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falls; the rising or setting sun; the soft and soothing twilight;—all these enter his soul, fill him with rapture almost unaccountable to himself, till he raises his thoughts to Him who created all-diffuses all—and gives us power to value all, as a far more real source of happiness than what the children of the world toil after in vain. For is it not in vain, when, even if obtained, the things sought are, in many instances, nothing but gewgaws, often deemed worthless by those who have pursued them, and thrown away, as gewgaws of spoilt children generally are ? Depend upon it, whatever the pursuit or occupation, however gorgeous the object, or flattering the ambition, nothing is really valuable where the mind enters not.”
“ But if I merely walk the streets ? ” said I.
“ There is more mind there," answered he, “than anywhere else. They are full of intellectual food. You see there all the varieties of life, in all their characters, their good or bad fortune-business, amusements, actions ; the noble, the generous, the selfish, the trifling, the vicious—all are here depicted, in interesting and sparkling colours, in the countenance, gait, and movement of every man you meet. The ardour of ambition about to be crowned ; the gloom and mortification of ambition disappointed ; the speculations of avarice; the torture of suspicion ; the stratagems of hypocrisy ; the excitement of hope; the uncertainties, the pleasures, the miseries of lov These, and all the other ten thousand diversities of our wayward nature, are presented, as in a glass, to
him who knows how to take a walk.
Was not my author right, then, in saying that few had that knowledge ?"
I willingly deferred to all this, which only excited me more and more to put in execution the plan for the pedestrian expedition he had proposed, on which I was now impatient to set out, and named the day when I would first go home to communicate with my family.
“A parting observation," said he, “before you go. Recollect you will, according to this scheme, have little to do with the upper ranks; and in what you may call this abasement, you must count upon some mortifications. These you must laugh at, or give up the undertaking. At any rate, you have only to imagine yourself (indeed it will be only true, and a great deal more romantic, and therefore more to your taste) a gentleman in disguise. Only recollect that, however you travel, every little incident that occurs may, with proper powers of mind, be turned to account.”
I quite fell in with these suggestions, and was almost as eager for my first sally as Don Quixote. .
I went home to Bardolfe to announce my intention, and my father did not oppose it, especially when he heard it was by Fothergill's recommendation. My brothers, indeed, thought it a queer thing for “t' young doctor to set off after a Willy-with-a-wisp,” as they called it, with no object of business, and nothing to see but the same creatures as our own market town supplied nearer home. But as I could afford to
pay my way, they agreed I had a right to please myself.
So, after a few days' visit to my family at the commencement of the long vacation, I returned to Oxford to equip myself for my expedition, which I meant to direct southward through the neighbouring counties. Here my adventures furnish very different scenes from those I have reported, and some of them, as will be seen, led to most important changes in my prospects, as well as my ultimate fate.
I START ON A TOUR OF OBSERVATION.—THE FEEL
INGS OF A YOUTH ABOUT TO VIEW THE WORLD.
This morning, like the spirit of a youth
SHAKSPEARE.-Antony & Cleopatra.
It was not five o'clock in the morning, in the first week in August, when I started from my cell in the old quadrangle of the venerable Maudlin, to commence my
novel excursion. In my way, passing Queen's, I beheld my old friend the porter already opening his gates, and preparing to wash them, for he was proud of, and loved them seemingly with a lover's fondness. Hence let none of us suppose that there are no interests (and exciting ones too except among great ones. The porter of Queen's was as eagerly occupied in furbishing up his gates, as the duchess of Q. in cleaning her diamonds. Perhaps his pride in them was the least selfish, and therefore the more respectable of the two.
This earliest of my academical friends had always treated me with great respect, which was not a little increased by my election to Maudlin, a demy of which he considered as the high road to a fellowship, the
What was my
acmé, in his eyes (with the sole exception of the head of a house), of all earthly dignity.
old friend's wonder, when he saw the equipments for my pedestrian journey—a small knapsack strapt to my shoulders, a short coat with many pockets, and, for convenience in walking, denuded of skirts. Trowsers, half-gaiters, and thick shoes (which, in those days of buckskin breeches, cordovan boots and pumps, were by no means condescended to by the Oxford dandies, among whom, by the porter at least, I had been reckoned), completed my appearance. Thus equipped, with about thirty guineas in my pocket, and staff in hand, like an old patriarch (I mean in regard to the staff, not the guineas), I was proceeding on my way.
The janitor, who knew nothing of romance, or that I was so well furnished, beheld me with consternation; and when he learned that I was quitting Oxford for the vacation, I saw he suspected me of poverty, nor could my assurances that I walked for pleasure undeceive him. I am afraid, not withstanding my own romance, I was fool enough to be annoyed at this, and glad not only that the various colleges had been emptied of their inhabitants by the vacation, but that the few who remained were wrapt in sleep. I had, in fact, at first thought of going in a gig, in order not to disparage the demy of Maudlin by the appearance of a tramper. But I grew ashamed of the feeling, and rallied like a brave fellow, resolved to defy prejudice ; though even the honest porter, I thought, touched his hat less reverently than usual; but such is the world!