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BOOK II

The Chasm

Wat Tyler

BY ROBERT SOUTHEY

(One of the so-called "Lake School" of English poets, which included Wordsworth and Coleridge; 1774-1843. Poet-Laureate The refrain of this song was the motto of Wat

for thirty years.

Tyler's rebels, who marched upon London in 1381)

"WHEN Adam delved and Eve span,

Who was then the gentleman?"

Wretched is the infant's lot,
Born within the straw-roof'd cot;
Be he generous, wise, or brave,
He must only be a slave.
Long, long labor, little rest,.
Still to toil, to be oppress'd;
Drain'd by taxes of his store,
Punish'd next for being poor:
This is the poor wretch's lot,
Born within the straw-roof'd cot.

While the peasant works,-to sleep,
What the peasant sows,-to reap,
On the couch of ease to lie,

Rioting in revelry;

Be he villain, be he fool,

Still to hold despotic rule,

Trampling on his slaves with scorn!

This is to be nobly born.

"When Adam delved and Eve span,
Who was then the gentleman?"

"THE

The Poor-Slave Household

(From "Sartor Resartus")

BY THOMAS CARLYLE

(See page 31)

HE furniture of this Caravanserai consisted of a large iron Pot, two oaken Tables, two Benches, two Chairs, and a Potheen Noggin. There was a Loft above (attainable by a ladder), upon which the inmates slept; and the space below was divided by a hurdle into two apartments; the one for their cow and pig, the other for themselves and guests. On entering the house we discovered the family, eleven in number, at dinner; the father sitting at the top, the mother at the bottom, the children on each side, of a large oaken Board, which was scooped out in the middle, like a trough, to receive the contents of their Pot of Potatoes. Little holes were cut at equal distances to contain Salt; and a bowl of Milk stood on the table; all the luxuries of meat and beer, bread, knives and dishes, were dispensed with." The Poor-Slave himself our Traveller found, as he says, broad-backed, black-browed, of great personal strength, and mouth from ear to ear. His Wife was a sun-browned but well-featured woman; and his young ones, bare and chubby, had the appetite of ravens. Of their Philosophical or Religious tenets or observances, no notice or hint. But now, secondly, of the Dandiacal Household: "A Dressing-room splendidly furnished; violet-colored curtains, chairs and ottomans of the same hue. full-length Mirrors are placed, one on each side of a table, which supports the luxuries of the Toilet. Several Bottles of Perfume, arranged in a peculiar fashion, stand

Two

upon a smaller table of mother-of-pearl; opposite to these are placed the appurtenances of Lavation richly wrought in frosted silver. A Wardrobe of Buhl is on

the left; the doors of which, being partly open, discover a profusion of Clothes; Shoes of a singularly small size monopolize the lower shelves. Fronting the wardrobe a door ajar gives some slight glimpse of the Bathroom. Folding-doors in the background.-"Enter the Author," our Theogonist in person, "obsequiously preceded by a French Valet, in white silk Jacket and cambric Apron."

Such are the two sects which, at this moment, divide the more unsettled portion of the British People; and agitate that ever-vexed country. To the eye of the political Seer, their mutual relation, pregnant with the elements of discord and hostility, is far from consoling. These two principles of Dandiacal Self-worship or Demonworship, and Poor-Slavish or Drudgical Earth-worship, or whatever that same Drudgism may be, do as yet indeed manifest themselves under distant and nowise considerable shapes: nevertheless, in their roots and subterranean ramifications, they extend through the entire structure of Society, and work unweariedly in the secret depths of English national Existence; striving to separate and isolate it into two contradictory, uncommunicating masses.

In numbers, and even individual strength, the PoorSlaves or Drudges, it would seem, are hourly increasing. The Dandiacal, again, is by nature no proselytizing Sect; but it boasts of great hereditary resources, and is strong by union; whereas the Drudges, split into parties, have as yet no rallying-point; or at best only co-operate by means of partial secret affiliations. If, indeed, there

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