תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

tor.

ure.

are not.

cess any more ennoblingIs the struggle to It is to this element, this presence of

[ocr errors]

not care much for 'sets; ' she is too dignified | young married lady, not half so presentable “Ah! you must remember that snobs are to take any steps toward what is called a or nice, from the same town as my first love born, and not made." "fashionable position,' she is too good for it; (whom I will call Mrs. Daisy), and number “Did I not ask you a short time ago to she prefers to wait and let people find her two (whom I will call Mrs. Buttercups), and define the word 'snob?'" out; she stands on her own platform secure- Mrs. Buttercups immediately got acquainted “Yes, and I turned the conversation, for ly, and hesitates to try her neighbors'. with some fashionable young men, and was it is almost impossible; however, I will try.

“One of these days some fashionable invited everywhere : now why was that?” A refined snob is a person of otherwise good young man will want one of her pretty daugh- “I think I can explain : Mrs. Daisy should qualities, of which reverence is one; but he ters; they will be married, and then Mrs. have adopted a different code of social ethics, has not the courage of his opinions—be is a Clavering's set will call on Mrs. Fotheringay she should not have sung, she should have victim of social cowardice. He is afraid, in and she will become fashionable."

let Mrs. Clavering discover her, and bring fact, of his own social position; perhaps en“I feel that I am constantly knowing less her out. Mrs. Clavering did not want an old tirely without reason, but you cannot call and less what fashion means," said the edi. sensation-one that had been heard at the courage to a heart which has it not. There

Pine Tree House — she wanted a new one. fore he is a victim to the social leaders who “As language is given to us to conceal Mrs. Daisy was too pure, and good, and nat- have that priceless commodity, impudence. our ideas, I seem to be making a success," ural, to know or care about this, perhaps ; so Also, the respectable snob lives in perpetual said I.

sang as a bird sings, without thought that fear of phantoms which he conjures up him* What place has wealth in this tyranny ?” she was thus throwing away an introduction self. He fears that Mrs. Clavering looked asked the editor,

into society. Now, Mrs. Buttercups got the coldly on him, that Miss Brown-Jones will not "It had a very com

mmanding place a few best of allies on her side by making herself dance with him; in fact, the respectable snob years ago, but there arose, particularly in fascinating to certain young men who have has no easy life. If a woman, she suffers New York, a more vulgar wealth, which made the entrée to all these houses. It is not a tortures. Every social occasion is freighted it almost disreputable to be rich. You may handsome way of getting invitations, but, with dangers and pin-pricks. say, generally, that it is a very important unfortunately, it is too common. It is a “The vulgar snob is a far coarser creat. thing to be beautiful for a woman, yet we part of that thirst for fashionable distinc- He is generally a foreigner of ignoble see that the very great beauties do not al- tiou which has possessed the mind of Amer- antecedents, who finds in our country a posi. ways gain hearts as the plainer women do- icans, just as Wall Street has driven the men tion he never could have held in his own. His so the great fortunes do not always make crazy to be rich."

tyranny is immense if he gets high enough, their possessors either famous or fashionable. It seems to me that there is a constant his subserviency absurd if he is kept down. We have some eminent instances of very rich teinptation to meadness, and selfishness, and I have known the native vulgar snob occawomen who are at the same time accom- smallness, in this struggle for fashion,” said sionally, but to blossom into full luxuriance plished leaders of fashion ; but we have, at the editor.

the snob must be a foreigner. To be a snob the same time, many instances of others who “Will you tell me if there is any human argues a profound absence of self-respect;

I should say tact was worth more struggle in which there is not the same perhaps the sufferer should be more pitied than wealth as a road to leadership."

temptation ? Is the struggle for political suc- than blamed. " What do you mean by 'tact?'" I mean that subtile apprehension which get rich any more generous ?"

snobbism, that we owe much of the failure teaches a person how to do and say the right “No; they are all marked by human in. of society. It disgusts the honest and the thing at the right time; it coexists with very firmity; but then the struggle is for greater sensible. They meet it always at the portals ordinary qualities, and yet many great gen. things.”

of the great world, and they retire before it. iuses are without it. Of all human qualities “Ah! there we take issue,” said I. “This certain brave, and modest, and genuine young I consider it the most convenient-not always passion for social distinction is as old as the men slun it as an unclean thing. They see the highest, yet I would rather have it than Pyramids. To have your rank, to stand well their comrades whom they have not respected, many more shining qualities.”

with your contemporaries, is not an ignoble perhaps, at school or college, or on the ball. “Now tell me," said the editor, "why ambition. I grant you that one curious ex. field, or in the rowing-match-men who are are all social leaders so tyrannical ? "

periment of equality has brought about some their inferiors in every respect—they see “ You harp on that word perpetually," | absurd, and impalpable, and false barriers, those men succeeding in society, and through said I, laughing, “and wliy ?

which certain people essay to build up against a subservient, slavish snobbery; and they “I have just seen a case of social ostra- another set-certain street barricades thrown | naturally conclude that a society which encisim so undeserved," said he.

up in a passion, bloodily fought for, and, dures such things must be a sort of place “ Describe it to me, and I will venture to when gained, worth nothing; that kind of which they will not enjoy, and they retire acread the riddle."

guerrilla warfare which is waged every winter cordingly, taking from society the element "A very pretty young married woman, by certain women, with a sort of fish-wife that it so much needs—their own sincere with her husband, arrived at the Pine Tree vulgarity and temper—but that is not society. selves." House at Fish's Eddy in the height of the That is one of the consequences of newness. “One hates a coward everywhere," said

She sang delightfully for us every To gain admission to certain salons which you the editor, evening, and, being beautiful, well - dressed, and I know and admire, is a different thing. “Yes, and a coward who succeeds, even rich, and educated, I predicted a success for We know the women who preside over them measurably, through his cowardice, is doubly her. So, as the Mrs. Clavering of the period confer distinction by their acquaintance; we hateful; but I think there should be more was giving a ball, I asked for an invitation know that, in their houses, we shall meet soci- pity for snobs—just as you pity the deformed for my pretty friend.

ety winnowed of its vulgarity, pretension, and and the maimed; they are not to blame." “What! that woman?' said Mrs. Claver. ignorance - - we shall find individuals. As “ How long does a social leader last in ing.

Margaret Fuller said, 'to have unity, you this country ? " inquired my companion, who "* Yes,' said I, do you know any thing must first have units.' Our friend knows was given to statistics. against her?'

where to find the units, and she combines “Well, not long; the same rotation in “Oh, she is so common ! she sings every with them luxury, fashion, dress, splendor- office prevails as in politics. It would be evening at the Pine Tree House, and every- all that can intoxicate the senses-without much better if they lasted longer. You see body knows about her.'

leaving a 'to-morrow'in the cup. There are our society needs a head. Having no queen, Is not that a condition of fashionable such houses in our American society. To be no nobility, we have no standard in social success, that every one should know about ambitious to gain a foothold in them, is not politics, no party to hail from. As in every one?' said I.

unworthy of the most dignified neophyte." other profession, practice makes perfect, and “Mrs. Clavering gave me a look, and “Certainly not,” replied the editor, “but those women who have been long at the begged politely to refuse my request. Now, I wish there were not so many who are will. work are much better fitted to make a society there arrived at the Pine-Tree House another ing to go by the back-stairs."

which shall represent at least some elements

season.

ter by

66

of agreeability, than those who come to it | troduces, the courtesy, the elegance, the pict- and describe what he saw and heard on that newly. So that we occasionally have a dull ure which it makes ! Contrast a salon at occasion. winter, a dull summer at a watering-place, | Newport with one at Julesburg or Salt Lake Longhoughton is a considerable village on when a good leader would bave made the City, and which do you prefer?”

the Northeastern Railroad, about forty miles whole thing very gay.

We need a master of “Decidedly Newport, which is one of the from Newcastle-on-Tyne, and thirty from Ber. ceremonies very much at the watering-places perfect places of the world; for there you wick-on-Tweed. The parish of Longhoughto introduce people, and to keep out the ad- have fashion engrafted on home, social science ton comprises the smaller villages of Boulventuresses, who are making their way per- with a background of respectability and real- mer and Littlehoughton, and several hamlets, petually into the society which should know ity. There the American people take their and the entire population comprises some them not; we need a censor of public morals, pleasure with a certain deliberateness and four thousand souls. The parish church was too, but that we never shall have."

quietude which do not exist elsewhere. Bo- dedicated to St. John the Baptist shortly af. " And a hospital for those who are killed naparte said he found the 'vices were very ter the Reformation, and the feast is held on by the cruelty of women," said the editor. good patriots' when he laid a tax on brandy. the first Sunday in July. "I mean other women. I have seen elderly | The virtues are good patriots at Newport, For weeks previously, the approaching women so cruel to young ones—old society- and one forgives the lavish expenditure in festivity is the dominant topic of conversaleaders killing young and handsome neo- equipage, and dinners, and dress, when one tion among the rustics, who nightly discuss phytes with a glance, those in good society sees the patriots who indulge in these things their vesper pint of ale in the four ale-houses looking so askance at those who are not. I teaching a whole nation good taste," said the which Longhoughton village boasts. With want a hospital for the wounded!” editor.

the early days of June comes the first note " Ob, you may save your pity! The young “I wish the tyranny of fashion would of preparation. The village Witenagemote and handsome ones are very recuperative, give us a Napoleon I.," said I, “an absolute is held in the “Blue Bell," and four stewards and they have a terrible revenge. Time is monarch wbose decisions were final. I think are appointed to superintend the sports on fighting for them all the time.”

it would quiet so many uneasy souls, and Feast - Monday, and to collect money for “But I have seen some delicate souls bring about such delicious peace. I believe prizes. The latter portion of their duty natwounded to the death," said be.

in absolute monarchy,' a despotism tempered | urally comes first; and they accordingly “So have I. Fashion has its story of by assassination,' a good tyrant."

commence at once a vigorous canvass of the Keats, of that handsome young actor Walter " Then I should open all the terrors of whole parish. Every house is visited; every Montgomery, who shot himself because the

the newspaper upon him, and he would be man - servant and maid - servant is dunned ; critics pitched into him so mercilessly; and crushed by the immense engine of the press," and everybody, rich or poor, subscribes acthen they found out that he was the most ro- said the editor.

cording to his means. The half-dozen wealthy maotic of Romeos. Fashion has its parallel * Never," said I. “King Fashion cannot farmers give each a sovereign or balf a sovto the boy Chatterton, no doubt; I have be crushed. He has a thousand lives, a mill. ereign ; the poorer five shillings; cottagers known a gifted and lovely woman stung to ion heads; you and your great newspaper two or three shillings; and domestic sermadness by social arrows, by the wounds in- would be the first to bow before him, and to vants and farm - laborers, termed “binds," flicted by the hands of other and jealous own up to his power. All mankind and from a shilling to threepence each. The women-but such tragedies are rare." womankind have done it always, and will do “stewards” are quite as importunate as en

"I must say one such takes the taste for it forever. His great realm is boundless, his terprising philanthropists, male and female, society away,” said the editor.

revenues enormous. How many millions do in other branches of “wind - raising,” and “ And yet one or two failures have not

we pay annually for artificial flowers ? More when they come to “reckon up” on the Friimpaired your interest in politics,” said I. than we pay for iron! There is no trouble i day night preceding the feast, they always

You are unfair in your argument. Poli. in collecting his revenues; his subjects are have a good round sum to show as the fruit tics is business. Society is a pleasure," re- enthusiastically loyal—don't you think so ?” of their canvass. plied he.

“ Perhaps," said the editor. "At any On Saturday it is market-day at Alnwick, “No, I think society is a business; it be- rate, I will allow you-the last word.” and thither, riding on a swing-seat iu a twocomes so in its practical working, and you

wheeled cart, carpeted with straw, the stewfind in it, as I have said, only the imperfec

M. E. W S.

ards proceed to buy prizes, to be competed tions of our common nature. The jealousies

for at Monday's sport. The purchases usual. of the convent are quite as narrow, and bit

ly include bridles, whips, pocket - knives, ter, and cruel, as those of society, and the AN ENGLISH VILLAGE shawls, handkerchiefs, spoons, half - pound benefits less. See how society and social at

FEAST.

packages of common tobacco, etc. About trition brighten up the mind! One says un

one-half of the funds is thus invested; the expectedly good things at a dinner or in the

other half is disposed of in money prizes, presence of a gay company. That is one of THE festival of the day on which the and in liquidating the expenses of the stewthe advantages."

church of any parish was dedicated ards—whose receipts and disbursements, I “But I think society very leveling. I is specially enjoined in the law of Edward was informed, are never audited, but who think fashion extinguishes or aims at extin- the Confessor (a, D. 1058); and from this undoubtedly live on the fat of the land durguishing wit. Emerson says that the con- festival originated the fairs and feasts ob- ing the term of their official existence. stitutions which can bear in open day the served to this day in the rural districts of Early rising prevails throughout the parrough dealing of the world must be of that England. With the exception of the counties ish on the morning of Feast-Sunday. Men mean and average structure such as iron and of Cumberland, Durham, and Northumber. and women, old and young, contrive to have salt, atmospheric air, and water; but there land, these annual merry-makings are desig- some portion of their holiday attire spick and are metals like potassium and sodium, which, nated “fairs,” but in the three northern span new for the occasion. Where the finances to be kept pure, must be kept under naphtha.' counties they are termed “feasts," and are warrant the extravagance, the whole suit is So I think the best elements of the human the occasions of saturnalian jollification. The warm from the hands of the tailor or the mind evaporate in the air of fashion, and feast in the border counties is the red-letter dress-maker. By nine o'clock invited guests only the commonplace flourishes."

day of the calendar; and, no matter how begin to arrive. They are invariably ultra“There is a great deal in what you say, much penurious cares may have corroded the parochial, for no one would dream of dining no doubt. The commonplace and the vulgar heart of the humble villager during the year, from home on this eventful day. The village have great vitality in them, like certain by hook or by crook he fares sumptuously Sunday - school is crowded with flashilyweeds; but I still think there are many flow- on Feast-Sunday and revels unrestrained on dressed children, and the church is crammed ers which flourish in the atmosphere of fash- Feast Monday.

from altar-rails to porch by the male parishion. Look at the beautiful, pure, young The writer was a guest at the annual cel. ioners and tbeir male and female guests. daughters of our best houses, how they adorn ebration of a Northumberland feast last year, The gude-wives are, of course, at home toiland are adorned. Look at the grace it in. / and he purposes in the present article to try / ing like beavers in cunving culinary manip

THE

[ocr errors]

etc.

ulations, designed to astonish and ravish their bled competitors from all the surrounding par. of them makes a purcbase, there is a buzz visitors,

ishes within a radius of ten miles. Groups of excitement among her companions, and As the vicar walks up the aisle to the of somewhat vagrant-looking young men, the she pins the garish embellishment on her boreading-desk, his rather morose countenance majority of whom intend to participate in som with a fearful joy. wears an injured expression when he looks some of the sports of the day, are present A cart containing the prizes, drawn by around at the densely-packed pews. His ser- from Lesbury, Warkworth, Felton, Shilbottle, willing hands and guarded by the four stewmon has been prepared with a view to this Alnwick, Whittingham, Chatham, Reming. ards, now appears on the green. The races "rusb ;” and when he mounts the pulpit, he ton, Embleton, Dunstan, Howick, and other are about to begin, and men and woinen eager. proceeds to emphasize a vehement philippic towns and villages even more distant. The ly occupy every coign of vantage whence a for the chastisement of such of his hearers quoiting is over by noon, and a good deal of good view may be obtained. The church. as condense the public worship of the year “London porter,” drawn in half-gallon pots, yard is invaded by hundreds, for its soil is into this anniversary. On fifty-one Sundays has been consumed by the contestants and five feet higher than the street, and the wall of each year, his congregation consists of spectators. By this time the village street is level with the turf. First of all, there is a the Sunday scholars and a score or two of and green present an animated and curious boys' foot - race of a hundred yards for a old people, who drop comfortably asleep spectacle. Hordes of hucksters are arriving pocket-knife, followed by a bigger boys' race wbile he is “a-bumming and booming away' and erecting their ramshackle stalls in a for a whip, a young men's race for half-ain his usual somnolent style. The old clerk, long line, fringing the street opposite the crown, a girls' race for a shawl, and a men's when he “ raises the hymnu," seems to feel as church-yard. They are all denizens of the race for five shillings. Man, and girl, and if the eyes of Europe were upon him, and he squalid “yards” of Alnwick, and are of boy, run bareheaded, in their stockings; and shakes his head and darkly frowns when the both sexes, representing various types of the encouragement which the various comBoulmer fishermen, with voices like fog- shrewd vagabondism. Some drive wretched petitors receive from the crowd is of the most horns, prolong the last syllable of each line starveling ponies, hitched to creaking home- demonstrative kind. “Haud away, 'Tom!” to an aggravating length, as is their inva. made carts; others ride donkeys with pan- “Gau on, Bob!” “Get up, Sall!" and simiriable habit. He gasps and bawls as if his niers ; while others carry their merchandise lar exclamations, are heard till the race is salvation depended upon being heard above on their backs, presenting an exact picture the chaos of discord that surrounds him, but of the huckster as Holmes in heraldic lan- The“ starter” steward now bawls, “ Bring the hoarse wailings of the fishermen and the guage bas described him: “ He beareth gules out yer cuddies for the cuddy-race!"-cuddy wild howlings of the “hinds" and their a man passant, his shirt or shift turned up to being the expressive provincialism for the guests overwhelm the juvenile choir and ex- his shoulders; breeches and hose azure, cap much-enduring ass. Five long-eared steeds, tinguish the old clerk.

and shoes sable, bearing on his back a bread-mounted by depraved-looking Alnwick boys, If the dinner that awaits the worshipers basket full of fruits and herbs, and a staff' in are speedily in line, and the betting begins. is not in every instance a culinary success, his left liand or."

“Awl bet a shillin' on maw cuddy!” “ Awl you may rest assured it is not because the Oranges, nuts, candies, gingerbread-com- hev maw cuddy agyen yors for half-a-croon!” gude-wife has been remiss in her exertions. pounded, moulded, and ornamented, as one “Whe'll lay two to yen agyen maw cuddy ? " Generally speaking, the earliest new potatoes, may see it any day in Baxter Street and other green - gooseberries, and green - peas, make classic slums of Gotham-toys, jews’-harps- At the words “Haud away!” a sham. their appearance at the Feast-Sunday table. or, as the natives here term thera, " gew. | bling start is effected. The jockeys thwack For the seasou in this border district is quite gaws"-ribbons, and cheap jewelry, comprise the ribs of their coursers with stout sticks, six weeks behind that of the southern coun- the temptations artfully paraded to entrap and amid the delighted cheers of the crowd ties of England. Roast-lamb is the favor. the pence of the bairns and hobbledehoys. they canter slowly past the church - yard, ite joint with the well-to-do yeomen, and Long before their stalls have been erected or when, the gate of the vicar's shrubbery being a boiled ham is considered indispensable. arranged, the candy-specialist hucksters have open, one of the donkeys darts in and scours Moreover, every table in the parish must found it necessary to gratify the clamorous wildly around, making dreadful havoc of be graced with "a Longhoughton Man;" there demand for “claggum," it villainous, dark- trim gravel-walks and flower-parterres. Ancould be no feast-nor, indeed, any thing ap- complexioned substance, composed of sophis- other bolts down Crawla' Lane, while two proximating to a feast-without one. The ticated molasses, dirty-brown sugar, and an others proceed to exhibit the four cardinal “ Longhoughton Man" is a mammoth dump- oleaginous substance playfully termed " but sins of the equine race—they shy and stum. ling of transporting aroma and distracting ter." I know not how to account therefor, ble, they rear and run away. The fifth skirrichness - a sort of beatific Christmas-pud. but I note the fact that this black, adhesive mishes along the street, jumping and buckding at midsummer; and he was set nastiness seemed surprisingly gratifying to ing until he works the pad forward to his a-boiling yesterday at eventide, and has the palates of Longloughton fledgelings. Ev. narrow shoulders, bringing disaster to his boiled the whole night through.

ery second . juvenile face as tinged and rider, when a great cry arises that “Puddin' With the ravenous orgasm plainly ap- daubed with “claggum.” When one pen'orth Smith's cuddy's fouled the laddie!” parent on every face, the gude-man of the was consumed, the bantling straightway hied From the starting-place along the straight housc rapidly mumbles a grace-generally him to the “huickster-wife" for a fresh sup. village street, sparsely dotted with houses, to speaking, the only grace before meat his wife ply, and forth with began purring over it like “ The Rock ” ale-house and back, is two and children hear in the twelvemonth-and a cat when she finds a sprig of valerian. miles; and it is fully an hour before the winthen the heats of epicurisin glow around the Others were orercome by cheap toys of the ning donkey returns at a tripping hobble, festive board. Boys and girls in their early “monkey-up-a-stick” and “jack-in-the-box” with the next pirouetting along a quarter of teens exhibit gastronomic capacities that pattern ; while others, again, created a hide. a mile behind, and the rest nowhere to be would amaze and confound city-folks; and, ous din with newly-purchased tin whistles

I never witnessed such an exhibition in farm-houses where roast-ducks and green- and twopenny trumpets.

of stubborn, sneaking tricks, and general peas form part of the bill of fare, most of Surrounding the single stall, where ribs asinine depravity, as were presented by these the masculine feeders are served with a duck bons and “bows for the ball” of every posi- cuddies on this occasion. The owner of the intact !

tive rainbow hue are exhibited, stand buxom winning flier received a new bridle and halfThe village taverns do a thriving business | country lassies in their teens. They are no a-crown, and bets were settled with promptiin the evening, but it is rare to see a case of airy-like sylphs, but rollicking, strapping hoy- | tude, if not with all the amenities of more actual temulency on Feast-Sunday. This does dens, bounteous in shoulder and chest, and pretentious ráce-courses. not arise from any exalted respect for the Sab- large of limb. There were witchcrafts and The next is a wheelbarrow-race, in which bath, but from the fact that most of the villa | philters long ago for entangling the hearts young men engage. As most of the comgers retire early to bed, so as to be up betimes of the fair; but philters and charms have an petitors are from a distance, the “ man-cart" on the morrow. For the quoitiny for small aspect of perfect innocence compared to the is usually borrowed; and, as the starter cries, money prizes, on the village green, begins at fascinations of those gaudy bows of ribbon “Come on wi' yer barraz!” one of the aseight o'clock. At this hour there are assem. for these red-cheeked maidens. When one pirants is seen propelling his machine through

[ocr errors]

seen.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

nee

the church-yard, wlien he is unexpectedly and morosely challenged by the vicar:

“What are you doing here, fellow, with your barrow? Don't you know, you scoundrel, th:lt this is consecrated grouod !"

" Yis sor, vis sor; but aa gat the len' ov the barra fra the sexen, an' aa thowt it was consecrated tee!”

The ready wit of the cadger provokes the risibilities of his reverence, and the “barra” is allowed to proceed.

There are half a dozen barrows with a human propeller between each pair of shafts. The stewards exhort them on penalty of forfeiting the prize to “gan fair” and “ dings;" but the admonition is unheeded. No sooner are they started than the inborn rascality of these fellows begins to appear. Vi. cious collisions are adroitly perpetrated, and iwo of the barrows are soon wheelless and at rest. Every effective carom is received with vociferous cheers by the male portion of the spectators, and with delighted sniggering and screams by the ladies.

Athletic sports, such as putting the stone, throwing the heavy hammer, leaping, etc., are next in order, and some extraordinary agility and puissance are exhibited. The excitement is now at height. The hearts of the clodhoppers are big with tumultuous joy. The faces of the maidens and their sweethearts are wreathed in smiles. The vicar walks through the street with a severe and deprecating look. The penny showman puffs his Pandean pipes and wallops his drum outside his booth, preparatory to vomiting fire, papers of pins, handkerchiefs, and ruiles of ribbons, within. The hucksters are vociferously auctioneering their wares.

“ Here re are, hinnies, here's yer fine Cheeny oranges ;

“ Here's yer nice Barseelowny nuts ;

“ Here's yer nice sweet claggum, hinnies ; " Here's yer bonnie breest-knots, are ye gan ti the baall the neet, hinny ?" “Come noo, binnies, try yer luck at the row. ly-powly” row and pow pronounced like row, a noisy disturbance.

The “rowly-powly” is a hollow brass ball, about two inches in diameter, with one hundred and twentyeight equal sides, numbered from one to one hundred and twenty-eight. The ball is whirled round in a small wooden dish by those who try their luck, and the one who wins receives the value of the stakes invested in nuts, oranges, or gingerbread.

In a corner near the “Blue Bell " is a man yelling, “Come an' try yer dogs! Sixpence a pull at the badger !” The odorous animal is kenneled in a large barrel, lying lengthways, and grins horribly when a dog ventures his nose near. The native dogs are mostly of the shepherd's collie breed, and no amount of cuffing or persuasion can induce them to enter the barrel ; but the amount of barking they accomplish while scampering round in make-believe fury outside is prodigious.

Presently, from all sides, there is a mad rush of the crowd toward the prize-cart on the green, and, amid tbe uproarious guffaws of the rustics, three young chimney-sweeps, with sooty faces, red lips, and excessively bright eyes, mount the cart to compete, by facial coutortions, for half a pound of tobac

This is termed in local parlance “girn. / may be seen apparently suffering from vertiing for baccy,” and old and young seemed to go or other premonitory symptoms of a deregard it as the most excruciatingly funny termination of blood to the head, accomthing in the day's amusement. The sweeps | panied by a mysterious paralysis of the lococertainly earned their sop. More repulsively | motive functions. hideous imps I never beheld as they sat grin. There are now two rival ballad-singers ning and starling at the open-mouthed audi- rasping and roaring their ditties in the street ence and each other; and I felt relieved when opposite the ale-houses. Most of their songs the exhibition was over, and each sweep re- verge on indelicacy, and are relished and purceived half a pound of “shag."

chased in direct proportion to their tendency Meantime, in the four taverns, there has in this direction. There are also the gipsy been a heavy consumption of ale and porter fortune - tellers from Yetholm, the Zingari by that irregular element to be found in ev- capital at the foot of the Cheviot Hills. The ery English village that prefers tobacco and street is lit up with the lurid, smoky flare of intoxication to every other form of enjoy. naphtha-lamps ; and the clamor of the huckment. Besides, beer is not only plentiful, sters, who will stay till daylight, the pipe and but priceless to-day. An Alnwick brewer or drum of the conjurer, and a Babel of other his “traveler" has his headquarters at each discordant shrieks and sounds, fatigue the of the ale-houses, and is ordering gallon after ear. Dancing has also commenced in each gallon among the liorny-fisted topers, who in. of the taverns, and the crush and jain and cessantly drink his health and laud his ale, perspiration are overpowering. The ballafter the manner of impeclinious sponges rooms are lighted with tallow.candles, hung from time immemorial.

on the wall in tin sconces. The fiddler is By this time, too, notorious local charac- mounted on a strong kitchen.table, and each ters are beginning to manifest themselves.

young man, as he bespeaks a tune, "tips" There is Ned Forster, the comical cobbler, the fiddler sixpence, so that, when the revelwho at church yesterday wore a new suit, | ry ends, he has been amply recompensed for hatless to-dily, with his coat rent, and his ex- his unremitting scraping. In the early dawn tenuations demoralized. He goes bawling a of the morning the young ladies start for song up the street, sees the vicar in his gar- their homes, every red-handed nymph accom. den, enters, and accosts hin. Sed is a steady panied by a rustic cavalier, who will see l'er church-goer, and moderately temperate on to her very door. the other fifty-one cobblers' Mondays of the Next day many of the villagers are trying year; consequently the vicar is shocked, and a hair of the dog that bit them yesterday. proceeds to scold. “For shame of yourself, Among them are the four stewards, who bave Forster,” cries his reverence;

go home to taken care to cultivate the mammon of unyour wife and family. What a disgrace it is righteousness to the extent of reserving “a to see a respectable man like you in this con- few shillings." of the prize-money for the dition !” The cobbler strikes an attitude of solace of their “often infirmities " during the severe attention, and, after every pause in remainder of the week. It is not until next the angry exhortation, solemnly and alertly Sunday that the village wears its normal responds : “Lor' have marcy 'pon us, k-'cline look, while the débris of nuts, oranges, etc., our hearts to keep 'is law ! ”

will adorn the green and the street for many One of the large farmers of the parish bas a week to come. been“ busy" in the “Blacksmith's Arms,"

JAMES Wight. and now he is inspired with a frantic desire to obtain an audience while he counts twenty

MISAPPLIED PROVERBS. in French.

A huge Boulmer fisherman, yclept Geordie Stewart-mulish and quarrelsome when so- LL utter:inces are to be interpreted by ber-has got freighted with Atkinson's extra

their evident intention. And this is pale ale, and is recklessly buying sweetmeats as true of proverbs as of other forms of for the children-at present the most arrant speech. Yet, of these last, there are many child of them all.

perversions, some noticeable only for their

drollery, others regretable on account of their “Sing to thy mammy, hinnie,

mischievous tendency. Dance to thy daddy, hinnie, An' thou'll git a penny when the boat comes in,"

An Irishman once backed his application

for help a second time by the logical plea roars the giant toiler of the sea.

that One good turn deserves another ; and a A retired captain of the Royal Navy, in countrywoman who recently came to town to receipt of a handsome pension from the purchase a flitch of bacon said to a clergyman crown, is here drunk, quarrelsome, and half- with such an air of sanctimonious drollery as crazy. He is but five feet two inches in to leave her auditors in doubt whether she height, yet he has a voice like a clang of were more in jest than earnest, The Bible trumpets. Every articulation is an absolute says, “Man shall not live by bread alone,' so roar, and among the revelers he is the hero I thought I would come in and buy a little of the day.

meat." The gude-wives, meanwhile, have not per- Were all misapplications of proverbs as mitted the day to pass unimproved. Sundry harmless as these, we might pass them by and many jugs of ale--and, I am afraid, of with a smile. But some are of a very grave more potent liquors—have found their way character, become the parents of very grave. from the different “tap-rooms” to various looking offspring, and sometimes demand an tiresides; and, when the shades of evening equally grave consideration. To most peobegin to prevail, groups of smirking matrons ple, proverbs are like coin from the mint;

[ocr errors]

А"

[ocr errors]

!

ness.

they bear the stamp of authority, and pass The Septuagint translators gave a free and been condemned by high ethical authority, from hand to hand with scarcely a question unauthorized form to the last clause, which and is rapidly passing out of use, because raised as to their genuineness or their value. made it say, “ But friendship shall cover all it seems to base honesty on policy, instead They are reverently received into ordinary that are not contentious." The apostle Peter, of regarding it as morally obligatory, and parlance as the condensed wisdom of ages, in quoting Solomon, rejects the Septuagint, thus lowering the standard of public morals. and the verdicts of loary-headed experi- and draws upon the original Hebrew, which The proverb at the head of this paragraph ences; and, when once received, they govern he interprets, Charity [i. e., love] shall cover has also been condemned, and is also passing with an authority like that of Holy Writ. the multitude of sins ;” and the apostle James, out of use, because its tendency has been to

Who has not heard, and perhaps been quoting substantially in the same way, gives lower the standard of popular education. misled by the oft-repeated proverb, Feed a us the words, “ shall hide a multitude of sins." There can be no question but that those peocold and starve a fever, interpreted to menn In all these cases the writers evidently in- ples and generations which have excelled in that fevers and colds are to receive opposite tended to say, in their flowing, Oriental style, knowledge have also excelled in power ; but modes of treatment—"stuffing” and “starv- what the Greeks and Romans embodied in any educator of youth who should act upon ing.” Whereas its author, who endeavored their pithy maxim, Love is blind. As to the the principle that education consists in cramto crowd words of wisdom into too narrow a nature of its misapplication, no one need be ming the mind with knowledge will havé perspace, no doubt knew and supposed that informed. The effort to wrest the teaching petrated as great an error as would a body everybody else would know that a cold is of Solomon, James, and Peter, to support the of civil - engineers who should saturate the only a fever under a disguised form, and, doctrine that almsgiving to the poor will atmosphere with vapor from boiling caldrons therefore, as in the proverb Marry in haste atone for sin, is so "thin" as to remind one because it is known that steam is a motor. and repent at leisure, he intended to be under- of the turn given to the saying Cleanliness is The truth is, that steam and knowledge are stood as saying, “If you feed a cold you will next to godliness by a man equally noted for powers (or rather means of powers) only when have a fever to starve."

dissolute habits and for personal purity, who properly used. Many a man who has been The teaching implied in the old-time ad- used to quote it as saying Cleanliness is godli noted as a walking encyclopædia has been age, The idle man's brain is the devil's work

equally noted for inability to put his knowl. shop, and also in the phrase so common in The tongue is an unruly member, untamed edge to account, because the practical part criminal indictments, at the instigation of the and untamable. Few proverbs of caustic of his education had been neglected. It is devil, is calculated perhaps to exert a salu- character are more universally attested than the right use of knowledge—and rather the tary influence, for, if there be a principle of this, and, strange to say, attested most read- right use than the knowledge itself—which is evil, we may reasonably expect him to make ily by those who are most obnoxious to its entitled to the name of power. The poet use of just such opportunities for his chosen indictments. No doubt this is the effect, in Cowper seems to have had an indirect vision work. But, whatsoever may be one's faith 'some cases, of ingenuous self-reproach ; in of this truth when he wrote: on this subject, it may be no less salutary to others, probably, it is the effort to devise an

* Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, keep in mind the fact, and it may at the same excuse for language that is otherwise ines. Have ofttimes no connection. Knowledge dwells time help to relieve a much-slandered indi- cusable. Viewed as a piece of animal mech

In minds replete with thoughts of other men; vidual in accounting for the machinations of

Wisdom, in minds attentive to their own. anism, the tongue is marked with wonder

Knowledge is proud that it has learned so much; that workshop, that it is questionable wheth- ful flexibility and adaptedness to vocal pur- Wisdom is humble that it knows no more." er we need inquire for any worse or busier

poses.
As to its training, it is of all the

Immodest words admit of no defense, instigator to evil than the workman's own members of the human body, not excepting

For want of decency is want of sense." heart; for there is another old, old adage either hand or eye, the most perfectly ruled. which says, No man can find a worse friend In producing those articulate sounds by which

If there be any misapplication predicable than the one he brings with him from home.

of these words it is rather in the reason givthought is conveyed, and those modulations Charity begins at home.—This is a capital of voice which express the tone and spirit of

en by the author than in the use made by and truthful saying if properly emphasized. that thought, it perfectly obeys every moni- those who quote them. In any case the last Like every other virtue, it begins-in fact, it tion of the will. The tongue is, in fact, an

line is true; but in offenses against society must begin—its genuine work as near as pos- excellent member—the best, perhaps, in this

no excuse on behalf of the offender is regardsible to the centre of one's being, and radi- body-if only the heart be so. It is an “un.

ed as more available than to say that he

knew no better. ate thence, like the concentric waves of wa- ruly member” only by being too faithful a

Even the apostle Paul after and of light, so far as the laws of sur- servant of the power that wields it.

firmed, in a certain sense, its validity when, rounding Nature will permit. If there be no The world owes me a living.-By whom is

in speaking of his blasphemy against Christ, vital pulse in the centre, there can be vone this claim put in ? If by one who has long

and his persecution of the Church before he in the extremities. Even patriotism is re- and unselfishly labored for the good of the

became a believer, he said, “But I obtained vealed in its last analysis to be only a no- world at large, to the neglect of private in.

mercy because I did it ignorantly in uubeble self-love which first permeates the home, terests, as did the apostles of our Lord, and

lief.” The plea, howerer, to be urged by and then expands so as to embrace the coun- as has done many a John Howard and Flor- permission of the offender requires such a detry; and philanthropy is only an extension of ence Nightingale since their day, and even an

gree of humility, or rather of self-abnega. the same generous feeling to the limits of occasional Socrates among the heathen, the

tion, as to be seldom heard; for, as another old the race.

But for the same reason that a claim will be good, morally, if not legally. proverb says, Most people would rather be ac80 - called patriotism and philanthropy, But such are the last persons whom we ex

counted knaves than fools. Possibly Mr. Pope which would refuse to go beyond the limits pect to urge it. They usually prefer to go on

had this fact in mind when penning these of home, must become an intensified selfish- silently in their work of noble disinterested.

lines; but, if he had, he would have been ness, so with a so-called charity. The prov. ness, and to say-if they say any thing

nearer the truth, and not a whit the less erb, to be used aright, must be emphazised on "The Lord will provide.” A claim of incom- biting, if he had said substantially, in his

smooth verse : the second word,

parably more manliness and truth was once Charity covers a multitu.le of sins.—Could expressed by a horribly maimed soldier, who

" Immodest words admit but one defense, the several authors of this charming proverb said with bright and hopeful air : “I know

That want of decepcy is want of sense;" arise from the dead and learn the interpre- that the world has some useful place for me and perhaps this is what he intended. tation which has been given it, their holy to fill, and work for me to do; my business What everybody says must be true.—There horror would probably express itself in a is to hunt it up."

are certain deep and resistless intuitions posdramatic scene worth witnessing. Solomon, Knowledge is power. - This proverb is in sessing the universal mind-such as belief in never probabiy a man of high spirituality, two respects like Franklin's Honesty is the the existence of a God and in the immortality notwithstanding his world - famed wisdom best policy-first, in probably being sound by of the soul—which might be safely received (that is, his common-sense), began its histo: original intention, and secondly in probably as true, even if they had no other support ry by writing, in Proverbs x. 12: “Hatred being the parent of more evil than good. than their evident adaptedness to the necesstirreth up strifes; but love covereth all sins." Franklin's, after the reign of a century, has sities of our being, and the fact that they

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »