Extra Printed Edition.
Contents of Part II.
Contents of Part I.
|Frontispiece—Little Ticklewit on Duty.||Page|
|Comprehensionism, what is it?||3|
|The Heredity of an Ego, evolved from the House that Jack Built||14|
|Complaints:—Cushioned Seats for the Strangers' Gallery in the House of Commons|
Now take this pen, the truth narrate;
The fourth is the Real first Estate.
Explanation of the Title Page.
It is the unfortunate custom of Poets, Philosophers, and others who wrap themselves in the mysterious, to leave the public to guess at the meaning of their transcendental conceptions or eccentric symbolism. Do the public know the meaning of King Arthur's Sword Excalibur, or of the web that was woven by the Lady of Shalott? But as believing that he who reads may run, as secure of the information, he can then advance rapidly in confidence, I propose to explain that which I assume may be interpreted, if people would only take the trouble; as that is however the very thing they will not take, I therefore propose to save them the necessity. The idea is that these are the ideas of the twentieth century presented as new ideas to the nineteenth—as that they will then be accepted, which may now be held in hesitation, as the acceptions for acceptance or rejection. The word "New," in the title, is made of circles, squares, and triangles, as the symbols of attributes within each letter or part of a letter. When we come to interstand the ideas inclosed in letters, the letters will be more appreciated.
The word "Ideas" is composed of thorn lettering, which I invented in order to intimate those disagreeable penetrations, as the thorn is the symbol of irritation, as of a person being a thorn in your side or the side of another, so New Ideas are thorns to the disinclimovable. In making the letters, the S is a compelled Z in reverse, before the wavement was introduced for convenience, just as the sound of double V was changed to double U. The symbol below represents in the broad black circumference line the void, outside of matter where there is no matter. The little ray lines to the centre from the circumference are our rudimentary efforts to understand the inclosement. The symbols in the centre are a pair of page 22 spectacles, with eyes in them, as the magnifiers to see for perception; the scales to weigh what you see, as reflection; and the note of interrogation is for you to be always asking Why? of Nature; so the symbols, as interpreted, are see, weigh, and investigate. The clot of the note of interrogation is the mustard seed from which the curling froud as of growing inquiry, springs to be a tree for the panoplation of the nations.
I'm a dear little fellow,
Dress'd in red, blue, and yellow;
To this fact I may mention,
That my eyes are blight,
For my heart is light,
And my name is Comprehension.
I was in some hesitation as to giving him peaspod shoes, and gossamer socks, but the pods would give a sabot clumsiness to the idea, which would hinder his springiness; and if there is one thing more abhorent than another it is clumsiness; and one delight the most gratifying is clean workmanship, deftly executed without apparent exertion. Instead of gossamer, I have given him cotton socks, as more durable, and a sentinel would not wish for silk, though of course he could have taken a pair of silk socks from the Avilion Cooperative Distribution Store.
Describing his accoutrements, his sunshade is an inverted convolvulus, as he does not fear for his head; wit is only vulnerable from behind; it is the pooh! pooh! of stupidity that disconcerts it, and makes it hide under the sentry-box mushroom; the stalk forms a note of interrogation. I do not know where he got his shield-leaf from, so cannot assert its classification, and it is not of much use except as a large fan, behind which he can laugh at your discomfiture; his bulrush is his great assistance in activity, which he uses pretty much as the clown uses the stick and bladder, but it is full of electricity, in fact it is a sort of fluffy Leyden jar, with which lie gives you that flash so provocative (through its inoportune influence) of fun, in witnessing the distress of the friendly. There is a large family of Ticklewits; a few may be seen at Osmond's Hotel, in the Strand, opposite Southampton Street, who, it is assumed, will cheer your appetite as it is dissipated and aid digestion by the infusion of their gentle geniality.
I do not know if you observed it—but whether you did or not, in the Contents page of Part I. the word Ephemeral is spelt wrong. I may as well say at once I can't spell. The ences and the ances, and the ents and ants were heads and tails with me until I resolved to be consistent, and say all words ending in ence mean completion, all words ending in ance page 24 a non-completion. So I should say a man of competence had enough, and a man of competance wanted more. As you might say a man of considerable competance, but not competence. Say Ether evolved the Ethereal, would this Ethereal be Etheriance or Etherience. I should say Etheriance was our perception of the Etherience. Let us say the Ether is an apple tree, the Etherience is a full sack, the Etheriance a pocketful from the sack. But I cannot spell across country, so to speak, though I now get from memory decently enough along the ordinary road of writing. It will therefore be understood I never gained a prize at a Spelling Bee. I am nervously anxious for the spotlessness of New Ideas, so I have engaged a retired editor, and supervise him by a reader. The one holds by Johnson, the other by Webster. Who shall decide when even Dictionaries disagree? Comprehensionism cannot teach spelling; nobody can. It is an art, like trouffle hunting; the person must have a speciality for spelling, and they who have that gift are generally devoid of ideas; in fact, their delight is tripping up ideas, and biting the heel of aspiration. They always remind me of those who paid tithe of Mint, Anise, and Cummin, and so the weightier matters of the law as the weightier matters of life pass unheeded above them. But this unfortunate car of frozen mutton* got into my show after it had started. My City Marshall (the Editor) had punctuated to irritation. The Master of the Ceremonies (the revisionist) had passed the programme, and yet I could not escape Fate. When I was born, the 12th Fairy said, he will always fail in the requisites. The 13th Fairy came and said, but these failings shall be the stepping-stones to "New Ideas," and so it has been. The frozen mutton sidled in at an off moment. There was a blank page, and as it struck me that it was not unusual for a magazine to have a table of Contents—for even a cruet-stand in the middle of the dinner page 25 table is a dinner a la Russe, if only of potatoes—so I thought I would spread out the four articles as a make-believe of magnitude. The printer had already printed them, so he could not make a mistake, but to distinguish the transitory, I headed it Ephemeral, which, on seeing, I said "All right," and did not discover the misspelling until it was "Late, too late, you cannot alter now," and the frozen mutton remains for ever and for ever, as long as the New Ideas flow. The mistake is the point for the long-nailed finger of fate as the decree of my 12th Fairy. A certain Prince was predicted to die within 40 days; his parents shut him up in a tower, with a faithful attendant, whose watchfulness was the ebullition of unceasing anxiety. The 40th day arrived; the blast from the bugle at the Portcullis notified to the attendant that a coach and six was waiting for the Prince at the outer drawbridge. The Prince was therefore duly apparelled as a Mediaeval Masher, who for complement of titivation, asked his attendant to reach him down a bottle of the Extract of Pomegranate to scent his handkerchief. Standing open-mouthed to get his request, a tenpenny nail that lay in front of the bottle was accidentally pushed off the shelf, shot down the Prince's open-mouthed throat, and he died on the spot; and in the over-exhilarating slipshodity of saying "All right" to the printer, I swallowed my tenpenny nail.
B.—Well it is done. "That which," as Macbeth says, "is done cannot be undone," is a fact as that it has been done. Even stony Arabia, with all its pumice stone, cannot rub out that "little (Spot!) o," and put an e in its place. The only hope is to realize the expectancy as a second edition to restore, but not obliterate; but just look at other publications. Why I was reading a series of papers by a literateur who is a scientist and a lecturer; if it had been bad spelling I should not have minded, but his logical slipshodity was the acrostic of the unthinkable. In one paper he advocates an argument, and supports it by precedents the exactly opposite. In another, the numerous examples of what it is not, are so inter- page 26 spersed with the expressions of approval of the objections that it really comes at last to a question of "which is Daniel and which is the Lions."
C.—Ah! but it is there; it may escape notice; if it does not the reader will say the Author could not spell, and the reader would only speak the truth. In the body of the work it may be revised before printing; hut sooner or later I should slip in something and kill myself, so I may as well swallow my tenpenny nail at once.
B.—Well, it is certainly a new idea for an Editor to assert he cannot spell, but nearly the whole world is in the same boat with you, though the public will see your confession, and disregarding your new ideas, will answer you as the complainant of the trespassing pig was answered, "Sir, I shall be obliged if you would sty your pigg, who overruns my garden," and who received the reply—" Sir, I beg to acknowledge your letter, and to inform you that pig is spelt with one g."
Philosophicism. No. 1.
A.—So you have constructed a one-arm chair?
C.—Yes, you see I got a bar of wood screwed to the left front leg and seat, with 16 inches above the seat, and then nailed webbing to this post and the back. Try it. You sit all but up-right, with a light lean to the left, the webbing slightly yields, and so makes the position very comfortable, without the chair taking up the space that you might suppose it would.
A.—Well, it's a novelty in furniture, but I did not come to see the chair, I came to congratulate you on Part I. But have you not put too high a price upon it?
C.—Yes, I have, as measured by reviews and magazines, but their interest passes with the month, they are merely pailsful of liquid literature; but I told you that I publish "New Ideas" as a permanent appeal to the intelligent.page 27
Early to bed, and early to rise;
Stick to my work, and advertise,
I must still consider myself like the poor woman who set up a "mutton pie-shop." "How is it," enquired a customer, "that you give such good pies for a penny?" "Well, sir, you see I do put a pen'orth of mutton into them, and I had the flour at hand, and my time is my own." So it is with me; I do all the drawing and writing, and my time is my own; but with this difference, she could sell more than she could make; I can make a greater quantity than I can sell, and when the publisher shall have sold the thousand, I shall have made no profit, so you may set your mind at rest as to its being a lucratitience.
A.—Well, as you put it, publication, like virtue, is its own reward; but I also came to ask you to explain a difficulty, which presented itself to me in Part I. Do you really think the Universe is limited? which means there is an outside to the Universe, in which outside there is nothing.
C.—Certainly. The Illimitable, the Inconceivable, the Incomprehensible, the Unmeasurable, and all these expressions of helpless contemplation as applied to matter in entirety are to me the intimation of mental bewilderment. If matter is something, however rarified, there must be an outside to it. You cannot conceive a topless mountain; you cannot conceive a bucket without side or bottom. To say that matter is an ever-extension is to surrender reason to the page 28 prostration of the contemplation, in perspective, of a straight line in perpetual extention. Just think of it.
For exercise to grasp in Comprehension,
Impels the mind to amplify extension;
So spread itself, by starting fair from home
To past the conscious limit, still to roam
O'er space that overspheres this conscious finity;
Here, outside contemplates the unanimity.
Yet this Enspherencement, on which you dwell,
You find does but inclose the inner shell;
Still on, and on! new Spherences recede,
Still on, and on! the last a mustard seed,
To the beyond. Now let your thought explore
This absolute domain of higher law.
As law implies obedience, you must
On some eventual limit surely trust;
For limit to a law is indispensable
Or Comprehension is incomprehensible.
So you see I cannot think this illimitation, because I am a Comprehensionist, and a Comprehensionist mentally stands outside the Universe. You must realise it, or you could not comprehend it. Now, as a Comprehensionist realises the Soul of the Universe as the intelligence of the Etherealized, then this intelligence must cognate that which is an ever-continuance of extension, and the ever-continuance is not the progressiveness of circumferation, for that would surrender the assertion, but the ever-continuance here means that which intelligence even of Divinity cannot reach to, for how can you super-view that which has no limit? Put it thus: You are as I am the centre of a Material Enspherence of the visible to our vision; other persons are the centres of other spheres. Now, the aggregate of spheres implies a centre. Let us all represent ourselves as Suns of Planetary Systems, and there must be a centre to these planetary systems, and a centre without a circumference is the surrender of the con- page 29 sideration. I am placing the argument roughly, for the proposition is so absurd that I had not tried to invent weapons to contend with the impossible. Bat I should like you to be clear on this point of my Comprehensionism, which comprehends the Universe as an Ego, just as you recognise London from the top of St. Paul's, as a definitation; my erception that all the conceivable to perception are egos of this Ego, and as this Ego (the Universe) has Life, Soul, and Light, as its Vivical, Mental, and Wishful attributes, then you and I are each an Ego, as attributed with Life, Soul, and Light, which you and I, and all extant beings profess to possess. That in proportion as you inherate or absorb or intensify these attributes, you find your existence the more enjoyable. It is you that do it (the I myself), as having the Life, Soul, and Light of the Universe within you, and therefore only limited by the measurement of the limitation (if there be such a conception) of these universal attributes. You may call this assumption, or presumption, or self-glorification, "but if you are the son of your father, it is a possibility that you may know as your father, and as I suppose you will allow the whole Universe is a harmonious unity, then there must be a flow from the Soul of God to the Soul of Man, which is therefore the Soul of God in Man. This is our inheritance, this is the teaching of Jesus, and this is what the Church will make every effort to disallow by the Priesthood personifying Jesus, for intervention between you and God. Now you understand why I do not hope to sell this "New Ideas." The Churches will condemn it as exposing their many-sided Christ. The Materialists will condemn it because I recognise a God as the Universe. The Agnostics will condemn it because they will not recognise the ideal in this real. The Positivists will condemn it because progress is their end, and Comprehensionism has no end. The Spiritualists well condemn it because they look outside of themselves for its guidance instead of within as its residence; and, therefore, I can only look for support from the few page 30 thinkers who are released from the influence of meretricious philosophers, who now prove a foot to be eleven inches.
A.—Well, a man who is convinced without reflection will probably be disconvinced by the next person lie meets. These are new ideas to me, and I will think them over, for the conception is such a topsy-turvyment of all my previous convictions of Philosophy. But referring to Philosophers, do not you think Goldwin Smith effectually confronted Mr. Leslie Stephen in the December Contemporary Review?
C.—I read the article, and Mr. Goldwin Smith reminded me of David repudiating Saul's armour, as putting it aside, for he says, "I set aside all theological dogmas respecting the Trinity, the incarnation, the scheme of redemption, and the atonement." This is Christianity Secularised, or the crown of thorns made thornless. It is this liquidity of Christian profession that I complain of. Say I ask a Church Clergyman if he believes the Thirty-nine Articles. "Oh, yes, I gave my assent to them, but I also dissent from them. Damnation to me only means reproof. Dives in Hell represents a state of probation. The poor in spirit mean rich in spirit, the meek are the self-respectful. Lead us not into temptation means God tempteth no man, so it is a mistake, to be expunged. Then there is the dreadful doctrine of Original Sin, which sends all unbaptised children to hell, we qualify as—not specially blessed with Sacramental grace." But just consider an earnest child taking in these statements literally as believing the Bible to be God's actual words to man, and in the anxious desire to obey the instructions there printed, it simply becomes the door-mat for every inclinationist to wipe his feet upon, in these statements literally producing a weakness of character that is destitute of a moral resisttance. Comprehensionism accepts this new revision, but would ask of this modern liquid Christianity, if it thinks as stated, why it does not also so far confess itself Comprehen- page 31 sional, instead of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds, Oh, for a spark of self-respectfulness!
"Freedom's secret wouldest thou know,
Question not of flesh and blood;
Tarry not for cloak or food,
Eight thou feelest—rush to do."
For a true interstanding of Scripture, I think we should consider every statement as a complete proposition in logical examination for truthful conclusion, irrespective of traditional interpretation, and as the conscience becomes more sensitive, which is to say, This above all to thine own inner self be true, the better it will see a deceptive interpolation, or contradictory inferation. And the first proclamation of Comprehensionism is, that as the doctrine of Original Sin is the destruction of all moral uprightness, and is a Parliamentary insult to God, "every child shall be free to be true to its inner self as a child of God," as was taught by Jesus himself.
Meditation. No. 1.
Home! Home! foul! foul! Home;
I cannot get away from the filth of my home!
So at last magazine opinion has awakened public opinion to the fearful state of the dwellings in which the poor must live. It is something to be awakened to a fact, but it is a very different thing from remedying the evil. Mr. Chamberlain, in the December Fortnightly, showed the wise plan (which I did not know the law permitted) as that of the Corporation retaining the purchased property in their possession, and so securing the increment (the increasing value) to the town. But all these philanthropic efforts are but the making of the powder to put into the flea's mouth, in its laughing through your playful irritation of the interstiation under its fifth rib. Mr. Chamberlain lays down some palliative rules, but he confesses his falling short at the extra page 32 rating that the town must consequently endure through the experiment, and so the little—is done, exposes the glaring—is to be done. But suppose London or Birmingham a model city. "Where the bee sucks there suck I," is the wish of every one who can tramp or buy a third-class ticket to got there, and the consequence would be that the same complaint would exist, for London would then contain 7 millions instead of 4, but exclude immigration, and with these healthy dwellings, the 50 per cent, of children now dying would be reduced to say 10 per cent., so the "increase and multiply" will soon replenish the earth, or, at all events, London, in occupying houses faster than they could be built for them, and it would again come to the chalking the floors into 6ft. by 3 for the nightly lay down. Is it not monstrous that the City authorities and the Board of Works should emulate Colney Hatch in making a bargain for the ratepayers to insure a loss of a million and a half on a building transaction? For the moment, I wish myself a Figi Islander, that I might laugh at the fact—for so it is. But let them do their assumed best, they must lose say a million, as Mr. Chamberlain ably shows in his measurement of value; you cannot go on rating. The fact is the Government should be well rated for its disgraceful indifference to the welfare of the people.
Come now and see, as squalor leads the way,
Where squalor's sceptre has unquestioned sway;
Where man through animal becomes a ghoul,
And crawls in fear and hate through vapours foul.
Hear children screaming as their mother falls
By father's fist, who on his Maker calls,
As, standing o'er his wife in tottering force,
He bellows curses till his throat is hoarse.
Yes! come where filth and misery must dwell,
And from necessity endure the smell,
Dreading the contrast cleanliness would wake
To bestial vice, resignedly partake;
Thus shunning social notice in bereavement,
Will cheat the conscience to impel achievement,
Until the nauseate fumes have choked ability,
And sooth'd their souls to stolid imbecility.
Is such a state of things foredoomed to last?
Yes, hope of modest cleanliness is past;
How can the poor be otherwise than bad,
With not a decent lodging to be had,
Except at prices that they cannot pay
And leave enough to keep the wolf away.
Why not? Because the town is owned by One,
And he takes care that nothing shall be done.
O Parliament! we ask you to attend
To this, and be at last the poor man's friend;
Pull down these nests of fever-breeding dirt,
"Pull up" this owner who is so inert
As to allow his property to stand
For nursing filth and curses in the land;
With Scripture to this napkin hider say,
"You worse than hide—we take your land away."
This is what we must do; take the landed property, all of it, out of the freeholders' hands, and place it in city or town management. "What," says Lord Salisbury, "do you mean to confiscate our streets?" No, though there is no distinction between owning land and owning slaves; if slavery is wrong, personal ground rent claims are wrong, for the slave and the house, or land tenant, both live by permission of the owner. Very well, we take the ground rents and pay the deprived a fair sum down, or for a reasonable period. So much for ground rent claimants. Now that we have got the freehold of the town, the next step is to issue paper notes that shall represent the value of the new houses; these notes will circulate as money, without interest, and the money paid for rental will gradually re-purchase them to liquidation, and so in a few years the town would own a large extent of house pro- page 34 perty, for which houses it had not paid a penny. The next step will be to say, people shall not come where there is no room for them. I do not let any one into my house unless I please. So the Corporation should say, "We will not let any one into our town unless we please." How prevent it? Simply by fining those who took in an over-estimate of lodgers, and sending the homeless about their business elsewhere. You may call this protection, but some day soon we shall find free-trade in manufactured articles, is the blessing to those who have money, and the curse to those who have none.
I attended Mr. Henry George's reception at St. James's Hall, on the 9th of last month. He proposes, as I understand him, to take the land and house property without compensation, and instanced our payment to the West Indian slave-owners as a demoralising transaction. It appears to me his plan is a dissolution, which is the reverse of an evolution. St. George of Old England slew the Dragon of Wantley; if the St. George of New England purposes to slay the Dragon of Want, he must do it by evolution, as recognising the strata of public opinion, from which the success is to be won; but the damage he did to his cause was the explained distribution of the surplus that would immediately accrue, as of a hundred a year to widows and a dowry to brides. The idea is a tantalizing hope for the multitude, but the multitude must be Comprehensionists, and know the discipline of observance and obedience to the Law of Right, before the programme of absolute happiness can be even whispered to a nation.
Mr. George's speech reminds me of a story of a tenant who on being refused a new sot of farm buildings, applied for a stable, or a cart-shed, or a pig-sty, or a gate. Says the Landlord, "You can have a gate." "Thank you, Sir," replied the tenant, "it was all I wanted, and more than I expected." So in refusing Mr. George, the country may concede the justice that is asked for by Comprehensionism.page 35
But how our Statesmen talk. Last month, Mr. Gladstone recommended Fruit Farming. Fruit means trees. Mr. Gladstone ought to know that five-sixths of the tenants are tenants at will, which implies six months' notice to quit, and if they planted trees, who would pick the fruit? Make them life-leaseholders to the district, and you change our agricultural fog for sunshine; for all tenancy to a private individual (even to Mr. Gladstone) is socially, morally, and politically wrong, and should be legally impossible.
Will Ye Na Come Back Again?
I enlist this sad petition for an appeal to the Author of the following lines, which are such a magnificent expression of the Ego, in proclamation of its self-respectfulness, that I had got in reciting so to emphasise them, that a Musician translated the intonation into music, aspage 36
Turn, Fortune, turn, thy wheel with smile or frown;
With that wild wheel we go not up or down;
Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.
Smile, and we smile, the lords of many lands;
Frown, and we smile, the lords of our own hands;
For man is man, and master of his fate.
Turn, turn, thy wheel above the staring crowd;
Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud;
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.
If I had been writing this a year ago, I should have stated the song was written by Alfred Tennyson, Poet Laureate. By whom am I to say now? He who through Enid sang of lowering the proud has taken his place with the proud, and perceived a substance in the cloud. Oh, it is sad to think his exalted heroism should so sell its cairn of national confidence for the meritricious glitter of the inappropriate to posture in, for the invitation to our risible astonishment.
"Princes and Lords may flourish or may fade,
A breath can make them as a breath has made;
But a great poet once the nation's pride,
As turning tail the nation should deride."
"A Prince indeed, beyond all titles," Was also a man himself above all titles.
But it is not too late to retrace the pillory step—he is not like that despairing novice in Dole's picture, who has awakened to the horror of a life-long companionship with a herd of humans—whose "low thoughts but tend to unreal wants—that his fine aspirations will be ridiculed by coarse contrastives, and have his veneration exposed as a scarecrow. He alas! is assumedly buried for life in the monastery. But there is also with the nation's poet an awakement from this dream of self-immolation. A sudden freak of his transpositional ideality may have embodied the subtlety of the discriminative for the enactment of the realistic as the influence page 37 of a recitation, so may take captive the willing elopement of the personal. But this exhibition of the transient ceases with the effort to portray. Surely, we hear him even now whilst his health is being proposed at the banquet, to be followed by a weak and inappreciative three times three-rise up and say, "My Lords, that I came among you was in my respect for your order. That I now release myself from the ill-fitting dignity is in respect for myself." And the clarion-voiced multitude join the wild joy bells, for the triumph of self-sincerity, as true again to the pole, after the magnetic storm of bombasticism and swashbucklerism has satiated the fancy. Even now, as a truant "Whittington, he hears the suppliance of the bells, and may he as advantageously heed it.
The Heredity of an Ego. No. 1.
In the First Part the explanation abruptly discontinued is now resumed by pointing out that behind the House is the Malt-loft, and in the distance the Priest's house and the chapel, in which the culminating event of the narrative was solemnized, but which as we are using the subject as the analysis of heredity, we assume an additional sequence to the text, as of the birth of a son, who will display the influences derived from his peculiar prenatal impressionment.
Judging from the distant hills (which I am sorry to say are very coarsely represented in the zincotype copy from my drawing) the locality might be Yorkshire, and the physique of the farmer would compare with the reputationed York-shireman, who has somehow come to identify himself as the original obstinate, push-forward, unhesitating, and unvacillating character of John Bull; even the boy stands in stability. Looking attentively at the picture, you will perceive a glow of placid content as of summer afternoonativeness permeating the atmosphere.page 38
The Pantomimic.—"Behold the mansion swift, upreared by Jack." Of course in the Pantomime the House had to be swiftly presented, and as swiftly withdrawn, but the House that Jack built was the intended of invincibility against centuries.
The Philosophical.—Jack is of course the familiar appellation of John Bull, and the House that John Bull has built represents the possessions of the British Empire. So the British Empire enters as the influence of ancestry in the Heredity of the anticipatory Circumstance.
The Heredity of an Ego. No. 2.
The Juvenilital.—Here is the Malt in plump-stuffed sacks. There are agricultural implements resting on the beams, and page 39 the view through the door-way is to the south, if compared with the previous picture for you now see the shadows of the cow quietly chewing the cud, under the trees, and boat on the river are towards you. You sec the prospective in the little rat, appearing through a hole in the floor, which was very negligent of Jack not to have stopped. A hole is the symbol of things slipping through it, so it is with characters; if you tell what you should not, or do what you should not, you have hole in your character. Stop it, and the satisfaction of the future success will smooth the memory of the misfortune through the negligence.
The Reflectional.—The Malt is really in the Barn attached to the House, but the House incloses its attachments. If they were not attached they would be offices, or out-houses, or farm buildings,—probably there were large farm buildings; but Jack here is a Maltster, and it was his Malt that specialized him for the flight of the poet's fancy, as his laudation (the at present unattainable) of a good glass of beer; which was then the popular beverage; but the concoctionment we now got at the stand bar makes the pinning on the blue ribbon a health protection rather than a self-denial.
I have put the Malt in sacks, but I believe it is kept on the floor, and only sold in sacks.
The Pantomimic.—" See the Malt stored in many an ample sack."
The Philosophical.—The Malt here is the symbol of the drink of the Englishman. The primitive classification of nationalities was of their eating and drinking; thus our early notions of France were as of a nation of frog-eaters; of Germany, sour crout eaters; of Russia, oil drinkers; Holland was represented by "Mynheer Van Dunk," though it was Hollands he drank, but that would be unintelligable to us, so it was changed to brandy-and-water; Spain was associated with garlic; Scotland with haggis; Italy with macaroni; Turkey with rhubarb; Ireland with whisky, but the Irish stew I sus- page 40 pect was in the mingling of the contrastive, a suggestion of Ireland rather than from Ireland. But the beer and beef of England have a great deal to do with the corporality of the heredity, as placing a solid body for the reception of a solid national mind.
The Detestable Two-Shilling-Piece.
Sir,—Will you allow me to appeal through your valuable publication against this stupid two-shillings-stuck-together coin, that deceives us in its all but imitation of the useful half-crown. What's the good of it? Nothing! What's the evil of it? It is so nearly like half-a-crown that you never receive either coin without looking to see which it is. Think of the universal irritation in such a fact. As for change, it is the embodiment of folly. What are you to do with an eighteen-penny fare without a half-crown or a sixpence? As to its being the little end of the wedge in decimals, the Decimalists are really all dividing the unit into a 100 and not 10. Look at your bill for a one-and-ninepenny breakfast in Paris, 1 franc 75 cents. In England we save a number, and it is easier to add up. I will not take more of your space, the coin is such a fool, and is no good until changed, and is the abhorrence of the Christmas-box receiver; but it is the twenty per cent, cheat of the tradesman, and the assumiation of it if he is not a cheat.
Customer: "It was half-a-crown I gave you."
Tradesman: "Pardon me, sir, it was a two-shillings; here it is."
Customer: "Oh, I thought it was."
But Why coin this Coin of Discord?
One of the Irritated to Exasperation.
P.S.—I have heard a whisper of the withdrawal of the half-crowns. This would be to dam up the circulation.
* At the Lord Mayor's Procession, 1883, a car of frozen mutton somehow joined in. It was so cold that the cold shoulder of officialism had no effect upon it, so it dangled along to stimulate the gastritience of the multitude.