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did I wish it. All that I had sighed for was forgetfulness, and it was mine. My faculties were still completely in my own possession; and my spirit, so lately worn and wasted,

was now as erect as ever.

But the time arrived when it was necessary that I should go. I thought of protracting it by ordering coffee, &c. but I was fearful lest it should destroy the wholesome effect of the wine, so I prepared to depart. Then arose in my mind a disinclination to go home, a vague inexplicable fear of something which I could not define. It was not too late for the theatre; and I wandered thither. By some accident, the entertainment, contrary to custom at that time of the year, was a pantomime; or, at any rate, it was a piece in which Grimaldi performed, for it was to laugh with him and at him that I went. He played, if I may judge from the shouts of the people, well; and I was determined to be delighted. I plunged into the crowd of a box already almost full. It was too hot, and the performance struck me as heavy. I tried another box,-and another, and another. They were all the same I could not relish the performance. For once the inimitable clown appeared to be dull. He looked like a piece of worn mechanism, a battered vulgar commonplace automaton; and yet the crowd laughed and shouted, while I observed all with apathy or vexation. How I cursed the folly which could find amusement in so childish a toy! How I despised the whole crowd, as well as the object of their mirth!— But I had gone to the theatre for amusement, and amusement I was resolute to have; so I braced my nerves up to the merry pitch, and laughed. It was quite mistimedmy laugh had no companion, except its own solitary echo. My spirit did not go with it, and I felt that nothing but my voice had laughed. The muscles of my face were still rigid and contracted, although my forehead was fever hot. My neighbour looked at me with some surprise, almost apprehension, and, as I thought, seemed to pity my degraded


It was now necessary that I should return home. It was about mid

night, and I left the crowded thea-
tre, and was once again in the air.
Passing by the throngs of coaches, I
had leisure to examine the appear-
ance of the streets. They were
empty, and looked like a desolation:
the shops were shut, and the taverns,
and the places of resort. No watch-
man was to be seen; and I did not
hear the tread of a foot upon the
pavement. I thought of that silent
city in the "Arabian Nights," where
all the inhabitants are turned to
stone. I thought of Tadmor, and
crumbled Babylon,

And all that blazed in hundred-gated

now dead and silent; and I asked
where the bats and the owls abided,
and if the fox had slunken to his
cave. Methought I should have
heard the rustling of the snake, or
the wild cry of the hyena, but there
was nothing; and yet it was a desart
still. Then, I thought how time had
shaken great cities into ruin, and
slain the towering spirits which had
made them famous; and I brought
before me the heroes and the princes
of old, the poets and the legislators.
Amongst them came Draco, Lycur-
gus, Demosthenes; and with them,
dressed in a Grecian robe, HE came,
the curse and cause of all my pain.
I passed my hand across my fore-
head, and pursued my way. I whist-
led; I sang; I talked aloud; and
the watchmen, starting from uneasy
slumbers, looked at me with sleepy
but suspicious eyes.

When I reached home, I had an evil to encounter that I had not anticipated. A recollection came upon me-in a moment-of a story which I had somewhere read. It was of a lady or knight who passes through the rooms of a deserted palace, and sees the same object (a man writing at a table) multiplied, or rather repeated in each. At once, the possibility struck me that I might see him, at my own table, writing. I thought that he, like the spectral man of the story, might raise his head, and smile and welcome me in silence. He had a pale and sometimes supercilious smile; and now I might see that paleness blanched, and made like marble by the hues of death. I sickened at the thought. I

swore that I would not enter the house till day-break. I retraced some steps: I listened, and pondered some time, until my fatigued limbs at last gave me warning that I must rest. I opened the door, and entered the passage. There was, as usual, a candle; but it seemed to cast a feebler light, and magnify the shadows of the balustrade which ran down to the lower part of the house. Was not that a head which looked over the staircase upon me?-No: it was nothing but my fears. The noise now made by my shutting the door was echoed and sent back through the hall and staircase, and I thought I heard the tread of a foot in the room above me. It was my sitting room, and I called out the name of my servant: there was no reply, and the tread of feet was heard no more. At this period I thought of retreating, and actually had my hand on the lock of the door; but I was ashamed of my momentary imbecility, and taking the glimmering candle in my hand, I ascended the stairs. On the landing place I listened again, but there was no sound; and at length, with that courage or desperation which is bred by fear, I flung open the door violently and saw-nothing. All was quiet as ever. My books, those good friends of my life, my drawings, my pictures, were all there. And there, too, was the bright and holy aspect of my Madonna (my favourite picture), with eyes and hands uplifted, in the act of adoration, perhaps, as I thought, invoking pity and relief for me. How I blessed it, and thanked it. I almost wept. Í was sad and heart-sick; and shivered from head to foot; and yet the look of that Madonna, like a green still spot in a barren country, - like a fountain in the desart,-bore calm and refreshment to my heart.

Before I went to rest I stood before the glass. Involuntarily my features assumed an expression that did not belong to them, and became like his. It was but for a moment. I turned away and betook myself to rest. All night long I dreamt of the phantom. The next night I dreamt again of him,—and again. Every evening I said to myself" I shall see him," and, true to his victim, he came. At first like a mist or a shadow, he gra

dually became visible,-almost tangible. He would come and sit by my bedside, and smile (I cannot bear to think of his smile), and take my hand between his, and fondle it. I felt the cold pressure run through my heart; but I could never extricate myself. Ever, although I shrieked as I believed, he would keep my hand firm in his bony gripe, and kiss it with lips clammy and cold as marble. Sometimes he would mutter indistinct words in a language unknown to me; it was like the talk of an animal, thick and guttural, but mixed with some shrill and discordant tones that sounded like exultation. So perhaps wolves howl over their prey in the Siberian forests, or the scarred savages of America over their captives devoted to death. It is impossible to explain to you the horror that I endured in these dreams. Sometimes the hideous figure cast upon me a fierce leer, so diabolical and loathsome that the strings of my brain seemed to crack, and then I have seen my hands all stained with gouts of blood, and this happened not once, twice, or thrice, but a multitude of times. The gloom of those nights left its shadow on the day, and darkened it, and made it terrible. dusk, and in the evening when I sat alone, I was in fear perpetually lest he should come. A thousand-ten thousand times I have thought that the door would open, and he would come in staggering and bloody, and show me that horrid gash which let out his life. If there was a knock at the door I shook, and in the raving and moaning of the wind I listened for his voice, and heard it. Familiar faces changed and became like his. He looked and laughed at me from the eyes of strangers, even of women, aye of children.-But, I repeat, it is in, vain that I try to paint and make visible these horrors to you. They existed only in my imagination :-My imagination? Why, that is as real as the sun, as light, or sound, or substance: it is an integral part of our nature, like a taste or a touch. And yet men will tell you in common speech that all this was "nothing," but "merely fancy." What then is death?-Is that a fancy? or is it


A sleep and a forgetting? or what? That "ditch which is to

grave us all," that chasm between "the past" and "the to come," which all dread to overstep, because no one knows its breadth or its soundings, what is it?-Oh! that we could exorcise (still I dare to say this) that we could exorcise the dead, and call up whomsoever we chose, pale poet or grave-eyed philosopher, to answer us! But they are lying cold, with the riddle perhaps still unsolved; or, if known to them, their joints cannot yet relax and bear

them hither again to startle either
our admiration or despair. The com-
panions of Plato are gone, and the
men of yesterday-

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As a single man, I have spent a good deal of my time in noting down the infirmities of Married People, to console myself for those superior pleasures, which they tell me I have lost by remaining as I am.

I cannot say that the quarrels of men and their wives ever made any great impression upon me, or had much tendency to strengthen in me those anti-social resolutions, which I took up long ago upon more substantial considerations. What oftenest offends me at the houses of married persons where I visit, is an error of quite a different description ;-it is, that they are too loving.

Not too loving neither: that does not explain my meaning. Besides, why should that offend me? The very act of separating themselves from the rest of the world to have the fuller enjoyment of each other's society, implies that they prefer one another to all the world.

But what I complain of is, that they carry this preference so undisguisedly, they perk it up in the faces of us single people so shamelessly, you cannot be in their company a moment without being made to feel, by some indirect hint or open avowal, that you are not the object of this preference. Now there are some things which give no offence, while implied or taken for granted merely; but expressed, there is much offence in them. If a man were to accost the first homely-featured or plaindressed young woman of his acquaintance, and tell her, bluntly, that she was not handsome or rich enough V OL. VI.

for him, and he could not marry her, he would deserve to be kicked for his ill manners; yet no less is implied in the fact, that having access and opportunity of putting the question to her, he has never yet thought fit to do it. The young woman understands this as clearly as if it were put into words; but no reasonable young woman would think of making this the ground of a quarrel. Just as little right have a married couple to tell me by speeches, and looks that are scarce less plain than speeches, that I am not the happy man,-the lady's choice. It is enough that I know I am not: I do not want this perpetual reminding.

The display of superior knowledge or riches may be made sufficiently mortifying; but these admit of a palliative. The knowledge which is brought out to insult me, may accidentally improve me; and in the rich man's houses and pictures,-his parks and gardens, I have a temporary usufruct at least. But the display of married happiness has none of these palliatives: it is throughout pure, unrecompensed, unqualified insult.

Marriage by its best title is a monopoly, and not of the least invidious sort. It is the cunning of most possessors of any exclusive privileges to keep their advantage as much out of sight as possible, that their less favoured neighbours, seeing little of the benefit, may the less be disposed But these to question the right. married monopolists thrust the most obnoxious part of their patent into our faces.


Nothing is to me more distasteful than that entire complacency and satisfaction which beam in the countenances of a new-married couple, in that of the lady particularly it tells you, that her lot is disposed of in this world; that you can have no hopes of her. It is true, I have none; nor wishes either, perhaps: but this is one of those truths which ought, as I said before, to be taken for granted, not expressed.

The excessive airs which those people give themselves, founded on the ignorance of us unmarried people, would be more offensive if they were less irrational. We will allow them to understand the mysteries belonging to their own craft better than we who have not had the happiness to be made free of the company: but their arrogance is not content within these limits. If a single person presume to offer his opinion in their presence, though upon the most indifferent subject, he is immediately silenced as an incompetent person. Nay, a young married lady of my acquaintance, who, the best of the jest was, had not changed her condition above a fortnight before, in a question on which I had the misfortune to differ from her, respecting the properest mode of breeding oysters for the London market, had the assurance to ask with a sneer, how such an old Bachelor as I could pretend to know any thing about such


But what I have spoken of hitherto is nothing to the airs which these creatures give themselves when they come, as they generally do, to have children. When I consider how little of a rarity children are, that every street and blind alley swarms with them, that the poorest people commonly have them in most abundance, -that there are few marriages that are not blest with at least one of these bargains, how often they turn out ill and defeat the fond hopes of their parents, taking to vicious courses, which end in poverty, disgrace, the gallows, &c. I cannot for my life tell what cause for pride there can possibly be in having them. If they were young phoenixes, indeed, that were born but one in a year, there might be a pretext. But when they are so common


I do not advert to the insolent merit which they assume with their husbands on these occasions. Let them look to that. But why we, who are not their natural-born subjects, should be expected to bring our spices, myrrh, and incense,-our tribute and homage of admiration,➡ I do not see.

"Like as the arrows in the hand of the giant, even so are the young children:" so says the excellent office in our Prayer-book appointed for the churching of women. "Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:" So say I; but then don't let him discharge his quiver upon us that are weaponless ;-let them be arrows, but not to gall and stick us. I have generally observed that these arrows are double-headed: they have two forks, to be sure to hit with one or the other. As for instance, where you come into a house which is full of children, if you happen to take no notice of them (you are thinking of something else, perhaps, and turn a deaf ear to their innocent caresses), you are set down as untractable, morose, a hater of children. On the other hand, if you find them more than usually engaging,-if you are taken with their pretty manners, and, set about in earnest to romp and play with them, some pretext or other is sure to be quickly found for sending them out of the room: they are too noisy or boisterous, or Mr.

does not like children. With one or other of these forks the arrow is sure to hit you.

I could forgive their jealousy, and dispense with toying with their brats, if it gives them any pain; but I think it unreasonable to be called upon to love them, where I see no occasion,-to love a whole family perhaps, eight, nine, or ten, indiscriminately, to love all the pretty dears, because children are so engaging.

I know there is a proverb, "Love me, love my dog:" that is not always so very practicable, particu larly if the dog be set upon you to teaze you or snap at you in sport. But a dog, or a lesser thing,-any inanimate substance, as a keep-sake, a watch or a ring, a tree, or the place where we last parted when my friend went away upon a long ab


sence, I can make shift to love, be cause I love him, and any thing that reminds me of him; provided it be in its nature indifferent, and apt to receive whatever hue fancy can give it. But children have a real character and an essential being of themselves: they are amiable or unamiable per se; I must love or hate them as I see cause for either in their qualities. A child's nature is too serious a thing to admit of its being regarded as a mere appendage to another being, and to be loved or hated accordingly they stand with me upon their own stock, as much as men and women do. O! but you will say, sure it is an attractive age,-there is something in the tender years of infancy that of itself charms us. That is the very reason why I am more I know that a nice about them. sweet child is the sweetest thing in nature, not even excepting the delicate creatures which bear them; but the prettier the kind of a thing is, the more desirable it is that it should be pretty of its kind. One daisy differs not much from another in glory; but a violet should look and smell the daintiest.-I was always rather squeamish in my women and children.

But this is not the worst: one must be admitted into their familiarity at least, before they can complain of inattention. It implies visits, and some kind of intercourse. But if the husband be a man with whom you have lived on a friendly footing before marriage,-if you did not come in on the wife's side,-if you did not sneak into the house in her train, but were an old friend in fast habits of intimacy before their courtship was so much as thought on,look about you-your tenure is precarious-before a twelvemonth shall roll over your head, you shall find your old friend gradually grow cool and altered towards you, and at last seek opportunities of breaking with you. I have scarce a married friend of my acquaintance, upon whose firm faith I can rely, whose friendship did not commence after the period of his marriage. With some limitations they can endure that: but that the good man should have dared to enter into a solemn league of friendship in which they

were not consulted, though it hap-
pened before they knew him,-before
they that are now man and wife ever
met,-this is intolerable to them.
Every long friendship, every old au-
thentic intimacy, must be brought into
their office to be new stamped with
their currency, as a sovereign Prince
calls in the good old money that was
coined in some interregnum before
he was born or thought of, to be
new marked and minted with the
stamp of his authority, before he
will let it pass current in the world.
You may guess what luck generally
befalls such a rusty piece of metal as
I am in these new mintings.

Innumerable are the ways which
they take to insult and worm you out
of their husband's confidence. Laugh-
ing at all you say with a kind of
wonder, as if you were a queer kind
of fellow that said good things, but
an oddity, is one of the ways; they
have a particular kind of stare for the
purpose;-till at last the husband,
who used to defer to your judgment,
and would pass over some excres
cences of understanding and manner
for the sake of a general vein of ob-
servation (not quite vulgar) which
he perceived in you, begins to suspect
whether you are not altogether a
humourist,-a fellow well enough to
have consorted with in his bachelor
days, but not quite so proper to be
introduced to ladies. This may be
called the staring way; and is that
which has oftenest been put in prac-
tice against me.

Then there is the exaggerating way, or the way of irony: that is, where they find you an object of especial regard with their husband, who is not so easily to be shaken from the lasting attachment founded on esteem which he has conceived towards you; by never-qualified exaggerations to cry up all that you say or do, till the good man, who understands well enough that it is all done in compliment to him, grows weary of the debt of gratitude which is due to so much candour, and by relaxing a little on his part, and taking down a peg or two in his enthusiasm, sinks at length to that kindly level of mo derate esteem,-that "decent affection and complacent kindness" towards you, where she herself can join in sympathy with him without

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