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The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro'
by George Borrow
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CHAPTER VI

ON SCOTCH GENTILITY-NONSENSE—CHARLIE O'ER THE WATERISM

Of the literature just alluded to Scott was the inventor. It is founded on the fortunes and misfortunes of the Stuart family, of which Scott was the zealous defender and apologist, doing all that in his power lay to represent the members of it as noble, chivalrous, high-minded, unfortunate princes; though, perhaps, of all the royal families that ever existed upon earth, this family was the worst. It was unfortunate enough, it is true; but it owed its misfortunes entirely to its crimes, viciousness, bad faith, and cowardice. Nothing will be said of it here until it made its appearance in England to occupy the English throne.

The first of the family which we have to do with, James, was a dirty, cowardly miscreant, of whom the less said the better. His son, Charles I., was a tyrant, exceedingly cruel and revengeful, but weak and dastardly; he caused a poor fellow to be hanged in London, who was not his subject, because he had heard that the unfortunate creature had once bit his own glove at Cadiz, in Spain, at the mention of his name; and he permitted his own bull-dog, Strafford, to be executed by his own enemies, though the only crime of Strafford was that he had barked furiously at those enemies, and had worried two or three of them when Charles shouted, 'Fetch 'em!' He was a bitter, but yet a despicable, enemy, and the coldest and most worthless of friends; for though he always hoped to be able some time or other to hang his enemies, he was always ready to curry favour with them, more especially if he could do so at the expense of his friends. He was the haughtiest yet meanest of mankind. He once caned a young nobleman for appearing before him in the drawing-room not dressed exactly according to the court etiquette; yet he condescended to flatter and compliment him who, from principle, was his bitterest enemy—namely, Harrison, when the Republican colonel was conducting him as a prisoner to London. His bad faith was notorious; it was from abhorrence of the first public instance which he gave of his bad faith—his breaking his word to the Infanta of Spain, that the poor Hiberno-Spainard bit his glove at Cadiz; and it was his notorious bad faith which eventually cost him his head; for the Republicans would gladly have spared him, provided they could have put the slightest confidence in any promise, however solemn, which he might have made to them. Of them it would be difficult to say whether they most hated or despised him. Religion he had none. One day he favoured Popery; the next, on hearing certain clamours of the people, he sent his wife's domestics back packing to France, because they were Papists. Papists, however, should make him a saint, for he was certainly the cause of the taking of Rochelle.

His son, Charles the Second, though he passed his youth in the school of adversity, learned no other lesson from it than the following one—take care of yourself, and never do an action, either good or bad, which is likely to bring you into any great difficulty; and this maxim he acted up to as soon as he came to the throne. He was a Papist, but took especial care not to acknowledge his religion, at which he frequently scoffed, till just before his last gasp, when he knew that he could lose nothing, and hoped to gain everything by it. He was always in want of money, but took care not to tax the country beyond all endurable bounds, preferring, to such a bold and dangerous course, to become the secret pensioner of Louis, to whom, in return for his gold, he sacrificed the honour and interests of Britain. He was too lazy and sensual to delight in playing the part of a tyrant himself; but he never checked tyranny in others, save in one instance. He permitted beastly butchers to commit unmentionable horrors on the feeble, unarmed, and disunited Covenanters of Scotland, but checked them when they would fain have endeavoured to play the same game on the numerous, united, dogged, and warlike Independents of England. To show his filial piety, he bade the hangman dishonour the corpses of some of his father's judges, before whom, when alive, he ran like a screaming hare; but permitted those who had lost their all in supporting his father's cause, to pine in misery and want. He would give to a painted harlot a thousand pounds for a loathsome embrace, and to a player or buffoon a hundred for a trumpery pun, but would refuse a penny to the widow or orphan of an old Royalist soldier. He was the personification of selfishness; and as he loved and cared for no one, so did no one love or care for him. So little had he gained the respect or affection of those who surrounded him, that after his body had undergone an after-death examination, parts of it were thrown down the sinks of the palace, to become eventually the prey of the swine and ducks of Westminster.

His brother, who succeeded him, James the Second, was a Papist, but sufficiently honest to acknowledge his Popery, but, upon the whole, he was a poor creature; though a tyrant, he was cowardly; had he not been a coward he would never have lost his throne. There were plenty of lovers of tyranny in England who would have stood by him, provided he would have stood by them, and would, though not Papists, have encouraged him in his attempt to bring back England beneath the sway of Rome, and perhaps would eventually have become Papists themselves; but the nation raising a cry against him, and his son-in-law, the Prince of Orange, invading the country, he forsook his friends—of whom he had a host, but for whom he cared little—left his throne, for which he cared a great deal, and Popery in England, for which he cared yet more, to their fate, and escaped to France, from whence, after taking a little heart, he repaired to Ireland, where he was speedily joined by a gallant army of Papists whom he basely abandoned at the Boyne, running away in a most lamentable condition at the time when, by showing a little courage, he might have enabled them to conquer. This worthy, in his last will, bequeathed his heart to England, his right arm to Scotland, and his bowels to Ireland. What the English and Scotch said to their respective bequests is not known, but it is certain that an old Irish priest, supposed to have been a great-grand-uncle of the present Reverend Father Murtagh, on hearing of the bequest to Ireland, fell into a great passion, and, having been brought up at 'Paris and Salamanca,' expressed his indignation in the following strain: 'Malditas sean tus tripas! teniamos bastante del olor de tus tripas al tiempo de tu nuida dela batalla del Boyne!'

His son, generally called the Old Pretender, though born in England, was carried in his infancy to France, where he was brought up in the strictest principles of Popery, which principles, however, did not prevent him becoming (when did they ever prevent anyone?) a worthless and profligate scoundrel. There are some doubts as to the reality of his being a son of James, which doubts are probably unfounded, the grand proof of his legitimacy being the thorough baseness of his character. It was said of his father that he could speak well, and it may be said of him that he could write well—the only thing he could do which was worth doing, always supposing that there is any merit in being able to write. He was of a mean appearance, and, like his father, pusillanimous to a degree. The meanness of his appearance disgusted, and his pusillanimity discouraged the Scotch when he made his appearance amongst them in the year 1715, some time after the standard of rebellion had been hoisted by Mar. He only stayed a short time in Scotland, and then, seized with panic, retreated to France, leaving his friends to shift for themselves as they best could. He died a pensioner of the Pope.

The son of this man, Charles Edward, of whom so much in latter years has been said and written, was a worthless, ignorant youth, and a profligate and illiterate old man. When young, the best that can be said of him is that he had occasionally springs of courage, invariably at the wrong time and place, which merely served to lead his friends into inextricable difficulties. When old, he was loathsome and contemptible to both friend and foe. His wife loathed him, and for the most terrible of reasons; she did not pollute his couch, for to do that was impossible—he had made it so vile; but she betrayed it, inviting to it not only Alfieri the Filthy, but the coarsest grooms. Doctor King, the warmest and almost last adherent of his family, said that there was not a vice or crime of which he was not guilty; as for his foes, they scorned to harm him even when in their power. In the year 1745 he came down from the Highlands of Scotland, which had long been a focus of rebellion. He was attended by certain clans of the Highlands—desperadoes used to freebootery from their infancy, and consequently to the use of arms, and possessed of a certain species of discipline. With these he defeated at Prestonpans a body of men called soldiers, but who were in reality peasants and artizans, levied about a month before, without discipline or confidence in each other, and who were miserably massacred by the Highland army. He subsequently invaded England, nearly destitute of regular soldiers, and penetrated as far as Derby, from which place he retreated on learning that regular forces, which had been hastily recalled from Flanders, were coming against him, with the Duke of Cumberland at their head. He was pursued, and his rear-guard overtaken and defeated by the dragoons of the Duke at Clifton, from which place the rebels retreated in great confusion across the Eden into Scotland, where they commenced dancing Highland reels and strathspeys on the bank of the river for joy at their escape, whilst a number of wretched girls, paramours of some of them, were perishing in the waters of the swollen river in an attempt to follow them. They themselves passed over by eighties and by hundreds, arm-in-arm, for mutual safety, without the loss of a man, but they left the poor paramours to shift for themselves; nor did any of these canny people, after passing the stream, dash back to rescue a single female life—no, they were too well employed upon the bank in dancing strathspeys to the tune of 'Charlie o'er the water.' It was, indeed, Charlie o'er the water, and canny Highlanders o'er the water, but where were the poor prostitutes meantime? In the water.

The Jacobite farce, or tragedy, was speedily brought to a close by the Battle of Culloden; there did Charlie wish himself back again o'er the water, exhibiting the most unmistakable signs of pusillanimity; there were the clans cut to pieces—at least, those who could be brought to the charge—and there fell Giles Mac Bean, or, as he was called in Gaelic, Giliosa Mac Beathan, a kind of giant, six feet four inches and a quarter high, 'than whom,' as his wife said in a coronach she made upon him, 'no man who stood at Cuiloitr was taller'—Giles Mac Bean, the Major of the clan Cattan, a great drinker, a great fisher, a great shooter, and the champion of the Highland host.

The last of the Stuarts was a cardinal.

Such were the Stuarts, such their miserable history. They were dead and buried, in every sense of the word, until Scott resuscitated them—how?—by the power of fine writing, and by calling to his aid that strange divinity, gentility. He wrote splendid novels about the Stuarts, in which he represents them as unlike what they really were, as the graceful and beautiful papillon is unlike the hideous and filthy worm. In a word, he made them genteel, and that was enough to give them paramount sway over the minds of the British people. The public became Stuart-mad, and everybody, especially the women, said: 'What a pity it was that we hadn't a Stuart to govern.' All parties, Whig, Tory, or Radical, became Jacobite at heart, and admirers of absolute power. The Whigs talked about the liberty of the subject, and the Radicals about the rights of man still; but neither party cared a straw for what it talked about, and mentally swore that, as soon as by means of such stuff they could get places, and fill their pockets, they would be as Jacobite as the Jacobs themselves. As for the Tories, no great change in them was necessary; everything favouring absolutism and slavery being congenial to them. So the whole nation—that is, the reading part of the nation, with some exceptions, for, thank God, there has always been some salt in England—went over the water to Charlie. But going over to Charlie was not enough; they must, or at least a considerable part of them, go over to Rome, too, or have a hankering to do so. As the Priest sarcastically observes in the text, 'As all the Jacobs were Papists, so the good folks who, through Scott's novels, admire the Jacobs must be Papists too.' An idea got about that the religion of such genteel people as the Stuarts must be the climax of gentility, and that idea was quite sufficient. Only let a thing, whether temporal or spiritual, be considered genteel in England, and if it be not followed it is strange indeed; so Scott's writings not only made the greater part of the nation Jacobite, but Popish.

Here some people will exclaim—whose opinions remain sound and uncontaminated—what you say is perhaps true with respect to the Jacobite nonsense at present so prevalent being derived from Scott's novels, but the Popish nonsense, which people of the genteeler class are so fond of, is derived from Oxford. We sent our sons to Oxford nice honest lads, educated in the principles of the Church of England, and at the end of the first term they came home puppies, talking Popish nonsense, which they had learned from the pedants to whose care we had entrusted them; ay, not only Popery, but Jacobitism, which they hardly carried with them from home, for we never heard them talking Jacobitism before they had been at Oxford; but now their conversation is a farrago of Popish and Jacobite stuff: 'Complines and Claverse.' Now, what these honest folks say is, to a certain extent, founded on fact; the Popery which has overflowed the land during the last fourteen or fifteen years has come immediately from Oxford, and likewise some of the Jacobitism, Popish and Jacobite nonsense, and little or nothing else, having been taught at Oxford for about that number of years. But whence did the pedants get the Popish nonsense with which they have corrupted youth? Why, from the same quarter from which they got the Jacobite nonsense with which they have inoculated those lads who were not inoculated with it before—Scott's novels. Jacobitism and Laudism, a kind of half Popery, had at one time been very prevalent at Oxford, but both had been long consigned to oblivion there, and people at Oxford cared as little about Laud as they did about the Pretender. Both were dead and buried there, as everywhere else, till Scott called them out of their graves, when the pedants of Oxford hailed both; ay, and the Pope, too, as soon as Scott had made the old fellow fascinating, through particular novels, more especially the 'Monastery' and 'Abbot.' Then the quiet, respectable, honourable Church of England would no longer do for the pedants of Oxford; they must belong to a more genteel Church—they were ashamed at first to be downright Romans—so they would be Lauds. The pale-looking, but exceedingly genteel, non-juring clergyman in Waverley was a Laud; but they soon became tired of being Lauds, for Laud's Church, gewgawish and idolatrous as it was, was not sufficiently tinselly and idolatrous for them, so they must be Popes, but in a sneaking way, still calling themselves Church of England men, in order to batten on the bounty of the Church which they were betraying, and likewise have opportunities of corrupting such lads as might still resort to Oxford with principles uncontaminated.

So the respectable people, whose opinions are still sound, are, to a certain extent, right when they say that the tide of Popery, which has flowed over the land, has come from Oxford. It did come immediately from Oxford, but how did it get to Oxford? Why, from Scott's novels. Oh! that sermon which was the first manifestation of Oxford feeling, preached at Oxford some time in the year '38 by a divine of a weak and confused intellect, in which Popery was mixed up with Jacobitism! The present writer remembers perfectly well, on reading some extracts from it at the time in a newspaper, on the top of a coach, exclaiming: 'Why, the simpleton has been pilfering from Walter Scott's novels!'

Oh, Oxford pedants! Oxford pedants! ye whose politics and religion are both derived from Scott's novels! what a pity it is that some lad of honest parents, whose mind ye are endeavouring to stultify with your nonsense about 'Complines and Claverse,' has not the spirit to start up and cry, 'Confound your gibberish! I'll have none of it. Hurrah for the Church, and the principles of my father!'



CHAPTER VII—SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED

Now what could have induced Scott to write novels tending to make people Papists and Jacobites, and in love with arbitrary power? Did he think that Christianity was a gaudy mummery? He did not, he could not, for he had read the Bible; yet was he fond of gaudy mummeries, fond of talking about them. Did he believe that the Stuarts were a good family, and fit to govern a country like Britain? He knew that they were a vicious, worthless crew, and that Britain was a degraded country as long as they swayed the sceptre; but for those facts he cared nothing, they governed in a way which he liked, for he had an abstract love of despotism, and an abhorrence of everything savouring of freedom and the rights of man in general. His favourite political picture was a joking, profligate, careless king, nominally absolute; the heads of great houses paying court to, but in reality governing, that king, whilst revelling with him on the plunder of a nation, and a set of crouching, grovelling vassals (the literal meaning of vassal is a wretch), who, after allowing themselves to be horsewhipped, would take a bone if flung to them, and be grateful; so that in love with mummery, though he knew what Christianity was, no wonder he admired such a Church as that of Rome, and that which Laud set up; and by nature formed to be the holder of the candle to ancient worm-eaten and profligate families, no wonder that all his sympathies were with the Stuarts and their dissipated, insolent party, and all his hatred directed against those who endeavoured to check them in their proceedings, and to raise the generality of mankind something above a state of vassalage that is wretchedness. Those who were born great, were, if he could have had his will, always to remain great, however worthless their characters. Those who were born low, were always to remain so, however great their talents; though if that rule were carried out, where would he have been himself?

In the book which he called the 'History of Napoleon Bonaparte,' in which he plays the sycophant to all the legitimate crowned heads in Europe, whatever their crimes, vices, or miserable imbecilities, he, in his abhorrence of everything low which by its own vigour makes itself illustrious, calls Murat of the sabre the son of a pastry-cook, of a Marseilleise pastry-cook. It is a pity that people who give themselves hoity-toity airs—and the Scotch in general are wonderfully addicted to giving themselves hoity-toity airs, and checking people better than themselves with their birth {348} and their country—it is a great pity that such people do not look at home—son of a pastry-cook, of a Marseilleise pastry-cook! Well, and what was Scott himself? Why, son of a pettifogger, of an Edinburgh pettifogger. 'Oh, but Scott was descended from the old cow-stealers of Buccleuch, and therefore—' Descended from old cow-stealers, was he? Well, had he had nothing to boast of beyond such a pedigree, he would have lived and died the son of a pettifogger and been forgotten, and deservedly so; but he possessed talents, and by his talents rose like Murat, and like him will be remembered for his talents alone, and deservedly so. 'Yes, but Murat was still the son of a pastry-cook, and though he was certainly good at the sabre, and cut his way to a throne, still—' Lord! what fools there are in the world; but as no one can be thought anything of in this world without a pedigree, the writer will now give a pedigree for Murat, of a very different character from the cow-stealing one of Scott, but such a one as the proudest he might not disdain to claim. Scott was descended from the old cow-stealers of Buccleuch—was he? Good! and Murat was descended from the old Moors of Spain, from the Abencerages (sons of the saddle) of Granada. The name Murat is Arabic, and is the same as Murad (Le Desire, or the wished-for one). Scott, in his genteel life of Bonaparte, says that 'when Murat was in Egypt the similarity between the name of the celebrated Mameluke Mourad and that of Bonaparte's Meilleur Sabreur was remarked, and became the subject of jest amongst the comrades of the gallant Frenchman.' But the writer of the novel of Bonaparte did not know that the names were one and the same. Now, which was the best pedigree, that of the son of the pastry-cook, or that of the son of the pettifogger? Which was the best blood? Let us observe the workings of the two bloods. He who had the blood of the 'sons of the saddle' in him became the wonderful cavalier of the most wonderful host that ever went forth to conquest, won for himself a crown, and died the death of a soldier, leaving behind him a son, only inferior to himself in strength, in prowess, and in horsemanship. The descendant of the cow-stealer became a poet, a novel writer, the panegyrist of great folks and genteel people; became insolvent because, though an author, he deemed it ungenteel to be mixed up with the business part of authorship; died paralytic and broken-hearted because he could no longer give entertainments to great folks; leaving behind him, amongst other children, who were never heard of, a son, who, through his father's interest, had become lieutenant-colonel in a genteel cavalry regiment. A son who was ashamed of his father because his father was an author—a son who—paugh!—why ask which was the best blood?

So, owing to his rage for gentility, Scott must needs become the apologist of the Stuarts and their party; but God made this man pay dearly for taking the part of the wicked against the good; for lauding up to the skies miscreants and robbers, and calumniating the noble spirits of Britain, the salt of England, and his own country. As God had driven the Stuarts from their throne, and their followers from their estates, making them vagabonds and beggars on the face of the earth, taking from them all they cared for, so did that same God, who knows perfectly well how and where to strike, deprive the apologist of that wretched crew of all that rendered life pleasant in his eyes, the lack of which paralyzed him in body and mind, rendered him pitiable to others, loathsome to himself—so much so that he once said, 'Where is the beggar who would change place with me, notwithstanding all my fame?' Ah! God knows perfectly well how to strike. He permitted him to retain all his literary fame to the very last—his literary fame for which he cared nothing; but what became of the sweetnesses of life, his fine house, his grand company, and his entertainments? The grand house ceased to be his; he was only permitted to live in it on sufferance, and whatever grandeur it might still retain to soon became as desolate a looking house as any misanthrope could wish to see. Where were the grand entertainments and the grand company? There are no grand entertainments where there is no money; no lords and ladies where there are no entertainments—and there lay the poor lodger in the desolate house, groaning on a bed no longer his, smitten by the hand of God in the part where he was most vulnerable. Of what use telling such a man to take comfort, for he had written the 'Minstrel' and 'Rob Roy'—telling him to think of his literary fame? Literary fame, indeed! he wanted back his lost gentility:

'Retain my altar, I care nothing for it—but oh! touch not my beard.'

PORNY'S War of the Gods.

He dies, his children die too, and then comes the crowning judgment of God on what remained of his race, and the house which he had built. He was not a Papist himself, nor did he wish anyone belonging to him to be Popish, for he had read enough of the Bible to know that no one can be saved through Popery, yet had he a sneaking affection for it, and would at all times, in an underhand manner, give it a good word both in writing and discourse, because it was a gaudy kind of worship, and ignorance and vassalage prevailed so long as it flourished; but he certainly did not wish any of his people to become Papists, nor the house which he had built to become a Popish house, though the very name he gave it savoured of Popery. But Popery becomes fashionable through his novels and poems—the only one that remains of his race, a female grandchild, marries a person who, following the fashion, becomes a Papist, and makes her a Papist too. Money abounds with the husband who buys the house, and then the house becomes the rankest Popish house in Britain. A superstitious person might almost imagine that one of the old Scottish Covenanters, whilst the grand house was being built from the profits resulting from the sale of writings favouring Popery and persecution, and calumniatory of Scotland's saints and martyrs, had risen from the grave, and banned Scott, his race, and his house, by reading a certain psalm.

In saying what he has said about Scott the author has not been influenced by any feeling of malice or ill-will, but simply by a regard for truth, and a desire to point out to his countrymen the harm which has resulted from the perusal of his works; he is not one of those who would depreciate the talents of Scott, he admires his talents, both as a prose writer and a poet. As a poet especially he admires him, and believes him to have been by far the greatest, with perhaps the exception of Mickiewicz, who only wrote for unfortunate Poland, that Europe has given birth to during the last hundred years. As a prose writer he admires him less, it is true, but his admiration for him in that capacity is very high, and he only laments that he prostituted his talents to the cause of the Stuarts and gentility. What book of fiction of the present century can you read twice, with the exception of 'Waverley' and 'Rob Roy?' There is 'Pelham,' it is true, which the writer of these lines has seen a Jewess reading in the steppe of Debreczin, and which a young Prussian Baron, a great traveller, whom he met at Constantinople in '44, told him he always carried in his valise. And in conclusion he will say, in order to show the opinion which he entertains of the power of Scott as a writer, that he did for the spectre of the wretched Pretender what all the kings of Europe could not do for his body—placed it on the throne of these realms, and for Popery what Popes and Cardinals strove in vain to do for three centuries—brought back its mummeries and nonsense into the temples of the British Isles.

Scott during his lifetime had a crowd of imitators, who, whether they wrote history so called, poetry so called, or novels—nobody would call a book a novel if he could call it anything else—wrote Charlie o'er the water nonsense, and now that he has been dead a quarter of a century, there are others daily springing up who are striving to imitate Scott in his Charlie o'er the water nonsense—for nonsense it is, even when flowing from his pen. They, too, must write Jacobite histories, Jacobite songs, and Jacobite novels, and much the same figure as the scoundrel menials in the comedy cut when personating their masters, and retailing their masters' conversation do they cut as Walter Scotts. In their histories, they too talk about the Prince and Glenfinnan, and the pibroch; and in their songs about 'Claverse' and 'Bonny Dundee.' But though they may be Scots, they are not Walter Scotts. But it is perhaps chiefly in the novel that you see the veritable hog in armour; the time of the novel is of course the '15 or '45; the hero a Jacobite, and connected with one or other of the enterprises of those periods; and the author, to show how unprejudiced he is, and what original views he takes of subjects, must needs speak up for Popery, whenever he has occasion to mention it; though, with all his originality, when he brings his hero and the vagabonds with which he is concerned before a barricadoed house, belonging to the Whigs, he can make them get into it by no other method than that which Scott makes his rioters employ to get into the Tolbooth, burning down the door.

To express the more than utter foolishness of this latter Charlie o'er the water nonsense, whether in rhyme or prose, there is but one word, and that word a Scotch word. Scotch, the sorriest of jargons, compared with which even Roth Welsch is dignified and expressive, has yet one word to express what would be inexpressible by any word or combination of words in any language, or in any other jargon in the world; and very properly; for as the nonsense is properly Scotch, so should the word be Scotch which expresses it; that word is 'fushionless,' pronounced fooshionless; and when the writer has called the nonsense fooshionless—and he does call it fooshionless—he has nothing more to say, but leaves the nonsense to its fate.



CHAPTER VIII—ON CANTING NONSENSE

The writer now wishes to say something on the subject of canting nonsense, of which there is a great deal in England. There are various cants in England, amongst which is the religious cant. He is not going to discuss the subject of religious cant; lest, however, he should be misunderstood, he begs leave to repeat that he is a sincere member of the old-fashioned Church of England, in which he believes there is more religion, and consequently less cant, than in any other church in the world; nor is he going to discuss many other cants; he shall content himself with saying something about two—the temperance cant and the unmanly cant. Temperance canters say that 'it is unlawful to drink a glass of ale.' Unmanly canters say that 'it is unlawful to use one's fists.' The writer begs leave to tell both these species of canters that they do not speak the words of truth.

It is very lawful to take a cup of ale, or wine, for the purpose of cheering or invigorating yourself when you are faint and down-hearted; and likewise to give a cup of ale or wine to others when they are in a similar condition. The Holy Scripture sayeth nothing to the contrary, but rather encourageth people in so doing by the text, 'Wine maketh glad the heart of man.' But it is not lawful to intoxicate yourself with frequent cups of ale or wine, nor to make others intoxicated, nor does the Holy Scripture say that it is. The Holy Scripture no more says that it is lawful to intoxicate yourself or others, than it says that it is unlawful to take a cup of ale or wine yourself, or to give one to others. Noah is not commended in the Scripture for making himself drunken on the wine he brewed. Nor is it said that the Saviour, when He supplied the guests with first-rate wine at the marriage feast, told them to make themselves drunk upon it. He is said to have supplied them with first-rate wine, but He doubtless left the quantity which each should drink to each party's reason and discretion. When you set a good dinner before your guests, you do not expect that they should gorge themselves with the victuals you set before them. Wine may be abused, and so may a leg of mutton.

Second. It is lawful for anyone to use his fists in his own defence, or in the defence of others, provided they can't help themselves; but it is not lawful to use them for purposes of tyranny or brutality. If you are attacked by a ruffian, as the elderly individual in 'Lavengro' is in the inn-yard, it is quite lawful, if you can, to give him as good a thrashing as the elderly individual gave the brutal coachman; and if you see a helpless woman—perhaps your own sister—set upon by a drunken lord, a drunken coachman, or a drunken coalheaver, or a brute of any description, either drunk or sober, it is not only lawful, but laudable, to give them, if you can, a good drubbing; but it is not lawful, because you have a strong pair of fists, and know how to use them, to go swaggering through a fair, jostling against unoffending individuals; should you do so, you would be served quite right if you were to get a drubbing, more particularly if you were served out by some one less strong, but more skilful than yourself—even as the coachman was served out by a pupil of the immortal Broughton—sixty years old, it is true, but possessed of Broughton's guard and chop. Moses is not blamed in the Scripture for taking part with the oppressed, and killing an Egyptian persecutor. We are not told how Moses killed the Egyptian; but it is quite as creditable to Moses to suppose that he killed the Egyptian by giving him a buffet under the left ear, as by stabbing him with a knife. It is true, that the Saviour in the New Testament tells His disciples to turn the left cheek to be smitten, after they had received a blow on the right; but He was speaking to people divinely inspired, or whom He intended divinely to inspire—people selected by God for a particular purpose. He likewise tells these people to part with various articles of raiment when asked for them, and to go a-travelling without money, and to take no thought of the morrow. Are those exhortations carried out by very good people in the present day? Do Quakers, when smitten on the right cheek, turn the left to the smiter? When asked for their coat, do they say: 'Friend, take my shirt also'? Has the Dean of Salisbury no purse? Does the Archbishop of Canterbury go to an inn, run up a reckoning, and then say to his landlady, 'Mistress, I have no coin'? Assuredly the Dean has a purse, and a tolerably well-filled one; and, assuredly, the Archbishop, on departing from an inn, not only settles his reckoning, but leaves something handsome for the servants, and does not say that he is forbidden by the Gospel to pay for what he has eaten, or the trouble he has given, as a certain Spanish cavalier said he was forbidden by the statutes of chivalry. Now, to take the part of yourself, or the part of the oppressed, with your fists, is quite as lawful in the present day as it is to refuse your coat and your shirt also to any vagabond who may ask for them, and not to refuse to pay for supper, bed, and breakfast, at the Feathers, or any other inn, after you have had the benefit of all three.

The conduct of Lavengro with respect to drink may, upon the whole, serve as a model. He is no drunkard, nor is he fond of intoxicating other people; yet when the horrors are upon him he has no objection to go to a public-house and call for a pint of ale, nor does he shrink from recommending ale to others when they are faint and downcast. In one instance, it is true, he does what cannot be exactly justified; he encourages the Priest in the dingle, in more instances than one, in drinking more hollands and water than is consistent with decorum. He has a motive indeed in doing so; a desire to learn from the knave in his cups the plans and hopes of the Propaganda of Rome. Such conduct, however, was inconsistent with strict fair dealing and openness; and the author advises all those whose consciences never reproach them for a single unfair or covert act committed by them, to abuse him heartily for administering hollands and water to the Priest of Rome. In that instance the hero is certainly wrong; yet in all other cases with regard to drink, he is manifestly right. To tell people that they are never to drink a glass of ale or wine themselves, or to give one to others, is cant; and the writer has no toleration for cant of any description. Some cants are not dangerous; but the writer believes that a more dangerous cant than the temperance cant, or, as it is generally called, teetotalism, is scarcely to be found. The writer is willing to believe that it originated with well-meaning, though weak people; but there can be no doubt that it was quickly turned to account by people who were neither well-meaning nor weak. Let the reader note particularly the purpose to which this cry has been turned in America; the land, indeed, par excellence, of humbug and humbug cries. It is there continually in the mouth of the most violent political party, and is made an instrument of almost unexampled persecution. The writer would say more on the temperance cant, both in England and America, but want of space prevents him. There is one point on which he cannot avoid making a few brief remarks—that is, the inconsistent conduct of its apostles in general. The teetotal apostle says it is a dreadful thing to be drunk. So it is, teetotaller; but, if so, why do you get drunk? I get drunk? Yes, unhappy man, why do you get drunk on smoke and passion? Why are your garments impregnated with the odour of the Indian weed? Why is there a pipe or cigar always in your mouth? Why is your language more dreadful than that of a Poissarde? Tobacco smoke is more deleterious than ale, teetotaller; bile more potent than brandy. You are fond of telling your hearers what an awful thing it is to die drunken. So it is teetotaller. Then take care that you do not die with smoke and passion, drunken, and with temperance language on your lips; that is, abuse and calumny against all those who differ from you. One word of sense you have been heard to say, which is, that spirits may be taken as a medicine. Now you are in a fever of passion, teetotaller; so, pray take this tumbler of brandy; take it on the homoeopathic principle, that heat is to be expelled by heat. You are in a temperance fury, so swallow the contents of this tumbler, and it will, perhaps, cure you. You look at the glass wistfully—you say you occasionally take a glass medicinally, and it is probable you do. Take one now. Consider what a dreadful thing it would be to die passion drunk, to appear before your Maker with intemperate language on your lips. That's right! You don't seem to wince at the brandy. That's right—well done! All down in two pulls. Now you look like a reasonable being!

If the conduct of Lavengro with regard to drink is open to little censure, assuredly the use which he makes of his fists is entitled to none at all. Because he has a pair of tolerably strong fists, and knows to a certain extent how to use them, is he a swaggerer or oppressor? To what ill account does he turn them? Who more quiet, gentle, and inoffensive than he? He beats off a ruffian who attacks him in a dingle; has a kind of friendly tuzzle with Mr. Petulengro, and behold the extent of his fistic exploits.

Ay, but he associates with prize-fighters; and that very fellow, Petulengro, is a prize-fighter, and has fought for a stake in a ring. Well, and if he had not associated with prize-fighters, how could he have used his fists? Oh, anybody can use his fists in his own defence, without being taught by prize-fighters. Can they? Then why does not the Italian, or Spaniard, or Affghan use his fists when insulted or outraged, instead of having recourse to the weapons which he has recourse to? Nobody can use his fists without being taught the use of them by those who have themselves been taught, no more than anyone can 'whiffle' {355} without being taught by a master of the art. Now let any man of the present day try to whiffle. Would not anyone who wished to whiffle have to go to a master of the art? Assuredly! but where would he find one at the present day? The last of the whifflers hanged himself about a fortnight ago on a bell-rope in a church steeple of 'the old town,' from pure grief that there was no further demand for the exhibition of his art, there being no demand for whiffling since the discontinuation of Guildhall banquets. Whiffling is lost. The old chap left his sword behind him; let anyone take up the old chap's sword and try to whiffle. Now much the same hand as he would make who should take up the whiffler's sword and try to whiffle, would he who should try to use his fists who had never had the advantage of a master. Let no one think that men use their fists naturally in their own disputes—men have naturally recourse to any other thing to defend themselves or to offend others; they fly to the stick, to the stone, to the murderous and cowardly knife, or to abuse as cowardly as the knife, and occasionally more murderous. Now which is best when you hate a person, or have a pique against a person, to clench your fist and say 'Come on,' or to have recourse to the stone, the knife, or murderous calumny? The use of the fist is almost lost in England. Yet are the people better than they were when they knew how to use their fists? The writer believes not. A fisty combat is at present a great rarity, but the use of the knife, the noose, and of poison, to say nothing of calumny, are of more frequent occurrence in England than perhaps in any country in Europe. Is polite taste better than when it could bear the details of a fight! The writer believes not. Two men cannot meet in a ring to settle a dispute in a manly manner without some trumpery local newspaper letting loose a volley of abuse against 'the disgraceful exhibition,' in which abuse it is sure to be sanctioned by its dainty readers; whereas some murderous horror, the discovery, for example, of the mangled remains of a woman in some obscure den, is greedily seized hold on by the moral journal and dressed up for its readers, who luxuriate and gloat upon the ghastly dish. Now, the writer of 'Lavengro' has no sympathy with those who would shrink from striking a blow, but would not shrink from the use of poison or calumny; and his taste has little in common with that which cannot tolerate the hardy details of a prize-fight, but which luxuriates on descriptions of the murder dens of modern England. But prize-fighters and pugilists are blackguards, a reviewer has said; and blackguards they would be, provided they employed their skill and their prowess for purposes of brutality and oppression; but prize-fighters and pugilists are seldom friends to brutality and oppression; and which is the blackguard, the writer would ask, he who uses his fists to take his own part, or instructs others to use theirs for the same purpose, or the being who from envy and malice, or at the bidding of a malicious scoundrel, endeavours by calumny, falsehood, and misrepresentation to impede the efforts of lonely and unprotected genius?

One word more about the race, all but extinct, of the people opprobriously called prize-fighters. Some of them have been as noble, kindly men as the world ever produced. Can the rolls of the English aristocracy exhibit names belonging to more noble, heroic men, than those who were called respectively Pearce, Cribb, {357a} and Spring? {357b} Did ever one of the English aristocracy contract the seeds of fatal consumption by rushing up the stairs of a burning edifice, even to the topmost garret, and rescuing a woman from seemingly inevitable destruction? The writer says, No. A woman was rescued from the top of a burning house, but the man who rescued her was no aristocrat; it was Pearce, not Percy, who ran up the burning stairs. Did ever one of those glittering ones save a fainting female from the libidinous rage of six ruffians? The writer believes not. A woman was rescued from the libidinous fury of six monsters on —- Down, but the man who rescued her was no aristocrat; it was Pearce, not Paulet, who rescued the woman, and thrashed my lord's six gamekeepers—Pearce, whose equal never was, and probably never will be, found in sturdy combat. Are there any of the aristocracy of whom it can be said that they never did a cowardly, cruel, or mean action, and that they invariably took the part of the unfortunate and weak against cruelty and oppression? As much can be said of Cribb, of Spring, and the other; but where is the aristocrat of whom as much can be said? Wellington? Wellington, indeed! A skilful general, and a good man of valour, it is true, but with that cant word of 'duty' continually on his lips, did he rescue Ney from his butchers? Did he lend a helping hand to Warner?

In conclusion, the writer would strongly advise those of his country-folks who may read his book to have nothing to do with the two kinds of canting nonsense described above, but in their progress through life to enjoy as well as they can, but always with moderation, the good things of this world, to put confidence in God, to be as independent as possible, and to take their own parts. If they are low-spirited, let them not make themselves foolish by putting on sackcloth, drinking water, or chewing ashes, but let them take wholesome exercise, and eat the most generous food they can get, taking up and reading occasionally, not the lives of Ignatius Loyola and Francis Spira, but something more agreeable; for example, the life and adventures of Mr. Duncan Campbell, the deaf and dumb gentleman; the travels of Captain Falconer in America, and the journal of John Randall, who went to Virginia and married an Indian wife; not forgetting, amidst their eating and drinking, their walks over heaths, and by the sea-side, and their agreeable literature, to be charitable to the poor, to read the Psalms, and to go to church twice on a Sunday. In their dealings with people to be courteous to everybody, as Lavengro was, but always independent like him; and if people meddle with them, to give them as good as they bring, even as he and Isopel Berners were in the habit of doing; and it will be as well for him to observe that he by no means advises women to be too womanly, but bearing the conduct of Isopel Berners in mind, to take their own parts, and if anybody strikes them, to strike again.

Beating of women by the lords of the creation has become very prevalent in England since pugilism has been discountenanced. Now the writer strongly advises any woman who is struck by a ruffian to strike him again; or if she cannot clench her fists, and he advises all women in these singular times to learn to clench their fists, to go at him with tooth and nail, and not to be afraid of the result, for any fellow who is dastard enough to strike a woman, would allow himself to be beaten by a woman, were she to make at him in self-defence, even if, instead of possessing the stately height and athletic proportions of the aforesaid Isopel, she were as diminutive in stature, and had a hand as delicate and a foot as small as a certain royal lady, who was some time ago assaulted by a fellow upwards of six feet high, whom the writer has no doubt she could have beaten had she thought proper to go at him. Such is the deliberate advice of the author to his countrymen and women—advice in which he believes there is nothing unscriptural or repugnant to common-sense.

The writer is perfectly well aware that, by the plain language which he has used in speaking of the various kinds of nonsense prevalent in England, he shall make himself a multitude of enemies; but he is not going to conceal the truth, or to tamper with nonsense, from the fear of provoking hostility. He has a duty to perform, and he will perform it resolutely; he is the person who carried the Bible to Spain; and as resolutely as he spoke in Spain against the superstitions of Spain, will he speak in England against the nonsense of his own native land. He is not one of those who, before they sit down to write a book, say to themselves, What cry shall we take up? what principles shall we advocate? What principles shall we abuse? Before we put pen to paper we must find out what cry is the loudest, what principle has the most advocates, otherwise, after having written our book, we may find ourselves on the weaker side.

A sailor of the Bounty, waked from his sleep by the noise of the mutiny, lay still in his hammock for some time, quite undecided whether to take part with the captain or to join the mutineers. 'I must mind what I do,' said he to himself, 'lest in the end I find myself on the weaker side.' Finally, on hearing that the mutineers were successful, he went on deck, and seeing Bligh pinioned to the mast, he put his fist to his nose, and otherwise insulted him. Now, there are many writers of the present day whose conduct is very similar to that of the sailor. They lie listening in their corners till they have ascertained which principle has most advocates; then presently they make their appearance on the deck of the world with their book; if truth has been victorious, then has truth their hurrah! but if truth is pinioned against the mast, then is their fist thrust against the nose of truth, and their gibe and their insult spirted in her face. The strongest party had the sailor, and the strongest party has almost invariably the writer of the present day.



CHAPTER IX—PSEUDO-CRITICS

A certain set of individuals calling themselves critics have attacked 'Lavengro' with much virulence and malice. If what they call criticism had been founded on truth, the author would have had nothing to say. The book contains plenty of blemishes, some of them, by-the-by, wilful ones, as the writer will presently show; not one of these, however, has been detected and pointed out; but the best passages in the book, indeed, whatever was calculated to make the book valuable, have been assailed with abuse and misrepresentation. The duty of the true critic is to play the part of a leech, and not of a viper. Upon true and upon malignant criticism there is an excellent fable by the Spaniard Iriarte. The viper says to the leech, 'Why do people invite your bite, and flee from mine?' 'Because,' says the leech, 'people receive health from my bite, and poison from yours.' 'There is as much difference,' says the clever Spaniard, 'between true and malignant criticism as between poison and medicine.' Certainly a great many meritorious writers have allowed themselves to be poisoned by malignant criticism; the writer, however, is not one of those who allow themselves to be poisoned by pseudo-critics; no! no! he will rather hold them up by their tails, and show the creatures wriggling, blood and foam streaming from their broken jaws. First of all, however, he will notice one of their objections. 'The book isn't true,' say they. Now one of the principal reasons with those that have attacked 'Lavengro' for their abuse of it is, that it is particularly true in one instance, namely, that it exposes their own nonsense, their love of humbug, their slavishness, their dressings, their goings out, their scraping and bowing to great people; it is the showing up of 'gentility nonsense' in 'Lavengro' that has been one principal reason for the raising of the above cry; for in 'Lavengro' is denounced the besetting folly of the English people, a folly which those who call themselves guardians of the public taste are far from being above. 'We can't abide anything that isn't true!' they exclaim. Can't they? Then why are they so enraptured with any fiction that is adapted to purposes of humbug, which tends to make them satisfied with their own proceedings, with their own nonsense, which does not tell them to reform, to become more alive to their own failings, and less sensitive about the tyrannical goings on of the masters, and the degraded condition, the sufferings, and the trials of the serfs, in the star Jupiter? Had 'Lavengro,' instead of being the work of an independent mind, been written in order to further any of the thousand and one cants, and species of nonsense prevalent in England, the author would have heard much less about its not being true, both from public detractors and private censurers.

'But "Lavengro" pretends to be an autobiography,' {360} say the critics; and here the writer begs leave to observe, that it would be well for people who profess to have a regard for truth, not to exhibit in every assertion which they make a most profligate disregard of it; this assertion of theirs is a falsehood, and they know it to be a falsehood. In the preface 'Lavengro' is stated to be a dream; and the writer takes this opportunity of stating that he never said it was an autobiography, never authorized any person to say that it was one; and that he has in innumerable instances declared in public and private, both before and after the work was published, that it was not what is generally termed an autobiography; but a set of people who pretend to write criticisms on books, hating the author for various reasons—amongst others, because, having the proper pride of a gentleman and a scholar, he did not, in the year 1843, choose to permit himself to be exhibited and made a zany of in London, and especially because he will neither associate with, nor curry favour with, them who are neither gentlemen nor scholars—attack his book with abuse and calumny. He is, perhaps, condescending too much when he takes any notice of such people; as, however, the English public is wonderfully led by cries and shouts, and generally ready to take part against any person who is either unwilling or unable to defend himself, he deems it advisable not to be altogether quiet with those who assail him. The best way to deal with vipers is to tear out their teeth; and the best way to deal with pseudo-critics is to deprive them of their poison-bag, which is easily done by exposing their ignorance. The writer knew perfectly well the description of people with whom he would have to do, he therefore very quietly prepared a stratagem, by means of which he could at any time exhibit them, powerless and helpless in his hand. Critics, when they review books, ought to have a competent knowledge of the subjects which those books discuss.

'Lavengro' is a philological book, a poem if you chose to call it so. Now, what a fine triumph it would have been for those who wished to vilify the book and its author, provided they could have detected the latter tripping in his philology—they might have instantly said that he was an ignorant pretender to philology—they laughed at the idea of his taking up a viper up by its tail, a trick which hundreds of country urchins do every September, but they were silent about the really wonderful part of the book, the philological matter—they thought philology was his stronghold, and that it would be useless to attack him there; they of course would give him no credit as a philologist, for anything like fair treatment towards him was not to be expected at their hands, but they were afraid to attack his philology—yet that was the point, and the only point, in which they might have attacked him successfully; he was vulnerable there. How was this? Why, in order to have an opportunity of holding up pseudo-critics by the tails, he wilfully spelt various foreign words wrong—Welsh words, and even Italian words—did they detect these mis-spellings? Not one of them, even as he knew they would not, and he now taunts them with ignorance; and the power of taunting them with ignorance is the punishment which he designed for them—a power which they might, but for their ignorance, have used against him. The writer, besides knowing something of Italian and Welsh, knows a little of Armenian language and literature; but who, knowing anything of the Armenian language, unless he had an end in view, would say that the word for sea in Armenian is anything like the word tide in English? The word for sea in Armenian is dzow, a word connected with the Tebetian word for water, and the Chinese shuy, and the Turkish su, signifying the same thing; but where is the resemblance between dzow and tide? Again, the word for bread in ancient Armenian is hats; yet the Armenian on London Bridge is made to say zhats, which is not the nominative of the Armenian noun for bread, but the accusative. Now, critics, ravening against a man because he is a gentleman and a scholar, and has not only the power but also the courage to write original works, why did not you discover that weak point? Why, because you were ignorant; so here ye are held up! Moreover, who with a name commencing with Z, ever wrote fables in Armenian? There are two writers of fables in Armenian—Varthan and Koscht, and illustrious writers they are, one in the simple and the other in the ornate style of Armenian composition, but neither of their names begins with a Z. Oh, what a precious opportunity ye lost, ye ravening crew, of convicting the poor, half-starved, friendless boy of the book, of ignorance or misrepresentation, by asking who with a name beginning with Z ever wrote fables in Armenian; but ye couldn't help yourselves, ye are duncie. We duncie! Ay, duncie. So here ye are held up by the tails, blood and foam streaming from your jaws.

The writer wishes to ask here, what do you think of all this, Messieurs les Critiques? Were ye ever served so before? But don't you richly deserve it? Haven't you been for years past bullying and insulting everybody whom you deemed weak, and currying favour with everybody whom ye thought strong? 'We approve of this. We disapprove of that. Oh, this will never do. These are fine lines!' The lines perhaps some horrid sycophantic rubbish addressed to Wellington, or Lord So-and-so. To have your ignorance thus exposed, to be shown up in this manner, and by whom? A gypsy! Ay, a gypsy was the very right person to do it. But is it not galling after all?

Ah, but we don't understand Armenian, it cannot be expected that we should understand Armenian, or Welsh, or— Hey, what's this? The mighty we not understand Armenian, or Welsh, or— Then why does the mighty we pretend to review a book like 'Lavengro'? From the arrogance with which it continually delivers itself, one would think that the mighty we is omniscient; that it understands every language; is versed in every literature; yet the mighty we does not even know the word for bread in Armenian. It knows bread well enough by name in English, and frequently bread in England only by its name, but the truth is, that the mighty we, with all its pretension, is in general a very sorry creature, who, instead of saying nous disons, should rather say nous dis: Porny in his 'Guerre des Dieux,' very profanely makes the three in one say, Je faisons; now, Lavengro, who is anything but profane, would suggest that critics, especially magazine and Sunday newspaper critics, should commence with nous dis, as the first word would be significant of the conceit and assumption of the critic, and the second of the extent of the critic's information. The we says its say, but when fawning sycophancy or vulgar abuse are taken from that say, what remains? Why a blank, a void like Ginnungagap.

As the writer, of his own accord, has exposed some of the blemishes of his book—a task, which a competent critic ought to have done—he will now point out two or three of its merits, which any critic, not altogether blinded with ignorance, might have done, or not replete with gall and envy would have been glad to do. The book has the merit of communicating a fact connected with physiology, which in all the pages of the multitude of books was never previously mentioned—the mysterious practice of touching objects to baffle the evil chance. The miserable detractor will, of course, instantly begin to rave about such a habit being common—well and good; but was it ever before described in print, or all connected with it dissected? He may then vociferate something about Johnson having touched—the writer cares not whether Johnson—who, by the by, during the last twenty or thirty years, owing to people having become ultra Tory mad from reading Scott's novels and the Quarterly Review, has been a mighty favourite, especially with some who were in the habit of calling him a half-crazy old fool—touched, or whether he did not; but he asks where did Johnson ever describe the feelings which induced him to perform the magic touch, even supposing that he did perform it? Again, the history gives an account of a certain book called the 'Sleeping Bard,' the most remarkable prose work of the most difficult language but one, of modern Europe; a book, for a notice of which, he believes, one might turn over in vain the pages of any review printed in England, or, indeed, elsewhere. So here are two facts, one literary and the other physiological, for which any candid critic was bound to thank the author, even as in 'The Romany Rye' there is a fact connected with Iro Norman Myth, for the disclosing of which any person who pretends to have a regard for literature is bound to thank him, namely, that the mysterious Finn or Fingal of 'Ossian's Poems' is one and the same person as the Sigurd Fofnisbane of the Edda and the Wilkina, and the Siegfried Horn of the Lay of the Niebelungs.

The writer might here conclude, and, he believes, most triumphantly; as, however, he is in the cue for writing, which he seldom is, he will for his own gratification, and for the sake of others, dropping metaphors about vipers and serpents, show up in particular two or three sets or cliques of people, who, he is happy to say, have been particularly virulent against him and his work, for nothing indeed could have given him greater mortification than their praise.

In the first place, he wishes to dispose of certain individuals who call themselves men of wit and fashion—about town—who he is told have abused his book 'vaustly'—their own word. These people paint their cheeks, wear white kid gloves, and dabble in literature, or what they conceive to be literature. For abuse from such people, the writer was prepared. Does anyone imagine that the writer was not well aware, before he published his book, that, whenever he gave it to the world, he should be attacked by every literary coxcomb in England who had influence enough to procure the insertion of a scurrilous article in a magazine or newspaper! He has been in Spain, and has seen how invariably the mule attacks the horse; now why does the mule attack the horse? Why, because the latter carries about with him that which the envious hermaphrodite does not possess.

They consider, forsooth, that his book is low—but he is not going to waste words about them—one or two of whom, he is told, have written very duncie books about Spain, and are highly enraged with him, because certain books which he wrote about Spain were not considered duncie. No, he is not going to waste words upon them, for verily he dislikes their company, and so he'll pass them by, and proceed to others.

The Scotch Charlie o'er the water people have been very loud in the abuse of 'Lavengro'—this again might be expected; the sarcasms of the Priest about the Charlie o'er the water nonsense of course stung them. Oh! it is one of the claims which 'Lavengro' has to respect, that it is the first, if not the only work, in which that nonsense is, to a certain extent, exposed. Two or three of their remarks on passages of 'Lavengro' he will reproduce and laugh at. Of course your Charlie o'er the water people are genteel exceedingly, and cannot abide anything low. Gypsyism they think is particularly low, and the use of gypsy words in literature beneath its gentility; so they object to gypsy words being used in 'Lavengro' where gypsies are introduced speaking. 'What is Romany forsooth?' say they. Very good! And what is Scotch? Has not the public been nauseated with Scotch for the last thirty years? 'Ay, but Scotch is not—' The writer believes he knows much better than the Scotch what Scotch is, and what it is not; he has told them before what it is, a very sorry jargon. He will now tell them what it's not—a sister or an immediate daughter of the Sanscrit, which Romany is. 'Ay, but the Scotch are'—foxes, foxes, nothing else than foxes, even like the gypsies—the difference between the gypsy and Scotch fox being that the first is wild, with a mighty brush, the other a sneak, with a gilt collar and without a tail.

A Charlie o'er the water person attempts to be witty because the writer has said that perhaps a certain old Edinburgh high-school porter, of the name of Boee, was perhaps of the same blood as a certain Bui, a Northern Kemp, who distinguished himself at the battle of Horinger Bay. A pretty matter, forsooth, to excite the ridicule of a Scotchman! Why, is there a beggar or trumpery fellow in Scotland who does not pretend to be somebody, or related to somebody? Is not every Scotchman descended from some king, kemp, or cow-stealer of old, by his own account at least? Why, the writer would even go so far as to bet a trifle that the poor creature who ridicules Boee's supposed ancestry has one of his own, at least, as grand and as apocryphal as old Boee's of the high school.

The same Charlie o'er the water person is mightily indignant that Lavengro should have spoken disrespectfully of William Wallace; Lavengro, when he speaks of that personage, being a child of about ten years old, and repeating merely what he had heard. All the Scotch, by-the-by, for a great many years past, have been great admirers of William Wallace, particularly the Charlie o'er the water people, who in their nonsense-verses about Charlie generally contrive to bring in the name of William, Willie, or Wullie Wallace. The writer begs leave to say that he by no means wishes to bear hard against William Wallace, but he cannot help asking why, if William, Willie, or Wullie Wallace was such a particularly nice person, did his brother Scots betray him to a certain renowned southern warrior, called Edward Longshanks, who caused him to be hanged and cut into four in London, and his quarters to be placed over the gates of certain towns? They got gold, it is true, and titles, very nice things no doubt; but surely the life of a patriot is better than all the gold and titles in the world—at least, Lavengro thinks so; but Lavengro has lived more with gypsies than Scotchmen, and gypsies do not betray their brothers. It would be some time before a gypsy would hand over his brother to the harum-beck, {365} even supposing you would not only make him a king, but a justice of the peace, and not only give him the world, but the best farm on the Holkham estate; but gypsies are wild foxes, and there is certainly a wonderful difference between the way of thinking of the wild fox who retains his brush, and that of the scurvy kennel creature who has lost his tail.

Ah! but thousands of Scotch, and particularly the Charlie o'er the water people, will say: 'We didn't sell Willie Wallace; it was our forbears who sold Willie Wallace. . . . If Edward Longshanks had asked us to sell Wullie Wallace we would soon have shown him that—' Lord better ye, ye poor trumpery set of creatures, ye would not have acted a bit better than your forefathers; remember how ye have ever treated the few amongst ye who, though born in the kennel, have shown something of the spirit of the wood. Many of ye are still alive who delivered over men, quite as honest and patriotic as William Wallace, into the hands of an English minister, to be chained and transported for merely venturing to speak and write in the cause of humanity, at the time when Europe was beginning to fling off the chains imposed by kings and priests. And it is not so very long since Burns, to whom ye are now building up obelisks rather higher than he deserves, was permitted by his countrymen to die in poverty and misery because he would not join with them in songs of adulation to kings and the trumpery great. So say not that ye would have acted with respect to William Wallace one whit better than your fathers; and you in particular, ye children of Charlie, whom do ye write nonsense-verses about? A family of dastard despots, who did their best, during a century and more, to tread out the few sparks of independent feeling still glowing in Scotland; but enough has been said about ye.

Amongst those who have been prodigal in abuse and defamation of 'Lavengro' have been your modern Radicals, and particularly a set of people who filled the country with noise against the King and Queen, Wellington and the Tories, in '32. About these people the writer will presently have occasion to say a good deal, and also of real Radicals. As, however, it may be supposed that he is one of those who delight to play the sycophant to kings and queens, to curry favour with Tories, and to bepraise Wellington, he begs leave to state that such is not the case.

About kings and queens he has nothing to say; about Tories simply that he believes them to be a bad set; about Wellington, however, it will be necessary for him to say a good deal of mixed import, as he will subsequently frequently have occasion to mention him in connection with what he has to say about pseudo-Radicals.



CHAPTER X—PSEUDO-RADICALS

About Wellington, then, he says, that he believes him at the present day to be infinitely overrated. But there certainly was a time when he was shamefully underrated. Now what time was that? Why, the time of pseudo-Radicalism, par excellence, from '20 to '32. Oh! the abuse that was heaped on Wellington by those who traded in Radical cant—your newspaper editors and review writers! and how he was sneered at then by your Whigs, and how faintly supported he was by your Tories, who were half ashamed of him; for your Tories, though capital fellows as followers, when you want nobody to back you, are the faintest creatures in the world when you cry in your agony, 'Come and help me!' Oh! assuredly Wellington was infamously used at that time, especially by your traders in Radicalism, who howled at and hooted him; said he had every vice—was no general—was beaten at Waterloo—was a poltroon—moreover a poor illiterate creature, who could scarcely read or write; nay, a principal Radical paper said bodily he could not read, and devised an ingenious plan for teaching Wellington how to read. Now this was too bad; and the writer, being a lover of justice, frequently spoke up for Wellington, saying, that as for vice, he was not worse than his neighbours; that he was brave; that he won the fight at Waterloo, from a half-dead man, it is true, but that he did win it. Also, that he believed he had read 'Rules for the Manual and Platoon Exercises' to some purpose; moreover, that he was sure he could write, for that he the writer had once written to Wellington, and had received an answer from him; nay, the writer once went so far as to strike a blow for Wellington; for the last time he used his fists was upon a Radical sub-editor, who was mobbing Wellington in the street, from behind a rank of grimy fellows; but though the writer spoke up for Wellington to a certain extent when he was shamefully underrated, and once struck a blow for him when he was about being hustled, he is not going to join in the loathsome sycophantic nonsense which it has been the fashion to use with respect to Wellington these last twenty years. Now what have those years been to England? Why the years of ultra-gentility, everybody in England having gone gentility mad during the last twenty years, and no people more so than your pseudo-Radicals. Wellington was turned out, and your Whigs and Radicals got in, and then commenced the period of ultra-gentility in England. The Whigs and Radicals only hated Wellington as long as the patronage of the country was in his hands, none of which they were tolerably sure he would bestow on them; but no sooner did they get it into their own, than they forthwith became admirers of Wellington. And why? Because he was a duke, petted at Windsor and by foreign princes, and a very genteel personage. Formerly many of your Whigs and Radicals had scarcely a decent coat on their backs; but now the plunder of the country was at their disposal, and they had as good a chance of being genteel as any people. So they were willing to worship Wellington because he was very genteel, and could not keep the plunder of the country out of their hands. And Wellington has been worshipped, and prettily so, during the last fifteen or twenty years. He is now a noble fine-hearted creature; the greatest general the world ever produced; the bravest of men; and—and—mercy upon us! the greatest of military writers! Now the present writer will not join in such sycophancy. As he was not afraid to take the part of Wellington when he was scurvily used by all parties, and when it was dangerous to take his part, so he is not afraid to speak the naked truth about Wellington in these days, when it is dangerous to say anything about him but what is sycophantically laudatory. He said, in '32, that as to vice, Wellington was not worse than his neighbours; but he is not going to say, in '54, that Wellington was a noble-hearted fellow; for he believes that a more cold-hearted individual never existed. His conduct to Warner, the poor Vaudois, and Marshal Ney, showed that. He said, in '32, that he was a good general and a brave man; but he is not going, in '54, to say that he was the best general, or the bravest man the world ever saw. England has produced a better general—France two or three—both countries many braver men. The son of the Norfolk clergyman was a braver man; Marshal Ney was a braver man. Oh, that Battle of Copenhagen! Oh, that covering the retreat of the Grand Army! And though he said in '32 that he could write, he is not going to say in '54 that he is the best of all military writers. On the contrary, he does not hesitate to say that any Commentary of Julius Caesar, or any chapter in Justinus, more especially the one about the Parthians, is worth the ten volumes of Wellington's Despatches; though he has no doubt that, by saying so, he shall especially rouse the indignation of a certain newspaper, at present one of the most genteel journals imaginable—with a slight tendency to Liberalism, it is true, but perfectly genteel—which is nevertheless the very one which, in '32, swore bodily that Wellington could neither read nor write, and devised an ingenious plan for teaching him how to read.

Now, after the above statement no one will venture to say, if the writer should be disposed to bear hard upon Radicals, that he would be influenced by a desire to pay court to princes, or to curry favour with Tories, or from being a blind admirer of the Duke of Wellington; but the writer is not going to declaim against Radicals, that is, real Republicans, or their principles; upon the whole, he is something of an admirer of both. The writer has always had as much admiration for everything that is real and honest as he has had contempt for the opposite. Now, real Republicanism is certainly a very fine thing, a much finer thing than Toryism, a system of common robbery, which is, nevertheless, far better than Whiggism {368}—a compound of petty larceny, popular instruction, and receiving of stolen goods. Yes, real Republicanism is certainly a very fine thing, and your real Radicals and Republicans are certainly very fine fellows, or rather were fine fellows, for the Lord only knows where to find them at the present day—the writer does not. If he did he would at any time go five miles to invite one of them to dinner, even supposing that he had to go to a workhouse in order to find the person he wished to invite. Amongst the real Radicals of England, those who flourished from the year '16 to '20, there were certainly extraordinary characters, men partially insane, perhaps, but honest and brave—they did not make a market of the principles which they professed, and never intended to do so; they believed in them, and were willing to risk their lives in endeavouring to carry them out. The writer wishes to speak in particular of two of these men, both of whom perished on the scaffold—their names were Thistlewood and Ings. {369} Thistlewood, the best known of them, was a brave soldier, and had served with distinction as an officer in the French service; he was one of the excellent swordsmen of Europe; had fought several duels in France, where it is no child's play to fight a duel; but had never unsheathed his sword for single combat, but in defence of the feeble and insulted. He was kind and open-hearted, but of too great simplicity; he had once ten thousand pounds left him, all of which he lent to a friend, who disappeared and never returned him a penny. Ings was an uneducated man, of very low stature, but amazing strength and resolution; he was a kind husband and father, and though a humble butcher, the name he bore was one of the royal names of the heathen Anglo-Saxons. These two men, along with five others, were executed, and their heads hacked off, for levying war against George the Fourth; the whole seven dying in a manner which extorted cheers from the populace; the most of them uttering philosophical or patriotic sayings. Thistlewood, who was, perhaps, the most calm and collected of all, just before he was turned off, said: 'We are now going to discover the great secret.' Ings, the moment before he was choked, was singing 'Scots wha ha' wi' Wallace bled.' Now, there was no humbug about those men, nor about many more of the same time and of the same principles. They might be deluded about Republicanism, as Algernon Sidney was, and as Brutus was, but they were as honest and brave as either Brutus or Sidney, and as willing to die for their principles. But the Radicals who succeeded them were beings of a very different description; they jobbed and traded in Republicanism, and either parted with it, or at the present day are eager to part with it for a consideration. In order to get the Whigs into power, and themselves places, they brought the country by their inflammatory language to the verge of a revolution, and were the cause that many perished on the scaffold; by their incendiary harangues and newspaper articles they caused the Bristol conflagration, for which six poor creatures were executed; they encouraged the mob to pillage, pull down and burn, and then rushing into garrets looked on. Thistlewood tells the mob the Tower is a second Bastile; let it be pulled down. A mob tries to pull down the Tower; but Thistlewood is at the head of that mob; he is not peeping from a garret on Tower Hill like Gulliver at Lisbon. Thistlewood and Ings say to twenty ragged individuals, Liverpool and Castlereagh are two satellites of despotism; it would be highly desirable to put them out of the way. And a certain number of ragged individuals are surprised in a stable in Cato Street, making preparations to put Castlereagh and Liverpool out of the way, and are fired upon with muskets by Grenadiers, and are hacked at with cutlasses by Bow Street runners; but the twain who encouraged those ragged individuals to meet in Cato Street are not far off, they are not on the other side of the river, in the Borough, for example, in some garret or obscure cellar. The very first to confront the Guards and runners are Thistlewood and Ings; Thistlewood whips his long thin rapier through Smithers' lungs, and Ings makes a dash at Fitzclarence with his butcher's knife. Oh, there was something in those fellows!—honesty and courage!—but can as much be said for the inciters of the troubles of '32. No; they egged on poor ignorant mechanics and rustics, and got them hanged for pulling down and burning, whilst the highest pitch to which their own daring ever mounted was to mob Wellington as he passed in the streets.

Now, these people were humbugs, which Thistlewood and Ings were not. They raved and foamed against kings, queens, Wellington, the aristocracy, and what not, till they had got the Whigs into power, with whom they were in secret alliance, and with whom they afterwards openly joined in a system of robbery and corruption, more flagitious than the old Tory one, because there was more cant about it; for themselves they got consulships, commissionerships, and in some instances governments; for their sons clerkships in public offices; and there you may see those sons with the never-failing badge of the low scoundrel-puppy, the gilt chain at the waistcoat pocket; and there you may hear and see them using the languishing tones, and employing the airs and graces which wenches use and employ who, without being in the family way, wish to make their keepers believe that they are in the family way. Assuredly great is the cleverness of your Radicals of '32, in providing for themselves and their families. Yet, clever as they are, there is one thing they cannot do—they get governments for themselves, commissionerships for their brothers, clerkships for their sons, but there is one thing beyond their craft—they cannot get husbands for their daughters, who, too ugly for marriage, and with their heads filled with the nonsense they have imbibed from gentility novels, go over from Socinus to the Pope, becoming sisters in fusty convents, or having heard a few sermons in Mr. Platitude's 'chapelle,' seek for admission at the establishment of mother S—-, who, after employing them for a time in various menial offices, and making them pluck off their eyebrows hair by hair, generally dismisses them on the plea of sluttishness; whereupon they return to their papas to eat the bread of the country, with the comfortable prospect of eating it still in the shape of a pension after their sires are dead. Papa (ex uno disce omnes) living as quietly as he can; not exactly enviably it is true, being now and then seen to cast an uneasy and furtive glance behind, even as an animal is wont who has lost by some mischance a very sightly appendage; as quietly however as he can, and as dignifiedly, a great admirer of every genteel thing and genteel personage, the Duke in particular, whose 'Despatches,' bound in red morocco, you will find on his table. A disliker of coarse expressions and extremes of every kind, with a perfect horror for revolutions and attempts to revolutionize, exclaiming now and then, as a shriek escapes from whipped and bleeding Hungary, a groan from gasping Poland, and a half-stifled curse from down-trodden but scowling Italy, 'Confound the revolutionary canaille, why can't it be quiet!' In a word, putting one in mind of the parvenu in the 'Walpurgis Nacht.' The writer is no admirer of Gothe, but the idea of that parvenu was certainly a good one. Yes, putting one in mind of the individual who says:

'Wir waren wahrlich auch nicht dumm, Und thaten oft was wir nicht sollten; Doch jetzo kehrt sich alles um und um, Und eben da wir's fest erhalten wollten.'

('We were no fools, as every one discern'd, And stopp'd at nought our projects in fulfilling; But now the world seems topsy-turvy turn'd, To keep it quiet just when we were willing.')

Now, this class of individuals entertain a mortal hatred for 'Lavengro' and its writer, and never lose an opportunity of vituperating both. It is true that such hatred is by no means surprising. There is certainly a great deal of difference between Lavengro and their own sons; the one thinking of independence and philology, whilst he is clinking away at kettles, and hammering horse-shoes in dingles; the others stuck up at public offices with gilt chains at their waistcoat-pockets, and giving themselves the airs and graces of females of a certain description. And there certainly is a great deal of difference between the author of 'Lavengro' and themselves—he retaining his principles and his brush; they with scarlet breeches on, it is true, but without their republicanism and their tails. Oh, the writer can well afford to be vituperated by your pseudo-Radicals of '32!

Some time ago the writer was set upon by an old Radical {371} and his wife; but the matter is too rich not to require a chapter to itself.



CHAPTER XI—THE OLD RADICAL

'This very dirty man, with his very dirty face, Would do any dirty act, which would get him a place.'

Some time ago the writer was set upon by an old Radical and his wife; but before he relates the manner in which they set upon him, it will be as well to enter upon a few particulars tending to elucidate their reasons for doing so.

The writer had just entered into his eighteenth year, when he met at the table of a certain Anglo-Germanist {372a} an individual apparently somewhat under thirty, of middle stature, a thin and weaselly figure, a sallow complexion, a certain obliquity of vision, and a large pair of spectacles. This person, who had lately come from abroad, and had published a volume of translations, {372b} had attracted some slight notice in the literary world, and was looked upon as a kind of lion in a small provincial capital. After dinner he argued a great deal, spoke vehemently against the Church, and uttered the most desperate Radicalism that was perhaps ever heard, saying he hoped that in a short time there would not be a king or queen in Europe, and inveighing bitterly against the English aristocracy, and against the Duke of Wellington in particular, whom he said, if he himself was ever president of an English republic—an event which he seemed to think by no means improbable—he would hang for certain infamous acts of profligacy and bloodshed which he had perpetrated in Spain. Being informed that the writer was something of a philologist, to which character the individual in question laid great pretensions, he came and sat down by him, and talked about languages and literature. The writer, who was only a boy, was a little frightened at first, but, not wishing to appear a child of absolute ignorance, he summoned what little learning he had, and began to blunder out something about the Celtic languages and their literature, and asked the Lion who he conceived Finn Ma Coul to be? and whether he did not consider the 'Ode to the Fox,' by Red Rhys of Eryry, to be a masterpiece of pleasantry? Receiving no answer to these questions from the Lion, who, singular enough, would frequently, when the writer put a question to him, look across the table and flatly contradict some one who was talking to some other person, the writer dropped the Celtic languages and literature, and asked him whether he did not think it a funny thing that Temugin, generally called Genghis Khan, should have married the daughter of Prester John? {373} The Lion, after giving a side-glance at the writer through his left spectacle glass, seemed about to reply, but was unfortunately prevented, being seized with an irresistible impulse to contradict a respectable doctor of medicine, who was engaged in conversation with the master of the house at the upper and further end of the table, the writer being a poor ignorant lad, sitting, of course, at the bottom. The doctor, who had served in the Peninsula, having observed that Ferdinand the Seventh was not quite so bad as had been represented, the Lion vociferated that he was ten times worse, and that he hoped to see him and the Duke of Wellington hanged together. The doctor who, being a Welshman, was somewhat of a warm temper, growing rather red, said that at any rate he had been informed that Ferdinand the Seventh knew sometimes how to behave himself like a gentleman. This brought on a long dispute, which terminated rather abruptly. The Lion having observed that the doctor must not talk about Spanish matters with one who had visited every part of Spain, the doctor bowed, and said that he was right, for that he believed no people in general possessed such accurate information about countries as those who had travelled them as bagmen. On the Lion asking the doctor what he meant, the Welshman, whose under jaw began to move violently, replied that he meant what he said. Here the matter ended, for the Lion, turning from him, looked at the writer. The writer, imagining that his own conversation hitherto had been too trivial and commonplace for the Lion to consider it worth his while to take much notice of it, determined to assume a little higher ground, and after repeating a few verses of the Koran, and gabbling a little Arabic, asked the Lion what he considered to be the difference between the Hegira and the Christian era, adding that he thought the general computation was in error by about one year; and being a particularly modest person, chiefly he believes owing to his having been at school in Ireland, absolutely blushed at finding that the Lion returned not a word in answer. 'What a wonderful individual I am seated by,' thought he, 'to whom Arabic seems a vulgar speech, and a question about the Hegira not worthy of an answer!' not reflecting that as lions come from the Saharra, they have quite enough of Arabic at home, and that the question about the Hegira was rather mal a propos to one used to prey on the flesh of hadjis. 'Now I only wish he would vouchsafe me a little of his learning,' thought the boy to himself, and in this wish he was at last gratified, for the Lion, after asking him whether he was acquainted at all with the Sclavonian languages, and being informed that he was not, absolutely dumbfoundered him by a display of Sclavonian erudition.

Years rolled by—the writer was a good deal about, sometimes in London, sometimes in the country, sometimes abroad; in London he occasionally met the man of the spectacles, who was always very civil to him, and, indeed, cultivated his acquaintance. The writer thought it rather odd that, after he himself had become acquainted with the Sclavonian languages and literature, the man of the spectacles talked little or nothing about them. In a little time, however, the matter ceased to cause him the slightest surprise, for he had discovered a key to the mystery. In the meantime the man of the spectacles was busy enough; he speculated in commerce, failed, and paid his creditors twenty pennies in the pound; published translations, of which the public at length became heartily tired; having, indeed, got an inkling of the manner in which those translations were got up. He managed, however, to ride out many a storm, having one trusty sheet-anchor—Radicalism. This he turned to the best advantage—writing pamphlets and articles in reviews, all in the Radical interest, and for which he was paid out of the Radical fund; which articles and pamphlets, when Toryism seemed to reel on its last legs, exhibited a slight tendency to Whiggism. Nevertheless, his abhorrence of desertion of principle was so great in the time of the Duke of Wellington's administration, that when S—- {374} left the Whigs and went over, he told the writer, who was about that time engaged with him in a literary undertaking, that the said S—- was a fellow with a character so infamous, that any honest man would rather that you should spit in his face than insult his ears with the mention of the name of S—-.

The literary project having come to nothing—in which, by-the-by, the writer was to have all the labour, and his friend all the credit, provided any credit should accrue from it—the writer did not see the latter for some years, during which time considerable political changes took place; the Tories were driven from, and the Whigs placed in, office, both events being brought about by the Radicals coalescing with the Whigs, over whom they possessed great influence for the services which they had rendered. When the writer next visited his friend he found him very much altered; his opinions were by no means so exalted as they had been—he was not disposed even to be rancorous against the Duke of Wellington, saying that there were worse men than he, and giving him some credit as a general; a hankering after gentility seeming to pervade the whole family, father and sons, wife and daughters, all of whom talked about genteel diversions—gentility novels, and even seemed to look with favour on high Churchism, having in former years, to all appearance, been bigoted Dissenters. In a little time the writer went abroad, as, indeed, did his friend; not, however, like the writer, at his own expense, but at that of the country—the Whigs having given him a travelling appointment, which he held for some years, during which he is said to have received upwards of twelve thousand pounds of the money of the country, for services which will, perhaps, be found inscribed on certain tablets when another Astolfo shall visit the moon. This appointment, however, he lost on the Tories resuming power—when the writer found him almost as radical and patriotic as ever, just engaged in trying to get into Parliament, into which he got by the assistance of his Radical friends, who, in conjunction with the Whigs, were just getting up a crusade against the Tories, which they intended should be a conclusive one.

A little time after the publication of 'The Bible in Spain,' the Tories being still in power, this individual, full of the most disinterested friendship for the author, was particularly anxious that he should be presented with an official situation in a certain region a great many miles off. 'You are the only person for that appointment,' said he; 'you understand a great deal about the country, and are better acquainted with the two languages spoken there than anyone in England. Now, I love my country, and have, moreover, a great regard for you, and as I am in Parliament, and have frequent opportunities of speaking to the Ministry, I shall take care to tell them how desirable it would be to secure your services. It is true they are Tories, but I think that even Tories would give up their habitual love of jobbery in a case like yours, and for once show themselves disposed to be honest men and gentlemen; indeed, I have no doubt they will, for having so deservedly an infamous character, they would be glad to get themselves a little credit by a presentation which could not possibly be traced to jobbery or favouritism.' The writer begged his friend to give himself no trouble about the matter, as he was not desirous of the appointment, being in tolerably easy circumstances, and willing to take some rest after a life of labour. All, however, that he could say was of no use, his friend indignantly observing that the matter ought to be taken entirely out of his hands, and the appointment thrust upon him for the credit of the country. 'But may not many people be far more worthy of the appointment than myself?' said the writer. 'Where?' said the friendly Radical. 'If you don't get it it will be made a job of, given to the son of some steward, or, perhaps, to some quack who has done dirty work. I tell you what, I shall ask it for you, in spite of you; I shall, indeed!' and his eyes flashed with friendly and patriotic fervour through the large pair of spectacles which he wore.

And, in fact, it would appear that the honest and friendly patriot put his threat into execution. 'I have spoken,' said he, 'more than once to this and that individual in Parliament, and everybody seems to think that the appointment should be given to you. Nay, that you should be forced to accept it. I intend next to speak to Lord A—-.' {376a} And so he did, at least, it would appear so. On the writer calling upon him one evening, about a week afterwards, in order to take leave of him, as the writer was about to take a long journey for the sake of his health, his friend no sooner saw him than he started up in a violent fit of agitation, and glancing about the room, in which there were several people, amongst others two Whig members of Parliament, said: 'I am glad you are come, I was just speaking about you. This,' said he, addressing the two members, 'is so-and-so, the author of so-and-so, the well-known philologist; as I was telling you, I spoke to Lord A—- this day about him, and said that he ought forthwith to have the head appointment in —-; {376b} and what did the fellow say? Why, that there was no necessity for such an appointment at all, and if there were, why—And then he hummed and ha'd. Yes,' said he, looking at the writer, 'he did, indeed. What a scandal! what an infamy! But I see how it will be, it will be a job. The place will be given to some son of a steward or to some quack, as I said before. Oh, these Tories! Well, if this does not make one—' Here he stopped short, crunched his teeth, and looked the image of desperation.

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