« НазадПродовжити »
he purchased the "eye cups," and cleft stick, and had no alternative applied them as directed, he can but the acceptance of the unconsee (mirabile dictu !) “ out of my genial task, which I accordingly blind eye. The cataracts are finished in so short a time that I broken and are dispersing, the almost felt ashamed to receive the enlarged eye is reduced to its guerdon; but I hoped I had seen original size, and I can see quite the last of him. But no; a week clear with what I call my best eye.” afterwards he requested my services Let the Worshipful Company of on a like occasion, and “paid for it Spectacle Makers see to it.
like a man.” The most successful advertiser of I believe that the success of modern days—and, I may add, the advertising depends entirely on the most universal, for I have seen his length of the purse ; and, if that “announcements” in modern Greek holds out, there is a point at which in a journal published at Athens- the tide will turn, and “lead on to is the proprietor of a quack medi. fortune,” and flow like Pactolus. cine, who called not long ago on a A publisher once told me that in friend of mine, and, with reference starting a monthly periodical he to some proposed application of a spent £2500 in advertising before portion of his wealth, informed him the first number was printed, when that he was worth a “million.” the impression sold was upwards of Now, this man called on me many one hundred thousand ! years ago, and presented an introduction from a person in compara. A GRATEFUL ARCHBISHOP. tively humble life, to whom I had There is a Spanish legend, which rendered some trifling service, I have never seen in print, but and who desired to show his grati. which was related to me by a mem. tude by recommending to me a ber of the Corps Diplomatique. “customer.” My visitor explained There was a certain canon, in an to me that he was the proprietor of obscure cathedral town, whose a certain specific for all the bodily poverty was equalled only by his “ills which flesh is heir to," and ambition and his discontent with produced a pamphlet in praise his lot. In the same town there thereof, which he begged the was a certain physician, who added favour of me to revise. I told him to his medical profession that of a that it was not at all in my way, magician; and to him our canon and that I would rather not have resorted; and, after he had related anything to do with it, adding that to him the circumstances of his it was a very simple thing, and that condition, and enlisted his syman ordinarily educated man could pathy, the necromancer called to do it quite as well as I could at a his cook, from the head of the quarter of the sum which I should stairs, “Jacinta, Jacinta !” “Yes, require for the task. He told me Señor," was the answer from the that money was of no object to kitchen. “What have you got for him ; that I had rendered such dinner ?” “A partridge,” was the essential service to his friend who response. “There is a gentleman introduced him, that he should feel coming to dine with me to-day; deeply indebted to me if I would let there be two partridges," concomply with his wishes. I then tinued the doctor. And very soon named a sum which I thought afterwards, by a series of rapid would frighten him away. But promotions, our poor canon found no; he said he should be but too himself Archbishop of Toledo. happy to pay it; so that I was in a When in the full blaze of his glory he was surprised by a visit and round until he gets the right from his old friend the physician, angle, and then he laughs as who came to congratulate him on heartily as anyone. Of English his archiepiscopal honours. His humorists perhaps Hood was the Grace, however, altogether re- most original-he was quite sui pudiated the acquaintance, on generis ; but his humour was often which the doctor proceeded to marred by his want of taste and refresh his memory. Whereupon refinement, and he was a thoroughly the archbishop became excessively dyed cockney. A great critic once indignant, declaring that he only remarked to me that “Hood seemed remembered him as having prac- to take an oblique view of everytised diabolical arts, and threatened thing." His story of “Miss him that if he did not instantly Kilmansegg” would have immorquit his sacred presence he would talised him if he had written hand him over to the tender nothing else; while some of his mercies of the Inquisition. The graver poems are unsurpassed in physician, after upbraiding him simplicity and pathos. with his ingratitude, opened the door of the apartment, and, from DINNER AMENITIES. the top of the stairs, called I was once at an anniversary “Jacinta, Jacinta !” “Yes, Señor," festival of the Literary Fund, when answered the familiar voice. “Let a clumsy waiter upset a glass of there be only one partridge for champagne over me, and I sat for dinner to-day," said the doctor some time in an unenviable state of And immediately the palace, like sloppiness, to which Sir F. P- , that of Aladdin's, when his wife who sat next to me, tried to reconmade that miserable bargain with cile me by saying, “Never mind, the lamp, vanished into “thin air,” H- ; it has only been adminand the ungrateful archbishop istered as a lotion instead of as a found himself reduced to his draught.” At the same dinner a former condition of a poverty. distinguished member of the Bar stricken canon.
had a plate of soup discharged
upon his head, which a neighbour HUMORISTS.
remarked should have been taken The Irish are rich in humour, as a matter of course, as it was hare but it is of another kind from the soup. The baronet to whom I have Scotch; and, if I were asked to just alluded remarked, in reference define the two distinctively, I to gentlemen who indulge in longshould say that you laughed winded speeches at public dinners, loudest over the Irish, and longest that they seemed to think they over the Scotch. Sidney Smith had the freehold of our ears, was wont to say that it required a instead of only a short lease. On surgical operation to get a joke another occasion on which, at a into a Scotchman; and I certainly public dinner, a very distinguished have met with one or two who were writer was replied to by an eloquent absolutely impervious to a joke; prelate, Sir F- said to me that and, generally, they are not quick the bishop reminded him of the at perceiving one, the reason being, dealing of a boa constrictor with a I have often thought, that Sandy rabbit; he first oiled his antagodeals with the statement presented nist all over, and then swallowed to him as a fact, and turns it round him at a mouthful.
By an Ex-SCHOLAR of Oxford.
(Continued from page 174.) The rules for estimating the im- forgery—which were circulated portance of discrepancies between even in the saint's lifetime. various historical authorities (and Yet we rely greatly on serious between different passages in the discrepancies to detect ignorance, same authority) are exactly parallel fiction, or mendacity; and even to the rules about coincidences. where they are not conclusive, and Accuracy in historical details is might be “neglected ” if the event naturally far more unattainable is otherwise quite credible, they than in the private affairs which are fatal to a very marvellous one has to deal with in the witness story. We cannot err in considerbox.
ing the discrepancies between The discrepancy already quoted Philip and Godfrey clear indicabetween Burnet and Clarendon, as tions of inaccuracy where inaccuto the mode of Argyle's death, is racy is intolerable, and of an extreme instance to prove that ignorance that a miracle is somemanifest error on the part of one thing rather hard for instructed of two authorities need not detract men to believe, and so may convict from the complete general authori. them of unfitness to give evidence tativeness of both. Nor must we on the subject, so long as they expect a writer to be always clearly treat it ecclesiastically rather than consistent with himself. In one of scientifically. St. Bernard's letters to the people It need scarcely be repeated that of Toulouse he says that many we tolerate, nay expect, nay hope heretics had been detected there, for, discrepancies in recognised but unfortunately not arrested. authorities only on the principle His secretary, Godfrey, who pro. Humanum est errare. Divergence bably wrote this letter at his dicta in details between narratives subtion, and certainly knew of it, stantially agreeing is so common mentions expressly that the chief that the lack of it implies consulheretic, one Henricus, was closely tation and collusion. We prefer, beset and presently captured. Ber. therefore, the minor evil of having nard, however, was speaking rhe. to give up knowing the exact truth torically of the heretics as a body; about the details variously narraalso, Godfrey's expression, “pre ted, which is the case unless we can sently,” may be extended beyond consult a third authority, or show the date of the letter. We should that subsequent facts are accounted be wrong, therefore, to class it for by one story, and not by the with the spurious epistles-observe other. once more the mania for literary Some slight indication of an author's credibility is to be found effort. For Boswell took down the in his style. A simple, straight. speaker's exact words at the time ; forward, graphic style is very con. failing which, a writer's only plan vincing. It may, however, be (if he is determined to give a concounterfeited, as by Defoe in his versation) is, of course, that adopted “Memorials of a Cavalier," which and explained by Thucydides, & celebrated English statesman namely, to dress up in his own mistook for the genuine composi- words—except a few striking extion of a person who had fought pressions, faithfully remembered for Charles I. ; and a candid style the “skeleton" which has been is characteristic of nations and preserved; while the reader has to individuals while they are in a guess how much of what stands primitive state of education, which before him was said, how much leaves them still very credulous of it may have been said, and how and fond of marvels. Herodotus much merely in the historian's has the advantage of Thucydides opinion) ought to have been said. as to simplicity and naturalness, Graphic details are perhaps as and he is as honest and candid and often the “ circumstances of a lie" painstaking as any historian could as the signs of familiarity with be, but he comes nowhere near facts. Thucydides in discrimination. He We are now prepared to grapple has the will to tell the truth, but with the great problem of Historical not always the power to be rigidly Credibility, the question what kind accurate. More valuable internal and amount of evidence is required evidence of a historian's trust- to establish miracles. worthiness is to be gained by A miracle, in the doctrinal sense observing whether he clearly recog- of the word, is an act which claims nises the marked distinction be- to have been performed by supertween events that his readers can human agency, an event alien to easily credit, and events, or perhaps the “constitution and course of minute details (such as the exact nature,” such as can only be rewords of a conversation), that can ferred to the special interposition only be accepted on very strong of a superior power. evidence.* This evidence, in the The temporary presence of a shape of personal knowledge or miracle-worker on this earth is access to first-rate authorities, he analogous to the temporary pre. ought constantly to mention and sence of a human being in a desert refer to, unless, indeed, the very island. Relatively to the lower nature of the narrative prepares animals, it is as much a miracle his readers for a succession of that a man should kill a bird at a marvels—as when Voltaire begins distance of one hundred yards, as his life of Charles XII. with the it is, relatively to ourselves, that a assertion that he was, perhaps, the man should heal a sick person by most remarkable man that ever what appears to us an instantaneous lived on this earth; or, again, for and magical method. the frequent mention of full par. The existence of at least one ticulars, as in “Boswell's Life of superior power may safely be inJohnson," almost the only work in ferred from the existence of this which the long conversations are material and mental universe. The due to historical instead of dramatic power which caused this universe
to exist, and arranged the constitu- swer fools according to their tion and course of nature, may folly "), mesmerists, ventriloquists, evidently be considered a super- giants, calculating boys, and perhuman agent, capable of inter- sons who can say off by heart a fering with the ordinary laws of page of the Times' advertisements nature by extraordinary laws, and after reading it through only once. of bringing into existence or action That miracles should be of common other superhuman agents, or of occurrence would amount to a conendowing human beings with tradiction in terms. It may well supernatural gifts.
be a law of Nature that whenever a There is no ground, then, for revelation is required, the revealer's maintaining the antecedent impos- Divine commission is authenticated sibility of miracles. The Deity, as by miracles. the Creator of something, if only Having settled that miracles of an infinitesimally small Monad might occur, and belong to the catefrom which the whole universe was gory of extraordinary, not of disto be developed, is a vera causa, a orderly events, we may go on to lawful subject of hypothesis. Even consider what amount and kind of on the pantheistic theory; even if evidence must be demanded before the universe, or the universe. believing that any particular miramonad, be self-existent, it is still cle has occurred. Once more the conceivable that its developments reader may be reminded that the include the phenomena which all capacity of human beings for reagree to call miracles. For, after presenting facts as they really took all, there is no dispute about what place varies according to the a miracle is in the concrete. If a nature of each class of facts, and man is really blind, and another cannot be calculated beforehand, man comes to him and removes his but must be ascertained by blindness by merely touching his experience. What then are the eyes and saying, “Receive thy phenomena which we have to intersight,” without any exercise of pret ? We observe that miracu. ordinary medical or surgical art, lous narratives, honestly believed here is a miracle both in an eccle- by the writers, and by countless siastical and general sense. The readers, abounded everywhere and only question is whether such a always, till about three centuries thing has ever happened. That a ago, since which time-i.e. since man's eyes should be suddenly en- the physical sciences began to lightened by the touch of a hand flourish-no new miracle has been is no more incredible in itself than seriously maintained by educated that a piece of phosphorus should men, unless we are to take account ignite when placed on the surface of the supposed apparition at Parayof water. Or if it be argued that le-Monial, or are to agree with Mr. the ignition of phosphorus always Müller of Bristol that the early takes place in similar circumstances contributions to his orphanage (the
-is due to a Law of Nature—the case is worth studying) were mirareply is obvious that whenever a culously called forth by his private person endued with a miraculous prayers, and by no other means power of healing sets himself to whatever ; or unless we forsake the cure a blind man, he does so. And, ecclesiastical meaning of the word of course, it is a foolish objection miracle, and admit the narratives of that such persons are rarely met Mr. Wallace, Mr. Crookes, and Dr. with. Nature's ordinary prodigies Zoellner. When Queen Elizabeth are scarce—for instance (to “an- paid her celebrated visit to Kenil