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get a Tom Thumb family. They eat mutton and beef too; and I dare say even go out to tea, and invite you to drink it. But I tell you there are numbers of them going about in the world. And now you have my word for it, and this little hint, it is quite curious what an interest society may be made to have for you, by your determining to find out the ogres you meet there.
What does the man mean? says Mrs. Downright, to whom a joke is a very grave thing. I mean, madam, that in the company assembled in your genteel drawing-roovi, who bow here and there and smirk in white neck-cloths, you receive men who elbow through life successfully enough, but who are ogres in private: men wicked, false, rapacious, flattering ; cruel hectors at home, smiling courtiers abroad; causing wives, children, servants, parents, to tremble before them, and smiling and bowing as they bid strangers welcome into their castles. I say, there are men who have crunched the bones of victim after victim; in whose closets lie skeletons picked frightfully clean. When these ogres come out into the world, you don't suppose they show their knives, and their great teeth? A neat simple white neck-cloth, a merry rather obsequious manner, a cadaverous look, perhaps, now and again, and a rather dreadful grin ; but I know ogres very considerably respected : and when you hint to such and such a man, “ My dear sir, Mr. Sharpus, whoin you appear to like, is, I assure you, a most dreadful cannibal ; ” the gentleman cries, “Oh, psha, nonsense! Dare say not so black as he is painted. Dare say not worse than his neighbors.” We condone everything in this country- private treason, falsehood, flattery, cruelty at home, roguery, and double dealing. What! Do you mean to say in your acquaintance you don't know ogres guilty of countless crimes of fraud and force, and that knowing them you don't shake hands with them ; dine with them at your table; and meet them at their own? Depend upon it, in the time when there were real live ogres in real caverns or castles, gobbling up real knights and virgins, when they went into the world — the neighboring market-town, let us say, or earl's castle though their nature and reputation were pretty well known, their notorious foibles were never alluded to. You would say, “ What, Blunderbore, my boy! How do you do? How well and fresh you look ! What's the receipt you have for keeping so young and rosy?” And your wife would softly ask after Mrs. Blunderbore and the dear children. Or it would be,
My dear Humguffin! try that pork. It is home-bred, homefed, and, I promise you, tender. Tell me if you think it is as good as yours? John, a glass of Burgundy to Colonel Hunguffin ! ”
You don't suppose there would be any unpleasant allusions to disagreeable bome-reports regarding Humguffin's manner of furnishing his larder? I say we all of us know ogres. We shake hands and dine with ogres. And if inconvenient moralists tell us we are cowards for our pains, we turn round with a tu quoque, or say that we don't meddle with other folk's affairs ; that peopie are much less black than they are painted, and so on. What! Won't half the county go to Ogreham Castle? Won't some of the clergy say grace at dinner? Won't the mothers bring their daughters to dance with the young Rawheads? And it Lady Ogrebam happens to die — I won't say to go the way of all flesh, that is too revolting - I say if Ogreham is a widower, do you aver, on your conscience and honor, that mothers will not be found to offer their young girls to supply the lamented lady's place? How stale this misanthropy is ! Something must have disagreed with this cynic. Yes, my good woman. I dare say you would like to call another subject. « Yes, my fine fellow; ogre at home, supple as a dancing-master abroad, and shaking in thy pumps, and wearing a horrible grin of sham gayety to conceal thy terror, lest I should point thee out: -thou art prosperous and honored, art thou? I say thou hast been a trrant and a robber. Thou hast plundered the poor. Thou hast bullied the weak. Thou hast laid violent hands on the goods of the innocent and confiding. Thou hast made a prey of the meek and gentle who asked for thy protection. Thou hast heen hard to thy kinsfolk, and cruel to thy family. Go, monster! Ah, when shall little Jack come and drill daylight through thy wicked cannibal carcass? I see the ogre pass on, bowing right and left to the company; and he gives a dreadful sidelong glance of suspicion as he is talking to my lord bishop in the corner there.
Ogres in our days need not be giants at all. In former times, and in children's books, where it is necessary to paint your inoral in such large letters that there can be no mistake about it, ogres are made with that enormous mouth and ratelier which you know of, and with which they can swallow down a baby, almost without using that great knife which they always carry. They are too cunning now-a-dars. They go about in society, slim, small. quietly dressed, and showing no especially great appetite. In my own young days there used to be play ogres
- men who would devour a young fellow in one sitting, and leave him without a bit of flesh on his bones. They were quiet gentlemanlike-looking people. They got the young fellow into their cave. Champagne, pâté-de-foie-gras, and numberless
good things, were handed about; and then, having eaten, the young man was devoured in his turn. I believe these card and dice ogres have died away almost as entirely as the lasty-pudding giants whom Tom Thumb overcane. Now, there are ogres in City courts who lure you into their dens. About our Cornish mines I am told there are many most plausible ogres, who tempt you into their caverns and pick your bones there, In a certain newspaper there used to be lately a whole column of advertisements from ogres who would put on the most plausible, nay, piteous appearance, in order to inveigle their victims. You would read, " A tradesman, established for seventy years in the City, and known, and much respected by Messrs. N. M. Rothschild and Baring Brothers, has pressing need for three pounds until next Saturday. Ile can give security for half a million, and forty thousand pounds will be given for the use of the loan,” and so on; or, “ An influential body of capitalists are about to establish a company, of which the business will be enormous and the profits proportionately prodigious. They will require A SECRETARY, of good address and appearance, at a salary of two thousand per annum. He need not be able to write, but address and manners are absolutely necessary. As a mark of confidence in the company, he will have to deposit,” &c. ; or, “ A young widow (of pleasing manners and appearance) who has a pressing necessity for four pounds ten for three weeks, offers her Erard's grand piano, valued at three hundred guineas; a diamond cross of eight hundred pounds; and board and lodging in her elegant villa near Banbury Cross, with the best references and society, in return for the loan.” I suspect these people are ogres. There are ogres and ogres. Polyphemus was a great, tall, one-eyed, notorious ogre, fetching his victims out of a hole, and gobbling them one after another. There could be no mistake about him. But so were the Sirens ogres -- pretty blue-eyed things, peeping at you coaxingly from out of the water, and singing their melodious wheedles. And the bones round their caves were more numerous than the ribs, skulls, and thigh-bones round the cavern of bulking Polypheme.
To the castle-gates of some of these monsters up rides the lapper champion of the pen ; puffs boldly upon the horn which hangs by the chain; enters the hall resolutely, and challenges the big tyrant sulking within. We defy him to combat, the enormous roaring ruffian! We give him a meeting on the green plain before his castle. Green? No wonder it should be green: it is manured with human bones. After a few graceful wheels and curvets, we take our ground. We stoop over our saddle.
'Tis but to kiss the locket of our lady-love's hair. And now the vizor is up: the lance is in rest (Gillott's iron is the point for me).
A touch of the spur in the gallant sides of Pegasus, and we gallop at the great brute.
“Cut off his ugly head, Flibbertygibbet, my squire !” And who are these who pour out of the castle? the imprisoned maidens, the maltreated widows, the poor old hoary grandfathers, who have been locked up in the dungeons these scores and scores of years, writhing under the tyranny of that rufiian ! Ali se knights of the pen! May honor be your shield, and truth tip your lances ! Be gentle to all gentle people. Be modest to women. Be tender to children. And as for the Ogre Humbug, out sword, and have at him.
ON TWO ROUNDABOUT PAPERS WHICH I
INTENDED TO WRITE*
We have all heard of a place paved with good intentions : a place which I take to be a very dismal, useless, and unsatisfactory terminus for many pleasant thoughts, kindly fancies, gentle wishes, merry little quips and pranks, harmless jokes which die as it were the moment of their birth. Poor little children of the brain ! He was a dreary theologian who huddled you under such a melancholy cenotaph, and laid you in the vaults under the flagstones of Hades! I trust that some of the best actions we have all of us committed in our lives have been committed in fancy. It is not all wickedness we are thinking, que diable! Some of our thoughts are bad enough I grant you. Many a one you and I have had here below.
what a monster! what crooked horns! what leering eyes! what a flaming mouth! what cloven feet, and what a hideous writhing tail! Oh, let us fall down on our knees, repeat our most potent exorcisms, and overcome the brute. Spread your black pinions, fly — fly to the dusky realms of Eblis, and bury thyself under the paving-stones of his hall, dark genie! But
are not so. No, no. There are the pure : there The following paper was written in 1861, after the extraordinary affray between Major Murray and the money-lender in a house in Northumberland Street, Strand, and subsequent to the appearance of M. Du Chaillu's book on Gorillas.
are the kind : there are the gentle. There are sweet unspoken thanks before a fair scene of nature : at a sun-setting below a glorious sea : or a moon and a host of stars shining over it: at a bunch of children playing in the street, or a group of flowers by the hedge-side, or a bird singing there. At a hundred moments or occurrences of the day good thoughts pass through the mind, let us trust, which never are spoken; prayers are made which never are said; and Te Deum is sung without church, clerk, choristers, parson, or organ. Why, there's my enemy: who got the place I wanted; who maligned me to the woman I wanted to be well with ; who supplanted me in the good graces
my patron. I don't say anything about the malter: but, my poor old enemy, in my secret mind I have movements of as tender charity towards you, you old scoundrel, as ever I had when we were boy's together at school. You ruffian ! do you fancy I forget that we were fond of each other? We are still. We share our tuffy; go halves at the tuck-shop ; do each other's exercises ; prompt cach other with the word in construing or repetition; and tell the most frightful fibs to prevent each other from being found out. We meet each other in public. Ware a fight! Get them into different parts of the room! Our friends huśtle round us. Capulet and Montague are not more at odds than the houses of Roundabout and Wrightabout, let us say. It is, “My dear Mrs. Buffer, do kindly put yourself in the chair between those two men !” Or, “My dear Wrightabout, will you take that charming Lady Blancmange down to supper? She adores your poems, and gave five shillings for your autograph at the fancy fair.” In like manner the peacemakers gather round Roundabout on his part; he is carried to a distant corner, and coaxed out of the way of the enemy with whom he is at feud.
When we meet in the Square at Verona, out flash rapiers, and we fall to. But in his private mind Tybalt owns that Mercutio has a rare wit, and Mercutio is sure that his adversary is a gallant gentleman. Look at the amphitheatre yonder. You do not suppose those gladiators who fought and perished, as hundreds of spectators in that grim Circus beid thumbs down. and cried, “ Kill, kill!”. you do not suppose the combatants of necessity hated each other? No more than the celebrated trained bands of literary sword-and-buckler men bate the adversaries whom they meet in the arena. They engage at the given signal ; feint and parry; slash, poke, rip each other open, dismember limbs, and hew off' noses : but in the way of business, and, I trust, with mutual private esteem. For in