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...At first he plays the bully, but once confronted with Thugg, his abject, sinking, faltering, drivelling cowardice is seen ; he crawling confesses his guilt; but awed by the communing law, begs to be strapped up with the stoutest rope upon the flaring gibbet of the old, rather than to endure the silent, hopeless, friendless, long life, weary punishment of prison to the body, and conscience to the soul, by which the New Law is to punish the dastard erimes of blood, instead of by the outworn Halter and its Gibbet! Well! with all these things to do, the night has passed away, and that sun which was to have risen upon blood, rises to hail the marriage of God's Mercy with the Law of Man. And with the very first conviction of Falter's guilt, the gaoler has roused Shaftesman from his quiet sleep, and with the very day itself comes Meg, to crown the joy of life, and share the deep calm gladness of innocence. As the day wears on, it's clear it's going to be one of triumph, for not a stitch of work is doing. Thousands are round the prison walls; thousands of different natures in one brace human heart. Atlast he comes, within the surge of human joy, Meg on one arm, the baby on the other; lily-like in the whitest of little frocks, and ay, the little waxen feet, decked with the sky-blue shoes! Well, they have him; when some voice cries out, “Friends, down with the gibbet !” And pretty loudly the thousands cry this out again. Well, the mayor, and the magistrates, and the sheriff, and the gaoler, who are all by the prison door, look grave at this cry, for it may be as well to preserve such a venerable piece of antiquity as the gallows, just to show to future generations the wisdom of their ancestors; but when the thousand voices will hear no denial ; when one respectable old gentleman adds, “Five of the very best planks of British oak from my yard in exchange, gentlemen;” when at this the thousands shout out their unresistible will, the venerable piece of wickedness is brought forth, and carried like a great crushed dragon as it is to the market-place, Thugg stoutly bearing the topmost beam; and then with a barrel of pitch they set it in a-blaze, and a glorious, lusty, roaring bonfire it is, bearing on every spark a triumph over the senile statutes of Young England’s “glorious ancestors.” And now The Cup is brought, the Poet's Cup, the People's Cup, the Cup of Mercy, filled by old Oakfist himself with the very primest of Rhenish, and whilst they drink glory to the craftsmanpoet, who by his verse has helped the moral victory;-whilst they drink to innocence, and cry for justice on the guilty, they by this poet, and by this vintage of the earth, say as one man, “Down with the gibbet, down Down with every law that perverts the law of God! Let man learn that crime is disease; that in his own hand lies volition to good or evil; learn by juster government of self to become father to perfect children in body and mind ; learn that morality is happiness; learn that infinite Progress is his. Down with the gibbet, down and raise up the laws of Christ.” Such is the death and burial of the flaunting Gorgon-headed Gibbet. E. M.
OUR BROTHER, WHO LOVETH WITHOUT HOPE.
Who is he who turneth on the ground and stirreth himself in the tent when darkness is around, and sleep closeth the eyes of the weary 2 Who striketh his forehead with a hot palm ? Who presseth the tears like water from his eyes? Who writheth in his slumbers as on a bed of fire, and shunneth the morning light as it comes, and turning unto darkness sees therein but one image before him, even as the wanderer of the desert watcheth for the moon ?— Is not this our sad brother, who loveth without hope 2 Who is he who standeth in the light with looks cast down, pale cheek and sunken eye, who seeketh even in the pure air the shade of an absent form, who muttereth unto himself, and casteth his arms abroad, and whose body shrinketh, who walketh with uncertain gait, and whose voice is hollow as from the tomb, and who hath ever but one thought 3 Is not this our sad brother, who loveth without hope 2 If not, how may ye know him : It is that man, and he bideth here until his body scarcely casteth a shadow on the ground; but he is now gone. His horse standeth near a small green mound, his master is below. The Wind God passed gently over the spot. The man's spirit followed him ; then said the God, “She whom thou couldst not gain in life, shalt thou embrace after death; and they both rode on the air.” Within the tent of him of many horses sat the betrothed of
another; her eyes shone too brightly, too slender was her form; hot was the blast from the desert ; she lowereth her veil, and bareth her bosom. “Breathe thou softly on her,” said the Wind God; and the human Spirit approached, and stirred in her hair, and she felt a cool air pass over her face, and tarry on her lips and her bosom. And the Wind God caused her to feel the presence of the Spirit of a broken heart; then fell the hot tears, but they reached not the earth: the Spirit inhaled them. The Wind God departed, the Spirit lingered awhile, and was then born upwards. The woman sleepeth under a small green mound, and the rich man who took for himself the betrothed of another, sitteth in her tent alone. - P. N. T.
Dulwich, August, 1846. o
“And what I shall suffering and fears
“No through the boundless fields of space
And at the word, his pinions bright
To regions of eternal light—
CURIOSITIES OF CHRISTENINGS. '
I Hope that the very fashionable folks of the West End in general, and the members of Peerage in particular, are blessed with memories of the most tenacious description;—verily, if they wish to remember their own Christian names, they must either be so provided, or carry about with them a memorandum-book, from which to copy their multitudinous nomenclature whenever a signature happens to be required. The members of “society,” as “society” understands the term, may be but few, but their names are legion. I should reckon on the average one man or woman to half-a-dozen appellations—a compound chain of Maria-WilhelminaJuliana-Helena-Rosa-Matildas, or Augustus-Philip-George-AlbertMaurice-Fredericks. Really this is hardly fair upon the alphabet; it is making every letter do double duty, besides subjecting those high-minded and independent gentlemen who pass their lives in reverential study of the Peerage and the Court Guide—probably bound up together like the Bible and the Testament—to very painful and puzzling feats of memory, and the occasional terrific blunder of substituting a Gloriana for a Gloriosa in making out the catalogue of a duchess's appellations.
It is evident, however, that the aristocracy, like Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs, believe that they soar into distinction by the length of their nomenclatures. They rely upon a string of patronymics, as a kite does upon a tail of twisted papers. They can't get aloft without it. Instead of making names remarkable by connecting them with achievements of genius, our hereditary rulers have adopted the far easier plan of rendering them famous by adding to their length. It is convenient and not laborious. Besides, there is something eminently aristocratic in names of “linked sweetness long drawn out.” They appear to shadow forth the exclusiveness of their possessor—the difficulty of getting at him. As Mr. Tony Lumpkin has justly and acutely remarked, that the cream of a correspondence is generally to be found in the inside of a letter, so the cream, the kernel, so to speak, of a man's name, is generally to be found in the last word thereof: it is the citadel of the garrison. But we ought not of course to approach too suddenly and irreverently the high-born human sanctum sanctorum. One shrinks, evenin reading, with an instinctive horror, from coming with a giddy hop-step-and-jump into the very presence, cheek by jowl as it were, with a live prince's name. We must approach by degrees. We must walk discreetly up an avenue of designative syllables ere we arrive at the dread letters which announce the absolute identification of their lord and master. These I take to be very good reasons for the extraordinary cable-like-string of names which I every now and then observe by the newspapers to be bestowed upon some poor little oppressed and diminutive Christian. But many other arguments might be adduced in favour of the practice. For example, it is quite requisite that the folks of the Arabia Felix of the West End should be distinguished as much as may be from the natives of the Arabia Petraea of the East. You would not, surely, have the same sort of names in the Court Guide as you have in the Trades' Directory. It would be like putting porcelain and earthenware in the same category. No, no ; the leaders of the Horse Guards are one thing, and of the blackguards another. How then to distinguish the Lord Tom Noddys and the Lord Batemans of the square, from the Higginses and the Browns of the lane? Formerly, when the wisdom of our ancestors had attained its highest pitch of development, it could easily have been done. Noddy, for example, would call Higgins a “misbegotten knave,” and whip his lance through him. Bateman would incontinently order Brown into the “deepest dungeon below the castle moat,” after which the two barons would walk off arm in arm, or fall to and cut each other's throats, just as they happened to be in the humour. There was no question then of which was the noble and which was the people—“which was the lion and which was the dog.” But times are changed Even costume has become assimilated. Brown's tailor may be Bateman's tailor, and Higgins gets his boots made by Noddy's artist. Furthermore, Brown and Higgins are probably just as highly accomplished as Bateman and Noddy;