secured. It time in prison awaiting his trial for peris a most unfortunate coincidence for the jury, had a paralytic seizure a few days malingerer that the means which would before the period fixed for the trial, and be the most beneficial in the treatment of one of his sides was thus rendered comthe real disease are often the most dis-pletely powerless. In this helpless contasteful to him.
| dition he was carried on a bed from The difficulties and discomforts to be prison into court. During the trial he endured in this department of art in at became so faint that a recess was granted taining the desired object, no doubt en- to enable him to recover, the prosecuting hance the enjoyment of it in those few attorney kindly lending his assistance in cases in which success at last crowns conveying him out of court. The sight their labours. A convict sentenced to of an intirm fellow-being trembling on seven years' penal servitude kept his the brink of the grave had a visible inright knee bent so as not to touch the fluence on the court and the jury. The evidence, however, was conclusive, and a real disease, from which he died in a the jury convicted him. The court, in few days. view of his speedily being called to a higher tribunal, instead of sentencing him to the state prison, simply imposed a small fine, which his brother, who manifested the utmost fraternal solicitude,
From The Spectator. promptly paid. The next day the prose
THE LITERARY SIN OF SINGULARITY. cuting attorney met the fellow apparently! Why is it that most people are affected in good health on the street. The latter in a curiously unpleasant way, – unpleaslaughingly told him that he had recovered, ant and irritating, but without either the and dropping his arm, and contracting anguish or the solacement of great and his leg, hopped off, leaving the learned dignified pain, by what is new-fangled? counsel to his own reflections.
| This adjective we take to indicate innovaIt is, however, a rare thing nowadays tion which is unnecessary, capricious, and for a clinical artist to attain his end and accompanied by no demonstrable imenjoy the full fruition of his labours. In provement upon what went before. Is most cases he has no other reward than the unpleasantness of arbitrary innovation the pleasure received from the exercise due to a lurking conservatism in every of his art. This æsthetic satisfaction breast, which instinctively throws the would need to be great to enable him to onus probandi upon him who substitutes bear even the prosaic hardships and dis- the new for the old ? Or is it that mera comforts of his lot. But in addition to habit, and the profound, though unrea. these, he is sometimes overtaken by a soned wisdom of keeping the inevitable species of poetical justice in the shape of friction of life at a minimum, lend a a penalty paid in kind. The feigned dis- charm to the old as compared with the ease, in fact, occasionally becomes a real new ? Even if it were allowed that habone. Montaigne mentions some curious it makes fools of us, yet habit's fools are instances of this occurring within his too numerous to be despised; and the own experience. It is chiefly in simulat- fools of habit have as much right to their ing the class of nervous diseases that the prejudices as the coxcombs of the schools danger lies of this avenging Nemesis. to their affectations. What is quite cerThe continued repetition of the manifestain is, that sudden change from what we tations of the affection seems eventually are accustomed to, unless pointedly for to make an ineradicable impression on the better, is fidgetting; and no man can the nervous centres. Two French sailors be pronounced without qualification a taken prisoners by the English in the public benefactor, who adds to the fidgets wars of the First Napoleon, successfully of existence. An amount of deference to feigned insanity for six months, and at the feelings of the majority, rigorously the end of that period got the reward of limited, no doubt, by the requirements of their clever deception by recovering their duty and self-respect, but still consideraliberty; but it was at the expense of their ble, falls within the claims of social reason, which was really gone. The courtesy. A lawyer's wig may be an exmeans adopted to simulate one disease tremely foolish thing, and anyone setting have sometimes produced another of a forth that it has neither utility nor beauty more serious kind. Soldiers have so would, if he spoke well, deserve a bearpersistently kept up a state of irritation ing ; but were a sucking barrister to start in a factitious sore as to bring on a dis- up suddenly in court and commence ease which required amputation of the pleading a case without a wig, no degree limb. Others have lost their sight by of rationality in the proceeding itself, no the methods taken to induce a temporary engaging audacity of countenance or inflammation in the eye. The historian splendour of hair, would preclude his beRobertson mentions a case which, ing voted a prig. whether true or not, is, at all events, It must be admitted that authors of physiologically possible. He says that great genius have not always been suffiPope Julius II. feigned sickness to ciently regardful of what we stoutly mainavoid holding a consistory, and in order tain to be one of the rights of man, the to give the greater colour of probability right not to be fidgetted. Mr. Carlyle, for to his illness, he not only confined him- example, has in all his books paraded cerself to his apartment, but changed his tain German mannerisms, with merciless diet and usual mode of life. By persist-unconcern for the habitudes of common ing in this plan, however, he contracted English readers. All substantives, for one thing, or almost all, were initialed ble volumes on Rousseau, we have been with capital letters, a usage peculiarly un-conscious of a perpetual small irritation fortunate for Mr. Carlyle, whose meta- from his elaborate scorn for some of those phors are those of a poet, and who was modes or usages which, to the best of our under no temptation to personify the knowledge, have been uniformly observed beautiful with the assistance of a big B. by English authors. Mr. Morley denies Mr. Carlyle, however is not only a man of the capital letter to a number of words genius, but a man whose genius is recog- which have always been so honoured. nized as a special, personal quality, and Not only does he write “trinity" and there is some fairness therefore in look-“christian,” but “ god.” We have “being upon him as a privileged person. lief in god,” “love of god,” “the idea of Younger men who have not proved them-god," "the word of god," the "supreme selves to possess transcendent genius, being.” The word “god” is thus printed have no right to give themselves airs. It in phrases taken from the Bible. Mr. may in all candour be doubted whether Morley remarks, for example, that "in the the meaning of some of these would not old ages of holy men there were not a generally be clear enough, without our few whom love for the god whom they had being informed that the realities of which not seen, constrained to active love of they treat are “ objective," or the ideas their brethren whom they had seen," an they define “subjective." Philosophical antithesis borrowed from the New Testaprecision may be promoted by the use of ment. The term is constantly occurring the terms "egoistic” and “ altruistic," but in Mr. Morley's pages, and whenever it a good many of the budding sages who per- occurs, a minute prick of surprise and petually introduce them might make shift irritation will certainly be experienced by with our old-fashioned friends, “selfish" a large proportion of English readers. and “unselfish.” Occasionally the ped- On the mere ground that it is new-fanantry takes the form of fastidious ex- gled, this innovation is objectionable, but clusiveness put in force against a particu- we venture to affirm that it lies open to lar word. The adjective “reliable,” for graver exceptions than can be based on instance, has of late been fiercely ostra-l its uncalled-for newness. Is Mr. Morley cised by our literary coxcombs, and it re-sure that the usage he adopts is in a quires some boldness in a writer to de- grammatical sense correct ? Does the cline to substitute for it in every connec- word “god ” convey the meaning which, tion the word “trustworthy.” Both are in some cases at least, he must intend it excellent words, but in meaning they are to bear? He is doubtless of opinion that not absolutely identical. There is a faint belief in a living God is so completely shade of difference between the signifi- obliterated from the minds of men that cance of the one and the significance of the word is a mere cipher for certain abthe other. You speak of an official trust- stract notions, as the word “freedom" or worthy in all situations, and of a soldier the word “patience” is a cipher for cerreliable in every emergency. The one tain abstract notions. He infers, thereword leans on permanence and the quali- fore, that the word “God” is not a propties which create deliberate confidence, er name. His premiss we need hardly the other is suggestive of qualities re- say, appears to us a wild as well as false quired in startling difficulty and sudden assumption ; but even if it were correct, danger. Of the two, however, “reliable” there remains a sense in which the word strikes us as the more comprehensive. is a proper name. There is none other You speak of a trustworthy merchant, but by which to designate the object of worof a reliable man. Even if it is insisted ship reverenced by Christians, as disthat the two words mean the same thing, tinguished from Mahometans, Jews, or we refuse to admit that one of them ought Chinese. Mr. Morley may say that there to be on that account drummed out of the are no Christians ; but even he will adlanguage. English, as compared, for ex- mit that there once were ; and he has left ample, with German, is not particularly himself no term by which to specify the rich in terms, and a variation of sound is | Divinity worshipped by St. Paul and St. sometimes only a less advantage than an Bernard. He must have recourse to some additional touch of meaning.
such ugly circumlocution as “the chrisMr. John Morley is no literary coxcomb tian god." The Being referred to in the For dainty academical pedant, and has | Biblical phrases which Mr. Morley quotes something much better than crotchetty - the Being worshipped in Europe in the egotism by which to command the atten- mediæval time — is, on any showing, as tion of readers ; but in perusing his forci-I real as the mythological personages of the
Iliad; and Mr. Morley recognizes their
From The Pall Mall Gazette. designations as proper names. He does
GODCHILDREN. not degrade his Aphrodite into aphrodite. To renounce the devil and all his works In like manner, he speaks not of mars, on behalf of a full-grown and pious indibut of Mars. The only ground on which vidual would be an enterprise sufficiently Mr. Morley's usage can be grammatically hazardous; but to do so in the name of defended is that the Christian God is a an infant, over whose destinies one is more purely imaginary entity than any of likely to have not the slightest control, those which Homer or Virgil celebrated. is one of those things that merit considThe only name by which the former has eration, and which, generally speaking, ever been designated in literature is de-obtain none. You become godfather as rived from the appropriation, in a specific you become juryman or sherift, with a sense, of the generic term "god"; and thought only to the present discomfort of in its specific application it becomes a the thing and not recking the responsiproper name.
bilities that will surely dog you from the It can hardly be a matter of conscience moment you have stammered, " I renounce with Mr. Morley to refuse to print the them all.” And here, be it noticed, we word “God.” The mind cannot grasp allude only to the Nemesis which will the idea of duty as absolutely enjoining a keep its attentive eye on you in this world, man to exhibit disrespect of what, to him, having nothing to say as to what may await are vanishing or vanished illusions. If you under other conditions of being. To he was free to adopt a different course | begin with, then, it may be observed that from that which he has chosen, civility there are certain men especially marked and a reasonable consideration for his out for the visitation of sponsorship. Be readers might have pleaded persuasively sure that so soon as you have settled down in favour of the common usage. It is one into a snug form of existence - bachelor which is endeared to the English public quarters, a teapot of your own, and ocby associations which it is not, we trust, casional returns on dividend day -- an cant to call sacred. It is the usage of the appeal will be made to you to confer your Bible, of the Prayer-Book, of every-day name on a lusty little object bawling itself correspondence, of the newspaper press, hoarse in swaddling clothes. You must of universal English literature. To dis- certainly at some time or other have a miss the word “God” from literature cousin or a friend with a baby, and to diswould be to initiate a great change. Not regard his invitation would argue a only is it the sole designation of the God strength of mind and hardness of heart of the New Testament; it has the largest of which few men are capable. The generic application, as well as this specific French, who are a great people for forms, appropriation, for it indicates more com- used to surround the functions of godprehensively than any other term the father with peculiar and costly terrors. monotheistic element in all religions. It | The ceremonial cost a mint of money, is on the strength of a common use of this and was attended with an amount of racword that Her Majesty's Indian subjects ing about among vestries and bon-bon can remonstrate with the Archbishop of shops which inspired harrowing reflecCanterbury when he calls them heathens. tions during many a month afterwards. Every one acquainted with Greek and in England, you could formerly get clear Latin authors must have remarked that, of your scrape with the gift of a caudlethough they ordinarily speak of a crowd cup to the mother; of a silver knife, fork, of gods, they have a way also of speaking and spoon to the baby ; but civilization, of God, when they refer to no one god in which does so much towards improving particular. A spontaneous belief in one everything, has suppressed the caudle-cup God seems to have constituted the nat- and inaugurated claret-jugs, tea-urns, or ural and universal religion of mankind. coffee services; while it is a pleasure to The All-Father whom the old Germans remark that the knives, forks, and spoons, worshipped in their woods was in like which used to be trifling objects of insig. manner a monotheistic conception. A nificant value, have been growing more usage which appeals to the faith and the artistic and presentable and dearer every sympathy of the whole human race in the year. If your godchild be a boy, you may present and in the past ought not to be occasionally rely upon a partner in your flippantly cast aside.
misery ; but not always, for certain fathers have contracted the habit of themselves acting as second sponsors, which | leaves you the undivided honour of feeing the parson, beadle and clerk; of be- 1 behaved to dear Harry (dear Harry is stowing a gratuity on the wet-nurse, and your godson's brother), for whom a nom. of paying for all the vehicles which have ination has been obtained at the Bluetransported an enthusiastic tribe of female friars' school regardless of expense. At relatives to the church. However, every! this don't frown, or wish anybody off to year has its wet days, and if you have been Beersheba ; for, after all, why should your admired for your generosity, praised for poor little wretch of a godchild be comyour good-nature, and have surmounted pelled to hang his head among his breththe kissing of the baby, you may go to ren at possessing a curmudgeon godbed with the idea that this sort of thing father? Set off at once for Redfriars does not occur every day. No; but eleven School, which is a more luxurious place months after, or near abouts, it cannot than Bluefriars ; pay up the entrance fees but gratify you to be invited to the cele- as though you liked it, and if the grateful bration of your godson's birthday, and to father, whilst thanking you for your kindbe assured that the dear child is growingness, express a doubt as to whether he so lovable and intelligent in every way. can afford to keep dear Tommy at so This suggests a second present, and what crack an academy as this, assure him can you give ? The dilemma begins to loom without pulling a face that you had all ahead clear and unavoidable. If you offer along contemplated taking the expenses something valuable this year you must of dear Tommy's education on your own continue to do so every year under pain shoulders. That is the way to do busiof being thought to evince a diminishing ness; and depend upon it your godson interest in an innocent child who has will show his gratitude. He will never done nothing to deserve neglect; if, on omit to call upon you for a tip before gothe other hand, you pay your respects with ing back to school; he will let you know a fluff ball or a few sticks of barley sugar, when he thinks the time come for buying how escape the humiliating conviction him a watch ; and if you visit him during that your best friend will regret not hav- his school half, regale him with a dinner, ing confided the office of godfather to a and offer him a couple of sovereigns; you person more regardful of the decencies of may be persuaded he will welcome you life and of the obligations incurred at the with affability and describe you to his font? Be a man under such circum- comrades as a brick -- which, as things stances; remember that you can do very go, is a fair return for the money. Possiwell without that new double-barrelled bly, however, when later you are dragged breech-loader you had set your heart on ; into a disbursement of capital to afford and go to the jeweller, who will help you Tommy a fair start in life, it may occur to select something chaste and appropri- to you that, at this price, you might just ate, highly suitable for a wedding or birth- as well have married and begotten a son day present. Of course, if you are sus- of your own. But pray dismiss this notion. pected to be very well off, this will not In the first place, it is too late to recall always be deemed enough. Certain spon- what is past; and in the next place, think sors, imbued with the responsibilities of how delighted you would have been to their mission, invest a fixed sum in the have a godfather do for you what you are funds every year in their godchildren's doing for Tommy. names; and you may generally venture It is well to remark here that the man upon a similar course without any fear who discharges his first duties as a godthat cold water will be thrown on so happy father with spirit and liberality will proban idea. At this time, though, you may countably find himself obliged to stand sponupon a period of comparative immunity. sor on many subsequent occasions. Good You pay your yearly tribute, send a gift of godfathers are, indeed, quoted in the sograpes and a note of congratulation when cial share list quite as highly as good your little protégé recovers from the mea- dinner givers and smart croquet-players. sles; but no extra taxation will be laid Well-stuffed seats are provided for them upon you till towards the tenth birthday. in places of festive resort, mothers of The godson is then growing apace; he is families are pleased to see them looking blessed with an appetite which may cause so healthy, great care is taken to enuyou to meditate upon those sinful lusts of merate to them all the moral imperfections the flesh which he was to be free from ; of any lady they may have thought of and his parents display an affectionate marrying, and they are generally saddled anxiety for consigning him to a school- with a pretty goddaughter or two in admaster, hintirg, as they announce this, dition to their godsons. Now, goddaughhow generously another godfather has'ters open to spheres of activity and dis.