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“It's a fact,” said his lordship, with a knowing shake of his head. “ As we were toddling home with the hounds, I said to Frosty, “I hope that Mr. Soapey Something's comfortable in his bath'-meaning Gobblecow Bog, which he rode into. "Why,' said Frosty, it's no great odds what comes of such rubbage as that.' Now, Frosty, you know, in a general way, is a most polite, fair-spoken man, specially before Christmas, when he begins to look out for the tips; and as we are not much troubled with strangers, thanks to your sensible way of handling them, I thought Frosty would have made the most of this natural son of Dives, and been as polite to him as possible. However, he was evidently no favourite of Frosty's. So I just asked—not that one likes to be familiar with servants, you know, but still this brown-booted beggar is enough to excite one's curiosity, and make any one go out of one's way a little, --so I just asked Frosty what he knew about him. * All over the left,' said Frosty, jerking his thumb back over his shoulder, and looking as knowing as a goose with one eye ; all over the left,' repeated he. • What's over the left ?' said I. Why, this Mr. Sponge,' said he. • How so? asked I. • Why,' said Frosty, 'he's come gammonin' down here that he's a great man--full of money, and horses, and so on; but it's all my eye, he's no more a great man than I am.'
“ The deuce!" exclaimed Jack, who had sat squinting and listening intently as his lordship proceeded. “Well, now, damme, I thought he was a snob the moment I saw him," continued he; Jack being one of those clever gentlemen who know everything after they are told.
“Well, how do you know, Jack ?' said I to Frosty. Oh, I knows,' replied he, as if he was certain about it. However, I wasn't satisfied without knowing too; and, as we kept jogging on, we came to the old Coach and Horses, and I said to Jack, We may as well have a drop of something to warm us.' So we halted, and had glasses of brandy a-piece, whips and all; and then, as we jogged on again, I just said to Jack casually, “Did you say it was Mr. Blossomnose told you about old Brown Boots ? No-Blossomnose-no,' replied he, as if Blossom never had anything half so good to tell; “it was a young woman,' said he, in an under tone, who told me, and she had it from old Brown Boots's groom.'
“Well, that's good," observed Jack, diving his hands into the very bottom of his great tartan trouser pockets, and shooting his legs out before him ; “ Well, that's good," repeated he, falling into a sort of reverie.
“Well, but what can we make of it ?" at length inquired he, after a long pause, during which he ran the facts through his mind, and thought they could not be much ruder to Soapey than they had been ; “What can we make of it?" said he. “ The devil can ride, and we can't prevent him; and his having nothing only makes him less careful of his neck."
Why, that was just what I thought,” replied Lord Scamperdale, taking another tumbler of gin; “ that was just what I thought-the devil can ride, and we can't prevent him; and just as I settled that in my sleep, I thought I saw him come staring along, with his great brown horse's head in the air, and crash right a-top of old Lablache. But I see my way clearer with him now. But help yourself," continued his lordship, passing the gin-bottle over to Jack, feeling that what he had to say re
quired a little recommendation. “I think I can turn Frosty's information to some account."
“I don't see how," observed Jack, replenishing his glass.
“I do, though,” replied bis lordship; adding, but I must have your assistance.”
“Well, anything in moderation,” replied Jack, who had had to turn his hand to some very queer jobs occasionally.
“I'll tell you what I think,” observed his lordship. “I think there are two ways of getting rid of this haughty Philistine-this unclean spirit—this 'bomination of a man. I think, in the first place, if old Chatterbox knew that he had nothing, he would very soon bow him out of Jawleyford Court; and, in the second, that we night get rid of him by buying his horses."
Well," replied Jack, “I don't know but you're right. Chatterbox would soon wash his hands of him, as he has done of many promising yomg gentlemen before, if he has nothing; but people differ so in their ideas of what nothing consists of.”
Jack spoke feelingly, for he was a gentleman who was generally spoken of as having nothing a-year, paid
quarterly; and yet he was in the enjoyment of an annuity of sixty pounds.
“Oh, why, when I say he has nothing," replied Lord Seamperdale, “ I mean that he has not what Jawleyford, who is a bumptious sort of an ass, would consider sufficient to make him a fit match for one of his daughters. He may have a few hundreds a-year, but Jaw, I'm sure, will look at nothing under thousands."
Oh, certainly not,” said Jack; “there's no doubt about that.” “Well, then, you see, I was thinking," observed Lord Scamperdale, eyeing Jack's countenance, " that if you would dine there to-morrow, as we fixed
“Oh, d-n it, I couldn't do that," interrupted Jack, drawing himself together in his chair like a horse refusing a leap; “I couldn't do thatI couldn't dine with Jaw not at no price.”
“ Why not ?" asked Lord Scamperdale ; "he'll give you a devilish good dinner--ficacees and all sorts of things; far finer fare than you have here.” That
may all be,” replied Jack ; “but I don't want none of his food. I hate the sight of the fellow, and detest him fresh every time I see him. Consider, too, you said you'd let me off if I sarved out Soapey; and I'm
my best. I led him over some awful places ; and then what a ducking I got! My ears are full of water still," added he, laying his head on one side to try to run it out.
“ You did well,” observed Lord Scamperdale-—"you did well, and I fully intended to let you off, but then I didn't know what a beggar I had to deal with. Come, say you'll go, that's a good fellow.”
“ Couldn't," replied Jack, squinting frightfully.
“Ah, well, I'd do anything to oblige your lordship," replied Jack, thinking of the corner in the will. “I'd do anything to oblige your lordship; but the fact is, sir, I'm not prepared to go. I've lost my specs - I've got no swell clothes—I can't go in the Stunner tartan,” added he, eyeing his backgammon-board-looking chest, and diving his hands into the capacious pockets of his shooting-jacket.
sure I did
“ I'll manage all that,” replied his lordship ; “ I've got a pair of splendid silver-mounted spectacles in the Indian cabinet in the drawing-room, that I've kept to be married in. I'll lend them to you, and there's no saying but you may captivate Miss Jawleyford in them. Then as to clothes, there's my new damson-coloured velvet waistcoat with the steel buttons, and my
fine blue coat with the velvet collar, silk facings, and our button on it; altogether I'll rig you out and make you such a swell, there's no saying but Miss Jawleyford 'll offer to you, by way of consoling herself for the loss of Soapey."
“ I'm afraid you'll have to make a settlement for me, then," observed our friend.
“Well, you are a good fellow, Jack," said his lordship, “and I'd as soon make one on you as on any one else. However, I'll tell
what I'll do, I'll send for old Pouncebox to-morrow, to add a little codicil to
“ I'll tell him to come as I pass through Starfield,” replied Jack, thinking his lordship might forget. “I'spose you'll send me on wheels ?" added he.
“ In course," replied his lordship. “Dog-cart-name behind-Right Honourable the Earl of Scamperdale-lad with cockade-everything genteel ;” adding, “By Jove, they'll take you for me!"
Having settled all these matters, and arranged how the information was to be communicated to Jawleyford, the friends at length took their block-tin candlesticks, with their cauliflower-headed candles, and retired to bed.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF AN OLD ADAGE. In these days of observation and experience, when discoveries are made daily, and human power is strengthened in something very like a geometric ratio, it is surprising to find a fundamental law imperfectly understood. Our men of science inform us that matter is in a continual progress, but whether backwards or forwards is still undecided. Now, whether it go backwards or forwards, it is of some importance to man to know if he be still, unmoved, or if he be rapt away by the powerful forces which sway the world, and carried along the tide of eternity, observing all things else in motion continual. 's'is a strange, and, it must be confessed, a sad reflection, that that most wonderful piece of mechanism, composing the article called man, is still so great a mystery, finding as we do, that the workings of this curious machine are scarcely known, and that the covering is like polished metal, dazzling the eyes, and drawing all attention to the outside.
For our part, we are of opinion that there is an old adage, which, though cast aside like an old sixpence, is of use to the poor man. This little epigrammatic adage declares that “ Extremes meet." Now, dear reader, collect all your philosophic volumes, from Xenophanes down to Monsieur Cousin, and find, if you can, such a declaration, so full of meaning; a declaration which can be applied to elucidate the phenomena of the worlds moral, physical, legislative, musical, fashionable and unfashionable. We would not have the reader think we have made this valuable discovery ourselves. By no means. Even S.T. Coleridge can give us
the history of it. He says, “Every power in nature and in spirit must evolve an opposite” (i.e., there must be extremes); “and all opposition is a tendency to re-union" (i.e., “ extremes meet"). He goes on to say that Heraclitus first promulgated this fact, which Bruno afterwards revivified and manifested forth. But whilst men endeavour to decompose all bodies to their simplest elements, and on the other hand will make use of pompous diction, and write books like forest groves, thick and impenetrable, it is evident that Philosophy must ever be a maiden in weeds, grooning at obscurity. Let philosophers, then, imitate nature, and speak in a clear, simple voice, imitating the song of the thrush, whose melody falls sweet on the ears of the listener. If, then, Bruno and Coleridge had used a simple term like our adage, Philosophy had dwelt in cottages, under a thatched roof. It strikes us, Milton had some idea of this when he wrote those oft-quoted lines (especially quoted by gentlemen fresh from “Hegel's Encyclopædia"),
How charming is Divine Philosophy, &c. There is one division of philosophers who proceed in their reasonings from cause to effect, and another from effect to cause. There are some who, like birds picking up crumbs, pick up scraps wherewith to furnish a fund of knowledge formed of generals and supported by particulars. There are others, who boldly place before themselves a principle, and argue from it all other things known and unknown. These latter are the renovators of the world ; and they have their reward, as says the old Alexandrian poet :
Ουκ έτ' επιψαύω ποσί γαίης, αλλά παρ' αυτο
Ζηνί διοτρεφέος πίμπλαμαι αμβροσίης. .
Tended by him, and filled with happiest joy and holiest love. And we, in imitation, set forth with this hypothesis : Extremes meet. And since we shall show it to be true in all cases, therefore we may style it an universal hypothesis. Behold ye then, ye that wander without a lantern fixed on the hoped-for post, a short and royal path to Hocuspocus, or the metaphysical land of shadows.
Let us adduce a few facts. All that the geologist has done is merely a comment upon our text. He shows us that the world is undergoing, and has undergone, vast changes, backwards and forwards— backwards in destruction, forwards in reproduction ; that life and death are constant attendants, going forth hand-in-hand like sisters by different fathers. All things have life, even stones and grains of sand of course different in their kind—but these are attended by Destruction. Life is like a fair little rivulet running through a marshy land, liable to be stopped by the least impediment, but not overcome. While existence is, destruction must be; and even destruction is but a tendency to its opposite, a new life.
Astronomers talk of change in the heavens, but they perceive it only from phenomena. By our hypothesis, we stablish their inference. One extreme showeth that there is another. If, then, all things were the same,
without change, there would be no motion and no time (i.e.
, temporal succession). Can we go still higher? Yea, we can say or sing, what would make Mr. Emerson and the dithyrambists of our day stare. The body is the extreme of the soul, that ray of Life, sprung from the unknown in the vast recess of infinity, which glided down like the mote on the sunbeam, and took up its abode in dust for a few short hours, then to wend its way
upwards, unhappy in the loss of its earthly companion, but spiritualised, strange to say, when its companionship is finally renewed." When we distinguish the soul's faculties into reason, understanding, &c., it is not that the soul is capable of division, for the manifestation of the soul is varied according to the condition (the universal condition) of the body, the soul's extreme. But let us leave these themes to those whom they delight
-Ire per altum
Aëra, et immenso spatiantem vivere cæloand take a peep at our own dear world,
Χωρώμεν ές πολυθρόδους
Λειμώνας άνθεμώδεις. . In all ranks of society does this adage hold. For instance, at my Lady Bliss's soirée the other evening, there were several engaged couples who furnished no small quantity of euphonism (alias scandal) to the dowagers.
ere were Mr. Burton, the eldest son of Lord Linton, and pretty Lady Agnes Matchem, held in especial view. Now Mr. B. was honourable and courageous, with not too much of the dandy about him, and he loved sincerely. Lady Agnes was not only pretty, but moreover kind and amiable. How was it possible, then, that they should not love ? for like meets like, an extreme is merely the reflection, the áraúyaoua of an opposite or extreme.
Thus could we lead thee, gentle reader, o'er fields fruitful as the lands of the tropics, flying like a witch on a broomstick beneath the moon, or whisking out of sight behind a comet, and finding soon the haven of rest. Who, then, can now deny that the path to knowledge is manifested ; that faith is rendered certain; and that the future has become as clear as the past ? And all this is effected by that little sentiment, to wit, “ Extremes meet!”
From thence in crowds, each festive morn,
Cits with their pipes repair,
And breathe the mountain air.