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I'm not going out a dowdy to please you or any body else. Gracious knows! it isn't often that I step over the threshold; indeed, I might as well be a slave at once: better, I should say; but when I do go out, Mr. Caudle, I choose to go as a lady. Oh! that rain! if it isn't enough to break in the windows. Ugh! I look forward with dread for to-morrow! How I am to go to mother's, I'm sure I can't tell, but if I die, I'll do it. No, sir; I'll not borrow an umbrella: no; and you sha'n't buy one. Mr. Caudle, if you bring home another umbrella, I'll throw it in the street.
Ha! And it was only last week I had a new nozzle put on that umbrella. I'm sure if I'd known as much as I do now, it might have gone without one. Paying for new nozzles for other people to laugh at you! Oh! 'tis all very well for you. You've no thought of your poor, patient wife, and your own dear children; you think of nothing but lending umbrellas! Men, indeed! call themselves lords of the creation! pretty lords, when they can't even take care of an umbrella!
I know that walk to-morrow will be the death of me, but that's what you want: then you may go to your club, and do as you like; and then, nicely my poor, dear children will be used; but then, sir, then you'll be happy. Oh! don't tell me! I know you will: else you'd never have lent the umbrella! You have to go on Thursday about that summons; and, of course, you can't go. No, indeed: you don't go without the umbrella. You may lose the debt for what I care; 'tis not so bad as spoiling your clothes; better lose it; people deserve to lose debts who lend umbrellas!
And I should like to know how I'm to go to mother's without the umbrella. Oh! don't tell me that I said I would go; that's nothing to do with it: nothing at all. She'll think I'm neglecting her; and the little money we're to have, we sha'n't have at all: because we've no umbrella. The children too! (dear things!) they'll be sopping wet; for they sha'n't stay at home; they sha'n't lose their learning; 't is all their father will leave them, I'm sure. But they shall go to school. Don't tell me they shouldn't; (you are so aggravating, Caudle, you'd spoil the temper of an angel;) they shall go to school; mark that; and if they get their deaths of cold, 'tis not my fault; I didn't lend the umbrella.
EFFECTS OF UNIVERSAL FALSEHOOD.
LET us consider, for a little, some of the effects which would inevitably follow, were the law of truth universally violated. In this case, a scene of horror and confusion would ensue, of which it is difficult for the mind to form any distinct conception. It is obvious, in the first place, that rational beings could never improve in knowledge, beyond the range of the sensitive objects that happened to be placed within the sphere of their personal observation; for by far the greater part of our knowledge is derived from the communications of others, and from the stimulus to intellectual exertion which such communications produce.
Let us suppose a human being trained up, from infancy, in a wilderness, by a bear or a wolf, as history records to have been the case of several individuals in the forests of France, Germany, and Lithuania, what knowledge could such a being acquire beyond that of a brute? He might distinguish a horse from a cow, and a man from a dog, and know that such objects as trees, shrubs, grass, flowers, and water, existed around him; but knowledge, strictly so called, and the proper exercise of his rational faculties, he could not acquire, so long as he remained detached from other rational beings. Such would be our situation, were falsehood universal among men. We could acquire a knowledge of nothing but what was obvious to our senses, in the objects with which we were surrounded. We could not know whether the earth were twenty miles, or twenty thousand miles, in extent, and whether oceans, seas, rivers, and ranges of mountains, existed on its surface, unless we had made the tour of it in person, and with our own eyes, surveyed the various objects it contains.
Of course, we should remain in absolute ignorance of the existence and the attributes of God, of the moral relations of intelligent beings to their Creator, and to one another, and of the realities of a future state. For it is only, or chiefly, through the medium of testimony, combined with the evidence of our senses, that we acquire a knowledge of such truths and objects.
In the next place, all confidence among intelligent beings would be completely destroyed. Disappointment would invariably attend every purpose and resolution, and every scheme we wished to execute, if it depended, in the least degree, upon the direction or assistance of others. We should not dare to taste an article of food which we might receive from another, lest it should contain poison; nor could we ever construct a house, to shelter us from the storm, unless our own physical powers were adequate to the work. Were we living in Edinburgh, we could never go to Musselburgh and Dalkeith, if we were previously ignorant of the situation of those places; or were we residing in London, it would be impossible for us ever to find our way to Hommerton or Hampstead, unless, after a thousand attempts, chance should happen to direct us; and when we might arrive at either of these villages, we should still be in as much uncertainty as ever, whether it was the place to which we intended to direct our steps.
Confidence being destroyed, there could be no friendship, no union of hearts, no affectionate intercourse, no social converse, no consolation or comfort in the hour of distress, no hopes of deliverance in the midst of danger, and no prospect of the least enjoyment from any being around us. In such a case, the mind would feel itself as in a wilderness, even when surrounded by fellow-intelligences; and, wherever it roamed over the vast expanse of nature, or among the mass of living beings around it, it would meet with no affectionate interchange of feelings and sentiments, and no object on which it could rest for solace and enjoyment. Every one would feel as if he were placed in the midst of an infinite void, and as if he were the only being residing in the universe. We should flee from the society of men, as we would do from a lion or a tiger when rushing on his prey; and hide ourselves in dens, and forests, and caverns of the earth, till death should put a period to a cheerless and miserable existence.
All social intercourse and relations would cease; families could not possibly exist, nor any affectionate intercourse between the sexes; for truth, and the confidence which is founded upon it, are implied in all the intercourse of husbands and wives, of brothers and sisters, and of parents and children; and consequently the human race, dropping into the grave,
one after another, like the leaves of autumn, without any successors, would, in a short time, be extirpated from the earth. In such a state, kindness and affection would never be exercised; trade and commerce, buying and selling, social compacts and agreements would be annihilated; science, literature, and the arts, could not exist; and consequently universities, colleges, churches, academies, schools, and every other seminary of instruction, would be unknown. No villages, towns, nor cities, would be built; no fields cultivated; no orchards, vineyards, nor gardens planted; no intercourse would exist between different regions of the globe; and nothing but one dreary, barren waste would be presented to the eye, throughout the whole expanse of nature.
A GALLANT form is passing by;
The plume bends o'er his lordly brow;
Young knees are bending round his way,
Fair forms have lent their gladdest smile,
White hands have waved the conqueror on,
Soft tones have cheered him, and the brow
The bard has waked the song for him,
Adds frenzy to the mirth;
The gallant steed treads proudly on;
Dark thoughts, and fearful! yet they bring
Men! christians! pause! The air ye breathe
And will you turn to him, and wreathe
Forbid it, Heaven! A voice hath gone
And whispering sweetly through the gloom
SHE said she was alone within the world:
She whispered something of a lad,
With eyes of blue, and light hair sweetly curled;
But the grave had the child!
And yet his voice she heard,