« AnteriorContinuar »
animals which can subsist long without drinking, do not lose more water by evaporation and excretion than can be replaced by their vegetable food, since that they require the same amount of water as other animals for the performance of all their functions is physiologically certain. It has been observed that in persons who voluntarily abstain from drinking, the excretions were diminished to a minimum. Sauvages, in his Nosologia Medica, mentions the case of a member of the University of Toulouse who never knew what thirst was, and passed several months, even in the heat of summer, without drinking. Another case is cited by the same author of a woman who took no liquid for forty days. M. Bérard thinks that the marvellousness of these facts disappears when we remember how much liquid is contained in all food; but I am rather disposed to doubt the accuracy of the facts than to accept such an explanation; at any rate they are facts so very exceptional as to have little bearing on our general argument.
The effects of Thirst are first a dryness of the mouth, palate, and throat; the secretions become less copious; the mouth is covered with a thick mucus, the tongue cleaves to the palate, the voice be
comes hoarse. Then the eyes flash fire, the breathing becomes difficult, a feverish excitement, often passing into delirium, comes on. Sleep is fitful, and distressed by dreams like those of Tantalus. The men shipwrecked in the "Medusa" dreamt constantly of shady woods and running streams. It is to be noticed that the sensation of Thirst is never agreeable, no matter how slight it may be, and in this respect is unlike Hunger, which, in its incipient state of Appetite, is decidedly agreeable. The bodies of those who have perished from Thirst show a general dryness of all the tissues, a thickening of the humours, a certain degree of coagulation of the blood, numberless indications of inflammation, and sometimes gangrene of the principal viscera. According to Longet, Thirst kills by an inflammatory fever, Hunger by a putrid fever.+
Such are Hunger and Thirst, two mighty impulses, beneficent and terrible, monitors ever vigilant, warning us of the need there is for Food and Drink, sources of exquisite pleasure and of exquisite pains, motives to strenuous endeavour, and servants to our higher aims. We are all familiar with them in their gentler aspects; may the reader never know either in its dreadful importunities!
+ LONGET, Traité de Physiol., 1857.
VOL. LXXXIII-NO, DVII.
WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT-PART VIII.
BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.
[The Author reserves the Right of Translation.]
The most submissive where they love may be the most stubborn where they do not love -Sophy is stubborn to Mr Rugge-That injured man summons to his side Mrs Crane, imitating the policy of those potentates who would retrieve the failures of force by the successes of diplomacy.
MR RUGGE has obtained his object. But now comes the question, "What will he do with it?" Question with as many heads as the Hydra; and no sooner does an Author dispose of one head than up springs another.
Sophy has been bought and paid for-she is now, legally, Mr Rugge's property. But there was a wise peer who once bought Punch Punch became his property, and was brought in triumph to his lordship's house. To my lord's great dismay Punch would not talk. To Rugge's great dismay Sophy would not act.
Rendered up to Jasper Losely and Mrs Crane, they had not lost an hour in removing her from Gatesboro' and its neighbourhood. They did not, however, go back to the village in which they had left Rugge, but returned straight to London, and wrote to the manager to join them there.
Sophy, once captured, seemed stupified; she evinced no noisy passion she made no violent resistWhen she was told to love and obey a father in Jasper Losely, she lifted her eyes to his face-then turned them away, and shook her head, mute and incredulous. That man her father! she did not believe it. Indeed, Jasper took no pains to convince her of the relationship, or win her attachment. He was not unkindly rough-he seemed wholly indifferent probably he was so. For the ruling vice of the man was in his egotism. It was not so much that he had bad principles and bad feelings, as that he had no principles and no feelings at all, except as they began, continued, and ended in that
system of centralisation, which not more paralyses healthful action in a state, than it does in the individual man. Self-indulgence with him was absolute. He was not without power of keen calculation, not without much cunning. He could conceive a project for some gain far off in the future, and concoct, for its realisation, schemes subtely woven, astutely guarded. But he could not secure their success by any longsustained sacrifices of the caprice of one hour or the indolence of the next. If it had been a great object to him for life to win Sophy's filial affection, he would not have bored himself for five minutes each day to gain that object. Besides, he had just enough of shame to render him uneasy at the sight of the child he had deliberately sold. So, after chucking her under the chin, and telling her to be a good girl and be grateful for all that Mrs Crane had done for her, and meant still to do, he consigned her almost solely to that lady's care.
When Rugge arrived, and Sophy was informed of her intended destination, she broke silence-her colour went and came quickly-she declared, folding her arms upon her breast, that she would never act if separated from her grandfather. Mrs Crane, struck by her manner, suggested to Rugge that it might be as well, now that she was legally secured to the manager, to humour her wish, and re-engage Waife. Whatever the tale with which, in order to obtain Sophy from the Mayor, she had turned that worthy magistrate's mind against the Comedian, she had not gratified Mr
menon; placarded the walls with the name of Juliet Araminta; got up the piece of the Remorseless Baron, with a new rock scene. As Waife had had nothing to say in that drama, so any one could act his part. The first performance was announced for that night-there would be such an audience--the best seats even now pre-engaged-first night of the race week. The clock had struck seven-the performance began at eight. AND SOPHY WOULD NOT ACT!
Rugge by a similar confidence to him. To him she said nothing which might operate against renewing engagements with Waife, if he were so disposed. But Rugge had no faith in a child's firmness, and he had a strong spite against Waife, so he obstinately refused. He insisted, however, as a peremptory condition of the bargain, that Mr Losely and Mrs Crane should accompany him to the town to which he had transferred his troop, both in order by their presence to confirm his authority over Sophy, The child was seated in a space and to sanction his claim to her, that served for the green-room, beshould Waife reappear and dispute hind the scenes. The whole comit. For Rugge's profession being pany had been convened to persuade scarcely legitimate, and decidedly or shame her out of her obstinacy. equivocal, his right to bring up The king's lieutenant, the seductive a female child to the same calling personage of the troop, was on one might be called into question before knee to her, like a lover. He was a magistrate, and necessitate the accustomed to lovers' parts, both on production of her father in order to the stage and off it. Off it, he had substantiate the special contract. one favoured phrase, hackneyed, but In return, the manager handsomely effective. "You are too pretty to offered to Mr Losely and Mrs Crane to be so cruel." Thrice he now repeatpay their expenses in the excursion-ed that phrase, with a simper that a liberality haughtily rejected by Mrs Crane for herself, though she agreed at her own charge to accompany Losely if he decided on complying with the manager's request. Losely at first raised objections, but hearing that there would be races in the neighbourhood, and having a peculiar passion for betting and all kinds of gambling, as well as an ardent desire to enjoy his £100 in so fashionable a manner, he consented to delay his return to the Continent, and attend Arabella Crane to the provincial Elis. Rugge carried off Sophy to her fellow "orphans."
AND SOPHY WOULD NOT ACT!
In vain she was coaxed-in vain she was threatened-in vain she was deprived of food-in vain shut up in a dark hole-in vain was the lash held over her. Rugge, tyrant though he was, did not suffer the lash to fall. His self-restraint there might be humanity -might be fear of the consequences. For the state of her health began to alarm him-she might die-there might be an inquest. He wished now that he had taken Mrs Crane's suggestion, and re-engaged Waife. But where was Waife! Meanwhile he had advertised the Young Pheno
might have melted a heart of stone between each repetition. Behind Sophy's chair, and sticking calicoflowers into the child's tresses, stood the senior matron of the establishment-not a bad sort of woman-who kept the dresses, nursed the sick, revered Rugge, told fortunes on a pack of cards which she always kept in her pocket, and acted occasionally in parts where age was no drawback and ugliness desirable-such as a witch, or duenna, or whatever in the dialogue was poetically called “Hag." Indeed, Hag was the name she usu ally took from Rugge-that which she bore from her defunct husband was Gormerick. This lady, as she braided the garland, was also bent on the soothing system, saying, with great sweetness, considering that her mouth was full of pins, "Now, deary
now, dovey look at ooself in the glass; we could beat oo, and pinch oo, and stick pins into oo, dovey, but we won't. Dovey will be good, I know;" and a great pat of rouge came on the child's pale cheeks. The clown therewith squatting before her with his hands on his knees, grinned lustily, and shrieked out— "My eyes, what a beauty!"
Rugge, meanwhile, one hand thrust in his bosom, contemplated the diplomatic efforts of his ministers, and saw, by Sophy's compressed lips and unwinking eyes, that their cajoleries were unsuccessful. He approached, and hissed into her ear— "Don't madden me don't!-you will act, eh ?"
'No," said Sophy, suddenly rising; and, tearing the wreath from her hair, she set her small foot on it with force. "No! not if you killed me!"
"Gods!" faltered Rugge. "And the sum I have paid! I am diddled! Who has gone for Mrs Crane?"
"Tom," said the clown.
The word was scarcely out of the clown's mouth ere Mrs Crane herself emerged from a side scene, and, putting off her bonnet, laid both hands on the child's shoulders, and looked her in the face without speaking. The child as firmly returned the gaze. Give that child a martyr's cause, and in that frail body there would have been a martyr's soul. Arabella Crane, not inexperienced in children, recognised a power of will, stronger than the power of brute force, in that tranquillity of eye-the spark of calm light in its tender blue-blue, pure as the sky; light, steadfast as the star.
"Leave her to me, all of you," said Mrs Crane. "I will take her to your private room, Mr Rugge; and she led, the child away to a sort of recess, room it could not be rightly called, fenced round with boxes and crates, and containing the manager's desk and two stools.
will either bring your grandfather here, or I will order it so that you shall be restored to him. If you refuse, I make no threat, but I shall leave this place; and my belief is that you will be your grandfather's death."
"His death--his death-I!"
"By first dying yourself. Oh, you smile; you think it would be happiness to die. What matter that the old man you profess to care for is broken-hearted! Brat, leave selfishness to boys-you are a girl!Suffer!"
"Selfish!" murmured Sophy, fish that was said of me before. Selfish-ah, I understand. No, I ought not to wish to die - what would become of him?" She fell on her knees, and, raising both her clasped hands, prayed inly, silently— an instant, not more. She rose. "If I do act, then-it is a promise-you will keep it. I shall see him-he shall know where I am-we shall meet !"
"A promise-sacred. I will keep it. Oh, girl, how much you will love some day-how your heart will ache! and when you are my age, look at that heart, then at your glass-perhaps you may be, within and without, like me.'
Sophy-innocent Sophy - stared, awestricken, but uncomprehending. Mrs Crane led her back passive.
There, she will act. Put on the wreath. Trick her out. Hark ye, Mr Rugge. This is for one night. I have made conditions with her : either you must take back her grandfather, or-she must return to him." "And my £100?"
"In the latter case ought to be repaid you."
Am I never to have the Royal York theatre? Ambition of my life, Ma'am! Dreamed of it thrice! Ha! but she will act, and succeed. But to take back the old vagabond-a bitter pill! He shall halve it with me! Ma'am, I'm your grateful—”
Threadbare is the simile which compares the world to a stage. Schiller, less complimentary than Shakespeare, lowers the illustration from a stage to a puppet-show. But ever between realities and shows there is a secret communication, an undetected interchange-sometimes a stern reality in the heart of the ostensible actor, a fantastic stage-play in the brain of the unnoticed spectator. The Bandit's Child on the proscenium is still poor little Sophy, in spite of garlands and rouge. But that honest rough-looking fellow to whom, in respect for services to Sovereign and Country, the apprentice yields way-may he not be-the crafty Comedian?
Taran - tarantara — rub-a-dub-dub -play up horn-roll drum—a quarter to eight; and the crowd already thick before Rugge's Grand Exhibition-" Remorseless Baron and Bandit's Child! Young PhenomenonJuliet Araminta-Patronised by the Nobility in general, and expecting daily to be summoned to perform before the Queen-Vivat Regina!"Rub-a-dub-dub. The company issue from the curtain-range in front of the proscenium. Splendid dresses. The Phenomenon!-'tis she!
"My eyes, there's a beauty!" cries the clown.
The days have already grown somewhat shorter: but it is not yet dusk. How charmingly pretty she still is, despite that horrid paint; but how wasted those poor bare snowy arms! A most doleful lugubrious dirge mingles with the drum and horn. A man has forced his way close by the stage a man with a confounded cracked hurdy-gurdy. Whinewhine creaks the hurdy-gurdy "Stop that stop that mu-zeek," cries a delicate apprentice, clapping his hands to his ears.
mens of their several species than the blind man and his black dog. He had rough red hair and a red beard, his face had a sort of twist that made every feature seem crooked. eyes were not bandaged, but the lids were closed, and he lifted them up piteously as if seeking for light. He did not seem, however, like a common beggar; had rather the appearance of a reduced sailor. Yes, you would have bet ten to one he had been a sailor, not that his dress belonged to that noble calling, but his build, the roll of his walk, the tie of his cravat, a blue anchor tattooed on that great brown hand-certainly a sailor -a British tar! poor man.
The dog was hideous enough to have been exhibited as a lusus naturæ,-evidently very aged-for its face and ears were grey, the rest of it a rusty reddish black; it had immensely long ears, pricked up like horns; it was a dog that must have been brought from foreign parts; it might have come from Acheron, sire by Cerberus, so portentous, and (if not irreverent the epithet) so infernal was its aspect, with that grey face, those antlered ears, and its ineffably weird demeanour altogether. A big dog, too, and evidently a strong one. All prudent folks would have made way for a man led by that dog. Whine creaked the hurdy-gurdy, and bowwow all of a sudden barked the dog. Sophy stifled a cry, pressed her hand to her breast, and such a ray of joy flashed over her face, that it would have warmed your heart for a month to have seen it.
But do you mean to say, Mr Author, that that British Tar (gallant, no doubt, but hideous) is Gentleman Waife, or that Stygian animal the snowly-curled Sir Isaac ?
Upon my word, when I look at