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visitor's two children are accommodated about the old tea-kettle-which you must at a side table. He never cometh upon remember. He dare say you must find a open days, when your wife says with great convenience in having a carriage some complacency, “My dear, perhaps of your own, and appealeth to your lady
will drop in to-day.” He re- if it is not so. Inquireth if you have had membereth birthdays-and professeth he your arms done on vellum yet; and did is fortunate to have stumbled upon one. not know, till lately, that such-and-such He declareth against fish, the turbot had been the crest of the family. His being small-yet suffereth himself to be memory is unseasonable ; his compliments importuned into a slice against his first perverse ; his talk a trouble; his stay perresolution. He sticketh by the porttinacious; and when he goeth away, you yet will be prevailed upon to empty the dismiss his chair into a corner, as precipiremainder glass of claret, if a stranger tately as possible, and feel fairly rid of press it upon him. He is a puzzle to the two nuisances. servants, who are fearful of being too There is a worse evil under the sun, obsequious, or not civil enough, to him. and that is a female Poor Relation. The guests think “they have seen him You may do something with the other; before.” Everyone speculateth upon his you may pass him off tolerably well; but condition; and the most part take him to your indigent she-relative is hopeless. "He be-a tide waiter. He calleth you by is an old humorist,” you may say, "and your Christian name, to imply that his affects to go threadbare. His circumother is the same with your own. He stances are better than folks would take is too familiar by half, yet you wish he them to be. You are fond of having a had less diffidence. With half the Character at your table, and truly he is familiarity he might pass for a casual de- one." But in the indications of female pendent; with more boldness he would poverty there can be no disguise. No be in no danger of being taken for what woman dresses below herself from cahe is. He is too humble for a friend, yet price. The truth must out without shuftaketh on him more state than befits a Aing, "She is plainly related to the client. He is a worse guest than a coun- L -s; or what does she at their try tenant, inasmuch as he bringeth up
house?” She is, in all probability, your no rent-yet 'tis odds, from his garb and wife's cousin. Nine times out of ten, at demeanor, that your guests take him for least, this is the cas Her garb is someone. He is asked to make one at the thing between a gentlewoman and a begwhist table; refuseth on the score of pov- gar, yet the former evidently predominerty, and—resents being left out. When ates. She is most provokingly humble, the company break up he proffereth to go and ostentatiously sensible to her infor a coach-and lets the servant go. He feriority. He may require to be rerecollects your grandfather; and will pressed sometimes-aliquando sufflamithrust in some mean and quite unimport- nandus erat-but there is no raising her. ant anecdote of-the family. He knew You send her soup at dinner, and she it when it was not quite so flourishing as begs to be helped-after the gentlemen. "he is blest in seeing it now.” He Mr. requests the honor of taking reviveth past situations to institute wine with her; she hesitates between what he calleth-favorable compari- Port and Madeira, and choses the forsons. With a reflecting sort of con- mer–because he does. She calls the sergratulation, he will inquire the price vant Sir; and inisists on not troubling of your furniture: and insults you with him to hold her plate. The housea special commendation of your window- keeper patronises her. The children's curtains. He is of opinion that the urn governess takes upon her to correct her, is the more elegant shape, but, after all, when she has mistaken the piano for there was something more comfortable | harpsichord,
Richard Amlet, Esq.,' in the play, is The servitor's gown (worse than his a noticeable instance of the disadvantages, school array) clung to him with Nessian to which this chimerical notion of af- venom. He thought himself ridiculous finity constituting a claim to an acquaint- in a garb, under which Latimer must ance, may subject the spirit of a gentle- have walked erect; and in which Hooker, man. A little foolish blood is all that in his younger days, possibly flaunted in a is betwixt him and a lady with a great vein of no discommendable vanity. In estate. His stars are perpetually crossed the depths of college shades, or in his by the malignant maternity of an old lonely chamber, the poor student shrunk woman, who persists in calling him "her
from observation. He found shelter son Dick.” But she has wherewithal in among books, which insult not; and the end to recompense his indignities, and studies, that ask no questions of a youth's float him again upon the brilliant surface, finances. He was lord of his library, and under which it had been her seeming seldom cared for looking out beyond his business and pleasure all along to sink domains. The healing influence of stuhim. All men, besides, are not of Dick's dious pursuits was upon him, to soothe temperament. I knew an Amlet in real and to abstract. He was almost a healthy life, who wanting Dick's buoyancy, sank man; when the waywardness of his fate indeed. Poor W-2 was of my own broke out against him with a second and standing at Christ's, a fine classic, and a worse malignity. The father of Wyouth of promise. If he had a blemish, had hitherto exercised the humble proit was too much pride; but its quality was fession of house-painter at N-near inoffensive; it was not of that sort which Oxford. A supposed interest with some hardens the heart, and serves to keep in- of the heads of colleges had now induced feriors at a distance; it only sought to him to take up his abode in that city, with ward off derogation from itself. It was the hope of being employed upon some the principle of self-respect carried as far public works which were talked of. From as it could go, without infringing upon that moment I read in the countenance that respect, which he would have every of the young man, the determination one else equally maintain for himself. which at length tore him from academical He would have you to think alike with pursuits for ever. To a person unachim on this topic. Many a quarrel have quainted with our Universities, the disI had with him, when we were rather tance between the gownsmen and the older boys, and our tallness made us townsmen, as they are called—the tradmore obnoxious to observation in the blue ing part of the latter especially—is carclothes, because I would not thread the ried to an excess that would appear harsh alleys and blind ways of the town with and incredible. The temperament of him to elude notice, when we have been W-'s father was diametrically the reout together on a holiday in the streets verse of his own. Old W- was a litof this sneering and prying metropolis. tle, busy, cringing tradesman, who, with W-went, sore with these notions, to his son upon his arm, would stand bowOxford, where the dignity and sweet- ing and scraping, cap in hand, to anything ness of a scholar's life, meeting with the that wore the semblance of a gown-inalloy of a humble introduction, wrought sensible to the winks and opener remonin him a passionate devotion to the place, strances of the young man, to whose with a profound aversion to the society. chamber-fellow, or equal in standing,
perhaps, he was thus obsequiously and 1 The Confederacy-Vanbrugh.
gratuitously ducking. Such a state of
things could not last. W-must ? From the Key which Lamb drew up to
change the air of Oxford or be suffoexplain certain abbreviations in his essays it is evident that he identifies W— with
cated. He chose the former; and let the Joseph Favell, a college companion.
sturdy moralist, who strains the point of the filial duties as high as they can digiously rich man. All I could make bear, censure the dereliction; he cannot out of him was, that he and my father estimate the struggle. I stood with had been schoolfellows a world ago at W- the last afternoon I ever saw Lincoln, and that he came from the him, under the eaves of his paternal Mint. The Mint I knew to be a place dwelling. It was in the fine lane leading where all the money was coined—and I from the High Street to the back of thought he was the owner of all that college, where W-kept his rooms. money. Awful ideas of the Tower He seemed thoughtful, and more recon- twined themselves about his presence. ciled. I ventured to rally him-finding He seemed above human infirmities and him in a better mood-upon a represen- passions. A sort of melancholy grantation of the Artist Evangelist, which deur invested him. From some inexplicthe old man, whose affairs were be- able doom I fancied him obliged to go ginning to flourish, had caused to be set about in an eternal suit of mourning; a up in a splendid sort of frame over his captive-a stately being, let out of the really handsome shop, either as a token of Tower on Saturdays. Often have I wonprosperity, or badge of gratitude to his dered at the temerity of my father, who, in saint. W- looked up at the Luke, spite of an habitual general respect which and, like Satan, "knew his mounted sign we all in common manifested toward —and fled.” A letter on his father's him, would venture now and then to table the next morning, announced that stand up against him in some argument, he had accepted a commission in a regi- touching their youthful days. The ment about to embark for Portugal. He houses of the ancient city of Lincoln are was among the first who perished before divided (as most of my readers know) the walls of St. Sebastian.
between the dwellers on the hill, and in I do not know how, upon a subject the valley. This marked distinction which I began with treating half seri-formed an obvious division between the ously, I should have fallen upon a recital boys who lived above (however brought so eminently painful; but this theme of together in a common school) and the poor relationship is replete with so much boys whose paternal residence was on the matter for tragic as well as comic plain; a sufficient cause of hostility in the associations that it is difficult to code of these young Grotiuses. My keep the account distinct without father had been a leading Mountaineer; blending. The earliest impressions which and would still maintain the general I received on this matter, are certainly superiority, in skill and hardihood, of the not attended with anything painful, or Above Boys (his own faction) over the very humiliating, in the recalling. At Below Boys (so were they called), of my father's table (no very splendid one) which party his contemporary had been a was to be found, every Saturday, the chieftain. Many and hot were the skirmysterious figure of an aged gentleman, mishes on this topic—the only one upon clothed in neat black, of a sad yet comely which the old gentleman was ever appearance. His deportment was of the brought out-and bad blood bred; even essence of gravity; his words few or sometimes almost to the recommencenone; and I was not to make a noise in ment (so I expected) of actual hostilities. his presence. I had little inclination to But my father, who scorned to insist have done som for my cue was to admire upon advantages, generally contrived in silence. A particular elbow chair was turn the conversation upon some appropriated to him, which was in no adroit by-commendation of the old case to be violated. A peculiar sort of Minster; in the general preference of sweet pudding, which appeared on no which, before all other cathedrals in the other occasion, distinguished the days of island, the dweller on the hill, and the his coming. I used to think him a pro- plain-born, could meet on a conciliating
level, and lay down their less important ment had intervened between them, to differences. Once only I saw the old utter with an emphasis which chilled the gentleman really ruffled, and I remem- company, and which chills me now as I bered with anguish the thought that write it-"Woman, you are superannucame over me: "Perhaps he will never ated." John Billet did not survive long, come here again.” He had been pressed after the digesting of this affront; but he 10 take another plate of the viand, which survived long enough to assure me that I have already mentioned as the indis- peace was actually restored! and, if I repensable concomitant of his visits. He member aright, another pudding was dishad refused with a resistance amounting creetly substituted in the place of that to rigor—when my aunt, an old Lincoln- which had occasioned the offence. He ian, but who had something of this in died at the Mint (anno 1781) where he common with my cousin Bridget, that she had long held, what he accounted, a comwould sometimes press civility out of fortable independence; and with five season-uttered the following memorable pounds, fourteen shillings, and a penny, application—“Do take another slice, Mr. which were found in his escrutoire after Billet, for you do not get pudding every his decease, left the world, blessing God day.” The old gentleman said nothing that he had enough to bury him, and that at the time—but he took occasion in the he had never been obliged to any man for course of the evening, when some argu- a sixpence. This was a Poor Relation.
ON GOING A JOURNEY
Romantic criticism received much of its impetus from the brilliant, virile lectures and essays of William Hazlitt (1778-1830), who attempted to clear away from the study of literature the petrified strata of old dicta and canons, and to bring to it an open sympathy and enthusiasm. But the familiar essays of Hazlitt surpass even his achievement in criticism. In these he reveals a somewhat misanthropic philosophy and a tendency (though it may be a pose) to prefer his own society to that of others. Yet there is always material for thought enveloped in a full-throated style rich in allusion and quotation. The classic "On Going a Journey" was included in the second volume of Table Talk, 1822.
ONE of the pleasantest things in the brances. I like solitude, when I give myworld is going a journey; but I like to self up to it, for the sake of solitude; nor go by myself. I can enjoy society in a do I ask for room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me. I am then never
a friend in my retreat,
Whom I may whisper solitude is sweet. less alone than when alone.
The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect The fields his study, nature was his book. liberty, to think, feel, do just as one
pleases. We go a journey chiefly to be I cannot see the wit of walking and free of all impediments and of all incontalking at the same time. When I am veniences; to leave ourselves behind, in the country, I wish to vegetate like much more to get rid of others. It is the country. I am not for criticizing because I want a little breathing-space hedge-rows and black cattle. I go out to muse on indifferent matters, where of town in order to forget the town and Contemplation all that is in it. There are those who for this purpose go to watering-places,
May plume her feathers and let grow her
wings, and carry the metropolis with them. I
That in the various bustle of resort like more elbow-room, and fewer incum- Were all too ruffled, and sometimes impair'd,
that I absent myself from the town for half-faced fellowship,” say I. I like to awhile, without feeling at a loss the be either entirely to myself, or entirely at moment I am left by myself. Instead the disposal of others; to talk or be silent, of a friend in a post-chaise or in a Til- to walk or sit still, to be sociable or solibury, to exchange good things with, and tary. I was pleased with an observation vary the same stale topics over again, for of Mr. Cobbett's, that "he thought it a once let me have a truce with imperti- bad French custom to drink our wine
Give me the clear blue sky over with our meals, and that an Englishman my head, and the green turf beneath my ought to do only one thing at a time.” feet, a winding road before me, and a So I cannot talk and think, or indulge in three hours' march to dinner-and then melancholy musing and lively conversato thinking! It is hard if I cannot start tion by fits and starts. “Let me have a some
game on these lone heaths. I companion of my way," says Sterne, laugh, I run, I leap, I sing for joy. “were it but to remark how the shadows From the point of yonder rolling cloud, I lengthen as the sun declines.”
” It is plunge into my past being, and revel beautifully said: but in my opinion, this there, as the sun-burnt Indian plunges continual comparing of notes interferes headlong into the wave that wafts him with the involuntary impression of things to his native shore. Then long-forgotten upon the mind, and hurts the sentiment. things, like "sunken wrack and sumless If you only hint what you feel in a kind treasuries,” burst upon my eager sight, of dumb show, it is insipid: if you have and I begin to feel, think, and be my- to explain it, it is making a toil of a self again. Instead of an awkward si- pleasure. You cannot read the book of lence, broken by attempts at wit or dull nature, without being perpetually put to common-places, mine is that undisturbed the trouble of translating it for the benesilence of the heart which alone is per- fit of others. I am for the synthetical fect eloquence. No one likes puns, alliter- method on a journey, in preference to ations, antitheses, argument, and analysis the analytical. I am content to lay in a better than I do; but I sometimes had stock of ideas then, and to examine and rather be without them. “Leave, oh, anatomize them afterwards. I want to leave me to my repose!" I have just see my vague notions float like the down now other business in hand, which would of the thistle before the breeze, and not seem idle to you, but is with me “very to have them entangled in the briars and stuff of the conscience." Is not this thorns of controversy. For once, I like wild rose sweet without a comment ? to have it all my own way; and this is Does not this daisy leap to my heart set impossible unless you are alone, or in in its coat of emerald? Yet if I were to such company as I do not covet. I have explain to you the circumstance that has no objection to argue a point with any so endeared it to me, you would only one for twenty miles of measured road, smile. Had I not better then keep it to but not for pleasure. If you remark the myself, and let it serve me to brood over, scent of a beanfield crossing the road, from here to yonder craggy point, and perhaps your fellow-traveller has no from thence onward to the far-distant smell. If you point to a distant object, horizon? I should be but bad company perhaps he is short-sighted, and has to all that way, and therefore prefer being take out his glass to look at it. There is alone. I have heard it said that you may, a feeling in the air, a tone in the color when the moody fit comes on, walk or of a cloud which hits your fancy, but the ride on by yourself, and indulge your effect of which you are unable to account reveries. But this looks like a breach for. There is then no sympathy, but an of manners, a neglect of others, and you uneasy craving after it, and a dissatisare thinking all the time that you ought faction which pursues you on the way, to rejoin your party. “Out upon such and in the end probably produces ill