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the devil, without receiving his wages; for the
assumed formality of the one is not a more
effectual bar to enjoyment than the real avarice
of the other. He that stands every day of his
life behind a counter, until he drops from it
into the grave, may negotiate many very pro-
fitable bargains; but he has made a single bad
one, so bad indeed that it counterbalances all
the rest ; for the empty foolery of dying rich,
he has paid down his health, his happiness, and
his integrity; since a very old author observes,
that " as mortar sticketh between the stones, so
stickethfraud between buying and selling. " Such

VOL. IV.



a worldling may be compared to a merchant
who should put a rich cargo into a vessel, em-
bark with it himself, and encounter all the
perils and privations of the sea, although he
was thoroughly convinced beforehand that he
was only providing for a shipwreck at the end
of a troublesome and tedious voyage.

Two things, well considered, would prevent
many quarrels ; first, to have it well ascertained
whether we are not disputing about terms
rather than things; and, secondly, to examine
whether that on which we differ is worth con-
tending about.

It is an unfortunate thing for fools, that,
their pretensions should rise in an inverse ratio,
with their abilities, and their presumption,
with their weakness; and for the wise, that,
diffidence should be the companion of talent,,
and doubt the fruit of investigation.

Were a plain unlettered man, but endowed
with common sense and a certain quantum of
observation and of reflection, to read over
attentively the four Gospels and the Acts of
the Apostles, without any note or comment, I
hugely doubt whether it would enter into his
ears to hear, his eyes to see, or his heart to
conceive the purport of many ideas signified
by many words ending in ism, which neverthe-
less have cost Christendom rivers of ink and
oceans of blood.

Should the world applaud, we must thank-
fully receive it as a boon ; for, if the most de-
serving of us appear to expect it as a debt, it
will never be paid. The world, it has been
said, does as much justice to our merits as to
our defects, and I believe it; but, after all,
none of us are so much praised or censured as
we think ; and most men would be thoroughly
cured of their self-importance, if they would
only rehearse their own funeral, and walk
abroad incognito the very day after that on
which they were supposed to have been buried.

Anguish of mind has driven thousands to
suicide; anguish of body, none. This proves
that the health of the mind is of far more con-
sequence to our happiness than the health
of the body, although both are deserving of
much more attention than either of them
receive.

We are not more ingenious in searching out
bad motives for good actions, when performed
by others, than good motives for bad actions,
when performed by ourselves.

As no roads are so rough as those that have
just been mended, so no sinners are so intoler-
ant as those that have just turned saints.

Few things are more destructive of the best
interests of society than the prevalent but
90



258



LACON.



mistaken notion that it requires a vast deal of
talent to be a successful knave. For this posi-
tion, while it diminishes that odium which
ought to attach to fraud in the part of those
who suffer by it, increases also the temptation
to commit it on the part of those who profit
by it ; since there are so many who would
rather be written down knaves than fools.
But the plain fact is, that to be honest with
success requires far more talent than to be a
rogue, and to be honest without success requires
far more magnanimity; for trick is not dex-
terity, cunning is not skill, and mystery is not
profoundness. The honest man proposes to
arrive at a certain point, by one straight and
narrow road, that is beset on all sides with
obstacles and with impediments. He would
rather stand still, than proceed by trespassing
on the property of his neighbour, and would
rather overcome a difficulty than avoid it by
breaking down a fence. The knave, it is true,
proposes to himself the same object, but arrives
at it by a very different route. Provided only
that he gets on, he is not particular whether
he effects it where there is a road, or where
there is none ; he trespasses without scruple,
either on the forbidden ground of private pro-
perty, or on those by-paths where there is no
legal thoroughfare ; what he cannot reach over
he will overreach, and those obstacles they can-
not surmount by climbing, he will undermine
by creeping, quite regardless of the filth that
may stick to him in the scramble. The con-
sequence is that he frequently overtakes the
honest man, and passes by him with a sneer.
What then shall we say? that the rogue has
more talent than the upright? let us rather say
that he has less. For wisdom is nothing more
than judgment exercised on the true value of
things that are desirable; but of things in
ithemselves desirable, those are the most so that
remain the longest. Let us therefore mark
sthe end of these things, and we shall come to
one conclusion, the fiat of the tribunal both of
God and of man : That honesty is 'not only
the deepest policy , but the hk/hest wisdom; since
however difficult it may be for integrity to get
on, it is a thousand times more difficult for
-knavery to get off; and no error is more fatal
than that of those who think that virtue has
no other reward, because they have heard that
-she is her own.

Pride differs in many things from vanity,
;and by gradations that never blend, although
they may be somewhat indistinguishable. Pride
may perhaps be termed a too high opinion of
ourselves, founded on the overrating of certain
qualities that we do actually possess ; whereas



vanity is more easily satisfied, and can extract a
feeling of self-complacency from qualifications
that are imaginary. Vanity can also feed
upon externals, but pride must have more or
less of that which is intrinsic ; the proud there-
fore do not set so high a value upon wealth as
the vain, neither are they so much depressed
by poverty. Vanity looks to the many and
to the moment, pride to the future and the
few; hence pride has more difficulties, and
vanity more disappointments ; neither does
she bear them so well, for she at times distrusts
herself, whereas pride despises others. For
the vain man cannot always be certain of the
validity of his pretensions, because they are
often as empty as that very vanity that has
created them ; therefore it is necessary for his
happiness, that they should be confirmed by
the opinion of his neighbours, and his own vote
in favour of himself he thinks of little weight,
until it be backed by the suffrages of others.
The vain man idolizes his own person, and here
he is wrong ; but he cannot bear his own com-
pany, and here he is right. But the proud
man wants no such confirmations ; his preten-
sions may be small, but they are something,
and his error lies in overrating them. If others
appreciate his merits less highly, he attributes
it either to their envy, or to their ignorance,
and enjoys in prospect that period when time
shall have removed the film from their eyes.
Therefore the proud man can afford to wait,
because he has no doubt of the strength of his
capital, and can also live, by anticipation, on
that fame which he has persuaded himself that
he deserves. He often draws indeed too largely
upon posterity, but even here he is safe ; for
should the bills be dishonoured, this cannot
happen until that debt which cancels all others
shall have been paid.

If you cannot inspire a woman with love of
you, fill her above the brim with love of her-
self : all that runs over will be yours.

When we feel a strong desire to thrust our
advice upon others, it is usually because we
suspect their weakness; but we ought rather
to suspect our own.

Many schemes ridiculed as Utopian, decried
as visionary, and declaimed against as im-
practicable, will be realized the moment the
march of sound knowledge has effected this
for our species: that of making men wise
enough to see their true interests, and disin-
terested enough to pursue them.

There is this of good in real evils, they deliver
us while they last from the petty despotism
of all that were imaginary. Lacon: or Many
Things in Few Words.



THE AUTHORESS.



259



LOVE'S PERVERSITY.

[Coventry Kearsey Dighton Patmore, born at
Woodford. Essex 2d J uly, 18:23. He was some time as-
sistant librarian in the British Museum. His works are :
Ta>nei-t<>n Clmirk Toirer, and other Poems; The Angel
in the House, a domestic poem in four parts : The Betro-
thal; The BgfjoumL ; Faithful for Ever ; and The Victories
rj/" Loi-e. Mr. Ku-k in says this poem " is a most finished
piece of writing, and the sweetest analysis we possess
of quiet, modern, domestic feeling. " Mr. Patmore also
edited A Garland of Poems for Children, and contributed
to the EilinbU'-fih and North Brilifk Reviews. A complete
siiition of his poems has been issued by Macmillan. J

How strange a thing a lover seems

To animals that do not love!
Lo, where he walks and talks in dreams,

And flouts us with his Lady's glove;
How foreign is the garb he wears;

And how his great derotion mocks
Our poor propriety, and scares

The undevout with paradox !
His soul, through scorn of worldly care,

And great extremes of sweet and gall,
And musing much on all that's fair,

Grows witty and fantastical;
He sobs his joy and sings his grief,

And evermore finds such delight
In simply picturing his relief,

That 'plaining seems to cure his plight;
He makes his sorrow when there's none;

His fancy blows both cold and hot;
Next to the wish that she'll be won,

His first hope is that she may not;
He sues, yet deprecates consent;

Would she be captured she must fly;
She looks too happy and content,

For whose least pleasure he would die;
Oh, cruelty, she cannot care

For one to whom she's always kind !
He says he's nought, but, oh, despair,

If he's not Jove to her fond mind !
He's jealous if she pets a dove,

She must be his with all her soul;
Yet 'tis a postulate in love

That part is greater than the whole,
And all his apprehension's stress,

When he's with her, regards her hair,
Her hand, a ribbon of her dress,

As if his life were only there;
Because she's constant, he will change,

And kindest glances coldly meet,
And, all the time he seems so strange,

His soul is fawning at her feet;
Of smiles and simple heaven grown tired,

He wickedly provokes her tears,
And when she weeps, as he desired,

Falls slain with ecstasies of fears;
He blames her, though she has no fault,



Except the folly to be his;
He worships her, the more to exalt

The profanation of a kiss;
Health's his disease; he's never well

But when his paleness shames her rose;
His faith's a rock-built citadel,

Its sign a flag that each way blows;
His o'erfed fancy frets and fumes;

And Love, in him, is fierce like Hate,
And ruffles his ambrosial plumes

Against the bars of time and fate.

The Angd in the Houet,



THE AUTHORESS.

BY AMELIA OPIE.

A young lady, who valued herself on her
benevolence and good breeding, and had as
much respect for truth as those who live in
the world usually have, was invited by an
authoress, whose favour she coveted, and by
whose attention she was flattered, to come and
hear her read a manuscript tragi-comedy. The
other auditor was an old lady, who, to consider-
able personal ugliness, united strange grimaces
and convulsive twitchings of the face, chiefly
the result of physical causes.

The authoress read in so affected and dra-
matic a manner, that the young lady's boasted
benevolence had no power to curb her pro-
pensity to laughter; which being perceived by
the reader, she stopped in angry consternation,
and desired to know whether she laughed at
her or her composition. At first she was too
much fluttered to make any reply; but as she
dared not own the truth, and had no scruple
against being guilty of deception, she cleverly
resolved to excuse herself by a practical lie.
She therefore trod on her friend's foot, elbowed
her, and, by winks and signs, tried to make
her believe that it was the grimaces of her
opposite neighbour, who was quietly knitting
and twitching as usual, which had had such an
effect on her risible faculties; and the deceived
authoress, smiling herself when her young
guest directed her eye to her unconscious vis &
vis, resumed her reading with a lightened brow
and increased energy.

This added to the young lady's amusement;
as she could now indulge her risibility occa-
sionally at the authoress's expense, without
exciting her suspicions; especially as the manu-
script was sometimes intended to excite smiles,
if not laughter; and the self-love of the writer
led her to suppose that her hearer's mirth was



260



THE AUTHORESS.



the result of her comic powers. But the treach-
erous gratification of the auditor was soon at
an end. The manuscript was meant to move
tears as well as smiles; but as the matter
became more pathetic, the manner became
more ludicrous; and the youthful hearer could
no more force a tear than she could restrain a
laugh; till the mortified authoress, irritated
into forgetfulness of all feeling and propriety,

exclaimed, "Indeed, Mrs. , I must desire

you to move your seat and sit where Miss

does not see you; for you make such queer
grimaces that you draw her attention and cause
her to laugh when she should be listening to
me." The erring but humane girl was over-
whelmed with dismay at the unexpected ex-
posure; and when the poor infirm old lady
replied, in a faltering tone, "Is she indeed
laughing at me?" she could scarcely refrain
from telling the truth, and assuring her that
she was incapable of such cruelty. "Yes," re-
joined the authoress, in a paroxysm of wounded
self-love; "she owned to me, soon after she
began, that you occasioned her ill-timed mirth;
and when I looked at you, I could hardly help
smiling myself; but I am sure you could help
making such faces if you would." " Child ! "
cried the old lady, while tears of wounded
sensibility trickled down her pale cheeks, "and
you, my unjust friend, I hope and trust that I
forgive you both; but, if ever you should be
paralytic yourselves, may you remember this
evening, and learn to repent of having been
provoked to laugh at the physical weakness
of a palsied old woman!" The indignant
authoress was now penitent, subdued, and
ashamed, and earnestly asked pardon for her
unkindness ; but the young offender, whose
acted lie had exposed her to seem guilty of a
fault which she had not committed, was in an
agony to which expression was inadequate !
But to exculpate herself was impossible: and
she could only give her wounded victim tear
for tear.

To attend to a farther perusal of the manu-
script was impossible. The old lady desired
that her carriage should come round directly;
the authoress locked up the composition that
had been so ill received; and the young lady,
who had been proud of the acquaintance of
each, became an object of suspicion and dis-
like both to the one and the other; since the
former considered her to be of a cruel and un-
feeling nature, and the latter could not conceal
from herself the mortifying truth, that she
must have felt her play to be wholly devoid of
interest, as it had utterly failed either to rivet
or to attract her young auditor's attention.



But, though this girl lost two valued ac-
quaintances by acting a lie a harmless white
lie, as it is called I fear she was not taught or
amended by the circumstance; but deplored
her want of luck, rather than her want of in-
tegrity ; and, had her deception met with the
success which she expected, she would probably
have boasted of her ingenious artifice to her
acquaintance; nor can I help believing that
she goes on in the same way whenever she is
tempted to do so, and values herself on the lies
of SELFISH FEAB, which she dignifies by the
name of LIES OF BENEVOLENCE.

It is curious to observe that the kindness
which prompts to really erroneous conduct
cannot continue to bear even a remote connec-
tion with real benevolence. The mistaken
girl, in the anecdote related above, begins with
what she calls a virtuous deception. She could
not wound the feelings of the authoress by
owning that she laughed at her mode of read-
ing: she therefore accused herself of a much
worse fault; that of laughing at the personal
infirmities of a fellow-creature; and then, find-
ing that her artifice enabled her to indulge her
sense of the ridiculous with impunity, she at
length laughs treacherously and systematically,
because she dares do so, and not involuntarily,
as she did at first, at her unsuspecting friend.
Thus such hollow unprincipled benevolence as
hers soon degenerated into absolute malevolence.
But had this girl been a girl of principle and
of real benevolence, she might have healed her
friend's vanity at the same time that she
wounded it, by saying, after she had owned
that her mode of reading made her laugh,
that she was now convinced of the truth of
what she had often heard; namely, that authors
rarely do justice to their own works when they
read them aloud themselves, however well they
may read the works of others ; because they are
naturally so nervous on the occasion, that they
are laughably violent, because painfully agi-
tated.

This reply could not have offended her friend
greatly, if at all ; and it might have led her to
moderate her outre- manner of reading. She
would in consequence have appeared to more
advantage; and the interests of real benevo-
lence, namely, the doing good to a fellow-
creature, would have been served, and she
would not, by a vain attempt to save a friend'.-*
vanity from being hurt, have been the means
of wounding the feelings of an afflicted woman;
have incurred the charge of inhumanity, which
she by no means deserved; and have vainly, as
well as grossly, sacrificed the interests of truth.
Illustrations of Lying in all its Branches.



THE MARCH OF INTELLECT.



261



MY MOTHER'S GRAVE.

My mother's grave, my mother's grave !

Oh ! dreamless is her slumber there.
And drowsily the banners wave

O'er her that was so chaste and fair;
Yea! love is dead, and memory faded!

But when the dew is on the brake,
And silence sleeps on earth and sea,

And mourners weep, and ghosts awake,

Oh ! then she cometh back to me,
In her cold beauty darkly shaded!

I cannot guess her face or form;

But what to me is form or face?
I do not ask the weary worm

To give me back each buried grace
Of glistening eyes, or trailing tresses!

I only feel that she is here,

And that we meet, and that we part;

And that I drink within mine ear,

And that I clasp around my heart,
Her sweet still voice, and soft caresses !

!Not in the waking thought by day,

Not in the sightless dream by night,
Do the mild tones and glances play

Of her who was my cradle's light!
But in some twilight of calm weather,
She glides, by fancy dimly wrought,

A glittering cloud, a darkling beam,
With all the quiet of a thought,

And all the passion of a dream,
Linked in a golden spell together !

W. M. PKAED.



TEX YEARS AGO.

Ten years ago ten years ago

Life was to us a fairy scene;
And the keen blasts of worldly woe

Had seared not then its pathway green.
Youth and its thousand dreams were ours

Feelings we ne'er can know again
Unwithered hopes, unwasted powers,

And frames unworn by mortal pain.
Such was the bright and genial flow
Of life with us ten years ago.

Time had not blanch'd a single hair

That clusters round thy forehead now;
Nor had the cankering touch of care

Left even one furrow on thy brow.
Thine eyes are blue as when we met,

In love's deep truth, in earlier years;
Thy cheek of rose is blooming yet,

Though sometimes stained by secret tears.
But where, O where's the spirit's glow,
That shone through all ten years ago?



I too am changed I scarce know why;

Can feel each flagging pulse decay,
And youth, and health, and visions high,

Melt like a wreath of snow away.
Time cannot, sure, have wrought the ill;

Though worn in this world's scheming strife
In soul and form I linger still

In the first summer month of life;
Yet journey on my path below,
O! how unlike ten years ago !

ALAKIC A. WATTS.



THE MARCH OF INTELLECT.

BY THEODORE HOOK.

It happened on the 31st of March, 1926,
that the then Duke and Duchess of Bed-
ford were sitting in their good but old house,
No. 17 Liberality Place (the corner of Riego
Street), near to where old Hammersmith stood
before the great improvements, and, although
it was past two o'clock, the breakfast equipage
still remained upon the table.

It may be necessary to state that the illus-
trious family in question, having embraced
the Roman Catholic faith (which at that period
was the established religion of the country),
had been allowed to retain their titles and
honourable distinctions, although Woburn.
Abbey had been long before restored to the
church, and was, at the time of which we
treat, occupied by a worshipful community of
holy friars. The Duke's family estates in Old
London had been, of course, divided by the
Equitable Convention amongst the numerous
persons whose distressed situation gave them
the strongest claims, and his grace and his
family had been for a long time receiving the
compensation annuity allotted to his ancestors.

"Where is Lady Elizabeth?" said his grace
to the Duchess.

" She is making the beds, Duke," replied
her grace.

"What, again to-day?" said his grace.
"Where are Stubbs, Hogsflesh, and Figgins,
the females whom, were it not contrary to law,
I should call the housemaids?"

"They are gone," said her grace, "on a
sketching tour with the manciple, Mr. Nichol-
son, and his nephew."

" Why are not these things removed?" said
his grace, eyeing the breakfast-table, upon
which (the piece of furniture being of oak
without covering) stood a huge jar of honey,
several saucers of beet-root, a large pot of half-
cold decoction of sassafrage, and an urn full of
bean -juice, the use of cotton, sugar, tea, and



262



THE MARCH OF INTELLECT.



coffee having been utterly abolished by law in
the year 1888.

"I have rung several times," said the
Duchess, "and sent Lady Maria upstairs into
the assistants' drawing-room to get some of
them to remove the things, but they have kept
her, I believe, to sing to them; I know they
are very fond of hearing her, and often do so."

His grace, whose appetite seemed renewed
by the sight of the still lingering viands which
graced the board, seemed determined to make
the best of a bad bargain, and sat down to
commence an attack upon some potted seal and
pickled fish from Baffin's Bay and Behring's
Straits, which some of their friends who had
gone over there to pass the summer (as was the
fashion of those times) in the East India steam-
ships (which always touched there) had given
them ; and having consumed a pretty fair por-
tion of the remnants, his favourite daughter,
Lady Maria, made her appearance.

"Well, Maria," said his grace, "where have
you been all this time?"

"Mr. Curry, "said her ladyship, "the young
person who is good enough to look after our
horses, had a dispute with the lady who assists
Mr. Biggs in dressing the dinner for us, whether
it was necessary at chess to say check to the
queen when the queen was in danger or not.
I was unable to decide the question, and I as-
sure you I got so terribly laughed at that I ran
away as fast as I could. "

" Was Duggins in the assistants' drawing-
room, my love?" said the Duke.

" No," said Lady Maria.

" I wanted him to take a message for me,"
said his grace, in a sort of demi-soliloquy.

" I'm sure he cannot go, then," said Lady
Maria, "because I know he has gone to the
House of Parliament (there was but one at that
time), for he told the other gentleman who
cleans the plate, that he could not be back to
attend at dinner, however consonant with his
wishes, because he had promised to wait for
the division."

" Ah," sighed the Duke, " this comes of his
having been elected for Westminster."

At this moment Lord William Cobbett
Russell made his appearance, extremely hot
and evidently tired, having under his arm
a largish parcel.

"What have you there, Willy?" said her
grace.

"My new breeches," said his lordship;
" I have called upon the worthy citizen who
made them, over and over again, and never



Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) → online text (page 50 of 75)