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more boldly. Exhort the teachers of the people who are under you to lay aside the wordy disputes of centuries as not worth the ink in which they have been written, and to return, both in teaching and in practice, to the original faith. A dozen words out of your inspired book, thoroughly believed and put into operation, will save this nation:
“ WHATSOEVER YE WOULD THAT MEN SHOULD DO TO YOU, DO YE EVEN SO TO THEM,
“ Amen!” said a young sprig of the aristocracy, with an assumed nasal twang like that of a parish-clerk, as Constantine concluded his address. But the prospects of our aristocracy were soon too serious to admit of joking. Many of our country residences were burned and pillaged, and our standing army was insufficient to quell the universal disorder. No doubt, the exertions of Constantine in a great measure softened the violence of the popular storm that was rising ; but in some parts of the country the disturbances were alarming, and especially in the district where my country residence was situated.
I have omitted to mention that my only son was in love with the daughter of Constantine. I had left him in our mansion, near the city, where the disturbance first assumed an alarming character. Unhappily, the popular anger, from which I had made an escape into secrecy, directed itself against my son, though he had never taken any serious part in political affairs. An infuriated mob had taken possession of the city, and filled the streets with curses upon my name and the names of my colleagues in government. The churches were demolished, houses were burned, and at last, the whole fury of the mob gathered around the mansion in which my son had imprudently remained. Meanwhile, in the hour of peril, the daughter of Constantine had found her way to my residence, to exhort her lover to flee from the danger ; but her advice was too late. On all sides the house was surrounded by a gathering crowd of men, women, and children, demanding the surrender of the place, and crying fiercely “ Give up the traitor ! ' For a short time the few servants within the house made a show of defence ; but this only more exasperated the mob : several parts of the house were soon in flames ; doors and windows were crashed, and, as the fierce crowd poured into the rooms, with triumphant shouts and execrations, the daughter of Constantine, overcome with terror, died in her lover's arms. The house was a smoking ruin
before the military arrived to restore order in the city; and when I returned in the evening, I found my son standing, in dumb despair, beside the blackened pile. He led me to a neighbouring house, where lay the corpse of his promised bride. He stooped and kissed her pallid face; then said, " See, thus mysteriously the innocent suffer for the guilty. Sir, I do not curse the miserable creatures who were her murderers ; but I curse that system of policy which degraded those men and drove them to desperation."
The death of that one good and gentle creature had a more subduing influence upon the feelings of the populace than all our military movements. As Constantine followed his daughter to the grave, many of the repentant people walked after him in sorrow. In a few days the agitation of the country subsided, and confidence and hope were restored as it became known that the government was to be placed in the hands of Constantine.
Since then I have wandered to and fro in the earth, repenting of a career of injustice. I have one singular gift by which I can recognize, at a glance, any of the descendants of my once prou and wealthy colleagues in the government. I have seen these sons of noble families reduced to the most degraded situations, and unconsciously bearing the burden of misery which their fathers imposed upon the people. But my experience has some consolation, as I see the spirit of Constantine still living and moving among the people, delighted with the gradual fulfilment of his benevolent designs.
THE MAN WHO WENT, STRAIGHT FORWARD DOWN CROOKED LANE.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THE
PURGATORY OF SUICIDES." CRINKUM CRANKUM always had a will of his own: I mean, his grandmother and the elderly ladies of the family used to say so. But whether they really knew anything about it, or only spoke from
guess; I will not undertake to say. I am the more diffident about making any assertion on this point, from the fact that Master Solomon Soundcap, the village apothecary, who knew every argument in Jonathan Edwards by heart, always maintained that the question of the will was one with which his neighbour Crinkum ought never to be mixed up. Master Solomon's notion was, that the whole family of the Crankums had invariably been governed by whim rather than will.
“The will, sir,” Master Solomon would say, suspending any compounding operation in which he happened to be busied, and laying his forefingers across, while he looked as potently logical as any pleader at Equity,"the will, sir, is too high a faculty to be confounded with the mere fits and starts of a man who never looks before he leaps ; it is determined by motive, and is, therefore, a faculty related to the human reason or understanding, not to the passions. A man who is governed by impulse, or rather, who is under no government at all, ought to be regarded as a mere compages of gross animal matter, through which runs the smallest modicum of nervous fluid, just to render it sensitive. And such, sir, are the constituents of all the Crankums : ergo, you may safely assert that my neighbour has whims, but not a will of his own.
Now, I do not say that Master Solomon Soundcap convinced me that he understood this profound subject any more than did Crinkum Crankum’s grandmother. Nevertheless, his mode of argument, with his reputation as a reasoner, were so imposing to one but little acquainted with the mazes of metaphysics, that, as I have observed before, I am somewhat diffident of placing my own immature opinion in contradiction to his.
But Crinkum Crankum himself had no doubt that his grandmother was right. He never deigned to parley with Master Solomon whenever the argumentative apothecary proposed to introduce his theory, but would dash his hand in the air, and, with a haughty toss of his head, exclaim, “Pooh! pish! pshaw! crotchets and quavers ! leave your round-about jargon, and come to the point at once ! I always go straight forward !” So you do, down Crooked Lane,” the subtle compounder of logic and medicine would reply. And then Crinkum Crankum, with a throat swelling and crimsoning with ill-temper, would rush out hastily from the apothecary's shop, as if he were fearful his passion would explode into some less civil phrases than Good-night, or, Good-morning.
And why should Solomon Soundcap, or any other of Crinkum Crankum's neighbours, have troubled themselves to thwart him in his family notion that he always had a will of his own—what harm could it do to him ?-good-natured people may ask. Was it not better that he should entertain such a notion, than that he should be perpetually palliating a mistake by saying he could not help it, as so many weak people do? Was not this obstinacy in the belief that he had a will of his own infinitely preferable to the vulgar custom of pleading that he was a mere “creature of circumstance,' and thereby slipping out of the noose of moral culpableness at every misdemeanour?
Indeed, these questions seem sensible enough at first sight; for a man who obstinately believes that he has a will of his own places himself at once, one would think, in a position of responsibility to society, by acknowledging his capacity to keep, as well as to break, its rules.
Unluckily, the other side of this case of casuistry is unfavourable to the lenient view taken by good-natured people. Crinkum Crankum, like his forefathers, gloried in his belief of having a will of his own, from a self-complacent sense of privilege that it gave him,--and thereby dislodged from his own brain every germ of a thought about responsibility, as quickly as it was sown in that torrid soil. In brief : by virtue of having a will of his own, he not only argued that he could, but that he would do as he liked, and so became excessively termagant in his disposition to subdue the wills of others.
Very strange to say, Master Solomon Soundcap was the only apologist to be found in the parish, whenever his neighbours uttered their indignant complaints against Crinkum Crankum's displays of despotic humour.
1. You mistake the matier, neighbours, it was his wont to argue; “I do not care how energetic a man may be in enforcing his views, if they tend to usefulness or edification. If one wise man can succeed in leading fools to their own interest, and to the aid or augmentation of the general good, I have no objection to his taking the lead, and compelling others to follow him. But, when a man to-day is found proclaiming every one an ass who thinks diverse from himself, and, next week, or next year, having espoused that same asinine way of thinking, brays out an anathema on all who have given it up,—what is to be said for his consistency ? Neighbours, I would pound my fingers, instead of this lump of rhubarb, rather than take away my townsman's
' reputation ; but, though I cannot join you in complaining of any man, simply because he is wilful, I must complain because he is wilfully whimsical."
Thus Master Solomon, who, the reader will have discerned, was only a conservative,-apologised for his neighbour's faults, in the customary mode of neighbourly apologists,– that is, by furnishing the complainant with new grounds of dislike, in lieu of convincing him that his own alledgements were ungrounded.
Crinkum Crankum, however, heeded neither open complainants nor pseudo-apologists : his life-long habit was to assert every new doctrine which he professed, -and he professed nearly every doctrine in the course of his life,-with equal vehemence and equal dogmatism. He was a great advocate for “Nature,” in early life, and would challenge the clergyman of the parish, whenever he met him, to what he called “free discussion ;" yet it was only free so far as it afforded Crinkum Crankum a renewed opportunity for abusing the clergyman to his face, and telling him that "some people might be cozened by fables, while others might be intimidated into a tacit profession of what their understandings rejected, lest they should lose caste ; but there was one man in the parish, the clergyman must know, who was neither to be deluded nor frightened, for he had a will of his own, and went straight forward.”
The mild and inoffensive curate—the vicar being a non-resident -was often hurt by these blustering attacks of Crinkum Crankum, for his meek and sincere nature rendered him incapable of cozening or intimidation. His gratification, therefore, was mingled with considerable alloy when Crinkum Crankum, in the latter part of