Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

CHAPTER II. P. I.

WHEREIN CERTAIN QUESTIONS ARE PROPOSED CON

CERNING TIME, PLACE AND PERSONS.

Quis ? quid? ubi ? quibus auxiliis? cur? quomodo? quando ?

TECHNICAL Verse.

Thus have I begun according to the most approved forms; not like those who begin the Trojan War from Leda's egg, or the History of Great Britain from Adam, or the Life of General Washington from the Discovery of the New World; but in conformity to the Horatian precept, rushing into the middle of things. Yet the Giant Moulineau's appeal to his friend the story-telling Ram may well be remembered here; Belier mon ami, si tu voulois commencer : par le commencement tu me ferois grand

plaisir. For in the few lines of the preceding chapter how much is there that requires explanation ? -Who was Nobs ?-Who was Barnaby ?-Who was the Doctor?- Who was Mrs. Dove? The place, where ?—The time, when ?—The

persons, who?

I maie not tell you all at once;

But as I maie and can, I shall
By order tellen you it all.

So saith Chaucer; and in the same mind, facilius discimus quæ congruo dicuntur ordine quam quæ sparsim et confusim, saith Erasmus. Think a moment I beseech thee, Reader, what order is ! Not the mere word which is so often vociferated in the House of Commons or uttered by the Speaker ore rotundo, when it is necessary for him to assume the tone of Zɛùs üzeßpeuérns; but order in its essence and truth, in itself and in its derivatives.

Waving the Orders in Council, and the Order of the Day, a phrase so familiar in the disorderly days of the French National Convention, think gentle Reader of the order of Knighthood, of holy orders, of the orders of architecture, the Linnæan orders, the orderly Serjeant, the ordinal numbers, the Ordinary of Newgate, the Ordinary on Sundays at 2 o'clock in the environs of the Metropolis, the ordinary faces of those who partake of what is ordinarily provided for them there; and, under the auspices of Government itself and par excellence, the Extraordinary Gazette. And as the value of health is never truly and feelingly understood except in sickness, contemplate for a moment what the want of order is. Think of disorder in things remote, and then as it approaches thee. In the country wherein thou livest, bad; in the town whereof thou art an inhabitant, worse; in thine own street, worser; in thine own house, worst of all. Think of it in thy family, in thy fortune, in thine intestines. In thy affairs, distressing; in thy members, painful; in thy conduct, ruinous. Order is the sanity of the mind, 110! the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. As the beams to a house, as the bones to the microcosm of man, so is order to all things. Abstract it from a Dictionary, and thou mayest imagine the inextricable confusion which would ensue. Reject

[blocks in formation]

row.

it from the Alphabet, and Zerah Colburne himself could not go through the chriscross

How then should I do without it in this history?

A Quaker by name Benjamin Lay (who was a little cracked in the head though sound at heart) took one of his compositions once to Benjamin Franklin that it might be printed and published. Franklin having looked over the manuscript observed that it was deficient in arrangement; it is no matter, replied the author, print any part thou pleasest first. Many are the speeches and the sermons and the treatises and the

poems and the volumes which are like Benjamin Lay's book; the head might serve for the tail, and the tail for the body, and the body for the head,-either end for the middle, and the middle for either end ;—nay if you could turn them inside out like a polypus, or a glove, they would be no worse for the operation.

When the excellent Hooker was on his deathbed, he expressed his joy at the prospect of entering a World of Order.

CHAPTER III. P. I.

WHOLESOME OBSERVATIONS UPON THE VANITY OF

FAME.

Whosoever shall address himself to write of matters of instruction, or of any other argument of importance, it behoveth that before he enter thereinto, he should resolutely determine with himself in what order he will handle the same; so shall he best accomplish that he hath undertaken, and inform the understanding, and help the memory of the Reader.

Gwillim's DISPLAY OF HERALDRY.

Who was the Doctor ?

We will begin with the persons for sundry reasons, general and specific. Doth not the Latin grammar teach us so to do, wherein the personal verbs come before the impersonal, and the Propria quæ maribus precede all other nouns? Moreover by replying to this question all needful explanation as to time and place will naturally and of necessity follow in due

sequence.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »