Thomas Love Peacock

Gryll Grange


          Opinion governs all mankind,
          Like the blind leading of the blind:--
          And like the world, men's jobbernoles
          Turn round upon their ears the poles,
          And what they're confidently told
          By no sense else can be control'd.



I  Misnomers
II  The Squire and His Niece
III  The Duke's Folly
IV  The Forest---Soliloquy on Hair---The Vestals
V  The Seven Sisters
VI  The Rustic Lover
VII  The Vicar and His Wife---Families of Love---The Newspaper
VIII  Pantopragmatics
IX  Saint Catharine---Ideal Beauty
X  The Thunderstorm
XI  Electrical Science---The Death of Philemon---The Convalescent
XII  The Forest Dell---The Power of Love---The Lottery of Marriage
XIII  Lord Curryfin---Siberian Dinners---Social Monotony
XV  Expression in Music---Ballads---The Dappled Palfrey---Love and Age---Competitive Examination
XVII  Horse Taming---Atalanta---Love in Dilemma---Injunctions---Sonorous Vases
XIV  XVI, and XVIII to XXXV will be added soon.


IN THE following pages, the New Forest is always mentioned as if it were still enclosed. This is the only state in which the Author has been acquainted with it. Since its enclosure, he has never seen it, and purposes never to do so.
  The mottoes are sometimes specially apposite to the chapters to which they are prefixed; but more frequently to the general scope, or to borrow a musical term, the motivo of the operetta.





    Ego sic semper et ubique vixi, ut ultimam quamque lucem, tamquam non redituram, consumerem.
            --Petronius Arbiter. [Sat., XCIX. 1]

    Always and everywhere I have so lived, that I might consume the passing light, as if it were not to return.

"PALESTINE SOUP!" said the Reverend Doctor Opimian, dining with his friend Squire Gryll; "a curiously complicated misnomer. We have an excellent old vegetable, the artichoke, of which we eat the head; we have another of subsequent introduction, of which we eat the root, and which we also call artichoke, because it resembles the first in flavour, although, me judice, a very inferior affair. This last is a species of the helianthus, or sunflower genus of the Syungenesia frustranea class of plants. It is therefore a girasol, or turn-to-the-sun. From this girasol we have made Jerusalem, and from the Jerusalem artichoke we make Palestine soup."

        MR. GRYLL.
A very good thing, Doctor.

A very good thing; but a palpable misnomer.

        MR. GRYLL.
I am afraid we live in a world of misnomers, and of a worse kind than this. In my little experience I have found that a gang of swindling bankers is a respectable old firm; that men who sell their votes to the highest bidder, and want only "the protection of the ballot" to sell the promise of them to both parties, are a free and independent constituency; that a man who successively betrays everybody that trusts him, and abandons every principle he ever professed, is a great statesman, and a Conservative, forsooth, à nil conservando; that schemes for breeding pestilence are sanitary improvements; that the test of intellectual capacity is in swalIow, and not in digestion; that the art of teaching everything, except what will be of use to the recipient, is national education; and that a change for the worse is reform. Look across the Atlantic. A Sympathizer would seem to imply a certain degree of benevolent feeling. Nothing of the kind. It signifies a ready-made accomplice in any species of political villany. A Know-Nothing would seem to imply a liberal self-diffidence--on the scriptural principle that the beginning of knowledge is to know that thou art ignorant. No such thing. It implies furious political dogmatism, enforced by bludgeons and revolvers. A Locofoco is the only intelligible term: a fellow that would set any place on fire to roast his own eggs. A Filibuster is a pirate under national colours; but I suppose the word in its origin implies something virtuous: perhaps a friend of humanity.

More likely a friend of roaring--Philobóstrés--in the sense in which roaring is used by our old dramatists; for which see Middleton's Roaring Girl, and the commentators thereon.

        MR. GRYLL.
While we are on the subject of misnomers, what say you to the wisdom of Parliament?

Why, sir, I do not call that a misnomer. The term wisdom is used in a parliamentary sense. The wisdom of Parliament is a wisdom sui generis. It is not like any other wisdom. It is not the wisdom of Socrates, nor the wisdom of Solomon. It is the wisdom of Parliament. It is not easily analysed or defined; but it is very easily understood. It has achieved wonderful things by itself, and still more when Science has come to its aid. Between them, they have poisoned the Thames, and killed the fish in the river. A little further development of the same wisdom and science will complete the poisoning of the air, and kill the dwellers on the banks. It is pleasant that the precious effluvium has been brought so efficiently under the Wisdom's own wise nose. Thereat the nose, like Trinculo's, has been in great indignation.* The Wisdom has ordered the Science to do something. The Wisdom does not know what, nor the Science either. But the Wisdom has empowered the Science to spend some millions of money; and this, no doubt, the Science will do. When the money has been spent, it will be found that the something has been worse than nothing. The Science will want more money to do some other something, and the Wisdom will grant it. Redit labor actus in orbem.* But you have got on moral and political ground. My remark was merely on a perversion of words, of which we have an inexhaustible catalogue.

        MR. GRYLL.
Whatever ground we take, Doctor, there is one point common to most of these cases: the word presents an idea, which does not belong to the subject, critically considered. Palestine Soup is not more remote from the true Jerusalem, than many an honourable friend from public honesty and honour. However, Doctor, what say you to a glass of old Madeira, which I really believe is what it is called?

In vino veritas. I accept with pleasure.

        MISS GRYLL.
You and my uncle, Doctor, get up a discussion on everything that presents itself; dealing with your theme like a series of variations in music. You have run half round the world àpropos of the soup. What say you to the fish?

Premising that this is a remarkably fine slice of salmon, there is much to be said about fish: but not in the way of misnomers. Their names are single and simple. Perch, sole, cod, eel, carp, char, skate, tench, trout, brill, bream, pike, and many others, plain monosyllables: salmon, dory, turbot, gudgeon, lobster, whitebait, grayling, haddock, mullet, herring, oyster, sturgeon, flounder, turtle, plain dissyllables: only two trisyllables worth naming, anchovy and mackerel; unless any one should be disposed to stand up for halibut, which for my part I have excommunicated.

        MR. GRYLL.
I agree with you on that point; but I think vou have named one or two, that might as well keep it company.

I do not think I have named a single unpresentable fish.

        MR. GRYLL.
Bream, Doctor: there is not much to be said for bream.

On the contrary, sir, I think there is much to be said for him. In the first place, there is the authority of the monastic brotherhoods, who are universalIy admitted to have been connoisseurs in fish, and in the mode of preparing it; and you will find bream pie set down as a prominent item of luxurious living in the indictments prepared against them at the dissolution of the monasteries. The work of destruction was rather too rapid, and I fear the receipt is lost. But he can still be served up as an excellent stew, provided always that he is full-grown, and has swum all his life in clear running water. I call everything fish that seas, lakes, and rivers furnish to cookery; though, scientifically, a turtle is a reptile, and a lobster an insect. Fish, Miss Gryll--I could discourse to you on fish by the hour: but for the present I will forbear: as Lord Curryfin is coming down to Thornback Bay, to lecture the fishermen on fish and fisheries, and to astonish them all with the science of their art. You will, no doubt, be curious to hear him. There will be some reserved seats.

        MISS GRYLL.
I shall be very curious to hear him, indeed. I have never heard a lecturing lord. The fancy of lords and gentlemen to lecture everybody on everything, everywhere, seems to me something very comical; but perhaps it is something very serious, gracious in the lecturer, and instructive to the audience. Ishall be glad to be cured of my unbecoming propensity to laugh, whenever I hear of lecturing lord.

I hope, Miss Gryll, you will not laugh at Lord Curryfin: for you may be assured, nothing will be farther from his lordship's intension than to say anything in the slightest degree droll.

        MR. GRYLL.
Doctor Johnson was astonished at the mania for lectures, even. in: his day, when there were no lecturing lords. .He thought little was to be learned from lectures, unless where, as in chemistry, the subject required illustration by experiment. Now, if your lord is going to exhibit experiments, in the art of cooking fish, with. specimens in su:fficient number for all his audience to taste, I have no doubt his lecture will be well attended, and a repetition earnestly desired.

I am afraid the lecture will not have the aid of such pleasant adventitious attractions. It will be a pure scientific exposition, carefully classified, under the several divisions and subdivisions of Ichthyology, Entomology, Herpetology, and Conchology. But I agree with Doctor Johnson, that little is to be learned from lectures. For the most part, those who do not already understand the subject will not understand the lecture, and those who do will learn nothing from it. The latter will hear many things they would like to contradict, which the bienséance of the lecture-room does not allow. I do not comprehend how people can find amusement in lectures. I should much prefer a tenson of the twelfth century, when two or three masters of the Gai Saber* discussed questions of love and chivalry.

        MISS GRYLL.
I am afraid, Doctor, our age is too prosy for that sort of thing. We have neither wit enough, nor poetry enough, to furnish the disputants. I can conceive a state of society in which such tensons would form a pleasant winter evening amusement: but that state of society is not ours.

Well, Miss Gryll, I should like, some winter evening, to challenge you to a tenson, and your uncle should be umpire. I think you have wit enough by nature, and I have poetry enough by memory, to supply a fair portion of the requisite materials, without assuming an absolute mastery of the Gai Saber.

        MISS GRYLL.
I shall accept the challenge, Doctor. The wit on one side will, I am afraid, be very shortcoming; but the poetry on the other will no doubt be abundant.

        MR. GRYLL.
Suppose, Doctor, you were to get up a tenson a little more relative to our own wise days. Spirit-rapping, for example, is a fine field. Nec pueri credunt. . . Sed tu vera puta.* You might go beyond the limits of a tenson. There is ample scope for an Aristophanic comedy. In the contest between the Just and the Unjust in the Clouds, and in other scenes of Aristophanes, you have ancient specimens tof something very like tensons, except that Love has not much share in them. Let us for a moment suppose this same spirit-rapping to be true--dramatically so, at least. Let us fit up a stage for the purpose: make the invoked spirits visible as well as audible: and calling before us some of the illustrious of former days, ask them what they think of us and our doings? Of our astounding progress of intellect? Our march of mind ? Our higher tone of morality? Our vast diffusion of education? Our art of choosing the most unfit man by competitive examination?

You had better not bring on many of them at once, nor ask many similar questions, or the chorus of ghostly laughter will be overwhelming. I imagine the answer would be something like Hamlet's: "You yourselves, sirs, shall be as wise as we were, if, like crabs, you could go backward."* It is thought something wonderful that uneducated persons should believe in witchcraft in the nineteenth century: as if educated persons did not believe in grosser follies: such as this same spirit-rapping, unknown tongues, clairvoyance, table-turning, and all sorts of fanatical impositions, having for the present their climax in Mormonism. Herein all times are alike. There is nothing too monstrous for human credulity. I like the notion of the Aristophanic comedy. But it would require a numerous company, especially as the chorus is indispensable. The tenson may be carried on by two.

        MR. GRYLL.
I do not see why we should not have both.

        MISS GRYLL.
Oh pray, Doctor! let us have the comedy. We hope to have a houseful at Christmas, and I think we may get it up well, chorus and all. I should so like to hear what my great ancestor, Gryllus, thinks of us: and Homer, and Dante, and Shakspeare, and Richard the First, and Oliver Cromwell.

A very good dramatis personæ. With these, and the help of one or two Athenians and Romans, we may arrive at a tolerable judgment on our own immeasurable superiority to everything that has gone before us.

  Before we proceed further, we will give some account of our interlocutors.



            Marmor vetus apud Feam, ad Hor. Epist. I. ii, 23.

              Fortune makes many promises to many,
            Keeps them to none. Live to the days and hours,
            For nothing is your own.

GREGORY GRYLL, Esq., of Gryll Grange in Hampshire, on the borders of the New Forest, in the midst of a park which was a little forest in itself, reaching nearly to the sea, and well stocked with deer, having a large outer tract, where a numerous light-rented and well-conditioned tenantry fattened innumerable pigs, considered himself well located for what he professed to be, Epicuri de grege porcus,* and held, though he found it difficult to trace the pedigree, that he was lineally descended from the ancient and illustrious Gryllus, who maintained against Ulysses the superior happiness of the life of other animals to that of the life of man.*   It might seem, that to a man who traced his ancestry from the Palace of Circe, the first care would be the continuance of his ancient race; but a wife presented to him the forethought of a perturbation of his equanimity, which he never could bring himself to encounter. He liked to dine well, and withal to dine quietly, and to have quiet friends at his table, with whom he could discuss questions which might afford ample room for pleasant conversation and none for acrimonious dispute. He feared that a wife would interfere with his dinner, his company, and his after-dinner bottle of port. For the perpetuation of his name, he relied on an orphan niece, whom he had brought up from a child, who superintended his household, and sate at the head of his table. She was to be his heiress, and her husband was to take his name. He left the choice to her, but reserved to himself a veto if he should think the aspirant unworthy of the honourable appellation.
  The young lady had too much taste, feeling, and sense to be likely to make a choice which her uncle would not approve; but time, as it rolled on, foreshadowed a result which the Squire had not anticipated. Miss Gryll did not seem likely to make any choice at all. The atmosphere of quiet enjoyment in which she had grown up seemed to have steeped her feelings in its own tranquillity; and still more, the affection which she felt for her uncle, and the conviction that, though he had always premeditated her marriage, her departure from his house would be the severest blow that fate could inflict on him, led her to postpone what she knew must be an evil day to him, and might peradventure not be a good one to her.
  "Oh, the ancient name of Gryll!" sighed the Squire to himself. "What if it should pass away in the nineteenth century, after having lived from the time of Circe!"
  Often indeed, when he looked at her at the head of his table, the star of his little circle, joyous herself and the source of joy in others, he thought the actual state of things admitted no change for the better, and the perpetuity of the old name became a secondary consideration; but though the purpose was dimmed in the evening it usually brightened in the morning. In the meantime the young lady had many suitors, who were permitted to plead their cause, though they made little apparent progress.
  Several young gentlemen of fair promise, seemingly on the point of being accepted, had been, each in his turn, suddenly and summarily dismissed. Why, was the young lady's secret. If it were known, it would be easy, she said, in these days of artificial manners, to counterfeit the presence of the qualities she liked, and, still more easy, the absence of the qualities she disliked. There was sufficient diversity in the characters of the rejected to place conjecture at fault, and Mr. Gryll began to despair.
  The uncle and niece had come to a clear understanding on this subject. He might present to her attention any one whom he might deem worthy to be her suitor, and she might reject the suitor without assigning a reason for so doing. In this way several had appeared, and passed away like bubbles on a stream.
  Was the young lady over fastidious, or were none among the presented worthy, or had that which was to touch her heart not yet appeared?
  Mr. Gryll was the godfather of his niece, and to please him, she had been called Morgana. He had had some thoughts of calling her Circe, but acquiesced in the name of a sister enchantress, who had worked out her own idea of a beautiful garden, and exercised similar power over the minds and forms of men.*



        Tegge pneumonas oinó to gar astron peritelletai:
        A d' óra chalepa, panta de dipsa hupo kaumatos.


        Moisten your lungs with wine. The dog-star's sway
        Returns, and all things thirst beneath his ray.


  Heu! heu! inquit Trimalchio, ergo diutius vivit vinum quam homuncio!
  Quare tegge pneumenas faciamus. Vita vinum est.
            --Petronius Arbiter. [Sat., XXXIV. 7]


  Alas! Alas! exclaimed Trimalchio. Thus wine lives longer than man!
  Wherefore, let us sing "moisten your lungs." Wine is life.

WORDSWORTH'S question, in his Poet's Epitaph,

      Art thou a man of purple cheer,
      A rosy man, right plump to see?

might have been answered in the affirmative by the Reverend Doctor Opimian. The worthy divine dwelt in an agreeably situated vicarage, on the outskirts of the New Forest. A good living, a comfortable petrimony, a moderate dowry with his wife placed him sufficiently above the cares of the world to enable him to gratify all his tastes without minute calculations of cost. His tastes in fact were four: a good library, a good dinner, a pleasant garden, and rural walks. He was an athlete in pedestrianism. He took no pleasure in riding, either on horseback or in a carriage; but he kept a brougham for the service of Mrs. Opimian, and for his own occasional use in dining out.
  Mrs. Opimian was domestic. The care of the Doctor had supplied her with the best books on cookery, to which his own inventive genius and the kindness of friends had added a large and always increasing manuscript volume. The lady studied them carefully, and by diligent superintendence left the Doctor nothing to desire in the service of his table. His cellar was well stocked with a selection of the best vintages, under his own especial charge. In all its arrangements his house was a model of order and comfort; and the whole establishment partook of the genial physiognomy of the master. From the master and mistress to the cook, and from the cook to the tom cat, there was about the inhabitants of the vicarage a sleek and purring rotundity of face and figure that denoted community of feelings, habits, and diet; each in its kind, of course, for the Doctor had his port, the cook her ale, and the cat his milk, in sufficiently liberal allowance. In the morning, while Mrs. Opimian found ample occupation in the details of her household duties and the care of her little family, the Doctor, unless he had predestined the whole day to an excursion, studied in his library. In the afternoon he walked; in the evening he dined; and after dinner read to his wife and family, or heard his children read to him. This was his home life. Now and then he dined out; more frequently than at any other place with his friend and neighbour Mr. Gryll, who entirely sympathized with him in his taste for a good dinner.
  Beyond the limits of his ordinary but within those of his occasional range was a solitary round tower on an eminence backed with wood, which had probably in old days been a landmark for hunters; but having in modern days no very obvious use, was designated, as many such buildings are, by the name of the Folly. The country people called it "the Duke's Folly," though who the Duke in question was nobody could tell. Tradition had dropped his name.
  One fine Midsummer day, with a southerly breeze and a cloudless sky, the Doctor, having taken an early breakfast, in the process of which he had considerably reduced the altitude of a round of beef, set out with a good stick in his hand and a Newfoundland dog at his heels for one of his longest walks, such as he could only take in the longest days.
  Arriving at the Folly, which he had not visited for a long time, he was surprised to find it enclosed, and having at the back the novelty of a covered passage, built of the same grey stone as the tower itself. This passage passed away into the wood at the back, whence was ascending a wreath of smoke which immediately recalled to him the dwelling of Circe.* Indeed, the change before him had much the air of enchantment; and the Circean similitude was not a little enhanced by the antique masonry,* and the expanse of sea which was visible from the eminence. He leaned over the gate, repeated aloud the lines of the Odyssey, and fell into a brown study, from which he was aroused by the approach of a young gentleman from within the enclosure.
  "I beg your pardon, sir," said the Doctor, "but my curiosity is excited by what I see here; and if you do not think it impertinent, and would inform me how these changes have come about, I should be greatly obliged."
  Most willingly, sir," said the other; "but if you will walk in, and see what has been done, the obligation will be mine."
  The Doctor readily accepted the proposal. The stranger led the way, across an open space in the wood, to a circular hall, from each side of which a wide passage led, on the left hand to the tower, and on the right to the new building, which was so masked by the wood, as not to be visible except from within the glade. It was a square structure of plain store, much in the same style as that of the tower.
  The young gentleman took the left-hand passage, and introduced the Doctor to the lower floor of the tower.
  "I have divided the tower," he observed, "into three rooms: one on each floor. This is the dining-room; above it is my bedroom; above it again is my library. The prospect is good from all the floors, but from the library it is most extensive, as you look over the woods far away into the open sea."
  "A noble dining-room," said the Doctor. "The height is well proportioned to the diameter. That circular table well becomes the form of the room, and gives promise of a fine prospect in its way."
  "I hope you will favour me by forming a practical judgment on the point," said his new acquaintance, as he led the way to the upper floor, the Doctor marvelling at the extreme courtesy with which he was treated. "This building," thought he, "might belong to the age of chivalry, and my young host might be Sir Calidore himself." But the library brought him back to other days.
  The walls were covered with books, the upper portion accessible by a gallery, running entirely round the apartment. The books of the lower circle were all classical; those of the upper, English, Italian, and French, with a few volumes in Spanish.
  The young gentleman took down a Homer, and pointed out to the Doctor the passage which, as he leaned over the gate, he had repeated from the Odyssey. This accounted to the Doctor for the deference shown to him. He saw at once into the Greek sympathy.
  "You have a great collection of books," said the Doctor.
  "I believe," said the young gentleman, "I have all the best books in the languages I cultivate. Horne Tooke says: 'Greek, Latin, Italian, and French, are unfortunately the usual bounds of an English scholar's acquisition.'* I think any scholar fortunate whose acquisition extends so far. These languages and our own comprise, I believe, with a few rare exceptions, all the best books in the world. I may add Spanish, for the sake of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderon. It was a dictum of Porson, that 'Life is too short to learn German;' meaning, I apprehend, not that it is too difficult to be acquired within the ordinary space of life, but that there is nothing in it to compensate for the portion of life bestowed on its acquirement, however little that may be."*
  The Doctor was somewhat puzzled what to say. He had some French and more Italian, being fond of romances of chivalry; and in Greek and Latin he thought himself a match for any man; but he was more occupied with speculations on the position and character of his new acquaintance, than on the literary opinions he was enunciating. He marvelled to find a young man, rich enough to do what he here saw done, doing anything of the kind, and fitting up a library in a solitary tower, instead of passing his time in clubs and réunions, and other pursuits and pleasures of general society. But he thought it necessary to say something to the point, and rejoined:
  "Porson was a great man, and his dictum would have weighed with me if I had had a velleity towards German; but I never had any. But I rather wonder you should have placed your library on the upper instead of the middle floor. The prospect, as you have observed, is fine from all the floors; but here you have the sea and the sky to the greatest advantage; and: I would assign my best look-out to the hours of dressing and undressing; the first thing in the morning, the last at night, and the half-hour before dinner. You can give greater attention to the views before you, when you are following operations, important certainly, but mechanical from repetition, and uninteresting in themselves, than when you are engaged in some absorbing study, which probably shuts out all perception of the external world."
  "What you say is very true, sir," said the other; " but you know the lines of Milton---

           Or let my lamp, at midnight hour,
           Be seen in some high lonely tower,
           Where I may oft outwatch the Bear,
           With thrice great Hermes.*

  "These lines have haunted me from very early days, and principally influenced me in purchasing this tower, and placing my library on the top of it. And I have another association with such a mode of life."
  A French clock in the library struck two, and the young gentleman proposed to his visitor to walk into the house. They accordingly descended the stairs, and crossed the entrance-hall to a large drawing-room, simply but handsomely furnished; having some good pictures on the walls, an organ at one end of the room, a piano and harp at the other, and an elegantly disposed luncheon in the middle.
  "At this time of the year," said the young gentleman, "I lunch at two, and dine at eight. This gives me two long divisions of the morning, for any in-door and out-door purposes. I hope you will partake with me. You will not find a precedent in Homer for declining the invitation."
  "Really," said the Doctor, "that argument is cogent and conclusive. I accept with pleasure: and indeed my long walk has given me an appetite."
  "Now you must know," said the young gentleman, "I have none but female domestics. You will see my two waitingmaids."
  He rang the bell, and the specified attendants appeared: two young girls about sixteen and seventeen; both pretty, and simply, but very becomingly, dressed.
  Of the provision set before him the Doctor preferred some cold chicken and tongue. Madeira and sherry were on the table, and the young attendants offered him hock and claret. The Doctor took a capacious glass from each of the fair cup-bearers, and pronounced both wines excellent, and deliciously cool. He declined more, not to over-heat himself in walking, and not to infringe on his anticipations of dinner. The dog, who had behaved throughout with exemplary propriety, was not forgotten. The Doctor rose to depart.
  "I think," said his host, "I may now ask you the Homeric question--Tis? pothen eis andrón?"*
  "Most justly," said the Doctor. "My name is Theophilus Opimian. I am a Doctor of Divinity, and the incumbent of Ashbrook-cum-Ferndale."
  "I am simply," said the other, "Algernon Falconer. I have inherited some money, but no land. Therefore having the opportunity, I made this purchase, to fit it up in my own fashion, and live in it in my own way."
  The Doctor preparing to depart, Mr. Falconer proposed to accompany him part of the way, and calling out another Newfoundland dog, who immediately struck up a friendship with his companion, he walked away with the Doctor, the two dogs gambolling before them.



          Mille hominum species, et rerum discolor usus;
          Velle suum cuique est, nec voto vivitur uno.
            --Persius. [Sat., V. 62 f.]

          In mind and taste men differ as in frame:
          Each has his special will, and few the same.

It strikes me as singular that, with such a house, you should have only female domestics.

        MR. FALCONER.
It is not less singular perhaps that they are seven sisters, all the children of two servants of my father and mother. The eldest is about my own age, twenty-six, so that they have all grown up with me in time and place. They live in great harmony together, and divide among them the charge of all the household duties. Those whom you saw are the two youngest.

If the others aquit themselves as well, you have a very efficient staff; but seven young women as the establishment of one young bachelor, for such I presume you to be. (Mr. Falconer assented), is something new and strange. The world is not overcharitable.

        MR. FALCONER.
The world will never suppose a good motive where it can suppose a bad one. I would not willingly offend any of its prejudices. I would not affect eccentricity. At the same time, I do not feel disposed to be put out of my way because it is not the way of the world---Le Chemin du Monde, as the Frenchman entitled Congreve's comedy
*---but I assure you these seven young women live here as they might in the temple of Vesta. It was a singular combination of circumstances that induced and enabled me to form such an establishment; but I would not give it up, nor alter it, nor diminish it, for any earthly consideration.

You hinted that, beside Milton's verses, you had another association of ideas with living in the top of a tower.

        MR. FALCONER.
I have read of somebody who lived so, and he admitted to his sanctum only one young person, a niece or a daughter, I forget which, but on very rare occasions would descend to speak to some visitor who had previously propitiated the young lady to obtain him an interview. At last the young lady introduced one who proposed for her, and gained the consent of the recluse (I am not sure of his name, but I always call him Lord Noirmont) to carry her off. I think this was associated with some affliction that was cured or some mystery that was solved, and that the hermit returned into the every-day world. I do not know where I read it, but I have always liked the idea of living like Lord Noirmont, when I shall have become a sufficiently disappointed man.

You look as little like a disappointed man as any I have seen; but as you have neither daughter nor niece, you would have seven links instead of one between the top of your tower and the external world.

        MR. FALCONER.
We are all born to disappointment. It is as well to be prospective. Our happiness is not what it is, but in what is to be. We may be disappointed in our everyday realities, and if not, we may make an ideality of the unattainable, and quarrel with Nature for not giving what she has not to give. It is unreasonable to be so disappointed, but it is disappointment not the less.

It is something like the disappointment of the men of Gotham when they could not fish up the moon from the sea.

        MR. FALCONER.
It is very like it, and there are more of us in the predicament of the men of Gotham than are ready to acknowledge the similitude.

I am afraid I am too matter-of-fact to sympathize very clearly with this form of æstheticism; but here is a charming bit of forest scenery. Look at that old oak with the deer under it; the long and deep range of fern running up from it to that beech-grove on the upland. the lights and shadows in its foreground. It is a place in which a poet might look for a glimpse of a Hamadryad.

        MR. FALCONER.
Very beautiful for the actual present--too beautiful for the probable future. Some day or other the forest will be disforested; the deer will be either banished or destroyed; the wood will be either shut up or cut down. Here is another basis for disappointment. The more we admire it now, the more we shall regret it then. The admiration of sylvan and pastoral scenery is at the mercy of an inclusure act, and instead of the glimpse of a Hamadryad you will sometime see a large board warning you off the premises under penalty of rigour of law.

But, my dear young friend, you have yourself enclosed a favourite old resort omine and of many others. I did not see such a board as you speak of; but there is an effective fence which answers the purpose.

        MR. FALCONER.
True; but when. the lot of crown land was put up for sale, it was sure to be purchased and shut up by somebody. At any rate, I have not interfered with the external picturesque; and I have been much more influenced by an intense desire of shutting up melf than of shutting up the place, merely because it is my property.

  About half way from their respective homes the two new friends separated, the Doctor having promised to walk over again soon to dine and pass the night.
  The Doctor soliloquized as he walked.
  Strange metamorphosis of the old tower. A good dining room. A good library. A bed-room between them; he did not show it me. Good wine: excellent. Pretty waiting-maids: exceedingly pretty. Two of seven vestals, who maintain the domestic fire on the hearth of this young Numa.* By the way, they had something of the Vestal costume: white dresses with purple borders. But they had nothing on their heads but their own hair, very gracefully arranged. The Vestals had head-dresses, which hid their hair, if they had any. They were shaved on admission . Perhaps the hair was allowed to grow again. Perhaps not. I must look into the point. If not, it was a wise precaution. "Hair, the only grace of form,"* says the Arbiter Elegantarium, who compares a bald head to a fungus.* A head without hair, says Ovid, is as a field without grass, and a shrub without leaves.* Venus herself, if she had appeared with a bald head, would not have tempted Apuleius:* and I am of his mind. A husband, in Menander,* in a fit of jealous madness, shaves his wife's head; and when he sees what he has made of her, rolls at her feet in an agony of remorse. He was at any rate safe from jealousy till it grew again. And here is a subtlety of Euripides, which none of his commentators have seen into. Ægisthus has married Electra to a young farmer, who cultivates his own land. He respects the Princess from magnanimity, and restores her a pure virgin to her brother Orestes. "Not probable," say some critics. But I say, highly probable: for she comes on with her head shaved. There is the talisman, and the consummate artifice of the great poet. It is ostensibly a symbol of grief; but not the less a most efficient ally of the aforesaid maganimity. "In mourning," says Aristotle, sympathizing with the dead, we deform ourselves by cutting of our hair."* And truly, it is sympathy in approximation. A woman's head shaved is a step towards a death's head. As a symbol of grief, it was not necessary to the case of Electra; for in the sister tragedies of Æschylus and Sophocles, her grief is equally great, and she appears with flowing hair; but in them she is an unmarried maid, and there is no dramatic necessity for so conspicuous an antidote to her other charms. Neither is it according to custom; for in recent grief the whole hair was sacrificed, but in the memory of an old sorrow only one or two curls were cut off.* Therefore it was the dramatic necessity of a counter-charm that influenced Euripides. Helen knew better than to shave her head in a case where custom required it. Euripides makes Electra reproach Helen for thus preserving her beauty;* which further illustrates his purpose in shaving the head of Electra where custom did not require it. And Terence showed his taste in not shaving the head of his heroine in the Phormio, though the severity of Athenian custom would have required it. Her beauty shone through her dishevelled hair, but with no hair at all she would not have touched the heart of Antipho. Alla tié moi tauta philos dielexato thumos?* But wherefore does my mind discourse these things to me? suspending dismal images on lovely realities? for the luxuriant hair of these young girls is of no ordinary beauty. Their tresses have not been deposited under the shadow of the sacred lotus, as Pliny tells us those of the Vestals were.* Well, this young gentleman's establishment may be perfectly moral, strictly correct, but in one sense it is morality thrown away: the world will give him no credit for it. I am sure Mrs. Opimian will not. If he were married it would be different. But I think, if he were to marry now, there would be a fiercer fire than Vesta's among his Lares. The temple would be too hot for the seven virgins. I suppose, as he is so resolute against change, he does not mean to marry. Then he tals about anticipated disappointment in some unrealizable ideality, leading him to behave like Lord Noirmont, whom I never heard of before. He is far enough off from that while he lunches and walks as he does, and no doubt dines in accordance. He will not break his heart for any moon in the water, if his cooks are as good as his waiting-maids, and the wine which he gave me is a fair specimen of his cellar. He is learned too. Greek seems to be the strongest chord in his sympathies. If it had not been for the singular accident of his overhearing me repeat half a dozen lines of Homer, I should not have been asked to walk in. I might have leaned over the gate till sunset, and have had no more notice taken of me than if I had been a crow.
  At dinner the Doctor narrated his morning adventure to Mrs. Opimian, and found her, as he had anticipated, most virtuously uncharitable with respect to the seven sisters. She did not depart from her usual serenity, but said, with equal calmness and decision, that she had no belief in the virtue of young men.
  "My dear," said the Doctor, "it has been observed, though I forget by whom, that there is in every man's life a page which is usually doubled down. Perhapsthere is such a page in the life of our young friend; but if there be, the volume which contains it is not in the same house of the seven sisters."
  The Doctor could not retire to rest without verifying his question touching the hair of the Vestals; and stepping into his study was taking out an old folio to consult Lipsius de Vestalibus, when a passage flashed across his memory, which seemed decisive on the point. "How could I overlook it?" he thought.

          "Ignibus Iliacis aderam: cum lapsa capillis
            Decidit ante sacros lanea vitta focos:*

says Rhea Sylvia in the Fasti."
  He took down the Fasti, and turning over the leaves lighted on another line:--

          Attonitæ flebant demisso crine ministræ.*

With the note of an old commentator: "This will enlighten those who doubt if the Vestals wore their hair." "I infer," said the Doctor, "that I have doubted in good company; but it is clear that the Vestals did wear their hair of second growth. But if it was wrapped in wool, it might as well not have been there. The vitta was at once the symbol and the talisman of chastity. Shall I recommend my young friend to wrap up the heads of his Vestals in a vitta? It would be safer for all parties. But I cannot imagine a piece of advice for which the giver would receive less thanks. And I had rather see them as they are. So I shall let well alone."



      Euphraine sauton: pine ton kath' hémeran
      Bion logizou son, ta d' alla tés Tuchés.

            --Euripides: Alcestis. [788 f.]

      Rejoice thy spirit: drink: the passing day.
      Esteem thine own, and all beyond as Fortune's.

THE DOCTOR was not long without remembering his promise to revisit his new acquaintance, and purposing to remain till next morning, he set out later in the day. The weather was intensely hot; he walked slowly, and paudes more frequently than usual, to rest under the shade of trees. He was shown into the drawing-room, where he was shortly joined by Mr. Falconer, and very cordially welcomed.
  The two friends dined together in the lower room of the Tower. The dinner and wine were greatly to the Doctor's mind. In due time they adjourned to the drawing-room, and the two young handmaids who had waited at dinner attended with coffee and tea. The Doctor then said--"You are well provided with musical instruments. Do you play?"

        MR. FALCONER.
No. I have profited by the observation of Doctor Johnson: "Sir, once on a time I took to fiddling; but found I that to fiddle well I must fiddle all my life, and thought I could do something better."

Then, I presume, these are pieces of ornamental furniture, for the use of occasional visitors?

        MR. FALCONER.
Not exactly. My maids play on them, and sing to them.

Your maids!

        MR. FALCONER.
Even so. They have been thoroughly well educated, and are all accomplished musicians.

And at what time do they usually play on them?

        MR. FALCONER.
Every evening about this time, when I am alone.

And why not when you have company?

        MR. FALCONER.
La Morgue Aristocratique,* which pervades all society, would not tolerate such a proceeding on the part of young women, of whom some had superintended the preparation of the dinner, and others attended on it. It would not have been incongruous in the Homeric age.

Then I'll hope you will allow it to be not incongruous this evening, Homer being the original vinculum* between you and me.

        MR. FALCONER.
Would you like to hear them?

Indeed I should

  The two younger sisters having answered the summons, and the Doctor's wish having been communicated, the seven appeared together, all in the same dress of white and purple.
  "The Seven Pleiads!" thought the Doctor. "What a constellation of beauty!" He stood up and bowed to them, which they gracefully acknowledged.
  They then played on, and sang to, the harp and piano. The Doctor was enchanted.
  After a while, they passed over to the organ, and performed some sacred music of Mozart and Beethoven. They then paused and looked round, as if for instructions.
  "We usually end," said Mr. Falconer, "with a hym to St. Catharine, but perhaps it may not be to your taste; although Saint Catharine is a saint of the English Church Calendar."
  "I like all sacred music," said the Doctor. "And I am not disposed to object to a saint of the English Church Calendar."
  "She is also," said Mr. Falconer, "a most perfect emblem of purity, and in that sense alone there can be no fitter image to be presented to the minds of young women."
  "Very true," said the Doctor. "And very strange withal," he thought to himself."
  The sisters sang their hym, made their obeisance, and departed.

The hands of those young women do not show signs of menial work.

        MR. FALCONER.
They are the regulating spirits of the household. They have a staff of their own for the courser and harder work.

Their household duties, then, are such as Homeric damsels discharged in the homes of their fathers, with dmóai for the lower drudgery

        MR. FALCONER.
Something like it.

Young ladies, in short, in manners and accomplishments, though not in social position; only more useful in a house than young ladies generally are.

        MR. FALCONER.
Something like that, too. If you know the tree by its fruit, the manner in which this house is kept may reconcile you to the singularity of the experiment.

I am perfectly reconciled to it. The experiment is eminently successful.

  The Doctor always finished his day with a tumbler of brandy and water: soda water in summer, and hot water in winter. After his usual draught he retired to his chamber, where he slept like a top, and dreamed of Electra and Nausicaa, Vestals, Pleiads, and Saint Catharine, and woke with the last words he had heard sung on the preceding night still ringing in his ears:--

            Dei virgo Catharina,
            Lege constans in divina,
            Coeli gemma preciosa,
            Margarita fulgda,
            Sponsa Christi gloriosa,
            Paradisi viola!*



          Despairing beside a clear stream.
          A shepherd forsaken was laid.

THE NEXT morning, after a comfortable breakfast, the Doctor set out on his walk home. ung friend accompanied him part of the way, and did not part with him until he had obtained a promise of another and longer visit.
  The Doctor, as usual, soliloquized as he walked. "No doubt these are Vestals. The purity of the establishment is past question. This young gentleman has every requisite which her dearest friends would desire in a husband for Miss Gryll. And she is in every way suited to him. But these seven damsels interpose themselves, like the sevenfold shield of Ajax. There is something very attractive in these damsels:

                  facies non omnibus una,
            Nec diversa tamen: qualem decet esse sororum.*

If I had such an establishment, I should be loath to break it up. It is original, in thes days of monotony. It is satisfactory, in these days of uncongenial relations between master and servant. It is effective, in the admirable arrangements of the household. It is graceful, in the personal beauty and tasteful apparel of the maidens. It agreeable, in their manners, in their accomplishments, in their musical skill. It is like an enchanted palace. Mr. Gryll who talks so much of Circe, would find himself at home; he might fancy himself waited on by her handmaids, the daughters of fountains, groves, and rivers. Miss Gryll might fancy herself in the dwelling of her namesake, Morgana. But I fear she would be for dealing with it as Orlando did with Morgana, breaking the talisman and dissolving the enchantment. This would be a pity; but it would be a pity that these two young persons should not come together. But why should I trouble myself with match-making? It is always a thankless office. If it turns out well, your good service is forgotten. If it turns out well, you are abused by both parties."
  The Doctor's soliloquy was cut short by the sound of lamentation, which, as he went on, came to him in louder and louder bursts. He was attracted to the spot whence the sounds proceeded, and had some difficulty in discovering a doleful swain, who was ensconced in a mass of fern, talleran himself if he had been upright; and but that, by rolling over and over in the turbulence of his grief, he had flattened a large space down to the edge of the forest brook near which he reclined, he would have remained invisible in his lair. The tears in his eyes, and the passionate utterances of his voice, contrasted strangely with a round russetin face, which seemed fortified by beef and ale against all possible furrows of care; but against love, even beef and ale, mighty talismans as they are, are feeble barriers. Cupid's arrows had pierced through the æs triplex* of treble X, and the stricken deer lay mourning by the stream.
  The Doctor approached, kindly inquired, "What is the matter?" but was answered only by a redoubled burst of sorrow and an emphatic rejection of all sympathy.
  "You can't do me any good."
  "You do not know that," said the Doctor. "No man knows what good another can do him till he communicates his trouble."
  For some time the Doctor could obtain no other answer than the repetition of "You can't do me any good." But at length the patience and kind face of the inquirer had their effect on the sad shepherd, and he brought out with desperate effort and a more clamorous explosion of grief,
  "She won't have me!"
  "Who won't have you?" said the Doctor.
  "Well, if you must know," said the swain, "you must. It's one of the young ladies up at the Folly."
  "Young ladies?" said the Doctor.
  "Servants they call themselves," said the other; "but they are more like ladies, and hold their heads high enough when one of them won't have me. Father's is one of the best farms for miles round, and it's all his own. He's a true old yeoman, father is. And there's nobody but him and me. And if I had a nice wife, that would be a good housekeeper for him, and play and sing to him of an evening--for she can do anything, she can--read, and write, and keep accounts, and play and sing--I've heard her--and make a plum pudding--I've seen her--we should be as happy as three crickets--four, perhaps, at the year's end: and she won't have me.
  "You have put the question?" said the Doctor.
  "Plump," said the other. "And she looked at first as if she was going to laugh. She didn't, though. Then she looked serious, and said she was very sorry for me. She said she saw I was in earnest. She knew I was a good son, and deserved a good wife; but she couldn't have me. Miss, said I, do you like anybody better? No, she said, very heartily.
  "That is one comfort," said the Doctor.
  "What comfort," said the other, "when she won't have me?"
  "She may alter her mind," said the Doctor, "if she does not prefer any one else. Besides, she may only say she can't."
  "Can't," said the other, "is civil for won't. That's all."
  "Does she say why she can't?" said the Doctor.
  "Yes," said the other. "She says she and her sisters won't part with each other and their young master."
  "Now," said the Doctor, "you have not told me whichof the seven sisters is the one in question."
  "It's the third," said the other. "What they call the second cook. There's a housekeeper and two cooks, and two housemaids and two waiting-maids. But they only manage for the young master. There are others that wait on them."
  "And what is her name?" said the Doctor.
  "Dorothy," said the other; her name is Dorothy. Their names follow like A B C, only that A comes last. Betsey, Catharine, Dorothy, Eleanor, Fanny, Grace, Anna. But they told me it was not the alphabet they were christened from; it was the key of A minor, if you know what that means."
  "I think I do," said the Doctor, laughing. "They were christened from the Greek diatonic scale, and make up two conjunct tetrachords, if you know what that means."
  "I can't say I do," said the other, looking bewildered.
  "And so," said the Doctor, "the young gentleman, whose name is Algernon, is the Proslambanomenos, or key-note, and makes up the octave. His parents must have designed it as a foretelling, that he and his seven foster-sisters were to live in harmony all their lives. But how did you become acquainted?"
  "Why," said the other, "I take a great many things to the house from our farm, and it's generally she that takes them in."
  "I know the house well," said the Doctor, "and the master, and the maids. Perhaps he will marry, and they may follow the example. Live in hope. Tell me your name."
  "Hedgerow," said the other, "Harry Hedgerow. And if you know her, ain't she a beauty?"
  "Why, yes," said the Doctor, "they are all good looking."
  "And she won't have me," cried the other, but with a more subdued expression. The Doctor had consoled him, and given him a ray of hope. And they went their several ways.
  The Doctor resumed his soliloquy.
  "Here is the semblance of something

towards a solution of the difficulty. If one of the damsels should marry, it would break the combination. One will not by herself. But what if seven apple-faced Hedgerows should rpopose simultaneously, seven notes in the key of A minor, an octave below? Stranger things have happened. I have read of six brothers who had the civility to break their necks in succession, that the seventh, who was the hero of the story, might inherit an estate. But, again and again, why should I trouble myself with match-making? I had better leave things to take their own course."
  Still in his interior speculum,* the Doctor could not help seeing a dim reflection of himself pronouncing the nuptial benediction on his two young friends.



            Indulge Genio: carpamus dulcia: nostrum est
          Quod vivus: cinis, et manes, et fabula fies.
          Vive memor lethi: fuhit hora: quod hoc loquor, inde est.
            --Persius. [Sat., 151 ff.]

          Indulge thy genius, while the hour's thine own:
          Even while we speak, some part of it has flown.
          Snatch the swift-passing good: 'twill end ere long
          In dust, and shadow, and an old wife's song.

AGAPÊTUS and Agapêtæ,"* said the Reverend Doctor Opimian, the next morning at breakfast, in the best sense of the words: that, I am satisfied, is the relation between this young gentleman and his handmaids."

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
Perhaps, Doctor, you will have the goodness to make your view of this relation a little more intelligble to me.

Assuredly, my dear. The word signifies "beloved," in its purest sense. And in this sense was used by Saint Paul in reference to some of his female co-religionists and fellow-labourers in the vineyard, in whose houses he occasionally dwelt. And in this sense it was applied to virgins and holy men, who dwelt under the same roof in spiritual love.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
Very likely, indeed. You are a holy man, Doctor, but I think, if you were a bachelor, and I were a maid, I should not trust myself to be your aga-- aga---

Agapêtê. But I never pretended to this sort of spiritualism. I followed the advice of Saint Paul, who says it is better to marry---*.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
You need not finish the quotation.

Agapêtê is often translated "adoptive sister." A very possible relation, I think, where there are vows of celibacy, and inward spiritual grace.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
Very possible, indeed: and equally possible where there are none.

But more possible where there are seven adoptive sisters, than where there is only one.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.

The manners, my dear, of these damsels towards their young master, are infallible indications of the relations between them. Their respectful deference to him is a symptom in which I cannot be mistaken.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
I hope you are not.

I am sure I am not. I would stake all my credit for observation and experience on the purity of the seven Vestals. I am not strictly accurate in calling them so: for in Rome the number of Vestals was only six. But there were seven Pleiads, till one disappeared. We may fancy she became a seventh Vestal in the name of modern progress.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
There used to be seven deadly sins. How many has modern progress added to them?

None, I hope, my dear. But this will be due, not to its own tendencies, but to the comprehensiveness of the old definitions.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
I think I have heard something like your old Greek word before.

Agapêmonê, my dear. You may have heard the word Agapêmonê.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
That is it. And what may it signify?

It signifies Abode of Love: spiritual love, of course

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
Spiritual love, which rides in carriages and four, fares sumptuously, like Dives, and protects itself with a high wall from profane observation.

Well, my dear, and there may be no harm in all that.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
Doctor, you are determined not to see harm in anything.

I am afraid I see more harm in many things that I like to see. But one reason for not seeing harm in this Agapêmonê matter is, that I hear so little about it. The world is ready enough to promulgate scandal; but that which is quietly right may rest in peace.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
Surely, Doctor, you do not think this Agapêmonê right?

I only say I do not know whether it is right or wrong. It is nothing new. Three centuries ago there was a Family of Love, on which Middleton wrote a comedy. Queen Elizabeth persecuted this family; Middleton made it ridiculous; but it oulived them both, and there may have been no harm in it at all.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
Perhaps, Doctor, the world is too good to see any novelty except in something wrong.

Perhaps it is only wrong that arrests attention, because right is common, and wrong is rare. Of the many thousand persons who walk daily through a street you only hear of one who has been robbed or knocked down. If ever Hamlet's news--"that the world has grown honest"*--should prove true, there would be an end of our newspaper. For, let us see, what is the epitome of a newspaper? In the first place, specimens of all the deadly sins, and infinite varieties of violence and fraud; a great quantity of talk, called by courtesy legislative wisdom, of which the result is "an incoherent and undigested mass of law, shot down, as from a rubbish-cart, on the heads of the people;"* lawyers barking at each other in that peculiar style of hylactic* delivery which is called forensic eloquence, and of which the first and most distinguished was Cerberus;* bear-garden meetings of mismanaged companies, in which directors and shareholdrs abuse each other in choice terms, not all to be found in Rabelais; burstings of bank bubbles, which, like a touch of harlequin's wand, strip off their masks and dominoes from "highly respectable" gentlemen, and leave them in their true figures of cheats and pickpockets; societies of all sorts, for teaching everybody everything, meddling with everybody's business, and mending everybody's morals; mountebank advertisements promising the beauty of Helen in a bottle of cosmetic, and the age of Old Parr* in a box of pills; folly all alive in things called reunions; announcements that some exceedingly stupid fellow has been "entertaining" a select company; matters, however multiform, multifarious, and multitudinous, all brought into family likeness by the varnish of false pretension with which they are overlaid.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
I did not like to interrupt you, Doctor; but it struck me, while you were speaking, that in reading the newspaper you do not hear the bark of the lawyers.

True; but no one who has once heard the wow-wow can fail to reproduce it in imagination.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
You have omitted accidents, which occupy a large space in the newspaper. If the world grew ever so honest, there would still be accidents.

But honesty would materially diminish the number. High pressure steamers would not scatter death and destruction around them, if the dishonesty of avarice did not tempt their employment, where the more costly low pressure would ensure absolute safety. Honestly built houses would not come suddenly down and crush their occupants. Ships, faithfully built and effciently manned, would not so readily strike on a lee shore, nor go instantly to pieces on the first touch of the ground. Honestly made sweetmeats would not poison children; honestly compounded drugs would not poison patients. In short, the larger portion of what we call accidents are crimes.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
I have often heard you say, of railways and steam vessels, that the primary cause of their disasters is the insane passion of the public for speed. That is not crime, but folly.

It is crime in those who ought to know better than to act in the furtherance of the folly. But when the world has grown honest, it will no doubt grow wise. When we have got rid of crime, we may consider how to get rid of folly. So that question is adjourned to the Greek kalends.

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
There are always in a newspaper some things of a creditable character.

When we are at war, naval and military heroism abundantly; but in time of peace, these virtues sleep. They are laid up like ships in ordinary. No doubt, of the recorded facts of civil life some are good, and more are indifferent, neither good nor bad; but good and indifferent together are scarcely moree than a twelfth part of the whole. Still, the matters thus presented are all exceptional cases. A hermit reading nothing but a newspaper might find little else than food for misanthropy; but living among friends, and in the bosom of our family, we see that the dark side of life is the occasional picture, the bright is its every-day aspect. The occasional is the matter for curiosity, of incident, of adventure, of things that really happen to few, and may possibly happen to any. The interest attendant on any action or event is in just proportion to its rarity; and, happily, quiet virtues are all around us, and unobtrusive vices seldom cross our path. On the whole, I agree in opinion with Theseus, that there is more good than evil in the world.*

        MRS. OPIMIAN.
I think, Doctor, you would not maintain any opinion if you had not an authority two thousand years old for it.

Well, my dear, I think most opinions worth maintaining have an authority of about that age.



          Psyxon ton oinon, Dóri. ----
          ---- Egcheon su dé piein:
          Euzóroteron ge né Di', ó pai, dos: to gar
          Hudares apan tout' esti téi psychéi kakon.

            --Diphilus. [Op. Meinecke. Com. Fragm. iv. 375.]

          Cool the wine, Doris. Pour it in the cup
          Simple, unmixed with water. Such dilution
          Serves only to wash out the spirit of man.

THE DOCTOR, under the attraction of his new acquaintance, had allowed more time than usual to elapse between his visits to Gryll Grange, and when he resumed them, he was not long without communicating the metamorphosis of the Old Tower, and the singularities of its inhabitants. They had dined well as usual, and drank their wine cool.

        MISS GRYLL.
There are many things in what you have told us that exzcite my curiosity; but first, what do you suppose is the young man's religion?

From the great liking he seems to have taken to me, I should think he was of the Church of England, if I did not rather explain it by our Greek sympathy. At the same time, he kept very carefully in view that Saint Catharine is a saint of the English Church Calendar. I imagine there is less of true piety than of abstract notion of ideal beauty, even in his devotion to her. But it is so far satisfactory that he wished to prove his religion, such as it is, to be within the pale of the Church of England.

        MISS GRYLL.
I like the idea of his closing the day with a hymn, sung in concert by his seven Vestals.

I am glad that you think charitably of the damsels. It is not every lady that would. But I am satisfied they deserve it.

        MR. GRYLL.
I should like to know the young gentleman. I wish you could manage to bring him here. Should you not like to see him, Morgana?

        MISS GRYLL.
Yes, uncle.

        MR. GRYLL.
Try what you can do, Doctor. We shall have before long some petical and philosophical visitors. That may tempt him to join us.

It may to me to be indisposed to general society, and to care for nothing but woods, rivers, and the sea; Greek poetry, Saint Catharine, and the seven Vestals. However, I will try what can be done.

        MR. GRYLL.
But, Doctor, I think he would scarcely have provided such a spacious dining room, and so much domestic accommodation, if he had intended to shut himself up from society altogether. I expect that some day when you go there you will find a large party. Try if he will co-operate in the Aristophanic comedy.

A good idea. That may be something to his mind.

        MISS GRYLL.
Talking of comedy, Doctor, what has become of Lord Curryfin, and his lecture on fish?

Why, Lord Michin Malicho,
* Lord Facing-both-ways,* and two or three other arch-quacks, have taken to merryandrewising in a new arena, which they call the Science of Pantopragmatics, and they have bitten Lord Curryfin into tumbling with them; but the mania will subside when the weather grows cool; and no doubt we shall still have him at Thornback Bay, teaching ther fishermen how to know a herring from a halibut.

        MISS GRYLL.
But pray, Doctor, what is this new science?

Why, that, Miss Gryll, I cannot well make out. I have asked several professors of the science, and have got nothing in return but some fine varieties of rigmarole, of which I can make neither head nor tail. It seems to be areal art of talking about an imaginary art of teaching every man his own business. Nothing practical comes of it, and indeed so much the better. It will be at least harmless, as long as it is like Hamlet's reading, "words, words, words."*. Like most other science, it resolves itself into lecturing, lecturing, lecturing, aboof matters, relevant and irrelevant: one enormous bore prating about jurisprudence, another about statistics, another about education, and so forth; the crambe repetita* of the same rubbish, which has already been served up "twiës hot and twiës cold,"* at many other associations nick-named scientific.

        MISS GRYLL.
Then, Doctor, I should think Lord Curryfin's lecture would be a great relief to the unfortunate audience.

No doubt more amusing, and equally profitable. Not a fish more would be caught for it, and this will typify the result of all such scientific talk. I had rather hear a practical cook lecture on bubble and squeak: no bad emblem of the whole affair.

        MISS GRYLL.
It has been said a man of genius can discourse on anything. Bubble and squeak seems a limited subject; but in the days of the French revolution there was an amusing poem with that title;* and there might be an amusing lecture; especially if it were like the poem, discursive and emblematical. But men so dismally far gone in the affectation of earnestness would scarcely rlish it.



          ---- gli occhi su levai,
          E vidi lei che si facea corona,
          Riflettendo da sè gli eterni rai.
            --Dante: Paradiso, xxxi. 70-72.

                I lifted up my gaze,
          And looked on her who made herself a crown,
          Reflecting from herself the eternal rays.

IT WAS not long before the Doctor again walked to the Tower, to propose to his young friend to co-operate in the Aristophanic comedy.
  He found him well disposed to do so, and they passed a portion of the afternoon in arranging their programme.
  They dined, and passed the evening much as before. The next morning, as they were ascending to the library to resume their pleasant labour, the Doctor said to himself, "I have passed along galleries wherein were many chambers, and the doors in the day were more commonly open than shut, yet this chamber door of my young friend is always shut. There must be a mystery in it. And the Doctor, not generally given to morbid curiosity, found himself very curious about this very simple matter.
  At last he mustered up courage to say, "I have seen your library, dining-room, and drawing-room; but you have so much taste in internal arrangements, I should like to see the rest of the house.

        MR. FALCONER.
There is not much more to see. You have occupied one of the best bedrooms. The rest do not materially differ.

To say the truth, I should like to seen your own.

        MR. FALCONER.
I am quite willing. But I have thought, perhaps erroneously, it is decorated in a manner you might not altogether approve.

Nothing indecorous, I hope.

        MR. FALCONER.
Quite the contrary. You may, perhaps, think it too much devoted to my peculiar views of the purity of ideal beauty, as developed in Saint Catharine.

You have not much to apprehend on that score.

        MR. FALCONER.
You see, there is an altar, with an image of Saint Catharine, and the panels of the room are painted with subjects from her life, mostly copied from Italian masters. The pictures of St. Catharine and her legend very early impressed her on my mind as the type of ideal beauty--of all that can charm, irradiate, refine, exalt, in the best of the better sex.

You are enthusiastic; but indeed, though she is retained as a saint in the Reformed Church, I am not very familiar with her history. And to me some of these pictures require explanation.

        MR. FALCONER.
I will tell you her legend as briefly as I may. And we will pass from picture to picture as the subjects arise.


  Catharine was a Princess of Alexandria in the third century. She embraced the Christian religion by divine inspiration. She was pre-eminent in beauty, learning, and discourse. She converted her father and mother, and all with whom she came into communication. The Emperor Maxentius brought together the fifty wisest men of the empire to convert her from the error of her way, and she coverted them all to the new faith. Maxentius burned her proselytes, and threatened her with a similar death. She remained firm. He had her publicly scourged, and cast her into prison to perish by famine. Going on an expedition, he left the execution of his orders to the empress and his chief general, Porphyrius. Angels healed her wounds and supplied her with food; and in a beatific vision the Saviour of the world placed a ring on her finger, and called her his bride.* The presence of the ring showed to her the truth of the visitation. The empress and Porphyrius visited the prison, and she converted them also. The emperor, returning, put the empress and Porphyrius to death; and after many ineffectual expostulations with Catharine, determined on putting her to death by the wheel which bears her name. Four of these wheels, armed with iron teeth, and revolving towards each other, were to cut her to pieces. Angels broke the wheels. He then brought her to the stake, and the angels exstinguished the flames. He then ordered her to be beheaded by the sword. This was permitted, and in the meantime the day had closed. The body, reserved for exposure to wild beasts, was left under guard at the place of execution. Intense darkness fell on the night, and in the morning the body had disappeared. The angels had borne it to the summit of the loftiest moutain of the Horeb range, where still a rock, bearing the form of a natural sarcophagus, meets the eye of the traveller. Here it was watched by angel-guards, and preserved in unchanging beauty, till, in the fulness of time it was revealed to a holy man, who removed it to the shrine, under which it lies to this day, with the ring still on its hand, in the convent which was then founded, and which bears her name---the convent of Saint Catharine of Mount Sinai.

Most of this is new to me. Yet I am not unfamiliar with pictures of the Marriage of Saint Catharine, which was a favourite subject with the great Italian masters. But here is a picture which the legend, as you have related it, does not illustrate. What is this tomb, with flames bursting from it, and monks and others recoiling in dismay?

        MR. FALCONER.
It represents a remarkable incident at the tomb of the saint. The Empress Catharine II was a great benefatress to the convent of Mount Sinai, and desired to possess Saint Catharine's ring. She sent a mitred Abbot as an envoy to request it from the brotherhood. The monks, unwilling to displease the Empress, replied that they did not dare to remove it themselves, but that they would open the tomb, and the envoy might take it. They opened the tomb accordingly, and the envoy looked on the hand and the ring. He approached to draw it off; but flames brst forth: he recoiled, and the tomb closed. Under such manifestation of the saint's displeasure, the fathers could not again attempt to open it.*

I should have liked to have seen the Empress receiving the envoy's report.

        MR. FALCONER.
Her reception of it would depend on the degree of faith which she either actually felt, or might have thought it politic to assume. At any rate, the fathers had shown their devotion, and afforded her a good opportunity for exhibiting hers. She did not again seek to obtain the ring.

Now, what are these three pictures in one frame, of chapels on hills?

        MR. FALCONER.
These chapels are here represented as they may be supposed to have been in the Catholic days of England. Three sisters, named Catharine, Martha, and Anne, built them to their namesake saints, on the summits of three hills, which took from them the names they still bear. From the summit of each of these chapels the other two were visible. The sisters thought the chapels would long remain memorials of Catholic piety and sisterly love. The Reformation laid them in ruins. Nothing remains of the chapel of Saint Anne but a few grey stones, built into an earthen wall, which, some half century ago, enclosed a plantation. The hill is now better known by the memory of Charles Fox, than by that of its ancient saint.*. The chapel of Saint Martha has been restored and applied to Protestant worship. The chapel of Saint Catharine remains a picturesque ruin, on the banks of the Wey, near guildford.

And that old church?

        MR. FALCONER.
That was the church of St. Catharine, which was pulled down to make way for the dock by which her name is now profaned; an act of desecration which has been followed by others, and will be followed by many more, whenever it may suit the interests of commerce to commit sacrilege on consecrated ground and dissipate the ashes of the dead; an act which, even when that of a barbarian invader, Horace thought it would be profanation even to look on.* Whatever may be in other respects the superiority of modern piety, we are far inferior to the ancients in reverence for temples and tombs.

I am afraid I cannot gainsay that observation.. But what is that stained glass window?

        MR. FALCONER.
It is copied on a smaller scale, and with more of Italian artistic beauty in the principal figure, from the window in West Wickham church. She is trampling on the Emperor Maxentius. You see all her emblems: the palm, which belongs to all sainted martyrs; the crown, the wheel, the fire, the sword, which belong especially to her; and the book, with which she is always represented, as herself a miracle of learning, and its chosen patroness in the schools of the Middle Ages.

Unquestionably, the legend is interesting. At present, your faith is simply poetical. But take care, my young friend, that you do not finish by becoming the dupe of your own mystification.

        MR. FALCONER.
I have no fear of that. I think I can clearly distinguish devotion to ideal beauty from superstitious belief. I feel the necessity of some such devotion, to fill up the void which the world, as it is, leaves in my mind. I wish to believe in the presence of some local spiritual influence; genius or nymph; linking us by a medium of something like human feeling, but more pure and more exalted, to the all-pervading, creative, and preservative spirit of the universe; but I cannot realize it from things as they are. Everything is too deeply tinged with sordid vulgarity. There can be no intellectual power resident in a wood, where the only inscription is not "Genius loci," but "Trespassers will be prosecuted;" no Naiiad in a stream that turns a cotton-mill; no Oread in a mountain dell, where a railway train deposits a cargo of Vandals; no Nereids or Oceanitides along the seashore, wheee a coast-guard is watching for smugglers. No; the intellectual life of the material world is dead. Imagination cannot replace it But the intercession of saints still forms a link between the visible and invisible. In their symbols I can imagine their presence. Each in the recess of our own thought we may preserve their symbols from the intrusion of the world. And the saint, whom I have chosen, presents to my mind the most perfect ideality of physical, moral, and intellectual beauty.

I cannot object to your taste. But I hope you will not be led into investing the ideality with too much of the semblance of reality. I should be sorry to find you far gone in hagiolatry. I hope you will acquiesce in Martin, keeping equally clear of Peter and Jack.*

        MR. FALCONER.
Nothing will more effectually induce me so to acquiesce, than your company, dear Doctor. A tolerant liberality like yours has a very persuasive influence.

        MR. FALCONER.
I have no fear of that. I think I can clearly distinguish devotion to ideal beauty from superstitious belief. I feel the necessity of some such devotion, to fill up the void which the world, as it is, leaves in my mind. I wish to believe in the presence of some local spiritual influence; genius or nymph; linking us by a medium of something like human feeling, but more pure and more exalted, to the all-pervading, creative, and preservative spirit of the universe; but I cannot realize it from things as they are. Everything is too deeply tinged with sordid vulgarity. There can be no intellectual power resident in a wood, where the only inscription is not "Genius loci," but "Trespassers will be prosecuted;" no Naiiad in a stream that turns a cotton-mill; no Oread in a mountain dell, where a railway train deposits a cargo of Vandals; no Nereids or Oceanitides along the seashore, wheee a coast-guard is watching for smugglers. No; the intellectual life of the material world is dead. Imagination cannot replace it But the intercession of saints still forms a link between the visible and invisible. In their symbols I can imagine their presence. Each in the recess of our own thought we may preserve their symbols from the intrusion of the world. And the saint, whom I have chosen, presents to my mind the most perfect ideality of physical, moral, and intellectual beauty.

  From this digression, the two friends proceeded to the arrangements of their Aristophanic comedy, and divided their respective shares after the manner of Beaumont and Fletcher.



    Si bene calculum ponas, ubique naufragium est.
      --Petronius Arbiter. [Sat. 115, 17.]

    If you consider well the events of life, shipwreck is everywhere.

AFTER luncheon the Doctor thought of returning home, when a rumbling of thunder made him pause. They reascended the tower, to reconnoitre the elements from the library. The windows were so arranged as to afford a panoramic view.
  The thunder muttered far off, but there was neither rain nor visible lightning.
  "The storm is at a great distance," said the Doctor, "and it seems to be passing away on the verge of the sky."
  But on the opposite horizon appeared a mass of dark-blue cloud, which rose rapidly, and advanced in the direct line of the Tower. Befire it rolled a lighter but still lurid volume of vapour, which curled and wreathed like eddying smoke bfore the denser blackness of the unbroken cloud.
  Simultaneously followed the flashing of lightning, the rolling of thunder, and a deluge of rain like the bursting of a waterspout.
  They sate some time in silence, watching the storm as it swept along, with wind, and driving rain, and whirling hail, bringing for a time almost the darkness of night, through which the forked lightning poured a scarcely interrupted blaze.
  Suddenly came a long dazzling flash, that seemed to irradiate the entire circumference of the sky, followed instantaneously by one of those crashing peals of thunder, which always indicate that something very near has been struck by lightning.
  The Doctor turned around to make a remark on the awful grandeur of the effect, when he observed that his young friend had disappeared. On his return, he said he had been looking for what had been struck.
  "And what was?" said the Doctor.
  "Nothing in the house," said his host.
  "The Vestals," thought the Doctor; "these were all his solicitude."
  But though Mr. Falconer had looked no further than to the safety of the seven sisters, his attention was soon drawn to a tumult below, which seemed to indicate that some serious mischief had resulted from the lightning; and the youngest of the sisters, appearing in great trepidation, informed him that one of two horses in a gentleman's carriage had been struck dead, and that a young lady in the carriage had been stunned by the passing flash, though how far she was injured by it could not be immediately known. The other horse, it appeared, had been prancing in terror, and had nearly overthrown the carriage; but he had been restrained by the vigorous arm of a young farmer, who had subsequently carried the young lady into the house, where she was now resting on a couch in the female apartments, and carefully attended by the sisters.
  Mr. Falconer and the Doctor descended into the hall, and were assured that the young lady was doing well, but that she would be much the better for being left some time longer undisturbed. An elderly gentleman issued from the female apartments, and the Doctor with some amazement recognised his friend Mr. Gryll, to whom and his niece this disaster had occurred.
  The beauty of the morning had tempted them to a long drive; and they thought it would be a good opportunity to gratify at least a portion of the curiosity which the Doctors description of the Folly and its inhabitants had excited in them. They had therefore determined on taking a circuit, in which they would pass under the walls of the Tower. They were almost at the extremity of their longest radius when the storm burst over them, and were just under the Tower when the lightning struck one of their horses. Harry Hedgerow was on his way with some farm produce when the accident occurred, and was the young farmer who had subdued the surviving horse and carried the young lady into the house. Mr. Gryll was very panegyrical of this young man's behaviour, and the Doctor when he recognised him shook him heartily by the hand, and told him he felt sure that he was a lad who would make his way: a remark which Harry received as a good omen: for Dorothy heard it, and looked at him with a concurrent, though silent, approbation.
  The drawing-room and the chambers for visitors were between the tower and the gynæceum, or female apartments, which were as completely separated from the rest of the house as they could have been in Athens.
  After some anxious inquiries, it was reported that the young lady was sleeping, and that one or other of the sisters would keep constant watch by her. It was therefore arranged that Mr. Gryll should dine and pass the night where he was. Before dinner he had the satisfaction of hearing from medical authority that all would be well after a little time.
  Harry Hedgerow had bethought him of a retired physician, who lived with a maiden sister in a cottage at no great distance from the Tower, and who gave gratuitous advice to his poorer neighbours. if he prescribed anything beyond their means, himself or his sister was always ready to supply it. Though their own means were limited, they were the good angels of a small circumference.
  The old physician confirmed the opinion already given by the sisters , that the young lady for the present only required repose: but he accepted the invitation to remain till the morning, in the event of his advice being needed.
  So Miss Gryll remained with the elder sisters. Mr. Gryll and the two Doctors, spiritual and temporal, sat down to dinner with Mr. Falconer, and were waited on, as usual, by the younger handmaids.



    Oinou mé pareontos, aterpea deipna trapezés:
    Oinou mé pareontos, athelgees eisi choreiai.
    Anér penthos echón, hote geusetai héeos oinou,
    Stugnon aexomenés aposeisetai ogkon aniés.

    Where wine is not, no mirth the banquet knows:
    Where wine is not, the damce all joyless grows.
    The man, oppressed with cares, who tastes the bowl,
    Shall shake the weight of sorrow from his bowl.

      --BACCHUS, on the birth of the vine, predicting its benefits: in the
      twelfth book of the Dionysiaca of NONNUS. [XII, 260-61, 268-69]

THE CONVERSATION at dinner turned on the occurences of the morning and the phenomena of electricity. The physician, who had been a traveller, related many anecdotes from his own observation; especially such as tended to show by similarity that the injury to Miss Gryll would not be of long duration. He had known, in similar cases, instances of apparent total paralysis; but he had always found it temporary. Perhaps in a day or two, but at the most in a very few days, it would certainly pass away. In the meantime, he recommended absolute repose. Mr. Falconer entreated Mr. Gryll to consider the home as his own. Matters were arranged accordingly; and it was determined that the next morning a messenger should be despatched to Gryll Grange for a supply of apparel. The Reverend Dr. Opimian, who was as fond as the Squire himself of the young lady, had been grievously discomposed by the accident of the morning, and felt that he should not thoroughly recover his serenity till he could again see her in her proper character, the light and life of her society. He quoted Homer, Æschylus, Aristotle, Plutarch, Athenæus, Horace, Persius, and Pliny, to show that all which is practically worth knowing on the subject of electricity had been known to the ancients. The electric telegraph he held to be a nuisance, as disarranging chronology, and giving only the heads of a chapter, of which the details lost their interest before they arrived, the heads of another chapter having intervened to destroy it. Then, what an amount of misery it inflicted, when, merely saying that there had been a great battle, and that thousands had been wounded or killed, it maintained an agony of suspense in all who had friends on the field, till the ordinary channels of intelligence brought the names of the sufferers. No Sicilian tyrant had invented such an engine of cruelty. This declamation against a supposed triumph of modern science, which was listened to with some surprise by the physician, and with great respect by his other auditors, having somewhat soothed his troubled spirit, in conjunction with the physician's assurance, he propitiated his Genius by copious libations of claret pronouncing high panegyrics on the specimen before him, and interspersing quotations in praise of wine, as the one great panacea for the cares of this world.
  A week passed away. . . Mr. Falconer said, he got on best with that in the Doctor's company. "But I have been writing," he said, "on something connected with the Athenian drama. I have been writing a ballad on the death of Philemon, as told by Suidas and Apuleius." The Doctor expressed a wish to hear it, and Mr. Falconer read it to him.


     Closed was Philemon's hundredth year:
     The theatre was thronged to hear
          His last completed play:
     In the mid scene, a sudden rain
     Dispersed the crowd---to meet again
          On the succeeding day.

     He sought his home, and slept, and dreamed,
     Nine maidens through his door, it seemed,
          Passed to the public street.
     He asked them, "Why they left his home?"
     They said, "A guest will hither come,
          We must not stay to meet."

     He called his boy with morning light,
     Told him the vision of the night,
          And bade his play be brought.
     His finished page again he scanned,
     Resting his head upon his hand,
          Absorbed in studious thought.

     He knew not what the dream foreshowed:
     That nought divine may hold abode
          Where death's dark shade is felt:
     And therefore were the Muses nine
     Leaving the old poetic shrine,
          Where they so long had dwelt.

     The theatre was thronged once more,
     More thickly than the day before,
          To hear the half-heard song.
     The day wore on. Impatience came,
          With murmure loud and long.

     Some sought at length his studious cell,
     And to the stage returned, to tell
          What thousands strove to ask.
     "The poet we have been to seek
     Sate with his hand upon his chhek,
          As pondering o'er his task.

     "We spoke. He made us no reply.
     We reverentially drew nigh,
          And twice our errand told.
     He answered not. We drew more near:
     The awful mystery then was clear:
          We found him stiff and cold.

     "Struck by so fair a death, we stood
     Awhile in sad admiring mood;
          Then hastened back, to say
     That he, the praised and loved of all,
     Is deaf for ever to your call:
          That on this self-same day,

     "When here presented should have been
     The close of his fictitious scene,
          His life's true scene was o'er:
     We seemed, in solemn silence awed,
     To hear the 'Farewell and applaud,'
          Which he may speak no more.

     "Of tears the rain gave prophecy:
     The nuptial dance of comedy
          Yields to the funeral train.
     Assemble where his pyre must burn:
     Honour his ashes in their urn:
     And on another day return
          To hear his songs again."

A beautiful fiction.

        MR. FALCONER.
If it be a fiction. The supernatural is confined to the dream. All the rest is probable; and I am willing to think it true, dream and all.

You are determined to connect the immaterial with the material world, as far as you can.

        MR. FALCONER.
I like the immaterial world. I like to live among thoughts and images of the past and the possible, and even of the impossible, now and then.

Certainly, there is much in the material world to displease sensitive and imaginative minds; but I do not know any one who has less cause to complain of it than you have. You are surrounded with all possible comforts, and with all the elements of beauty, and of intellectual enjoyment.

        MR. FALCONER.
It is not my own world that I complain of. It is the world on which I look "from the loop-holes of retreat."* I cannot sit here , like one of the Gods of Epicurus, who, as Cicero says, was satisfied with thinking, through all eternity, "how comfortable he was."* I look with feelings of intense pain on the mass of poverty and crime: of unhealthy and unavailing, unremunerated toil, blighting childhood in its blossom, and womanhood in its prime; of "all the oppressions that are don under the sun."*

I feel with you on all these points; but there is much good in the world; more good than evil, I have always maintained.

  They would have gone off in a discussion on this point, but the French clock warned them to luncheon.
  In the evening the young lady was sufficiently recovered to join the little party in the drawing-room, which consisted, as before, of Mr. Falconer, Mr. Gryll, Doctor Anodyne, and the Reverend Doctor Opimian. Miss Gryll was introduced to Mr. Falconer. She was full of grateful encomium for the kind attention of the sisters, and expressed an earnest desire to hear their music. The wish was readily complied with. She heard them with great pleasure, and, though not equal to much exertion, she could not refrain from joining in with them in their hymn to Saint Catharine.
  She accompanied them when they retired.

I presume those Latin words are genuine old monastic verses: they have all the air of it.

        MR. FALCONER.
They are so, and they are adapted to old music.

There is something in this hymn very solemn and impressive. In an age like ours, in which music and pictures are the predominant tastes, I do not wonder that the forms of the old Catholic worship are received with increasing favour. There is a sort of adhesion to the old religion, which results less from faith than from a certain feeling of poetry; it finds its disciples; but is of modern growth; and has very essential differences from what it outwardly resembles.

It is, as I have frequently had occasion to remark, and as my young friend here will readily admit, one of the many forms of the love of ideal beauty, which, without being in itself religion, exerts on vivid imaginations an influence that is very often like it.

        MR. FALCONER.
An orthodox English Churchman was the poet who sang to the Virgin:

     Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
     Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
     As to a visible Power, in which did blend
     All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee
     Of mother's love with maiden purity,
     Of high with low, celestial with terrene! *

Well, my young friend, the love of ideal beauty has exercised none but a benignant influence on you, whatever degree of orthodoxy there may be in your view of it.

  The little party separated for the night.



          Ti dei gar thneton, hiketeuo, poiein,
          Plen hedeos zen ton bion hath' hemeran,
          Ean echei tis hopothen . . . . . . . . .
          Eis aurion de mede phronizein ho ti
          Estai . . .

            --Philetaerus: Cynagis [Op. Meinecke. Com. Fragm. iii. 292].

          I pray you, what can mortal man do better,
          Than live his daily life as pleasantly
          As daily means avail him? Life's frail tenure
          Warns not to trust to-morrow.

THE NEXT day Mr. Falconer was perfectly certain that Miss Gryll was not yet well enough to be removed. No one was anxious to refute the proposition; they were all so well satisfied with the place and the company they were in, that they felt, the young lady included, a decided unwillingness to go. That day Miss Gryll came to dinner, and the next day she came to breakfast, and in the evening she joined in the music, and in short she was once more altogether herself; but Mr. Falconer continued to insist that the journey home would be too much for her. When this excuse failed, he still entreated his new friends to remain; and so passed several days. At length Mr. Gryll found he must resolve on departing, especially as the time had arrived when he expected some visitors. He urgently invited Mr. Falconer to visit him in return. The invitation was cordially accepted, and in the meantime considerable progress had been made in the Aristophanic comedy.
  Mr. Falconer, after the departure of his visitors, went up into his library. He took down one book after another, but they did not fix his attention as they had used to do; he turned over the leaves of Homer, and read some passages about Circe; then took down Bojardo, and read of Morgana and Falerina and Dragontina; then took down Tasso and read of Armida. He would not look at Ariosto's Alcina, because her change into an old woman destroyed all the charm of the previous picture. He dwelt on the enchantresses, who remained in unaltered beauty. But even this he did only by fits and starts, and found himself continually wandering away towards a more enchanting reality.
  He descended to his bedroom, and meditated on ideal beauty in the portraits of Saint Catharine. But he could not help thinking that the ideal might be real, at least in one instance, and he wandered down into his drawing-room. There he sat absorbed in thought, till his two young handrnaids appeared with his luncheon. He smiled when he saw them, and sat down to the table as if nothing had disturbed him. Then, taking his stick and his dog, he walked out into the forest.
  There was within moderate distance a deep dell, in the bottom of which ran a rivulet, very small in dry weather, but in heavy rains becoming a torrent, which had worn itself a high-banked channel, winding in fantastic curves from side to side of its narrow boundaries. Above this channel old forest trees rose to a great height on both sides of the dell. The slope every here and there was broken by promontories which during centuries the fall of the softer portions of the soil had formed; and on these promontories were natural platforms, covered, as they were more or less accessible to the sun, with grass and moss and fern and foxglove, and every variety of forest vegetation. These platforms were favourite resorts of deer, which imparted to the wild scene its own peculiar life.
  This was a scene in which, but for the deeper and deeper wear of-the floods and the bolder falls of the promontories, time had made little change. The eyes of the twelfth century had seen it much as it appeared to those of the nineteenth. The ghosts of departed ages might seem to pass through it in succession, with all their changes of faith and purpose and manners and costume. To a man who loved to dwell in the past, there could not be a more congenial scene. One old oak stood~ in the centre of one of the green platforms, and a portion of its gnarled roots: presented a convenient seat. Mr. Falconer had frequently passed a day here when alone. The deer had become too accustomed to him to fly at his approach, and the dog had been too well disciplined to molest them. There he had sat for hours at a time, reading his favourite poets. There was no great poet with some of whose scenes this scenery did not harmonize. The deep woods that surrounded the dweIling of Circe, the obscure sylvan valley in which Dante met Virgil, the forest depths through which Angelica fled, the enchanted wood in which Rinaldo met the semblance of Armida, the forest-brook by which Jaques moralized over the wounded deer,
* were alI reproduced in this single spot, and fancy peopled it at pleasure with nymphs and genii, fauns and satyrs, knights and ladies, friars, foresters, hunters, and huntress maids, till the whole diurnal world seemed to pass away like a vision. There, for him, MatiIda had gathered flowers on the opposite bank;* Laura had risen from one of the little pools---resting-places of the stream---to seat herseIf in the shade;* RosaIind and Maid Marian had peeped forth from their aIleys green; alI different in form, in feature, and in apparel; but now they were all one; each, as she rose in imagination, presented herself under the aspect of the newly-known Morgana.
  Finding his old imaginations thus disturbed, he arose and walked home. He dined alone, drank a bottle of Madeira as if it had been so much water, summoned the seven sisters to the drawing-room earlier, and detained them later than usual, till their music and its old associations had restored him to something like tranquillity. He had always placed the summum bonum*< of life in tranquillity and not in excitement. He felt that his path was now crossed by a disturbing force, and determined to use his utmost exertions to avoid exposing himself again to its influence.
  In this mood the Reverend Doctor Opimian found him one morning in the library, reading. He sprang up to meet the divine, exclaiming, "Ah, dear Doctor, I am very glad to see you. Have you any especial favourite among the Odes of Pindar?"
  The Doctor thought this an odd question for the first salutation. He had expected that the first inquiry would have been for the fair convalescent. He divined that the evasion of this subject was the result of an inward struggle. He thought it would be best to fall in with the mood of the questioner, and said, "Charles Fox's favourite is said to have been the second Olympic; I am not sure that there is, or can be, anything better. What say you?"

        MR. FALCONER.
It may be that something in it touches a peculiar tone of feeling; but to me there is nothing like the ninth Pythian.

I can understand your fancy for that ode. You see an image of ideal beauty in the nymph Cyrene.

        MR. FALCONER.
"Hidden are the keys of wise persuasion of sacred endearments,"*< seems a strange phrase in English; but in Greek the words invest a charming sentiment with singular grace. Fit words to words as closely as we may, the difference of the mind which utters them fails to reproduce the true semblance of the thought. The difference of the effect, produced, as in this instance, by exactly corresponding words, can only be traced to the essential difference of the Greek and the English mind.

And indeed, as with the words so with the image. We are charmed by Cyrene wrestling with the lion; but we should scarcely choose an English girl so doing as the type of ideal beauty.

        MR. FALCONER.
We must draw the image of Cyrene, not from an English girl, but from a Greek statue.

Unless a man is in love, and then to him all images of beauty take something of the form and features of his mistress.

        MR. FALCONER.
That is to say, a man in love sees everything through a false medium. It must be a dreadful calamity to be in love.

Surely not, when all goes well with it.

        MR. FALCONER.
To me it would be the worst of all mischances.

Every man must be subject to Love once in his life. It is useless to contend with him. "Love," says Sophocles, "is unconquered in battle, and keeps his watch in the soft cheeks of beauty."

        MR. FALCONER.
I am afraid, Doctor, the Morgana to whom you have introduced me is a veritable enchantress. You find me here, determined to avoid the spell.

Pardon me. You were introduced, as Jupiter was to Semele, by thunder and lightning, which was, happiIy, not quite as fatal.

        MR. FALCONER.
I must guard against its being as fatal in a different sense; otherwise I may be myself the triste bidental. I have aimed at living, like an ancient Epicurean, a life of tranquillity. I had thought myself armed with triple brass against the folds of a three-formed Chimera. What with classical studies, and rural walks, and a domestic society peculiarly my own, I led what I considered the perfection of 1ife: "days so like each other they could not be remembered."

It is vain to make schemes of life. The world will have its slaves, and so will Love.

        Say, if you can, in what you cannot change.
        For such the mind of man, as is the day
        The Sire of Gods and men brings over him.

        MR. FALCONER.
I presume, Doctor, from the complacency with which you speak of Love, you have had no cause to complain of him.

Quite the contrary. I have been an exception to the rule, that "The course of true Iove never did run smooth." Nothing could run more smooth than mine. I was in love. I proposed. I was accepted. No crossings before. No bickerings after. I drew a prize in the lottery of marriage.

        MR. FALCONER.
It strikes me, Doctor, that the lady may say as much.

I have made it my study to give her cause to say so. And I have found my reward.

        MR. FALCONER.
Still, yours is an exceptional case. For, as far as my reading and limited observation have shown me, there are few happy marriages. It has been said by an old comic poet, that "a man, who brings a wife into his house, brings into it with her either a good or an evil genius." And I may add from Juvenal: "The Gods only know which it will be."

Well, the time advances for the rehearsals of our Aristophanic comedy, and independently of your promise to visit the Grange, and their earnest desire to see you, you ought to be there to assist in the preliminary arrangements.

        MR. FALCONER.
Before you came, I had determined not to go; for to tell you the truth, I am afraid of falling in love.

It is not such a fearful matter. Many have been the better for it. Many have been cured of it. It is one of those disorders which every one must have once.

        MR. FALCONER.
The later the better.

No; the later the worse, if it falls into a season when it cannot be reciprocated.

        MR. FALCONER.
That is just the season for it. If I were sure it would not be reciprocated, I think I should be content to have gone through it.

Do you think it would be reciprocated?

        MR. FALCONER.
Oh! no. I only think it possible that it might be.

Well, there is a gentleman doing his best to bring about your wish.

        MR. FALCONER.
Indeed! who?

A visitor at the Grange, who seems in great favour with both uncle and niece---Lord Curryfin.

        MR. FALCONER.
Lord Curryfin! I never heard you speak of him, but as a person to be laughed at.

That was my impression of him, before I knew him. Barring his absurdities, in the way of lecturing on fish, and of shining in absurd company in the science of pantopragmatics, he has very much to recommend him: and I discover in him one quality which is invaluable. He does all he can to make himself agreeable to all about him, and he has great tact in seeing how to do it. In any intimate relation of life---with a reasonable wife, for instance, he would be the pink of a good husband.

  The Doctor was playing, not altogether unconsciously, the part of an innocent Iago. He said only what was true, and he said it with a good purpose; for with all his repeated resolutions against match-making, he could not dismiss from his mind the wish to see his young friends come together; and he would not have liked to see Lord Curryfin carry off the prize through Mr. Falconer's neglect of his opportunity. Jealousy being the test of love, he thought a spice of it might be not unseasonably thrown in.

        MR. FALCONER.
Notwithstanding your example, Doctor, love is to be avoided, because marriage is at best a dangerous experiment. The experience of all time demonstrates that it is seldom a happy condition. Jupiter and Juno, to begin with; Venus and Vulcan. Fictions, to be sure, but they show Homer's view of the conjugal state. Agamemnon in the shades, though he congratulates Ulysses on his good fortune in having an excellent wife, advises him not to trust even her too far. Come down to realities, even to the masters of the wise: Socrates with Xantippe; Euripides with his two wives who made him a woman-hater; Cicero who was divorced; Marcus Aurelius.---Travel downwards: Dante, who, when he left Florence, left his wife behind him; Milton, whose first wife ran away from him; Shakspeare, who scarcely shines in the light of a happy husband. And if such be the lot of the lights of the world what can humbler men expect?

You have given two or three heads of a catalogue which, I admit, might be largely extended. You can never read a history, you can never open a newspaper, without seeing some example of unhappy marriage. But the conspicuous are not the frequent. In the quiet path of everyday life---the secretum iter et fallentis semita uitæ---I could show you many couples who are really comforts and helpmates to each other. Then, above all things, children. The great blessing of old age, the one that never fails if all else fail, is a daughter.

        MR. FALCONER.
All daughters are not good.

Most are. Of all relations in life, it is the least disappointing: where parents do not so treat their daughters as to alienate their affections, which unhappily many do.

        MR. FALCONER.
You do not say so much for sons.

Young men are ambitious, self-willed, self-indulgent, easily corrupted by bad example, of which there is always too much. I cannot say much for those of the present day, though it is not absolutely destitute of good specimens.

        MR. FALCONER.
You know what Paterculus says of those of his own day.

"The faith of wives towards the proscribed was great; of freed-men, middling; of slaves, some; of sons, none." So he says; but there was some: for example, of the sons of Marcus Oppius and QuintusCicero. You may observe, by the way, he gives the first place to the wives.

        MR. FALCONER.
Well, that is a lottery in which every man must take his chance. But my scheme of life was perfect.

Perhaps there is something to be said against condemning seven young women to celibacy.

        MR. FALCONER.
But if such were their choice----

No doubt there are many reasons why they should prefer the condition they are placed in to the ordinary chances of marriage: but after all, to be married is the natural aspiration of a young woman, and if favourable conditions presented themselves----

        MR. FALCONER.
Conditions suitable to their education are scarcely compatible with their social position.

They have been educated to be both useful and ornamental. The ornamental need not, and in their case certainly does not, damage the useful, which in itself would procure them suitable matches.

  Mr. Falconer shook his head, and after a brief pause poured out a volume of quotations, demonstrating the general unhappiness of marriage. The Doctor responded by as many demonstrating the contrary. He paused to take breath. Both laughed heartily. But the result of the discussion and the laughter was, that Mr. Falconer was curious to see Lord Curryfin, and would therefore go to Gryll Grange



                   Ille potens sui
          Laetusque deget, cui licet in diem
          Dixisse, Vixi: cras vel atrâ
          Nube polum peter occupato,
          Vel sole puro: non tamen irritum
          Quodcumque retro est efficiet, neque
          Diffinget infectumque reddet,
          Quad fugiens seruel hora vexit.
            --Hor[ace]. Carm. iii. 29.

          Happy the man, and happy he alone,
          He who can call to-day his own:
          He who, secure within, can say,
          To-morrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
          Be storm, or calm, or rain, or shine
          The joys I have possessed in spite of fate are mine.
          Not heaven itself upon the past has power
          But what has been has been, and I have had my hour.

A LARGE party was assembled at the Grange. Among them were some of the young ladies who were to form the chorus; one elderly spinster, Miss Ilex, who passed more than half her life in visits, and was everywhere welcome, being always good-humoured, agreeable in conversation, having much knowledge of society, good sense in matters of conduct, good taste and knowledge in music; sound judgment in dress, which alone sufficed to make her valuable to young ladies; a fair amount of reading, old and new; and on most subjects an opinion of her own, for which she had always something to say; Mr. MacBorrowdale, an old friend of Mr. Gryll, a gentleman who comprised in himself all that Scotland had ever been supposed to possess of mental, moral, and political philosophy; "And yet he bore it not about;" not "as being loth to wear it out,"* but because he held that there was a time for all things, and that dinner was the time for joviality, and not for argument; Mr. Minim, the amateur composer of the music for the comedy; Mr. Pallet, the amateur painter of the scenery; and last, not least, the newly-made acquaintance, Lord Curryfin.
  Lord Curryfin was a man on the younger side of thirty, with a good person, handsome features, a powerful voice, and an agreeable delivery. He had a strong memory, much power of application, and a facility of learning rapidly whatever he turned his mind to. But with all this, he valued what he learned less for the pleasure which he derived from the acquisition, than from the effect which it enabled him to produce on others. He liked to shine in conversation, and there was scarcely a subject which could be mooted in any society, on which his multifarious attainments did not qualify him to say something. He was readily taken by novelty in doctrine, and followed a new lead with great pertinacity; and in this way he had been caught by the science of pantopragmatics,* and firmly believed for a time, that a scientific organization for teaching everybody everything, would cure all the evils of society. But being one of those "over sharp wits whose edges are very soon turned," he did not adhere to any opinion with sufficient earnestness to be on any occasion betrayed into intemperance in maintaining it. So far from this, if he found any unfortunate opinion in a hopeless minority of the company he happened to be in, he was often chivalrous enough to come to its aid, and see what could be said for it. When lecturing became a mania, he had taken to lecturing; and looking about for an unoccupied subject, he had lighted on the natural history of fish, in which he soon became aufficiently proficient to amuse the ladies, and astonish the fishermen in any seaside place of fashionable resort. Here he always arranged his lecture-room, so that the gentility of his audience could sit on a platform, and the natives in a gallery above, and that thus the fishy and tarry odours which the latter were most likely to bring with them, might ascend into the upper air, and not mingle with the more delicate fragrances that surrounded the select company below. He took a summer tour to several watering-places, and was thoroughly satisfied with his success. The fishermen at first did not take cordially to him; but their wives attended from curiosity, and brought their husbands with them on nights not favourable to fishing; and by degrees he won on their attention, and they took pleasure in hearing him, though they learned nothing from him that was of any use in their trade. But he seemed to exalt their art in the eyes of themselves and others, and he told them some pleasant anecdotes of strange fish, and of perilous adventures of some of their own craft, which led in due time to the crowding of his gallery. The ladies went, as they always will go, to lectures, where they fancy they learn something, whether they learn anything or not; and on these occasions, not merely to hear the lecturer but to be seen by him. To them, however attractive the lecture might have been, the Iecturer was more so. He was an irresistible temptation to matrons with marriageable daughters, and wherever he sojourned he was overwhelmed with invitations. It was a contest who should have him to dinner, and in the simplicity of his heart, he ascribed to admiration of his science and eloquence, all the courtesies and compliments with which he was everywhere received. He did not like to receive unreturned favours, and never left a place in which he had accepted many invitations, without giving in return a ball and supper on a scale of great munificence; which filled up the measure of his popularity, and left on all his guests a very enduring impression of a desire to see him again.
  So his time passed pleasantly, with a heart untouched by either love or care, till he feII in at a dinner party with the Reverend Doctor Opimian. The Doctor spoke of Gryll Grange and the Aristophanic comedy which was to be produced at Christmas, and Lord Curryfin, with his usual desire to have a finger in every pie, expressed an earnest wish to be introduced to the Squire. This was no difficult matter. The Doctor had quickly brought it about, and Lord curryfin had gone over in the Doctor's company to pass a few days at the Grange. Here, in a very short time, he had made himself completely at home; and had taken on himself the office of architect, to superintend the construction of the theatre, receiving with due deference instructions on the subject from the Reverend Doctor Opimian.
  Sufficient progress had been made in the comedy for the painter and musician to begin work on their respective portions; and Lord Curryfin, whose heart was in his work, passed whole mornings in indefatigable attention to the progress of the building. It was near the house, and was to be approached by a covered way. It was a miniature of the Athenian theatre, from which it differed in having a roof, but it resembled it in the arrangements of the stage and orchestra, and in the graduated series of semicircular seats for the audience.
  When dinner was announced, Mr. Gryll took in Miss Ilex. Miss Gryll, of course, took the arm of Lord Curryfin. Mr. Falconer took in one of the young ladies and placed her on the left hand of the host. The Reverend Doctor Opimian took in another, and was consequently seated between her and Miss Ilex. Mr. Falconer was thus as far removed as possible from the young lady of the house, and was consequently, though he struggled as mucb as possible against it, frequently distrait, unconsciously and unwillingly observing Miss Gryll and Lord Curryfin, and making occasional observations very wide of the mark to the fair damsels on his right and left, who set him down in their minds for a very odd young man. The soup and fish were discussed in comparative silence the entrées not much otherwise; but suddenly a jubilant expression from Mr. MacBorrowdale haiIed the disclosure of a large sirloin of beef which figured before Mr. GryII.

You are a man of taste, Mr. GryIl. That is a handsomer ornament of a dinner-table than clusters of nosegays, and all sorts of uneatable decorations. I detest and abominate the idea of a Siberian dinner, where you just look on fiddle-faddles, while your dinner is behind a screen, and you are served with rations like a pauper.*

I quite agree with Mr. MacBorrowdale. I like to see my dinner. And herein I rejoice to have Addison on my side; for I remember a paper, in which he objects to having roast beef placed on a sideboard. Even in his day it had been displaced to make way for some incomprehensible French dishes, among which he could find nothing to eat.* I do not know what he would have said to its being placed altogether out of sight. Still there is something to be said on the other side. There is hardly one gentleman in twenty who knows how to carve; and as to ladies, though they did know once on a time, they do not now. What can be more pitiable than the righthand man of the lady of the house, awkward enough in himself, with the dish twisted round to him in the most awkward possible position, digging in unutterable mortification for a joint which he cannot find, and wishing the unanatomisable volaille* behind a Russian screen with the footmen?

I still like to see the volaille. It might be put on table with its joints divided.

        MR. GRYLL.
As that turkey-poult is, Mr. MacBorrowdaIe; which gives my niece no trouble; but the precaution is not necessary with such a right-hand man as Lord Curryfin, who carves to perfection.

Your arrangements are perfect. At the last of these Siberian dinners at which I had the misfortune to be present, I had offered me, for two of my rations, the tail of a mullet and the drum-stick of a fowl. Men who carve behind screens ought to pass a competitive examination before a jury of gastronomers. Men who carve at a table are drilled by degrees into something like tolerable operators by the mere shame of the public process.

        MR. GRYLL.
I will guarantee you against a Siberian dinner, whenever you dine with me.

Mr. Gryll is a true conservative in dining.

        MR. GRYLL.
A true conservative, I hope. Not what a soi-disant conservative is practically: a man who sails under national colours, hauls them down, and hoists the enemy's. I like old customs. I like a gIass of wine with a friend. What say you, Doctor? Mr. MacBorrowdale will join us?

Most willingly.

        MISS GRYLL.
My uncle and the Doctor have got as usual into a discussion, to the great amusement of the old lady, who sits between them and says nothing.

Perhaps their discussion is too recondite for her.

        MISS GRYLL.
No; they never talk before ladies of any subject in which ladies cannot join. And she has plenty to say for herself when she pleases. But when conversation pleases her, she likes to listen and be silent. It strikes me, by a few words that float this way, that they are discussing the Art of Dining. She ought to be a proficient in it, for she lives much in the world, and has met as many persons whom she is equally willing either to meet tomorrow, or never to meet again, as any regular dineur en ville. And indeed that is the price that must be paid for society. Whatever difference of character may lie under the surface, the persons you meet in its circIes are externally others yet the same: the same dress, the same manners, the same tastes and opinions, real or assumed. Strongly defined characteristic differences are so few, and artificial general resemblances so many, that in every party you may always make out the same theatrical company. It is like the flowing of a river: it is always different water, but you do not see the difference.

For my part I do not like these monotonous exteriors. I like visible character. Now, in your party here, there is a good deal of character. Your uncle and Mr. MacBorrowdale are characters. Then the Reverend Doctor Opimian. He is not a man made to pattern. He is simple-minded, learned, tolerant, and the quintessence of bonhomie. The young gentleman who arrived to-day, the Hermit of the Folly, is evidently a character. I flatter myself, I am a character (laughing).

        MISS GRYLL (laughing).
Indeed you are, or rather many characters in one. I never knew a man of such infinite variety. You seem always to present yourself in the aspect in which those you are with would best wish to see you.

  There was some ambiguity in the compliment; but Lord Curryfin took it as implying that his aspect in all its variety was agreeable to the young lady. He did not then dream of a rival in the Hermit of the Folly.



          Touto bios, tout' auto: truphê bios: erret' aniai:
          Zôês anthrôpois oligos chronos: arti Lusaios,
          Arti choroi, stephanoi te philantees arti gunaikes.
          Sêmeron esthla pathô, to gar aurion oudeni dêlon.
            --Anthologia Palatina V. 72

          This, this is life, when pleasure drives out care.
          Short is the span of time we each may share.
          To-day, while we love, wine, song, the hours adorn,
          To-day we live: none know the coming morn.

LORD CURRYFIN'S assiduities to Miss Gryll had discomposed Mr. Falconer more than he chose to confess to himself. Lord Curryfin, on entering the drawing-rooms, went up immediately to the young lady of the house; and Mr. Falconer, to the amazement of the reverend Doctor, sat down, in the outer drawing-room, on a sofa by the side of Miss Ilex, with whom he entered into conversation.
  In the inner drawing-room some of the young ladies were engaged with music, and were entreated to continue their performance. Some of them were conversing, or looking over new publications.
  After a brilliant symphony, performed by one of the young visitors, in which runs and crossings of demisemiquavers in tempo prestissimo occupied the principal share, Mr. Falconer asked Miss Ilex how she liked it.

        MISS ILEX.
I admire it as a splendid piece of legerdemain; but it expresses nothing.

        MR. FALCONER.
It is well to know that such things can be done; and when we have reached the extreme complications of art, we may hope to return to nature and simplicity.

        MISS ILEX.
Not that it is impossible to reconcile execution and expression. Rubini identified the redundancies of ornament with the overflowings of feeling, and the music of Donizetti furnished him most happily with the means of developing this power. I never felt so transported out of myself as when I heard him sing Tu che al viel spiegasti l'ali.

        MR. FALCONER.
Do you place Donizetti above Mozart?

        MISS ILEX.
Oh, surely not. But for supplying expressive music to a singer like Rubini, I think Donizetti has no equal; at any rate no superior. For music that does not require, and does not even suit, such a singer, but which requires only to be correctly interpreted to be universalIy recognised as the absolute perfection of melody, harmony, and expression, I think Mozart has none. Beethoven perhaps: he composed only one opera, Fidelio: but what an opera that is. What an effect in the sudden change of the key, when Leonora throws herself between her husband and Pizarro: and again, in the change of the key with the change of the scene, when we pass from the prison to the hall of the palace. What pathos in the songs of affection, what grandeur in the songs of triumph, what wonderful combinations in the accompaniments, where a perpetual stream of countermelody creeps along in the bass, yet in perfect harmony with the melody above.

        MR. FALCONER.
What say you to Haydn?

        MISS ILEX.
Haydn has not written operas, and my principal experience is derived from the Italian theatre. But his music is essentially dramatic. It is a full stream of perfect harmony in subjection to exquisite melody; and in simple ballad strains, that go direct to the heart, he is almost supreme and alone. Think of that air with which every one is familiar, "My mother bids me bind my hair;" the graceful flow of the first part, the touching effect of the semitones in the second: with true intonation and true expression, the less such an air is accompanied the better.

        MR. FALCONER.
There is a beauty and an appeal to the heart in ballads which will never lose its effect except on those with whom the pretence of fashion overpowers the feelings of nature.*

        MISS ILEX.
It is strange, however, what influence that pretence has, in overpowering all natural feelings, not in music alone.

  "Is it not curious," thought the Doctor, " that there is only one old woman in the room, and that my young friend should have selected her for the object of his especial attention?"
  But a few simple notes struck on the ear of his young friend, who rose from the sofa and approached the singer. The Doctor took his pIace to cut off his retreat.
  Miss Gryll, who, though a proficient in all music, was particularly partial to ballads, had just begun to sing one.


     "My traitorous uncle has wooed for himself:
     Her father has sold her for land and for pelf:
     My steed, for whose equal the world they might search,
     In mockery they borrow to bear her to church.

     "Oh! there is one path through the forest so green,
     Where thou and I only, my palfrey, have been:
     We traversed it oft, when I rode to her bower
     To tell my love tale through the rift of the tower.

     "Thou know'st not my words, but thy instinct is good:
     By the road to the church lies the path through the wood:
     Thy instinct is good, and her love is as true:
     Thou wilt see thy way homeward: dear palfrey, adieu."

     They feasted full late and full early they rose,
     And church-ward they rode more than half in a doze:
     The steed in an instant broke off from the throng,
     And pierced the green path, which he bounded along.

     In vain was pursuit, though some followed pell-mell:
     Through bramble and thicket they floundered and fell.
     On the backs of their coursers some dozed as before,
     And missed not the bride till they reached the church-door.

     The knight from his keep on the forest-bound gazed:
     The drawbridge was down, the portcullis was raised:
     And true to his hope came the palfrey amain,
     With his only loved lady, who checked not the rein.

     The drawbridge went up: the portcullis went down:
     The chaplain was ready with bell, book, and gown:
     The wreck of the bride-train arrived at the gate:
     The bride showed the ring, and they muttered "Too late!"

     "Not too late for a feast, though too date for a fray:
     What's done can't be undone: make peace while you may:"
     So spake the young knight, and the old ones complied,
     And quaffed a deep health to the bridegroom and bride.

  Mr. FaIconer had listened to the ballad with evident pIeasure. He turned to resume his place on the sofa, but finding it pre-occupied by the Doctor, he put on a look of disappointment, which seemed to the Doctor exceedingly comic.
  "Surely," thought the Doctor," he is not in love with the old maid."
  Miss Gryll gave up her place to a young lady, who in her turn sang a ballad of a different character.

           LOVE AND AGE

     I played with you 'mid cowslips blowing,
     When I was six and you were four;
     When garlands weaving, flower-balls throwing,
     Were pleasures soon to please no more
     Through groves and meads, o'er grass and heather,
     With little playmates, to and fro,
     We wandered hand in hand together;
     But that was sixty years ago.

     You grew a lovely roseate maiden,
     And still our early love was strong;
     Still with no care our days were laden,
     They glided joyously along;
     And I did love you very dearly,
     How dearly, words want power to show;
     I thought your heart was touched as nearly;
     But that was fifty years ago.

     Then other lovers came around you,
     Your beauty grew from year to year,
     And many a splendid circle found you
     The centre of its glittering sphere.
     I saw you then, first vows forsaking,
     On rank and wealth, your hand bestow;
     O, then, I thought my heart was breaking,---
     But that was forty years ago.

     And I lived on, to wed another:
     No cause she gave me to repine;
     And when I heard you were a mother,
     I did not wish the children mine.
     My own young flock, in fair progression,
     Made up a pleasant Christmas row:
     My joy in them was past expression;---
     But that was thirty years ago.

     You grew a matron plump and comely,
     You dwelt in fashion's brightest blaze;
     My earthly lot was far more homely;
     But I too had my festal days.
     No merrier eyes have ever glistened
     Around the hearth-stone's wintry glow,
     Than when my youngest child was christened:---
     But that was twenty years ago.

     Time passed. My eldest girl was married,
     And I am now a grandsire grey;
     One pet of four years old I've carried
     Among the wild-flowered meads to play.
     In our old fields of childish pleasure,
     Where now, as then, the cowslips blow,
     She fills her basket's ample measure,---
     And that is not ten years ago.

     But though first love's impassioned blindness
     Has passed away in colder light,
     I still have thought of you with kindness,
     And shall do, till our last good-night.
     The ever-rolling silent hours
     Will bring a time we shall not know,
     When our young days of gathering flowers
     Will be an hundred years ago.

        MISS ILEX.
That is a melancholy song. But of how many first loves is it the true tale?

It is simple and well sung, with a distinctness of articulation not often heard.

        MISS ILEX.
That young lady's voice is a perfect contralto. It is singularly beautiful, and I applaud her for keeping within her natural compass, and not destroying her voice by forcing it upwards, as many do.

Forcing, forcing, seems to be the rule of life. A young lady who forces her voice into altissimo, and a young gentleman who forces his mind into a receptacle for a chaos of crudities, are pretty much on a par. Both do ill, where, if they were contented with attainments within the limits of natural taste and natural capacity, they might both do well. As to the poor young men, many of them become mere crammed fowls, with the same result as Hermogenes, who, after astonishing the world with his attainments at seventeen, came to a sudden end at the age of twenty-five, and spent the rest of a long life in hopeless imbecility.*

        MISS ILEX.
The poor young men can scarcely help themselves. They are not held qualified for a profession unless they have overloaded their understanding with things of no use in it---incongruous things too, which could never be combined into the pursuits of naturaI taste.

Very true. Brindley would not have passed as a canal-maker, nor Edward Williams* as a bridge-builder. I saw the other day some examination papers which would have infallibly excluded Marlborough from the army and Nelson from the navy. I doubt if Haydn would have passed as a composer before a committee of lords like one of his pupils, who insisted on demonstrating to him that he was continually sinning against the rules of counterpoint; on which Haydn said to him, "I thought I was to teach you, but it seems you are to teach me, and I do not want a preceptor," and thereon he wished his lordship a good morning. Fancy Watt being asked, how much Joan of Naples got for Avignon when she sold it to Pope Clement the Sixth, and being held unfit for an engineer because he could not tell.

        MISS ILEX.
That is an odd question, Doctor. But how much did she get for it?

Nothing. He promised ninety thousand golden florins, but he did not pay one of them: and that, I suppose, is the profound sense of the question. It is true he paid her after a fashion, in his own peculiar coin. He absolved her of the murder of her first husband, and perhaps he thought that was worth the money. But how many of our legislators could answer the question? Is it not strange that candidates for seats in parliament should not be subjected to competitive examination? Plato and Persius* would furnish good hints for it. I should like to see honourable gentlemen having to answer such questions as are deemed necessary tests for government clerks, before they would be held qualified candidates for seats in the legislature. That would be something like a reform in the parliament. Oh, that it were so, and I were the examiner! Ha, ha, ha, what a comedy!

  The Doctor's hearty laugh was contagious, and Miss Ilex joined in it. Mr. MacBorrowdale came up.

You are as merry as if you had discovered the object of Jack of Dover's quest.

Something very like it. We have an honourable gentleman under competitive examination for a degree in legislative wisdom.

Truly, that is fooling competition to the top of its bent.

Competitive examination for clerks, and none for legislators---is not this an anomaly? Ask the honourable member for Muckborough on what acquisitions in history and mental and moral philosophy he founds his claim of competence to make laws for the nation? He can only tell you that he has been chosen as the most conspicuous Grub among the Money-grubs of his borough to be the representative of all that is sordid, selfish, hard-hearted, unintellectual, and antipatriotic, which are the distinguishing qualities of the majority among them. Ask a candidate for a clerkship what are his qualifications? He may answer, "All that are requisite---reading, writing, and arithmetic. "Nonsense," says the questioner. "Do you know the number of miIes in direct distance from Timbuctoo to the top of Chimborazo?" "I do not," says the candidate. "Then you will not do for a clerk," says the competitive examiner. Does Moneygrub of Muckborough know? He does not; nor anything else. The clerk may be able to answer some of the questions put to him. Moneygrub could not answer one of them. But he is very fit for a legislator.

Eh! but he is subjected to a pretty severe competitive examination of his own, by what they call a constituency, who just put him to the test in the art of conjuring to see if he can shift money from his own pocket into theirs, without any inconvenient third party being aware of the transfer.



          O gran contralto in giovenil pensiero,
          Desir di laude, ed impeto d'amore!
            --Ariosto: C. 25.

          How great a strife in youthful minds can raise
          Impulse of love, and keen desire of praise.

LORD CURRYFIN amongst his multifarious acquirements, had taken lessons from the great horse-tamer, and thought himself as well qualified as his master to subdue any animal of the species, however vicious. It was therefore with great pleasure he heard that there was a singularly refractory specimen in Mr. Gryll's stables. The next morning after hearing this, he rose early, and took his troublesome charge in hand. After some preliminary management he proceeded to gallop him round and round a large open space in the park, which was visible from the house. Miss Niphet, always an early riser, and having just prepared for a walk, saw him from her chamber window engaged in this perilous exercise, and though she knew nothing of the peculiar character of his recalcitrant disciple she saw by its shakings, kickings, and plungings, that it was exerting alI its energies to get rid of its rider. At last it made a sudden dash into the wood, and disappeared among the trees.
  It was to the young lady a matter of impIicit certainty that some disaster wouId ensue. She pictured to herself aII the contingencies of accident; being thrown to the ground and kicked by the horse's hoofs, being dashed against a tree, or suspended, like AbsaIom, by the hair. She hurried down and hastened towards the wood, from which, just as she reached it, the rider and horse emerged at fuII speed as before. But as soon as Lord Curryfin saw Miss Niphet he took a gracefuI wheel round, and brought the horse to a stand by her side; for by this time he had mastered the animal, and brought it to the condition of Sir Walter's hunter in Wordsworth:--

     Weak as a lamb the hour that it is yeaned,
     And foaming like a mountain cataract.*

  She did not attempt to dissemble that she had come to look for him, but said, I expected to find you killed."
  He said, "You see all my experiments are not failures. I have been more fortunate with the horse than the sail."
  At this moment one of the keepers appeared at a little distance. Lord Curryfin beckoned to him, and asked him to take the horse to the stables. The keeper looked with some amazement, and exclaimed,
  "Why, this is the horse that nobody could manage!"
  "You will manage him easily enough now," said Lord Curryfin.
  So it appeared; and the keeper took charge of him, not altogether without misgiving.
  Miss Niphet's feelings had been overexcited, the more so from the severity with which she was accustomed to repress them. The energy which had thus far upheld her, suddenly gave way. She sate down on a fallen tree, and burst into tears. Lord Curryfin sate down by her, and took her hand. She allowed him to retain it awhile; but all at once snatched it from him and sped towards the house over the grass, with the swiftness and lightness of Virgil's Camilla, leaving his lordship as much astonished at her movements as the Volscian crowd, attonitis inhians animis,* had been at those of her prototype. He could not heIp thinking, "Few women run gracefully but she runs like another Atalanta."
  When the party met at breakfast, Miss Niphet was in her place, Icoking more like a statue than ever, with, if possible, more of marble paleness. Lord Curryfin's morning exploit, of which the story had soon found its way from the stable to the haII, was the chief subject of conversation. He had received a large share of what he had always so much desired---applause and admiration; but now he thought he would willingly sacrifice all he had ever received in that line, to see even the shadow of a smile, or the expression of a sentiment of any kind, on the impassive face of MeIpomene. She left the room when she rose from the breakfast-tabIe, appeared at the rehearsal, and went through her part as usual; sate down at luncheon, and departed as soon as it was over. She answered, as she had always done, everything that was said to her, frankly, and to the purpose; and also, as usual, she originated nothing.
  In the afternoon Lord Curryfin went down to the pavilion. She was not there. He wandered about the grounds in all directions, and returned severaI times to the pavilion, aIways in vain. At last he sate down in the pavilion, and fell into a meditation. He asked himself how it could be, that having begun by making love to Miss Gryll, having indeed gone too far to recede unless the young lady absolved him, he was now evidently in a transition state towards a more absorbing and violent passion, for a person who, with all her frankness, was incomprehensibIe, and whose snowy exterior seemed to cover a volcanic fire, which she struggled to repress, and was angry with herself when she did not thoroughly succeed in so doing. If he were quite free he would do his part towards the solution of the mystery, by making a direct and formal proposal to her. As a preliminary to this, he might press Miss Gryll for an answer. All he had yet obtained from her was, "Wait till we are better acquainted." He was in a dilemma between Morgana and Melpomene. It had not entered into his thoughts that Morgana was in love with him; but he thought it nevertheless very probable that she was in a fair way to become so, and that even as it was she liked him well enough to accept him. On the other hand, he could not divest himseIf of the idea that Melpomene was in love with him. It was true, all the sympathy she had yet shown might have arisen from the excitement of strong feelings, at the real or supposed peril of a person with whom she was in the habit of daily intercourse. It might be so. Still the sympathy was very impassioned; though, but for his rashness in self-exposure to danger, he might never have known it. A few days ago, he would not press Miss Gryll for an answer, because he feared it might be a negative. Now he would not, because he was at least not in haste for an affirmative. But supposing it were a negative, what certainty had he that a negative from Morgana would not be followed by a negative from Melpomene? Then his heart would be at sea without rudder or compass. We shall leave him awhile to the contemplation of his perplexities.
  As his thoughts were divided, so were Morgana's. If Mr. Falconer should propose to her, she felt she could accept him without hesitation. She saw clearly the tendency of his feelings towards her. She saw, at the same time, that he strove to the utmost against them in behalf of his old associations, though, with all his endeavours, he could not suppress them in her presence. So there was the lover who did not propose, and who would have been preferred; and there was the lover who had proposed, and who, if it had been clear that the former chance was hopeless, would not have been lightly given up.
  If her heart had been as much interested in Lord Curryfin as it was in Mr. Falconer, she would quickly have detected a diminution in the ardour of his pursuit; but so far as she might have noticed any difference in his conduct, she ascribed it only to deference to her recommendation to "wait till they were better acquainted." The longer and the more quietly he waited, the better it seemed to please her. It was not on him, but on Mr. Falconer, that the eyes of her observance were fixed. She would have given Lord Curryfin his liberty instantly if she had thought he wished it.
  Mr. Falconer also had his own dilemma, between his new love and his old affections. Whenever the first seemed likely to gain the ascendancy, the latter rose in their turn, like Antaeus from earth, with renovated strength.* And he kept up their force by always revisiting the Tower, when the contest seemed doubtful.
  Thus, Lord Curryfin and Mr. Falconer were rivals, with a new phase of rivalry. In some of their variations of feeling, each wished the other success; the latter, because he struggled against a spell that grew more and more difficult to be resisted; the former, because he had been suddenly overpowered by the same kind of light that had shone from the statue of Pygmalion. Thus their rivalry, such as it was, was entireIy without animosity, and in no way disturbed the harmony of the Aristophanic party.
  The only person concerned in these complications whose thoughts and feelings were undivided, was Miss Niphet. She had begun by laughing at Lord Curryfin, and had ended by forming a decided partiality for him. She contended against the feeling; she was aware of his intentions towards Miss Gryll; and she would perhaps have achieved a conquest over herself, if her sympathies had not been kept in a continual fever by the rashness with which he exposed himself to accidents by flood and field. At the same time, as she was more interested in observing Morgana than Morgana was in observing her, she readily perceived the latter's predilection for Mr. Falconer, and the gradual folding around him of the enchanted net. These observations, and the manifest progressive concentration of Lord Curryfin's affections on herself, showed her that she was not in the way of inflicting any very severe wound on her young friend's feelings, or encouraging a tendency to absolute hopelessness in her own.
  Lord Curryfin was pursuing his meditations in the pavilion, when the young lady, whom he had sought there in vain, presented herself before him in great agitation. He started up to meet her, and heId out both his hands. She took them both, held them a moment, disengaged them, and sate down at a little distance, which he immediately reduced to nothing. He then expressed his disappointment at not having previously found her in the pavilion, and his delight at seeing her now. After a pause, she said: "I felt so much disturbed in the morning, that I should have devoted the whole day to recovering calmness of thought, but for something I have just heard. My maid tells me that you are going to try that horrid horse in harness, and in a newly-invented high phaeton of your own, and that the grooms say they would not drive that horse in any carriage, nor any horse in that carriage, and that you have a double chance of breaking your neck. I have disregarded all other feelings to entreat you to give up your intention."
  Lord Curryfin assured her that he felt too confident in his power over horses, and in the safety of his new invention, to admit the possibility of danger: but that it was a very small sacrifice to her to restrict himself to tame horses and low carriages, or to abstinence from all horses and carriages, if she desired it.
  "And from sailing-boats," she added.
  "And from sailing-boats," he answered.
  "And from balloons," she said.
   "And from balloons," he answered." But what made you think of balloons?
  "Because," she said, "they are dangerous, and you are inquiring and adventurous."
  "To tell you the truth," he said, "I have been up in a balloon. I thought it the most charming excursion I ever made. I have thought of going up again. I have invented a valve----"
  "Oh heavens!" she exclaimed. "But I have your promise touching horses, and carriages, and sails, and balloons."
  "You have," he said. "It shall be strictly adhered to."
  She rose to return to the house. But this time he would not part with her, and they returned together.
  Thus prohibited by an authority to which he yielded impIicit obedience, from trying further experiments at the risk of his neck, he restricted his inventive faculty to safer channels, and determined that the structure he was superintending should reproduce, as far as possible, all the pecuIiarities of the Athenian Theatre. Amongst other things, he studied attentively the subject of the êcheia, or sonorous vases, which, in that vast theatre, propagated and clarified sound; and though in its smaller representative they were not needed, he thought it stilI possible that they might produce an agreeable effect. But with all the assistance of the Reverend Doctor Opimian, he found it difficult to arrive at a clear idea of their construction, or even of their principle; for the statement of Vitruvius, that they gave an accordant resonance in the fourth, the fifth, and the octave, seemed incompatible with the idea of changes of key, and not easily reconcileable with the doctrine of Harmonics. At last he made up his mind that they had no reference to key, but solely to pitch, modified by duly proportioned magnitude and distance; he therefore set to work assiduously, got a number of vases made, ascertained that they would give a resonance of some kind, and had them disposed at proper intervals, round the audience part of the building. This being done, the party assembled, some as audience, some as performers, to judge of the effect. The first burst of choral music produced a resonance, like the sound produced by sea-shells when placed against the ear, only many times multiplied, and growing like the sound of a gong: it was the exaggerated concentration of the symphony of a lime-grove full of cockchaffers,* on a fine evening in the early summer. The experiment was then tried with single voices: the hum was less in itself, but greater in proportion. It was then tried with speaking: the result was the same: a powerful and perpetuaI hum, not resonant peculiarly to the diatessaron, the diapente, or the diapason, but making a new variety of continuous fundamental bass.
   I am satisfied," said Lord Curryfin, "the art of making these vases is as hopelessly lost as that of making mummies." Miss Niphet encouraged him to persevere. She said:
  "You have produced a decided resonance: the only thing is to subdue it, which you may perhaps effect by diminishing the number and enlarging the intervals of the vases."
  He determined to act on the suggestion, and she feIt that, for some little time at least, she had kept him out of mischief. But whenever anything was said or sung in the theatre, it was necessary, for the time, to remove the êcheia.


[All notes are Peacock's except those within square brackets---which Informal added.]


  1  [The first couplet is from Miscellaneous Thoughts and the remaining lines are from Hudibras, Part III, Canto 2. 815 ff.]. [back]



  1  "Roaring boys was a cant term for the riotous, quarrelsome blades of the time, who abounded in London and took pleasure in annoying its quieter inhabitants. Of Roaring Girls, the heroine of the present play was the choicest specimen. Her real name was Mary Frith, but she was most commonly known by that of Moll Cuttpurse."--Dyce. She wore male apparel, smoked, fought robbed on the highway, kept all minor thieves in subjection, and compelled the restitution of stolen goods when duly paid for her services. [back]

  2  [The Tempest, IV. i.] [back]

  3  The labour returns, compelled into a circle. [Vergil: Georg. II. 401. [back]

  4  [The "gay science" is the art of poetry. David Garnett notes: "Among the troubadours a satirical verse often provoked a reply and attack and riposte developed into a dialogue form. Frequently the dialogue was agreed to beforehand and became a poetical game. Such a tourney could take three forms. If the attack and riposte each constituted a poem, it was called a coblas. Otherwise questions and answers were exchanged in alternate couplets. If the challenger to such a duel of couplets chose the subject he had to offer his antagonist the choice of attacking or defending the proposition and undertake to take the other side whichever it might be. This was a joc partit. But if alternate couplets were exchanged without a subject having been agreed upon beforehand, the resulting poem was a tenson." The Novels of Thomas Love Peacock. edited by David Garnett. London: Rupert Hart Davis (1963), Vol. II. p. 779.] [back]

  5  Not even boys believe it: but [you] suppose it to be true. [Juvenal: Sat. II. 152-53.] [back]

  6  [Paraphrase of Hamlet, II. ii.] [back]



  1  This inscription appears to consist of comic senarii slightly dislocated for the inscriptional purpose.

          Spondet [two spondees]
      Fortuna multa multis, praestat nemini.
      Vive in dies et horas: nam proprium est nihil.
            [Horace: Ep. I. iv. 16.]

  2  A pig from the herd of Epicurus. The old philosophers accepted good-humouredly the disparaging terms attached to them by their enemies or rivals. The Epicureans acquiesced in the pig, the Cynics in the dog, and Cleanthes was content to be called the Ass of Zeno, as being alone capable of bearing the burthen of the Stoic philosophy. [back]

  3  Plutarch. Bruta animalia ratione uti. [That Brute Beasts Employ Reason.] Gryllus, in this dialogue, seems to have the best of the argument. Spenser however, did not think so, when he introduced hls Gryll, in the Paradise of Acrasia, reviling Sir Guyon's Palmer for having restored him to the human form.

      Streightway he with his virtuous staff them strooke
      And streight of beasts they comely men became:
      Yet being men they did unmanly looke,
      And stared ghastly, some for inward shame,
      And some for wrath to see their captive dame:
      But one above the rest in speciall,
      That had an hog been late, highs Grylle by name,
      Repyned greatly, and did him miscall,
      That had from hoggish forme him brought to naturall.
        Said Guyon: "See the mind of beastly man,
      That hath so soon forgot the excellence
      Of his creation, when he life began,
      That now he chooseth, with vile difference,
      To be a beast, and lacke intelligence."
            Fairy Queen, Book II. Canto 12.

In Plutarch's dialogue, Ulysses, after his own companions have been restored to the human form, solicits Circe to restore in the same manner any other Greeks who may be under her enchantments. Circe consents, provided they desire it. Gryllus, endowed with speech for the purpose, answers for all, that they had rather remain as they are; and supports the decision by showing the greater comfort of their condition as it is, to what it would probably be if they were again sent forth to share the common lot of mankind. We have unfortunately only the beginning of the dialogue, of which the greater portion has perished. [back]

  4  [Bolardo: Orlando Innamorato.] [back]



  1  [Z. 23. 1-2. Denys Page says: "it is generally agreed that pleum- is the true form, and that pneum- arose at an early date from a mistaken etymological connexion with pneó, pneuma . . ." Sappho and Alcaeus (Oxford, 1955), p. 304. The poem has been at times attributed to Sappho. (see Page, p. 303).] [back]

  2  Kai tot' egón emon egchos helón hai phasyanon oxu
     Karpalimós para néos anéion es periópén,
     Eipós erga idoimi brotón enopén te puthoimén.
     Estén de, skopién es paipaloessan anelthón,
     Kai moi eeisato karpos apo chthonos euruodeiés,
     Kirkés en megaroisi, dia druma pukna kai hulén.
     Mermérixa d' epeita kata phrena kai kata thumon
     Elthein, éde puthesthai, epei idon aithora karpon.
K. I45-162.

     I climbed a cliff with spear and sword in hand,
     Whose ridge o'erlooked a shady length of land:
     To learn if aught of mortal works appear,
     Or cheerful voice of mortal strike the ear.
     From the high point I marked, in distant view,
     A stream of curling smoke ascending blue,
     And spiry tops, the tufted trees above,
     Of Circe's paIace bosomed in the grove.
     Thither to haste, the region to explore
     Was first my thought . . .

  3  Euron d' en bésséisi tetugmena dómata Kirkés
     Xestoisin laessi, periskeptói eni chórói.
210, 211.

     The palace in a woody vale they found,
     High-raised of stone, a shaded space around.

  4  [The Diversions of Purley, Advertisement to Chapter VII.] [back]

  5  Mr. Hayward's French hotel-keeper in Germany had a different but not less cogent reason for not learning German. "Whenever a dish attracts attention by the art displayed in its conception or preparation, apart from the material, the artist will commonly be discovered to be French. Many years ago we had the curiosity to inquire, at the Hotel de France, at Dresden, to whom our party were indebted for the enjoyment they had derived from a supréme de volaille, and were informed the cook and the master of the hotel were one and the same person: a Frenchman, ci-devant chef of a Russian minister. He had been eighteen years in Germany, but knew not a word of any language but his own. 'A quoi bon, messieurs,' was his reply to our expression of astonishment 'à quoi bon, apprendre la langue d'un peuple qui ne possède pas une cuisine'"--Art of Dining [by Abraham Hayward, 1852], pp. 69, 70. [back]

  6  [Il Pensero, 85 ff.] [back]

  7  [Who, and whence, are you? [Homer, passim.] [back]



  1  Congreve, le meilleur auteur comique d'Angleterre: ses pièes les plus estimeés sont Le Fourbe, Amour pour Amour, l'Epouse du Matin, le Chemin du Monde.---Manuel Bibliographique. Par G. Peignot. Paris. 1800. [back]

  2  [Numa Pompilius was the legenday second king of Rome who founded the college of the vestal virgins.] [back]

  3  Quod solum formæ decus est, cecidere capilli.---Petronius, c. 109. [back]

  4  . . . lævior . . . rotundo
     Horti tubere, quod creavit unda.---Ibid.

     [. . . smoother than the swollen
     Mushroom which moisture breeds in garden's soil.]

 "A head, to speak in the gardener's style, is a bulbous excrescence, growing up between the shoulders."---G.A. Stevens: Lecture on Heads. [back]

  5  Turpe pecus mutilum; turpe est sine gramine campus;
      Et sine fronde frutex; et sine crine caput;---Ovid, Artis Amatoriæ. iii. 249.

      [Unsightly a polled beast; unsightly is a field without grass;
       And a shrub without leaves; and a head without hair.]

  6  At vero, quod nefas dicere, neque sit ullum hujus rei tam dirum exemplum: si cujuslibet eximiæ pulcherrimæque feminæ caput capillo exspoliaveris, et faciem nativa specie nudaveris, licet illa coelo dejecta, mari edita, fluctibus educata, licet, inquam, Venus ipsa fuerit, licet omni Gratiarum choro stpata, et toto Cupidinum populo comitata, et balteo suo cincta, cinnama fragrans, et balsama rorans, calva processerit, placere non poterit nec Vulcano suo. Apuleius: Metamorph. ii. 25.

 But, indeed, what it is profanation to speak, nor let there be hereof any so dire an example, if you despoil of its hair the head of any most transcendent and perfectly beautiful woman, and present her face thus denuded of its native loveliness, though it were even she, the descended from heaven, the born of the sea, the educated in the waves, though, I say, it were Venus herself, attended by the Graces, surrounded by the Loves, cinctured with her girdle, fragrant with spices, and dewy with balsams, yet, if she appeared with a bald head, she could not please even her own Vulcan. [back]

  7  Perikeiromené. [The Shaven Woman. The jealous man was her leman, not her husband.] [back]

  8  [Source of quotation not yet found] [back]

  9  Sophocles: Electra, v. 449. [back]

 10  Euripides: Orestes, v. 128. [back]

 11  ["But wherefore doth my heart thus commune with me?" Homer: Iliad. XI. 407 & passim.] [back]

 12  [N.H. xvi, 235.] [back]

 13  The woollen wreath, by Vesta's inmost shrine,
     Fell from my hair before the fire divine. [Ovid: Fasti. III. 29 f.]

 14  With hair dishevelled wept the vestal train. [ibid. IV. 441.] [back]



  1  [According to Boswell, Dr. Johnson said: "Had I learnt to fiddle, I should have done nothing else."] [back]

  2  [The aristocratic haughtiness.] [back]

  3  [Bond.] [back]

  4  Virgin bride, supremely bright,
     Gem and flower of heavenly light,
     Pearl of the empyreal skies,
      Violet of Paradise!



  1  [Nicholas Rowe: Colin's Complaint.] [back]

  2  Though various features did the sisters grace,
     A sister's likeness was in every face.
             Addison: Ovid. Met. 1. ii, [13 f.]

  3  [Triple brass. The phrase is Horatian:--

     Illi robur et aes triplex
     circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci
     commisit pelago ratem
     primus . . .
             Carm. I. iii, 9 ff.

  (His heart was oak and tripled bronze who first launched a frail craft on the savage open sea . . . ).] [back]

  4  [A looking glass.] [back]



  1  Agapétos kai agapétai. [Peacock provides the Greek for what is Latinized in this text. Unfortunately, this is rather lost in our text which transliterates all Greek into Roman characters.] [back]

  2  [I Corinthians, vii. 9. KJV: (vii. 8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. (9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.] [back]

  4  [II. 2.] [back]

  5  Jeremy Bentham. [The quote is not yet traced.] [back]

  6  [Yelping.] [back]

  7  Cerberus forensis erat causidicus.--Petronius Arbiter. [Cerberus was forensic advocate.] [back]

  8  [Thomas Parr, known as Old Parr, was allegedly born in 1483, and died in 1635; he is buried in Westminster Abbey, and his portrait hangs in the London Portrait Gallery. A blended whisky also now bears his name.] [back]

  9  Eurip. Suppl., 201: Herm. [back]



  1  "Marry, this is miching mallecho: it means michief."--Hamlet [III, 2. Lord Michin Malicho is based on Lord John Russell]. [back]

  2  [Based on Lord Brougham, founder of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The Reverend Doctor Folliott compares Lord Brougham with Mr Facing-both-ways of Vanity Fair in Chapter II of Crotchet Castle.]. [back]

  3  [Hamlet. II, 2.]. [back]

  4  [Cabbage repeated.]. [back]

  5  And many a Jacke of Dover hast thou sold,
     That hath been twiës hot and twiës cold.
             Chaucer: The Coke's Prologue [23 f.].

  6  Bubble and Squeak: A Gallimaufry of British Beef with the Chopped Cabbage of Gallic Philosophy. By [the Rev. George] Huddleston. [Published anonymously in 1799.]. [back]



  1  [Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr; her feast day is November 25th. "Ranked with St. Margaret and St. Barbara as one of the fourteen most helpful saints in heaven, she was unceasingly praised by preachers and sung by poets. It is a well known fact that Bossuet dedicated to her one of his most beautiful panegyrics and that Adam of Saint-Victor wrote a magnificent poem in her honour: "Vox Sonora nostri chori", etc. In many places her feast was celebrated with the utmost solemnity, servile work being suppressed and the devotions being attended by great numbers of people. In several dioceses of France it was observed as a Holy Day of obligation up to the beginning of the seventeenth century, the splendour of its ceremonial eclipsing that of the feasts of some of the Apostles. . . . Looked upon as the holiest and most illustrious of the virgins of Christ, it was but natural that she, of all others, should be worthy to watch over the virgins of the cloister and the young women of the world. . . . Finally, as according to tradition, she not only remained a virgin by governing her passions and conquered her executioners by wearying their patience, but triumphed in science by closing the mouths of sophists, her intercession was implored by theologians, apologists, pulpit orators, and philosophers. Before studying, writing, or preaching, they besought her to illumine their minds, guide their pens, and impart eloquence to their words. This devotion to St. Catherine which assumed such vast proportions in Europe after the Crusades, received additional eclat in France in the beginning of the fifteenth century, when it was rumoured that she had appeared to Joan of Arc and, together with St. Margaret, had been divinely appointed Joan's adviser."--Leon Clugnet, "St. Catherine of Alexandria" in The Catholic Encyclopedia, See two pictures of St. Catherine.] [back]

  2  Maria, Vergine delle Vergini, e Misericordia delle Misericordie, vestita de i lampi del Sole, e coronata de i raggi delle Stelle, prese il sottile, il delicato, ed i sacro dito d9 Catarina, humile di core e mansueta di vita, ed il largo, il clemente, ed il pietoso figliuol suo lo cinse con lo anello.--Vita di Santa Catarina, I. ii. Vinezia, 1541. ["Mary, virgin of virgins, and mercy of mercies, clothed in the light of the sun and crowned with the rays of the stars, took the slender, delicate, and sacred finger of Catharine of humble heart and meek life, and her bountiful, merciful and pious son placed the ring on it.] [back]

  3  Illustrations of Jerusalem and Mount Sinai (1837), p. 27. [back]

  4  [Charles James Fox (1749-1806) had his house, St. Anne's Hill, there, near Chertsey.] [back]

  5  Epod. 16, 13 [7 f.:
     . . . carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini,
     (nefas videre) dissipabit insolens.

     . . . the bones of Romulus which, hidden from winds and light of days,
     some wretch--abomination to see!--will disperse.]

  6  [Martin is Martin Luther, Peter is the Roman Catholic Pope, and Jack is Jean Calvin. They are the three brothers in A Tale of a Tub by Jonathon Swift (1704).] [back]



  1  Suidas: sub voce Philémón. Apuleius: Florid. 16. [back]

  2  [Cowper: The Task, Book IV.] [back]

  3  Comprehende igitur animo, et propone ante oculos, deum nihil aliud in omni æternitate, nisi, Mihi pulchre est, et, Ego beatus sum, cogitantem.---Cicero: De Naturâ Deorum, I. i. c. 41. [Imagine therefore, in your mind, a god who through all eternity thought nothing other than, "it's well for me," and "I am happy."] [back]

  4  [Ecclesiastes, iv. 1.] [back]

  5  [Wordworth, Ecclesiastical Sonnets, ii, 25, 9-14] [back]



  1  [As You Like it, II., 1:

        DUKE SENIOR.
Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
Being native burghers of this desert city,
Should in their own confines with forked heads
Have their round haunches gored.

        FIRST LORD.
Indeed, my lord,
The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,
And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself
Did steal behind him as he lay along
Under an oak whose antique root peeps out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord,
The wretched animal heaved forth such groans
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting, and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.

        DUKE SENIOR.
But what said Jaques?
Did he not moralize this spectacle?

        FIRST LORD.
O, yes, into a thousand similes.
First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament
As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
To that which had too much:' then, being there alone,
Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,
''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part
The flux of company:' anon a careless herd,
Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
And never stays to greet him; 'Ay' quoth Jaques,
'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look
Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
Thus most invectively he pierceth through
The body of the country, city, court,
Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we
Are mere usurpers, tyrants and what's worse,
To fright the animals and to kill them up
In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.

        DUKE SENIOR.
And did you leave him in this contemplation?

        SECOND LORD.
We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
Upon the sobbing deer.]

  2  Dante: Purgatorio,c. 28. [back]

  3  Or in forma di Ninfa o d'altra Diva,
     Che del più chiaro fondo di Sorga esca,
     E pongasi a seder in sulla riva.
             Petrarca: Sonetto 240.
[Now in the form or a nymph or other goddess, emerging from the clearest depths of the Sorga, and reclining on its bank."]

  4  [highest good.] [back]

  5  Kruptai klaides enti sophas Peithous hieran philotatôn. [Pyth. 69-70. Chairon is responding to Phoebus' enquiry anent the nymph Cyrene. Sir John Sandys translates hieran philotatôn, as "rites of love."] [back]



  1  'Tis true, although he had much wit,
     He was very shy of using it,
     As being loth to wear it out;
     And therefore bore it not about,
     Except on holidays or so,
     As men their best apparel do.
             [Butler:] Hudibras. [Part 1, c. I, 45-50.]

  2   [back]

  3   [back]

  4  I was now in great hunger and confusion, when I thought I smelled the agreeable savour of roast beef; but could not tell from which dish it arose, though I did not question but it lay disguised in one of them. Upon turning my head I saw a noble sirloin on the side-table, smoking in the most delicious manner. I had recourse to It more than once, and could not see without some indignation that substantial English dish banished in so gnominiOus a manner, to make way for French kickshaws.---Tatler, No. 148. [back]

  5   [back]

. . .



[Gryll Grange was first serialised in Fraser's Magazine in 1860 (Chapters. I. - V., April; VI. - XI., May; XII. - XIV., June; XV. - XVIII., July; XIX. - XXI, August; XXII. - XXVI., September; XXVII. - XXIX., October; XXX. - XXXII., November; and XXXIII. - XXXV., December), and published as a single volume in 1861]

The Thomas Love Peacock Society