Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

course.

2

to take his counsel or no; and thus they began to dis- didst hear, or see, or feel, in the Valley of the Shadow

of Death. What hardship, terror, and amazement, Christian.-Brother, said Christian, what shall we hast thou already gone through; and art thou now do? The life that we now live is miserable. For nothing but fears? Thou seest that I am in the dunray part, I know not whether it is best to live thus, geon with thee, a far weaker man by nature than thou or to die out of hand. My soul chooseth strangling art. Also, this giant hath wounded me as well as rather than life, and the grave is more easy for me thee, and hath also cut off the bread and water from than this dungeon. Shall we be ruled by the giant? my mouth, and with thee I mourn without the light.

Hopeful.—Indeed our present condition is dreadful, But, let us exercise a little more patience. Remem. and death would be far more welcome to me than ber how thou playedst the man at Vanity Fair, and thus forever to abide; but yet, let us consider, the wast neither afraid of the chain nor cage, nor yet of Lord of the country to which we are going hath bloody death; wherefore, let us (at least to avoid the said, “ Thou shalt do no murder," no, not to another shame that it becomes not a Christian to be found in) man's person; much more, then, are we forbidden to bear up with patience as well as we can take his counsel to kill ourselves. Besides, he that Now, night being come again, and the giant and kills another, can but commit murder upon his body; his wife being in bed, she asked him concerning the but for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at prisoners, and if they had taken his counsel; to once. And, moreover, my brother, thou talkest of which he replied, They are sturdy rogues; they ease in the grave; but hast thou forgotten the hell choose rather to bear all hardships than to make whither for certain the murderers go? for “no mur- away with themselves. Then said she, take them derer hath eternal life," &c. And let us consider into the castle-yard to-morrow, and show them the again, that all the law is not in the hand of Giant bones and skulls of those that thou hast already desDespair; others, so far as I can understand, have patched, and make them believe, ere a week comes to been taken by him as well as we, and yet have es- an end, thou wilt tear them in pieces, as thou hast caped out of his hands. Who knows but that God, done their fellows before them. who made the world, may cause that Giant Despair So, when the morning was come, the giant goes may die; or that, at some time or other, he may for. to them again, and takes them into the castle-yard, get to lock us in; or that he may, in a short time, and shows them as his wife had bidden him. These, have another of his fits before us, and may lose the said he, were pilgrims, as you are, once, and they use of his limbs? And if ever that should come to trespassed on my grounds, as you have done; and, pass again, for my part, I am resolved to pluck up the when I thought fit, I tore them in pieces; and so heart of a man, and to try my utmost to get from within ten days I will do you. Go, get you down to under his hand. I was a fool that I did not try to do your den again. And with that he beat them all the it before. But, however, my brother, let us be pa- way thither. They lay, therefore, all day on Saturtient, and endure a while; the time may come that day in a lamentable case as before. Now, when may give us a happy release; but let us not be our night was come, and when Mrs. Diffidence, and her own murderers. With these words Hopeful at husband the giant was got to bed, they began to represent did moderate the mind of his brother; so new their discourse of their prisoners; and, withal, they continued together in the dark that day, in the old giant wondered that he could neither by his their sad and doleful condition.

blows nor counsel bring them to an end. And with Well, towards evening the giant goes down into that his wife replied, I fear, said she, that they live the dungeon again, to see if his prisoners had taken in hopes that some will come to relieve them; or his counsel. But, when he came there he found them that they have picklocks about them, by the means alive; and, truly, alive was all; for now, what for of which they hope to escape. And sayest thou so, want of bread and water, and by reason of the wounds my dear? said the giant. I will therefore search they received when he beat them, they could do them in the morning. little but breathe. But, I say, he found them alive; Ι

Well, on Saturday, about midnight, they began to at which he fell into a grievous rage, and told them, pray, and continued in prayer till almost break of that, seeing that they had disobeyed his counsel, it day. should be worse with them than if they had never Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as been born.

one half amazed, brake out into this passionate At this they trembled greatly, and I think that speech: What a fool, quoth he, am I, thus to lie in Christian fell into a swoon; but, coming a little to a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at himself again, they renewed their discourse about liberty! I hav, a key in my bosom, callod Promise, the giant's counsel, and whether yet they had best that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting take it or no. Now Christian again seemed for doing Castle. Then said Hopeful, That is good news: it; but Hopeful made his second reply, as followeth:- good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.

Hopeful.—My brother, said he, rememberest thou Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and be. not how valiant thou hast been heretofore? Apoll. gan to try at the dungeon-door, whose bolt, as he yon could not crush thee, nor could all that thou turned the key, gave back, and the door flew open

with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out. Then he went to the outward door that leads into the castle-yard, and with his key opened that door also. After that he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too; but that lock went desperately hard, yet the key did open it. They then thrust open the gate to make their escape with speed; but that gate, as it opened, made such a creaking that it waked Giant Despair, who hastily rising to pursue his prisoners, felt his limbs to fail; for his fits took him again, so that he could by no means go after them. Then they went on, and came to the King's highway, and so were safe, because they were out of his jurisdic. tion.

Now, when they were gone over the stile, they began to contrive with themselves what they should do at that stile to prevent those that should come after from falling into the hands of Giant Despair. So they consented to erect there a pillar, and to en. grave upon the side thereof this sentence: “Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims.” Many therefore, that followed after, read what was written, and escaped the danger.

a

THE PASSING CROWD.

ROBERT CHAMBERS.

“The passing crowd” is a phrase coined in the spirit of indifference. Yet, to a man of what Plato calls “ universal sympathies,” and even to the plain ordinary denizens of this world, what can be more interesting than “the passing crowd?"

Does not this tide of human beings, which we daily see pass. ing along the ways of this world, consist of persons animated by the same spark of the divine essence, and partaking of the same high destinies with ourselves? Let us stand still but for a moment in the midst of this busy, and seemingly careless scene, and consider what they are or may be whom we see around us. In the hurry of the passing show, and of our own sensations, we see but a series of unknown faces; but this is no reason why we should regard them with indifference. Many of these persons, if we knew their histories, would rivet our admiration, by the ability, worth, benevolence, or piety, which they have displayed in their various paths through life. Many would excite our warmest interest by their sufferings-sufferings, perhaps, borne meekly and well, and more for the sake of others than them. selves. How many tales of human weal and woe, of glory and of humiliation, could be told by those beings, whom, in passing, we regard not! Unvalued as they are by us, how many as good as ourselves repose upon them the affections of bounteous hearts, and would not want them for any earthly compensation. Every one of these persons, in all probability, retains in his bosom the cherished recollections of

early happy days, spent in some scene which “they ne'er forget, though there they are got," with friends and fellows who, though now far removed in distance and in fortune, are never to be given up by the heart. Every one of these individuals, in all probability, nurses still deeper, in the recesses of feeling, the remembrance of that chapter of romance in the life of every man, an early earnest attachment, conceived in the fervour of youth, unstained by the slightest thought of self, and for the time purifying and elevating the character far above its ordinary standard. Beneath all this gloss of the world--this cold conventional aspect, which all more or less present, and which the business of life renders neces. sary—there resides for certain a fountain of good. ness, pure in its inner depths as the lymph rock-dis. tilled, and ready on every proper occasion to well out in the exercise of the noblest duties. Though all may seem but a hunt after worldly objects, the great majority of these individuals can, at the proper time, cast aside all earthly thoughts, and communi. cate directly with the Being whom their fathers have taught them to worship, and whose will and attri. butes have been taught to man immediately by him. self. Perhaps many of these persons are loftier of aspect than ourselves, and belong to a sphere removed above our own. But, nevertheless, if the barrier of mere worldly form were taken out of the way, it is probable that we could interchange sympathies with these persons as freely and cordially as with any of our own class. Perhaps they are of an inferior order; but they are only inferior in certain circumstances, which should never interpose to prevent the flow of feeling for our kind. The great common features of human nature remain; and let us never forget how much respect is due to the very impress of humanity -the type of the divine nature itself! Even where our fellow-creatures are degraded by vice and pov. erty, let us still be gentle in our judging. The vari. ous fortunes which we every day see befalling the members of a simgle family, after they part off in their several paths through life, teach us, that it is not to every one that success in the career of exist. ence is destined. Besides, do not the arrangements of society at once necessitate the subjection of an immense multitude to humble toil, and give rise to temptations, before which the weak and uninstructed can scarcely escape falling? But even beneath the soiled face of the poor artisan there may be aspirations after some vague excellence, which hard fate has denied him the means of attaining, though the very wish to obtain it is itself ennobling. The very mendicant was not always so; he, to, has had his undegraded and happier days, upon the recollection of which, some remnant of better feeling may still repose.

These, I humbly think, are reasons why we should not look with coldness upon any masses of men with whom it may be our lot to mingle. It is the nature of a good man to conclude that others are like him.

WILLIAM M. THACKERAY.

a

are.

self; and if we take the crowd promiscuously, we and sermonizers, moralizers, satirizers, would have can never be far wrong in thinking that there are to hold their tongues, and go to some other trade to worthy and well-directed feelings in it as well as in get a living. our own bosoms.

But you know you will step over that boundary

line of virtue and modesty, into the district where SMALL-BEER CHRONICLE.

humbug and vanity begin, and there the moralizer catches you and makes an example of you. For in

stance, in a certain novel in another place my friend Not long since, at a certain banquet, I had the good Mr. Talbot Twysden is mentioned—a man whom you fortune to sit by Doctor Polymathesis, who knows and I know to be a wretched ordinaire, but who pereverything, and who, about the time when the claret sists in treating himself as if he was the finest '20 made its appearance, mentioned that old dictum of port. In our Britain there are hundreds of men like the grumbling Oxford Don, that “ALL CLARET him; forever striving to swell beyond their natural would be port if it could !Imbibing a bumper of size, to strain beyond their natural strength, to step one or the other not ungratefully, I thought to my- beyond their natural stride. Search, search within self, “Here surely, Mr. Roundabout, is a good text your own waistcoat, dear brethren—you know in your for one of your reverence's sermons.”

Let us apply

hearts, which of your ordinaire qualities you would to the human race, dear brethren, what is here said pass off, and fain consider as first-rate port. And of the vintages of Portugal and Gascony, and we why not you yourself, Mr. Preacher? says the conshall have no difficulty in perceiving how many gregation. Dearly beloved, neither in nor out of clarets aspire to be ports in their way; how most this pulpit do I profess to be bigger, or cleverer, or men and women of our acquaintance, how we our. wiser, or better than any of you. A short while selves, are Aquitanians giving ourselves Lusitanian since, a certain Reviewer announced that I gave myairs; how we wish to have credit for being stronger, self great pretensions as a philosopher. I a philosobraver, more beautiful, more worthy than we really pher! I advance pretensions! My dear Saturday

friend, And you? Don't you teach everything to Nay, the beginning of this hypocrisy-a desire to everybody! and punish the naughty boys if they excel, a desire to be hearty, fruity, generous, strength- don't learn as you bid them? You teach politics to imparting-is a virtuous and noble ambition; and it Lord John and Mr. Gladstone. You teach poets is most difficult for a man in his own case, or his how to write; painters, how to paint; gentlemen, neighbor's, to say at what point this ambition trans- manners; and opera-dancers, how to pirouette. I gresses the boundary of virtue, and becomes vanity, was not a little amused of late by an instance of the pretence, and self-seeking. You are a poor man, let modesty of our Saturday friend, who, more Athenian us say, showing a bold face to adverse fortune, and than the Athenians, and a propos of a Greek book by wearing a confident aspect. Your purse is

very nar.

a Greek author, sat down and gravely showed the row, but you owe no man a penny; your means are Greek gentleman how to write his own language. scanty, but your wife's gown is decent; your old coat No, I do not, as far as I know, try to be port at all; well brushed; your children at a good school; you but offer in these presents, a sound genuine ordinaire, grumble to no one; ask favors of no one; truckle to at 18s. per doz. let us say, grown on my own hill. no neighbors on account of their superior rank, or side, and offered de bon cæur to those who will sit (a worse, and a meaner, and a more common crime down under my tonnelle, and have a half-hour's drink still) envy none for their better fortune. To all out- and gossip. It is none of your hot porto, my friend. ward appearances you

are as well to do as your I know there is much better and stronger liquor neighbors, who have thrice your income. There may elsewhere. Some pronounce it sour: some say it is be in this case some little mixture of pretension in thin; some that it has wofully lost its flavor. This your life and behavior. You certainly do put on a may or may not be true. There are good and bad smiling face whilst fortune is pinching you. Your years; years that surprise everybody; years of which wife and girls, so smart and neat at evening-parties, the produce is small and bad, or rich and plentiful. are cutting, patching, and cobbling all day to make But if my tap is not genuine it is naught, and no both ends of life's haberdashery meet. You give a man should give himself the trouble to drink it. I friend a bottle of wine on occasion, but are content do not even say that I would be port if I could; yourself with a glass of whiskey-and-water. You knowing that port (by which I would imply much avoid a cab, saying that of all things you like to walk stronger, deeper, richer, and more durable liquor than home after dinner (which you know, my good friend, my vineyard can furnish) is not relished by all is a fib). I grant you that in this scheme of life palates, or suitable to all heads. We wiil assume there does enter ever so little hypocrisy; that this then, dear brother, that you and I are tolerably claret is loaded, as it were; but your desire to fortify modest people; and, ourselves being thus out of the yourself is amiable, is pardonable, is perhaps honor- question, proceed to show how pretentious our neighable; and were there no other hypocrisies than yours bors are, and how very many of them would be port in the world we should be a set of worthy fellows; if they coulon

a

Have you never seen a small man from college you think many of them-apart even from the ridi.. placed amongst great folk, and giving himself the culous execution-cut rather a ridiculous figure, and airs of man of fashion? He goes back to his com- that we are too eager to set up our ordinaire heroism mon room with fond reminiscences of Ermine Castle and talent for port? A Duke of Wellington or two or Strawberry Hall. He writes to the dear countess, I will grant, though even of these idols a moderate to say that dear Lord Lollypop is getting on very supply will be sufficient. Some years ago a famous well at St. Boniface, and that the accident which he and witty French critić was in London, with whom met with in a scuffle with an inebriated bargeman I walked the streets. I am ashamed to say that I only showed his spirit and honor, and will not per- informed him (being in hopes that he was about to manently disfigure his lordship's nose. He gets his write some papers regarding the manners and cusclothes from dear Lollypop's London tailor, and toms of this country) that all the statues he saw wears a mauve or magenta tie when he rides out to represented the Duke of Wellington. That on the see the hounds. A love of fashionable people is a arch opposite Apsley House? the Duke in a cloak, weakness, I do not say of all, but of some tutors. and cocked-hat, on horseback. That behind Apsley Witness that Etori tutor t'other day, who intimated House in an airy fig-leaf costume? the Duke again. that in Cornhill we could not understand the perfect That in Cockspur Street? the Duke with a pigtailpurity, delicacy, and refinement of those genteel and so on. I showed him an army of Dukes. There families who sent their sons to Eton. O usher, mon are many bronze heroes who after a few years look ami! Old Sam Johnson, who, too, had been an already as foolish, awkward, and out of place as a usher in his early life, kept a little of that weakness man, say at Shoolbred's or Swan and Edgar's. For always. Suppose Goldsmith had knocked him up at example, those three grenadiers in Pall Mall, who thret in the morning and proposed a boat to Green- have been up only a few months, don't you pity wich, as Topham Beauclerc a his friend did, would those unhappy household troops, who have to stand he have said, “What, my boy, are you for a frolic? frowning and looking fierce there; and think they I'm with you!” and gone and put on his clothes? would like to step down and go to barracks? That Rather he would have pitched poor Goldsmith down they fought very bravely there is no doubt; but so stairs. He would have liked to be port if he could. did the Russians fight very bravely; and the French Of course we wouldn't. Our opinion of the Portu- fight very bravely; and so did Colonel Jones and the gal grape is known. It grows very high, and is very 99th, and Colonel Brown and the rooth; and I say sour, and we don't go for that kind of grape at all. again that ordinaire should not give itself port airs,

“I was walking with Mr. Fox"--and sure this and that an honest ordinaire would blush to be found anecdote comes very pat after the grapes—“I was swaggering so. I am sure if you could consult the walking with Mr. Fox in the Louvre,” says Benja. Duke of York, who is impaled on his column be. min West (apud some paper I have just been read- tween the two clubs, and ask his late Royal Highing), “and I remarked how many people turned ness whether he thought he ought to remain there, round to look at me. This shows the respect of the he would say. no. A brave, worthy man, not a French for the fine arts.” This is a curious instance braggart or boaster, to be put upon that heroic perch of a very small claret indeed, which imagined itself must be painful to him. Lord George Bentinck, I to be port of the strongest body. There are not suppose, being in the midst of the family park in many instances of a faith so deep, so simple, so sat- Cavendish Square, may conceive that he has a right isfactory as this. I have met many who would like to remain in his place. But look at William of to be port; but with few of the Gascon sort, who Cumberland, with his hat cocked over his eye, absolutely believed they were port. George III. prancing behind Lord George on his Roman-nosed believed in West's port, and thought Reynolds' over- charger; he, depend on it, would be for getting off rated stuff. When I saw West's pictures at Phila- his horse if he had the permission. He did not hes. delphia, I looked at them with astonishment and itate about trifles, as we know; but he was a very awe. Hide, blushing glory, hide your head under truth-telling and honorable soldier: and as for heroic your old nightcap. O immortality! is this the end rank and statuesque dignity, I would wager a dozen of you? Did any of you, my dear brethren, ever of '20 port against a bottle of pure and sound Bor. try and read “Blackmore's Poems,” or the "Epics of deaux, at 18s. per dozen (bottles included), that he Baour-Lormian,” or the “Henriade," or—what shall never would think of claiming any such absurd diswe say?-_Pollok’s “Course of Time!” They were tinction. They have got a statue of Thomas Moore thought to be more lasting than brass by some peo- at Dublin, I hear. Is he on horseback? Some men ple, and where are they now? And our masterpieces should have, say, a fifty years' lease of glory. After of literature-our ports—that, if not immortal, at a while some gentlemen now in brass should go to any rate are to last their fifty, their hundred years- the melting furnace, and reappear in some other oh, sirs, don't you think a very small cellar will hold gentleman's shape. them?

Lately I saw that Melville column rising over Those poor people in brass, on pedestals, hectoring Edinburgh; come, good men and true, don't you feel about Trafalgar Square and that neighborhood, don't a little awkward and uneasy when you walk under

:

it? Who was this to stand in heroic places? and is yon the man whom Scotchmen most delight to hono:? I must own deferentially that there is a tendency in North Britain to over-esteem its heroes. Scotch ale is very good and strong, but it is not stronger than all the other beer in the world, as some Scottish patriots would insist. When there has been a war, and stout old Sandy Sansculotte returns home from India or Crimea, what a bagpiping, shouting, hurraying, and self-glorification takes place round about him! You would fancy, to hear McOrator after dinner, that the Scotch had fought all the battles, killed all the Russians, Indian rebels, or what not. In Cupar-Fife, there's a little inn called the “Battle of Waterloo,” and what do you think the cign is? (I sketch from memory, to be sure).

“ The Battle of Waterloo" is one broad Scotchman laying about him with a broadsword. Yes, yes, dear Mac, you are wise, you are good, you are clever, you are handsome, you are brave, you are rich, etc.; but so is Jones over the border. Scotch salmon is good, but there are other good fish in the sea. I once heard a Scotchman lecture on poetry in London. Of course the pieces he selected were chiefly by Scottish authors, and Walter Scott was his favorite poet. I whispered to my neighbor, who was a Scotchman (by the way, the audience were almost all Scotch, and the room was All-Mac's—I beg your pardon, but I couldn't help it, I really couldn't help it) “The professor has said the best poet was a Scotch1.an: I wager that he will say the worst poet was & Scotchman too." And sure enough that worst roct, when he made his appearance, was a Northern Lriton.

And as we are talking of bragging, and I am on my travels, can I forget one mighty republic, where pccple are notoriously fond of passing off their claret 1or port? I am very glad, for the sake of a kind fr.end, that there is a great and influential party in the United States, who believe that Catawba wine is better than the best Champagne. Opposite that faincus old White House at Washington, whereof I chall ever have a grateful memory, they have set up ai. equestrian statue of General Jackson, by a selftaught American artist of no inconsiderable genius and skill. At an evening-party a member of Congress seized me in a corner of the room, and asked me if I did not think this was the finest equestrian statue in the world? How was I to deal with this plain question, put to me in a corner? I was bound to reply, and accordingly said that I did not think it was the finest statue in the world. "Well, sir," says the member of Congress, “but you must remember that Mr. M had never seen a statue when he made this!” I suggested that to see other statues might do Mr. M— no harm. Nor was any man more willing to own his defects, or more modest regarding his merits, than the sculptor himself, whom I met subsequently. But oh! what a charming ar. ticle there was in a Washington paper next day about

the impertinence of criticism and offensive tone of arrogance which Englishmen adopted towards men and works of genius in America! “Who was this man, who," &c., &c.? The Washington writer was angry because I would not accept this American claret as the finest port-wire in the world. Ah me! It is about blood and not wine that the quarrel now is, and who shall fortell its end?

How much claret that would be port if it could is handed about in every society! In the House of Commons what small-beer orators try to pass for strong? Stay: have I a spite against any one? It is a fact that the wife of the Member for Bungay has left off asking me and Mrs. Roundabout to her evening-parties. Now is the time to have a slap at him. I will say that he was always overrated, and that now he is lamentably falling off even from what he has been. I will back the member for Stoke Pogis against him; and show that the dashing young member for Islington is a far sounder man than either. Have I any little literary animosities? Of course not. Men of letters never have. Otherwise, how could I serve out a competitor here, make a face over his works, and show that this would-be port is very meagre ordinaire indeed! Nonsense, man! Why so squeamish? Do they spare you? Now you have the whip in your hand, won't you lay on? You used to be a pretty whip enough as a young man, and liked it too. Is there no enemy who would be the better for a little thonging. No. I have militated in former times, not without glory; but I grow peace. able as I grow old. And if I have a literary enemy, why, he will probably write a book ere long, and then it will be his turn, and my favorite review will be down upon him.

My brethren, these sermons are professedly short; for I have that opinion of my dear congregation, which leads me to think that were I to preach at great length they would yawn, stamp, make noises, and perhaps go straightway out of church; and yet with this text I protest I could go on for hours. What multitudes of men, what multidudes of women, my dears, pass off their ordinaire for port, their small beer for strong! In literature, in politics, in the army, the navy, the church, at the bar, in the world, what an immense quantity of cheap liquor is made to do service for better sorts! Ask Sergeant Roland his opinion of Oliver, Q. C. “Ordinaire, my good fellow, ordinaire, with a port-wine label !” Ask Oliver his opinion of Roland. “Never was a man so over. rated by the world and by himself.” Ask Tweedle. dumski his opinion of Tweedledeestein's performance. “A quack, my tear sir! an ignoramus, I geef you my vort? He gombose an opera! He is not fit to make dance a bear!” Ask Paddington and Buckmister, those two "swells” of fashion what they think of each other? They are notorious ordinaire. You and I remember when they passed for very small wine, and now how high and mighty they have be.

What do you say to Tomkins' sermons? Or.

come,

« ПредишнаНапред »