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quaint, irregular, or out of the road
of common sympathy. She " holds
Nature more clever." I can pardon
her blindness to the beautiful obli-
quities of the Religio Medici; but
she must apologize to me for certain
disrespectful insinuations, which she
has been pleased to throw out lat-
terly, touching the intellectuals of a
dear favourite of mine, of the last
century but one — the thrice noble,
chaste, and virtuous, — but again
somewhat fantastical, and original-


Mockery End, in Hertfordshire*


brain'd, generous Margaret New-

It has been the lot of my cousin,
oftener perhaps than I could have
wished, to have had for her associ-
ates and mine, free-thinkers— lead-
ers, and disciples, of novel philoso-
phies and systems ; but she neither
wrangles with, nor accepts, their
opinions. That which was good and
venerable to her, when she was a
child, retains its authority over her
mind still. She never juggles or
plays tricks with her understanding.

We are both of us inclined to be
a little too positive ; and I have ob-
served the result of our disputes to
be almost uniformly this — that in
matters of fact, dates, and circum-
stances, it turns out, that I was in
the right, and my cousin in the
wrong. But where we have differed
upon moral pohits ; upon something
proper to be done, or let alone ;
whatever heat of opposition, or stea-
diness of conviction, I set out with,
I am sure always, in the long run, to
be brought over to her way of think-

I must touch upon the foibles of
my kinswoman with a gentle hand,
for Bridget does not like to be told
of her faults. She hath an aukward
trick (to say no worse of it) of read-
ing in company : at which times she
will answer yes or no to a question,
without fully understanding its pur-
port — which is provoking, and dero-
gatory in the highest degree to the
dignity of the putter of the said
question. Her presence of mind is
equal to the most pressing trials of
life, but will sometimes desert her
upon trifling occasions. When the
purpose requires it, and is a thhig of
moment, she can speak to it greatly ;
but in matters, which are not shiffof
the conscience, she hath been known
sometimes to let slip a word less

Her education in youth was not
much attended to ; and she happily
missed all that train of female gar-
niture, which passeth by the name of
accomplishments. She was tumbled
early, by accident or design, into a
spacious closet of good old English
reading, without much selection or
prohibition, and browsed at will upon
that fair and wholesome pasturage.
Had I twenty girls, they should be
brought up exactly in this fashion. I
know not whether their chance in

wedlock might not be diminished by
it j but I can answer for it, that it
makes (if the worst come to the
worst) most incomparable old maids.

In a season of distress, she is the
truest comforter ; but in the teazing
accidents, and minor perplexities,
which do not call out the will to
meet them, she sometimes maketh
matters worse by an excess of parti-
cipation. If she does not always
divide your trouble, upon the plea-
santer occasions of life she is sure
always to treble your satisfaction.
She is excellent to be at a play with,
or upon a visit ; but best, when she
goes a journey with you.

We made an excursion together a
few simimers since, into Hertford-
shire, to beat up the quarters of
some of our less-known relations in
that fine corn country.

The oldest thing I remember is
Mackery End ; or Mackarel End, as
it is spelt, perhaps more properly, in
some old maps of Hertfordshire; a
farm-house, — delightfully situated
within a gentle walk from Wheat-
hampstead. I can just remember
having been there, on a visit to a
great-aunt, when I was a child,
under the care of Bridget ; who, as
I have said, is older than myself by
some ten years. / wish that I could
throw into a heap the remainder of our
joint existences, that we might share
them, in equal division. But that is
imjwssible. The house was at that
time in the occupation of a substan-
tial yeoman, who had married my
grandmother's sister. His name was
Gladman. My grandmother was a
Bruton, married to a Field. The
Gladmans and the Brutons are still
flourishing in that part of the county,
but the Fields are almost extinct.
More than forty years had elapsed
shice the visit I speak of; and, for
the greater portion of that period,
we had lost sight of the other two
branches also. VFho, or what sort
of persons, inherited Mackery End —
kindred or strange folk — we were
afraid almost to conjecture, but de-
termined some day to explore.

By somewhat a circuitous route,
taking the noble park at Luton in
our way from Saint Alban's, we ar-
rived at the spot of our anxious cu-
riosity about noon. The sight of the
old farm-house, though every trace
of it was effaced from my recollec-
tion, affected me with a pleasure

McLckery End, in Hertfordshire,


"which I had not experienced for
many a year. For though / had
forgotten it, we had never forgotten
being there together, and we had
been talking about Mackery End all
our Jives, till memory on my part be-
came mocked with a phantom of it-
self, and I thought I knew the aspect
of a place, which, when present, O
how unlike it was to that, which I
had conjured up so many times in-
stead of it !

Still the air breathed balmily about
it ; the season was in the " heart of
June," and I could say with the

But thou, that did'st appear so fair

To fond imagination,
Dost rival in the hght of day
Her delicate creation ! *

Bridget's was more a waking bliss
than mine, for she easily remembered
her old acquaintance again — some
altered features, of course, a little
grudged at. At first, indeed, she
was ready to disbelieve for joy ; but
the scene soon re-confirmed itself in
her affections— and she traversed
every out-post of the old mansion,
to the wood-house, the orchard, the
place where the pigeon-house had
stood (house and birds were alike
flown) — with a breathless impatience
of recognition, which was more par-
donable perhaps than decorous, at
the age of fifty odd. But Bridget in
some things is behind her years.

The only thing left was to get into
the house — and that was a difficulty,
which to me singly would have been
insurmountable ; for I am terribly
shy in making myself known to stran-
gers, and out-of-date kinsfolk. Love,
stronger than scruple, winged my
cousin in without me ; but she soon
returned with a creature, that might
have sat to a sculptor for the image
of Welcome. It was the youngest of
the Gladmans ; who, by marriage
with a Bruton, had become mistress
of the old mansion. A comely brood
are the Brutons. Six of them, fe-
males, were noted as the handsomest
young women in the county. But
this adopted Bruton, in my mind, was
better than they all — more comely.
She was bom too late to have re-
membered me. She just recollected
in early life to have had her cousin
Bridget once pointed out to her,
climbing a style. But the name of

kindred, and of cousinship, was
enough. Those slender ties, that
prove slight as gossamer in the rend-
ing atmosphere of a metropolis, bind
faster, as we found it, in hearty,
homely, loving Hertfordshire. In five
minutes we were as thoroughly ac-
quainted, as if we had been born and
bred up together; were familiar,
even to the calling each other by our
Christian names. So Christians should
call one another. To have seen Brid-
get, and her — it was like the meeting
of the two Scriptural cousins ! There
was a grace and dignity, an ampli-
tude of form and stature, answering
to her mind, in this farmer's wife,
which would have shined in a palace
— or so we thought it> We were
made welcome by husband and wife
equally — we, and our friend that was
with us. — I had almost forgotten
him— but B. F. will not so soon for-
get that meeting, if peradventure he
shall read this on the far distant
shores where the Kangaroo haunts.
The fatted calf was made ready, or
rather was already so, as if in antici-
pation of our coming ; and, after an
appropriate glass of native wine, ne-
ver let me forget, with what honest
pride this hospitable cousin made us
proceed to Wheathampstead, to in-
troduce us (as some new-found ra-
rity) to her mother and sister Glad-
mans, who did indeed know some-
thing more of us, at a time when she
almost knew nothing. — With what
corresponding kindness we were re-
ceived by them also — how Bridget's
memory, exalted by the occasion,
warmed into a thousand half obli-
terated recollections of things and
persons, to my utter astonishment,
and her own— and to the astound-
nient of B. F. who sat by, almost the
only thing that was not a cousin there,
— old effaced images of" more than
half-forgotten names and circum-
stances still crowding back upon her,
as wt Js written in lemon come oiit
upon exposure to a friendly warmth,
— when I forget all this, then may
my country cousins forget me ; and
Bridget no more remember, that in
the days of weakling infancy I was
her tender charge — as I have been
her care in foolish manhood since —
in those pretty pastoral walks, long
ago, about Mackery End, in Hert-
fordshire. Elia.

* Wordsworth, on Yarrow Visited.

152 Jews, Quakers, Scotchmen, and other Imperfect Sympathies. HAug.



I am of a constitution so general, that it consorts and sympathizeth with all things,
I have no antipathy, or rather idiosyncracy in any thing. Those national repugnancies
do not touch me, nor do I behold with prejudice the French, Italian, Spaniard, and
Dutch. — Jieligio Medici.

That the author of the Religio
Medici, mounted upon the airy stilts
of abstraction, conversant about no-
tional and conjectural essences, in
whose categories of Being the pos-
sible took the upper hand of the
actual, should have overlooked the
impertinent individualities of such
poor concretions as mankind, is not
much to be admired. It is rather to
be wondered at, that in the genus of
animals he should have condescended
to distinguish that species at all. For
myself — earth-bound and fettered to
the scene of my activities, —

Standing on earth, not rapt above the sky,

I confess that I do feel the diffe-
rences of mankind, national or indi-
vidual, to an unhealthy excess. I
can look with no indifferent eye upon
things or persons. Whatever is, is
to me a matter of taste or distaste ;
or when once it becomes indifferent,
it begins to be disrelishing. I am, in
plainer words, a bundle of prejudices
— made up of likings and dislikings —
the veriest thrall to sympathies, dis-
pathies, antipathies. In a certain
sense, I hope it may be said of me,
that I am a lover of my species. I

can feel for all indifferently, but I
cannot feel towards them all equally.
The more purely-English word that
expresses sympathy will better ex-
plain my meaning. I can be a friend
to a worthy man, who upon another
account cannot be my mate or fellow.
I cannot like all people alike.*

I have been trying all my life to
like Scotchmen, and am obliged to
desist from the experiment in despair.
They cannot like me — and in truth,
I never knew one of that nation who
attempted to do it. There is some-
thing more plain and ingenuous hi
their mode of proceeding. We know
one another at first sight. There is
an order of imperfect intellects (un-
der which mine must be content to
rank) which in its constitution is es-
sentially anti-Caledonian. The own-
ers of the sort of faculties I allude to
have minds rather suggestive than
comprehensive. They have no pre-
tences to much clearness or precision
in their ideas, or in their manner of
expressing them. Their intellectual
wardrobe (to confess fairly) has few
whole pieces in it. They are con-
tent with fragments and scattered
pieces of Truth. She presents no full

• I would be understood as confining myself to the subject of imperfect sympathies.
To nations or classes of men there can be no direct antipathy. There may be individuals
born and constellated so opposite to another individual nature, that the same sphere can-
not hold them. I have met with my moral antipodes, and can believe the story of two
persons meeting (who never saw one another before in their lives) and instantiy fighting.

^We by proof find there should be

'Twixt man and man such an antipathy.
That though he can show no just reason why
For any former wrong or injury.
Can neither find a blemish in his fame.
Nor aught in face or feature justiy blame,
Can challenge or accuse him of no evil.
Yet notwithstanding hates him as a devil.

The lines are from old Heywood's " Hierarchic of Angels," and he subjoins a curious
story in confirmation, of a Spaniard who attempted to assassinate a King Ferdinand of
Spain, and being put to the rack could give no . other reason for the deed but an mvete-
rate antipathy which he had taken to the first sight of the King.

The cause which to that act compell'd liim

Was, hi ne'er loved him since he first beheld him.

1821.3 Jews, Quakers, Scotchmen, and other Imperfect Sympathies. 153

front to them — a feature or side-face
at the most. Hints and glimpses^
germs and crude essays at a system_,
is the utmost they pretend to. They
beat up a little game peradventure —
and leave it to knottier heads, more
robust constitutions, to run it down.
The light that lights them, is not
steady and polar, but mutable and
shifting ; waxing, and again waning.
Their conversation is accordingly.
They will throw out a random word
in or out of season, and be content to
let it pass for what it is worth. They
cannot speak always as if they were
upon their oath — but must be under-
stood, speaking or writing, with
some abatement. They seldom wait
to mature a proposition, but e'en
bring it to market in the green ear.
They delight to impart their defec-
tive discoveries as they arise, without
waiting for their full developement.
They are no systematizers, and
would but err more by attempting it.
Their minds, as I said before, are
suggestive merely. The brain of a
true Caledonian (if I am not mis-
taken) is constituted upon quite a
tlifFerent plan. Its Minerva is born
in panoply. You are never admitted
to see his ideas in their growth — if
indeed, they do grow, and are not ra-
ther put together upon principles of
clock-work. You never catch his
mind in an undress. He never hints
or suggests any thing, but unlades
his stock of ideas in perfect order and
completeness. He has no falteringS
of self-suspicion. Surmises, guesses,
suppositions, half-intuitions, demi-
consciousnesses, misgivings, partial
illuminations, '^ dim instincts," em-
bryo conceptions, and every stage
that stops short of absolute certainty
and conviction— his intellectual fa-
culty seems a stranger to. He brings
his total wealth into company, and
gravely unpacks it. His riches are
always about him. He never stoops
to catch a glittering something in
your presence, to share it with you
before he quite knows whether it be
true touch or not. You cannot cry
halves to any thing that he finds. He
does not find, but bring. You never
witness his first apprehension of a
thing. His understanding is always
at its meridian — you never see the
first dawn, the early streaks. The
twilight of dubiety never falls upon
Vol. IV.

him. Is he orthodox— he has no
doubts. Is he an infidel— he has none
either. Between the affirmative and
the negative there is no border-land
with him. You cannot hover with
him upon the confines of truth, or
wander in the 9iaze of a probable
argument. He always keeps the
path. You cannot make excursions
with him— for he sets you right. His
taste never fluctuates. His morality
never abates. He cannot compro-
mise, or understand middle actions.
There can be but a right and a
wrong. His conversation is as a
book. His affirmations have the
sanctity of an oath. You must
speak upon the square with him.
He stops a metaphor like a suspect-
ed person in an enemy's coimtry.
'' A healthy book ! " — said one of his
countrymen to me, who had ven-'
tured to giv« that appellation tb
John Buncle, — " did I catch rightly
what you said ? I have heard of a
man in health, and of a healthy stiite
of body, but I do not see how that
epithet can be properly applied to a
book." Above all, you must beware
of indirect expressions before a Ca-
ledonian. Clap an extinguisher up-
on your irony, if you are unhappily
blest with a vein of it. Remember
you are upon your oath. — I have a
print of a graceful female after Leo-
nardo da Vinci, which I was show-
ing off' to Mr. ****. After he had
examined it minutely, 1 ventured to
ask him how he liked my beauty (a
foolish name it goes by among my
friends) — when he very gravely as-
sured me, that " he had consider-
able respect for my character and
talents " (so he was pleased to say},
*' but had not given himself much
thought about the degree of my per*^ '
sonal pretensions." The misconcep-if^-
tion staggered me, but did not seem
much to disconcert him. — Persons of
this nation are particularly fond of
affirming a truth — which nobody
doubts. They do not so properly
affirm, as annunciate it. They do
indeed appear to have such a love
of truth — as if, like virtue, it were
valuable for itself — that all truth be-'
comes equally valuable, whether the
proposition that contains it be new
or old, disputed, or such as is im-
possible to become a subject of dis-
putation. I was present not long


Jews, Scoichmcn, Quakers, and other hnperfect Sympathies.

since at a party of North Britons
where a son of Bums was expected ;
and happened to drop a silly expres-
sion (in my south British way), that
I wished it were the father instead
of the son — when four of them
started up at once to inform me,
that ^'^ that was impossible, because
he was dead." An impracticable
wish, it seems, was more than they
could conceive. Swift has hit off
this part of their character, namely
their love of truth, in his biting way,
but with an illiberality that neces-
sarily confines the passage to the
margin.* The tediousness of the
Scotch is certainly proverbial. I
wonder if they ever tire one another !
— In my early life I had a passionate
fondness for the poetry of Bums.
I have sometimes foolishly hoped to
ingratiate myself with his country-
men by expressing it. . But I have
always found that a true Scot re-
sents your admiration of his com-
patriot, even more than he would
your contempt of him. The latter
he imputes to your " imperfect ac-
quaintance with many of the words
which he uses;" and the same objec-
tion makes it a presumption in you
to suppose that you can admire him.
I have a great mind to give up
Burns. There is certainly a brag-
ging spirit of generosity, a swagger-
ing assertion of independence, and
all that, in his writings. Thomson
they seem to have forgotten. Smol-
lett they have neither forgotten nor
forgiven for his delineation of Rory
and his companion, upon their first
introduction to our metropolis. —
Speak of Smollett as a great genius,
and they will retort upon you
Hume's History compared with his
Continuation of it. What if the his-
torian had continued Humphrey
Clinker .>

I have, in the abstract, no dis-
respect for Jews. They are a piece
of stubborn antiquity, compared with
which, Stonehenge is in its nonage.
They date beyond the pyramids.


But I should not care to f)e in habits
of familiar intercourse with any of
that nation. I confess tliat I have
not the nerves to enter their syna-
gogues. . Old prejudices cling about
me. I cannot shake off the story of
Hugh of Lincoln, Centuries of in-
jury, contempt, and hate, on the one
side, — of cloaked revenge, dissimula-
tion, and hate, on the other, between
our and their fathers, must, and ought,
to affect the blood of the children.
I cannot believe it can run clear and
kindly yet ; or that a few fine words,
such as candour, liberality, the light
of a nineteenth century, can close
up the breaches of such a mighty
antipathy. A Hebrew is no where
congenial to me. He is least dis-
tasteful on 'Change — for the mer-
cantile spirit levels all distinctions,
as all are beauties in the dark. I
boldly confess that I do not relish
the approximation of Jew and Chris-
tian, which has become so fashion-
able. The reciprocal endearments
have, to me, something hypocritical
and unnatural in them. I do not
like to see the Church and Syna-
gogue kissing and congeeing in awk-
ward postures of an affected civility.
If they are converted, why do they
not come over to us altogether.'*
Why keep up a form of separation,
when the life of it is fled } If they
can sit with us at table, why do they
keck at our cookery } I do not un-
derstand these half-convertites. Jews
christianizing — Christians judaizing
— puzzle me. I like fish or flesh.
A moderate Jew is a more con-
founding piece of anomaly than a
wet Quaker. The spirit of the syna-
gogue is essentially separative. B

would have been more in keeping if
he had abided by the faith of his
forefathers. There is a fine scorn in
his face, which nature meant to be

of Christians. The Hebrew spirit

is strong in him in spite of his pro-
selytism. He cannot conquer the
Shibboleth. How it breaks out,
when he sings, '^ The Children of

^ ♦ There are some people who think they sufficiently acquit themselves, and enter-
tain their company with relating of facts of no consequence, not at all out of the road
of such common incidents as happen every day ; and this I have observed more fre-
quently among the Scots than any other nation, who are very careful not to omit the
minutest circumstances of time or place ; which kind of discourse, if it were not a little
relieved by the uncouth terms and phrases, as well as accent and gesture peculiar to that
country, Airould be hardly tokrable.-^/rn^* towards an Essay on Conversation.

1821.]] Jews, Scotchmen, Quaket^s, and other Imperfect Sympathies^ 155

Israel passed throug-h the Red Sea V
The auditors, for the moment, are as
Egyptians to him, and he rides over
our necks in triumph. There is no

mistaking him.— B has a strong

expression of sense in his counte-
nance, and it is confirmed by his
singing. The foundation of his vocal
excellence is sense. He sings with
vmderstanding, as Kemble delivered
dialogue. He would sing the Com-
mandments, and give an appropriate
character to each prohibition. His
nation, in general, have not over-
sensible coimtenances. How should
they? — but you seldom see a silly
expression among them. Gain, and
the pursuit of gain, sharpen a man's
visage. I never heard of an idiot
being born among them. — Some ad-
mire the Jewish female physiognomy.
I admire it— but with trembling.
Jael had those full dark inscrutable

In the negro countenance, you will
often meet with strong traits of be-
nignity. I have felt yearnings of
tenderness towards some of these
faces— or rather masks — that have
looked out kindly upon one in casual
encounters in the streets and high-
ways. I love what Fuller beautifully
calls — these " images of God cut in
ebony." But I should not like to as-
sociate with them, to share my meals
and my good-nights with them — be-
cause they are black.

I love Quaker ways, and Quaker
worship. I venerate the Quaker
principles. It does me good for the
rest of the day, when I meet any of
their people in my path. When I
am ruffled or disturbed by any oc-
currence, the sight, or quiet voice of
a Quaker, acts upon me as a ventila-
tor, lightening the air, and taking off
a load from the bosom. But I can-
not like the Quakers (as Desdemona
would say) '^ to live with them." I
am all over sophisticated — with hu-
mours, fancies, craving hourly sym-
pathy. I must have books, pictures,
theatres, chit-chat, scandal, jokes,
ambiguities, and a thousand whim-
whams, which their simpler taste can
do without. I should starve at their
primitive banquet. My appetites are
too high for the sallads which (ac-
cording to Evelyn) Eve dressed for
the angel, my gusto too excited

To sit a guest with Daniel at his pulse.

The indirect answers which Qua-
kers are often found to return to a
question put to them, may be ex-
plained, I think, without the vulgar
assumption, that they are more given

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