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previa about poeny ir myling sean age like The poste dat terme a pommat pius-Lerature a gister le Sauter va prong ammessy amidst the éry, dead damer of the money by vie à means the where, in welding a fetie watery peoel; History Banting over by bones a &TLET 2: Kroger of vision; Philosoęcy long and batting exploded absurdities, mixed with new socsense about the infuse the Absolute, and the Evernal; our Lely to a great truth groaning its last; Truth, Jetz, God tumed big suring empty words, like the address of the aga remaining after the house was abandoned, or like the ezrelipe, after the letter had been extracted, drifting down the wind And what men we have to meet the crisis! Sir Walter Soutt, a toothless retailer of cid wives' fables; Brougham, an eternal grizier of common-place and pretentious noise, like a man playing on the hurdy-gurdy; Coleridge, talking in a mandin sleep an infinite deal of nothing; Wordsworth, stooping to extract a spiritual catsup from mushrooms which were little better than toadstools; John Wilson, taken to presiding at Noctes, and painting haggisses in flood; the bishops and clergy of all denominations combined to keep men in pupillage, that they may be kept in port-wine and roast-beef; politicians full of cant, insincerity, and falsehood; - Peel, a plausible fox; John Wilson Croker, an unhanged hound; Lord John Russell, a turnapit of good pedigree; Lord Melbourne, a monkey: these be thy gods, O Israel!' Others occupied in undertakings as absurd as to seek to suck the moon out of the sky; this windbag yelping for liberty to the Negro, and that other for the improvement of prisons;-all sham and imposture together a giant lie-which may soon go down in hellfire."
I cannot describe the effect which the tirade, of which these are only the outlines, uttered in melancholy tones, interrupted occasionally by deep sighs, and breaking out, ever and anon, in wild, mystic, unfathomable laughter, pro
duced on the company.
It added to the effect, that twilight
It seemed a voice well twilight moonbeams and All sat silent, overborne
had come down over the sky, and that behind the speaker's head the large autumn moon was rising into the room, and throwing a weird lustre around it. fitted to harmonize with the play of with the plaint of evening waters. by the force of the almost despairing earnestness which spoke in every tone; and felt as if an Ezekiel, or at least a Balaam, had been uttering a prophetic deliverance beside us. For a while none seemed willing to "bell the cat ;" till, at last, an intelligent Highland laird-whose name, I think, was MacConnell-began by begging Mr. Carter to suggest some remedy for this sad state of matters. Things were certainly very bad; but was there no possibility of their becoming better? "Why," said Carter, "let all men cease to be shams, and become earnest and true!" "But do you think," said Mac Connell, "it likely that this will soon occur? Do you think Brougham will ever learn to think twice before he speaks once? that Peel will ever lose his tail or change his skin? or that hanging would turn Croker's bark into music, or his venom into sweetness. Or, if the old race be incorrigible, is there any appearance of a new and better arising among our young men?" "Our young men!" rejoined Carter, "they're puppies before the Lord exceedingly, and should be drowned, like blind whelps, or clapped into barrels, and so kept till they come to years of discretion." "But," continued the indomitable MacConnell, who seemed determined to pin him down, "what substitute would you propose for our good old mother, Christianity?" This set Carter off, somewhat stung, I thought, at the question, into a long mystical harangue, about Christianity being the child's meat of man's nonage, and of Nature and Duty being the twin elements of the manlier nurture of his maturer years. To which MacConnell coolly replied, that if Mr. Carter's previous statement was correct, the world must be now, as the famous Ephraim Jenkinson in the Vicar of Wakefield has it, "in its dotage,"
or second childhood; that pap, he thought, in this case, would be its appropriate food; and of that, Mr. Carter would agree, there was at present no scarcity.
I remember nothing more that passed. I have not done justice to this conversation; at least, to Lord Jeffrey's share in it. There was about his talk a tremulous, brilliant evanescence, which defies all reproduction. He touched a thousand subjects in the course of a few sentences; but it was with a light and hurrying finger, at once graceful and slight. He might be compared to a musician running in haste along a range of pianos, and drawing from each in turn single notes so exquisite and masterly, that you regretted that he could not stop to elaborate a complete harmony. His conversation was gold-dust throughout; but there were fow lumps or nuggets.
MY THEOLOGICAL COURSE.
A YEAR afterwards, after considerable hesitation, I at last made up my mind to become a student of Divinity, and not only so, but to join to a Dissenting Church. To this I was induced, partly by intercouse, already described, with preachers of these denominations in Strath-Rennie, and partly by my reading of Hall's Apology for the Liberty of the Press, and of Grahame of Newcastle on Ecclesiastical Establishments. I proceeded, accordingly, to the Dissenting academy held in M- a small town in the west of Scotland. Here I studied five successive years, but, for the sake of method and brevity, shall sum up my recollections under the heads of my Professors, my Companions, and my Vacations.
My professors were four in number, and their names for the present shall be Dr. Mildman, Dr. Dogmatic Dry, Dr. Dungeon, and Dr. Bilious Phlegmatic. All were men of respectable talents, but all were considerably over-rated in their own body. None of them was truly eloquent, or a philosopher, or a man of genius. Dr. Mildman was an amiable being, of the most correct and exemplary deportment, and was greatly loved and respected by all his students. He was one of those unfortunate persons, however, who first become famous through a prize essay, and are ever afterwards striving in vain to keep up a false and factitious reputation. Wilson said once to me of a man,—I think it was of Brown Paterson, the author of an Essay on Greece which gained a gold medal in Edinburgh College-"I may
say of him now, what I could say of all in the same predicament Good had it been for that man had he never been born."" The expression was daring, and only to be excused in 66 a chartered libertine ;" but contained in it much truth. It may be truly said that no great man ever began his career with writing even a rejected, far less a successful, prize essay. The ambition implied in the attempt is small; the execution is never spontaneous; and the result, in general, is an elaborate abortion. The name of the writer is forced into reputation, and he very seldom is able to bear the load of the uneasy lustre which falls around him. It was so with Dr. Mildman. His essay had made him a reputation which, like a suit too large, did not fit him, and he looked ever afterwards ludicrous in his East Indian array. A better man, however, a gentler, or one who displayed, on occasion, a finer Christian unction in his prelections, preachings, and prayers, never lived. His chief fault, as a professor, lay in over-indulgence and over-praise of his students. What geniuses he thought of some of them! I have heard him panegyrize a poor creature that could hardly spell, till he persuaded him that he was at the least a Chalmers, more probably a Plato. Occasionally, he used to utter such criticisms as the following:-"The discourse you have just heard is a masterpiece, that might have done credit to Milton at the same age. Its thought is profound; its style elegant; its taste Attic. The manner of its delivery was chaste, imposing, and majestic; and the voice, a stream of music, melting as the liquid lapse of the Ayr beneath the classic ground which begirds the Castle of Montgomery. I trust to see this extraordinary production published in the -Magazine, and afterwards preserved in the archives of immortal fame." This is no caricature; but almost a transcript. Good old man! he little dreamed what mischief he was doing, not only to his own character as a critic, but to the youth he was puffing into premature importance, and sending home, not to study, but to think himself superior to