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how, in vast cycles, age after age, the charmed ; and erudition lost its pehuman mind marches on - like the dantry now in the simplicity of Monocean, receding here, but there ad- taigne, now in the penetration of La vancing. How from the speculations Bruyère. He lived in each time of of the Greek sprang all true philoso- which he wrote, and the time lived phy; how from the institutions of the again in him. Ah, what a writer of Roman rose all durable systems of gov- romances he would have been, if-if ernment; how from the robust follies of what? If he had had as sad an exthe North came the glory of chivalry, perience of men's passions, as he had and the modern delicacies of honour, the happy intuition into their humours. and the sweet barmonising influences But he who would see the mirror of of woman. He tracked the ancestry the shore, must look where it is cast of our Sidneys and Bayards from the on the river, not the ocean. The narHengists, Genseries, and Attilas. Full row stream retlects the gnarled tree, of all curious and quaint anecdote-of and the pausing herd, and the village original illustration-of those niceties spire, and the romance of the landof learning which spring from a taste scape. But the sea retlects only the cultivated to the last exquisite polish vast outline of the headland, and the -the book amused, and allured, and lights of the eternal heaven.
" It is Lombard Street to a China It is open to the cockboat as the friorange," quoth Uncle Jack.
gate. One man carries across it a - Are the odds in favour of fame freightage of ingots, another may fish against failure so great ? You do not there for herrings. Who can exhaust speak, I fear, from experience, bro- the sea? who say to intellect, the deeps ther Jack," answered my father, as he of philosophy are preoccupied ? " stooped down to tickle the duck under Admirable!” cried Squills. the left ear.
“ So it is really your advice, my ** But Jack Tibbets is not Augus- friends," said my father, who seemed tine Caxton. Jack Tibbets is not a struck by Uncle Jack's eloquent illusscholar, a genius, a wond—”
tration, " that I should desert my - Stop," cried my father.
household gods; remove to London, “ After all," said Mr Squills, since my own library ceases to supply * though I am no flatterer, Mr Tibbets my wants ; take lodgings near the is not so far out. That part of your British Musenm, and finish off one book which compares the crania or volume, at least, incontinently." skulls of the different races is superb. " It is a duty you owe to your Lawrence or Dr Pritchard could not country,” said Uncle Jack, solemnly. have done the thing more neatly. " And to yourself," urged Squills. Such a book must not be lost to the “ One must attend to the natural evaworld; and I agree with Mr Tibbets cuations of the brain. Ah! you may that you should publish as soon as smile, sir ; but I have observed that if possible."
a man has much in his head, he must “ It is one thing to write and an- give it vent or it oppresses him ; the other to publish,” said my father irre- whole system goes wrong. From solutely. " When one considers all being abstracted, he grows stupefied. the great men who have published; The weight of the pressure affects the when one thinks one is going to intrude nerves. I would not even guarantee one's-self audaciously into the com- you from a stroke of paralysis.” pany of Aristotle and Bacon, of " Oh, Austin !” cried my mother Locke, of Herder-of all the grave tenderly, and throwing her arms round philosophers who bend over nature my father's neck. with brows weighty with thought- * Come, sir, you are conquered," one may well pause, and—”
said I. “Pooh!” interrupted Uncle Jack ; " And what is to become of you, * science is not a club, it is an ocean. Sisty ?” asked my father.
“ Do you 66 No.
go with us, and unsettle your mind " I cannot suffer it," cried my for the university ?"
father. " You are making a good “ My uncle has invited me to his income. You are doing well where castle ; and in the meanwhile I will you are ; and as to seeing the stay here, fag hard, and take care of booksellers—why, when the work is the duck."
ready, you can come to town for a “ All alone ?" said my mother. week, and settle that affair."
All alone! Why Uncle “ Poor dear Austin,” said Uncle Jack will come here as often as ever, Jack, with an air of superiority and I hope.”
compassion. " A week! Sir, the Uncle Jack shook his head.
advent of a book that is to succeed “ No, my boy-I must go to town requires the preparation of months. with your father. You don't under- Pshaw! I am no genius, but I am a stand these things. I shall see the practical man. I know what's what. booksellers for him. I know how these Leave me alone." gentlemen are to be dealt with. I But my father continued obstinate, shall prepare the literary circles for and Uncle Jack at last ceased to urge the appearance of the book. In short, the matter. The journey to fame and it is a sacrifice of interest I know. My London was now settled; but my Journal will sufler. But friends father would not hear of my staying and my country's good before all behind. things!”
No; Pisistratus must needs go “Dear Jack !" said my mother af- also to town and see the world ; the fectionately.
duck would take care of itself.
We had taken the precaution to in the van; and the footman, who was send, the day before, to secure our to follow when lodgings had been due complement of places—four in all found, had gone to a rising eminence (including one for Mrs Primmins)-- to watch the dawning of the expected in, or upon, the fast family coach called planet, and apprise us of its approach the Sun, which had lately been set up by the concerted signal of a handkerfor the special convenience of the chief fixed to a stick. neighbourhood.
The quaint old house looked at us This luminary, rising in a town mournfully from all its deserted winabout seven miles distant from us, dows. The litter before its threshold, described at first a very erratic orbit and in its open hall; wisps of straw amidst the contiguous villages before or hay that had been used for packit finally struck into the high-road of ing; baskets and boxes that had been enlightenment, and thence performed examined and rejected; others, corded its journey, in the full eyes of man, at and piled, reserved to follow with the the majestic pace of six miles and a footman: and the two heated and half an hour. My father, with his hurried serving-women left behind pockets full of books, and a quarto standing half-way between house and of “ Gebelin on the Primitive World” garden-gate, whispering to each other, for light reading under his arm; my and looking as if they had not slept mother, with a little basket, contain- for weeks-gave to a scene, usually so ing sandwiches and biscuits of her trim and orderly, an aspect of pathetic own baking ; Mrs Primmins, with a abandonment and desolation. The new umbrella, purchased for the occa- genius of the place seemed to reproach sion, and a bird-cage containing a I felt the omens were against us, canary, endeared to her not more by and turned my earnest gaze from the song than age, and a severe pipthrough haunts behind with a sigh, as the which she had successfully nursed it - coach now drew up in all its grandeur. and I myself, waited at the gates to An important personage, who, despite welcome the celestial visitor. The the heat of the day, was enveloped gardener, with a wheel-barrow full of in a vast superfluity of belcher, in the boxes and portmanteaus, stood a little midst of which galloped a gilt fox, and
who rejoiced in the name of “guard," I surveyed the new-comers with the descended to inform us politely that curiosity natural to my years. only three places, two inside and one The elder of the two might have out, were at our disposal, the rest attained the age of thirty, though having been pre-engaged a fortnight sundry deep lines, and hues formerly before our orders were received. florid and now faded, speaking of
Now, as I knew that Mrs Primmins fatigue, care, or dissipation, might was indispensable to the comforts of have made him look somewhat older my honoured parents, (the more so, than he was. There was nothing as she had once lived in London, and very prepossessing in his appearance. knew all its ways,) I suggested that He was dressed with a pretension ill she should take the outside seat, and suited to the costume appropriate to a that I should perform the journey on foot-traveller. His coat was pinched foot- a primitive mode of transport and padded ; two enormous pins, conwhich has its charms to a young man nected by a chain, decorated a very with stout limbs and gay spirits. The stiff stock of blue satin, dotted with guard's outstretched arm left my mo- yellow stars; his hands were cased ther little time to oppose this propo- in very dingy gloves which had once sition, to which my father assented been straw-coloured, and the said with a silent squeeze of the hand. hands played with a whalebone cane And, having promised to join them at surmounted by a formidable knob, a family hotel near the Strand, to which gave it the appearance of a “lifewhich Mr Squills had recommended preserver." As he took off a white napthem as peculiarly genteel and quiet, less hat, which he wiped with great and waved my last farewell to my poor care and affection with the sleeve of mother, who continued to stretch her his right arm, a profusion of stiff meek face out of the window till the curls instantly betrayed the art of coach was whirled off in a cloud like
Like my landlord's ale, in one of the Homeric heroes, I turned that wig there was no mistake :" within, to put up a few necessary ar- it was brought—(in the fashion of the ticles in a smalì knapsack, which I wigs we see in the popular effigies of remembered to have seen in the lum- George IV. in his youth)—low over ber-room, and which had appertained his forehead and raised at the top. to my maternal grandfather; and with The wig had been oiled, and the oil that on my shoulder, and a strong had imbibed no small quantity of dust; staff in my hand, I set off towards the oil and dust had alike left their imgreat city at as brisk a pace as if I pression on the forehead and cheeks were only bound to the next village. of the wig's proprietor. For the rest, Accordingly, about noon, I was both the expression of his face was sometired and hungry; and seeing by the what impudent and reckless, but not wayside one of those pretty inns yet without a certain drollery in the corpeculiar to England, but which, thanks
ners of his eyes. to the railways, will soon be amongst The younger man was apparently the things before the Flood, I sate about my own age, a year or two down at a table under some clipped older perhaps-judging rather from limes, unbuckled my knapsack, and his set and sinewy frame than his boyordered my simple fare, with the ish countenance. And this last, boydignity of one who, for the first ish as it was, could not fail to demand time in his life, bespeaks his own the attention even of the most careless dinner, and pays for it out of his own observer. It had not only the darkpocket.
ness but the character of the gipsy While engaged on a rasher of bacon face, with large brilliant eyes, raven and a tankard of what the landlord hair, long and wavy, but not curling; called “No mistake,” two pedestrians, the features were aquiline but delipassing the same road which I had cate, and when he spoke he showed traversed, paused, cast a simultaneous teeth dazzling as pearls. It was imlook at my occupation, and, induced possible not to admire the singular no doubt by its allurements, seated beauty of the countenance ; and yet, themselves under the same lime-trees, it had that expression at once stealthy though at the farther end of the table and fierce, which war with society
has stamped upon the lineaments of recommends —swan of Avon, sir ! the race of which it reminded me. No? • Well then, I charge you with But, withal, there was somewhat of this cup of sack.' Are you going far, if the air of a gentleman in this young I may take the liberty to ask ?" wayfarer. His dress consisted of a “ To London, when I can get there!” black velveteen shooting-jacket, or
16 Oh !"
said the traveller rather short frock, with a broad while his young companion lifted his leathern strap at the waist, loose eyes; and I was again struck with white trousers, and a foraging cap, their remarkable penetration and which he threw carelessly on the table brilliancy. as he wiped his brow. Turning round “ London is the best place in the impatiently and with some haughti- world for a lad of spirit. See life ness from his companion, he surveyed there ; glass of fashion and mould me with a quick observant flash of his of form. Fond of the play, sir?" piercing eyes, and then stretched him- 6 I never saw one !" self at length on the bench, and ap- "Possible !” cried the gentleman, peared either to doze or muse, till, in dropping the handle of his knife, and obedience to his companion's orders, bringing up the point horizontally: the board was spread with all the cold then, young man," he added solemnmeats the larder could supply. ly, “ you have, but I won't say what
“ Beef !” said his companion, screw- you have to see. I won't say—no, pot ing a pinchbeck glass into his right if you could cover this table with eye.
" Beef ; - mottled, cowey golden guineas, and exclaim with the humph. Lamb ;-oldish-rawish- generous ardour so engaging in youth, muttony, humph. Pie ; – stalish, Mr Peacock, these are yours, if you veal?- no, pork. Ah! what will will only say what I have to see!'"
I laughed outright-may I be for“ Help yourself,” replied the young given for the boast, but I had the reman peevishly, as he sat up, looked putation at school of a pleasant laugh. disdainfully at the viands, and after a The young man's face grew dark at long pause, tasted first one, then the the sound: he pushed back his plate other, with many shrugs of the shoul- and sighed. ders and muttered exclamations of dis- “Why," continued his friend,“ my content. Suddenly he looked up and companion here, who I suppose is called for brandy; and to my surprise, about your own age, he could tell you and I fear admiration, he drank nearly what a play is ! he could tell you what half a tumblerful of that poison un- life is. He has viewed the manners diluted, with a composure that spoke of the town: “perused the traders,' of habitual use.
the swan poetically remarks. “Wrong!" said his companion, Have you not, my lad, eh?” drawing the bottle to himself, and Thus directly appealed to, the boy mixing the alcohol in careful propor- looked up with a smile of scorn on tions with water. “Wrong! coats his lips. “Yes, I know what life is, of stomach soon wear out, with that and I say that life, like poverty, has, kind of clothes brush. Better stick strange bedfellows. Ask me what to the yeasty foam' as sweet Will life is now, and I say a melodrama ; says. That young gentleman sets you ask me what it is twenty years hence, a good example," and therewith the and I shall say~" speaker nodded at me familiarly. In- “A farce ?" put in his comrade. experienced as I was, I surmised at "No, a tragedy - or comedy as once that it was his intention to make Congreve wrote it.” acquaintance with the neighbour thus “And how is that?" I asked, intersaluted. I was not deceived. Any ested and somewhat surprised at the thing to tempt you, sir ?" asked this tone of my contemporary. social personage after a short pause, “Where the play ends in the triumplı and describing a semicircle with the of the wittiest rogue. My friend here point of his knife.
has no chance!" “I thank you, sir, but I have dined.” 56. Praise from Sir Hubert Stanley,'
" What then? · Break out into a hem-yes-Hal Peacock may be witty, second course of mischief,' as the swan but he is no rogue."
“ That was not exactly my mean- they had emerged, he turned up, with ing," said the boy dryly.
a jerk of his thumb and finger, the *** A fico for your meaning,'" as the knave of clubs, and, placing it on the swan says. "Hallo, you, sir ! Bully top of the rest, slapped the cards emHost, clear the table, fresh tumblers-- phatically on the table. hot water-sugar--lemon, and the “ You are very good, but I don't bottle's out! Smoke, sir?” and Mr know whist,” said I. Peacock offered me a cigar.
* Not know whist-not been to a Upon my refusal, he carefully play! not smoke! Then pray tell me, twirled round a very uninviting speci- young man,” (said he majestically, and men of some fabulous havannah— with a frown,) “what on earth you do moistened it all over, as a boa-con- know !” strictor may do the ox he prepares Much consternated by this direct for deglutition; bit off one end, and appeal, and greatly ashamed of my ligbting the other from a little machine ignorance of the cardinal points of for that purpose which he drew from erudition in Mr Peacock's estimation, his pocket, he was soon absorbed in I hung my head, and looked down. a vigorous effort (which the damp “ That is right," renewed Mr Peainherent in the weed long resisted) cock, more benignly; " you have the to poison the surrounding atmosphere. ingenuous shame of youth. It is proThere with, the young gentleman, mising, sir-lowliness is young ambieither from emulation or in self-de- tion's ladder,' as the swan says. fence, estracted from his own pouch Mount the first step, and learn whist a cigar-case of notable elegance, being -sixpenny points to begin with." of velvet, embroidered apparently by Notwithstanding my newness in some fair hand, for “From Juliet actual life, I had had the good fortune was very legibly worked thereon- to learn a little of the way before me, selected a cigar of better appearance by those much-slandered guides called than that in favour with his comrade, novels-works which are often to the and seemed quite as familiar with the inner world what maps are to the tobacco as he had been with the outer ; and sundry recollections of brandy.
6 Gil Blas" and the “Vicar of Wake"* Fast, sir - fast lad that!" quoth field” came athwart me. I had no Mr Peacock, in the short gasps which wish to emulate the worthy Moses, his resolute struggle with his unin- and felt that I might not have even viting victim alone permitted—"no- the shagreen spectacles to boast of, in thing but-(puff, puff)-your true— my negotiations with this new Mr (suck--suck,) syl — syl-sylva-does Jenkinson. Accordingly, shaking my for him. Out, by the Lord I 'the jaws head, I called for my bill. As I took of darkness have devoured it up;'” and out my purse-knit by my motheragain Mr Peacock applied to his phos- with one gold piece in one corner, and phoric machine. This time patience sundry silver ones in the other, I saw and perseverance succeeded, and the that the eyes of Mr Peacock twinkled. heart of the cigar responded by a dull “Poor spirit, sir! poor spirit, young sed spark (leaving the sides wholly
* This avarice sticks deep,' untouched) to
indefatigable as the swan beautifully observes. ardour of its wooer.
Nothing venture, nothing have.' This feat accomplished, Mr Peacock " Nothing have, nothing venture," exclaimed triumphantly, “And now I returned, plucking up spirit. what say you, my lads, to a game at “ Nothing have!-- Young sir, do cards ?--three of us whist and a you doubt my solidity--my capitaldummy?-nothing better--eh?” As my 'golden joys?"" he spoke, he produced from his coat- *** Sir, I spoke of myself. I am not pocket a red silk handkerchief, a rich enough to gamble.” bunch of keys, a nightcap, a tooth- “Gamble!" exclaimed Mr Peacock, brush, a piece of shaving-soap, four in virtuous indignation—" Gamble ! lumps of sugar, the remains of a bun, what do you mean, sir ? You insult a razor, and a pack of cards. Select- me!" and he rose threateningly, and ing the last, and returning its motley slapped his white hat on his wig, accompaniments to the abyss whence “Pshaw! let him alone, Hal,"