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TICKLER.

So must it be with all men—to their grand climacteric.

NORTH.

Does he long for those pleasures which fortune may give ? Then he looks into that future which is still under the dominion of fortune.

TICKLER.

Does he desire that good which depends upon himself-his own achievements, his own virtues? He will look into that future which he can fill with his powers, because, Hal, and Kit, there is no reality there to give him the lie. But in the present he meets with many things to make him sing small-and for my single self, gents, I confess, that though six feet four on my worsteds, on looking back on the Timothy of the past, he seems diminished to his head, a Pech among the pigmies.

NORTH.

Then think, my excellent young friend, that all present action tends to the future. It springs up and ripens in the future. In itself the present is nothing; it is subservient only to the years to come.

TICKLER.

Alas! alas! North-methinks-me feels-that my whole life has been but a disconnected series of broken fragments.

NORTH.

So oft do I. But in the presence of this eaglet here, my youth is momentarily restored, and like a swan, whose plumage, though tempest-proof, is yet softer than the snow, I seem to have alighted from some far-off clime on the bosom of a pellucid stream, winding away from its source among the mountains, till the region around grows magnificent with forest-woods.

Said you, sir, a swan ?

TICKLER.

NORTH.

No sneers, sir; original sin never seems so baleful as in a sneer. Adam did not sneer till long after the fall. Not till he had outlived both remorse and penitence, did the old sinner grow satirical.

TICKLER.

I meant no offence, and ask your pardon.

NORTH.

Granted. We speak of man, my dear Timothy, as discontented, and revile him, because, when the time of enjoyment is come, he still looks, as before, into the future. Why, I say to you, Hal, that is the nobleness of his nature. He is a being of action; and every step of his progress only discovers to him wider and farther regions of his action lying outstretched before him, still or stormy as the sea.

TICKLER.

I wonder how many thousand times, during our innumerable Noctes, you have taken in vain the name of Neptune.

NORTHS

It don't matter. Yes, my fine young fellow, man can measure the present, but he always feels that on the present the unmeasured future rests. To him, a being of powerful and ever-enlarging action, the hour ministers to the years. In the moment he thinks for eternity!

TICKLER.

You have proved your point, Kit. Man's real action, you have shown, and well too, even eloquently, by its own necessary tendency and nature, carries the mind into unreal futurity. What say you to all this, younker?

I listen with delight.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

NORTH.

Once carried into the future, are there not reasons enow why the mind should believe in impossibilities? What shall bind down its belief? It seeks enlargement. Here, in this waking work-day world of ours, we are humbled in our will. It is subjected not predominant. But from that thraldom we take refuge in the free unbounded future. There we can feel our virtues without our frailties; there we can exert our powers unfettered

by our weaknesses; there we can mould even the capriciousness of fortune and the course of events to our will; there we can act and command success; there we can wish, and sure is the consummation; there are we lords indeed of our own life and our own destiny; and there may we sit on gorgeous thrones of state, overshadowed by immortal laurels.

Cut.

TICKLER.(To Hal aside.)

NORTH.

Thus the mind for its own wilful gratification, my dear young friend, overleaps impossibility; it has power given to it over the future-it uses it lavishly for its own delight-and in the intoxication of

TICKLER (Sotto voce.).

Yes-cut to a moral. NI

NORTH.

What? what if this be carried to excess? Yet is it to a certain degree unavoidable-and I fear not to say to you, Hall, necessary; for the knowledge of that which will be, would often crush the heart with its own worthlessness and impotence. The knowledge of that which is possible, would be premature, and blighting wisdom.

TICKLER.

Dangerous doctrine, North, thus infused into the ardent spirit of an enthusiastic youth.

NORTH.

No-safe and salutary. Let the young heart, I say, strive awhile with impossibilities; and do the utmost for itself that nature will permit. It is only by hoping beyond nature, that it can ever reach at last to the utmost grandeur of nature.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

Yes, sir; thus may it be said that the soul's first reason for hoping beyond possibility is the force of its own great desires.

TICKLER."

As the old cock crows, the young chick

NORTH.

ight

Aye, Hal; and the second, my dear lad, is its-Ignorance. For how should it know these limits? That is what it has yet to learn. It ay err as much in anticipating as in overlooking them; it may imagine in possibilities where they do not exist. It may yield to difficulties which i have overcome. The future, oh ! thou enlightened lad! is, in the truest sense of the word, uncertain; for not only are the events which dealt to us unknown, but, Hal, the measure of our powers is ur determined, till we exert them; they are greater or less by our own act ; and by that mystery of mysteries, our own free will.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

It makes me happy, sir, to hear you own that creed.

NORTH.eb

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It makes me happy, Hal-for I loved your father-to see that thy soul, my dear boy, is alive to-Admiration.

What do you mean, old man?

TICKLER.

NORTH.

Admiration, Timotheus, is an act of the understanding; but of the understanding acting in concert with various emotions.

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I do indeed devoutly trust that my mind will never be induced to think and feel on the principle of "Nil admirari.”

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It does my heart good to look on the open and glowing countenance of a youth with thy endowments, Hal, about to start on the career of rejoi cing life. Vividly dost thou feel now, my son, that man is a being placed in the midst of a system ordained by divine wisdom and goodness, inhabit

ing a world full of wonder and beauty, which in every part is indeed but a manifestation to human sense of the wisdom and goodness in which it was made. When, therefore, he opens the eye of his understanding to receive the impressions that will flow in upon him from all surrounding things, from works so framed it is that all these impressions come.

Beware of preaching, Kit.

TICKLER.

NORTH.

But to fit him for such contemplations, Hal, are given him, not only senses to perceive, and intellect to comprehend, but the faculties of delight and admiration, without which sense and intellect were vain.

TICKLER..

Are you, sir, the author of the Natural History of Enthusiasm ?

NORTH.

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I wish I were. This is the source from which the nobler delight of knowledge springs-admiration blending in all unpolluted, unperverted minds, with the impressions of sense, and the workings of intellectual power-a spirit, my son, which may it live vivid and inviolate in thy bosom to thy dying day!

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

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As I am sure, sir, it will in yours and glorify to your closing eyes the last setting sun.

NORTH.

Good lad. He, Hal, who resolves by powerful agencies the combinations of bodies, and forces their elements to discover themselves to his sight; he who lays bare with delicate anatomy the structure of an insect's wing; and he who compasses and scans in thought the motion of worlds; he, too, who surveys the soul of man with all its passions and powers, and learns to observe the laws of the moral world, all are led on by the same wonder blending with their knowledge; the admiration of beauty and of wisdom exalts their intelligence, and science, poetry, and piety, become one, in that mood which makes us feel our connexion with our native heaven.

TICKLER.

You must be the author of the Natural History of Enthusiasm.

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WeI am-and of the Saturday Evening two noble productions. Who, Hal, heard the deeds of his country's heroes told in the rudest simplest phrase Who has ever read the tale of some gallant crew sailing on bold discry through unknown seas, or of humble good men, cheerfully bearing a yard lot, contented while they could impart wisdom, virtue, or succour under hard necessity to the wants of others? Who has ever contemplated high qualities of any kind in the minds of his fellow-men, and not known as you have, my bright boy, many million times-that emotion of admiration with which the mere conception of excellence is formed, and that transport of sympathy and love which attends it?

YOUNG GENTLEMAN. Hve

'Tis kindled now, sir, by your noble words, Z===Q]

NORTH"

Yes, Hal, with no other spirit leading you along but your mind's generous admiration, you feel, I know you do, the transport of affection towards one and then towards another of those great creatures whose works have guarded their memory from oblivion. Now towards some sage who forsook the splendours of this world to devote his soul to the meditative discovery of truth, and his life to imparting it in his precepts for the instruction of dark and bewildered men; now towards some warrior, whose great soul sustained the fortunes of his country on his single arm, and whose courage and achievements were equal to the weight laid upon them; now to him whose genius reared temples and statues ennobling the land, or whose voice sung the deeds to which the land had given birth; now to some mighty ruler, who swayed the spirits of a fierce intractable nation by the wisdom of his controlling will; now to some lawgiver, who left theim press of his own mind on that of his people; now to some sufferer in a

VOI.. XXXI. NO. CXCIII.

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righteous cause, who counted his life nothing in comparison with that pure good for which he cheerfully resigned it; to all these, thou, O Hal, dost give, by turns, thy love and the transport of thy desire, because to all does thy soul give its passionate admiration.

TICKLER.

Now, draw your breath, and permit me to attempt a slight sentiment. It is by this principle, North, that examples have their power. They are pictures that speak to admiration, and, through admiration, call upon all the powers of the awakened and uproused spirit.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

"Ecquid in antiquam virtutem, animosque viriles,

Et Pater Æneas, et avunculus excitat Hector."

TICKLER.

"Tu longe sequere, et vestigia semper adora."

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

Poets are the guardians of admiration in the spirits of a people.

Good.

NORTH.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

Their songs, sir, emblazoning heroic achievements, and memorizing the spirit of lofty thoughts, make virtue a perpetual possession to the race.

Good.

TICKLER.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

Thus such actions can never die. They continue to shine brighter and brighter through the golden mist of years.

Bad-and borrowed.

TICKLER.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

The power of this spirit, to whatever influences a nation may be subject, still survives to it, through all changes; the spirit of the greatness of departed time living in its perpetual admiration.

TICKLER.

I am beginning to get sick of the word.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

See what wealth, sir, we possess at this hour, gathered from all ages, nations, and tongues, of the greatness that has ennobled our race! What should we be without it? It is now lifted up above the region of passion, purified by Death and Time, even as the heroes of the old world were changed into stars.

[Silver Time-piece smites eight-Enter PICARDY, switching his Tail-Tea
Tea, and Coffee Tea, with mountains of Muffin.]
NORTH reclines on his Tiroclinium-TICKLER takes the Chair-and YOUNG
GENTLEMAN is promoted to TIMOTHY's small settee.

NORTH.

You have thrown much" green light," as Ossian says, Hal, on those two powerful principles of human nature, Hope and Admiration.-What have you to say, my imaginative moralist, on Desire and Aversion?

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

I scarcely feel prepared, sir, to speak on such themes.

TICKLER.

How should you? North has lugged them in by head and shoulders, having crammed himself with Seneca and Cicero, and being desirous to shew off-so, with permission, I shall don my nightcap.

[TICKLER mounts his Kilmarnock, and lies back, composing himself for sleep.

Pray waken me, my boy, should I snore so as to render you two mutually inaudible.

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TICKLER.

And, for goodness sake, release Gurney. I would not that you should expose yourself, Kit, before the public. But to be sure nobody now reads the Noctes.

Nor the Waverley Novels.

NORTH.

TICKLER.

Well, proceed, old Proser-I am prepared.

NORTH.

Desire and Aversion, Hal, are the two most general affections of the mind towards good and evil, and are the proper opposites to each other. Desire being the inclination of the mind towards any good, which is not absolutely possessed; and Aversion the disinclination of the mind towards any evil, with which it is in any degree menaced.

Who ever doubted that?

TICKLER.

NORTH.

Not you; for you never knew it till this moment-nor wiser men.

Indeed!

TICKLER.

NORTH.

In deed you have always exemplified it; but you have never been conscious of it in thought-for, Tickler, you are no metaphysician.

Are you?

TICKLER.

NORTH.

Yes. The habitual use of the term, Desire, in our metaphysical language, to describe certain principles of our nature, as the desire of power, the desire of esteem, the desire of knowledge, and so on, has led, my dear Harry, in some degree, to a partial conception of its true character.

Has it, sir?

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

NORTH.

Dr Brown, in his Moral Philosophy, ranks all these principles as prospective emotions, and calls their opposite, Fears. But as principles of feeling, they may be affected towards the past, the present, or the future. I do not know why the pain with which an ambitious man looks back upon his disappointment, is to be separated in speculation upon the mind, from the desire which accompanies his expectation. Both belong equally to one pain, to which time is indifferent; and therefore all these principles, such as ambition, love of glory, &c. ought to be considered under some title which is generic as to time, and includes past, present, and future.

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

Dr Brown proceeds, I believe, sir, on a theory that the Desire is first, and that the Pleasure is only felt because there has been Desire, and it is a gratification of it, sir.

NORTH.

You say well-He does. But can you imagine a desire that is independent of the pleasure felt?

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

I cannot, sir. But I can easily conceive that a very slight degree of pleasure felt may give occasion to very strong Desire, from the capacity of the soul, sir, to bring infinite multiplications of a small pleasure into its imagination, and so to frame Desire without end. Prodigious, indeed, seems to be the soul's capacity of Desire; but I humbly think, sir, that it must always begin from pleasure or pain actually experienced.

TICKLER.

Are you positive, young gentleman, that you know the meaning of what you have now said?

YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

No, Mr Tickler, I am not positive-I said " I humbly think.”

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