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parlour in your surcoat, and cloak, and muffler, contemplating, most mournfully,
THE FIRE. the cold-looking grate and colder hearthstone, which Sally keeps scrubbing and
“ Thus sitting, and surveying thus at ease
The globe and its concerns, I seem advanced rubbing for at least a quarter of an hour,
To some secure and more than mortal height, and then anxiously watching the provoking That liberates and exempts me from them all. process of ignition, which the match, and the brown paper, and the bit of dirty dipped
While fancy, like the finger of a clock, candle, help to awaken for the benefit of
Runs the great circuit, and is still at home.”
CowPER. your frozen shins. If you look out at the windows, there goes the lusty, purple-faced If you are alone, like me, in a bachelor's milkman, with his tin copper-edged vessels, house of a winter's evening, how will you looking more like frigometers than any enjoy your fire! With its ruddy countething else ; and now and again you hear nance and its flaming top-knot, it seemeth the ringing of some area bell, and the mo- like some cheerful friend just seated near nosyllabic cry of his calling,—“milk." you, administering a flash or two to light Over the way, you see the hardy, sturdy up your darkness, and a little of warmth to little housemaids whitening the steps at the soften down the iciness that may have endoor, or reddening the flagged hall, or with crusted your feelings. A religion of fireflannel rag brightening up the brass plates light seizeth the soul ; you make a holoand the knockers; and some of them ac- caust of your cares as well as of your coals, tually enjoying a bit of Airtation with some and let them alike brighten into a blending Aour-faced, four-coated statuary of dough. of gladness. In a word, the various relaAnd with bag on his back, of smoky green, tions for which I hold my fire dear to me, you observe the black-eyed, black-haired, I am not in the vein (the truth is, I am not Roman-nosed Jew, tramping along with eloquent enough) to eulogise according to steady tread, his sharp eyes on the sharp their deserts. Suffice it to say, they are look-out for “a take" of old clothes, from beyond praise of mine. the numerous lodging-houses round about. Many are there who, in the moments of How shall I ever forget his sepulchral, his solitariness, undertake to "build castles" deep, his intra-thoracic and prolonged cry in the fire ! Certes, one may seem does of Old Clo'?” Did you not recognise his see, in red and burning outline, semblances avocations, you would think it was “Old of structures, castellated or otherwise ; semCloe,"—the lament of a distempered brain. blances of machinery, of trees, of aniOh! all is cold, cheerless, and dismal for a mals ; nay, often perhaps have such sem. long, long half hour or three-quarters—aye, blances proved to be happy suggestions ; or an hour. At length, the toast (and de- red hot hints, caught up at once by the silightfully made toast it is) appears, with I lent student—the solitary artist ; red hot the cold ham ; (for London eggs are very stimuli to bis inventive faculty. And here, suspicious ; you don't know how, or by let no one turn up the sceptical nose, for, what, or where, or when they were laid,) let it not be forgotten, that Leonardo da then the tea, which is of tolerable sloe- Vinci scorned not to catch a design from leaves enough, sends up its agreeable in the hearth, and was used to frequent old cense, and the chalk and water (the “milk" ruins for the purpose of observing the stains of these streets) you pour into it for the of centuries, the grand but frequently gropurpose of making it sky-blue, and, perad tesque frescoings, the pictatorial allegories venture, also to "correct,” as the doctors of Time upon the walls. These aided his say, "the acidity" which your nightly wine, notions of design, taught him a freedom of or gin, or imitation whiskey, or Anderton's foliage or drapery, taught him the “quasi ale, or all together, may have engendered in per accidens” touches we admire so much your Irish stomach. But, after all, you in the works of the best artists; in short, merely snap at a breakfast; the cab is at the fire-side was his studio alternately with the door, and you must be off for the train. the ruin. Thus things intrinsically trivial This rising early in winter is a great nui- will arrest the attention. Again, was there sance, particularly if you have to travel. not somebody, I forget who, that took a May it be long again till I have occasion hint of hydraulics from his—what, I ask to disensheet myself as I did on that bitter you ?—in good sooth, from his tea-kettle ! morning.
But I am not of these pyro-plastic en
thusiasts; these fine-flashing hints I never began to think no more about it, till one could avail myself of, for the due cultiva- day I attended the funeral of * tion or furtherance of an art. In my tea- who was buried in this very graveyard. I kettle, I could never see anything but a remembered at once the adventure upon coming event which awakeneth palateable viewing the old church ; but what did I recollections. As for old ruins—but first find the apparitions to be that startled me listen to the hints, the only hints that I almost to death? Stains uncouth patches could ever take from their walls. Once of stains upon the walls ! Leonardo da about midnight, I was passing one of these Vinci found not such lessons from stains, I architectural relics—'twas that of a church promise you, as I did. in a grave-yard, dropping there into its If I cannot speculate on my fire as others own grave. "I was alone—the night win- may do and have done on theirs, still, when try, the moon showing a cold, consumptive, seated comfortably, I can enjoy it to the deadly disc, and struggling to look amiable full as well as the monarch his kingdom. in the midst of its melancholy hectic. The “horse" standing by me with a card The dampness, and the chilliness, and the cloth thrown over it, I regulate the heat to exhalations of vegetable, maybap of animal any degree of Fahrenheit I please ; yes, decay too, taken in connection with the the“ horse,” for 'twas a contre temps to have sickly moonlight, had, as it were, en- furnished my house in summer, forgetting tered my pores, and thrilled through my thereby to purchase fire-screens ; and Joheart the dreariest, deadliest of feelings. I hanna would lend me her “ horse" to supam painfully susceptible of such impressions; ply the deficiency, Mayhap you have no this was the time I could be most so. I am idea of Johanna's horse? Then know that not a believer of all that may be told of her " horse,” though wooden, hath by no the nightly resurrections of the dead; but means the form or stature for which the I am a believer of the doctrine that a Trojan colossus was celebrated. It is something can appear, let it come from the merely a framework, the which your sumgrave or beyond the grave. No wonder mer moleskins or Russias, or your winter then that a feeling of awe should creep over drawers do bestride, and whereupon they me as I approached the ruin; no wonder take their seasonable, solstitial airings unthat my eyes should be strained with “ the der the sunshine of heaven, or before that faith that is in me.” They fell upon the of the laundry fire. Well, with this beside ruin. Heavens ! how shall I forget my me, cosily do I sit or rather sink in my suffering at that moment! Within the ruin high-backed elbow chair-I am a Kingthey were; these eyes saw them distinctly my kingdom is my fire. there-apparitions indubitably they must be; these eyes saw them move, saw them beckon at me! An icy clamminess, like an inner garment, enclothed me; my teeth
Let inter-tropic climates boast at first chattered convulsively, then I became
Of melting rays that pierce and roast,
Where white men would require lock-jawed, my knees refused ecen to totter That Phæbus should, with downy snows, any longer, my heart-pulse sunk deep, Just feather all the shafts he throws deeply within me, I lost sight of every- From out his quiver dire. thing- I reeled, I fell. How long I lay on
In heat of lucre, still they bear
All other heat such climates wear ; the road I have no recollection; but, as
Nor have they such desire soon as I rallied, I essayed to get up, and As I, enthroned in elbow chair, finding I had strength enough to hazard an A poker for my sceptre there, attempt to get home, I hurried away with My realm-a cheerful fire ! the step of a maniac. I had now got abont
II. a hundred yards, when-crack! goes a shot, and-whizz-a bullet through my very My subjects are the collier, cook, whisker! Heavens! what an escape. How The chimney sweep, (sometimes the rook are the innocent implicated in danger I
Will kindly act sans hire;)
The woodman and the turfman too, The thought struck me I was pursued as a
When town for country I eschew, resurrectionist, and with almost a racehorse
Are loyal to my fire. speed, a supernatural velocity, I fled along Their loyalty is not too dear, the road, never giving up till I reached the
Like that of which we daily hear, town, and fell breathless at my own door.
To scorn it-not admire
Whose quickening fuel but essays I said nothing of this to my friends, fearing Of kingdoms to create one blaze the imputation of cowardice, &c. &c. I An all destructive fire!
My revenue of light, whose hues
'Twixt these and those of Tyre; The Tyrian crimson- Tyrian bluePsha! what their tints to these that you
Can shed, my golden fire ?
Doth waken-doth inspire
For love-of thee my tire !
The revenue of sound I've got--
From some war-engine's gyre
And in a flash expire.
Your things of teeth and wire ?
Through polishi'd bars--my fire !
But, chief, at night, I love my throne, And love it then when I'm alone;
While I have, near, my quire
While looking on my fire;
For thought will often tire,
Or, from thy heat, my fire.
I have a horror of new clothes. In this term clothes, I include all the external articles of dress, from the hat to the gloves, from these again to the boots or the shoes. A new hat!but, stay,
-where is this manuscript?
-Ha !—I've got it. Reader, this is a manuscript I found inside the lining of my old hat. Doubtless, 'tis an antique, for the writing hath a very foxy hue, and but for the timely discovery of it, that hue would have faded into the jaundice of years, which had already settleil upon the paper-into the "sear and yellow" oblivion. But it is merely a fragment. A something went before, and a something came after, which were torn off by the illiterate hatter :-“In theese ages (what ages I can't tell you) there was spred a marvel the whych conserned the ghoste-seers of of theese countreys, (what countries I know not) lykewyse other philosoferes, for the rite understandyng thereoff. 'Twas the rumore for that certayn of theese people, the whych was yclad in the skins of theese beastes, yclept beaveres, had seene the appeerance of an anymal he murthered, the whyle he was sleepyng; and, moreover, for that the goblin did instill into bis mynde the planning and considerashin of the mechanisme, the whych hath got the style and tytel of hat since that epock. • Man furst tortured me,' saith the ghoste, and verily shall I do the torture unto hym; and for that he hath a likyng for the makyng of devyces, I shall hereby sudjest a devyce unto thee to give thee proof of dyreful hate to thy race, for, have correct understandyng that I am a hater of man,' and thus saying, the ghoste of the beavre vanished even as the myste. Now, after that thys man awaked, he bethought hym of a devyce, and straiteway contrived it accordinglie. The best tytel for it, he thought, would be “ hate,' and for his-self, the maker
Nay, Mr. Monarch Moody, nay, Come, this is selfish," you will say
“I cannot this admire. Why not forget at times to think Of that which spills such streams of ink,
On reams that light your fire?" And so I do " at times,” and quaff With trusty friend, and sing and laugh,
Or touch the “soothing lyre” To sweetly-agonizing tones-Concentered echoings of moans,
Thus seated at my fire.
thereoff, hater. Now, all thyngs have A sovereign plan hath of late been retheir mutabilities, and tongues of countreys commended to me, to lessen my sufferings will vary in their sorte ly kewyse, forasmuch on the donning of a new hat. “ Give it," as 'hate' hath been ychanged into 'hat,' saith my friend, “a shower bath; this will and • bater' nowadayes into batter.' The render flexible its spasmodic qualities, and ghoste-seers and philos — Here ab- the leaf, “a parte post,' more amenable to ruptly enough endeth the manuscript. A the natural obtrusiveness of the collar of new hat! I firmly believe the whole story. your coat. Your hat would sit easier, and The hatters are that man's successors : your head and your coat collar shall give it still do they inflict the ghost's bates (new that shape your movements have given to bats) upon mankind! And how I do, in your oldest of hats.” God bless me! d'ye an especial manner, smart and grin and say so ? said I; then shall I try the expewrithe under that portion of the misan- riment. No doubt it must be literally the thropy which at times encircleth my head, drowning of care, and the first step toward and reddeneth and blistereth my brow so that desirable change—the consummation unmercifully! More—it absolutely begets of old-hat-hood. It must be like the such kind of compression that my vision is shower which gladdens the husbandman's perturbed by spectral scintillations—the heart. Though it fall upon the hard, stiff, “malleus” maketh strange noisez upon the arid soil, yet must I have hope for all it “incus"-(my theory in opposition to all will do. I must await the softening-I the phrenologists; for what business hath must await the seedy season, when the sun a“ bammer" in the auditory economy, or shall have embrowned the harvest for the an “anvil,” unless for the due forging and sickle of old Time. fashioning of sound, on which, I take it, Then the old hat, what a luxury is it? the genii of hearing, like little vulcans, are Do—actually do what you like with it. employed in their little auricular smithy ?) How easily yielding is it to the buffet and these strange noises being echoed by the the bruize ? You are in no trouble about it. tympanous chambers, and the several soni. You can put it anywhere. It defies dust. duct labyrinths, and bruited along the It is unstainable, unless peradventure, some “portio mollis” (is it not that you call spatter of the white-washer falleth upon it. it?) to my sensitive sensorium.
And then, how loosely it slippeth on your Even supposing the absence of these head! You can never think, like the coxnuisances, I say there is another most an- comb, of an umbrella--that imbecile parnoying inconvenience in a new hat. You mula which he, indignant against the fruitcannot salute a lady after the French way ; as ful rain, impiously thrusts in the face of well might you try to take off your head as heaven. your bat. It is as a part and parcel of your A new anything gives me much concern head. Minotaur-like, you are semi-beaver- -a “ change comes over the spirit of my headed ! you must content yourself with a dream;" I feel I am periodically shuffling soldier-like salutation ; or you must do, off some of the mortal coil, when I doff a what happened to a friend of mine, P- dearly beloved bat, or coat, or other vestO'B-, keep tugging at the leaf till your ment, whose weft is of reminiscences of the thumb forces its way through the joining, past-off affections that were ; while I smile and tears it so extensively that it hangs as at the chimerical attempt to re-appear what, a trophy of your efforts at politeness, fes- in other days, you seemed to force youth toon-wise over the tip of your nose—your from the past into the present to Endyeyes, all the while, looking through the mionize yourself by an effort of imaginaunintentional ellipses with the most abashed tion—to strut out from some laboratory of vacillation of gaze. A new hai! I know the Nines, as from some expurgatory ornothing like it. Agony and a new bat are deal, clothed afresh in the seemliness of synonymous terms. The look of it too ! your spring-time. This investiture of unthere it is—its proportions stiff as though wonted integuments, alas I supposeth not 'twere made of iron-its glossiness (how the investiture of the “new man,” or the like flattery !) soft as the most impalpable divesting yourself of the “old,” no more down ! Who would think 'twas made than the gains—the accessions-assimilafor cruelty to animals ? and these animals, tions, on the one hand, and the losses-the men—"articulate speaking” men ? But rejections—the wear and tear in the animal whatever is, must be; and even new hats system, on the other, can alter your idenare, and accordingly they must be en- tity. This investiture of unwonted intedured,
guments never yet could give me satisfaction. Call it, if you will, merely the put- the ancient, degenerate, pantomimed, groting on of civilization. Granted. Civili- tesqued, -in my loose morning gown! zation hath to answer for our bad innova- Yet of this garment am I fond—so fond tions. Your civilization, good Sir, is but that I make a night gown of it also; that the refinement of accomplishments which is, like the wishing.cap of the fable, I make are meant for and directed to all evil ten- a wishing gown of it; I nightly wish mydencies. March of intellect! quotha.- self well in it. I am wont to think in it, March of balderdash, Sir. What hath this and write my thinking, and read other peoto do with a map of the proportions--the ple's thinking, till two o'clock A. M., when principalities, as it were, of the human ter- Morpheus would have me disrobe myself, ritory ?—with the geography that is par- and coaxeth me between the sheets. celled out in broad cloth? Think
that I can't think in a new coat. I am the sartorial artificers of old, the framers cramped, I am stiffened, I am a very lunaof the toga and the tunic, had less of in- tic, I am in a straight jacket. Thought tellect than our fractional homunculi—our wriggles as it were with every wriggle of great Novenarii, whose “stitch in time the body; it “works with sinuosities along” saves Nine."
No, emphatically—no, in--it is a forked lightning. I can't make dignantly-no! They scorned to bandage anything out of it that is not unsafe and a limb, to excoriate your axilla, to squeeze dangerous.
When fashion obliges you, the body. They scorned the slow bút cer- like the other butterflies, to court the suntain manslaughter of things like stays; they shine, wear your new clothes by all means; impeded not the respiratory or the diges- Autter, whirr, buzz, accomplish all imaginative functions. They left both blood and ble absurdities, and lay them on the almuscle free and disenthralled ; they made tar of perfumes in that goddess's temple. the garments to “float as wild as the But, when at home, if you want to think, mountain breezes." Ob! had I lived in get yourself into the loosest old coat you such times, how few would be my ailments can find in your wardrobe, or your morning (few-none at all!) from the infliction of gown, and I promise you a ready apparition cloth? With what pleasure could I take of “ thick-coming fancies.” my diurnal promenade" meditans nugarum 'Tis clear the ancients thought more and totusque in illis ;” and quite at ease in the wrote more than the moderns, for, their degagè unstudiedness of my drapery, like thoughts were never midwived into the Horace, I could placidly respond to any world with the corporeal throes the moderns impertinent enquiry after my health, with suffer withal. They were wrapt up in body
suariter ut nunc est." I wonder how as in mind, with the like feelings of comwould Horace, were he clad in our modern fort, the same luxury of ease.
Their dress costume, have met the puppy on the Via interrupted not the kindly, placid current Sacra. Most certainly would he have of their ideas with an uncomfortable twitchwaxed ferocious. He could not possibly have ing here, a pinching or a squeezing there; taken things “suaviter.” His dress would 'twas impossible they could have an awriness have screwed his courage to the striking of mind. Of the “ills our flesh is heir to," point. The event of the meeting would and which that second Pandora, civilization, be now enacted on our " boards” as the poured upon us, they had not the slightest “ Tragedy of the Via Sacra," and Macready perception. What did they know of corns, would strut in all the triumphant dignity of or corn-doctors, or of the corn-producing the offended Flaccus.
craft ? Had they known all this, we How I could enjoy too, as Horace did, a should not have had the peripatetics and canal trip to some of our Irish Brundusi- their lucubrations—the Aristotelians, et hoc ums, and concentrate the trifle of wit that genus omne. How could they have walked? lurketh in me, in a journal like his of my —how talked ?-how bave taken their perexcursion. Clad in habiliment like his, ambulatory notes, if their feet were tramwhat odes and episodes and epistles (I am meled in the vices of leather, if their toes not a satirist) and arts of poetry would I smarted under inflammatory callosities ? not indite! and, like Tityrus, “recubans What did they know of stays, and belts, and sub tegmine" togee, what pastorals would braces, and straps, and the constricted, conissue from my "gracilis avena ?" Alas ! fined ideas of our modern dandies and artiI have nothing for it but to fancy I have tificers of dandies ? Nothing ; they knew such covering-vainest and most untruth- nothing but the liberty of the subject in ful fancy that it is. I must enact the an. their mode of dress. Their gait was one of cient in my theatre—the bed-room; but solemnity, dignity, elegance, grace. Their's