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“pears to me impossible that their energies could ever have been “ awakened.” They were very industrious,” said the little man, “ until they had finished the building; but their activity would “ have availed them little, without the assistance of an invisible “ artizan, named • Opinion,' who lent them every possible help, and, “ I believe, made them carry the building higher than they had at “ first intended. Opinion assisted, in like manner, the inhabitants “ of the Vehicle ; shaped the Plain as you see it; and is the artificer “ of almost every thing about you.”
“ Ah!” exclaimed the little man, after a pause, “ Obedience “ would never have changed to Rebellion ; Invasion and Licentious
ness would never have come into the Plain; the Plain would never “ have shrunk up, or lost its beauty; and the Vehicle would never “ have been destroyed, or its Conductors thrown out; in short, all “ these disturbances and evils would have been prevented, if the “ Vehicle had kept within its track.” " What if it deviated by acci“ dent?" said I. By accident!" said the little man,“ by accident! “ it has no right to run on the Plain by accident-it never could by « accident." “How do you account then,” said I, “ for the disasters “ that befel the original Vehicle, which had no road to regulate its “ journey, and therefore wandered at random over the Plain, through “ want of a proper direction ?" “ There was an obscurity hanging “ about that Vehicle," said the little man," which prevented us from
observing it very accurately. Perhaps Obedience was disgusted at “ such a frightful building, or was filled with resentment at its not “ restraining itself to one part only of the Plain.” “ Can
“the reason of the Vehicle's running “ so often upon the Plain, since, instead of deriving advantage from “ such incursions, its Conductors have been often thrown from their “ seats, and it has generally been so much shaken, as not, for a long “ time, to recover its equilibrium? Does it arise fronı its wishing to “ find a better foundation than the road affords, or from some invisi“ ble and irresistible attraction in the Plain ?" “ Really I don't “ know," answered the little man.
“ How is it,” I continued, “ that the Vehicle moves upon the “ Plain, which is so rough, with greater rapidity than it does upon the “ road? Why should the Conductor, when dislodged from the pinnacle, “ always fall over the precipice behind, to his destruction, as there “ appears to be a safe and easy descent by the slope? Why should “ he not descend by the slope, as he sometimes ascends by it? And " though the Vehicle is so full of people, why should the Conductor “ be the only one ever jogged from his place?" “ Really I don't “ know," answered the little man.
I had also remarked, in the course of these troubles and transformations, which lasted many centuries, that “ Invasion” often took the Conductor's seat, after it had thrown him out; and, though it was thought to be a dreadful monster, as long as it lay concealed on the other side of the Wall, and was attacked by “ Obedience,” whenever it came into the Plain, yet, when it had succeeded in establish. ing itself in the pinnacle, it lost its terrors, and was even caressed by
me,” said I,
“ Obedience." I observed, that whenever “ Invasion" crossed the Wall, the Vehicle, finding no protection on the Plain, turned back to the road, as to its only place of security.: “Licentiousness" always accompanied “ Invasion” in its marcb; but Invasion, as soon as it had taken its seat in the Vehicle, always attempted to drive out “ Licentiousness.” There was a very odd delusion which prevailed with respect to the Plain, whenever Licentiousness came into it-it seemed infinitely larger than before, though, I was assured by the little man, it had become much smaller. It once or twice happened, I thought, that Invasion entered the Plain, by permission of Army, and by invitation of Obedience, to help them to brush out and cleanse the Vehicle. After the Vehicle had been slanted down for the reception of the people, the pinnacle dwindled in height, the Plain became larger and less barren, and the figure“ Police” was then first placed on the Wall, in order to keep out “ Licentiousness," which, claiming some kin to Army, had, on that account, never bees totally discouraged from making its inroad on the Plain. “ Pray," said I, “ why are the people disposed in the Vehicle as I see them?" The little man returned me no answer to this question.
It was about this time that the Conductor began to play with some pretty toys which occupied his whole attention. Being, therefore, unable to devote himself to the Vehicle, he employed an Assistant to guide it. As it rolled from the direction of the greatest number of people, the assistant was taken from that body, was stationed in a conspicuous place to observe what was going forward, and was desired to touch, whenever he pleased, a spring that lay under the Conductor's seat, that was connected with the wheels, and that regulated the motion of the whole fabric. I was once or twice on the point of asking the little man, if a female did not sometimes hover round that spring; but, deeming it a deception of my eyes, I thought it best to suppress the question.
Why," said I, “i should the Conductor so engage himself, as “ to make it necessary to employ the Assistant?" The little man shook his head mournfully, but said nothing.
The first thing the Assistant did, was to order a set of men that I had not observed before, to attend him. They emerged from the dust that enveloped the very bottom of the Vehicle. If I had not seen where they came from, I should have imagined, from their dismal appearance, that they had either dropped from a cloud that was pregnant with hurricane and thunder, or been shot out of some volcano. They were dressed in enormous powdered wigs, and black gowns, and wore long, gaunt, and vinegar masks. As my eyes were strong enough to pierce through every substance, I could see that their hearts were black, and that receptacle which, in other people's breasts, was inhabited by a little sensitive figure, called Conscience, was in their's vacant. They held under their arms prodigious folios, which were written in an uncouth dialect, and which, the little man told me in a whisper, were, in one respect, like the sybil's books, as if all were burnt but one, that one could contain as much as all. They talked very loudly and volubly, and made use of so many unintelligible phrases and circumlocutions in expressing themselves, that full half
an hour had elapsed before I could make out, that it was impossible to understand the meaning of the oracular gibberish they uttered. The most frequent word in their mouths was Law.”
Part of these people were employed by the Assistant to blind “ Obedience," and the Conductor, by throwing dust into their eyes; and part to fill up the chasms in the Plain with their books. The Plain being thus smoothed for the Vehicle, it ran, for some time, with wonderful ease upon it; but Obedience soon after recovering his sight, the books instantly vanished, the Plain became rougher than ever, and, before the Vehicle could regain the road, the Conductor, with his Assistant, were shaken out of their seats, and dashed to pieces down the precipice.
After one or two disasters of this description, it was found to be so dangerous to drive the Vehicle on the Plain, that all other Assistants studiously confined it to the road, and contented themselves with exercising their ingenuity to improve it, not by cutting away those parts that were cumbersome and ugly, but by adding gilt and plaister to hide them, and by hanging on it a quantity of fine and almost imperceptible wheels, which, instead of aiding, only grated against, and obstructed the others, and colored formerly the problem that had puzzled me of its irregular progress in its track.
During this period, the Plain, by degrees, recovered its verdure, until it became as beautiful as when I first beheld it.
“But you would like,” said the little man to me, “to have a bet“ ter view of the two bodies of people in the Vehicle ?
Throwing my eyes towards the middle body, I saw every one fast asleep; but, in the larger body, there was such a confusion, that it quite distracted me. I saw some hugging and some beating blacks --some eating what I took to be sand, but which the little man assured me, upon his honor, was East India Sugar--some reading out of bibles and other holy books, and preaching forbearance, and yet flying into outrageous passion, if contradicted--they resembled invisible ink, as their characters were not discovered to be black, until they were heated. I saw one kissing donkeys, dogs, pigs, and other beasts-another covered all over with what I conceived were hieroglyphics, but which I afterwards found were calculations--I saw some with rolls of paper. ten miles long, with pictures of cart-whips and slaves, and with millions of names upon them in the same hand-writing--- I saw a number of blythe, merry, chubby-faced fellows, who, the little man said, were called Ines, figbting with vehement, angry, tempestuous fellows. “Aye,” cried the little man joyfully, “ I was one of those---there vir“ tue sits, and patriotism, and honor, and disinterestedness, and con“tempt of money, and
As the little man was proceeding in his speech, I heard an universal clatter around me, and looking towards the Wall, I observed “Army,” which had long drooped from inactivity, pricking up its ears, and betraying several tokens of anxiety to jump upon the territory beyond. The little man, too, of a sudden, began to caper in the air, and expressing in his face as much joy as it could contain, hallo'd “ Peninsula,” so loudly, that the noise awoke me.
TO A YOUNG FRIEND,
THE ONLY CHILD OF HER PARENTS.
Has drawn a circle round thee,
No evil thing to wound thee;
Nothing but bliss has found thee.
That seems to make thce holy ;
Worshipped in gladness solely;
With worldly melancholy.
META PIIYSICS OF FASHION.
Si quis nunc quærat, quo res hæc pertinet ? illuc:
-Uter est insanior horum ?
What in the name of Phaeton is this vehicle rolling quickly along St. James's Street-its shapeless leathern hood made after the model of one of Dr. Birkbeck's cures for a smoking chimney, intended to turn, like a well-trained husband, its deaf ear to the storm--so humble in its construction as almost to perform the office of scavenger by sweeping the street, looking like a sledge, or a baker's barrow? Who inhabits this shell? Which of the Linnean vermiculi is shrouded in the interior of this univalvular locomotive conch-this Long Acre nautilus? Why it is positively nothing after all but a cabriolet. See, it pulls up with a sudden full-stop check; the boy groom hastily dismounts from his lodgment, where he might with truth have complained, like the gentle bird of old which found no rest for the sole of its foot. The inhabitant creeps out, like a duckling from its shell, or like a seed from its pod, or like the bright Aash of the eye of an Albanian beauty from the recesses of her dark hood! What is the creature like? Very much like a man of five feet ten high; plainly clad in a blue frock coat, a black silk neckcloth, dark colored, somewhat close fitting trowsers, tightly confined under the foot, nothing extraordinary or extreme, simple—nothing for description, nothing in the exterior even for L. E. L. to fall in love with. But mark the proud glance of his eye, the manly independence of his step, his air, and manner- What is he? a Man of Fashion.
Well, then, who can this be ambling an old English thorough-bred horse along the Champs Elysees? His method of equitation ultramilitary; his legs inflexible, something like a pair of tailors' shears across a goose handle; his gay colored coat, small and shapeless, a
mere tailor's remnant; his party-colored waistcoats in endless folds of radiance, like skeins of pattern silks, a mantua-maker's Iris around his neck; his apology for a hat, looking as though he had plotted economy in his purchase by buying one two sizes less than a fit; his hair like a worn-out rch besom in advance of each of his ears, and then his impassable forest of whiskers, sufficient to raise the envy of every speculative chair-stuffer in Paris. Who is he? Why he is a French Man of Fashion.
Can this being claim any kindred or alliance in nature with the two former ? is he to be ranked by natural bistorians in the same order in nature ? You inay see him on the bleak barren coast of Winter Harbor in about 75 degrees north latitude; his broad and fat countenance, high cheek bones, small and deep-sunk eyes, short pug nose, large mouth, thick lips, coarse black and straight hair, his greasy tawny brown skin, are the envy and admiration of his tribe. His jacket descending as low as the hip joint, is made of the white dog or wolf skin, the fur inside next bis body; his dress breeches are distinguished from the vulgar by being of the finest bear fur, the hair side outward. Then look at his seal skin canoe, full two feet longer than any other, far or near; the handles of the paddles marvellously inlaid with bone, his knife made from the tusks of a mighty walrus he has slain, carved and ornamented. But observe his carriage, his dancing, the loudness and majesty of his voice, the style in which he bandles his fishing spear. What is he ? An Esquimaux Man of Fashion.
Nature, how general, how immutable are thy laws! how little subject to change are the great principles upon which the human mind in every state and stage is affected, is moved to joy and sorrow! All these men of fashion are actuated by one feeling, uniformly the same in its origin, uniformly the same in its results. The results--what are they? Admiration, and an ardent desire to imitate. We shall presently see the reasons of this universal effect produced from such apparently dissimilar causes; but look to the positive consequences of this pervading, evanescent, untangible influence called Fashion. In London or Paris, here is a man has gained, no matter how, the station of a leader, he is in the van of the prevailing mode; nay, he is himself the former and framer of that mode. Thousands stand aloof in reverential awe, behold his present form of existence, watch the last changes effected in his dress, bis equipage, his furniture, bis colloquial idioms. Go to any public place of resort, and if sufficient time from the last change be afforded, you will see a thousand coats squared by the same pattern as his. Like the children in Cruikshank's picture of Philoprogenitiveness, you may all swear to the father by a main feature, their legitimacy is proved beyond controversy by the length of the nose!
Have these blind followers grasped the object of their painful pursuit? are they now settled as men of fashion by the figure of their skirts ? Pshaw---Lord Velvet and Beau Broadcloth had their skirts a full inch shorter last Sunday in the Park. The former length is