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enough. For the earth is broad and fruitful, and natar’s storehouse not half laid open. Then, when the world's ships may go free, when man may freely reap and sow, when ye 've made him a feelin' sensible creetur, knowing good from evil, he 'll marry and be given in marriage, without more fear o' over-populating the earth than filling the sea with too many fishes. And to this time I take it the world is a-going forard too, in spite o' Parson Malthus and his scholars. In God's works there is no flaw, though man's great solemn books may say there is. And so, sir, git married : there 's figlosofi in it; and as I take it ye write books, let them be sich as 'll help poor creeturs into the light o' wisdom. And so, sir, git married, and give a verdict for Time against the Surrey Parson. For ye 'll take the words o' Solomon, I reckon, better than sich as come from a cobbler ; and what says he on these two pints o'a wife and population ? why, sumfen wiser than the parson. Thus:-"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” ('specially if she's a quiet tongue); and the t'other: “In the multitude of people is the king's honour, and in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.” Only I'd suggist in ihis latter case, that one should have God's honour, instid o' kings', and the destruction of glorious human natur, instid o' them bits o' things in purple that men call princes. And so, sir, git married.”
Just as Mr. Tapps has thus advised the moralist, what should step forth from the cool porch into the warm sunlight, but a strapping young fellow in a bran-new blue coat, and on his arm such a little tiny, happy, trembling human flower, though not over brave in money-bought gaudiness, that Mechlin lace never shrouded in purer or prouder blushes. Well, they have just been married : the parson's blessing is yet an echo! Why, here is enough in strapping Tom Kittletink's looks, to confute the world's trumpet-blast against happiness unless in purple. Tapps wickedly winks, and chirps a merry ha! ha! as hearty as his lark hard by; the sexton rests on his spade ; the moralist places his foot on a newly upturned skull, it may be accidentally, though I am afraid he had not such wisdom as Yorick had to raise a glorious truth from insentient dust. Tapps, like his lark, has the first note, and it is a cheerful one, for he stops Tom Kittletink right short, and thus adds a deeper glow to the little bride's downcast face.
" And so Tom,” says Tapps, “this gentleman as is a noting
down the 'rithmetic o' dead human creeturs, as sharp as a parish boy at an apple-stall—and all I take it for them here Parliament men---says as how to git married is to fall into the pit o destruction, and so you 'd better go home and make a day of weeping on 't.” . «of merry-making,” says Tom, all joyous, “as is proper with Mary here, and a stuffed loin of pork and a precious plumpudding. What! cry? Why, Lord bless the gentleman, a wedding day does but come once in a life ; and it's worth a world o' care to come that once, as I think.”
“ The happiness of a day, the misery of years, my friend," speaks the now somewhat abstracted moralist, “the workhouse, the parish coffin, the slow-paced eleemosynary doctor, the screaming child, the destitution, the want of mere bread, and last of all, the earth, this earth, you understand ?”.
“I do, master,” speaks out Tom Kittletink still more stoutly, " and I 've looked as far into the matter as a hard-working man, as a Barbican brazier with no better learning than sich as parish schools strap and badge upon the poor can do, and I don't see that God made sich blessed little creatures as my Mary here, as flowers only to be worn in proud rich men's bosoms. Why, hope 's for all on us, the sun 's for all on us, and a man might as well persistingly sit under a big down-turned biler, when the sun 's shining, as to always be looking for'ards to evil. Not that we are a-going to rush into the parish arms as I say : it's only when a man can't be worser off that he does that. But here I was, with fifteen shillings a-week a-coming in, a decent second floor back, a few bits o' things towards housekeeping, and Mary a-pining and moping by herself, and both on us loving children, and wishing to have 'em to teach and make 'em better than ourselves; and so I thought, as God didn't say no, them as go about with tracts and sich like shouldn't, and so we've seen the parson, and now we're jist off to the roast pork and pudding, not envying a mortal human creature, but thankful for what I am, and for Mary here, sir.”
“ And I prophecy - " began the moralist.
“I say, sir,” interrupts Tom Kittletink, “ you must think better o'sich as us, and give us a lift by yer learning, instead of helping to put us down into the churchyard dust, as too many do. And I say, if ye will look thus in God's manner, ye 'll be married by this day next year. For, Lord sir, there's a little flower there
by yer side ; don't overlook her, for matrimony's in her eyes, sir, as I've had experience by my Mary's. Come, my dear! and you, Tapps, mind you give us a look in to-night : there 'll be backy, I reckon, and a song.”
The moralist is about to say something, but the little lady whispered a little “nay” so near the truth, and so persuasive, that it is finer than speech lisped from the lips of a Lady Belinda ; and Tapps drawing near too, adds something about “ human natur ;" and this, too, has something so talismanic in it, that he turns his eyes in the direction the mute sexton, the little lady, and the cobbler's looks have taken, and beholds Tom Kittletink just by the churchyard gate, actually kissing Mary's finger, on which is the bridal ring. And so God bless him! It is a genuflection of nature in its adoration of the True! “ Git married ”is Tapps' last counsel as he goes back to his awl, Mope digs on, and, strange for him, whistles instead of reckoning on his next dram of gin ; and the philosopher and the little lady walk silently home arm in arm ; his synthetic vein now analytical, and the creator of Belinda and Foppington woes touching a string whose melody is in the human heart!
A year gone by. The same sun, the same June day, the same human hearts; yet what a change! Is it a different church, or a different bridal party, that does it all ? No! it is opinion-before conventional, now garmented in truth. Malthus is dead-beat. It is the philosopher gone in to be married, and to the little sharp lady! God bless them both! Something better than Malthus doctrinaire, something better than little squeezed tears of convention! Truth from Tapps the cobbler, Oh! oh! blessings on St. Crispin and St. Crispianus, both of them, after this!
Well, it is beautiful to hear what a stout "yes" the moralist makes of it when the parson asks the question ; and the little trembling lady doesn't mince the matter, trust me. Nor is any man sour enough to allege an impediment; and, bless us ! it is the best and new found morality of the moralist to look into that happy face and love! What is a Lady Belinda after this, though charming as Miss Byron herself ?
Of course there is to sign and seal, and into the vestry they go. When, lo! there is that same little Mary, pale to be sure, but with such a stout, living, blue-eyed little miniature of Tom Kittletink himself, that a mint-master might swear to the die. Mary is looking a little pale, to be sure, as most young mothers do ; but the moralist and his bride know her at once.
“Well, Mrs. Kittletink," says the bridegroom, stopping right short in front of the parson, " a year to-day. Have you regretted taking Tom for good and all ?"
“Bless him, no sir,” says Mary, rising to drop a curtsey ; "the minutes have all been too short, and they 'll be shorter now, sir; for yo see the baby. The image of him, isn't it, sir ?"
• Exactly. Well, here's a pound to buy something to make punch of to-night, and mind Tapps tastes it. Recollect, good strong punch, plenty of rum in it, and that old Jamaica, and Tapps 'll know what toast to drink.”
“ That he will, sir. A dear creetur, sir ! with a heart like his
“Well! tell him he taught a man to be wise. Good day, Mrs. Kittletink; and now my dear!”
“ We 'll put Malthus on our shelves with our graver books, and read
“ The HUMAN HEART, my love, and improve upon Tapps' logic."
" And whilst you write the second volume of Truths for the Time,' I'll make novels that shall be for everybody."
- To be read by everybody. You step here, my love! Mind, I think we 're as happy as Tom Kittletink and little Mary.'
" I 'm sure of it."
“ Well! then we 're with Time against Malthus. Tapps was right : ours is the last new verdict.'”
" There 'll be many more such when "
“ Every day more and more. Cheap bread; the havens of the earth free ; science, unbaring the fruitful bosom of the soil, will show men the profound wisdom of the moral the Greek sage taught, that Nature's true laws co-exist not with Eril, for Nature is God.''
Did you ever see a self-satisfied, dull-witted, positively speaking, main-chance-pursuing, very sceptical, and altogether unenthusiastic specimen of the animal, man? Did you ever see such a specimen, and not hear him generally called a “man of good sound sense ?”
Why is he so called ? Because to the stolid, want of sense is good sense ; and the greater number of mankind being rendered stolid by the training of society, one who embodies their own peculiarities is sure to have their good word. People name by a fine name whatever keeps themselves in countenance.
If asses could speak, be sure they would discourse on the wholesomeness of thistles, and the beauty of long ears; and any donkey who seemed to munch his thistles with a peculiar relish, or to flourish his ears with more satisfaction than ordinary, would to a certainty receive great praise from his species. He might even, if very asinine in his tendencies, be styled by a distinctive title, and live grandly amongst donkeys, a donkey aristocrat. The prerogative of speech has been used, time out of mind, in giving to baseness the attributes of nobility ; and men, if not donkeys, have found out how, by worshipping their own mean qualities in the person of another, they raise their estimate of their own nature.
The “man of good sound sense” is, of course, well to do in the world, or the world would not compliment him with such a cognomen. Indeed it is very probable that formerly he may have been differently considered. If he have had his way to make, he will perhaps or when poor and but just commencing the struggle-have been called'an “ honest well-meaning man ;” by and by-as his success becomes more evident-he will be promoted to the rank of a “ deserving man, and no fool ;” until at last-when in possession of social influence, money to spend, and money to leave—he will gain his eminent, fully-developed title, and wear it as gracefully as Sancho Panza wore that of governor of the Island of Barataria.
The “man of good sound sense" is sternly and sneeringly NO. XVII. --VOL. III.