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“Oh, but I do!” interrupted asks me, that it is to this, the Ichabod with rising energy. “Here Adoration of Sentiment, that I for as everywhere. We Englishmen one am going to declare war-war boast of our cool heads, and call to the knife.” ourselves rational people, but with “War to the nib, do you mean?” no more right to the name than the asked Hammond, laughing.

He devoutest old Greeks or most be- had a dim recollection of having sotted Catholic peasants.”

read something like this before in “ What next?" said Hammond. some book or magazine, and began “Perhaps we build temples, then, to have an idea of where his friend and offer lambs and incense to was taking him to, but he resoApollo or Aphrodite or Hebe or lutely declined to accompany him.

. Pan? Go on.”

Paradoxy was certainly not his “Not by those names,” Ichabod doxy. Startling opinions were all replied. “What I say is that fine art, very amusing things to talk about, and love, and youth, and beauty, but it was awful when a man began and nature, are practically wor- to act up to them.

“So you've shipped all the world over, and quarrelled with the world and sacrificed to with a veneration I call challenged it, and do you want to superstitious. We pity the be- fight it now—one against all? I nighted ignorance of people who call it a risky, thankless task, a little bow down to the Madonna and game where nobody wins—so it saints; but to living and fictitious won't pay, Ichabod, my word ideals of purity, piety, self-devo- for it." tion, and other so-called graces, we “Well, what of that?” said pay a credulous admiration that Ichabod. “I take it gain and loss would be ludicrous merely, if it are mostly fictions of our imagi. wasn't such a lamentable exhibition nations ; but I'm sick of pretending of human folly.”

to join in this paper-chase they “ This is news,” said Hammond, call life. That ordinary men as Ichabod paused for breath, “ at will hear for my speaking, see least to me, and from


for my showing, or follow for (“When I go and report this at the my leading, might be too much to club," he added to himself, “they expect, slaves as they are to prewon't believe me !") “ And since judice and ignorance.” when, pray, have you fallen out * In the name of all ordinary with our social system ?

men," put in Hammond pertly, “I “I don't know that we ever were

thank you.” friends. If up to now I took care “ Can you here, between ournot to speak my mind to people who selves, honestly deny a word I have couldn't understand it, I had a good said ?" reason. I a novice, and “Oh, I deny it all,” said HamI should simply have been pooh- mond resolutely, adding, sotto voce, poohed as such; but now that I've “and I'll venture to say I never given your society a trial I know heard such mad nonsense in all your Belgravia and your Bohemia from the bubbles on the surface to “The proofs stare you everywhere the dregs below, and I assure you in the face,” continued Ichabod conthat, if the world has power to vincingly. “Take an illustration, move me at all, it is to exasperate this Johannisberger before us me by its inconsistencies. It is now. There's a type of the world!" high time to throw off the mask, “ Amen," sighed Hammond and I will tell you, and anyone that piously, emptying his glass.

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“Do you know of what it is headed mortal of my acquaintance!" made? Grapes-yes, but which ? was Ichabod's comment. “One dose Those that are rotten and decayed, of my views has been enough to something it would revolt you even

upset him.” totouch. That's the secret substance Dick Hammond re-appeared that of our Imperial wine we prize so night at the club with a seriohighly. Å good emblem of the A

comic expression that excited facesecret history of the gods of our tious remark. idolatry, whatever they seem. A “It's no laughing matter," said little sharp inquiry and analysis he, shaking his head. “ Poor Ichawould show us the substance as it bod, he's quite gone, you know.” is-corrupt, corrupt, a thing we “ Dead, do you mean?” should turn away from in contempt “ Worse - 'deranged,” tapping and disgust. Perhaps you can his forehead. understand now how it irritates me Chorus of questions and comto see the delusions under which ments : “Is it in the family ?” men and women live and labour, * Not that I know of.” “Opium delusions too many for the most or absinthe?” “Neither." energetic reformer to take and appointed in love ?” “Oh, not break, one by one. But it strikes that,” returned Hammond, with a me that, if men could once be taught laugh, “but it strikes how to test their infatuations, and been reading too many magazines.” make a habit of it, we should soon

And he proceeded to give a have seen the last of these chimeras, humorous account of their interfor under that magic touch all the view, a little embellished of course, most enchanting pictures of fancy, which afforded considerable amusehope, and memory would ment to his hearers. solve themselves into what they “What is he going to do next?” are, dust and ashes. And the

asked one. best, the only means I see to this “ That's more than I'll venture end would be the extinction of, or to foretel," said Hammond; "but, rather reducing to a minimum, the as I take it, he's a sort of Don emotional element in human Quixote turned the wrong way; nature. Here is a cause that seems off on a general crusade against all to me not unworthy of a rational the consolations of life; where he's being ; I mean to engage in it perfectly certain to get his head actively myself; and all thinking punched—I can say no more.” men who have courage should It was altogether a bad look-out second

Join with me, for Ichabod. But Hammond had Hammond, so far as to admit- won his dozen of champagne.

Ichabod stopped short ; for Hammond, whose silence had here not

CHAPTER III. meant assent, but rather a polite negative, stood before him holding “ READING too many magazines," out his hand, saying,

that might be true, but never the “Not to night, thanks ; I've an whole truth. The clue to this was appointment at the club, and must to be found in the man's strange leave you. Good night.”

character alone, which had by this “I've no taste for sermons,” he time become pretty independent of thought, as he went downstairs, outward circumstances. "and I think my poor friend's Every man, as we know, has three mind is wandering.'

distinct selves—physical, moral, and "There goes the most feather- intellectual. The absolute perfec




tion of a hero must be the perfec- hood, and of which he retained a tion and harmony of these three in strong impression as a nest of one.

ideas as antiquated as its cathedral. Our hero's physique left little to For cathedrals, church music, picbe desired. Nature and his parents tures-everything that linked reliand guardians had taken care of gion and art - he entertained a that, and here he had consented to direct hostility.

Controversies let well alone. Of brains, again, about creeds and dogmas were he had no lack. But, with sin- tolerable-might possibly be of use gular pertinacity, he had all his as a good intellectual gymnastic life been working steadily with all exercise; but the sentiment of dethe force of intellect and will to votion and celestial flights of fancy suppress his feelings, and already were in his judgment nothing so far succeeded as to disturb the more than the root of evils inbalance of his composition, and numerable, incalculable. bring about a state so apparently He had not been near the old awry that most people, looking place for ten years; and welcomed into his ind, would have agreed a slight formal errand of business with Hammond that much reading, that just at this time chanced to much learning, much something, take him down there for a day or had made him mad.

two. Not for love of auld lang Mad or sane, he was not content syne, but because the visit might with having tried the experiment afford him special opportunities for on himself, but desired to extend studying the growths he desired it to his fellow-men. Everybody to eradicate. has a mission in this world, and So he mused as he took his seat the only one that tempted him was in a first-class carriage of the that of a spiritual iconoclast. express to Bury St. Martin's one He was unaffected by ridicule,

afternoon. There was certainly which was all his first confession nothing about the outer man that of faith had elicited from his first denoted the missionary; and the listener. To have effected off-hand idea that they were travelling with the conversion of a man of Ham- an adventurer of reform was promond's stamp would have been to bably the last that would have start by working a miracle; and suggested itself to his fellowmiracles did not enter into travellers. Ichabod's scheme. His future These were a young man and course of action he was as yet con- two ladies, brother and sisters tent to leave indefinite-to be dic- apparently. There was an indetated by circumstances. Heartily finable look of distinction about he wished all the idols of the world the trio, and, as their conversation ---religious, political, social, ar- did not run entirely upon the tistic-had but one neck, that he weather and partridge shooting, might break it. Failing this, he Ichabod condescended to listen would take them in order of im- to it. Nay, several times he portance, beginning, therefore, with

felt tempted to join in, in order to the first-named.

contradict, and to prove to them London offered little scope for how utterly wrong some of the such a campaign. People there opinions they expressed were ; but

too busy with a thousand the noisy rattle of the train forother matters. But there bade conversation except between Bury St. Martin's, an old cathedral people who agreed with

each town, the home of Ichabod's child. other.




Both girls were pretty, very well commanding the town, filling the dressed, and had pleasing manners. sky, rose the Minster, grim and What were the personal and mental grey in the twilight. defects these arts and graces were Not the Sphinx of Memphis, the meant to conceal, Ichabod, of course, Attic Parthenon, the Roman Coliscould only conjecture. He sup- seum, the Moor's Alhambra, are posed they were legion, but never- more eloquent monuments of their theless he felt half sorry when the place and nation than such a Gothic journey came to an end. They cathedral. Bury St. Martin's was all left the train at Bury St. a chronicle in stone; for anyone who Martin's, and Ichabod found him- knew the language. First there self following with his eyes the spoke the broad general type of eldest and prettiest girl, and its beauty-a sublime mass of watching the little black hat and minute decoration, so characteristic feather till they were out of sight of the master builders who inas the party drove off from the vented it. The Norman transept, station in a light waggonette. with its stern, massive outlines, its

Then he blushed for his own exuberant, half-grotesque ornamenweakness; but consoled himself tation, with here and there a touch with the idea that perhaps after all from Italy, a Romanesque graft it was only a reflex action on the upon a rude Northern tree, was part of his eyes, an automatic con- another page of our ancient history traction of the optic nerve, with he who runs may read. Next the which his will had nothing to do. pointed arches of our English

Leaving his luggage at Gothic took up the parable--a style station, he walked off into the town silently declaring itself akin to the in the direction of the cathedral. foreigner, yet distinct, like the

It was growing dusk, and Bury English language-a style that St. Martin's at this curfew hour tantalises by promising to bloom seemed quiet and indoors. Pic- into the perfection of beauty, a turesque views met him down the point it is just reaching, when the narrow streets ; here and there inevitable John Bull steps in and stood out houses with curiously decides that not grace but strength carved fronts and crocketted gables, is to have preference and promiquaint old inns with grotesque sign- nence here. The majestic steeple, boards, brown parapets and wooden a crown of sculptured stone, combalconies, set with red geraniums pleted the tale, rising like a giant and mignonette. The town was through the floating evening mists. full of touches of an old English It looked as defiant as Morgante, local colour become rare, but linger- and much more invincible. ing yet in certain spots, where it is Ichabod's animosity, like Orstamped in so fast that it dies hard. lando's, rose at the sight. If that He stood before a large, old carved architecture spoke to him at all, it stone gateway, a little the worse for was in an unknown tongue, and the wear, but a piece of work as solid organ, striking up at this moment, as it picturesque, having irritated him afresh. That instruanswered all purposes, both as a ment was his pet aversion, and in his gate and as a thing of beauty, from Utopia he would have it forbidden. Chaucer's time until to-day, and For there was something peculiar stirring up childish associations he believed in its vibrations, which, within him in spite of himself. by playing on the acoustic nerves, Passing through, he found himself had the effect of over-stimulating in an open precinct. Before him, the religious emotions.

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Not his, however. Cold and of the sort, and aimed rather at censorious, he passed through the rousing fresh trains of thought in porch and entered the building. their minds than at giving them a A special service was going on,

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of his own orthodox soul and a celebrated preacher had just for their imitation. begun to hold forth to an attentive No wolf, certainly, unless in the crowd which crammed the nave. sense of being facile princeps of the Ichabod's cup was now full. The sheep. Ichabo must give his popular preacher was of

enemy fair play. He looked at the his bêtes noires (he had a whole man in the pulpitmenagerie). He found a chair and countenance the stamp of intellect, sat down to enjoy a little feast of culture, refinement, and insinuating ridicule over the nonsense he ex- sensibility, looked from him to the pected—not without reason-to sea of half-soulless faces beneathhear from that pulpit, while Dr. faces of petty-minded men and Anselm, unconscious of the pre- women, whose comfort-and-moneysence of the goat among the sheep, serving lives even they at times felt was haranguing the latter with unsatisfying, as their eager attenconfidence and unction.

tion here showed-and he recog. Certainly for the hour he mar- nised the authority of a single shalled those thousand minds as highly wrought nature over a easily as Napoleon the movements sluggish herd; the force of the of a column of soldiers. But lightning that splits the oak. Ichabod was not to laugh after But, if he might not laugh, be all. This time he had mis- must frown at what he said to taken his man. There was

himself was an outrageous force illdenying certain rare merits to that applied. renowned divine. He had a voice If only he could have stood up, any speaker might envy; his elo- and preached to the people that cution was faultless, his manner, they were being carried away by delivery, style, all exceptionally, their feelings. Alas, it is not every provokingly good. Expecting a speaker who can make himself vapid platitudinarian, Ichabod had heard in a building five hundred stumbled on a clever orator, and, feet long; nor, even then, who can instead of ordinary lame pulpit make himself listened to, for the English, was listening to a flow prestige of Dr. Anselm does not of easy, attractive, expressive rhe- fall into the mouth of a man at toric.

thirty; nor even then who can imThe preacher had taken the pose attention upon such listeners. Hebrew prophet Elijah for his King Mob is a vampire. The theme. No doubt there was much simplest way to bring him round in the strange changes and chances

you is to risk life and limbs, like of that, an orator's life, that struck the gladiators Blondin, to a chord in his heart, and speaking catch his applause. Let nobody with sympathy he spoke with origi- count upon getting his ear for nality. Even when the matter was nothing, or even cheaply. Give old, the manner was very new, at him some proof of the vital effort, least to his hearers. Accustomed the irreparable sacrifice you have from that very pulpit to have

made, and then he may perhaps certain dry morsels of doctrine give you a hearing crammed down the congregational Ichabod waited till the sermon throat every Sunday, they were had come to an end, and the organ rivetted by a man who did nothing begun again. Then he left the


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