Puslapio vaizdai

ton, in his old-fashioned way, considers melancholy to be at bottom a disease, and frequently due to direct Satanic agency; and therefore, though he certainly considers that the evil-one plays a very conspicuous part in human affairs, he can not properly pride himself upon his melancholy as a proof of intellectual and moral superiority. We must not complain of him for not anticipating a modern discovery.

He speaks, however, feelingly of the folly of intellectual labor. Do not scholars labor like Thebet Benchorat, who spent forty years in finding out the motion of the eighth sphere, till they become "dizzards," and are scoffed at by gallants for not knowing how to manage a hack, salute a gentlewoman, carve at table, and make cringes and congés," as every common swasher can do"? The greatest scholars are generally fools in all worldly matters, such as Paglarensis, who thought that his farmer must be a cheat for reporting that his sow had eleven pigs and his mare only one foal. This test of the imbecility of scholars was one upon which Hazlitt has dwelt in some vigorous essays, and which has doubtless come home more or less to many an honest senior wrangler, who has discovered that his mathematics did not enable him to tie his neckcloth after the latest model. But the man who could seriously whine over such a distress would be showing a deficiency of self-respect only too much in Hazlitt's vein. If here and there, in this polished age, a scholar is a bit of a clown, it is generally from puerile conceit, and his incapacity for business means only that he has admirers enough ready to do his dirty work. Burton has a much more serious ground for lamentation. Scholars, he says, are generally enforced to "want, poverty, and beggary." He quotes a passage from Vergil (applied by Johnson to precisely the same purpose) enumerating the terrible forms which surround the gates of hell-grief, care, labor, fear, hunger, and poverty-and observes that they are the familiar attendants of the scholar. His best chance was to keep a school, or turn lecturer or curate, for which he might receive "falconer's wages," ten pounds a year and his food, so long as he pleased the parish or his parson; or he might become chaplain in a gentleman's family, marry an old housekeeper or chambermaid, and be settled in a small living-the natural aspiration of a poor clergyman for a century later, according to the satirists and pamphleteers. The scholar, again, might get into a great man's family, and live, at the cost of gross flattery, as a worthless parasite; or, seeing the worthlessness of the higher learning, might take to one of the "bread studies," and become a lawyer, to struggle against successful pettifoggers-or a physician, to find that in every village there were "so

many mountebanks, empirics, quacksalvers, Paracelsians," and others, that he could scarcely find a patient. The "grasping patrons," who plunder the Church for their own base purposes, are at the roots of the evil. It is useless to denounce them; they care not so long as they have money. "Dea Moneta, Queen Money," the almighty dollar, was even then, it seems, the "goddess we adore." We need not wonder, then, that patrons were a "base, profane, epicurean, hypocritical rout. So cold is my charity, so defective in this behalf, that I shall never think better of them, than that they are rotten at core, their bones are full of epicurean hypocrisy and atheistical marrow, they are worse than heathens." And then Burton proceeds to lament over the contempt for learning characteristic of his time, and, of course, of his time alone. Gentlemen thought it unworthy of them; merchants might study arithmetic, spectacle-makers optics, and "landleapers" geography—a rich man had no need of such knowledge. In that base, utilitarian age men only thought of practical advantages; in "former times "—a very comprehensive period-the highest were scholars themselves, and loved scholars. "Evax, that Arabian prince," was "a most expert jeweler and exquisite philosopher"; Alexander sent Xenophanes fifty talents, because he was poor; and “Archelaus, that Macedonian king, would not willingly sup without Euripides (among the rest, he drank to him at supper one night, and gave him a cup of gold for his pains)." Those days are gone; though we still have our Cæsar, commonly called James I., "our amulet, our sun, our sole comfort and refuge; . . . a famous scholar himself, and the sole patron, pillar, and sustainer of learning," to which, in later editions, it had to be added that James had left a worthy successor. But, after making his reverence to the king's majesty, and to certain rather hypothetical exceptions to the general ignorance of the gentry, Burton returns to his lamentations. Our modern nobles are abandoned to field-sports, gaming, and drinking; they need nothing but some romance, play-book, or pamphlet, and know only a few scraps of French and Italian picked up in a foreign journey. And yet such must be the patrons! and those will thrive who please them best. "If the patron be precise, so must the clerk be; if he be papistical, his clerk must be so too, or be turned out. These "-parasites and time-servers, to wit

"are those clerks which serve the turn, while, in the mean time, we, that are university men, like so many hide-bound calves in a pasture, tarry out our time, wither away as a flower ungathered in a garden, and are never used; or as so many candles, illuminate ourselves alone, obscuring one another's light, and are not discerned here at all—

the least of which, translated to a dark room, or to some country benefice where it might shine apart, would give a fair light, and be seen over all."

older, he is constantly inclined to fancy that the world must be growing worse. If not, why should he be less cheerful?

In this chapter Burton speaks more from his own mind, and gives us a stronger dose of pessimism than is his wont. Yet even here he does not quite come up to the modern standard, or, indeed, to that of some of his contemporaries. The evils upon which he dwells are too specific and contingent. He hardly seems to regard the melancholy of the scholar as due to an imperfection in human nature itself, but rather as something which might conceivably be removed by a virtuous prince and á judicious minister. He is thoroughly roused to anger by the baseness of patrons and the general misapplication of church property, but scarcely rises above the tone of a sturdy conservative of the common-room grumbling over the slowness of patronage and the growth of Puritanism. He does not rise to the sphere of thought in which the many political squabblings of the day appear as petty interludes in the vast drama of human history. The melancholy of the scholar does not suggest to him the lofty intellectual melancholy represented, for example, by Faust. Here and there, indeed, we have hints of the futility of all philosophy; celebrated authors have exploded school divinity, we are told, as a "vast ocean of obs and sols-a labyrinth of intricable questions, unprofitable contentions", but he is scarcely sensible of that weariness of soul which comes over the profounder thinker, awed by the contemplation of the stupendous waste of the noblest human faculties, of the vast energy of intellect that has been dissipated in turning the everlasting metaphysical treadmill. He is more of a Wagner than a Faust. He does not tremble at the comparison between his narrow limits of human life and the illimitable series of problems to be solved, where each new answer only serves to suggest new and more perplexing questions; nor is he frightened by the many names of men greater and wiser than himself which are now mere labels to some exploded theory, nor disgusted with the empty verbiage presented to him by the most pretentious teachers for solid truth; nor tempted to become a charlatan himself in sheer bitterness of spirit, or to plunge into sensual pleasure as the only substantial good in losing himself in the stupendous labyrinths of sophistry and mutual contradiction misnamed philosophy. At a time when the keenest thinkers were bracing themselves for a fresh departure in inquiry, a man of powerful as well as learned mind might have given utterance to some such feeling in surveying the huge wilderness of bygone speculation. Placed between the dead and the living, a rising and an expiring school of thought, he might have meditated on the vanity

"We that are university men!" It is pleasant to notice the touch of college pride which breaks out in this little reference. The university indeed was not quite immaculate, but Burton judiciously veils his suggestions for its reform in learned language; it was not for one of the "candles" to develop any doubt as to the brilliancy of his associated luminaries. We have the good old don-the genuine believer in the universities as the sole sources of pure light in a feebly appreciative country-who used to flourish till very recent times, and has perhaps not been utterly abolished even by the profane intrusion of reforming commissioners. But it is more curious to remark how easy it would be to rewrite all this lamentation so as to make it an apparent echo of modern jeremiads. When, in speaking of political disorders, Burton illustrates his case by "those goodly provinces in Asia Minor which govern under the burden of a Turkish government; and those vast kingdoms of Muscovia, Russia, under a tyrannizing duke," we fancy that he might have been looking at an article in yesterday's paper; and the complaints to which we have just been listening require little more alteration. We know how nervous disorders (we do not now call them melancholy) are specially characteristic of the present age; how many of them may be traced to the excessive stimulation of youthful intellects in the period of academical study; how all professions are filled to repletion, and how many years a young man has to wait before he can get a brief or a patient; how little the spirit of genuine research is encouraged, and how, in consequence, young men take to those studies which are likely to bring immediate results in the shape of pounds, shillings, and pence; how ill patronage is distributed, and what a number of excellent clergymen are forced to keep up an excellent appearance on totally inadequate stipends; how, if patrons are no longer so conspicuous in our democratic age, a man is still tempted to seek for preferment by flattering the ignorant prejudices of the many, and prostituting his talents to the base acts of popularity-hunting; and how "in former times these evils never existed; how people really believed what they said; sold what they professed to sell; revered their rulers; and lived sound, healthy lives, free from hysteria, humbug, and money-worship. In every age the last new prophet of the doctrine of deterioration is convinced of the startling novelty and unimpeachable truth of his teaching. The explanation is probably the obvious one hinted by an old writer, who remarks that, as he grows


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of human wisdom, or have delighted, like Sir Thomas Browne, to reflect, amid the jarring din of controversy, upon the mysterious depths in which all philosophy must so speedily lose itself. But Burton was really an honest university don, who had rambled over many fields of learning, but had not really troubled himself to be profound and cynical. He rejoiced in "that famous library, renewed by Sir Thomas Bodley" -not because it suggested any reflections, inspiring or humiliating, as to the past history of the mind-but rather because it suggested a boundless potentiality of rambling among antiquarian curiosities. He was, according to his own account, a thoroughgoing gossip. He delighted to hear" new news every day, . . . rumors of plagues, fires, thefts, murders, inundations, massacres, meteors, comets, spectrums, prodigies, apparitions; of towns taken, cities besieged, in France, Germany, Turkey, Persia, Poland," etc., as much as if he had lived at the present day, and gone to the Union to read his "Times and "Telegraph." He heard of "plenty, pride, perplexities and cares, simplicity and villainy; subtlety, knavery, candor, and integrity, mutually mixed and offering themselves"; while he rubbed on prívus privatus-left to a solitary life and his own private discontents, and sometimes justified by the precedents of Diogenes and Democritus, walking abroad to make a few observations, sarcastic, humorous, petulant, or indignant. His literary curiosity was pretty much the counterpart of this kind of interest in the outside world. It was not that of a philosopher or poet, but of a man with insatiable appetite for every kind of printed matter, and with enough pungency of feeling to give an occasional flavor to his pages, and enable him to sustain fairly the character of Democritus junior, when he happened to remember it; but yet sufficient force to digest all his masses of knowledge, and saturate them with a dominant sentiment. He forgets that he is bound to be a satirist, and contents himself with tumbling out his stores of queer information without any pretense at illustrating any doctrines, melancholy or consolatory. Especially in those famous digressions concerning "the nature of devils" and "of air," he exhibits his curiosities with as grave a face as if he were displaying the most precious intellectual wares. The stories which he relates must have tickled his fancy, for some reason or other; but he leaves us to guess whether he is a believer or a skeptic, amused or awestruck, or idly curious. We hear how Cardan's father conjured up seven devils, on August 13, 1491, in Greek apparel, about forty years of age, some ruddy and some pale, who assured him that they lived about seven or eight hundred years; how, according to the schoolmen, there

are nine kinds of bad spirits, the names of whose princes are given; though Gregorius Holsanus, who is followed by Marsilius Ficinus, makes only seven kinds, corresponding to the seven planets; the angels being placed above and the devils beneath the moon-an unlucky arrangemet, one would say, for human beings! how the sublunary devils may be divided into six kinds, including water-nymphs, three of which appeared to Macbeth and Banquo, "two Scotch lords," and fairies which "are sometimes seen by old women and children"; while Paracelsus "reckons up many places in Germany where they do usually walk in little coats, some two feet long "; others, it seems, sat by the wayside to make men's horses stumble, rejoicing heartily if the rider swears; "with many such pretty feats."

He gives his notes upon geography with just as much gravity as his remarks upon the natural history of devils. "What greater pleasure can there be," he asks, "than to view these elaborate maps of Ortelius, Mercator, etc.?" He is curious about the variation of the compass, recently discovered by Gilbert, and wishes to find the source of the Nile, and to see "that great bird ruck which can carry an elephant," and the Arabian phoenix; he wants to know the depth of the atmosphere, and to determine whether the peak of Teneriffe is fifty miles high, as Patricius holds, or only nine, as Snellius demonstrates; he is curious about the shells discovered on hill-tops, and the trees and bays, and also about the ship which was dug out of a mountain near Berne (in the year 1460), with forty-eight human bodies in it, from a mine fifty fathoms deep; and then he plunges into questions about the geography of the infernal regions, Ribeira holding that there is a “natural and local fire in the center of the earth two hundred Italian miles in diameter"; while Lessius thinks that the diameter can only be one Dutch mile, because he demonstrates that that space will hold eight hundred billions of damned bodies, "which will abundantly suffice." Then he returns to more accessible questions, and asks why places under the same latitude are not equally hot; why it rains stones, frogs, mice, and rats; what is the nature of meteors; what is the use of the moon; what is the true theory of the earth's motion, "now so much in question"; and whether the stars are inhabited. He seems to regard these last questions as insoluble, laughing at the presumption and hopeless discord of astronomers, and wonders that they are somehow mixed up with the eternal problem about the origin of evil. "But hoo!" exclaims the worthy Burton, "I am now gone quite out of sight. I am almost giddy with roaming about; I could have ranged further yet, but I am an infant and not able to dive into those profundities

and sound those depths; not able to understand, which Thackeray has somewhere quoted about
much less to discuss. I leave the contemplation the amazement of the wild Irish when they saw
of these things to stronger wits, that have better the splendors of Henry II.'s court, and their fool-
ability and happier leisure to wade into such phil- ish desire to become English forthwith; "who
osophical mysteries."
but English! but when they had now submitted
themselves and lost their former liberty, they
began to rebel some of them, others repent of
what they had done, when it was too late." For
one who delights in literary coincidences, in trac-
ing the forms in which anecdotes present them-
selves in various ages, and observing how the
old materials are being constantly refashioned to
suit the taste of the present day, there is an am-
ple hunting-ground in Burton's curious miscel-
lany; and we come to have a liking for the old
gentleman even though we may admit that for
the less curious reader it is better to take advan-
tage of Sterne's spectacles and contemplate Bur-
ton as reflected in the elder Shandy.

Wandering through this quaint museum we come here and there upon familiar anecdotes; upon an early form of smart sayings which have been given to the wits of successive generations; or queer illustrations of ancient forms of speculation. Reading Burton's anecdote of two palmtrees which languished till they grew high enough to see one another at a distance, we may remember the two trees in Heine's familiar poem; and on the next page we find the story from which Keats took his "Lamia"; and not far off is a remark which Coleridge turned into a well-known epigram, pointing out that the devil, when he robbed Job of all his goods, judiciously omitted to take his wife. Just below is an anecdote

Cornhill Magazine.

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FROM the floors of the bedroom, which were

considered in my last paper, we may pass to the walls and ceiling. These should be covered in every case in such a manner that they may be at any time effectively cleaned at as little possible expense and trouble as is possible. We have been accustomed for a long series of years past to use papers for the covering of bedroom walls, and in the shops for the sale of wall-papers it is the usual thing for the salesman to offer for inspection a distinct series of bedroom papers, the patterns of the paper and the quality of the papers being specially displayed in order to meet the tastes of the purchasers. There is no doubt that extremely beautiful and artistic papers are to be bought, but for my part I object to paper altogether in the bedroom. Paper has one recommendation, that of presenting for selection a variety, and it may be a beauty of pattern, and at first this is an enticing suggestion. After a short time, however, the most beautiful pattern causes weariness. The sight every night and morning of just the same lines and series of objects, so many groups, so many figures, so many flowers, so many singular or imaginary designs,

*Continued from "Journal" for April.


becomes in a short time a wearisome process,
and in the bedroom is often intolerable.
sameness, which becomes an objection even to a
handsome paper, is a minor objection when it is
tioned. In some instances the paper itself is un-
compared with others which have to be men-
wholesome, owing to the surface of it containing
arsenic, which, having been used for coloring
purposes, is given off in fine dust, is disseminated
of the room to his decided injury. The common
through the air, and is breathed by the occupant
view held on this subject is that the papers called
papers, and papers of green color, are those
not strictly true, for Dr. Leonard Sedgwick found
only which give off arsenical dust; but this is
that a blue paper gave off arsenical dust into a
bedroom, and that for a long time the sleepers in
the room were suffering from the irritation caused
They suffered from irritation of the throat, from
by arsenic without discerning the true cause.
dyspepsia, and from considerable malaise until
the cause was discovered and removed.

Of course it would not be difficult to select in
which is quite free of arsenic, and, as the trouble
every case a paper for the walls of the bedroom
and expense of such proof are comparatively slight,
city; I name it merely as an objection of an acci-
I do not dwell on this objection with any pertina-
dental kind which can not fairly be omitted.

The argument usually offered for the adop


himself of this formality with the grace of the bear, to which he bore so striking a resemblance. "Let us make haste,” he said sulkily; "and look out and not fall. The highway is only a little way off, but we shall not get back to the hotel for an hour yet, and I am dying of hunger!"

She made a supreme effort to start off bravely, but the twist she had given her ankle when she fell, and which she had forgotten, now became very painful. The sprain was not severe, but she was no longer sure-footed, and stumbled from time to time. When she reached the end of the path, and had taken ten steps on the road to Fleury, then she realized that her strength was gone, and that she was dizzy and faint. Fate, which is always interested in pretty women, took pity on her, and sent her help. A calèche was passing; a noble stranger put his head through the door, and, waving a hand loaded with rings, he called out with a strong Italian accent:

"I am going from Fontainebleau to Barbison. I have two seats to offer, and shall be delighted if you will accept them."

At these words he leaped from the carriage, and compelled Monsieur and Madame Drommel to enter it, saying

"When I see a tired woman, my heart is always touched." If the noble stranger's French was not of the purest, his manners were stately and his air magnificent. He had a handsome head, a dark face framed in black eyebrows and a beard most carefully cut and combed. Ada, whose taste was refined, objected to the excessive abundance of his rings, and to the strong perfumes which exhaled from his handkerchief, his clothing, and his hair. But, when she was luxuriously ensconced in the calèche, she felt as if she were restored to life, and was too grateful to this providential being not to forgive all these faults.

As to Monsieur Drommel, he was disposed to regard this courtesy shown by an Italian toward a German thinker as that instinctive and natural homage rendered to a superior race by all inferior ones. A spectator would have thought the calèche belonged to the German, and perhaps he really believed this to be the case, and that the Italian was indebted to him, he treated him with so great condescension. When, however, he learned, in the course of conversation, that this man with the rings was a great Sicilian personage, and bore the fine title of Prince de Malaserra, he suddenly changed his attitude-his manner became less pompous, and even quite affectionate. He was always weak enough to admire those things which cost most dearly; he had a naïve respect for titles and rank. The acquaintance and friendship of a prince seemed to him a direct blessing

from heaven. He, therefore, exerted himself to display all the graces of his mind, to show the noble stranger that, in spite of all that evil tongues might say, Monsieur Drommel had not lost his way in the forest, because it was impossible for Monsieur Drommel to lose his way anywhere. He therefore explained the matter in detail, and stated that the road he had followed was the best, and that, if for a brief moment he had been embarrassed, it was owing to the fact that the map with which he was furnished was a French one; he profited, moreover, by this occasion to declare that the French know nothing of geography, and that their maps are always inferior.

The noble stranger agreed to all these propositions, which so delighted Monsieur Drommel that, when the carriage drew up before the door of the inn at Barbison, he felt a most enthusiastic liking for his new friend the Prince de Malaserra.


EVERYBODY agrees that on this evening four persons sat at table. This is a fact that has become historical.

When Monsieur Drommel descended from the carriage he was in such a half-famished condition that he hastened to the kitchen and gave orders that dinner should be served instantaneously. The mistress of the establishment, who had taken a strong dislike to Monsieur Drommel, amused herself now by thwarting his wishes. She declared that she had not a private room in her house, and that those persons who were too late for the table d'hôte must now eat in the same room and at the same time, and that she should wait until Monsieur Taconet and little Lestoc arrived: one was her cousin-german, and she felt the highest respect for him; the other was her especial favorite.

She had, from the beginning, distinguished him from among the herd of young fellows who frequented her house. She petted him, for she was proud of sheltering under her roof a youth whose future was so full of promise-a phoenix of whom everybody was talking, and would have been glad to inscribe on her sign, Little Lestoc lives here!"

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She therefore calmly signified to Monsieur Drommel that no napkin should be unfolded until little Lestoc was there. He protested, and lost his temper. She answered that, if he was not satisfied, he could go elsewhere. She was rude, and he was angry, and would have come to blows had not the Prince de Malaserra interfered. He had all the amenity and graceful good humor that characterizes great lords and gentlemen. With his gay grace he conciliated both parties, calmed their perturbed spirits, and

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