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nessed is positively wonderful. Go the process, and even to increase where you like-try to hide your- her family,” said Sir Henry. “My self in whatever country nook you dear Guy, this is all as it should be. can, and, within a week, someone But, remember, going out in the is down upon you: the friend of a world with a plunge as you have relation, or the relation of a friend, done, that if you ever feel a or the physician who attended you moment's hesitation, a want of at Brighton, or some unexpected, advice, you may come to me as you undeniable historian of some part would to your father, if he were
your life, or of the life of some- spared to you. one connected with you."
"Indeed, Sir Henry, I will not “ Mine is a short one to have any fail to do so.” historian.”
“The dangers to which a man of “Well," said Sir Henry. “What your habit and temperament are do you say to this sketch ? Mr. exposed, Guy, are not those which MacAndrew, having selected you
intercourse with men. from among a large number of You may seem, with them, placed applicants for the important post at a disadvantage when compared of his foreign secretary, has reason to the pushing, thick-skinned to be satisfied with the penetration people who never think of anything that directed his choice. You are but thrusting themselves forward; not clever, and are unused to busi- but it is only in the lower walks of ness, but you are forming under life-in trade and trading intrigue, his eye into something creditable. and, perhaps, in political intrigueAt first you annoyed him
very much that this sort of thing succeeds in by hanging continually about him, the long run. There is a faint comand worrying him with perpetual pensation in human fortune, and it questions; but lately you seem to is not with those who most impuhave taken kindly to his initiation, dently seek her that the blind and your
chief fault now is a dis- goddess loves to tarry longest.” position to gossip when you should “I have often felt annoyed with be attending to business. Now, is myself for letting other people push this drawn from my own imagina- in to do what I knew that I could tion, Guidone? or have I had some do better,” said Guy. “Sometimes news uttered or concealed ?”
I have found that patience was “ Concealed, I think,” said Guy. discreet, and the matter has come “Why it is a photograph-only back to me after all.” a negative: all the lights are dark Seeking you, not sought by and all the shadows light.”
you," said Sir Henry. " That is “ Those who better
one main secret of success. Make quainted than I am with the people want you. Only then there illustrious MacAndrew describe him arises another danger. It is all as an unrivalled master of one very well with men, but when the figure of rhetoric."
women take to it, it may become And that is
embarrassing." “I forget Aristotle's term for it. “But no woman, no well-bred Nor is it quite Horace's audendi woman, can ever make advance to potestas, so I am reduced to the
a man,” said Guy. simple vernacular, which names it “Can they not?” said the baronet, -turning the cat in the pan." drily. “ So much the better. But,
“ It is a good-sized cat,” said Guy, remember this : man Guy.
brought up as you have been is • The animal is apt to grow under free-I may say is entirely free
from the ordinary dangers that Danger, if I understand you aright, beset young men. A pure and from one's own imagination." refined taste, formed by constant “ From your own, and from that intercourse with cultivated and well- of others,” said Sir Henry. “For bred women, is an almost absolute it is no vanity to bear in mind that preservation against the evil attraction is generally-not always, of the coarser kind of female but generally-mutual. Well, there society."
is one very simple, very valuable "The very expression gives one rule of conduct – avoid tête-à-tête a feeling of disgust,” said Guy. interviews.”
“That is it," said the baronet. They do not so often occur, I “ You are
surrounded with think.” panoply which is the more perfect “Rarely, unless they are sought," because it is not assumed, but grows said Sir Henry; "and almost in. on you like the shell of a lobster. variably they are easy to avoid. But then there is the danger per It may seem an ascetic recommencontra.”
dation-but it is not. My idea of “What is that, Sir Henry?” practical wisdom is to keep out of asked the young man.
difficulties--not to trust to the “This," said the baronet: “
exertion of human virtue to overform a high poetical ideal of come them. If a
woman chalwoman. I do not say too high- lenge a man, he must meet the but still the ideal is formed from challenge. He can no more sneak the rarest and noblest specimens of away, without a loss of self-resthe class, even if it does not some- pect, than he can turn his back on what improve upon them. Then, a man who shakes his fist at him. when you come in contact with any. But avoid the occasion.” thing visibly inconsistent with that “But-but-one does like to ideal, you instinctively shrink from have a tête-à-tête sometimes,” said it. Thus you are preserved from Guy. danger in three cases out of four, “ Understand me," said the or perhaps more. But when the baronet. “When you see the one difference is only comparative, when whom, from your judgment as well you meet any one who, being very as from your taste, you would like quiet, or very clever, or very lovely to present to Mrs. Carrington as a in person, does not at once clash daughter, of course it is another with the ideal, you are apt to matter. I am only referring to invest her with the imaginary entanglements which the intelliqualities in which she is really gence cannot oppose, but into which deficient. It is as if a man had à sort of chivalrous feeling may seen an ivory statue, and then set lead a man before he is aware. forth on a pilgrimage through the But when you once find the right world to find the original. He person, are really engaged, or mean would shrink at once from the to be so, you may go when you negress, the Calmuck, the Chinese, like-you have the herb moly-and the Esquimaux, and a great many may face Cerberus himself. Will others, but he would be so likely you come to dinner?” to cry out at the first Georgian or "I am going to take Parkesbury Circassian he saw-'There she is!' on my way down,” said Guy, “and and then she would turn out to be I only come to see you on my way only a beautiful doll.”
to Parkesbury.” "What is the best safeguard, “ Then I will not say a word then, against this kind of danger?
I will not deprive Mrs. Car
rington of an hour of your society. master of English prose fiction You will know one day, Guy, even always glows with a whiter heat, better than you do now, what it is and how his pencil is always dipped to have had such a mother. There in
and fresher colours, when is no training like that of a noble- the heroes of his story rank high minded, intellectual, and cultivated in the social scale. In his Louis
It beats that of all the the Eleventh, his James the First, schools, and of both the univer- his grand and yet truly feminine sities.”
portrait of Queen Elizabeth, Scott has given us the masterpieces of his
art, and has lent life and tone to CHAPTER XXII.
characters to which Richie Moni. plies, and Ludovic le Balafrè, Way
land Smith and Flibbertigibbet, THE great masters of drama and of serve as appropriate foils and confiction, who have been the fathers trasts. and founders of literature, have The great comic writers are no ever limited the flight of their exception to the rule, when once fancy by certain prescriptive laws. we pass the limit of an actual Whether these laws have uncon- scenic piece.
Even in the consciously sprung from the mere sistant self-glorification of Monpromptings of the instinctive dra- sieur Jourdan there is an absence matic genius, or have been wrought of the grossly vulgar. The wit of out by any process of delicate and Molière never stooped to reproduce subtle analysis, the result has been the mere argot of uninteresting low the same. The keen dissecting life. If we look to works of a less knife of Aristotle, and the grace- fugitive nature—at least so far as ful, but sharply-pointed pencil of plan and length of treatment is Horace, have laid bare some of concerned—we shall find the same these rules to the student. There rule to apply. The coarseness of are others for which he has yet to Falstaff is redeemed by his wit—he search in the pages of the classic is, in his worst moments, the gentlewriters of dead and of living man under a cloud, Sir John to all tongues, from the author of the tale the world. The immortal hero of of “Troy Divine,” to the Ariosto Cervantes is a well-bred, well-edu. of the North.
cated cavalier, afflicted with that One of the first of the rules set one master aberration which gives before their faces by authors who to the whole history the comic, have written, not for pence, but for and yet the pathetic, force of its long-enduring praise---not to serve delineations. Even yet more strikthe purpose of the hour, or to catchingly is this displayed in that the whim of the day, but to attain great English prose fiction which, a place among those whose works pestilently caricatured as it has are immortal-has been to select a
been by many feeble commentators, subject involving some degree of annotators, and admirers, stands elevation or nobility of character alone in our literature—the epic of in the principal actors. It is not the man of the people, of the enthuthe case that these have always siast who, in the gloom of Bedford been heroes and kings, but yet Jail, knew how to inscribe his name the heroic element, in
on the imperishable roll of fame. form, has never been entirely If ever there was a case in which absent. And it is noteworthy coarse, racy, and startling vernacu. how the genius of the greatest lar might have been employed
as the natural language of the elevate the thoughts of the reader, writer, it is that of the Pilgrim's with a tempering of comedy by Progress. To its author the lan- keen and subtle wit, or by deep guage of courts, and the tones of and unexpected pathos, and with sovereigns, unless in so far as he the lighting up of the majesty of had listened to the echoes of the tragic drama by the snarl of a Celestial City, were altogether un- Thersites, or by the ridiculous garb known. To him the law and the in which a Fluellen attires his really bench of his country would appear noble sentiments, is combined, in little else than ermined forms of all great writers, a correct apprepersecution and of injustice. Pre- ciation of the true province of cluded, by his absolute unacquain- tragedy. No master of his art has tance, from sketching any of the considered misery, squalor, or pure actors in the higher walks of malignity to be tragic. The selfish society, familiar from his cradle self-torture of a Giaour or a Childe with those moving in the lowest, Harold may be a very melodious possibly in the most squalid scenes, grumble, but it is not tragedy, exercising the humble and grimy neither is it high irt. The occupation of a tinker, he yet drew element of perepetia, sudden change no vulgar hero. If Christian is or sudden terror, the conflict of the not a courtier, neither is he a boor. better and the worse-chiefly of In him his painter, seizing what the future better and the present was human, has left out of sight worse-is needed to form the what was distinctive of class. It ingredient which distinguishes the is no slight triumph of the literary tragic from the repulsive. Not art of Bunyan, that no one pauses only is Medea forbidden to slay to inquire whether Christian was, her children before the people, but or was not, a gentleman.
there must be some master passion In the instance of another fiercely evoked to induce her to author, who in minute delicacy of slay them at all. Pure evil is not touch, accuracy of observation, tragic, any more than pure coarseand full dramatic power of narra- ness is comic. And farce is not tion, excels both Cervantes and literature. Bunyan, we find that proof of the Again, there are certain scenes excellence of a rule which is and certain emotions common to furnished by the exception. No humanity, over which all great other reason can be assigned for writers have, by one consent, drawn the fact that Defoe, as a popular
a respectful veil.
Love, indeed, writer, as laying hold of the im- the great theme of poetry, as it agination, and of the loving is the mainspring of human life, memory, of the mass of readers, has ever been so favourite a pasranks so far behind the two other sion for the delineation of the satirists. The only assignable artist, whether he work with the cause is to be detected in the less pen, the brush, or the chisel, that felicitous choice of his subjects. few would care to read a work of Some of the heroines of Defoe fiction from which that master rank among the most finished motive was omitted. But then female portraits in literature. But it is love in certain phases ; love they are portraits as well mingled with either the tragic or painted-they are acquaintances the comic element; love armed and better avoided.
triumphant, or despised, and yet With a selection of scenes and constant and faithful; or arch, misof characters that ever tend to chievous, and malicious. Love in
its purest and simplest phase no love. In the literature of the Chinese loftily imaginative author has the honour and observance due to chosen to depict. Literature in parents rank as the first of human this respect has not advanced virtues. That filial virtue was rebeyond the stage of those early and garded among the Greeks is evinoble artists who thought it pro- dent from the touching tale of the fane to represent the human figure best gift accorded by the god, at entirely nude. With the failure of the prayer of their grateful mother, that reserve, although great beauty to Cleobis and Biton. But into may be admirably depicted, the the intimate confidence of mother highest functions of the imagina- and son, the joy of the widowed tion cease.
You admire a gallery parent in welcoming her longof marble nymphs; you look in absent one home, the envious parvain among them for what is fairer simony with which she grudges the than the nymph, and nobler than flight of every moment that is the goddess—the blushing, spark- given to their interview, the ling, modest, inconsistent, yet not writer of fiction can only hastily inconsistent, woman. No writer of and reservedly enter. fiction worthy the name
ever set Gilbert followed his brother like forth the chronicle of the honey- a shadow. He had grown taller,
The novelist must leave and paler, and thinner during his the bride before the altar. To absence. attempt to accompany them in the “He misses you almost as much wedding chariot, or to pourtray the as I do, Guy,” said Mrs. Carringraptures of the lovers made happy, ton. from observations taken through Gilbert's delight was extreme at the back window of the vehicle, the present Guy brought him from is worthy only of the lowest Paris. “ Such a cane, mamma; no one members of that class which is in Parkesbury has such a cane. The accustomed to regard all human top is gold, or silver gilt at the life from the same elevated but least; and it has a real brass ferrule unrespected perch. It is a point with an iron end." Gilbert was of view from which
numerous also profuse in his commentaries readers, and more than one very on his former letter on the subject popular writer of modern fiction, of Stump. seem to have a natural aptitude for This brief monosyllable was the regarding things-especially things name of a tortoises hell cat of reabove them. People have, unfor- markable outline, being an illegititunately, been but too much ac- mate or mongrel descendant of the customed to laugh at scenes, unin- famous tailless cats of the Isle of teresting enough in themselves, Man. The result of this impurity of because they have been presented descent was an unexpected modififrom what may be called the dickey cation in the distinctive feature of point of view. English literature
Stump was adorned has not risen in consequence.
with semi-tail a truncated No less sacred to the man of re- caudal appendage—of about half fined taste is the tie between the the customary length, such as that mother and the son, when that tie which barbarism of taste, and the is of its finest woof. Filial affec- use of shears, render so common on tion, indeed, is as legitimate, and as the roofs of Lisbon. Only the ancient, an element of drama as is Portuguese clip the ears of their that passion which is more gene- cats, as well as their tails. Stump rally spoken of by the name of having now, for the first time, pro