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said the boy contemptuously. “ Sir, of patience, vouchsafed no return to if he is impertinent, thrash him.” my parting salutation, and in another (This was to me.)
moment I was alone on the high-road. “ Impertinent thrash!" exclaimed My thoughts turned long upon the Mr. Peacock, waxing very red; but young man I had left: mixed with a catching the sneer on his companion's sort of instinctive compassionate forelip, he sat down, and subsided into boding of an ill future for one with sullen silence.
such habits, and in such companionMeanwhile I paid my bill. This ship, I felt an involuntary admiraduty, rarely a cheerful one, performed, tion, less even for his good looks I looked round for my knapsack, and than his ease, audacity, and the careperceived that it was in the boy's less superiority he assumed over a hands. He was very coolly reading comrade so much older than himself. the address which, in case of acci The day was far gone when I saw dents, I had prudently placed on it, the spires of a town at which I inPisistratus Caxton, Esq., Hotel, tended to rest for the night. The street, Strand.
horn of a coach behind made me I took my knapsack from him, more turn my head, and, as the vehicle surprised at such a breach of good passed me, I saw on the outside Mr. manners in a young gentleman who Peacock, still struggling with a cigar knew life so well, than I should have it could scarcely be the same--and been at a similar error on the part of his young friend stretched on the roof Mr. Peacock. He made no apology, amongst the luggage, leaning his but nodded farewell, and stretched handsome head on his hand, and aphimself at full length on the bench. parently unobservant both of me and Mr. Peacock, now absorbed in a game every one else.
I am apt--judging egotistically, per- dows, now hurried along the tide of haps, from my own experience—to life, till I found myself before a cook's measure a young man's chances of shop, round which clustered a small what is termed practical success in knot of housewives, citizens, and life, by what may seem at first two hungry-looking children. While convery vulgar qualities, viz. his inquisi- templating this group, and marvelling tiveness and his animal vivacity. A how it comes to pass that the staple curiosity which springs forward to business of earth's majority is how, examine everything new to his infor- when, and where to eat, my ear was mation-ı nervous activity, approach. struck with “. In Troy there lies the ing to restlessness, which rarely scene,' as the illustrious Will reallows bodily fatigue to interfere with marks." some object in view-constitute, in Looking round, I perceived Mr. my mind, very profitable stock in Peacock pointing his stick towards an hand to begin the world with. open doorway next to the cook's shop,
Tired as I was, after I had per. the hall beyond which was lighted formed my ablutions, and refreshed with gas, while, painted in black let. myself in the little coffee-room of the ters on a pane of glass over the door, inn at which I put up, with the pedes. was the word “ Billiards." trian's best beverage, familiar and Suiting the action to the word, the oft-calumniated tea, I could not resist speaker plunged at once into the aperthe temptation of the broad bustling ture and vanished. The boy-comstreet, which, lighted with gas, shone panion was following more slowly, on me through the dim windows of when his eye caught mine. A slight the coffee-rooi. I had never before blush came over his dark cheek; he seen a large town, and the contrast of stopped, and leaning against the doorlamp-lit, busy night in the streets, jambs, gazed on me hard and long with sober, deserted night in the lanes before he said—“Well met again, and fields, struck me forcibly.
sir! You find it hard to amuse yourI sauntered out, therefore, jostling self in this dull place; the nights are and jostled, now gazing at the win- long out of London."
“Oh,” said I, ingenuously, “every- you would not think it so very extrathing here amuses me; the lights, the ordinary to do as he tells you." shops, the crowd ; but, then, to me “ Ah! so he is a very good father, everything is new."
is he! He must have a great trust The youth came from his lounging- in your sobriety and steadiness to let place and moved on, as if inviting me you wander about the world as he to walk; while he answered, rather does." with bitter sullenness, than the melan “I am going to join him in Loncholy his words expressed
don." “One thing, at least, cannot be new “In London! Oh, does he live to you; it is an old truth with us there?" before we leave the nursery-What "He is going to live there for some ever is worth having must be bought; time.” ergo, he who cannot buy, has nothing “ Then perhaps we may meet. worth having.”
too, am going to town.” “I don't think,” said I, wisely, “Oh, we shall be sure to meet " that the things best worth having there!" said I, with frank gladness; can be bought at all. You see that for my interest in the young man was poor dropsical jeweller standing before not diminished by his conversation, his shop-door-his shop is the finest however much I disliked the sentiin the street and I dare say he would ments it expressed. be very glad to give it to you or me in The lad laughed, and his laugh was return for our good health and strong peculiar. It was low, musical, but legs. Oh no! I think with my father hollow and artificial. - All that are worth having are given “ Sure to meet! London is a large to all; that is, nature and labour.” place: where shall you be found ?"
“ Your father says that; and you I gave him, without scruple, the go by what your father says! Of address of the hotel at which I excourse, all fathers have preached that, pected to find my father; although his and many other good doctrines, since deliberate inspection of my knapsack Adam preached to Cain ; but I don't must already have apprised him of that see that the fathers have found their address. He listened attentively, and sons very credulous listeners." repeated it twice over, as if to impress
“ So much the worse for the sons," it on his memory; and we both said I bluntly.
walked on in silence, till, turning up “ Nature," continued my new ac a small passage, we suddenly found quaintance, without attending to my ourselves in a large churchyard-a ejaculation—“nature indeed does give fagged path streiched diagonally us much, and nature also orders each across it towards the market-place, of us how to use her gifts. If nature on which it bordered. In this churchgave you the propensity to drudge, yard, upon a grave-stone, sat a you will drudge; if she gives me the young Savoyard; his hurdy-gurdy, or ambition to rise, and the contempt whatever else his instrument might be for work, I may rise—but I certainly called, was on his lap; and he was shall not work."
gnawing his crust, and feeding some Oh," said I, “you agree with poor little white mice (standing on Squills, I suppose, and fancy we are their hind-legs on the hurdy-gurdy) all guided by the bumps on our fore as merrily as if he had chosen the heads?"
gayest resting-place in the world. “ And the blood in our veins, and We both stopped. The Savoyard, our mother's milk. We inherit other seeing us, put his arch head on one things besides gout and consumption. side, showed all his white teeth in So you always do as your father tells that happy smile so peculiar to his you! Good boy!"
race, and in which poverty seems to I was piqued. Why we should beg so blithely, and gave the handle be ashamed of being taunted for of his instrument a turn. goodness, I never could
under “Poor child !” said I. stand; but certainly I felt humbled. “Aha, you pity him! but why? However I answered sturdily—“If According to your rule, Mr. Caxton, you had as good a father as I have, he is not so much to be pitied; the
dropsical jeweller would give him as “Does it matter? Does God care much for his limbs and health as for for the epitaph and tombstone ?" ours! How is it-answer me, son of “ Dale qualche cosa !” said the so wise a father--that no one pities Savoyard, in his touching Patois, still the dropsical jeweller, and all pity smiling, and holding out his little the healthy Savoyard ? It is, sir, hand. because there is a stern truth which Therein I dropped a small coin. is stronger than all Spartan lessons, The boy evinced his gratitude by a Poverty is the master-ill of the world. new turn of the hurdy-gurdy. Look round. Does poverty leave its “ That is not labour," said my comsigns over the graves? Look at that panion; “ and had you found him at large tomb fenced round; read that work, you had given him nothing. I long inscription : Virtues '— best of too have my instrument to play upon, husbands affectionate father' and my mice to see after. Adieu!" 'inconsolable grief'-' sleeps in the He waved his hand, and strode irrejoyful hope,' &c. &c. Do you sup. verently over the graves back in the pose these stoneless mounds hide no direction we had come. dust of what were men just as good? I stood before the fine tomb with But no epitaph tells their virtues; its fine epitaph ; the Savoyard looked bespeaks their wives' grief; or pro- at me wistfully. mises joyful hope to them!"
The Savoyard looked at me wist on the slandered instrument. The fully. I wished to enter into conver- Savoyard's face brightens—he looks sation with him. That was not easy. happy; the mice run from the grave However, I began:
into his bosom. PISISTRATUS.—“You must be often PISISTRATUS, affected.—"Have you hungry enough, my poor boy. Do the a father-An vivat pater ?” mice feed you?"
SAVOYARD, with his face overcast. SAVOYARD puts his head on one -“Nô-eccellenza !" then pausing a side, shakes it, and strokes his mice. little, he says briskly,' “ Si-si!" and
PISISTRATUS. -“You are very fond plays a solemn air on the hurdyof the mice; they are your only gurdy-stops-rests one hand on the friends, I fear.”
instrument, and raises the other to SAVOYARD, evidently understand- heaven. ing Pisistratus, rubs his face gently PISISTRATUS understands.-" The against the mice, then puts them softly father is like the hurdy-gurdy, at once down on a grave, and gives a turn to dead and living. The mere form is a the hurdy-gurdy. The mice play un- dead thing, but the music lives.” concernedly over the grave.
Pisistratus drops another small piece PisisTRATUS, pointing first to the of silver on the ground, and turns beasts, then to the instrument. away. " Which do you like best, the mice or “God help and God bless thee, the hurdy-gurdy?"
Savoyard. Thou hast done PisistraSAVOYARD shows his teeth-con- tus all the good in the world. Thou siders-stretches himself on the grass hast corrected the hard wisdom of --plays with the mice—and answers the young gentleman in the velveteen volubly.
jacket; Pisistratus is a better lad for PISISTRATUS, by the help of Latin having stopped to listen to thee.” comprehending that the Savoyard I regained the entrance to the says, that the mice are alive and the churchyard—I looked back-there hurdy-gurdy is not_“Yes, a live sate the Savoyard, still amidst men's friend is better than a dead one. graves, but under God's sky. He was Mortua est hurda-gurda!"
still looking at me wistfully, and when SAVOYARD shakes his head vehe- he caught my eye, he pressed his hand mently.—“Nô-nô! Eccellenza, non to his heart, and smiled. “God help è mortu!" and strikes up a lively air and God bless thee, young Savoyard."
How far is the application to France, genuine negro. But, for the sake of of the epithet employed in the title avoiding that confusion of terms and that heads these pages, a misnomer ? ideas in which the French themselves This is a question that would be an are so fond of indulging, to an extent swered very differently by those who that proves the deification of “the study its state of feeling, and those vague” to take far higher flights among who judge its position by mere estab- them, especially in their republican lished fact. That the fact and the tenets, than any flown by confused feeling are completely at issue through- German head, -let it be taken as a out the country, is undoubted, indis- rule, that fact is to have the preceputable. A republican government dence of feeling, as in most matters in has been established by the coup de the world,—and let it be supposed that main of a small minority in France, the misnomer is no misnomer, that has been accepted by the hesitation of there has been no mistake, in truth, in surprise-has been maintained by the the title of “ Republican France.” desire of peace and order:- so far goes Between France out of Paris and fact. Republican principles were France in Paris, a great distinction, hateful to the imñense majority of in speaking of the country, must althe country at large in the past, un- ways be drawn; although, in the congenial to its habits and sentiments, matter of republicanism in the feelings impossible according to its views; they of the mass, the same blacking-bottle are productive, as yet, of nothing but remark might be applied to the confusion, distress, ruin, riot, and majority of the citizens of the capital, mistrust, in the present; they are as to the country at large. No family looked upon with alarm as regards of grown-up daughters, who have been their results in the future :-so much tyrannically kept in the nursery like for feeling Fact and feeling, then, children when they no longer felt are at variance and in collision. The themselves such, and made to wear result of the conflict lies hidden in the mamma's worn-out dresses scantily mysteries of that future, the issue of cut down to their shapes, could be which, at no epoch of history, perhaps, more sundered in feeling from their clearseeing eyes and wise foreseeing lady-mother, and jealous of her overheads could less pretend to predict, grown charms, her gaiety, her splenthan in the present chaotic hurly- dour, and her power, than the burly of European society. The poli- departments,—kept in the nursery ticians who declared that the general upon centralization
system, and spirit of the country in France was, in fed upon the bread-and-milk of their vague and fantastic language of insignificance,--are of the tyrannical the Chamber, centre-gauche, or the supremacy, the overweening superiadvocate of liberal progress, may have ority, and the disdainful airs, afbeen very right,—but republican it fected to her despised progeny never was, republican it is not. Re- by Mother Paris. The pursuance of publican—without pretension to the the concentrating system has thus audacity of a prediction but just produced an estrangement in the stated as impossible—it certainly does family,—a jealousy and spite on the not as yet appear ever likely to be one hand, a greater and increasing come.
assumption of airs of supremacy on In its present state of feeling, then, the other. The family ties between France—that is to say, the country, Paris and France are as wholly disthe provinces, the departments, or united as family ties can be, in the whatever France, out of Paris, may necessities of a more or less intimate be called—is about as much genuine connexion : the mother has isolated, republican, as a white man who sud- in her despotism, herself from her childenly finds his face smeared over with dren, the children have imbibed disthe contents of a blacking-bottle is a trust and envy of the mother. The
consequence is, that there are two the maintenance of the common distinct families in feeling,—there good_a fancied good ; for, after are two Frances; there is the France all, mother and daughters have of Paris, of Paris that asserts its the same blood, the same temper right to be all France, and the France and character, the same vain-glory, of the departments, that, in spite conceit, and irritability, the same of the assertions of Paris, desire strong prejudices of ignorance; and to put in their little claim for a they wou join hands and clamour small share in the name, and would together in the same opposition to the like to have their own little fingers in stranger.
But this common-cause the pies of revolutions, and changes of making, upon occasions of extraordigovernment in the family, that mamma nary pressure from without, detracts cooks up. True, they are supposed nothing, at other times, from the misto eat at the same table, but mamma trust, jealousy, and angry susceptihas all the tit-bits. They have a voice bility of the children in internal affairs. in the family council, but it is when In moments of family crisis, will mamma has already issued her dictum, matters always go on as heretofore? and declared that such and such things Nurseries will be obstreperous someshall be as she has decided it. They times, and children will revolt, and help to support the family establish- mammas may pass very uncomfortment with the moneys which mamma able moments in the face of angry declares they must contribute out daughters in rebellion,
Will the of their heritage ; but then mamma, children take upon themselves, at they declare, spends a most undue last, to protest against mamma's disproportion upon herself, in dressing dainful commands, and assert a will herself out with finery, keeping up an of their own, and a right to think for unnecessary state, and throwing away themselves ? This question is one the sums confided to her to overpay upon the solution of which depends a throng of unruly onhangers, with all the fate of France, as well as upon the the prodigality of fear; while they, the many thousand chances which the poor daughters, are made to put up capricious and ever-shifting gales of with cast-off finery, and to be thwarted a revolutionary atmosphere may, at and twitted by harsh governesses, any moment, suddenly blow, like a and to fight, as best they may, with spark into a powder barrel, shattering an obstreperous herd of unpaid pen- the face of the past, and changing sioners, which mamma's mismanage the direction of the future. Twice ment has excited to uproar; and then, already, since the revolution of Febafter all, to kiss hands and thank ruary, has the question been nearly mamma for whatever they can get, answered in the affirmative. The -scanty sugar-plums and many cuffs. last instance, of which more anon, Is this to be endured? The children may be taken as a striking proof grumble much, and particularly since that the children may possibly not mamma has chosen to make changes always submit to the dictates of in the direction of the household the mother,—that family mistrust establishment of which they by no may break out into family quarrel, means approve, and has only produced and family quarrel in nations is confusion and disorder in it. But at civil war. Who again, however, present they can do no more than may venture to predict what shall be grumble; mamma has the rod, and the destinies of Republican France,they know that she will use it; what web of darkness or of light, of mamma has the supreme influence, blood-streaked stuff or
of goldand habit makes them think they threaded tissue, it may be weaving must abide by it. There is no doubt, with its agitated and troubled hands, at the same time, that the children or what force it may interpose to and parent would unite in a common tear the work to shreds before bond of union were the family honour it be even yet completed ? Most to be asserted against an attack from may fear, none may say. any adversary to the family out of diction, upon whatever cunning forethe house. I'heir intestine jealousies sight it may be based, must always would be forgotten for the time, for call a sort of feeling of inspiration,