Page images

rooms are empty. Let us not lose time; the car- dently most politely intended, and which ende riage is at the door.”

an offer to conduct me to my cabin at once. In All this was said in a very peculiar manner, agreeably surprised to find that the cabin allotted bluntly, and almost rudely when compared with the me was on deck, generally the most pleasant bland gentleness of the man's ordinary demeanor. of a Mediterranean steamer, and that I was to i I set this disagreeable alteration down, however, to its sole occupant, whereas, having taken but a sings Demetri's vexation at the unexpected loss of an em- passage, I had of course expected to have a ser ployer, who, if he needed no guidance to ruins and berth, and no more, for my money. I could not fer battle-fields, at any rate was liberal in remunerating bear mentioning this to the ship's officer who wa his dragoman for the trouble of fetching him opera- my guide; but he merely bowed and smirked. tickets, prime cigars, and saddle-horses ; and my “Whoever else may be ill-off for elbow-room," only wonder was that Mr. Forster should have gone said, - " and I must admit that we are somewe, away so suddenly, and without a word of adieu to scant of space sometimes, - we are proud to acco his former tutor.

modate you, Signor Inglese ! ” And with a The carriage of which Demetri had spoken was apology for leaving me he returned to his duty. in effect at the door, – an open calessina, lined with What he had said was very flattering, if not quite cotton velvet of some bright color, and drawn by intelligible; and at any rate, if the. Rev. Plantae two raw-boned horses tawdrily decked out with net Green was highly appreciated as an English scarlet tassels, peacocks' feathers, and brass orna-traveller on board the French mail-packet, it 12 ments that rattled at every movement, while the not for that individual to find fault with what, after driver had very much the air of a theatrical brig. all, was perhaps a graceful compliment to my cloil and. This picturesque equipage at any rate pos- I must confess myself, like most men who have sessed the merit of speed ; for the lean horses, led a studious and stay-at-home life, a wretched severely lashed, went at a surprisingly rapid pace sailor, and a sea-voyage has always been to me: down the darkling road, - bordered here and there period of unmitigated suffering and helplessner by wine-shops, whence came the sounds of brawling | There was a brisk breeze blowing, and the sea, if voices or the twanging music of the Greek guitar, — not rough, was sufficiently disturbed for the motion that leads to the Piræus. I found the quay more of the vessel to suggest to me that a recumbent-attcrowded than I had supposed probable at that hour, tude would be preferable to any other, and that and in the roads lay a steamer, a blue light burning until I acquired my - sea-legs” by familiarity with on board of her, from the funnel of which gushed a the normal rolling and pitching of my temporar! fiery crown of ruddy flame, while the groaning and home, I had better keep strictly to my cabin. Ilay hissing that reached my ears plainly indicated that down accordingly on my little bed, and listened to the packet had got up steam and was on the eve of the trampling on deck, the hoarse word of command, starting.

and the roar and splash of the paddle-wheels as they “ Yes, that is the French boat; your boat, Mr. went round, while the engines worked vigorously Green,” said Demetri, in a voice that was strangely making every plank in the ship vibrate to their harsh and hollow.

quick stroke. We were fairly under way, and of Meanwhile my eye was attracted by the lights our eastward voyage. burning on board another vessel at some distance The next eight and forty hours were spent in such from the shore. Demetri noticed in which direc- black, blank, hopeless misery as none but the sea tion I was gazing.

sick can endure or appreciate. The wind Eurocly. “ That is nothing,” he cried, with a petulance for don, which from my classical recollections I knew which I could see no reason. “That is a strange to have always been potent in those waters, was ship, an Austrian corvette. Make haste and jump | loosed from the halls of Æolus and as mischievous in or you will be left behind.”

as of old. The breeze had freshened to a gale; and And he almost dragged me to the landing-place, the once-smiling Mediterranean, rough and furious, where a small boat, manned by four rowers in the tossed about our vessel like a cork or a feather, and loose, dark Hydriote dress, lay waiting. My lug-) the timbers creaked and groaned, and the engine gage was already embarked, and I found myself | labored, as we fought our way through the surge, thrust down into the stern sheets, while the cox- I was very ill, wretched, and weak; and I believe swain cast off the moorings, and, scrambling over should have been rather gratified than otherwise ! the thwarts, took his seat and grasped the tiller- it had been suddenly announced to me that the ship ropes. All was so rapidly done as to reduce my | was sinking; when, in the course of the third night, part in the transaction to a passive one. Somebody the wind lulled, and the waves abated their anger cried out something which I took to be Romaic for with that quickness of transition from rage to calm, * all right," and instantly the rowers bent to their or again from gentleness to wild wrath, that chara oars. I looked round for Demetri, but he was al-terizes the wayward moods of that land-locke ready lost in the crowd ; and this odd behavior of southern sea. The heaving and tossing ceased, and the young dragoman's seemed to me the more re. I was able to stand and gaze from my cabin-window markable because I still was in his debt a scudo or at the quiet beauty of the unclouded night, with two, and he had given me no chance of slipping aits million golden lamps dotting the violet sky parting “gratification” into his hand. For such while shooting-stars, of a brillianey unknown to reflections I had not much leisure, for the boat was in England, fell flashing again and again across the already bounding over the purple waves, and in a dark horizon. very short space of time we were alongside the “My troubles are over now," said I to myself, as steamer. Scrambling on board as nimbly as II lay down contentedly to rest. "I shall go on could, while my baggage was handed up the gang- deck to-morrow, and shall, for the first time, be able way, I was at once received by a siniling officer, to hear Sip talk of breakfast without feeling envious with a gold band encircling his naval cap, and who and disgusted." welcomed me with a lengthy speech in Italian, five This Sip, whose monosyllabic name was a corrupsixths of which were lost to me, but which was evi- I tion of Scipio, was the black under-steward of the

teamer, and was the only person on board, as he to Crete with volunteers to aid the insurrectionary old me with a becoming pride, who spoke English. forces. But this was by no means the whole of the Ie was an American negro, who had been brought complication. It appeared that I had been received »ut from Baltimore in some merchant clipper trad- on board the steamer in the full belief that I was ng with the Levant, and had either deserted or no other than Mr. Forster, and that I was thought been set adrift. He was a good-humored creature, to have come provided with a very considerable is these sea-going sons of Ham often are, and he sum in specie, the use of which my former pupil had aad been kind and attentive to me while I was promised to the revolutionary agents at Athens, and helpless in my berth. On the morning succeeding which was destined to furnish provisions for some the calm he came into my cabin with an air of un- three hundred armed men, Greeks under Captain usual self-importance.

Draganopoli, and Italian sympathizers led by Giu“ Massa better? Dat right! Gentlemen in chief seppe Minetti, who were on board the vessel, and cabin send him compliments, and will pay massa who were about to do battle with the Turks for the visit directly soon."

liberation of Crete. And before I could conjecture the precise purport It must not be supposed that this result was arof this communication, there was a tap at the painted rived at by dint of quiet and patient inquiry. On door, and in came two tall men, one of whom, to my the contrary, the excitable southern natures of surprise, was in the blue military uniform of the the two chiefs of this bare-brained enterprise were Greek army ; while the capote worn by the other all on fire with indignation and excitement; and I, falling back showed the red flannel shirt of a Gari- the involuntary cause of all this fury, had to endure baldian, braced by a black belt, from which pro- / much undeserved reproach, and what I am certain truded something very suspiciously like the brass- was a plentiful store of opprobrious epithets, but mounted butt of a revolver.

which, being couched in modern Greek and the Buon giorno, noble comrade," said the gentleman Lombard patois, were fortunately unintelligible. In in the red shirt, speaking a mixture of bad French vain I protested my own blamelessness in the matand Italian. “We should not have intruded but we ter; I could get no hearing; and before long the heard you were suffering no longer, and that, now Garibaldian and the Greek flung out of the room, we are almost in sight of land, we had better all and I heard their outlandish oaths and vehement consult together. If you will join us at breakfast, adjurations die away in the distance. In about the council of war can — "

half an hour Sip came in with a very frightened * The council of war !” exclaimed I, with an ex expression on his black face, and rolling his opal pression of amazement that I dare say was ludicrous eyes fearfully. enough, and staring first at one and then at the s Gentlemen yonder,” he said, pointing with one other of my visitors. They stared at me in return. dusky finger towards the great cabin, the skylight The hero of the red shirt was again the spokesman. of which was just visible as the door of mine stood

“Signor," he said, with a ceremonious stiffness, ajar, “gentlemen say, shall we shoot Massa Britvery unlike his recent hearty frankness of manner, isher, 'cause he betray us? Some say, toss him “I crave pardon of your excellency for presuming overboard ; some tink" massa not to blame. Dey to act as my own introducer. I am Giuseppe Mi- berry angry. Sip come back soon, tell massa more.” netti, of Brescia, late an officer on General Garibal And he went, leaving me to reflections and andi's personal staff, and once brigade-major of the ticipations of anything but an agreeable character. Piccolini, as we called our Sicilian recruits in the Luckily, after a stormy debate, the council of war old anti-Bourbon war. This is Captain Dragano-was kind enough to take a merciful view of my unpoli, of the Greek army, on furlough. We com- designed traversing of their projects. The Italian mand on board, and the Cretan Committee officer, who was the more civilized of the two lead

“Do you wish to drive me mad?” I said, dis-ers, came back to assure me that I ran no immeditractedly ; " or is this a practical joke? What on ate risk of personal injury, although, as a friend, he earth can be the connection between my affairs and must advise me to keep out of the way of the volthose of the Cretan Committee ? Some mistake –" unteers, some of whom were hot-headed lads, who But here in my turn I was interrupted.

might possibly be inclined to treat me as a Jonah, “Do you mean to tell us, sir," cried the Greek since unfavorable reports concerning my errand captain, in a voice that actually trembled with pas- were prevalent among the crew and the fighting sion, “ do you mean to tell us that you have changed men. your mind, or that your promises were made only “My own voice," said the Italian, as he rolled up to mislead us? Have a care, Englishman!This and lighted a cigarette, “was decidedly against venture is no child's play. Our lives and honor are hanging you." at stake ; and as for your paltry gold, if you have “You are very kind, I am sure," I answered, with dared to deceive us, I swear by the Panagia to " a ghastly effort at being light-hearted and jocular.

" Land, ho!" sang out Scipio, in English; and The Garibaldian went on; “ And I am happy to the cry was taken up, in Greek, Italian, and Malt- / say that my arguments prevailed. I don't believe, ese, by several voices on deck.

Mr. Green, that you have played any part more cul" Land !” said the Garibaldian, smiling; " then pable than that of a dupe. That rascal Demetri, Signor Forster will, I hope, see cause to put an end the dragoman of the Hôtel des Quatre Vents, who to this useless mystification, since it is Crete that was no doubt aware that Mr. Forster, with a large lies before us, and we must conquer or die!" | sum in gold, was to embark and share our expedi

Then, with many words and much gesticulation, tion, has evidently deceived us all. He has probathe whole imbroglio was by slow degrees unravelled. bly caused Mr. Forster to go on board the French To my horror, I discovered that, instead of being a steamer, while you took possession of his cabin here, passenger in the French mail-steamer of the Impe- and our rich English ally and his treasure are thus rial Messageries, bound for Smyrna, as I had in my lost to us. It was a bold and crafty stratagem, innocence believed, I was on board the famous and — ". blockade runner, Panhellenion, on her sixth tripl “But to what end? Why should Demetri, a re

spectable young man, and really a sincere patriot, man, woman, and child, throughout the disturi play so senseless a trick ? ” interrupted I; “it is in- districts, - I was at last taken off the island br comprehensible, and -

English man-of-war, landed penniless in Athens, a “He is a Turkish spy!” coolly returned the red- was sent home in the character of a " distre shirted Italian, tossing his half-burnt cigarette into British subject” by her Majesty's Consul. 1 57 the sea.

hardly surprised to hear that the young scoundrele The whole mystery was now made clear to me. whom I owed my present position had decamped t

The committee which, from its head-quarters at Stamboul without beat of drum, not caring to tre Athens, directs and assists the efforts of the Porte's himself to the tender mercies of the fierce Atheniz Rayah subjects to overthrow the Mahometan rule mob. I reached England on the first day of Feir had for some weeks past seen cause to entertain ary, and made the best of my way to my patru. suspicions that Demetri was playing a double part. town house. He was out; but there was a note ár The young interpreter, whose knowledge of Con- me: “Lord Kilmallock's compliments to the Rer stantinople and of the Ottoman bureaucracy had | Plantagenet Green, and regrets that, in consequecer enabled him to render occasional services to the of Mr. Green's failure to keep his appointment," & Hellenic cause, was thought, and not groundlessly, &c. In fact the canonry had been given to another to be in the pay of the Turkish Cabinet. This view applicant; and I am still a poor and struggling man. of the Fanariote's artful and dangerous character with my way to make in the world, if ever a secu. was confirmed by the adroit and daring feat which chance should present itself of repairing the cons he had at length performed in sending Mr. Forster quences of that awkward mistake. and his gold by the French boat, while he had shipped me, an unworthy substitute, in his place. Minetti informed me that the steamer, the red lights of which

DONKEY POWER. I had observed, was the Messageries packet, and THE steam-engine is the most valuable discovery that she was to sail at the same hour as the Panhel- of modern times, and has taken its place on a sort of lenion. The scheme of the treacherous dragoman religious pedestal amongst us, as the great English was simple in its execution as well as wily in design, idol. Everybody, from Mr. Lowe downwards, bas and doubtless Mr. Forster had proved as easy a dupe taken his turn at chanting at its praises, and pointas myself, and had gone on board the French packet ing out the benefits that it confers upon mankind without a single misgiving.

Since its introduction our standard of pace seems But what was now to be done? We were rapidly completely altered. It is not only that we trave nearing the iron-bound coast of Crete, and the quicker, or make more calico shirts in an hour than peaks of the great Sphakiote range of mountains, we used to do, but the whole business of the work. crested by early snow, frowned upon us as we ap- moral, social, and intellectual, is proportionately proached the precipitous cliffs that seemed to bar all quickened. Mr. Kinglake's Pasha, whose leading hope of landing. Far at sea, too, gleamed certain notion about the English was that they were a wonspecks of white that a poet's fancy might have derful people, and that all was done by steam, fed pictured as albatrosses resting on the waves, but into a natural and pardonable, though erroneous, which Minetti, who like many Garibaldians-was half view of things. Steam power is, to a certain ex: a sailor, and had been mate and supercargo of tent, the measure of all human motion, in the field merchantmen in both hemispheres, gruflly pro- of thought as well as in the field of action. The nounced to be “ Turkish frigates of the blockading truth is so very obvious that we are in great squadron.” Here was a pleasant state of things ! danger of forgetting that there is another power, Not only was I carried out of my way; not only quite as valuable and useful as steam, by means was I off the Cretan coast when I ought to have of which most of the business of the world is trans been preparing to go ashore at Smyrna, — but there acted. It is not merely steam power that pulis was an imminent risk of being sunk, blown up, us all along. Donkey power does the largest porburned, or otherwise disposed of, since there is no tion of the work, and if there is any room for, limited liability in insurrections, and a Turkish second English idol on the same pedestal as to cannon-ball could not be expected to respect the steam-engine, the second idol ought to be that Ustneutrality of the junior tutor of St. Crosier's. We ful animal who devotes himself to the monotonou landed, however, without accident. I say " we," labor of drawing the social cart when nobody,, for, in spite of my entreaties, I was forced to disem- watching him. His presence acts, in every possi bark with the rest; and the only indulgence that I department of life, as a happy and important ch could obtain was the permission to remain among on the rival motive power of steam. Instead o the Sphakiote villagers, at whose hamlet the volun- ing unequally yoked together, steam power teers balted for their first bivouac, instead of follow-donkey power for most purposes make a tean ing the fortunes of that desperate band through the rare merit and real value, and tend to correct each almost incredible hardships and perils of a campaign, other's failings. When the more excitable of th among stony mountains, where hunger and fatigue pair is forging unduly ahead, the sober reluctance did more to thin their ranks than was effected by of the other to stir a single inch faster than he can the shot and steel of the enemy.

help, readjusts the balance of motive energy, and As for me, after nearly three miserable months of keeps the social body to that steady, wise, deliber semi-starvation spent among unwashed barbarians, step which constitutes the true glory of a free in a village little better than a Hottentot kraal, independent country. If Mr. Kinglake's Easy where I had to part with my last dollar for black | Pasha had known more of England he would bread and sour wine, vended at prices that would have summed us up in the terse sentence," have commanded the choicest dainties of a Palais wbiz. All by steam!” The truer formula o Royal restaurant; after being baited by hungry fleas, have been less one-sided. “ Whiz! Whiz! Trom to whose palates a succulent Englishman was a Trot! Half by steam and half by donkeys." novelty; and after many alarms from the Turkish Any one who reflects for a moment on the way Bashi-Bazouks, who were reported to be massacring proportion of the business of life which is necessary





made up of a sort of humdrum dry routine will / Happily for mankind, energy, however spent, not feel disposed to quarrel with donkey power, or seems well spent in the eyes of the spender, and to think very lightly of its uses. The fate of Phae- many an antiquary feels that his whole existence ton is a type of what would happen on a large scale would be crowned and complete if he could manage if all our carts were carriages, and all our donkeys to discover where Cæsar landed on the coast of were converted suddenly into horses of the sun. Britain, or where Hannibal crossed the Alps. In

It is absolutely essential to the welfare of the com- literature, in commerce, and in study the same law munity that it should be able to employ largely in obtains. The mass of our contemporaries, without its service men and women who are contented to knowing it, are all wearing out their powers conlive and die in obscurity, and to maintain through- tentedly and usefully, very much as the children of out their course an unambitious humble pace. The Israel in Egypt, in Mr. Poynter's famous picture in misfortune would be incalculable if every banker's this year's Academy, may be seen toiling away unclerk were seized with the noble desire of arriving der the weight of an enormous Sphinx that is being at the dignity of a Cabinet Minister, or if every vil- carried to its pedestal. An ancient historian relage curate dreamt at night of future lawn. One lates the effect produced upon an Oriental king by of the most distressing and useless spectacles that a little circumstance that happened when the last can ever be witnessed is the sight of a man whose massive stone of a temple was hoisted into its place. natural powers are more limited than his ambition, One of the obscure drawers, who had painfully and who can neither go by steam, nor content him- spent his strength under the burden, at the end self with going like the donkey that he is. Happily heaved his life out in a great sigh. Any one who the spectacle is an exceptional one. Though no ra- chooses to look round him in the world will see the tional being is devoid of the instinctive wish to rise same kind of sight everywhere. Thousands seem a little above the level on which he starts, as a rule to live and die in the harness of uneventful routine. a little rise is all that we desire, as it is certainly all | The intellectual edifices which our children are desthat we deserve. The consequence is that the work tined to enjoy will have been raised for the most is done well and evenly. Most people acquiesce in part, not by steam, but by donkey power. the view of the Catechism that there is a particular Nowhere is this more evident than in the story of sphere for which they are born and to which they those amongst us who devote themselves consistentmay be said to have been called, and cheerfully ly to what is called “doing good.” A life of profesadopt in practice the view with which it is desira- sional philanthropy has, for those who embrace it, ble that they should be impressed. The world's a variety of little pleasures. There is a certain private soldiers are content never to become officers, amount of fussiness and restlessness about it which and the ensigns and lieutenants are aware that they cheers and animates the philanthropic donkey while will not live to command an army or even a brig- he plods along his weary way. It would be a grave ade. Everybody thus falls early in life into a set- injustice to assert that philanthropists of the best tled groove, and spins quietly down it at the sort are as inferior to other people in mental qualiminimum rate required of him by his superiors, well ties as they are often superior to them in singleness knowing that to spin faster would disarrange the of aim and self-devotion. Many noble natures have machine and do no earthly benefit to himself. Per- dignified, and many noble names been inscribed haps one of the best instances of that happy hum- upon, the dull roll of professional philanthropists. drum work to which we owe a great deal, and about But there is, on the other hand, a considerable which we hear very little, is the laborious industry portion of the work of philanthropy which is generof the clever and often learned men who compile ally done, and which can indeed only be done well, catalogues of the documents stored up in our public by donkey power. The results attained seem in offices. Reading and indexing old records and general to be so enormously out of proportion to the charters, none of which perhaps are of any positive labor given, that a man of great genius or intellectinterest to the readers, is an employment to which ual activity would be soon discouraged. The duty numbers of people give up their existence. Those of sitting day by day in a sick-room, for example, who are so employed must be accurate, painstaking, is one of the most hopeless and painful duties to and methodical. The occupation is one that brings which any rational being ever can devote himself. little fame or emolument with it, and it takes the | There are some excellent men and women who do whole lives of many men to produce a catalogue little else for years. The task of visiting the poor, which the student tosses by carelessly after consult- especially in country places, is another task which ing it, without thinking once of all the pains that is as distasteful, and as apparently devoid of any bave gone to make it. If the demon of restless am-positive fruit. bition got loose among them, it is difficult to believe Yet there are those who have dedicated themthat they could be satisfied with building up slowly, selves to the mission, dreary as it is, and who go on and brick by brick, some monument of dull erudi performing it from day to day with praiseworthy tion, which when it is finished will never bear their zeal, and with a freshness of spirit which to others names, or bring them the least posthumous renown. who play a more stirring part in the world appears In some ways Providence is very kind to the book- / almost miraculous. The parson or the doctor who, worm and the compiler. It gives him after a while in the wilds of a provincial neighborhood, slaves at a fictitious excitement and interest in his own la- this sort of occupation sacrifices something for it. bors. Men become intoxicated with the dust of old He falls in the rear of the intellectual movement of libraries and musty manuscripts, just as the opium- his time. He has not leisure to follow the latest eater is carried by the fames of his narcotie into a discoveries of science. He knows nothing of the special and unreal world of his own, into which new ideas which have been carrying his professional no one else can enter. Even if they observe that colleagues a hundred miles ahead of him during the the world half despises them for all the benefits hours that he has been standing still over the bedthey do it, they are content to think that it is the sides of the poor. He never perhaps advances a world, and not themselves, which is the victim of step beyond the theology or the nostrums of his hallucination.

| fathers. Gradually, as far as his mental powers are



concerned, he sinks into the unen viable condition of usefully employed in modulating the steam por a fruit or a vegetable. If he is a parson, his ser- of the philosophers to suit the donkey power of d mons grow every Sunday longer and more deadly rest. Gradually and slowly donkey power brita dull. Educated people can scarcely listen to him up the train towards the edge of the formides with tolerable patience. If he ever emerges from precipice. There is no excitement and no alira his obscurity on to the public stage, he is very till just at the last moment there is a little pull, ar." likely to commit some intellectual folly, to denounce the community which was at the top finds itself a some book that he has never read and could not un- the bottom. Nobody is at all frightened, and derstand, to protest against the heresies of some donkeys, after a moment of surprise, begin feeding High Church Bishop or some Broad-Church philos- peacefully again on the grass that grows unde. opher of whose tenets he is profoundly incapable to neath. The reason that so little harm has been judge, or to sign some memorial which is got up by done is due entirely - though sceptics may refre the Philistines of a country district. His long de to see it to the fact that the descent has been a votion to practical matters has made him the equal proached at a sober pace. People have had time in all intellectual matters of his own church-war- to weigh the real advantages of the fall, and to pero dens, or of the ladies of his village clothing club. vide against all possible dangers. And wben i And if, instead of being a parson, he is a doctor, comes, they accept it without resentment, witbor his lot would only differ in unessential points. He any undue reluctance, and without a burning sense would still be drugging and bleeding away in the of antipathy to those who have led them to it. I most approved fashion of the ancients. Newer cannot be said that this is not a great advantage to lights would not have penetrated to his consulting the social body, and the credit of it ought to be room; and he would be as far behind his London given to those to whose steadiness and even tardi contemporaries as if he were a Galen, or an Hippoc- ness of pace the advantage is partly due. rates with gold-headed cane. The good and seri- The benefits conferred by donkey power on the ous work which such men do in their day is the world of letters are not less conspicuous. Thought direct result of donkey power. Had they gone by less persons are in the habit too often of forgetting steam, their fortunes would be very different. The how much donkey power it takes to make the literparson might have been either the hope or terror of ature of a country or the journalism of a country his Church; be would perhaps have risen to the worth anything. No first-rate book would ever be eminence of a party champion, or of a leader of written unless it had been preceded by a series of theological thought. He might have lived to throw dull ones, out of which the genius of the great ausome light on the difficulties of his age, - have dis- thor has been able to gather materials for his purcovered some new manuscript, or have destroyed pose. Perhaps no modern work gives one a more some old-fashioned illusion. The doctor might, in complete example of what literary genius is like than like manner, have invented either a new disease or a Gibbon. But Gibbon is, after all, only a brilliant new operation, and in either capacity have contrib-analysis of the obscure labors of men whose work uted to the march of science and the permanent wel in the world was over as soon as they had furnished fare of mankind. What they have done instead has Gibbon with stuff to work on. The old chroniclers been nobly and worthily done; but their work, how- and monks, whose very names only survive, as far ever honest, could only have been done by donkeys. as our ordinary knowledge of them goes, in his witty

There is no branch of human affairs in which notes, were his hewers of wood and drawers of wadonkey power may not be seen performing the same ter. Poetasters in every age lived, and fatigued the humble mission. Politics and literature are as much ears of their contemporaries, for the sole end of fur indebted to it as philanthropy and religion. Poli- nishing a future writer of consummate power with tics perhaps may be taken as one of the happiest a stray line on which-to base an hypothesis or per. instances of the success of the combination of the haps merely an illustration. Theologians of feartal donkey engine and the steam engine. Great dulness and prolixity spent years in writing musty changes in the political arena are never so prosper- folios, some one passage of which alone accidentally ously achieved as when they are the effect of a sat- becomes of use for an epigram or an historical alluisfactory compromise between the two. So far from sion. Donkey power has produced the block, forbidding the banns between them, we ought to though steam has fashioned it at last into its lasting thank heaven upon our knees that both exist, and form. Whoever else is ungrateful to donkey power, are apparently destined to exist together to all | literary men have no business to be so, and their time. If the world were only governed as Plato | best thanks are due to the voluminous and patient and M. Comte wished, by philosophers, changes slaves of the lamp whose very inferiority and want never would be stable, and everywhere revolution of brilliancy has made them of inestimable use to of thought would lead to a reaction. As it is, great mankind. changes are accomplished by a regular law, the results of which are far more satisfactory. Some twenty or thirty years before the final plunge is

SILCOTE OF SILCOTES. taken, steam power begins to shoot ahead with

BY HENRY KINGSLEY, startling velocity. The philosophers who sit on the AUTHOR OF “RAVENSIOE," " THE HILLYARS AND THE BUKTONS," ETC. engine whistle, the enthusiasts who feed the furnace scream, and if steam had everything its own way,

CHAPTER XLVII the machine would be over the declivity at railroad

THE PLENIPOTENTIARY ARRIVES AT TURIN. pace. But once over, the less active portion of the As they four drove into the court-yard of their community would be dissatisfied at the abrupt tran- linn at Turin, in their roomy hired carriage, they sition into which they had been so abruptly hurried. saw a reeking horse having his saddle taken off, and They would forever be endeavoring to retrace their a tall black-whiskered gentleman in a large cap, whio steps, and to resent the force which dragged them talked consequentially with the landlord. over. Instead of this undesirable condition of “Hallo!” said Arthur. “ Here is some one things, the twenty or thirty years are at present travelling in the old style. There will be a swell

« PreviousContinue »