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in the episodes in “ Tom Jones,” and also of hostility, which is exhibited in the rough form of pugilistic encounters, so as almost to remind us of the old comic stage. He seems especially fond of settling quarrels in this way, and wishes that no other was ever used, and that “iron should dig no bowels but those of the earth.” The character of Deborah Wilkins, the old maid who is shocked at the frivolity of Jenny Jones ; of Thwackum, the schoolmaster, whose “ meditations were full of birch ;” and of the barber, whose jests, although they brought him so many slaps and kicks “would come,” are excellent. There is a vast fertility of humour in his pages, which depending upon the general circumstances and peculiar characters of the persons introduced, cannot be easily appreciated in extracts. The following, however, can be understood easily :
"I thought there must be a devil,' the sergeant says to the innkeeper, notwithstanding what the officers said, though one of them was a captain, for methought, thinks I to myself, if there be no devil how can wicked people be sent to him ? and I have read all that upon a book.' . Some of your officers,' quoth the landlord, will find there is a devil to their shame, I believe. I don't question but he'll pay off someold scores upon my account. Here was one quartered upon me half-a-year, who had the conscience to take up one of my best beds, though he bardly spent a shilling a day in the house, and his man went to roast cabbages at the kitchen fire, because I would not give them a dinner on Sunday. Every good Christian must desire that there should be a devil for the punishment of such wretches. ...'"
The Man of the Hill gives his travelling experiences :
“In Italy the landlords are very silent. In France they are more talkative, but vet civil. In Germany and Holland they are generally very impertinent. And as for their honesty I believe it is pretty equal in all those countries. .... As for my own part, I past through all these nations, as you perhaps may bave through a crowd at a show, jostling to get by them, holding my nose with one hand, and defending my pockets with the other, without speaking a word to any of them while I was pressing on to see what I wanted to see.'
166. Did you not find some of the nations less troublesome to you than the others ?' said Jones.
"Oh, yes,' replied the old man, 'the Turks were much more tolerable to me than the Christians, for they are men of profound taciturnity, and never disturb a stranger with questions. Now and then, indeed, they bestow a short curse upon him, or spit in his face as he walks in the streets, but then they have done with him.""
From another passage, we find that ladies are armed with very deadly weapons. He had said that Love was no more capable of allaying hunger than a rose is capable of delighting the ear, or a violin of gratifying the smell, and he gives an instance:
“Say then, ye graces, you that inhabit the heavenly mansions of Seraphina's countenance, what were the weapons used to captivate the heart of Mr. Jones, First, from two lovely blue eyes, whose bright orbs flashed lightning at their discharge, flew off two pointed ogles; but, happily for our hero, bit only a vast piece of beef, which he was then conveying into his plate. The fair warrior per. ceived their miscarriage, and immediately from her fair bosom drew forth a deadly sigb; a sigh, which none could have heard unmoved, and which was sufficient at once to have swept off a dozen beaux-so soft, so sweet, so tender, that the insinuating air must have found its subtle way to tbe heart of our hero, had it not luckily been driven from his ears by the coarse bubbling of some bottled ale which at that time he was pouring forth. Many other weapons
did she essay; but the god of eating (if there be any such deity) preserved his votary; or, perhaps, the security of Jones may be accounted for by natural means, for, as love frequently preserves from the attacks of hunger, so may hunger possibly, in some cases, defend us against love. No sooner was the cloth removed, than she again began her operations. First, having planted her right eye sideways against Mr. Jones, she shot from its corner a most penetrating glance, wbicb, though great part of its force was spent before it reached our hero, did not vent itself without effect. This, the fair one perceiving, hastily withdrew her eyes, and levelled them downwards as if she was concerned only for what she had done, though by this means she designed only to draw him from his guard, and indeed to open bis eyes, through which she intended to surprise his heart. And now gently lifting those two bright orbs, which bad already begun to make an impression on poor Jones, she discharged a volley of small charms from her wbole countenance in a smile. Not a smile of mirth or of joy, but a smile of affection, which most ladies have always ready at their command, and which serves them to show at once their good-humour, their pretty dimples, and their white teeth.
This smile our hero received full in his eyes, and was immediately staggered with its force. He then began to see the designs of the enemy, and indeed to feel their success. A parley now was set on foot between the parties, during which the artful fair so slily and imperceptibly carried on ber attack, that she had almost subdued the heart of our hero before she again repaired to acts of hostility. To confess the truth, I am afraid Mr. Jones maintained a kind of Dutch defence, and treacherously delivered up the garrison without duly weighing his allegiance to the fair Sophia.”
It has generally been the custom to couple the name of Smollett with that of Fielding, but the former has scarcely any claim to be regarded as a humorist, except such as is largely due to the use of gross indelicacy and coarse caricature. He first attempted poetry, and wrote two dull satires "Advice” and “Reproof.” His “Ode to Mirth,” is somewhat sprightly, but of his
songs the following is a favourable specimen :-
I will freely describe the wretch I despise,
He will sure take the hint from the picture I draw.
In courage a hind, in conceit a gascon.
Inconstant as waves, and unfeeling as rocks,
In mischief an ape, and in fawning a dog.
His heart is of lead, and his brain is of feather,
Although Smollett indulged in great coarseness, I doubt whether he has anything more humorous in his writings than the above lines. Sir Walter Scott formed a more just opinion of him than some later critics. He says:
“Smollett's humour arises from the situation of the persons, or the peculiarity of their external appearance, as Roderick Random's carroty locks, which hung down over his shoulders like a pound of candles; or Strap's ignorance of London, and the blunders that follow it. There is a tone of vulgarity about all his productions.”
Smollett was born in Dumbartonshire in 1721. He became a surgeon, and for six or seven years was employed in the Navy in that capacity.
This may account for the strong flavour of brine and tar in the best of his works-his sea sketches have a considerable amount of
character in them—sometimes rather too much. His liberal use of nautical language is exhibited when Lieutenant Hatchway is going away,
“Trunnion, not a little affected, turned his eye ruefully upon the lieutenant saying in piteous tone, “What! leave me at last, Jack, after we have weathered so many hard gales together? Damn my limbs! I thought you had been more of an honest heart: I looked upon you as my fore. mast and Tom Pipes as my mizen ; now he is carried away; if so be as you go too, my standing rigging being decayed d'ye see, the first squall will bring me by the board. Damn ye, if in case I have given offence, can't you speak above board, and I shall make you amends."
Some idea of his best comic scenes, which have a certain kind of humorous merit, may be obtained from the following description of the progress of Commodore Trunnion and his party to the Wedding. Wishing to go in state, they advance on horseback, and are seen crossing the road obliquely so as to avoid the eye of the wind. The cries of a pack of hounds unfortunately reach the horses' ears, who being hunters, immediately start off after them in full gallop.
“The Lieutenant, whose steed had got the heels of the others, finding it would be great folly and presumption in him to pretend to keep the saddle with his wooden leg, very wisely took the opportunity of throwing himself off in his passage througb a field of rich clover, among which he lay at his ease; and seeing his captain advancing at full gallop, hailed him with the salutation of. What cheer ? ho!' The Commodore, who was in infinite distress, eyeing him askance, as he passed replied with a faltering voice, . O damn ye! you are safe at an anchor, I wish to God I were as fast moored. Nevertheless, conscious of his disabled heel, he would not venture to try the experiment that had succeeded so well with Hatchway, but resolved to stick as