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the painful reflection, that it is not in their power to alleviate it." He was overpowered, iwwever, by the solicitations of his friend and the other persons of the party, (amongst whom were several ladies,) and they went in a body to Moorfields.
Their conductor led them first to the dismal mansions of those who are in the most horrid state of incurable madness. The clanking of chains, the wildness of their cries, and the imprecations which some of them uttered, formed a scene inexpressibly shocking. Harley and his companions, especially the female part of them, begged their guide to return: he seemed surprised at their uneasiness, and was with difficulty prevailed on to leave that part of the house without showing them some others, who, as he expressed it, in the phrase of those that keep wild beasts for show, were much better worth seeing than any they had passed, being ten times more fierce and unmanageable.
He led them next to that quarter where those reside, who, as they are not dangerous to themselves or others, enjoy a certain degree of freedom, according to the state of their distemper. Harley had fallen behind his companions, looking at a man who was making pendulums with bits of thread, and little balls of clay. He had delineated a segment of a circle on the wall with chalk, and marked their different vibrations, by intersecting it with cross lines. A decent-looking man came up, and, smiling at the maniac, turned to Harley, and told him, that gentleman had once been a very celebrated mathematician. "He fell a sacrifice," said he, "to the theory of comets; for having, with infinite labour, formed a table on the conjectures of Sir Isaac Newton, he was disappointed in the return of one of those luminaries, and was very soon after obliged to be placed here by hisfriends. If you please to follow me, sir," continued the stranger, "I believe I shall be able to give a more satisfactory account of the unfortunate people you see here, than the man who attends vour companions." Harley bowed, and accepted his offer.
The next person they came up to had scrawled a variety of figures on a piece of slate. Harley had the curiosity to take a nearer view of them. They consisted of different columns, on the top of which were marked South-sea annuities, India-stock, and Three per cent annuities consol. "This," said Harley's instructor, " was a gentleman well known in Change-alley. He was once worth fifty thousand pounds, and had actually agreed for the purchase of an estate in the west, in order to realize his money; but he quarrelled with the proprietor about the repairs of the garden-wall, and so returned to town to follow his old trade of stock-jobbing a little longer, when an unlucky fluctuation of stock, in which he was engaged to an immense extent, reduced him at once to poverty and to madness. Vol. v.
Toor wretch! he told me t other day, that against the next payment of differences, he should be some hundreds above a plum."
"It is a spondee, and I will maintain it," interrupted a voice on his left hand. This assertion was followed by a very rapid recital of some verses from Homer. "That figure," said the gentleman, " whose clothes are so bedaubed with snuff, was a schoolmaster of some reputation: he came hither to be resolved of some doubts he entertained concerning the genuine pronunciation of the Greek vowels. In his highest fits, he makes frequent mention of one Mr Bentley.
"But delusive ideas, sir, are the motives of the greatest part of mankind, and a heated imagination the power by which their actions are mcited: the world, in the eye of a philosopher, may be said to be a large madhouse."—" It is true," answered Harley, "the passions of men are temporary madnesses; and sometimes very fatal in their effects,
From Macedonia's madman to the Swede."
"It was, indeed," said the stranger, "a very mad thing in Charles, to think of adding so vast a country as Russia.to his dominions; that would have been fatal indeed; the balance of the North would then have been lost; but the Sultan and I would never have allowed it."—" Sir!" said Harley, with no small surprise on his countenance.—" Why, yes," answered the other," the Sultan and I;—do you know me? I am the Chan of Tartary."
Harley was a good deal struck by this discovery; he had prudence enough, however, to conceal his amazement, and, bowing as low to the monarch as his dignity required, left him immediately, and joined his companions.
He found them in a quarter of the house set apart for the insane of the other sex, several of whom had gathered about the female visitors, and were examining, with rather more accuracy than might have been expected, the particulars of their dress.
Separate from the rest stood one, whose appearance had something of superior dignity. Her face, though pale and wasted, was less squalid than those of the others, and showed a dejection of that decent kind, which moves our pity unmixed with horror: upon her, therefore, the eyes of all were immediately turned. The keeper, who accompanied them, observed it:— "This," said he, "is a young lady, who was born to ride in her coach and six. She was beloved, if the story I have heard be true, by a young gentleman, her equal in birth, though by by no means her match in fortune: but love, they say, is blind, and so she fancied him as much as he did her. Her father, it seems, would not hear of their marriage, and threatened to turn her out of doors, if ever she saw him 2 B
again. Upon this, the young gentleman took a voyage to the West Indies, in hopes of bettering his fortune, and obtaining his mistress; but he was scarce landed, when he was seized with one of the fevers which are common in those islands, and died in a few days, lamented by every one that knew him. This news soon reached his mistress, who was at the same time pressed by her father to marry a rich miserly fellow, who was old enough to be her grandfather. The death of her lover had no effect on her inhuman parent: he was only the more earnest for her marriage with the man he had provided for her; and what between her despair at the death of the one, and her aversion to the other, the poor young lady was reduced to the condition you see her in. But God would not prosper such cruelty: her father's affairs soon after went to wreck, and he died almost a beggar."
Though this story was told in very plain language, it had particularly attracted Harley's notice; he had given it the tribute of some tears. The unfortunate young lady had, till now, seemed entranced in thought, with her eyes fixed on a little garnet ring she wore on her finger; she turned them now upon Harley. "My Billy is no more!" said she; "Do you weep for my Billy? Blessings on your tears! I would weep too, but my brain is dry; and it burns, it burns, it burns!"" She drew nearer to Harley. "Be comforted, young lady," said he, "your Billy is in Heaven."—" Is he indeed? and shall we meet again? and shall that frightful man (pointing to the keeper) not be there? Alas! I am grown naughty of late; I have almost forgotten to think of Heaven; yet I pray sometimes; when I can, I pray; and sometimes I sing; when I am saddest I sing. You shall hear me—hush!
Light be the earth on Billy's breast,
There was a plaintive wildness in the air not to be withstood; and, except the keeper's, there was not an unmoistened eye around her.
"Do you weep again?' said she; " I would not have you weep. You are like my Billy; you are, believe me; just so he looked, when he gave me this ring—Poor Billy ! 'twas the last time ever we met!—
'Twas when the seas were roaring—
I love you for resembling my Billy ; but I shall never love any man like him."—She stretched out her hand to Harley; he pressed it between both of his, and bathed it with his tears. "Nay, that is Billy's ring," said she, "you cannot have it, indeed ; but here is another, look here, which I plated to-day, of some gold-thread from this bit of stuff; will you keep it for my sake? I am a strange girl; but my heart is harmless;
my poor heart! it will burst some day; feel how it beats I"—She pressed his hand to her bosom, then holding her head in the attitude of listening,—" Hark ! one, two, three ! Be quiet, thou little trembler; my Billy's is cold !—But I had forgotten the ring." She put it on his finger. "Farewell ! I must leave you now." She would have withdrawn her hand; Harley held it to his lips. "I dare not stay longer ; my head throbs sadly; farewell!" She walked with a hurried step to a little apartment at some distance.— Harley stood fixed in astonishment and pity; his friend gave money to the keeper. Harley looked on his ring. He put a couple of guineas into the man's hand:—" Be kind to that unfortunate." He burst into tears, and left them.
The friend, who had conducted him to Moorfields, called upon him again the next evening. After some talk on the adventures of the preceding day, "I carried you yesterday," said he to Harley, "to visit the mad ; let me introduce you to-night, at supper, to one of the wise; but you must not look for any thing of the Socratic pleasantry about him; on the contrary, I warn you to expect the spirit of a Diogenes. That you may be a little prepared for bis extraordinary manner, I will let you into some particulars of his history :—
"He is the elder of the two sons of a gentleman of considerable estate in the country. Their father died when they were young: both were remarkable at school for quickness of parts, and extent of genius ; this had been bred to no profession, because his father's fortune, which descended to him, was thought sufficient to set him above it; the other was put an apprentice to an eminent attorney. In this the expectations of his friends were more consulted than his own inclination; for both his brother and he had feelings of that warm kind, that could ill brook a study so dry as the law, especially in that department of it which was allotted to him. But the difference of their tempers made the characteristical distinction between them. The younger, from the gentleness of his nature, bore, with patience, a situation entirely discordant to his genius and disposition. At times, indeed, his pride would suggest of how little importance those talents were, which the partiality of his friends had often extolled; they were now incumbrances in a walk of life where the dull and the ignorant passed him at every turn ; his fancy and his feeling were invincible obstacles to eminence, in a situation where his fancy had no room for exertion, and his feeling experienced perpetual disgust. But these lnurmurings he never suffered to be heard; and that he might not offend the prudence of those who had been concerned in the choice of his profession, he continued to labour in it several years, till, by the death of a relation, he succeeded to an estate of little better than one hundred pounds a-year, with which, and the small patrimony left him, he retired into the country, and made a love-match with a young lady of a similar temper to his own, with whom the sagacious world pitied him for finding happiness.
"But his elder brother, whom you are to see at supper, if you will do us the favour of your company, was naturally impetuous, decisive, and overbearing. He entered into life with those ardent expectations, by which young men are commonly deluded; in his friendships, warm to excess; and equally violent in his dislikes. He was on the brink of marriage with a young lady, when one of those friends, for whose honour he would have pawned his life, made an elopement with that very goddess, and left him, besides, deeply engaged for sums which that good friend's extravagance had squandered.
"The dreams he had formerly enjoyed, were now changed for ideas of a very different nature. He abjured all confidence in any thing of human form ; sold his lands, which still produced him a very large reversion; came to town, and immured himself with a woman, who had been his nurse, in little better than a garret; and has ever since applied his talents to the vilifying of his species. In one thing I must take the liberty to instruct you ;—however different your sentiments may be, (and different they must be,) you will suffer him to go on without contradiction, otherwise he will be silent immediately, and we shall not get a word from him all the night after." Harley promised to remember this injunction, and accepted the invitation of his friend.
When they arrived at the house, they were informed that the gentleman was come, and had been shewn into the parlour. They found him sitting with a daughter of his friend's, about three years old, on his knee, whom he was teaching the alphabet from a horn-book; at a little distance stood a sister of hers, some years older. "Get you away, miss," said he to this last; "you are a pert gossip, and I will have nothing todo with you."—" Nay,"answered she,"Nancy is your favourite; you are quite in love with Nancy."—" Take away that girl," said he to her father, whom he now observed to have entered the room, "she has woman about her already." The children were accordingly dismissed.
Betwixt that and supper-time, he did not utter a syllable. When supper came, he quarrelled with every dish at table, but eat of them all; only exempting from his censures a sallad, "which you have not spoiled," said he, "because you have not attempted to cook it."
When the wine was set upon the table, he took from his pocket a particular smoking appa
ratus, and filled his pipe, without taking any more notice of Harley, or his friend, than if no such persons had been in the room.
Harley could not help stealing a look of surprise at him ; but his friend, who knew his humour, returned it, by annihilating his presence in the like manner, and, leaving him to his own meditations, addressed himself entirely to Harley.
In their discourse, some mention happened to be made of an amiable character, and the words honour and politeness were applied to it. Upon this, the gentleman laying down his pipe, and changing the tone of his countenance, from an ironical grin to something more intently contemptuous, "Honour," said he, "Honour and Politeness! this is the coin of the world, and passes current with the fools of it. You have substituted the shadow Honour, instead of the substance Virtue; and have banished the reality of friendship for the fictitious semblance, which you have termed Politeness; politeness, which consists in a certain ceremonious jargon, more ridiculous to the ear of reason than the voice of a puppet. You have invented sounds, which you worship, though they tyrannize over your peace ; and are surrounded with empty forms, which take from the honest emotions of joy, and add to the poignancy of misfortune."—" Sir!" said Harley—his friend winked to him, to remind him of the caution he had received. He was silenced by the thought—The philosopher turned his eye upon him ; he examined him from top to toe, with a sort of triumphant contempt. Harley's coat happened to be a new one; the other's was as shabby as could possibly be supposed to be on the back of a gentleman; there was much significance in his look with regard to this coat; it spoke of the sleekness of folly, and the threadbareness of wisdom.
"Truth," continued he, " the most amiable, as well as the most natural, of virtues, you are at pains to eradicate. Your very nurseries are seminaries of falsehood; and what is called Fashion in manhood, completes the system of avowed insincerity. Mankind, in the gross, is a gaping monster, that loves to be deceived, and has seldom been disappointed; nor is their vanity less fallacious to your philosophers, who adopt modes of truth to follow them through the paths of error, and defend paradoxes merely to be singular in defending them. These are they whom ye term Ingenious; 'tis a phrase of commendation I detest; it implies an attempt to impose on my judgment, by nattering my imagination; yet these are they whose works are read by the old with delight, which the voung are taught to look upon as the codes of knowledge and philosophy.
"Indeed, the education of your youth is every way preposterous; you waste at school years in improving talents, without having ever spent an hour in discovering them ; one promiscuous line of instruction is followed, without regard to genius, capacity, or probable situation in the commonwealth. From this bear-garden of the pedagogue, a raw, unprincipled boy is turned loose upon the world to travel, without any ideas but those of improving his dress at Paris, or starting into taste by gazing on some paintings at Rome. Ask him of the manners of the people, and he will tell you, that the skirt is worn much shorter in France; and that every body eats macaroni in Italy. When he returns home he buys a seat in Parliament, and studies the constitution at Arthur's.
"Nor are your females trained to any more useful purpose ; they are taught, by the very rewards which their nurses propose for good behaviour, by the first thing like a jest which they hear from every male visitor of the family, that a young woman is a creature to be married; and, when they are grown somewhat older, are instructed, that it is the purpose of marriage to have the enjoyment of pin-money, and the expectation of a jointure.
* "These indeed are the effects of luxury, which is perhaps inseparable from a certain degree of power and grandeur in a nation. But it is not simply of the progress of luxury that we have to complain ; did its votaries keep in their own sphere of thoughtless dissipation, we might despise them without emotion ; but the frivolous pursuits of pleasure are mingled with the most important concerns of the state; and public enterprize shall sleep till he who should guide its operation has decided his bets at Newmarket, or fulfilled his engagement with a favourite mistress in the country. We want some man of acknowledged eminence to point our counsels with that firmness which the counsels of a great people require. We have hundreds of ministers, who press forward into office, without having ever learned that art which is necessary for every business,—the art of thinking ; and mistake the petulance, which could give inspiration to smart sarcasms on an obnoxious measure in a popular assembly, for the ability which is to balance the interest of kingdoms, and investigate the latent sources of national superiority. With the administration of such men, the people can never be satisfied; for, besides that their confidence is gained only by the view of superior talents, there needs that depth of knowledge, which is not only acquainted with the just extent of power, but can also trace its connection with the expedient, to preserve its possessors from the
contempt which attends irresolution, or the resentment which follows temerity."
[[Here a considerable part is wanting.]
• * " In short, man is an animal equally selfish and vain. Vanity, indeed, is but a modification of selfishness. From the latter, there are some who pretend to be free ; they are generally such as declaim against the lust of wealth and power, because they have never been able to attain any high degree in either; they boast of generosity and feeling. They tell us, (perhaps they tell us in rhyme,) that the sensations of an honest heart, of a mind universally benevolent, make up the quiet bliss which they enjoy; but they will not, by this, be exempted from the charge of selfishness. Whence the luxurious happiness they describe in their little family-circles ?— Whence the pleasure which they feel, when they trim their evening fires, and listen to the howl of the winter's wind? Whence, but from the secret reflection of what houseless wretches feel from it? Or do you administer comfort in afflict inn—the motive is at hand; I have had it preached to me in nineteen out of twenty of your consolatory discourses—the comparative littleness of our own misfortunes.
"With vanity your best virtues are grossly tainted ; your benevolence, which ye deduce immediately from the natural impulse of the heart, squints to it for its reward. There are some, indeed, who tell us of the satisfaction which flows from a secret consciousness of good actions; this secret satisfaction is truly excellent—when we have some friend to whom we may discover its excellence."
He now paused a moment to relight his pipe, when a clock, that stood at his back, struck eleven ; he started up at the sound, took his hat and his cane, and, nodding good night with his head, walked out of the room. The gentleman of the house called a servant to bring the stranger's surtout. "What sort of a night is it, fellow?" said he.—" It rains, sir," answered the servant, " with an easterly wind."—" Easterly for ever!"—He made no other reply; but, shrugging up his shoulders till they almost touched his ears, wrapped himself tight in his great-coat, and disappeared.
"This is a strange creature," said his friend to Harley. "I cannot say," answered he, "that his remarks are of the pleasant kind ; it is curious to observe, how the nature of truth may be changed by the garb it wears ; softened to the admonition of friendship, or soured into the severity of reproof. Yet this severity may be useful to some tempers; it somewhat resembles a file; disagreeable in its operations, but hard metals may be the brighter for it.'
• Though the curate could not remember having shown this chapter to any body, I strongly suspect that these political observations are the work of a later pen than the rest of this performance. There seems to have been, by some accident, a gap in the manuscript, from the words, "Expectation of a jointure," to these, "In short, man is an animal," where the present blank ends ; and some other person (for the hand is different, and the ink whiter) has filled part of it with sentiments of his own. Whoever he was, he seems to have caught some portion of the spirit of the man he personates.
His Skill in Physiognomy.
The company at the Baronet's removed to the playhouse accordingly, and Harley took his usual route into the Park. He observed, as he entered, a fresh-looking elderly gentleman in conversation with a beggar, who, leaning on his crutch, was recounting the hardships he had undergone, and explaining the wretchedness of his present condition. This was a very interesting dialogue to Harley; he was rude enough, therefore, to slacken his pace, as he approached, and, at last, to make a full stop at the gentleman's back, who was just then expressing his compassion for the beggar, and regretting that he had not a farthing of change about him. At saying this, he looked piteously on the fellow: there was something in his physiognomy which caught Harley's notice: indeed physiognomy was one of Harley's foibles, for which he had been often rebuked by his aunt in the country; who used to tell him, that when he was come to her years and experience, he would know, that all's not gold that glitters: and it must be owned, that his aunt was a very sensible, harshlooking, maiden lady, of threescore and upwards. But he was too apt to forget this caution ; and now, it seems, it had not occurred to him: stepping up, therefore, to the gentleman, who was lamenting the want of silver, " Your intentions, sir," said he, "are so good, that I cannot help lending you my assistance to carry them into execution," and gave the beggar a shilling. The other returned a suitable compliment, and extolled the benevolence of Harley. They kept walking together, and benevolence grew the topic of discourse.
The stranger was fluent on the subject. "There is no use of money," said he, "equal to that of beneficence; with the profuse, it is lost; and even with those who lay it out according to the prudence of the world, the objects acquired by it pall on the sense, and have scarce become our own till they lose their value with the power of pleasing; but here the enjoyment grows on reflection, and our money is most truly ours, when it ceases being in our possession."
"Yet I agree in some measure," answered Harley, " with those who think, that charity to our common beggars is often misplaced; there are objects less obtrusive, whose title is a better one."
"We cannot easily distinguish," said the stranger; "and even of the worthless, are there not many whose imprudence, or whose vice, may have been one dreadful consequence of misfortune?"
Harley looked again in his face, and blessed himself for his skill in physiognomy.
By this time they had reached the end of the walk, the old gentleman leaning on the rails to take breath, and in the mean time they were joined by a younger man, whose figure was much above the appearance of his dress, which was poor and shabby. Harley's former companion addressed him as an acquaintance, and they turned on the walk together.
The elder of the strangers complained of the closeness of the evening, and asked the other if he would go with him into a house hard by, and take one draught of excellent cyder. "The man who keeps this house," said he to Harley, "was once a servant of mine; I could not think of turning loose upon the world a faithful old fellow, for no other reason but that his age had incapacitated him ; so I gave him an annuity of ten pounds, with the help of which he has set up this little place here, and his daughter goes and sells milk in the city, while her father manages his tap-room, as he calls it, at home. I can t well ask a gentleman of your appearance to accompany me to so paltry a place.' —" Sir," replied Harley, interrupting him, "I would much rather enter it than the most celebrated tavern in town; to give to the necessitous, may sometimes be a weakness in the man; to encourage industry, is a duty in the citizen." They entered the house accordingly.
On a table at the corner of the room lay a pack of cards, loosely thrown together. The old gentleman reproved the man of the house for encouraging so idle an amusement. Harley attempted to defend him, from the necessity of accommodating himself to the humour of his guests, and, taking up the cards, began to shuffle them backwards and forwards in his hand. "Nay, I don't think cards so unpardonable an amusement as some do," replied the other; "and now and then, about this time of the evening, when my eyes begin to fail me for my book, I divert myself with a game at piquet, without finding my morals a bit relaxed by it. Do you play piquet, sir?" (to Harley.) Harley answered in the affirmative; upon which the other proposed playing a pool at a shilling the game, doubling the stakes; adding, that he never played higher with any body.
Harley's good nature could not refuse the benevolent old man; and the younger stranger