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Birmingham. In neither case, had he started with much money; and he was going to have retired from the coach as the place of supping on the first night, (the journey then occupying two entire days and two entire nights,) when the passengers insisted on paying for him: that was a tribute to his beauty—not yet extinct. He mentioned this part of his adventures somewhat shyly, whilst going over them with a sailor's literal accuracy; though, as a record belonging to what he viewed as childish years, he had ceased to care about it. On the other journey his experience was different, but equally testified to the spirit of kindness that is everywhere abroad. He had no money, on this occasion, that could purchase even a momentary lift by a stage-coach: as a pedestrian, he had travelled down to Oxford, occupying two days in the fifty-four or fifty-six miles which then measured the road from London, and sleeping in a farmer's barn without leave asked. Wearied and depressed in spirits, he had reached Oxford, hopeless of any aid, and with a deadly shame at the thought of asking it. But, somewhere in the High Street, and according to his very accurate sailor's description of that noble street, it must have been about the entrance of All Souls' College, he met a gentleman—a gownsman, who (at the very moment of turning into the college gate) looked at Pink earnestly, and then gave him a guinea; saying at the time I know what it is to be in your situation. You are a schoolboy, and you have run away from your school. Well, I was once in your situation, and I pity you.' The kind gownsman, who wore a velvet cap with a silk gown, and must therefore have been what in Oxford is called a gentleman commoner, gave him an address at some college or other, Magdalen, he fancied, in after years, where he instructed him to call before he quitted Oxford. Had Pink done
this, and had he frankly communicated his whole story, very probably he would have received, not assistance merely, but the best advice for guiding his future motions. His reason for not keeping the appointment, was simply, that he was nervously shy; and, above all things, jealous of being entrapped by insidious kindness into revelations that might prove dangerously circumstantial. Oxford had a mayor; Oxford had a corporation; Oxford had Greek Testaments past all counting; and so, remembering past experiences, Pink held it to be the wisest counsel that he should pursue his route on foot to Liverpool. That guinea, however, he used to say, saved him from despair.
One circumstance affected me in this part of Pink's story. I was a student in Oxford at that time. By comparing dates, there was no doubt whatever that I, who held my guardians in abhorrence, and above all things admired my brother for his conduct, might have rescued him at this point of his youthful trials, four years before the fortunate catastrophe of his case, from the calamities which awaited him. This is felt generally to be the most distressing form of human blindness -the case when accident brings two fraternal hearts, or any two persons whatsoever, deeply interested in effecting a reunion of hearts yearning for reunion, into almost touching neighborhood, and then in a moment after, by the difference, perhaps, of three inches in space, or three seconds in time, will separate them again, unconscious of their brief neighborhood, for many a year, or, it may be, for ever. Amongst the monstrocities and the frantic extravagances of Goethe, which have excluded, and for ever will exclude him from taking root in our literature, there is one drama, dull in its conduct and development beyond all precedent, but heart-rending in its plot, where this principle of pathos
forms the hinge of the whole fable
the Eugenia' I — a drama in which (and apparently the fable has been suggested by some real case amongst the morganatic or left-handed marriages of Germany) a prince loving better than light and day one heavenly girl, a grown-up daughter, Eugenia, is suddenly persuaded to believe, for some purpose of intrigue, that she is dead. Well; the reader is led to feel that the man is happy, and thrice happy, who has no daughter; because, for him, neither fear nor grief of this kind is possible. Meantime, the daughter, thus mourned for, and whom the prince would have redeemed with his own life a thousand times over, what becomes of her? She, with a wretched governess, bribed doubly, by money in the first place, and by a hollow promise of marriage in the second is turned adrift; believing herself to have been rejected by her father. She travels, unknown for what she is, to a seaport town; everywhere treated with respect for her personal merits; everywhere viewed as a poor wretched outcast, under the ban of government; and not seldom standing a chance of being, in that character, thrown back upon her father's adoring eyes. All chances, however, are thrown away upon her who had been born to misfortune. Her father she sees no more; and the drama (finished only to the end of the first part) closes with the prospect of her embarking for some distant land.* How this drama would have been terminated, had Goethe chosen to terminate it, I do not know or guess. It ought not to have had a prosperous ending; and yet, for the relief of the heart, there should have been some araɣræqiais, even when too late for a happy reunion. In the present case,
In this slight abstract of the Eugenia, I must warn the reader that I speak from a very hasty glance of it, which I took several years ago, and at the time stans pede in uno.
however, it may be doubted, whether this unconscious rencontre and unconscious parting in Oxford ought to be viewed as a misfortune. Pink, it is true, endured years of suffering, four at least, that might have been saved by this seasonable rencontre; but, on the other hand, by travelling through his misfortunes with unabated spirit, and to their natural end, he won experience and distinctions that else he would have missed. His further history
Somewhere in the river of Plate, he had effected his escape from the pirates; and a long time after, in 1807, I believe, (I write without books to consult,) he joined the storming party of the English at Monte Video. Here he happened fortunately to fall under the eye of Sir Home Popham; and Sir Home forthwith rated my brother as a midshipman on board his own ship, which was at that time, I think, a fifty gun ship-the Diadem. Thus, by merits of the most appropriate kind, and without one particle of interest, my brother passed into the royal navy. His nautical accomplishments were now of the utmost importance to him; and, as often as he shifted his ship, which (to say the truth) was far too often - for his temper was fickle and delighting in change plishments were made the basis of very earnest eulogy. I have read a vast heap of certificates vouching for Pink's qualifications as a sailor, in the highest terms, and from several of the most distinguished officers in the service. Early in his career as a midshipman, he suffered a mortifying interruption of the active life which had now become essential to his comfort. He had contrived to get appointed on board a fire-ship, the Prometheus, (chiefly with a wish to enlarge his experience by this variety of naval warfare,) at the time of the last Copenhagen expedition, and he obtained his wish; for the Prometheus had a very
so often these accom
distinguished station assigned her on the great night of bombardment; and from her decks, I believe, was made almost the first effectual trial of the Congreve rockets. Soon after the Danish capital had fallen, and whilst the Prometheus was still cruising in the Baltic, Pink, in company with the purser of his ship, landed on the coast of Jutland, for the purpose of a morning's sporting. It seems strange that this should have been allowed upon a hostile shore; and, perhaps, it was not allowed, but might have been a thoughtless abuse of some other mission shorewards. So it was, unfortunately; and one at least of the two sailors had leisure to rue the sporting of that day for eighteen long months of captivity. They were perfectly unacquainted with the localities, but conceived themselves able at any time to make good their retreat to the boat, by means of fleet heels, and arms sufficient to deal with any opposition of the sort they apprehended. Venturing, however, too far into the country, they became suddenly aware of certain sentinels, posted expressly for the benefit of chance English visiters. These men did not pursue, but they did worse, for they fired signal shots; and, by the time our two thoughtless Jack tars had reached the shore, they saw a detachment of Danish cavalry trotting their horses pretty coolly down in a direction for the boat. Feeling confident of their power to keep ahead of the pursuit, the sailors amused themselves with various sallies of nautical wit; and Pink, in particular, was just telling them to present his dutiful respects to the Crown Prince, and assure him that, but for this lubberly interruption, he trusted to have improved his royal dinner by a brace of birds when, oh, sight of blank confusion ! — all at once, they became aware that between themselves and their boat lay a perfect net-work of streams, deep watery holes, requiring both time and local knowledge to unravel. The