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the dove sat visibly brooding. Others again I have watched, when my thoughts should have been better engaged, in which I could possibly detect nothing but a blank inanity. But quiet was in all, and the disposition to unanimity, and the absence of the fierce controversial workings. If the spiritual pretensions of the Quakers have abated, at least they make few pretences. Hypocrites they certainly are not in their preaching. It is seldom indeed that you shall see one get up among them to hold forth. Only now and then a trembling female, generally ancient, voice is heard—you cannot guess from what part of the meeting it proceeds—with a low, buzzing, musical sound, laying out a few words which “she thought might suit the condition of some present," with a quaking diffidence, which leaves no possibility of supposing that anything of female vanity was mixed up, where the tones were so full of tenderness and a restraining modesty. The men, for what I have observed, speak seldomer.

Once only, and it was some years ago, I witnessed a sample of the old Foxian orgasm. It was a man of giant stature, who, as Wordsworth phrases it, might have danced, “ from head to foot equipped in iron mail." His frame was of iron too. But he was malleable. I saw him shake all over with the spirit—I dare not say, of delusion. The strivings of the outer man were unutterable—he seemed not to speak, but to be spoken from. I saw the strong man bowed down, and his knees to fail-his joints all seemed loosening—it was a figure to off set against Paul preaching-the words he uttered were few, and sound--he was evidently resisting his willkeeping down his own word wisdom with more mighty effort than the world's orators strain for theirs. 6. He had been a wir in his youth,” he told us, with expressions of a sober re

And it was not till long after the impression had begun to wear away, that I was enabled, with something like a smile, to recall the striking incongruity of the confessionunderstanding the term in its worldly acceptation-with the frame and physiognomy of the person before me. His brow would have scared away the levities--the Jocos Risus-que --faster than the Loves fled the face of Dis at Enna. By wit, even in his youth, I will be sworn he understood some thing far within the limits of an allowable liberty.

More frequently the meeting is broken up without a word having been spoken. But the mind has been fed. You go away with a sermon not made with hands. You have been in the milder caverns of Trophonius; or as in some den, where that fiercest and savagest of all wild creatures, the TONGUE, that unruly member, has strangely lain tied up and


captive. You have bathed with stillness. Oh when the spirit is sore fretted, even tired to sickness of the janglings and nonsense noises of the world, what a balm and a solace it is to go and seat yourself, for a quiet half hour, upon some undisputed corner of a bench, among the gentle Quakers !

Their garb and stillness conjoined, present an uniformity, tranquil and herdlike-as in the pasture—" forty feeding like one."

The very garments of a Quaker seem incapable of receiving a soil; and cleanliness in them to be something more than the absence of its contrary. Every Quakeress is a lily; and when they come up in bands to their Whitsun conferences, whitening the easterly streets of the metropolis, from all parts of the United Kingdom, they show like troops of the shining



My reading has been lamentably desultory and immethodical. Odd, out of the way, old English plays and treatises, have supplied me with most of my notions and ways of feeling. In everything that relates to science, I am a whole encyclopædia behind the rest of the world. I should have scarcely cut a figure among the Franklins, or country gentlemen in King John's days. I know less geography than a schoolboy of six weeks' standing. To me a map of old Ortelius is as authentic as Arrowsmith. I do not know whereabout Africa merges into Asia ; whether Ethiopia lie in one or other of those great divisions ; nor can form the remotest conjecture of the position of New South Wales, or Van Diemen's Land. Yet do I hold a correspondence with a very dear friend in the first named of these two terræ incognitæ. I have no astronomy. I do not know where to look for the Bear, or Charles's Wain ; the place of any star; or the name of any of them at sight. I guess at Venus only by her brightness; and if the sun on some portentous morn were to make his first appearance in the west, I verily believe, that while all the world were gasping in apprehension about me,

I alone should stand unterrified, from sheer incuriosity and want of observation. Of history and chronology I possess some vague points, such as one cannot help picking up in the course of miscellaneous study ; but I never deliberately sat down to a


chronicle, even of my own country. I have most dim appre. hensions of the four great monarchies; and sometimes the Assyrian, sometimes the Persian, floats as first in my far cy. I make the widest conjectures concerning Egypt, and her shepherd kings. My friend M., with great painstaking, got me to think I understood the first proposition in Euclid, but gave me over in despair at the second. I am entirely unacquainted with the modern languages ; and, like a better man than myself, have “ small Latin and less Greek.” I am a stranger to the shapes and texture of the commonest trees, herbs, flowers—not from the circumstance of my being town born ; for I should have brought the same unobservant spirit into the world with me had I first seen it “ on Devon's leafy shores,” and am no less at a loss among purely town objects, tools, engines, mechanical processes. Not that I affect ignorance; but my head has not many mansions, nor spacious ; and I have been obliged to fill it with such cabinet curiosities as it can hold without aching. I sometimes wonder how I have passed my probation with so little discredit in the world, as I have done, upon so meager a stock. But the fact is, man may


well with a very little knowledge, and scarce be found out, in mixed company ; everybody is so much more ready to produce his own, than to call for a display of your acquisitions. But in a tête-ui-tête there is no shuffling. The truth will out. There is nothing which I dread so much as the being left alone for a quarter of an hour with a sensible, well-informed man, who does not know me. I lately got into a dilemma of this sort.

In one of my daily jaunts between Bishopsgate and Shacklewell, the coach stopped to take up a staid-looking gentleman, about the wrong side of thirty, who was giving his parting directions, (while the steps were adjusting,) in a tone of mild authority, to a tall youth, who seemed to be neither his clerk, his son, nor his servant, but something partaking of all three. The youth was dismissed, and we drove on. As we were the sole passengers, he naturally enough addressed his conversation to me ; and we discussed the merits of the fare, the civility and punctuality of the driver ; the circumstance of an opposition coach having been lately set up, with the probabilities of its success—to all which I was enabled to return pretty satisfactory answers, having been drilled into this kind of etiquette by some years' daily practice of riding to and fro in the stage aforesaid, when he suddenly alarmed me by a startling question, whether I had seen the show of prize cattle that morning in Smithfield. Now as I had not seen it, and do not greatly care for such sort of exhibitions, I was

last year.

obliged to return a cold negative. He seened a little mortified, as well as astonished, at my declaration, as (it appeared) he was just come fresh -from the sight, and doubtless had hoped to compare notes on the subject. However, he assured me that I had lost a fine treat, as it far exceeded the show of

We were now approaching Norton Falgate, when the sight of some shop goods ticketed freshened him up into a dissertation upon the cheapness of cottons this spring. I was now a little in heart, as the nature of my morning avocations had brought me into some sort of familiarity with the raw material; and I was surprised to find how eloquent I was becoming on the state of the India market, when, presently, he dashed my incipient vanity to the earth at once, by inquiring whether I had ever made any calculation as to the value of the rental of all the retail shops in London. Had he asked of me what song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, I might, with Sir Thomas Browne, have hazarded a “ wide solution." My companion saw my embarrassment, and the almshouses beyond Shoreditch just coming in view, with great good nature and dexterity shifted his conversation to the subject of public charities; which led to the comparative merits of provision for the poor in past and present times, with observations on the old monastic institutions and charitable orders—but finding me rather dimly impressed with some glimmering notions from old poetic associations, than strongly fortified with any speculations reducible to calculation on the subject, he gave the matter up; and the country beginning to open more and more upon us as we approached the turnpike at Kingsland, (the destined termination of his journey,) he put a home thrust upon me, in the most unfortunate position he could have chosen, by advancing some queries relative to the North Pole Expedition. While I was muttering out something about the panorama of those strange regions, (which I had actually seen, by way of parrying the question, the coach stopping relieved me from any further apprehensions. My companion getting out, left me in the comfortable possession of my ignorance ; and I heard him, as he went off, putting questions to an outside passenger, who had alighted with him, regarding an epidemic disorder, that had been rise about Dalston ; and which, my friend assured him, had gone through five or six schools in that neighbourhood. The truth now flashed upon me, that my companion was a schoolmaster; and that the youth, whom he had parted from at our first acquaintance, must have been one of the bigger boys, or the usher. He was evidently a kind-hearted man, who did not seem so much desirous of provoking discussion by the questions which he put, as of obtaining information at any ratc. It did not appear that he took any interest, either, in such kind of inquiries, for their own sake; but that he was in some way bound to seek for knowledge. A greenish-coloured coat which he had on forbade me to surmise that he was a clergyman. The adventure gave birth to some reflections on the difference between persons of his profession in past and present times.

* Urn Burial.

Rest to the souls of those fine old pedagogues—the breed, long since extinct, of the Lilys and the Linacres—who, believing that all learning was contained in the languages which they taught, and despising every other acquirement as superficial and useless, came to their task as to a sport! Passing from infancy to age, they dreamed away all their days as in a grammar school. Revolving in a perpetual cycle of declensions, conjugations, syntaxes, and prosodies ; renewing constantly the occupations which had charmed their studious childhood ; rehearsing continually the part of the past; life must have slipped from them at last like one day. They were always in their first garden, reaping harvest of their golden time, among their Flori and their Spicilegia ; in Arcadia still, but kings; the ferule of their sway not much harsher, but of like dignity with that mild sceptre attributed to King Basileus; the Greek and Latin, their stately Pamela and their Philoclea; with the occasional duncery of some untoward tyro, serving for the refreshing interlude of a Mopsa, or a clown Damætas !

With what a savour doth the preface to Colet's, or (as it is sometimes called) Paul's Accidence, set forth ! 6. To exhort every man to the learning of grammar, that intendeth to attain the understanding of the tongues, wherein is contained a great treasury of wisdom and knowledge, it would seem but vain and lost labour ; for so much as it is known, that nothing can surely be ended, whose beginning is either feeble or faulty ; and no building be perfect, whereof the foundation and groundwork are ready to fall, and unable to uphold the burden of the frame.” How well doth this stately preamble (comparable to those which Milton commendeth as “having been the usage to prefix to some solemn law, then first promulgated by Solon or Lycurgus”) correspond with and illustrate that pious zeal for conformity, expressed in a succeeding clause, which would fence about grammar rules with the severity of faith articles !—" as for the diversity of grammars, it is well profitably taken away by the king majesty's wisdom,

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