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impassable gate of dreary Scandinavia: You cost one great man his place, and will also cost a great many more their place." Does Mr. Wilson refer to himself as the great man? Not unlikely. In January his wife, who now appears to be in Hammersmith, England, conjures him to call on her. "A wilful error," she says, "is maintained against justice and truth to oppose my right. Why not come immediately?" But, instead of going, E. J. W. simply inserts the word SILENCE! in the Agony column for January 15, which leads to the following interchange of mysteries:
January 18, 1853.
January 19, 1853.
WHERE? Has my vision been fulfilled, or does vice prevail? That is the question. E. J. W.
Same date, lower down.
SILENCE, WHERE? Why! "Silence in the Metropolis!" Silence on the railway is good, but "Silence in the Metropolis" is excessively better!
Possibly there is a veiled allusion here to his address. For on the 21st, E. J. W., apparently in answer to some communication by letter, inserts the word "INCORRUPTIBLE" with his initials. And on the 25th he celebrates his own incorruptibility in song:
DIOGENES HIS LANTERN NEEDS NO MORE,
Incorruptible E. J. W.
More nonsense of a similar kind follows. Then, on February 8, the wife appears once more to be heard from: "G- Arthur and E. J. W. are inexcusable in absenting themselves from the two indescribables. Do not leave under a wilful delusion. . . . All communication is intercepted in England and abroad, and our reputations calumniated to render us homeless and friendless. Deceit prevails." The plot has now thickened, and conjecture can make only the vaguest surmises. Nothing more appears until March 24, when E. J. W. says, "FLY BY NIGHT has got the ANCHOR. Corruption wins, and England's lost." On March 30 the tables appear to be turned: "ACHILLES has Gor the LEVER. Corruption sinks, and virtue swims. E. J. W." Again more nonsense follows, then an interval of silence. At last E. J. W. cries out, Je veux voir ma fille: a little later (June 27, 1854), "I'll not touch the money. It's stolen property;" and exactly a year later, "I tell you again I'll not touch the money. But where's my child?" It would almost seem that he was finally persuaded to reconsider his determination, whatever it was, for on September 29, 1855, he writes,—
PITY-yes. The future of a buried heart and conscience! It is more than unfeeling to seize the unhappy hour of a weak and erring heart to influence it to violate its whole nature, abandon the tenderest ties, and make it forever bankrupt of every true and proper feeling. Remorse, and one day you will feel it.
On November 1, 1855, he breaks out,—
By that bitter cup you have given, and I drank to the dregs; . by promises made to those now no more, I will see you. Be true to yourself and to me. Oh, M'y, M'y! I would save you the pangs of error,-God forbid of crime,-and though the passion, jealousy, hate, and madness you have excited be scorned and denied, when the serpent you foster is wearied, -yea, even then, here is your haven, when all forsake.
Once more she insists,
You are deceived. Those now no more were deceived. I foster none, but am true to ties of happier days. Open to me a communication and a public investigation. Mary.
There is now a silence of many months. Then in July, 1857, advertisements again break out, hinting at some mysterious money transactions under the headings, "NICHT EINE MILLION," GENUG FÜR ALLES," etc. They seem to have resulted in E. J. W. receiving back his daughter. But he retained
her only a short time, though he had signed away his fortune for her. Here is the most lucid of many notices relating to this double loss:
To B. C. Z. You don't know their antecedents (rouge et noir). I have never seen any of my money from the day I nobly signed it away; and I did not see my child for five years, and yet I respected the laws of humanity; and you see the return-I have lost my daughter a second time.
He never saw her again, apparently, though he managed to establish a correspondence with her in French through the Agony column. Then this breaks off and another silence ensues, which is sufficiently explained by this notice, dated October 12, 1865:
THE HEART OF STONE. Fifteen years of gloomiest depression, and long, sad hours of pain and sorrow, have made me what I am; but the idol of our mutual affection having now passed into a better life," Heart of Stone" will relent if "Martyr," with meekness and submission befitting her self-adopted title, consents to the condition stated in a former communication to Mr. Pollaky, Private Inquiry Office, 13, Paddington Green; until then no meeting can or shall take place.
On October 18, “Martyr" signifies her acquiescence in the conditions, with certain reservations, apparently pecuniary. With all his old-time nobility of nature, Heart of Stone replies,
After so many years of lacerating agony, what are riches to me? and now that our idol is no more, I do not press further your acceptance of clause 5. Let our meeting take place on the approaching anniversary of an event so indelibly impressed on the memory of us both; and may the solemnity of our reconciliation at the hour of our reunion not be profaned by the faintest suspicion of parsimony. I will communicate to Mr. Pollaky the exact time and place of meeting.
And so the curtain falls on the couple. Whether they made mutual and satisfactory explanations, whether they were happy ever after, we have no means of discovering.
Agreeing to differ. This now familiar phrase dates back to Sidney's "Arcadia," Book I. "Between these two persons [Dametas and Miso], who never agreed in any humor but in disagreeing, is issued forth Mistress Mopsa, a fit woman to partake of both their perfections." Southey, in his "Life of Wesley," has the ipsissima verba “agreed to differ." The more antithetic phrase "agreeing to disagree" is now more common.
So I have talked with Betsey, and Betsey has talked with me,
WILL CARLETON: Farm Ballads: Betsey and I are Out. Albé, a nickname which Shelley and his companions applied to Byron. It is a contraction of Albanese or Albaneser, and is an allusion to the noble lord's fondness for that people, which he carried to so great an extent as to become their blood-brother by adoption. This fact is made plain by the alternative form Albaneser appearing in a letter from Shelley to his wife, written from Venice, August 23, 1818. Yet critics who are fond of mares' nests have spent a deal of ingenious conjecture on the term. Mr. Forman suggests that Albé was formed from the initials L. B. = Lord Byron. Another would make it an abbreviation of Albemarle Street, whence the poems of Byron were issued. And a third, with a subtlety of roundabout surmise that is worthy of all praise, finds an explanation in a romance by Mme. Cottin, entitled "Claire d'Albe," which Shelley admired so much that he encouraged his first wife to translate it into English. Now, if Byron's Claire was ever dubbed Claire d'Albe, Byron himself might become Albe!
Albion Perfide (F., “Perfidious Albion"). This phrase is generally attributed to Napoleon. But though he undoubtedly used it, the idea long antedated him. Thus, in Perlin's "Description des Royaulmes d'Angleterre et d'Ecosse" (1558): "One may say of the English that in war they are not strong,
and in peace they are not faithful. As the Spaniard says, Angleterre bonne terre mala gente" (England, good country, bad people). On the other hand, Misson, in his "Travels" (1719), says, “I cannot imagine what could occasion the notion I have frequently observed in France that the English were treacherous. It is certainly great injustice to reckon treachery among the vices familiar to the English." The following lines are said to have been composed by Philip of Valois on the occasion of Edward III.'s invasion of France: Angelus est Anglus cui nunquam fidere fas est: Dum ubi dicet ave, sicut ab hoste cave.
Grozætus ex Gaguino, in Hist. Franc. Aldine, a name given to the books that issued from the press of Aldus Manutius (Latinized form of Aldo Manuzio) and his family in Venice. These, from their historic interest in the annals of printing and their intrinsic excellence, have always been held in high repute by book-lovers,-especially the publications of Aldus himself. A generous love of classic literature was Aldus's main motive when, in 1490, he founded the great house which, after revolutionizing the art of printing and book-making, went out of existence in 1597. The Aldine publications consist of editiones principes of ancient classics and corrected texts of the more modern Italians, with grammars, philologies, and other works of erudition. They are even now reckoned with manuscripts among the critical apparatus of scholars. Aldus, or rather his engraver, Francesco of Bologna, invented what they called cursive types (ie., italics), which were first used in the edition of Virgil published in 1501, a volume memorable, also, as the first octavo ever issued. Printing now became one of the fine arts. The success of the Aldine editions led to piratical counterfeits in Lyons and Florence, which even imitated the dolphin twined round an anchor, which was the Aldine trade-mark, and the alternative mottoes, "Festina lente" or "Sudavit et alsit." Aldus himself complained bitterly of these pirates: "The paper of these books is second-rate, and even smells badly." They remain to this day a puzzle and a despair to amateur book-collectors, but an expert can tell the genuine not only by the superior quality of the paper used, but by the fact that the consonants are attached to the vowels as in writing, while in the counterfeits they stand apart.
Alexanders at five sous a day. This is a phrase which Voltaire applied to soldiers. Is it the origin of the popular American locution for the shadow or imitator of a great original: A little Washington (or Blaine, or Cleveland, or what not) for a cent? Certainly in France it has given rise to a similar expression. For example, Emile Faguet ("Dix-huitième Siècle," 1890, p. 193) says, "Voltaire n'a pas été artiste pour un obole" (" Voltaire was not an artist for a cent"), or, in other words, was not at all an artist.
Alexander the Corrector, a title assumed by Alexander Cruden (17011770), the compiler of the famous Concordance of the Bible, who had been employed in various printing-offices as corrector of the press, but who used it in the higher sense of one divinely appointed to correct the morals of the nation, with especial regard to swearing and the neglect of Sabbatical observances. He petitioned Parliament for a formal appointment as a corrector for the reformation of the people, and, being confined for a brief period in an insane asylum, published an account of his detention in “The Adventures of Alexander the Corrector." (See a review in Gentleman's Magazine, xxiv. 50.)
Alexandra limp. One of the absurdest fads of toadying imitation. Princess Alexandra walks with a slight limp. Immediately after her marriage with the Prince of Wales (in 1860), an epidemic of lameness broke out among the petticoated hangers-on of royalty, which soon spread through all the female world of England, until it was happily laughed out of existence.
Alive and kicking, a common saying, meaning very much alive. The allusion is to a child in the womb after quickening.
All-fired, in English and American slang, inordinate, violent, immoderate. Not unlikely it is a euphemistic corruption of "hell-fired.”
"I know I be so all-fired jealous I can't bear to hear o' her talking, let alone writing, to you."-T. HUGHES: Tom Brown at Oxford.
All fours, To go or run on, a familiar expression, meaning to go on smoothly, successfully. Coke quotes it as an ancient saying: "But no simile holds on everything, according to the ancient saying, Nullum simile quatuor pedibus currit." The saying is still a common form of comparison with lawyers to imply that two things exactly agree.
Alliteration. The repetition of some letter or sound at the beginning of two or more words in close or immediate succession, as,—
Apt alliteration's artful aid,
a line by Churchill, which illustrates while it characterizes. In the hands of a master, alliteration becomes a legitimate source of metric effect; in those of a bungler, it is a vexation to the spirit. The mere literary trifler finds in it a medium for more or less astonishing yet entirely valueless tours de force. Alliteration is the parent of modern rhyme. In Icelandic and Gothic poetry it was reduced to a system which soon passed into our literature and became the metrical basis of early English poetry. Here is an example from Piers Plowman:
By Saint Paul, quoth Perkin,
That I shall swynke and swete
And other labors do for thy love
In covenant that thou keep
Holy Kyrke and myselfe
Fro wasters and fro wycked men
That this world destroyeth, etc.
There is here an agreeable repetition of the same initial at the most emphatic pauses of the verse. As a rule, three such letters were allowed in every couplet,-two in the first member of the distich, the other in a prominent part of the second. Thus the attention was arrested and the structure of the verse indicated by a dominant letter which ruled like the key-note of a chant. With the modern as with the classical poets, alliteration is only brought in as an occasional ornament,—not as a structural part of the verse. Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Gray, Tennyson, are especially happy in their use of it. But these great artists are careful to place their alliterative words at some distance, making them answer to one another at the beginning and end of a period, or so arranging them that they mark the metre and become the key-words of the line thus,
Heard ye the arrow hurtle in the air?
is fine, but the music would be ruined by a very slight transposition:
Heard ye the hurtling arrow in the air?
In the former case the ear is satisfied by a repetition of the h sound which it had just begun to lose; in the latter it is annoyed by the too quick succession of another aspirant.
Generally the repeated letter is found at the beginning of words, though it may occur in the second or final syllable, but in either case that syllable must be the accented part of the word, e.g. :
That hushed in grim repose expects his evening prey.-Gray.
Here, culled almost at random from the masters of inetre, are some specimens of successful alliteration:
They cheerly chaunt, and rhymes at random flung.-Spenser.
The churlish chiding of the winter's wind.-Shakespeare.
In maiden meditation, fancy free.-Shakespeare.
God never made his work for man to mend.-Dryden.
The rapture of repose.-Byron.
No gift beyond that bitter boon, our birth.-Byron.
And leavings of the lilies in thine hair.-Swinburne.
Dip down upon the Northern shore,
O sweet new year, delaying long,
Delaying long-delay no more.-Tennyson.
In the example from Swinburne, the sounds of f, l, and ab, and in that from Tennyson, the sounds of d, n, and 7, are interlinked with wondrous harmonic result.
But harmony is not the only guerdon won by alliteration. The value of dissonance in heightening an effect, in giving force to a figure, in making the sound an echo of the sense, has often been proved. In Pope's famous line,Up the high hill he heaved the huge round stone,
the continuous halts called for by the repetition of the aspirate produce a very effective idea of long-drawn effort. Almost as good is Young's
But the black blast blows hard.
The following, from Alfred Austin's " Season," is less known, but is well worth quoting:
Be dumb, ye dawdlers, whilst his spells confound
It is not only in serious writing, however, that alliteration has been found effective. In mock-heroic verse, in burlesque, and even in humorous prose, it frequently points a jest and sharpens an epigram. In Pope's line,—
Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux,
at once the resemblance and the contrasts are accentuated by the recurrent p's and b's. Sydney Smith's humor was greatly assisted by his clever use of this artifice. He thus ridicules Perceval's scheme to prevent the introduction of medicines into France during a pestilence: At what period was this great plan of conquest and constipation fully developed? In whose mind was the idea of destroying the pride and the plasters of France first engendered? Without castor oil they might for some months, to be sure, have carried on the war, but can they do without bark? Depend upon it, the absence of the materia medica will soon bring them to their senses, and the cry of Bourbon and Bolus burst forth from the Baltic to the Mediterranean." And elsewhere he likens the poorer clergy to Lazarus, "doctored by dogs, and comforted with crumbs." Curran describes a politician as one who, buoyant by putrefaction, rises as he rots." The antithesis and alliteration of the last four words