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Full text of "Libellus: or, A Bried Sketch of the Kingdom of Gotham"

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/^ 



' '^.tyC^ 



} y 

V 




•^' v^v ^ .^ 




Kingdom of GOTHAM. 



Con taming Obfervations refpcBing its 

Kl?f^jPBINCEs, KOBLBSj BISHOPS, AKD T17FE- 

KTOIT sF,!?ATOBs: ITS WOI3K OF ELECTIOW ; 

THE DrRATTON QF ITS TAHLlAMElf TS * ITS 

MTNISTEISOFKTATE, JLTEaKSpAKB CTHEB 

rnorKs?OHE of thji law i cxt.itoms of 

THF,rE0PL3*l,THETllDHESSjANII AMUSE* 
MKKTS; THEm ArrBTCOLTtlBAIt BE- 
GL^LATTOKS, COMMr.HCTAl. PirHSUlTSj 
^XD THE NATURAL FlODUCTIONS 
OF THEIH CpulfTRTi TREIE 
-WIIX-MAUAGED POLICE,^^^ 
THEIH ECGLEsIAsTt- 
CAL POLITT, AXD i^ 
THETH STST:FM «Q| 
OF POLITICS, ^^ ^V-. 

.Under cover of a little FiBion, a great "^fi^^gp-'^ 
Truth may often be conveyed. 

** Far off (no matter whether Eafl or Weft, 

" A real Country, or one made in Jef!) 

" Thrre lies an f Hand, neither great nor fmall 

*^ Which, forDiflmMlon fak?, I Gotham call," 

gOLU BY J. |ORDAT»f, ie6,Fl.EET»STE*ET- 

AKJ3 W.GLEND1NNING,9,Cha»i:e^, ' 
Street, IJATTON-GA^j3|t}f| 



l\ 




For the fake of Readers ivbo are ignorant of the 
Latin Language J it may be proper to mention that the 
loordLihtWMsJignifies a little Book; in "which fenfe it 
is here made ufe of. It alfo JignifieSj in a legal fenfe 
of the uoordf A Libel. 

No-Wy though the Poet, Gay, has told us thatj 

- - - - " Lawyers can, with cafe, 
** Twift words and meanings as they pleafe." 

yet the Author thinks that the moft fubtle inftru^ 
ment of arbitrary power, -who ever entangled the 
principles of JMrifprudence 'with perwerted and 
fiphifiical explanations , -would be unable to prove that 
this JJbeUus is a Libel. He has no dread for hiso-wn 
fafety. He fears not the frouoning vengeance 'which 
may iffue from any man -whofe terrific countenance is 
tendered ftill more terrible by a modern fymhol of 
•mfdornvjith pendent ringlets bepvwdering the er mined 
r&he^or the robe ivhich refembles the fcarlet vefturc 
ef the-whore of Babylon. 






( Vv } 

One dcfigft of PubViftiing this little Hiftory, is, 

to prove, that 'where public vices, of all kinds, 

are publicly difcountenanced and rigoroufly pu- 

niihedy there -will be the greatcft enjoyment of 

National happinefs. But, however benevolent 

may be the metives of publiihing it, the fuccefs ef 

a Book is often more owing to extrinfic caufes 

than to intrinfic Merit ; either to perfonal cen- 

fare, or even fcurrilous abufe, of fome eminent 

Character, or to a judicious and fortunate choice 

of fome great Man's Name, to ferve as a Patron, 

and whom the Author ufually reprefents as a 

Paragon of every excellence, intelle6lual, moral, 

and natural. 



I refleded upon feveral who Aand high on the 

lift of Fame, but while their talents have ap- 
peared prominently confpicuous, I could only 
difcover thofe fuperior endowments applied to 
purpofes either comparatively ufelcfs orpofitively 
evil* You, Sir! appear far more entitled to 
Veneration than any of thofe whofe literary 
acquirements give their Writings a fuperiorlty 




I , 



I i 




( iv ) 

acquainted with the Contents of their Books, 
•while in Manufcript, yet I hope it will not give 
you any offence to fee your Name thus ufed to 
give fan6^ion to fome llrong outlines of Political 
happinefs : and, as a few ideas are here thrown 
out refpeBing the Police of Gotham, which may 
be adopted with probable advantage in Great 
Britain, perhaps I could not have addreffed this 
little Traft with fo much propriety to any perfon 
as to the refpeftable Author of the" Treatife on 
the Police of the Metropolis t^"* a work which every 
good Man, who reads it, mud approve, for its 
beneficial tendency ; and which None but the Bad 
can wifti had never appeared. 

Of your Political Bias I can form but a very 
imperfeft Idea ; but, from your oficial fituation, it 
feems probable that fome of the Notions herein 
brought forward may not be perfcftly congenial 
with your own. Nor Indeed can I readily find a 
public charafter who will avow his approbation of 
them. The medio tutijjimus ibis is an erroneous 



MaKim m Politics^, or %t leafl it appear;^ to be 
thought fo, from the practice of roUticlana ; for 
how feldom can we dircover Chat temperate and 
folid judgment, that honeft declaration of Indc- 
pendencC} and that genuine love of Order, which 
are equally abhorrent of Monarchical corruption 
and Democratic violence* 

If Sir, you cannot approve of the political Sen- 
timents, yet the wriler hopes you will not con- 
demn the whole for a part^ hut pardon him for 
thus malting free with yourNamc, aod look wUh 
a more gracious Eye upon hts notions refpefling 
Police. If an in%*ariahk union of fcntiment was 
to be the bafts of Friend ftiip, there wou[d be 
fewer Friends in th<; World than there are. 

' The writer aiks that from you as a fauaur 
'which a Man has a rfght to cxpetl from an inti- 
mate Friend J — 'judgment rempcred with Candour, 
Mh Intentions are not lefi benevolent than your 
•wnj though his abilities and opportunities for 
*' domg good^' are contraBcd within a mucd 



w 



^ Viii ) 

teaWcr compafe tlvMi yc^,,, art. Go on, Sir, in 
your noble endeavours to extennlnate Vice from 
Socie^. 

Such Men as yoorfelf are the mod proper to 
laeet with external honourt and rewards ftom 
thofe who are enabled to confer them : but, as it 
is not altogether the Faihion to fele6( the mofi 
deferring on whom to bellow national FavoiirS|if 
youfliould experience (what many great zndgo^d 
men have too often experienced!) ungrateful 
negleft from Men in power, yet I doubt not but 
you will enjoy that pleafure, which the Poten- 
tates of the Earth can neither gi've nor take away ; 
•—the fecret fatisfa£lion refulting from patriotic, 
philanthropic, and virtuous actions. 

However, Sir, I hope that the gratitude of 
your country will keep pace with your exertions 
to befriend it. 



Not knowing even your perlon, I cannot tell 
what may be your age, but I hope that you are 




at fuch a period ol lAfej and ©f fo firm a Canfii- 
tution, that your Country may reafonaibly c^pe^ 
the bleflingof your exertions for fomc Decade j of 
Tears to come ; and that you may meet with fuch 
alfiflance, from the LegtOatttrei to facilitate the 
completion of all your laudable attenipt^ to im- 
prove the Police, that, like a Hatmaj or a 
Hazard t you may have the fruition^ on Earth, of 
fdelrtg and bearrrtg ihc effential fervices you hare 
rendered to Mankind, 

t am Sir, 

With great Rcfpea, 



r T 






' J^^^s^®'"'®^^^^®^ *] 



A BRIEF SKETCH, &c. 




W HAT a glorious Nat ion is Gotha m! WW 
an aJrrjrable Conftitutlon, and what excellent 
Covemor?^ are tbey blelTcd with { 

Let us begin at the fountain of honour and the 
m^iin-fprmg of happinefs. What an indulgent 
T'ather of the People is the Sovcreigti \ How 
anxioufly does He, In every in fiance, (Itidy the 
welfare and profperity of his fubjcBs ! How 
little is he tinBtired with a fpirit of avarice, being 
convinced that 

'* Of all thcpaflions which from frailty fpring^ 
'* Avadcti is that whkh leaft becomes a King." 

How Ubernlly docs he contribute towards defray- 
Ing the expences of war, when his faithful peo- 
ple enter into it for the purpofe of repelling thofi 




( t2 ) 

who attempt to poffefe his territory, or who, im- 
pelled by democratic rage, would wiih to take 
the Crown off his head or rather his head from 
under the crown. 

fivei- watchful to preferve the proper conftitu- 
tional equilibrium, he never augments the Peer- 
age further than to fupply dehciencics. He is in 
fomemeafure a pradical Farmer, and, from this 
fource of knowledge he has learnt that when nu- 
merous herds of cattle are brought to market, the 
price becomes proportionally lower. Being like- 
wife converfant with the maxims of commerce, 
he confiders that it is tht Scarcity of the jeixel 
"which conftitutes its principal value; for, were 
diamonds every where to be found, were they the 
produce of every foil, and as common as pebbles, 
they would not be fo much efleemed as they are ; 
and hence he is not willing to leflen the reputed 
value of Titular greatnefs, nor to debafe the 
honour and dignity of tiie Nobility, as fome Kings, 
of other countries, have incautioufly or malici- 
oufly done, by the introdutlion of a great many 
members at once into the upper Iloufe of Parlia- 
ment. He moralizes from the periodical recur- 
rences in the works of nature^ He learns, from 
thence, that, when m any y?i/rj are vifible, there is 
a gliwmering or twinkling light, better for the 
traveller than total darknefs : but at the fame 



< 13 ) 

time he becomes fcnfible that abundance of /!arm 
are only feen during the night (I wasn't fay of 
ignorance) when the light of the fun (\ ij^o'o't 
fay of knowledge) Is withdrawn from our hemi- 
fphere* 

He likci^ife morallie*; from the works of *rf, 
not even fuffermg the mojt trivia' incident of do- 
mellic recreation to pafa by without affording 
bim fome tndmftion. Even when he ha^ amufed 
a vacant hour by p!aying with lib confort and 
children at the game of Draughts, it has occurred- 
to his Cage rcHefting mind, that the nearer the 
game draws to a conclufion, the more of the 
plebeians or common men are crowned or coronet-- 
ted i therefore the lapient king of Gotham will 
not afford any opportunity for the malevoVnt 
man to deduce an inference of this kind Qn m 
larger fcale, This amiable ruler of the people, 
this fagaciotis chief Magiflrate of the Nation, is 
not fo weak as to imagine ihat his tenure of the. 
Throne b fecured to him by perfmaf jLim Divi* 
Nofhip, He knows the real origin of power; and^ 
confequpntly the whole biaioj his anions inclines 
towardsfecujring the affeflions of his (ubjccts. He. 
does not imitate the folly of Nebu^l^fidnez^ar b^ 
taking delight in accumulating Hot' e. and mortar, 
till they are formed into one great Baby I oti. Hit 
prid« is not placed la the po^<:lIiou of a {ijperb^ 



C ^4 ) 

edifice. He docs not want a quadrangle big 
enough for a town, to be peculiarly appropriated 
^s his own place of refiderce ; juftly believing that 
•* thcfi-.eO f:iuare for a King, is in the hearts of 
** his people/' This fquare he thinks himfelf 
the owner of; and hence his confidence in the 
pofleflion of popular efteem makes him free and 
cafy in his manners, and bold and fearlefs in all 
his afliors. Thus when he travels from his palace 
in M^tropoUe to his country refidence at Caftranoy 
he commonly, in dry weather, rides on horfeback, 
attended only by one of his Lords and two or 
three fervants: and the rate at which he travels 
befpeaks the compofed dign'ty and virtue of his 
mind. He has no doubts refpe6^ing his people's 
loyalty, and therefore has no fuch mean fear 
for his own fafety as to urge a more rapid convey- 
ance from place to place than becomes the honour 
of Majefty , or of a glorious prince ruling over a free 
peonle. He always appears what he really is, — ; 
the Jirfl gentleman in his country. He abhors all 
idle paraae, knowing, that niere external fplendor 
and gaudy pomp can only be of ufe to a haughty 
tyrant who rules over a nation of ignorant weak 
people. Hence he difJains to go abroad on the 
plan of thofe fovereigns who muft be preceded aqd 
followed by a numerous retinu? of life-guards (an 
fodir§^ acknowledgment that fom^thing is Ty^-ong 



( 15 ) 



either m their goveniment, or their fubjef^s) hat 
wiieiy judges that the beft life-guurda for a fove- 
reign are hii own liming 'mrtue£» To thcfe he 
frufts as the mof! effeaual means for perfonal 
fecurity j and in every rcfpctt, ftriv^s to prov^ 
himfelf a patriot king, 

How careful is he to avoid burthening his 
fubjc^ls with the payment of any farns (either 
trifling or coiifi^fer^bte) contra^cl^d as debti by hii 
virtuous and liberal-minded children ; and when 
any of them are willing to give the world an 
honourable fpecimen th^t Princes and PrincelTes 
are compofed of (imilar materials to the reft of 
mankind^ and fubjeci to paflfions very near a km tn 
thofe which arc experienced by other men and 
women, how flrongly docs he manifeft his paternal 
kindnefs (both natural and political) in givirrg 
them ample portions out of his own privy purfc, 
and thua preventing the farcafms af ill nature In 
faying that *' the royal coffers ought to have dif-* 
gorged lome of their abundance.'' 

With refpcft to the charatlers ^fhhcbifdnn^ little 
fliall bcfaid, becaufc they are univerfaHy fpolten 
of with admiration and applaufe. As to his male* 
progeny, what a hopeful fet of young men are 
They • What attrafttve examples of ehafHty^^ 
fobrietyj frugality, con] u^aJ-tcpd^riici^j ajidcv5r|» 



1 '.• 



( x6 ) 

otber virtue tbat can add luftrc to the coronet, do 
they hold out to the reft of their father's fubje£b ; 
fo that they will have the heartfelt fatisfaclion of 
having contributed greatly to purify and exalt the 
ftandard of the public morals. 

As to the Nobles of Gotham, how confpicupus 
do they appear for humility 1 Howfolicitous to 
prove that they do not wi(h for any unjuft exclu- 
five privileges y and with what unceafing labour do 
they drive to promote — the common rights of nian- 
kind ! Yes ! they are truly noblemen ; not only 
titled mien, but men who are entitled to every de- 
gree of reverence from the people ; for they are a 
race of men as enlightened and wife as Stars and 
Garters can make them. They are above any 
mean afllons, and therefore will not receive any 
pecuniary compensation for the great labour they 
undergo in the management of State-affairs ; con- 
fidering that the honour they acquire thereby , and 
the peaceable poflciTion of their ingmenfe territories, 
are rewards fufficient to men of ingenuous minds ; 
and therefore they abhor the receiving of filthy 
lucre. 

How peculiarly honourable and praife worthy 
are they for ilri^t obedience to the laws of their 
Country, with refpeft to their condu£^ at eleftion?; 
Bcwr int^fering^ either directly or indire6tly7 to 



^ 17 ) 

itifluence any man's vote, but fuffering* evety 
freeman to tnanifeft his freedom by a free unbiaii 
fuffrage for the man whom he thinks mofi entitled 
to his confidehce. 

The Bench of Bishops, What a tkily venerable 
clafs of pious prelates ! How ftriftly attentive to 
all thofe duties incumbent on them as faithful 
Dioccfans! How anxious to keep the flock of Chrift 
together ! Their very knees, like the knees of 
Camels, are become callous from their frequent 
genuflections : and their tears have furrowed their 
cheeks, owing to their frequent inundations of 
grief for the fins of mankind in general. 

How free are thefe holy men from all pride ! 
How much are they given to hofpitality ! How 
cautious are they in admitting none but faithful 
labourers into Chrift's Vineyard! How familiar 
with their Clergy of all ranks, and with what 



« 



Vf 



♦ Striftly fpeaking, a peer cannot interfere with 
any imperious authority to bias an ejection in Go- 
tham, becaufe (as the reader will difcover farther 
pn) the Goth amites vote in fuch a judicious manner 
that their individual opinion cannot be known 
from thatfource,perf6nal votes being incapable of 
deteflion ; therefore if a peer (hould bedifpofed to 
afl^ a vote for his friend or relative, he could not be 
aflured of it; he could only rely upon the integrity, 
of ihe man who promifed him: out, to their honour 
be it told, the Gothamic Peers never degrade 
themfelves by eleftioncering. 



|r jrlctt ^Ji '^"^^^-Ijsnr.'ic :.: _:^ liiVriV of 
ti-xit/r--: Tacsnr idiiiEc^-r ;: ^•'i.i::: :^;jirc the 

tfceu^ CItrgv : ret pa— It r rriiri ::- t'le -:rg«-t le- 
ojfr.mendati'-rscfXc-Llcr'sr.* and =«n cf z:r jencc, 
ID preference to tre c:-r.:c>=:' . ^5 -uTe cf r"gh:, bjt 
bcOowIr.:? th-rr: -jc-O"* :'- : ". i= i-e sr.o(t exe.-n7!iry 
m their prs .rice, —'.ff dilircr.t ir. their v>cat:on, 
and who be^ dlf::har?e the paffrra! ofrcc with 
dignity and utifity In the feveral duties of praying, 
preaching, vinting thef:ck,ic. \c. 

And how little do thefe right Reverend and holy 
men hanker about the court ! How reluctantly 
dr» they quit their Diocefes to attend to, and bear a 
part in, the contentious debates which arife upon 
rnotlcrs of politics ! But when thus compelled, ds 
it were, to tlic difcharge of fenatorial duties, how 
uptiglitand independent are they in voting upon 
any (jucftion I How vigilant over the civil and 



i 

i 



• Tbc renlon of this difintereftcd and laudable 
e<tnduC'i in ihc prelates is very evident. The attain- 
ment tv» ;\ IVuhopric in Gotham does not depend upon 
founcv'Uonfi \vith the nol»i!lty» but ucon fuch cir- 
nimOanccs «s originate from the literary eminence, 
the ttckuowlodi;ed viitues, and the jjood fortune of 
the l^iN ines ihemfeKes : therefore the BiQicps are 
\M)«Wi no t;C5 of ^vatlixji^e u> p !:yjr,j to crovide for 
^Kh |x*Uou> «*^ * AU piwurv* a 'orter of recDraasen- 
^«tMv;) fiom V.i'^OiAvX ti.c Duke of Ullocus, or froai 
Ifkl^ AUbi« «\v\ Cv«, 



( 19 ) 

religious liberties of the people ; never voting 
with the Miniilers of the Crown, but when they are 
well afTured that the btereft of the people cannot 
be at ail hijaneci thereby. In (hort, how little 
does the idea of ptlmacy operate upon the mind, 
or infiuence the aflifjos, of any of the mitred 
head* in Gotham, 

The Hcufff Iff CBmmonff that pure and glorious 
aflcmbly of National Reprefentatives^how faithful 
are they hi their parliamentary condutt, snd hoisr 
folkittJusj on every occafion, to prove them reives 
worthy of the truft^ which has been delegated to 
them I No infamous majorities are there to be 
ieen I No men whofc names are always to be 
ibund in cne llil ! No party-fpirit prevails therel 
Every thing i* regulated on the moft perfcB prin- 
ciples of found policy, and the mofl J^ealous regard 
for the connitution t henee Ihey are particularly 
cattdous In the palling of money-bills; nor are 
any taxfff impofed but fuch as are abfolutely nc- 
ccfTary for the u£cs of a frugal Admmiflrationj 
whofe tnvariable praE^ice has been to keep clear 
of livery the flighteft degree of corruption, and 
who difdain to purchofe votes and Interefl by 
phr^j and fettj/at:s. 

The membei-s of this Houfe Ao not look upon 
themfetves as a let of men cittltled to fit there In 
confe^^uo^ce of their property and defcent^ but In 
C 



{ ao ) 



II 



» I' 



totifequence of th« popular choice : hence they 
ihew due refpcft to the peopIC| by having a part 
tif the fenate-houfc appropriated for their accom- 
modiltion ; fufficiently capacious to hold exaelly 
ss many perfons as there are members of the 
fenate; in which place any man is entitled to a 
feat to hear the debates, whofe habiliments do not 
declare his fer\-itude, or not known to be fo. 
Priority of application for a ticket, producing 
at the fame time a voucher from one of the 
members, that he is entitled to have it, gives the 
right of admiffion. Thefe tickets are never de- 
livered to fervants ; but only to the perfons for 
"wrhofe ufe they are defigned, for which every 
applicant pays one JhiUingj not 2i^ a bribe to the 
door-keeper, but as a fund for the c; 'oJ of the 
nation, to defray the expence of printing the ac^s 
of parliament, which are dlftributed through the 
kingdom to the care of certain Public officers who 
are a fort of Heralds, appointed on certain days 
to promulge the ftatutes among the people, by 
publicly reading an abridgement of them, and 
every perfon who votes has a right to peruie thd 
ftatutcs at large, free of expencc *. 

♦ Their laws are fo wifely framed that a feajant 
is able to comprehend every thing relating to 
payment almoft as readily as a nuin of letters : henct* 




Upon tbe d^\tim of *»! qil^^lon befom tbe 
houfe, the gallery U (wvcr onicred to be ekafed ; 
beciiufe the people are conEdcrcd to have an iiiGhi- 
bt table and jufl right to fit thcrCp the fetiate ttfelf 
in this part of itp being dceined only the coadkfilpil 
vplce of the nation. 

In the front of the gallery is an apartTniBit c^pi* 
ble of holding ten perTons who are pubHc notartcSf 
employed to take down the debates iiiihort*haiid| 
and from whom the editors of newspapers tre 
fuppHed with every neccifaiy mformation. 

But the fenators kaow how to prcferve their dig- 
nity , never fufleting any pcKoni In the gallery to 
intemipl their debates, by nolfe, nor to offend theni 
by plaudits or hiffes on the deciBon of any unpor" 
tant queOion. The greatefl decorum b flrldtly 
obferved, fuch as is fultable to the greatcfl and moi| 
I'enerabie civil a^embly in the nation. 



the country is not harrafled by multitudes of ap- 
pellants under the miOaken notion that they can 
cfcape payment by virtue of fome excepting 
claufe, nor arc the magldrates themfel ves perplexed 
to know what con (l ruction to put on their ads of 
parliament. The law is expreHed in a few plain 
words, free from technical jargon, and the ideas 
produced 9 are clear and determinate* 

f8 




\ ' 



i\ 



I ;■ .' ■ 



1 ;■ f : 



it-: 



^ 22 ) 

As the fenate itfe\£ l^ thus managed on the pureft 
iy^em of patriotifm and honefty , fo the mode of 
deputing fenators into parliament, is condu5led on 
fimilar principles of virtue, difinterellednefs and 
equity. 

Bvery man who is not in bondage is entitled to vote 
for a national delegate, and the ele^ive franchise 
is thus diffufed on this very obvious and equitable 
principle, that " by no rule or reafon,but the rule 
** of tyranny, can obedience to laws be extorted 
** from fubjefts who are unreprefetUed.^^ 

The elef^ions are regulated in the beft manner 
that can be to preferve the morals and independent 
fpirit of the people. No bribery is ever known 
to take place ; nor are any houfes of gratuitous 
entertainment opened to adminifter to every kind 
of profligacy, intemperance, and venality. 

In Gotham the names of the candidates for a 
feat in parliament muft be known full thirty days* 
previous to the day of clcftion. The mode of re- 
turning the county members is well adapted to 
fuit the convenience of all parties, and to prevent 



♦ In technical phrafe, none are fufi'ered to enter 
at thepoft: but, the clerk of the courfe (Mr. Sheriff, 
Mr. Mayor, or Mr. Bailiff,) muft be made acquaint- 
ed with the names of the horfes and the colours oif 
the riders, at lead one calendar month previous to 
the day of ftarting for the plate. 



{ 25 y 

tumult and riot. On the day of eletlton, (which 
IS always in the beginning of June, for by the laws 
of Gotham there cannot be any ia^n/j^f difTolLition of 
a parliament) the fcveral candidates nieet ot: the 
hu flings at the county town foon after eight o^cIock 
in the morning; and the whole buiinefs k completed 
in fiK-hours. 

In this happy country they are not rigid about 
trifiei; h\xti in all cafes, they ftrive to cultivate a 
fpmt offocia! harmony and good- will, and to re- 
pre& every thing which has a tendency to excite 
ranrour and malice ; therefore the fuccefsful candi-r 
dates are not merely permitted but pofitH'e^y re- 
qtjired-^-^to give a handfome ele^ion-dlnner ; to 
which the unfucccfsFut candidates are invited, and 
CK petted to attend, together with all the perfons 
who Sroii^ht up the votes; and thofe are— oneperfon 
from every pari^, unlefe the number of voters 
refifJent therein, does not amount to twenty, in 
which cafe the deputy of the adjoining pari Qi a£ls 
like wife as deputy for that. 

Two days previous to the day of el e^ ion, every 
parish, in each county, is obliged to affemble, at 
the fame hour, in the veflry^ or other convenient 
place, and all fuch perfons who have a right * to 



* Every man's q i; a Ufi cation to vote U as e^f^fy 
afcertained a^ it would be to know bk authority to 
kill a p«irtridgc, having been oiue lu his life aHyrcd 



I 






..\ 



•4 ) 



vote »t\d ttt AVfpofcA tq exercife* that right, do 
$htn and titrt |We their vote in the following 
munneri 

According to the number of candidates balls of 
Wory fire providedi of different colours, with a label 
Infcrlbed on eftch, declaring the name of the perfon 
for whofi ufe it i^ appropriated. One of the 
parifhioneri li Rppointed'by ba/ht tp take the chair; 
and being appointed by this fair mode, all clamour 
from competition i^ prevented, and every one is 
fc far fatUfied, that he can have no juft caufe to 
murmur. Be the perfon whoever he may, high or 
loW| richer poor, a nominal lord or a peafant, it 
Is impofflble he can r5^ unfairly, the whole of his 
duty being to give each voter a fmall canvas bag^ 
with a proper number of balls, (that is, one for 
each candidate) explaining to him (if he cannot 
reilii the name infcrlbed, or l^oul^ be blJndy and 



to him by certificate under the hands pf the public 
regiftrar tn each county; which nuthority can never 
jbe alienated (notwilhOanding his property may be 
alienated) folong an be keeps himfelfaboveaftate 
of fcrvitud^ i and // nof proved guilty of rpceiying 
|i bribe. 

• Every perfon »egle5\lng to appear at the 
veftry to vote, (U'^leO in ill-health, orabfent from 
bispt»rifti to the dlftange of thirty mile?) is pbliged 



t n ) 

t^nnbt difimguifh colours) the 5>ertt\nat ipplfcotfori 
bf the fevcral balls. The vottr then «tirei to 4i 
part of the roomf where he cat> fnttify take cut 
the hall of the man [or rncn] whom he prcff n, and 
piit it itmbfir'ved Into another Httk bafi He th«li 
returns to the chairman, bdote whom it placed a 
box with two compartments, in one of whkh h© 
drops his voting bag, b the othef the bag contRin- 
in £ him [or thofej whom be rejeBii 

Ten balls, for everjr tandidute afe rent,by the 
Sheriff's officers, to every paKfh wbkh «^!\ttins ao 
VoterSj each of the candidates contribytin|f an 
equal fharc towards the expd^nee f}£Cft(iemed bv 
fuch meOengers. 

The balls are national property , i?hkh wUl 
ferv^e for many centuries^ and arii fe ipfenioufly 
contrived as to admit the IhtfoduiVidiil ©f a labet 
(with the name) pfcfling undtr fj^t lotipi of filvcr 
Wire, 

When ten have voted, which U altrayt^tme in 
lefs thati fo many minutes ^ the box b opened which 
contains the decade of votes, a regifl^r ^ tmcN 
eKaminatioo is taken by a proper fecrt-tory cho(^ 
from amonofi themfelves (the choleip eommonljr 
being of the fchoolm after, xst of h;ra wh^ Ja the 
netted jjenman) who ha^ t book ptci^ftwd with 
columns to take {Jown the ftumbcra, which book 
i> always ftjnt with the balU^ bcitig fUn^ith^d tt 




( a6 ) 

the county-expence, and is kept by the Clerk, of 
the Peace, ferving for many elettions, according 
to circumftances. 

When every perfon has thus voted, the total is 
fummed up in the prefence of all, and fubjeft to 
the iiafpeftion and examination of any one who 
may wifli to fee if it is fair. Which being done, 
an ajfeveratiun according to a prefcribed form, is 
then fairly -written by the fecretary, and to which 
three of the moft opulent voters in the room 
(whether Knights, Efquires, or wealthy yeomen 
Is of no import) fubfcribe their names to atteft and 
■verify the fame. 

A ballot is then taken for one of the perfoHis 
there prefent to be a parochial delegate, to convey 
the book, on the fecond day following, to tlie 
meeting of the candidates, before whom he deli- 
vers up his book to the Sheriff or his lawful 
reprefentative, declarbg upon oath * that the 



i*^- 



♦ Which is the only hgal oath made ufe of in the 
Gothamic eleftions, wifely judging that the multi- 
plying of oaths on needlefs occafions " caufes a 
** great confumption of the national morality/' 
And this gives me an opportunity of remarking, 
that, owing to wife laws againft profane fwearing, 
and a vigorous exertion of the coercive power, ive 
never hear thofe horrid blafphemics and execrations 
reverberating through theftreets which difgrace the 
inhabitants ofother QounXxitSyprofeffing chriftianity. 



V ^1 ' 

account therein Hated is a juft One, having 
becnfealcd up, ^Ith ibe p^iocbtai feal , m the pre- 
fence of the voters j and never broken till that 
moment. 

On this fimple and excellent plan are the elec- 
tions conduced m Gothann ; by Tvhich means 
they avoid all the evils rcfulting. from ele^ions 
in other countries *. No party animofity is ex- 
cited between neigh hours , becayfe no pcrfqn can 
certainly difcover for whom hh neighbour ha* 
voted* The candidates are not permitted to 
difjgrace themselves by any mean folicitations foe 
D 

* In fome eoun tries the adoption of this mode 
of cleQion would be detrimental to fome of the 
ttianufaaurers : the confumption of whofe good* 
Tvould be thereby diminifhedi There would, for 
inRarice, be fev^er ribbands manufa^uredj bc- 
caufe there would be no ufe for cockades^ This 
Is a very ferious evil ; for it certainly is of much 
more importance that feveral thoufand pounds 
fliould be ^avifhcd once in fhree or fi-i'en years In 
this very ufeful article of decoration, and better 
that an acrimonious party Ipint fl^ould be encou- 
raged anion gfl citizcnsj and neighbours than that 
there (liould be a pure and dignified mo^^e of 
eletiing reprefentatives i the preservation of the 
moralii of a whole nation is a matter of much lets 
corilequerxe than the local injury which may be 
hil>ajnfd by checking the manufaciure of fome 
thoufand vards of coloured ftrirrgg. The intereft 
of iiy Peeping Tom and his friends ought rather 
to be eon(ulted than the welfare of honetl John 
BuH and his numerous adherents. The Gothamitc* 
think other wife. 



.> ' 



{ 



38 ) 



fbffrages* Their Tmties are winounccd officially 
itithepubUcp&pers, and that ball that is reqi^Ifite. 

A Jim liar mode of voting is sidopted in ele^ions 
for city or borough reprefentatives^ with the 
exception of bebg divided into clatTes (of Thirty 
voters in each) who meet at certain taverns, and 
give their i^nknown vote in the manner before 
defcribed, and the account is tranfmitted to the 
Town-Hall, by a delegate, at the appointed time- 

If any voter is known to receive a bribe, be b 
fo far disfranchifcd of his vote, that he cannot 
once enjoy thiji privilege either for county, ctty^ 
or townp during the fpaceofai years* following 
the detcflion, which prohibits him from feven 
feffionsj as the parlianients in Gotham me tntmuat^ 
which they conOder the b«(l medium between the 
two ^nXttv^^Eoi annual m\Afppt€timai. 

The diffolution of a former parliament never 
take* place mora than 3 days previous to the 
ele^ion of a new one. 

The parliameBts always continue fitting during 
twO'Chirdft of the year, from the firft of Movem- 
her to the I aft day of June, without any other 
interruption than a week at Chrlflmas and three 
days at Eafter, No prorogation is allowed in 



* And fimilar reflrit^ions s*re impofed rj^fpeciing 
gentlemen in future ft and ing forth as ciindidatesp 
ifconvidedof a finglc inftance of bribery* 



{ n 

Gotham. TVie nalmnil bufifl«fs k regularly 
attended to as long as the feafon of the year will 
admit oi a comfortable lown-rcfidence*, 




The MiB^tsTERs who rule over this happy 
country, are always men of the moft genuine 
Da 



* There are a (et of men (of whole principles 
of integrity I have no very high adea) wht> will 
exclaim agalnft every attempt to alter cflabrilhed 
GuflomSf as dangerous and foolill], unlel's the 
improvement comes recommended by aflua[ ex* 
pericnce : and, in the language of a certain great 
sp'^Oate (now no more) they will fay, that " m 
** fplrit of innovation, is generally the refult of a 
** felfiih temper and confined views." The con- 
verfe of this propofition would be much nearer the 
truth, that an obftinate adherence to error, 
becaufe fan6lioned b)r Ntftorian duration, is much 
more truly chara^^eriOic of ** felfiOinefs and con- 
fined views." Nor can any reafoning be more 
contemptible than that which reje6ls every fpecies 
of improvement, that cannot produce experimen- 
tal evidence of its utility. Is not this the mod 
dired mode of perpetuating all errors, from gene- 
ration to generation, woHd without end ? If 
the adventurous Mariner had not fometime^ 
launched out and purfued an unknown track, 
the whole fcience of navigation would, at this 
day, have been confined to coaAing voyages. 

Between the entire and fudden fubverfion of 
national cudoms, and an invariable conformity 
to the pradice of preceding ages, there is a broad 
and evident medium, which all men of found fenfe 
vo jld prefer to either extreme, and that is, partial 
experiment'^yiiX.h a view to general and progref- 
five improvement. Therefore let thefe hints 
upon cle^nal and parliamentary matters not 





tjEtriot'ifm I neither courting the fm'iles of the 
fovereign by any a£^ions of fervllity and mean 
homage to the regal prerogatrvCp nor by bafely 
endcavoarbgt<> gain popular favour through the 
di^onourable artifice of promifing what they 
never mean to perform. 

The Judicature of Gotham is placed undet* 
the direction of thofc men, who, from their 
knowte^jga and integrity, are beft qualified to 
dilVrlbute juftice impartially between all who 
appeal to a legal decifion of their difterences. 
The Judges are independent and uncorrupt ; the 
Barrifters never proftimte their eloquence by 
attempting to pervert the truth ; and the Attor- 
flies are compelled to be honeft by a vigilant 
fu per intend an ce and control over their practice* 
Whatever lofTes would enfuc to clients from 



be deemed too trivial for experiment in EngJand. 
Let the trial be /i?/r/>' made of them throughout 
one county; and let the refult be the flandard 
by which to pronounce judgment upon them." 
(for^ to condemn them on anv other principle 
would be unfair 1} and there ran be very little 
doybt that what has been found bcnehcial m 
Gotham will not prov^e repugnant to the geniu^s 
and foirit of the conRkution of England* 

A Britifh political writer ha? made this* ingeni- 
ous obfervation 

*' It behove? the wifdom of government to 
attend to every counfel which h offered. It cofts 
them nothing ; Nor is there any Icheme fo aerial, 
but fiamething ufeful tnay be^xtratled ftDtd It,*' 



mlfmaiiagement tif tbeir caufc tlirOUgh ignorance 
or wilful negleft, aie oMiged to be indemnified 
by the attorney employed j therefore there are no 
pettifogging fcoundrels m Gotham, The attorniea 
are a ijf ell -in formed clever fet of mert, and felf- 
intereft compels them to be attentive and earned 
for the welfare of their clients ; and hence they 
never put important briefs into the hands of any 
counfetlor whofe abilities and llri^ honoiir do 
not entitle birn to confide nc^e ns an Advocate* 

In but few inftances are the Gothamites dupes 
of momentary phrenzy; therefore they abhor 
fome of the doctrines advanced with fo much 
ardour, and fo generally well-receivedj in other 
countries; and difd*iin to admit this alTertion fo^ 
an Incontrovertible truth, that ^* nii Coepora- 
** Tions are encroachments upon the general 
*' rights of men, and injur ioui to the common 
'* welfare/' They know, by experience, the 
fallacy of fuch an arterlion. They admit, if the 
only ufe of incorporated Bodies were for a fet of 
men to enjoy the exclufive privilege of eating 
and drintiing at the public expence, of parading 
the ftretts with the psgeaniry of furred gowTiSj 
maces, and white wand^j and of exacting Le^vy 
fines from men who wilh to relide within their 
prtcindsj and to employ ihemfelves and 6thers irl 



t 33 ) 

l»bitsof mduflry, Then Indeed that the obje^tons 
mgainft cof poratmm iiv ou I d be o fconfider abk force. 

But it b not fo m Gotham. The members of 
imch incorporated fociettes efliiuatc themfelves^ 
and are looked Mpoa by the people, as the mini a* 
ttir^ of Majefty j hence they are greatly ticvc- 
venccd. They consider that one prmctpal end of 
their inditution was to be the guardians of the 
public morals; reprcfling the pra^ices of the 
difTotute by proper cha^ifcaictit of the offenders, 
and giving every poSiblc encouragement to thofe 
who wilh to be ufeful and virtuous members of 
fotiety. For this latter purpose a part of the 
fund belonging to them In their public capacity is 
allotted for the ufe of little tradcfmenf upon 
intercii of twa and a half per Cent, advancing to 
no one pcrfon more than Twenty pounds, nor 
fuffering any borrower to hold It more than two 
years. 

Their wealth k regularly increafing, becaufe 
the frurce of it is never diverted from the com- 
mon rcpofitoryj by being difpofed of In a fneakmg 
underhand manner, merely to enrich the individu- 
al who corTipofe the body; but, being public 
pATperty, their lands are ahvnys let by public 
iudion, ►ind ne%*er upon longer leafo than feven 
years. The heft Bidder to be the ttnatit ; but if 
m member of the caiporation will give n^ mmt 





( 54 J 

liivcR^ii of 3-^ malignaixt and revengeful paflicma. 
Acclaims the privilege of a citizen, and hu name 
joinUy witli 5 other? I ef thofc who flanduppermotl 
on the probationary Uit, heing thrown into a box, 
imd well (halt en, the man who is firfF drawn forth 
i? appointed to fill lip the vacancy j when he re- 
vives thccctngratulalioiis of the aldermen, SlC. 

The term; of admiOion being thai efiablillKd 
Upon principles of ecjnity, and all unjurt exclufivc 
privileges caution fly a\*oidei3, we bear no murrnur- 
irig in Gotham agalnft corp feral ions* We find the 
^orpornte to ^vns there floiirilhingwkh manufaBn- 
TJes, and the inllitntloti of incorporating men for 
f^ich purpofes is juQly coaridcred a ptiblic b!cffing> 
Many cKEcnfivc and beneficial works are often 
;|CcompliOicd through the aid of fuch public fund% 
^hich woald probably never have been eft'e^ed 
had the completion of them depended entirely 
l^pon voluntary contributii^n^ fr^'m mdividual^^: 
but when the non-lnrorporated inhabitants of the 
iQwniand cities In Gotham behold the corporationj; 
ftcpping forth, with a generou.^ and liberal fpirit, to 
contribute to works of public utility, there never 
occurs an inf^ance where any important defjgn fails 
nf fuccefs for want of a fufficient fund to carry the 
projei"! into exec ^Jt ion. And the great national 
fund ilfelf, when exhaufled by any occafion of ex- 
tfaordmary demrind, ba^ often found great aid in 
(pnfequence of rubfcriptlons from bodice corporate. 



( X5 ') 

In ftiort, corporations^ inftead of dcprefimg, arc 
the principal means of Simulating aad giving en- 
ergy to, the public fpirit; and are the grand inftru- 
ments, tn conjuntkion with the putpit, to corrcft 
and reflify moral depravity in the people : wifely 
judging that purity nf morals is the great bulwark 
of natiotial profperity: andj as the punifliments 
infl idled on the guilty are, ai nearly as can be, in 
cxafl proportion to the nature and turpitude of 
the offence J in no country is every fpecics of vice 
more rarely to be found than amongfl the Gotha- 
mites. Tofome of the more flagrant and heinous 
vices, fuch as fed uS ion and adultery, they are 
alr*juil JlrangerSi The vice of fornication indeed 
cannot be altogether fupprelTed; but prajlituter 
maybe prevented from infcfling the flreets, and 
in Gotham they are fo, owing to a prudent exer- 
tion of the power veiled In the magiflrates of the 
corporations i 

With refpe^ to the conduB of Impurfi^ within 
doors, and concealed from the eye of public obfer^ 
vatmn, ^o it doe^ not — by noife and uproar — 
difturb the peace of their neighbours, they arc 
permitted, without refiraint or moledation, to 
j'eccjve thofe viiitants who have not fufiicient 
difcretion to refrain from their foclety *; but the 



* This permiilion to fornicate is confined to 
mere cafual intercourle : but the charadcr of a 




ImdiCi of Cftfy virtue are not %'cry numerous in 
thb welt- governed ill and , && great encourage* 
mcnt ii given to muTJa^ *; and the marriages of 



k€f>t mifirgfjf^ refidmg in a feparate d welting, but 
more part tcit tarty under the fame roof with the 
Keeper^ k almoft unknown in Gotham ; becaufc 
the Gothamitei are better judges of the principles 
of true morality than to fiifier fuch a praOice. 
They do not admit, that ** What in the [common] 
foldier U rank blafphemy^ is, in the captam, but 
the heat of paffion-" They do not, by any mif- 
placed lenity or homage to men of wealth, 
virtually exprefs their belief that the Cofpel 
makes the bad afttons of rich men lefs criminal 
than thofe of the poor : nor do they think that 
the turpitude of baflardy depends upon the ability 
of the father to fupport his children without any 
cxpence to his neighbours. Their Oandard of 
morality Is taken from the Bibh^ notUom the 
Stafutef of their Parliament ; and therefore they 
will not permit any man, however wealthy, thus 
to live in open contempt of laws. Divine and 
human. If a woman is to be a whore it i^ not 
fair that the article fbould be confined to the uib 
of an individual, but fliould be for the accommo- 
dation of many. And if a man h wealthy enough 
t o fuptiort A K ept - m Ift ret i, i t is reafoning log i c a 1 1 y 
to fay, he is rich enough to maintain a wife. The 
altern^itive therefore i& evident* 

* Amotigtl other inducements to marry, one 13 
the e'ipefjfe of a life of forniration ; a** every one 
who i'abfil!& at all by this ni^ans, i^ obliged 
t« pay for an annual Itcente, wisich licence is 
granted by a pecviliar officer ; and the product 
of this tax is added to a triennial fubfcription 
&ver the iiland for raifmg a fund to give a certain 
portion to poor young women on the day ai 



I « 



\ 



M ranks are commoA^ tcft^^ated more by fimi- 
larity of fentimcnt, and a union of afle^ious^ 
tbvi by parental auElerity proceeding from mo- 
tives of avarice. Confequently divorces for 
adultery* are almofl a» rarely known among^ 
tbcm as bappened m tbe firft ages of the Roman 
empire. 

The Ladies in Gotham , generally fpeakm^, 
are lovely examples of M thofe dome^ic viriues* 
£3 

marriage, Thb fubrcriptioti is well fup ported 
by the iadies from, the combined motives of virttic 
and ielf-interef^ ; for, it being greatly condticive 
td prevent whoredom p there will be a better 
chance Tor f hem to meet with fome htamaraiSf who 
will make them an honourable offer. 

The whores in Gotham are principaMy iuiJ^tm^ 
of tbe loweft claf^, whofe refraflory conduS (hort- 
cned the lives of their hu (bunds and who therefore 
cannot readily find artother^ 

But a* indigence and indolence are greatly con* 
ducivetoa ! ife of impurity amongd females, there- 
fore particular care is taken that no bufinef* or 
employment relating to female concerns, fhall be 
cKercifed by men ; hence their hair-drelTcrs, flay- 
maker^, (boemakers^ &c. are a1way*» fele^ecl, by 
the irirtuoua and mode^ womeoi from aniongll 
their own fex, 

* But the Goth smites are of opinion that men- 
tal difcord is, in fome infiances, as cogent a plea 
for divorce as carnal impurity : therefore. In cafe 
of an infuperable contrariety of temper, where the 
parties have never had any children, or have none 
then Hvingi and mutttatfy(u& for a divorce a 'mncuh 
mafrimsmif it is always granted i Butfuppafing one 



't f 



i' 




aTilmatiTig prmciple before them a^ thej had for- 
merly ; if they cannot look forward to a time of 
probable emancipation fro™ bondage, when they 
may in lawful union — fulfil the great law of 
nature J tbc primary command from God toman, 
and enter into *' that honourable ca ntratt by 
which the world b renovated/' they cannot for 
ever reflrain the impetus of dedrc, but will in* 
dulge their pafTionf in defiance of legal injun^ions^ 
and regardlefs of the decrees of human policy. 

Hence, in thofe countries where the fmall 
farms have been engrofled by the rapacity of 
opulent tenants, and the fiiort-fighted forccgft of 
landed proprietors, the poor-law^ are arri^^ed to 
an aflonifhing degree c»f expenditure. But not 
fo in Gotham I They, wifely reHnft the iize of their 
farms, allowing to no one farmer monc than a 
determinate number of acres. They give greaf 
encouragement to young perfom, who purfue m. 
courfe of induilry and virtue, By tbc fubdivifion 
of the earth into numerous farms, of courfe tbcy 
become cafy of acccfs to perfons of fmall property, 
hence the profpeft of fubfi fling in a ftate of free- 
dom from ferviiude, fupcrior to the miferies ot 
iiidigenccin fome petty trade, U& ftimulus to fru- 
gality, among every clafs of fcrv-ants ; they anti- 
cipate, with pleafing hope, the time, when, by 
Ihe jdfit property of their fellow fcrva^t, ilicir 



( §s ) 




own united irdui>ry wUl be exerted far their own 
cmolutneiitf and for the maintenance of them- 
felvcs and their offspring* When the period 
arrives that they think their accumulated fund 
fufEcient for the undertaking, they feldom v?^ait 
long before an opportunity occurs of taking fome 
farm j the confeqncnce is^ thsit # as none can mono- 
polize p the provifions are abundant and cheap^ 
and the people in general ai^ indudriou^ and 
happy- 

Having thu5 introduced a few obfcri'ations re- 
fpefling that cUf:* of beings denominated Sfin'ms/jr, 
it would be a culpable omiflion not to give a brief 
account of the practice jn Gotham with refpeft to 
the general behaviour of Mailers towards them ;— 
by whom they are not looked upon in the light of 
vaflals, but as fellow-creatiires, only let fortunate 
than themfelves in a few exterior circum (lance?:* 
In the houfes of their employers they arc treated 
with mildnefe, which they well repay by ready 
obedience and fidelity In all concerns etitrufted to 
their affiflance or management. The m afters of 
iamilles in Gotham have no dread, in c^fe of an 
alarming infurrc^tion or invafion, that their own 
fcrvants would be the firfi to cut their throats and 
plunder their property* They rely upon their 
Icrvonta for alBfliince to repel an y ^dTauIt that may 



^1 



( 44 ) 

fotne countries, dancing meetiags among fen?at)t* 
mr£ often indrumental ta pollute the moraU, and 
to increafe the number of proRitutes, But the 
lawi againf^ unlawful pregnancy and bailardy arc 
here rigorouily executed, without rcfpetl of per- 
fons. The woman is obliged to do penance, 
publicly befot^ the congregation, as foon after 
parturition (or abortion, if known) aa decency 
and ftrength will permit her to go abroad; unfefs 
the man ihould prevjous thereto have married 
her; but, in cafe ofrefufal, h^th do penar.ce aC 
the fame time, thus making their united fm the 
caufe of their united humiliation. Jf however 
he is yet willing immediately to marry her, (he 
alone does penance. The cerlffm/j*of being com- 
pelled to undergo this puniH^ment, without any 
poflibllity of commutation by payment of m&ney*^ 
ferves as a ftrong check to the impure de fires of 
both fexes ; and not once in half a century dues 
an inftance occur of any woman having twice 
fuHered this abafcment, 

Thofe fervants who only go once a month to 
thefe meetings, are entitled to claim their liberty, 
for the two laft days in December, or any other, 

* The acceptance of money in lieu of perfongl 
degradation is very near akin to the ielling of 
parJnns; and i^ fiir from being an efte^ual plan 
for tlic prevention of vice. 




days when it fults the mft/?<?r'j convenience to fpare 
them ; but they who do not cboofe to go out at 
all to thefe meetmgs, mny ciaim 4 days ^nd a 
half in immediate fucceffion whenever ibey thera- 
felves think proper* 

The fervanU in Gotham are more induftrious 
than the fame clafa in any other nation ; being 
neither haunting after nor haunted by, fweet- 
hearts; never out of their matter's or miflrefs's 
houfe but on his or her bulmefs, except to and 
from the place of worfhip on the Sabbath-day ; 
which is here kept holy in the manner that it 
ought to be> No idle parading along the fireets ; 
no vain difplay of finery ; no lafci vious provocations 
to On; but every one and ail in their properhabi- 
tations, reading to and inflrufting each other in 
godly and edifying knowledge. 

Such are the beneficial effeils refulting from a 

periodical relaxation of Ihe covenant of bondage : 

and moreover It tends much to the mafter's own 

worldly intcrefl, for the fervants can do, and 

vftually do^ more work than where they are 

invar ably kept from January to January in one dull 

unvarying round of laborious duties^ without an 

occafional interruption by breathing the pure air 

of liberty *, This trifling Indulgence contributes 
F a 

• It is aftonifhing and Umenlable to think that, 
in countries which are ^rofclTedly the land of 



l! 



( 46 ) 



m 



i\ii 



greatly to teep \lp their fpiriU, and of co«rfe to 
pf evert fickncfs* We fee none of them gloomy and 
dcjetled, as we do in other countries, owing to the 
auflerlty of their employer5« Health blooms tip on 

liberty^ the fervanU Aiould be treated in the 
manner that they often are, and patiently endure 
it» To be io indigent as to be obliged to fubfid 
by fervltude is no jtift caufe ff»r reproach to 
any pcrfon j for indeed, if matters are ftnflly 
considered f we are aim oft all fet^anU^ of different 
degrees. The only caufe of reproach is rh;it abje£l 
fpirit which can fubmit to dail v mful t from a wretch 
ivhoGztfuaTly happens to polllefs more we:}lth,but 
^ho, in every other refpcHi is fo far inferior, that 
he ought rather to wear the external emblems f*f 
bondage^ than have any fellow -creature, clad in 
livery^ to wait upon him. 

tiowever, in America (if myinforrnation is au- 
thentic) ideas of liberty are carried to the contrary 
extreme » fo that the very name of mafier is not 
acknowledged by that clafs of people who dif- 
eharge the fubordinate of^ccs of dome^ic dutle^r 
and whom wc j^fi!y denominate fervants. If an 
EngliOimr^nunac<)iiainted with American cuflom«, 
calts at a friend's houte, and afks of the pcrfon who 
opens the door^ if his (or her) m after is at home, 
the anfwer ufuatly is, he will fee If hts tmphyer^ or 
J^ i — ► is within* 

This is refinement carried to excefs, and confe- 
quently to abfurdity^ — He who fervei a fellow- 
creature for cert a in wages, who is fed at bistable, 
and dfwdls in his houfe, is moft clearly ^fervani; 
and a fenrant mu0 have a majier : nor ought anir 
fiich perfon to be too proud to acknowledge the 
title. But yet it wcic a circumftance to be wijbed 



t 



4E ) 



iKe contammattd ait ^rid p^sTluted cuftoms oflirge 
townfiaivdcLtles^but jn tiamlets and rural habita- 
tions , or brought up on the fea^coaft, and employed 
in fifberies. 

Their naval and milkaryi^rength Is fb formlda- 
bk that very few other riatmna are able to con- 
tend with Ibem, Bwt^ not with (landing their 

a&iiity for martUl exploits^ they are a people who 
delight not in war; their principal purfuits being 
agrirutiure and commene. 

In the former of the two they meet with fomc 
obflacles* The foil l? not naturally fterile ; noria 
it almofl fpontancoufiy produftive. They are 
obliged to be laborious, or go without bread* ^^li 
they will not work, they cannot cat/* 

Their comTnerclal concerns are very extenfive^ 
as their country abounds with many produBiona 
favourable to ftjch employments; the Inftde of their 
mountains yielding futh minerals as enable them 
to itianufatlure fomc of the moft ufeful botifehold 
utcnfils and ornamental furniture, which are exe- 
cuted in the moft fmifhed and workmanlike man- 
net; and the outfide of thofe mountains affordipg 
good pafturage to immenre herds of cattle and 
fiocks of ftieep, fo that their leathern and woollen 
manufatiory isfcarcely, if at all ^ Inferior to that of 
Great Britain » 



t 5^ ) 

In the cafe of murder the lex talmnis b refbrtej 

to as nearly as poCTibJe* He who deftroys hi^ 

fellow-creature by fire-arms or a bludgeon, is de- 

ftroycd by the fame means. The afTalUn who flaba 

and cuts Is Qbllgcd to be flabbcd and wounded m like 

inanrrer, endunng^as neaHy aspoffible, a fimilar 

kind of torlure in degree, and alfo in duration, 

as far as u public execution will admit* At^d 

that mofl diabolical wretch who takes away 

life by the infufing of pojfon, is obliged to 

drink poifon himfetf on a public flage, and there 

remsiin tortured with all the agoiiieii of the moft 

dreadful bodily fufflr rings, and his mifery rendered 

fllll moi% acute with the idea of being thui 

expofed a public fpeftacle, and yet deprived of the 

affiflance of any fellow creature with a view to 

alleviate his torments. Not even " a drop of 

water to cool the tip of his tongue," An tnftance 

of fuch a culprit doc.<i not occur once in a century; 

though cafes fometimes happen of perfons who 

^eflroy tbfmfih^es by poiCon; a mode of fuicide, 

which, one would think, would of all others be 

moft avoided; as caufing Ihe nioft violent fenrationiS 

of pain, or, at all events, being the mofi tedious 

and lingering, before the funBions of vitality are 

completely deftroyed. 

With refpe^ to the punifliing of fujcides no na- 
tiotihas ever adopted a wifer method than thefc 
people have. This Is evident from the rarity of 



5^' ) 

aflerv^a^** Y^^V^rved in a room belonging to the 

national mufcutti, with a label on the forehead of 

each (keletoti defcribing the perfon's name and the 

date of his exigence. This room, on account of 




of the culprit isattheentiredifpofal of the legifla- 
ture : and very juftly that it (hould be fo; for as 
life b greater than the body, of courie the minor\s 
included in the major : therefore the power which 
legally deftroys the one, may legally order the 
other for dilTef^ion, which in this country is an 
invariable rule; by which means the anatomical 
fchools are Sometimes fupplied with fubjefts for 
their ufe : but though bodies are often i^iihed for 
by the le^lurers on anatomy when they cannot be 
had, yet the pra6^ice of robbing the church-yards 
is here fcarce ever known, becaufer^/i/rr^^/ow-w^n 
are never encouraged, as the profeffors of anatomy, 
or their pupils, are liable to a heavy penalty (hould 
they be detetted of having purchafed a tody: and, 
by the lex talionisy the perfon who robs or affiles to 
rob the burial-ground fuifcrs a peculiar bum-mark 
in order to recognife him,and if deteded atjecond 
time of the fame offence (die when he may) his own 
body is ordered to be differed for the ufe of Audents. 
The anatomical lefturers in Gotham commonly 
diffeft brutes to give their pupils correft ideas of 
myology, neurology, &cc. out having alfo large 
accurate engravings of the human body, from 
which they explain the flrufture of the feveral 
parts, the knowledge of medical i)udcnts in this 
important branch of fcicnce is not lels perfe^ than 
in thofe countries where human flefli is indecently 

mangled in the differing rooms. However the 

medical gentlemen in Gotham have one privilege 
which contribute- not a little to the improvemeut 




( 54 ) 

fargfs doling the remainder of Ufe^ tlicrc to firge 
fucK inftnimcnts, for the ufes of govemmeat, aa 
may beof naLlionnl utiHty< 

The makers of counterfeit-coin as they are fond 
of metallic operations are indtilgeit with the 
pleafurc of wearing metal chains, by way sf 
ornament to their leg^, and are fent to wort for 
life in the mines of different ores with which this 
country abounds. 

^ the flrength of women is commonly mfuffi- 
cient to defend thfm againfi perfonal ^ITaultf 
therefore (that they may be protend as far as law 
can proteO them, fo as not to have their chaflity 
re^u^ff«'/y violated ) ^ 

Tho{e rampant males, thofe fa vage hum an bnite^p, 
Who will not piit a curit upon their tui^t 
^ut force enjoyment from the unwilling Fair, 
Arc here deprived (defervedly deprived f) 
Of pow'^r to perpetrate fuch carnal deeds. 
Thus wifely making their offence, the cause 
Of infamy, and bitter feJf-reproach 
So long as life and memory endure 1 
A punifh merit far more feverely felt, 
More dreaded, than the common hangmai]''shfndt 

^ven cafes of high-trcafon are not confidcredL 
worthy of death ; bccaufe it may. not alwayt 



t I 



t 56 ) 

^d cvil-tnuidcd tliiM rendered frufirftte ani 
abort We i 

There is t)o puntfbnient decreed agattiO political 
writers, who confine their obfervations whally to 
prind^hi of leg t fiat ton, without defaming their 
opponents with perfonal fcurrility; but the 

chmrm^ers of men are deemed the moft facred arjd 
valuable of all property ; and therefore the man 
who cenfurca,froin fheprefs, anyperfons either In 
priv^aie or public flationsj muft be cautious that, in 
his anfertions, he does not ^hlate the truth ; for 
thofe men are here judged without niercy who 
jhew no mercy to others; and, in order to avoid the 
pofRbility of a malevolent ilandercr efeaping 
deteBton and punifhment by any fubterfuge, the 
femi-elllpltcal mode of writing ii here prohibited, 
no words are fuffered to be printed, nor written' 
in a printed book, without being given at 
lull length*; and if the writer confines himfelf' 

* The printing of a book with inittah and 
^en/oncmts to fignify the namei of fj^rfras nndpiaref 
is a tacit proof that cither the author is a fcoundrel 
end liar, or that thelegiibturefubjed!} thcprcfsto 
rcflraints which are unjutt , and decrees penalties 
■where it ought not. 

Ho we ver happily for the Goth am Ic people their 
prefji is as free as it ought to be ; being lubje£l only 
10 ibefe (e^w reflriclsons. 

I , No b 00k con la in in g 1 05 pages in 8yo, fli at 1 be 




witbmtheVimvUott^M\V,V»^^^^^ not be confidareJ 
a libell ifl , but may fe\eTt\y cenfurc the h igbeQ maa 
w woman in the kin^dotrm with Impunity. The 
governors of Gotham have tio dread of the fcribble» 



pubUHiecf , to which there b not wn Index fufficieutlj 
copious. 

2dly* Every page mtift con tarn a <Je terminal 
number of lines, and alfo ot letters in each line, 
teeording to the fite of the type, EHj^ which Uw 
the public are fecured from impolitidn by the 
rafcally pra£lice of felling books with more blank 
paper, than printed matter. 

3rdly . The property of authors is fo far protected 
that not even an abridgement of a work dial I be 
printed without confent firft obtained from the 
proprietor : juflly confidering fuch pradice as a 
mean fpecles of felony. 

And laftiy, on all publications from 3^ to « 
half-crowns per volume, there is a (lamp duty 01 
10 per cent, deducting the value of the paper, which 
having before paid tax as paper, ough t not again to 
pay when made into books. 

No book (hall be fold, nor otherwife diflributedy 
which has not on the back of the title page the 
legal Aamp. The penalty is fo fevere as to deter 
any book teller from tranfgreflion of the law in this 
relpca. 

The advantages of fuch a ftamp are numerous, 
two of which ihall here be flated. 

Authors are thus fecured againft any foul play . 
by their printers, upon wbofe integrity they muft 
otherwife entirely rely. And legiilators thus know 
effectually to wh. t extent any publication is 
c'uxulated, which, in fome cafes, L> a matter of 
importance. 



:«■! 



As conneBed -witVi cnminal offences it may not 
be unintcreding to remark tViat thofe receptacles 
ibr criminal offenders called ^r//0n/y are none of 
them large in Gotham, except one in the Metropo- 
lis; becaufe, if a country exhibits a number of 
prlfons big enough for Barracks, the inference muft 
be either that there has been a great wade of the 
public money, in ere6ling an unneceffary extent of 
building ; or that the people are very vicious, if 
fuch immenfc edifices muft be appropriated for the 
reception of tranfgreflbrs. 

The debtors are never confined within the fame 
waM«? as felons; thus making a charitable diflinc- 
tion betwixt misfortunes and depravity. But 
a very fmall edifice ferves for the reception of 
debtors; as the general induftry* of the inhabitants 
H 



* Amongd all the wife regulations adopted in jy 

Gotham, none deferves more to be attended to thaii ''^ 

one efFediual mode here ufed to encourage induflry. 1* 

The fum of 5000/. is annually appropriated 
for diOribution into 50 fifties, 50 twenty-fives, 
and one hundred t-welve pound tens, which are 
beflowed as life annuities upon fuch male perfons, 
who, by their frugality, have realized the fum 
bf 1000, 500, or 250/; provided, they began 
life either in fervitude, agriculture, or trade, 
with not more than 40 pounds ; and have acquired 
their property merely by fortunate induftry, 
indcpcTidcnt of wealth derived from legacies, 



{ 



Co ) 



m 




m a great barrier againf) mdividual poverty ; ar>J 
fcldom are any men imprifoned ftjrdcbt, butthofc 
Ts^hofe indigence was occafloned by their own 
indolence and profligacy, 

Igttery, or mam'age; excepting^ tliat the property 
of the conjugal partner has been aciitimuUted 
entirely by ff^ mtm eKcrtion, arid, m that cafe, 
theconfoiidated fund is to be conlidered only as 
the produtt of the hufband's Ubour, and therefore 
he may, immedtately af^er marriage^ enter hb 
name as poffefibr of fuch a fum, or ftock to that 
amount— The fum of 2,500 pounds Is appropriated 
as rewards for cctlibate females, under (imilar 
conditions, 35 being the highel! annuity, I2i iqs 
the mean, and 6-5-0, the lowcO- 

The good derived from 7,500/ thus beftoi^cd a 
not eafily calculated* The younger part of 
community are hereby taught to rerncmber that 
every ihlHing they fave will bcdoubiecf £0 them 
in jnterefl of 5 per cent, fo that when they have 
BtjTiaJid^ amaifcd 500/* they will have an annual 
income of 50 pounds, //"they ever obtain the bountyj 
and in thisrcfpe^ they take afairchance,alwavi^ 
fucceeding to vacancies according to the order in 
"which their names (land on the liH of ciaimants« 
If they have once received the bounty of 25/, per 
annum, they are not allowed to lay any claim to 
that of^Oj even though they might afterwards fave 
50Q more: becaufe that is enough to keep them 
above want: but they who have received ig/. loj. 
for many years, may, as foon as able, put their 
names on the liH of 25, and fucceed to It in their 
turn. 

Quere, Would not an annual 10,020/ be much 
better beflowed this way in England, than to 
fupjaort fome worthlefs placeman, fomc miniftcnal 
tnmion, fome favorite t^( royalty, In luxury and 
extravagance ^ 



>^1 





(. 6* ) 

,.r r J to a vagabond^*' 

"'" . -butes n,ore to pron>ote 

^, . .otKmg contr;^ut« f ^.e lower 

Ifc of people than ^"^ .gUiratesthan wbat 
ttvinccsgrantedbyt^e^J ,,aono£ 

,„ iro«bcmgfc-'»^^ ^„ft aiflolutc often 

i. •.„ thote -8-- ;\^ .oufes of the abo. e 

*„A a tubfiftence by keep 6 ^^^^^ „£ the 

tl^aon; -f X rltltbougMUf. 

„oftinfan.ouscharaa.-. ,.,;ous confir«.ed .n 

^rendered vicious, and th 

'"'''""' „eat inlet to vice (for the 

AS ignorance is ''"7;,,, ,,ecepts of virtue . 

«.tad that is unarmed J^ J ^^ ^,^ , „s) 

view there are «a"y ^^ by voluntary 

editable donation, and^^^ .^^^^„,,,„„ of the 
Ir^A fubfcript'ons, for ,4 ,» an 

important national 



' ( 64 ) 

^cclcftaftical and commercial) blograpTi j, naviga- 
tion, and whatever h connected with the fclence of 
legillation and government, make an effentlal and 
prlnc ip al part of t he e du ca t ion of every fl u den t wb o 
has paired the rudiments of learnbg ; fuch ftudies 
beingjuflly confidered of far more utility to the nfing 
generation than e^^hauHing the vigour of the young 
TDind by an idle employment of time in reading 
the abfurd and ufelefc JiHhns of half-mad poets \ 
a race of men whom an Athenian law -giver h 
tiid to have expelled * from his dominions, as 



♦ The propri<:ty of fuch an expulHon admits of 
a qnaliiied negative. Poets may have a great 
infljence over the public morals; either to emaf- 
tulate (as it were) and debauch, or to invigorate 
and purkyj themiuds of their fellow citizens. But 
let rcftfin ipeak lor a minute! Let us liilcn to her 
dilates, and we fhall hear her cenfuring, with 
indignation > the folly oi thofe ;Anj?/£?;j common- 
wealths who fuffcr the minds of thejr children to 
be tainted with the impure waters ilfuing from the 
f Lin t a i lis of Heat bemfm. 

It would be a wife decree if all fuch poets were 
lobe eJCpellcd— if not f ct i'ium fijcietati^ ^ytt at 
Icafl--^out of all fdminarles for the education of 
chrifiian youth ; lo tiiat we might never know any 
thing about ll.em, till we are fortified to reGft 
their allurements. 

Indeed, to men who believe only in one God, 
according to revelation, it would not be any 
tlimiimtion of real happincf^f if they never were to 
hear of the htafpliemics and obfcenities of the Pagan 
polytLcilm, i^erhajis 



t 66 ) 

jU;id yet fi niggling witb difficulties to main tain 
their ramilies, far all inch pcrfooi a fund is 
provided, out of which Tuch allowance i^ inadc ^ 
enables them to obtain every tieceffary comfort 
of life, in their re fpeSive habitations* ;and every 
tetith year from the iiril trme fueh incotne is 
clmmed (fufpofing it to commence at 50) an 
augment atitjii b m :idc proportionate to the increafe 
nf years, and confequent decreafe of flrength. 

The expences to the fl ate in thb way are compa- 
ratively nothing— to what the poor-rates arc in 
England j bccaufe as the people ure by this means 
Simulated to induflry and frugality while young 
md flrong to labour J they fcldom ft and in need of 
«ny alTiflance from the public purlcin the decline 
of hfe ; and there are in Gotham perhaps more 
■ inftancEs of health fti! longevity than in any other 
fpot of this terraqueous^ Globe ; which is not to be 
accounted for sts proceeding from a peculiar 
fklubrity of filuatioti, but from the temperanee 



♦ Throughout all the ifland there is not one of 
Ihofe receptacle^ of the poor, vulgarly ycleoed 
«i«rA-houfes ; becaufe the Gotham ites believe 
(how jufHy let others judge) that fuch inftittjtif»ns 
Bre greatly inflrumental to make many of the 
private houles of the poor — -the houfes bildienrfs i 
or elfe they never would have bet^n under the 
fiecelEty of coming to the public work-boufe* 




( 68 ) 

' But tbe l^kitiing of health sn4 long lift h not 
confined ebiefty (^ the loivcr or<?er^ of people, in 
thU fortunttc Ifland, The habita.of thofewhoaie 
in circumft antes of affluence are not fuch as tend £o 
pro d^ce effeminacy of m/w </ • and debilltyofbody, 
Aj -was before iricntioned(page 39) they arc fond 
of rational amufements, of which a well regitl^ted 
Theatre forms no Inconfiderablc Iharc ^ hut they 
alfo take great delight in all manly exerclles, and 
purfue with aTdour rural recreations In their fevered 
Jeafons ; for the indulgence of which deOres their 
country yields ample opportunities ; there being 
plenty of gamCjt and mmierous rivers abounding 
with at I fach kinds of fi^ as are ufu ally caught by 
sngling. They know nothing of the tyranny of 
the feudal laws. Every man who claims a right 



* fiy this phrafe the author does not mean to 
infinuate thai the minds of women are not capable 
of as great exertion as thofe of meo> (becaufe 
written facts and pcrfonal kno^v ledge convince him 
thai fuch an idea is erroneous) t>ut he means a 
frivolous habit of thinking produced by frivol oua 
employments, and which 15 the great caufe from 
whence originated the phrafc — eiteminacy of mind. 
The sducdthn ot females ii not what it ou^ht to be, 

f The laws againO poathtrs arc particularly flria 
in Gotham, and as itritily executed j being well 
convinced of the neceffity thereof^ in order to the 
prefervation of the Game. 




to kill game, muft pay for an annual licence, the 
emoluments of which are folely appropriated to the 
ufe of government.— The pifcatorial licences are 
dharged only 5s. and are a kind of parochial tax, 
colleded by a parochial officer, and applied to 
parochial purpofes ; the whole amount of it ferving 
as a Oimulant to population, being difpofed of, at 
the recommendation of the accoucheufe*, to poor 
I 2 . 



It was before mentioned in-page 37 (when 
adverting to the means of preventing wnoredom) 
that all iuch employments as could be tranfaded 
by women were appropriated to tberb in Goth am, fd 
far as the influence of v irtuous females could extend 
to fupport and patronife them : and perhaps, aihongft 
all the fources by which women may find a main- 
tenance, there is no department fo peculiarly proper 
to the fex as that of miduoifery. The cuftom oY 
accoucheurs can have little claim * to delicacy.' 
Though the general prevalence of the fa(hion may 
in fome mealure palliate its indelicacy, yet fafliion 
can nevec be urged as a proof of its propriety, 
Faftiion has, in fome ages, ordered the French 
and Bwtiih women to drefs almoft ivitbout drejs; 
but faihions may be immodeft. And as the mul- 
titude cannot by their FIAT decree what is wrong 
to be right, neither can the fan6lion of any high 
perfonagejuOifyan improper action. Themandate- 
of a K'NG — to kill, may, in fome cafes, be mur- 
der; andfo the pra^ice of man-midwifery cannot 
be proved perfealy modeft, even though Queens 
and Prlnc^es fet the example of encouraging it. 
The following is affigned as a probable reafon of 



t 70 y 

lyiTig-in women**— And, that this taic ma^rW 
rendered produ&ive, the urmoR care is taken to 
prefcrvc the rivers from unlaw Jul deprndauoti by 

neij^ Nqhc of which are allowed to be made 



its introduction^ In former times the habits of 
women were not in general fo leflentary aiid InaBive 
m they are now. The health of the women 
being confequently more robuft, the efforts of nature 
were> in moft cafes^ fufficient to relieve them during 
the time of parturition ; and confequcntly an 
Ignorant (yoiing or old) womatt was not Inadequite 
to render them every net-eflary alTiflance. 

With the refinements of luxury^ debility of the 
miifcular fyflem In w«men is a frequent attendant; 
hence the ordinary fun ft ions of nature arc Impeded, 
and the life of the mother is. often endangered 
merely for want of (^rcngth to bring forth. 

In fuch acafef fome degree uf fcience Is necelTarj 
to dire^ the opera tion** of art t and therefore 
ignorance moil either confefs It's inability, or, by 
raftily attempting to re!ealie the parturient from her 
bur then^ thereby involve the lift- of both muther 
auid infant in oiie common ha^ajd ProtelHonai 
men » not labouring under thofe detecl&i on account 
of their edticfftiont were called In to adminiller 
relief In thofe difficult cafes where women failed 
to fgcceed ; the timidity fu natural to the lex 
induced many pregnarit women to magnify appre-^ 
hrnded danger, and thus, by degrees, the pta^Uce 
became fo general as almof^ entirely to exclude 
women from being employed in that very line^ 
w here ( for many re afons] noma le- prii*! \ i tion er otigh t 
to be known, hui In cafes of extraordmary 
danger. 

The Gothamites have a law to this eRetl: but 
then no accouchttfjc Is permitted to piachie, who 



( 7* > 

without a legal ft amp on lead affixied theretb ; 
and the meilies muft be of a certain fi^e; nor is nif 
perfonpermittcd to ufe a net who does not purchafe 
a licence ; the produB of which k thrown in to the 
fund for indigent accettcheer^ 



cannot produce, to the bifhop^s proper ofBcer, a 
certificate of her having attended 3 or 6 months at 
the lefturea of feme pr^feffar of midwifery , (jn one 
of the three principal cities) and alfo of having 
a (lifted at a fufTicient number of labours in the 
lying-m hofpital over which be preiides. Hence 
midwifery is never profeflTed hy women not daiy 
qualified; the lives of many fubjeds are thus preferv- 
ed; the expence qT nn acc&uchcuje is much Icfs than 
the charge ufually made by aa:-iiichefirs; and many 
women of good ediic j r ion , with! i ttle or no fortunei 
find a reputable mode of fupporting themfelvesjor 
aflifting to fupport their own children, who perhaps 
might otherwife have dragged on a wretched 
cxiflence in virginity and penur^i or have tstken 
toaHfeofproditutionj and tbusdied themiferabic 
viflimsofan ill-managed police. But thefe women 
are not allrvvved to e^tercife any other department 
of the phyfjcal art than during their attendance on 
the fex, unUfs thcv are the 'mhms of apothecanei, 
furgeons, or phvlicians ; which frequently happens 
in Gotham : andf by thi^ unton, female delicacy is 
in every inftance carefutfy attcnf*ed to* 

As adultery and man-midi*'iferv have been 
progreifively increaflng for the lafl 50 years* ^i/(*pjj 
how far does it appear probable that the one may 
have depended on the other?- — Some cogent 
arpuments, to this effect, may be urged lo reprob 




f n } 

Th€ GothatiaVteg are tydl acquainted with all 
'branches of philofophyi as they have feyeral 
locietieS| confifling onlj of the adepts in fciencet 
but they are not inflatcil with a vaia conceit of 
tnowlng things whereof they are ignorant* Their 
|thilofophy is not what is fa culhd; but the real 
love of true wlfdom r^^the nonfenlical jargon of 
pretended fcience, triHtng difputation^ concerning 
I'^r&a! diftitiRionSj fcholafiic fub tic ties, and the 
quirks of metaphyOcS| are here exploded, as 
unworthy the dignity of the human Lutclleffc to 
be employed upon; hence we hnd that their 
philofophers are not men who glory in infidelity, 
b u 1 1 he moft ze al ous profeGTo rs of a ratkiml ttl igion * 
and the moft Heady and uniform in thepra^iceof 
thofe duties which their rcKglon enjoins. 

Their ecc!efiailical diicipline bexcellentj in every 
refpeO, fince Ihey reformed from the corruptions 
of Popery; for^ the Cothamites, not three centuries 
ago, were under the infamous delufions impofed on 
ihcm by the church of Rome* 

If a clergyman in Gotham Ihojld happen to 
preach a difcourfe breathing that ardent fpirit of 
liberty which a fervent fenfe of pure religion 
naturally producer, — a dlfcourfe which perhaps 
ittoutd give ollence to fouiC men in powt*r, wKofe 
notions may be. better adapted for the daminions 




^f the grand Seigneur than for a land of freedom^ 
yet this fermon cannot prove any barrier to his 
future preferment ; the mode of attaining to 
ecclefiaftical dignities and- eraokinwnts being bere 
cftabliftied upon the moft pcrfeft principles of 
equity, and independent of perfonalfriendChipfrom 
the Great, (except in a few caies) fo that it isnd 
uncommon event to fee men of low origin arriving 
to the higheil honours in the church. 

Hence, as the Nations of eminence and profit are 
equally accefiible by all who are admitted inttf 
the facred order, (and rtont. zre-'rejt^ed who are 
qualified for the paftoral employment, with refpcft 
to learning, morals, and eloquence*) it is the 
intereO of all men to fupport the eftahlifhcd church,' 
We therefore hear no murmuring concerning the 
payment of tythes, becaufe the farmer, who* 



* No perfons thus qualified are reje5^ed, who mean 
to be aftive labourers in the vineyard of Chrift: 
but they will not admit a number oi fupernttmera* 
ries ; well knowing that it would open a door for 
thofe unfair privileges which ought not to be 
tolerated ; as they have difcovered, from other 
nations that the church often becomes a fan6luary 
f.r indolent men of fortune, who, wifliing to bi 
exempt from the labour and expenceof ferving in 
many c/i;// offices, take refuge in the gown, and 
thereby enjoy that refpe6table eafe which is 
injurious to the general rights of fociety. 



It! i 



1 



t 74 J 
tit>^ pays hk ftiate of the decimal righu of the 
chuTch, iflay, not improbably^ have a defccndant 
(cither immediate or remote) m-ho will dorive 
Gonriderable advantage £roin this fource of 
opulence. 

But as the difcordant interefts of the church and 
laity, In other countries, frequently occallon 
Tcxatious la^-fuitSj (which too often begin in 
wrath, and terminate in rancour) between minifler 
ind parifh loners y ref peeing tytb^ff thefefore this 
mode of payment is here di veiled of Its litigious 
tendency, by being put under fome prudent 
legalations. 

Every toth year is, accuratety denominated^ 
the ty thing year ; when it is optional with the 
clergyman to gather the tythes^lf he flioutd be ta 
dilpofed. 

The intermediate nine years are paid for at 
fuch ratCi as are fitted upon (by proper perfons on 
behalf of mi nifter and parlfhloncrs) according to 
trffnnifil eftimates. 

The fyth ing year thus becomes, In fome njcafy re^ 

« criterion by which the clergyman may, if he 

pieafes, praflically afccftain the real value of hit 

property*^ 

f — - 

* The fubjett of ecclefiafllcal revenue derived 
hum tythcs b^s afforded employment to fevenl 



( 75 > 

One advantage, whicH has refulted from thm 
Jlbsral condurl in ecclcfuflical affairs, is, that as 
the fijcpherd and his flock are upon terms of amity 
&nd good-witi, the^ do not Itmy from under 
Krs care : t^treforc the difTefttcrs in Go! ham are 
graduf^lly dim kiiihing^ ever £nce theie judicious 
regulations took place, 

K 



able wntcr>; and many oppoiiKnta on lhi^t|ucltion 
have manlfcfted a confiderahle degree of virulence 
and rancour in the argimients they have advanced 
to reprobate fuch a mode of payment to our religious 
inftru0or^. 

Illiberal or abuHve re^foning is no unBiir proof 
that the caufe is a ^ad one : as men would never 
have reccufic to f words if there was not fome 
thing blood-thlrlly in the difpofition. 

Befides, if they, who are adverfe to ty thes, were 
men of rr^i/ candour, they would f^udioufly avoid 
every thing but folid argument, wcll-knowmg that 
a fptrit of fftwfr'Vtf &ri^ ftif-interejl ftrongly inclines 
the perfon^^ to whom the appeal is made, togiven 
verdi^l againil the daimants. 

Much ingenious reafoning^ as well as abule, has 
been difplayed on this controverted topic, and 
man ydrong arguments have been adduced bothpr« 
and ^^^ff. The aufh or coincides with thote who 
think that a better mode for fecuring ecdcHailical 
lights cannot be difcovered than payment by 
ijthes ^ only {uhJeE^ to the above mentioned regu- 
lations, or any^W/tfrthat may bedevifed: but, till 
thofc better rules (half be difcovered. Jet thofe who 
are frauihoflMeto the decimal claim's of the prieft- 
hood, forever hold thf ir peace ; Let themcetit 
to murmur utiieia the} f^e abU to amend! 



t 76 ) 



h 



Tha d*te of itscotnmencciuent is not a matter of 
fufficknt importance to require a flatcnient ; but it 
13 thought^ hy men ftf underCf and mg^ that before 
the conclufion of the next century, the church of 
Gotham will be (what it is to be hoped the 
wniverfal or Catholic church, will fometlmc be) 
entirely free from frhtfm^ and fcrving one lord 
with one mouth and one heart. 



However univerfal and complete toleration l^ 
here granted to men of all Religions ; but avoided 
irrfidcia and impious blafphemcra of holy writ, are 
expelled their kingdom : and men who hh^ like 
infidels, but concealitig their real fentiments, are 
Keld in very Uttlcef^eem, even though theyihould 
be poiTeffed of great rich es . 

In fome countries the greateft infidels may be 
found among the profeflTed teachers of religion : 
thcfe are men who know not the vital principles 
of ft! vat ion, but who aflUme a Httle exterior 
righteoufnefs, i*i ordcrtomakca gain of godlinefa. 
Of fuch mc«, probably, by far the greater number, 
(and that tw) in pruforH<m to their nttmb^rs) will be 
found among thofe teachers who areof theeflablitti- 
nient: for fbeir worldly emoluments not being preca- 
rious and dependent upon voluntary contribution, 
but certain andfecured to them by la w, they arc lefs 
folkitoui to a^ b a manner whlcji fhall not fubjeft 



{ n ) 



thefinccntyoftWirfaitVi to tberfffi/A(/tf/ inveftiga- 
t(on and fcrutiny ^f ihclr neighbour:* and pariftii- 
oners* Men of this defer iption arc commonly very 
earncfl in defence of ccck Hail leal rights, and are 
not fparing of their cenfures and inveflivcs againll 
perfons who attempt /acrilegtoujlj (as they caU it) 
h rtfA the prieji of his due ; but if they wifh to vifit 
the metropolis or fomc ditlant friends^ either on 
bufinefs or for pie afu re | they willnot fcrupleto be 
guilty of facrilcge thcmfelves in robing God of 
- — thofe his rights — the adorations of his people. 
Though this facrilege b not at all kfs heinous than 
the other, they will not fear to incur the guilt of 
it; but without relutlancc will omit the duty of 
the church in their own parilhei for one or two 
fabbaths, even where the income is very confider- 
Jible ; becaufe they fave the expence of hiring st 
fubflitute* What is the inference refulting from 
fuchcondu8? Why, either that the flsepherd is^ at 
heart, aninfidt;!, and has no further care about hii 
dock than to fecure hh own advantage from them; 
oTy. that he mufl have deluded himfelf with the 
abfurd belief that God wiUjudgehJsBfm//?«-/morc 
favourably than the reft of his people; and though 
the htifbandrtian who defrauds the fpiritual guide 
of a pitiful portion, is (as he fays) to be doomiid to 
cverli^iiig vengeance for his impiety and injuftice. 



\W' 



{ ai > 

as an accompaniment; but Its found Is never fent 
forth To loud as alinoft to prevent the voice from 
bejng heard* 1 1 is fuppofed lo be a fccondary^ — noi 
the primary— part of pfalmody: hence the ear m 
never offended, in the Gothamlc churches, by hatfli 
grating tones, with which the monotony of a 
bagpipe may vie for melody* 

Thb branch of devotional fervice is not configned 
over to one individual, pkced near the minlfter, 
who is to bellow forth fome ill-chofen vulgar metre, 
in ihe hard) flrumings of a difcordant voice» but 
thepfalm or hymn, (written in language fukabic 
to the age) is foleninfy and reverently given out 
and recited by fome proper perfon (commonly the 
minifier himfelf) and all of the congregation com- 
pofc the choir, who are able to utter the Ungua^eof 
a devout heart witli the **concord of fweet tbundsJ' 
The fervice W always concluded wltlj fome hymn; 
which b commonly adapted to the difcourfe that 
has juft been delivered from the pulpit : and the 
inftruCUon=i received in the churches are firengthen- 
edby a regular ohfcrvancc o^fsmtly relighn^ which 
the Gothamltes believe to be greatly inftru mental 
to promote that domcflJc happincf^ which is fo 
generally experienced throughout all thislfiatid. 

As the reader has thus been prefented with a 
few Out lilies of the regulations and cuHoms in ufe 
among that people who are fuppofcd to enjoy ; 





IfOBLVlS - - - l6 
filSftOFS - - - 17 

MQufi&fC&mmmi 19 
BhdeafE!e&foni a 2 

Jui^f/»yfr. - - 30 
Cofpomthni - - 3t 
H:/r/^^x - - - 35 
tai/f^ - - ' 37 
Drefs - - - - 38 
Amufimtnit - - 39 
Krr/wJ - - - 40 
Ser^anU - - - 4^ 



Of f^Poi*iCK - - ^ 

JV</tfiij - - - - 59 

B^ggar^ ~ ' " Cl 

Ahhsufet - - - 62 

Educatim - - - 63 

Pflflr* I^TJ/J - - 66 

Medkat Men - - 67 

i?urf?/ exerdfts - 68 

FhihfipJ^s - - 72 
Ecdefiajlical Dif 
ciplint - - * 7* 

Ttthss ' - - 73 
Oa^r CAurr A metteri 76 
and 
tiff Sj^em of Politics - 8» 



^dd£Ndx 



In page 15 line 25 after the word pen^mtf 
infert an afterifk, to which the following n^te 
refers, 

• It feems to be a general maxim with fome 
perfons (fond of cenfunng, without much know* 
ledge of thcfubje^^ on which they Ipeak) to excUtm 
with unqtmlffied virulence and ludignation againft 
pen/iom andf^/aces. — Now, ifthe Places are tto more 
than what arc really ufeful, (for in no government 
0iould 91 i?ECui E5 he fuffered I )and are accelUble on 
ju(f principles of re£%ilude( a general fchenae of which 
the reader will find briefly ftated in pige f 00} the 
falary appropriated to each n$T unreafonablc^ and 
not many of them held by one Individual, but for 
every office there be a refpe^ivc officer ; and if no 
other Penfions arc granted than whut have been 
merited by good fer vices ; fh^n the mar^ of both 
there are In a country, the better It tends to 
flrengthcn the national welfare; becaufe more 
l^erfonsare particularly intereftcd in prcferving the 
govern nacfit from the dreadful evil of hetolit- 
Tioi?, or fttbtierjfon of the old political fyftem* 

Btiif if the patronage of every lucrative pofl be 
centered in a few pcrfons, and mmty fuch offices 
enjoyed by a few court favorites; or^ im other words, 
if plufallfis are frequent in churoh and ftale, then 
one may venture to predifl that fuch a church 
auld fiate arc of that cbfs whofe dtJToIution b atna 
great dltlance; or at leail not calculated for 
durabiHty. Happily for the people of Great 
Britain the word futkalist is pta^kaliy un- 
known amongft them ; and therefore their govcni- 
tncnt will probably be as permanent as that of 
GaTH^M, 



Index 

TO t;be 

LIBELLUS, 



p» 


^- 


TheKm^ - - - n 


Of ^jfi^ Police - - 49 


pBtNCES - - 15 


Frijons - ^ - • 59 


HfOBI^ES - - - 16 


^S§^^' " " "61 


BisnoF*^ - ' - 17 


Alehovjej - - - 62 


H&w> y/Cewwonx 19 


Education - ~ - 63 


M^derfEltnhns 22 


J^or-LflTJ^j - - 65 


JkUmJiets !^f State 29 


mdical Mrn - - 67 


Jtidges.Wjr. - - 33 


Rural txtrdfij - 68" 


Corporations - - 31 


PhiUfophfTi - ' 7a 


H^r/e// - - - 35 


Mcchjiaftkat Dif- 


L^iw - - ' 37 


cipline - - - 7a 


Drf// ^ - - - 38 


Tythes - - - 73 


Ait^ufi'f^entM - - 39 


O/j&f r Qurr 6 matter j 76 


JJUrmJ - - - 40 


and 


Servants - - - 4a 


theSjfflemfifFoMci^ -8* 


Ofr^r*iml^rfl/ff - 47 






Admirable Essay 

UPON 

TITLES 

AND 

Honorary Diftindtions. 



-- -" What is Title ? 

*' Sometimes the pay of virtue, but more oft 
** The hire which Greatnefs gives to Sycophants 
and Slaves. Rows. . 

What is a Lord ? 

" A mere mere lord, with nothing but the name^ 
** Wealth all his worth, and title all hisfame^ 
'^ Lives on another man, himfelf a blank, 
** Thanklefs he lives,or muft fome grandfire thank, 
** Forfmuggled honours and ill-gotten pelf: 
•* A mere mere lord owes nothing to himfelf! 
** Nature exclaim 'd with wonder, lords are things 
** Which, never made by me, were made by kings. 

Chuhchill. 

Think not that enw here hath dippM my pen 
In gall, to ccnfure — truly noble men; 
** I view not titles with aneyeoffcorn, 
** Becaufel was not to a title bom:" 
I'm no Man's Foe but his who's foe to right ^ 
And, intbat catifey 1 llevcrufemy might. 
Such as it is— let no proud wretch cry Fie on, 
Becaufe — a MousB m^ry extricate a Lion. 



'« 1 



li,Dcc,xcvm, 




ESSAY ^c. 



IPJ the Hiflorksof the ancient Commonwealth* 
of Greece and ifsw^, where we read of a fucceffion 
of Heroes for many agesj there i& uo mention 
made of Titles^ Ribbons^ or Csats of Armx. 
Thefe thing sarc bventions of a m«ch later date ; 
^ — -when Grcatnefs of Mind and public Spirit 
began to decay, and the Gieat loil that Reve- 
rence which the People ufed to pay them, it wa$ 
fieceffary to ft amp a counterfeit Merit upon Men 
in high Stations, in order to fupply the Want of 
true Meritp 

Lycurgus^ Pfirkles^ Camtllui. and Fabius wore 
no T I tits, and bore no Coats of Arms \ it feems 
they were conti^nt with wearing Vertufj Honour ^ 
and Conqueji ;— -but Heroes of later Date have 
found out an eafier Way of being diftinguifticd 
from the Crowd ; — *fome Men who never gained 
Provinces or conquered Kingdoms, in the Service 
of their Country, have given ten thoufand pounds 
for ft TitlQ I a Man vrith. a cowardly Heart atid 9 
La 





( 8f ) 

KdttfiosClottVik, that you may view him naked 
and open to the Eye; or, if he be cloathcd, as 
they anciently were wont to prefent them to 
Princes to fell ; it is only on lefs important Parts, 
til at you may not fo much confider the Beauty of 
his Colour or the Breadth of his Crupper, ai 
principally to examine his Limbs, Eyes and 
Feet, which are the Members of greateft ufe. 

Why, in giving your Eilimate of a Man, do you 
pme him wrapped and muffled up in Cloathes * 
for he then difcovers to you fuch Parts as are not 
in the leaft his own, and conceals thofe by which 
one may rightly judge of his Value.^-It is the 
Price and Goodneis of the Blade that you enquire 
into, and not thofe of the Scabbard ; you would 
not peradventurc bid one Farthing for him, if you 
favf him (Iript, and knew him thoroughly; you 
arctojudgehimbyhimfelf, and not by what h^ 
carries about him. 

One of the Ancients pleafantly faid, do you 
know why you efleem this Man tall ? It is be-* 
caufe you reckon him with the Height of his 
Chepineff whereas the Pedeftal is no Part of the 
Stitue; — meafure him without his Stilts; let 
him lay afido his Revenues ; let him prefent him-» 
felfin his Shirt; then examine if his Body bo 
found and fprightly, aftive and well difpofed to 
perform iU Fun^ion94 




I have 2Ub beard oCiCoiimtiywfaer^tbe&ll 
Miniftcr had a Religioo peculiar to himielf, tha 
publick Trealury was his Gm/, while all that were 
in Employments under him were obliged to worih^ 
him ; he gave out but one Commandment to hil 
Worih«pperSy which was, Tbtu^fltait bave m other 
Gadf bui tmtj which they very religiouHy kept; yet 
this Man, though rais'd up to a kind of Deity by a 
stupid RabbU of Penfimers^ when look'd at with- 
out Prejudice, appear 'd a moft contemptibk 
Animal,— ^when he prayed , this was his conftant 
Petition, O Treafiay, tbou art my lard mnd my mfy 
Godf to thee I fray ; be propitious tt me, for thou along 
catCfl fave me from mine Enemies; yet his own God 
confounded him at lafi, and after many Struggles 
to bring him to JufHce, he was hang^ for fiealing 
the Publick Money; 

But this is a kind of Digreffion ; let Us confider 
the SUte of falfe Merit, of Titles and Preferments, 
which cannot add to the intrinfic Worth of the 
Man, and are only the Admiration of Fools. 

We have often feen Afters upon the Stage l*eprc* 
fentlng the Part of a Duke, a Prince, or fome great 
Emfkbob in a Play, but they are no fooner in the 
Tyring- Room, but they lay afide their Mock-State 
and return to thtir true and original Condition — So 
the Emperor, whofc Pomp and Luftre, and Atten- 
dants, dazzle you in publick ; do but peep behind 

the Curtain, examine him diveiled of his Guards 
M 



/ 



( 



^^ ) 



ana hU Sttte, and you will be able to find out no- 
l^ixig ifi him more than In an onjinary Man^ and 
pcradvcnturchewill appear to you more contempti- 
ble than the meancfl: of his Subjefts. — Cowardice, 
Irrcfolution, Amhhion p Spite and Envy are as often 
predominant in him as in a filly Woman. — ^Fevers, 
Gout^, and Apoplexies ^ fpare him no more than 
<3ne of us, — When old Age begins to prefs him 
down, can the Yeomen of his Guard eafe him of 
the Bu rthen ?— W hen he is al^on i fti *d at the A ppre* 
licnfions of Death, can the Gentlemen of his Bed- 
chamber comfort him, or drive the Terror from 
him? — If that Tormentor, Jealoufy, ihoutd diHurh 
hisBrain, can all the Compliments, Cringes, and 
Ceremonies of his Flatterers refVore him to Peace of 
Mind? — the rich Canopy, embroidered witii Pearl 
and Gold, under which he lies, has no Vcrtue to 
give him Eafe in a Fit of the Stone or Cholick, — 
and Fear has often found him out in the mi4ft af 
hii arm'd Battalions*. 

There is nothing therefore for which a Man is to 
be valued, but that which is Native Co him, hut 
that which is Part of the Man; Titles, Dignities, 
Orders may fometimes, and often do, fall upon the 
meaned Spirits; but yet J own our Reverence ought 
to follow them where* ever they go fprtntidedf that 
t and Greatnefs of Mind couM becommuni- 
l- along with them j^— but weknow| there is no 



( 94 ) 

Slaves, afid doing all hU dirty Drudgery, for the 
bare Promlfc of being invdfted with a String, or 
caird by another Name ; and if they have got it at 
laft, they have goE that which would neither mend 
g^ Wea' Mf0tij nor cure Vi ft Inking Breath. 

I don't mean by this, that a Man (hou^d be de- 
fpb d mtrely for his Title, or be made the Butt of 
Ridicuie for wearing the Enfign of fome Order; 
itele Things (?nly bring him more into pub lick 
View ; if i.e can fiand the Tefl of Examination, if 
his Mitid be noble, his Heart juft and courageous, 
if his Country has profited by his Labours, m^ 
Reverence iball meet hin^ with the reft ; bqt I 
Wou'd not have thefi? Things thrown in to make 
up for a Deficiency of Vertue and Honour. 

C^ftu wjfcs wont to fay I that he that Is rais'd 
above the common People, ought to have fom^ 
Qualficatiani ^ho\t the common People; and when 
I meet a Man rich in Vertue beyond the vulgar 
Herd, [tho' he (hould condelcend fb low, in Com* 
phance with the Cudom of the World, as to accept 
of Titles) yet I will ^wear him in my Hearty ay, in 
mv Htart ()/ H-fff^riJ-— hut if I fliould behold a 
Lump of Clay moulded by the Hands of a firll 
Minifter to all bafeUfes, I ftiould bltiih redder th^n 
Jhe Ribbon which it ivears, afhame^l that I ftioul4 
Ve of the fame Species with fo ^ik m Thing J^ 



«|? 




Though the Editor o£ this Eflay does not alto-^ 

getber accord in fentiment with the Poet who fays 

** Titfes with me are vain and nothing worth, 

** I rev'rence virtue but I laugh at Birib;^* 

yet he thinks that the power of conferring titles 

ihould be put under better regulations than it is at 

prefent, in fome countries ; and where the fource of 

exaltation refides in the Shvereigriy there (hould al£b 

be a power of degradation refiding in the peopie^ 

through their lawful reprefentatives. Perhaps, it 

would be a judicious law, if the honours of nobility 

were to be conferred only for a limited period :— 

(fuppofeitbe a Century!) and at the end of that 

time, the title to ceafe, unlefr the then poffeflbr 

ihould have rendered fome efTential fervices to his 

country, and by the voice of the people (hould have 

thofe honours continued which were firft conferred 

at the will of the Sovereign, 

This would ferve as a ftimulus to call forth all 
the energies of their faculties : a fenfe of (hame 
would roufe thfem from torpid inaftivity ; and the 
fear of degradation would impel them to meritori- 
ous exertions. 

That noble efforts (hould not go without reward, 
every difpaflionate and cool reafoner will not deny. 
There is no maxim in politics more indifputable 
than that national honours (hould be conferred on 
tbofc Yfhq render i^atioofil fervic^ ^ whether their 



4i 
i: 

i 



( ^ ) 

laViursire lo tlie ftudy, thecabbet, or in the field. 
X^is raiHei emulation^ cherifties public merit, and 
infplrcs every one with that laudable ambition 
■which promotes tbe good of the country- Hence 
thereihouldbc an order of meifi diftinguilbed above 
the cotiunoa clafe i audi f^^" <?'< 0r<^f the EiobJlitj 
may juflly be confidered, what an eminent writer 
has detinei it to be, " the Corinthian ca^itaUfpdiJhed 
ficietyi^^ but though a roan may exuitmgly trace 
ilia pedigree from a nobl^ progenitor, yet ** illuftri- 
** OU3 defcent is no nterii to the individual / ^ If his 
own perfonal virtues pnd fplendid afUons do nai 
entitle bim to didioflionj he ought not to have 
thofe honours entailed ia unlimited fuccefHon, but 
jhould be reduced to the cUfs from which the 
jlluflrious ance^or was taken ; and thus it wotild 
be no more than jufttce th^t '* the 3rd or 4th 
" generation flbould return to a level with the Gtieat 
'* Grandfather," There may be perfofis weak 
enough to object to the foregoing fuggeftion m ' a 

* wanton and dangerous innovation; and they may 

* fay that fach a fcheme never could take place 
' without entirely fubverting the eflabiithed prin- 

* clples of our atl-p^rfefi Conftltution ; and woe be 
' to England if it were ever to be adoptodT — ^Snch 
language may, and probably will, be made ufeof, 
by men jn certain iituations \ but let them and 

^^^jptfe^ray duly refleti, upon the following fcntunent 




of an ingenious poViUca\ -writer, " While Magna 
** C&flr/<i continues inviolate, and the great outline 
" of King, Lords, and Commons is prcferved, our 
'* Conftitution, I roundly aflert, remains unalter- 
** e^." Therefore be it remembered, that the 
propofed alteration refpefting nobility is no ftlbver- 
fion of true conftitutional do£lrine, but a meliora- 
tion of that difcipline which is now become corrupt, 
iniquitous, infamous, and diigraceful to the dignity 
of man. 

At all events, fuppofing the laws of inheritance 
were to remain exa61y as they are, and that there 
fhould be no legal bar to a title as long as there 
{hall be a male heir in the family (attainder 
excepted) yet an effeftual mode to diminish the 
evil of arid ocracy would he to diminifh ifs patn^ 
nage ; and, till this be done, there cannot be any- 
more contemptible aflertion than to fay, that *' -ut 
•* have the enjoyment of as much liberty as is 
** re<5uifite for the common welfare." 

This is the common cant language either of 
deluded 'weak men who perhaps never knew 'ma^ 
themfelves, and therefore cannot properly com- 
miferate the wants of others, or, of felf-interefted 
hnaves whowifh to preferve the flate-juggle from 
dete6tion : being well aware that when the trick® 
of jugglers are difcovered, they no longer retata 
the power to amufe. 



ii 



U 



1 
I 





Ac nobles arc noTr invcf^cd ought not to bccndorcd 
in an enlightened nation. 

Then let the tubUj (not only the men who deferve 

that honourable s^jpcllation, bat ercn the mco 

/• called) have their external rjrmbob of diilinaioo; 

let no good man envy them their glittering gtW' 

gaws ; but let rot the aremxcs to pubise property be 

l^t under fuch guards that no man can enter 

them who docs not come with a padj^rt obtained 

under regal or arifiocratical inaucnce. Rad men 

>i^ would be fearf'j I of acquiring diCt'mctlon by fiattons 

of pre-eminent rank, if power and opulence were 

not ncceflfarily connected therewith ; b«it good men 

would eftecm their diftinctlon a^ truly honourable^ 

even though their afHucrxc ihould be on a icale 

little fuperior to a rcafonar^Ic fupply of the coat" 

forts of life. A Lord would then be reverenced, a# 

|, he ought, for hU talent f and go<»dneG oi hezrt ; 

Cot merely for his wealth an^ ability topatrcnife 

thofe who folicit his power. 

Let U5 hope to fee the iz./ 'vhen a man may be 

^sdc an Exc'frman, or chtain any olher office, 

"^^Ithcrjt the aid of i mcfrihcr of i^zrVizTr^tnt ; when 

^^'eJry ^^^^-caJ characurr will be raiftd above krvlllty 

^ntJ m ticTsi^lc dq:cn^ance ; when the prcrrotlon? 

'tih^ytLYi dtrtny and «^-> w:*! be only of fjch men 

^}jc>f^^ '^'alour and worth have been trie-:, and 

■ ^>-^^ '^'ii'tucs render them beloved by the foldicn 



1 1 



^ 



( too J 

mnA failors over whom they irc to rule ; and In 
ftiortj when the merits of the officepj in t^ver^ de- 
partment of the fiale, from the Lord on the wool- 
fack to the public herald or tawn-crier^ OiaH be 
fucb as to quallf j btm for the pro^ difcharge af 
the ofBce. 

Till mure rational means of promotion fhall be 
fcHabllftied by law, than js the general practice in 
every country tut Gotham, ire muR look for the 
continuanee of thofe evils which good men now can 
only deplore,— The dctermlnatien refpe^ing the 
pofleffion of proper talents tofiUany public oflicei 
as it relates h intelle^^ A^outd certainty be deter- 
mined £jr in telUB, but the fortunate acquilition of 
the emoluments of office fhould be left to a more 
equitable mode of attaining to them ; and ^llabje^ 
depend an cc of man on man fl";ould be expelled 
from every nation upon earth. The acknowledge- 
ment of fufficient abilities toferve their eountry, 
ihould proceed from perfons competent to decide 
on that queflion; but admiflion to an office fhoitld 
depend on eafualty by the casing of a lot ^ and , if all 
the candidates arcdjly <jualiti?d, it matters not on 
whom the lot falleth. 

If rational tranquillity and peace be a blefTmgi 
Jlhen, that mode of conduct which has the (irongeft 
to termiirate contention, muft be that 
' wiic and good tnan would prefer* 



.4^ 



f. 



Now he who has o\)ta\ned the chara6ler of " the 
<* wifeft of men," has Infonnedus that" the i*ot 
xnaketh contention to ceafe^^ : but till the influence 
of the bafcr paffions be fuppreffed, we muft not 
expert the full fruition of fo much happinefs. This 
fuppreflion can never happen till the mode of acceis 
to, or repulfion from y public employments is^^no^ 
dependent on the weaknefs or malignity of human 
affections, but upon the calling of lots. 

This would be liberty! thb would be equity! 
this would be the beft mode to fiop the clamours 
of the difcontented and the oppreiTed ! nor would 
any men then unite in fecret or open faOion againft 
the ruling powers, but fuch defpicable unprincipled 
fcoundrels whofe deatli no good man would 
regret. 

But, as things are norw condu5led, it not unfre- 
quently happens that the rulers themfelves are 
men whofe U*i>es ought to be • • • « 



More might be faid : but as this Pamphlet is to 
be fold for one Sbillingy it is time to fay 



FINIS. 



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Around the Tea-Table. 



BV 



T. DE WITT TALMAGE, 

AUTHOR OF "CRUMBS SWEPT UP," "MODERN SOCIETY," 
ETC., ETC. 



COMPLETE EDITION. 



^^^■^o> 




JAMES BLACKWOOD & CO., LOVELUS COURT, 
PATERNOSTER ROW. 



7"- ,f - ^'1 ■ 



71 



PEEFACE. 



At breakfast we have no time to spare^ for ihe duties of the 
day are clamooring for attention ; at the noon-day dining- 
hour some of the family are absent ; but at six o'clock in the 
evening we all come to the tea-table for chit-chat and the 
recital of adventures. We take our friends in with us— the 
more friends, the merrier. You may imagine that the fol- 
lowing chapters are things said or conversations indulged in, 
or papers read, or paragraphs made up from that interview. 
We now open the doors very wide, and invite all to come in 
and be seated around the Tea-Table. 

T. D. W. T. 




CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. THE TABLE- CLOTH IS SPREAD - - - 9 

IL MR. GIVEMFITS AND DR. BUTTERFIELP - 14 

IIL A GROWLER SOOTHED - - - - 17 

IV. THE BALLOON WEDDING - - - 20 

V. CARLO AND THE FREEZER - - - 24 

VL OLD GAMES REPEATED - - - 28 

VIL THE FULL-BLOODED COW. - - - 31 

VIIL THE DREGS IN LEATHERBACK'S TE4-CW - 35 

IX. THE HOT AXLE- - - - - 38 

X. BEEFSTEAK FOR MINISTERS - - - 43 

XL SHOOTING PORPOISES - - - - 46 

XIL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN OLD PAIR OF SCISSORS 50 

XXIL A LIB, ZOOLOGICALLY CONSIDERED - - 54 

XIV. A BREATH OF ENGLISH AIR - - - 58 

XV. THE MIDNIGHT LECTURE - •. - C2 

XVI. THE SEXTON - . - - - -66 

XVU. THE OLD CRADLE - -. - - VO 

XVin. A horse's LETTER - - - - 74 



Tl 



CoyTs.yrs. 



LHAFTEft PAGE 

XIX. KIKGS OF THE KENNBL * -? - 78 

XX, TBGS ATASSACHE OF GHUECH MUSIC - - 82 

XXI. THE GENERAL CONFERENCE ■- • - 86 

XXII, TME BATTLE OF PEW AHB FtT£.Pra •• -^ 89 

XXIIL BRIGEAM AND WIVE3 MULTITUDINOUS - 94 

XXIV. THE devil's GEIST-MILL - - - 98 

XXT. THE OONDUCTOE*S DREAM - - - 102 

XXVL PUSH AKD VUtL - • - - 106 

XXVIL BOSTONIAKS ----- 109 

SXVni. JONAH VEESUa TOE WHALE - - - 112 

XXIX. SOMETHIKG UHDEE THE SOFA - - 114 

XXX, THE WAY TO KEEP FEESH - - - 116 

XXXI. CasISTMAS EELL3 - - - - 118 

XXXIL TKB MOKDAYISH FEELlNd - - - 120 

XXXIII. Dp S. M, - - - - - 123 

XXX IT. THE SIN OP SMALL TTfE - - - 125 

XXXV* POOE PEEACHINa - - . . 127 

XXX VL EOCXY MOUNTAIN LOCOMOTIVE - - 129 

XXXVIL SHELVES A MAN'S INDEX - - - 133 

XXXVIIL BEHAVIOUE AT CHURCH - - - 137 

XSXIX. MASCULINE AND FEMININE - - - 141 

XL, LITEEAEY FELONY - - - - 143 

XLL LITEEAHY ABSTINENCE - - - 145 

XLIL SaOET OR LONO PASTOEATES - - - 147 

XLin. AN EDITOE'S CHIP-BASKKT - - - 149 

XLIV. THE MANHOOD OP SEEVIOE - - - 151 

XLV. BAULKY PEOPLE • - - - 163 

XLVI. ANONYMOUS LETTEES - - - - 165 

XLVIL BEAWN OR BEAIN - - • - 168 

XLVIIL WAEM WEATHER RELIGION - - - 163 



Contents. vii 

CBAPTEB FAOE 

XLIX. HIDING EGGS FOR EASTER . • - 166 

L. SINK OR SWIM * . - . 169 

LL SHELLS FROM THE BEACH - • - 172 

LII. CATCHING THE BAY MARE - - - 175 

LIIL OUR FIRST AND LAST CIGAR - - - 178 

LIV. MOVE, MOVING, MOVED - - - 180 

LV. ADVANTAGE OF SMALL LIBRARIES - - 184 

LVL REFORMATION IN LETTER WRITING - - 187 

LVIL ROYAL MARRIAGES - - - - 189 

LVin, THREE VISITS - - - - - 191 

LIX. MANAHACHTANIENKS - - - - 194 

LX. A DIP IN THE SEA - - - - 196 

LXL HARD SHELL CONSIDERATIONS - - 199 

LXIL WISEMAN, HEAVYASBRICKS AND QUIZZLE - 202 

LXIIL A LAYER OF WAFFLES - - - - 211 

LXIV. FRIDAY EVENING • - - - 223 



SABBATH EVENING TEA-TABLE. 



LXV. THE SABBATH EVENING TEA-TABLE 
LXVL THE WARM HEART OF CHRIST 
LXVIL SACRIFICING EVERYTHING 
LXVin. THE YOUNGSTERS HAVE LEFT - 
LXIX. FAMILY PRAYERS 
LXX. CALL TO SAILORS 
LXXL JEHOSHAPHAT's SHIPPING 
LXXIL ALL ABOUT MERCY 
LXXIIL UNDER THE CAMEL's SADDLES 



227 
223 
231 
233 
241 
243 
246 
260 
254 



TUI 



COHTBHTS, 



CSAFTCB 

LXXIY. RALF-AKD-HALP OHlTlEtCfHKS - 
LXXY. THORNS - * - - 

LXXYL WHO TOUCHED Ul - 
LXXVIL CHRIST AT THE OOUNTRY-SEAT 
LXXVm. BSREAYBMKNT • . - 

LXXIX. THE BAOAMUFFniB 
LXXX. HARSH <»ITI0I81IB 



' 258 
280 



263 
271 

274 





AROUND THE TEA-TABLE. 



CHAPTEE I. 

THE TABLE-CLOTH IS BPBEAD. 

Our theory haa always been, " Eat lightly in the eTening." 
While, therefore, morning and noon there is bountif ulness, we 
do not have much on our tea-table but dishes and talk. The 
most of the world's work ought to be finished by six o'clock, 
P.M. The children are home from school The wife is done 
mending or shopping. The merchant has got through with 
dry goods or hardware. Let the ring of the tea-bell 1^ sharp 
and musical Walk into the room fragant with Oolong or 
Young Hyson. Seat yourself at the tea-table wide enough 
apart to have room to take out your pocket-handkerchief if 
you want to cry at any pitiful story of the day, or to spread 
yourself in laughter if some one propound an irresistible 
conundrum. 

The bottie rules the sensual world, but the tea-cup is queen 
in all th& fair dominions. Once this leaf was very rare, and 
fifty dollars a pound ; and when the East India Company 
made a present to the king of two pounds and two ounces, it 
was considered worth a mark in nistory. But now Uncle 
Sam and his wife every year pour thirty million pounds of it 
into their saucers. Twelve hundred years ago, a Chinese 
scholar by the name of Lo Yu wrote of tea, " It tempers the 
spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves 
fatigue^ awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens 



lo Around the Tea-Table. 

and refreshes the body and dears the perceptive faculties." 
Our own observation is that there is nothing that so loosens 
the hinge of the tongue, soothes the temper, exhilarates the 
diaphragm, kindles sc^alily, and makes the future promising. 
Like one of the small glasses in the wall of Banium's old 
museum, through which you could see cities and mountains 
bathed in sunimine, so, as you drink from the tea-cup, and 
get on toward the bottom, so that it is sufficiently elevated, 
you can see almost anything glorious that you want to. We 
had a great-aunt who used to come from town with the 
pockets of her bombazdue dress standing way out with nice 
things for the children, but she would come in looking black 
as a thunder-cloud until she had got through with her first 
cup of tea, when she would empty her right pocket of sugar- 
plums, and. having finished her second cup, would empty the 
other pockeL and after she had taken an extra third cup, 
because eAie felt so very chilly, it took all the sitting-room and 
parlour and kitchen to contson her exhilaration. 

Be not surprised if, after your friends are seated at the 
table, the style of the conversation depends very much on the 
kind of tea that the housewife pours for the guests. If it be 
genuine Young Hyson, the leaves of which are gathered early 
in the season, the talk will be fresh, and spirited, and sun- 
shiny. If it be what the Chinese call Pearl tea, but our 
merchants have named Gunpowder, the conversation will be 
explosive, and somebody's reputation will be killed before ^ou 
get through. If it be green tea, prepared by large infusion 
of Prussian blue and gypsum, or black tea mixed with pulver- 
ized black lead, you may expect there wiU be 4 poisonous 
efTect in the conversation and the moral health damaged. The 
"Rnglift^ Parliament found that there had come mto that 
country two million pounds of what the merchants call '' lie 
tea^" and, as far as I can estimate, about the same amount has 
been imported into the United States ; and when the house- 
wife pours into the cups of her guests a decoction of this " lie 
tea" the group are sure to fall to talking about their neigh- 
boursL and misrepresenting everything they touch. One meet- 
ing or a ''sewing society'' up in Canada where this tea was 
served resulted m two law-suits for slander, four black eyes 
that were not originally of that colour, the expulsion of the 
minister, and the abrupt removal from the top of the sexton's 
head of all capillary adomoient. 
But on our tea-table we will have first-rate Ningyong, or 



The TaelE'Cloth is Spread ii 

Pouchoug, or Souchong, or Oolong, so that the conrersation 
m^be pure and healthy. 

We propose from time to time to report some of the talk of 
our visitors at the tea-table. We do not entertain at tea many 
very great men. The fact is that great men at the tea-table 
for the most part are a bore. They are apt to be self-absorbed, 
or so profound I cannot understand them, or analytical of food, 
or nervous from having studied themselves haft to death, or 
exhume a piece of brown bread from their coat-tail because 
they are dyspeptic, or make such solemn remarks about hydro- 
benzamide or sulphindigotic acid that the children get fright- 
ened and burst out crying, thinking something dreadfid is 
going to happen. Learned Johnson, splashing his pompous 
wit over the table for Boswell to pick up, must have been a 
sublime nuisance. It was said of Goldsmith that " he wrote 
like an angel and talked like poor Poll." There is more 
interest in flie dining-room when we have ordinary people than 
when we have extraordinary. 

There are men and women who occasionally meet at our 
tea-table whose portraits are worth taking. There are Dr. 
Butter 6 eld, Mr. Giverafits, Dr. Heavyasbricks, Miss Smiley, 
and Miss Stinger, who come to see us. We expect to invite 
them all to tea very soon ; and as you will in future hear of 
their talk, it is better that I tell you now some of their 
ch^^Eusteristies. 

Dr. Butterfield is one of our most welcome visitors at the 
tea-table. As his name indicates, he is both melting and 
beautiful. He always takes pleasant \qews of things. He 
likes his tea sweet ; and after his cup is passed to him, he fre- 
quently hands it back, and says, " This is really delightful, 
but a little more sugar, if you please." He has a mellowing 
effect u{K)n the whole company. After hearing him talk a 
little while, I find tears standing in my ej^es without any suffi- 
cient reason. It is almost as good as a sermon to see him wipe 
his mouth with a napkin. I would not want him all alone to 
tea, because it would be making a meal of sweetmeats. But 
when he is present with others of different temperament, he is 
entertaining. He always reminds me of the dessert called 
"floating island," beaten egg on custard. On all subjects — 
political, social and religious — he takes the smooth side. He 
is a minister, and preached a course of fifty-one sermons on 
heaven in one year, saying that he would preach on the la.st 
and fifty-second Sunday concerning a place of quite opposite 
character; but the audience assembling on that day in August, 

1—2 



12 Around the Tea-Table, 

he rose, and said that it was too hot to preach, and so dismissed 
them immediately with a benediction. At the tea-table I 
never could persuade him to take any currant-jelly, for he 
always preferred strawberry-jam. He rejects acidity. 

We generally place opposite him at the tea-table Mr. 
Givemfits. He is the very antipodes of Dr. Butterfield ; and 
when the two talk, you set both sides of a subject. I have to 
laugh to hear them talk ; and my little girl, at the contro- 
veiBial collisions, gets into such hysterics that we haye to send 
her with her mouth full into the next room, to be pounded on 
the back to stop her from choking. My friend Givemfits is 
" down on'' almost everything but tea, and I think one reason 
of his nervous, sharp, petulant way is that he takes too much 
of this beverage. He thinks the world is very soon coming to 
an end, and says, '' The sooner the better, confound it 1'' He 
is a literary man, a newspaper writer, a book critic, and so on; 
but if he were a minister, he would preach a course of fifty- 
one sermons on " future punishment," proposing to preach the 
fifty-second and last Sabbath on " future rewards ;'' but the 
last Sabbath coming in December, he would say to his audi- 
ence, ^^ Beally it is too cold to preach. We will close with the 
Doxologyand omit the Benediction, as I must go down by the 
stove to wann.** 

He does not like women — thinks they are of no use in the 
world, save to set the tea a-drawing. Says there was no 
trouble in Paradise till a female came there, and that ever 
since Adam lost the rib woman has been to man a bad pain in 
the side. He thinks that Dr. Butterfield, who sits opposite 
him at tiie tea-table, is something of a hypocrite, and asks him 
all sorts of puzzling questions. The fact is, it is vinegar-cruet 
against sugar-bowl in perpetual controversy. I do not blame 
Givemfits as much as many do. His digestion is poor. The 
chills and fever enlarged his spleen. He has frequent attacks 
of neuralgia. Once a week he has the sick headache. His 
liver is out of order. He has twinges of rheumatism. Nothing 
he ever tak:es agrees with him but tea, and that doesn't. He 
has had a good deal of trial, and the thunder of trouble has 
soured the milk of human kindness. When he gets criticising 
Dr. Butterfield's sermons and books, I have sometimes to pre- 
tend that I hear somebody at the front door, so that I can go 
out in the hall and have an uproarious laugh without being 
indecorous. It is one of the great amusements of my life to 
have on opposite sides of my tea-table Dr. Butterfield and Mr, 
Givemfitflk 



The Table-Cloth is Spread, 13 

Bat ^e have many others who come to our tea-table : Miss 
Smiley, -who often runs in about six o'clock. All sweetness is 
MiOA Smiley. She seems to like everybody, and everybody 
seems ijtoilike her. Also Miss Stinger, sharp as a hornet, prides 
hera^ on saying things that cut ; dislikes men ; cannot bear 
the sight of a pair of boots ; loathes a shaving apparatus ; 
thinks Eve wonld have shown better capacity for house-keep- 
ing if ^e had, the first time she used her broom, swept Adam 
out of Paradise. Besides these ladies, many good, bright, 
useful and sensible people of all kinds. In a few days we shall 
invite a group of them to tea, and you shall hear some of their 
discussions of men and books and things. We shall order a 
. canister of the best Toung Hyson, pull out the extension-table, 
hang on the kettle, stir the blaze, and with chamois and silver- 
powder scour up the tea-set that we never use save when we 
have company^ 





CHAPTER IL 

MIU OIYEMFITS AND DB. BUTTEBFIELDu 

Thb tea-kettle never sang a sweeter song than on the evening 
I speak oL It evidently knew that company was coming. At 
the appointed time our two friends, Dr. Butterfield and Mr. 
Givenmts, arrived As already intimated, they were opposite 
in temjperament — the former mild, mellow, fat. good-natured 
and of nne disestion^ always seeing the bright siae of anything; 
the other, spknetic, harsh, and when he swallowed anything 
was not sure whether he would be the death of it, or it would 
be the death of him. 

No sooner had they taken their places opposite each other 
at the table than conversation opened. As my wife was 
handing the tea over to Mr. Givemfits the latter broke out in 
a tirade against the weather. He said that this winter was 
the most unbearable that had ever been known in the 
almanacs. When it did.not rain, it snowed ; and when it was 
not mud, it was sleet At this point he turned around and 
coughed violently, and said that in such atmosphere it was 
impossible to keep clear of colds. He thought he would go 
South. He would rather not live at all than live in such a 
climate as this. No chance here, save for doctors and under- 
takers, and even they have to take their own medicines and 
lie in their own coffins. 

At this Dr. Butterfield gave a good-natured laugh, and 
said, " I admit the inconveniences of the weather ; but are 
you not aware that there has been a drought for three years 
in the country, and great suffering in the land for lack of 
rain ? We need all this wet weather to make an equilibrium. 



Mr. Givemfits a .yd Dr, Butter field. 15 

What is discomfort to you is the wealth of the land. Besides 
that, I fiud that if I cannot get sunshine in the open air I can 
carry it in the crown of my hat. He who has a warm coat, 
and a full stove, and a comfortable house, ought not to spend 
much of his time in complaint." 

Miss Smiley slid this moment into the conversation with a 
hearty " Ha ! ha !" She said, " This last winter has been the 
happiest of ray life. I never hear the winds gallop but I want 
to join them. The snow is only the winter in blossom. In- 
stead of here and there on the pond, the whole country is 
covered with white lilies. I have seen gracefulness enough in 
the curve of a snowdrift to keep me in admiration for a week. 
Do you remember that morning after the storm of sleet, when 
every tree stood in mail of ice, with drawn sword of icicle 1 
Besides, I think the winter drives us in, and drives us together. 
We have never had such a time at our house with checker- 
boards, and dominoes, and blind-man*s-buff, and the piano, as 
this winter. Father and mother said it seemed to them like 
getting married over again. Besides that, on nights when the 
storm was so great that the door-bell went to bed and slept 
soundly, Chanes Dickens stepped in from Gad's Hill ; and 
Henry W. Longfellow, without knocking, entered the sittiug- 
room, his hair white as if he had walked through the snow 
with his hat off ; and William H. Prescott, with his eyesight 
restored, happened in from Mexico, a cactus in his button- 
hole ; and Audubon set a cage of birds on the table— Balti- 
more oriole, chaffinch, starling and bobolink doing their 
prettiest ; and Christopher North thumped his gun down on 
the hall floor, and hung his 'sporting jacket' on the hat-rack, 
and shook the carpet brown with Highland heather. As 
Walter Scott came in his «^og scampered in after him, and put 
both paws up on the marble-top table ; and Minnie asked the 
old man why he did not part his hair better, instead of letting 
it hang all over his forehead, and he apologized for it by the 
fact t^t he had been on a long tramp from Melrose Abbey to 
Kenilworth Castle. But I think as thrilling an evening as 
we had this winter was with a man who walked in with a 
prison-jacket, his shoes mouldy and his cheek pallid for the 
want of the sunlight. He was so tired that he went immedi- 
ately to sleep. He would not take the sofa, saying he waa 
not used to that, but he stretched himself on the floor and 
put his head on an ottoman. At first he snored dreadfully, 
and it was evident he had a horrid dream ; but after a while 
he got easier, and a smile came over his face, and he woke 



i6 Around the Tea-Table, 

himself singing and shouting. I said, * What is the matter 
with you, and what were you dreaming about V * WelJ,' he 
said, ' the bad dream I had was about the City of Destruction, 
and the happy dream was about the Celestial City ;' and we 
all knew him right away, and shouted, * Glorious old John 
Bunyan ! How is Christiana V So, you see,'' said Miss 
Smiley, ^' on stormy nights we really have a pleasanter time 
than when the moon and stars are reigning.'' 

Miss Stinger had sat quietly looking into her tea-cup until 
this moment, when she clashed her spoon into the saucer, and 
said, "If tiiere is anything I dislike, it is an attempt at 
poetey when you can't do it. I know some people who always 
try to show themselves in public ; but when they are home, 
they never have their collar on straight, and in the morning 
look like a whirlwind breakfasting on a haystack. As for me, 
I am practical, and winter is winter, and sleet is sleet, and ice 
is ice, and a tea-cup is a tea-cup ; and if you will pass mine 
up to the hostess to be resupplied, I will like it a great deal 
better than all this sentimentaJism. No sweetening, if you 
please. I do not like things sweet. Do not put in any of your 
oeautiful snow for sugar, nor stir it with an icicle." 

This sudden jerk in the conversation snapped it off, and for 
a moment there was quiet. I knew not how to get conversa- 
tion started a^ain. Our usual way is to talk about tho 
weather ; but that subject had been already exhausted. 

Suddenly I saw the colour for the first time in years come 
into the face of Mr. Givemfits. The fact was that, in biting 
a hard crust of bread, he had struck a sore tooth which had 
been troubling him, and he broke out with the exclamation, 
" Dr. Butterfield, the physical and moral world is degener- 
ating. Things get worse and worse. Look, for instance, at 
the tone of many of the newspapers ; gossip, abuse, lies, blaick- 
mail, make up the chief part of them, and useful intelligence 
is the exception. The public have more interest in murders 
and steamboat explosions than in the items of mental and 
spiritual progress. Church and State are covered up with 
newspaper mud." 

" Stop !" said Dr. Butterfield. " Don't you ever buy news- 
papers ?" 





CHAPTER III. 

A GROWLER SOOTHED. 

GiVEMFlTS said to Dr. Butterfield, "You asked me last 
evening if I ever bought newspapers. I reply, Yes, and 
write for them too. 

"But I see their degeneracy. Once you could believe 
nearly all they said ; now he is a fool who believes a tenth 
part of it. There is the New York Scandalmonger and the 
Philadelphia Frestidigitateur, and the Boston Prolific, which 
do nothing but hoodwink and confound the public mind. 
Ten dollars will get a favourable report of a meeting, or as 
much will get it caricatured. There is a secret spring behind 
almost every column. It depends on what the editor had for 
sapper the night before whether he wants Foster hung or his 
sentence commuted. If the literary man had toast and tea, 
as weak as this before me, he sleeps soundly, and next day 
says in his columns that Foster ought not to be executed ; he 
is a good fellow, and the clergymen who went to Albany to 
get him pardoned were engaged in a holy calling, and their 
congregations had better hold fast of them lest they go up 
like Elijah. But if the editor had a supper at eleven o'clock 
at night of scallops fried in poor lard, and a little too much 
bourbon, the next day he is headachy, and says Foster, the 
flealawag, ousht to be hung, or beaten to death with his own 
car-hook, and the ministera who went to Albany to get him 
pardoned might better have been taking tea with some of the 
old ladies. I have been behind the scenes and know all about 
ity.and must admit that I have done some of the bad work 
mjBelf, I have on my writing^stand thirty or forty books to 



i8 Around the Tea-Table, 

discuss as a critic, and the column must be made up. Do 
you think I take time to read the thirty or forty Dooks ? 
No. I finft take a dive into the index, a second dive into the 
preface, a third dive into the four hundredth page, the fourth 
(live into the seventieth page, and Uien seize my pen and do 
up the whole job in fifteen minutes. I make up my mind to 
like the book or not to like it, according as I admire or despise 
the author. But the leniency or severity of my article de- 
pends on whether the room is cold and my rheumatism that 
day is sharp or easy. Speaking of these things reminds me 
that the sermon which the Bight Beverend Bishop Good- 
enough preached last Sunday on 'Growth in Grace,' was 
taken down and brought to our office by a reporter who fell 
over the door-sill of the sanctum so drunk we had to help him 
up and fish in his pockets for tiie bishop's sermon on holiness 
of heart and life, which we were sure was somewhere about 
him." 

« Tut I tut l» cried Dr. Bntterfield. « I think, Mr. Givem- 
fits, you are entirely mistaken. [The doctor all the while 
stirring the sugar in his cup.] I think the printing-press is a 
mighty agency for the world's betterment K I were not a 
minister, I would be an editor. There are Bohemians in the 
newipapNBT profession, as in all others, but do not denounce the 
entire apostleship for the sake of one Judas. Beporters, as I 
know them, are clever fellows, worked almost to death, com- 
pelled to keep imseasonable hours, and have temptations to 
fieht which few other occupations endure. Considering the 
blunders and indistinctness of the public speaker, I think they 
get thinffs wonderfully accurate. The speaker murders the 
king's l^gliflh, and is mad because the reporter cannot resus- 
citate the corpse. I once made a speech at an icecream^ 
festival amid great embarrassments, and hemmed, and hawed 
and expectorated cotton from my dry mouth, and sweat like a 
Tnrkisn bath, the adjectives, and the nouns, and verbs, and 
prepositions of my address keeping an Irish wake ; but the 
next dav, in the Johnstovm Advocate, my remarks read as 
mcef ully as Addison's Spectator. I knew a phonographer in 
Washington whose entire business it was to weed out from 
Ck>ngre6smen's speeches the sins agaiust Anglo-Saxon ; but 
the work was too much for him, and he died of delirium 
tremens, from having drank too much of the wine of syntax, 
in his ravings imagining that ' interrogations ' were crawling 
over him like snakes, and that ' interjections ' were thrusting 
him through with daggers, and 'periods' struck him like 



A Groivler Soothed. 19 

bullets, and his body seemed torn apart by disjunctive con- 
junctions. No, Mr. Givemfits, you are too hard. And as to 
the book-critics whom you condemn, they do more for the 
circulation of books than any other class, especially if they 
denounce and caricature, for then human nature will see the 
book at any price. After I had published my book on 
The Philosophy of Civilization, it was so badgered by the 
critics and called so many hard names that my publishers 
could not print it fast enough to meet the demands of the 
curious. Besides, what would we do without the newspaper ? 
With the iron rake of the telegraph it draws the whole world 
to our door every morning. The sermon that the minister 
preached to five hundred people on Sabbath the newspaper 
next day preaches to fifty thousand. It takes the verses 
which the poet chimed in his small room of ten feet by six, and 
rings them into the ears of the continent. The cylinder of the 
printing-press is to be one of the wheels of the Lord's chariot. 
The gooa newspapers will overcome the bad ones, and the 
honey-bees will outnumber the hornets. Instead of the 
three or four religious newspapers that once lived on giiiel and 
pap, sitting down once a week on some good man's door step 
to rest, thankful if not kicked oflf, now many of the denomin- 
ations have stalwart journals that swing their scythe through 
the sins of the world, and are avant couriers of the Lord's 
coming." 

As Dr. Butterfield concluded this sentence his face shone 
like a harvest moon. We had all dropped our knives, and 
were looking at him. The Young Hyson tea was having its 
mollifying effect on the whole company. Mr. Givemfits 
had made way with his fourth cup (they were small cups, 
the set we use for the company), and he was entirely 
soothed and moderated in hia opinions about every thing, 
and actually clapped hia hands at Dr. Butterfield's per- 
oration. Even Miss Stinger was in glow, for she had drank 
large quantities of the fragrant beverage while piping hot, and 
in her delight she took Givemfits' arm, and asked him if he 
ever meant to get married. Miss Smiley smiled. Then Dr. 
Butterfield lifted his cup, and proposed a toast which we all 
drank standing : " The mission of the printing-press ! The 
salubrity of the climate ! The prospects ahead ! The wonders 
of Oolong and Young Hyson !" 



\m*'j..L.- ■ 






CHAPTER IV. 



THE BALLOON WEDDIXTO. 



OuB old gronp of tea-table friends is dispersed. Oar sour 
friend, Mr. Givemfits, the book-critic, is dead. I meant to 
have broken to you the news more gradually, but it slipped 
out. He died A aggravated dyspepsia and virulent acidity of 
stomach. At the post-mortem examination tlie sui'geon found 
that his spleen had greatly enlarged, this spongy viscus near 
the fundus of the stomach having entirely vitiated the left 
hypochondrium. It was found also that bis gall had turned 
wrongside out He kept up for a few days by the inspiration of 
green tea of the strongest sort ; indeed, cologne ana camphor 
did not revive him so much as the smeU of the caddy. But at 
last he gave out, saying, *^ No use ! My tea does me no good. 
Send that pile of books that I have not finished to the critic 
over the way. I am glad to get out of this miserable world. 
Good-bye. Tell Mr. Talmage to preach at my obsequies from 
the text, ' All men are liars.' " 

Our friend, Dr. Butterfield, the bundle of sunshine, and our 
Miss Stinger, the censorious, are going into connubial partner- 
ship. When, one evening after tea, I saw Miss Stinger and 
Dr. Butterfield looking into each other's eyes, I said to my 
wife, '* There is another match ! " From the way the sun rises 
I can guess the '* weather probabilities.^ The dispositions of 
these oppodtes have been rapidly assimilating. Dr. Butter- 
field is not so placid as he was, and by recently sitting up late 
at nights has oecome quite acerb and sharp m his temper ; 
while Miss Stinger, from dwelling so mucn in the compar- 
ative sunshine of the doctor, has been very much mellowed ; 
and so the Arctic and the Antarctic will probably meet at the 



The Balloon Wedding, 21 

equator. Indeed, I will tell you a secret : these two are to be 
married next Wednesday night. 

As we were talking last night at the tea-table about thi* 
coming event, one of the visitors cried out, " Speaking of wed- 
dings reminds me of the famous balloon wedding. Tell us all 
aboat it.*' So, after the napkins had been folded and put in 
the rings, and the spoons had been lifted from the saucei-s into 
the cups, in signal that we were all done with the evening 
beverage, I told them a real story of eight years ago. 

One day, when I was living in Philadelphia, a celebrated 
baUoonist was ushered into my study. He had just arrived 
from New York with an invitation from one of my scientific 
friends who wished me to come on to Fifth Avenue Hotel, 
in the wicked city of New York (all Philadelphians think 
New York very wicked), and unite him in marriage with a. 
most excellent lady of that city. The messenger said that 
after the marriage ceremony the wedding-party proposed to go 
up in a balloon from Central Park, the scientific friend before 
mentioned having made a costly piece of philosophical appar- 
atus by which he expected to experiment on air currents as he 
ascended to the clouds. 

The evening before the wedding I arrived at Fifth Avenue 
Hotel, where effort was made to induce me to perform the 
ceremony in the balloon and up among the clouds. But I re- 
fused, saying that while I believed in the ** higher law," I 
doubted the legality of a wedding performed so high up above 
the reach of municipal authority; besides that, my nead is 
apt to get dizzy at a great height, and I might not be able to 
see straight enough to tie the knot ; besides that, it is very 
risky for my church to have its pastor go so high up, lest, 
having got so finely started, he should not return, the memory 
of Elijah flashing across me \ besides that, if I should slip and 
fall from a height of two or three miles, somebody standing 
underneath would be almost sure to get hurt. Of course I 
remembered the proverb that " matches are made in heaven," 
but I do not believe it, for some of them are ludfer matches, 
and from the odour of brimstone I know they are made in 
the other place. Besides all these objections to performincj 
the ceremony in the clouds, the reporters would get hold of it ; 
and as it was a dull time among them, I knew that what was 
left of me after the balloon peril they would finish. 

Persisting in this idea, at two o'clock, p.m., in the parlour of 
Fifth A venue Hotel, I united in wedlock as scientific a gentle- 
man and as good a lady as the country holds. I was invited 



^ 



22 Around the Tea-Table. 

to go up to Central Park and see the we<lding party start on 
the balloon excursion. Having several hours before the rail 
train started, I accepted the invitation. The newspapers had 
stated that I would perform the wedding as the balloon was 
being cut loose from the earth— the only time I ever knew the 
newspapers to be mistaken ! The great natural amphitheatre 
in the park had been enclosed. At one dollar a head, the 
lai^gest audience I ever saw were assembled, on tip-toe of ex- 
citement. The housetops in proximity were covered with 
people anxious to see the bride and groom and minister and 
balloon. It was four o'clock when I arrived on the ground, 
uoaocompanied ^ and arousing no suspicion as to who I was. I 
had an opportunity of gazing on the most amusing and side- 
splitting scene I ever witnessed. 

The great balloon fastened to the earth swung and struggled 
and flopped, as much as to say, '^ Time to go ; bring on your 
wedding party.** There were ten or fifteen reporters present. 
Some of them had their pieces all written ; otners were busy. 
One clever fellow, reporting for "The New York Winding 
Sheet," showed me his j)iece with full description of bride and 
groom and minister, saying he had never seen the minister and 
wanted to know if I had, and if I thought that his description 
was accurate. I told him I thought it was beautiful, and that 
if the minister was not satisfied with that he never would be 
satisfied with anything. The balloon not being quite ready, 
the bride and groom took alon^ ride through the park, and it 
was getting toward night, and tiie reporters became impatient 
and demanded that the balloon start, and the wedding begin. 
I quietly told one of the reporters that the wedding hid been 
performed two hours before in the Fifth Avenue Hotel. He 
denied it, till I told him that I was the minister. " It can't 
be possible," he said, "that you went and did that in the 
hotel I Why that spoils all my piece ! Here is a long descrip- 
tion of the whole thing as occurring two miles high ! What 
shall I do with this two columns of fine description ! Sir, I 
demand that you do something to make this report appro- 
priate." I asked, " What would you have me do V* " Oh," 
said he, " you must pronounce the benediction, or bless the 
people, or say a little or do something religious ; I don't care 
what it is." As I saw the excitement was spreading, I took 
the carriage, and by ten o'clock p.m. was at my home in Phila- 
delphia. But next morning didn't I catch it ! One of the 
newspapers was headed : " Wedding in the Clouds ! Dis- 
ORACEFUL Scene! Talmaqe Two Miles High! Cebe- 



The Balloo.n Wedding, 23 

MONY Away Up !" followed by minute description of how the 
minister, standing somewhere near the man in the moon, 
kissed the bride, and then sat down on the edge of the baDoon, 
and looked ten thousand feet down at the golden sunset and 
the great city beneath, with all its mighty populations of sen- 
tient people, and other things as fine as tnat. Some of the 
religious papers were shocked — that, is, they lied ; and when 
religious papers do lie, they beat " The New York Winding 
Sheet," for they come to the work fresher. They said, ** Here 
is a regularly ordained minister cutting up antics two milfes 
above the clouds. We all feel humiliated. Let us pray !" 

It was a great harvest for the pictorials. The news-rooms 
were lined with representations of " Talmage Getting into 
THE Balloon. Talmage with his Coat Tail Flying 
ovEE THE Side of the Balloon. Talmage Performing 
THE Ceremony. Talmage Congratulating the Bride. 
Talmage Begging to Come Down because he Felt so 
Chilly. Talmage Spilled Out at Midnight on the 
Other Side of Hoboken, Asking which Way was Up 
and Down." We do not remember just the words, but it 
was as lively as th?-t. The balloon professor got all the money 
that was made oat of the affair, but my compensation was 
chiefly religious. We got so many good lessons from the secular 
and religious newspapers about that time that we grew rapidly 
better, although many did not notice the favourable change. 
It put me on my guard about weddings, and the next time I 
married a couple I told them plainly that I was not respon- 
sible for their style of wedding-trip, and positively refused to 
go with them anywhere, whether in car, stage or balloon, and 
that I did not care, after I had married them, whether they 
went up or down. 

Now, my advice to all these young people around this tea- 
table is not to make a balloon excursion when they get married, 
nor spend all their money in going to see Niagara Falls or the 
'Mammoth Cave or the World's Exhibition. iSie most sensible 
wedding excursion is that which is made when the groom 
takes the bride from her father's house, by the shortest route, 
to his own modest and unpretentious home, arranged for her 
coming. Four rooms will do as well as a castle. Two happy 
hearts are the finest furniture ; and a tea-table with a youiig 
married man to ask the blessing on one side, and a young wife 
to hand over the smoking cup from the other side, beats 
Niagara Falls, Mammoth Cave and the World's Exhibition. 
If heaven is anything happier than that, I know not how we 
will stand it. 




CrrAFTER T, 

CAEI.O AND THE FEIEZEE, 

We liiid a jolly time at our tea-taLItJ this eveniof];. We haJ 
not aeen rtur old friend for ten 3^ears. When I heard his voice 
in the haU^ it aeemed like a snatch of " Anld Lang Syna^^ He 
came from BelleTille^ where was the first home we ever set up 
for onrselves. It was a stormy eve Ding, and we did not expect 
eompany, hut we soon made way for him at the table. Jennie 
was very willing to stand up at the comer ; and after a fair 
napkin had heen thrown over the place where she had dropped 
a speck of Jelly, our fnend and I began the rehearsal of other 
days. While I was alluding to a circumstance that occurred 
between me and one of my Belleville neigiiboarfi, the ahildren 
txried out with stentorian yoice, " Tell us about Carlo and the 
Freezer f and they kicked the le^f of the table, and beat with 
both hands, and clattered the knives on the plate, until I was 
compelled to shout, " Silence ! You aet like a band of Araba I 
Frank, you had better swallow wliat you have in your mouth 
before you attempt to talk/' Order having been gained, I 
be^n : 

We sat in the countTj jmrsonage, on a eoM winter day, 
looking out of our back window toward the house of a neigh- 
bour. She w^as a model of kindness, and a most convenient 
neighbour to have. It was a ride between ua that who^u either 
hoiBse was in want of anything it should borrow of the other. 
The rule worked well for the parsonage, but rather badly for 
the neighbour, because on our side of the fence, we had just 
begun to keep house, and needed to borrow everything, while 
we had nothing to lend, except a few sermons^ which the neigh* 



Carlo and the Freezer. 2^ 

bonr never tried to boiTow, from the fact that she had enough 
of them on Sundays. There is no danger tliat your neighbour 
T7ill burn a hole in your new bra^ kettle if you have none to 
lend. It will excite no surprise to say that we had an interest 
in aU that happened on the other side of the parsonage fence, 
and that any mjury inflicted on so kind a woman would rouse 
our sympathy. 

On the wintry morning of which we speak our neighbour 
had been makiu^ ice-cream ; but there being some defect in 
the machinery, Uie cream had not sufficiently congealed, and 
80 she set the can of the freezer containing the luxury on her 
back steps, expecting the cold air would completely harden it. 
What was our dismay to see that our dog Carlo, on whose early 
education we were expending great care, had taken upon him- 
self the office of ice-cream inspector, and was actually busy with 
the freezer ? We hoisted the window and shouted at him, but 
his mind was so absorbed in his undertaking he did not stop 
to listen. Carlo was a greyhound, thin, gaunt and long-nosed, 
and he was already making his way on down toward the 
bottom of the can. His eyes and all his head had disappeared 
in the depths of the freezer. Indeed, he was so far submerged 
that when he heard us, with quick and infuriate pace, coming 
up close behind him, he could not get his head out, and so 
started with the encumbrance on his head, in what direction 
he knew not. No dog was ever in a more embarrassing posi- 
tion — freezer to the right of him, freezer to the left of nim, 
freezer on the top of him, freezer under him. 

So, thoroughly blinded, he rushed against the fence, then 
against the side of the house, then against a tree. He barked 
as though he thought he might explode the nuisance with 
loud sound, but the sound was confined in so strange a 
speaking-trumpet that he could not have known his own 
voice. His way seemed hedged up. Fright and anger and 
remorse and shame whirled him about without mercy. 

A feeling of mirthfulness, which sometimes takes me on 
most inappropriate occasions, seized me, and I sat down 011 
the ground, powerless at the moment when Carlo most needed 
help. If I only could have got near enough, I would have 
put my foot on the freezer, and, taking hold of the dog's tail, 
dislodged him instantly ; but this I was not permitted to do. 
At this stage of the disaster my neighbour appeared with a 
look of consternation, her cap-strings flying in the cold wind. 
I tried to explain, but the aforesaid untimely hilarity hindered 
me. All I could do was to point at the flying freezer and the 

2 



26 Around the Tea-Table. 

adjoining dog and ask her to call off her freezer, and, with 
assumed indignation, demand what she meant by trying to 
kill my greyl^und. 

The poor doff's every attempt at escape only wedged himself 
more thorongmy fast. But after a while, in time to save the 
doff, though not to save the ice-cream, my neighbour and my- 
self effected a rescue. Edwin Landseer, the great painter of 
dogs aikl their friends, missed his best chance by not being 
there wImq the parishioner took hold of the freezer and the 
pastor sttLsed the dog's tail, and, pulling mightily in opposite 
directions, they each got possession of their own property. 

Carlo was cured of his love for luxuries, and the sight of a 
freezer on the back steps till the day of his death would send 
him howling away. 

Carlo found, as many people have found, that it is easier to 
get into trouble than to get out. Nothing could be more 
delicious than while he was eating his way in, but what must 
have been his feelings when he found it impossible to get out ! 
While he was stealing the freezer the freezer stole him. 

Lesson for dogs and men ! '' Come in !'' says the gi^ay 
spider to the house-fly ; '' I have entertained a great many 
flies. I have plenty of room, flne meals and a gay life. Walk 
on this suspension-bridge. Give me your hand. Come iii, 
my sweet lady fly. These walls are covered with silk, and the- 
tapestry is gobelm, I am a wonderful creature. I have eight 
eyes, and of course can see your best interest. Philosophers 
liave written volumes about my antennse and cephalothorax.'' 
House-fly walks gently in. The web rocks like a cradle in 
the breeze. The house-fly feels honoured to be the guest oi 
such a big spider. We all have regard for big bugs. " But 
what is this V cries the fly, pointing to a broken wing, " and 
this fragment of an insect's foot There must have been a 
murder here I Let me go back !" " Ha ! ha !" says the 
spider, " the gate is locked, the drawbridge is up. I only con- 
tracted to bring you in. I cannot afford to let you out. Take 
a drop of this poison, and it will quiet your nerves. I throw 
this hook of a fang over your neck to keep you from falling 
off." Word went back to the house-fly's family, and a choir of 
great green-bottled insects sang this psalm at the funeral : 
'An unfortunate fly a-yisiting went, 
And in a gowamer web found himself pent." 

The fii^ five years of a dissipated life is comparatively easy, 
for it is all down hill ; but when the man wakes up and finds 
hia tongue wound with blasphemies, and his eyes swimming 



Carlo and the Freezrr ij 

in ziieaiD, and the antennss of vice feeling along his nerves, 
and the 4>i<iei^^ poison eating through his very life, and he 
resolveB to return, he finds it hard travelling, for it is up hill, 
and the fortresses along the road open on him their batteries. 
We go into sin hop, skip and jump ; we come out of it creeping 
on afi-fours. 

Let flies and dogs and men keep out of mischief. It is 
smooth all the way there, and rough all the way back. It is 
ice-cream for Carlo clear down to the bottom of the can, but 
afterward it is blinded eyes and sore neck and great fright. 
It is only eighteen inches to go into the freezer ; it is three 
miles out. For Robert Burns it is rich wine and clapping 
hands and carnival all the way going to Edinburgh ; but 
going back, it is worn-out body, and lost estate, and stinging 
conscience, and broken heart, and a drunkard's grave. 

Better moderate our desires. Carlo had that morning as 
good a breakfast as any dog need to have. It was a law of the 
household that he should be well fed. Had he been satisfied 
with bread and meat, all would have been well But he 
sauntered out for luxuries. He wanted ice-cream. He got it, 
but brought upon his head the perils and damages of wmch I 
have written. As long as we have reasonable wants we get on 
comfortably, but it is the struggle after luxuries that fills 
society with distress, and populates piisons, and sends hun- 
dreds of people stark mad. Dissatisfied with a plain house, 
and ordinary apparel, and respectable surroundings, they 
plunge their head into enterprises and speculations from which 
they have to sneak out in disgrace. Thousands of men have 
sacrificed honour and religion for luxuries, and died with the 
freezer about their ears. 

Young Catchem has one horse, but wants six. Lives in a 
nice house on Thirtieth Street, but wants one on Madison 
Square. Has one beautiful wife, but wants four. Owns a 
hundred thousand dollars of Erie stock, but wants a million. 
Plunges his head into schemes of all sorts, eats his way to the 
bottom of the can till he cannot extricate himself, and con- 
stables, and dierifis, and indignant society, which would have 
said nothing had he been successful, go to pounding him 
because he cannot get his head out. 

Our poor old Carlo is dead now. We all cried when wa 
found that he would never frisk again at our coming, nor put 
up his paw against us. But he lived long enough to preach 
the sermon about caution and contentment of which I have 
been the stenographer. 

2—2 




CHAPTER VL 



OLD GAMES REPEATED. 



We tarried longer in the dining-room this evening than 
usual, and the children, losing their interest in what we were 
saying, got to playing all about us in a very boisterous way, 
but we said nothing, for it is the evening hour, and I think 
it keeps one fresh to have these things going on around us. 
Indeed, we never get over being boys and girls. The good, 
healthy man sixty years of age is only a boy with added ex- 
perience. A woman is only an old girl. Summer is but an 
older Spring. August is May in its teens. We shall be useful 
in proportion as we keep young in our feelings. There is no 
use for fossils except in museums and on the shelf. I like 
young old folks. 

Indeed, we all keep doing over what we did in childhood. 
You thought that long ago you got through with "blind-man's- 
buff," and ** hide-and-seek," and " puss in the comer," and 
" tick-tack-to," and " leap-frog," but all our lives are passed in 
pla3dng those old games over again. 

You say, ** What a racket those children make in the other 
room ! When Squire Jones's boys come over to spend the 
evening with our children, it seems as if they would tear the 
house down." "Father be patient !" the wife says ; "we 
once played * blind-man's-buff 'ourselves." Sure enough, father 
is playing it now, if he only knew it. Much of our time in 
life we go about blindfolded, stumbling over mistakes, trying 
to catch things that we miss, while people stand round the 
ring and titter, and break out with half suppressed laughter, 
igid push UB ahead, and twitch the corner of our eyebandage. 



Old Games Repeated, 29 

After a while we vehemently clutch somethinff with bothhands, 
and announce to the world our capture ; the ulindf old is taken 
from our eyes, and, amid the shouts of the surrounding 
spe ctators, we find we have, after all, caught the wrong thing. 
What is that but "blind-man's-buff" over again i 

You say, " Jenny and Harry, go to bed. It seems so siUy 
for you to sit there making two parallel lines perpendicular, 
and two parallel lines horizontal, and filling up the blanks 
with crosses and o's, and then crying out * tick-tack-to.' " 
My dear man, you are doing every day in business just 
what your children are doing in the nursery. You find 
it hard to get things into a line. You have started out for 
worldly success. You get one or two things fixed, but that is 
not what you want. After a while you have hjid two fine suc- 
cesses. You say, " If I can have a third success, I will come 
out ahead." But somebody is busy on the same slate, trying 
to hinder you getting the game. You mark ; he marks. I 
think you will win. To the first and second success which you 
have already grained you add the third, for which you have 
long been seeking. The game is yours, and you clap your 
hands, and hunch your opponent in the side, and shout, 

^' Tick-tack-to, 
Three in a row." 

The funniest play that I ever joined in at school, and one 
that sets me a-laughing now as I think of it so I can hardly 
write, is " leap-frog." It is unartistic and homely. It is so 
humiliating to the boy who bends himself over and puts his 
hands down on his knees, and it is so perilous to the boy who 
placing his hands on the stooped shoulders, attempts to fly over. 
But I always preferred the risk of the one who attempted the 
leap rather than the humiliation of the one who consented to 
be vaulted over. It was often the case that we both failed in 
our part and we went down together. For this Jack Snyder 
earned a grudge against me and would not speak, because he 
«aid I pushed him down a-purpose. But I hope he has for- 
given me by this time, for he has been out as a missionary. 
Indeed, if Jack will come this way, I will right the wrong of 
olden time by stooping down in my study and letting him 
spring over me as mj children do. 

Almost every autumn I see that old-time school-boy feat re- 
peated. Mr. So-and-so says, " You make me governor and I 
will see that you get to be senator. Make me mayor and I 
will see that you Income assessor. Get me the office of street 
Bweeper and you shall have one of the brooms. You stoop 



30 Around the Tea Table. 

down and let me jump over you, and then I will stoop down 
and let youjump over pie. Elect me deacon and you shall be 
trustee. You write a good thing about me and I will write 
a good thing Ubout you/' The day of election in Church or 
State arrives. A man once very upright in his principles and 
policy begins to bend. You cannot understand it. He goes 
down lower and lower, until he gets his hands away down 
on his knees. Then a spry politician or ecclesiastic comes up 
behind him, puts his hand on the bowed strategist, and springs 
clear over into aome great position. Good thing to have so 
good a man in a prominent place. But after a while he him- 
self beg^ to bend. Everybody says, '^ What is the matter 
now % It cannot be possible that he is going down too.'' Oh 
yes ! Tom-about is fair play. Jack Snyder holds it against 
me to this day, because, after he had stooped down to let me 
leap over him, I would not stoop down to let him leap over me. 
One half the strange things in Church and State may be 
accounted for by the fact that, ever since Adam bowed down 
so low as let the race, putting its hands on him, fly over into 
:niin, there has been a universal and perpetual tendency to 
political and ecclesiastical '' leap-frog." 

In one sense, life is a great '^ game of ball." We all choose 
sides and gather into denominational and political parties. 
We take our places on the ball-ground. Some are to pitch ; 
they are the radici^. Some are to catch ; they are the c(»i- 
servatives. Some are to strike ; they are those fond of 
polemics and battle. Some are to run ; they are the candi- 
dates. There are four hunks — youth, manhood, old age and 
death. Some one takes the bat, lifts it and strikes for the 
prize and misses it, while the man who was behind catches it 
and goes in. This man takes his turn at the bat, sees the 
flying ball of success, takes good aim and strikes it high, amid 
the clapping of all the spectators. We all have a chance at 
the ball. Some of us run to sdl the four hunks, from youth 
to manhood, from manhood to old age, from old age to death. 
At the first hunk we bound with uncontrollable mirth ; 
coming to the second, we run with a slower but stronger 
tread ; coming to the third, our step is feeble ; coming to the 
fourth, our breath entirely gives out. We throw down the 
bat on the black hunk of death, and in the evening catchers 
and pitchers go home to find the family gathered and the food 
prepared. So may we all find the candles lighted, and the 
table set, and the old folks at home. 




CHAPTER VII. 

THE FULL-BLOODED COW. 

We never had any one drop in about six o'clock P.M. whom 
we were more glad to see than Fielding, the Orange County 
farmer. In the lirst place, he always had a good appetite, and 
it did not make much difference what we had to eat He 
would not nibble about the end of a piece of bread, undecided 
as to whether he had better take it, nor sit sipping his tea as 
though the doctor had ordered him to take only ten drops at 
a time mixed with a little sugar and hot water. Perpetual con- 
tact with fresh air and the fields and the mountains gave him 
a healthy body, while the religion that he learned in the little 
diurch down by the mill-dam kept him in healthy spirits. 
Fielding keeps a great drove of cattle and has an overflowing 
dairy. As we handed him the cheese he said, *^ I really believe 
this is of my own making." " Fielding,^' I inquired, " how 
does vour dairy thrive, and have you any new stock on your 
farm i Come, give us a little touch of the country." He gave 
me a mischievous look and said, *^ I will not tell vou a word 
mitil you let me know all about that full-blooded cow, of 
which I have heard something. You need not try to hide 
that story any longer.'' So we 3delded to his coaxing. It 
was about like this : 

The man had not been able to pay his debts. The mort- 
mge on the farm had been foreclosed. Day of sale had come. 
The sheriff stood on a box reading the terms of vendue. All 
payments to be made in six months. The auctioneer took his 
place. The old man and his wife and the children all cried as 
the piano, and the chairs, and the pictures, and the carpets, 



-32 Around the Tea-Table, 

and the bedsteads went at half their worth. When the piano 
went, it seemed to the old people as if the sheriff were selling 
;aU the fingers that had ever played on it; and when the 
•carpets were struck off, I think father and mother thonght of 
the little feet that had tramped it ; and when the bedstead 
•was sold, it brought to mind the bright curly heads that had 
slept on it long before the dark days had come, and father had 
put his name on the back of a note, signing: his own death- 
warrant. The next thing to being buried aBye is to have the 
sheriff sell you out when you have been honest and have tried 
always to do right. There are so many envious ones to chuckle 
at your fall, and come in to buy your carriage, blessing the 
Lord that Uie time has come for you to walk and for them to 
ride. 

But to us the^uction reached its climax of interest when we 
went to the barn. We were spending our summers in the 
country, and must have a cow. There were ten or fifteen sukies 
to be sold. There were reds^ and piebalds, and duns, and browns, 
and brindles, short-horns, long-horns, crumpled horns and no 
.horns. But we marked for our own a cow that was said to be 
full-blooded, whether Aldemey, or Durham, or Galloway, or 
Ayrshire, I will not tell, lest some cattle-fancier feel insulted 
by what I say ; and if there is any grace that I pride myself 
on, it is prudence and a determination always to say smooth 
things. '* How much is bid for this magnificent, full-blooded 
cow r cried the auctioneer. " Seventy-five dollars," shouted 
some one. I made it eighty. He made it ninety. Somebody 
else quickly made it a hundred. After the bids had risen to 
one hundred and twenty-five dollars, I got animated, and re- 
solved that I would have that cow if it took my last cent. 
''One hundred and forty dollars," shouted my opponent. 
The auctioneer said it was the finest cow he had ever sold ; 
and not knowing much about vendues, of course I believed 
him. It was a good deal of money for a minister to pay, but 
then I could get the whole matter off my hands by giving " a 
note." In utter defiance of everything I cried out, "One 
hundred and fifty dollars !" " Going at that," said the 
auctioneer. '* Gk>ing at that ! once ! twice ! three times ! 
gone ! Mx. Talmage has it." It was one of the proudest 
moments of our life. There she stood, tall, immense in the 
girth, horns branching graceful as a tree-branch, full-uddered, 
silk-coated, pensive-eyed. 

We hired two boys to drive her home, while we rode in a 
carriage. No sooner had we started than the cow showed 



The Full-Blooded Coif, 33 

whBt tamed out to be one of her peculiarities— great speed of 
hoof. She left the boys, outran my horse, jum^^ the fence, 
frightened nearly to death a group of school children, and by 
the time we got home we all felt as if we had all day been out 
on a fox chase. 

We never had any peace with that cow. She knew more 
tricks than a juggler* She could let down any bars, open any 
gate, outrun any dog, and ruin the patience of any minister. 
We had her a year, and yet she never got over wanting to go 
to the vendue. Once started out of the yard, she was bound 
to see the sheriff. We coaxed her with carrots, and apples, 
and cabbage, and sweetest stalks, and the richest beverage of 
slops, but without avail. 

As a milker she was a failure. " Mike," who lived just back 
of our place, would come in at nights from his " Kerry cow," 
a scraggly nmt that lived on the commons, with his pail so full 
he hadto carry it cautiously lest it spill over. But after our 
full-blooded had been in clover to her eyes all day, Bridget 
would go out to the bam yard, and tug and pull for a supply 
enough to make two or three custards. I said, " Bridget, you 
don't know how to milk. Let me try." I sat down by the 
cow, tried the full force of dynamics, but just at the moment 
when my success was about to be demonstrated, a sudden 
thought took her somewhere between the horns, and she 
started for the vendue, with one stroke of her back foot up- 
setting the small treasure I had accumulated, and leaving me 
a mere wreck of what I once was. 

She had, among other bad things, a morbid appetite. Not- 
withstanding we gave her the richest herbaceous diet, she ate 
everything Sie could put her mouth on. She was fond of 
horse-blankets and articles of human clothing. I found her 
one day at the clothes-line, nearly choked to death, for she had 
swallowed one leg of something and seemed dissatisfied that 
she could not set down the other. The most perfect nuisance 
that I ever had about my place was that full-blooded. 

Having read in our agricultural journal of cows that were 
slaughtered yielding fourteen hundred pounds net weight, we 
conduded to sell her to the butcher. We set a high price upon 
her and got it— that is, we took a note for it, wMch is the 
same thing. My bargain with the butcher was the only suc- 
cessful chapter in my Dovine experiences. The only taking-off 
in the whole transaction was that the butcher ran away, leav- 
ing me nothing but a specimen of poor chiro^phy, and I 
already had enough of that among my manuscripts. 



34 Around the Tea-Table, 

My friend, never depend on hiffh breeds. Some of the most 
useless of cattle had ancestors spoken of in the "Commentaries 
of Caesar." That Aldemey whose grandfather used to graze 
on a lord's park in England maj not be worth the grass she 
eats. 

Do not draend too much on the high-sounding name of 
Durham or Devon. As with animals, so with men. Only one 
President ever had a President for a son. Let every cow make 
her own name, and eveiy man achieve his own nositioii. It is 
no great eredit to a fool that he had a wise granafather. Many 
an Aynhire and Hereford has had the hoUow-hpm and thje 
f oot-rok Both man and animal are valuable in prog 
they are usef uL '^ Mike's " oow beat my foll-l * 




CHAPTER VIII. 

THE DEEGS IN LEATHEBBACKS' TBA-CUP. 

Wb have an earlier tea this evening than UEfual, for we have a 
literary friend who cornea about this time of the week, and he 
must go home to retire about eight o'clock. His nervous 
system is so weak that he must get three or four hours' sleep 
liefore midnight ; otherwise he is next day so cross and cen- 
sorious he scalps every author he can lay his hand on. As he 
put his hand on the table with an indelible blot of ink on his 
thumb and two fingers, which blot he had not been able to 
wash, off, I said, " Well, my old friend Leatherbacks, what 
books have you been reading to-day V 

He replied, " I have been reading ' Men and Things.' Some 
books touch only the head and make us think ; other books 
touch only the heart and make us feel ; here and there one 
touches us under the fifth rib and makes us laugh ; but the 
book on *Men and Things,' by the Rev. Dr. C. S. Henry, 
touched me all over. I have felt better ever since. I have 
not seen the author but once since the old university days, 
when he lectured us and pruned us and advised us and did us 
more good than almost any other instructor we ever had. Oh, 
those were grand days ! No better than the present, for life 
grows brighter to me all the time ; but we shall not forget 
the quaint, strong, brusque professor who so unceremoniously 
smashed things which he did not like, and shook the class with 
merriment or indignation. The widest awake professorial 
room in the land was Dr. Henry's, in the New York Univer- 
sity. But the participators in those scenes are all scattered. I 



56 Around the Tea-Table, 

know the whereabouts of but. three or four. So we meet for a 
little while on eaith, and then we separate. There must be a 
better place somewhere ahead of us. 

'' I have also been looking over a book that overhauls the 
theolo^ and moral character of Abraham Lincoln. This is the 
only kmd of slander that is safe. I have read all the stuff for 
the last three years published about Abraham Lincoln's unfair 
courtshipB and blank infidelity. The protracted discussion has 
made onlv one impression upon me, and that is this : How safe 
it is to slander a dead man ! You may say what you will in 
print about him, he brings no rebutting evidence. I have 
heard that ghosts do a great many things, but I never heard 
of one as printing a b(^k or editing a newspaper to vindicate 
himself. JLook out how you vilify a living man, for he may 
respond with pen, or tdngue, or cowhide ; but oiUy get a man 
thoroughly dead (that is, so certiiied by the coroner) and have 
a good, heavy tombstone put on the top of him, and then you 
may say what you will with impunity. 

''But I have read somewhere in an old book that there is a 
«[ay coming when all wrongs will be righted ; and I should 
not wonder if then the dead were vindicated, and all the swine 
who have uprooted graveyards should, like their ancestors of 
Gadara^ run down a steep place into the sea and get choked. The 
fact that there are now alive men so debauch^ of mind and 
jsoul that thej rejoice in mauling the reputation of those who 
spent their hves in illustrious achievement for God and their 
country, and then died as martyrs for their principles, makes 
me believe in eternal damnation.'' 

With this last sentence my friend Leatherbacks gave a vio- 
lent gesture that upset his cup and left the table-cloth sopping 
wet 

"By the wdy," said he, ''have you heard that Odger is 
coming V* 

" What r said I. He continued, without looking up, for he 
was at that moment running his knife, not over sharp, through 
iv lamb-chop made out of dd sheep. (Wife, we will have to 
change our butcher !) He continued, with a severity perhaps 
partlv caused by the obstinacy of the meat : " I see in the Fall 
Malt Budget the startling intelligence that Mr. Odger is 
coming to the United States on a lecturing expedition. Our 
American newspapers do not seem, as yet, to have got hold of 
this news, but the tidings will soon fly, and great excitement 
may be expected to follow." 

Some unwise person might ask the foolish question, " Who 



The Dregs in Leatherbacks* Tea-Cup. 37 

iaOdger?'* I hope, however, that such inquiry will not be 
made, for I would be compelled to say that I do not know. 
Whetiier he is a clergyman, or a reformer, or an author, or all 
these in one, we cannot say. Suffice it he is a foreigner, and 
that is enough to make us all go wild. A foreigner does not 
need more than half as much brain or heart to do twice as well 
as an American, either at preaching or lecturing. There is for 
many Americans a bewitchment in a foreign brogue. I do 
not know but that he may have dined with the Queen, or have 
a few drops of lordly blood distributed through his arteries. 

I notice, however, that much of this charm has been broken. 
I used to think that all English lords were talented, till I heard 
one of them make the only poor speech that was made at the 
opening meeting of the Evangelical Alliance. Our lecturing 
committees would not pay very large prices next year for Mr. 
Bradlaugh and Edmund Yates. Indeed, we expect that the 
time win soon come when the same kind of balances will 
weigh Englishmen, Scotchmen, Irishmen, Frenchmen, and 
Americans. 

If a man can do anything well, he will be acceptable without 
reference to whether lie was born by the Clyde, the Thames, 
the Seine, or the Hudson. But until those scales be lifted it 
is sufficient to announce the joyful tidings that " Odger is 
coming." 





CHAPTER IX. 

THE HOT AXLE. 

The express train was flying from Cork to Queenstown. It 
was going like sixty — ^that is, about sixty miles an horn*. No 
sight of an Irish vUlage to arrest our speed, no sign of break- 
down, and yet the train halted. We looked out of the window, 
saw the brakemen and a crowd of passengers gathering around 
the locomotive, and a dense smoke arising. What was the 
matter? A hot axle/ 

We were on the lightning train for Cleveland. We had no 
time to spare. If we stopped for a half hour, we should be 
greeted by the anathema of a lecturing committee. We felt 
a sort of presentiment that we should be too late, when to con- 
firm it tne whistle blew, and the brakes fell, and the cry all 
along the train was, " What is the matter V Answer : A 1u)t 
annle / The wheels had been making too many revolutions in 
a minute. The car was on fire. It was a very difficult thing 
to put it out ; water, sands and swabs were tried, and caused 
long detention and a smoke that threatened flame down to the 
«nd of the journey. 

We thought then, and think now, this is what is the matter 
with people everywhere. In this swift, " express'* American 
life, we go too fast for our endurance. We think ourselves 
getting on splendidly, when in the midst of our successes we 
come to a dead halt. What is the matter ? Nerves or mus- 
<3les or brains give out. We have made too many revolutions 
in an hour. A hot axle ! 

Men make the mistake of working according to their op- 
portunities, and not according to their capacity of endurance. 



The Hot Axle, 39 

** Can I ran this train from Springfield to Boston at the rate 
of fifty miles an hour T says an engineer. Yes. " Then I 
■will run it, reckless of consequences.'' Can I be a merchant, 
and the president of a bank, and a director in a life insurance 
company, and a school commissioner, and help edit a paper, 
and supervise the politics of our ward, and run for Congress ? 
'* I can T the man says to himself. The store drives him ; 
the school drives him ; politics drive him. He takes all the 
scoldings and frets and exasperations of each position. Some 
day at the height of the business season he does not come 
to the store ; from the most important meetings of the bank 
directors he is absent. In the excitements of the political 
canvass he fails to be at the place appointed. What is the 
matter? His health has broken down. The train halts long 
before it gets to the station. A hot axle / 

Literary men have great opportunities opening in this day. 
If they isisjb all that open, they are dead men, or worse, living 
men who ought to be dead. The pen runs so easy when you 
have good ink, and smooth paper, and an easy desk to write 
on, and the consciousness of an audience of one, two or three 
hundred thousand readers. There are the relipous news- 
papers through which you preach, and the musical journals 
through whidi you may sing, and the agricultural periodicals 
through which you can plough, and family newspapers in 
which you may romp with the whole household around the 
evening stand. There are critiques to be written, and re- 
views to be indulged in, and poems to be chimed, and novels 
to be constructed. "When out of a man's pen he can shake re- 
creation, and friendship, and usefulness, and bread, he is apt 
to keep it shaking. So great are the invitations to literary 
work, that the professional men of the day are overcome. 
They sit faint and fagged out on the verge of newspapers and 
books. Each one does the work of three, and these men 
sit up late nights, and choke down chunks of meat without 
mastication, and scold their wives through irritability, and 
maul innocent authors, and run the physical machinery with 
a liver miserably ^f en out. The driving shaft has gone fifty 
times a second. They stop at no station, The steam chest is 
hot and swollen. The brain and the digestion begin to smoke. 
Stop, ye flying quills I " Down brakes !" A hot axle/ 

Some of the worst tempered people of the day are religious 
people, from the fact that they have no rest. Add^ to 
the necessary work of the world, they superintend two Sunday- 
schools, listen to two sermons, and every night have meetings 



41 Around the Tea-Table, 

human locomotive goes too fast. Cylinder, driving-bozeSy 
rock-shaft, track ana valve-gear need to " slow up." Oh that 
some strong hand would unloose the burdens from our over- 
tasked American life, that there might be fewer bent shoulders, 
and pale cheeks, and exhausted lungs, and quenched eyes, the 
law, and medicone, and theology less frequently stopped in 
their giorioiis progress, because of ^Ae Aof aj?/«/ 





CHAPTER X. 

BEEFSTEAK FOB MINISTEBS. 

Thebb have been lately several elaborate articles remarking 
npon what they call the lack of force and fire in the clergy. 
Tke world wonders that, with such a rousing theme as the 
Gospel, and with such a grand work as saving souls, the minis- 
try should ever be nerveless. Some ascribe it to lack of piety, 
and some to timidity of temperament. We believe that in a 
great number of cases it is from the lack of nourishing food. 
Many of the clerical brotherhood are on low diet. After 
jackets and sacks have been provided for the eight or ten 
children of the parsonage, the father and mother must watch 
the table with severest economy. Coming in suddenly upon 
the dinner-hour of the country clergyman, the housewife 
apologizes for what she calls " a picked-up'' dinner, when, alas ! 
it is nearly always picked up. 

Congregations sometimes mourn over dull preaching when 
themselves are to blame. Give your minister more beefsteak 
and he will have more fire. Next to the divine unction, the 
minister needs blood ; and he cannot make that out of tough 
leather. One reason why the Apostles preached so powerfufly 
was that they had healthy food. Fish was cheap along Galilee, 
and this, with unbolted bread, gave them plenty of phosphorus 
for brain food. These early ministers were never mvited out 
to late suppers, with chicken salad and doughnuts. Nobody 
ever embroidered slippers for the big foot of Simon Peter, the 
fisherman preacher. Tea-parties, with hot waffles, at ten o'dock 
at night, make nambv-pamby ministers ; but good hours and 
subsUntial diet, that furnish nitrates for the muscle, and phos- 

3—2 



'\-\ 



Around the Tea-Table. 



piiates for tlie brain, and carbonates for the whole frame, pre- 
pare a man for effective work. When the water is low, the 
mill-wheel goes slow ; but a full race, and how fast the grists 
are ground 1 In a man the arteries are the mill-race and tl.e 
brain the wheel, and the practical work of life is the grist 
ground* The reason our soldiers failed in some of the battles 
was because their stomachs had for several days been innoceut 
of everything but " hard-tack" See that your minister has a 
full haversack. Feed him on gruel during the week, and on 
Sunday he will give you grueL What is called the " parson's 
nose " in a turkey or fowl is an allegory setting forth that in 
many communities the minister comes out behmd. 

Eight hundred or a thousand dollars for a minister is only' 
a slow way of killing him, and is the worst style of homicide. 
Wliy do not the trustees and elders take a mallet or an axe, 
and with one blow put him out of his misery ? 

The damage begins in the college boarding-house. The 
theological student has generally smsdl means, and he must go 
to a cheap boarding-house. A frail piece of sausage tr3ring to 
swim across a river of nravy on the breakfast-plate, but 
drowned at last, "the linked sweetness long drawn out'' of 
flies in the molasses cup, the gristle of a tough ox, and measly 
biscuit, and buckwheat cakes toagh as the cook's apron, and 
old peas in which the bugs lost their life before they had time 
to escape from the saucepan, and stale cucumbers cut up into 
snuJl slices of cholera morbus—are the provender out of which 
we are tryiuj^ at Princetown and Yale and New Brunswick to 
make sons of thunder. Sons of mush ! From such depletion 
we step ffasping into the pulpit, and look so heavenly pale that 
the mothers in Israel are afraid we will evaporate before we 
get through our first sermon. 

Many (3 our best young men in preparation for the ministry 
are going through this martjrrdom. The strongest mind in our 
theological class perished, the doctors said afterward, from lack 
of food. The only time he could afford a doctor was for his 
post-mxyrtem examination. 

. I give the financial condition of many of our young theo- 
logical students when I say — 

IVCOMB $250 00 

OVTOO : 

Board at $3 per week (cheap place) * 156 00 

Clothing (shoddy) 100 Oa 

Books |no morocco) , 26 00 

Irayellmg expenses 20 00 

$301 09 



Beefsteak for Ministers. 45 

Here you see a deficit of fifty-one dollars. As there are no 
" stealings'' in a theological seminary, he makes up the balance 
by selling books or teaching schooL He comes into life cowed 
down, with a patch on both knees and several other places, 
and a hat that has been "done over" four or five times, and 
80 weak that the first sharp wind that whistles round the 
comer blows him into glory. The inertness you complain of 
in the ministry starts early. Do you suppose that if Paul had 
spent seven years in a cheap boarding-house, and the years 
aJter in a poorly-supplied parsonage, he would have made Felix 
tremble 1 No ! The first glance of the Boman procurator 
would have made him apologise for intrusion. 

Do not think that all your eight-hundred- dollar minister 
needs is a Christmas present of an elegantly-bound copy of 
" Calvin's Institutes." He is sound already on the doctrine of 
election, and it is a poor consolation if in this way you remind 
him that he has been fore-ordained to starve to death. Keep 
your minister on artichokes and purslain, and he will be fit to 
preach nothing but funeral sermons from the text " All flesh 
is grass." While feeling most of all our need of the life that 
comes from above, let us not ignore the fact that many of the 
clergy to-day need more gymnastics, more fresh air, more 
nutritious food. Prayer cannot do the work of beefsteak. You 
cannot keep a hot fire in the furnace with poor fuel and the 
damper turned. 





CHAPTEE XL 

SHOOTING F0&P0ISE3. 

Bang^ bfjie ! went the gun at the side of the San Jacinto, 
after we had been two days oat at sea on the way to Savannah. 
We were startled at such a strange sound on shipboard, and 
asked: 

" What are they doing T 

A few innocents of the deep, for the purpose of breathing or 
sport, had lifted themselves above the wave, and a gentle- 
man found amusement in tickling them with shot As the 
porpoise rolled over wounded, and its blood coloured the wave, 
the gunner was congratulated by his comrades on the execution 
made. 

It may Lave been natural dulness that kept us from ap- 
preciating the grandeur of the deed. Had the porpoise im- 
peded the march of the San Jad&to, I would have said : 

" Dose it with lead !" 

If there had been a possibility that by coming up to 
breathe it would endanger our own eapfiy of air, I would 
have said : 

** Save the passengers and kill the doiphiiM !'' 

If the marksman had h»*poon«d a whali), there would have 
been the oil for use, or had struck down a gull, in its anatomy 
he might have advanced science. If he had giinpowdered the 
cook, it might, in small quantities, haire made him animated ; 
or the stewardess, there would have been the fun of seeing her 
jump. But alas for the cruel disposition of the man who 
could shoot a porpoise ! 

There is no need that we go to sea to find the same style of 
gunning. 



Shooting Porpoises. 47 

After tea the parlour is full of romp. The children are 
playing "Ugly Mug," and "Mrs. Wiggins/' and "Stage 
Coach/' and "Bear/' and "Tag/' and "Yonder stands a 
lovely creature." Papa goes in among the playing dolphins 
with the splash and dignity of a San J acinto. He cries "Jim, 
get my slippers !" " Mary, roll up the stand I" " Jane, get 
me the evening newspaper !" " Sophia^ go to bed !" " Harry, 
quit that snicker !" " Stop that confounded noise, all of you !" 
The fun is over. The waters are quiet. The dolphins have 
turned their last somersault. Instead of getting down on his 
hands and knees, and being as lively a "bear " as any of them, 
he goes to shooting porpoises. 

Here is a large school of famous pretension -^ professors 
high-salaried, apparatus complete, globes on which you can 
travel round the world in nve minutes, spectroscopes, and 
Leyden jars, and chromatropes, and electric batteries. No one 
disputes its influence or its well earned fame. The masters 
ana misses that graduate come out equipped for duty. Long 
may it stand the adornment of the town. But a widow whose 
sons were killed in the war opens a school in her basement. 
She has a small group of children whose tuition is her subsis- 
tence. The high school looks with sharp eyes on the rising up 
of the low school The big institution has no respect for httle 
institutions. The parents patronising the widow must be 
persuaded that they are wasting their children's time in that 
Dasement. Women have no right to be widows or have their 
sons killed in the war. From the windows of the higli school 
the arrows are pointed at the helpless establishment in the 
comer. " Bajig !" goes the artillery of scorn, till one of the 
widow's scholars has gone. " Bang !" go the guns from the 
dedc of the great educational craft, till the innovating 
institution turns over and disappears. Well done ! Used it 
ap quick ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! Shooting porpoises / 

Grab, Chokeham & Co. have a large store. They sell more 
goods tnan any in town. They brag over their income and 
Sie size of the glass in their show-window. They have 
enough clerks on tight salaries to man a small navy. Mr. 
NeecUiam. an honest man with small capital, opens a store in 
the same business. One morning Mr. Grab says to his part- 
ner, Mr. Chokeham : 

" Do you know a young chap has opened a store down on 
the other end of this block in tne same business ?' 

" Has, eh ? We will settle him very speedily." 

F(Hrthwith it is understood that if at the small fltort a thing ia 



48 Around the Tea-Tasle, 

sold for fiftjr cents, at the large store you can get it for thirty- 
five. That is less than cost, out Grab & Chokeham are an old 
house, and can stand it, and Needham cannot. Small store's 
stock of goods is getting low, and no money to replenish. 
Small store's rent is dne, and nothing with which to pay it. 
One day small store is crowded with customers, but they have 
come to the sherift's sale. The big fish has swallowed the 
little one. Grab & Chokeham roll on the floor of the count- 
ing-room in excess of merriment Needham goes home to cry 
his eyes out. Big store had put an end to sm^ store. Plenty 
of room for both, but the former wanted all the sea to itself. 
No one had any right to show his commercial head in those 
waters. " Pop !" " Pop I" ISkooting porpoises / 

The first church of the village has a large congregation and 
a good minister. Neither ps^or nor people have ever been 
excited about anything save once, when a resident of the city 
moved into the village and tried to distract the church by 
suggesting a young-people's prayer-meeting ; but the officiate 
formed themselves into a line, as at a fire, and passed buckets 
of cold water till the danger was put out. 

They did not seem to know that Fort Sumter had been 
fired on till after General Lee's surrender. About the last 
item of fresh news they seemed to have heard was that Moses 
slew an Egyptian, but they said not much about that, for the 
reason that they did not want to commit themselves, or spoke 
of it in such a guarded way that if they wanted to change 
sides on the question they could do so without sacrificing their 
manliness. The last church that Bip Van Winkle attended 
before ffetting drowsy was that. On the day he left they 
were asleep, and when he woke up they were asleep yet The 
dominie has not prepared a new sermon for ten years. The 
paper is very yellow — a colour he prefers, since it looks like the 
parchment on which the Scriptures were originally written. 
The same Thanksgiving discourse does for every year with 
this slight change ; He has two slips of paper, one marked 
Ay the other B, If it has been a prosperous year, then on 
Thanksgiving day he uses the slip marked A ; but if the com 
and potatoes have been poor, he uses the slip B. Everything 
in that church is comfortable, fat and easy. But a few sood 
men, wanting a little more life, build a second church and call 
a devoted minister. Their means are small and the times hard. 
The old minister does not like the new one, and takes every 
opportunity of keeping hira humble. Old minister goes around 
one afternoon to hear new minister, wha is, c^ course, embar* 



SiJ DOTING Porpoises, 49 

rassed, and does not do as well as usual, and neai'ly breaks 
down in the sermon. Old minister looks mortified, puts his 
head down on the pew in front to hide his embarrassment, 
and ffoes home wondering how any people can stand such 
preaching. 

The Second Church finally goes down. It had been under 
a broadside fire ever since the day it was dedicated. There 
was room for two— yea, for four— religious societies, but First 
Church did not think so. Ofttimes was the experiment tried 
again, but no sooner did a Methodist, or Baptist, or Episcopal 
head lift above the water, than there came from the old estab- 
lished meeting-house of the place a volley of anathemas. In- 
deed, for the last twenty years the pastor and people have 
given themselves up to sliooting porpoises. 

Is it not time that the world stopped wasting its ammu- 
nition ? If you want to shoot, there is the fox of cruel cun- 
ning, and the porcupine of fretf ulness, and the vulture of filth, 
and the weasel of meanness, and the bear of religious grumb- 
ling. Oh for more hunters who ckn " draw a bead '' so as 
every time to send plump into the dust a folly or a sin ! But 
let alone the innocent things of land and deep. The world is 
wide enough for us alL 

Big newspapers, have mercy on the little. Great merchants, 
spare the weak. Let the San Jacinto plough on its majestic 
way and pass unhurt the porpoises. 





CHAPTER XIL 

▲I7T0BI0O&APHT OF AN OLD PAIR OF SCIBSOBS. 

I WAS bom in Sheffield, England, at the close of the last cen- 
tary, and was like all those who study Brown's Shorter Cate- 
chism, made out of dust My father was killed at Herculaneum 
at the time of the accident there, and buried with other scis- 
sors and knives and hooks and swords. On my mother's side 
I am descended from a pair of shears that came to England 
during the Roman invasion. My cDusin hung to the belt of a 
duchess. My nnde belonged to Hampton Court, and used to 
trim the Idng's hair. I came to the United States while the 
grandfathers of the present generation of children were boys. 

When I was young I was a gay fellow— indeed, what mi^ht 
havebeen called ''a perfect blade." I look old andrusty han^pg 
here on the nail, but take me down, and though my voice is a 
little squeaky with old age, I can tell you a pretty tale. I am 
sharper than I look. Old scissors know more than you think. 
They say I am a littie ganralons, and perhaps I may tell things 
I oueht not. 

I helped your gmndmotfaer prepare for her wedding. I 
cut out and fitted «U the apparel of that happy day. I near 
her scold the young Mks now for being so dressy, but I can 
tell you she was <moe Uiat way herself. Did not I, sixty years 
ago, lie on the shelf and laiigh as I saw her stand by the half 
hour before the glaM^ ^ving an extra twist to her curl and an 
additional dash of white powder on her hair — now fretted be- 
cause the powder was too thick, now fretted because it was 
too thin ? She was as proud in cambric and calico and nan- 
keen as Harriet is to-day in white tulle and organdy. I re- 
member how careful she was when she ran me along the 



A UTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN OlD PaIR OF SCISSORS. $ I 

edffes of the new dress. With me she clipped and notched 
and gored and trimmed, and day and night I went click ! 
click ! click | and it seemed as if she would never let me rest 
from catting. 

I split the rags for the first carpet on the old homestead, 
and what a merry time we had when the neighbours came to 
the " (][ailtinff !" I lay on the coverlet that was stretched across 
the quilting-lrame, and heard all the gossip of 1799. Repu- 
tations were ripped and torn just as they are now. Fashions 
were chattered about, the coal-scuttle bonnet <rf some offensive 
neighbour (who was not invited to the quilting) was criticised, 
and the suspicion started that she laced too ti^t ; and an old 
man who happened to have the best farm in the county was 
overhauled for the size of his knee-buckles, and the exorbitant 
iaiffles on his shirt, and the costly silk lace to his hat. I lay 
80 still that no one supposed I was listening. I trembled on 
the coverlet with rage, and wished that I could dip the end of 
their tattling tongues, but found no chance for revenge, till, 
in the hand of a careless neighbour, I notched and nearly 
spoiled the patchwork. 

Yes, I am a pair of old scissors. I cut out many a profile 
of old-time faces, and the white dimity bed-curtains. I lay 
on the stand when your grand -parents were courting — for 
that had to be done tiien as well as now — and it was the same 
story of chairs wide apart, and chairs coming nearer, and arm 
over the bock of the chair, and late hours, and four or five 
gettings up to go with the determination to stay, protracted 
interviews on the front steps, blushes and kisses. Your great- 
grandmother, out of patience at the lateness of the hour, 
shouted over the banisters to your immediate grandmother, 
** Mary ! come to bed !'' Because the old people sit in the 
comer looking so very grave, do not suppose their eyes were 
never roguish^ nor their lips ruby, nor their hair flaxen, nor 
their feet spry, nor that they always retired at half -past eight 
o'clock at night. After a while I,'the scissors, was laid on the 
shelf, and finally thrown into a box among nails, and screws 
and files. Years of darkness and disgrace for a scissors so 
highly bom as L But one day I was hauled out A bell 
tinkled in the street. An Italian scissors-grinder wanted a 
job. I was put upon the stone, and the grinder put his foot 
upon the treadle, and the bands palled, and the wheel sped, 
and the fire flew, and it seemed as if, in the heat and pressure 
jmd a^ny, I should die. I was ground, and rubbed, and 
oiled, ana polished, till I glittered in the sua ; and one day. 



i 



52 Around the Tea-Table. 

when yoang Harriet was preparing for the season, I plunged 
into the fray. I ahnost lost my senses among the ribbons, 
and flew up and down among the flounces, and went mad 
amongst the basques. I move round as gay as when I was 
Young; and moaem scissors, with their stumpy ends, and 
loose pivots, and weak blades, and glaring bows, and coarse 
shanks, are stupid beside an old family piece like me. You 
will be surprised how spry I am flying around the sewing- 
room, cutting corsage into heart-shape, and slitting a place for 
button-holes, and making double-breasted jackets, and hol- 
lowing scallops, and putting the last touches on velvet ara- 
besques and Worth overskirts. I feel almost as well at eighty 
years of age as at ten, and I lie down to sleep at night amid 
all the flneries of the wardrobe, on olive-green cashmere, and 
beside pannier pufb, and pillowed on feamers of ostrich. 

Oh, what a gay life the scissors live ! I may lie on gayest 
lady's lap, and little children like me better than almost any- 
thing else to play with. The trembling octogenarian takes 
me by the banct, and the roUickin^ four-year-old puts on 
me his dimpled fingers. Mine are Uie children's curls and 
the bride's veiL I am welcomed to the Christmas-ti*ee, and 
the sewing-machine, and the editor's table. I have cut my 
way through the a^fes. Beside pen, and sword, and needle, I 
dare to staud anywhere, indispensable to the race, the world- 
renowned sdsBors. 

But I had a sad mission once. The bell tolled in the New- 
England village because a soul had passed. I sat up all the 
night cutting the pattern for a shroud. Oh, it was gloomy 
work. There was wailing in the house, but I could not stop 
to mourn. I had often made the swaddling-clothes for a 
child, but that was the only time I fashioned a robe for the 
grave. To fit it around the little neck, and make the sleeves 
just long enough for the quiet arms — it hurt me more than 
the tilt-hammers that smote me in Sheffield, than the files of 
the scissor*s-grinder at the door. I heard heart-strings 
snap as I went through the linen, and in the white pleats to 
be folded over the stm heart I saw the snow banked on a 
grave. Give me, the old scissors, fifty bridal dresses to make 
rather than one shroud to prepare. 

I never recovered from the chill of those dismal days, but 
at the end of life I can look back and feel that I have 
done my work weU. Other scissors have frayed and un- 
ravelled the garments they touched, but I have always made 
a clean path through the linen or the damask I was called to di- 



Autobiography of an Old Pair of Scissors. 53 

vide. Others screeched complainingly at their toil ; I smoothly 
worked my jaws. Many 01 the fingers that wrought with me 
have ceased to open and shut, and my own time will soon 
come to die, and I shall be buried in a grave of rust^ amid 
cast-off tenpenny nails and horseshoes. But I have stayed 
long enough to testify, first, that these days are no worse than 
the old ones, the granddaughter now no more proud than the 
grandmother was ; secondly, that we all need to be hammered 
and ground in order to taJte off the rust ; and thirdly, that 
an old scissors, as well as an old man, may be scoured up and 
made practically useful. 





CHAPTER XIIL 

▲ UE, ZOOLOGICALLY OOKSIDESED. 

We stand agape in the British Mnsenm, looking at the mon- 
strous skeletons of the mastodon, megatherium and iguanodon, 
and oondnde that all the great animals thirty feet long and 
eleven feet high are extinct. 

Now, while we do not want to frighten children or disturb 
nervous people, we have to mj tbat the other day we caught 
a glimpse of a monster betid* wiuch the lizards of the saunan 
era were short, and the eWifihairtr of the mammalian period were 
insignificant. We saw it im foil spring, and on the track of 
its prey. Children would call the creature " a fib ;" rough 
persons would term it ** a whopper f polite folks would say it 
was '^ a fabrication f but plain and uusdeotific people would 
style it a lie. Naturalists might assign it to the species Tigris 
regalia or Felis pardus. 

We do not thmk that anatomical and zoological justice has 
been done to the lie. It is to be found in aU zones. Living- 
stone saw it in Central Africa ; Dr. Kane found it on an ice- 
berg, beside a polar bear ; A^assiz discovered it in Brazil It 
thrives about as well in one clime as another, with perhaps a 
little preference for the temperate zone. It lives on berries 
or bananas^ or com, or grapes, or artichokes ; drinks water, or 
alcohol, or tea. It eats up a great many children, and would 
have destroyed the boy who afterward became the father of 
his country had he not driven it back with his hatchet. (See 
the last two hundred Sunday-school addresses.) 

The first peculiarity of this Tigris regalia or Felia pardas- 
commonly called a lie, is its 



A LiEy Zoologically Considered. 55 

Longevity. — If it once get bom, it lives on almost inter- 
xninablj. Sometimes it has followed a man for ten, twenty 
or forty years, and has been as healthy in its last leap as in 
the first. It has run at every President, from General 
Washington to General Grant, and helped kill Horace 
Greeley. It has barked at every good man since Adam, and 
every good woman since Eve, and every good boy since Abel, 
and every ^ood cow since Pharaoh's lean kine. Malarias do 
not pNoison it, nor fires bum it, nor winters freeze it. Just 
now it is after your neighbour ; to-morrow it will be after 
you. It is the healthiest of all monsters. Its tooth knocks out 
the ^' tooth of time." Its hair never turns white with age, 
nor does it limp with decrepitude. It is distinguished for its 
longevity. 

fcfi Length of its Legs.— It keeps up with the express 
train, and is present at the opening and shutting of the mail- 
bags. It takes a morning run from New York to San Fran- 
cisco <xt over to London before breakfast. It can go a thou- 
sand miles at a jump. It would despise seven-league boots 
as tedious. A telegraph-pole is just knee high to this monster, 
and from that you can judge its speed of locomotion. It 
never gets out of wind, carries a bag of reputations made up 
in cold hash, so that it does not have to stop for victuals. It 
goes so fast that sometimes five million people have seen it 
the same morning. 

ElSENNSSS OF NosTBiL. — It can smell a moral imperfection 
fifty miles away. The crow has no faculty compared with 
this for finding carrion. It has scented something a hundred 
miles oflF, and before night " treed " its game. It has a great 
genius for smelling. It can find more than is actually there. 
When it begins to snufif the air, you had better look out. It 
has great length and breadth and depth and height of nose. 

AcuTENESS OF Eab. — The rabbit has no such power to 
listen as this creature we speak of. It hears all the sounds 
that come from Iclyq thousand keyholes. It catches a whisper 
from the other side the room, and can understand the 
scratch of a pen. It has one ear open toward the east and the 
other toward the west, and hears everything in both directions. 
All the tittle-tattle of the world pours into those ears like 
vinegar through a funnel. They are always up and open, and 
to them a meeting of the sewing-society is a jubilee, and a 
political campaign is heaven. 

Size of Theoat. — The snake has hard work to choke down 
a toad, and the crocodile has a mighty struggle to '^^^ vdl >i^^ 



56 Around the Tea-Table, 

calf ; but the monster of which I speak can swallow anything. 
It has a throat bigger than the whale that took down the 
minister who declin^ the call to Nineveh, and has swallowed 
whole presbyteries and conferences of clergymen. A Brob- 
dingnagian ffoes down as easily as a Liliputian. The largest 
story about business dishonour, or female frailty, or political 
deception, slips through with the ease of a homoeopathic pellet. 
Its throat is suflGicient for anything round, or square, or angu- 
lar, or octagonaL Nothing in aU the earth is too big for its 
mastication and digestion save the truth, and that \nll stick 
in its gullet. 

It is GltBGABlous.— It goes in a flock with others of its 
kind. If one takes after a man or woman, there are at least 
ten in its company. As soon as anything bad is charged 
against a man, there are many others who know things just 
as deleterious. Lies about himself, lies about his wife, lies 
about his children, lies about his associates, lies about his 
house, lies about his bam, lies about his store — swarms of 
them, broods of them, herds of them. Kill one of them, and 
there will be twelve alive to act as its pall-bearers, another to 
preach its funeral sermon, and still another to write its 
obituary. 

These monsters beat all the extinct species. They are 
white, spotted and black. They have a sleek hide, a sharp 
claw, and a sting in their tail They prowl through every 
street of the city, craunch in the restaurants, sleep in the hall 
of Congress, and in grandest parlour have one paw under the 
piano, another under the sofa, one by the mantel and the 
other on the door- sill. 

Now, many people spend half their time in hunting lies. 
Tou see a man rushing anxiously about to correct a newspaper 
paragraph, or a husband, with Ust clenched, on the way to 
pound someone who has told a false thing about his wife. 
There is a woman on the next street who heard, last Monday, 
a falsehood about her husband, and has had her hat and shawl 
on ever since in the effort to correct wrong impressions. Our 
object in this zoological sketch of a lie is to persuade you of 
the folly of such a hunting excursion. If these monsters have 
such long legs, and go a hundred miles at a jump, you might 
as well give up the chase. If they have such keenness of nos- 
tril, they can smell you across the State, and get out of your 
way. If they have such long ears, they can hear the hunter's 
lirst step in the woods. If they have such great throats, they 
can swallow you at a gape. If they are gregarious, while you 



A LiEy Zoologically Co^:3:dered. 57 

shoot one, forty will run upon you like mad buflfalocs, and 
trample you to death. Arrows bound back from their thick 
hide ; and as for gunpowder, they use it regularly for pinches 
of snufif. After a shower of bullets has struck their side, they 
lift their hind foot to scratch the place, supposing a black fly 
has been biting. Henry the Eighth, in a hawking party, on 
foot, attempted to leap a ditch in Hertfordshire, and with his 
immense avoirdupois weight went splashing into the mud and 
slime, and was hauled out by his footman half dead. And 
this is the fate of men who spend their time hunting for lies. 
Bettergotoyourwork,andlettnelies run. Their bloody muzzles 
have tough work with a man usefully busy. You cannot so 
easily overcome them with sharp retort as with adze and 
yardstick. All the howlings of Calif ornian wolves at night 
do not stop tlie sun from kindling victorious mom on the 
Sierra Nevadas, and all the ravenings of defamation and 
revenge cannot hinder the resplendent dawn of heaven on a 
righteous soul. 

But they who spend their time in trying to lasso and 
decapitate a lie will come back worsted, as did the English 
cockneys from a fox-chase described in the poem entitled 
** Pills to Purge Melancholy ;" 

'* And when they kad done their sport, they came to London, where they 
dwell. 
Tlieir faces all so torn and scratched their wives scarce knew them well ; 
For 'twas a very great mercy so many 'scaped alive, 
For of twenty saddles carried out, they brought again tut five." 





CUAPTEE XIY. 

A BBSATH OF ENOUSH AIB. 

My friend looked wHte as the wall, flung the 2k>m^ Times 
half across the room, kicked one slipper into the air and 
shouted, ''Talmage, where on earth did vou come from f as 
this summer I stepped into his English nome. " Just come 
over the ferry to dine with you," i responded. After some 
explanation about the healUi of my fanuly, which demanded 
a sea-Yoyage, and thus necessitated my coming, we planned 
two or three excursions. 

At eight o'clock in the morning we gathered in the parlour 
in the "Eed Horse Hotel" at Stratford-on-AYon. Two 
pictures of Washington Irving, the chair in which the father 
of American literature sat, and the table on which he wrote, 
immortalising his visit to that hotel, adorn the room. From 
thence we sallied forth to see the dean, quaint village of 
Stratford. It waa built just to have Shakspeare bom in. We 
have not heard that there was any one else ever bom there, 
before or since. If, by any strange possibility, it could be 
proved that the gseat draxnatist was Dom anywhere else, it 
would ruin all tbfi caj>drivers, guides and hostelries of the 
place. 

We went of coarse to the house where Shakspeare first 
appeared on tiie stage of Hfe, and enacted the first act of his 
first play. Scene the first. Enter John Shakspeare, the 
father ; Mrs. Shakspeare, the mother, and the old nurse, with 
young William. 

A very plain house it is. Like the lark, which soars 
highest, but builds its nest lowest, so with genius; it haa 



A Breath of English Air. 59 

hmnble be^mnings. I think ton thousand dollars would be a 
lai*ge appraisement for all the houses where the great poets 
were bom. Bat all the world comes to this lowly dwelling. 
Walter Scott was glad to scratch his name on the window, 
and you may see it now. Charles Dickens, Edmund Kean, 
Alb^ Smithy Mark Lemon, and Tennyson, so very sparing 
of their autographs, have left their signatures on the waJL 
There are the jambs of the old fireplace where the poet 
wanned himself and combed wool, and oegan to tiunk for ^1 
time. Here is the chair in which he sat while presiding at 
the dub, forming habits of drink which killed him at the last, 
his own life ending in a tragedy as terrible as any he ever 
wrote. JSxeunt wine-bibbers, topers, grogshop keepers, Dray- 
ton, Ben Jonson and William Shakspeare. Here also is the 
letter which Bichard Quyney sent to Shakspeare, asking to 
borrow £30. I hope he did not loan it ; for if he did, it was 
a dead loss. 

We went to the church where the poet is buried. It dates 
back seven hundred years, but has been often r^rfK>red. It 
has many pictures, and is the sleeping-place of many dis- 
tinguished dead ; but one tomb within the chancel absorbs 
all the attention of the stranger. For hundreds of years the 
world has looked upon the unadorned stone lying flat over 
the dust of William Shakspeare^ and read the epitaph written 
by himself : 

" GKx>d friend, for Jesus' sake forbeara 
To dig the dust enclosed here ; 
Blesto he ye man yt spares these stODM, 
And cunt be he that moTes my bones." 

Under such anathema the body has slept securely. A 
sexton once looked in at the bones, but did not dare to touch 
them, lest his " quietus " should be made with a bare bodkin. 

!From the church door we mounted our carriage ; and 
crossing the Avon on a bridge which the L^ Mayor of 
London built four hundred years ago, we start on one of the 
most memorable rides of our life. The country looked fresh 
and luxuriant from recent rains. The close-trimmed hed^, 
the sleek cattle, the snug cottages, the straggling villages with 
their historic inns, the castle from whose park Shakspeare 
stole the deer, the gate called " Shakspeare's stile/' curious in 
the fact that it looks like ordinary bars of fence, but as vou 
attempt to climb over, the whole thin^ gives way, and lets 
you fall flat, righting itself as soon as it is unburdened of you ; 
the rabbits darting along the hedges, undisturbed, because it 



Co Around the Tea-Table. 

is iiulawful, save for licensed hunters, to shoot, and then not 
on private property : the perfect weather, the blue sky, the 
e.xhilai-atinff brec»>, the glorious elms and oaks by the way — 
make it a day that will live when most other days are dead. 

At two o'clock we came in sight of Kenil worth Castle. Oh, 
tills is the place to stir the blood. It is the king of ruins. 
Warwick is nothing, Melrose is nothing, compared with it. 
A thousand great facts look out through the broken windows. 
Earls and kings and queens sit along the shattered sides of 
the banqueting-halls. The stairs are worn deep with the 
feet that have clambered them for eight hundred years. As 
a loving daughter arranges the dress of an old man, so every 
season throws a thick mantle of ivy over the mouldering wall. 
The roof that caught and echoed back the merriment of dead 
ages has perished. Time has struck his chisel into every inch 
of thestracture. 

By the payment of only^hreepence ^ou find access to places 
where only the titled were once permitted to walk. You go 
in and are overwhelmed wit^ the thoughts of past glory and 
present decay. These halls were promenaded by Bichard 
Cceur de lion ; in this ch^l burned the tomb-lights over 
the grave of GeofiErey de Clinton ; in these dungeons kings 
groaned ; in these doorwavs duchesses fainted. Scene of 
gold, and silver, and scroll-work, and chiseled arch, and 
mosaic. Here were heard the carousals, of the Bound Table ; 
from those very stables the caparisoned horses came prancing 
out for the tournament ; through that gateway, strong, weak, 
heroic, mean, splendid Queen Elizabeth advanced to the 
castle, while the waters of the lake gleamed under torch- 
lights, and the battlements were aflame with rockets ; and 
comet, and hautboy, and trumpet poured their music on the 
air ; and goddesses glided out from the groves to meet her ; 
and from turret to foundation Kenilwortii trembled under 
a cannonade, and for seventeen days, at a cost of five thousand 
dollars a day, the festival was kept. Four hundred servants 
standing in costly livery ; sham oattles between knights oa 
horseback ; jugglers tumbling on the grass ; thirteen bears 
baited for the amusement of the guests ; three hundred and 
twenty hogsheads of beer consumed, till aJl Europe applauded^ 
denounced and stood amazed. 

Where is the glory now 1 What has become of the velvet ? 
Who wears the jewels ? Would Amy Bobsart have so longed 
to get into the castle had she known its coming ruin ? Where 
are those who were waited on, and those who waited 1 What 



A Breath of English Air. 



6z 



liaa become of Elizabeth the visitor, and Eobert Dabley the 
Tisited ? Cromwell's men dashed upon the scene ; they 
drained the lakes ; they befouled the banquet-hall ; they dis- 
mantled the towers ; they turned the castle into a tomb, on 
whose scarred and riven sides ambition aud cruelty and lust 
may well read their doom. " So let all thine enemies perish, 
O fjord ; but let them that love him be as the sun when l^e 
goeth forth in his might." 





CHAPTEE Xr. 

THB MIDNIGHT LECTCTBE. 

At eight oVslock precisely, on consecutive nights, we stepped 
on the rostrom at Chicago, Zanesville, Lidi^uiapolis, Detroit, 
Jacksonville, Cleveland and Buffalo. jBut it seemed that Day- 
ton was to hie a failure. We telegraphed from Indianapolis, 
*< Missed connection. Cannot possibly meet engagement at 
Davton." Telegram came bade saying, '' Take a locomotive 
ana come on !" We ooald not get a locomotive. Another 
telegram arrived : ^' Mr. Qale, the superintendent of railroad, 
will send you in an^extra train. Gk> immediately to the depot V 
We gathered up onr traps from the hotel floor and so^ and 
hurl^ them at the satchel. They would not go in. We put 
a collar in our h»A, and the shaving apparatus in our coat- 
pocket; got on the satchel with both roet, and declared the 
thin^ should go shut if it split everyUiing between Indian- 
apol^ and Dayton. Arriving at tl» depot, the train was 
ready. We had a locomotive and one car. There were six of 
us on the train — ^namely, the engineer and stoker on the loco- 
motive ; while following were toe conductor, a brakeman at 
each end of the car, and the pastor of a heap of ashes on 
Schermerhom Street, Brooklyn. "When shall we get to 
Dayton 1" we asked. " Half-past nine o'clock P responded 
the conductor. ** Absurd !" we said ; " no audience will wait 
till half -past nine at night for a lecturer." 

Away we flew. The car, having such a slight load, frisked 
and kicked, and made merry of a journey that to us was be- 
ct)ming very grave. Going round a sharp curve at break- 
neck speedy we felt inclinea to suggest to the conductor that 



The Midnight Lecture, 63 

it would make no especial difference if we did not get to Day- 
ton till a quarter to ten. The night was cold, and the hard 
ground thundered and cracked. The bridges, instead of roar- 
ing, as is their wont, had no time to give any more than 
a gnmt as we struck them and passed on. At times it was so 
rough we were in doubt as to whether we were on the track 
or ^ing a short cut across the field to get to our destination 
a little sooner. The flagmen would hastily open their windows 
and look at the screeching train. The whistle blew wildly, 
not so much to give the villages warning as to let them know 
that something terrible had gone through. Stopped to take in 
wood and water. A crusty old man crawled out of a depot, 
and said to the engineer, " Jim, what on earth is the matter]" 
** Don't know," said Jim ; "that fellow in the car yonder is 
bound to get to Dayton, and we are putting thin^ through.'' 
Brakes lifted, bell rung, and off again. Amid uie rush and 
pitch of the train there was no chance to prepare our toilet, 
and no looking-glass, and it was quite certain that we would 
have to step from the train immediately into the lecturing-hall. 
We were unfit to be seen. We were sure our hair was parted 
in five or six different places, and that the cinders had put our 
face in mourning, and that something must be done. What 
time we could spare from holding on to the bouncing seat we 
gave to our toilet, and the arrangements we made, though far 
&om satisfactory, satisfied our conscience that we had done 
what we could. A button broke as we were fastening our 
collar — indeed, a button always does break when you are in a 
hurry and nobody to sew it on. " How long before we get 
there T we anxiously asked. '* I have miscalculated," said the 
conductor ; " we cannot get there till five minutes off ten 
©•dock." " My dear man," I cried, " you might as well turn 
round and go back ; the audience will be gone long before ten 
o'clock." " No !" said the conductor ; " at the last depot I 
got a telegram saying they are waiting patiently, and telling 
us to hurry on." The locomotive seemed to feel it was on the 
home-stretch. At times, what with the whirling smoke, and 
the showering sparks, and the din, and rush, and bang, it 
seemed as if we were on our last ride, and that the brsJkes 
would not fall till we stopped for ever. 

At five minutes of ten o'clock we rolled into the Dayton 
depot, and before the train came to a halt we were in a car- 
riage with the lecturing committee, going at the horses' full 
run toward the opera-house. Without an instant in which to 
slacken our pulses, the chairman rushed in upon the stage. 



64 Around the Tea-Table. 

and introduced the lecturer of the evening. After in tho 
quickest way shedding overcoat and shawl, we confronted the 
audience, and with our head yet swimming from the motion 
of the rail train, we accosted the people — many of whom had 
been waiting since seven o'clock with the words, " Long suflFer- 
ing but patient ladies and gentlemen, you are the best natured 
audience I ever saw." When we concluded what we had to 
say, it was about midnight, and hence the title of this little 
sketch. 

We would have felt it more worthy of the railroad chase if 
it had been a sermon rather than a lecture. Why do not the 
Young Men's Christian Associations of the country intersperse 
religious discourses with the secular, the secular demanding an 
admission fee, the religious without money or price ? If such 
associations would take as fine a hall, and pay as much for ad < 
vcrtisin^, the audience to hear the sermon would be as large as 
the audience to hear the lecture. What consecrated minister 
would not rather tell the story of Christ and heaven free of 
cliarge than to get five hundred dollars for a secular address ? 
Wake up, Toung Men's Christian Associations, to your 
glorious opportunity. It would afford a pleasing change. 
Let Wendell Phillips give in the course his great lecture on 
"The Lost Arts f and A. A. Willitts speak on "Sunshine," 
himself the best illustration of his subject ; and Mr. Milburn, 
by " What a Blind Man saw in England," almost prove that 
eyes are a superfluity ; and W. BT H. Murray talk of the 
" Adirondacks,^ till you can hear the rifle crack and the fall of 
the antlers on the rock. But in the very midst of all this have 
a religious discourse that shall show that holiness is the lost art, 
mid timt CSirist is the miiskinet and that the gospel help a 
blind man to see, and that from Pisgah and Mount Zion there 
is a better prospect than from the top of fifty Adirondacks. 

As for ourselves, save in rare and peculiar circumstances, 
good-bye to the lecturing platform, while we try for the rest 
of our life to imitate the minister who said, " This one thing I 
do.* There are exhilarations about lecturing that one finds 
it hard to break from, and many a minister who thought him- 
self reformed of lecturing has, over-tempted, gone up to the 
American Library or Boston Lyceum Bureau, and drank down 
raw a hundred lecturing engagements. Still, a man once in a 
while finds a new pair of spectacles to look through. 

Between Indianopolis and Dayton, on that wild swift ride, 
we found a moral which we close with — for the printer-boy 
with inky fingers is waiting for this paragraph— iV^ei^er take the 




The Midnight Lecture. 65 

lad train wlien you can help it. Much of the trouble in life 
IB caused by the fact that people, in their engapjements, wait 
till the last minute. The aeven-o^clock train will take them to 
the right place if everything goes straight, but in this world 
things are very apt to go crooked. So you had better take the 
train that starts an hour earlier. In everything we undertake 
let us leave a little margin. We tried, jokingly, to persuade 
Captain Berry, when off Cape Hatteras, to go down and get 
his breakfast, while we took his place and watched the course 
of the steamer. He intimated to us that we were running too 
near the bar to allow a greenhorn to manage matters just 
there. There is always danger in sailing near a coast, whether 
in ship or in plans and morals. Do not calculate too closely 
on possibilities. Better have room and time to spare. Do 
not take the last train. Not heeding this counsel makes bad 
work for this world and the next. There are many lines of 
communication between earth and heaven. Men say they 
qan start at any time. After a while, in great excitement, they 
rush into the depot of mercy, and iind that the final oppor- 
tunity has left, and, behold ! it is the last train ! 





CHAPTEE XVL 

THE SSXTON. 

KmalXlTn^it Is evident^ once thotwlit somethiog af b eeci mliig 
a chnrdi sexton, for he said, *' I had rather be a doorkeeper^ 
and 80 on. But lie never carried oat the j^lan, perhaps because 
he had not the qualification. It requires more talent in some 
respects to be sexton than to be king. A sexton, like a poet, 
is bom. A church, in order to peace and success, needs the 
right kind of man at the prow, and the right kind at the 
stem— that is, a good minister and a good sexton. So far as 
we have observed, there are four kinds of janitors. 

The Eedoett Sexton.— He is never stilL His being in 
any one place proves to him that he ought to be in some 
other. In the most intense part of the service, every ear 
alert to the tmth, the minister st Uie t«ry climax of his sub- 
ject, the fidgety official starts np tfae^faile. The whole congre- 
gation instantly turn from the oonsidenillon of judgment and 
eternity to see what the sexton wwite. Hie minister looks, 
the elders look, the people in the gidleiy gaii up to look. It is 
left in universal doubt as to why l^e sextba frisked about at 
just that moment He must have seen a^f^ on the opposite 
side of the church wall that needed to be driven off before it 
spoiled the fresco, or he may have suspidim that a rat- terrier 
is in one of the pews by the pulpit, from the fact that he saw 
two or three children laughii^. Now, there is nothing more 
perplexing than a do^-cnase during religious service. At a 
prayer-meeting once m my house, a snarling poodle came in, 
looked around, and then went and sat under the chair of its 
owner. We had no objection to its being there (dogs should 



The Sexton. 67 

not be shut out from all advantages), but the intruder would 
not keep quiet A brother of dolorous whine was engaged 
in prayer, when poodle evidently thought that the time for 
response had come, and gave a loud yawn that had no tendency 
to solemnise the occasion. I resolved to endure it no longer. 
I started to extirpate the nuisance. I made a fearful pass of 
my hand in the direction of the dog, but missed him. A lady 
arose to give me a better chance at the vile pup, but I dis- 
corered uiat he had changed position. I felt by that time 
obstinately determined to eject him. He had got under a 
rocking-chair, at a ]x>int beyond our reach, unles^ we got on 
our knees ; and it being a prayer-meeting, we felt no inappro- 
priateness in taking that position. Of course the exercises had 
meanwhile been suspended, and the eyes of all were upon my 
undertaking. The elders wished me all success in this police 
duty, but tiie mischievous lads by the door were hoping for my 
failure. Knowing this, I resolved that if the exercises were 
never resumed, I would consummate the work and eject the 
disturber. While in this mood I gave a lunge for the dog, 
not looking to my feet, and fell over a rocker ; but there were 
sympathetic hands to help me up, and I kept on until by the 
back of the neck I grasped the grizzly-headed pup, as he com- 
menced kicking, scratching, barking, yelping, howling, and 
carried him to the door in triumph, and without any care as 
to where he landed, hurled him out into the darkness. 

Give my love to the sexton, and tell him never to chase a 
dog in religious service. Better let it alone, though it should, 
like my friend's poll-parrot, during prayer-time, break out with 
the song, " I would not live alway !" But the fidgety sexton 
is ever on the chase ; his boots are apt to be noisy, and say as 
he goes up the aisle, " Creakety-crack ! Here I come. 
Creakety-crack !*' Why should he come in to call the doctor 
out of his pew when the case is not urgent ? Cannot the 
patient wait twenty minutes, or is this the cheap way the 
doctor has of advertising ? Dr. Camomile had but three cases 
in three months, and, strange coincidence, they all came to him 
at half-past eleven o'clock Sunday morning while he was in 
church. If windows are to be lowered, or blinds closed, or 
register to be shut oflf, let it be before the sermon. 

The Lazy Sexton. — He does not lead the stranger to the 
pew, but goes a little way on the aisle, and points, saying, 
** Out yonder !'' You leave the photograph of your back in 
the dust of the seat you occupy ; the air is in an atmospheric 
hash of what was left over last Sunday. Lack of oxygen will 




68 Around the Tea-Table. 

dal] the best sermon, and clip the wings of gladdest song, and 
stupefy an audience. People go out from the poisoned air of 
our churches to die of pneumonia. What a sin, when there is 
so much fresh air, to let people perish for lack of it ! The 
churches are the worst ventilatea buildings on the cootineut. 
No amount of crace can make stale air sacred. '* The prince 
of the power of the air'' wants nothing but poisoned air for 
the churches. After audiences have assemmed, and their 
cheeks are flushed, and their respiration has become painful, 
it is too late to change it Open a window or door now, and 
YOU yentUate only the top of that man's bald head, and the 
back of the neck of tiiat delicate woman, and you send off 
hundreds of people coughing and sneezing. One reason why 
the Sabbaths are so wide apart is that every church-building 
may have six days of atmospheric purification. The best 
man's breath once ejected is not worth keeping. Our congre- 
gations are dying of asphyxia. In the name of all the best 
mterests of the church, i indict one half the sextons. 

The Good Sexton. — He is the minister's blessing, the 
church's joy, a harbinger of the millennium. ^People come to 
church to hare him hdp them up the aisle. He wears slip- 
pers. He stands or sits at the end of the church during an 
impressive discourse, and feels that, though he did not furnish 
the ideas, he at least furnished the wind necessary in preach- 
ing it. He has a quick nostril to detect unconsecrated odours, 
and puts the man who eats garlic on the back seat in the 
comer. He does not regulate the heat by a broken thermo- 
meter, minus the mercury. He has the window-blinds 
arranged just right— the light not too glaring, so as to show the 
freckles, nor too dark, so as to cast a gloom, but a subdued 
light thiat makes the plainest face attractive. He rings the 
bell merrily for Christmas festival, and tolls it sadly for the 
departed. He has real pity for the bereaved in whose house 
he ^oes for the purpose of burying their dead — ^not giving by 
cold, professional manner the impression that his sympathy 
for the troubled Is overpowered by the joy that he has in sell- 
ing another coffin. He forgets not his own soul ; and though 
his place is to stand at the door of the ark, it is surely inside 
of it. After a while, a Sabbath comes when everything is 
wrong in church : the air is impure, the furnaces fan in their 
work, and the eyes of the people are blinded with an un- 
pleasant glare. Everybody asks, '' Where is our old sexton ?" 
Alas! he will never come again. He has gone to join Obed- 
edom and Berechiah, the doorkeepers of the ancient ark. He 



The Sexton. 



69 



Will never again take the dusting- whisk from the closet under 
the church stairs, for it is now with him " Dust to dust." The 
bell he so often rang takes u]p its saddest tolling for him who 
used to pull it, and the minister goes into his disordered and 
unswept pulpit, and finds the Bible upside down as betakes it 
up to reiui his text in Psalms, 84th chapter and 10th verse : 
** I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God thau 
to dwell iu the tents of wickedness 1" 




^A 




CHAPTER XVIL 



THE OLD CBADLE, 

The historic and old-time cradle is dead, and buried in the 
rubbish of the garret. A baby of five months, filled with 
modem notions, would spurn to be rocked in the awkward and 
rustic thing. The baby spits the " Alexandra feeding-bottle " 
out of its mouth, and protests against the old-mshioned 
cradle, giving emphasis to its utterances by throwing down a 
rattle that c^ seven dollars, and kicking off a shoe imported 
at fabulous expense, and upsetting the " baby-basket," with 
all its treasures of ivory hsar-brushes and " jS[een Fun,*' Not 
with voice, but by violence of gesture and kicks and squirms, 
it says : " What ! You going to put me in that old cradle ? 
Where is the nurse ? My patience I What does mother 
mean ? Get me a 'patented self -rocker !'*' 

The parents yield. In comes the new-faugled crib. The 
machine is wound up, the baby put in, the crib set in motion, 
and mother goes off to make a first-rate speech at the 
" Woman's Bights Convention !*' 

Conundrum : Why is a maternal elocutionist of this sort 
like a mother of old time, who trained four sons for the holy 
ministry, and through them was the means of reforming and 
saving a thousand souls, and through that thousand of saving 
ten thousand more 1 You answer : " No resemblance at all /" 
You are right. Guessed the conundrum the first time. Go 
up to the head of the class ! 

Now, the "patented self -rockers," no doubt, have their 

E roper use : but go up with me into the garret of your old 
omestead, and exhume the cradle that you, a good while ago. 



The Old Cradle. 71 

slept in. The rockers are somewhat rough, as though a 
farmer's plane had fashioned them, and the sides just high 
enough for a child to learn to walk by. What a homely 
thing, take it all in all ! You say : Stop your depreciation ! 
We were all rocked in that. For about fifteen years that 
cradle was going much of the time. When the older child 
was taken out, a smaller child was put in. The crackle of 
the rockers is ]3leasant yet in my ears. There I took my ^rst 
lessons in music as mother sang to me. Have heard what 
you would call far better singing since then, but none that so 
thoroughly touched me. She never got five hundred dollars 
per night for singing three songs at the Academy, with two or 
three enwrei grudgefully thrown in ; but without pay she 
sometimes sang all night, and came out whenever encored, 
though die had only two little ears for an audience. It was a 
low, subdued tone that sings to me yet across thirty-five years. 

You see the edge of that rocker, worn quite deep ? lliat is 
where her foot was placed while she sat with her Knitting or 
sewing, on summer afternoons, while the bees hummed at the 
door and the shout of the boy at the oxen was heard afield. 
From the way the rocker is worn, I think that sometimes the 
foot must have been very tired and the ankle very sore ; but I 
do not think she stopped for that. When such a cradle as 
that got a-going it kept on for years. 

Scarlet-fever came m the door, and we all had it ; and oh 
how the cradle did go ! We contended as to who should lie 
in it, for sickness, you know, makes babies of us all. But 
after a while we surrendered it to Charlie. He was too old 
to lie in it, but he seemed so very, very sick ; and with him in 
the cradle it was *' Rock !'' ** Rock !" " Rock !'' But one day, 
just as lon^ a^ as you can remember, the cradle stopped. 
When a child is asleep there is no need of rocking. Charlie 
was asleep. He was sound asleep. Nothing would wake 
him. He needed taking up. Mother was too weak to do it. 
The neighbours came in to do that, and put a flower, fresh 
out of uie garden-dew, between the two still hands. The 
fever had gone out of the cheek, and left it white, very white 
—the rose exchanged for the lily. There was one less to 
contend for the cradle. It soon started again, and with a 
voice not quite so firm as before, but more tender, the old song 
came back : ** Bye ! bye ! bye !" which meant more to you 
than "/^ Trovatore^^ rendered by opera troupe in the 
presence of an American audience, all leaning forward and 
nodding, to show how well they understood Itsdian. 



72 Around the Tea-Table^ 

There was a wooden canopy at the head of the old cradle 
that somehow got loose and was taken off. But your infantile 
mmd was most impressed with the face which much of the 
time hovered over you. Other women sometimes looked in at 
the child, and said : " That child's hair will be red !" or, 
" What a peculiar chin ! " or, *' Do you think that child 
will live to crow up?" and although you were not old 
enough to nnderRtand their talk, by instinct you knew it 
was something disagreeable, and began to cry till the 
dear, sweet, familiar face again hovered and the rainbow 
arched the sky. Oh, we never get away from the benediction 
of such a face ! It looks at us through storm and night. It 
smiles all to pieces the world's frown. After thirty-live years 
of rough tumbling on the world's couch, it puts us in the 
cradle a«fain, and hushes us as with the very lullaby of heaven. 

Let the old cradle rest in the garret. It has earned its 
quiet. The hands that shook up its pillow have quit work. 
The foot that kept the rocker m motion is thi-ough with its 
journey. The face that hovered has been veiled from mortal 
sight. Cradle .of. blessed memories 1 Cradle that soothed so 
many little griefs ! Cradle that kindled so many hopes ! 
Cradle that rested so many fatigues ! Sleep now thyself, 
after so many years of putting others to sleep I 

One of the great wants of the age is the right kind of a 
cradle and the right kind of a foot to rock it. We are opposed 
to the usurpation of " patented self -rockers." When 1 hear a 
boy calling his grandfather old daddy ^ and see the youngster 
whacking his mother across the face because she will not let 
him have ice-cream and lemonade in the same stomach, and 
at some refusal holding his breath till he gets black in the 
face, so that to save the child from fits the mother is com- 
pelled to give him another dumpling, and he afterward goes 
out into the world stubborn, wilful, selfish, and intractable— 
I say that boy was brought up in a "patented self-rocker." 
The old-time mother would have put him down in the old- 
fashioned cradle, and sung to him, 

" Hush, my dear, lie still and slambcr, 
Holy angels guard thy bed ;" 

and if that did not take the spunk out of him would have laid 
him in an inverted position across her lap, with his face 
downward, and with a rousing spank made him more sus- 
ceptible to the music. 
When a mother, who ought to be most interested in train- 



The Old Cradle. 73 

ing bflr driidnm for naef ulnesa and heayen, givoB her chief 
tiiiia= td fixiii|^ up her back hair, and is worried to death 
beeum fh^ourla she bought are not of the same shade as the 
spazfle]{r40ttlod locks of her own raisisff ; and cultoring the 
cuxniMeweiaa hnmp of dry-gooda <m her oack till, as she comes 
into dnvdi, a good old elder btDrsts into laughter behind his 
PQoket'haiidlEerohief, making the merriment sound as much 
uke a meeae as possible ; her waking moments employed with 
discussions about polonaise, and vert-de-gris velvets, and ^cru 
percale, and fringed guipure, and poufs, and sashes, and rose- 
de-ch^e silks, and sodloped flounces ; her happiness in being 
admired at balls and parties and receptions — ^you may know 
that she has thrown on the care of her children, that tiiey are 
looking after themselves, that they are being brought up by 
machinery instead of loving hands — in a word, that there is 
in her home a *^ patented self-rocker** 

So far as possiDle, let all women dress beautifully ; so God 
dn»ses the meadows and the mountains. Let them wear 
pearls and diamonds if they can afford it : God has hung 
round the neck of his world strings of diamonds, and braided 
the blad^ locks of the storm with bright ribbons of rainbow. 
Eq)eciidly before and right after breakfast, ere they en)ect to 
be seen of the world, let them look neat and attractive for the 
family's sake. One of the most hideous sights is a slovenly 
woman at the breakfast-table. Let woman adorn herself. 
Let her speak on phitforms so far as she may have time and 
ability to do so. But let not mothers imagine that there is 
any new way of suocesefully training children, or of escaping 
the old-time self-denial and continuous painstaking. 

Let this be the commencement of the law-suit : 

OLD CRADLE 

versus 

PATENTED SELF-ROCKER. 

Attomeys for plaintiff— all the cherished memories of the 
past. 

Attorneys for the defendant— all the humbugs of the 
present. 

For jury — ^the good sense of all Christendom. 

Crier, open the court and let the jury be empanelled. 




CHAPTER XVIIL 

▲ HOBSE'S LETTER. 

Translated for the tea-table, 

Bbookltk Litebt Stables, 
January 20, 1874. 

Mt DjUl'R Gentlemen and Ladies : I am aware that tliia 
is the first time a horse has ever taken upon himself to ad- 
dress any member of the human family. True, a second 
cousin of our household once addressed Balaam, but lus voice 
for public speaking was so poor that he ^ot unmercifully 
whacked, and never tried it again. We have endured in 
silence all tiie outrages of many thousands of years, but feel 
it now time to make remonstrance. 

Becent attentions have made us aware of our worth. 
During the epizootic epidemic we had at our stables innumer- 
able cdls from doctors and judges and clergymen. Everybody 
asked about our health. Groomsmen bathed our throats, and 
sat up with us nights, and furnished us pocket-handkerchiefs. 
For the first time in years we had quiet Sundays. "We over- 
heard a conversation that made us think that the commerce 
and the fashion of the world waited the news from the stable. 
Telegraphs announced our condition across the land and under 
the sea, and we came to believe that this world was originally 
made for the horse, and man for his groom. 

But things are going back again to where they were. 
Yesterday I was dnven fifteen miles, jerked in the mouth, 
struck 'on the back, watered when I was too warm 5 and in- 
stead of the six quarts of oats that my driver ordered for me, I 



A Horse's Letter, 75 

got two. Last week I was driven to a wedding, and I heard 
music and quick feet and laughter that made the chandeliers 
rattle, while I stood unblanketed in the cold. Sometimes the 
doctor hires me, and I stand at twenty doors waiting for in- 
vialids to rehearse all their pains. Then the minister hires 
me, and I have to stay till Mrs. Tittle-Tattle has time to tell 
the dominie all the disagreeable things of the parish. 

The other night, after our owner had gone home and the 
oetlers were asleep, we held an indignation meeting in our 
livery-stable. " Old Sorrel " presided, and there was a long 
line of vice-presidents and secretaries, mottled bays and dap- 
pled grays and chesnuts, and Shetland and Arabian ponies. 
** Charley," one of the old inhabitants of the stable, began a 
speech, amid great stamping on the part of the audience. But 
he soon broke down for lack of wind. For five years he had 
been suffering with the *' heaves." Then " Pompey," a vener- 
able nag, took his place ; and though he had nothing to say, 
he held out his spavined leg, which dramatic posture excited 
the utmost enthusiasm of the audience. " Fanny Shetland," 
the property of a lady, tried to damage the meeting by saying 
that horses had no wrongs. She said, " Just look at my em- 
broidered blanket. I never go out when the weather is bad. 
Everybody who comes near me pats me on the shoulder. 
What can be more beautiful than going out on a sunshiny 
afternoon to make an excursion through the Park, amid the 
clatter of the hoofs of the stallions? I walk, or pace, or 
canter, or gallop, as I choose. Think of the beautiful life we 
live, with the prospect, after our easy work js done, of going 
up and joining Elijah's horses of fire !" 

Next, / took the floor, and said that I was born in a warm, 
snug Pennsylvania bam ; was, on my father's side, descended 
from Bucephalus ; on my mother's side, from a steed that 
Queen Elizabeth rode in a steeple-chase. My youth was passed 
in clover pastures and under trusses of sweet-smelling hay. I 
flung my heels in glee at the farmer when he came to catch me. 
Bufc on a dark day I was over-driven, and my joints stiffened, 
and my fortunes went down, and my whole family was sold. 
My brother, with head down and sprung in the knees, pulls 
the street car. My sister makes her living on the tow-path, 
hearing the canal boys swear. My aunt died of the epizootic. 
My uncle — blind, and afflicted with the bots, the ring-bone 
and the spring-halt — wanders about the commons, trying to 
persuade somebody to shoot him. And here I stand, old and 
aicky to cry out against the wrongs of horses— the saddles that * 

5-2 



76 Around the Tea-Table, 

gall, the spun that prick, the snafEles that pinch, the loads thit^ 

At this a yidonB-looking nag, with mane half pulled out, 
and a " watch-eye,* and feet "interfering," and a tail from 
which had been subtracted enough hair to make six '' water- 
falls,'' squealed out the suggestion that it was time for a re- 
bellion, and she moved that we take the field, and that all 
those who could kick should kick, and that all those who 
could bite should bite, and that all those who could bolt should 
bolt, and that all those who could run away diould run away, 
and IJiat thus we fill the land with broken wagons and smasAied 
heads, and teach our oppressors that the day of retribution 
has come, and that our down-trodden race will no more be 
trifled wim. 

When this resolution was put to vote, not one said '^ Aye,'' 
but all cried ^ Nay, nay," and for the space of half an hour 
kept cm neighing. Instead of this harsh measure, it was 
voted that, by the hand of Henry Bergh, president of the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, I should 
write this letter of remonstrance. 

My dear gentlemen and ladies, remember that we, like your- 
selves, have 19100(29, and cannot always be frisky and cheerfuL 
You do not slap your grandmother in the face because, this 
morning, she does not feel as well as usual ; why, then, do you 
slash us ? Before vou pound us, ask whether we have been up 
late "the night before, or had our meals at irregular hours, or 
whether our spirits had been depressed by being kicked by a 
drunken ostler. We have only about ten or twelve years in 
which to enjoy ourselves, and then we go out to be shot into 
notiiinffness. Take care of us while you may. Job's horse 
was ^ dothed with thunder," but all we ask is a plain blanket. 
When we are side, put us in a horsepital Do not strike us 
when we stumble or scare. Suppose you were in the harness 
and I were in tiie wagon, I had the whip and you the traces, 
what an aident advocate you would be for kindness to the ir- 
rational creation ! Do not let the blax;ksmith drive the nail 
into the quick when he shoes me, or bum my fetlocks with a 
hot file. Do not mistake the ** dead-eye " that nature put on 
my fore-leg for a wart to be exterminated. Do not cut off my 
taa short in fly-time. Keep the north wind out of our 
stables. Care for us at some other time than during the 
epizootics, so that we may see your kindness is not selfish. 

My dear friends, our mterests are mutual I am a silent 
partner in your business. Under my sound hoof is the dia^ 



A Horses Letter. 



7! 



mond of nationalprosperity. Beyond my nostril the worid'Aiiro- 
gresB may not go. With thrift, and wealth, and comfort, I daily 
race necK and neck. Be kind to 97ie if you want me to be we- 
fnl to y(m. And near be the day when the red horse of was 
shall be hocked and impotent, and the 'pale horse of death 
ahall be hurled back on his haunches, but the wkiU horse of 
Mceu «nd joy, and triumph shall pass on, its rider with face 
like tbe son, all nations following ! 

Your most obedient servant, 

Chaeley Bucephalus, 





CHAPTER XIX 



N 



KINGS OF THX KENKEL. 

1 SAID, vben I lost Carlo, that I would never own another 
dog. We all sat around, like big children, crying about it ; 
and what made the grief worse, we had no sympathisers. Our 
neighbours were gl^ of it, for he had not siways done the 
fair thing with .them. One of them had lost a chicken when 
it was staffed and all ready for the pan, and suspicions were 
upon Carla 

I was the only counsel for the defendant ; and while I had 
to acknowledge that the circumstantial evidence was against 
him, I prov^ his generaJ character for integrity, and showed 
that, the common and criminal law were on our side. Coke and 
Blackstone in our favour, and a loug list of authorities and 
decisions : IL Be^ised Statutes, New York, 132, § 27 ; also 
Watch V8, Towser, Crompton and Meeson, p. 375 ; also. State 
of New Jersey vs. Sicem Blanchard. 

When I made these citations, my neighbour and his wife, 
who were judges and jurors in the case, looked confounded ; 
and so I followed up the advantage I had gained with the 
law maxim, Non minus ex dolo quam ex culpa qntsque hoc 
lege tenetur^ which I found afterward was the wrong Latin, 
but it had its desired effect, so that the jury did not agree, 
and Carlo escaped with his life ; and on the way home he went 
spinning round like a top, and pimctuating his glee with a 
semicolon made by both paws on my new dothes. 

Yet, notwithstanding all his predicaments and frailties, at 
his decease we resolved, in our trouble, that we would never 
own another dog. But this, like many another resolution of 



Rings of the Kennel, 79 

our life, has been broken ; and here is Nick, the Newfound- 
land, lying sprawled on the mat. He has a jaw set with 
strength ; an eye mild, but indicative of the fact that he does 
not want too many familiarities from strangers ; a nostril 
large enough to snuff a wild duck across the meadows ; knows 
how to shsie hands, and can talk with head, and ear, and tail : 
and, save an unreasonable antipathy to cats, is perfect, and 
always goes with me on my walk out of town. 

He knows more than a great many people. Never do we 
take a walk but the poodles, and the rat -terriers, and the 
grizzly curs with stringy hair and damp nose, get after him. 
They tumble off the front door-step and out of the kennels, 
and assault him front and rear. I have several times said t(> 
him (not loud enough for Presbytery to hear), " Nick, why do 
you stand all this ? Gro at them !" He never takes my advice. 
He lets them bark and snap, and passes on unprovokedly 
without sniff or growl. He seems to say, **They are not 
worth minding. Let them bark. It pleases them and don't 
hurt me. I started out for a six-mile tramp, and I cannot be 
diverted. Newfoundlanders like me have a mission. My 
father pulled three drowning men to the beach, and my uncle 
on my mother's side saved a child from the snow. If you have 
anything brave, or good, or great for me to do, just clap your 
hand and ^int out the work, and I will do it, but I cannot 
waste my time on rat-terriers." 

If Nick had put that in doggerel, I think it would have 
read welL It was wise enough to become the dogma of a 
school. Men and women are more easily diverted from the 
straight course than is Nick. No useful people escape being 
barked at. Mythology represents Cerberus a monster dog at 
the mouth of Hell, but he has had a long lin^ of puppies. 
They start out at editors, teachers, philanthropists and 
Chnstians. If these men go right on their way, they perform 
their mission and get their reward, but one-half of them stop 
and make attempt to silence the literary, political and 
ecclesiastical curs that snap at them. 

Many an author has got a drop of printer's ink spattered in 
his eye, and collapsed. The critic who had lobsters for supper 
the night before, and whose wife in the morning had parted 
his hair on the wrong side, snarled at the new book, and the 
time that the author might have spent in new work he squan- 
ders in gunning for critics. You might better have gone 
straight ahead, Nick ! You will come to be estimated for 
exactly what you are worth. If a fool, no amount of news- 



Bo Around the Tea- Table, 

paper or magazine puffery can set you up ; and if you are use- 
roly no amount of newspaper or magazine detraction can keep 
you down. For every position there are twenty aspirants ; 
cmly one man can get it ; forthwith the other nineteen are on 
the offensive. People are silly enough to think that they can 
build themselves up with the bricks they pull out of your 
walL Pass on and leave them. What a waste of powder for 
a hunter to co into ih» woods to shoot black flies, or for a man 
of great won: to notice infinitesimal assault ! My Newfound- 
land would flcom to be seen making a drive at a black-and-tan 
terrior. 

But one day, on my walk with Nick, we had an awful time. 
We were coming in at great speed, much of the time on a 
brisk jun, my mmd full of white dover tops and the balm that 
exudes from the woods in full leafage, when, passing the com- 
mons, we saw a do^-fight in which there mingled a Newfound- 
laud as large as Nick, a blood-hound, and a pointer. They 
had been interlocked for some time in terrific combat. They 
had gnashed upon and torn each other until there was getting 
to be a great scarcity of ears, and eyes, and tails. 

Nick's head was up, but I advised him that he had better 
keep out of that canme misunderstanding. But he gave one 
look, as much as to say, ** Here at last is an occasion worthy 
of me," and at that dashed into the fray. Thei^'had been no 
order in the fight before, but as Nick entered they all pitched 
at him. They took him fore, and aft, and midships. It was a 
greater undertaking than he had anticipated. He shook, and 
bit, and hauled, and howled. He wanted to get out of the 
fight, but found that more difficult than to get in. 

Now, if there is an}rthing I like, it is fair play. I said, 
" Count me in P' and with stick and other missiles I came in 
like Blucher at nightfall Nick saw me and plucked up 
courage, and we gave it to them right and left, till oui- 
opponents went scampering down the hill, and I laid down 
tne weapons of conflict and resumed my profession as a 
minister, and gave the mortified dog some good advice on 
keeping out of scrapes, which homily had its proper effect, for, 
witn head down and penitent look, he jogged back with me 
to the city. 

Lesson for dogs and men : Keep out of fights. If you see 
a church contest, or a company of unsanctified females overhaul- 
ing each other's good name until there is nothing left of them 
but a broken hoop-skirt and one curl of back hair, you had 
better stand clear. Once go in, and your own character will 



Kings of the Kennel. 



8i 



be an invitation to their muzzles. Nick's long, clean ear was 
a temptation to all the teetli. You will have enough baMes 
of your own, without getting a loan of conflicts at twentj per 
oent. a monuL 

Every time since the unfortunate stru^le I have deecrDsed, 
when Jiick and I take a country walk and pass a dog-fight, 
he comes dose up by my side, and looks me in the eye with 
one long wipe of the tongue over his chops, as much as to say, 
*' Easier to get into a fight than to get out of it. Better jog 
along our own way ;" and then I preach him a short sermon 
from Proverbs xxvi. 17 : "He that passe th by, and meddleth 
wiih strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog 
by the earai" 





CHAPTER XX. 



THE MASSACBE OF CHUBCH HUSia 

Thebe has been an eflfort made for the last twenty years to 
kill congregational singing. The attempt ha? been tolerably 
successful ; but it seems to me that some rul^ might be given 
by which the work could be done more quickly and completely. 
What is the use of having it lingering on in this uncertam way? 
Why not put it out of its misery 1 If you are going to kill a 
snake, kill it thoroughly, and do not let it keep on wagging 
its tail till sundown. Con^egational singing is a nuisance, 
anyhow, to many of the people. It interferes with their com- 
fort. It offends their taste. It disposes their noses to flexi- 
bility in the upward direction. It is too democratic in its 
tendency. Down with congregational singing, and let us 
have no more of it. 

The first rule for killing it is to have only suck tunes as the 
people cannot sing ! 

In some churches it is the custom for choirs at each service 
to sing (me tune which the people know. It is very generous 
of the choir to do that. The people ought to be very thank- 
ful for the donation. They do not deserve it. Tliey are all 
" miserable offendera *' (I heard them say so), and, if permitted 
once in a service to sing, ought to think themselves highly 
favoured. But I oppose this singing of even the one tune 
that the people understand. It spoils them. It gets them 
hankering after more. Total abstinence is the only safety ; 
for if you allow them to imbibe at all, they will after a while 
get in the habit of drinking too much of it, and the first 
thing you know they will be going around drunk on sacred 
psalmody. 



The Massacre of Church Music, Sj 

Besides that, if you let them sing one tune at a service, 
they will be putting their oar into the other tunes and bother- 
ing the choir. There is nothing more annoying to the choir 
than, at some moment when they have drawn out a note to 
exquisite fineness, thin as a split hair, to have some blundering 
elder to come in with a " Praise ye the Lord !" Total absti- 
nence, I say ! Let all the churches take the pledge even 
against the milder musical beverages ; for they who tamper 
■with champagne cider soon get to Sock and old Burgundy. 

Now, if all the tunes are new, there will be no temptation 
to the pople. They will not keep humming along, hoping 
they will find some bars down where they can break into the 
clover pasture. They will take the tune as an inextricable 
conundrum, and give it up. Besides that, Pisgah, Ortonville 
and Brattle Street are old-fashioned. They did very well in 
their day. Our fathers were simple-minded people, and the 
tunes fitted them. But our fathers are gone, and they ought 
to have taken their baggage with them. It is a nuisance to 
have those old tunes floating around the church, and some 
time, just as we have got the music as fine as an opera, to 
have a I'evival of religion come, and some new-bom soul 
break out in " Eock of Ages, cleft for me !" till the organist 
stamps the pedal with indignation, and the leader of the tune 
gets red in the face and swears. Certainly anything that 
makes a man swear is wrong— ergro, congregational singing is 
wrong. Quod erat demonstrandum; which, being trans- 
lated,- means Plain as the nose on a man* s face. 

What right have people to sing who know nothing about 
rhythmics, melodies, dynamics ? The old tunes ought to be 
ashamed of themselves when compared with our modern 
beautiea Let Dundee, and Portuguese Hymn, and Silver 
Street hide their heads beside what we heard not long ago in 
a church — ^just where I shall not tell. The minister read the 
hymn beautifully. The organ began, and the choir sang, asr 
near as I could understand, as follows : 

Oo — aw — gee— bah 

Ah — me — la — ho 
O— -pah — sah — d ah 

Wo— haw — goc-c-e-e. 

My wife, seated beside me, did not like the music. But I 
said : " What beautiful sentiment ! My dear, it is a pastoral. 
You might have known that from * Wo-haio-Gee P You have 
had your taste ruined by attending the Brooklyn Tabernacle." 
The choir repeated the last line of the hymn four times; 



S4 Around The Tea-Table, 

TheD the prima donna leaped on to the first line, and slipped, 
and fdl on to the second, and that broke and let her through 
into Uie third. The other voices came in to pick her up, and 
got into a grand wrangle, and the bass and the soprano had it 
for about ten seconds ; but the soprano beat (women always 
do), and the bass roUed down into the cellar, and the sc^rano 
went up into the garret, but the latter kept on squalling as 
though the bass, in leaving her, had wickealy torn out all her 
back hair. I felt anxious about the soprano, and looked back 
to see if she had fainted ; but found her reclining in the arms 
of a ycmng man who looked strong enough to take care of her. 
Now, I admit that we cannot all have such things in our 
churches. It costs like sixty. In the Ohurch of the Holj 
Bankak it costs one hundred dollars to have song that com- 
munioii piece : 

*Ts wfotdied, hmgiy) starring^ poor 1" 

But let us oome as near to it as we can. The tune '' Piagah'' 
has been standing long enough on " Jordan's stormy banks.'' 
Let it pass over and get out^f the wet weather. Good-bye, 
"Antioch.*' "HarwdJ," and "Boylston." Good-bye till we 
meet in guxiy. 

But if the prescription of new tunes does not end congre- 
gational singing. I have another suggestion. Get an irreligious 
choir, and put tnem in a high biwK>ny back of the congrega- 
tion. I know choirs who are made up chiefly of reli^us 
people, or those, at least, respectful for sacred things. .That 
will never do, if you want to kill the music. The theatrical 
troupe are not busy elsewhere on Sabbath, and you can get 
them at half price to sing the praises of the Lord. Meet 
them in the green-room at the close of the ^* Black Crook," 
and secure them. They will come to church with opera- 
glasses, which will bring the minister so near to them they 
can, from their high perch, look clear down his tii^oat and see 
lus sermon before it is delivered. They will make excellent 
poetry on Deacon Goodsoul as he carries around the mission- 
ary-box. They will write dear little notes to Gonzaldo, asking 
him how lus cold is, and how he likes gum-drops. Without 
interfering with the worship below, they can discuss the com- 
parative mshionableness of ^'The Basque'' and '^TheFido- 
naise," the one lady vowing she thinks the first style is 
" horrid,'' and the other saving she would rather die tlian be 
seen in the latter ; all this while the chorister is gone out 
daring aennon to refresh himself with a mint-julep, hastening 



Thb Mjlssacre of Church Music. 85 

liadE mtuBA to siag^t£id<IaBt hymn. How inncli like heaven 
it will be wheiiy at the close of a solemn service, we are 
fttwnzed with smutdieB feom Verdi's "Trovatore," Meyerbeer's 
^ Bbgu^iots/' and Beliind's "Sonaambula/' from such artists aa 

MliDXKOIflEELB SQITIirrELLS, 

FkitBOM-DozixiB Soprano, from Orand OperarHoiiMy Paxou 

Stgnob Bombastani, 

Basso Buffo, from Bojal Italian Opera. 

Cabl Schnridebine, 

First Baritone, of His Majesty's Theatre, Berlin. 

K after three months of taking these two prescriptions the 
congregational singing is not thoroughly dead, send me a 
letter directed to my name, with the title of O. F. M. (Old 
.Fogy in Music), and I will, on the receipt thereof, write 
another prescription, which I am sure will kill it dead as 
a door-nioly and that is the deadest thing in all history. 





cnAPTErw XXI. 



THE GENERAL CONFERENCE. 



The month of May was memorable in Brookl3'n. Yon would 
have thought that there had been a deluge of theolo^ raining 
forty days and forty nights, with no rainbow promising that 
the thing would never happen again. It seemed as if all the 
ministers of the land had broken loose. You passed them on 
overy street. They stood in knots on the comer. If you 
wanted to say anything against Methodism,, you had to look 
both ways, and up and down, before you dared to say it. They 
preached for us, but we soon found that would not do ; for if 
the matter went on, our congregations would never consent to 
hear us again. It is very hard to go back from venison and 
partridge and canvas-back duck to plain fare. Almost all our 
citizens looked in upon the great religious convocation. Its 
Appearance impressed us with three or four things. 

Church courts nearly always look cadaverous. The majority 
of theologians are colourless and seem fagged out. But we do 
not believe there ever was an equal amoimt of avoirdupois 
weight in any other church court. Indeed, none of them were 
known, while they were in Brooklyn, to miss their meals. 
Preaching evidently agrees with all of them. I suppose that, 
as they change residence every three years, they do not stay 
long enough in a place to get into disquieting predicaments. 
And then there are climatic considerations that account for 
this sanitary condition. The doctors say that change of air is 
^ood for health, and itinerancy necessitates it. As a denomi- 
nation, they do not smoke. Smoking sends many ministers to 
heaven before their time is up. I should like to go up on a 



The General Conference, 87 

cloud, but not on one of that kind. The clerg3^man looks pale, 
and his dear people tbink it is because he is becoming ethereal 
and sanctified ; but I have been beliind the scenes, and I now 
let the outsiders know that it is not religion that gives that 
pallor and unearthly appearance, but tobacco-smoke. 

We need more physical development among the clergy. 
Leviticus, twenty-second chapter and twenty-second verse : 
** Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or 
scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord." The Bible 
clergy had muscle as well as grace. David was little, but too 
much for Goliath, and grand on a bear hunt. People talk of 
Paul as though he were a skeleton because he had a "thorn in 
the flesh," but be was no skeleton. He rode horseback, and 
ffradnated from the saddle into the ministry. He did not fall 
&om his horse because he was not a good rider. From the 
joyful view he took of almost everything, I know nothing ailed 
his liver. Fromthe courageous way he stood beforeFelix, I know 
nothing was the matter with his backbone. At sixty-eight 
years of age he made a journey of more than fifteen hundred 
miles, before "palace cars" were invented, and still had enough 
strength left to write in a dungeon the Second Epistle to 
Timothy. How much skeleton was there about that 1 The 
ministry of 1892 will be strong, robust, agile and stalwart. 
Before the lamb and the lion lie down together there will have 
to be some fighting done, and I want our side to win. These 
men whom I saw down at the Conference we will place in the 
front of the battle, not only because we want stout men there, 
but because it is safer and more prudent for us to stay a little 
way back. 

The Conference was not a coroner's inquest, but a jubilee. 
We never knew a company of men with whose constitution 
religion seemed to agree so welL In them the thunder of the 
world's trouble had not soured the milk of human kindness. 
I do not know whether they will all get to heaven, but they 
all looked as if they were on their way to some very comfort- 
able place. There ought to be room on every man's face to 
write : " Praise ye the Lord l" K there are not enough glad 
things ahead of us, we had better turn round and go the other 
way. If we think the grapes of Canaan sour, better go back 
and eat onions in Egypt. There may be tough battles yet 
before us, but, with Pharaoh's host gone under, I think Miriam 
can risk the clapping of one pair of cymbals. 

The Conference was not a company or a regiment, but an 
army. If there ever was so large a church court assembled in 



88 Around the Tea-Table. 

thk country, I never knew of it. It came acroas ns over- 
whelmingly: the good that all those consecrated hearts must 
be doing. We want numbers. It will not do to pride ourselves 
any longer on being '' a little flock.'' Do not let us be afraid 
of crowds. Heaven, according to the theory of some, must be 
a vulgar place, because there will be a vast multitude there. 
This harvest is so ^at that we want the round earth to gleam 
with the flash of sickles. When the time just now spoken of 
comes for the licm to lie down with the lamb, do not let there 
be ten lions to two lambs. From the fact that, according to 
David, the chariots of God are twenty thousand, I know the 
Lord likes plenty of artillery. From the fact that Elisha's 
servant saw the mountains full of horses of fire, I know that 
Gk)d wants plemty of flaming war-chargers. I knew a minister 
who prided himself on the fewness of his congregation. £[e 
said they were the elect. I saw that they had been elected to be 
bored. He preadied until about all had left the church save the 
sexton and my father. The sexton stayed because he was paid, 
and father endured it because he could sleep soundly whenever 
he willed, and besides that, since the minister had ruined the 
churdh in every other way, it was important that somebody be 
on hand to see that he did not steal the cushions and carpete 
The sexton would not have seen any such depredations, beouise 
he was out in front of the church whittling sticks during aeac- 
vice. Do not let us boast of our smallness. Let our chiudies 
and Conferences and General Assemblies be crowded with 
earnest souls. 

But the Conference is gone. They stayed four or five weeks^ 
attending closely to business, the most of them staying to the 
very last, illustrating what they do not believe in— namely, 
the perseverance of the saints. The^ stayed long enough to 
throw away the few bricks that remained of the wall between 
denominations. They got us all so mixed up that we had to 
take down our Heidelberg and Westminster Catechisms to find 
our real beurings. They 1^ their blessing in our dty, and 
took our blessing to their homes ; and if this article ahaU meet 
their eye, let them know that these words are written with a 
prayer that the Lord God of Israel may bless them and their 
chiidian for evei; 




CHAPTER XXII. 

THE BATTLE OF PEW AND PULPIT. 

Two more sermons unloaded, and Monday morning I went 
sauntering down town, ready for almost anything. I met 
several of my clerical friends going to a ministers' meeting. I 
do not often go there, for I have found that some of the 
clerical meetings are gridirons where they roast clergymen 
who do not do things just as we do them. I like a Presby- 
terian gridiron no better than a Methodist one, and prefer to 
either of them an old-fashioned spit, such as I saw this summer 
in Oxford, England, where the rabbit is kept turning round 
before a slow Ire, in blessed state of itinerancy, the rabbit 
thinking he is merely taking a ride, while he is actually 
roasting. 

As on the Monday morning I spoke of I was p assing down 
the street, I heard high words in a church. What could it 
be ? Was it the minister, and the sexton, and the trustees 
fighting ? I went in to see, when, lo ! I found that the Pew 
and the Pulpit were bantering each other at a great rate, and 
seemed determined to tell each one the other's raults. I stood 
still as a mouse that I might hear all that was said, and my 
presence not be noticed. 

The Pew was speaking as I went in, and said to the Pulpit, 
in anything but a reverential tone : ** Why don't you speak 
out on other days as well as you do to-day ? The fact is, I 
never knew a Pulpit that could not be heard when it was tho- 
roughly mad. But when you give out the hymn on Sabbaths, 
I cannot tell whether it is the seventieth oi* the hundredth. 
When you read the chapter, you are half Uiroug^h witk 



go Around the Tea-Table, 

it before I know whether it is Exodus or Deuteronomy* 
Why do you begin your sermon in so low a key ? If the in- 
troduction is not worth hearing, it is not worth delivering. 
Are you explaining the text ? If so, the Lord's meaning is as 
important as anytmng you will have in your sermon. Throw 
back your shoulders, open your mouth ! Make your voice 
strike against the opposite wall ! Pray not only for a clean 
heart, but for stout lungs. I have nearly worn out my ears 
trying to catch your utterances. When a captain on a battle- 
field gives an order, the company all hear ; and if you want to 
be an officer in the Lord's army, do not mumble your words. 
The elocution of Christ's sermon is described when we are told 
he opened his nuyuth and taught them — that is, spoke distinctly^ 
a^ ibose cannot who keep their lips half closed. Do you think 
it a sign of modesty to speak so low ? I think the most pre- 
suming thing on earth for a Pulpit to do iis to demand that an 
audience sit quiet when they cannot hear, simply looking. 
The handsomest minister I ever saw is not wortn looking at 
for an hour and a half at a stretch. The truth is that I luiva 
often been so provoked with your inarticulate speech that I 
would have got up and left the church, had it not oeen for the 
fact that I am nailed fast, and my appearance on the outside 
on a Sabbath-day, walking up and down, would have brought 
around me a crowd of unsanctified boys to gaze at me, a poor 
church-pBW on its travels." 

The Pulpit responded in anything but a pious tone : " The 
reason you do not hear is that your mind on Sundays is full 
of everything but the gospel You work so hard during the 
week that you rob the Lord of his twenty-four hours. The 
man who works on Sunday as well as the rest of the week is 
no worse than you who abstain on that day, because your 
excessive devotion to business during the week kills your 
Sunday ; and a dead Sunday is no Sunday at all. You throw 
jouneU into church as mucn as to say, * Here, Lord, I am too 
tired to work any more for myself ; you can have the use of 
me while I am resting !' Besides that, O Pew ! you have a 
miserable habit. Even when you hear my voice on the Sab- 
bath and are wide awake, you have a way of putting your 
head down or shutting your eye^ and looking as if your soul 
had vacated the premises for six weeks. You are one of those 
hearers who thmk it is pious to look dull ; and you think that 
the Pew on the other side the aisle is an old sinner because he 
hunches the Pew behind him, and smiles when the truth hits 
the mark» If you want me to speak out, it is your duty not 



The Battle of Pew and Pulpit. 91 

only to be wide awake, but to look so. Give us the benefit of 
your two eyes. There is one of the elders whose eye I have 
never caught while speaking, save once, and that was when I 
waa preadiing from Psalm cxviii. 12, *They compassed me 
about like bees,' and by a strange coincidence a bumble-bee 
got into church, and I had my attention divided between my 
text and the annoying insect, which flew about like an illus- 
tration I could not catch. A dull Pew is often responsible for 
a dull Pulpit. Do not put your head down on the' back of the 
seat in front, pretending you are very much aflFected with the 
sermon, for we all know you are napping." 

The Pew : " If you want me to be alert, give me something 
fresh and startling. Your sermons all sound alike. It don't 
make any difference where you throw the net, you never fish 
up anything but moss-bunkers. You are always talking 
aoout stale things. Why don't you give us a touch of learned 
discussion, such as the people hear every Sunday in the church 
of Reverend Doctor Heavyasbricks, when, with one eye on 
heaven and the other on the old man in the gallery, he speaks 
of the Tridentine theory of original sin, and Patristic Soterio- 
logy, Mediaeval Trinitarianism, and Antiochian Anthropology 1 
Why don't you give us some uncommon words, and instead of 
^ looking back upon the subject,' sometimes ' recapitulate,' and 
instead of talking about a man's *' peculiarities,' mention his 
' idiot-sin-crasies,' and describe the hair as the capillary adorn- 
ment ; and instead of speaking of a thing as tied together, say 
it was * inosculated.' " 

The Pulpit : " You keep me so poor I cannot buy the books 
necessary to keep me fresh. After the babies are clothed, and 
the table is provided for, and the wardrobe supplied, my purse 
is empty, and you know the best carpenter cannot make good 
shingles without tools. Better pay up your back salary instead 
of sitting there howling at me. You eased your conscience 
by subsCTibing for the support of the gospel, but the Lord 
makes no record of what a man subscribes : he waits to see 
whether he pays. The poor widow with the two mites is 
applauded in Scripture because she paid cash down. I have 
always noticed that you Pews make a big noise about Pulpit 
deficiencies just in proportion to the little you do. The fifty 
cents you pay is only premium on your policy of five dollars' 
worth of grumbling. O critical Pew ! you had better scour 
the brass number on your own door before you begin to polish 
the silver knob on mine." 

The Peitf : •* I think it is time for you to go away. I am 

a-2 



92 Around the Tea-Table, 

glad that Conference is coming. I shall see the bishop, and 
have you removed to some other part of the Lord's vineyard. 
You are too plain a Pulpit for such an elegant Pew. Just 
look at your big hands and feet. We want a spiritual guide 
whose fingers taper to a fine point, and one who could wear, 
if need be, a lady's shoe. Get out, with your great paws and 
clodhoppers ! We want in this church a Pulpit that will talk 
about ueaven, and make no allusion to the other place. I have 
a highly educated nose, and can stand the smell of garlic and 
asafoetida better than brimstone. We want an okaginovz 
minister, commonly called oily. We want him distinguished 
for his unctuosity. We want an ecclesiastical scent-bag, or, 
as you might call him, a heavenly nosegay, perfect in every 
respect, his ordinary sneeze as good as a doxology. If he ciy 
during some emotional part of his discourse, let it not be an 
old-fashioned cry, with big hands or coat sleeve sopping up 
the tears, but let there be just two elegant tears, one firom ea^ 
eye, rolling down parallel into a pocket-handkerchief richly 
embroider^ by the sewing society, and inscribed with the 
names of all the young ladies' Bible-class. If he kneel before 
sermon, let it not be a coming down like a soul in want, but 
on one knee, so artistically done that the foot shall show the 
twelve-dollar patent leather shoe, while the aforesaid pocket- 
handkerchief IS just peeping from the coat pocket, to see 
if the ladies who made it are all there — the whole scene a 
re] igious tableau. We want a Pulpit that will not get us into a 
tearing-down revival, where the people go shouting and twist- 
ing am)ut, regardless of carpets and fine effect, but a revivid 
that shall be bom in a bandbox, and wrapped in ruffles, and 
lie on a church-rug, so still that nobody will know it is there. 
If we could have such a Pulpit as that, all my feUow-Pews 
would join me, and we would give it a handsome support ; 
yes, we would pay him ; if we got just what we want, we 
could afifbrd to give, in case he were thoroughly eloquent, 
Demosthenic and bewitching — I am quite certain we could, 
although I should not want myself to be held responsible ; yes, 
he should have eight hundred dollars a year, and that is seven 
hundred and sixty dollars more than Milton got for his 
Paradise Lost, about which one of his learned contemporaries 
wrote : * The old blind schoolmaster, John Milton, hath pub- 
lished a tedious poem on the fall of man : if its length be not 
considered a merit, it has no other.' Nothing spoils ministers 
like too big a salary. Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked : if it 
had not been for the wax and the fat, he would not have 



The Battle of Pew and Pulpit. 93 

kidced. Sirloin-steaks and mince-pies are too rich fqr 
miniBters. Put these men down on catfish and floiuidQiEB, as 
were the fishermen apostles. Too much oats xaikm horses 
friakjy and a minister high-fed is sure to get his foot over the 
shaft. If we want to keep our Pulpits spiritual, we must 
keep them poor. Blessed are the poor T' 

"Stop ! stop !" cried the Pulpit ; and it seemed to rise 
higher than before, and to tremble from head to foot with 
excitement, and the banisters to twist as if to fly in indigna- 
tion at the Pew, and the plush on the board-book to look red 
as fire ; and seeiug there was going to be a collision between 
Pulpit and Pew, I ran up the aisle and got between them 
(they were wide enough apart to allow me to get in), and I 
cried, " Silence ! This w great talk for a church. Pulpits 
ought not to scold, and Pews ought not to grumble. 
As far as I can see you are both to blame. Better shake 
hands and pray for a better spirit. It wants more than 
a bishop to settle this difficulty. The Lord Almighty alone 
can make Pulpit and Pew what they ought to be. You both 
need to be baptized over again !" Then, taking up a silver 
bowl that stood on the communion-table, half full of the water 
vesterday used at a babe's christening, I stood between the 
belligerents, and sprinkled Pew and Pulpit with a Christian 
baptism, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost. And when I got through, I could not tell 
whether Pew or Pulpit said Amen the louder. 





CUArXEH XXIIL 



BRIGIIAM AND WIVES MULTITUDINOUS. 

Brigtiam was .iway. We were told he always is away when 
trouble is expected ; and collision between the United States 
troops and the Mormons was likely to occur on the Fourth of 
July. But still Brigham had left his institution behind, and 
all his wives and chudren ; for no trunk that was ever manu- 
factured would be large enough to contain the wearing apparel 
of seventeen wives and forty children. So very inconvenient 
would it have been to take them. 

The temple of granite is slowly rising. It will cost three 
millions of dollars, and be more glorious than Solomon's— so 
tliey tell ua One of the elders informed us that the archi- 
tecture was an especial revelation to Brigham, and that after 
many thousand dollars had been expended on the structure, 
the president appeared on the gi'ound one morning and told 
the masons that the foundations must all come up. The 
workmen protested ; but Brigham's revelation must nave its 
way. The foundations were lifted, and, lo ! under them was 
found a wooden roller, which after a while would have decayed 
and let down the whole structure. " Now," say^ the elder, 
" you must see that it was a divine revelation to Brigham, for 
no human judgment could have guessed the presence of the 
roller !" 

I find no difficulty in explaining the philosophy of Mor- 
monism. There is a large class of ^ople all the world over 
who seem to delight in being deceived ; the Mormons have 
merely turned giUlibility into a religion. 

At eveningtide, on the hill back of the city, we met an in* 



Brigham and Wives Multitudinous. 95 

telligent Englishman who had become a Mormon. "We inti- 
mated to him that we thought that the Pacific Baikoad and 
the lai^e influx of Gentiles to the newly-discovered mines 
would do Mormonism no good ; but that the locomotive would 
run over it, and the Gentile's spade undermine it. '^ No, no !" 
lie said. '^ This Pacific Railroad is to be the highway on which 
all people will gather to our church. Mormonism was never 
ao strong as to-day.'^ 

Question. — ^^ What apology have you to make for poly- 
gamy T 

Amufer. — " The Gentiles are a corrupt generation, and that 
race wUl die out. Our object is to fill the land with a rapidly- 
increasing generation of Mormons, who will be a superior 
race, physic^y as well as spiritually. I would have no hope 
for the triumph of our church except through polygamy." 

Turning to his boy, that stood by him, he put his hand 
under the youngster's chin, and said to us : "Look there ! 
See what an eye that boy has, and what a face ! You see no 
such beauty as that outside of Mormonism !" The fact was 
that the cMld looked like a half-breed Indian, and gave no 
promise of ever being bright enough to learn his letters. We 
saw two boys of about the same size and promise at the Holy 
Communion, of which they had just partaken in the Mormon 
tabernacle, making spit-balls of the consecrated bread and 
throwing them at each other. 

Nothing impressed us more in Salt Lake City than the 
homeliness of the women. It may be uugallant to mention 
it ; but, as every one that goes there thinks it, here goes the 
statement of the fact. Now, homeliness of feature is not 
always a disadvantage. There is a handsome ugliness and a 
pious homeliness ; but with these Mormon women it is a 
vicious and outrageous uncomeliness, indicative of moral dis- 
figurement. The tabernacle waa alive with them. They 
made us shudder. It is " assault and battery" to have them 
look at you. What Brigham or any other man would want of 
seventeen such looking creatures I cannot imagine. One of 
them, I should think^ would be a great horror. Such disloca- 
tion of noses, and misplacement of mouths, and ruin of eye- 
brows, are not gathered together in any other place on this 
^net. There must be a good many witches among them. 
We would not have been much surprised to see them riding 
liome on a broomstick. The only excuse we can see for poly- 
jgamy is that it would take At least fifty such women to make 
one wife. 



90 Around the Tea-Table. 

We saw none of the halo around Salt Lake City that many 
writers have described. Admitting, as we do, the genius of 
Brigham Young for organisation ; and the fact that no place 
has seen such wonders of irrigation, which have turned a 
desert of wild sage into bloom, and that a fabulous sum of 
money has been expended in aqueducts for bringing the 
snow-water from the mountain and pouring it through the 
gardens and along every street of the city ; and that many 
thousand people of the territory are completely under the 
supremacy of one man, so that if he winks they wink, and if 
he frowns they frown— yet there is a dark shadow of crime 
that hovers over all, and the day of doom is swiftly coming. 

The rebellion in Mormondom began on the morning when, 
in opposition to the sign which Mormons put over the door of 
their stores and shops, inscribed with " Holiness to the Lord," 
a Gentile by the name of Trumbo swung out his sign with 
the inscription : 

TRUMBOS CREED. 

I AM THB LOBD THY O0P>. 

THY BEDEEMBS. 

THE HOLY ONE 07 ISBAEL. 

LOBD 07 LOBDS AND KINO 07 KIK6S. 

A Mr. Gk)dby, an influential Mormon and wealthy citizen 
of Salt Lake City, offended at the demand of Brigham for 
one-tenth of all the products of the soil, and indignant at the 
opposition of Brigham to the mining interests, swung off from 
the regular establishment, and, with his followers, has built a 
church of " Comeouters." Some of the Mormons begin to 
talk about where Brigham gets so much money from, and 
feel the weight of the taxes, and have strong suspicions that 
he has the resources of the settlement deposited in the Bank 
of England in his own name, ready for any personal 
emergency. 

The machinery of Mormonism begins to creak in every 
joint. There are not enough tons of salt washed up on the 
shore of its lake to save the institution. If forty nullions of 
dollars more than now were spent in aqueducts, there would 
not be enough water to cleanse the pollution. All that the 
Government of the United States expends in shot and shell 
by way of exterminating this most gigantic libertinism of the 
world is wasted. It is rotten, and will soon drop from the 
bough without any violent shaking. For the sake of all that 
is pure and good, God speed the day ! 

The analogy between Salt Lake City and Sodom is pei-fe9t. 



B RICH AM AND WiVES MULTITUDINOUS, 



97 



jBoi^ (^t^ate on Ri(didD,«ui3!QUBded by mountains, wild, grand, 
▼olqanic. Boj^ near a lake bo bitter ithat no living thing can 
^^ there.. The crime of one was the crime of the other. 
^jQie^oomof the ancient city in the smoke of the Sulphur 
iSpdngs seems to hover over the modern. And if we had not 
]been too weary to accept the invitation to preach, we would 
have taken for our text the words of the angel to Lot : 
" Escape for thy life ; look not behind thee, neither stay thou 
in all the plain : escape to the mountain, lest thou be 
consumed T 




The Devil's Grist-Mill. 99 

fortunes for those who will delve for the borax, nitric and 
solphuric acid, soda, magnesia and other valuables. Enough 
solphnr here to purify the blood of the race, or in gunpowder 
to Kill it ; enough salt to savour all the vegetables of the 
"world. Its acid water, which waits only for a little sugar to 
make it delicious lemonade, may yet be found in all the drug 
stores of the country. The water in one place roars like a 
steamboat dischaipng its steam. Your boots curl with the 
lieat as you stand on the hot rocks, looking. Almost any- 
where a thrust of your cane will evoke a gush of steam. Our 
thermometer, plunged into one spring, answered one hundred 
and seventy- five degrees of heat. Thrust in the "Witch's 
Cauldron," it asserted two hundred and fifteen degrees. " The 
Inkstand " declared itself two hundred degrees. An artificial 
whistle placed at the mouth of one of these geysers may be 
heard miles away. You get a hot bath without paying for it. 
The guide warns you off the crust in certain jplaces, lest you at 
the same moment be drowned and boiled. Here an ^gg cooks 
bard in three minutes. 

The whole scene is unique and incomparable. The Yosemite 
makes us think of the Alps ; San IVancisco reminds us of 
Chicago ; Foss, the stage-driver, hurling his passengers down 
the mountain at breakneck speed, suggests the driver of an 
Alpine diligence ; Hutchings* mountain horse, that stumbled 
and fell flat upon us, suggested our muleback experiences in 
TSte Noir Pass of Switzerland ; but the Geysers remind us of 
nothing that we ever saw, or ever expect to see. They have a 
voice, a bubble, a smoke, a death-rattle, peculiar to them- 
selves. No photographist can picture them, no words describe 
them, no fancy sketch them. 

You may visit them by either of two routes ; but do not 
take the advice of Foss, the celebrated stage-driver. You 
ought to go by one route, and return the other ; yet Foss has 
made thousands of travellers believe that the only safe and 
interesting way to return is the way they go— namely, by his 
route. They who take his counsel miss some of the ^andest 
scenery on the continent. Any stage-driver who by nis mis- 
representations would shut a tourist out of the entrancing 
beauties of the *' Bussian Valley '' ought to be thrashed with 
his own raw-hide. We heard Foss bamboozling a group of 
travellers with the idea that on the other route the roads were 
dangerous, the horses poor, the accommodations wretched 
and the scenery worthless. We came up in time to combat 
the statement with our own happy experiences of the R\3fi&\as\ 



loo Around the Tea-Table, 

Yallej, and to save his passengers from the oft-repeated 
imposition. 

And thus I have suggested the chief annoyance of California 
travel. The rivalries of travel are so great that it is almost 
impossible to get accurate information. The stage-drivers, 
guides and hotel proprietors, for the most part, are financially 
interested in different routes. Going to Yoeemite Valley by 
the '^ Calaveras route,'' from the office in San Francisco where 
you buy your ticket to the end of your loumey, everybody 
assures you that J. M. Hutchings, one of the hotel-keepers 
of Yoeemite, is a scholar, a poet, a gentleman, and a Christian, 
and that to him all the world is indebted for the opening of 
the valley. But if you go in by the ** Mariposa route,** fljen 
from the office where you get your ticket, along by all the 
way-stations and through the mountain passes, you are. 
assured that Mr. Liedig, the hotel-keeper of Yosemite, is the 
poet and Christian, and that J. M. Hutchings aforesaid is a 
nobody, a blower, a dead beat, the chief impediment to the 
interests of Yosemite — or, to use a generic term^ a scalawag. 

The fact is that no. one can afford in California to take tne 
same route twicey for each one has a glory of its own. If a 
traveller have but one day for the Louvre CaUery, he cannot 
afford to spend it all in one corridor ; and as California is one 
great pictmre gallery, filled with the masterpieces of Him who 
paints with sunshine and dew and fire, and sculptures with 
chisel of hurricane and thunderbolt, we cannot afford to paas 
more than once before any canvas or marble. 

But whatever route you choose for the " Hot Springs," and 
whatever pack of stage-driver yarns you accept, know this — 
that in all this matchless California, with climate of perpetual 
summer, the sky cloudless and the wind blowing six months 
from the genial west ; the open field a safe threiming-floor for 
the grandest wheat harvests of the world ; nectarines and pome- 
granates and pears in abundance, that perish for lack of enough 
hands to pick ; by a product in one year of six million ^^^ 
hundred thousand gallons of wine proving itself the vineyard 
of this hemisphere ; African callas, and wild verbenas, and 
groves of oleander and nutmeg ; the hills red with five thou- 
sand cattle in a herd, and white with a hundred and fiifty 
thousand sheep in a flock ; the neighbouring islands covered 
with wild birds' eggs that enrich the markets, or sounding 
with the constant " Yoi-Hoi," " Yoi-Hoi," of the sea-lions that 
tumble over them ; a State that might be called the " Central 
Park " of the world ; the gulches of gold pouring more than 



The Devil's Crist-Mill. ioi 

fifty million of dollars a year into the national lap ; lofty lakes 
like Tahoe, set crystalline in the crown of the mountain ; 
Waterfalls so weird that you do not wonder that the Indians 
think that whosoever points his finger at them must die, and 
in one place the water pluuging from a height more than six- 
teen times greater than Niagara — even in such a country of 
marvels as this, there is nothing that makes you ask more 
questions, or bow in profounder awe, or come away with more 
interesting reminiscences than the world-renowned Califorma 
Oeysers. 

There is a bang at your bed- room door at five o'clock in the 
morning, rousing you to go up and explore them ; and after 
spending an hour or two in wandering among them, you come 
back to the breakfast prepfxred by the model landlord of Cali- 
fornia, jolly, obliging, intelligent, reasonable. As you mount 
the stage for departure, you give him a warm shake of the 
hand, and suggest that it would be a grand thing if some one 
with a vein of poetry in his mind and the faith of God in his 
heart would come round some day, and passing among the 
Geysers, with a sprinkle of hot steam would baptize them with 
a Christian name. 

Let us ascribe to Satan nothing that is grand or creative or 
wise. He could not make one of these grains of alum. He 
•could not blow up one of these bubbles on the spring. He 
does some things that seem smart ; but taking him aU in all, 
he is the biggest fool in the universe. 

If the devil wants to boil his "Tea-kettle," or stir his 
" Mush-pot," or whirl his " Grist-mill," let him do it in his 
own territory. Meanwhile, let the water and the fire and the 
vapour, at the lift of David's orchestral baton, pbaise the 
XOBDl 





CHAPTER XXV. 

TDK conductor's DEEAM. 

He had been on the train all day, had met all kinds of people 
received all sorts of treatment, punctured all kinds of tickets, 
shouted " AU out f and " All aboard !" tUl throat, and head, 
and hand, and foot were weary. It would be a long while 
before we would get to another depot, and so he sagged down 
in the comer of the car to sleep. He was in the most uncom- 
fortable position possible. The wind blew in his neck, his arm 
was hung over the back of the seat, he had one foot under him, 
and his Knee pressing hard against a brass hinge. In that 
twisted and convoluted position he fell asleep, and soon began 
to dream. 

It seemed to him, in his sleep, that the car was full of dis- 
agreeables. Here was a man who persisted in having a 
window up, while the rain and sleet drove in. There was a 
man who occupied the whole seat and let the ladies stand. 
Here sat a man smoking three poor cigars at once, and ex- 
pectorating into the beaver hat of the gentleman in front. 
Yonder was a burglar on his way to jail, and opposite a mur- 
derer going to the gallows. He thought that pickpockets took 
his watch and ruffians refused to pay their fare. A woman 
travelling alone shot at him a volley of questions : " Say, con- 
ductor, how long before we will get to the junction 1" " Are 
you sure we have not passed it V* ** Do you always stop 
there T " What time is it ]" Madame, do keep quiet ! " None 
of your impudence I" " How far from here to the junction V* 
" Do you think that other train will wait 1" " Do you think we 
will get there in time V " Say, conductor, how many miles 



The Conductor's Dream, io^ 

yet V " Are you looking out T " Now, you wont let me go 
past, will you T ** Here ! conductor, here ! Help me out with 
my carpet-bag, and bandbox, and shawl, and umbrella, and 
this bundle of sausage and head cheese." What was worse, 
the train got going one hundred and fifty miles an hour, and 
pulling the connecting-rope, it broke, and the cars got off the 
ti*ack, and leaped on again, and the stove chaoged places with 
the wood-box, and things seemed going to terrible split and 
unmitigated smash. Ine cities flew past. The brakes were 
powerless. The whistle grew into a fiend's shriek. The train 
Degan to slow up, and sheeted ghosts swung lanterns alon^ the 
track, and tiie cars rolled into a white depot, which turoed out 
to be a great marble tomb ; and looking back to see his pas- 
sengers, they were all stark dead, frozen in upright horror to 
the car-backs. 

Hearing by the man's snore, and seeing by his painful look,, 
he was having an awful dream, we tapped him on the shoulder 
and said, '* (inductor ! Turn over that seat, and take my 
shawl, and stretch yourself out, and have a comfortable nap/' 
'^ Thank you, sir," he said, and immediately sprawled himself 
out in the easiest way possible. He began his slumbers just 
as an express train glides gracefully out of Pittsburg (Jepot ; 
then went at it more earnestly, lifted all the brakes, put on 
all the steam, and in five minutes was under splendid head- 
way. He began a second dream, but it was the opposite of 
the first. He thought that he had just stepped on the plat- 
form of his car, and a lady handed him a bouquet fresh from 
the hot-house. A long line of railroad presidents and superin- 
tendents had come to the dep6t to see him off, and tipped 
their hats as he glided out into the open air. The car was an 
improvement on Pullinan's best. Three golden goblets stood at 
the end, and every time he turned the spigot of the water-cask^ 
it foamed soda-water — vanilla if you turned it one way, 
strawberry if you turned it the other. The spittoon was 
solid silver, and had never been used but once, when a child 
threw into it an orange peeling. The car was tilled with lords 
and duchesses, who rose and bowed as he passed through to 
collect the fare. They all insisted on paying twice as much as 
was demanded, telling him to give half to the company and keep 
the rest for himself. Stopped a few mimutes at Jolly Town, 
Gleeville and Velvet Junction, making connection with the 
Grand Trunk and Pan-Handle route for Paradise. But when 
the train halted there was no jolt, and when it started there 
was no jerk. The track was always clear, no freight-train in 



104 Around the Tea-Table, 

the way, no snow-bauk to be shovelled — train always on lime; 
Banks of roses on either side, bridges with piers of bronze, and 
fla^^en clad in cloth-of-gold. The train went three hundred 
miles the hour, but without any risk, for all the passengers 
were insured against accident in a company that was willing 
to pay four times the price of what any neck was worth. The 
steam- whistle breathed as sweetly as any church-choir chant- 
ing its opening piece. Nobody asked the conductor to see his 
time-table, for tne only dread any passenger had was that of 
coming to the end of lus journey. 

As night came on, the self-adjusting couches spread them- 
selves on either side ; patent bootjacks rolled up and took 
your boots off ; unseen fingers tucked the damask covers all 
about you, and the porter took your pocket-book to keep till 
morning, returning it then with twice what you had in it at 
nightfaS. After a while the train slackens to one hundred 
and seventy-five miles an hour, and the conductor, in his 
dream, announces that they are coming near the terminus. 
More brakes are dropped and they are running but ninety 
miles the hour; and some one, looking out of the window, 
says, " How slow we go !" " Yes," says the conductor, " we are 
holding up.** Now they have almost stopped, going at only 
seventy miles the hour. The long line of depot-lamps are 
fiashing along the track. On the platform of tne station are 
lovers who are waiting for their betrothed, and parents who 
have come down to greet their children, returned with a for- 
tune, and wives who have not been able to eat or drink since 
their spouses went away three weeks before. As the cushion^ 
train flashes into the depot and stops, wedding-bells peal, and 
the gong of many banquets sounds, and white arms are flung 
about necks, reckless of mistake, and innumerable percussions 
of affection echo through the depot, so crisp and loud that 
they wake the conductor, who thought that the boisterous 
smack was on his own cheek, but finds that he is notibing 
but a bachelor railroad-man, with a lantern, at midni^t, get- 
ting out into a snow-bank. 

Application : Get an easy position when you sleep^ if yoa 
have any choice between angels and gorgons. At midnighl^ 
seizing a chair, I ran into the next room, resolving to kill, at 
the firat stroke, the ruffian who was murdering a member of 
my household. But there was no ruffian. The sweet girl had 
during the day been reading of St. Bartholomew's massacre, 
and was now Ijdng on her back, dreaming it all over again. 
When dreams find any one lying flat on the back^ they cry 



Thb Conductor's Dream, 



105 



ouk *^'H^re is a flat surface on which to skate and play ball/' 
and from sealp to toe they sport themselves. The hardest ns^ 
in all the world to ride is the nightmare. Many think that sleep 
is lost timei. But the style of your work will be mightil^r af- 
fected by Uie style of your slumber. Sound Asleep is sister 
of Wide Awake. Adam was the only man who ever lost a rib 
by namnng too soundly ; but when he woke up, he found that» 
insteadof the twelve ribs with which he started, he really had 
nigh two dozen. By this I prove that sleep is not subtraction, 
but addition. This very night may that angel put balm on 
both your eyelids five minutes after you touch the pillow ! 





CHAPTEE XXVI, 

PUSH AND PULL. 

We have long been acquainted with a bosiness ^rm "wliofie 
praises have never been sun^. I doubt whether their names 
are ever mentioned on Exchange. They seem to be doing 
more business and have more branch houses than the Stewarts 
or lippincotts. Ton see their names ahnost everywhere on 
the door. It is the firm of Push & PulL They generally 
have one of their partners' names on the outside of the door, 
and the other on the inside : *' Push " on the outside and 
" Pull ** on the inside. I have found their business-houses in 
New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston, London, and 
Edinburgh. It is under my eye, whether I go to buy a hat, a 
shawl, or a paper of pins, or watch, or ream of foolscap. They 
are in all lands of business ; and from the way they branm 
out, and put up new stores, and multiply their signboards on 
the outside and inside of doors, I conclude that the laigest 
business firm on earth to-day is Push & Pull. 

When these gentlemen join the church, they make things go 
along vigorouriy. The roof stops leaking ; a new carpet 
blooms on the church floor ; the fresco is retouched ; the high 
pulpit is lowered till it comes into the same climate with the 
pew ; strangers are courteously seated ; the salary of the 
minister is paid before he gets hopelessly in debt to butcher 
and baker ; and all is right, financially and spiritually, be- 
cause Push & Pull have connected themselves with the enter- 
prise. 

A new parsonage is to be built, but the movement does not 
get started. Eight or ten men of slow circulation of blood and 



Push and Pull. 107 

stagnant liver put their hands on the undertaking, but it will 
not budge. The proposed improvement is about to faO, when 
Push comes up behind it and gives it a shove, and Pull goes 
in front and lays into the traces ; and, lo ! the enterprise ad- 
vances, the goal is reached ! And all the people who had 
talked about the improvement, but done nothing toward it, 
invite the strangers who come to town to go up and see "our" 
parsonage. 

Push and Pull are wide-awake men. They never stand 
round with their hands in their pockets, as though feeling for 
money that they cannot find. They have made up their minda 
that there is a work for them to do ; and without wasting any 
time in reverie, they go to work and do it. They start a " life- 
insurance company." Push is the president, and Pull the 
secretary. Before you know it, all the people are running in 
to have their lungs sounded, and to tell now many times they 
have had the rheumatism ; how old they are ; whether they 
ever had fits ; and at what age their father and mother ex- 
pired ; and putting all the family secrets on paper, and paying 
Push and Pull two hundred dollars to read it. 

When this firm starts a <5lothing-house, they make a great 
stir in the city. They advertise in such a strong and emphatic 
way that the people are haunted with the matter, and dream 
about it, and go round the block to avoid that store door, lest 
Uiey be persuaded in and induced to buy something they can- 
not afford. But some time the man forgets himself, and finds 
he is in front of the new clothing-store, and, at the first glance 
of goods in the show-window, is tempted to enter. Push 
comes up behind him and Pull comes up before him, and the 
man is convinced of the shabbiness of his present appearance 
— that his hat will not do, that his coat and vest and all the 
rest of his clothes, clean down to his shoes, are unfit ; and be- 
fore one week is past, a boy runs up the steps of this customer 
with a pasteboard box marked, "From the clothing establish- 
ment of Push & PulL C. O. D." 

These men can do anything they set their hands to— publish 
a newspaper, layout a street, build a house, control a railroad, 
manage a church, revolutionise a city. In fact, any two indus- 
trious, honourable, enterprising men can accomplish wonders. 
One does the outdoor work of the store, and the other the in- 
door work. One leads, the other follows ; but both working 
in one direction, all obstacles are levelled before them. 

I wish that more of our young men could graduate from the 
fitore of " Push & Pull." We have tens of thousands of young 

7-a 



io8 Around the Tea-Table. 

men doing nothing. There must be work somewhere if they 
will only do it They stand round, with soap-locks and scented 
pocket-handkerchiefs, tipping their hats to the ladies ; whik^ 
instead of waiting for business to come to them, they ought to 
go to work and make a business. Bere is the ladder of Ufe. 
The most of those who start at the top of the ladder spend 
their life in coming down, while those who start at the bottom 
may go up. Those who are bom with a gold spoon in their 
mouth soon lose the spoon. The two school-bullies that used 
to flouiiflh their silk pocket-handkerchiefs in my face, and with 
their ivory-handled, four-bladed knives punch holes through 
my kite— one of them is in the penitentiary^ and the otli^ 
ought to be. 

Young man, the road of life is up-hill, and our load heavj. 
Better take off your kid ffloves, and patent leathers, and white 
vest^ and ask Push, with nis stout shoulder, and Pull, with his 
strong gri^ to help you. Enercy, ^uck, courage, obstinate 
determination, are to be cultured. JBat strong meat, drop 
pastries, stop reading sickly novelettes, pray at both ends of 
the day and in the middle, look a man in the eye when you 
talk to him, and if you want to be a giant, keep your head out 
of the lap of indulgences that would put a pair of sheaxm 
through your locks. 

If you cannot get the right kind of business partner, marry 
a good, honest wife. Fine cheeks and handsome curls are 
very well, but let them be mere incidentals. Let our young 
men select practical women : there are a few of them left. 
With such an one you can get on with almost all the heavy 
loads of life. You wiU be " PuU," aDd she " Push ;" and if 
you do not get the house built and the fortune established^ 
send me word, and I will tear this article up in such small 
pieces that no one will ever be able to find it. 

Life is earnest work, and cannot be done with the tips of 
the fingers. We want more crowbars and fewer gold tooth* 
picks. The obstacles before you cannot be looked out of 
countenance by a quizzing-glass. Let sloth and softliness go 
to the wall, but three cheers for " Push and Pull/' and all 
their branch business houses ! 





CnAPTER XXVII. 



BOSTONIANS. 

We ran np to the Boston anniversaries to cast onr vote with 
those good people who are in that city on the side of the 
right. We like to go to the modern Athens two or three 
times a year. Among other advantages, Boston always soothes 
our nerves. It has a quieting effect upon us. The people 
there are better satisfied than any people we know of. 
Judging from a few restless spirits who get on some of the 
erratic platforms of that city, and who fret and fume about 
things m general, the world has concluded that Boston is at 
unrest. But you may notice that the most of the restless 
people who go there are imported speakers, whom Boston 
nires to come once a year and do for her all the necessary 
fretting. 

The genuine Bostonian is satisfied. He rises moderately 
early, goes to business without any especial haste, dresses 
comfortably, talks deliberately, lunches freely, and goes home 
to his famUy at plausible hours. He would like to have the 
world made better, but is not going to make himself sick in 
trying to cure the modem ailments of others. 

The genuine Bostonian is, for the most part, pleased with 
himself, has confidence that the big elm will last another 
hundred years, keeps his patriotism fresh by an occasional 
walk near the meat*market under Faneuil Mall, and reads 
the Atlantic Monthly, We believe there is less fidgeting in 
Boston than in any city of the country. We think that the 
average of human life must be longer there than in most 
cities. Dyspepsia is « rarity ; for when a mtitton-diop is 



Tio Around the Tea-Table. 

sw«allowed of a Bostonian, it gives up, knowing that there is 
no need of fighting against such inexorable digestion. 

The ladies of Boston have more colour in their cheeks than 
those of many cities, and walk as though they would live to 
get round the next corner. It is not so fashionable to be 
delicate. They are robust in mind and always ready for an 
argument. State what you consider an indisputable proposi- 
tion, and they will say : " Yes, hut then " They are not 

afraid to attack the theology of a minister, or the juris- 
prudence of a lawyer, or the pharmacy of a doctor. If you 
do not look out, the Boston woman will throw off her shawl 
and upset your logic in a public meeting. 

We like the men and women of Boston. They have 
opinions about everything — some of them adverse to your 
own, but even in that case so well expressed that, in admira- 
tion for the rhetoric, you excuse the divergence of sentiment. 
We never found a half-and-half character in Boston. The peo- 
ple do not wait till they see which way the smoke of their neigh- 
bours' chimneys blows before they make up their own minder. 

The most conspicuous book on the parlour table of the 
hotels of other cities is a book of engravings or a copy of the 
Bible. In some of the Boston hotels, the prominent book on 
the parlour table is Wehster^s Unabridged Dictionary, You 
may be left in doubt about the Bostonian's character, but 
need not doubt his capacity to parse a sentence, or spell with- 
out any semblance of blunder the word idiosyncrasif. 

Boston, having made up its mind, sticks to it. Many years 
ago it decided that the religious societies ought to hold a 
public anniversary in June, and it never wavers. New York 
is tired of these annual demonstrations, and goes elsewhere ; 
but in the early part of every June, Boston puts its umbrella 
under its arm and starts for Tremont Temple, or Music Hall, 
determined to find an anniversary, and finds it. You see on 
the stage the same spectacles that shone on the speakers ten 
years ago, and the same bald heads, for the solid men of 
Boston got in the way of wearing their hair thin in front a 
quarter of a century ago, and all the solid men of Boston will, 
for the next century, wear their hair thin in front. 

There are fewer dandies in Boston than in most cities. 
Clothes, as a general thing, do not make fun of the people 
they sit on. The humps on the ladies' backs are not within 
two feet of being as nigh as in some of the other cities, 
and a dromedary could look at them without thinking itself 
caricatured. You see more of the outlandishness of fashion 



BOSTONIANS. II r 

in one day on Broadway than in a week on any one street of 
Boston. Doubtless, Boston is just as proud as New York, but 
her pride is that of brains, and those, from the necessities of 
the case, are hidden. 

Go out on the fashionable drive of Boston, and you find 
that the horses are round limbed, and look as well satisfied as 
their owners. A restless man always has a thin horse. Ho 
does not give the creature time to eat, wears out on him so 
many whip-lashes, and keeps jerking perpetually at the 
reins. Boston horses are, for the most part, fat, feel their 
oats, and know that the eyes of the world are upon them. 
Tou see, we think it no dishonour to a minister to admire 
good horses, provided he does not trade too often, and impose a 
case of glanders and bots on his unsophisticated neighbour. 
We think that, as a minister is set up for an example to his 
flock, he ought to have the best horse in the congregation. A 
minister is no more sacred when riding behind a spavined 
and ringboned nag than when whirling along after a horse 
that can swallow a mile in 2.30. 

The anniversary week in Boston closed by a display of 
flowers and fruits in Horticultural Hall. It was appropriate 
that philanthropists and Christians, hot from discussions of 
moral and religious topics, should go in and take a bath of 
rose leaves and geraniums. Indeed, I think the sweetest 
anniversary of the week was that of these flowers. A large 
rhododendron prided. Azaleas and verbenas took {>art in 
the meeting. The Chinese honeysuckle and clematis joined 
in the doxology. A magnolia pronounced the benediction. 
And we went home praying for the time when the lily of the 
valley shall be planted in every heart, and the desert shall 
blossom as the rose. 





CHAPTER XXVUL 

JOKAH VERSUS THB WHALlt. 

UNBELlsysRS have often told us that the atory of the prophet 
swallowed by a great fish was an absurdity. They say that, 
80 lonff in the stomach of the monster, the minister would have 
been digested. We have no difficulty in this matter. Jonah 
was a most unwilling guest of the whale. He wanted to get 
out. However mucn he may have liked fish, he did not 
want it three times a day and all the time. So he kept up a 
fidget, and a struggle, and a turning over, and he gave the 
whale no time to assimilate him. The man knew tlutt if he 
was ever to get out he must be in perpetual motion. We 
know men that are so lethargic they would have given the 
matter up, and lain down so quietly that in a few hours they 
would have gone into flukes and fish bones, blow-holes and 
blubber. 

Now we see men all around us who have been swallowed by 
monstrous misfortunes. Some of them sit down on a piece of 
whale-bone and give up. They say : " No use ! I will never 
get back my money, or restore my good name, or recover my 
health." They float out to sea and are never again heard of. 
Others, the moment they go down the throat of some great 
trouble, begin immediately to plan for egress. They make 
rapid estimate of the length of the vertebrate, and come to the 
conclusion how far they are in. They dig up enough spermaceti 
out of the darkness to make a light, and keep turniug this way 
and that, till the first you know they are out. Determination 
to get well has much to do with recovered invalidism. Firm 
wiU to defeat bankruptcy decides financial deliverance. Never 



Jonah versus the Whale. 113 

surrender to misfortune or discouragement. Ton can, if you 
are spiy enough, make it as uncomfortable for the whale as 
the whale can make it uncomfortable for you. There will be 
some place where you can brace your foot against his ribs, 
and some long upper tooth around which you may tak» hold, 
and he will 1^ as glad to get rid of you for tenant as you are 
to get rid of him for landlord, lliere is a way out, if you are 
determined to find it. AU our sympathies are with the plain- 
tiff in the suit of 

J0NA.H vtrmB Leviathan. 





CHAPTER XXIX. 



SOMETHING UKDEB THE SOFA. 

Not more than twenty-five miles from New York city, and 
not more than two years ago, there stood a church in which 
occurred a novelty. We promised not to tell ; but as we omit 
all names, we think ourselves warranted in writing the sketch. 
The sacred edifice had stood more than a hundred years, imtil 
the doors were rickety, and often stood open during the secular 
week. The window-glass in many places had been l>roken out. 
The shingles were off and the snow drifted in, and the congre- 
gation during a shower frequently sat under the droppings of 
the sanctuary. All of which would have been a matter for 
sympathy, had it not been for the fact that the people of the 
neignbourhood were nearly all wealthy, and lived in lar^e and 
comfortable farm-houses, making the appearance of their diurch 
a fit subject for satire. 

The pulpit was giving way with the general wreck, was un- 
painted, and the upholstery on book-board and sofa seemed 
calling out with Jew's voice, " Any old clo* ? Any old clo' V 
One Sabbath the minister felt some uneasiness under the sofa 
while the congregation were singing, and could not imagine the 
cause ; but found out the next day that a maternal cat had 
made her nest there with her group of offspring, who had 
entered upon mortal life amid these honourable surroundings. 

Highly-favoured kittens ! If they do not turn out well, it 
will not be the fault of their mother, who took them so early 
under good influencea In the temple of old the swallow 
found a nest for herself where she might lay her young ; but 
this is the first time we ever knew of the conference of such 



Something under the Sofa. iij 

honours on the Felis domestica. It could not have been any- 
thing mercenary that took the old cat into the pulpit, for 
" poor as a church mouse " has become proverbial. Nothing 
but lofty aspirations could have taken her there, and a desire 
that her young should have advantages of high birth. If in 
the " Historical Society " there are mummied cats two thou- 
sand years old, much more will post mortem honours be duo 
to this ecclesiastical pussy. 

We see many churches in city as well as town that need 
rehabilitation and reconstruction. People of a neighbourhood 
have no right to live in houses better constructed than their 
church. Better touch up the fresco, and put on a new roof, 
and tear out the old pews which ignore the shape of aman's back, 
and supersede the smoky lamps by clarified kerosene or cheap 
gas-brackets. Lower your high pulpit, that your preacher may 
come down from the Mont Blanc of his isolation and solitari- 
ness into the same climate of sympathy with his audience. 
Tear away the old sofa, ragged and spring-broken, on which 
the pastors of forty years have been obliged to sit, and see 
whether there are any cats in your antediluvian pulpit. 

Would it not be well for us all to look under our church 
sofas and see if there be anjrthing lurking there we do not 
suspect ? A cat, in all languages, has been the symbol of de- 
ceit and spitef ulness, and she is more fit for an ash-barrel 
than a pulpit. Since we heard that story of feline nativity, 
whenever we see a minister of religion, on some question of 
Christian reform, skulking behind a barrier, and crawling 
away into some half-and-half position on the subject of tem- 
perance or oppression, and daring not to speak out, instead of 
making his pulpit a height from which to hurl the truth 
against the enemies of God, turning it into a cowardly hiding- 
place, we say, " Another cat in the pulpit." 

Whenever we see a professed minister of religion lacking in 
frankness of soul, deceitful in his friendship, shaking hands 
heartily when jovl meet him, but in private taking every pos- 
sible opportunity of giving you a long deep scratch, or in 
public newspapers giving you a sly dig with the claw of his 
pen, we say : " Another cat in the pulpit !" 

Once a year let all our churches be cleaned with soap, and 
sand, and mop, and scrubbing-brush, and the sexton not for- 
get to give one turn of. his broom under the pastor's chair. 
Would that with one bold and emphatic " scat T' we could 
drive the last specimen of deceitf ulness and skulking from< 
the American pulpit ! 




CHAPTER XXX. 



THE WAY TO KEEP FBB8H. 

How to get oat of the old rut without twiRting off the 
wheel, or snapping the shafts, or breaking the horse's leg, is a 
question not more appro]3riate to every teamster than to every 
Christian worker. Having once got out of the old rut, the 
next thing is to keep out. There is nothing more killing 
than ecclesiastical humdrum. Some persons do not like the 
Episcopal Church because they have the same prayers every 
Sabbath, but have we not for the last ten years been hearinjK 
the same prayers over and over again, the product of a sel£ 
manufactured liturgy that has not the thousandth part of the 
excellency of those petitions that we hear in the Episcopal 
Church? 

In many of our churches sinners hear the same exhortations 
that they have been hearing for the last fifteen years, so that 
the impenitent man knows, the moment the exhorter clears 
his throat, just what is going to be said ; and the hearer him- 
self is able to recite the exhortation as we teach our children 
the multiplication table forward or backward. We could not 
understand the doleful strain of a certain brother's prayer till 
we found out that he composed it on a fast day during the 
yellow fever in 1821 , and has been using it ever since. 

There are laymen who do not like to hear a sermon preached 
the second time, who yet give their pastors the same prayer 
every week at the devotional meeting—that is, fifty-two 
times the year, with occasional slices of it between meals. If 
they made any spiritual advancement, they would have new 
wants to express and new thanksgivings to offer. But they 
have been for a decade of years stuck fast in the mud, and 
they splash the same thing on you every week. We need a 



The Way to keep Fresh. 117 

Tiniveraal church-cleaning by which all ca&ting and humdrum 
shall be scrubbed out. 

If we would keep fresh, let us make occasional excursiana 
into other circles than our own. Artists generally go with 
artists, farmers with farmers, mechanics with medtanics, 
cleraymen with clergymen, Christian workers with Chvistian 
workenL But there is nothing that sooner freshens one up 
than to get in a new group, mingling with people whose 
thought and work run in different channels. For a change 
put tiie minister on the hay-rack and the farmer in the clergy- 
man's study. 

Let us read books not in our own line. After a man ha» 
been delving in nothing but theological works for three 
months, a few pages in the Patent-office Keport will do him 
more good than Doctor Dick on " The Perseverance of the 
Saints.'' Better than this, as a diversion, is it to have some 
department of Natural History or Art to which you may 
turn, a case of shells or birds, or a season ticket to some pic- 
ture gallery. If you do nothing but play on one string of 
the bass-viol, you will wear it out and get no healthy tune. 
Better take the bow and sweep it clear across in one grand swirl 
bringing all four strings and all eight stops into requisition. 

Let us go much into the presence of the natural world if we 
can get at it Especially if we live in great thoroughfares let 
us make occasional flight to the woo(& and the mountains. 
Even the trees in town seem artificial. They dare not speak 
where thei'e are so many to listen, and the hyacinth and ger- 
anium in flower-pots in the window seem to know they are on 
exhibition. If we would once in a while romp the fields, we 
would not have so many last year's rose leaves in our sermons, 
but those just plucked, dewy and redolent. 

We cannot see the natural world through the books or the 
3yes of others. All this talk about " babbling brooks" is as 
stereotyped humbug. Brooks never " babble." To babble is 
to be unintelligent and imperfect of tongue. But when the 
brooks speak, they utter lessons of beauty that the dullest ear 
can understand. We have wandered from the Androscoggin 
in Maine to the Tombigbee in Alabama, and we never found 
a brook that " babbled." The people babble who talk about 
them, not knowing what a brook is. We have heard about 
the nightingale and the morning lark till we tire of them. 
Catch for your next prayer-meeting talk a chawink or a brown 
thresher. It is high time that we hoist our church-windows, 
especially those over the pulpit, and let in some fresh air from 
the fields and mountains. 




CHAPTEE XXXL 



CHEISTMAS BELLS. 



The sexton often goes into the tower on a sad errand. He 
gives a strong pull at the rope, and forth from the tower goes 
a dismal sound that makes the heart sink. But he can now 
go up the old stairs with a lithe step and pull quick and sharp, 
waking up all the echoes of cavern and hill with Christmas 
bells. The days of joy have come, days of reunion, days of 
congratulation. ** Behold, I bring you good tidings of great 
joy that shall be to all people." 

First, let the bells ring at the birth of Jesus ! Mary watch- 
ing, the camels moaning, the shepherds rousing up, the angels 
hovering, all Bethlehem stirring. What a night I Out of its 
black wmg is plucked the pen from which to write the bright- 
est songs of earth and the richest doxologies of heaven. Let 
camel or ox stabled that night in Bei;hlehem, after the burden- 
bearing of the day, stand and look at Him who is to carry the 
burdens of the world. Put back the straw and hear the first 
cry of Him who is come to assuage the lamentation of all 



Christmas bells ring out the peace of nations ! We want on 
our standards less of the lion and eagle and more of the dove. 
Let all the camion be dismounted, and the war-horses change 
their gorgeous caparisons for plough harness. Let us have 
fewer bullets and more bread. Life is too precious to dash it 
out against the brick casements. The first " Peace Society " 
was born in the clouds, and its resolution was passed unani- 
mously by angelic voices, "Peace on earth, good- will to 
men." 



Christmas Bells, ng 

Christmas bells ring in family reimions ! The rail trains 
<irowded with children coming home. The poultry, fed as 
never since they were bom, stand wondering at the farmer's 
generosity. The markets are full of massacred barnyards. 
The great table will be spread, and crowded with two, or threo 
or four generations. Plant the fork astride the breast-bone, 
and with skilful twitch, that we could never learn, give to all 
the hungry lookers-on a specimen of holiday anatomy. Mary 
is disposea to soar ; give her the wing. The boy is fond of 
music ; give him the drum-stick. The minister is dining with 
you ; cive him the parson's nose. May the ioy reach from 
grandfather, who is so dreadful old he can hardly find the 
way to his plate, down to the baby in the high chair, with one 
smart pull of the table-cloth upsetting the gravy into the 
cranberry. Send from your table a liberal portion to the table 
of the poor, some of the white meat as well as the dark, not 
confining your generosity to gizzards and scraps. Do not, as 
in some families, keep a plate and chair for those who are 
dead and gone. Your holiday feast would be but poor fare 
for them : they are at a better banquet in the skies. 

Let the whole land be full of chime and carol. Let bells, 
silver and brazen, take their sweetest voice, and all the towers 
of Christendom rain music 

We wish all our friends a Merry Christmas. Let them hang 
up their stockings ; and if Santa Claus has any room for us 
in his sleigh, we will get in and ride down their chimney, 
upsetting a& over the hearth a thousand good wishes. 





CHAPTEB XXXTTt 

THE HONDATtBH FSKLOTOb 

It is jurt fifteen minutes of five by the dock on mf , 

and Mondajr morning. Heaven is looking in at both windmip 
— ^the son rudng with a very red eye, as if it had not dqpl 
much last night. The birds are all up, some singing, tat Um 
of them seem to be quarreling, as if tiiev had fid trodfals ia 
the choir yesterday. The world never before looked m ftir 
from mf window. Can it be that there is anv sacii tldmg m 
trouble i I have waded up to my study-table, not Uke ibm 
Israelites coming dry-shod, but through a bath-tab and 
nothing but dulness drowned. 

Thank God for water and a Turkish towel ! Alas for thflw 
who have only an old-time wash-basin at the spout outside Uim 
front door, and who think they have done their duly wbeii 
they have cleansed their finger-tips and the comers of their 
eyes ! A continent, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and 
the Pacific Ocean on the other, ought to take the hint and 
be very clean. 

I wonder if on this Monday morning all the world Is 
rested ? No, no ! Many of the best people of the world 
feel Mondayish. They overdid the Sunday and had no rest. 
They rose at six to study their Bible-lesson. They attended . 
two preaching services, and had a hankering after the third. 
They went twice to a Sabbath-schooL The}r took part in a 
prayer meeting. They visited two of the sick, lliey have 
been on a religious spree, and are drunk with meetings. 
Monday morning is a weariness to them. The devil knows 
•;hey are good, and is trying to work them to death, and get 




CHRISTMAS BELLS. 



The Mondayish Feeling, 121 

them out of the way. They are beckoniDg to their under- 
taker, and committiiig suicide with golden extract of over- 
worked Sunday. 

Now, every man is entitled to a rest. He sins when at 
least once a week he does not take it. On Sabbath let him 
sleep an hour longer in the morning, or snatch up a nap in 
the afternoon, or put on his slippers for a little while, with his 
feet up on the next chair, and make himself believe at any rate 
that he is resting. Doing too many things on Sunday, he does 
nothing welL He must take time to cool off. It is dangerous 
to load a cannon while the touch -hole is hot. Some Christians 
serve God so tremendously on Sunday that they are cross and 
crabbed all the week. Every Monday morning ought to be 
set to the tune of " Ariel " or " Antioch," and not to " Wind- 
ham " or " Naomi." 

Many of the ministers feel Mondayish. They rise this 
morning with their mouth twisting badly, and go about stretch- 
ing and yawning as though they were getting the chills and 
fever — the meanest thing a man ever gets. Saturday study 
makes this. One who has been two consecutive days on the 
strain must feel the bad reaction. He took all Saturday to 
load the gun, and all Sunday to shoot it off, and the gun has 
kicked. 

Saturday afternoon free from work is a cure for Mondayish- 
ness. If you want a Sunday to sail well, you ought to launch 
it Saturday afternoon. If a minister has to study exhaust- 
ingly the latter part of the week, it is generally because he 
has been lazy in the former part of the week. There is nothing 
that so hurts a sennon as to jam it between the wheels of 
Saturday night and Sunday morning. One of the ablest 
ministers of the Reformed Church used to say that he did all 
his hard mental work after ten o'clock Saturday night. At 
that late hour he would take to his study a tea-pot and pack 
of first-rate cigars and go at his two sermons. He quit life 
early and went away, compelled to leave behind him his tea- 
pot and box of cigars. I should rather go up in almost any 
other chariot than in a cloud of tobacco smoke. Not Saturday 
night, but Wednesday and Thursday are the best cradles in 
which to rock a sermon after it has been bom. 

The Mondayish feeling sometimes comes to the ministry 
because that is the day the clerical profession do what they 
call '^ odds and ends," and visit the sick. Instead of taking it 
easy that morning, they are worried about the many errands 
they have to do. Monday is a poor day for visiting the sick. 

a 



122 Around the Tea-Table, 

It is Lafl for the minister and the invalid to -whom he goea 
AVheu I am sick, save me from a minister who himself has 
** the dumps." We need to be strong when we go to help the 
weak. What tlie sick most need is a dose of sunshine ; and 
how shall we pour it out for them unless we have a steadj 
liand 1 There is no use of going in to sit on the bedside and 
help the invalid groan. Better take to him your tuning-fork 
and give him the pitch of " the new song." Do not spend 
Monday in rushing about; "odds and ends" have killed 
many a minister. Sunday is a trying day: let Saturday 
on one side of it, and Monday on the other side of it, take 
hold its arms and help it through. Do not spend Monday in 
going round to see " now the sermon took." If it was faithful, 
I warrant that in some quarters it did not take at all. Do 
not ask a child afterward whether he enjoys calomel and 
jalap ; of course he does not. When I preach a sermon on 
Sunday that makes " the fur fly/' I spend Monday at Coney 
Island. 

The Mondayish feeling often comes to the minister through 
worriment at the inefficiency of Sunday's work. But what is 
the use of fretting if we did as well as we could ? We ought 
not to expect to make "a ten-strike "at every roll. What though 
the sermon was spoiled by the poor ventilation of the church, or 
by the titteration in the gallery, or the elder with creaky 
shoes who went out twice during the sermon to see what was 
the matter, or the old man's clearing his throat with a racket 
th«%t seemed to imply that he had taken a contract for remov- 
ing all the colds of a lifetime at one spit ? Do not let us fret 
over the poor sermons of yesterday, for brooding over them 
wDl only hatch more of the same breed. Besides that, our 
most insignificant effort may be raised in greatest powei*. 
Christ used spittle to cure the blind man. 

I write these things for young ministers just starting. For- 
merly, Mondays almost killed me ; but by observing the two 
or three rules above mentioned, Monday has come to be the 
brightest day of all the week. As I go down the street I can 
hardly keep my feet to the pavement, and go round the 
corner with a skip, first having glanced both ways to see that 
nobody is looking. Let Monday be the golden beach of the 
Christian Sabbath. Its pebbles are pearls, and the surf that 
strikes it are the songs of heaven, like the voice of many- 
waters. Next to the Sabbath in joyful experiences stands 
Monday. Two blissful days ! I am glad they have beeix 
marrieoL 




CHAPTER XXXIII. 



D. S. M. 

We are glad to see that the emperor of Austria has bestowed 
upou au American inventor of sewing machines the " Imperial 
Order of Francis Joseph/' which, in our climate, mi^ht be 
translated to mean D.S.M. — Doctor of Sewing Machines. 

We do not know why the learned professions, so called, 
should have all the titles. Why not treat as honourably the 
work of the hand as the work of the brain, or that which 
employs both hand and brain ? We know .men who are doing 
nothing for the bettering of the world's condition— great 
huJks of laziness and obesity — who have fastened to the end 
of their name titles as long as the tail of a kite ; not a modern 
Chinese kite, but one of the splendid old-fashioned kites, 
pretty much all tail, with appendages that looked as if a 
clothes-line with a whole week's washing were being trans- 
lated : a frail, professional name made to carry a big string of 
D.D., LL.D., F.R.S., S.T.P., X.Y.Z., etc. ; while some man 
who has lightened the labour of a continent, and saved the 
lives of ten thousand sewing women, is called by the name of 
his infancy. 

We cannot see the practical use of any title at all, if our 
mother has given us a good name to start with. We like the 
Quaker way of calling people by their first name. But if 
titles are to be given, let them be distributed among those who 
are eminent in any useful employment. 

If a merchant show great skill in his business, if he stand 
head and shoulders above others on the street in his 
judgment of commercial vicissitude, if he be a pattern of 




124 Around the Tea-Table. 

iutegrity and large-he«arted]iess as well as intelligence, wliyBfll^ 
on Exchange, or somewhere else, confer upon him sdoe \tsm0i0h 
able recognition ? What that title shall be we cannot aolr. 
suggest ; but till you can get a better title for such v^ 
merchant, call hun B. Y. /S. — Doctor of the Taxd > 
Why not? 

If a faimer know the best order of crops, aid c 
thirty bushels of oats where his neighbour can raise 
fifteen, if, while other orchards are being devoured, he sao 
in exterminating the curculio from his premises, and turn a 
field of Canada thistles and mullein stalk into a garden of the 
Lord, and can work miracles by subsoil plough and drainage, 
and, while others are having their com uprooted by the biids^ 
sets up in his own fields a scare-crow so natural that all the 
crows within fifty miles have heard of the horrible apparition^ 
and a young man, crossing the lots at midnight, from a visit 
to his sweetheart, thinks himself assaulted in the middle €i • 
the corn-field by a highwayman with old straw hat and out- 
spread arms, whom he shoots through the heart : in a word, 
if he be the best agriculturist in all the neighbourhood, whr 
not confer upon him a title suggestive of his superiority f H 
you think of nothing else, call him T. B, A,, Thirty Bnuiela to 
the Acre. 

In this land, where there is but very little royal blood, and 
most of that very watery, where nearly all our hands are hard • 
because we are obliged to work, do not let us put more honour 
on the man who can make a speech or write a book than np(»i 
one who reforms agriculture, or regulates merchandise, or 
invents a labour-saving machine, nor compel our practical 
workers to go abroad for the bestowal of the '* Imperial Order 
of Francis Joseph," when our grateful American people ouffht 
to be willing to confer upon those whose severe work naa 
never yet been recognised the " Imperial Order of Homespnn 
and Hard Knuckles." 





CHAPTER XXXIV. 



THE SIN OF SMALL TYPE. 

EvEEY few years there goes through China the ophthalmy, a 
disease of the eye which leaves thousands of people in partial 
or total blindness. Small print is doing the same work in 
this country. There are type-founders blasting the eyesight 
of the people. There are publishers who pride themselves on 
the number of words they can get within a square inch, and 
under the process we are suffering a great national ophthalmy. 
Better not read at all, than kill your eyes with small print. 
God gives us only two organs of sight, and the penalty of 
trifling with them is life-long twilight or midnight of vision. 
There is consequently a great rush upon opticians for spectacles. 
Girls and boys of fifteen at school must have their eye-glass 
astride the nose. 

There is a fearful sarcasm in the action of the man who 
comes on the railway-train at Albany with spectacles for sale, 
as much as to say, " With those fine-print books and news- 
paper you have been slaying your eyes all the way from 
Buffalo ; I come in as an optical undertaker, just to try on you 
this coffin of spectacles." Young men and maidens, nothing 
you can hang on the bridge of your nose in the way of eye- 
glasses can give you such dignity or grace as a clear eye, blue 
or black or hazel, unharmed by dissipation, or unextinguished 
by the type-setters. 

Authors and publishers are often chagrined at the blunders 
of the printing-press. A Frenchman, having counted three 
hundrea typographical errors in his favourite book, gave up 
the ghost, and got out of the world as soon as he could. We 



126 Around the Tea Table. 

wonder that a similar departure was not witnes?sed when oo» 
of our popular magazines was, by mistake of the printer boj, 
called " The Epileptic Review." But the worst of all typo- 
graphical errors is that of small tjrpe. 

Let publishers not forget the failing sight of the old. As 
age comes on, father and mother cannot go out as much as 
they used to, and are more dependent upon reading for enter- 
tainment Put not before their diminished sight typography 
that blurs and confounds them. In plain print tell them the 
news of the world out of which they go, and the news of the 
world which they are about to -enter. Let the hjmn-book, 
and the Bible, and the religious newspaper be in distinct 
letter-press. 

The poorest compliment ever paid to the Lord's Prayer was 
the cutting it in small letters on a iive-cent piece. It is a hard 
thing for an octogenarian to "read his title clear ** in type 
smaller than nonpareil or agate. It is a grand thing to have 
a page so plain that old age can read it either with or without 
spectacles. Mother had two pairs— her " near-sighted " spec- 
tacles and her " far-sighted '' ones. She wore them both at 
once — one upon the forehead, the other on the nose, the distance 
of the object deciding which pair she would use. But one day 
she took off the " far-sighted '* spectacles with which she had 
often looked toward heaven, and put on the " near-sighted • 
ones : it was just as she went into the Gate. 





CaAPTEE XXXV. 



POOR PREACHING. 



There never was a time when in all denominations of Chris- 
tians there was so much attractive sermonizing as to-day. 
Princeton, and Middletown, and Kochester, and New Bruns- 
wick, are sending into the ministry a large number of sharp, 
earnest, consecrated men. Stupidity, after being regularly 
ordained, is found to be no more acceptable to the people than 
before, and the title of Doctorate cannot any longer be sub- 
stituted for brains. Perhaps, however, there may get to be a 
surfeit of fine discourses. Indeed, we have so many appliances 
tor making bright and incisive preachers, that we do not know 
but that after a while, when we want a sleepy discourse as an 
anodyne, we shall have to go to the ends of the earth to find 
one ; and duU sermons may be at a premium, congregations 
of limited means no1> being able to aiford them at all ; and so 
we shall have to fall back on chloral or morphine. 

Are we not, therefore, doing a humanitarian work when we 
give to congregations some rules by which, if they want it, 
they may iSways have poor preaching 1 

First, Keep your minister poor. There is nothing more 
ruinous than to pay a pastor too much salary. Let every 
Board of Trustees look over their books and see if they have 
erred in this direction ; and if so, let them cut down the 
minister's wa^es. There are churches which pay their pastors 
eight hundred dollars per annum. What these good men do 
with so much money we cannot imagine. Our ministers must 
be taken in. If by occasional fasting for a day our Puritan 
fathers in New England became so good, what might we not 



I 



13$ Around the Tea-Tabljs^ 

expect of our ministers if we kept them in perpetual fmriLt 
No doubt their spiritual capacity would enlarge in proportioii 
to their shrinkage at the waistcoat. The aTeraffe Boimrj ot 
ministers in the United States is about six honored doUaDnL 
Perhaps by some spiritual pile-dnver we might send it down 
to five hundred dollars ; and then the millenniam, for the lion 
by that time would be so hungry he would let tiie Iamb lie 
down inside of him. We woiud suggest a very eoonomieal 
plan : give your spiritual adviser a snuiller income, and make 
it up by a donation visit When everything else fails to keep 
him properly humble, that succeeds. We speak from experi- 
ence. Fourteen years ago we had one, and it has been a 
means of grace to us ever since. 

Second^/. For securing poor preaching, wait on your pastor 
with frequent committees. Let three men some morning tie 
their horses at the dominie's gate, and go in and tell him how 
to preach, and pray, and visit Tell him all the disagreeable 
things said about him for six months, and what a gr^ man 
his predecessor was, how much plainer his wife dressed, and 
how much better his children behaved. Pastoral committeee 
are not like the small-pox — you can have them more thaui 
once ; they are more like the mumps, which you may h&ve 
first on one side and then on the other. If, after a man baa 
had the advantage of being manipulated by tiiree church 
committees, he has any pride or spirit left, better give him up 
as incorrigible. 

Thirdly. To secure poor preaching, keep the minister on 
the trot Scold him when he comes to see you because he did 
not come before, and tell him how often you were visited by 
the former pastor. Oh, that blessed predecessor ! Strange 
they did not hold on to the angel when they had him. Keep 
your minister going. Expect him to respond to every whistle. 
Have him at all the tea-parties and " the raisings.^ Stand 
him in the draught of the door at the funeral — a frequent 
way of declaring a pulpit vacant Keep him busv all the 
week in out-door miscellaneous work j and if at the end of 
that time he cannot preach a weak discourse, send for us, and 
we will show him how to do it. Of courae there are excep- 
tions to all rules ; but if the plan of treatment we have pro- 
posed be carried out, we do not see that any church in city 
or country need long be in want of poor preaching. 




CHAPTER XXXVI. 

BOCKY MOUNTAIN LOCOMOTIVE. 

" May J get on with you V* I asked an engineer on the Pacific 
Baiiroad, at a station six or seven thousand feet above the 
level of the sea. 

" Certainly." he said ; " but hold fast tight, or you may 
fall off." 

" Toot ! toot !" went the whistle, and the long anaconda of 
a rail-train first went crawling along the rocks, but soon took 
on fearful momentum. Sitting in ** Pullman's Palace Car," 
looking out of the window, the passenger gets no idea of the 
speed of the train ; but close by the engineer, and feeling the 
nervous quiver and jump of the iron courser, you see the 
" mountams skip like rams, and the little hills like lambs." 

The door of the locomotive furnace clangs open, and the 
flames rave as though they would leap out to devour, and the 
fireman jars the coal into the raging jaws of the monster. 
The engineer has his hand on the iron bit that controls the 
speed, and seems to use no more exertion than a doctor feel- 
ing the pulse of a child. Indeed, the locomotive, to the en- 
gineer, is not a mere machine, but animate. He talks to it, 
seems almost to pat it lovingly on the neck. He is proud of 
it. There is a warm understanding between the two, and in 
occasional spurts of steam the locomotive seems to take voice 
and answer its rider. An engine never hurts its master, save 
in the eftbrt to throw the passengers. 

But the engineer, though sitting so placid, is wide awake. 
He is kept on duty only four hours in the day, and all the 
energies of body and soul cluster in his vigilant eye and quick 
thumb. Two hundred lives hang on his wrist. 



fjo Arousd the Tea-Table. 

We plunge into a snow-shed with infinite clatter, every 
boanl and beam beating back the deafening roar of the 
Pacific expresft. As we rush on, the prairie-dogs skulk into 
their holes, or sit on their hind-quarters, with fore-feet lifted, 
as much as to say, '* What next I** The antelopes scamper 
over the plain. We lide imimpeded where less thaa two 
years ago the buffaloes stopped the train as the herds stam-' 
peded across the track ; and along here the sarages careered 
on their ponies. 

Yon see here and there groups of red men, with long hair, 
and cheeks dashed with war-paint, ringed ears, and a saper- 
fluity of dirt that bones your last romantic notion about the 
*' uoble red man of the forest" The air is laden with the 
breath of the cedar, madrona, manzanita and bnckeye. Hoe 
we are passing through what seem the rains of castles^ and 
temples, and cities, and calling up to mind Petra^ and PonqMii, 
and Nineveh, and Thebes ; but these rains on either aide oar 
track must have been vast abodes, where giants might have 
lived, till the Titans began here to play kap-frog and turn 
somersault. 

Now the whistle lets off a wild scream ; a cow and calf on 
the track. The cow we cut into halves, and the calf with 
broken legs tumbles over into the ditch. I wonder if that 
man just ahead will get off in time ? Perhaps he is deaf ! 
Perhaps he is crazy, and wants to be run over ! Neither. In 
time to save himself he switches off and robs the coroner. 

Hold your breath ! Kavine a thousand feet deep on this 
side I Embankment a thousand feet up on the other 1 As ' 
we turn the curve the engineer pulls the steam-valve, and the 
silence that chiefly reigned here for six thousand years lets 
slip all its hounds of echo and reverberation. 

Whew ! how we fly ! If a bolt bi-eak, or a truck faU, or a 
rock dislodge, we are in eternity 1 Innumerable varieties of 
flower break their alabaster at the feet of the cliffs ; bat 
yonder the mountain tops are blooming into the white Jily of 
everlasting snow. Bndges, high, narrow, temendous, that 
•creak and tremble under the pressure of the train. 

A tunnel ! Ink-black, midnight doubled, dampness that 
never saw the sun ; while far ahead is a hint of sunlight peer- 
ing through a hole that looks about the size of the arch of .a 
mouse-trap, but which widens till at last it is large enough to 
let a whole train escape into the golden day. 

Out there is the old emigrant road, with occasionally the 
fikeleton of a cow or horse, or the wreck of a wagon that hope- 



KocKY Mountain Locomotive, 131 

Jessly broke dowu on the way ; and here a mound, and a 
rough stone at the head of it, that show where some worn 
traveller finished his journey in those times when in one year 
across these heights went five thousand wagons, pulled by 
seven thousand mules and thirty thousand yoke of oxen. 
More rocks heave in sight, and at the point where all the 

frandeurs converge, in white paint splashed on the granite 
oulders, is inscribed 

drake's plantation bittees. 

S. T.— 1860— X. ; 

leaving room enough for Helmbold's Buchu, and the popular 
announcement, " We all take Hobensack's Worra-Syrup I" 
After the Indians have seen this advertisement on the rocks, 
they will have no more to say about their " Big Medicine/' 

Now we come along by bluffs where the red man could not 
make a trail and where labourers in constructing the rail-track, 
were held from the overhanging cliffs by ropes. No fear of 
the track breaking, for the Chinese are busy aU along the 
road— happy, industrious, more cleanly than the Irish or 
American labourers by the track. Capital railroad builders 
are these Chinese, first-rate cooks, and their coming all through 
the land will deliver housekeepers from their slavery to the 
present tyranny of the kitchen. They are the jwinces of the 
smoothing-iron. 

We shall be a cleaner nation when the Chinese wash for us. 

They do not send back your shirts melancholy with *' blue- 
ing," and minus buttons torn off, and with bosoms stiff as a 
shingle. They use no watering-pot to sprinkle the clothes on 
the grass ; but taking the water in their mouth, till their 
cheeks stand out with bloat, they let the liquid fly over the 
linen with astounding ingenuity of squirt. Clear the track ! 
Ching Chang, Wo-Hong, Fu-Choo and Sing-Hi with your 
long pig-tails ! We cannot afford to run over you ! 

And now the night begins to fall, and the train goes plough- 
ing through the darkness. The great burning e3'^e of the 
locomotive peers through, and flashes far ahead upon the wild 
scene. 

The grizzly bear, the panther, the nighthawk, the cormor- 
ant, the pefican, the grosbeak, the eagle, that kept aloof 
while the day shone, may venture nearer now, if they dare. 
Oh how we ny ! The rush of the wind, the jamming of the 
car-coupling, the clang of the wheels, the steam hiss, the 



132 Around the Tea Table. 

fierce shower of sparkR that set the night on fire, the shooting 
past of rocks five hundred feet high, followed by a precipice a 
thousand feet deep, m<ake the breath short, and the neart 
thump, and the very scalp lift. 

How the shadows shuOle ! How the crags shiver ! How 
the echoes rave ! An express train at night on the Becky 
Mountains ! The irresistible trampling the immovable ! Tet 
the way smoothed down by human engineering^. Then it 
will not be so difficult to prepare the way for a mmder com- 
ing, when the mountains shall be made low, and the crooked 
straight, and rough places plain, and the glory of the Lord 
shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together ! 

" I sTuess I wiU get off now," I said to the engineer. ^ All 
right r said he ; '* but look out and not break your neck oyer 
that switch out yonder !" With my mind full of the rush and 
thunder of the day, I went to sleep, and dreamt of the scenes 
into which we were being introduced. The land of big trees 
three hundred and twenty feet high, one hundred and twelTO 
around (see Hutchins) ; big waterfalls, two thousand six 
hundred feet down (see Whitney) ; big bears, of two thou- 
sand pounds' weight (see the hunters) ; big onions, a foot 
across the top, and beets of a hundred and twenty-seven 
pounds each (see Dr. Todd) ; big rocks, big prophecies and 
Digger hearts. Golden-footed, vine-crowned California 1 






. -r:^^ -'•'■■ ^-^ — — 








1 '^^^i ^i'^m 


LM^msm 



CHAPTER XXXVIL 

SHELVES A man's INDEX. 

In Chelsea, a suburb of London, and on a narrow street, witli 
not even a house in front, but, instead thereof a long range of 
brick wall, is the house of Thomas Carlyle. You go through 
a narrow hall and turn to the left, and are in the literary 
workshop where some of the strongest thunderbolts of the 
world have been forged. The two front windows have on them 
scant curtains of reddish calico, hung at the top of the lower 
sash, so as not to keep the sun from looking down^ but to hin- 
der the street from looking in. 

The room has a lounge covered with the same material, and 
of construction such as you would find in the plainest house 
among the mountains. It looks as if it had been made by an 
author not accustomed to saw or hammer, and in the inter- 
stices of mental work. On the wall are a few wood-cuts in 
plain frames or pinned against the wall ; also a photograph of 
Mr. Carlyle taken one day, as his family told us, when he had 
a violent toothache and could attend to nothing else. It is his 
favourite picture, though it gives him a face more than ordin- 
arily severe and troubled. 

In long shelves, unpainted and unsheltered by glass or door, 
is the library of the world-renowned thinker. The books are 
worn, as though he had bought them to read. Many of them 
are imcommon books, the titles of which we never saw before. 
American literature is almost ignored, while Germaoy mono- 
polizes many of the spaces. We noticed the absence of theo- 
logical works, save those of Thomas Chalmers, whose name 
and genius he wellnigh worshipped. The carpets are old and 



134 Around the Tea-Tablb. 

\v'oi'u and faded — uot because he cannot afford better, bat be^ 
cause he ^ould have his home a perpetual protest against tibe 
world's sham. It is a place not calculated to give inspiration 
to a writer. No easy-cn {ill's, no soft divans, no wealth of up- 
holstery, but simply a j)liice to work and stay. Never having 
heard a word about it, it was nevei-theless just such a place aa 
we expected. 

We had there confirmed our former theory of a man's study 
as only a part of himself, or a piece of tight-fitting cloUung. 
It is the snell of the tortoise, just made to fit the tortoim 
back. Thomas Oarlyle could have no other kind of a work- 
shop. What would he do with a damask-covered table, or a 
gilded inkstand, or an upholstered window ? Startinfi^ with 
the idea that the intellect is all and the body naught bat an 
adjunct or appendage, he will show that the former can live 
and thrive without any approval of the latter. He will give 
the intellect all costly stimulus, and send the body supperleoi 
to bed. Thomas Carlyle taken as. a premise, this shabby room 
is the inevitable conclusion. Behold the piinciple. 

We have a poetic friend. The backs of his books are 
scrolled and transfigured. A vase of japonicas, even in mid- 
winter, adorns his writing-desk. The hothouse is as important 
to him as the air. There are soft engravings on the wall. This 
study-chair was made out of the twisted roots of a banyan. 
A dog, sleek-skinned, lies on the mat, and gets upasyoucome 
in. There stand iu veriuilion all the poete from Homer to 
Tennyson. Here and there are chamois heads and pressed 
seaweed. He writes on gilt-edged paper with a gold pen and 
handle twisted with a serpent. His inkstand is a mystery of 
beauty which unskilled hands dare not touch, lest the ink spring 
at him from some of the open mouths, or sprinkle on him from 
the bronze wings, or with some unexpected squirt dash into 
his eyes the bU^kness of darkness. 

We have a very precise friend. Everything is in severe order. 
Finding his door-knob in the dark, you could reason out the 
position of stove, and chair and table ; and placing an arrow 
at the back of the book on one end of the shelf, it would fly to 
the other end, equally grazing all the bindings. It is ten years 
since John Milton, or Robert Southey, or Sir Wiliam Hamil- 
ton have been out of their pl^es, and that was when an 
ignoramus broke into the study. The volumes of the encyclo- 
pedias never change places. Manuscripts unblotted, tmd free 
from interlineation, and labelled. The spittoon knows its 
place in the corner, as if treated by tobacco chewers with oft 



Shelves a Man's Index, 135. 

indignity. You could go into that study with your eyes shut, 
turn around, and without feeling for the chair, throw yourself 
back with perfect confidence that the furniture would catch 
you. No better does a hat fit his head, or a shoe his foot, or 
the glove his hand, than the study fits his whole nature. 

We have a facetious friend. You pick off the corner of hi» 
writing-table ^octes Amhrosiance or the London Punch His 
chair is wide, so that he can easily roll off on the floor when 
he wants a good time at laughing. His inkstand is a monke}'', 
with the variations. His study-cap would upset a judge's 
risibilities. Scrap-books with droll caricatures and facetioe. 
An odd stove, exciting your wonder as to where the coal is 
put in or the poker thrust for shaking. All the works of 
Douglas Jerrold, and Sydney Smith, and Sterne, the scalawag^ 
ecclesiastic. India-rubber faces capable of being squashed 
into anything. Puzzles that you cannot untangle. The four 
walls covered with cuts and engravings sheared from weekly 
pictorials and recklessly taken from parlour-table books. 
Prints that put men and women into hopeless satire. 

We have a friend of many peculiarities. Entering his house, 
you find nothing in the place where you expected it. Don 
Quixote witlt all its windmills mixed up with Dr, Dick on the 
iSacraments^ Mark Twain's Jumping Frog and CJiamocJc on 
the Attributes. Passing across the room, you stumble against 
the manuscript of his last lecture, or put your foot in a piece 
of pie that has fallen ofi^ the end of the writiog-table. You 
mistake his essay on the " Copernican System " for blotting- 
paper. Many of his books are bereft of the binding ; and in 
attempting to replace the covers, Hudibras gets the cover 
which belongs to Barnes on the Acts of the Apostles. Au 
earthquake in the room would be more apt to improve than to 
unsettle. There ai*e marks where the inkstand became un- 
stable and made a handwriting on the wall that even Daniel 
could not have interpreted. If, some fatal day, the wife or 
housekeeper come in, while the occupant is absent, to ** clear 
up," a damage is done that requires a week to repair. For 
many days the question is, " Where is my pen ? Who has the 
concordance? What on earth has become of the dictionary j 
Where is the paper-cutter?" Work is impeded, patienco 
lost, engagements are broken, because it was not understood 
that the study is a part of the student's life, and that you 
might as well try to change the knuckles to the inside of the 
hand, or to set the-eyes in the middle of the forehead, as to make 



136 Around the Tea-Table. 

the man of whom we speak keep his pen on tiie rack, <nr Ml 
books off the floor, or the blotting-paper straight in the port- 
folios. 

The study is a part of the mental developmeiit. DoiA 
blame a man for the style of his literary apartments any aion 
than you would for the colour of his hair or the shape of bSi 
nose. If Hobbes carries his study with him, and his pen and 
his inkstand in the top of his cane, so let him cany toaiii. U 
Lamartine can best compose while walking hia park, paper and 
pencil in hand, so let him ramble. If Hobert Bale thinks 
easiest when lying flat on his back, let him be prostrate. If 
Lamasius writes best surrounded by children, let looae on him 
the whole nursery. Don't criticise Charles Dickens becaose 
he threw all his study windows wide open and the shades np. 
It may fade the carpet, but it will pour sunshine into the 
hearts of a million readers. If Thomas Carlyle chose to caU. 
around an ink-spattered table Goethe, and Sdiiller, and Jean 
Paul Frederick Bichter, and dissect the shams of the world 
with a plain goose-quill, so be it. The horns of an ox's head 
are not more certainly a part of the ox than Thomas Carlyle's 
study and all its appointments are a part of Thomas Carlyle. 

The gazelle will have soft fur, and the lion a shaggy hidei 
^and tlie sanctum sanctorum is the student s cutide. 





CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

BEHAVIOUR AT CnURCH. 

Around the door of country meeting-houses it has always 
been the custom for the people to gather before church and 
after church for social intercourse and the shaking of hands. 
Perhaps because we, ourselves, were bom in the country and 
have never got over it, the custom pleases us. In the cities 
we arrive the last moment before service and go away the first 
moment after. "We act as though the church were a rail-car, 
into which we go when the time for starting arrives, and we get 
out again as soon as the Depot of the Doxology is reached. 
We protest against this business way of doing things. Shake 
hands when the benediction is pronounced with those who sat 
before and those who sat behind you. Meet the people in the 
aisle, and give them Christian salutation. Postponement of the 
dining-hour for fifteen minutes will damage neither you nor 
the dinner. That is the moment to say a comforting word to 
the man or woman in trouble. The sermon was preached to 
the people in general ; it is your place to apply it to the indi- 
vidual neart. 

The church aisle may be the road to heaven. Many a 
man who was unaffected by what the minister said has been 
captured for God by the Christian word of an unpretending 
layman on the way out. 

You may call it personal magnetism, or natural cordiality, 
but there are some Christians who have such an ardent way 
of shaking hands after meeting that it amounts to a benediction. 
Such greeting is not made with the left hand. The left hand 
is good for a great many things, for instance to hold a fork or 



138 Around the Tea-Table^ 

twist a curl, but it was never made to shake hands iritiiy 
unless you have lost the use of the right Nor is it done hf 
the tips of the fingers laid loosely in the palm of another. 
Nor is it done with a glove on. Gloves are good to k^p out 
the cold and make one look well, but have tnem eo they cai^ 
easily be removed, as they shonld be, for they are non-con- 
ductors of Christian magnetism. Make bare the hand. Pluee 
it in the palm of your friend. Clench the fingers across the 
back part of the hand you grip. Then let all the animation 
of your heart rush to the shoulder, and from there to the 
elbow, and then through the fore-arm and through the 'wzist^ 
till your friend gets the whole charge of gospel electridfy. 

In Paul's time he told the Christians to greet eadi other 
with a holy kiss. We are glad the custom has been drc^md, 
for there are many good people who would not want to Jdss 
us, as we would not want to Kiss them. Very attractive per- 
sons would find the supply greater than the demand. jBot 
let us have a substitute suited to our age and land. Let it be 
good, hearty, enthusiastic. Christian lumd-shaking. 

Governor Wiseman, our grave fnend at tea, broke in npon 
us at this moment and said : I am not fond of indiscriminate 
hand-shaking, and so am not especially troubled by the lack 
of cordiality on the part of church-goers. But I am some- 
times very much annoyed on Sabbaths with the habit of some 
good people in church. It may be foolish in me ; but when 
the wind blows from the east, it takes but little to disturb me. 

There are some of the best Christian people who do not 
know how to carry themselves in religious assembla^. They 
never laugh. They never applaud. They never hisa^ Yet, 
notwithstanding, are disturbers of public worship. 

There is, for instance, the cougliing brigade. If any indi- 
vidual right ought to be maintained at all hazards, it is the 
right of coughing. There are times when you must cough. 
There is an irresistible tickling in the throat which demands 
audible demonstration. It is moved, seconded and unani- 
mously carried that those who have irritated windpipes be 
heard. But there are ways with hand or handkexmief of 
breaking the repercussion. A smothered cough is dignified 
and acceptable if you have nothing better to offer. But how 
many audiences have had their peace sacrificed by unrestrained 
expulsion of air through the glottis 1 After a sudden change 
in the weather, there is a fearful charge made by the coughing 
brigade. They open their mouths wide, and make the arches 
ring with the racket. They begin with a faint " Ahem V* and 



I 



Behaviour at Church, 139 

gradually rise and fall through all the scale of dissonance, as 
much as to say : " Hear, all ye good people ! I have a cold 1 
I have a bad cold ! I have an awful bad cold ! Hear how 
it racks me, tears me, torments me. It seems ias if my 
diaphragm must be split. I took this awful bad cold the other 
night. I added to it last Sunday. Hear how it goes off! 
There it is again. Oh dear me ! If I only had * Brown's 
Troches,' or the syrup of squills, or a mustard plaster, or a 
woollen stocking turned wrong side out around my neck !" 
Brethren and sisters who took cold by sitting in the same 
draught join the clamour, and it is glottis to glottis, and 
laryngitis to laryngitis, and a chorus of scrapings and explo- 
sions which make the service hideous for a preacher of sensi- 
tive nerves. We have seen people under the pulpit coughing 
with their mouth so far open we have been tempted to jump 
into it. There are some persons who have a convenient ec- 
clesiastical cough. It does not trouble them ordinarily ; but 
when in church you get them thoroughly cornered with some 
practical truth, they smother the end of the sentences with a 
favourite paroxysm. There is a man in our church who is 
apt to be taken with one of these fits just as the contribution 
box comes to him, and cannot seem to get his breath again 
till he hears the pennies rattling in the box behind him. 
Cougli by all means, but put on the brakes when you come to 
the down-grade, or send the racket through at least one fold 
of your pocket-handkerchief. 

Governor Wiseman went on further to say that the habits 
of the pulpit sometimes annoyed him as much as the habits of 
the pew. The governor said ; I cannot bear the " prelimina- 
ries " of religious service. 

By common consent the exercises in the churches going be- 
fore the sermon are called "preliminaries." The dictionary 
says that a " preliminary " is that which precedes the main 
business. We do not think a sermon ought to be considered 
the main business. When a pastor at the beginning of the 
first prayer says " God /" he has entered upon the most 
important duty of the service. We would not depreciate the 
sermon, but we plead for more attention to the " preliminaries." 
If a minister cannot get the attention of the people for prayer 
or Bible-reading, it is his own fault. Much of the interest of 
a service depends upon how it is launched, 

"The preliminaries" are, for the most part, the time in 
which people in church examine their neighbours* clothes. 
Milliners and tailors get the advantage of tb.^ ^x^\> \iXii:^^-Q^^!)^« 



\ 



I40 Around the Tea-Table. 

ters of an hoar. "The preliminaries " are the time to i 
nise the fresco, and look round to see who is theroi and jjfet 
yourself generally fixed. 

This idea is fostered by some elocntionaiy profeflBon #iio 
would have the minister take the occasion of the eariier exer- 
cises to ffet his voice in tune. You must not speak oat at fiiM. 
It is to be a private interview between you and heaTen. The 
people will listen to the low grumble, and think it must be 
very good if they could only hear it As for oimelTee, we 
refuse to put down our head in public prayer ontil we find 
oat whether or not we are going to be able to hear. Thoogh 
yon preftch like an angel, you will not say anything more im- 
portant than that letter of St. Paul to the Connthiana, or that 
Psalm of David which you have just now read to the backs \£ 
the heads of the congregation. Laymen and ministeraty apeak 
out ! The opening exercises were not instituted to dear voiir 
voice, but to save souls. If need be, squeeze a lemon and eat 
" Brown's Troches " for the sake of your voice before you go 
to church ; but once there, make your first sentence reaonaiit 
and mighty for God. An hour and a half is short time any- 
how to get five hundred or five thousand people ready for 
heaven. It is thought classic and elegant to have a delicate 
utterance, and that loud tones are vulgar. But we never 
heard of people being converted by anything they could not 
aear. It is said that on the Mount of Olives Christ OPENED 
HIS MOUTH and taught them, by which we conclude he speJce 
out distinctly. God has given most Christians plenty of lungs, 
but they ai'e too lazy to use them. There are m the churches 
old people hard of hearing who, if the exercises be not dear 
and emphatic, get no advantage save that of looking at the 
blessed minister. 

People say in apology for their inaudible tones : " It is not 
the thunder that kills, but the lightning." True enough ; but 
I think that God thinks well of the thunder, or he would not 
use so much of it. First of all, make the people hear the 
prayer and the chapter. If you want to hold up at all, let it 
be on the sermon and the notices. Let the pulpit and all the 
pews feel that there are no " preliminaries.^ 




CHAPTEE XXXIX. 



MASCULINE AND FEMININE. 

Theke are men who suppose they have all the annoyanceak 
They say it is the store that ruffles the disposition ; but if 
they could only stay at home as do their wives, and sisters, 
and daughters, they would be, all the time, sweet and fair as 
a white pond-lily. Let some of the masculine lecturers on 
placidity of temper try for one week the cares of the house- 
nold and the family. Let the man sleep with a baby on one 
arm all night, and one ear open to the children with the 
whooping-cough in the adjoining apartment. Let him see 
the tray of crockery and the cook fall down stairs, and no- 
thing saved but the pieces. Let the pump give out on a wash- 
day, and the stove-pipe, when too hot for handling, get dislo- 
cated. Let the pudding come out of the stove stiff as a poker. 
Let the gossiping gabbler of next door come in and tell all the 
disagreeable things that neighbours have been saying. Let 
the lungs be worn out by staying indoors without fresh air, 
and the needle be threaded with nerves exhausted. After one 
week's household annoyances, he would conclude that Wall 
Street is heaven, and the clatter of the Stock Exchange rich as 
Beethoven's symphony. 

"We think Mary of Bethany a little to blame for not helping 
Martha get the dinner. If women sympathize with men in 
the troubles of store and field, let the men also sympathize 
with the women in the troubles of housekeeping. Many a 
housewife has died of her annoyances. A bar of soap may be- 
come a murderous weapon. The poor cooking-stove has some- 
times been the slow fire on which the wife has been roasted. 



142 Around the Tea-Table, 

In the day when Latimer and Ridley are bonoared before t&e 
universe as the martyrs of the fire, we do not think the Lord 
will forget the long line of wives, mothers, danghters and aia- 
ters who have been the martyrs of the kitchen. 

Accompanying masculine criticism of woman's temper goea 
the popular criticism of woman's dresa 

A convention has recently been held in Yineland, attended 
by the women who are opposed to extravagance in dreea. 
They propose, not only by formal resolntion, bat by personal 
example, to teach the world lessons of economy by wearing 
less adornment and dragging fewer yards of silk* We wisE 
them all success, although we would have more confidence in 
the movement if so many of the delegates had not worn 
bloomer dress. Moses makes war upon Qiat style of apparel 
in Deuteronomy xzii 5 : '* The woman shall not wear that 
which pertaineth unto man/' Nevertheless we favour eveiy 
effort to stop the extravagant use of dr^-goods and millineiy. 

We have, however, no sympathy with the implication that 
women are worse than men in this respect Men wear all 
they can without interferiug with their locomotion, but man 

such an awkward creature he cannot find any place on his 
oody to hang a great many fineries. He could not get round 
in Wall Street with eight or ten flounces, and a big-handled 
parasol, and a mountam of back-hair. Men wear less than 
women, not because they are more moral, but because they 
cannot stand it As it is, many of our youn^ men are padded to 
a superlative degree, and have corns and bunions on eveiy 
separate toe from wearing shoes too tight 

Neither have we any sympathy with the implication that 
the present is worse than the past in matters of dress. Com- 
pare the fashion-plates of the seventeenth century with the 
fashion-plates of the nineteenth, and you decide in favour of 
our day. The women of Isaiah's time beat anything now. 
Do we have the kangaroo fashion Isaiah speaks of — the 
daughters who walked with *' stretched forth necks "? Talk of 
hoops ! Isaiah speaks of women with " round tires like the 
moon.'' Do we have hot irons for curling our hair 1 Isaiah 
speaks of *' wimples and crisping pins." Do we sometimes 
wear glasses astride our nose, not because we are near-sighted, 
but for beautification ? Isaiah speaks of the " glasses, and the 
earrings, and the nose-jewels." The dress of to-day is far 
more sensible than that of a hundred or a thousand years 
ago. 

But the largest room in the world is room for improvement. 



Masculine and FE^^iNiKS, 143 

and we would cheer on those who would attempt reformation 
either in male or female attire. Meanwhile, we rejoice that so 
many of the pearls, and emeralds, and amethysts, and dia- 
monds of the world are coming into the possession of Christian 
women. Who knows but that the spirit of ancient consecra- 
tion may some day come upon them, and it shall again be as 
it was in the time of Moses, that for the prosperity of the 
house of the Lord the women may bring their bracelets, ani 
earrings, and tablets, and jewels ! The precious stones ot 
earth will never have their proper place till they are set 
around the Pearl of Great Price. 



CHAPTER XL. 

LITERAEY FELOKT. 



We have recently seen many elaborate discussions as to 
whether plagiarism is virtuous or criminal — in other words, 
whether writers may steal. If a minister can find a sermon 
better than any one he can make, why not preach it ? If an 
author can find a paragraph for his book better than any he 
can himself manufacture, why not appropriate it ] 

That sounds well. But why not go further and ask, if a 
woman find a set of furs better than ^e has in her wardrobe, 
why not take them ? If a man find that his neighbour has a 
cow full Aldemey, while he has in his own yard only a 
scrawny runt, why not drive home the Alderney ? Theft is 
taking anything that does not belong to you, whether it be 
sheep, oxen, hats, coats or literary material. 

Without attempting to point out the line that divides the 
lawful appropriation of another's ideas from the appropriation 
of another's phraseology, we have only to say that a literary 
man always knows when he is stealing. Whether found out or 
not, the process is belittling, and a man is through it blasted 
for this world and damaged for the next one. The ass in the 
fable wanted to die because he was beaten so muCh, but 
after death they changed his hide into a drum-head, and thus 
he was beaten more than ever. So the phigiarist is so vile a 
cheat that there is not much chance for nim, living or dead. 
A minister who hopes to do good with such burglary will no 



144 Around the Tea-table, 

more be a successful ambassador to men than a foreign miniRter 
despatched by our government to-day would succeed if he 
presented himself at the court of St. James with the creden- 
tials that he stole from the archives of those illustriouB ex- 
ministers, James Buchanan or Benjamin Franklin. 

What every minister needs is a fresh message that day from 
the Lord. We would sell cheap all our pardunents of licen- 
sure to preach. €rod gives his ministers a licenae eveiy JBab- 
bsith and a new message. He sends none of us out so menr 
tally poor that we have nothing to furnish but a cold faaah ol 
other people's sermons. Our lu^ystack is large enough for aU 
the sheep that come round it, and there is no need of our 
taking a single forkful from any other barrack, fiy all means 
use aU the lx>oks you can get at, but devour them, chew them 
fine and digest them, till they become a part of the blood and 
bone of your own nature. There is no harm in delivering an 
oration or sermon belonging to some one else provided yon so 
announce it Quotation marks are cheap, and let us not be 
afraid to use them. Do you know why "quotation" marks 
are made up of four commas, t'vo at the head of the paragraph 
adopted ana two at the close of it ? Those four commas mean 
that you should stop four times before you steal anything. 

If there were no question of morals involved, plagiariam ia 
nevertheless most perilous. There are a great many constables 
out for arrest of such def rauders. That stolen paragraph that 
you think will never be recognised has been committed to 
memory by that old lady with green goggles in the front pew. 
That very same brilliant passage you have just pronounced 
was delivered by the clergyman who preached in that pulpit 
the Sabbath before : two thieves met in one hen-roost All 
we know of Dr. Hayward of Queen Elizabeth's time is that 
he purloined from Tacitus. Be dishonest once in this reroect, 
\nd when you do really say something original and good the 
world will cry out, " Yes, very fine ! I always did like Joseph 
Addison P 

Sermons are successful, not according to the head involved 
in them, but according to the heart implied, and no one can 
feel aright while preaching a literary dishonesty. Let us be 
content to wear our own coat, though the nap on it is not 
quite as well looking, to ride on our own horse, though he do 
not gallop as gracefully and will " break up " when oUiers are 
passmg. There is a work for us all to do, and God gives us just 
the b€«t tools to do it. What folly to be hankering after our 
neighbour's chalk-line and gix9let \ 




CHAPTER XLL 

LITERARY ABSTINENCE. 

* 

It is as much an art not to read as to read. With what pains 
and thumps and whacks at school we first learned the way to 
put words together! We did not mind so much being 
whipped by the schoolmaster for not knowing how to read 
our lesson, but to have to go out ourselves and cut the hickory 
switch with which the chastisement was to be inflicted seemed 
to us then, as it does' now, a great injustice. 

Notwithstanding all our hard work in learning to read, we 
find it quite as hard now to learn how not to read. There are 
innumerable books and newspapers from which one had better 
abstain. There are but very few newspapers which it is safe 
to read all through, though we know of one that it is best to 
peruse from beginning to end, but modesty forbids us stating 
which one that is. In this day readers need as never before 
to carry a sieve. 

It requires some heroism to say you have not read such and 
such a book. Your friend gives you a stare which implies 
your literary inferiority. Do not, in order to answer the ques- 
tion affirmatively, wade through indiscriminate slush. 

We have to say that three-fourths of the novels of the day 
are a mental depletion to those who read them. The man who 
makes wholesale denunciation of fiction pitches overboard 
" Pilgrim's Progress " and the Parables of our Lord. But the 
fact is that some of the publishing houses that once were cau- 
tious about the moral tone of their books have become reckless 
about everything but the number of copies sold. It is all the 
same to them whether the package they send out be corn- 



146 Arouxd the Tea-table. 

• 
starch, jujube paste or hellebore. Tliej wrap up fiftj eopSfi^ i 
and mark on them C. O. D. But if the ezpresmnan, aooordU 
ing to that mark, should collect on delivery aH viie carses thafe 
shall come on the head of the publishing house which printed 
them, he would break down his waggon and kill his honev 
with the load. Let parents and guardians be especially watch^ • 
f ul. Have a quarantine at your front door for all books and 
newspapera Let the health doctor go abroad and see whether 
there is any sickness there before you let it come to wharfage. 
Whether young or old, be cautious about wliat you read in 
the newspapers. You cannot day after day go throogji three 
columns of muixier trial without being a worse man than 
when you began. While you are trying to find ont whether 
Stokes was lying in wait for Fish, Satan is lying in wait for 
you. Skip that half x>a^e of divorce case. Keep out of the 
mud. The Burdell and Sickles cases, through the unclean 
reading they afforded to millions of people long ago, led their 
thousands into abandoned lives and pitched them off tiie edge 
of a lost eternity. With so much healthful literature of ^ 
sorts, there is no excuse for bringing your minds in contact 
with evil If there were a famine, there might be some reason 
for eating garbage, but the land is full of bread. When we 
may, with our families, sit around the clean warm fire-hearth 
of Christian knowledge, why go hunting in the ash-barrels 
for cinders ? 








CHAPTER XLII, 



SHOET OB LONG PASTORATES. 



The question is being discussed in many journals, " How long 
ought a minister to stay in one place ?" Clergjrmen and lay- 
men and editors are wagging tougue and pen on the subject 
— a most practical question and easy to answer. Let a minis- 
ter stay in a place till he gets done — that is, when he has 
nothing more to say or do. 

Some ministers are such ardent students of the Bible and 
of men, they are after a twenty-five years' residence in a 
parish so full of things that ought to be said, that their resig- 
nation would be a calamity. Others get through in three 
months and ought to go ; but it takes an earthquake to get 
them away. They must be moved on by committees, and pelted 
with resolutions, stuck through with the needles of the ladies' 
sewing society, and advised by neighbouring ministers, and 
hauled up before presbyteries and consociations ; and after 
they have killed the church and killed themselves, the pastoral 
relation is dissolved. 

We knew of a man who got a unanimous call. He wore 
the finest pair of gaiters that ever went into that pulpit ; and 
when he took up the Psalm-book to give out the song, it was 
the perfection of gracefulness. His tongue was dipped in 
" balm of a thousand flowers," and it was like the roll of one 
of Beethoven's symphonies to hear him read the hardest 
Bible names, Jechonias, Zerubbabel and Tiglath-pileser. It 
was worth all the salary paid him to see the way he lifted his 
pocket-handkerchief to his eyelids. 

But that brother, without knowing it, got through in aix 



14& Arousd tub Tea-table. 

veekiu He had sold oat his entire stock of 

to h&ve ttbut up shop. Con^^regations enior loww 

folded pocket-handkerchiefs for occasional deasflrti^ 

like them for a regular meaL The most nrbaiw \ 

sent to the minister to intimate that the Lord mw . 

calling him to some other field, but the ekier mw.lMifltd ^ 

the graciousuess of his pastor, and unable to disduoigs Ins 

mission, and af ler he had for an hour hemmed and Imrad, 

backcKl out 

Next, a woman with very sharp tongue was sent to talk to 
the minister's wife. The war-cloud thickened, the pickets 
were dii^en in, and then a skirmish, and after a while all tiie 
batteries were opened, and each side said that the other ode 
lied, and the mmister dropped his pocket-handkerchief and 
showed claws as long as those of Nebuchadneszar after he 
had been three years eating grass like an ox. 

We admire long pastorates when it is agreeable to both 
parties, but we know ministers who boast they have been 
thirty years in one place, though all the wcnld knows tibey 
have been there twenty-nine years too long. Their conpwa- 
tions are patiently waiting their removal to a higher latitiida. 
Meanwhile, those churches are like a man with chronic ihea- 
matism, very quiet — not because they admire rheumatisniy bat 
because there is no use kicking with a swollen foot^ sinee it 
would hurt them more than the object assaulted. 

If a pastorate can be maintained only through conflict <v 
ecclesiastical tyranny, it might better be abandoned. Tbere 
are many ministers who go away from their settlements before 
they ought, but we think there are quite as many who do not 

go soon enough. A husband might just as well try to keep 
is wife by cnoking her to death with a maiTia^ ring as a 
mininter to try to keep a church's love by ftr^lfl^aufci^^ v^okmCTi 
Stady the best time to quit. 




CHAPTER XLIII. 

AN editor's chip-basket. 

On our way out the newspaper rooms we stumbled over the 
basket in which is deposited the literary material we cannot 
use. The basket upset and surprised us with its contents. On 
the top were some things that looked like fifteen or twenty 
poems. People outside have no idea of the amount of rhyme 
that comes to a printing-office. The fact is that at some period 
in every one's life he wjites " poetry." His existence depends 
upon it. We wrote ten or fifteen verses ourselves once. Had 
we not written them just then and there, we might not be 
here. They were in long metre, and " Old Hundred " would 
have fitted them grandly. 

Many people are seized with the poetic spasm when they 
are sick, and their lines are apt to begin with 

" O mortality ! how frail art thou !" 

Others on Sabbath afternoons write Sabbath-school hymns, 
adding to the batch of infinite nonsense that the children are 
compelled to swallow. For others a beautiful curl is a corkscrew 
pulling out canto after canto. Nine-tenths of the rh}me that 
comes to a printing-office cannot be used. You hear a rough 
tear of paper, and you look around and see the managing 
editor adding to the responsibilities of his chip-basket. What 
a way that is to treat incipient Tennysons and Longfellows ! 

Next to the poetic effusions tumble out treatises on " con- 
Btitutional law " heavy enough to break the basket. We have 
noticed that after a man has got so dull he can get no one 
willing to hear him, he takes to profound ex[iosition. Out 



150 Arouxd the Tea-Table. 

from the same cUip-baBket roUs a mat pile of annoimoeiiieiiti 
that people want put among the MitorialSy bo as to aaye tiie 
expense of the advertising colamn. They tell na the artkk 
they wish recommended will have a highly beneficial eflbct upon 
the Church and world . It is a religious dram, or a moral horn 
rake, or a consecrated flj-trap. They almost get us crying 
over their new kind of grindstone, and we pnt the letter <£nm 
on the table while we get out our podEet-bandkerefaJefy when 
our assistant takes hold the document and gires it a ratfate 
rip, and pitches it into the chip-basket. 

Next in the pile of torn ana wpaet things is the speech of 
some one on the momentous occasion of the presentation of a 
gold-headed cane, or silver pitcher, or brass kettle for making 
preserves. It was '' unexpected," a " surprise " and ** un- 
deserved,'' and would " long be chenshed." ** Great applause, 
and not a dry eye in the house," etc., eta But there is not 
much room in a paper for speeches. In this countiy every- 
body speaks. An American is in his normal condition when 
he is making a speech. He is bom with '' fellow-citizens ** 
in his mouth, and closes his earthly life by saying, *^ One w(nd 
more, and I have done.'' Speeches bein? so common, news- 
paper readers do not want a large supply, and so many of 
these utterances, intended to be immortal, drop into oblivion 
through that inexhaustible reservoir, the editorial chip-basket 

But there is a hovering of pathos over this wreck of matter. 

Some of these wasted things were written for bread by in- 
telligent wives with dininken husbands trying to support their 
famuies with the pen. Over that mutilated manuscript some 
weary man toiled until daybreak. How we wish we could 
have printed what they wrote ! Alas for the necessity that 
disappoints the literary strug^^le of so many women and men, 
when it is ten dollars for tluit article or children gone supper- 
less to bed I 

Let no one enter the field of literature for the purpose of 
^* making a living " unless as a very last resort. There are thou- 
sands of persons to-day starving to death with a steel pen in 
their hand. The story of Grub Street and poets living on thin 
soup is being repeated aU over the land, although the modem 
cases are not so conspicuous. Poverty is no more agreeable 
because classical and set in hexameters. The hungry autiior 
cannot breakfast on "odes to summer." On this cold day 
how many of the literati are shivering ! Martyrs have per- 
ished in the fire, but more persona have perished for lack of fire. 



An Editor! s Chip-basket, 151 

Let no editor through hypercriticism of contributed axticlea 
add to this educated suffering. 

What is that we hear in the next room ? It is the roar of 
a big fire as it consumes unavailable literary material — epics, 
sonnets, homilies, tractates, compilations, circulars, disserta- 
tions. Some of them were obscure, and made a great deal of 
smoke. Some of them were merry, and crackle. All of them 
have ended their mission and gone down, ashes to ashes and 
dust to dust 



CrTAPTSU XLIV. 



THE MANHOOD OF SERVICE. 



At the Crawford House, White Mountains, we noticed, this 
summer, unusual intelligence and courtesy on the part of those 
who served the tables. We found out that many of them 
were students from the colleges and seminaries— young men 
and women who had taken this mode of replenishing their 
purses and getting the benefit of mountain air. We felt like 
applauding them. We have admiration for those who can 
be independent of the oppressive conventionalities of society. 
May not all of us practically adopt th3 Christian theory that 
any work is honourable that is useful ? The slaves ef an igno 
minious pride, how many kill themselves earning a living ! 
We have tens of thousands of women in our cities, sitting in 
'lold rooms, stabbing their life out with their needle, coughing 
their luugs into tubercles, and suffering the horrors of the 
social inquisition, for whom there wait plenty of healthy, 
happy homes in the country, if they could only, like these sons 
and daughters of Dartmouth and Northampton, consent to 
serve. We wish some one would explain to us how a sewing- 
machine is any more respectable than a churn, or a yard-stick 
is better than a pitchfork. We want a new Declaration of 
Independence, signed by all the labouring classes. There is 
plenty of work for all kinds of people, if they were not too 
proud to do it. Though the couutry is covered with people 
who can find nothing to do, we would be willing to open a 
bureau to-morrow, warranting to give to all the unemployed 
of the land occupation, if they would only consent to do what 



153 Arouxd the Tea-table.* 

II n'lrht lie n»<ticriiei1 them. We bdieTe uiTtliing is 
abletban idlenefls. 

Daring very hard tiroes two Italian artists ealkd at our 
country home, n^kin^r if we did not want some aketdungdona, 
aud they unrolled ftome elegant pictures, showing their fine 
capacity. We told them we had no desire for sketehei, Imt 
we had a cistern to clean, and would pay them well for doing 
it Off went their coats, and in a few hoars the work wis 
done and their wages awarded. How much more hononnihle 
for them to do what they could get to do rather than to wait 
for more adapted employment ! 

Why did not the girls of Northampton spend their sammen 
embroidering slippers or hemming handkerchiefs, and thns 
keep at work unoliserved and more popular t Because they 
were not fools. They said : " Let us go up and see Mount 
Adams, and the Profile, and Mount Washmgton. We shall 
have to work only five hours a day, and all the time we will 
be gatheiing health and inspiration.'' Young men, thoee ars 
the girls to seek when you want a wife, rather than the 
wheezing victims of ruinous work, chosen because it is more 
popular. About the last thing we would want to many is a 
medicine-chest. Why did not the students of Dartmouth, 
during their vacation, teach school ? First, because teaching 
is a science, and they did not want to do three months of 
damage to the children of the common school Secondly, because 
they wanted freedom from books as man makes them, and ' 
opportunity to open the ponderous tome of boulder and strata 
as God printed them. Churches and scientific institati<His, 
these will be the men to call — brawny and independent rather 
than the bilious, Bhort-breathed, nerveless graduates who, too 
proud to take healthful recreation, tumble, at conunenoemeni 
day, into the lap of society so many Greek roota 





CHAPTER XLV. 



BAULKY PEOPLE. 

Passing along a country road quite recently, we found a man, 
a horse and wagon in trouble. The vehicle was slight and 
the road was go^, but the horse refused to draw, and his 
driver was in a bad predicament. He had already destroyed 
his whip in applying inducements to progress in travel. He 
had piuled the horse's ears with a sharp string. He had 
backed him into the ditch. He had built a fire of straw 
underneath him — the only result a smashed dash-board. The 
chief effect of the violences and cruelties applied was to in- 
crease the divergency of feeling between the brute and his 
master. We said to the besweated and outraged actor in the 
scene that the best thing for him to do was to let his horse 
stand for a while unwhipped and uncoaxed, setting some one 
to watch him while he, tne driver, went away to^eool oftV :W^ 
learned that the plan worked admirably ; that the cold air, 
and the appetite for oats, and the solitude of the road, favour- 
able for contemplation, had made the horse move for adjourn- 
ment to some other place and time ; and when the driver 
came up, he had but to take up the reins, and the beast, erst 
60 obstinate, dashed down the road at a perilous speed. 

There is not so much difference between horses and men as 
you might suppose. The road between mind and equine in- 
stinct IS short and soon travelled. The horse is sometimes 
superior to his rider. If anything is good and admirable in 
proportion as it answers the end of its being, then the horse 
that bends into its traces before a Fourth Avenue car is better 

10 



1 91 Around the Tea-Table^ 

than iti bliqihuwing driver. Hie wbo Gaimai i 
cauiot manage a mui. 

We know of paatoia who bave banlkj i 
aay importaiit move is to take plae^ aad all 1 
of the team are wiliing to draw, tha^ kgr ttMmlNHAMh \ 
<thef 




Fbat the paator ]»to tlie o1 
the neck and tells him how much he thinks of hini. Thn 
only makes him shake his mane and grind his hit He will 
die first, before he consents to sach a morement. Nezt^ he is 
pulled by the ear, with a good many sharp inwnnatiflfMi as 
to his motives for holding back. Fires of indignatiow are 
built under him for the purpose of consuming his MoIkiaML 
He is whipped with the scourge of public ofKnion. but tins 
only makes him kick fiercely and lay harder ia the breediing- 
straps. He is backed down into the ditch of soorn and con- 
tempt, but still is not willing to draw an ounce. O fodish 
minister, trying in that way to manage a baullr^ pM-iahing^^ | 
Let him alone. Go on and leave him there. Pay kaa attoi- 
tion to the horse that baulks, and give more oats to these that 
pulL Leave him out in the cold. Some day you wiU ooae 
back and find him glad to start At your fiist advaaia. he 
will arch his neck, paw his hoof, bend into the bit, stifien tiie 
traces and dash on. We have the same prescription for banlky 
liOEBes and men : for a little while let them alone^ 





CHAPTER XLVI. 
ANONYMOUS LETTERS. 

In boyhood days we were impressed with the fertility of a 
certain authors whose name so often appeared in the spelling- 
books and readers, styled Anon. He seemed to write more 
than Isaac Watts, or Shakespeare, or Blair. In the index, and 
scattered throughout all our books, was the name of Anon. 
He appeared in all styles of poetry and prose and dialogue. 
We wondered where he lived, what his age was, and how he 
looked. It was not until quite late in boyhood that we 
learned that Anon was an abbreviation for anonymous, and 
tiiat he was sometimes the best saint and at other times the 
most extraordinary villain. 

After centuries of correspondence, old Anonymous is as fer- 
tile of thought and brain and stratagem as ever, and will pro- 
bably keep on writing till the last fire bums up his pen and 
cracks to pieces his ink-bottle. Anonymous letters sometimes 
have a mission of kindness and gratitude and good cheer. 
Genuine modesty may sometimes hide the name of an epistolary 
author or authoress. It may be a "God bless you** from 
some one who thinks herself hardly in a position to address 
you. It may be the discovery of a plot for your damage, in 
which the revealer does not care to take the responsibihty of 
a witness. It may be any one of a thousand things that mean 
frankness and delicacy and honour and Christian principle. We 
have received anonymous letters which we have put away 
among our most sacred archives. 

But we suppose every one chiefly associates the idea of 
anonymous communications with everything cowardly and base. 

10—2 



■> 



156 Arouxd the Tea-Table. 

There are in all neighbonrhoods perfidious, soeakingy dastaidff, 
laXthf^ calamnioiifl, Termin-iufei^ed wretdieay soewed up firam 
perditioiiy whose joy it is to write letters with nctitioas a%na* 
tares. Sometimes thej take the shi^ of a valMitine, tiie 
fourteenth of February being a great outlet for this obscene 
spawn. If jonr nose be long, or ^oor limbs slender, or your 
waist thick around, they will be pictorially presented. Some- 
times they take the form of a delicate ttu^ that if yoa do 
not thus or so there will be a funeral at your house, yovrndf 
the chief object of interest Sometimes tliey will be d^Qnda- 
tory of your friemls. Once, being called to mreside at a meet* 
ing for the relief of the sewing-women of Philadelphn, and 
having in the opening speech said something about opprasiTe' 
contractors, we received some twenty anonymous letia% the 
purport of which was that it would be unsafe for us to go out 
of aoors after dark. Three months after moving to Brooklyn 
we preached a sermon reviewing one of the sins of the d^, 
and anonymous letters came saying that we would not last six 
months in the city of churches. 

Sometimes the anonymous crime takes the form of a news- 
paper article ; and if the matter be pursued, theedit(«>-in-di]d! 
puts it off on the managing editor, and the managing editor 
upon the book critic, and the book critic upon the reporter. ' 
Whether Adam or Eve or the serpent was the most to be 
blamed for the disappearance of the fair apple of reputation is 
uncertain ; the only thing you can be sure of is that the apple 
is gone. No honest man will ever write a thiuff for a news- 
paper, in editorial or any other column, that he would be 
ashamed to sign with the Christian name that his mother had 
him baptized with. They who go skulking about under the 
editorial " we," unwilling to aclaiowledge their identity, are 
more lit for Delaware whipping-posts than the position of 
public educators. It is high time that such hounds were 
muzzled. 

Let every young man know that when he is tempted to pen 
anything which requires him to disguise his handwriting he is 
in fearful danger. You despoil your own nature by such 
procedure more than you can damage any one eke. feowie- 
Knife and dagger are more honourable than an anonymous'pen 
sharpened for defamation of character. Better try putting 
strychnine in the flour-barreL Better mix ratsbane in the 
jelly-cake. Tliat behaviour jvould be more elegant and 
Christian. 

After much observation we have fixed upon this plan : If 



Anonymous Letters. i^y 

a,Dy one writes us in defamation of another, we adopt the 
opposite theory. If the letter says that the assaulted one lies, 
we take it as eulogistic of his veracity ; or that he is unchaste, 
we set him down as pure ; or fraudulent, we are seized with a 
desire to make him our executor. We do so on logical and un- 
mistakable grounds. A defamatory letter is from the devil or 
his satellites. The devil hates only the good. The devH hates 
Mr. A. ; ergOy Mr. A. is good. 

Much of the work of the day of judgment will be with the 
authors of anonymous letters. Tlie majority of other crimes 
against society were found out, but these creatures so dis- 
guised their handwriting in the main text of the letter, or so 
wilfully misspelled the direction on the envelope, and put it 
in such a distant post-office, and looked so innocent when you 
met them, that it shall be for the most part a dead secret till 
the books are opened ; and when that is done, we do not 
think these abandoned souls will wait to have their condemna- 
tion read, but, ashamed to meet the announcement, will leap 
pell-mell into the pit, crying, " We wrote them." 

If, since the world stood, there have been composed and 
sent off by mail or private postmen 1,600,378 anonymous 
letters derogatory of character, then 1,600,378 were vicious 
and damnable. If you are compelled to choose between writing 
a letter with false signature vitriolic of any man's integrity or 
any woman's honour on the one liand, and the writing a letter 
with a red-hot nail dipped in adder's poison on a sheet woven 
of lepers' scales, choose the latter. It were healthier, nobler, 
and could better endure the test of man's review and God's 
ccrutiny. 





CHAPTEE XLVIJL 

B&A.WN OB BBAIX. 

Ck)TEBNOB Wiseman (our oracular friend who talked in the 
style of an oration) was with us this evening at the tea-tahley 
and we were mentioning the fact that about thirty coUeges 
last Bommer in the United States contested for the champion- 
ship in boat-racing. About two hundred thonsand yomig 
ladies could not sleep nights, so anxious were they to know 
whether Yale or Williams would be the winner. The news- 
jmeiB gave three and four columns to the particnlanL The 
telegraph wires thrilled the victory to all parts of the land. 
Some of the religious papei-s condemned the whole affiur, 
enlarging ui)on the strainea wrists, broken bloodvessels and 
barbsuric animalism of men who ought to have been rowing 
tibieir race with the Binomial Theorem for one oar and Kjmmbt 
Elements of Criticism for the other. 

For the most part, we sympatliized with the boys, and 
confess that at our hotel we kept careful watch of the bidletin 
to see whose boat came in ahead. We are disposed to applaud 
anything that will give our young men muscular development. 
Students have such a tendency to lounge and mope, and chew, 
and eat almond- nuts at midnight, and read novels after they go 
to bed, the candlestick set up on Webster's dictionary or the 
Bible, that we prize anything that makes them cautious about 
their health, as they must be if they would enter the list of con- 
testants. How many of our country boys enter the Freshman 
class of college in robust health, which lasts them about a* 
twelvemonth ; then in the Sophomore they lose their liver ; 
in the Junior they lose their stomach ; in the Senior they lose 



Brawn or Drain. 159 

their back-bone ; graduating skeletons, more fit for an ana- 
tomical museum than the bar or pulpit. 

" Midnight oil," so much eulogized, is the poorest kind of 
kerosene. Where hard study kills one student, bad habits 
kill a hundred. Kirk White, while at Cambridge, wrote beau- 
tiful hjrmns ; but if he had gone to bed at ten o'clock that 
night instead of three o'clock the next morning, he would have 
been of more service to the world and a healthier example to 
all collegians. Much of the learning of the day is morbid, 
and much of the religion bilious. We want, first of all, a 
dean heart, and next a strong stomach. Falling from grace 
is often chargeable to derangement of gastric juices. Oar and 
bat may become salutary weapons. 

But, after all, there was something wrong about those sum- 
mer boat-races. A student with a stout arm, and great girth, 
and full chest, and nothing else, is not at all admirable. Mind 
and body need to be diiven tandem, the body for the wheel- 
horse and the intellect the leader. We want what is now pro- 
posed in some directions— a grand collegiate literary race. 
Let the mental contest be on the same week with the muscular. 
Let Yale and Harvard and Williams and Princeton and Dart- 
mouth see who has the champion among scholars. Let there 
be a Waterloo in belles-lettres and rhetoric and mathematics 
and philosophy. Let us see whether the students of Doctors 
McCosh, or Porter, or Campbell, or Smith are most worthy to 
wear the belt About twelve o'clock at noon let the literary 
flotilla start prow and prow, oar-lock and oar-lock. Let 
Helicon empty its waters to swell the river of knowledge on 
which they row. Bight foot on right rib of the boat, and left 
foot on the left rib — bend into it, my hearties, bend 1 — and our 
craft comes out four lengths ahead. 

Give the brain a chance as well as the arm. Do not let the 
animal eat up the soul. Let the body be the well-fashioned 
hulk, and the mind the white sails, all hoisted, everything, 
from flying jib to spanker, bearing on toward the harbour of 
glorious achievement. WTien that boat starts, we want to bfr 
on the bank to cheer, and after sundown help fill the air with 
sky-rockets. 

" By the way," I said, "Governor Wiseman, do you not think 
that we all need more out-door exercise, and that contact with 
the natural world would have a cheering tendency ? Governor, 
do you ever have the blues T 

The governor, putting his knife across the plate and throwing; 
hiB spectacles up on his forehead, replied : 



^n^ 



160 A£QL'2:d the Tea-Table. 

Alscost eriTTT nature, bowerer sprig^th; aomctiiDei will 
Atoo into a. minor ker, or a sabducd mood tlu^t in conmom 
pamnce is recognized as *^ tbe bluea." Tlieie ma j be no ad- 
▼exae cauaes at work, but aomebov tbe bdk of tbe 1001 atop 
ringing, and joa feel like sitting quiet, and yoo strike ov 
iii^ per cent, from all joor worUlj and sptritoal |Mtiniecia. 
Tbe mmiediate canse mar be a nortb emrt wind, or a banlky 
liTer, or an enlarged spleoi, or pickled ojsten ai twdre 
o'dodc tbe nigbt before. 

In sndi deprcflsed stade no one can affbfd to nt for an boor. 
First of an, let bim get np and go ont of doom Aedi an; 
and tbe faces of cbeerfal men, azkl pleasant women, and frolie- 
some fliiMrpn^ will in fifteen minutes kill moping. Tbe fint 
moment joor friend strikes tbe kej-boaid of your sool it will 
ring mosic. A ben might as well try on popoloaa Broadwaj 
to batch oat a feathery gnnip, as for a man to sneoeHfally 
brood over his ills in lively society. Do not go for vdiaE 
among those who feel as badly as yon do. Let not tooOiadie^ 
and rheomatism, and hypodiondria go to see tootbadie^ xbea- 
matism and hypochondria. On one block in Brooklyn live m 
doctor, an undertaker sjid a clergyman. That k not the 
row for a nervoos man to walk on, lest he soon need all three. 
Throw back all the shntters of your aool and let tbe son- 
light of genial faces shine in. 

Besides that, why sit ye here with the bines, ye favoored 
sons and daughters of men ? Shone upon by such stara, and 
breathed on by snch air, and snng to by so many pleasant 
sounds, you ought not to be seen moping. EspeciaUy if light 
from the better world strikes its aurora through your nj^t- 
sky, ought you to be cheerful You can afford to have a rough 
luncheon by the way, if it is soon to end amid the banqueters 
in white. Sailing toward such a blessed port, do not have 
our flag at half mast. Leave to those who take too much 
wine ** the gloomy raven tapping at the chamber-door, on 
the night's Plutonian vhore," and give us the robin red-breast 
and the chaffinch. Let some one with a strong voice give out 
the long-metre doxology, and the whole world " Praise God, 
from whom all blessings flow." 

" But do you not suppose, (Jovemor Wiseman, that eveiy 
man has his irritated days T 

Yes, yes, responded the governor. There are times when 
everything seems to go wrong. From seven o'clock A.M. till 
ten P.M. affairs are in a twist. You riHe in the morning, and 
room is cold and a button is off and the breakfast is toujfh 



Braivn or Brain, i6i 

und the stove smokes and the pipes burst, and you start down 
the street nettled from head to foot. All day long things are 
adverse. Insinuations, petty losses, meanness on the part of 
customers. The ink-bottle upsets and spoils the carpet. Some 
one gives a wrong turn to the damper, and the gas escapes. 
An agent comes in determined to insure your life, when it is 
already insured for more than it is worth, and you are afraid 
some one will knock you on the head to get the price of your 
policy ; but he sticks to you, showing you pictures of old 
Time and the hour-glass, and Death's scythe and a skeleton, 
making it quite certain that you will die before your time un- 
less you take out papers in his company. Besides this, you 
have a cold in your head, and a grain of dirt in your eye, and 
you are a walking uneasiness. The day is out of joint, and 
no surgeon can set it. 

The probability is, that if you would look at the weather- 
vane you would find that the wind is north-east, and you 
might remember that you have lost much sleep lately. It 
might happen to be that you are out of joint instead of the 
day. Be careful and not write many letters while you are 
in that irritated mood. You will pen some things that you 
will be sorry for afterward. 

Let us remember that these spiked nettles of life are part 
of our discipline. Life would get nauseating if it were all 
honey. That table would be poorly set that had on it nothing 
but treacle. We need a little vinegar, mustard, pepper and 
horseradish that brings the tears even when we do not feel 
pathetic. If this world were all smoothness, we would never 
be ready for emigration to a higher and better. Blustering 
March and weeping April prepare us for shining May. This 
world is a poor hitching-post. Instead of tying fast on the 
cold mountains, we had better whip up and hasten on toward 
the warm inn where our good friends are looking out of the 
window, watching to see us come up. 

Interrupting the governor at this point, we asked him if he 
did not think that rowing, ball-playing and other athletic 
exercises might be miade an antidote to the morbid religion 
that is sometimes manifest. The governor replied : 

No doubt much of the Christian character of the day lacks 
in swarthiness and power. It is gentle enough, and active 
enough, and well-meaning enough, but is wanting in moral 
mus(Me. It can sweetly sing at a prayer-meeting, and smile 
graciously when it is the right time to smile, and makes an 
excellent nurse to pour out with steady hand a few drops of 



i62 Around the Tea-Table. 

peppermint for a child that feels disiarbances nnder the ^ 
band, but has uo qualification for the robust Chiirtian wodl: 
that is demanded. 

One reason for this is the ineffable softness of much of whst 
is called Christian literature. The attempt is to bring lu 19 
on tracts made up of tliin exhortations and goodish *»*-«f*— ^ 
A nerveless treatise on commerce or science in that style iroold 
be cmmpled up by the first merchant and thrown into hit 
waste-basket Beligious twaddle is of no more wn tlum 
worldly twaddle. If a man has nothing to say, he had better 
keep mspen wiped and histon^e stilL Thm needs an in- 
fusion of stronff Anglo-Saxon into religions literatore^ and a 
brawnier maminess and more impatience with innpidilyy 
though it be prayerful and sanctimonious. He iHio stands 
with irksome repetitions asking people to ^ Come to JesoSy* 
while he gives no strong common-sense reason why thqr 
should come, drives back the souls of men. If, with all tihs 
thrilling realities of eternity at hand, a man has nothing to 
write which can gather up and master the thoughts and feel- 
ings of men, his writing and speaking are a slander on the z«^ 
gion which he wishes to eulogize. 

Morbidity in religion might be partially cured by more out- 
door exercise. There are some duties we can perunrm better 
on our feet than on our knees. If we carry the grace of God 
with us down into every-day practical Christian work, we wiD 
get more spiritual strength in tive minutes than by ten hoars of 
kneeling. If Daniel had not served God save when three times 
a day he worshipped toward the temple, the lions would have 
surely eaten him up. The school of Clmst is as much oat-of- 
doors as iu-doors. Hard, rough work for God will develop an 
athletic souL Heligion will not conquer either the admiratian 
or the affections of men by effeminacy, but by strsnctfa. 
Because the heart is soft is no reason why the head should be 
soft The spirit of genuine religion is a spirit of great power. 
When Christ rides in apocalyptic vision, it is not on a weak 
and stupid beast, but on a horse— emblem of majesty and 
strength : ** And He went forth conquering and to conquex;* 




CnAPTER XLVIIL 

WARM-WEATHER RELIGION. 

It takes more grace to be an earnest and useful Christian in 
summer than in any other season. The very destitute, 
through lack of fuel and thick clothing, may find the winter 
the trying season, but those comfortably circumstanced find 
summer the Thermopylae that tests their Christian courage 
and endurance. 

The springf is suggestive of God and heaven and a resurrec- 
tion-day. That eye must be blind that does not see God's 
footstep in the new grass, and hear His voice in the call of the 
swallow at the eaves. In the white blossoms of the orchards 
we find suggestion of those whose robes have been made 
white in the olood of the Lamb. A May morning is a door 
opening into heaven. 

So autumn mothers a great many moral and religious sug- 
gestions. The season of corn-husking, the gorgeous woods 
9iat are becoming the catafalque of the dead year, remind the 
dullest of his own fading and departure. 

But summer fatigues and weakens, and no man keeps his 
soul in as desirable a frame unless by positive resolution and 
especial implorations. Pulpit and pew often get stupid to- 
gether, and ardent devotion is adjourned until September. 

But who can afford to lose two months out of each year, 
when the years are so short and so few ? He who stops reli- 
gious growth in July and August will require the next six 
months to get over it. Nay, he never recovers. At the sea- 
son when the fields are most full of leafage and life, let us not 
be lethargic and stupid. 




p\ fMT; 



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vfr 'CttL joffst um & iaizc ^n^^ DC "vujic Tait nemiifr : 

ii^ <isi ^a^n^ id^ Lx bujos. "^^(L' sitxi^ canBr- uiii g i^ 

tiUfr lakj^ Tliej Rfrir^ as tL> ^li:! ui£ nu^ ebl Hal vlodk 

tl»fKW^ tli«MedT«i49«v Older llifr Ls^daSgvi Inak^wte 
Ur^ Mod wp^U m a amrdbis^ #-:=ttv«t^ dnv? kk £fsre fnm 
^fmi JwhadaacA and fdt mhai be icpRscBtt God as tfae 
^iL-.^^ ^a ;7yaar roct in a wtarj land. 

7pM|tS«feairel<wiidtliHworidadesRt-mitdi. Hkj 



Warm Weather Religion. 165 

go half consumed of trouble all their daysf. But, glory be to 
God ! we are not turned out on a desert to die. Here is the 
long, cool, certain, refreshing shadow of the Lord. 

A tree, when in full leafage, drops a great deal of refresh- 
ment ; but in a little while the sun strikes through, and you 
keep shifting your position, until, after a while, the sun is set 
at such a point that you have no shade at all. But go in the 
heart of some great rock, such as you see in Yosemite or the 
Alps, and there is everlasting shadow. There has been thick 
shade there for six thousand years, and will be for the next 
six thousand. So our divine Eock, once covering us, always 
covers us. The same yesterday, to-day and for ever I always 
good, always kind, always sympathetic ! You often hold a sun- 
shade over your head passing along the road or a street ; but 
after a while your arm gets tired, and the very effort to create 
the shadow makes you weary. But the rock in the mountains, 
with fingers of everlasting stone, holds its own shadow. So 
Gk)d's sympathy needs no holdins up from us. Though we 
are too weak from sickness or trouble to do anything but lie 
down, over us He stretches the shadow of His benediction. 

It is our misfortune that we mistake God's shadow for the 
night. If a man come and stand between you and the sun, 
his shadow falls upon you. So God sometimes comes and 
stands between us and worldly successes, and His shadow falls 
upon us, and we wrongly think that it is night. As a father 
in a garden stoop down to kiss his child, the shadow of his 
body falls upon it ; and so many of the dark misfortunes of 
our life are not God going away from us, but our heavenly 
Father stooping down to give us the kiss of His infinite and 
everlasting love. It is the shadow of a sheltering Eock, and 
not of a devouring lion. 

Instead of standing right out in the blistering noonday sun 
of earthly tiial and trouble, come under the Eock. You may 
drive into it the longest caravan of disasters. Eoom for the 
suffering, heated, sunstruck, dying, of all generations, in the 
shadow of the great Eock : 

*^B,oclc ofag'^Bt cleft for me. 
Let me hide myself in Thco, 




CILAPTER xT^rr; 

EIDJ3G EGOS rOS EISXCBL 

Those wlw were so xmlbrtitnate as to bxiv Iteeii 

l<roo;^t op in tL< chj know nothing about thai dhiplcr in a 

boTs kialOTj' of whkh I speak. 

Aboat a month before Easter there eomcs to the i 
a ac aidt y of eggs. Hie £umer s wife begins to 
wcaaeLi and the cati aa the probable canse ol the nmcitf. The 
feline tnbe are aanixlted with manj a hardi **»at !" on the 
suapicion of their fondnes for omelets in the raw. Ovtaidi 
fail from the table. The Dominick hens are denmmred as 
not worth thnr moah. Meanwhile, the bora stand immd tho 
comer in a brood gzin at what is the discoinfitore of the loal 
if the famflj. 

The tmth must be told that the boj9» in anticipoikai off 
Easter, hare, in some hole in the mow or some baira in ti» 
wagon-hoase, been hiding eggs. If the yoongstera nnder- 
«tand their bosineas, they will compromise the mafttory and 
see that at least a small supply goes to the house emaj day. 
Too great greed on the part of the boy will diaooTer tiie idiole 
plot, and the charge will be made : ^ De Witt, I belioTe yon 
are hiding the eggs !" Forthwith the boy is collared and oom- 
jiclled to disgorge his possessions. 

Now, there is nothing more trying to a boy than, after 
^aeat care in accumulating these shelly resources, to have to 
place them in a basket and bring them forth to the li^ht two 
weeks before Easter. Boys, therefore, manage with ^reat. 
skill and dexterity. At this season of the year yon see tiiem 
iurkiog mnch about the barrack and the hay-loft Yon see 



Hiding Eggs for Easter, 167 

them crawling out from stacks of straw and walking away 
rapidly with their hands behind them. They look very in- 
nocent, for I have noticed that the look of innocence in boys 
is proportioned to the amount of mischief with which they 
are staffed. They seem to be determined to risk their lives 
on mow-poles where the hay lies thin. They come out from 
under the stable floor in a despicable state of toilet, and can^ 
not give any excuse for their depreciation of appareL Hens 
flutter off the nest with an unusual squawk, for the boys can- 
not wait any longer for the slow process of laying, and hens 
have no business to stand in the way of Easter. The most 
tedious hours of my boyhood were spent in waiting for a hen 
to get off her nest. No use to scare her off, for then she will 
get mad, and just as like as not take the ^g% with her. Indeed, 
I think the boy is excusable for his haste if his brother has a 
dozen eggs and he has only eleven. 

At this season of the year the hens are melancholy. They 
want to hatch, but how can they ? They have the requisite 
disposition, and the capacity, and the feathers, and the nest, 
and everything but the eggs. With that defect, they some- 
times sit obstinately and defy the boy's approaches. Many a 
boy has felt the sharp bill of old Dominick strike the back of 
his hand, inflicting a wound that would have roused up the 
whole farmhouse to see what was the matter had it not been 
that the boy wanted to excite no suspicion as to the nature of 
his expedition. Immediately over the hen's head comes the 
boy's cap, and there is a scatteration of feathers all over the 
hay-mow, and the boy is victor. 

But at last the evening before Easter comes. While the 
old people are on the piazza, the children come in with the 
accumulated treasures of many weeks, and put down the bas- 
kets. Eg^ large and small, white-shelled and brown, Cochin- 
Chinas and Burrampooters. The character of the hens is vin- 
dicated. The cat may now lie in the sun without being kicked 
by lalse suspicions. The surprised exclamation of parents 
more than compensates the boys for the strategy of long con- 
cealment. The meanest thing in the world is for father and 
mother rvot to look surprised in such circumstances. 

It sometimes happens that, in the agitation of bringing 
the eggs into the household harbour, the boy drops the hat or 
the basket, and the whole enterprise is shipwrecked. Prom 
our own experience, it is very difficult to pick up eggs after 
you have once dropped them. You have found the same ex- 
perience in after-Ufe. Your hens laid a whole nestfol of 



Its AROiW'D THE Tea-Table. 

golden eggs ou Wall Street. Yon had sathered them up. Yoa 
were briiigmg them in. You expected a world of coograta- 
lations, bat ju«t the day before the oonsummatioD, Bomething 
adverse ran a^inst yuu, and jou dropped the basket^ and the 
eggs broke. VTise man were von if, instead of sitting down 
to crj, or attempting to gather up the spilled yolka^ yoa boilt 
new nests and invited a new laying. 

It is sometimes found on Easter morning that the eggs have 
been kept too long. The boy s intentions were ffood enongfa, 
but the enterprl^ie had been too protracted, and the cartug 
out of the dozen was sudden and precipitate. Indeed, that is 
the trouble with some older boys I wot of. lliej keep their 
money, or their brain, or their influence, hidden till it rota. 
They are not willing to come forth day by day on a humble 
mission, doing what little good they may, but are keeping 
themselves hidden till some great £aster-day of triomph, and 
then they will astonish the Church and the world ; but 
they find that facuUUi tuo long hidden arefacuUin ruined. 
Better for an eg^ to have succeeded in making one plain cake 
for a poor man's table than have failed in nuddng a banqu^ 
for the House of Lords. 

That was a glad time when on Easter morning the eggs 
went into the saucepan, and aime out stiiped, and spotted, 
and blue, and yellow, aiid the entire digestive capacity of the 
children was tested. You have never had anything so good 
to eat since. You found the eggs. You hiii them. They 
were your contribution to the table. Since then you have 
seen eggs scrambled, eggs poached, eggs in omelet, eggs bofled, 
eggs done on one side, and eggs in a nog, but you i^dl never 
find anything like the flavour of that Easter morning in 
boyhood. 

Alas for the boys in town ! Easter comes to them on stilts, 
and they buy their eggs out of the store. There is no room 
for a boy to swing round. There is no good place in town to 
fly a kite, or trundle a hoop, or even shout without people's 
throwing up the window to see who is killed. The holidays 
are robbed of half their life because some wiseacre will persist 
in telling him who Santa Claus is, while yet he is hanging np 
his first pair of stockings. Here the boy pays half a dollar for 
a bottle of perfume as big as his finger, when out of town, for 
nothing but the trouble of breathing it, ho may smell a 
country full of new-mown hay and wild honeysuckle. In a 
* nted bath-tub he takes his Saturday bath, careful lest he 
his head against the spigot, while in the meadow brook 



HTi 



Sink or Sivjm. 169 

the boys plunge in wild glee, and pluck up health and long 
life from the pebbly bottom. Oh, the joy in the spring day, 
when, after long teasing of mother to let you take off your 
shoes, you dash out on the cool grass barefoot, or down the 
road, the dust curling about the instep in warm enjoyment, 
and henceforth, for months, there shall be no shoes to tie or 
blacken. 

Let us send the boys out into the country every year for an 
airing. If their grandfather and grandmother be yet alive, 
they will give them a good time. They will learn in a little 
while the mysteries of the hay-mow, how to drive oxen and 
how to keep Easter. They will take the old people back to 
the time wnen you yourself were a boy. There will be for 
the grandson an extra cake in each oven. And grandfather 
and grandmother will sit and watch the prodigy, and wonder 
if any other family ever had such grandchildren. It will be 
a good thing when the evenings are short, and the old folks' 
eyesight is somewhat dim, if you can set up in their house for 
a little while one or two of these lights of childhood. For 
the time the aches and pains of old age will be gone, and they 
will feel as lithe and merry as when sixty years ago they 
themselves rummaged barrack, and mow, and wagon-house, 
hiding eggs for Easter. 



CHAPTER L. 

8IXK OR SWIM. 



Wb entered the ministry with a moral horror of extempor- 
aneous speaking. Each week we wrote two sermons and a 
lecture all out, from the text to the amen. We did not dare 
to give out the notice of a prayer-meeting unless it was on 
paper. We were a slave to manuscript, and the chains were 
galling ; and three months more of such work would have 
put us in the graveyard. We resolved on emancipation. The 
Sunday night was approaching when we expected to make 
violent rebellion against this bondage of pen and paper. We 
had an essay about ten minutes long on some Christian subject, 
which we proposed to preach as an introduction to the sermon, 
resolved, at the close of that brief composition, to launch out 
on the great sea of extemporaneousness. 

W 



I70 Around the Tea-Tabls. 

. It 80 happened that the oonung Sabbath m^^ waa to lo 
eventful in the Tillage. The trnsteeB of the chioidi hmd been 
buildinff a gasometer back of the dinrdi, and tie ni|^ I 

rik of, the building was for the first time to be fifihted in 
modem way. The drnich was, of couw, carowded-^ttOt 
sa modi to hear the preacher aa to see how tkft gm wtML 
bum. Many were unbelieving, and said that there woidd be 
an explosion, or a big fire, or that in i^ toaM of tlie aahrioe 
the lights would go out. Several brethren dispoaod ta iM^ 
on to old customs declared that candles and oil wwe tb» eafy 
fit materials for lighting a church, and Hmj dsBDoaeed Hie 
innovation as indicative of vanity on the part of tiw ttHT- 
comers. They used oil in the ancient temple, and it was dlit 
whidi ran down on Aaron's beard, and anything thsA wm 
ijood enough for the whiskers of an old-time prieat mm good 
enough for a country meeting-house. These stkdckni lor 1^ 
on were present that night, hoping — and I think name of tlMn 
secretlv praying— that the gas might go out. 

Wiui our ten-minute manuscript we went into tiie fio%ill» 
all in a tremor. Although the gas did not bum as bright^ as 
its friends had hoped, still it was bright enough to Aaw ^ 
people the perspiration that stood in beads on our forehead. 
We began our discourse, and every sentence gave xa the feel- 
ing that we were one step nearer the gallows. We spoke 
very slowly, so as to make the ten-minute notes last fineen 
minutes. During the preachment of the brief manuscript we 
concluded that we had never been called to the ministry. We 
were in a hot-bath of excitement. People noticed our trepida- 
tion, and supposed it was because we were afraid the gas 
would go out. Alas ! our fear was that it would not go out. 
As we came toward the close of our brief we joined the anti- 
gas party, and prayed that before we came to the last wiitteik 
line something would burst, and leave us in the darknefl&> 
Indeed, we discovered an encouraging flicker amid the bum^ 
which gave us the hope that the brief which lay before us 
would be long enough for all practical purposes, and that the 
hour of execution might be postponed to some ojbher mj^iL 
As we came to the sentence next to the last the lights f^ 
down to half their size, and we could just manage to see the 
audience as they were floating away from our vision. We 
said to ourselves, " Why can't these lights be obl^ing, and 
go out entirely V* The wish was gratified. As we fmbhed 
the last line of our brief, and stood on the verge of rhetoricai 
destruction, the last glimmer of light was extinguished. " It 



Sink or Swim. 171 

is impossible to proceed," we cried out ; " receive the benedic- 
tion !" 

We crawled down tbe pulpit in a state of exhilaration ; we 
never before saw such handsome darkness. The odour of the 
escaping gas was to us like "gales from Araby." Did a frirfit- 
ened young man ever have such fortunate deliverance ? The 
providence was probably intended to humble the trustees, yet 
the sacred preacher took advantage of it. 

But after we got home we saw the wickedness of being in 
such dread. As the Lord got us out of that predicament, we 
resolved never again to be cornered in one similar. Forthwith 
the thraldom was broken, we hope never again to be felt. 
How demeaning that a man with a message from the Lord 
Almighty should be dependent upon papermills and gaso- 
meters ! Paper is a non-conductor of gospel electricity. K a 
man have a nve-thousand-dollar bill of goods to sell a cus- 
tomer, he does not go up to the purchaser and say, ** I have 
some remarks to make to you about these goods, but just wait 
till T get out my manuscript." Before he got through read- 
ing the argument, the customer would be in the next door, 
making purchases from another house. 

What cowardice ! Because a few critical hearers sit with 
lead-pencils out to mark down the inaccuracies of extempor- 
aneousness, shall the pulpit cower? If these critics do not 
repent, they will go to hell, and take their lead-pencils with 
them. While the great congregation are ready to take the 
bread hot out of the oven, shall the minister be crippled in his 
work because the village doctor or lawyer sits carping before 
him ? To please a few learned ninnies a thousand ministers 
sit writing sermons on Saturday night till near the break of 
day, their heads hot, their feet cold and their nerves a twitch. 
Sermons born on Saturday night are apt to have the rickets. 
Instead of cramping our chests over writing-desks, and being 
the slaves of the pen, let us attend to our physical health, that 
we may have more pulpit independence. 

It would be a grand thing if every minister felt strong 
enough in body to thrash any man in his audience improperly 
behaving, but always kept back from such assault by the 
fact that it would be wrong to do so. There is a good deal of 
heart and head in our theology, but not enough liver and 
backbone. We need a more stjUwart Christian character, more 
roast beef rare, and less calf's-foot jelly. This will make the 
pulpit more bold and the pew more manly. 

Which thoughts came to us this week as we visited again 

11—2 



tyi Around the Tea-Tabls. 

the village cliiirch aforesaid, and preadied out 6t the same 
old Bible in which, years ago, we laid the ten-minute mana* 
script, and we looked upon the same lights that onoe behaved 
80 Ixully. But we found it had been snowing since the time 
we lived there, and heads that then were black are white now, 
and some of the eyes which looked up to us that memoiabie 
night when the gasometer failed us, thirteen yeazB ago^ are 
closed now, and ror them all earthly lights have gone out for 
ever. 



CHAPTER LL 

SIIELLS FROM THE BBACH. 



OUB summer-house is a cottage at East Hampton, Lonff Islaiidi 
overlooking the sea. Seventeen vessels in sight, s^oonen, 
clippers, hermaphrodite briffs, steamers, great craft and smalL 
Wonder where they come fiom, and where they are going to^ 
and who is aboard 1 Just enough clovertops to sweeten the 
briny air into the most delightful tonic. We do not know 
the geological history of this place, but imagine that the rest of 
Long Isl^d is the discourse of which Ei^ Hampton is the 
peroration. There are enough bluffs to relieve the dead level, 
enough grass to clothe the hills, enough trees to drop the 
shadow, enough society to keep one from inanity, and enough 
quietude to soothe twelve months of perturbation. The sea 
hums us to sleep at night, and fills our dreams with intima- 
tions of the land where the harmony is like ''the voice ci 
many waters." In smooth weather the billows take a minor 
key ; but when the storm gives them the pitdb, they break 
forth with the clash and uproar of an overture that fills tlie 
heavens and makes the beach tremble. Strange that that 
which rolls perpetually and never rests itself should be a 
psalm of rest to others ! With these sands of the beadi we 
help iill the hour-glass of life. Every moment of the day 
there comes in over the waves a flotilla of joy and rest and 
health, and our piazza is the wharf where the stevedores un- 
burden their cargo. We have sunrise with her bannered 
hosts in cloth of gold, and moonrise with her innumerable 
helmets and shields and swords and ensigns of silver, tiia 



Shells from the Beach. 175 

morning and the niglit being the two buttresses from which 
jire swung a bridge of cloud suspended on strands of sunbeam, 
all the glories of the sky passing to and fro with airy feet in- 
silent procession. 

We have wandered far and wide, but found no such place 
to rest in. We can live here forty-eight hours in one day, 
and in a night get a Rip Van Winkle sleep, waking up with- 
out finding our gun rusty or our dog dead. 

No wonder that Mr. James, the first minister of this place, 
lived to eighty years of age, and Mr. Hunting, his successor, 
lived to be eighty-one years of age, and Doctor Buel, hi» 
successor, lived to be eighty-two years of age. Indeed, it 
seems impossible for a minister regularly settled in this place 
to get out of the world before his eightieth year. It has been 
ouJy in cases of " stated supply," or removal from the place, 
that early demise has been possible. And in each of these cases 
of decease at fourscore it was some unnecessary imprudence on 
their part, or who knows but that they might be living yet ? 
That which is good for settled pastors being good for other 
people, you may judge the climate here is salutary and delect- 
able for alL 

The place was settled in 1648, and that is so long ago that 
it will probably never be unsettled. The Puritans took pos- 
session of it first, and have always held it for the Sabbath, for 
the Bible and for God. Much maligned Puritans I The 
world will stop deriding them after a while, and the carica- 
turists of their stalwart religion will want to claim them as 
ancestors, but it will be too late then ; for since these latter- 
day folks lie about the Puritans now, we will not believe them 
when they want to get into the illustrious genealogical line. 

East Hampton has always been a place of good morals 
One of the earliest Puritan regulations of this place was that 
licensed liquor-sellers should not sell to the young, and that 
half a pint only should be given to four men — an amount so 
small tnat most drinkers would consider it only a tantalization, 
A woman here, in those days, was sentenced " to pay a fine 
of fifteen dollars, or to stand one hour with a cleft stick upon 
her tongue, for saying that her husband had brought her to a 
place where there was neither gospel nor magistracy." She 
deserved punishment of some kind, but they ought to have 
let her off with a fine, for no woman*s tongue ought to be in- 
terfered with. When in olden time a Yankee peddler with 
the measles went to church here on the Sabbath for the pur- 
pose of selling his knick-knacks^ his behaviour was considered 



174 Around the Tea-Table. 

80 perfidious that before the peddler left town next moming 
the young men gave him a free ride upon what seems to us 
an unconuiortabie and insufficient vehicle, namely, a rail, and 
then dropped him into the duck-pond. But such oondact was 
not sanctioned by the better people of the place. Nothing 
could be more unwholesome for a man with the measles than 
a plunge in a duck-pond, and so the peddler recovered one 
thousand dollars damage. So you see that every form of mis- 
demeanour was sternly put down. Think of the hig^ state 
of morals and religion which induced this peoplcL at an ewrij' 
day, at a political town-meeting, to adopt tins decaree : ''"We 
do sociate and conjoin ourselves and successors to be one town 
or corporation, and do for ourselves and our successors, and audi 
as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter intoccmbi- 
nation and confederation t(^ether to maintain and preserve 
the purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ wnicdi we 
now possess.'' 

The pledge of that day has been fully kept ; and' for 
sobriety, industry, abhorrence of evil and adherence to an 
unmixed gospel, we know not the equal of this plaod. 

That document of two centuries ago reads strangely behind 
the times, but it will be some hundreds of years yet before other 
communities come up to the point where that document stops. 
All our laws and institutions are yet to be Christianized. 
The Puritans took possession of this land in the name of 
Christ, and it belongs to Him ; and if people do not like that 
religion, let them go somewhere else. They can find many 
lands where there is no Christian reh'gion to bother them. 
Let them emigrate to Greenland, and we will provide them 
with mittens, or to the South Sea Islands, and we will send 
them ice-coolers. This land is for Christ. Our Legislatures 
and Congresses shall yet pass laws as radically evangeli<»l as 
the venerable document above referred to. East HiEunpton, 
instead of being two hundred years behind, is two huodred 
years ahead. 

Glorious place to summer ! Darwin and Stuart Mill and 
Huxley and Kenan have not been through here yet. May 
they miss the train the day they start for this place I With 
an Atlantic Ocean in which to wash, and a great-heartedy 
practical, sympathetic gospel to take care of all the future, 
who could not be happy in East Hampton ? 

The strong sea-breeze ruffles the sheet upon which we 
write, and the *' white caps '' are tossing up as if in greeting 
tp Him who walks the pavements of emerald and opal : 



Catching the Bay Mare. 175 

" Wafty toafty ye winds, His stor^. 
And you, ye waters, roll, 
Till, like a sea of glory. 
It spreads from pole to pole,** 



CHAPTER LII. 

CATCHINa THE BAY MAPvE. 



fc may "be a lack of education on our part, but we confess to 
a dislike for horse-races. We never attended but three ; the 
first in our boyhood, the second at a county fair, where we 
were deceived as to what would transpire, the ^hiid last Sab- 
bath morning. We see our friends flush with indignation at 
this last admission ; but let them wait a moment before they 
launch their verdict. 

Our horse was in the pasture-fleld. It was almost time to 
»tart for church, and we needed the animal harnessed. The 
boy came in saying it was impossible to catch the bay mare, 
and calling for our assistance. We had on .our best clothes, 
and did not feel like exposing ourself to rough usage ; but 
we vaulted the fence with pail of water in hand, expecting to 
try the effect of rewards rather than punishments. The horse 
came out generously to meet us. We said to the boy, " She 
is very tame. Strange you cannot catch her." She came near 
enough to cautiously smell the pail, when she suddenly changed 
her mind, and with one wild snort dashed off to the other end 
of the field. 

Whether she was not thirsty, or was critical of the manner 
of presentation, or had apprehensions of our motive, or was 
seized with desire for exercise in the open air, she gave u» no 
chance to guess. We resolved upon more caution of advance 
and gentler voice, and so laboriously approached her; for 
though a pail of whter is light for a little way, it gets heavy 
after you have gone a considerable distance, though its con- 
tents be half spilled away. 

This time we succeeded in getting her nose inserted into 
the bright beverage. We called her by pet names, address- 
ing her as " Poor Dolly V* not wishing to suggest any pau- 
perism by that term, but only sympathy for the sorrows or the 
orute creation, and told her that she was the finest horse that 




CHAPTEB LUL 



OVS FISST Ain> I.AST GIOAS. 




The tune had oome in oar boyhood which ire ^baa^at di* 
mandedctf Dsac^MMCttjtosiiioke. TheoldpeQiileof thehi 
hold ooold alnde neither the sight northeBiiidtlof tlieYiij 
weed. When ministers came there, not bj positive injuc^ _ 
bat bj a sort of instinct as to what woold be nmL 0mf 
whiff«l their pipe on the back steps. If the house eoyld Ms 
stand sanctified smoke, 70a may know how Httle dianoe tiiere 
was for adolescent cigar>paffing. 

By some rare good fortune which pnt in oar hands fhvee 
cents^ we found access to a tobacco store. As the Ud off tiie 
long, narrow, fragrant box opened, and for the first tune we 
owned a cigar, our feelings of elation, manlintasw soperioiity 
and anticipation can scarcely be imagined, save uj those who 
have had the same sensation. Our first ride on horsebacl^ 
though we fell off before we got to the bam, and r first pair 
of new boots (real squeakers) we had thought could never be 
surpassed in interest ; but when we put the cigar to our lips, 
ana stuck the lucifer match to the end of the weed, uid com- 
menced to pull with an energy that brought every facial 
muscle to its utmost tension, our satisfaction with this world 
was so great, our temptation was never to want to leave it. 

The cigar did not bum well. It required an amount of 
suction that tasked our determination to the utmost. Ton see 
that our worldly means had limited us to a quality that cost 
only three cents. But we had been taught that nothing great 
was accomplished without effort, and so we puffed away. 
Indeed, we nad heard our older brothers in their Latin lessons 



> 



OVR First and Last Cigar. 179 

say, Omnia vindt labor ; which translated means, If you want 
to make anything %o, you must scratch for it. 

With these sentiments we passed down the village street 
and out toward our country home. Our head did not feel 
exactly right, and the street began to rock from side to side, 
so that it was uncertain to us which side of the street we were 
on. So we crossed over, but found ourself on the same side 
that we were on before we crossed over. Indeed, we imagined 
that we wei*e on both sides at the same time, and several fast 
teams driving between. We met another boy, who asked us 
why we looked so pale, and we told him we did not look pale, 
but that he was psde himself. 

We sat down under the bridge and began to reflect on the 
prospect of early decease, and on the uncertainty of all earthly 
expectations. We had determined to smoke the cigar all up 
and thus get the worth of our money, but were obliged to 
throw three-fourths of it away, yet knew just where we threw 
it, in case we felt better the next day. 

Getting home, the old people were frightened, and demanded 
that we state what kept us so late and what was the matter 
with us. Not feeling that we were called to go into particu- 
lars, and not wishing to increase our parents' apprehension 
that we were going to turn out badly, we summed up the case 
with the statement that we felt miserable at the pit of the 
stomach. We had mustard plasters administered, and careful 
watching for some hours, when we fell asleep and forgot our 
dissapuintmsnt and humiliation in being obliged to throw 
away three-fourths of our first cigar. Being naturally reticent, 
we have never mentioned it until this time. 

But how about our last cigar ? It was three o'clock Sabbath 
morning in our Western home. We had smoked three or 
four cigars since tea. At that time we wrote our sermons 
and took another cigar with each new head of discourse. 
We thought we were getting the inspiration from above, but 
were getting much of if from beneath. Our hand trembled 
along the line ; and strung up to the last tension of nerves, 
we finished our work and started from the room. A book 
standing on the table fell over ; and although it was not a 
large book, its fall sounded to our excited system like the 
crack of a pistoL As we went down the stairs their creaking 
made our hair stand on end. As we flung ourselves on a 
sleepless pillow we resolved, Grod helping, that we had smoked 
our last cigar, and committed our last sin of night-study. 

We kept our promise. With the same resolution went 



i8o Around the Tea-Tabls. 

overboard coffee and tea. That ni^bt we were bom intoA 
new physical, mental and moral life. Perbap it ma^ be 
better for some to smoke and atadj nig^ta, ana take exatiDg 
tcm|)erance beverages ; bat we are persuaded that if thouaanda 
of people who now co moping, and nervous, and balf ez« 
liausted throiigb life, down witb '' sick beadachea'' and rai^>ed 
by irritabilitiea, would try a good large dose of abatinenoe, 
they would thank God for this paragraph of penonal expni- 
cuce, and make the worid the same brigbt place we find it — 
a place so attractive that nothing abort cit heaven would be 
good enough to exchange for it. 

The first cigar made us desperately sick ; the thiowiQg 
away of our last made us doriouiBly weU. For ua the croak- 
ing of the midniffht owl hath ceased, and the time of the 
singing of the birds has come. 



CfHAPTER LIV. 

MOVE, MOVING. BIOVED. 



The first of May is to many the beginning of the year. From 
tliat are dated the breakages, the social startings,^ the npe 
and downs, of domestic life. One half New York is moving 
into smaller houses, the other half into laxger. The past 
year's success or failure decides which way the horseB of the 
furniture-wagon shall turn their heads. 

Days before, the work of packing commenced. It is aston- 
ishing how many boxes and barrels are r^uired to contain all 
your wares. You come upon a thousand things that you had 
forgotten, too good to throw away and too poor to keep : old 
faded carpet-bags that would rouse the mirth of the town if 
you dared to carry them into the street ; straw hats out of 
the fashion ; beavers that you ought to have given away 
while they might have been useful ; odd gloves, shoes, ooata^ 
and slips of carpet that have been the nest of rats, and » 
thousand things that you laid away because you some day 
might want them, but never will. 

For the last few days in the old house the accommodations 
approach the intolerable. Everything is packed up. The 
dinner comes to you on shattered crockery which is about to 



MovEy Moving, Moved, i8i 

be thrown away, and the knives are only painful reminiscencea 
of what they once were. The teapot that we used before we 
got our " new set " comes on in time to remind us how com- 
mon we once were. You can upset the coffee without soiling 
the table-cloth, for there is none. The salt and sugar come 
to you in cups looking so much alike that you find out for 
the first time how coffee tastes when salted, or fish when it 
is sweetened. There is no place to sit down, and you have 
no time to do so if you found one. The bedsteads are down, 
and you roll into the comer at night, a self-elected pauper, 
and all the night long have a quarrel with your pillow, 
which persists in getting out of bed, and your foot wanders 
out into the air, feeling for greater length of cover. If the 
children cry in the night, you will not find the matches nor 
the lamp nor anything else save a trunk just in time to fall 
over it, getting up with confused notions as to which is the 
way to bed, unless there be some friendly voice to hail you 
through the darkness. 

The first of May dawns. The carts come. Tt threatens 
rain, but not a dix)p until you get your best rosewood chairs 
out of doors, and your bedding on the top of the wagon. Be 
out at twelve o'clock you must, for another family are on 
your heels, and Thermopylae was a very tame pass compared 
with the excitement which rises when two families meet in 
the same hall— those moving out and those moving in. They 
swear, unless they have positive principles to prohibit. A 
mere theory on the subject of swearing will be no hindrance. 
Long-established propriety of speech, buttressed up by the 
most stalwart determination, is the only safety. Men who 
talk right all the rest of the year sometimes let slip on the 
first of May. We know a member of the church who uses 
no violence of speech except on moving-day, and then he 
frequently cries out : " By the great United States t" 

All day long the house is full of racket : " Look out how 
you scratch that table P' " There ! you have dropped the 
leg out of that piano I" "There goes the looking-glass 1" 
" Ouch ! you have smashed my finger !*' " Didn't you see 
you were pushing me against the wall V* " Get out of our 
way ! It's one oclock, and your things are not half moved ! 
Carmen ! take hold and tumble these things into the street !'' 
Our carman and theirs get into a fight. Our servants on 
our side, their servants on theirs. We, opposed to anything 
but peace, tiy to quiet the strife, yet, if they must go on, feel 
we would like to have our men triumph. I^ke England 



i83 Around the Tma-Tamls. 

during our late war, we remain neutnL yet haTe oar pvt- 
ferences as to which Rhall beat. Now daah oomes tibe laa, 
aud the water cools off the heat of the oombstiatiL Hue ev- 
men must drive /a«/, so as to get the thingi out of the wel^ but 
dow, 80 as not to rub the furniture. 

As our last load starts we go in to take a fweweU look st 
the old place. In that parlour we have been gay iritih oar 
friends many a time, and as we glance round tme room, W6 
seem to see the great group of their fiusea TlielMrtfiiniifcim 
we ever had in our parlour was a dide of weU-wiabmL Hiees 
is the bedroom where we slept off the worid^ OMtea, and got 
up glad as the lark when the morning dqr beckont it npiwud. 
Many a time this room has been full of sleep from dooMll to 
ceilinff. We always did feel grandly after we had imt an 
eight^iour nap between ns and life's peiplexitiea. wie an 
accustomed to divide our time into two parts : tiie first to be 
devoted to hard, blistering, consuming toorh^ and the resfc to 
be given to the most jubilant fun ; and aleqp oooiaB vndflr 
the last head. 

We step into the nursery for a last look. The erib k gouty 

liafa 



and the doll-babies and the block-houses, but the 
not yet stopped galloping ; Ma/s laugh, and Editfa^ ^ee^ 
and Frank's shout, as he urged the hobby-horse to its ntmoi^ 
speed, both heels struck into the flanks, till out of bisglaflB ej^ 
the horse seemed to say : "Do that again, and I wm ihiow 
you to the other side of the trundle bed P Farewell, old 
house ! It did not suit us exactly, but thank God for the 
good times we had in it ! 

Moving-day is almost gone. It is almost night. Tumble 
everything into the new house. Put up the bedsteads. "BnA 
who has the wrench, and who the screws ? Packed up, ale 
they ? In what box ? It may be any one of the half 
dozen. Ah ! now I know in which bpx you will find it ; in 
the last one you open ! Hungry, are you ? No time to talk 
of food till the crockery is unpacked. True enough, heie 
they come. That last jolt of the cart finished the teacups. 
The jolt before that fractured some of the plates, and Bridget 
now drops the rest of them. The Paradise of crockery-mer- 
chants is moving day. I think, from the results which I see, 
that they must abolit the first of May spend most of their 
time in praying for success in business. 

Seated on the boxes, you take tea, and then down with 
the carpets. They must be stretched, and pieced, and pulled, 
and matched. The whole family are on their knees at tlie 



Move, Moving, Moved. 185 

work, and red in the face, and before the tacks are dn^^ea all 
the fingers have been hammered once and mfe taking a seeond 
braisiBg. Nothing is where you expected to find it. "Wliere 
ia the hammer ? Where are the tacks ? Where the hatdttt t 
Where the screw-driver? Where the nails? Where the 
window-shades j Where is the slat to that old bedstead ?^ 
Where are the rollers to that stand ? The sweet-oil has been 
emptied into the blackberry jam. The pickles and the plums 
have gone out together a-swimming. The laid and the but- 
ter have united as skilfully as though a grocer had mixed 
them. The children who thought it would be grand sport to 
move are satiated, and one-half the city of New York at the 
close of May-day go to bed worn out, sick and disgusted. It 
is a social earthquake that annually shakes the city. 

It may be that very soon some of our rich relatives will, at 
their demise, " will " us each one a house, so that we shall be 
permanently fixed. We should be sorry to have them quit 
the world under any circumstances ; but if, determined to go 
anyhow, they should leave us a house, the void would not be 
80 large, especially if it were a house well furnished and 
having all the modem improvements. We would be thankful 
for any good advice they might leave us, but should more 
highly appreciate a house. . 

May all the victims of moving-day find their new home 
attractive ! If they have gone into a smaller house, let them 
congratulate themselves at the thought that it takes less time 
to keep a small house clean than a big one. May they have 
plenty of Spauldiug's glue with which to repair breakages ! 
May the carpets fit better than they expected, and the family 
that moved out have taken all their cockroaches and bedbugs 
with them ! 

And, better than all — and this time in sober earnest — ^by 
the time that moving-day comes again, may they have made 
enough money to buy a house from which they will never 
have to move until the House of many mansions be ready to 
receive them 1 



■Mm 






CHAPTER LV. 

ADVANTAaB OF SMALL LIBSASISaL 

We never see a valuable book without wauidng it. Hie most 
of us have becu struck tlirough with u paasioii for books. 
Town, city and state libraries to us are an enchantment. We 
hear of a private library of ten thousand volames, and think 
what a heaven the owner must be living in. But the proba- 
bility is that the man who has five hundred volumes is better 
off than the man who has five thousand. Hie large private 
libraries in uniform editions, and unbroken sets, and mssia 
covers, are, for the most part, the idlers of the day ; while the 
small libraries with broken-backed books, and turned-down 
leaves, and lead-pencil scribbles in the margin, are doing the 
chief work for the world and the Church. 

For the most part, the owners of large collections have their 
chief anxiety about the binding and the type. Take down 
the whole set of Walter Scott's novels, and find that only one 
of them has been read through. There are Motley's histories 
on that shelf ; but get into conversation about the prince of 
Orange, and see that Motley has not been read. I never was 
more hungry than once while walking in a Charleston mill 
amid whole harvests of rice. One handful of that grain in a 
pudding would have been worth more to me than a thousand 
tierces uncooked. Great libraries are of but little value if 
unread, and amid great profusion of books the temptation is 
to read but little. If a man take up a book, and feel he wiU 
never have a chance to see it again, he says : " I must read it 
now or never," and before the day is past has devoured it. 
The owner of the large library says : ** I have it on my shelf | 
juid any time can refer to it." 



Advantage of Small Libraries. 185 

What we can have any time we never have. I found a 
group of men living at the foot of Whiteface Mountain who 
had never been to the top, while I had come hundreds of 
miles to ascend it. They could go any time so easily. It is 
often the case ^at those who have plain copies of history are 
better acquainted with the past than those who have most 
highly adorned editions of Bancroft, Prescott, Josephus and 
Herodotus. It ought not so to be, you say. I cannot help 
that ; 80 it is. 

Books are sometimes too elegantly bound to be read. The 
gilt, the tinge, the ivory, the clasps seem to say : " Hands off !'' 
The thing that most surprised me in Thomas Carlyle*s library 
was the fewness of the books. They had all seen service. 
None of them had paraded in holiday dress. They were worn 
and battered. He had flung them at the ages. 

More beautiful than any other adornments are the costly 
books of a princely library ; but let not the man of small 
library stand looking into the garnished alcoves wishing for 
these unused volumes. The workman who dines on roast beef 
and new Irish potatoes will be healthier and stronger than he 
who begins with ** mock-turtle," and goes up through the long 
lane of a luxuriant table till he comes to almond-nuts. I put 
the man of one hundred books, mastered, against the man of 
one thousand books of which he has only a smattering. 

On lecturing routes I have sometimes been turned into costly 
private libraries to spend the day ; and I revelled in the indexes 
and scrutinized the lids, and set them back in as straight a row 
as when I found thera, yet learned little. But on my way 
home in the cars I took out of my satchel a book that had 
cost me only one dollar and a half, and afterward found that 
it had changed the course of my life and helped decide my 
eternal destiny. 

We get many letters from clergymen asking advice about 
reading, and deploring their lack of books. I warrant they 
all have books enough to shake earth and heaven with, if the 
books were rightly used. A man who owns a Bible has, to 
begin with, a library as long as from here to heaven. The 
dullest preachers I know of have splendid libraries. They 
own everything that has been written on a miracle, and yet 
when you hear them preach, if you did not get sound asleep, 
that would be a miracle. They have all that Calvin and other 
learned men wrote about election, and while you hear them 
you feel that you have been elected to be bored. They have 
been months and years turning over the heavy tomes on the 

12 



i86 Arous'd the Tea-Table. 

divine attributes, trying to understand God, "while some plain 
Christian, with a New Testament iu his hand, goes into the 
next alley, and sees in the face of an invalid woman peace 
and liirht and comfort and joy which teach him in one honr 
what God is. 

Tliere are two kinds of dalness — learned dnlness and ig- 
norant dulness. We think the latter preferable, for it Is apt 
to be more spicy. You cannot measure the length of a man's 
brain, nor the width of his heart, nor the ext^t of his use- 
fulness, by the size of his library. 

Life is so short you cannot know everything. There aie 
but few things we need to know, but let ns know them weU. 
People who know everything do nothing. Yon cannot read 
all that comes out Every book read without digestion is so 
much dyspepsia. Sixteen apple-dumplings at one meal are 
not healthy. 

In our age, when hundreds of books are launched every day 
from the press, do not be ashamed to confess ignorance of the 
majority of the volumes printed. K you have no artistic 
appreciation, spend neither your dollars nor your time on John 
Buskin. Do not say that you are fond of Shakspaare if yon 
are not interested in him, and after a year's study would not 
know Romeo from John Falstaff. There is an amazing 
amount of lying about Shakspeare. 

Use to the utmost what books you have, and do not waste 
your time in longinc^ after a great library. You wish you 
could live in the city and have access to some great collection 
of books. Be not deceived. The book of the library which 
you want will be out the day you want it. I longed to live in 
town that I might be in proximity to great libraries. Have 
lived in town thirteen years, and never found in the public 
library the book I asked for but once ; and getting that home, 
I discovered it was not the one I wanted. Besides, it is the 
book that you own that most profits, not that one which you 
take from " The Athenaeum " for a few days. 

Excepting in rare cases, you might as well send to the 
foundling hospital and boiTow a baby as to borrow a book 
with the idea of its being any great satisfaction. We like a 
baby in our cradle, but prefer tliat one which belongs to the 
household. We like a book, but want to feel it is ours. We 
never yet got any advantage from a borrowed book. We 
hope those never reaped any profit from the books they bor- 
rowed from us but never returned. We must have the right 
to turn down the leaf, and underscore the favourite passage, 



\ 



Reformation in Letter-Writing, 187 

and write an observation in the margin in such poor chircgra- 
phy that no one else can read it and we ourselves are sometimes 
confounded. 

All success to great libraries, and skiKul bookbindery, and 
exquisite typography, and fine-tinted plate paper, and bevelled 
boards, and gilt edges, and Turkey morocco ; but we are de- 
termined that frescoed alcoves shall not lord it over common 
shelves, and Bussia binding shall not overrule sheepskin, and 
that " full calf " shall not look down on pasteboard. We war 
not against great libraries. We only plead for the better use 
of small ones. 



I 



CHAPTER LVI. 

EEFORMATION IN LETTER-WRITINO. 

We congratulate the country on the revolution in epistdary 
correspondence. Through postal cards w« not only come to 
economy in stamps, and paper, and ink, and envelopes, but to 
education in brevity. As soon as men and women get facility 
in composition they are tempted to prolixity. Hence some of 
us formed the habit of beginning to read a letter on the second 
>age, because we knew that the writer would not get a-going 
»efore that ; and then we were apt to stop a page or two 
before the close, knowing that the remaining portions would 
be taken in putting down the brakes. 

The postal card is a national deliverance. Without the 
conventional " I take my pen in hand," or other rigmarole — 
which being translated means, " I am not quite ready to begin 
just now, but will very soon '' — the writer states directly, and 
in ten or twenty wordis, all his business. 

While no one can possibly have keener appreciation than 
we of letters of sympathy, encouragement and good cheer, 
there is a vast amount of letter-writing that amounts to, 
nothing. Some of them we carry in our pockets, and read over 
and over again, until they are worn out with handling. But 
we average ahout twenty begging letters a day. Tney are 
always long, the first page taken up in congratulations upon 
" big heart/' " wide influence/' " Christian sympatlues," and 
so on, winding up with a solicitation for five dollars, more or 
less. We always know from the amount of lather put on that 



i88 Around the Tea-Table. 

we are going to be Rhaved. The poiital card will 10011 iii¥ad« 
even tliat verboeity, and the correspondent will simply say, 
** Poor— very— children ten— chills and fever myself — ^no 
quinine— desperate — your money or your life — ^BabtholomEV 
WIGGINS, Dismal Swamp, Iowa." 

The advantage of sucli a thing is that if yoa do not answer 
such a letter no offence is taken, it is so short and costs only a 
cent : whereas, if the author had taken a great sheet of letter 
paper, filled it with compliments and graceful solkitatiops, 
folded it, and run the gummed edge alonc^ the lips at tlie risk 
of being poisoned, and stuck on a stomp (after tedioms exam- . 
ination 01 it to see whether or not it had been used beforey or 
had only been mauled in your vest pocket), the offence would 
have been mortal, and you would have been pronoonoed mean 
and unfit for the ministry. 

Postal cards are likewise a relief to that large class of per* 
sons who by sealed envelopes are roused to inquidtiveness. Aa 
such a closed letter lies on the mantel-piece unopened, thej 
wonder whom it is from, and what is in it, and they hold it 
up between them and the light to see what are the indksationsL 
and stand close by and look over your shoulder while yoa read 
it, and decipher from your looks whether it is a love-letter or 
a dun. The postal card is immediate relief to tiliem, for they 
can read for themselves, and can pick up information on 
various subjects free of charge. 

But, after all, the great advantage of this new postal arrange- 
ment is economy in the consumption of time. It will practi* , 
cally add several years to a man's life, and will keep us a 
thousand times at the beginning of our letters from saying 
** Dear Sir" to those who are no att all dear, and will save us 
from surrendering ourselves with a " Yours truly," to those ta 
whom we will never belong. We hail the advent of thd 
postal-card system. 




\ 




CHAPTER LVIL 

KOYAL MAKBIAGES. 

There has lately been such a jingle of bells in St. Petersburg 
and London that we have heard them quite across the sea. 
The queen's son has married the daughter of the Russian em- 
peror. We are glad of it. It is always well to have people 
marry who are on the same level. The famous affiancing in 
New York of a coachman with the daughter of the millionaire 
who employed him did not turn out well. It was bad for her, 
but worse for the coachman. Eagle and ox are both well in 
their places, but let them not marry. The ox would be dizzy 
in the eyrie, and the eagle ill at home in the barnyard. When 
the children of two royal homes are united there ought to be no 
begrudging of powder for the cannonading, or of candles for 
the illumination. All joy to the Duke of Edinburgh and his 
fortunate duchess. 

But let not our friends across the sea imagine that we have 
no royal marriages here in this western wilderness. When- 
ever two hearts come together pledged to make each other 
happy, binding all their hopes and fears and anticipations in 
one sheaf, calling on God to bless and angels to witness, though 
no organ may sound the wedding-march, and no bells may 
chime, and no Dean of Westminster travel a thousand miles to 
pronounce the ceremony, — that is a royal marriage. 

When two young people start out on life together with 
nothing but a determination to succeed, avoiding the in- 
vasion of each other's idiosyncrasies, not carrying the candle 
near the gun powder, sympathetic with each other's employment, 
willing to live on small means till they get large facilities, 



190 Around the Tsa-Tamls, 

pajin^aa they go, taking life here aaa ^m ^ S m&y i Mi km s w ea 
-watching ita perils, and with four handa figlitn^ilai battles^ 
whatayer others may say or do, — ^that ia a royal nanip^. It 
is 80 set down in the heavenly archives, and -the cnnge 
bloasoms shall wither on neither side the grave. 

We deplore the fact that because of the fearfol extnvaganoea 
of modem society many of our best people condude that they 
eaunot possibly afford to marry. 

We are getting a fearful crop of old bachelors. They swarm 
aronnd us. They go through life lop-sided. Half dressed, 
they sit round cold mornings, all a-shiver, sewing on buttons 
and darning socks, and then go down to a long boarding-house 
table which is bounded on the north and soutii and east and 
west by the Great Sahara Desert. We do not pity them at 
alL May all their buttonH be off to-morrow morning ! Why 
do they not set up a plain home of their own and come into 
the ark two and two ? 

The supporting of a wife is looked upon as a great honor. 
Why, dear friends, with right and healthy notions of time 
and eternity it is very easy to support a wife if she be of the 
kind worth supporting. If she be educated into false notions 
of refinement and have ''young ladies' institutes'' piled on her 
head till she be imbecile, you will never be able to support 
her. Everything depends on whether you take for your wife 
a woman or a doll-baby. Our opinion is that three-fourths 
the successful men of the day owe much of their prosperity 
to the wife's help. The load of life is so heavy it takes a 
team of two to draw it. The ship wants not only a captain, 
but a first mate. Society to-day, trans-Atlantic and ciSi- 
AtlantiCy very much needs more royal marriages. 





CHAPTER LVIII. 



THREE VISITS. 



Yesterday was Saturday to you, but it was Sunday to me. 
In other words, it was a day of rest. We cannot always be 
working. If you drive along in a deep rut, and then try to 
turn off, you are very apt to break the shafts. A skilful 
driver is careful not to get into a deep rut. You cannot 
always be keeping on in the same way. We must have times 
of leisure and recreation. 

A great deal of Christian work amounts to nothing, from 
the fact that it is not prefaced and appendixed by recreation. 
Better take hold of a hammer and give one strong stroke and 
lay it down, than to be all the time so fagged out tluit we cannot 
move the hammer. 

Well, yesterday being a day of rest to me, I made three 
visits in New York. 

The first was to the Tombs— Ka institution seemingly full 
now, a man or woman or boy at every wicket. A great con- 
gregation of burglars, thieves, pickpockets and murderers. 
For the most part, they are the clumsy villains of society ; 
the nimble spry ones get out of the way, and are not caught. 
There are those who are agile as well as depraved in that 
dark place. Stokes, representing the aristocracy of crime ; 
Poster, the democracy of sin ; and Rozensweig, the brute. 
Each cell a commentary^ upon the Scripture passage, ''The 
way of the transgressor is hard." 

I was amazed to see that the youth are in the majority in. 
that building. I , said to the turnkey : " What a pity it is 
that that bright fellow is in here !'' " Oh," he says, ** these bright 



4 

1 



192 Around the Tea-Table. 

fellows keep iis bn5?y." I talked some with the boys, and they 
lau;;l)ed ; but tlienj was a catch in the guffaw, as though the 
liuightcr oil it.s way bad stumbled over a groan. It was uot 
a deep Laugh and a laugh all over,as boys generally do when they 
are merry. These boys have had no chance. They have been in 
the school of crime all their days, and are now only taking 
their degree of " J/. VT — master of villainy. 

God hasten the time when our Sabbath-schools, instead of 
being flower-pots for a few choice children, shall gather up 
the perishing rabble outside, like Balph Wells' school in New 
York, and Father Hawley's school in Hartford, and John 
Wanamaker's school in Philadelphia ! There is not mnch 
chance in our fashionable Sunday-schools for a boy out at the 
elbows. Many of our schools pride themselves on being gilt- 
edced ; and when we go out to fulfill the Savionr^s command, 
" Feed my himbs," we look out chiefly for white fleeces. I 
like that school the" best which, in addition to the |^orioa8^< 
pel, carries soap and fine-tooth combs. God save the dyincj 
children of the street I I saw a child in the Tombs four years 
of age, and said, " What in the world can this little child be 
doing here V They told me the father had been arrested and 
the child had to go with him. Allegory, parable, prophecy : 
** Wliere the father goes the child goes.'* Father inside the 
grates, and son outside waiting to get in. 

All through the corridors of that prison I saw Scripture 
pa*ssages : *' I am the way of life ;'' " Believe in the Lora, and 
thou slialt be saved ;" and like passages. Who placed them 
there ! The turnkey ? No. The sheriff"? No. They are 
marks left by the city missionary and Christian philanthropist 
in recognition of that gospel by which the world is to be re- 
generated or never saved at all. 

I wish they would get some other name for that— ^A« 
Tombs — for it is the cleanest prison I ever Qp,w. But the 
great want of that prison and of all others is sunshine. God's 
light is a purifier. You cannot expect reformation where you I 

brood over a man with perpetual midnight. Oh that some \ 

Howard or Elizabeth Fry would cry through all the dungeons 'j 

of the earth, " Let there be light I^' I never heard of any- I 

body being brought to God or reformed through darkness. 
God himself is light, and that which is most like God is mobt 
healthful and pure. 

Saddened by this awful wreck of men and morals, we came 
along the corridors where the wives stood weeping at the 
wicket-door of their husbands, and parents over l£eir lost 



Three Visits. 193 

cLildren. It was a very sad place. There were some men I 
was surprised to find there — men whom I had seen in other 
places, in holy places, in consecrated places. 

We came out into the sunlight after that, and found our- 
selves very soon in the art-gallery at Twenty-third Street. 
That was my second visit. Mr. Ken sett, the fjreat artist, 
recently died, and six hundred and fifty of his pictures are 
now on exhibition. In contrast with the dark prison scene, 
how beautiful the canvas ! Mr. Kensett had an irresistible 
way of calling trees and rocks and waters into his pictures. 
He only beckoned, and they came. Once come, he pinioned 
them for ever. Why, that man could paint a breeze on the 
water, so it almost wet your face with the spray. So restful 
are his pictures, you feel after seeing them as though for half 
a day you had been sprawled under a tree in July weather, 
summered through and through. 

Thirty of such pictures he painted each year in one hundred 
and twenty days, and then died— quickly and unwarned, drop- 
ping his magician's wand, to be picked up never. I wondered 
if he was ready, and if the God whom he had often met 
amid the moss on the sea cliffs and in the offing was the God 
who pardoned sin and by his grace saves painter and boor. 
The Lord bless the unappreciated artists ; they do a glorious 
work for God and the world, but for the most part live in 
penury, and the brightest colour on their palette is crimson 
with their own blood. 

May the time hasten when the Frenchmen who put on 
canvas their Cupids poorly clad, and the Germans who hang up 
homely Dutch babies in the arms of the Virgin Mary and call 
them Madonnas, shall be overruled by the artists who, like 
Kensett, made their canvas a psalm of praise to the Lord of 
the winds and the waters ! 

I stepped across the way into the Young Men's Christian 
Association of New York, with its reading-rooms and library 
and gymnasium and bath-rooms, all means of grace — a place 
that proposes to charm young men from places of sin by making 
religion attractive. It is a polace for the Lord — the pride 
of New York, or ought to be ; I do not believe it really is, but 
it ought to be. It is fifty churches, with its arms of Christian 
usefulness stretched out toward the young men. 

If a young man come in mentally worn out, it gives him 
dumb-bells, parallel bars and a bowling-alley with no rum at 
either end of it. If physically worsted, it rests him amid 
pictures and books and newspapers. If a young man come in 



194 Arouxd the Tea-Table, 

wanting something for the soul, there are the Bible-d aaB e v 
prayer-meeting and preaching of the gospeL 

Religion wears no monk's cowl in that place, no hair shirt, 
no spiked sandals, but the floor and the ceiling and the lounges 
and the tables and the cheerful attendants seem to say : ^ Mjeit 
ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.'' 

I never saw a more beautiful scene in any public building 
than on one of these bright sofas, fit for any parlour in New 
York, where lay a weary, plain, exhausted man resting — aoond 
asleep. 

Another triumph of Christuinity that building is — a diiis* 
tianity that is erecting lighthouses on all the coasts and plant* 
ing its batteries on every hill-top, and spreading its banquets 
all the world over. 

Well, with these reflections I started for Brooklyn. It was 
just after six o'clock, and tired New Tork was going home. 
Street cars and fenies all crowded. Going home ! Some to 
bright places, to be lovingly greeted and warmed and fed and 
rested. Others to places dark and uncomely ; but as I sat down in 
my own home I could not help thinking of the three spectadea 
I had seen during the day : Sin in its shame ; Art in its 
beauty ; Beli^on in its work of love. God give repentance 
to the first, wider appreciation to the second, and nnivenal 
conquest to the thii-d ! 



CHAPTER LIX. 

MANAHACHTANIENKS. 



We should like to tell so many of our readers as have 
vived the pronunciation of the above word that the Indians 
first called the site on which New York was built M a n ahach- 
tanienks. The translation of it is, ** The place where they all 
got drunk." Most uncomplimentary title ; we are glad that 
it has been changed ; for though New York has several thou- 
sand unlicensed grog-sbops, we consider the name inapprcmriate, 
although, if intemperance continues to increase as rapidly for 
the next hundred years as during the last twenty years, the 
time will come when New York may appropriately take it» 
old Indian nomenclature. 



I 



Manahachtanjenks. 195 

Old- time New York is being rapidly forgotten, and it; may 
be^well to revive some historical facta. 

At an expense of three thousand dollars a year men wii^ 
guide-book in hand go through the pyramids of Egypt :4Wid 
the picture-galleries of Rome and the ruins of Pompeii, 'wihen 
they have never seen the strange and historical scenes ^at home. 

We advise the people who live in Brooklyn, Jersey City 
and up town New York to go on an exploration. 

Go to No. 1 Broadway, and remember that George Washing- 
ton and Lord Comwallis once lived there. 

Go to the United States Treasury, on Wall Street, and 
remember that in front of it used to stand a pillory and a 
whipping-post. 

In a building that stood where the United States Treasury 
stands. General Washington was installed as President. In 
the open balcony he stood with silver buckles and powdered 
hair, in dress of dark silk velvet. (People in those days 
dressed more than we modems. Think of James Buchanan 
or General Grant inaugurated with hair and shoes fixed up 
like that !) 

Go to the comer of Pearl and Broad Streets, and remember 
that was the scene of Washington's farewell to the officers with 
whom he had been so long associated. 

Go to Canal Street, and remember it was so called because 
it once was literally a canal. 

The electric telegraph was bom in the steeple of the old 
Dutch church, now the New York post-office— that is, Ben- 
jamin Franklm made there his first experiments in electricity. 
When the other denominations charge the Dutch Church wit^ 
being slow, they do not know that the world got its lightning 
out of one of its church steeples. 

Washington Irving was bom in Williams Street, halfway 
between John and Fulton. " Knickerbocker ** was considered 
very saucy ; but if any man ever had a right to say mirthful 
things about New York, it was Washington Irving, who was 
bom there. 

At the corner of Varick and Charlton Streets was a house in 
which Washington, John Adams and Aaron Burr resided, 

George Whitfield preached at the comer of Beekman and 
Nassau Streets. 

But why particularize, when there is not a block or a house 
on the great thoroughfare which has not been the scene of a 
tragedy, a fortune ruined, a reputation sacrificed, an agony 
suffered or a soul lost ? 




CHAPTER LX 



^"^ 



A DIP IX THE SBJL 

SIIAICSPFV RE has been fiercely mauled by the critics for con- 
fasion of metaphor iu speaking of taking up " arms against a 
sea of trouble:!.'' The smart fellows say, How conld a man 
take " arms against a sea ''? In other words, it is not possible 
to shoot the Pacilic Ocean. But what Sbakspeare suggests 
is, this jocund morning, being done all around the coast nrom 
Florida to Newfoundland, especial regiments going out from 
Cape May, Long Branch, East Hampton, Newport and Nahant ; 
ten thousand bathers, with hands thrown into the air, ** taking 
up arms against the sea." But the old giant has only to roll 
over once on his bed of seaweed, and all this attacking host 
are flung prostrate upon the beach. 

The sensation of sea-bathing is about the same everywhere. 
First jou have the work of putting on the appropriate dress, 
sometimes wet and chill from the previous bathing. You get 
into the garments cautiously, touching them at as few points 
as possible, your face askew, and with a swift draft of breath 
through your front teeth, punctuating the final lodgment of 
each sleeve and fold with a spasmodic " Oh !" Then, having 
placed your watch where no villainous straggler may be in- 
duced to examine it to see whether he can get to the depot in 
time for the next train, you issue forth ingloriously, your 
head down in consciousness that you are cutting a sorry figure 
before the world. Barefoot as a mendicant, your hair dis- 
hevelled in the wind, the stripes on your clothes strongly sug- 
gestive of Sing Sing, your appearance a caricature of human- 
id, you wander up and down the beach, a creature that the 



A Dip /a the Sea, 197 

land is evidently trying to shake oif and the sea is unwilling 
to take. But you are consoled by the fact that all the rest 
are as mean and forlorn-looking as yourself ; and so you wade 
in, over foot top, unto the knee, and waist deep. The water 
is icy cold, so that your teeth chatter and your frame quakes, 
until you make a bold dive ; and in a moment you and the 
sea are good friends, and you are not certain whether you have 
surrendered to the ocean or the ocean has surrendered to you. 

At this point begin the raptures of bathing. You have left 
the world on the beach, and are caught up in the arms of ex- 
periences that you never feel on land. If you are far enough 
out, the breaking wave curves over you like a roof inlaid and 
prismatic, bending down on the other side of you in layers of 
chalk and drifts of snow, and the lightning flash of the foam 
ends in the thunder of the falling wave. You fling aside from 
your arms, as worthless, amethyst and emerald and chryso- 
prase. Your ears are filled with the halo of sporting elements, 
and your eyes with all tinges and double-dyes and liquid em- 
blazonment. You leap and shout and clap 3'our hands, and 
tell the billows to come on, and in excess of glee greet pereons 
that you never saw before and never will again, and never 
want to, and act so wildly that others would think you 
demented, but that they also are as fully let loose ; so that if 
there be one imbecile there is a whole asylum of lunatics. 

It is astonishing how many sounds mingle in the water : the 
faint squall of the affrighted child, the shrill shriek of the 
lady just introduced to the uproarious hilarities, the casouse 
of the diver, the snort of the half-strangled, the clear giggle 
of maidens, the hoarse bellow of swamped obesity, the whine 
of the convalescent invalid, the yell of unmixed delight, the 
te-hee and squeak of the city exquisite learning how to laugh 
out loud, the splash of the brine, the cachinnation of a band 
of harmless savages, the stun of the surge on your right ear, 
the hiss of the surf, the saturnalia of the elements ; while 
overpowering all other sounds are the orchestral harmonies of 
the sea, which roll on through the ages, all shells, all winds, 
all caverns, all billows heard in ** the oratorio of the creation." 

But while bathing, the ludicrous will often break through 
the grand. Swept hither and thither, you find, moving in reel 
and cotillon, saraband and rigadoon and hornpipe, Quakers 
and Presbyterians who are down on the dance. Your sparse 
clothing feels the stress of the waves, and you think what an 
awful thing it would be if the girdle should burst or a button 
break, and you should have, out of respect to the feelings of 



19S 



Arouxd the Tea-Table. 



oUiers, to pro up tlie beach sidewisc or backward, or on jfour 
haiuU mid knoea. 

Close beside you, in the surf, is a judge of the Cknnt of 
ApiKMis, with a gariiiont on that looks like his grandmothn'a 
liiglit-ffown just lifted from the wash-tub and not yet wrong 
out On the other side is a niaiileu with a twenty-five-oent 
straw hat on a head that ordinarily six>rt8 a hundred doUan^ 
worth of millinery. Yonder is a doctor of divinity with his 
head in the sand and his feet beatiug the air, travelling heaven- 
ward, while his right hand clutches his wife's foot, as much as 
to say, " My feet are useless in this emergency ; give me the 
benefit of yours." 

Now a stronger wave, for which none are ready, dajshes in, 
and with it tumble ashoi*e, in one great wreck of humanity, 
small craft and large, stout hulk and swift clipper, helm first, 
topsail down, forestay-sail in tatters, keel up, everything gone 
to pieces in the swash of the surges. 

Oh, the glee of sea-bathing ! It rouses the apathetic. It up- 
sets the supercilious and pragmatical It is balsamic for men- 
tal wounds. It is a tonic for tliose who need strength, and an 
anod^Tie for those who require soothing, and a febrifuge for 
those who want their blood cooled ; a filling up for minds 
pumped diy, a breviary for the superstitious, with endless 
matins and vespei-s, and to the Christian an apocalyptic vision, 
where the morning sun gilds the waters, and there is spread 
before him " a sea of glass mingled with fire." " Thv way, O 
God, is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters I ' 





CHAPTER LXI. 

HARD SHELL CONSIDERATION'S. 

The plumage of the robin redbreast, the mottled sides of the 
Saranac trout, the upholstery of a spider's web, the waist of 
the wasp, fashionably small without tight lacing, the lustrous 
eye of the gazelle, the ganglia of the star-fish, have been dis- 
coursed upon ; but it is left to us, fagged out from a long 
ramble, to sit down on a log and celebrate the admirable quali- 
ties of a turtle. We refer not to the curious architecture of 
its house — ribbed, plated, jointed, carapace and plastron 
divinely fashioned — but to its instincts, worthy almost of 
being called mental and moral qualities. 

The tortoise is wiser than many people we wot of, in the 
fact that he knows when to keep his head in his shell. No 
sooner did we just now appear on the edge of the wood than 
this animal of the order Testudinata modestly withdrew. He 
knew he was no match for us. But how many of the human 
race are in the habit of projecting their heads into things for 
which they have no fittedness ! They thrust themselves into 
discussions where they are almost sure to get trod on. They 
will dispute about vertebne with Cuvier, or metaphysics with 
William Hamilton, or paintings with Ruskin, or medicine 
with Doctor Eush, and attempt to sting Professor Jaeger to 
death with his own insects. The first and last important 
lesson for such persons to learn is, like this animal at our foot, 
to shut up their shell If they could see how, in the case of 
this roadside tortoise, at our appearance the carapace suddenly 
came down on the plastron, or, in other words, how the upper 
bone snapped against the lower bone, they might become as 
wise as tnis reptile. 



200 AnoL's/D THE Iea-Table. 

"We a«lni :;••». a^^o. the tnrt!e*a capacity of beini^ at 
everywhere. He i::uTi»^ with him hia parioar, nuzBery, kitchen, 
be'I-«:h.imber aud bath-PX3m. Woald that we all had an 
ef{ii:U f.-iculty of domestication ! In snch a beantifuL woiid, 
and wiih d43 many oom:<jrta'jle siiiTonndixigs. we oagfat to feel 
at home in any pLice we are called to be. While we cannot, 
like the tortoiue, carry our boose on oar back, we are better 
off than he, for by the rii^ht culture of a contented spirit we 
may make the sky itself the mottled sheU of our residence^ 
and the horizon all an>'ind u.^ shall be the place where the 
carapace shuts down on the plastron. 

We admire still more the t«)rtoise's determination to right 
itself. By way of experiment, turn it upside down, and then 
go off a piece to see it re;^^iin its position. Now, there is 
nothing when put upon its b;ick which has snch little prospect 
of getting to its feet iii^ain :is this animal It has no hands to 
push with, and nothlTi:r ai^ainst which to brace its feet, and 
one would think thiit a turtle once upside down wonid be up- 
side down for ever. Bat put on its bujk, it keeps on scram- 
bling till it is right side np. We would like to pick up this 
animal from the da-it and put it down on Broadway, if men 
passing by would learu from it never to stop exertion, even 
when overthrown. You can'Jiot by commercial disasters be 
more thorou;;5hly flat on your back than five minutes ago was 
this poor thing ; but see it yonder nimbly making for the 
bushes. Vanderbilt or Jay Gould may treat you as we did 
the tortoise a few momeuts ago. But do not lie still, dis- 
coura^etl. iMake an effort to get up. Throw your feet ou^ 
tirst in one direction aud then in another. Scrabble. 

We find from this day's roadside observation that the turtle 
uses its head before it docs its feet : in other words, it looks 
around before it moves. You never catch a turtle doing 
anything without previous careful iusoection. We would, aU . 
of us, do better if we always looked before we leaped. It is 
easier to get into trouble than to ffet out. Better have goods 
weighed before we buy them. Better know where a road 
comes out before we start on it. We caught one hundred flies 
in our sitting room yestenlay because they sacrificed all their 
caution to a love of molasses. Better use your brain before 
you do your hands and feet. Before starting, the turtle always 
sticks its head out of its shell 

But tortoises die. They sometimes last two hundred years. 
We read that one of them outlived seven bishops. They have 
a quiet life and no wear and tear upon their nervous system. 



Hard Shell Considerations. 201 

Yet they, after a while, notwithstanding all their slow travel, 
reach the end of their journey. For the last time they draw 
their head inside their shell and shut out the world for ever. 
But notwithstanding the useful thoughts they suggest while 
living, they are of still more worth when dead. We fashion 
their bodies into soup and their carapace into combs for the 
hair, and tinged drops for the ear, and bracelets for the wrist. 
One of Delmonico's soup-tureens is waiting for the hero we 
celebrate, and Tiffany for his eight plates of bone. Will we 
be as useful after we are dead ? Some men are thrown aside 
like a turtle-shell crushed by a cart-wheel : but others, by 
deeds done or words spoken, are useful long after they quit life, 
their example an encouragement, their memory a banquet. He 
who helps Duild an asylum or gives healthful and cultured 
starting to a young man, may twenty years after his decease 
be doing more for the world than during his residence upon 
it. Stephen Girard and George Peabody are of more use to 
l^e race than when Philadelphia and London saw ISiem. 

But we must get up off this log, for the ants are crawling 
over us, and the bull-frogs croak as though the night .were 
coming on. The evening star hangs its lantern at the door of 
the night to light the tiim day to rest. The wild roses in the 
thicket are breathing vespers at an altar cushioned with moss, 
while the fire-flies are kindling their dim lamps in the cathe- 
dral of the woods. The evening dew on strings of fern is 
counting its beads in prayer. The "Whip-poor-will" takes 
up its notes of 86mplaint, making us wonder on our way home 
what " Wiir' it was that in boyhood maltreated the ancestors 
of this species of birds, whether William Wordsworth, or 
William Cowper, or William Shakspeare, so that the feathered 
descendants keep through all the forests, year after year, de- 
manding for the cruel perpetrator a sound thrashing, forget- 
ting the Bryant that praised them and the Tennyson that 
petted them and the Jean Ingelow who throws them crumbs, 
m their anxiety to have some one whip poor Will. 



13 




CHAPTER LXIL 



WISEMAK, HEA.YYASBBICKS AND QITIZZLEL 

We had muffins that night. Indeed, we always bad either 
muffins or waffies when Governor Wiseman was at tea^ Th& 
reason for this choice of food was that a muffin or a waffle 
seemed just suited to the size of Wiseman's paragraphs of con- 
versation. In others words, a muffin lasted him about as long^ 
as any one subject of discourse ; and when the muffin was 
done, the subject was done. 

We never knew why he was called governor, for he certainly 
never ruled over any State ; but perhaps it was his wise look 
that got him the name. He never laughed ;«had his round 
spect^les far down on the end of his nose, so that he could 
see as far into his plate as any man that ever sat at our tea* 
table. When he talked, the conversation was all on his side. 
He considered himself oracular on most subjects. Ton had 
but to ask him a question, and without lifting his head, hi» 
eye vibrating from fork to muffin, he would go on till he had 
said all he loiew on that theme. We did not invite him to 
our house more than once iu about three months, for too much- 
of a good thing is a bad thing. 

At the same sitting we always had our young friend Fred 
Quizzle. He did not know much, but he was mighty in ask- 
ing questions. So when we had Governor Wiseman, the well,, 
we had Quizzle, the pump. 

Fred was long and thin and jerky, and you never knew just 
where he would put his foot. Indeed, he was not certain him- 
self. He was thoroughly illogical, and the question he asked 
would sometimes seem quite foreign to the subject being dis*- 



Wiseman^ Heavyasbricks^ and Quizzle. :«J3 

coursed upon. His legs were crooked and reminded you of 
interrogation points, and his arms were interrogations, and his 
neck was an interrogation, while his eyes had a very inquisi- 
tive look. 

Fred Quizzle did not talk until over two years of age, not- 
withstanding all his parents' exertions toward getting him to 
say *' papa'' and " mamma." After his parents had made up 
their mmds that he would never talk at all, he one day rose 
from his block houses, looked into his father's eyes, and cried 
out, ''How ?" as if inquiring in what manner he had found his 
way into this world. His parent, outraged at the child's choice 
of an adverb for his first expression instead of a noun mascu- 
line or a noun feminine indicative of filial affection, proceeded 
to chastise the youngster, when Fred Quizzle cried out for his 
second word, '' Why T as though inquiring the cause of such 
hasty punishment. 

This early propensity for asking questions grew on him till 
at twenty-three years of age he was a prodigy in this respect. 
So when we had Governor Wiseman we also hietd iVed Quizzle, 
the former to discourse, the latter to start him and keep him 
going. 

Doctor Heavyasbricks was generally present at the same 
interview. We took the doctor as a sort of sedative. After 
a season of hard work and nervous excitement, Doctor 
Heavyasbricks had a quieting influence upon us. There was 
no lightning in his disposition. He was a great laugher, but 
never at any recent merriment It took a long while for him 
to understand a joke. Indeed, if it were subUe or elaborate, 
he never understood it. But give the doctor, when in good 
health, a plain pun or repartee, and let him have a day or two 
to think over it, and he would come in with uproarious merri- 
ment that wellmgh would choke him to death, if the paroxysm 
happened to take him with his mouth full of muffins. 

When at our table, the time not positively occupied in 
mastication he employed in looking first at Quizzle, the inter- 
locutor, and then at Governor Wiseman, the responding 
oracle. 

Quizzle, — How have you. Governor Wiseman, kept yourself 
in such robust health so long a time 1 

Wiseman,— ^y never tiSfling with it, sir. I never eat 
muffins too hot. This one, you see, has bad some time to cool. 
Besides, when I am at all disordered, I immediately send for 
the doctor. 

There are books proposing that we all become our own 
'^ 13-2 



204 Arouhd the Tea-Tabmjl 



medical attendant Whenever we are aaiaed with any aort of 
phy^od disorder, we are to take down aomeTK^imie In homceo- 



pathy, allopathy, hydropathy, and nmnioff oor ^aa^fx along the 
index, alight upon the malady that may be alHfcfamg na. We 
ahall find in the same pace the name ol the diocaae and the 
remedy. Thus: chi^iped hands— glyoerine ; cold— aquoilla ; 
Inmbago— mnatard-phu&em : nervona eicitcment— ▼aleriaa ; 
aleeiJeaiiieM Dover^a powden. 

liua may be very wdl for alight ailmenfi^ tiiit iro liave 
attended more fonerala of people who were their own doctor 
than obaequiee of any other aort In yoor inflzperieiioe ymi 
will be apt to get the wrong remedr. Look out for the agii- 
coltorist who farms by book, neglecting the eonnael of Jhia 
long-experienced neigfaboora. He will have poor tomipB and 
atarveUng wheat^ and kill his fields with imdiie apportion- 
menta (^ guano and bcme-doat Look out jnat as modi for 
the patient who in the worship of some Apathy* bUndly 
adheres to a favourite hygienic ydume, rejecting in Important 
cases medical admonition. 

In ordinary cases the best doctor yon can have k mother or 
grandmother, who has j^iloted through the rocks of infontile 
diaeaae of a whole f amil]^. She has salve fdr afanost every- 
thing, and knows how to bind a wound or cool an inflammatioii. 
But if mother be dead or you are afflicted with a maternal 
ancestor that never knew anything practical, and never will, 
better in severe cases have the doctor right away. Yon say 
that it is expensive to do that^ while a book on the treatment 
of diseases will cost you onl^ a dollar and a hall I r^y that 
in the end it is very, expensive for an inexperieiuied man to be 
his own doctor ; for in addition to the price of the book there 
are the undertaker's expenses. 

Some of the younger persons at the table laughed at the 
closinflT sentence of Wiseman, when Doctor Heavyasbricks 
looked up, put down his knife and said : *' My youn|[ Mends, 
what are you laughing at ? I see no cause of memment in 
the phrase ' undertaker's expenses.' It seems to Me to be a 
sad business. When I think of the scenes amid which an 
undertaker moves, I feel more like tears than hilarity." 

Quizzle. — If you are opposed. Governor Wiseman, to one^ 
being his own doctor, what do you think of every man's being 
his own lawyer? 

Wiseman,—! think just as badly of that 

Books setting forth forms for deeds, mortgages, liotes, and 
contracts, are no doubt valuable. It should be a part of every 



Wiseman^ Heavyasbricks and Quizzle, 205 

young man's education to know something of these. We 
cannot for the small business transactions of life be hunting 
up the " attomey-at-law " or the village squire. But economy 
in the transfer of property or in the making of wills is some* 
times a permanent disaster. There are so many quirks in the 
law, so many hiding-places for scamps, so many modes of 
twisting phraseology, so many decisions, precedents and 
rulings, so many John Does who have brought suits against 
Kichard Boes, uiat you had better in all important business 
matters seek out an honest lawyer. 

" There are none such !" cries out Quizzle. 

Why, where have you lived ? There are as many honest 
men in the legal profession as in any other, and ro^es more 
than enough m all professions. Many a farmer, gomg down 
to attend court in the county-seat, takes a load of pr^uce to 
the market, carefully putting the specked apples at the 
bottom of the barrel, and hiding among the fresh ones the 
egg which some discouraged hen after five weeks of *' setting " 
1^ abandoned, and having secured the sale of his produce 
and lost his suit in the ^ Court of Common Pleas/' has come 
home denouncing the scoundrelism of attorneys. 

You shall find plenty of honest lawyers if you really need 
them ; and in matters involving large interests you had better 
employ them. 

Especially avoid the mistake of making your own ''last 
will and testament,'' imless you have great legal skilfulness. 
Better leave no wiU at all than one inefficiently constructed. 
The "Orphans' Court" could tell many a tragedy of property 
distributed adverse to the intention of the testator. Tou save 
twenty to a hundred dollars from your counsel by writing 
vour own will, and your heirs pay ten thousand dollars to 
lawyers in disputes over it. Perhaps those whom you have 
wished especially to favour will get the least of your estate, 
and a relative against whom you always had especial dislike will 
get the most, and your charities will be apportioned differently 
from what you anticipated — a hundred dollars to the Bible 
Societv, and three thousand to the " hook and ladder com- 
pany." 

Quizzle, — Do you not think, governor (to go back to the 
subject from which we wandered), that your good spirits have 
had much to do with your good health ? 

Wi%eman, — No doubt I see no reason why, because I am 
advancing in years, I should become melancholy. 

One of the heartiest things I have seen of late is the letter 



ao6 Around the Tsa-Tamlm. 

of Bev. Dr: Dowling as he retires from active work in fhe 
ministry. He hands over his work to the younger brethren 
T^'ithout sigh, or groan, or regret He sees the son is quite far 
down in tlie west, and he feels like hanging; up his scythe in 
the first apple tree he comes ta Our opinion is that ne has 
made a little mistake in the time of day, and that while he 
thinks it is about half-past ^yq in the aftemooD, it is only 
about three. I guess his watch is out of order, amd that he 
has been led to mink it later than it really is. JBut when we 
remember how much good he has done, we will not begrudge 
him his rest either here or hereafter. 

At any rate, taking the doctor's cheerful valedictory for a 
text, I might preach a little bit of a sermon on the best way 
of getting old. Do not be fretted because you have to come to 
spectacles. While glasses look premature on a young man's 
uose, they are an adornment on an octogenarian's fooe. Be- 
sides that, when your eyesight is poor, you miss seeing a ffreat 
many unpleasant things that yoimgsters are obliged to lode at 

Do not be worried because your ear is becoming dulL In 
that wav you escape being liored with many of the foolish 
things that are said. If the gates of sound keep out some 
of the music, they also keep out much of the discord. If the 
hair be getting thin, it takes less time to comb it^ and then it 
is not aU the time falling down over your eyes ; or if it be 
getting white, I think that colour is quite as respectable as 
any omer : that is the colour of the snow, and of the bloaaoms, 
and of the clouds, and of angelic habiliments. 

Do not worry because the time comes on when you must go 
into the next world. It is only a better room, with finer pic- 
tures, brighter society and sweeter music. Bobert McCheyne, 
and John Knox, and Harriet Newell, and Mrs. Hemana, and 
John Milton, and Martin Luther will be good enough com- 
pany for the most of us. The corn-shocks standing in the 
fields to-day will not sigh dismally when the huskera leap 
over the fence, and throwing their arms around the stack, 
swing it to the ground. It is only to take the golden ear itovi 
the husk. Death to the aged Christian is only husking-time^ 
and then the load goes in from the frosts to the gamer. 

My congratulations to those who are nearly done with the 
nuisances of this world. Give your staff to your little grand- 
son to ride horse on. You are going to be young again, and 
you will have no need of crutches. May tne clouds around 
the setting sun be golden, and such as to lead the ^ weather- 
"wiae ^ to prophesy a clear morning 1 



\ 



Wiseman, Heavyasbricks and Quizzle. 207 

^^^^^^.— But, Governor Wiseman, does it not give you a 
little uneasiness in this day of so much talk about cremation 
as to what will become of your body after you leave this 
sphere ? 

At this point Doctor Heavyasbricks wiped his spectacles, as 
though he could not see well, and interrupted the conversation 
by saying, " Cremation ! Cremation I What's that V Sitting 
at the head of the table, I explained that it was the reduction 
of the deceased human body through fire into ashes to be pre- 
served in an urn. " Ah ! ah !" said Doctor Heavyasbricks, 
** I had the idea, from the sound of that word * cremation,' it 
must be something connected with ct^eam, I will take a little 
more of that delicious bovine liquid in my tea, if you please," 
said the doctor as he passed his cup toward the urn, adding, 
to the lady of the house, "I hope that urn you have your 
hand on has nothing to do with cremation/' Tnis explanation 
having been made. Governor Wiseman proceeded to answer 
the question of Quizzle : 

No ; I have no uneasiness about my body after I have left 
it. The idea you speak of will never be carried out, I know 
that the papers are ardently discussing whether or not it will 
be best to bum the bodies of the dead, instead cS. burying 
them. Scientific journals contend that our cemeteries are the 
means of unhe^thy exhalations, and that cremation is the 
only safe way of disposing of the departed. Some have advo- 
cated the chemical reduction of the physical system. 

I have, as yet, been unable to throw myself into a mood 
sufficiently scientific to appreciate this proposaL ^ It seems to 
me partly horrible and partly ludicrous. I think that the 
dead populations of the world are really the most quiet and 
unharmf ul. They make no war upon us, and we need make 
no war upon them. I am very certain that all the damage 
we shall ever do this world will be while we are animate. It 
is not the dead people that are hard to manage but the living. 
Some whistle to keep their courage up while going along by 
graveyards ; I whistle while moving among the wide awake. 
Before attempting this barbaric disposal of the human form 
as a sanitary improvement, it would be better to dear the 
streets and '' commons" of our cities of their pestifevous sur- 
roundings. Try your cremation on the dogs and eate with 
extinct animation. 

We think Greenwood is healthier than Broadway, and 
Laurel Hill than Chestnut Street, P^re la Chaise than Champs 
Elysees. Urns, with ashes scientifically prepared, may look 



3o8 Around the Tea-Tabls. 

very well in Madras or Pekin, but not in a Christian country. 
Not having been able to shake off the BiUe notions about 
Christian burial, we adhere to the mode that was obserred 
when devout men carried Stephen to his buriaL Better not 
come around here with your cnemical apparatus for the reduc- 
tion of the human body. I give fair warning that if your philo- 
sopher attempts such a process on my bones, and I am cif the 
same way of thinking as now, he will be sorry for it. 

But I nave no fear that I shall thus be desecrated by my 
surviving friends. I have more fear of epitaphs. I do not 
wonder that people have sometimes dictated the inscription 
on their own tombstones when I see what inappropriate lines 
are chiselled on many a slab. There needs to be a reformation 
in epitap 



People often ask me for appropriate inscriptions for the 
graves of their dead. They tell the virtues of the father, or 
wife, or child, and want me to put in compressed shape all 
that catalogue of excellences. 

Of course I fail in the attempt. The stoiy of a lifetime can- 
not be chiselled by the stone-cutter on the side of a marble 
slab. But it is not a rare thing to go a few months after by 
the sacred spot and find that the bereft friends, unable to get 
from others an epitaph sufficiently eulogistic, have put their 
own brain and heart to work and composed a rhyme. Now, 
the most unfit sphere on earth for an inexperienced mind to 
exerdse the poetic faculty is in epitaphiology. It does very 
well in copy-books, but it is most unfair to blot the resting- 
place of the dead with imskilled poetic scribble. It seems to 
me that the owners of cemeteries and graveyards should 
keep in their own hand the right to refuse inappropriate and 
ludicrous epitaphs. 

Nine-tenths of those who think they can write respectable 
poetry are mistaken. I do not say that poesy has passed from 
the earth, but it does seem as if the fountain Hippocrene had 
been drained off to run a saw-mill. It is safe to say that most 
of the home-made poetry of giaveyards is an offence to God 
and man. 

One would have thought that the New Hampshire village 
would have risen in mob to prevent the inscription that was 
really placed on one of its tombstones descriptive of a man 
who had lost his life at the foot of a vicious mare on the way 
to brook : 

** A9 thii man was leading her to drink 
She. kick'd and kilVd him quicker' n a wink.** 



WiSEMAy, HEAyVASBRICKS AND QUIZZLE, 209 

One would have thought that even conservative New Jei'sey 
would have been in rebellion at a child's epitaph which in a 
village of that State reads thus : 

*^81it was not smart j she was not fair , 
But hearts with grief for her are swellin; 

All empty stands her little chair 
She died of eatin' watermelon.' 

Let not such discretions be allowed in hallowed places. Let 
not poetizers practise on the tombstone. My uniform advice 
to all those wno want acceptable and suggestive epitaphs is, 
Take a passage of Scripture. That will never wear out. From 
generation to generation it will bring down upon all visitors a 
holy hush ; and if before that stone has crumbled the day 
comes for waking up of all the graveyard sleepers, the very 
words chiselled on the marble may be the ones that shall ring 
from the trumpet of the archangel. 

While the governor was buttering another muffin, and, 
according to the dietetic principle a little while ago announced, 
allowing it sufficiently to cool off, he continued the subject 
already opened by saying : I keep well by allowing hardly 
anything to trouble me, and by looking on the bright side of 
everything. One half of the people fret themselves to death. 

Four months ago the air was full of evil prophecies. If a 
man believed one half he saw in the newspapers, he must have 
felt that this world was a failure, not paying more than ten 
cents on a dollar. To one good prophet like Isaiah or Ezekiel 
we had a thousand Balaams, each mounted on his appropriate 

First came the fearful announcement that in consequence of 
the financial depression we would have bread-riots innumer- 
able and great slaughter. But where have been your riots 1 
There was here and there a swinging of shillelahs, and a few 
broken heads which would probably have got broken anyhow, 
but the men who made the disturbance were found to be 
lounging vagabonds who never worked, even when they had a 
chance. 

Prophecy was also made that there would be a general star- 
vation. We do not believe that in the United States there 
have been twenty sober people famished in the last year. 
Aware of the unusual stress upon the poor, the hand of 
charity has been more active and full than ever ; and though 
many have been denied their accustomed luxuries, there has 
been bread for all. 



2IO Around the Tea^Tablb. 

Weatherpropbets also promised us a winter of imiunial 
severity. They knew it from the amount of investment ti» 
squirrels had made in winter stock, and from the superabun- 
dance of wool on the sheep's back, and the lavishness of the 
dog's hair. Are the liars ready to confess their fault % The 
boys have found but little chance to use their skates, and I 
think the sheep-shearing of the flocks on celestial pastore-fidds 
must have been omitted, judging from the small amount of 
snowy fleece that has fallen through the air. I have not had on 
my big mittens but once or twice, and my long-ago frost-bitten 
left ear has not demanded an extra pinching. To make up 
for t^e lack of fuel on the hearth, the great brass andiron ^ 
the sun has been kept unusually bright and hot. And yester- 
day we heard the horn of the south wind telling tliat the 
flowery bands of spring are on the way up from Florida. 

The necessity for retrenchment has blessed the whole land. 
Many of us have learned how to make a thousand dollars do 
what fifteen hundred dollars — 

Quizzle broke in at the first opportunity and said, ^' No 
doubt, governor, it is easy for you to be placid, for everything 
has gone well with you since you started life, whereas my 
mother died when I was little, and I was kicked and cuffed 
about by a step-mother whose name I cannot bear to hear." 

Ha ! ha ! said Governor Wiseman. It is the old story of 
step-mothers. I don't believe they are any worse than other 
people, taking the average. I have often wondered why it is 
that the novels and romances always make the step-mother 
turn out so very badly. She always dresses too much and 
bangs the children. The authors, if writing out of their own 
experience, must have had a very hard time. 

In society it has become a proverb : " Cruel as a step- 
mother." I am disposed, however, to think that, while there 
may be marked exceptions, step-mothers are the most self- 
sacrificing bein^ in all the world, They come into the family 
scrutinized by the household and the relatives of the one who 
used to occupy the motherly position. Neighbourly busybodies 
meet the children on the street and sigh over them and ask 
them how their new mother treats them. The wardrobe of 
the youngsters comes under the severe inspection of outsider& 

The child, having been taught that the lady of the house- 
hold is " nothing but a stepmother,'' screams at the least 
chastisement, knowing that me neighbour's window is up and 
this will be a good way of making publication. That is called 
cruelty which is only a most reasonable^ moderate and Chxia- 



Wiseman^ Heavyasbricks and Quizzle, 211 

tian spanking. What a job she has in navigating a whole 
nursery of somebody else's children through mumps, measles, 
whooping-cough, and chicken-pox ! One of the things that 
I rejoice over in life is that it is impossible that I ever become a 
step-mother. In many cases she has the largest possible toil 
for the least reward. 

Blessed be the Lord, who setteth the solitary in fiamilies, that 
there are glorious exceptions I The new mother comes to the 
new home, and the children gather the first day around her 
as the natural protector. They never know the difference 
between the first and second mother. They seem like two 
verses of the same hymn, two days of the same summer, two 
strokes of the same bell, two blessings from the same €rod. 

She is watchful all night long over the sick little one, bath- 
ing the brow and banishing the scare of the feverish dream. 
After a while those children will rise up to do her honour ; 
and when her work is done, she will go up to get the large 
reward that awaits a faithful, great-hearted. Christian step- 
mother in the land where the neighbours all mind their own 
business. 



CHAPTER LXIIL 

A LAYEB OF WAFFLES. 



Seyebal months had passed along since we had enjoyed the 
society of Grovernor Wiseman, Doctor Heavyasbricks and Fred 
Quizzle. At our especial call they had come agaiu. 

The evening air was redolent with waffles baked in irons 
that had given them the square imprint which has come down 
through fie ages as the only orthodox pattern. 

No sooner had our friends seated themselves at the tea4able 
than — 

Quizzle began : I see. Governor Wiseman, that the races 
have just come oif in England. What do you think of horse 
racing ? 

H't««ma7z.-*-That has become a very important question for 
eveiy moralist to answer. I see that last week England took 
carriage and horses and went out to Epsom Downs to see the 
Derby races. The race was won by Sir George Fiederick; 



213 Around the Tea-Table. 

that is the name of the sacceflsfal horse. AH the putieokis 
come by telegraph. There is much now being done for the 
turf in this country as well as in England, aad these liones 
are improved year by year. I wonder if the noe of men who 
frequent these entertainments are as mudi improved as the 
horses ? I like horses very much, but I like men better. So 
far as we can judge, the horses are getting the best part of 
these exercises, for they never bet^ and uwajs oome home 
sober. If the horses continue to come up as mncb as tiiej 
have, and our sporting friends continue to go down in tiM 
same ratio, by an inevitable law ci. progression we diall after 
a while have two men going round the course neck and ne^ 
while Dexter and Sir George Frederick are <m the jndEgeia^ 
stand deciding which man is the winner. 

Quizzle. — But do you not. Governor Wiseman, believe in 
outdoor sports and recreations ? 

Yes, said the governor, but it ouffht to be something that 
helps a man as well as the brute. I prefer those recreations 
that are good both for a man*s body and souL We want our 
entire nature developed. 

Two thousand people the other day waited at the dep6t in 
Albany for the arrival of the remains of the great pugitist, 
Heenan. Then they covered the coffin with immortelles^ No 
wonder they felt badly. The p^»or fellow's work was done. 
He had broken the last nose. He had knocked out the last 
tooth. He had bunged up the last eye. He had at last him- 
self thrown up the sponge. The dead hero belonged to the 
aristocracy of hard-hitters. If I remember rightly, he drew 
the first blood in the conflict with one who afterwani became 
one of the rulers of the nation — the Honourable John Mor- 
rissey. member of Congress of the United States and d^ef 
garabler at Saratoga. 

There is just now an attempt at the glorification of*musde 1 
The man who can row the swiftest, or strike a ball the farthest 
or drop the strongest wrestler, is coming to be of more im- 
portance. Strong muscle is a grand thing to have, but every- 
thing depends on how you use it. If Heenan had become 
a Christian, he would have made a capital professor in Polemic 
Theology. If the Harvard or Yale student shall come in 
from the boat-race and apply his athletic strength to rowing 
the world out of the breakers, we say " All hail I** to him. 
The more physical force a man has, the better ; but if Samson 
finds nothing more useful to do than carrying off gate-posts, 
his strong muscle is only a nuisance. 



A Layer of Waffles 213 

By all means let us culture physical energy.^ Let there be 
more gymnasiums in our colleges and theological seminaries. 
Let the student know how to wield oar and oat, and in good 
boyish wrestle see who is the strongest. The health of mental 
and spiritual work often depends on physical health. ^ I 
were not opposed to betting, I would lay a wager that I can 
tell from the book column in any of the newspapers or maga- 
zines of the land the condition of each critic's liver and spleen 
at the time of his writing. 

A very prominent literary man apologized to me the other 
day for his merciless attack on one of my books, saying that 
he felt miserable that morning and must pitch into something, 
and my book being the first one on the table, he pitched into 
that. Our health decides our style of work. If this world is to 
be taken for God, we want more sanctified muscle. The man 
who comes to his Christian work having had sound sleep the 
night before, and the result of roast beef rare in his organism, 
can do almost anything. Luther was not obliged to nurse his 
appetite with any plantation bitters, but was ready for the 
coarsest diet, even the " I)iet of Worms." 

But while I advocate all sports, and exercises, and modes of 
life that improve the physical organism, I have no respect for 
bone, and nerve, and muscle in the abstract. Health is a fine 
harp, but I want to know what tune you are going to play 
on it. I have not one daisy to put on the grave of a dead 
pugilist or mere boat>racer, but all the garlands I can twist for 
the tomb of the man who serves God, though he be as physi- 
cally weak as Eichard Baxter whose ailments were almost as 
many as his books, and they numbered forty. 

At this last sentence the company at the table, forgetful of 
the presence of Doctor Heavyasbricks, showed some disposi- 
tion at good humour, when the doctor's brows lifted in sur- 
prise, and he observed that he thought a man with forty idl- 
ments was a painful spectacle, and ought to be calculated to 
depress a tea-table raUier than exhilarate it. 

** But, Governor Wiseman,'' said Quizzle, " do you not think 
that it is possible to combine physical, mental and spiritual 
recreations V* 

Oh yes replied the governor ; I like this new mode of 
minding religion with summer pleasurea Soon the Methodists 
will DC taking out their tents and packing their lunch-baskets 
and buying their railroad and steamboat tickets for the camp- 
meeting grounds. Martha's Vineyard, Round Lake, Ocean 
Grove and Sea Cliff will soon mingle pealms and prayers wif * 
the voice of surf and forest. 



1r 



314 Arousd the TeA'Tablr. 

Her. Doctor J. H. Vincent, the silver trampet of Sabbath* 
scfaooliim, id marshalling a meeting for the bamks of Chantan- 
qua L^ke which will probably be the erandest religions picnic 
ever held since the five thousand sat down on the grass and 
had a surplus of provision to take home to those who were too 
stupid to ga From the arrangements being made for that 
meetin|; in August. I judge there will be so much consecrated 
enthnsiasni. that there may be danger that some morning, as 
the sun strikes gloriously through the ascending mist of 
C1uuitaiH|aa Lake, our friends may all «> up in a chariot of 
fire, leaving our Sunday-schools in a t)ereft oonditioiL If 
they do go np in that way, may their mantle or their eteaw 
hat fdl this way ! 

Why not have all our churches and denominatioiis take a 
summer airing 2 The breath ol the pine woods or a wiestle 
with the waters would put an end to eveiything like morbid 
religion. One reason why the apostles had sodi healthy 
theology is that thev went a-fishing. We would like to see 
the day when we will have Presbyterian camp-meetingB^ and 
Episcopalian camp-meeting and Baptist camp-meetinfla and 
Congregational camp-meetmgs, or, wnat would be still oetter, 
when, forgetful of all minor distinctions, we could have a 
Church Universal camp-meeting. I would like to help |dant 
the tent-pole for such a convocation. 

Quizzk, — Do vou not think, governor, that there are inex- 
pensive modes of recreation whidi are quite as good as those 
that abdorb L'urge means ? 

Yes^ said the governor ; we need to cut the coat aooerding 
to our cloth. When I see that the Prince of Wales is three 
hundred thousand dollars in debt, notwithstanding his enor- 
mous income, I am forcibly reminded that it is not the amount 
of money a man gets that makes him well off, but the margin 
between the income and the outga The young man who 
while he makes a dollar spends a dollar and one cent is on the 
sure road either to bankruptcy or the penitentiary. 

Next to the evil of living beyond one's means is that of 
spending all one's income. There are multitudes who are 
sailing so near shore that a slight wind in the wrong direction 
founders them. They get on well while the times are usual 
and the wages promptly paid : but a panic or a short period of 
sickness, and they drop helpless. Many a father has gone 
with his family in a fine carnage drawn by a spanking team 
till he came up to his grave ; then he lay down, and his 
children have got out of the carriage, and not only been C(»n- 



A Layer of Waffles. ^15 

pelled to walk, but to go barefoot. Against parsimony and 
niggardliness I proclaim war ; but with the same sentence I 
condemn those who make a grand splash while they live, 
leaving their families in destitution when they die. 

Quizzle. — ^Where, governor, do you expect to recreate this 
coming summer ? 

Wiseman, — Have not yet made up my mind. The question 
is coming up in all our households as to the best mode of 
vacation. We shall all need rest. The first thing to do is to 
measure the length of your purse ; you cannot make a short 
purse reach around Saratoga and the White Mountains. 
There may be as much health, good cheer and recuperation in 
a country farmhouse where the cows come up every night, 
and yield milk without any chalk in it. 

What the people of our cities need is quiet. What the 
people of the country need is sight-seeing. Let the moun- 
tains come to New York and New York go to the mountains. 
The nearest I ever get to heaven in tWs world is lying flat 
down on my back under a tree, looking up through the 
branches, five miles off from a post-office or a telegraph station. 
But this would be torture to others. 

Independent of what others do or say, let us, in the selection 
of summer recreations, study our own temperament and finances. 
It does not pay to spend so much money in July and August 
that you have to go pinched and half mad the rest of the year. 
The healthiest recreations do not cost much. In boyhood, with 
a string and a crooked pin attached to it, I fidied up more fun 
from the mill-pond than last summer with a five-dollar ap- 
paratus I caught among the Franconia Mountains. 

There is a great area of enjoyment within the circnm- 
ference of one dollar if you only know how to make the cir- 
cuit. More depends upon ourselves than upon the affluence 
of our surroundings. If you are compelled to stay home all 
summer, you may be as happy as though you went away. 
The enjoyment of the first of Jidy, when I go off, is surpassed 
by nothing but the first of September, when I come home. 

There being a slight pause in the conversation, Doctor 
Heavyasbricks woke gradually up and began to move his lips 
and to show strong symptoms of intention to ask for himself 
a question. He said : I nave been attending the anniveTsaries 
in New York, and find that they are about dead. Wiseman, 
can you tell me what killed them ? 

Governor Wiseman replied : It is a great pity that the 
anniversaries arc dead. They once lived a robust life, bat 



>' 



2i6 Arousd the TEA'TaBLR. 

began aome fifteen years ago to langnish, and have finall/ 
expired. To the appropriate question. What kiTed them ? I 
answer, Peregrination was one of the caoaes. There neFer 
has been any such place for the anni versariea as the Broadway 
Tabernacle. It was large and social and oentraL When that 
place was torn down, the anniversaries began their travels. 
Going some morning ont of the warm sunshine into some 
cathedral-looking place, they got the cfaflls, and under the 
dark stained glaas everything looked blue. In the afternoon 
they would enter some great square hall where eveiything 
wasformaL 

It is almost impossible to have a genial and saooeasf ol meet- 
ing in a square halL When in former days the country pas- 
tor said to his congre^tion '' Meet me at the New York 
anniversaries,'' they all knew where to go ; but after the old 
Broadway Tabernacle went down, the aforesaid ccHigr^ation 
might have looked in five or six places and not found their 
minister. The New York anniversaries died on the street 
between the old tabernacle and St Paul's Methodist Catiiedral. 

Prolix reports also help^ to kill the patient Nothing 
which was not in its nature immortal could have survived 
these. The secretary would read till he got out of wind, and 
would then say that the remainder of the report would be 
found in the printed copies in the pews. The speakers follow- 
ing had the burden of galvanizing an exhausted meeting, and 
the Christian man who attended the anniversary on retiring 
that evening had the nightmare in the shape of a portly secre- 
tary sitting astride his chest reading from a huge scroll of 
documents. 

Diluted Christian oratory also helped tokilltheaniversaries. 
The men whom we heard in our boyhood on the Broadway 
platform believed in a whole Bible, and felt that if the gospel 
did not save the world nothing ever would ; consequently, 
they spo}ce in blood-red earnestness, and made the place quake 
with their enthusiasm. There came afterward a weak-kneed 
stock of ministers, who thought that part of the Bible was true, 
if they were not very much mistaken, and that, on the whole, 
religion was a good thing for most people, certainly if they 
had weak constitutions, and that man could be easily saved if 
we could get the phrenologist to fix up his head, and the 
gymnasium to develop his muscle, and the minister to coas 
him out of his indiscretions. Well, the anniversaries could 
not live on pap and confectionery, and so they died for lack 
of strong meat 



A Layer of Waffles, 217 

But the day of resurrection will come. Mark that ! The 
tide of Bible evangelism will come up again. We may be 
dead, but our children will see it. New York will be thronged 
with men and women who will come up once a year to count 
the sheaves of harvest, and in some great building, thronged 
from the platform to the vestibule, an aroused Christian audi- 
ence will applaud the news just received by telegraph of a 
nation bom in a day, and sing with more power thaii when 
Thomas Hastings used to act as precentor : 

•• The year of jubilee hai eome ; 
Betum, ye ransomed Hnneri, home.'* 

Quizzle.^Yovi speak, governor, of the ruinous effect of pro- 
lixity in religious service. How long ought a public service 
continue ? 

Wiseman, — There is much discussion in the papers as to 
how long or short, sermons and prayers ought to be. Some 
say a discourse ought to last thirty minutes, and others forty, 
and others an hour, and prayers should be three minutes long, 
or live, or fifteen. You might as well discuss how long a 
frock-coat ought to be, or how many ounces of food a man 
ought to eat. In the one case, everything depends upon the 
man's size ; in the other, everything on the capacity of his 
stomach. A sermon or a prayer ought to go on as long as it 
is of any profit. If it is doing no good, the sermon is half an 
hour too long, though it take only thirty minutes. If the 
audience cough, or fidget, or shuffle their feet, you had better 
stop praying. There is no excuse for a man's talking or 
praying too long if he have good eyesight and hearing. 

But suppose a man have his sermon written and before 
him. You say he must go through with it ? Oh no. Let him 
skip a few leaves. Better sacrifice three or four sheets of 
sermon-paper than sacrifice the interest of your hearers. . But 
it is a silly thing for a man in a prayer-meeting or pulpit to 
stop merely because a certain number of minutes have expired, 
while the interest is deepening — absurd as a hunter on track 
of a roebuck, and within two minutes of bringing down its 
antlers, stopping because his wife said that at six o'clock pre- 
cisely he must be home to supper. Keep on hunting tUl your 
ammunition gives out. 

Still, we must all admit that the danger is on the side of 
prolixity. The most interesting prayers we ever hear are bv 
new converts, who say everything they have to say and break 
down in one minute. There are men who^ from the way " 

14 



tp 



-J- - - .- . . . i-'-ii.-r. i-iu. "ijifiL irix jc« om. They 
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V .i;:.r.— I >-.-z. 2."-r-.T, "±i: t:.:i were last week in Wash- 

•"'->-..'.. — V-r;.- -crll 1-^e central appearance of onr 
z .-.i.Lil >..j::.C L^vrr :l:.-«r?. Ii is always just as far from 
lir -^T-^ie-.L^L-r :j :hr VVLiie House ; indeed, so far, that 
T.. ,:.v of cir rre-: nirz Live never been able to travel it- 
Ti-tre are ::.e 'j-?.::/. L-iii'.rr of pvrtitiouers for governmental 
p?tir..L:ri^^ L.\L^-i:_^' ariinl iLe hotels and the congreasional 
WAes. TLe;- Mc will::.^' to t:ike almost anything they can 
^c-t, from miiii-jter to .Spain to village postmaster. They come 
ill with the siime kii^J of Lwrpet-lairs, look stupid and anxious 
for several cltiys, and LaviLj: bonvwed money enough from 
the meijiber from tlieir district to pay their fare, take the cars 
for home, deiiouLciug the admiuiairiition and the ungrateful- 
iie.ss of republics. 

1 think that the two houses of Congress are the best and 
li.OHt capable of any ahnost ever assembled. Of course there 
U a dearth of greiit men. Only here and there a Senator or 
ItiipreHeutfitive you ever before heard of. Indeed, the nui- 
H;ineeH of our national council in other days were the great men 
who took, in making great speeches, the time that ought to 



A Layer of Waffles, 219 

have beeD spent in attending to business. We all know that 
it was eight or ten " honourable " bloats of the thirty years 
who made our chief international troubles. 

Our Congress is made up mostly of practical every-day 
men. They have no speeches to make, and no past political 
reputation to nurse, and no national fame to achieve. I like 
the new crop of statesmen better than the old, although it is a 
ahorter crop. They do not drink so much rum, and not so 
large a proportion of them will die of delirium tremens. 
They may not have such resounding names as some of their 
predecessors, but I prefer a Congress of ord&iary men to a 
^oup of Senators and Eepresentatives ofetawed and led 
about by five or gix overgrown political Brobdingnagians. 

While in Washington we had a startling occurrence. A 
young man in high society shot another young zoan^ who fell 
dead mstantly. 

I wonder that there is not more havoc with human life in 
this dav, when it is getting so popular to carry furearms. 
Most of our young men, and many of our boys, do not feel 
themselves in tune unless they have a pistol accompaniment. 
Men are locked up or fined if found with daggers or slung- 
fihot upon their persons, but revolvers go free^ There is not 
half so much danger from knife as pistoL The former may 
let the victim escape minus a good large slice, but the latter is 
apt to drop him dead. On the frontiers, or engaged in police 
duty, firearms may be necessary ; but in the ordinary walk of 
life pistols are, to say the least, a superfluity. Better empty 
your pockets of those dangerous weapons, and see that your 
sons ao not carry them. In all the ordinary walks of life an 
honest countenance and orderly behaviour are sufficient de- 
fence. You had better stop going into society where you 
must always be ready to shoot somebody. 

But do not think, dear Fred, that I am opposed to every- 
thing because I have this evening spoken against so many 
different things. I cannot take the part of those who pride 
themselves in hurling a stout No against everything. 

A friend called my attention to the fact that Sanballat 
wanted to hold consultation with Nehemiah in the plain of 
O-no. That is the place where more people stay, to-day, than 
in any other. They are always protesting, throwing doubt 
on grand undertakings ; and while you are in the mountain of 
O-yes, they spend their time on the plain of O-no. In the 
harness of society they are breecliing-stiaps, good for nothing 
but to hold back. 

14—2 



t7o Around the Tea-Table. 

Ton propose to call a minister. All the iDdicatioiis are that 
he 18 tke right maD. Nine-tenths of the congregation are 
united in his favour. The matter is pat to vote. The vast 
majority say ''Aye!* the handful of opponents respond 
"Onor 

You propose to build a new church. About the site, the 
choice of architect, the upholstery, the plumbing and the day 
of dedication there is almost a unanimity. Yoa hope that 
the crooked sticks will all lie still, and that the congi^ratioii 
will move in solid phalanx. But not so. SanhaHat soids for 
Nehemiah, proposing to meet him in the plain of 0-na 

Some men were bom backward, and have been going that 
way ever since. Opposition to everything has become chronic. 
The only way they feel comfortable is when harnessed with 
the face toward the whiffletree and their backs to the end of 
the shafts. They may set down their name in the hotel 
register as living in Boston, Chicago, Savannah or Brooklyn, 
but they really have been spending sJl their lives on the plain 
of 0-no. There let them be buned witii their face toward 
the west, for in that way they will lie more comfortably, as 
other people are buried with their face to the east Do not 
impose upon them by putting them in the majority. O no 1 

We rejoice that there seems more liberality among good 
men, and that they have made up their minds to let each 
oDe work in his own way. The scalpiug-knives are being 
dulled. 

The cheerfulness and good humour which have this year 
characterized our church courts is remarkable and strong in 
contrast with the old-time ecclesiastical fights whidi shook 
synods and conferences. Beligious controversies always have 
been the most bitter of all controversies ; and when ministers 
do fight, they fight like vengeance. Once a church court visiting 
a place would not only spend much of their own time in sharp 
contention, but would leave the religious community to con- 
tinue the quarrel after adjournment Now they have a time 
of cheer while in convention, ami leave only one dispute 
behind them among the families, and that arising from the 
fact that each one claims it had the best ministers and elders 
at their house. Contention is a child of the darkness, peace 
the daughter of the light The only help for a cow's hollow 
horn is a gimlet-hole bored througli it, and the best way to 
cure reli£;ious combatants is to let more gospel light through 
their antlers. 

As we sat at the head of the table, interested in all that was 



A Layer of Waffles. 221 

going on, and saw Governor Wiseman with his honourable 
name and Qnizzle and Heavyasbricks with their unattractive 
titles, we thought of the affliction of an awkward or ill-omened 
name. 

When there are so many pleasant names by which children 
may be called, what right has a parent to place on his child's 
head a disadvantage at the start ? Worse than a gauntlet of 
measles and whooping-coush and mumps which the little ones 
have to run is this })arentai outrage. 

What a struggle in life that child will have who has been 
baptized Jedekiah or Mehitabel ! If a child is ^* called after '' 
some one living, let that one be past mid-life and of such tem- 
perament that there shall be no danger of his becoming an ab- 
sconder and a cheat. As far as possible, let the name given be 
short, so that in the course of a lifetime there be not too many 
weeks or months taken up in the mere act of signature. The 
burdens of life are heavy enough, without putting upon any 
one the extra weight of too much nomenclature. It is a sad 
thing when an infant has two bachelor uncles, both rich 
and with outrageous names, for the baby wUl have to 
take both titles, and that is enough to make a case of infant 
mortality. 

Quizzee. — ^You seem to me, governor, to be more sprightly 
at every interview. 

Well, that is so, but I do not know how long it will last ; 
stout people like myself often ^o the quickest. 

There is a constant sympathy expressed by robust people 
for those of slight physical constitution. I think the sympathy 
ought to turn in the opposite direction. It is the delicate 
people who escape the most fearful disorders, and in three 
cases out of four live the longest These gigantic structures are 
almost always reckless of health. They say, " Nothing hm-ts 
ine," and so they stand in draughts, and go out into the night 
air to cool off, and eat crabs at midnight, and doff their flannels 
in April, and carelessly get their feet wet 

But the delicate people are shy of periL They know that 
disease has been fisning for them for twenty years, and they 
keep away from tbe hook. No trout can be caught if he sees 
the shadow of the sportsman on the brook« These people 
whom everybody expects to die, live cm most tenaciously. 

I know of a young lady who evidently married a very 
wealthy man of eighty-five years on the ground he was very 
delicate, and with reference to her one-third. But the aged 
invalid is so careful of Lis health, and the young wife so r^<- 



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T^x.^ 




CHAFFER LXIV. 



FBIDAT EYENINQ. 



OiTB friend Churchill was a great man for religions meetings. 
As he shoved back from our tea-table he said, " I must be off 
to church." 

Then he yawned as though he expected to have a dull time, 
and asked me why it was that religious meetings were often 
so very insipid, and that many people went to them merely as 
a matter <rf duty. Without waiting for me to give my opinion, 
he said he thought that there was a sombre hue given to such 
meetings that was killing, and in a sort of soliloquy continued : 

There is one thing that Satan does well. He is good at 
stating the discouraging side. He knows how to nsh for 
obstacles, and every time brings up his net full. Do not let 
us help him in his work. If you have anything to say in 
prayer-meeting that is disheartening, may you fcnrget your 
speech ! Tell us something on the bright side. 

I know a Christian man who did something outrageously 
wrong. Some one said to me : " Why do you not expose 
him V* I replied : " That is the devil's work, and it will be 
thoroughly done. If there is anything good about him, we 
would rather E^ak of that" 

Give us BO sermcms or newspaper articles that are depress- 
ing. We know all that before you start ; amid the greatest 
disheartenments there are hopeful things that may be said. 
While the Mediterranean corn-ship was going to Eonash, Paul 
told the crew to " Be of good cheer." We like B,pp\e trees 
because, though they are not handsome, they have bright 
blossoms and good fruit, but we desfuse weeing willows 
because they never do anything but cry. 



i 



224 Around the Tea-Table. 

On a dark day, do not go aroond elosmg tlia window 
Bhntten. The window is dark enoo^ without your wM^lr«"g 
it more so. Is there anybody in the room who nas a matcmr 
Please then strike it. There is only one kind of duu^MiCTe 
that we temperance folks can take, and that is enoonnigin«p 
remark. It is a stimolas, and what makes it better than aU 
other kinds of champagne is, it leaves no headache, 

I said to him, I think religions meetings hare been inmoved 
in the last few yearai Oo» of the grand resnlts of the Folton 
Street prayer-meeting is the fact that all the devotional services 
of the ooontry have been revolutiouized. The t^> of the beU of 
that histori<sd prayer-meeting has shortened the pniyesn anul 
exhortations of the Chnrch UniversaL 

But since it has become the custom to throw open the meet- 
ings for remark and exhortation, there has been a jubilee 
among the religious bores who wander arotmd pestering the 
churches. We have two or three outsiders who come about 
once in six weeks into our prayer-meeting ; and if they can 
get a chance to speak, they damage all the interest, lliey j 

talk long and loud in proportion as they have nothing to say. I 

They empty on us several bushels of ^ ohs " and '* aha.'' But 
they seldom get a chance, for we never throw the meeting 
open when we see they are there. We make such a close 
hed^e of hymns and prayers that they cannot break into tiie 
garden. 

One of them we aro free of, because one ni^t^ seeing him 
wiggle-waggle in his seat as if about to rise, we sent an elder 
to him to say that his remarks wero not acceptable. The 
elder blushed and halted a little when we gave him the mis- 
sion, but setting bis teeth together, he started for the offensive 
brother, leaned over the back of the pew and dischaiged the 
duty. We have never seen that brother since, but once in 
the street, and then he was looking the other way. 

By what right such men go about in ecclesiastical vagabond- 
ism to spoil the peace of devotional meetings it is impossible 
to telL Either that nuisance must be abated or we must 
cease to " throw open " our prayer-meetings for exhortation. 

A few words about the uses of a week-night service. 
Many Cliristians do not appreciate it : indeed, it is a great 
waste of time, unless there be some positive advantiige 
gained. 

The French nation at one time tried having a Sabbath only 
once in ten days. The intelligent Christian finds he needs a 
Sabbath every three or four days, and so builds a brief one 



Friday Evening. 225 

on the shore of a week-day in the shape of an extra religious 
service. He gets grace on Sabbath to bridge the chasm of 
worldliness between that and the next Sabbath, but finds the 
arch of the bridge very great, and so runs up a pier midway 
to help sustain the pressure. 

There are one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week, and 
but two hours of public religious service on Sabbath. What 
chance have two hours in a battle with one hundred and sixty- 
eight? 

A week-night meeting allows church membership utterance. 
A minister cannot know how to preach unless in a conference 
meeting he finds the religious state of the people. He must 
feel the pulse before giving the medicioe, otherwise he will 
not know whether it ought to be an anodyne or a stimulant. 
Every Christian ought to have something to say. Every man 
is a walking eternity. The plainest man has Omnipotence to 
defend him, Omniscience to watch him, Infinite Goodness to 
provide for him. The tamest religious experience has in it 
poems, tragedies, histories, Iliads, Paradise Lost and Paradise 
Ilegained. Ought not such an one have something to say ? 

If you were ever in the army, you know what it is to see an 
officer on horseback dash swiftly past carrying a despatch. 
You wondered as he went what the news was. Was the army 
to advance, or was an enemy coming ? 

So every Christian carries a despatch from Gk)d to the world. 
Let him ride swiftly to deliver it. The army is to advance 
and the enemy is coming. Go out and fulfil your mission. 
You may have had a letter committed to your care, and after 
some days you find it in one of your pockets : you forgot to 
deliver it. Great was your chagrin when you found that it 
pertained to some sickness or trouble. God gives every man 
a letter of warning or invitation to carry, and what will be 
your chagrin in the judgment to find that you have forgotten 
it! ^ 

A week-night meeting widens the pulpit till all the people 
can stand on it. Such a service tests one's piety. No credit 
for going to church on Sabbath. Places of amusement are all 
closed, and there is no money to be made. But week-nights 
every kind of temptation and opportunity spreads before a 
man, and if he goes to the praying circle he must give up 
these things. The man who goes to t)ie weekly service re- 
gularly through moonlight and pitch darkness, through good 
walking and slush ankle-deep, will in the book of judgment 
find it set down to his credit. He will have a better seat ia 



r 



336 Around the Tsa-Tamlk. 

hoKn/i tban the man who went onljr when the walkiiig . 
good and the weather comfortable and the aervieea attnctivv 
and his health perfect That aemoe whidi eoafei Dothifly Qod 
aoooonta aa nothing. 

A week-night service thrusts rel^fran in tlie aeenlaiitlfli of 
the week. It is as muchas to ny, MRiis is Qod^ Wedimday 
or God's Tbussday. or God's Iradaj or God^ week.* Ton 
would not give mncn for a proper^ the ynwertnn of wliidi 
joa could nave only one-seren^ of the tDne, and Go4 dose 
not want that man whoee services he can have eohr gti 8ab- 
hadk If von paid full wages to a man and fomaoBt that 
stx-eerentna of the time he waa senii^ % rival hoose, yoa 
would be indigiant ; and the man who takes God^ good- 
ness and flives six-sevenths of his time to the worid. the flesh 
and the oevil, is an abomination to the Lord. Ttm whola 
week oQi^t to be a templs of seven rooms dedicated to God. 
Ton may, if yon will, make one rocmi the holy of hdUei^ Imt 
let all the temple be consecrate. 

The week-night service gives additional opportmdiy of xeli- 
gioQS culture, and we find it so difficult to do right and be 
rights that we cannot afford to miss any opportoni^. Socba 
service is a lunch between the Sabbath meals, and if we do 
not take it we get weak and faint A truth coming to us then 
ought to be especially effective. 

If you are on a railroad train and stop at the dep6t, and a 
boy comes in with a telegram, all the paeBeDgers han torwwxd 
and wonder if it is for them. It may be news from home. It 
must be uigent, or it would not be brought there. Now, if 
while we are rushing on in the whirl of every-day excitement 
a message of God meets us, it must be an- ui^^nt and impor- 
tant message. If God speaks to us in a meeting mid-week, it 
is because there is something that needs to be said before 
next Sunday. 







SABBATH EVENING TEA-TABLE. 



CHAPTER LXV. 

THE SABBATH EVENING TEA-TABLE. 

When this evening comes, we do not have any less on our 
table because it is a sacred day, but a little more. On other 
evenings we have in our dining-hall three of the gas-burners 
lighted, but on Sabbath evening we have four. We try to 
have the conversation cheerfully religious. 

After the children are sleepy, we do not keep them up to 
recite the "Larger Catechism." During summer vacation, 
when we have no evening service to attend at church, we 
sometimes have a few chapters of a Christian book read or a 
column of a Christian newspaper, or if any one has an essay 
on any religious theme, we hear that. 

We tarry long after the tea has got cold. We do not care 
if the things are not cleared off till next morning. If any one 
has a perplexing passage of Scripture to explain, we gather all 
the lights possible on that subject. We send upstairs for 
concordance and Bible dictionary. It may be ten o'clock at 
night before the group is dispersed from the Sabbath evening 
tea-table. 

Some of the chapters following may be considered as con- 
versations condensed or as paragraphs read. You will some- 
times ascribe them to the host, at other times to the hostess, 
at other times to the strangers within the gates. 

Old Dominie Scattergood often came in on Sabbath even- 
ings. He was too old to preach, and so had much leisure. 
Now, an old minister is a great joy to us, especially if life has 
put sugar ir^^er tba^ vinegar in his disposition. Domii^ 



€ 



228 Around the Tea-Tablm* 

Scatteigood had in his face and temper the smiles of all the 
weddings he had ever solemnized, and in his handshaking all 
the hearty congratulations that had ever been offered him. 

His hair was as white as any snow-bank through which he 
had waded to meet his appointments. He sympathized with 
every one, could swing from mood to mood Teir easily, and 
found the bridge between laughter and tears a snort one and 
soon crossed. He was like an orchard in Octob^ after some 
of the frosts, the fruit so rii>e and mellow that the least breeze 
would fill the laps of the children. He ate scarcely anything 
at the tea-table, for you do not want to put much fuel in an 
engine when it has nearly reached the dep6t. Old Dominie 
Scattergood gave his entire time to relidous discourse when 
he sat with us at the close of the Lord's day. 

How calm and bright and restful the light that falls on the 
Sabbath evening tea-table ! Blessed be its memories for ever 
and for ever ! and Jessie, and De Witt, and May, and Edith, 
and Frank, and the baby, and all the visitors, old and youngs 
thick-haired and bald-headed, say Amen ! 



CHAPTER LXVL 

THE WARM HEART OP CHRIST. 



The first night that old Dominie Scattergood sat at onr tea- 
table, we asked him whether he could make his religion work 
in the insiguificant affairs of life, or whether he was accustomed 
to apply his religion on a larger scale. The Dominie turned 
upon us like a day-dawn and addressed us as follows : 

There is no warmer Bible phrase than this : " Touched with 
the feeling of our infirinitiesJ^ The Divine nature is so vast, 
and the human so small, that we are apt to think that they 
do not touch each other at any point. We might have ever 
so many mishaps, the government at Washington would not 
hear of them, and there are multitudes in Britain whose 
troubles Victoria never knows ; but there is a Throne against 
which strike our most insignificant perplexities. What touches 
us touches Christ. What annoys us, annoys Christ. What 
robs us, robs Christ He is the great nerve-centre to which 
thrill all sensations which touch us who are his members. 



The Warm Heart of Christ. 229 

He is touched with our physical infirmities. I do not mean 
that he merely sympathises with a patient in collapso of cholera, 
or in the delirium of a yellow fever or in the anguish of a 
broken back, or in all those annoyances that come from a 
disordered nervous condition. In our excited American life 
sound nerves are a rarity. Human sympathy in the case I 
mention amounts to nothing. Your friends laugh at you and 
say you have "the blues,^ or "the high strikes," or "the 
dumps," or " the fidgets." But Christ never laughs at the 
whims, the notions, the conceits, the weaknesses, of the ner- 
vously disordered. Christ probably suffered in something 
like this way, for he had lack of sleep, lack of rest, lack of 
right food, lack of shelter, and his temperament was finely strung. 

Chronic complaints, the rheumatism, the neuralgia, the 
dyspepsi^ after a while cease to excite human sympaUiy, but 
with Christ they never become an old story. He is as sym- 
pathetic as when you felt the first twinge of inflamed 
muscle or the first pang of indigestion. When you cannot 
sleep, Christ keeps awake with you. All the pains you ever 
had in your head are not ec^ual to the pains Christ had in his 
head. All the acute suffering you ever had in your feet is not 
equal to the acute suffering Christ had in his feet. By his 
own hand he fashioned your every bone, strung every nerve, 
grew every eyelash, set every tooth in its socket, and your 
eTery physical disorder is patent to him, and touches his 
sympatnies. 

He is also touched with the infirmities of our prayers. 
Nothing bothers the Christian more than the imperfections of 
his prayers. His getting down on his knees seems to be the 
signal for his thoughts to fly every whither. "While praying 
about one thing he is thinking about another. Could you 
ever ke ep y our mind ten minutes on one supplication ? I never 
could. While you are praying, your store comes in, your 
kitchen comes in, your losses and gains come in. The minister 
spreads his hands for prayer, and you put your head on the 
back of the pew in front and travel round the world in five 
minutes. 

A brother rises in prayer-meeting to lead in supplication. 
After he has begun, the door slams, and you peep through 
your fingers to see who is coming in. You say to yourself, 
" What a finely-expressed prayer, or what a bluiidering speci- 
men ! But how long he keeps on ! Wish he would stop ! 
He prays for the world's conversion. I wonder how much he 
gives toward it ? There ! I don't think I turned the ga* 
down in the parlour ! Wonder if Bridget has got hom^ ^^\»\ 



c 



230 Around the Tea^Tablr, 

Wonder if they have thought to take that cake out of the 
oven ? Oh what a fool I was to put my name on the back 
of that note ! Ought to have sold those goods for eaaih and 
not on credit !" and so you go on tumblmg over one thing 
after another until the gentleman closes his prayer with Amen / 
and you lift up your head, saying, *^ There ! I haven't proyed 
one bit I am not a Christian 1" Yes, voa are, if yon have 
resisted the tendency. Christ knows now much yon have 
resisted, and how thoroughly we are disordered of sin, and he 
will pick out the one earnest petition from the rubbish and 
answer it. To the very depth of his nature he sympathises 
with the infirmity of our prayers. 

He is touched with the infirmity of our temper. 

There are some who, notwithstanding, all that is said or done 
to them, can smile back. But many of you are so conatmcted 
that if a man insults you, you either knock him down or wish 
you could. "While with all resolution and prayer yon resist 
this, remember that Christ knows how much yon nave been 
lied about, and misrepresented, and trod on. He knows that 
though you said something that was hot, you kept back some- 
thing that was ten times hotter. He takes into acoonnt your 
explosive temperament. He knows that it requires more 
skill to drive a fiery span than a tame roadster. He knows 
how hard you have put down the '* brakes " and is touched with 
the feeling of your infirmity. 

Christ also sympathizes with our poor efforts at doing good. 

Our work does not seem to amount to much. We teach a 
class, or distribute a bundle of tracts, or preach a sermon, and 
we say, " Oh, if I had done it some other way I" Christ will 
make no record of our bungling way, if we did the best we 
could. He will make record of our intention and the earnest- 
ness of our attempt. We caunot get the attention of our class, 
or we break down in our exhortation, or our sermon falls dead, 
and we go home disgusted, and sorry we tried to speak, ana 
feel Christ is afar off. Why, he is nearer than if we had suc- 
ceeded, for he knows that we need sympathy, and is touched 
with our infirmity. 

It is comforting to know that it is not the learned and the 
great and the eloquent that Christ seems to stand closest by. 
The " Swamp-aiKjel " was a big gun, and made a stunning 
noise, but it burst before it accomplished anything, while 
many a humble rifle helped decide the contest. Chi'ist made 
salve out of spittle to cure a blind man, and the humblest 
instrumentality may, under God, cure the blindness of the souL 
Blessed be God for the comfort o£ his gospel J 




CHAPTEE LXVIL 

8AC£IFICINa EYEBYTHIKQ. 

Ourselves. — Dominie Scattergood, why did Christ tell the 
mau inquiring about his soul to sell all he had and give every- 
thing to the poor 1 Is it necessary for one to impoverish him- 
self in order to be a Christian ? 

The Dominie. — ^You mistake the purport of Christ's remark. 
He was not here teaching the importance of benevolence, but 
the duty of self-conquest That young man had an all-absorb- 
ing love of wealth. Money was his god, and Christ is not 
■willing to occupy the throne conjointly with any other deity. 
This was a case for what the doctors adl heroic treatment. If 
a physician meet a case of unimportant sickness, he prescribes 
a mild curative, but sometimes he comes to a room where the 
case is almost desperate ; ordinary medicine would not touch 
it. It is " kill or cure,'' and he treats accordingly. This young 
man that Christ was medicating was such a case. There did 
not seem much prospect, and he gives him this powerful dose, 
^' Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor !" 

It does not follow that we must all do the same, aHy more 
than because belladonna or arsenic is administered in one case 
of illness we should therefore all go to taking belladonna or 
ai^enic. Because one man in the hospital must have his arm 
amputated, all the patients need not expect amputation. The 
silliest thing that business-men could do would be to give all 
their property away and turn their families into the street. 
The most Christian thing for you to do is to invest your 
money in the best way possible, and out of your business, in.- 



232 Around the Tsa-Tabls. 

dustrionsly carried on, to contribute the lai^gest possible per- 
centa^ to the kiDgdom of God. 

StiU we must admire the manner in which the Qreat Pb jn- 
cian took the drngnosis of this man's case and grappled it. We 
all need l^/troic spiritual treatment. We do not ^t well of sin 
because we do not realize what a dire disease it is, and that 
we cannot cure it with a spiritual panacea, a gentle antidote, 
a few ffrains of spiritual morphine, a mild moral corrective or 
a few drops of peppermint on white sugar. 

We want oar pride killed, and we read an essay on that 
sweet grace of humility, and we ffo on as proud as ever. The 
pleasant lozenger does not do the work. Bather let us set 
ourselves to do that for Christ which is most oppugnant to 
our natural feelings. You do not take part in prayer-meeting 
because you cannot pray like Edward Payson, or exhort like 
John Summerfield. If you want to crush your pride, get up 
anyhow, though your knees knock together, and your tongue 
catches fast, and vou see some godless hearer in prajer-meet- 
inglaughing as though she would burst 

Deal with your avarice in the same heroic styla Having 
heard the charitable cause presented, at the first right impulse 
thrust your hand in your pocket where the money is,and pidl 
it out though it half kills you. Pull till it comes. Put it on 
the plate with an emphasis, and turn your face away before 
you are tempted to take it back again. All your sweet con- 
templation about benevolence will not touch your case. Heroic 
treatment or nothing ! 

In the same way destroy the vindictiveness of your nature. 
Treatises on Christian brotherhood are not what you need. 
Select the man most disagreeable to you, and the one who has 
said the hardest things about you. Go up and shake hands 
with him, and ask him how his family is, and how his soul 
prospers. All your enmities will fly like a flock of quails at 
the Dang of a rifle. We treat our sins too politely. We 
ought to call them by theii* right names. Hatred to our 
neighbour should not be called hard tliovghfs, but murder : 
" whoso hateth his brother is a murderer !" Sin is abominable. 
It has tusks and claws, and venom in its bite, and death in 
its stroke. Mild treatment will not do. It is loathsome, filthy 
and disgusting. If we bid a dog in gentle words to go out of 
the house, he will lie down under the table. It wants a sharp 
voice and a determined manner to make him clear out, and so 
sin is a vile cur that cannot be ejected by any conservative 
policy. It must be kicked ovt / 



The Youngsters Have Left, 233 

Alas for the young man of the text ! He refused Christ's 
•word and went away to die, and there are now those who can- 
not submit to Christ's command, and after fooling their time 
away with moral elixirs suddenly relapse and perish. They 
might have been cured, but would not take the medicine. 



CHAPTER LXVIII. 

THE YOTTNGSTEES HAVE LEFT. 

TnB children after quitting the tea-table were too noisy for 
Sabbath night, and some things were said at the table critical 
of their behaviour, when old Dominie Scattergood dawned 
iipon the subject and said : 

We expect too much of our children when they become 
Christians. Do not let us measure their qualifications by our 
own bushel. "We ought not to look for a gravity and deep 
appreciation of eternal things such as we find in grown persons. 
We have seen old sheep in the pasture-field look anxious and 
troubled because the lambs would frisk. 

No doubt the children that were lifted by their mothers in 
Christ's arms, and got his blessing, five minutes after he set 
them down were as full of romp as before they came to him. 
The boy that because he has become a Christian is disgusted 
with ball-playing, the little girl who because she has given 
her heart to God has lost her interest in her waxen doU, are 
znorbid and unhealthy. You ought not to set the life of a 
vivacious child to the tune of Old Hundred. 

When the little ones come before you and apply for church 
membership, do not puzzle them with big words, and expect 
large " experiences.'' It is now in the Church as when the dis- 
ciples of old told the mothers not to bother Christ with their 
babes. As in some households the grown people eat first, and 
the children have to wait till the second table, so there are 
persons who talk as though God would have the grown people 
first sit down at his banquet ; and if there is anything over, 
the little ones may come in for a share. 

No, no ! If the supply at the Lord's table were limited, be 
would let the children come in first and the older ones go 
without^ as a punishment for not having come in while they 

IS 



234 Around the Tea-Table. 

themselves were children. If the wind is from the north-east, 
and the air is full of frost and snow, and part of the flock 
must be left out on the mountains, let it be the old she^, for 
they can stand it better than the lambs. O Shepherd of laxael, 
crowd tbem all in before the coming of the tempest ! 

Myself. — Dominie Scattergood, what do you think of this 
discussion in the papers on the subject of liturgies 1 

ScaUergood, — I know there has been much talk of late 
about liturgies in the churches, and whether or not audiences 
should take audible part in religious service. While others are 
discussing that point, let me say that all the service of the 
Church ought to be responsive, if not with audible ^ Amen," 
and imanimous " Good Lord deliver us," then with hearty 
outburst of soul. 

Let not the prayer of him that conducts public service go 
up solitary and alone, but accom{)anied by theheuifelt ejacu- 
lation of all the auditory. We sit down on a soft cushion, in 
a pew by architectural skill arranged to fit the shape of our 
back, and are tempted to fall into unprofitable reveries. Let 
the effort be on the part of every minister to make the prayer 
and the Scripture-reading and the givinsf out of the hymn so 
emphatic that the audience cannot help but respond with all 
the soul. 

Let the minister, before going into the pulpit, look over the 
whole field and recall what are the styles of bereavement in 
the congregation — whether they be widowhood, orphanage or 
childlessness ; what are the kinds of temporal loss his people 
may recently have sufiered — whether in health, in reputation 
or estate ; and then get both his shoulders under these troubles 
and in his prayer give one earnest and tremendous lift, and 
there will be no dulness, no inditference, no lack of multitu- 
dinous response. 

The reason that congregations have their heads bobbing 
about in prayer-time is because the officiating clergyman is 
apt to petition in the abstract. He who calls the troubles of 
his people by their right names, and tenderly lays hold of the 
cancers of the soul before him, will not lack in getting immedi- 
ate heartfelt, if not audible, response. 

While we have not as much interest in the ac:itated question 
of liturgies as would make us say ten words about it, we are 
interested more than we can tell in the question : How shall 
the officiating ministers, in all the churches, give so much 
point, and adaptedness, and vigour, and blood-red earnestness 
of soul to their public devotions as shall make all the people 



The Youngsters Have Left, 235 

in church feel that it is the struggle for their immortal life in 
which the pastor is engaged ? Whether it be in tones that 
strike the ear, or with a spiritual emphasis heard only in the 
silent corridor of the heart, let all the people say Amen ! 

Myself, — What do you think, dominie, about all this talk 
about sensationalism in the pulpit 1 

Scattergood, — As far as I can understand, it seems to be a 
war between stagnation and sensationalism, and 1 dislike 
both. 

I do not know which word is the worat. It is the national 
habit in literature and religion to call that sensationalism 
which we ourselves cannot do. If an author write a book 
that will not sell, he is apt to charge the books of the day 
which do succeed as being sensational. Therfe are a great 
many men who in the world and the Church are dead failures, 
who spend theii* time in letting the public know that they are 
not sensationalists. The fact is that they never made any stir 
while living, nor will they in dying, save as they rob the 
undertaker of his fees, they not leaving enough to pay their 
dismission expenses. 

I hate sensationalism in the pulpit so far as that word 
means the preaching of everything but the gospel ; but the 
simple fact is that whenever and wherever faith and repent- 
ance and heaven and hell are proclaimed- with emphasis there 
will be a sensation. The people in our great cities are hungry 
for the old gospel of Christ. If our young men in the 
ministry want large audiences, let them quit philosophizing, 
and hair-splitting, and botanizing, and without gloves take 
hold of men's sins and troubles, and there will be no lack of 
hearers. Stagnation is worse than sensationalism. 

I have always noticed that just in proportion as a man 
cannot get along himself he is fearful of some one else making 
an excitement. Last week a mud-turtle down by the brook 
opened its shell and discoursed to a horse that was coming 
down to drink. The mud-turtle said to the horse : " Just as 
I get sound asleep you are sure to come past and wake me 
up. We always used to have a good quiet time down here in 
the swamp till you got in the habit of thumping alons this 
way, I am conservative, and like to keep in my shell I have 
been pastor of thirteen other mud-turtles, and we always had 
peace till you came, and next week at our semi-annual meet- 
ing of mud-turtles we shall either have you voted a nuisance 
or will talk it over in private, eight or ten of us, which will 
probably be the more prudent way." Then the mud-turtle's 

15-2 4 



336 Around the Tea-Table. 

shell went shut with a snap, at which the hofse kicked up bk 
heels as he turned to go up to the bam to be harnessed to a 
load of corn that was ready for the market. 

Let us all wake u]> and go to work. There are in the 
private membership of our churches aud in the ministry a 
great many men who are de^d, but have neyer had the 
common decency to get buried. With the harvest white and 
'Modging" for lack of a sickle, instead of lying under the 
trees criticising the sweating reapers who are at work, let us 
throw off oar own coat and go out to see how good a swathe 
we can cut. 

Myself, — You seem, Dcminie Scattergood, though you hare 
been preaching a great while, to be very healtiiy and to have 
a sound throat. 

ScaUergood. — ^Yes ; I don't know any reason why minisfcsffs 
should not be as well as other persons. I have never had the 
ministers' sore throat, but have avoided it by the obsenraaoe 
of two or three rules which I commend to you of leas expeti- 
ence. The drug steres are full of troches, lozenges and com- 
pounds for speakers and singers. All these medicines have 
an important mission, but how much better would it be to 
avoid the ills than to spend one's time in trying to cure th«n ! 

1. Speak naturally. Let not incompetent elocutionists or 
the barbarisms of custom give you tones or enunciations at 
war with those that Grod implanted. Study the vocal instru- 
ment and then play the best tune on it possible, but do not 
try to make a flute sound like a trumpet, or a bagpipe do the 
work of a violin. 

2. Bemember that the throat and lungs were no move 
intended to speak with than the whole body. K the vocaL 
organs get red hot during a religious service, while the rest 
of the body does not sympathize with them, there will be in» 
flammation, irritation and decay. But if the man shall, by 
appreciation of some great theme of time and eternity, go into 
it with all his body and soul, there will be an equalization of 
the whole physical organism, and bronchitis will not know 
whether to attack the speaker in his throat, right knee or left 
ankle, and while it is deciding at what point to make assault 
the speaker will go scot-free. The man who besieges an audi- 
ence only with his throat, attempts to take a castle with one 
^n, but he who comes at them with head, eyes, hands, heart, 
feet, unlimbers against it a whole park of artillery. Then 
Sebastopol is sure to be taken. 

My self. -~1 notice, dominie, that your handwriting is not aa. 



The Youngsters Have Left. 237 

good as your health. Your letter in reply to my mvitation to 
be here was so indistinct that I could not tell whether it was 
an acceptance or a declinature. 

Scattergood. — Well, I have not taken much care of my 
autograph. I know that the attempt has been made to reduce 
handwriting to a science. Many persons have been busy in 
gathering the signatures of celebrated men and women, A 
Scotchman, by the name of Watson, has paid seventy-five 
thousand dollars for rare autographs. Eev. Dr. Sprague, of 
Albany, has a collection marvellous for interest. 

After we read an interesting book, we want to see the 
author's face and his autograph. But there is almost always 
a surprise or a disappointment felt when for the first time we 
come upon the handwriting of persons of whom we have 
heard or read much. We often find that the bold, dashiug 
nature sometimes wields a trembling pen, and that some man 
eminent for weakness has a defiant penmanship that looks as 
if he wrote with a splinter of thunderbolt. 

I admit that there are instances in which the character of 
the man decides the style of his penmanship. Lord Byron's 
autograph was as reckless as its author. George Washington's 
signature was a reflection of his dignity. The handwriting of 
Samuel Eogers was as smooth as his own nature. Bobes- 
pierre's fierce-looking autograph seems to have been written 
with the dagger of a French revolution. 

On the contrary, one's handwriting is often the antipodes of 
his character. An unreasonable schoolmaster has often, by 
false instruction, cramped or ruined the pupil's chirography 
for ever. If people only knew how a brutal pedagogue in the 
academy used to pull my ears while learning to write, I 
should not be so often censured for my own miserable scribble. 
I defy any boy to learn successfully to make "hooks and 
trammels ''in his copy-book, or ever after learn to trace a 
graceful caligraphy, if he had "old Taylor" bawling over 
nim. I hope never to meet that man this side of heaven, lest 
my memory of the long-ago past be too much for the sense of 
nunisterial propriety. 

There are great varieties of circnmstances that inflnenoeand 
decide the autograph. I have no faith in the science of chiix)- 
graphy. I could, from a pack of letters in one pigeon-hole, 
put to rout the whole theory. I have come to the ccAiclosion 
that he who judges of a man's character by his penmansdiip 
makes a very poor guess. The boldest speciiHen of chirojE 
i ever received was from a man whose wife keeps him 1 



hirogHmtnr 



peciLiI tr»mor. lie :nzzT7xideiing everj time she looks towazd 
the brx'oiaci'.-Jc. 

J^^'f-'f- — ^^nm: do Ton think, domixiie, of the fact that lay* 
men hj.ve uecin to pr^airh ■ and what u voor o^xtaaa of the 
w^^rk thev ar«» doizi;i in Sx>tiand \ 

For the tirst time in ruii-.y a day the old dommie grew sar^ 
caiitic^ and niii : 

What are we cominsr to ? Get out joor fize-oigmes. There 
is a conflagration. What work Mesara. Moody, Sankej, 
PhillipB. BiisB^ Jacobs^ BumelL Durante and fifty other lay- 
men are doing ! Wherever they go they hare large concooraes 
of people* and powerful reTivals of religion follow. Had we 
not better appoint a m.^ting of conference or presbytery to 
overhaul the^ men who are saving aools wiUioat lic^oae? 
Xo ! What we want is ten thousand men just Kke them, 
coming op from amon^ the people, with no {gofeaaional gaurb, 
and hearts hot with religions f enrour, and bound by no con- 
Tentionalities or stereotyped notions about the iray things 
oo^ht to be done. 

I have a sly snspioion that the layman who has for seven 
years given the most of his time to the study of the truth is 
better prepared to preach the gospel than a man who has 
given that length of time in theological seminaries to the 
study of what other people say about the Bible. In other 
words, we like water just dipped from the spring, thou^ 
handed in a gourde rather than water that has been standing 
a week in a silver pitcher. 

After Calvin has twisted us one way, and Armininshas 
twisted us another, and we get onr head full of the old 
Andover and New Haven theological fights, and the differ- 
ence between Ante-Nicene Trinitarianism and Post-Kicene 
Trinitarianism, it is a luxury to meet some evangelist who 
can tell us in our common mother-tongue of Him who came 
to seek and to save that which was lost 

I say let our learned institutions push theological edacation 
to its highest excellency, preparing men for spheres which 
none but the cultured and scholarly are fit for, out somehow 
let us beat the drum and gather a battalion of lay-workers. 
We have enough wise men to tell us about fishes, about birds, 
about rocks, about stars — enough Leyden jars, enough tele- 
scopes, enough electric batteiies ; but we have not more than 
one man where we ought to have a hundred to tell the story 
of Christ and the soul. 

Some cry out, " It is dangerous to have laymen take such 



The Youngsters Have Left. 239 

prominent positions in the Church." Dangerous to whati 
Our dignity, our prerogatives, our clerical rights ? It is the 
same old story. If we have a mill on the stream, we do not 
v7;mt some one else to build a mill on the same stream. It 
will take the water olf our wheel. But, blessed be God ! the 
river of salvation is deep and strong enough to grind corn for 
all nations. 

If a pulpit is so weak that the wave of religious zeal on the 
part of the laity submerges it, theii let it go under. We can- 
3iot expect all other shipping to forsake tne sea lest they run 
riown our craft. We want more watchmen on the wall, more 
fsentinels at the gate, more recruits for the field. Forward 
the whole Christian laity ! Throw up no barrier to their 
advancement. Do not hang the Church until dead by the 
neck with " red-tape." 

I laughed outright, though I ought to have cried, when I 
read in one of our papers a statement of the work of Moody 
and Sankey in Edinburgh which statement closed with the 
luscious remark that " Probably the Lord is blessing their work." 
I never saw a word put in more awkward and forced and 
pitiable predicament than that word prohabli/. While heaven 
and earth and hell have recognized the stupendous work now 
going on in Scotland under God and through the instrumental- 
ity of these American evangelists, a corespondent thinks that 
probably something has happened. 

Oh how hard it is to acknowledge that men are doing good 
it they do not work in our way and by our methods I One's 
heart must have got awfully twisted and near being damned 
who can look on a great outpouring of the Holy Ghost and 
have any use for probabilities. The tendency is even among 
Christians to depreciate that which goes on independent of 
themselves and in a way oppugnant to their personal taste. 
People do not like those who do a thing which they themselves 
have not been able to accomplish. 

The first cry is, " The people converted are the lower popu- 
lation, and not the educated." We wonder if five hundred 
souls brought to Christ from the " Cowgate " and " Coalhole," 
and made kings and priests unto God, and at last seated on 
thrones so hi^ they will not be able to reach down with 
their foot to the crown of an earthly monarch, is not worth 
some consideration ? 

Then the cry is, " They will not hold out." Time only will 
show that. They are doing all they can. You cannot expect 
them to hold out ten years in six weeks. The most faithful 



2^0 Arousd the Tea-Table. 

Cliristi.inB we have ever known were brougbt in throagli 
i*ovival8, and the meanest, stingiest, dullest, hardest-to-get-on- 
M'ith Christians have joined when the church waa dead. 

When a candidate for <adniission comes before session in 
revival times, I a^^k him only seven or eight questions ; bnt 
when he comes during a cold state of religion, I ask bim 
twenty questions, and get the elders to ask him as many more. 
In other words, I have more faith in oonYersiom under special 
religious influence thiin under ordinary. 

llie best luck I ever had in fishing was when I dropped the 
net in the bay and brought up at one haul twenty blnefish, with 
only three or four mossbunkers, and the poorest luck I ever 
had was when, after standing two hours in the soggy meadow 
with one hook on the line, I felt I had a bite and begm to 
pull, more and more persuaded of the great size of the cap- 
tive, until I flung to the shore a snapping-turtle. As a gospel 
flsherman I would rather run the risk of a large haul than of 
a solitary angling. I can soon sort out and throw overboard 
the few moss bunkers. 

Oh for great awakenings all over Christendom ! We have 
had a drought so long we can stand a freshet. Let the Hudson 
and the Thames and the Susquehanna rise and overflow the 
lowLands and the earth be full of the knowledge of Grod as 
the waters Ull the seas. That time is hastening, probably / 





CHAPTER LXIX- 

FAMILY PEAYEKS. 

Take first the statement that unless our children are saved in 
early life they probably never will be. They who go over the 
twentieth year without Christ are apt to go all the way with- 
out him. Grace, like flower-seed, needs to be sown in spring. 
The first fifteen years of life, and often the flrst six, decide 
the eternal destiny. 

The first thing to do with a Iamb is to put it in the arms of 
the Great Shepherd. Of course we must observe natural laws. 
Give a child excessive meat diet, and it will grow up sensual, 
and catechism three times a day, and sixty ^ins in each 
dose, won't prevent it. Talk much in your child's presence 
about the fashions, and it will be fond of dress, notwithstand- 
ing all your lectures on humility. Fill your house with gossip, 
and your children will tattle. Culture them as much as you 
will, but give them plenty of money to speud^ and they will go 
to destruction. 

But while we are to use common sense in every direction 
respecting a child, the first thing is to stiive for its conver- 
sion, and there is nothing more potent than family prayers. 
No child ever gets over having heard parents pray tor him. 
I had many sound thrashings when I was a boy (not as many 
as I ought to have had, for I was the last child and my parents 
let me off)* hut the most memorable scene m my diild- 
hood was father and mother at morning and evening (M?ayer8. 
I cannot forget it, for I used often to be squirming around on 
the floor and looking at them while they were praying. Yonr 
0on mt^ go to the ends of the earthy ami, nm thrSti|^ the 



rj? Arr^rr^ te^e Tea-Table. 

vlirwf niUj rii* r.f trf::^^ : ra Bk <B^ \nX he will remember the? 
tBSLT^ fcliLT. iziiii will 1** 2L che^ and a call, juid perfaap9 

Ti-n-i^ Tc»Tf Ti :t« cc:*^ rf do xmc. Periiapa they are too 
IncTji i. ^t Llt* ic id3^ before bs of the dxfs work that 
'•nr 1 r.jC * lb* Afiirqi tc^ciher. We iret half through the 
Aa^Xr,*- ^-f XV iLe iaailx aiv seated. We read as if we were 
ira^j: f .-KT a wr^eE. We drrTi on oar knees, and are in the 
iiKioai£ IT ibrri nesHeact bef ar« ther all get dowzL It is an 
eiTCv» iraix vii^ aaDca lev the first dep5t. We rush for the 
^.tf asii rv«r:«yt. u»d are oo the waj to the store, leaving the 
jiflfcgib^ JaL "i^u fanilr najes are a neoessuy nnmnoe, and 
w« hac aerscr s:^ have liai any gathering of the family at alL 
j^tae? haTY riT-sa tbea a ks all aroond ; it woold have 
^£.kflK kw tSDe a:>d xr^u}i ha^e been mcne acceptable to God 

PWaily l ea jnt^i^ cct^n fdl in ada{itedness. Bo not read for 
the m.-TTs^tz: lessiin a priiei!i*/;al di?.nter, or aboat Samson's 
:$««d[nz: ^^ tiixe$' taOs c<ti fire^ cs* the pn>phecy about the horses 
b^aek aad r^3, ai>i s^ieckled, unlese yon explain why Uiey were 
i^^K^Lkd. For aII ihe ^?aod yoor children get from snch read- 
iiu: yc«a xzd£:^t a$ well hare read a Chinese almanac. Bather 
irlW the aciry of Jesiis. and the diildren climbing into hi? 
Ittk, cff lie lii wi;h the loaTes and fishes, or &e Sea of 
GaHjee drv^I5^ni: to sleep under Christ s lullaby. 

;^op Jiai askqiK^tic^iiS. Make the exercise so interesting 
thii litt> Johnny will stop playing with his shoe-stricgs and , 
%^«my will qnit rabbinsr the <ats for the wrong way. Let 
the praiTiM- be ]x^ted and made np of small words, and no 
wi^ inti>Tmativ>n to the Lord aboat things he knows withoat 
To»ir telling him. Let the children feel they are prayed for. 
li:%Te a hymn if any of yon can sing. Let the season be 
spirited!, apprc^prwte and gladly solemn. 

family prayer also fails when the whole day is not in har- 
mony with it A family prayer, to be worth anything, ought 
to be twenty-four hours long. It ought to give the pitch to 
all the days work and beha\-iour. The day when we get 
thoroughly mad upsets the morning devotion. The life must 
be in the same key with the devotion. 

Family prayer is in6nitely important. If you are a parent 
and are not a professor of religion, and do not feel able to com- 
pose a prayer, get some one of the many books that have been 
written, put it down before you, and read prayers for the 
houaehola. €rod has said that He will '* pour out His fury 
upon the families that call not upon His name.^ 



Vall to Sailors, 245 

Prayer for our children will be answered. My grandmother 
wiis a praying woman. My father's name was David, One- 
day, he and other members of the family started for a gay 
party. Grandmother said : " Go, David, and enjoy yourself ; 
out all the time you and your brothers and sisters are there, 
I will be praying for you." They went, but did not have a 
very good time, Knowing that their mother was praying for 
them. 

The next morning, grandmother heard loud weeping in the 
room below. She went down and found her daughter cry- 
ing violently. What was the matter ? She was in anxiety 
about her soul— an anxiety that found no relief short of the 
cross. Word came that David was at the bam in great agony, 
Grandmother went and found him on the bam floor, praying 
for the life of his soul. 

The news spread to the neighbouring houses, and other 
parents became anxious about their children, and the influence 
spread to the village of Somerville, and there was a great 
turning unto God ; and over two hundred souls in one day 
stood up in the village church to profess faith in Christ. And 
it all started from my grandmother's prayer for her sons and 
daughters. May God turn the hearts of the fathers to the 
children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest 
he come and smite the earth with a curse ! 



CHAPTER LXX. 

CALL TO SAILORS. 



One of the children asked us at the tea-table if we had ever 
preached at sea. We answered, No ! but we talked one Sab- 
oath, mid- Atlantic, to the oflScers, crew and passengers of the ^ 
steamship China. By the way, I have it as it was taken down ' 
at the time and afterward appeared in a newspaper, and here 
is the extract : 

No persons bound from New York to Liverpool ever had 
more cause for thanksgiving to God than we. The sea so 
smooth, the ship so staunch, the companionship so a^eeable, 
all the circumstances so favourable. O Thou who boldest the 
winds in thy list, blessed be thy glorious name for ever ! 

Englishmen, Costa Kicans, Germans, Spaniards, Japanese^ 
Irishmen^ Americans — ^gathered, never to meet again till tho 



i 



'jLTtsut s. jtutrufT^: -^ J^^L — "jA t& ^.-Iz. LuiiSs Vr-daj aroand 

* -.-r^t^ uuj v*sL^ If ** "^ut^ ji lie ^'-•^-* r* 've all ft-frf^ and 
' ~^i.zixs. -a <:t :•. ■"*.!.'» '* 

~t rito* tauj. .iuisi: js. iLt iobh. of liT* lo-daj. We only 
■TKT k r^mmt X fiiira. icjiel T^ qiMsska is^ ""iniitber are 
'w ~:«aixiii. - 1 z ji fc r xuc s 2c72 «- mZn «£ *^*'^ n n P iU 
^ aesLoe aicK 5ii»siCiiJiiHL ^v» ,^»ie nrrTTliTa^ 

!^r stur rk^ ^ JiSLT--i«L \^ axueEi. If w anire ti^n^ 
i; ^il :« ':«'3TiK v« tcrx iiif- beja. aec tbe sail, larntdi the 
iiiiijaB uii iCiOiL OL 'ait * j:i:c >n:i ^ -villi ^^wmwmMm. to thai 
I'l'yifTfc'-iJtL. 1^i=!rt &JT lEULj -v^Ti of ligug lost— orij o t w a y 
re ^leizir skT-t-i . 7f>»<'2» v^^r:^ i» vs± vaj. Se ooaaei acraai 
uj» aob 'mi. iLL/. 1^ f r^ OL uit riua of t^ ware, as <hi fiiKIrr 
— ij» AziL » 9<rr.c;ii ijj^ T^rdat ait Axshizts. lis heait as vaim. 
Wii.iii.-trTsir i", ix^^j LfciY a» srcnfcfi. Lis pndan, bia heaven. 

<^L:)Er» Lui ^rt-v :£ lis «r.ir\. lk&T^& toq hoc cftea £^ tibe 
a»^i a: iiT-jitT bell . Ix Ujt bi^sr cc fiann aad ahqrmck, fur 
a-v^jfr^zL ]r:izr ii.gnftiL la-pt- jvc zkx called for faeaveoly vcacne 2 
IVf ' G'.'C. vi>* tibrc. itsiri iLj praj-er viU hear iliee now. 
^«j£k HA 7*:.:z' iL>iJ^ iz. ib* £retz fnrare vithoat **»— »p— ^ or 
.^l^';« cr Jkr*.lcr. :tr bt-'— >*r .1:1 Yc>:i will aooo haw fioried 
7-.>^ lusa SLil. Jk=>i rzr zr il-? last zaxliDC axkd weathered the 
l&K pL»*. Lifi c^r li* liiS Tc-jaoe- Whit next I Where 
tiiri" w-11 ;i* Tr:«.:r L.i=>», wb^ tost cozipunioii^ what yoor 

\jA 'Z& LL *>-'-• '^ G->i f lir ibis S&l-lsuh whkh has oome to 
T^ cr ibe seiL Ejtbt be^:::*if::llT it biiiges the Atlantic! It 
b.-^rer* ACCT* rverr rtir^ii^ ii.i l-H^ Aiid steamer. It speaks 
oc A J^SLus riaezL. a \r-^Te .-:•--: ::eTe-i a heaven open. It is the 
suae oii SvaI i^-.l -b^i :ltssed our eirlv days^ It is tropical 
in isi luiuriki:^f, ':-~i jkll its leaves are I'^J^i^ •'*d all its 
blc^si>=^ peai^. SaVr^itb on the s*^-i ! How solemn ! How 
$;:;^^«s£ive ' Le; :l1I its bours^ en ucok. in cabin, in forecaatle, 
be sacTvd. 

S^MIl;^ of the oli t:::ie$ that tbese siilors heard in boyhood 
times woa'.i stC'imd well :i>-dsy doatini? among the rigging. 
Tit •* Jesus, lover of mv s^vjI." or - Come, ye sinners, poor 
an«l needyr iw " Thei^ is a fountain filled with blood.* As 
^xm as I Ley try those old hymns, the memcHry of loved ones 
^»uld come l«aek again, and' the familiar groop of their diild- 
hood would gather^ and father wonld be there, and mother 
who gave th^ snch good advice when they came to sea^ and 
fustera and brothera lon<* since mattered and gone. 



Call to Sailors. 245 

Some of 70a have be^i pursued by beuedietiaas for macny 
yaars. I care not how many knots an hour you may elide 
along, the prayers onee offered up for your welfare still &eep 
up with you. I care not on what shore you land, those bene- 
dictions stand there to greet you. They will capture you yet 
for heaven; The prodigal after a while gets tired of the swine- 
herd and starts for home, and the father comes out to greet 
him, and the old homestead rings with clapping cymbals, and 
quick feet, and the clatter of a banquet. If the God of thy 
childhood days should accost thee with forgiving mercy, this 
ship would be a Bethel, your hammock to-night would be the 
foot of the ladder down which the angels of God's love would 
come trooping. 

Now, may the blessing of God come down upon officers and 
crew and passengers ! Whatever our partings, our losses, our 
mistakes, our disasters in life, let none of us miss heaven. On 
that shore may we land amid the welcome of those who have 
gone before. They have long been waiting our arrival, and 
are now ready to conduct us to the foot of the throne. Look,^ 
all ye voyagers for eternity ! Land ahead ! Weeping may 
endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 

What Paul said to the crew and passengers on the com- 
ship of the Mediterranean is appropriate here : " Now 1 
ecihort you to he of good cheer /" God fit us for the day when 
the archangel, with one foot on the sea and the other on the 
land, shall swear by Him that liveth for ever and ever that 
time shall be no longer ! 





CHAPTER LXXL 

Yorx AiceiL-£«:c is jaUed to a Bible iaesieat that yoa may 
£v:c ba.T« z-odotnL « :l.ot»Lji^kA£ was unfoitiiiiate witb his 
shif oisc. He vas a.lovi: co sc&rt ausLodfeo* reseeL The wid:ed 
Bieiicf Xhiir.th vizLi^fd to go aK\mi that Tessel as sauktrs. 
Je£c«>ai^c;i: r>*rise\i to aHo^r th^nn to p.\ for the reason tiut 
he viivi L.CC wxi.t b^ o^arn cien. to mir.jle with those vicioos 
p^K'cie. 

I*i cch^r wcnLk he knew wbic yoa a]Q!d I know very well, 
tlu; it is r.-cv^r >afe to ^^ in the sazne boat with the wicked. 
But there xre v^jrlocLs irplicatiocs of that Mex We too often 
forp-t it* invi jire net is wi» as Jehosbaphat was when he 
Ktu^d to al*:xr h-s 1:1^' n to be in companionship in the 
sas;^ K\:t: vritli :hc v.ic\e>.i iii*:^. of Ahazfah. 

Th<* ^^ir^nvirle I stAtcjvi is apDn>pnate to the fonnatian, in 
the iinj: oiuKe. of v:.* vfvTc <'iV .T;«.Va/«i.r*. I have often known 
wv:i;<:i who niArrtcxi men for tiie purpose of reforming them 
frvm dL^j^iratcvl h:vli:j^ I never knew one successful in the 
uuviertakinjr. Ir^tead of the woman lifting the man up, the 
ttxau dr.v-T? her down. This is inevitably the case. The 
irrvatest risk tha: one e\-tr undertakes is attempting the 
vo^*a$;^^ of life in a Iw^it in which the wicked sail ; this remark 
Knug most appropriate to the young rersons who are in my 
rrvseuvw It is never safe to sail with the sons of Ahaziah. 
The a^\l men arouuvl me will bear out the statement that I 
hax-e made. There is no exception to it. 

The j>riuciple is just as true in r^ard to ail bnsiness 
4JiMH<t4^ I snow it is often the case that men have not the 



jEHOSHAPHAtS SHIPPING, 247 

choice of their worldly associations, but there are instances 
where they may make their choice, and in that case I wish 
them to understand that it is never safe to go in the same 
"boat with the vicious. No man can afford to stand in asso- 
ciations where Christ is maligned and scoffed at, or the things 
of eternity caricatured. Instead of your Christianizing them, 
they will heathenize you. While you propose to lift them up, 
they will drag you down. It is a sad thing when a man is 
obliged to stand in a business circle where men are deriding 
the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. For instance, rather 
than to be associated in business circles with Frothinghamite 
infidelity, give me a first-class Mohammedan, or an uncon- 
verted Chinese, or an unmixed Hottentot. There is no danger 
that they will draw me down to their religion. 

If, therefore, you have a choice when you go out in the 
world as to whether you will be associated in business circles 
with men who love God or those who are hostile to the Chris- 
tian religion, you might better sacrifice some of your financial 
interests and go among the people of God than risk the in- 
terests of your immortal soul. 

Jehosliaphat knew it was unsafe for his men to go in one 
boat with the men of Ahaziah, and you cannot afford to have 
"business associations with those who despise God and heed 
not his commandments. I admit the fact that a great many 
men are forced into associations they despise, and there are 
business circles in which we are compelled to go which we do 
not like, but if you have a choice, see that you make an intel- 
ligent and safe one. 

This principle is just as true in regai'd to social connections. 
Let no young man or woman go in a social circle where the 
influences are vicious or hostile to the Christian religion. You 
will begin by reproving their faults, and end by copying 
them. Sin is contagious. You go among those who are pro- 
fane, and you will be profane. You go among those who use 
impure language, and you will use impure language. Go 
among those who are given to strong drink, and you will in- 
evitably become an inebriate. There is no exception to the 
rule. A man is no better than the company he continually 
keeps. 

It is always best to keep ourselves under Christian influ- 
ences. It is not possible, if you mingle in associations that 
are positively Christian, not to be made better men or women. 
The Christian people with whom you associate may not be 
always talking their religion, but there is something in the 



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1.. i > '• * : . : : ' ""■ 
■ ..K Twi.t : r ' :■- 

': >: • -■;._: :--> ■: -::-- ■: Ti* *.l:-'.i happen to oome 

T- : - • : -■-::-. :^r fTr-:.::.-. irf vj-^i talk about the 

...:- -■--■> ■ . ::■•-.. :r :: f rr>;L: izrry in Wall StretrT, 

:.: I. • : : ':• .'.ii-.r :':. : -*. r^i jv.rl.aps we wouW 

■•:■«.:; T .":-'2* •/:.-.-! ... : . ..r L.tvs of he**\ven. 

T • • : • • ' 7 :"; : >; ■ ■.:_.>zi. I;:- lei d, I Live 

^ .:■;.■>•.- .•-. .::•- ■.: ri i ■. :.:.-....:. :'-:■- plr iciually lack- 

: .: -. . :■ ■• : -• : ' :7s;L:..r. '^:.:'.r :lr iwo persons knew 

■""■•- '' ~ '''.'. -. Wif .*■. C ■ r>' .;.. 

: .. . : • - -.iL -.»:• ; .= : :il< crdem d&j and 

.T : ::— .: : : : >t : r •. r.. 1 f.:* •>t ::.e two men mav 

: ::..:▼• ^ :■■>.?■ ■-■.•- i- . ^^hi: aTt thev ta'ikiDg 

. . : '. : : -f > : r T*:^ w:r .■!^ f .;*: e.": :■ :i.:u:n t? ibem. thev 

. .- - .-> : • ' f. :;:.r ;: : :.::sr;*::rirp:;::seMr.A 

. : : . - : ^- • .■:>:. '-::.. 'T'^: r-:-:a. b::h redeemed 
'; . . ... : : . ..:.,":--* ^ .: -:, \-..iVcn ri^ove tben\ 
: : .....: ■ :::::■.: TV : .... •.:.■: i:!:r;o.;s Lis-iorv 
.:■:::. -. ■ .:■':--*.;.: .^: ■.:". . '. :".-.:-. i>:ii;i:iily after a 
V : : :v V ::- ■/. '/; >."..: .1 iir\:j:[?u. A few 

-.. . :.^ : .-..'•-.- . r Ir }^« :•.:'.... :.*L? : " Fii.e aalumu wc 

■. . : . . ^ -. --••-:: --■■:. N.-n-. Tv".; >"pT>.-^se tbr.t 

-, _ .^ :.. . ,> ":..■.: : .. y'—... v^i:„int\i li.iek for 

: \. . ;.:.-. v. iv. :..'.vo V-. • :. :• s:;::.:'.:^ ih-? ihings of 

, .. ;:::•. :% :':.,: :":.:_v ::-.■..; :.s..h tlie subject wiili 

• ^ . .::■:.. :....:. 1 ;• . .: 't" ' v.: wh.»: ::>eiiil thing Mr. U 

v../x^ :.■ >>. A ::: o;:"vtriv.:;. :\ 

I; :s :':.■- •.:.:•.: t :::::'. r.:. i imt: .;■> :: ::« the last that these 
:\\»'» 0. .■.:s::a:: i-Jor. wil. :vct L. .: iiL::! ti.ey come f.icetofiuc 



jEHOSHAPiiAts Shipping, 249 

before the throne of God. They know it. The third attempt 
is now made. Mr. A says to Mr. B : " Feels like snow T' 

My opinion is, it must have felt more like ice. Oh, how 
little real, practical reli^ous conversation there is in this day 1 
I would to God that we might get back to the old-time Chris- 
tianity, when men and women came into associations, and felt, 
*' Here I must use all the influence I can for Christ upon that 
soul, and get all the good I can. This may be the last oppor- 
tunity I shall have in this world of interviewing that immor- 
tal spirit." 

But there are Christian associations where men and women 
do talk out their religion ; and my advice to you is to seek 
out all those things, and remember that just in proportion as 
you seek such society will you be elevated and blessed. After 
all, the gospel boat is the only safe boat to sail in. The ships 
of Jehoshaphat went all to pieces at Eziongeber. 

Come aboard this gospel craft, made in the drydock of 
heaven and launched nineteen hundred years ago in Bethle- 
hem amid the shouting of the angels. Christ is the captain, 
and the children of God are the crew. The cargo is made up 
of the hopes and joys of all the ransomed. It is a ship bound 
heavenward, and all the batteries of God will boom a greeting 
as we sail in and drop anchor in the still waters. Come aboard 
that ship ; it is a safe craft ! The fare is cheap ! It is a cer- 
tain harbour ! 

The men of Ahaziah were forbidden to come aboard the 
ships of Jehoshaphat, but all the world is invited to board 
this gospel craft. The vessel of Jehoshaphat went to pieces, 
but this craft shall drop anchor within the harbour, and 
mountains shall depart, and hills shall be removed, and seas 
shall dry up, and time itself shall perish, but the mercy of the 
Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear 
HinL 




16 




CHATTER ijrvg 




tui^-iu she cae izac ^rtnkfati^ nrio^ "^ iVtruotf feJcM CkrufJ* 
^e «>CB,«r nasgcc^TJ-'-r. ** F^jr 'f?fr^ trsbmj^ a **^'" *■*'"■ Bt for 
Ptcceskcs wiieneT-^r ^e^ ccoie toieiKkcr. 

Tbe w\:ri ** zi'^rrr'* is ttskvI iai the Bible two lundrad and 
focrtdea tLizes : i^ jtwou co be the fkroozite word of afi tlie 
S»:rircr:T«Sw S«:c:=cizies it placets fteeblr upon us likie d«ir in 
the ssju-i:^: : taeu. widi bo^er kand it aeems to bviki an 
aruhflhi c r*«ice fn>ci oz.e storm-^'Iocd oi^ tzoable to anotlier ; and 
then ;i;rjiii i^ tricklis like a f vMmtaui apoa thie tliint ^ the 
tiaTe".<?r. 

The dness n-\i«i* I erer saw are in Switzerland ; Acy mo 
bailc bv the g^'vennaecz^ an^l at Tenr abort interrabToneoDie 
aoTtii» water poohi^ our ot the rooka. Tlie gOTcnuBent jhto- 
Tides CUM for mrn and trjiichs for the ^wiTnATa to drink ont 
of. And oar Kinc has so arraii|rei it that on the highway 
we are traveli.r.^ toward heaven, ever and anon tiiere shall 
dash upon us the clear, sweet water that flows from the eternal 
Eook. I propose to tell vou some things about God s mercy. 

First, think of his jMird>:ni!>(i mercy. The gospel finds na 
shipwrecked ; the wave beneath ready to swallow us, the 
storm above pelting us, our good worl^ foundered, there is 
no such thing as getting ashore unhelped. The gospel finds 
ns incarcerated ; of all those who have been in thick dungeon 
darkness, not one soul ever escapeii by his own power. If a 
soul is delivered at all, it is because some one on the oatsido 



All about Mercy. 251 

shall shove the bolt and swing open the door, and. let the 
prisoner come out free. 

The sin of the soul is not, as some would seem to think, just 
a little dust on the knee or elbow that you can strike off in a 
xQoment and without any especial damage to you. Sin has 
iitterl^r discomfited us ; it has ransacked our entire nature ; it 
has ruined us so completely that no human power can ever re- 
construct usi ; but through the darkness of our priacm gloom 
and through the storm there comes a voice from heaven, say ing, 
** I will: abundantly paidon." 

Then think of his restraiavag mercy. I donot believe that 
it is possible for any man to tell his capacity for crime until 
he has been tested. There have been men who denounced all 
kinds of frauds, who scorned all mean transactions, who would 
have had you believe that it was impossible for them ever to 
be tempted to dishonesty, and yet they may be owning to-day 
the chief part of the stock in the Credit Mobilier. 

There are men who once said they never could be tempted 
to intemperance. They had no mercy on thednmkard. They 
despised any man who became a victim of strong drink. Time 
passed on, and now they are the victims of the bottie, so far 
gone in their dissipation that it is almost impossible that they 
ever should be rescued. 

So there have been those who were very hard on all kinds 
of impurity, and who scoffed at unchastity, and who said that 
it was impossible that they should ever be led astray ; but to- 
night they are in the house whose gates are the ^ates of hell ! 
It is a very dangerous thing for a man to make a boast and say^ 
^' Such and such a sin I never could be tempted to commit.'' 

There are ten thousand hands of mercy holding us up, there 
are ten thousand hands of mercy holding us back, or we would 
long ago havegone over the precipice and instead of sittingto-night 
in a Christian sanctuary, amid the respected and the good, our 
song would have been that of the drunkard, or we would be 
'^ h£ul fellows well met" with the renegade and the profligate. 
Oh, the restraining mercy of God ! Have you never celebrated 
it ? Have you never rejoiced in it 1 

Think also of his auiding mercy. Tou have sometimes 
been on a journey, and come to where there were three roads — 
one ahead of you, one to the right and one to the left It was 
a lonely place, and you had no one of whom to a^ advice. 
You took the left hand road, thinking that was the right one, 
but before night you found out your mistake, and yet your 
hone waB too ezbaosted and y<m were too ticed to retraoe 

1^— ^ 



m, JL JXEL aflBi^i. 
'ipir or izrxTotixft. mit-vnua. 
[ juc cjifnr Z^i se aof ^:iiBC 
[C if inr; -aac jxa -rJL "zuis "a 

t^TDL BZ1CSX> •.|gfSK VOL 

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Trmir Mm. i£ as smiff ir^nf : 
wmLjamLinrBi.ii'^ nrax iri 
■&£ 

L& QIC UlC SI i 

■■miiSL 'nBaUB^ 
311^' ii 3I2IIL in. incTr yeas 'vdL iisn- as i 
mmnrBxiaBi biic iiroiniq g xul ' 

3^1 mtt scia»aL ^ jul ak^ luii "winmcteS ic i&b al 
nuHB lit "wmziiOfiC JL liiai. TI^kbr cc- &s liE : 

TiBneroidDL Kttz gffTi:!i;inT^ ^rTJurwi snms Id 3kdm wn^ ti 

if iiif Smzni. jai£ in- skj^ : "*■ i-ft.. ^sq irf«main3 ^gni*. f] 

"*• !I^ifi?t »'* iiai£ iriiar^ -at* Tr.i;kiriLinEir nn^r air, * I am 

fork.'' .iz^aT^^TTnif uBOkiiisid :ia&.'^ Y4naor&ii»bcU^ 

I £3L : '«^ifT mill iiui^r tn*^ i3kf 1^ senriaft cooi not to ex- 




brt 



H^ ram» TJ^ laii^ 'hsres:^^£ o&f i2ki sit^ : ** I mm. tke i g ji- 
T^tDaL joic libt I2?f : iif^ iiiK rifibfradi is aeu ifa^li he wese 
«Mii« x«t siifcl iif l^f;.* And if i^ Tznside be ^■^'^^^ if 
i^Nfli^ Sp iC' TzuaT jcvmii"^ xr- rL «^ xdextt baaa to i^ ao autiiy 
^ Tr IT I'fcm^ir rniiiirrTTrr ttt nf'ilir nhn ibmjhi uiU 



ALL ABOUT MERCVn ^53 

comforts of God's word to Lis soul, lie can take that other 
promise made for a man in the last emergency and when 
everything else fails : " All thiugs work together for good to 
those that love God." Oh, have you never sung of the com- 
forting mercy of God ? 

Think also of his enthroning merey. Notwithstanding 
there are so many comforts in Christ's gospel, I do not think 
that we could stand the assault and rebuff of the world for ever. 
We all were so weary of the last war. It seemed as if those 
four years were as long as any fifteen or twenty years of our 
life. But how could we endure one hundred years, or five 
hundred years, or a thousand years, of earthly assault 1 Me- 
thinks the spirit would wear down under the constant chafiog 
and the assault of the world 

Blessed be God, this story of grief and trouble and per- 
plexity will come to an end ! There are twelve gates to heaven, 
and they are all gates of mercy. There are paths coming into 
all those gates, and they are all paths of mercy. There are 
bells that ring in the eternal towers, and they are all chimes 
of mercy. There are mansions prepared for us in this good 
land when we have done with the toils of earth, and all those 
mansions are mansions of mercy. Can you not now strike 
upon your soul, saying, " Bless the Lord, oh my. soul, for His 
pardoning mercy, for His restraining mercy, for His guiding 
mercy, for His comfoiling mercy, for His enthroning mercy'*! 





CHAPTER LXXIII, 

VKDEB THE OAMEI/S 8ABDLE. 

Bacbkl had been affianced to Jacob, and one day^wlitile^ her 
father Laban was away from home she eleped with Jaiiob. 
Laban returned home and expressed great smtow th^ he had 
not been there when his daughter went away ; saying tbal he 
wonld have allowed her to go, and that she might h»?e been 
aocompanied with a harp and the dance and with msMy beau- 
tiful presents. 

Laban started for Eachel and Jacob. He was very aazieiis 
to recover che gods that had been stolen from his household. 
He supposed that Bachel had taken them, as she really had. 
He came up in the course of a few days to the party and de- 
manded the gods that had been taken from his house. Jacob 
knew nothing about the felony, bat Eachel was secreting 
these household gods. 

Laban came into the tent where she was, and asked for 
them. She sat upon a saddle of a camel, the saddle having 
been laid down at the side of the tent, and under this camel's 
saddle were the images. Bachel pretended to be sick, and 
said she could not rise. Her father, Laban, supposed that she 
told the truth, and looked everywhere but under the camel's 
saddle, where reaJly the lost images were. He failed in the 
search, and went back home without them. 

It was a strange thing for Laban to do. He pretended to 

be a worshipper of the true God. What did he want of those 

images 1 Ah, the fact was, that though he worshipped God, 

^||B|^rsliippcd \<rith csly haif a heart, and he sometimes, I 

^^^^Ifc^ repented of the fact that he worshipped Him at all, 



Under the Camel's Saddle. 255 

and really had a hankering after those old gods which in his 
earliest days he had worshipped. And now we find him in 
Bachel's tent looking for them. 

Do not let ns, however, be too severely critical of Laban. 
He is only the representative of thousands of Christian men 
and women, who, once having espoused the worship of God, 
go back to their old idols. When a man professes faith in 
Christ on communion-day, with the sacramental cup in his 
hand, he swears allegiance to the Lord God Almighty, and 
says, " Let all my idols perish !" but how many of us have 
forsaken our fealty to God, and have gone back to our old 
idols ! 

There are miuiy who sacrifice their souFs interests in the 
idolatiy of wealth. There was a time when you saw the folly 
of trjdnff with money to satisfy the longing of your soul. 
You saic^ when you «aw men going down into the dust and 
tussle of life, " Whatever god I worship, it won't be a golden 
calf." Yoii saw men plunge into the life of a spendthrift, or 
go down into the life c^ a misery like one of old smothered to 
death in his own money-chest, and you thought, '^ I shall be 
very careful never to be caught in these traps in which so 
many men have fallen, to their souls' eternal discomfiture." 

But yott went down into the world ; you felt the force of 
temptation ; you saw men all around you making money very 
fast, some of them sacrificing all their Christian principle ; 
you felt the fascination come upon your own soul, and before 
you knew it, you were with Laban going down to hunt in 
Bachel's tent for your lost idols. 

• On one of our pieces of money you find the head of a 
goddess, a poor inscription for an American coin ; far better 
9ie inscription that the old Jews put upon the shekel, a pot 
of manna and an almond rod, alluding to the jsiercy and 
deliveruice of God in their behalf in other days. But how 
seldom it is that money is consecrated to Christ ! Instead of 
the man owning the money, the money owns the man. It is 
evident, especially to those" with whom they do business every 
day, that they have an idol, or that, having once forsaken thie 
idol, they are now in search of it, far away from the house of 
God, in Bachel's tent looking for the lo.st images. 

One of the mighty men of India said to his servants : " Q(0 
not near the cave in such a ravine." The servants talked the 
matter over, and said : " There must be gold there, or cer- 
tainly this mighty man would not warn us against going." 
They went, expecting to find a pile of gold ; they rolled away 



256 Arousd the Tea-Tablb. 

Hjt st^xne from tite <kor of the caTc, wben a tiger spnng out 
upon ti:«Ei m-i dercxxred tbem. 

MAn J nien in the search of irold hare been cmndMd im the 
j&ws cf «iestmct: :n. Goicg oat far awmr from the God ^riuHB 
thej crirrinail J 'worshipwd, th^v are seekingy in the teufc of 
Bachely LaLan's lest images. 

There are a great man j ChxisdaiiB in this daj renewing the 
ido!atrT of human opinion. There was a time when they 
woke up to the folir of listening to what men said of them. 
Ther soliloqnized in this waj : " I hare a God to wor^ip, 
and' I am respooflible onlj to Him. I most go straight on 
and do mr whole dntj, whether the world likes it or don't 
Kke it f and thej tnmed a deal ear to the fawrinatioDS of 
public app4aaae. After a while thej <iid scxnething veiy 
popular. They had the popular ear and the popular heart. 
Men approTed them, and pmnred gentle words ci flattery into 
their ear, and before they realised it they went into the search 
of that which they had given up, and were^ with Laban, 
hunting in Bachels tent for the lost images^ 

Between eleven and twelve o'clock one Jnne ni^t^ Gibbon, 
the great historian, finished his history. Seated in a summer 
garden, he says that as he wrote the last line of that wonder* 
fed work he felt great satisfaction. He closed the manuscript, 
walked out into the moonlight in the garden, and then, he 
said, he felt an indescribable melancholy come upon his soul 
at the thought that so soon he must leave all the fame that 
he would acquire by that manuscript 

The applause of this world is a very mean god to woishipL 
It is a Dagon that falls upon its worshippers and crushes 
them to death. Alas for those who, fascinated by human ap- 
plause, give up the service of the Lord God and go with 
Laban to hunt in EachePs tent for the lost images ! 

There are many Christians being sacrific^ to appetite. 
There was a time when they said : *' I will not surrender to 
evil appetites." For a while they seemed to break away from 
all the allurements by which they were surrounded, but some- 
times they felt that they were living upon a severe regimen. 
They said : " After all, I will go back to my old bondage ;" 
and they fell away from the house of God, and fell away from 
respectability, and fell away for ever. 

One of the kings in olden times, the legend says, consented 
that the devil might kiss him on both shoulders, but no 
sooner were the kisses imprinted upon the shoulders than 
serpents grew forth and began to devour him, and as the 



Under the Camel^s Saddle, 257 

king tiled to tear off the serpents, he found he was tearing his 
own life out. And there are men who are enfolded in addera 
of evil appetite and passion that no human power can ever 
crush ; and unless the grace of God seizes hold of them, these 
adders will become "flie worm that never dies." Alas for 
those who, once having broken away from the mastery of 
evil appetites and passion, go back to the sins that they once 
renounced, and, with Laban in Eachel's tent, go to hunt for 
the lost images ! 

There are a great many also sacrificed by indolence. In the 
hour of their conversion they looked off upon the world, and 
said : " Oh, how much work to be done, how many harvests to 
be gathered, how many battles to be fought, how many tears 
to be wiped away, and how many wounds to be bound up I" 
and they looked with positive surprise upon those who could 
sit idle in the kingdom of God while there was so much work 
to do. After a while they found their efforts were unappre- 
ciated, that some of their best work in behalf of Christ was 
caricatured and they were laughed at, and they began to relax 
their effort, and the question was no more, " What can I do 
for Christ T but " How can I take my ease ? where can I find 
my rest V Are there not some of you who in the hour of 
your consecration started out nobly, bravely and enthusias- 
tically for the Saviour s kingdom, who have fallen back into 
ease of body and ease of soul, less anxious about the salvation 
of men than you once were, and are actually this moment in 
BacheFs tent hunting up the lost images? 

Oh, why go down hunting for our old idols? "We have 
found out they are insufi&cient for the souL Eyes have th^, 
but they see not ; ears have they, but they hear not ; and 
hands have they, but they handle not. There is only one 
God to worship, and he sits in the heavens. 

How do I know that there is only one God ? I know it 
just as the boy knew it when his teacher asked him how 
many Gods there are. He said, " There is but one." 

" How do you know that 1" inquired the teacher. 

The boy replied, " There is only room for one, for he fills 
the heavens and the earth." 

Come into the worship of that God. He is a wise God. He 
can plan out all the affairs of your life. He can mark out all 
the steps that you ought to take. He will put the sorrows in 
the right place, and the victories in the right place, and the 
defeats in the right place ; and coming to the end of your life, 
if you have served him faithfully, you will be compelled to 



^ AmoiJXD iii£ Tea-Table. 

mj^^JwA a»i trae u« tkr waji ; ihsm ait» O Lord, always 



^ M a ZL-L:i:T Cj-:*L Hxre him on toot aide, and joa need 
ftflt leu- f'^nh -■? l-cIL He cm ride down all toot spiritiial 
fcei. He 1* r-:jc.:j :o c verthrt^w toot enemies. He is mighty 
to a^^ Tcor ik:^ At. he is a loving God. He will put the 
anw €f bis ^.'ve uc^owi about toot ned^ He will bnng yoa 
ctHe to kii keait aad shelter Ton from tke storm. Intimcs 
of tninUe he will pat upon roar aool the halm c£ preeioyB 
laiiii I He will lead jon' all throng tke Tile of tears 
trvitinllT and happihr, and then at last tafce.Ton to dwoH in 
hk ivesHHe^ wbm there is fnlnem of joj, nnd at his ri^ 
hand, where there are p lea s m es far ercnnore. Ol^ooa^iared 
withsnch a wise God, sach a migfatj God, so^ a lovmg Qod, 
what are all tlte imignff nndo* the camrfs saddle in the tettt 
ofBae^ell 



CHAPTER LXXIV. 

HALF-AXD-HALF CRUBCfSES. 



T^lXK is a Tvrse in Berelation that presents a nauseafyd 
Christ : ^ Becamse then art lukewarm, and neither cold nor 
hot, I mV/ tpfw iJkee out of stjf mouth," 

After we'iuLve been taking a long walk on a summer d&y, 
or been on a hunting chase, a draught of cold water exhilafs^ea 
i>n Uie other hand, after standing or walking in the cold air 
and beii^ diilled, h'jt water, mingled with some beyerage, 
brings life and comfort to the whole body ; but tepid water, 
neither hot nor cold, is nauseating. 

Now, Christ .says that a church of that temperature acts on 
him as an emetic : I tnil s^^ic thee out of my mouth. 

The chun^h that is r^ hot i^nth religious emotion, prariAg, 
singing, working, Christ having taken full possession of the 
membership^ must be to God satisfactory. 

On the other han^i, a frozen church may have its uses. Tho 
minister reads elegant essays, and improves the session or the 
vestry in rhetorical composition. The music is artistic and 
improves the ear of the people, so that they can better appre- 
ciate concert and opera. 

The position of such a church is profitable to the book-binder 



Half-and-half Churches. 259 

•who furnisheB the covers to the liturgy, and the dry-goods 
merchants who supply the silk«, and the clothiers who furnish 
the broadcloth. Such a church is good for the business 
world, makes trade lively, and increases the demand for finmes 
of all sorts, for a luxurious religion demands furs and coats, 
and gaiters to match. Christ says he gets along with a church 
cold or hot. 

But an unmitigated nuisance to God and man is a l^df-and- 
oalf church, with piety tepid. The pulpit in such a church 
makes more of orthodoxy than it does of Christ. It is im- 
mense on definitions. It treats of justification and sanctifica* 
tion as though they were two corpses to be dissected. Its 
sermoBS all nave a black morocco cover, which some affec- 
tionate sister gave the pastor before he was married, to wrap 
his discourse in, lest it get mussed in the dust of the pulpit? 
Its gestures are methodical, as though the man were ever con* 
scions that they had been decreed from all eternity, and h« 
were afraid of int^ering with the de(»'ee by his own free 
agency. 

Such a pulpit never startles the people with the horrors of 
an undone eternity. No strong meat but only pap, flour and 
water, mostly water. The church prayer-meeting is attended 
only by a few grey heads who have been in the habit of going 
there for twenty years, not because they expect any rousing 
time or rapturous experiences, but because they feel only a 
few will be there, and they ought to go. 

The minister is sound. The membership sound. The music 
sound. If, standing in a city of a hundred thousand people, 
there are ^ve or ten conversions in a year, everything is 
thought to be '^ encouraging.'' But Christ says that such a 
church is an emetic. *^ Because thou art neither odd nor hot 
I will spew thee out of my mouth.*' 

My friends, you had better warm up or freeze over. Bett^ 
set the kettle outside in the atmosphere at zero, or put it on 
the altar of Gk>d and stir up the coals into a blaze. If we do 
not, God will remove us. 

Christian men are not always taken to heaven as a reward, 
but sometimes to get them out of the way on earth. They go 
to join the tenth-rate saints in glory ; for if such persons think 
they will stand with Paul, and Harlan Page, and Charlotte 
Elizabeth, they are much mistaken. 

When God takes them up, the church here is better off. 
We mourn slightly to have them go, because we have got used 
to having them aiound, and at the fuoeral the minister says 



JLxniTKi rsr Tej^Tamzm, 




L <i ixmra. vmnofti «!- ^ ni ^v^mk aa moooBttoift 
'"Tinicaa iibi f.wc jdi£ I ^viott zr ay £bi1 h ■■lii 
I XMf B. |r:i!«i =iitt cue 5ir sk mst fsGov. ddH it w aa ad- 
iDBip 'U 121-^ sua. & 3iacL ^ «c {f ;^ vaj. He s oppond 

■OL tti r>iig iia if 2 TtnpM» ifciapiii i M|iM l iiM l, ■w l liiidr- 
ncHL > a pH«ir laaEL ]» wamaa^ H. frirtiga cam araae him. 
S^m^ 3E » cu^KTiB Sir aay «f jva t» itev ia tibaft eondi- 
ioL. K jnL ssmim WiiiE««£^God vfikElVov^aiHllK win 
■c myng-TUMeaiMew^ wail ^ the wigkypa age ■ fglfUiiig 
JCt iriBiAf jec xX aROK ! IW Minat cf <nr lait JMoouut, 
he j^iifiiiB if ^aic- v^aek 19 W oone. and the calk of God*s 
pivft JBiC xn^itaflBfle. cnszsfi to acar <nr aooli. After lixfiiig 
■B.3raas: liiii 1 1 If ^£ik •& ka^kwiUbe a liiaBiein the 
I <f ieah ^- ^ Yiif i laj h laili i? Gather iipafew 
t fran. laie ±e»i. aad leas theaooty that it may be 
:ude Rm Lai as kaft "cne cphah «f bailey.* 



CnAPTER T^x-X Y 



Ths Chziscsas. wend kaskog been gnenii^ what Paul's thorn 
ia the £e^ wu. I hare a book that iu ten pa^^ tries to 
show whas FuiI s tbon was rntil^ and in another ten pages 
tries to sbow what it ir7«. 

ykxLT ci the tbeokiPgical dccton hare felt FanFs poise to 
aK whit was the ciatter with him. I samwse that the reason 
he cSi 1X4 tell t2s what it was may hare been becanae he did 
Kx4 wu:t is» to know. He knew that if he stated what it was 
theze woold hare been a great many peo|^ from Corinth 
bothering him with prescripd<ms as to how he might core it 

SoDJe say it was diseased eyes, some that it was a humped 
back. It may have been neuralgia. Perhaps ,it was goat, 
ahhov^ his'actiTe h^its and a qptarae diet throw doabt on 
the aappoaiion. Suffice it to say it was a thorn— that ia^ it 
him. Itwassharp. 



Thorns. 26r 

It was probably of not much account in the eyes of th© 
world. It was not a trouble that could be compared to a lion 
or a boisterous sea. It was like a thorn that you may have in 
your hand or foot and no one know it. Thus we see that it 
becomes a type of those little nettlesome worries of life that 
exasperate the spirit. 

Every one has a thorn sticking him. The housekeeper 
finds it in unfaithful domestics ; or an inmate who keeps 
things disordered ; or a house too small for convenience or 
too large to be kept cleanly. The professional man finds it in 
perpetual interruptions or calls for " more copy." The Sab- 
Dath-school teacher finds it in inattentive scholars, or neigh- 
bouring teachers that talk loud and make a great noise in 
giving a little instruction. 

One man has a rheumatic joint which, when the wind isr 
north-east, lifts the storm signal. Another a business partner 
who takes full half the profits, but does not help earn them. 
These trials are the more nettlesome because, like Paul's thorn, 
they are not to be mentioned. Men get sympathy for broken 
bones and mashed feet, but not for the ends of sharp thorns 
that have been broken off in the fingei-s. 

Let us start out with the idea that we must have annoy- 
ances. It seems to take a certain number of them to keep us 
humble, wakeful and prayerful. To Paul the thorn was as dis- 
ciplinary as the shipwreck. If it is not one thing, it is another. 
If the stove does not smoke, the boiler must leak. If the pen 
is good, the ink must be poor. If the editorial column be 
able^ there must be a typographical, blunder. If the thorn 
does not pierce the knee, it must take you in the back. Life 
must have sharp things in it. We cannot make up our robe 
of Christian character without pins and needles. 

We want what Paul got — grace to bear these things. With- 
out it we become cross, censorious and irascible. We get in 
the habit of sticking our thorns into other people's fingers. 
But God helping us, we place these annoyances in the category 
of the "all tnings that work together for good." We see how 
much shorter these thorns are than the spikes that struck 
through the palms of Christ's hands ; and remembering that 
he had on his head a whole crown of thorns, we take to our- 
selves the consolation that if we suffer with him on earth we* 
shall be glorified with him in heaven. 

But how could Paul positively rejoice in these infirmities ? I 
answer that the school of Christ has three classes of scholars.. 
In Wie first class we learn how to be stuck with thorns with- 
out losmg our patience. In the second class we leaca Ilc"" "^ 



'^i-'JlkKirU l-l~ '-*— il * 11»t * i • ,' - .';*» : ill! m •~^tJ^s. int get tS 






C2Am3: " w YL 




" ^^ ■»'« ji 3iiC3iiiir mm imgi anciriug- ja£ 

<& an i p£ flf iviKu*. MsL 'v^ iimtrTi^ atl»e 

2 ^RK isi.T¥ Jiarl & s^ if 'brt is, m. aarg ^ 

^HMBm;. - JttM^ ' ii ^r TBTTTftT *^l'-" 'jt T-lr-nr js i 

«brv:xiur laii^ -vcvr smL laihi 'vij, jbl laic^ ^ostSi^ he VDoen^ 
^v^i^^L iroiL IjUL hi tssk mK. 

Save Sdi^ rj^anef^ db^e «zi:»i2z^ »: T«r: Iter •frRger on the kem 
^ C^:ziK^ fusziiflj^. jJii iShe xtry mxascLi ^it pals her fagci 

Jwt. Ii is v£rr :th£!L iht 2ii*^ iliu tboee xocn vlio aie 
ai|:^iT ii&T?^ vex rrLii- tisinaaB' <c fer'-'ic ; t«t iMitviliiiiteid- 
i^l^ xns: -Liiki iht li.'ri Je^^ns C&rki irxs iht King of g^flrf, 

^v^'oUhL coiiDfi^ XT luiii Tt^Hs- ij-tr TT.z'eT cc libe hem of his gir- 
ZMi&i. 'd^u m.o&exT ^ Ibe ffe'r^.r? :*f Lis s-yal are aroBBed and 

I lYsnuk tija pcvcTTT i-.r jl-55 lim. Hke Kble ajs that 
this wociui hftd s^x.1 Jkl. IrT jDositT OH piiTsiaaixs ; ^le had 
Dot £^^1 t}>e wc^^ of ber iDOtDrj. Tbcise phrskiaBS in Oneotal 
la&ik wiei« reanr iscoiDpexczii I c<r iLeir work, and toj ezor- 
iMUat in their demmos. Yoa kiK«w they haxe a halxt enem 
to this di^ in tkdEe ccwiitzies of Tiaking tctj singnlarchai^geiL 



M^ffo Touched Me ? 263 

Sometimes they examine the capaxjity of the person to pay, 
and take the entire estate. 

At any rate, this woman spoken of in the text had spent her 
money on physicians, and very poor physicians at that. The 
Lord saw her poverty and destitution. He knew from what 
a miserable home she had come. He did not ask, "Who 
touched me ?' because he did not know ; -he wanted to evoke 
that woman's response, and he wanted to point all the mul- 
titude to her particular case before her cure was effected, in 
order that the miraculous power might be demonstrated be- 
fore all the people, and that they might be made to believe. 

In this d!ay, as then, the touch of poverty always evokes 
Christ's attention. If you be one who has had a hard struggle 
to get daily bread— if the future is all dark before you — ^if you 
are harassed and perplexed, and know not which way to turn 
I want you to understand that, although in this world there 
may be no sympathy for you, the heart of the Lord Jesus 
Christ is immediately moved, and you have but to go to him 
and touch him with your little finger, and you arouse all the 
sympathies of his infinite nature. 

I also learn that sickness touches him. She had been an 
invalid for twelve years. How many sleepless nights, what 
loss of appetite, what nervousness, what unrest, what pain of 
body, the world knew not. But when she came up and put 
her finger on Christ's garment, all her suffering thrilled through 
the heart of Christ instantaneously. 

When we are cast down with Asiatic cholera or yellow fever, 
we cry to God for pity; but in the ailments of life that con- 
tinue from day to day, month to month, and year to year, are 
you in the habit of going to Christ for sjrmpathy ? Is it in 
5K)rae fell disaster alone that you call to God for mercy, or is 
it in the little aches and pains of your life that you implore 
him ? Don't try to carry these burdens alone. These chronic 
diseases are the diseases that wear out and exhaust Christian 
ffrace, and you need to get a new supply. Go to him this night, 
if never iJefore, with all your ailments of body, and say : 
" Lord Jesus, look upon my aches and pains. In this humble 
and importunate prayer I touch thee." 

I remark further that the Saviour is touched with aWdwcaw- 
mcTits, Perhaps there is not a single room in your house 
bvit reminds you of some one who has gone. You cannot look at a 
picture without thinking she admired that. You cannot see a 
toy but you think she played with it. You cannot sit down 
and put your fingers on^tbe piano without thinking she used 



264 Around the Tea^Tablb. 

to kandle tbis iDstramenty and everjthing that is beaatifal in 
your home is suggestive of positive sadness. 

Graves ! graves ! graves ! It is the liistory of how many 
families to-night ! You measure your life from tear to tear, 
from groan to groan, from aogiiibh to anguish, and sometimes 
you feel that God has fwrsaken you, and you say, " Is Bis 
mercy dean gone for ever, and will He oe favourable no 
morel* 

Can it be, my afflicted friends, that yon have been aa 
foolish as to try to carry the burden alone, when there is an 
almighty arm willing to be thrust under you ? Can it be 
that you have travelled that desert not willing to drink of the 
fountains that Grod opened at your feet ? Oh, have you not 
realised the truth that Jesus is sympathetic with bereavement I 
Did he not mourn at the grave of Lazarus, and will he not 
weep with all those who are mourning over the dead ? 

You may feel faint from your bereavements, and yon may 
not know which way to turn, and all human solace maj go 
for nothing ; but if you would this night with your broken 
heart just go one step further forward, pressing through all 
the crowd of your perplexities, anxieties and sorrows, yon 
might with one finger move his heart, and he would say, 
looking upon you with infinite comfort and compassion, '' Wno 
touched me T* 

I remark that all our sins touch him. It is generally the 
fact that we make a record only of those sins which are sins 
of the action ; but where there is one sin of the action there 
are thousands of thought. Let us remember that God puts 
down in his book all the iniquitous thoughts that have ever 
gone through your souls. There they stand — ^the sins of 1820 ; 
the sins of 1825 ; all the sins of 1831 ; the sins of 1835 ; the 
sins of 1840 ; the sins of 1846 ; the sins of 1850 ; the sins of 
1853 ; the sins of 1859 ; the sins of 1860 ; the sins of 1865 ; the 
sins of 1870 ; the sins of 1874. Oh, I can't think of it with 
any degree of composure. I should fly in terror did I not 
feel that those sins had been erased by the hand of my Lord 
Jesus Christ — that hand which was wounded for my trans- 
gression. 

The snow falls on the Alps flake by flake, and day after day, 
and mouth after month, and after a while, at the touch of a 
traveller's foot, the avalanche slides down upon the villages 
with terrific crash and thunder. So the sins of our life accu- 
mulate and pile up, and after a while, unless we are rescued 
hy the grace of our Lord Jesus, they will come down upon 
OUT sovSa in an avalanr;be ol eiWiaa^xxsAiu 



IV//0 Touched Me? 26$ 

"When we think of our sins, we are apt to think of those we 
have recently committed — those sins of the past day, or the 
past week, or the past year ; those sins that have been in the 
far distance are all gone from our memory. You can't call a 
half dozen of them up in your mind. But God remembers 
every one of them. There is a record made of them. They 
will be your overthrow unless you somehow get them out of 
that book. In the great day of judgment, God will call the 
roll, and they wiU afl answer, " Here V " Here P « Here !" 

Oh, how they have wounded Jesus ! Did He not come into 
this world to save us ? Have not these sins been committed 
against the heart and mercy of our Lord Jesus ? Sins com- 
mitted against us by an enemy, we can stand ; but by a friend, 
how hard it is to bear ! Have we not wounded the Lord Jesus 
Christ in the house of His friends ? 

Since we stood up in the presence of the great congregation 
and attested our love for Christ, and said " From this time we 
will serve the Lord," have we not all been recreant ? Have 
we not gone astray like lost sheep, and there is no health in 
us ? On, they touch Christ ; they have touched Him on the 
tenderest spot of His heart. 

Let us bemoan this treatment of our best Friend. It seems 
to me Christ was never so lovely as He is now — the chief among 
ten thousand and the one altogetiier lovely. Why can't you 
come and put your trust in Him ? He is an infinite Saviour. 
He can take all the iniquities of your life and cast them be- 
hind His back. Blessed is the man who has obtained His 
forgiveness, and whose sins are covered I 




17 




CXLPTSa LWVIL 



CS2Br AT TSS ClWlffWl- 




dLipCtfc jc J ioa. r!i« SkriiHtr was aa( apt to b» i 
VTca 'TiMptit woo awieii cwmonr-^Biiak 

CbrM. hiki ^nuMiow becouwjiaiYfiiiaasiiwtdkaDecfl 

si&I ctMa tjiv^x«Ki bj aim. ^ comir oa& ti> tht < 

T!itfni -^r^K^ jrv:'uas surrcHiEiiiuur tlbi» kiiBft. Afts likft ] 

SQii i».\v:i^imtiUk ol' :Iie Li'r m. zhii cccr,. ift was pleaHBt to g» 

Jesus is :a «h!if ^^iturhl oiii» ii^t» and ans tka ^flHt of 
tL>r:hcfs inii JLic^n^ Jji^ ;ud «a anaai hand ara caaiai^ 
t;? t:Cv^ J. 31 .-ivrdv?. la ^ii^ roo^ waj eodeil the aeaaoa of 
W{fe^'C:«'r» J III r^TTfarixi. 

Y.HI ri«: hen?, i? ^rsew^er?, Aat Jesos loTcd tibe eoontry. 
V^ ir-*.: Ir-n htu^'q^ ra-? mooiSiiiis and attmg by the aeoL 
He ^<r(;si>«Hl Jk I'/.v in. his :R;rsioiL He eutght a bird lor a text 
He w:u*<ed ia tae g-irien chue lubcbl o£ ks captizreL 

So i^ is Ji ^h-hI srr^i wmi a TT&rkl&ui dncb companT, and 
«z^.:«^>c:vv{iessw ^lai n5^n»ibiiie&t», i& the beautxfiil tiling of 
Ovxi** wocivl Then* ziaj be naouB of sraee in. a kjacinm or 
i\rvi; ic-JL I: s w>f L whea ia the aoall door-vard of a city reai- 
5eav>f A riircb of liii:irTikc:« grass b caItiT:icei or a dematis ii 
tatt^hs :o aiziK A Tnan o:uj preach, better of love and fsith 
arivl heave ti whea there are eamellbs on. the polpit. It is no 
erilecoe of weiik sentimentalicv when a Chrktian lores nataral 
b^aiity. Jesus re^^rted to a garden. 

Ko doubt Chmt selected t^ gardoi of this eooBliy-aeat as 



Christ at the Country-Seat, 267 

% place for private devotion. He who has no spot for secret 
prayer is a starveling Christian. A man has sorrows, temp- 
tations, sins and deliverances, that are no one else's busineea^ 
He is a fool who tells the world everything. There are prayers 
that belong only to God's ear. Better have some place coaaa^ 
crated to private prayer. Choose a pleasant place if possible—^ 
not the garret, not the cellar, but a room warm, lighted, 
cheerful There is no use in penance. When you invite Jesus 
to meet you, open for Him the most cheerful and pleasant, 
place you can find. Jesus resorted to a garden. 

Notice also that is was while in this beautiful suburb of 
the city, sitting, in the summer night, among the trees, that 
he was captured of his enemies. We are never more subject 
to attack from our spiritual enemies than when in the ganleu 
of ease. There is less danger for us when out in the conflict 
of life than when we sit down to rest. It is while unarmed 
and in quiet that pride breaks in, and indolence and world- 
iiness '^ with lanterns and torches." 

We need ever to be on our guard. *' Watch, therefore, and 
what I say imto one, I say unto all. Watch J" We cannot 
have 80 high a hedge about our garden that Judas cannot 
break through. 

We want this hour for communion with God. We say, 
" Stand back, O world, with all thy cares P And yet they 
break in. They begrudge us this quiet. They would like to 
carry us off. I see the gleam of their lanterns and torches. 
May Grod defend us from fears within and foes without ! 

We are further on in our Christian life. We are better or 
worse than last night. If in one hour a man may lose or win 
heaven, what might we not gain in a week ? Every moment 
is charged with eternal destinies. Our time for prayer, and 
repentance, and work will soon be gone. Let thia hour be 
the golden milestone from which we measure our new march 
heavenward. O Jesus ! meet us in the garden, and, as of old, 
let thy ''garments smell of myrrh, and ^oes, and cassi* I" 




-vi— a 




CHAPTER LXXVin. 

Osx-EaU of il? :r.Ti:r-i*5 of the earth sit it this time in 
dumb sT-..vr^aient lz lie if^lctive prorideaces oi God. Bereave- 
hmsdt f ,.'r tbe mns: part is kreiyilicable. TVhy is the husband 
t!ik€<L in xnSd>lii> bef oiv the children are educated axHl reared I 
^i^y i>e5 the mother ir^ away into eteroity at the time she 
is h: .->>': i.e^e^.i here I Why miist the yoimg man die at the 
cl.tse C'f a vs>lleziate conrs^e tijit was intended to fit him for 
^t^^a: :i5»tf alueas I Why no: let ns all die of old age after our 
Wc-rk :> fully done aiii :ife has no more attractions / 

A fcw months &irc^ there were nnited in the bonds of 
marrlace two of my ijien \s. Amid a great' throng of congra- 
t"'At:i:^ people they st-anei life. A bright home was set up. 
Ooi was in the dwe.linir. Business prospects opened. Friends 
without number gathered aroimd him in the world and in 
the church. Bi:i on the w^y home from the store his foot 
slijis, and without cv^nsciousness enongh to grasp in farewell 
the hand that he ha.l on the 20th of June taken in pledge, he 
^oe> away from the earth for ever. Men of the world, explain 
tii;\: ! Human philosophy, solve this riddle ! 

I have just returned from a scene just as inexplicable. My 
sister, in mid-life, with a large family of children in every 
possible need of her council and tenderness, and holding the 
responsible position of a pastor's wife, is called heavenward 
from as fine a sphere of usef nines as any one could possibly 
hold. 

What her life was you may judge from her dying experi> 
She said in liei last moments, '* It is nothmg for a 



Bereavement. 269 

Christian to die. One minute here, and the next with Jesua. 
Oh, "what a religion we have ! We do immediately pass into 
glory. Some say that dying people have doubts, but they do 
not. How can they doubt with such a precious Jesus ? I see 
bim now ! He encloses my children in his arms of love, and 
they will all be saved. It was a tremendous struggle to give 
them up, but I know that they will all be saved, I am cross- 
ing the river, but I do not fear. I will shut up my eyes now 
and go to sleep and wake up in glory ! Good-oye P 

Her life had been in harmony with all she said. She sang 
more than any person I ever knew. She was always singing. 
I remember in my boyhood days of sometimes getting tired of 
this perpetual music, and of saying to her, " Mary, do stop 
singing !" But she would not stop. She never will stop. 

Why was such a Christian sister and wife and mother 
transported 1 Strike a light, if you can, over this mystery. 
Analyse, dissect, philosophise, a thousand years, and you 
cannot by any human device open one shutter. But in the 
gospel the sun rises. Light gradually breaks in as the 
momiug looks through the cracks of the door and the lattice — 
not full day, but a promise of high noon. 

Heaven must be populated. There is not so much room on 
the Western prairies and table-lands for more settlers as there 
is room in the upper country for more people. Heaven has 
only one want, and that is of greater population. It is 
sparsely inhabited yet, as compared with its future citizen- 
ship. The crowns are not half taken, nor the robes half worn. 

Heaven is like a house in which a lev^e is to be held at ten 
o'clock. At nine o'clock the rooms aie all ablaze with lights, 
and the servants, gloved and vestured, are waiting to open the 
doors. The rooms of our Father's house are illumined, and 
the chamberlains are ready, and the table is spread. A few 
have entered, but heaven is not yet fully begun. They have 
only sung the opening piece. 

Now, how shall God fill up his house except by subtracting 
from this world '? The continent of heaven is to be peopled 
from the surrounding islands. If so, I can understand why 
God should take our young brother rather than some of his 
comrades not half so usenil, and my sister rather than a 
thousand women who are of no Christian service. 

Why, in almost all cases it is the loveliest one of the family 
that is transported. Heaven wants the best Why should 
not the great capital of the universe have the pick of every- 
thing ? The half-and-half Christians will get into glory, but 



Tfo Arouxd the Tea-Table. 



tber Bccd be kept t^re a gwrH mbile ret for i _ 

V t^ SLTe reofdj G«.«i take^. ITti^ eariier iohabitantB of a plM0 
Bake t^ greatest uuf«re3sxiD o(icd its fntnrr rhiTirtr i, mk ■» 
]Mav«3 ov^t to h^ve the U^e4 6r>t. 

BcsMk^s tbaU if there vere a ^hipwre^ and joa w tui wit 
'vith %, hle-boat, aird too f«:.iu>i £» 'Die of jour friends di^mg to 
tke kaik, too vonki'le af«t to take them tthore fint God 
seeoM to set kis evpecial k>ve oo some ; and iHwn ke find^ 
them shivcriD^ amid this v.*i M'& temptatioBS andsonowi^ ke 
fim lifts them oat of tl«e breakers. 

Ok, weep not for the Cbristian dew] ! If tiiej go Ikm^ 
kmp sirkneas, in which there is opportomtj for paitiiig 
ndiiioDicioiL. tiunk Goi f r ik^t. Bot if by snddeatniuitioD, 
and tkey kare not a iLomeLt of conecioinnai, tkimk Gad 
tkat tkcy escape the exhaustion of aicknesa, and tkat &Dm 
the keahk of earth they stepf led into tke keahk of kwftn. 
LiMtg not for the last wonis that were not spoken. 

If the life has been rigiit. the death cannot be wraag. If 
the banquet has been rich, it matters not hov tke lig^kln are 
tamed out at tke ckise. S> many of our friends have gone 
o\er the stream we shall all want to go there too. Hoamen 
is 4^ting to me to l«e a Terr matter-of-fact heaven. Oar 
friends going in forget to shut the d<^or after them. From 
tl«e cold snow-bAok oi the c:v.ve I pl-jck thiscroena: Thano 
vho sleep in Jes«is will G^i trL^g with himu 





CHAPTER LXXIX. 

THE SIGAMUFFINS. 

It lias got to be a questioo of stupendous import, what is to Re- 
done with t^e destitute children of our country, or the rag- 
nmm^nsy as society contemptuously calls them. We must act 
upon them, or they will act upon us. We must Christiaiuze 
tbem, or they will heathenize us. 

All over this land, what multitudes of the homeless, and 
the houseless, and the Godless ! Could you gather them all 
together, what a scene of rags, and filth, and hunger, and 
desolation ! If you could see those little feet on the broad 
way to death which, through Christian charity, ought to be- 
pressin^ the narrow path of life ; if you could hear the words 
of cursmg blistering those lips which ought to be singing the 
praises of Grod ; if you could see those hearts which, at that 
age, ought not to have been soiled by one vile thought,^ 
already become the sewers of iniquity, through which floats 
the most disgusting depravity ; if you could see these suflfering 
little ones sacrificed on the altar of every iniquitous passion, 
and scalded with a baptism of fire from the very lava of the 
pit, — your soul would recoil from the scene, crying, ** Begone,, 
thou dream of hell !'' 

The Spartans who threw their sickly children to the wild 
beasts were merciful compared with that stolid indifference 
which, in this age, would give up the destitute youth of our 
country to be eaten up of their own depravity. 

These so-called ragamuffins are coming up to be the men 
and women. That spark of iniquity which you might put 
out with one drop of the water of i&e, will fllame up into a. 



272 A£cr.\D THE Tea-Table, 

•^:cJ?JcntI-:c :f everr- green tLxng that God r^nti»il in tbe 
a:c:!. j[z>i iljki vL3:^ vns i£.i«iMi«d to be a toDple of tlie Holj 
Obciss vill be a starre^i %£A \l^^uA mm, ereiy lijght q[iimdied 
acri eT«fy jkliar in the ds^ 

TLi: |e^ ili^ vbo sCip^wd isto joar store and took a 
Taid cf <k<h frcm Tosr ccmnter vill be tiie h^kwrnymaoi of 
tke foRSt^ cr tlfee boi^^iar at midni^t pickmg tiie lo^ of joor 
MoaeT-safe. and Uoving op toot stove to nkle theTiDaiiij. 
A grnt azKT, wish stas^enng stepc and blood-diot eje, and 
diuken IkwC tbcj wil! cane GO, gathering reczmti from eT 
frog-diop and den dt infamj, to take tibe baUot-boK and 
hmrah at the ^ectaocs. 

The create haid kncned fist of mffianism will hare more 
power ttan the gentle hand of sobnetj and intdligaiee. Moi 
bloated, and widi the ssgnatnre of crime bomed in from the 
top of their IbieheMi to the bottom dt th^ diin, wiQ kx^ 
honest men out of ooontenance. Mond oorpsm whidi ooght 
to W boiied a handed feet deep to keep than from poiaoa- 
i^g the air, will lot in the face c*f the son at mid-day. Ttwi iMy- 
tiy, in her plain frcvk, with her hand at the lyinHV, iriU be 
unappreciated, while mnkitoJes of aUe-bodied men wiU 
wandtf about in utter idloiessy with thdr hands on their 
hqps. sarii^, - The worid owes tk a Kving.* 

Oh. wbaa a terrible fcvre there is in imqnitj, when, nneda- 
cated, unrestrained and anb^anched, it goes <» omcentratiiig, 
and deec«2ui!^. and widenicg. and gathoing UKMnentnm. until 
it swings ahead with a Tenr trimnph of d^x>]ati(», drowning 
like saigeSy sc»chiDg like flame, cm^ung like rodcB ! 

CV4d indiffermce meets tb^ despoate ernes and sajs, 
* What a pity ! but it can't be helped.' The law meetsthem 
and sars, *^ Blackwell s Island and Sing-Sing are the places for 
joo.* Fft^cviaUe fastidiousness meets them, and gathering 
np its robess sars, "^ They are so dirty I cannot beu* to have 
than touch me." 

But genuine Christian charity stretches forth its arms and 
ssys« ^ Come in your rags and desolation ; the blood of Jesas 
Clbnst cleanseth'from all sin I"* ^nd while I believe in all 
s;ood worldly reforms, I also beliere that one drop of the 
tilood erf Christ will cure more of the woes of the worid than 
an oceanful of human quackery. 

Some have said, ^ Let the Church through its r^ular 
services do this work.* We rejdy, there are a great multitude 
of the destitute who do not come under the ministrations of 
tht polpit ^ Ohy" sadd a po<» boy to a good man who re- 



The Ragamvffiss, 273 

proved him for wickedness, " it is very easy for you, mister, 
to be good, but I tell you we poor cliaps ain't got no chance. 
My father died when I was very small, and I have to pick 
rags for a living ; and when I can't get the rags, I has to 
steaL You see, we poor chaps ain't got no chance." 

When they got up from their hands and knees to walk, 
their first step was on the road to ruin, and every day since, 
they have been plunging down to lower depths, and wilder 
despair, and deeper darkness. 

There are many about us in boyhood and girlhood in com- 
fortable circles that are going to be soniethinff very good or 
very bad — ^very bright or veiy ignorant ; and they will yet 
make their parents glad with an infinite gladness, or pain them 
with an infinite sorrow. They go bounding through the hall ; 
they shout in the yard ; they sing in the school This activity 
that now strikes the ball, and runs the race, and rolls the 
hoop, and flies the kite, will soon be ready for the higher game 
of life, where fortunes art to be made, and reputation achieved, 
and temptations combated, and immortal souls jeopardized, 
and kingdoms of glory won. 

Call up that child ; push back his hair. Shall this face be 
ever brightening up with benevolence, or scarred and pinched 
and blasted with low excesses ? Shall those eyes become more 
and more intelligent, or shall they acquire the dishonest glance 
and the servile downcast ? Put your hand on that child's 
heart. Shall it always beat with noble impulses, or will it be 
a thief s heart, a coward's heart, a traitor's heart ] 

My soul stands back abashed and overwhelmed in the 
presence of these young princes of God, these sons and 
daughters of immortality, these voyagers eternity bound. 
They have started out on a journey which will never end, but 
winding up among hierarchial splendours, yet upward bound 
for higher thrones and loftier empires, for ever, for ever ; or 
else pitching off the verge of a great night, deep, fathomless, 
irremediable, down /or ever ^ for ever / 

I have so much faith in the advancement of our race under 
the gospel, that I suppose the rising generations are to have in 
their number more noble men than their predecessors. I 
suppose that every day we are walking unconsciously among 
Enochs, and Augustines, and Wilberforces, and Clarksons, 
and Moffats, and Robert Halls. There they are ! on the back 
seat in the mission school. There they are ! playing marbles 
in the low alley, their knees out, their elbows out, their toea 
out, their hats rimless^ and their souls Christless ; and in 



374 AzrrzTD zkz Tz^Tasle. 



£^ ^•fj tt;Ll ':e z%:b«?^i s. Si^^aiK-oAook wiH do ttor 
wrci. Tries loii IiiuiiL^ «:«se':i»s vild»therv3rk. AChiii- 
•L::^ a c '"ir..,i r- -;i.gJ*^ v-^ c> ::ii v^xx. A2ki tbsj «1m> mmum 
s:-. Jiti £2 jfii n^rtzLrfr-.-* -vl.. piai 'jQ to be the Ben of B^i 
AOii tki: ^fiL a: G<ti :x tzz.:!*^ J«ui» tkoogk ■ov thdr beci 
JB* «^ aai tkev c&ysv cos ja4 ikecr tosoat. 

Mi >fC theoi pm as. tibe lo^ praeoHM cC 
fftuu::&KWCA. ssd kmm , ana lefo 
lf< OCT vnr en go witJi i ~ 




iks OWXii cf tiie ^ ^ i^ * ^-^ ^ JkEiil j 



CHAPTEE T-XITT- 



Ws oftei ST ^kS: jaBsaesect £Zii kssr peopfe fear to '^ 
■ wiL-A^'i^^ ib^l: L&r» itt*£. X crsijntT ci a cectorj foming. 
^«^^ aai von^iii ij«.\ «'y wu£l iTidhj evil xvcan% jnd liko 
Eiiu;;s«Q nz iL ^sti cci ibe cafcanas of iahen ciianctenw 
Scoecx baxciei 2 rrtski sLusri-xer-bo^K in wiikh kowmmble 
x&zsei ;KFe smsr^^ai azii toiiriicred. 

Wkea a wm^ t^i^^ 10 t^oer & Iht!e m ks iotcigritT or 
C&^iiCsaB pcizf^Tbr^ iz;5Cc:i.i c^ r yi'KHii. g around to ateady 
Lis:, aai kWp clizi fr:=i ^jciiCrCe proEaaKaoii. ve eone oat 
£ev^ «Gr L:Gi<e$ ^z.<i c~r iSsi:cL:i:i>>cs :*> poih him flat dovm, 

TaVebeuYrs iln.-^- il-s^ijs csaZ in sopertuiTvs. If a nan 
£^-vs a &;3:-e inrii:: j' .-^ tl^j sif -le was IJTid whh n^e. If 
be was «<£i ta^-.r i -rl*-s5^ tt^e-j al^ hfm a besotted inebnate. 
Tber rci *be K:^:::;«r A ihrir es-ii:;^wadoti into the d^bt- 
es» iaopQ52scer.-7". i::-i :':"=" lill lie ci^^ks are dwtendgd, and 
tbe Iwbc-ci yweix 4-i ilr sc-rrj i* n>::r..ied into a great orb 
£r wfci^ swis all tie i:ii:iccws >-c cceoeit, acfi jott can see 
alzMss azLv^^i::^ rca wui: u> see. Ibejaie bonuU, good for 
JD>?chirg bill a diase^ 

H'ben Toa tear evil c-f ar j one, ftspend jndgmeBL l>o 
£04 decide till yoQ kire be \rd tbe mac s defence. Do not mn 
«kat to meet ererr bejt;ed %bc!p of malice tbat mna with ita 



'Har:sh Critjctsms. tjs 

haftd down and its ton^ie out. The probability is that it is 
mad, and will only bite those who attempt to entertain it. 

Be knient with the fallen. You see a brother fall, and say,. 
" I never could have done that !" Perhaps you could not, 
because your temptation does not I appen to be in that direc- 
tion ; but you have done thiiiprs in the course of your life that 
these fiiUen men would never have done, because their temp- 
tatMm was not in that direction. 

Perhaps the devil that inhabits 50U is avaiice, a more re- 
spectable ▼ioe. You ^nd the faces of the poor. You havo 
an infernal clutch for the throat of the unfortunate. Hiere 
is no more mercy in your heart than there is grace in a lion's 
paw or a rattlesnake's tooth ; and though your sin does not 
bring upon you so much of social opprobrium as the con- 
duct of the man whom you condemn, T do not know but that 
your sin in the sight of God is as loathsome and damnable as 
hi& He surrendered to one temptation ; you surrendered to 
another. 

Do not say in boasting, " I never could have done such a 
thing as that !" You don't know what you would do if suffi- 
ciently tempted. You have an infinite soul-force. If grace 
direct it, a force for the right ; if evil influences seize upon it, 
a terrific force for the wrong. There are passions within 
your soul that have never been unchained. Look out if once 
they slip their cables ! 

In our criticisms of others let us remember that we have 
faults which our friends have to excuse. How much would 
be left of us if all those who see inconsistencies in us should 
clip away from our character and reputation ? It is an invari- 
able rule that those who make the roughest work with the 
names of othera are those who have themselves the most im- 
} perfections. The larger the beam in your own eye, the more 
anxious are you about the mote in somebody else's eye. In- 
stead of going about town slafhiug this man's bad temper 
and the other man's falsitv, and this woman's hypocrisy and 
that one's indiscretion, go home with the ten commandments 
flfl a monitor, and make out a list of your own derelictions. 
The best way to keep a whole city clean is for every house- 
keeper to scrub her own doorste[)a. 

Our mode of deciding upon others will be the mode which 
others will employ in decidii-g upon us. A harsh man, with 
cast-iron criticisms, will some day meet cast iron. You flay 
others, and others will flay you. Let one of these merciless 
critics of character, overcome by temptation, some day step a 



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A most excellent Book for Young Ladies. 

*f. ILLUSTRIOUS MEN : Their Noble Deeds, Discoveries and 

Attainments. Tenth Thousand. Eight Illustrations. 

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bury— Sir Thomas Gresham— The Admirable Crichton— Sir Francis 
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Wentworth, Earl of Strafford— John Hampden— Dr. William Har- 
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of Marlborough— Sir Isaac Newton — Robert Walpole— John Dal- 
rymple, Earl of Stair — Sir Hans Sloane— General Wolfe — George, 
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Chatham — Sir William Clackstone — Dr. Samuel Johnson — Robert 
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