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once teach, and learn from, the prudence, the experience, the traditional wisdom of the ancient Europeans.
This vision, however possible, may be a far-off one : but the first step towards it, at least, is being laid before our eyes,--and that is, a fresh reconciliation between the Crescent and the Cross. Apart from all political considerations, which would be out of place here, I hail, as a student of philosophy, the school which is now, both in Alexandria and in Constantinople, teaching to Moslem and to Christians the same lesson which the Crusaders learnt in Egypt five hundred years ago. A few years' more perseverance in the valiant and righteous course which Britain has now chosen, will reward itself by opening a vast field for capital and enterprise, for the introduction of civil and religious liberty among the down-trodden peasantry of Egypt; as the Giaour becomes an object of respect, and trust, and gratitude to the Moslem ; and as the feeling that Moslem and Gia common humanity, a common eternal standard of justice and mercy, a common sacred obligation to perform our promises, and to succour the oppressed, shall have taken place of the old brute wonder at our careless audacity, and awkward assertion of power, which now expresses itself in the somewhat left-handed Alexandrian compliment,—“ There is one Satan, and there are many Satans : but there is no Satan like a Frank in a round hat.”
It would be both uncourteous and unfair of me to close these my hasty Lectures, without expressing my hearty thanks for the great courtesy and kindness which I have received in this my first visit to your most noble and beautiful city, and often, I am proud to say, from those who differ from me deeply on many important points ; and also for the attention with which I have been listened to while trying, clumsily enough, to explain dry and repulsive subjects, and to express opinions which may be new, and perhaps startling, to many of my hearers. If my imperfect hints shall have stirred up but one hearer to investigate this obscure and yet most important subject, and to examine for himself the original documents, I shall feel that my words in this place have not been spoken in vain ; for even if such a seeker should arrive at conclusions different from my own (and I pretend to no infallibility,) he will at least have learnt new facts, the parents of new thought, perhaps of new action ; he will have come face to face with new human beings, in whom he will have been compelled to take a human interest ; and will surely rise from his researches, let them lead him where they will, at least somewhat of a wider-minded and a wider-hearted man.
So, my friend: you ask me to tell you
how I contrive to support this monotonous country life; how, fond as I am of excitement, adventure, society, scenery, art, literature, I go cheerfully through the daily routine of a commonplace country profession, never requiring a six-weeks' holiday; not caring to see the Continent, hardly even to spend a day in London ; having never yet actually got to Paris. You wonder why I do not grow dull as those round me,
whose talk is of bullocks—as indeed mine is often enough; why I am not by this time “ all over blue mould ;” why I have not been tempted to bury myself in my study, and live a life of dreams among old books.
I will tell you. I am a minute philosopher. I am possibly, after all, a man of small mind, content with small pleasures. So much the better for me. Meanwhile, I can understand your surprise, though you cannot, understand my content. You have played a greater game than mine ; have lived a life, perhaps, more fit for an Englishman; certainly more in accordance with the taste of our common fathers, the Vikings, and their patron Odin “ the goer,” father of all them that go ahead. You have gone ahead, and over many lands; and I reverence you for it, though I envy you not. You have commanded a regiment-indeed an army, and “ drank delight of battle with your peers ; you have ruled provinces, and done justice and judgment, like a noble Englishman as you are, old friend, among thousands who never knew before what justice and judgment were.
You have tasted (and you have deserved to taste) the joy of old David's psalms when he has hunted down the last of the robber lords of Palestine. You have seen “a people whom you have not known, serve you. As soon as they heard of you, they obeyed you ; but the strange children dissembled with you :” yet before you, too, “the strange children failed, and trembled in their hill-forts.”
Noble work that was to do, and nobly you have done it; and I do not wonder that to a man who has been set to such a task, and given power to carry it through, all smaller work must seem paltry; that such a man's very amusements, in that grand Indian land, and that free adventurous Indian life, exciting the imagination, calling out all the self-help and daring of a man, should have been on a par with your work; that when you go a-sporting, you ask for no meaner preserve than the primæval forest, no lower park wall than the snow-peaks of the Himalaya.
Yes; you have been a “burra Shikarree” as well as a burra Sahib. You have played the great game in your work, and killed the great game in your play. How many tons of mighty monsters have you done to death, since we two were school-boys together, five-and-twenty years ago ? How many starving villages have you fed with the flesh of elephant or buffalo ? How many have you delivered from man-eating tigers, or wary old alligators, their craws full of poor girls' bangles? Have you not been charged by rhinoceroses, all but ript up by boars? Have you not seen face to face Ovis Ammon himself, the giant mountain sheep-primæval ancestor, perhaps, of all the flocks on earth? Your memories must be like those of Theseus and Hercules, full of slain monsters. Your brains must be one fossiliferous deposit, in which buffalo and samber, hog and tiger, rhinoceros and elephant, lie heaped together, as the old ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs are heaped in the lias rocks at Lyme. And therefore I like to think of you. I try to picture your feelings to myself. I spell over with my boy Mayne Reid's delightful books, or the Old Forest Ranger, or Williams's old Tiger Book, with Howitt's plates, and try to realize the glory of a burra Shikarree; and as I read and imagine, feel with Sir Hugh Evans," a great disposition to cry."
For there were times, full many a year ago, when my brains were full of bison and grizzly bear, mustang and big-horn, Blackfoot and Pawnee, and hopes of wild adventure in the Far West, which I shall never see ; for ere I was three-and-twenty I discovered, plainly enough, that my lot was to stay at home and earn my bread in a very quiet way; that England was to be henceforth my prison or my palace, as I should choose to make it ; and I have made it, by Heaven's help, the latter.
I will confess to you, though, that in those first heats of youth, this little England —or rather, this little patch of moor in which I have struck roots as firm as the wild fir-trees do-looked at moments rather like a prison than a palace; that my foolish young heart would sigh, “Oh! that I had wings”—not as a dove, to fly home to its nest and croodle there-but as an eagle, to
swoop away over land and sea, in a rampant and self-glorifying fashion, on which I now look back as altogether unwholesome and undesirable. But the thirst for adventure and excitement was strong in me, as perhaps it ought to be in all at twenty-five. Others went out to see the glorious new worlds of the West, the glorious old worlds of the East-why should not I? Others rambled over Alps and Apennines, Italian picture-galleries and palaces, filling their minds with fair memories—why should not I? Others discovered new wonders in botany and zoology—why should not I ? Others too, like you, fulfilled to the utmost that strange lust after the burra shikar, which even now makes my pulse throb as often as I see the stags' heads in our friend A-'s hall: why should not I? It is not learnt in a day, the golden lesson of the Old Collect, to “ love the thing which is commanded, and desire that which is promised.” Not in a day: but in fifteen years one can spell out a little of its worth; and when one finds one's self on the wrong side of eight-and-thirty, and the first gray hairs begin to show on the temples, and one can no longer jump as high as one's third button-scarcely, alas ! to any button at all; and what with innumerable sprains, bruises, soakings, and chillings, one's lower limbs feel in a cold thaw much like an old post-horse's, why, one makes a virtue of necessity ; and if one still lusts after sights, takes the nearest, and looks for wonders, not in the Himalayas or Lake Ngami, but in the turf on the lawn and the brook in the park; and with good Alphonse Karr enjoys the macro-microcosm in one Tour autour de mon jardin. For there it is, friend, the whole infinite miracle of nature in
grass, if we have only eyes to see it, and can disabuse our minds of that tyrannous phantom of size. Only recollect that great and small are but relative terms; that in truth nothing is great or small, save in proportion to the quantity of creative thought which has been exercised in making it ; that the fly who basks upon one of the trilithons of Stonehenge, is in truth infinitely greater than all Stonehenge together, though he may measure the tenth of an inch, and the stone on which he sits five and twenty feet. You differ from me? Be it so. Even if you prove me wrong I will believe myself in the right: I cannot afford to do otherwise. If you rob me of my faith in “minute philosophy," you rob me of a continual source of content, surprise, delight.
So go your way and I mine, each working with all his might, and playing with all his might, in his own place and way. Remember only that though I never can come round to your sphere, you must some day come round to me in the day when wounds,
every tuft of
or weariness, or merely, as I hope, a healthy old age, will shut you out for once and for all from burra shikar, whether human or quadruped-For you surely will not take to politics in your old age? I shall not surely live to see you (as I saw many a fine fellow—woe's me last year) soliciting the votes, not of the people, but of the snobocracy, on the ground of your having neither policy, nor principles, nor even opinions, upon any matter in heaven or earth?—Then in that day will you be forced, my friend, to do what I have done this many a year; to refrain your soul and keep it low. You will see more and more the depth of human ignorance, the vanity of human endeavors. You will feel more and more that the world is going God's way, and not yours, or mine, or any man's; and that if you have been allowed to do good work on earth, that work is probably as different from what you fancy it as the tree is from the seed whence it springs. You will grow content, therefore, not to see the real fruit of your labours; because if you saw it you would probably be frightened at it, and what is very good in the eyes of God would not be very good in yours; and content, also, to receive your discharge, and work and fight no more, sure that God is working and fighting whether you are in hospital or in the field. And with this growing sense of the pettiness of human struggles will grow on you a respect for simple labours, a thankfulness for simple pleasures, a sympathy with simple people, and possibly, my trusty friend, with me and my little tours about that moorland which I call my winter-garden, and which is to me as full of glory and of instruction as the Himalaya or the Punjab are to you, and in which I contrive to find as much health and amusement as I have time for—and who ought to have more?
I call the said garden mine, not because I own it in any legal sense, (for only in a few acres have I a life interest,) but in that higher sense in which ten thousand people can own the same thing, and yet no man's right interfere with another's. To whom does the Apollo Belvedere belong, but to all who have eyes to see its beauty ? So does my winter-garden ; and therefore to me among the rest.
And therefore (which is a gain to a poor man) my pleasure in it is a very cheap one. So are all those of a minute philosopher, except his microscope. But my winter-garden, which is far larger, at all events, than that famous one at Chatsworth, costs me not one penny in keeping up. Poor, did I call myself? Is it not true wealth to have all I want without paying for it? Is it not true wealth, royal wealth, to have some twenty gentlemen and noblemen, nay, even royal personages, planting and improving for me? Is it not more than royal wealth to have sun and