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“His nerves had never been so little irritated.
" "I know not how, or why,” said he aloud, and looking abroad; "but solitude seems to have peculiar charms for me this morning.'
“What will you give me, and I'll tell you both the how and the why?" said Evelyn, stealing in behind him.
“I'm afraid it will baffle even your philosophy,' said his friend, shaking hands with him.
“No! it confirms it all,' replied Evelyn, 'for it proves my favourite tenet of the necessity of earning our tranquillity. You have earned it for a little by the two days' sacrifice you made to duty. It was a very painful one, I allow,' continued he, perceiving that Tremaine looked dissentingly; but, upon the whole, you be. haved well, and for all your sour looks,“ my dukedom to a beggarly denier" but your present placidity is owing entirely to the interruption there has been to the sameness of an unoccupied life.'
«•I deny the unoccupied,' answered Tremaine, glancing at his Horace, and as to the sameness, I also deny that it can possibly flow the better for such an interruption.'
“That babbling brook yonder,' observed Evelyn, looking out, 'contradicts you better than I can: you see its natural flow is like the placid Arar, which you, and 1, and Cæsar before us, bave noticed and admired.'
“ 'I know nothing of the Arar,' said 'Tremaine. «« Incredibili lenitate, ita ut oculis, in utram partem fiuit, juicari non possit.' How often ( per fines Æduorum et Sequanorum) both you and I have admired the justness of this description continued Evelyn.
“Truce with your learning,' exclaimed Tremalne; ‘for what bas all this to do with solitude ?
“ ' An illustration, merely,' said the doctor, the first that came to hand, but none the worse for that. You see the three or four little rocks, or rather mere stones, in the bottom of the brook, that impede its natural gentleness; and you also see how much the faster, how much more brisk, and lively, and petulant it flows; with what vivacity it sings, as it were, with joy, as it rattles from stone to stone, and how its increased rapidity continues for almost half a furlong, all in con. sequence of the little struggle to get free."
“You are quite poetic this morning,' said Tremaine.
“Only a litile oratorical,' answered the doctor; but in good truth it speaks a volume. The sessions are the rock.'
“"On which I split,' said Tremaine. " Too common-place,' observed Evelyn, “and not correct either, for instead of splitting, I am sadly out if they have not sent you more merrily on your voyage.'
"* You might as well duck me in the horse-pond, and say I was the happier,' retorted Tremaine.
“Perhaps a better remedy than all,' replied the doctor. “But seriously, my old friend,' pursued the fastidious recluse, do you your? self think the scenes we went through agreeable?'
« « That is not the point,' answered Evelyn; 'I do not think phy agreeable, but yet I'm forced sometimes to take it.
« *Then you own a bench of judges are a dose of physic.'
“ “It is for my purpose to do so, rejoined the practical moralist, ‘for physic makes me enjoy myself after it is over, and so do the sessions.'
“ « Then you had no pleasure; and if your mind bad been in health, you would not have visited them? " "Not absolutely so.'
"With your tastes, how could it be otherwise?' “We did good,' replied Evelyn, “and that was a palpable gain.'
“This may be very true,' said Tremaine, but you must allow that most of people whom we were compelled to associate with were quizzes; and I must laugh at a quiz wherever I find him.'
“ Have a care that he does not laugh at you,' answered Evelyn : 'and, indeed, I question very much whether a hale constitution, and hearty though boisterous cheerfulness, have not a thousand times more reason to laugh, than a splenetic mind in a body sick with refinement ?'
" • You are cruel,' said Tremaine. « « Only a faithful friend,' replied Evelyn ; 'besides, I'm jealous for the honour
of the cloth, and my brother-magistrates; and as we slave without reward, to keep you in security, depend upon it the world will give us our due, though a fine gentleman refuse it. We ask who this fine gentleman is? what right he has to despise us? and we find, perhaps, that it is founded upon his wearing boots with white tops instead of brown, and being perfectly idle while we work.'
« « My dear friend,' said Treinaine, you cannot suspect me of alluding to you!'-'
"Perhaps not; but I am no better than those to whom you did allude-perhaps inferior to them; many of them are worthy, some of them wise, all with a certain cultivation of intellect; uncouthness (where they are uncouth) soon wears oft'; and depend upon it, real usefulness must in the end meet with its reward, in real respectability.'
"Tremaine felt pushed-but rallying, exclaimed, what would you say to Dr. Juniper passing up St. James's Street, while White's or Boodle's were full of fashionable critics?
""Why, though fashion is arbitrary enough,' answered Evelyn, she yet binds those only who choose to acknowledge her laws; now what if these grave personages were to laugh at fashion, as much as fashion could for the life of her laugh at them?
“"Impossible!' said Tremaine.
“ Not only possible, but I believe very true; for, not being one of the sect, they may at least despise as much as they are despised.'
« Tremaine smiled contemptuously.
“And yet for all that smile of contempt, it the plain account,' continued the doctor; and the honest sailor, who laughed at the Frenchman, for calling a hat a chapeau, was not more impoteitt in his criticism, than the critics you mention would be towards persons who are not their subjects. It is only the votaries of a particular deity, wbo can be hurt at having their incense refused; and a Protestant might as well be mortified at being refused holy water by the pope, as that an unfashionable person, who thinks of higher, or even only of different things, should feel any thing from the sneer of a petit-maitre.'
“Very sententious, and very fine in theory,' said Tremaine, but always contradicted' in practice : for however bold we all are in our closets and our gardens, (here the two disputants insensibly had strolled into the garden)-I say, however firm we may feel among our parisbioners and our clowns, I fear the world resumes its hold upon us the moment we return to it; and though you have naturally the maintien noble belonging to your family, you yourself, my dear doator
« «Would be quizzed, interrupted Evelyn, 'in St. James's Street; and you yourself would be afraid to walk by White's with me;--is that what you would
" "Not exactly the last, at least not now, whatever I might have done ten years ago.'
« «But the first?' said Evelyn.
“Why, if you did happen to be quizzed, I should like to know how, with all your wisdom, you would bear it,' said Tremaine.
" "I once was in that most trying situation,' said Evelyn, drily.
“Now, amongst Tremaine's weaknesses, we have not concealed his love of fashion, spite of ten thousand professions, which all went to level it at the feet of philosophy. Often had he been known to say, that a wise man was always independent of a thing so fleeting, so intrinsically insignificant; yet no man more accurately than himself exacted, and paid the full measure of consideration which it demanded.
“Born a man of quality, though born also for something better, he gave a consequence in the world to a thousand things, which in bis closet he said were of no consequence at all.
"To be quizzed, much more to be what is called cut by any one, never, indeed, entered his contemplation; but had it so happened, though by a duke, or royalty itself, it would have been a crime læsæ magistatis, never to be forgiven.
“With this disposition, he was not unobservant of that tyrannous power which certain sprigs of fashion, and certain men of wit, in the fashionable clubs, exercise over every body else, in all the points that are deemed legitimate objects of quizzing
«Their despotism is so great, that not even he stopt to ascertain its real nature,
or how it came to be acquired. It was enough that all bowed, or seemed to bow to it; and he had himself sat sufficiently often in the window at White's, to conceive almost as high an idea of its power, as a judge has of the dignity of the bench.
“ His detractors (for he had them) went, indeed, so far as to say, the only man for whom he ever showed any real leference was a certain beau, who, spite of all his wants of birth, fortune, and connexion, had, by the force of a masterly genius, acquired such an ascendency over the dandies, as to be called their sovereign.
"It is certain this beau had not spared Tremaine, who, he said, with all his claims to reputation, (which on the whole he was disposed to allow,) had yet an original defect in his education, in having studied the law. It was observed that Tremaine not only forgave this piece of temerity, but conceived a high respect for the genius, abilities, and powers of him who was guilty of it, and there was a sort of fashionable alliance between them ever afterwards.
“From all this, he was curious to hear the doctor's answer to his question, how he would bear quizzing at White's.
“They had now reached the lawn, and had fallen into a sort of lounging pace.
“I think,' said the doctor, with dry gravity, looking at his boots, and switching them with his whip, 'I think I'm pretty well, even now, though an oldish sort of a person; and if I were this moment to pass through St. James's Street, I really don't see the right which my Lord A. or B. would have to laugh at me ; at least I might, with some exertion of philosophy, bear it-perhaps even laugh at them.'
“Oh! you are perfectly well, said Tremaine; “and with your dignitary's hat, might even command respect.'
"I'm afraid you flatter: but give me leave to ask, what would be the effect if I were to appear in a grenadier's cap?'
" "You would be-not quizzed, but hooted.'
“ • And why more than Lord A. himself, who wears his in the same place every time he is on guard ?'
“He is in his place,' replied Tremaine ; you would be out of it.'
“• Exactly so; and you see, therefore, it is the being in and out of one's place, and not this or that appearance, that exposes one to be legitimately quizzed.'
“Legitimately quizzed?' exclaimed Tremaine.
" "Yes! you see I give the subject all scientific dignity; and, in truth, it is quite important enough to rank among the sciences.' * "I'm afraid you are now quizzing me,' said Tremaine.
Far from it: I only wished to give due honour to what seemed to you of such importance. To proceed, then, I hinted that, for quizzing to take effect, there must be two parties, the agent and patient, the quizzer and quizzee.'
“ "Scientific indeed,' said 'Tremaine.
“But,' continued Evelyn, 'there must also be vet something inherent in both parties for the success of the enterprise ; something like wit, or at least some personal, or seemingly personal superiority in the quizzer, and some predisposition, or rather pre-adaption in the quizzee, to allow that he is quizzed.'
“ “ I admire your precision,' said Tremaine.
6 Well, then,' proceeded Evelyn, what if the quizzee (wrapt in his virtue and a good surtout) not only deny to himself the assumed superiority of the quizzen but feel himself the superior of the two?'
“Give me an illustration,' said Tremaine.
« • The gay courtier in King Charles the First's time,' answered Evelyn; 'he who piqued himself so much upon his fine clothes; and because he had a better tailor, thought himself a better man than Oliver Cromwell.'
« «You mean Sir Philip Warwick,' said Tremaine, and I remember the passage; but what has it to do with quizzing?'
“A great deal,' replied Evelyn; “for, in the place I allude to, he was the quizzer, and Oliver the quizzee. We courtiers,' he says, “valued ourselves much upon our good clothes; and when I first saw Oliver, he seemed a gentleman very ordinarily clad, in a plain suit, made, as it should seem, by an ill country tailor his linen not very clean, his hat without a batband, and his sword stuck on awkwardly.' Sir Philip says of himself, that he then vainly thought himself a courtly young gentleman, and was here evidently quizzing the man who afterwards became his master; for I remember he goes on to say, “And yet I lived to see this very person, (having had a better tailor,) and when I was his prisoner at Whitehall, appear in my eyes of a very comely presence.' Notwithstanding this quiz of him, Oliver, according to the quizzer himself, was very much hearkened to, and, as I humbly conceive, did not care one pinch of snuff for the sneers of Sir Philip at his country tailor.'
“You have a strange way of bringing in your reading!' said Tremaine. "But I should like to have somerining still more practical; you were going to tell me how you felt when you thought yourself quizzed. Come, let os have the time, place, and parties. As to the fairness of the account, that I think I can depend on.'
““I have no interest in giving any other,' said Evelyn. •As to time, then, it was twenty years ago—as to place, the very spot we have just been talking of; and the parties were the very people you quote as so redoubtable.'
• • Well! your fine feelings? for at five-and-twenty, I do not apprehend they were the same as now.' “ «Certainly not.
Lenit albescens animos capillus,
"• Excellent!' said Tremaine; you see in the world and out of it, are very different: and how did you get the better of this impulse?'
• Why, at first, by a very simple process. It occurred to me, as there were half-a-dozen of them, it was not improbable I should be knocked down myself. After this, I fortunately asked myself rather a necessary question : namely, whether, in point of fact, they were really laughing at any body, much less at me?'
“ • That certainly was prudent; but I thought you had proof!'
“ 'No other than that they were in the act of laughing, and that their eyes looked at me, as I past by.'
" • Rather slight,' said Tremaine.
" "So slight, that after I had swallowed my impulse, I began to laugh too, for being as great a fool as Scrub in the play; who said, I am sure they were talking of me, 'for they laughed consumedlý. My next question was, what I could have about my person, manner, or character, to be laughed at? and finding nothing, I laughed more at myself than I am sure they did, even supposing I had been their object.'
" " I'm afraid,' said Tremaine, this, after all, does not apply; but suppose you had really been quizzed ?
“Why, had it been made manifest by rudeness, I should have been forced, in my own defence, on my first impulse.'
“. But suppose,' continued Tremaine, it had been a mere mental quizzing, not manifest enough to be resented, yet evidently existing: has that ever been your situation ?
"• It has,' returned Evelyn, but it was put down at once.' “¢ As how?" asked Tremaine.
"Why, by the very simple act of passing themselves in review in my own mind, as they were doing by me in theirs; and finding some of them to be fools, some knaves, and all of them profligates, I became the quizzer in my turn.'
“« Surely,' said Tremaine, you do not treat the matter fairly; you cannot mean that all the young men of fashion are of this character?'
“Certainly not, and neither are all men of fashion quizzers; we are talking of the few, and I should say, the refuse of them, for such, in my day, were those who indulged in the license we are discussing. All of them were gamblers, and therefore profligatc; most of them silly, and therefore contemptible; and some of them guilty of crimes for which they ought to have been hanged.'
“What can you mean? said Tremaine.
“«Gallantry!' exclaimed Evelyn; how many crimes of the most fatal, as well)' as the most atrocious dye, are encouraged, and indeed permitted, under this hor. rible miscalling of names? But observe, I mean not simple gallantry, which is, however, bad enough in itself-I mean the most aggravated cases of deliberate destruction to the honour and peace of families; of ingratitude, cruelty, and even Vol. VII. No. 37.-Museum.
incest !--These are to be found daily among the quizzers whom you bid me fear. Rather paint them in truer colours, and say they are theinselves objects of pity, even should the world they have injured be able to forgive and forget them."
“There was an impressiveness iii Evelyn's tone and manner as he said this, which inspired Tremaine with the truest veneration for his friend; and during the pause which ensued, they reached the bridge over the little river which divides Woodington from Evelyn Hall, and took leave of each other.”
Another conversation, which takes place amidst Evelyn's solemn old rookery, is thus given:
“You confess, then, you live in solitude,' said Tremaine, catching at the word, ‘yet you had the choice of your life; why, therefore, blame me?'
“I live in the country,' replied Evelyn, “but not in solitude.'
“Yet you own you are driven to converse with these common creatures of the air, whom every farmer's boy hoots at all day long.'
“I converse with Nature,' said Evelyn, whether in man or birds; you, it seems, only with man.'
““I avow it,' said Tremaine.
" And yet,' replied Evelyn, “it is a comical way to converse with a gentleman, to run away from him.'
“I think,' said Tremaine, 'if Miss Evelyn pleases, I would rather converse only with woman, at least to-day; for your ride has put you in such bantering spirits, there is no getting you to be serious. Miss Evelyn and I agreed much better just now in the house, when we were by ourselves.'
« « Mir. Tremaine was very agreeable,' observed Georgina, and read Lord Byron charmingly.
“ I have no doubt of it,' said Evelyn, looking them both,
“Strange! that a look should throw them both into a sort of consciousness in. comprehensible to either.
“I know nothing,' continued Evelyn, not perceiving it, so much mistaken as that whole subject of solitude. Zimmerman ran mad about it first, and nothing would content him but making all other people as mad as himself.* The Swiss, (mountebank Rousseau,) too, endeavoured to turn people's heads on it, though he never turned his own; for when the world let him alone, he never could bear it. Be quite assured of this, that solitude, mercly as such, as it is not natural, so it cannot be agreeable.'
“ « Yet where is virtue so well preserved?' asked Tremaine.
“Say, rather, vice avoided,' answered Evelyn, 'for it is but a negative advantage at best.' "Do you admit Robinson Crusoe to be a natural picture?" said Tremaine. «• Perfectly, as all Defoe's are remarkable for being.' «« He tells you that his soul never seemed so innocent, or so enlightened.'
« « That was because Selkirk had no temptation to be otherwise, and had luckily been left with a Bible, which he had never before studied. But you will recollect that Selkirk was frightened at the animals about him, merely because they were not frightened at hin; and when Robinson thought of none of his shipmates being saved, his perpetual cry was,—“Oh! that there had been but one." Even his parrot repeating "Poor Robin Crusoe,” was sweetness to his ear.'
What do you think of Bates?'t said Tremaine. " Much more sensible and practical than Zimmerman." “Yet he has this passion!'
“No! he only advises a country life, which I should advise too. But even Bates requires that man shall be properly qualified before he will allow him to retire, which I think the most sensible part of his whole book. “There is no magical virtue," says he, "in fields and groves, no local inspiration which will elevate an unprepared mind from things natural to mural, from matter to spirit, and from the creature to the Creator.",
• He, however, corrected himself in a second volume, in which he shows the dangers of solitude sensibly enough.
† Rural Philosophy.