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Addison himself, in drinking, and pious Joe is the greatest toper in the three kingdoms," Dick Steele said goodnaturedly.
"His paper in The Spectator beats thy best, Dick, thou sluggard," the Right Honourable Mr. Addison exclaimed. "He is the author of that famous No. 996, for which you have all been giving me the credit."
"The rascal foiled me at capping verses," Dean Swift said, "and won a tenpenny piece of me, plague take him!”
"He has suggested an emendation in my 'Homer,' which proves him a delicate scholar!" Mr. Pope exclaimed.
"He knows more of the French king than any man I ever met with; and we must have an eye upon him,” said Lord Bolingbroke, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and, beckoning a suspicious-looking person who was drinking at a side-table, whispered to him something.
Meantime, who was he? Where was he, this youth who had struck all the wits of London with admiration? His galloping charger had returned to the City; his splendid court-suit was doffed for the citizen's gaberdine and grocer's humble apron.
George de Barnwell was in Chepe-in Chepe, at the feet of Martha Millwood.
THE CONDEMNED CELL
'Quid me mollibus implicas lacertis, my Ellinor? Nay," George added, a faint smile illumining his wan but noble features, "why speak to thee in the accents of the Roman poet, which thou comprehendest not? Bright One, there be
other things in Life, in Nature, this Inscrutable Labyrinth, this Heart on which thou leanest, which are equally unintelligible to thee! Yes, my pretty one, what is the Unintelligible but the Ideal? What is the Ideal but the Beautiful? What the Beautiful but the Eternal? And the Spirit of Man that would commune with these is like Him who wanders by the thin poluphloiboio thalasses, and shrinks awe-struck before that Azure Mystery."
Emily's eyes filled with fresh-gushing dew. "Speak on, speak ever thus, my George!" she exclaimed. Barnwell's chains rattled as the confiding girl clung to him.
Snoggin, the Turnkey appointed to sit with the prisoner, was affected by his noble and appropriate language, and also burst into tears.
"You weep, my Snoggin," the Boy said; "and why? Hath Life been so charming to me that I should wish to retain it? Hath Pleasure no after-Weariness; Ambition no Deception; Wealth no Care; and Glory no Mockery? Psha! I am sick of Success, palled of Pleasure, weary of Wine and Wit, and-nay, start not, my Adelaide-and Woman. I fling away all these things as the Toys of Boyhood. Life is the Soul's Nursery. I am a man, and pine for the Illimitable! Mark you me! Has the Morrow any terrors for me, think ye? Did Socrates falter at his poison? Did Seneca blench in his bath? Did Brutus shirk the sword when his great stake was lost? Did even weak Cleopatra shrink from the Serpent's fatal nip? And why should I? My great Hazard hath been played, and I pay my forfeit. Lie sheathed in my heart, thou flashing Blade! Welcome to my Bosom, thou faithful Serpent! I hug thee, peace-bearing Image of the Eternal! Ha, the hemlock cup! Fill high, boy, for my soul is thirsty for the Infinite! Get ready the bath, friends;
prepare me for the feast To-morrow; bathe my limbs in odours, and put ointment in my hair."
"Has for a bath," Snoggin interposed, "they're not to be 'ad in this ward of the prison; but I dussay Hemmy will get you a little hoil for your 'air."
The Prisoned One laughed loud and merrily. "My guardian understands me not, pretty one; and thou, what sayest thou? From those dear lips, methinks-plura sunt oscula quam sententia-I kiss away thy tears, dove! They will flow apace when I am gone, then they will dry, and presently these fair eyes will shine on another, as they have beamed on poor George Barnwell. Yet wilt thou not all forget him, sweet one. He was an honest fellow, and had a kindly heart, for all the world said."
"That, that he had," cried the jailer and the girl, in voices gurgling with emotion. And you who read! You unconvicted Convict, you murderer-though haply you have slain no one― you Felon in posse if not in esse, deal gently with one who has used the Opportunity that has failed thee—and believe that the Truthful and the Beautiful bloom sometimes in the dock and the convict's tawny Gaberdine!
In the matter for which he suffered, George could never be brought to acknowledge that he was at all in the wrong.
It may be an error of judgment," he said to the Venerable Chaplain of the jail, "but it is no crime. Were it Crime, I should feel Remorse. Where there is no remorse, Crime cannot exist. I am not sorry: therefore I am innocent. the proposition a fair one?"
The excellent Doctor admitted that it was not to be contested.
"And wherefore, sir, should I have sorrow," the Boy
resumed, "for ridding the world of a sordid worm; of a man whose very soul was dross, and who never had a feeling for the Truthful and the Beautiful? When I stood before my uncle in the moonlight, in the gardens of the ancestral halls of the De Barnwells, I felt that it was the Nemesis come to overthrow him. 'Dog,' I said to the trembling slave, 'tell me where thy Gold is. Thou hast no use for it. I can spend it in relieving the Poverty on which thou tramplest; aiding Science, which thou knowest not; in uplifting Art, to which thou art blind. Give Gold, and thou art free.' But he spake not, and I slew him."
"I would not have this doctrine vulgarly promulgated," said the admirable chaplain, “for its general practice might chance to do harm. Thou, my son, the Refined, the Gentle, the Loving and Beloved, the Poet and Sage, urged by what I cannot but think a grievous error, hast appeared as Avenger. Think what would be the world's condition, were men without any Yearning after the Ideal to attempt to reorganise Society, to redistribute Property, to avenge Wrong."
"A rabble of pygmies scaling Heaven," said the noble though misguided young Prisoner. Prometheus was a Giant, and he fell."
"Yes, indeed, my brave youth!" the benevolent Dr. Fuzwig exclaimed, clasping the Prisoner's marble and manacled hand. "And the Tragedy of To-morrow will teach the World that Homicide is not to be permitted even to the most amiable Genius, and that the lover of the Ideal and the Beautiful, as thou art, my son, must respect the Real likewise."
"Look! here is supper!" cried Barnwell gaily. “This is the Real, Doctor; let us respect it and fall to." He par
took of the meal as joyously as if it had been one of his early festals; but the worthy chaplain could scarcely eat it for tears." Novels by Eminent Hands."
The Ballad of Eliza Davis
GALLIANT gents and lovely ladies,
At the pleace hoffice, Clerkenwell.
Praps you know the fondling chapel,
In this street there lived a housemaid,
Guilford Street, by Brunsvick Square.
Vich her name was Eliza Davis,
And she went to fetch the beer;
In the street she met a party
As was quite surprised to see her.
Vich he vas a British sailor,