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Dazzled by your resplendent course, might find
Henceforth less sweetness in his own, awakes
Such earnest mood in you? Fear not, dear friend,
That I shall leave you, inwardly repining
Your lot was not my own!


And this, for ever!

For ever! gull who may, they will be blind!
They will not look nor think-'tis nothing new
In them; but surely he is not of them!
My Festus, do you know, I reckoned, you-
Though all beside were sand-blind-you, my friend,
Would look at me, once close, with piercing eye,
Untroubled by the false glare that confounds
A weaker vision; would remain serene,
Though singular, amid a gaping throng.07.k
I feared you, or had come, sure, long ere this,
To Einsiedeln. Well, error has no end,
And Rhasis is a sage, and Basil boasts
A tribe of wits, and I am wise and blest
Past all dispute! "Tis vain to fret at it.


I have vowed long since that my worshippers
Shall owe to their own deep sagacity
All further information, good or bad:
And little risk my reputation runs,

Unless perchance the glance now searching me
Be fixed much longer-for it seems to spell,
Dimly, the characters a simpler man

Might read distinct enough. Old eastern books

Say, the fallen prince of morning some short space

Remained unchanged in feature-nay, his brow
Seemed hued with triumph: every spirit then
\Praising; his heart on flame the while :—a tale!
Well, Festus, what discover you, I pray?

Fest. Some foul deed sullies then a life which else Were raised supreme?


Good: I do well-most well!

Why strive to make men hear, feel, fret themselves
With what 'tis past their power to comprehend?
I would not strive now: only, having nursed
The faint surmise that one yet walked the earth,
One, at least, not the utter fool of show,
Not absolutely formed to be the dupe
Of shallow plausibilities alone;

One who, in youth found wise enough to choose
The happiness his riper years approve,

Was yet so anxious for another's sake,
That, ere his friend could rush upon a course
Mad, ruinous, the converse of his own,
His gentler spirit essayed, prejudged for him
The perilous path, foresaw its destiny,
And warned the weak one in such tender words,
Such accents-his whole heart in every tone—
That oft their memory comforted that friend
When rather it should have increased despair:
-Having believed, I say, that this one man
Could never lose the wisdom from the first
His portion-how should I refuse to grieve
At even my gain if it attest his loss,

At triumph which so signally disturbs
Our old relation, proving me more wise?
Therefore, once more reminding him how well
He prophesied, I note the single flaw

That spoils his prophet's title: in plain words
You were deceived, and thus were you deceived-
I have not been successful, and yet am
Most wretched; there -'tis said at last; but give
No credit, lest you force me to concede
That common sense yet lives upon the earth.
Fest. You surely do not mean to banter me?
Par. You know, or (if you have been wise enough
To cleanse your memory of such matters) knew,
As far as words of mine could make it clear,
That 'twas my purpose to find joy or grief
Solely in the fulfilment of my plan,
Or plot, or whatsoe'er it was; rejoicing
Alone as it proceeded prosperously,
Sorrowing alone when any chance retarded

Its progress. That was in those Würzburg days!
Not to prolong a theme I thoroughly hate,
I have pursued this plan with all my strength;
And having failed therein most signally,

Cannot object to ruin, utter and drear

As all-excelling would have been the prize
Had fortune favoured me. I scarce do right
To vex your frank good spirit, late rejoiced
By my supposed prosperity, I know,
And, were I lucky in a glut of friends,


Would well agree to let your error live,
Nay, strengthen it with fables of success:
But mine is no condition to refuse

The transient solace of so rare a chance,
My solitary luxury, my Festus-
Accordingly I venture to put off

The wearisome vest of falsehood galling me,
Secure when he is by. I lay me bare,
Prone at his mercy-but he is my friend!
Not that he needs retain his aspect grave;
That answers not my purpose; for 'tis like,
Some sunny morning-Basil being drained
Of its wise population, every corner

Of the amphitheatre crammed with learned clerks,
Here Ecolampadius, looking worlds of wit,
Here Castellanus, as profound as he,

Munsterus here, Frobenius there,-all squeezed,
And staring, and expectant, then, I say,
'Tis like that the poor zany of the show,
Your friend, will choose to put his trappings off
Before them, bid adieu to cap and bells
And motley with a grace but seldom judged
Expedient in such cases :-the grim smile
That will go round! Is it not therefore best
To venture a rehearsal like the present
In a small way? Where are the signs I seek,
The first-fruits and fair sample of the scorn
Due to all quacks? Why, this will never do!

Fest. These are foul vapours, Aureole; nought beside!

The effect of watching, study, weariness.
Were there a spark of truth in the confusion
Of these wild words, you would not outrage thus
Your youth's companion. I shall ne'er regard
These wanderings, bred of faintness and much study.
You would not trust a trouble thus to me,

To Michal's friend.


I have said it, dearest Festus !

The manner is ungracious, probably;

More may be told in broken sobs, one day,

And scalding tears, ere long: but I thought best
To keep that off as long as possible.


you wonder still?


No; it must oft fall out

That one whose labour perfects any work,
Shall rise from it with eye so worn, that he
Of all men least can measure the extent
Of what he has accomplished. He alone,
Who, nothing tasked, is nothing weary too,
\Can clearly scan the little he effects:
But we, the bystanders, untouched by toil,
Estimate each aright."


This worthy Festus

Is one of them, at last! Tis so with all!

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First, they set down all progress as a dream,
And next, when he, whose quick discomfiture
Was counted on, accomplishes some few

And doubtful steps in his

career,- -behold,

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