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swaggering phrases, arbitrary dogmas, the generalized lies of proverbial cunning, which pass for truths by being lies comprehensive, are utterly worthless. They are the dregs and scourings of whatever in man is diabolical. Yet these are the true gods of millions who read tracts, newspapers, and novels. These are the invisible powers on which they rely, and on which they try to build their existence. For any thing I know, an old Egyptian who worshipped a cabbage, may have been less absurd in doing so than this or that sensitive and fantastic idolater of landscapes and size-coloured daubery, of tinsel talents and melo-dramatic greatness. An Irish peasant honouring with his mouth a glorified potato, would be performing a more reasonable service than that to which he often submits himself.
From want of reverence may I and my children be preserved! But this prayer is not heartier than that which I offer for preservation from the reverence of hollow notions and smoky dreams, half felt to be lies, while we bow down to them. In singleness of heart to believe and do what highest we know-how few and simple are the words! yet their meaning fathoms the depths, and compasses the horizon of life.
For a man of but half his years I knew well him, whom I shall here call Theophilus. The recollection of him is to me one of the most perfectly soothing and strengthening that life has afforded. When I first met him, some ten years before his departure, he was past his prime; but, at the last, he was only on the verge of old age, which never, indeed, seemed to have any place in his heart or his intelligence. As first seen-and, in these respects unchanged, until that hour which changed him altogether he was tall, slender, and graceful, with a head which, in form and character, had a beauty at once magnanimous and delicate. The high heroic features and irresistible sweetness of look recalled Fenelon, but in a grander type, and Baxter polished into a purer stamp of gentlemanly softness. The marble clearness of the complexion, the lustre of the full grey eye, the high compact forehead, with its silvered hairs-but
it is vain thus to enumerate particulars which, taken separately, do so little towards a portrait. Even the invisible characteristics, which words can better deal with, cannot thus be represented to others. For it avails scarce at all to speak of eloquence, learning, devotion, benignity, the fervid chastened glow of soul. All these are to a reader, not perhaps nothing, but very little of what they appeared as living in him. For that which gave its broadest worth and tenderest attractiveness to all, was a something peculiar and native in him alone, which I do not know how to indicate better than by the faint phrase-refinement of heart.
It was not composed finish of manner, not philosophical subtlety of thought, but exquisiteness of beauty in the whole structure of his feelings and life, that gave to his demeanour and discourse an expression which no polish, no genius, could have either imparted or compensated.
There was in him a faint flush of Irish nature, a strong tone of an older and more elaborate school of courtesy than prevails now; the simplicity of a recluse student, the singularity of a mystical idealist, the freshness of a lover of all beauty and wisdom, whom no excess in intellectual indulgence had ever wearied of thought. But all these may be found, though not in common men, yet in those far colder and far coarser than he.. Add, that there was the vivid life of human sympathies, which duty always guided and selfishness never confined. Yet even this is not the man. sonality seemed rather to consist in the unceasing continuity of generous and upward feeling, to which the graceful, the becoming, the right, was not added as a qualification, or measure, but belonged to it, inhered in it, as its vital spirit.
His distinct per
curious to see how those who talked of the truth, as if theirs were the whole, instead of some withered grain or mangled fragment of it, were subdued by a spirit to which the free love of truth was as the feeding air; how they felt that in those which they could least understand, or most hated of his doctrines, there dwelt, as these appeared in him, a power of moral beauty which they could not resist. None can have known him without discerning that he, of all men, called up flowers where he found none, and scattered honey even over the nettles from which he could not extract it.
His rebukes, which were extremely rare, took the form of an assertion of some high truth, not of the exposure of the opposite error; and when nothing benignant, nothing elevating could be said, a painful blushing silence showed that he felt the levity or perverseness of another as a cause of shame for human nature, and almost therefore for himself, not of triumphant condemnation.
The eloquence for which he was noted, poured, when occasion called for it, in a large golden stream of fancy and sympathy, with abundant and clear ratiocinative illustration, but with no severely rigid sequence of argument. Neither was it wont to have any of that inward labouring pause of wonder, which, in the austerer and the more peculiarly speculative, sometimes bespeaks the presence of a single profound and absorbing idea. To recommend and enjoy truth was his calling-to swing her burning censers, glisten in her white robes, and be brightened by her meekest glory, rather than to darken and be amazed, and rise a stern prophet when her strong whisper thunders in the quaking heart. But if to others be allotted monuments of granite and brass, no purer loftier image of ivory and alabaster stands in the lunar shrine of memory.
The philosophy of this good and wise man was in beautiful accordance with his structure of mind, and all his life. The greater portion of his thoughts and studies had been occupied in the construction of a scheme of the universe, buttressed by countless authorities of Pagan sages and Christian fathers, though, as a whole, exactly. harmonizing with the views of none
of these. This laborious and graceful structure-an airy minaret of celestial meditation-I do not know with sufficient accuracy and minuteness to give an account of it. But it is plain that if it erred, it was not by any undue favour for the mechanical propensities of modern times, and for that ethical indifference which deals with spiritual truth as coldly as with any physical problem. It was, on the contrary, his whole aim, to refer all causation to essential good; and, rising into communion with it, to escape from the slough of matter and mechanism. That he had ever fully seen the extreme difficulty of those highest questions which modern speculative sci. ence proposes to itself, it would be presumption either to assert or to deny. It is, however, pardonable to suspect, that the truth which he had trained his heart to serve so willingly, may have seemed to him intellectually nearer and plainer than in its full expanse and natural height it actually is. It seemed essential to much of what was best and deepest in him, that he should never have nerved himself to fathom the black depth of evil in man, and that he thus presented good as a remedy for all wrong, with the blind reliance of youthful innocence. So too, perhaps, he may have failed to survey the widest gulfs of distance, which thought has now traversed, and therefore may have taken a starting point and solution, lofty and comprehensive enough for the noblest practical being, but not quite satisfying all the demands which the severest intelligence in our day makes upon systems of philosophy. Whether this be so I cannot tell. It is at least certain, that he delighted to expound his thoughts in the language of other times, and used the terms now of Aristotle-now of Origen-now of Fénélon, while subordinating all he believed to the lore of revelation in Paul and John.
His labours were probably incomplete, and, at all events, will certainly never appear in the shape which he once hoped to give them. But the great work of his life was his life it. self, which, if it compels us to mourn for what we have lost, assuredly leaves us nothing to lament for him.
THE TENANTS OF HOLYWELL LODGE.
"THIS House to Let. For particulars enquire of Mr Thomas Riggs, Pomona Cottage."
The three gentlemen stopped and looked at this announcement. The oldest of them, a stout red-faced personage, about fifty years of age, cast a hurried glance over the clean white walls and beautiful green verandah of Holywell Lodge. The result of his observation was apparently satisfactory; for he turned to his companions, and said, with rather a decided air, as if in asking their opinions he did not anticipate any contradiction,
"Well, gentlemen, this is just the thing; don't you think so? Cleanquiet-comfortable-eh?"
"As you please, sir," replied the taller of the gentlemen, a fine dark-haired young man, of about twenty-five, or perhaps a little less-"I believe we have no great choice in the matter."
"And you, Mr Day, what do you think on the subject?
"Exactly as Knight does-If you like it, we can have no objection."
Mr Day was a handsome man, a little older than his companion, with long light hair and fine restless eyes; and it only depended on the preference a person might have for a dark or fair complexion, that would have enabled him to decide which of the two young men was the finer specimen of masculine beauty. The deep dark eyes of Knight illumined with strange light the sallow shades of his perfectly chiselled features, and his soft melancholy smile harmonized well with their subdued expression. The fine open countenance of the other was joyous as bright eyes and happy looks could make it; both were exceedingly well made, both very fashionably dressed, and with that indescribable assemblage of qualities of face, figure, and appearance, which convince the most casual spectator that the possessor of them is a gentleman. The senior was one of a different sort: he might perhaps be a flourishing attorney-a retired apothecary-an independent preacheror an Oxford coachman (with a share in the concern) in his Sunday clothes. However this might be, it was very evident that his word was law to his two companions in the choice of a
mansion; and accordingly the trio proceeded at a rapid pace to Pomona Cottage, and were ushered into the presence of Mr Riggs.
That gentleman was surrounded by his blooming family, consisting of three daughters dressed in all respects so like each other, and with such an equally divided share of what is called family likeness, that it would have required almost as long an acquaintance with them as their father's to distinguish Miss Julia from Miss Marianne, and either or both of them from Miss Arabella. It was lucky that the share of this family property that fell to each consisted of a very considerable amount of good looks;-glossy black hair, red and white cheeks, full lips and very small noses, which compensated for their deficiency in size by being of a very aspiring nature, especially at the point, were the principal characteristics of all the three faces. Minute observers saw shades of difference between the size of the mouths and noses, the complexion of the cheeks, and the colour of the eyes and hair of the different individuals constituting the family of the Riggses; but it is sufficient for our present purpose to have given these particulars, as it will suffice to convince the reader that the entrance of two such young gentlemen as those we have described was by no means an event of small importance in the little drawing-room of Pomona Cottage.
"Holywell Lodge, sir?"-enquired Mr Riggs-" Yes, indeed, sir—as you say, sir-won't you be seated, gentlemen? My daughters, gentlemen,-a very pretty situation indeed, sir-furniture good as new-rent very moderate-to a respectable tenant".
"And the accommodation?" enquired the senior.
Dining-room, parlour, kitchen, scullery, five bedrooms, and a loft over the stable ;-the rent for three months, three guineas a-week, gardener kept."
Is he a strong man ?" "Strong-bless ye! Herc'les was a joke to him."
"And the cellars, my good sir-you have not mentioned the cellars yet." "Aha!" chuckled Mr Riggs, whose
rubicund countenance showed that the cellar was one of the last portions of a domicile to which he would be inattentive-"The main room in the whole house, sir, say I. If that be well furnished, sir, we can excuse any little deficiency in bedroom or parlour."
"Then I am to understand they are good cellars?"
"Oh, capital!-you might stow away a dozen pipes."
"And two of them, sir?" "Yes-all binned and divided; a regiment of dismounted dray".
"Strong doors-dark and coldyou hear, gentlemen."
The two young men, who had entered into conversation with the triad of female Riggses, seemed hurt at this interruption, and looked at each other as if each waited for the other to reply to the old gentleman's question. "Oh yes," at last they both said, and turned about to renew their flirtation.
"Well, since my young friends are pleased with the whole house, and you give me such good accounts of the capabilities of the cellars, I think I will accept your terms, Mr Riggs."
"Very well, sir-cellars excellent, I assure you; and-excuse me the liberty, sir-I can recommend you a friend of mine-excellent man-brother of my wife, sir-the best winemerchant in the county, sir."
"Sir, we drink no wine." "Brandy? he sells brandy, sir,— rum, gin, hollands, whisky, any thing; he has an immense stock-lowest prices. I can strongly recommend him."
"We drink no spirits."
"Oh!". and with this expressive monosyllable Mr Riggs showed very plainly that he was fairly puzzled, and could make nothing of a person who was so particular about a cellar, and yet neither drank spirits nor wine. We will not even hint a suspicion that he might be somewhat disappointed as well as surprised; as it is no secret that Mr Riggs, in right of his wife, became (without a pun) sleeping partner in the wine trade carried on by his brother-in-law, Mr Larkin. We say we will not hint our suspicion of such a consideration biassing him in his recommendation of so near a connexion's port and sherry; for we have a high respect for Mr Riggs, and have heard him a hundred times declare
that he was perfectly disinterested, and in fact the purest and most virtuous of men. This, moreover, was said when he was canvassing for a seat in our Town-Council; and on an occasion of such solemnity we are more peculiarly bound to believe that he would state nothing but the truth.
"Oh, papa!" exclaimed the three young ladies at once, interrupting their father in a deep reverie into which he had fallen, when his new tenants had taken their leave,—“ he is the most beautiful man I ever saw!"
"Be hanged if I think so-neither wine nor spirits!-a very suspicious looking man, I wish I had asked for a reference."
"So tall, so graceful, so sweet!" continued the three young ladies, in attitudes of rapt inspiration, turning their eyes up to a little brass hook that stuck out of a little flower in the centre of the ceiling.
"Such fine black eyes!" said Julia. "Black?" said Marianne, "they're blue-deeply, darkly, beautifully blue!"
"Nonsense, girl-dark, dark as starry midnight were his eyes,weren't they, Arabella ?"
"I thought they were blue." "Blue-black!-what the dickens are the girls talking about?-they were grey-little, ugly, sharp grey eyes."
We are talking of the tall young gentleman, papa, in the blue coat, said Julia. "The splendid man with long raven hair. How I should like to know what his name is!"
"We were speaking of the beautiful creature in the black surtout, papa," interposed Marianne and Arabella, in a breath. "Oh, such a beautiful smile! such a charming voice! I'm certain he sings."
"Well, well-never mind whether he sings or not," said the father,"they are to be our neighbours for three months: we shall know all about them by that time. A cellar with no. wine! I think I will step over to your uncle Larkin's. There's some mystery about it. Tell your mother to get Holywell Lodge in order; beds aired, fires lighted, and all that. They come over and take possession on Monday."
A steady old woman, recommended by Mrs Riggs, was speedily installed as cook. The gardener was retained
in his situation, with the additional duty of cleaning knives and shoes; and, in a very short time, Holywell Lodge assumed every appearance of a comfortable habitation. The carpets were none of the newest; the chairs were some of the oldest; and an experienced eye might have easily detected the difference between a "furnished cottage," and a cottage furnished; but yet, with the aid of flashy-coloured papers in the sitting rooms, large pier-glass, with only two small cracks in it, over the drawing-room fireplace, and bright red covers to the imitation rosewood ta bles, the cottage made a very respectable show. And when the musicseller from the neighbouring town had sent out a beautiful new piano, and a large waggon had arrived with a multitude of desks, writing-tables, and a considerable quantity of books, the apartments looked quite a different thing; and every body declared they had had no idea before that Holywell Lodge was so very superior a place.
In many eyes in the neighbourhood its eemed an actual paradise; and in no eyes had it more decidedly assumed this character, than in the six very bright ones of the three Miss Riggses. It is not to be denied, at the same time, that the same persuasion pervaded the minds of their cousins, the two Miss Larkins; but the means those young ladies had of judging were very inferior indeed to those of their more fortunate relations. They could only form their opinions from an outside view of the premises, namely, the fence wall about six feet high, and a distant view of the inhabitants, namely, a view of them in the front seat of the gallery at the parish church; at which it was remarked that the congregation contained a very unusual. proportion of young ladies, immediately after it had got bruited abroad that the new tenants had taken possession of the house, and were regular in their attendance at church. was perhaps only a curious coincidence; but we can vouch for its being the fact; for it is well known to the whole parish (to go no farther for our proofs than to Mr Larkin's family itself,) that Miss Anne and Miss Matilda Larkin forgot their usual fear
of the weather, and once or twice even hurried over to our morning service in the midst of a pelting shower; à circumstance which, a few weeks before the incidents we have alluded to, would have been considered little short of miraculous. In less than a week from the day of taking possession, any one might have seen upon the little drawing-room mantle-piece a pretty considerable bunch of cards, containing, among others, the names of Mr Hughes, our attorney, and Mr Ford, his partner, who had also taken the opportunity of leaving one at the same time with "Hughes and Ford, Solicitors," printed in large letters.
Mr Adams, our surgeon, who was like "three single gentlemen rolled into one," or the celebrated Caleb Quotem, for he filled a multitude of different offices, and tried to condense them all into one magnificent denomination by calling himself “ Dr Adams, M.D., Surgeon, Apothecary, and Accoucheur ;" while in very small letters at the foot of the card appeared-" N.B. Medicines carefully dispensed." It may be remarked, as evincing considerable knowledge of the world in our worthy doctor, that on this occasion, besides his other dispensings, he dispensed with one of his numerous titles or offices, and modest ly drew his pen through the word "accoucheur;" for he very naturally argued that he would probably gain in intensity what he lost in extent; and as it was highly improbable the new comers would require his services in that capacity, they would make it up to him by keeping him fully employed in all his others: so he read up his dog Latin in case he should be called on to prescribe, bought a new set of lancets, and sent for a fresh supply of drugs to the Apothecaries' Hall.
Mr Larkin, of course, called, and said not a word about wine.
Three or four of our retired merchants, who had settled in the neighbourhood, also paid their respects, and there was no possibility of disputing the fact, that if the old gentleman and the two young ones had been so inclined, they might have had invitations for every day in the week. But