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closet, ducks his head in at the door, then out again, then in again, till at last, with a hesitating step and finger at his forelock, he gets fairly into the shop, and sees a little shrimp of an old fellow smoking his pipe behind the counter, who, being in the very middle of a lengthened puff, does not deign any answer to Joe's question as to price, till he brings forth the pound.
“That's it,” says the laconic smoker, jerking his pipe in the direction of the coin. Joe sighs and turns away, but asks, as he reaches the door, if it cannot be less? A shake of the head is, however, the only answer; and Joe, sighing again, goes to the panes outside, nor seeing, that at an inn window opposite, the stranger from the organ loft is watching him. More than thrice he goes and comes to and from the Minster to these six window panes, like a hungry bee to a leaf-closed flower, sighing, asking, looking at his pound, debating, till at last at noon, putting his head in at the door, the little old fellow, who by this time seems soothed into complacency by his pipe, just laid down, says,
Ay, well, I suppose it 's the doctrine of necessity ? and so
• Please, sir,” says Joe, whom nature teaches that poverty sits before him, “I only want a shilling off it, for gran'an would think so much of a little bit of backy, and Nell a thimble, that
Oh! divine chords of the human heart, how rich of impulse when the hand of genuine nature touches thee! Cynicism and cold poverty now is forgotten, for the little lean man moves to the window, takes down the dusty kit, proves himself a musician by drawing a bow over it with å rich effect, that shows it to have, like many a human anatomy, a wondrous soul in a pitiful, poor encasement, and then pushing it over the counter to Joe, remarks something again about the doctrine of necessity, and says it's his for sixteen shillings. Just as Joe 's about to answer, a broad shadow darkens the door, a voice calls, and the bookseller goes out ; first, however, taking the pound and laying four shillings on the counter. But Joe takes up only one, squeezes the melodious kit, first giving it a polish on his smock, into the green bag, Nell's secret and handiwork, and makes his way out, to see before him, a burly red-faced man on horseback.
Ya-es, Mr. Melody, ya-es, the law's too lenient. We must have a little more hanging before we put down human vice. As my name's Justice Statute, (I may very properly remark it was a Statute at Large) five commitments, before breakfast this morning, for a drunken forge riot on Whitsun's Eve. A drunken riot, bro
ken heads and bone- ; but I've writtleidern, off to jail with Flakes and Jinkle, and two or three others for it's only us magistrates that can put human nature poruperly down, with the strong arm of the law, and this arm met bouweel trongly. Mr. Melals, I can tell you ; but—but—what is this long starins it?" Joe's been looking up, for he has leared the name of Flubin, and this mighty defender of the British Constitution like - pauper flesh and blood to feel the sworil of ju-time, bolit liv .. 11 tu gaze upon its bloated wielder. di Torintot is!..... Imever, right, my lad !) the Statute in broadeloth corn oll: Look at your butters humbly, boy, lie-nı! and wo wo hotelu learn your ridecli-in, and humility. Be otf- it's likely we shall 11:0"posizanin, you vagabond, and then- I'm stringent icain-t disrespect to the con-titution, Mr. Melody,-he-m! hem! he-m! Now a word. By Friday next, the latest edition of Jinh-nd Tic loopt ommiment; and "
But Joe is gone : so bile villa - with this, humani-ing heart of genius ! llug thy kit, Jor; pro- it to the within it is the Soul of Harmony, that universal lan, or Walioruld-boiminz-link throughout humanity, by which rough latent nature may be humanisel, and the brutetiel satyr of inneren all onward from the mere sensual, to a recognisement of the spiritual. llux it, Joe! Better than Jinks and Tichle on loommitment -: that l– whom nature has taught a little--can tell you, Joe!
Ten years gone by! an unrecorded in it in the book of time, except for all injustice done, or human wielen maccomplished !
It is a glorious June morning : the air com and blowing fresh in from the country, seems like one breath of new-mown hay and cowslipped fields, when a strangur, on whose unloved hands lics the wealth of an Exchequer week, and who arrived the night before in Lichfield, in a Long Aere travelling carriage and four, steps, from the town's most reputed inn, where he lits set up, into a little street hard by, before he has even boreah fanted, or the waiter laid the cloth. He glances eagerly forward: lout, bless us ! no longer dust upon the window-panes, or little threadbare-read books, but from the little quaint bookseller's shop, a cheerful spirit, like the very sun itself, gleams out upon the shadowed pavement. It's clear the doctrine of necessity has merged into that of free-will, and that humble shag has mounted up into astonishing bird's-eye. So it has ; and the little old (ynie behind his wellfilled counter is not only working a cheerful crotchet, and having an early pipe, but is superintending the packing of an amazing
hamper, by a veritable little Mrs. Melody, rosy and trim in satin bonnet and flowered shawl, and very white stockings, and very nice shoes, and looking altogether as rosy and fresh, as if she were the very queen of apples from a topmast orchard bough. If I mistake not, she and the hamper are both the result of free-will; the latter in an especial degree, for there's going into it a great plum cake, and a pound of tea, and a roll of bird's eye, and a good bottle of Jamaica—and folding up, so as to lie lightly on the top, a trim little frock, all pink, that's to suit some little sprite or another, that
Well, just too at this very minute, drives up to the door, a comfortable sort of shandrydan of a giş, so what with the diligent apprentice on duty, the little old man's best coat and hat, the little woman so trim, the hamper, and so on, it 's clear they 're going to make a holiday of it,--and so they are,
for it 's Whitsun-Monday. Ten years that very day since Joe bought the kit ; and the stranger's first word is of it.
“Why, bless you, sir,” says Melody, speaking so out of himself that the little old lady lifts her hands, and the apprentice stops full short in carrying the hamper to the door,--"why, it was no other than Joe IIuistly as we're a-going to see. Why, he's as well known now over the counties as, the Minster organ-ay,
sir-and it's astonishing what he's brought out of the forge as I may say, rough and hissing and gusty as it is, and put it like an angelspirit into the coarse natures about him. Bless you, sir, old Statute the justice has shut up his books, and hasn't signed a commitment these last eighteen months, and it's clear he's only in her blessed Majesty's commission just to pound a stray pig or donkey now and then. And so the flaming sword of justice, he once kept pretty bright by pulling out, is growing rusty in its scabbard, and 'll stick there, I hope. Well, sir, that kit was a blessed step from the doctrine of necessity, for Joe's made some scores of hearty songs for the people, and has put such a deal of the common heart of human nature in ’em, that they sell by scores, and so profit him and me too—but we're going to see him,
" And I too,” said the gaunt, pale, haggard man, in his broken English, “but”
Ay, sir ; I see you want, like many more, to hear Joe's story. Well, it's a cheerful one ; but step in, sir, though I can't spare you long, for I wouldn't disappoint Joe, not even for the bishop himself!"
In the gorgeous (Penine -ondiale of this name day, that costly carriage reaches the TV2!1-1". tringend boundary of the swarth common I have pulieno. Thick..., l... Siril inan within is the great Italian melezljwm "; Vit...;-!mpo in honour, whom convention has one!it, !!!.. 'till: on loon for the day of fashion, to forurt and pat-- 111!. oblivi!! :-n itn il Wes "star" shall arise ; yet he has come humbly, not wornfully; to see that genius, that earn: it- free but honest bread by labour of sinew and muscle, to leave it without one bond to be juilhich priest orer spiritually-growing natures of the many."
Up to the very cloor of the once dl...............itti.com the green sward comes, and the cottage now has a hii!!! Wouden porch and a deal of ivy about it, and garden palings 1:"/", with clustering roses and young tropa over it ; and now on cur, on forms, on the smooth swaril it-elt, vulpa of l. 1! Why?" opple, in whitest smocks and brightest Gown 116, boy Yo',!!! !!!umelecuratedi, ay! and even gentry tum, illTin hiiren 'n and forge-masters, and, best of all, Jr. Lutetit... 11-21.01 Jirks and Tickle are shut up at home, arr. come on this lobe. wodurening, in cool and shadlow — work done, care forgotten, to l.var J.,' and his matchless Kit. Oh, Gioll! what kinu-buip has tri!" coniu!
And there, just as the mariti'comes near, Jore than his place at a long table before the door, and there is 1!... hit, and there is
of the beaded gold, near Joe', ;!- in her heart; as, and old Melody, with an ear is wide as Orpelun-and what's best, one precious little womanhool of :: flower, for an Titan like Joe to show forth to the world as his own; in on her arm, in the pink frock, a little Joe, all life, that put it- tiny vladı..geadhanis forth, and has a word that tells a pretty tale of the thimble and the green bag. It's clearly, “Dad, dad, da! " Well, Vell, thou art a happy one !
The kit's ready ; it begins ; a score of forum-laul-.-tand up and chime in with it and Joe's voice ; and the -0114- that corne are so ready to every tongue, flow so freshly from the fountain of the heart, and are such a link of touching nature, graced with art, that he of convention bends drooping as a disciple, whilst rough swart faces wonder earnestly, as if they never leard that matchless kit before ; and the baby, too, has crept to Joe's knee, with little blue eyes uplifted at the dancing strings; and Sell has but one gaze ; it is for the face of the kit's dear master.
The last string hasn't done vibrating before that memorable old
Brown Tom and his wig come on the table, looking as crisp and
Joe's horny hand ; ay, and isn't too proud, presently, to touch Tom's wig; and that done, he tells all about his thoughts when that kit was bought, and then tries to tempt Joe from the forge to earn convention's gold.
• Why, thank’ye, no, sir,” says Joc, straight out at once, without a minute's hesitation. They ’re fine things you tell about, but they don't tempt me. No ; the bit of talent I have I'll keep for struggling human creatures ; for the souls of poor men only want awakening, so as to soften the despised, rough, latent spirit, and pave
way for truth and knowledge. This is what I try to do, sir, and hope to do, sir, from the hour I heard the Minster organ. Ay, sir, and I don't think I'm far wrong, when I tell you, poor scholar as I am, that men of genius are God's natural priesthood, who only serve truly on humanity's GREAT ALTAR, when they make that genius free to all, as the light and air of heaven ! I think ye, sir, Nell and the kit, and these dear friends around, are quite enough for one man's happiness. Yes ; the kit, as Melody knows, has done wonders !
What with songs and Brown Tom, and a dance as merry as the fairies beneath the stars, a precious ending to the holiday is made of it ; a very Whitsun's night to welcome in the blushing summer; and so, better than bull-dog Grizzle matches (by the way, the old fellow frisks his tail, and courts the baby's steps); better than cribbage scorings on a down-turned keg; better than roared murder from the “ Sheers ;' better than “ Jinks and Tickle on Commitments,” is this--the spirit of advance that has thus crushed the coarse and sensual! But long before the dance is over, the maestro is gone,
alone ; worse than alone ; with no one that hangs upon his footstep ; with no heart but false ones, that feast upon and speculate for his gold ! Thus does Intellect's false worship of Mammon end! The onceprized flower of convention's praise is at last cast rereward, as a weed down-trodden without a name !
Every grasping hand, every smile on this night, is the record, Joe, of thy worship of the true !