disarmed him, and abused him in a shameful manner. In vain
On the contrary, Nature keeps silently a most exact Savings-bank, and official register correct to the most evanescent item, Debtor and Creditor, in respect to one and all of us; silently marks down, Creditor by such and such an unseen act of veracity and heroism; Debtor to such a loud blustery blunder, twenty-seven million strong or one unit strong, and to all acts and words and thoughts executed in consequence of that,--Debtor, Debtor, Debtor, day after day, rigorously as Fate (for this is Fate that is writing); and at the end of the account you will have it all to pay, my friend; there is the rub! Not the infinitesimalest fraction of a farthing but will be found marked there, for you and against you; and with the due rate of interest you will have to pay it, neatly, completely, as sure as you are alive. You will have to pay it even in money if you live:--and, poor slave, do you think there is no payment but in money? There is a payment which Nature rigorously exacts of men, and also of Nations, and this I think when her wrath is sternest, in the shape of dooming you to possess money. To possess it; to have your bloated vanities fostered into monstrosity by it, your foul passions blown into explosion by it, your heart and perhaps your very stomach ruined with intoxication by it; your poor life and all its manful activities stunned into frenzy and comatose sleep by it,--in one word, as the old Prophets said, your soul forever lost by it. Your soul; so that, through the Eternities, you shall have no soul, or manful trace of ever having had a
soul; but only, for certain fleeting moments, shall have had a money-bag, and have given soul and heart and (frightfuler still) stomach itself in fatal exchange for the same. You wretched mortal, stumbling about in a God's Temple, and thinking it a brutal Cookery-shop! Nature, when her scorn of a slave is divinest, and blazes like the blinding lightning against his slavehood, often enough flings him a bag of money, silently saying: "That! Away; thy doom is that!"--
For no man, and for no body or biggest multitude of men, has Nature favor, if they part company with her facts and her. Excellent stump-orator; eloquent parliamentary dead-dog, making motions, passing bills; reported in the Morning Newspapers, and reputed the "best speaker going"? From the Universe of Fact he has turned himself away; he is gone into partnership with the Universe of Phantasm; finds it profitablest to deal in forged notes, while the foolish shopkeepers will accept them. Nature for such a man, and for Nations that follow such, has her patibulary forks, and prisons of death everlasting:--dost thou doubt it? Unhappy mortal, Nature otherwise were herself a Chaos and no Cosmos. Nature was not made by an Impostor; not she, I think, rife as they are!--In fact, by money or otherwise, to the uttermost fraction of a calculable and incalculable value, we have, each one of us, to settle the exact balance in the above-said Savings-bank, or official register kept by Nature: Creditor by the quantity of veracities we have done, Debtor by the quantity of falsities and errors; there is not, by any conceivable device, the faintest hope of escape from that issue for one of us, nor for all of us.
This used to be a well-known fact; and daily still, in certain edifices, steeple-houses, joss-houses, temples sacred or other, everywhere spread over the world, we hear some dim mumblement of an assertion that such is still, what it was always and will forever be, the fact: but meseems it has terribly fallen out of memory nevertheless; and, from Dan to Beersheba, one in vain looks out for a man that really in his heart believes it. In his heart he believes, as we perceive, that scrip will yield dividends: but that Heaven too has an office of account, and unerringly marks down, against us or for us, whatsoever thing we do or say or think, and treasures up the same in regard to every creature,--this I do not so well perceive that he believes. Poor blockhead, no: he reckons that all payment is in money, or approximately representable by money; finds money go a strange course; disbelieves the parson and his Day of Judgment; discerns not that there is any judgment except in the small or big debt court; and lives (for the present) on that strange footing in this Universe. The unhappy mortal, what is the use of his "civilizations" and his "useful knowledges," if he have forgotten that beginning of human knowledge; the earliest perception of the awakened human soul in this world; the first dictate of Heaven's inspiration to all men? I cannot account him a man any more; but only a kind of human beaver, who has acquired the art of ciphering. He lives without rushing hourly towards suicide, because his soul, with all its noble aspirations and imaginations, is sunk at the bottom of his stomach, and lies torpid there, unaspiring, unimagining, unconsidering, as if it were the vital principle of a mere _four_-footed beaver. A soul of a man, appointed for spinning cotton and making money, or, alas, for merely shooting grouse and gathering rent; to whom Eternity and Immortality, and all human Noblenesses and divine Facts that did not tell upon the stock-exchange, were meaningless fables, empty as the inarticulate wind. He will recover out of that persuasion one day, or be ground to powder, I believe!--
To such a pass, by our beaverisms and our mammonisms; by canting of "prevenient grace" everywhere, and so boarding and lodging our poor souls upon supervenient moonshine everywhere, for centuries long; by our sordid stupidities and our idle babblings; through faith in the divine Stump-orator, and Constitutional Palaver, or august Sanhedrim of Orators,-- have men and Nations been reduced, in this sad epoch! I cannot call them happy Nations; I must call them Nations like to perish; Nations that will either begin to recover, or else soon die. Recovery is to be hoped;--yes, since there is in Nature an Almighty Beneficence, and His voice, divinely terrible, can be heard in the world-whirlwind now, even as from of old and forevermore. Recovery, or else destruction and annihilation, is very certain; and the crisis, too, comes rapidly on: but by Stump-Orator and Constitutional Palaver, however perfected, my hopes of _recovery_ have long vanished. Not by them, I should imagine, but by something far the reverse of them, shall we return to truth and God!--
I tell you, the ignoble intellect cannot think the _truth_, even within its own limits, and when it seriously tries! And of the ignoble intellect that does not seriously try, and has even reached the "ignobleness" of seriously trying the reverse, and of lying with its very tongue, what are we to expect? It is frightful to consider. Sincere wise speech is but an imperfect corollary, and insignificant outer manifestation, of sincere wise thought. He whose very tongue utters falsities, what has his heart long been doing? The thought of his heart is not its wisest, not even _its_ wisest; it is its foolishest;--and even of that we have a false and foolish copy. And it is Nature's Fact, or the Thought of the Eternal, which we want to arrive at in regard to the matter,--which if we do _not_ arrive at, we shall not save the matter, we shall drive the matter into shipwreck!
The practice of modern Parliaments, with reporters sitting among them, and twenty-seven millions mostly fools listening to them, fills me with amazement. In regard to no _thing_, or fact as God and Nature have made it, can you get so much as the real thought of any honorable head,--even so far as _it_, the said honorable head, still has capacity of thought. What the honorable gentleman's wisest thought is or would have been, had he led from birth a life of piety and earnest veracity and heroic virtue, you, and he himself poor deep-sunk creature, vainly conjecture as from immense dim distances far in the rear of what he is led to _say_. And again, far in the rear of what his thought is,--surely long infinitudes beyond all _he_ could ever think,--lies the Thought of God Almighty, the Image itself of the Fact, the thing you are in quest of, and must find or do worse! Even his, the honorable gentleman's, actual bewildered, falsified, vague surmise or quasi-thought, even this is not given you; but only some falsified copy of this, such as he fancies may suit the reporters and twenty-seven millions mostly fools. And upon that latter you are to act;--with what success, do you expect? That is the thought you are to take for the Thought of the Eternal Mind,--that double-distilled falsity of a blockheadism from one who is false even as a blockhead!
Do I make myself plain to Mr. Peter's understanding? Perhaps it will surprise him less that parliamentary eloquence excites more wonder than admiration in me; that the fate of countries governed by that sublime alchemy does not appear the hopefulest just now. Not by that method, I should apprehend, will the Heavens be scaled and the Earth vanquished; not by that, but by another.
- mist seemed to float above the water. This mist had a familiar
- of barges, loaded up at the big factories of Westphalia,
- in England. The children looked better nourished, but it
- I thought of having a try at the Tyrol and I also thought
- away from our tents the large circle of lookers on. An
- Almost at once I struck a road, a big highway running north
- lay up alongside the pier, where in that season of flood
- I kept longing for bright warm places. I thought of those
- At certain seasons they catch also, in “corrales,”
- But no one came near the cottage, and the fever worked
- They took a long time before they started again, and I
- in my heart, a broken jaw to avenge, and pretty well limitless
- He paused for a moment, hoping to be able to lower the
- I had changed at the hotel. Also I had squared accounts
- of January. Constantinople! I had thought myself a long
- of the heart—but he would not be persuaded. And last
- which swirled fully three feet of water, which, slowly
- who have lived much in wild countries. My senses, which
- were fiery pains over all my body. I stumbled on blindly,
- miserably depressed, and I couldn’t think of any mercies
- in finding any place to pitch our tents, for it was spring-tide,
- wretched and stupid, and I all but blundered into capture.
- before I left the cottage. It was my cue to wait for the
- gone, and the place was very solemn and quiet. But Heavens!
- gruffly, explaining that he had always been fond of the
- in some confounded kind of enclosure and had to climb paling
- I thought I’d better get some sleep, so I found a dryish
- dared say Sir Walter would value the information, but I
- the steps again, finding himself now nearly up to his armpits
- getting light-headed. I fell repeatedly and laughed sillily
- certain of that in a week. He told us how endless strings
- clothes, a hunted present, and a dismal future. I felt
- reason we have seen so many parrots lately; the cheucau
- most unassuming shop I could find, where a little boy was
- present—the thick snowy woods, the lowering sky, wet
- keep an eye on your boilers till we get to Rustchuk.”
- He ducked rapidly, almost touching the muddy water with
- very presentable likenesses of a monkey, a springbok, and
- I almost blundered into one of the bicyclists. He cried
- wretched and stupid, and I all but blundered into capture.
- and was clear of the oily water, now, and upon a sort of
- wondered idly if I should fall in with a pack. I felt myself
- them up. I told them long yarns about Africa and lions
- and got up and shook myself just as the winter’s dawn
- lamp was incapable of penetrating the fog. He groped with
- lay in mid-stream. The tug got out a gangway, and from
- as I looked my attention was caught by a curious sight.
- “I want to accompany you,” I said. “In my profession,
- Was it, though, the ever beautiful blossoms of hollyhocks
- heard of me in the village and told the ship’s party