At last, when the miserable victim were utterly trodden down, the triumpher would have become a very devil of evil passions,--they having overgrown his whole nature; so that a far greater evil would have come upon himself than on his victim. Anciently, when long-buried bodies were found undecayed in the grave, a species of sanctity was attributed to them.
Some chimneys of ancient halls used to be swept by having a culverin fired up them. At Leith, in , a glass bottle was blown of the capacity of two English bushels. The buff and blue of the Union were adopted by Fox and the Whig party in England. The Prince of Wales wore them. In , a Mr. Copinger left a certain charity, an almhouse, of which four poor persons were to partake, after the death of his eldest son and his wife.
It was a tenement and yard. The parson, headboroughs, and his five other sons were to appoint the persons. At the time specified, however, all but one of his sons were dead; and he was in such poor circumstances that he obtained the benefit of the charity for himself, as one of the four. A town clerk arranges the publishments that are given in, according to his own judgment. To make a story from Robert Raikes seeing dirty children at play, in the streets of London, and inquiring of a woman about them.
She tells him that on Sundays, when they were not employed, they were a great deal worse, making the streets like hell; playing at church, etc. He was therefore induced to employ women at a shilling to teach them on Sundays, and thus Sunday-schools were established. To represent the different departments of the United States government by village functionaries. The War Department by watchmen, the law by constables, the merchants by a variety store, etc. At the accession of Bloody Mary, a man, coming into a house, sounded three times with his mouth, as with a trumpet, and then made proclamation to the family.
A bonfire was built, and little children were made to carry wood to it, that they might remember the circumstance in old age. Meat and drink were provided at the bonfires. To describe a boyish combat with snowballs, and the victorious leader to have a statue of snow erected to him.
PASSAGES / HAUNTING OF HAWTHORNE
A satire on ambition and fame to be made out of this idea. It might be a child's story. Our body to be possessed by two different spirits; so that half of the visage shall express one mood, and the other half another. An old English sea-captain desires to have a fast-sailing ship, to keep a good table, and to sail between the tropics without making land. A rich man left by will his mansion and estate to a poor couple.
They remove into it, and find there a darksome servant, whom they are forbidden by will to turn away. He becomes a torment to them; and, in the finale, he turns out to be the former master of the estate. Two persons to be expecting some occurrence, and watching for the two principal actors in it, and to find that the occurrence is even then passing, and that they themselves are the two actors.
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There is evil in every human heart, which may remain latent, perhaps, through the whole of life; but circumstances may rouse it to activity. To imagine such circumstances. A woman, tempted to be false to her husband, apparently through mere whim,--or a young man to feel an instinctive thirst for blood, and to commit murder. This appetite may be traced in the popularity of criminal trials. The appetite might be observed first in a child, and then traced upwards, manifesting itself in crimes suited to every stage of life.
The good deeds in an evil life,--the generous, noble, and excellent actions done by people habitually wicked,--to ask what is to become of them. The idea to be wrought out and extended.
Perhaps it might be the museum of a deceased old man. An article might be made respecting various kinds of ruin,--ruin as regards property,--ruin of health,--ruin of habits, as drunkenness and all kinds of debauchery,--ruin of character, while prosperous in other respects,--ruin of the soul.
Ruin, perhaps, might be personified as a demon, seizing its victims by various holds. An article on fire, on smoke. Diseases of the mind and soul,--even more common than bodily diseases. Some authorities, however, have represented him as ungainly in person and rough in manners. Tarleton was originally bred for the law, but quitted law for the army early in life. He was son to a mayor of Liverpool, born in , of ancient family. He wrote his own memoirs after returning from America.
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Never afterwards distinguished in arms. Created baronet in , and died childless in Thought he was not sufficiently honored among more modern heroes. Lost part of his right hand in battle of Guilford Court House. A man of pleasure in England. It would be a good idea for a painter to paint a picture of a great actor, representing him in several different characters of one scene,--Iago and Othello, for instance.
Maine , July 5, He leads a bachelor's life in his paternal mansion, only a small part of which is occupied by a family who serve him. He provides his own breakfast and supper, and occasionally his dinner; though this is oftener, I believe, taken at a hotel, or an eating-house, or with some of his relatives. I am his guest, and my presence makes no alteration in his way of life. Our fare, thus far, has consisted of bread, butter, and cheese, crackers, herrings, boiled eggs, coffee, milk, and claret wine. He has another inmate, in the person of a queer little Frenchman, who has his breakfast, tea, and lodging here, and finds his dinner elsewhere.
Monsieur S does not appear to be more than twenty-one years old,--a diminutive figure, with eyes askew, and otherwise of an ungainly physiognomy; he is ill-dressed also, in a coarse blue coat, thin cotton pantaloons, and unbrushed boots; altogether with as little of French coxcombry as can well be imagined, though with something of the monkey aspect inseparable from a little Frenchman.
He is, nevertheless, an intelligent and well-informed man, apparently of extensive reading in his own language,--a philosopher, B tells me, and an infidel. Thus here are three characters, each with something out of the common way, living together somewhat like monks. B, our host, combines more high and admirable qualities, of that sort which make up a gentleman, than any other that I have met with.
Polished, yet natural, frank, open, and straightforward, yet with a delicate feeling for the sensitiveness of his companions; of excellent temper and warm heart; well acquainted with the world, with a keen faculty of observation, which he has had many opportunities of exercising, and never varying from a code of honor and principle which is really nice and rigid in its way.
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There is a sort of philosophy developing itself in him which will not impossibly cause him to settle down in this or some other equally singular course of life. He seems almost to have made up his mind never to be married, which I wonder at; for he has strong affections, and is fond both of women and children. The little Frenchman impresses me very strongly, too,--so lonely as he is here, struggling against the world, with bitter feelings in his breast, and yet talking with the vivacity and gayety of his nation; making this his home from darkness to daylight, and enjoying here what little domestic comfort and confidence there is for him; and then going about the live-long day, teaching French to blockheads who sneer at him, and returning at about ten o'clock in the evening for I was wrong in saying he supped here,--he eats no supper to his solitary room and bed.
In the morning I hear him getting up early, at sunrise or before, humming to himself, scuffling about his chamber with his thick boots, and at last taking his departure for a solitary ramble till breakfast. Then he comes in, cheerful and vivacious enough, eats pretty heartily, and is off again, singing French chansons as he goes down the gravel-walk.
The poor fellow has nobody to sympathize with him but B, and thus a singular connection is established between two utterly different characters. Then here is myself, who am likewise a queer character in my way, and have come to spend a week or two with my friend of half a lifetime,--the longest space, probably, that we are ever destined to spend together; for Fate seems preparing changes for both of us.
The Haunting of Hawthorne
My circumstances, at least, cannot long continue as they are and have been; and B, too, stands between high prosperity and utter ruin. I think I should soon become strongly attached to our way of life, so independent and untroubled by the forms and restrictions of society. The house is very pleasantly situated,--half a mile distant from where the town begins to be thickly settled, and on a swell of land, with the road running at a distance of fifty yards, and a grassy tract and a gravel-walk between.
Beyond the road rolls the Kennebec, here two or three hundred yards wide. Irishmen and Canadians toil at work on it, and the echoes of their hammering and of the voices come across the river and up to this window. Then there is a sound of the wind among the trees round the house; and, when that is silent, the calm, full, distant voice of the river becomes audible. Looking downward thither, I see the rush of the current, and mark the different eddies, with here and there white specks or streaks of foam; and often a log comes floating on, glistening in the sun, as it rolls over among the eddies, having voyaged, for aught I know, hundreds of miles from the wild upper sources of the river, passing down, down, between lines of forest, and sometimes a rough clearing, till here it floats by cultivated banks, and will soon pass by the village.
Sometimes a long raft of boards comes along, requiring the nicest skill in navigating it through the narrow passage left by the mill-dam. Chaises and wagons occasionally go over the road, the riders all giving a passing glance at the dam, or perhaps alighting to examine it more fully, and at last departing with ominous shakes of the head as to the result of the enterprise. My position is so far retired from the river and mill-dam, that, though the latter is really rather a scene, yet a sort of quiet seems to be diffused over the whole. Two or three times a day this quiet is broken by the sudden thunder from a quarry, where the workmen are blasting rocks; and a peal of thunder sounds strangely in such a green, sunny, and quiet landscape, with the blue sky brightening the river.
I have not seen much of the people. A passionate tavern-keeper, quick as a flash of gunpowder, a nervous man, and showing in his demeanor, it seems, a consciousness of his infirmity of temper. I was a witness of a scuffle of his with a drunken guest. The tavern-keeper, after they were separated, raved like a madman, and in a tone of voice having a drolly pathetic or lamentable sound mingled with its rage, as if he were lifting up his voice to weep. Then he jumped into a chaise which was standing by, whipped up the horse, and drove off rapidly, as if to give his fury vent in that way.