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zais or self-revolving, both of the dance and the music, 'never ending, still beginning,' and the continual regeneration of order from a system of motions which seem for ever to approach the very brink of confusion; that such a spectacle, with such circumstances, may happen to be capable of exciting and sustaining the very grandest emotions of philosophic melancholy to which the human spirit is open. The reason is, in part, that such a scene presents a sort of masque of human life, with its whole equipage of pomps and glories, its luxury of sight and sound, its hours of golden youth, and the interminable revolution of ages hurrying after ages, and one generation treading over the flying footsteps of another; whilst all the while. the overruling music attempers the mind to the spectacle, the subject (as a German would say) to the object, the beholder to the vision. And, although this is known to be but one phasis of life of life culminating and in ascent, -yet the other, and repulsive phasis is concealed upon the hidden or averted side of the golden arras, known but not felt or is seen but dimly in the rear, crowding into indistinct proportions. The effect of the music is, to place the mind in a state of elective attraction for everything in harmony with its own prevailing key.


This pleasure, as always on similar occasions, I had at present; and if I have spent rather more words than could have been requisite in describing a very obvious state of emotion, it is not because, in itself, it is either vague or doubtful, but because it is difficult, without calling upon a reader for a little reflection, to convince him that there is not something paradoxical in the assertion, that joy and festal pleasure, of the highest kind, are liable to a natural combination with solemnity, or even melancholy the most profound. Yet to speak in the mere simplicity of truth, so mysterious is human nature, and so little to be read by

him who runs, that almost every weighty aspect of truth upon that theme will be found at first sight startling, or sometimes paradoxical. And so little need is there for courting paradox, that, on the contrary, he who is faithful to his own. experiences will find all his efforts little enough to keep down the paradoxical air of what yet he knows to be the truth. No man needs to search for paradox in this world of ours. Let him simply confine himself to the truth, and he will find paradox growing everywhere under his hands as rank as weeds. For new truths of importance are rarely agreeable to any preconceived theories; that is, cannot be explained by these theories; which are insufficient, therefore, even where they are true. And universally, it must be borne in mind that not that is paradox which, seeming to be true, is upon examination false, but that which, seeming to be false, may upon examination be found true.*

The pleasure of which I have been speaking belongs to all such scenes; but on this particular occasion there was also something more. To see persons in the body,' of whom you have been reading in newspapers from the very earliest of your reading days, those, who have hitherto been great ideas in your childish thoughts, to see and to hear moving and talking as actual existences amongst other human beings, - had, for the first half hour or so, a singular and strange effect. But this naturally waned rapidly after it had once begun to wane. And when these first startling impressions of novelty had worn off, it must be confessed that the peculiar circumstances attaching to

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* And therefore it was with strict propriety that Boyle, anxious to fix public attention upon some truths of hydrostatics, published them avowedly as paradoxes. They were truths, indeed; but in the first annunciation they wore the air of falsehood. They contradicted men's preconceptions and first impressions.

a royal ball, were not favorable to its joyousness or genial spirit of enjoyment. I am not going to repay her Majesty's condescension so ill, or so much to abuse the privileges of a guest, as to draw upon my recollections of what passed, for the materials of an ill-natured critique. Everything was done, I doubt not, which court etiquette permitted, to thaw those ungenial restraints which gave to the whole too much of a ceremonious and official character, and to each actor in the scene too much of the air belonging to one who is discharging a duty, and to the youngest even among the principal personages concerned, an apparent anxiety and jealousy of manner-jealousy, I mean, not of others, but a prudential jealousy of his own possible oversights or trespasses. In fact, a great personage bearing a state character cannot be regarded with the perfect freedom which belongs to social intercourse, nor ought to be. It is not rank alone which is here concerned that, as being his own, he might lay aside for an hour or two; but he bears a representative character also. He has not his own rank only, but the rank of others to protect he embodies and impersonates the majesty of a great people; and this character, were you ever so much encouraged to do so, you neither could nor ought to dismiss from your thoughts. Besides all which, it must be acknowledged, that to see brothers dancing with sisters, as too often occurred in those dances to which the Princesses were parties, disturbed the appropriate interest of the scene, being irreconcilable with the allusive meaning of dancing in general, and laid a weight upon its gaiety which no condescensions from the highest quarter could remove. This infelicitous arrangement forced the thoughts of all present upon the exalted rank of the parties which could dictate so unusual an assortment. And that rank again it presented to us under one of its least happy

aspects; as insulating a blooming young woman amidst the choir of her coevals, and surrounding her with solitude amidst a vast crowd of the young, the brave, the beautiful, and the accomplished.

Meantime, as respected my own humble pretensions, I had reason to be grateful: every kindness and attention were shown to me. My invitation I was sensible that I owed entirely to my noble friend. But, having been invited, I felt assured from what passed, that it was meant and provided that I should not, by any possibility, be suffered to think myself overlooked. Lord W. and I communicated our thoughts occasionally by means of a language, which we, in those days, found useful enough at times, and called by the name of Ziph. The language and the name were both derived from Winchester. Dr. Mapleton, a physician in Bath, who had attended me in concert with Mr. Grant, during the illness of my nondescript malady of the head, happened to have had three sons at Winchester; and his reason for removing them is worth mentioning, as it illustrates the well-known system of fagging. One or more of them showed to the quick, medical eye of Dr. M. symptoms of declining health; and, upon cross-questioning, he found that, being (as juniors) fags (such is the technical appellation) to appointed seniors, they were under the necessity of going out nightly into the town for the purpose of executing commissions; but this was not easy, as all the regular outlets were closed at eight or nine o'clock. In such a dilemma, any route, that was merely practicable, at whatever risk, must be traversed by the loyal fag: and it so happened that none of any kind remained open or accessible, except one; and this one communication happened to have escaped suspicion, simply because it lay through a succession of temples sacred to the goddess Cloacina. That of itself was not

so extraordinary a fact: the wonder lay in the number seventeen. Such were the actual amount of sacred edifices, which, through all their mephitic morasses, these miserable vassals had to thread all but every night of the week. Dr. M. when he made this discovery, ceased to wonder at the medical symptoms; and as faggery was an abuse too venerable and sacred to be touched by profane hands, he lodged no idle complaints, but simply removed his sons to a school where the Serbonian bogs of the subterraneous goddess might not intersect the nocturnal line of march so very often. One day, when the worthy Doctor was attempting to amuse me with this anecdote, and asking me whether I thought Hannibal would have attempted his march over the Little St. Bernard, supposing that he and the elephant which he rode had been summoned to explore a route lying through seventeen similar nuisances

he went on to mention the one sole accomplishment which his sons had imported from Winchester. This was the Ziph language, communicated at Winchester to any aspirant for a fixed fee of one-half guinea, but which the Doctor then communicated to me, as I now to the reader - gratis. I might perhaps have passed it over without notice, had I not since then ascertained that it is undoubtedly a bequest of elder times. Two centuries at least it must have existed perhaps it may be coeval with the Pyramids. For in the famous Essay on a Philosophical Character, (I forget whether that is the exact title,) a large folio written by the ingenious Dr. Wilkins, Bishop of Chester, and published early in the reign of Charles II.,

*This Dr. Wilkins was related by marriage to Cromwell, and is better known to the world perhaps by his Essay on the possibility of a passage, [or, as the famous author of the Pursuits of Literature said, by way of an Episcopal metaphor, the possibility of a translation,] to the


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