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great lion being served first, then the lioness, (for royalty supersedes politeness among beasts as well as men); and then the inferior guests, from the younger branches of the blood royal, through the nobility of leopards, tigers, panthers, &c. down to the monkeys that chatter and make mops and mows all the while, like the little dwarfs and fools of the old courts. The guests not being troubled with delicate appetites and squeamish stomachs, the cates served up on the occasion are, as you may suppose, not "composed of all the delicacies of the season." On the contrary, the first course consists of bare bones,the thigh, leg, and knuckle bones of an ox-which are thrown into the dens through a small opening at the bottom in front. And when they have had time to discuss these sufficiently, and to whet their appetite upon them instead of satisfying it, they receive the meat which had been previously cut off.
I shall only notice, in particular, the behaviour of the chief guests on this occasion, lest my account of the feast should last longer than the feast itself. Nero, the great lion, who, until the sound of the gong, and the receipt of his ration, had maintained a becoming majesty of deportment, immediately descended from the centre of his gravity, and roared, growled, and flew about his den, exactly like a wild beast!-urged to this unseemly behaviour (I confess) by the irritating conduct of the man with the iron hand-who approached him to a disrespectful nearness, and pretended to be about to take away his plate before he had done with it. The consort royal (who is a beast of extraordinary personal charms, and of the most gentle manners,) conducted herself in a very different, and perhaps a no less characteristic style. When the bare bones were given to her, she took one of them (a long thigh bone of an ox) into her mouth, without touching it with her fingers as all the rest did and proceeded to march deliberately round her den with it; and this she continued to do after she had been served with the second course, of meat, and indeed, during the whole
time that the banquet lasted; as much as to indicate, to whomsoever it might concern, that she knew better what became her birth and station than to eat in the presence of observers. I confess there seemed to me a little affectation in this a little overniceness; especially as a royal cousin of hers,-a queen-duchess, who is said to partake in some of her propensities, and who at present reigns by divine right, as she used to do in her native woods by quite as good a title, namely, divine might,--does not deem it beneath her dignity to dine in the presence of her admiring subjects.
The only other personage whose conduct I shall notice on this occasion, is the elephant; and it offers a singular contrast to that of the rest of the guests. Amidst all the stir, hubbub, and turmoil that I have described above, he remains grave, silent, and self-possessed--his lithe proboscis weaving fantastic wreaths in the air outside the bars of his den, as we flourish with our finger when we are thoughtlessly thoughtful, and his huge bulk rising through the half-darkness behind, like a deeper shadow in the midst of shade. And when he of the iron hand comes to wait upon him in his turn, he still maintains the same philosophic gravity, and does every thing that he is bid with the air of one who is not afraid to disobey, but who is willing to serve since circumstances have made servitude his lot. There is in fact something extremely interesting in the behaviour of this extraordinary animal,-who seems to posess a ten horse power, only that he may exercise it with the gentleness and docility of a well-conditioned child. He obeys his keepers in the minutest particulars, and without the slightest hesitation or doubt, though his orders are issued without any change of tone or manner from that in which he is almost at the same moment addressing the spectators, or answering their question. Indeed, the elephant's natural sagacity seems to have enabled him to reach that happiest consummation at which even the human mind. can arrive-namely, the faculty of
adapting itself to the circumstances in which it is placed, and "doing its spiriting gently," whatever it may
and most important circumstance, is their choosing to indignify him with the name of Nero. This latter I hold to be low treason at the least, if not In conclusion, there are two things high. They might as well dub him a to which I decidedly object in this member of the Holy Alliance at feast; both of them appertaining to once! And to say the truth, I should the treatment of the chief partaker not object to this, if the other memof it-the great lion. The first is the bers of that august body would occaunhandsome manner in which his sionally admit him to their meetings! feelings are tampered with, by pre-But to call the king of beasts by the tending to take away his food after it name of one who was scarcely worthy is given to him, merely that he may be to be called a king of men, is a maniinduced to "exaggerate his voice," fest libel: and the Constitutional Asand roar for the recreation of the sociation should look to it. Adien spectators ;-thus depriving him of that privilege which is allowed even to convicts and felons themselves, of eating their meal in peace. The next
for the present.
Your loving Cousin,
THE PHANTOM BRIDE.
AND over hill and over plain
He urged his steed with spur and rein,
Till the heat drops hung on his courser's hide,
He longed for its wings as it fleeted by ;
And at the head was a grey cross;
And answered to his thought a sound,
Well the young warrior may fiercely ride,
Where the air came sweet from the gardens of rose; It was a large and darksome room,
With perfumed waters, from odours distilled;
He stopped his panting steed for breath;
And almost midnight's hour was come,
The wondering stranger to his bed:
And the piled wood, and left him there.
With all the loneliness and gloom
He heard no step, but still by his side
r sunken eyes gleamed with that pale blue light, n when meteors are flitting at night;
the flow of her shadowy garments' fall, as like the black sweep of a funeral pall.
She sat her down by his side at the board, And many a cup of the red wine poured; And as the wine were inward light,
Her cheek grew red and her eye grew bright :"In my father's house no more I dwell,
But bid me not, with them, to thee farewell.
But there came a Spirit and set me free,
My home is dark, my home is low,
And cold the love I can offer now;
NATURALISTS have been much puzzled to find a definition of that versatile and inconstant being, man, which will satisfactorily distinguish him from all other living species, and at the same time hit him in all his moods. There is in human nature, notwithsanding all its vaunts and pretensions, so much of the mere animal in "every shape and feature," that not all the Linnés and Cuviers in the world have been able to draw a steady line of separation. The animal bipes implumis" has long been given up as untenable, and the habits of the butcher-bird have completely knocked on the head the definition of thecooking animal." As for the "religious animal"-exclusively that some men are born without the "organ of veneration," 66 " and have no more grace than will serve for prologue to an egg and butter,-there is the praying mantis,* which possesses
* Called in France "Le prie dieu," from the circumstance of its perpetually resting on its hind legs, and erecting the fore-paws close together, as if in the act of praying: the country-people, in various parts of the Continent, consider it almost as sacred, and would not, on any account, injure it. "It is so divine a creature (says the translator of Mouffet), that if a child has lost its way, and inquires of the mantis, it will point out the right path with its paw."-Bingley's Animal Biography. 38 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.
But give me one curl of thy raven hair,
He gave the curl, and wildly press'd
And calm upon his bosom she lay, Till the lark sang his morning hymn to the day; And a sun-beam thro' the curtain shone,
As passes a shadow-the maiden was gone;
"The Devil knew not what he did when he made man politick; he crossed himself by it."-Timon of Athens.
the forms of devotion in such perfection (the only part of religion which "leads to fortune," and therefore the only part about which most of us are in earnest) that this definition " ne vaut pas le diable."
For my own part, if I was obliged to commit my reputation by hazarding an opinion upon so ticklish a point, Ï should prefer seizing upon that most prominent feature in the human character, deceit, and would define the species as being, par excellence, the
hypocritical animal." For, whatever may be advanced to the contrary, in the way of certain odious comparisons, to the disadvantage of hyenas and crocodiles, it should never be forgotten that in these cases "the lion is not the painter." If the parties concerned could speak for themselves, it is pretty certain that no hyena would have had the face to vie with Louis XVIII. when making his famous speech upon peace, which opened the Spanish war; and the arrantest crocodile that ever (to use t language of Sir Boyle Roach) "pu hands in his breeches-pocket and feigned tears," would decline we ing with a genuine widow of Ephes While all other forms and modes ar put on and off as whim, fashion, or interest dictate, man is at all times and
in all particulars, a perfect hypocrite: -a hypocrite towards God, a hypocrite towards man, nay, a very hypocrite towards himself; not trusting his conscience with a naked view of his secret wishes, nor painting even his pleasures to his own imagination in their proper colours. Of this no safer testimony can be desired, than the eternal contrast which he has established between his words and his deeds, and the pains he has taken in all ages to provide a double set of terms and phrases to express the same things as they refer to himself or to his neighbours, to abstract principle, or to practical application: insomuch that his language no less than his mind resembles those paintings done upon slips of pasteboard placed in relief, which exhibit a different picture according to every different point of view from which they are beheld. Every peculiar condition of society has its favourite sin, which it clothes in the likeness of its conterminate virtue. The merchant's avarice is parsimony, the parson's gluttony is hospitality, the great man's corruption is loyalty, and his hatred to the people, is his zeal for the king's prerogative. All this is nothing; but your genuine hypocrite, the more he is inclined to a sin, and the more he indulges his inclination, the louder and more confidently he declaims against it, just as a desperate adventurer rushes into deeper expenses, and makes a greater show of opulence, at the very moment when he has arrived at the verge of bankruptcy.
If the object and end of society be to increase the powers of the individual, to multiply his means of gratifying his propensities and inclinations, the social system is admirably constituted, as far as bypocrisy is concerned; since all its institutions seem calculated to develop the deceptive tendencies of the species, and to give the greatest scope to the individual nisus. Hypocrisy is established by act of parliament too, and, like better things, it has become part and parcel of the common law of the land. So curiously, indeed, are the most sacred and solemn objects mixed up with lackadai
sical common-places, and superficial plausibilities, that not to be a hypocrite is to lack common decency; and to call "things by their right names” is to unsettle the foundation of the world's repose. The imagined necessity for the gravity of the learned professions, has gone a great way towards generalizing the practice of hypocrisy. As soon as it becomes necessary to appear wiser or better than the mass of mankind (it being impos sible for humanity to raise itself above the condition of humanity, or for man to put off his nature, merely because he puts on a robe or a cassock), the reign of humbug commences; and from the moment that society requires a given exterior; from that moment the individual has not only a right, but labours under a necessity for wearing a mask.
The increase of human happiness which is thus created is beyond cal culation: not only in its indirect influ ence upon social order, by imposing upon that many-headed monster the people, pinning down the lower classes to their duties, and thus confirming systems which the bayonet alone could not uphold; but also in the great enjoyment it directly occasions to the dupes themselves.
There is no man, I am sure, on this side fifty, but will allow that love is at once the great business and pleasure of life, the one drop of honey mixed with its cup of gall, the 66 green velvet of the soul;" and is not this love the more delightful, the more perfect and unbroken its deceit ? The whole process of courtship is indeed, from beignning to end, one great scene of mutual hypocrisy. If it be true that the " tongues of men are full of deceits," it is not less so that "every inch of woman in the world, ay every dram of woman's flesh, is false" and so much does the pleasure of the pur suit depend upon the dupery, that the credulous fair who believes her lover's protestations, is happier than the swain who makes them; and the patient wittol, whose eyes are shut to what is going forward, and is the dupe of both parties, is out and out the happiest of the whole three.
But if lovers are thus mutually dependent on each other for administering to their respective gullibilities, and for raising those illusions which shut out the "weary, stale, and flat" unprofitability of life; the whole class of litigators are not less obliged to their advocates for the pleasures they derive from that well-acted comedy called a "law suit." What intense delight do not these good souls receive from certain grave eulogies upon that system of laws by which the Chancery Court lawyers swallow up the whole property in dispute between the parties! What "easement" do they not obtain from that simulated zeal and wellaffected sympathy with which their counsel "protest to God" that their client's case is justice itself! How edified, likewise, are even the bystanders, at the grave and moral discourses, "de omnibus rebus," &c. with which a judge charges a jury, in a case of libel, for example, and thus discharges his share of the farce. For this reason I cannot sufficiently applaud the inventors of that excellent piece of dupery, the monstrous fictions of law, which undo deeds, "making things to have been performed which never were attempted, bringing unborn children into exist ence, and considering the living as dead." Whatever other grounds of complaint there may lie against this system, it cannot be disputed, that it tends powerfully to to increase the pleasures which the litigator derives from the law's deceptions, and while it promotes the profits of the practitioner, gives the client a great deal more for his money than he could otherwise obtain.
I speak not of the comfort and advantage society derives from that organized system of hypocrisy, more despotic than the laws of the Medes and Persians, which passes current in the world under the name of politeness; because every one knows and feels its value, and is but too well pleased to possess a good excuse for hiding unpleasant truths, the avowal of which might involve the relater in a duel or a law suit.
“Chi non sa fingere, non sa vi
vere," says the Italian proverb, a text upon which Nic Macchiavel has written an elaborate commentary; but by far a better one is to be found in the grave faces of political wights, who, while they are exerting all their energies to propagate despotism and raise their own fortunes, turn up their eyes at the bare mention of this same Macchiavelli's name; and with a pharisaical demureness of the whole outward man, denounce him and his writings anti-christian and anti-social, merely for saying, what they themselves are doing every day and hour of their lives. The triumph of opinion over the sword, has made political hypocrisy more than ever necessary in the safe conduct of a state. It is the great arcanum of modern policy, and it possesses every quality which can be required in a remedy, operating in all cases citò, tutò, et jucundè
He then, who is no hypocrite, knows nothing of life, nothing of its enjoyments, nothing of its amenities, and above all, nothing of the moyen de parvenir. That there can be any vice in a practice so universal, so respected, and so serviceable to mankind, seems eminently impossible. If there were really any harm in it, can we believe that so many great princes and divines should in speeches, proclamations, and sermons, so frequently use the name of Heaven to cover their own private interests, and talk of the good of the people, at the very moment when they are adding to their miseries? If hypocrisy were a sin, should we find "Right honourable gentlemen," and "my learned friend," so often substituted, for " corrupt rascal," and "jobbing knave;" which, if we may judge by the context, is evidently in the speaker's mind?— or would high-minded men condescend to pass over "the highest quarter," and "in another place," without seeming to perceive that those words teemed with the most forbidden allusions?--No, no, esse quam videri," may do very well for a motte, but it has nothing to do with real life; except, indeed, it be used as a blind to cover a meditated fraud; and then it enters into the system, and will