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6. You are
the old blunder attributed to Goldsmith about a dish of green peas. Somebody had been applauded in company for advising his cook to take some ill-drest peas to Hammersmith, “ because that was the way to Turn'em Green ;” upon which Goldsmith is said to have gone and repeated the pun at another table in this fashion ; -"John should take those pease, I think, to Hammersmith.” Why so, Doctor?" " Because that is the way to make 'em green.” Now our friend would give the blunder with this sort of additional dressing sight of the dishes of vegetables, Goldsmith, who was at his own house, took off the covers, one after another, with great anxiety, till he found that peas were among them; upon which he rubbed his hands with an air of infinite and prospective satisfaction. fond of peas, Sir?” said one of the company. “ Yes, Sir,” said Goldsmith, particularly so :--I eat them all the year round;--I mean, Sir, every day in the season. I do not think there is any body so fond of peas as I am. “ Is there any particular reason, Doctor,” asked a gentleman present, “why you like peas so much, beyond the usual one of their agreeable taste ?". “No, Sir, none whatsoever : none I assure you” (here Goldsmith shewed a great wish to impress this fact on his guests): “I never heard any particular encomium or speech about them from any one else : but they carry their own eloquence with them : they are things, Sir, of infinite taste.” (Here a laugh, which put Goldsmith in additional spirits.) “ But, bless me!" he exclaimed, looking narrowly into the peas :-“I fear they are very ill-done: they are absolutely yellow instead of green” (here he put a strong emphasis on green); "and you know, peas should be emphatically green :--greenness in a pea is a quality as essential, as whiteness in a lily. The cook has quite spoilt them :--but I'll give the rogue a lecture, gentlemen, with your permission.” Goldsmith then rose and rang the bell violently for the cook, who came in, ready booted and spurred. “Ha!" exclaimed Goldsmith, “ those boots and spurs are your salvation, you knave. Do you know, Sir, what you have done?"- “ No, Sir.” Why, you have made the
peas yellow, Sir. Go instantly, and take 'em to Hammersmith.” - To Hammersmith, Sir?” cried the man, all in astonishment, the guests being no less so :" please Sir, why am I to take 'em to Hammersmith ?"“ Because, Sir,” and here Goldsmith looked round with triumphant anticipation, " that is the way to render those peas green.”
There is a very humourous piece of exaggeration in Butler's Remains,
a collection, by the by, well worthy of Hudibras, and indeed of more interest to the general reader. Butler is defrauded of his fame with readers of taste who happen to be no politicians, when Hudibras is printed without this appendage. The piece we allude to is a short Description of Holland :
A country that draws fifty foot of water,
'That feed, like cannibals, on other fishes,
We do not know, and perhaps it would be impossible to discover,
Holland, that scarce deserves the name of land,
He goes on in a strain of exquisite hyperbole :
How did they rivet with gigantic piles
* Dryden afterwards, of fighting for gain, in his song of “ Come, if you dare:
The Gods from above the mad labour behold. + A Free Ocean.
The fish oft-times the burgher dispossessed,
Invent a shovel, and be a magistrate. We can never read these or some other ludicrous verses of Marvell, even when by ourselves, without laughter; but we must curtail our self-indulgence for the present.
The idea generally conveyed to us by historians of Thomas à Becket is that of a mere haughty priest, who tried to elevate the religious power above the civil.
But in looking more narrowly into the accounts of him, it appears that for a great part of his life he was a merry layman, was a great falconer, feaster, and patron, as well as man of business; and he wore all characters with such unaffected pleasantness to all ranks, that he was called the Delight of the Western World.
All on a sudden, to every body's surprise, Henry the 2nd, from chancellor made him archbishop; and with equal suddenness, though retaining his affability, the new head of the English church put off all his worldly graces and pleasures (save and except a rich gown over his sackcloth);-and in the midst of a gay court, became the most mortified of ascetics. Instead of hunting and hawking, he paced a solitary cloister; instead of his wine, he drank fennel-water; and in lieu of soft clothing, he indulged his back in stripes.
This phenomenon has divided the opinions of the moral critics. Some insist that Becket was religiously in earnest, and think the change natural to a man of the world whose heart had been struck with reflection, Others see in it nothing but ambition. We certainly think that three parts of the truth are with the latter; and that Becket, suddenly enabled to dispute a kind of sovereignty with his prince and friend, gave way to the new temptation, just as he had done to his falconry, and fine living. But the complete alteration of his way of life,-the enthusiasm which enabled him to set up so dif
ferent a greatness against his former one,-shews, that his character partook at least of as much sincerity, as would enable him to delude himself in good taste. In proportion as his very egotism was concerned, it was likely that such a man would exait the gravity and importance of his new calling. He had flourished at an earthly court: he now wished to be as great a man in the eyes of another; and worldly power, which was at once to be enjoyed and despised by virtue of his religious office, had a zest given to it's possession, of which the incredulousness of mere insincerity could know nothing.
Thomas à Becket may have inherited his portion of the romantic from his mother, whose story is a singular one. His father, Gilbert Becket, who was afterwards a flourishing citizen, was in his youth a soldier in the crusades; and being taken prisoner, became slave to an Emir or Saracen prince. By degrees he obtained the confidence of his master, and was admitted to his company, where he met a personage who became more attached to him. This was the Emir's daughter. Whether by her means or not does not appear, but after some time he contrived to escape. The lady with her loving heart followed him. She knew, they say, but two words of his language, London and Gilbert; and by repeating the former, she obtained a passage in a vessel, arrived in England, and found her trusting way to the metropolis. She then took to her other talisman, and went from street to street pronouncing Gilbert. A crowd collected about her wherever she went, asking of course a thousand questions, and to all she had but one answer-Gilbert! Gilbert! She found her faith in it sufficient. Chance, or her determination to go through every street, brought her at last to the one in which he who had won her heart in slavery, was living in prosperous condition. The crowd drew the family to the window; his servant recognised her; and Gilbert Becket took to his arms and his bridal bed, his far-come princess, with her solitary fond word.
These are better histories than the quarrels of kings and archibishops.
FATAL MISTAKE OF NERVOUS DISORDERS FOR INSANITY.
Some affecting catastrophes in the public papers induce us to say a few words on the mistaken notions, which are so often, in our opinion, the cause of their appearance. It is much to be wished that some physician, truly so called, and philosophically competent to the task, would write a work on this subject. We have plenty of books on symptoms and other alarming matters, very useful for increasing the harm already existing: We believe also there are some works of a different kind, if not written in direct counteraction; but the learned authors are apt to be so prodigiously grand and etymological in their title-pages, that they must frighten the general understanding with their very advertisements.
There is this great difference between what is generally understood by the word insanity, and the nervous or melancholy disorders, the excess of which is so often confounded with it. Insanity is a consequence of malformation of the brain, and is by no means of necessity attended with melancholy or even ill health. The patient, in the very midst of it, is often strong, healthy, and even chearful. On the other hand, nervous disorders or even melancholy in it's most aggravated state, is nothing but the excess of a state of stomach and blood, extremely common. The mind no doubt will act upon that state and exasperate it; but there is great reaction between mind and body; and as it is a common thing for a man in an ordinary fever, or fit of the bile, to be melancholy, and even to do or feel inclined to do an extravagant thing, so it is as common for him to get well and be quite chearful again. Thus it is among witless people that the true insanity will be found. It is the more intelligent that are subject to the other disorders; and a proper use of their intelligence will shew them what the disorders are.
But weak treatment may frighten the intelligent. A kind person for instance, in a fit of melancholy, may confess that he feels an inclination to do some desperate or even cruel thing. This is often treated at once as insanity, instead of an excess of the kind just mentioned; and the person seeing he is thought mad, begins to think himself so, and at last acts as if he were. This is a lamentable evil; but it does not stop here. The children or other relatives of the person may become victims to the mistake. They think there is madness, as the phrase is, " in the family;" and so whenever they feel ill, or meet with a misfortune, the thought will prey upon their minds; and this may lead to catastrophes, with which they have really no more to do than any other sick or unfortunate people. How many persons have committed an extravagance in a brain fever, or undergone hallucinations of mind in consequence of getting an ague, or taking opium, or fifty other causes ; and yet the moment the least wandering of mind is observed in them, others become frightened ; their fright is manifested beyond all necessity; and the patients and their family must suffer for it. They seem to think, that no disorder can properly be held a true Christian sickness, and fit for charitable interpretation, but where the patient has gone regularly to bed, and had curtains, and caudle-cups, and nurses about hiin, like a well-behaved respectable sick gentleman. But this state of things implies muscular weakness, or weakness of that sort which renders the bodily action feeble. Now, in nervous disorders, the muscular action may be as strong as ever ; and people may reasonably be allowed a world of illness, sitting in their chairs, or even walking or running
These mistaken pronouncers upon disease ought to be told, that when they are thus unwarrantably frightened, they are partaking of the very essence of what they misapprehend; for it is fear, in all it's various degrees and modifications, which is at the bottom of nervousness and melancholy; not fear in it's ordinary sense, as opposed to