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degree of kindly disposition which generally those attain who “condescend to men of low estate;"* who, if the case ought to be private, will not " let their left hand know what their right hand doeth ;”+ but who, in a case like that of a public charity (and here publicity is essential to accomplish the object), will not let the idle charge of ostentation (a charge sometimes made by persons whose manners give little indication that they are in the habit of doing much private good), —will not let the charge of ostentation deter them from “ letting their light so shine before men, that they may see their good works (as well as know their profession of faith), and thus glorify their Heavenly Father.”Lastly, is it not an “ascertained fact” that the reformation of the most immoral does frequently, under divine grace (which à priori instigation we may mention in addressing professed Christians), originate in reflection induced by sickness, severe accident, tragical death of a much loved relation or friend, or dreadful reverse of fortune in a pecuniary way? “ Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy word.” “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." And it is contrary to all the experience of men of observation to say, that uninterrupted prosperity has no tendency to harden the heart,- difficile est plurimum virtutem revereri qui semper secundà fortund sit usus. Then how can the "credal infidel" doctrine, “ Nor is any thing essentially evil, as evil has no original essence of its own; it being the mere unfulfilment of good : the undevelopement of ourselves,"-how can this “ascertained fact,” said to be ascertained (we suppose) because it has been “proved so that none can possibly doubt,”-how can it be reconciled with the 21st verse of the 8th chapter of Genesis, the 9th verse of the 17th chapter of Jeremiah, the 11th verse of the 7th chapter, and the 34th and 35th verses of the 12th chapter of St. Matthew, the 13th verse of the 11th chapter of St. Luke, and many other passages of Scripture ? Contrast, again, the Christian and the credal infidel” marriage doctrines, Christian humility concerning some points of faith, and (what is, if Christianity be true) infidel presumption ! In fine, though there might be a theory, composed partly of some few of their social doctrines, so drawn up as not to be condemned by the Gospel, the polity“ credal infidels” invite Christians to embrace, is so essentially—so diametrically in several respects-opposed to Christianity, that the Roman orator's derivation of lucus, viz. a non lucendo, seems emblematical of minds so impervious to obvious truth-to “ascertained facts”—as to be capable of sincerely doubting it.
* Romans, xii. 16.
• Matthew, v. 16.
ERRATA IN “REVIVALS, No. IV." Page 280, line 34, for “that is," read “ that it is." 283, 5, for “brace," read “trace ;' and line 20 of ditto, for
trade," read “ a trade."
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF FITZROY PIKE.
CHAPTER IV. Though short, comprises in itself the Essence of an ordinary Novel; it contains several
important Disclosures, and lays a Foundation for Matrimonial Happiness, ADAM was in the babit of observing, that when once a woman's tongue is set in rapid motion, no power on earth can stop it: the remark of this very respectable authority has been adopted and confirmed by the experience of succeeding ages, until the present time, when it has grown into a moral axiom. But accident, the mighty mother of invention,-she to whom we owe the invention of gunpowder and the application of steam,-she it is, who has conferred on the world an eternal benefit by disclosing the power of brimstone. Hitherto, if we would escape from the plague of words (that plague of plagues), two ways only were open,-one through the gates of self-destruction, the other through justifiable homicide of the vessel whence the voice proceeded, I forget in what country it was that a husband, being accused of the murder of his wife, pleaded in justification temporary insanity, and proved it by inference, bringing witnesses to show that his wife was an incessant talker. Poor man! a little brimstone, a box of lucifers, properly used, would to him have been invaluable !
My Aunt Tabitha's voice was loud and striking; she spoke in a rapid series of gunpowder explosions; while Aunt Dorothy kept up a simultaneous hiss, like the escape of steam from a safety valve: this combination of sweet sounds ceased not as sulphury vapour encircled the irate beauties : so intent were they upon their unfortunate victim, that they observed not the mysterious appearance mentioned at the close of the last chapter, and, choking involuntarily, were at last suffocated to silence.
“You willin!" cried Tabitha, shaking her fist at my father, who gazed. in terror at the satanic apparition, and was unconscious of all else.
“You're a—(hiccup)-ottermus;” chimed Dorothy, half choked by the increasing fumes.
"A born fiend !" thundered Aunt Tabitha, and turned her back in disgust towards my father, by which action she fronted Tom Briton, still supporting my grandmother, whose vision, truly horrible through the suffocating and characteristic vapour, realized the idea of fiend with more disagreeable accuracy than my aunt's nerves were able to sustain: she screamed and fainted. Dorothy, more courageous, no sooner became aware of the intruder who 'loomed in the growing darkness,' than she prepared for a furious assault: rushing upon Tom Briton like some mad bull, she poked her head, with undutiful force, (accidentally, alas !) into my grandmother's stomach ; and while that venerable lady was yet gasping for breath, my aunt's fist, descending at random, came crashing through the crown of her bonnet, which was knocked in by the blow, while the rest, bent to a most peculiar shape, was forced down over her dear old eyes. This feat accomplished, sweet Dorothy felt the fainting fit draw near, and, having retired to where Tabitha reposed, stretched herself discreetly by her side, and fainted in comfort.
“Tom,” said I, struggling to disengage my long robes from the fastenings to which they clung,—“Tom, we shall be suffocated! open the window !"
My grandmother, who had been disengaged from her bonnet, stared; -she had never heard the devil called "Tom" before. “My hands are full," replied Tom Briton; "you".
“I cannot; I have torn this gown to shreds in struggling to get loose.--I can't find my way out of it.'
“Then granny must fall for the gen'ral good!'” said Tom; and leaning my grandmother against the wall, he hastened to throw open the windows and door, extinguished the fire, and expelled the noxious vapour. No sooner did my father perceive an open door, than he relinquished the fixed stare of astonishment with which he had been regarding the scene, and, having turned on his heel, ran at full speed into the street; nor, as I afterwards found, did he abate his pace until he had arrived at his rural home in Camberwell.
The three intruding fair ones remained mistresses of the field; and Tom, having set aside the disguise which had caused the late catastrophe, and restored order in the room, assisted me in the task of reviving my beloved relatives.
Assiduity ensures success. The forms of recovery were gone through, and my aunts awoke to a full sense of the base conduct of my father. Tom Briton, however, with unrivalled ingenuity, declared that all they had seen was but a prophetic dream relating to the business on which they had come, and which could be interpreted only by the initiated : whether my aunts were persuaded by his eloquence, time will show; but, at all events, they were pacified: I resumed my seat; Tom stood, as an assistant, by my side; and we prepared to proceed with business as though no interruption had taken place.
Now, however, difficulty arose. Aunt Tabitha looked at Aunt Dorothea ; Aunt Dorothea looked at Aunt Tabitha and my grandmother: no one spoke. In fact, they had little expected the pleasure of meeting each other, since each had come privately on business of her own. Aunt Dorothea (kind soul !) had left her sister and her mother to visit a sick person. Aunt Tabitha and my grandmother took advantage of Dorothea's absence, to do a little business on the sly; and here they met.
Meanwhile, various considerations were urging the gentle Dorothea to an act of concession. She knew that.what she had to say was not for Tabitha's ear, and while she was as curious to learn Tabitha's seeret, as that lady could be to discover hers, secresy was for herself essential, and she now offered to retire, in hopes that she herself might be heard privately afterwards ; perhaps, too, glean a little of what her sister might have said. This arrangement gave undisguised satisfaction. Aunt Tabitha pronounced Aunt Dorothea a “duck," -with which affectionate zoological compliment she waddled off well pleased.
“And now, madam,” said I, when all was again quiet, and I had rolled the peas in my mouth, "I have registered the name of Tabitha Jones, spinster; may I ask to what circumstance I owe the honour of a visit?”
Tabitha pressed both hands against her heart so forcibly as to squeeze out a sigh.
“Is it some fever or consumption ?-your cheek is flushed—”
Tabitha shook her head, and my grandmother, who could not hear a word, but perceived that a negative was to be expressed, very gravely shook hers also.
“Is it some debt unpaid ?-some money lost" "Not money lost !" sighed Tabitha; “not money—peace of mind." “ And what” said I, “can banish peace ? Death, ingratitude,
“ Ingratitude," said Tabitha; and then she sighed, and tears arose and were wiped away, and rose again, and she sighed, and her bosom heaved,-and I was fairly puzzled.
“ What, madam, can cause this disquiet ?" inquired I, with a voice as sympathizing as I could assume.
“Love," whispered she, and sighed again.
“ Love !" cried I, in tones of such undisguised astonishment as well-nigh to betray me: “ Love !" Aunt Tabitha in love was an idea too vast for my comprehension.
"O Walter, Walter, Walter Pump !" cried my aunt, who had arrived at the pathetics. Tom Briton retired behind my chair, and I could hear his smothered laughter; I, however, was too much astonished to join in his merriment.
“O, Walter Pump!” continued Tabitha ; " ungrateful man! I have given him three tripe suppers, and each time brandy and water without end, and yet he don't-he don't-he don't love me !"
My aunt seemed growing hysterical, and I feared another scene.
“ Fear not, madam,” said I quickly; "you shall be satisfied. It is necessary, however, that you tell me the history of your love."
“ You will give me a charm!” cried Tabitha, eagerly.
“Madam," replied I, “you have charms enough :” (at the same time confessedly thinking that those who discovered beauty enough in her were uncommonly easy to be satisfied.) “I will assist your conquest. Who is this Walter Pump ?”
" I have watched him," said Tabitha, “ as he went his rounds ;bis graceful step as he travelled from door to door—his smile to each pretty servant girl-how I have envied them !-and, when he came to me, the sweetness of his conversation, his whiskers and his eyes,—Oh, if you did but see his eyes !"
« What is he?"
“ Morning and evening he calls upon me,ếhe must do that,—and I make him come at noon, for I take in extra milk
“ Then he is a milkman ?”
“ Yes,” sighed Tabitha ; " and he has such whiskers! Oh, I wish I was a milkmaid ! and he's a littery character; he imitates every body's style, and alters novels for the weekly papers! Oh, he's so clever ! and he's got such a calf! O Walter, Walter !"
“Does he love another ?”
“No. He don't love no one,-not even me,”—(a sigh)" love another! let me see the girl that he loves, or that loves him—wouldn't | scratch her eyes out!"
Here my amiable aunt made a decided demonstration of animosity against some phantom in the air; which having annihilated entirely to her satisfaction, she sighed once more, lisped “ Walter !” and was still.
“Enough, madam," said I; “ you shall be satisfied.”
With many protestations of gratitude, Aunt Tabitha departed, bearing my grandmother with her; and Dorothy made her appearance. 'I shall not weary the reader with a detail of all that Aunt Dorothy said : the substance of her communication, in itself sufficiently astonishing, is all that need be given. Cupid, in some wild freak, had pierced with the same dart the hard hearts of both my maiden aunts : -each silently and secretly pined for Walter Pump! My maiden aunts in love !—no sooner had Dorothea disappeared, than Tom Briton gave vent to the merriment he had long struggled to suppress.
Enough of quackery !" cried he; “ here is new food for mirth! I will marry Tabitha."
“ Will you ?” exclaimed I.
“Nonsense,-Fitzroy, I mean I will provide her with a husband, Walter and Tabitha shall be a wedded pair.”
“And Dorothy ?--"
“I'll find another husband for. Excuse my interfering with your family, Fitzroy; but I am determined to see your two aunts married. To-morrow morning I shall commence operations in the affair of Tabitha."
" And I will assist you with all my heart;- but the poor milkman! would it not be cruelty ?”
“ We must see him first," said Tom; “ and, if he be really a good sort of man, too good for Tabitha,- I'll make a happy husband of some one else.”
“ Content!” said I; “and now, what is to be done with the crowd in the other room?"
“ Having concluded our farce of medical practice," said Tom Briton, “let us wind it up with a moral; I will go and deliver a lecture to these gulls, on the absurdity of believing the monstrous professions of deceivers,-bid them be thankful for their lesson, and learn wisdom in future.”. Accordingly, having opened the door of communication, my eccentric friend obliged his wondering audience with an honest expression of his opinion as to the absurdity of their appearance.
"Ye came here," said he, determined to be hoaxed; be not angry, therefore, now that ye
desired." Angry, however, they all were, and angry they departed, save one bluff old gentleman, who grasped Tom by the hand.
“Right,” said he, “ quite right! I came here to laugh at you, and you laugh at us—a capital trick !-merry dog! just the sort of fellow, —up to a trick or two myself,—you and your Dr. Eupat—what's his name—dine with me to-morrow?”
“To-morrow, sir,” replied Tom,“ we have particular business to
“ Very well-next day ;-here's my address,-dinner hour four o'clock; no excuse,-plenty of fun."