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sentiments which they expressed; above all, the yearning for that England which he remembered as the land of his youthful pleasures, but also of his youthful degradations. Three of the guardians were present at the reading of these letters, and were all affected to tears, notwithstanding they had been irritated to the uttermost by the course which both myself and my brother had pursued; a course which seemed to argue some defect of judg ment, or of reasonable kindness, in themselves. These letters, I hope, are still preserved; though they have been long removed from my control. Thinking of them, and their extraordinary merit, I have often been led to believe that every post-town, and many times in the course of a month, carries out numbers of beautifully written letters, and more from women than from men; not that men are to be supposed less capable of writing good letters; and, in fact, amongst all the celebrated letter-writers of past or present times, a large overbalance happens to have been men; but that more frequently women write from their hearts; and the very same cause operates to make female letters good, which operated at one period to make the diction of Roman ladies more pure than that of orators or professional cultivators of the Roman language -and which, at another period, in the Byzantine Court, operated to preserve the purity of the mother idiom within the nurseries and the female drawing-rooms of the palace, whilst it was corrupted in the forensic standards, and the academic-in the standards of the pulpit and the throne.
With respect to Pink's yearning for England, that had been partially gratified in some part of his long exile: twice, as we learned long afterwards, he had landed in England; but such was his haughty adherence to his purpose, and such his consequent terror of being discov
ered and reclaimed by his guardians, that he never attempted to communicate with any of his brothers or sisters. There he was wrong; me they should have cut to pieces before I would have betrayed him. I, like him, had been an obstinate recusant to what I viewed as unjust pretensions of authority; and, having been the first to raise the standard of revolt, had been taxed by my guardians with having seduced Pink by my example. But that was untrue; Pink acted for himself. However, he could know little of all this; and he traversed England twice, without making an overture towards any communication with his friends. Two circumstances of these journeys he used to mention; both were from the port of London (for he never contemplated London but as a port) to Liverpool; or, thus far I may be wrong, that one of the two might be (in the return order) from Liverpool to London. On the first of these journeys his route lay through Coventry; on the other, through Oxford and
* And here may be a fit place for mentioning a case of equal obstinacy, more worthy to be admired than mine, because without a shadow of self-interest to support it. When I quitted school in the manner recorded in the Confessions of an English Opium Eater,' I left a large trunk behind me. This, knowing that I had not time to send it off before me, I confided to the care of a boy one class below me; but, by thoughtfulness and premature dignity of manner, on a level with any class. Immediately after my elopement was made known, this trunk was reclaimed by my guardians. They were men of weight even in that large town. The carrier was alarmed; resisted at first; but soon afterwards, suspecting that all the energy and the purse would be on one side, he showed symptoms of wavering; and, doubtless, would have declared against my poor claims. But-and to this hour, thirty-six years distant, I feel gratitude - at that critical moment, stepped forward this boy this G-b-t, not perhaps much (if anything) above sixteen years old. In the face of all the menaces, planted with the carrier, lodged there, and registered, this boy held the carrier to his duty-challenged, defied him to swerve from it. And the issue was that the carrier knocked under- the boy triumphed - the trunk was sent I was saved from despair. This boy has since been Vice-Chancellor of Oxford.
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 mean 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, how
ever, 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 araɣrægiais, 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.