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impressive solemnity. An avocat was appointed for each side. Twenty-four plate-owners were witnesses against us. This was shocking odds : our counsel, nevertheless, who was a practical man, engaged to make good an alibi, if we would only consent to his retaining twice as many deponents on our part ; for it was a maxim of the law, that the evidence of two was stronger than that of one. But we disdained, in the most inflexible manner, to compromise principle. My philo-systematist was almost tempted to acquiesce in the indictment, it was so beautifully theatrical. There were no less than one hundred various counts for stealing, purloining, &c. &c. and otherwise feloniously procuring one hundred wooden trenchers, platters, plates, dishes, bowls, and so forth; " and the same did then and there, with malice prepense, wickedly, feloniously and diabolically burn, consume, and set fire, to the injury of our said lord the king, and one hundred of his subjects : ” which, by the bye, was not far from the truth. But not to be too precise: the witnesses were adduced and examined separatim. I shall not detail the ingenious cross-questions of our avocat, as to whether the trenchers were beech, maple, holly, sycamore, or chesnut. Suffice it to say, that the charge was not proved to the satisfaction of the court, no evidence being given de flagrante delicto, further than of one trencher having been seen burning, and the inhabitants having neglected to identify that one, as the property of any of the individuals claimant; and being equally unable to assign it to the king, from having overlooked the quality of the timber. Thus we were acquitted, notwithstanding the ill-timed zeal of my master, who insisted on making his own defence, à la Socrates, by justifying. Certes it was well for us that his speech was so erudite ; for had he used intelligible terms, no jury could have acquitted us in foro conscientiæ. When all was over, it was a pleasant thing to see our prosecutors file off, mutually accusing each other of the expense incurred; for we had not a doit, so the entire costs fell on them and the king; this was a bad look out, and a much greater loss than twice as many wooden dishes would have been. But it was well for us that our pleader was a practical man, and our jury theorists; or I conjecture we should have been sent to the galleys, to speculate upon the dip of the oar and the toughness of the cat-o'nine-tails. Be that as it may, the event of this trial gave me a high opinion of the science of the law, and convinced me, that a system which operated so miraculously in our favour, must contain a number of beautiful theories.
As our prosecutors had not wherewith to defray the jailor's fees, or wanted the honour to do so, we were conducted back to prison. Victory, however, supplied every absent comfort: besides, the jailallowance was really a desirable portion for those who had starved rather than make trenchers. We had no need of them now, for brown bread could be munched very well without them. I could not, albeit, when lifting the pitcher of cold water to my mouth, help praying, that philosophy might not carry my beloved master so far, as to make him conclude it also a supernumerary contrivance. Poor man! he was absorbed in other contemplations. Our residence in prison had enabled him to ascertain the treatment and character of the prisoners. Instead of being daunted, or improved by chastisement, the rogues
seened only to lave sharpened their wits by associating. I will not enumerate the various tricks which they played upon my master, such as cutting off his buttons where they were most essential to the maintenance of philosophic decorum ; setting him upon a stool, one leg of which was at the mercy of a string, and when gathering round him to be lectured on prison-economics—then, with an adroit snip of the scissors, liberating him from a garment, which even he had not philosophic spirit enough to number among our superfluities; and while he justified the necessity of indispensables, as contra-distinguished from luxuries, suddenly whisking the broken leg from under him, upsetting him and his arguments together. These and other tricks were generally followed by an outcry and the entry of the jailer, when we poor theorists received a second drubbing from that practical illustrator of discipline, while the wags escaped with threats and theoretic punishment only. Thus all things have a tendency to an equilibrium, as we inferred : for our doctrine we received cuffs and buffets, and it only remained to return their cuffs and buffets in doctrine: we shall see how admirably it was contrived. After finishing our frugal meal, my thoughtful tutor broke forth into one of his vast projects to reform the world, with the following proposition, for he dearly loved the synthetic method :-“ Homo est animal rationale.”—“ Recte, domine.” “A rational animal is an animal governed by reason.”“ Right again.” “Ergo ?” returned he, interrogatively. “ Cannot you draw the inference ?” “ The mode and figure are not known to me;” said I, in an exculpatory tone. “ The mode is prison discipline; the materia is necesse est, or compulsory labour; and the consequence is, that the prisoner will be regenerated; so that the term rational may be predicated of him :-let me elucidate for your tender comprehension. Those knaves who untrussed me, by removing my points of suspension—and upset me, by altering the centre of gravity of my substratum—are men; ergo, should be governed by reason. Now it matters not whether it is my reason or their own which governs them, provided reason is made to govern : listen to the plan—they are to be taught to read, write, think, repent, and keep all the commandments, by regular, compulsory routine, two hours a day to each department, shifting from one ward to another, as regularly as the hour hand, by mere dint of reason.” “ How can that be," inquired I, “ if they object.” “ Object indeed! is not the force of reason, directly as the force of gravity; and inversely, as the squares of the distances from the centre ?-ergo, if a machine can be constructed which will revolve by the weight of rational animals at its circumference, and by which those who refuse to contribute their momentum, will have his legs crushed or broken—it is plain that reason will direct men to mount the machine, rather than undergo that alternative; so far then as working goes, rational animals may be forced by reason to labour.” Thus did that great theorist, like the immortal Bacon, trace new arts and powers for human invention to extend in after ages ; and I have lived to see that great moral machine, the tread-mill, which he so clearly designed, brought into play in our times, no doubt, for the purpose of giving habits of industry to the idle. How the culprits were to be taught to think and repent, I did not so fully understand: there was something of a gentle process of starvation, and solitary confinement, to be introduced, and when all the pleasurable ideas resulting from eating and drinking, and feasting upon the light of heaven, and the charms of society, were obliterated, the vacuum in the mind was to be replenished gradually by certain old ladies, with a new aliment capable of destroying all relish for old habits and desires. The prisoner was then to come forth a new mau, as if he had been ground young, and renovated by the united power of the tread-mill and prison discipline.
We were too ardent theorists to sleep much that night; the following morning we commenced carrying into effect the projected reformation. The first thing obviously necessary was to raise a rebellion among the prisoners, and to follow it up by a violent outcry for a radical reform in their government. The bare-footed reformist, getting upon a table, spoke for hours, holding up his breeches, alternately with the right and left hand, and switching the air most furiously with the disengaged member. He soon convinced his audi. tory that they were not fairly represented by the turnkeys and jailerthat the wards were no better than rotten boroughs—that liberty, the precious liberty of convicts, was endangered. The effect of this magic word was astounding. They shouted till the prison rang again, and raising the successful orator on a broomstick, bore him in triumph round the courts. The mob was so unanimous that no keeper durst interfere until they were divided. This incontestible sign of their physical force was hailed with the smashing of windows and the banging of doors. But the excitement could not last long; a languor soon crept over the miserable slaves, as dull and lethargic as their violence had been brisk and fierce ; they sluok into holes and corners, in search of the fragments of yesterday's hiding, each determined in his heart to exonerate himself, by impeaching the ring-leaders. It was pretty evident, therefore, who would pay the reckoning. Indeed my poor master had already paid a considerable share in suffering, under the ferocious honours conferred on him by the populace. He was so galled and jolted by his chairing, that he lay panting and moaning in a corner of the dungeon, where his ephemeral popularity had deserted him; more than ever determined to curb the licentiousness of the prisoners, by the tread-mill, fasting, prayer, and solitary confinement ; but Machiavel had taught him to hide his ultimate object from the people—Hobbes, that every man is born an enemy to his fellow-manChesterfield, that dissimulation is the most lawful thing imaginablethe modern politicians, that all means are allowable to accomplislı party views.
The tumult had scarce subsided when an order came from the judge for our discharge; after that, the jailer could not plausibly detain us, however well disposed to wreak his vengeance, by loading us with irons ; so stripping us of our coats, in part payment of his fees, he was about to thrust us forth, when the philosopher entered a caveat, which changed his intention. “I claim the liberty of a free subject," exclaimed he; “ liberty consists in obeying the will. I am free to quit the gaol, but if you force me, I am no longer free; therefore I choose to exercise my will by staying, and being free." The jailer hesitated a moment, and then desired the remonstrant to state his case in the form of a memorial to the Home Secretary. This was done ; at the same time the whole plan of prison-coercion was minutely detailed, and in-a few days an order came down for our being transferred to the Lunatic Asylum, to superintend the improvement of that place. We were of course very much exhilarated that our theory had been adopted ; and after giving very elaborate directions to the turnkeys, which I must do them the justice to say were heard with profound gravity, we were packed off to Bedlam.
I will not succinctly report the result of our speculations in that place; suffice it to say, that we invented a new system of treatment, founded upon phrenology, which we confided to the director of the institution, and I have every reason to think it was adopted, for in a very short time all the lunatics were as sane as ourselves. It consisted of spunging with hot water the diseased organ, compressing, rubbing, tickling, and exciting. Severe study in this engaging science soon overpowered the health of my master, and he was sent to the Infirmary in a high state of brain-fever. This could not interrupt bis studies for the good of mankind; he continued as energetic a theorist as ever, merely trausferring his attention to the materia medica, in which he made many valuable discoveries. As his attending physician was too jealous to permit experiments upon his fellow-patients, I was engaged to procure him living animals, on which to experimentalize. Accordingly I stole a beautiful lap-dog, belonging to the head keeper's daughter, and secured a trap full of rats. On these he tried those operations which have since immortalized Majendie and Spallanzani. He almost discovered the principle of life itself, by searching for it with the probe and scalpel; and ascertained for a certainty, how far it could consist with mutilation, hæmorrhage, and inanition. But why claim the glory of these useful discoveries for my master, who acquired sufficient reputation, God knows, by abolishing trenchers? It is only that I am drawing near the close of his vast labours, and the dying hours of a philosopher should be gleaned with precious accuracy. That same night he unfolded to me his beautiful system of replenishing the veins of an exhausted frame, by injecting the warm blood of a sanguine person. It was impossible to discover a flaw in his reasoning; the one wanted to have blood-the other to lose blood. He was in the first predicament, and I was in the last-constat our bodies were predisposed towards this achievement. An enormous syringeful was taken from my arm, and forced into his. By some unlucky contretems I fainted before the experiment was finally concluded; and my poor master himself had not the satisfaction to live long enough to witness the success which must have indubitably attended his discovery, as it since has, twice out of every three cases. He died a martyr to science; peace be to his ashes !
I have dwelt with such undivided attention upon his finale, that my own history has sunk into comparative insignificance; yet this was the most momentous period of my life. I was never so near becoming a practical man as at that time, however it may detract from my glory to have wavered. Be it owned then, that I was a mere adscript to science, not an original professor, as my master was. I obtained entrance at Bedlam-college, rather by charitable indulgence than by any prescriptive right of graduating ad eundem there. Wherefore the provost, considering me as undignified with any diploma, insisted upon my manipulating, and otherwise practically assisting, under pain of expulsion. I accordingly worked at the pestle and spatula, and became an adroit valet, at suddenly pinning the arms, and lacing the waistcoats of the senior fellows; among others I performed that office with much zeal and gratitude for my honoured tutor. All this compliance could not prevent the provost from dreading my abilities; he contemplated in me a precocious tyro, who sought to steal into the chair without undergoing the proper formulæ. The terms that he used most invidiously to apply to me-such as fool, imbecile, idiot, and the like-prove how far he looked upon me as an adept. I often confounded him in argument, and the ignoramus, when he could not reply, would explode in a long horse-laugh, utterly unbecoming the provost of such a college; but it would have been better for him had he been a little more of a theorist, to foresee what was likely to happen in his own family.
T'his same practical director had a young and beautiful daughter, the fit prototype of an Ariadne, whose eyes lubricated like the glossy coils of the snake amid the moisture of the meadow, whose animation beamed through every motion of her person, till her very shadow seemed to speak and smile. Never shall I forget its effect upon me, when I first started at the sight of loveliness ; nor that laughing glance, with which she eyed my confusion from the closing door, behind which she had taken refuge. Often afterwards I returned to the same spot, for as I was a kind of tame savage, with just sufficient knowledge of good and evil to form a useful slave, I was frequently sent back and forwards from the hospital to the laboratory. There often was I blest with a glimpse of the peeping beauty. Why repeat the efforts which I made to dispel her fears, or the enraptured speeches which I made to this new Thisbe through the keyhole ? Nature's untutored eloquence favoured this first passion of my heart. But it was long in vain ; she was prejudiced by her father to treat me as a candidate for his monastic institution; and my appearance countenanced her conclusions. Imagine a tall lazzaroni-figure, with no vestment on that bears to be mentioned, who yet moved with the dignity of a hero, and threw graceful expression into all his gestures. Well might she apply the name by which she thought to humour a love-sick delusion, ealling me her Orlando. “ Poor Orlando !” she would exclaim, “ I am thy lost mistress Angelica, never more fated to meet thee till my enchantment is dissolved ;" then she would touch her guitar, and sing some sweet lay of romaunt. It was thus that her cajoleries killed, while they delighted me. In vain I protested that I had no identity with Orlando; she remained undeceived. Herself at last lent the feather to the shaft that pierced her bosom. Under the plea of humanity, she supplied me from her own and her father's wardrobe ; and, o backsliding of philosophy! at her persuasion I consented to wear shoes (of leather, mind, not wood): besides shirts, stockings, surtouts, and other aristocratic superfluities, which I retain to this day in memory of her.
The puppet that she had dressed soon became an agreeable object to the sight of Angelica ; she eyed me with the softest look imaginable, and feigned herself no longer in the gardens of Morgiana ;