« PreviousContinue »
Agreed ! but will you, my dear friend, tell me your's?"
“ The liberal arts and sciences,” said Tremaine.
66 Admirable ! you can then never be unhappy, never be listless : and I should almost say, with natural good health, never unwell.”
Tremaine felt himself pressed, and replied with some quickness, “ I hope I am above a hobbyhorse."
Perhaps it would be better if you were not."
" What! reduce me to old Shandy, or his brother Toby?”
6 Who so happy ?” said Evelyn.
“ Even they had no force upon them," retorted Tremaine.
" That was because they were so fond of their hobbies, and rode so well,” rejoined Evelyn. is only where there is no decided cast of the mind that I would have it make one. Once made and cultivated, whether from duty or taste, and every little change is pleasing, for every amusement is. earned. The very right to choose one's hobby, in other words the right to leisure, or, as you would say, to retire, should be earned. If Diocletian had not earned his cabbages and his buildings at Salona, he would not have refused Maximian's advice to resume the throne.”
** Yet Maximian, at least," answered Tremaine, 66 wished to resume, and so did Charles the Fifth."
“ Neither of them had hobbies," said Evelyn ; " and what is more, neither of them were really tired of empire, though they thought so. Say what we please, my dear Sir, of viewing the world' at a distance, we are born in it and for it, and it is only under temporary disgusts, or with some object that is to make us more fit for it, such as study or economy—or at worst, when we are almost worn out, and really want rest,—that to retire can be pleasing. The mind is so active, that it must have work; and, if no other is offered, will prey upon itself.”
Tremaine felt cruelly the force of all these observations; but recollecting himself, he said, “I'm afraid
did not like Mr. Fox.” 56 I liked Mr. Pitt's politics better," ' observed Evelyn; “but to say I did not like a man whose uncommon force of mind, added to the most amiable temper and cultivated taste, made him the admiration and delight of his friends, would imply a want of candour to which I cannot plead guilty. But why do you mention him?"
“ He retired," said Tremaine. :6 I doubt it,” interrupted Evelyn. 62 And yet he was perfectly happy!” “ From the account of him I believe so," ob
served Evelyn; “ but it was because I also think he did not retire, that I believe it."
“ You surely forget St. Anne's Hill ?”
“ Not at all; but St. Anne's Hill was but twenty miles from town, and a debate called him whenever his party pleased. In short, he retired like our favourite Horace Walpole, who was always moralizing on the world, but never out of it, and who made himself business at Strawberry Hill."*
“ You forget," said Tremaine, “ Mr. Fox's novels and geraniums."
“And you,” replied Evelyn, 6 his great pursuit in Greek. Now a great pursuit is business; he therefore earned his novels and geraniums. Quod erat demonstrandum."
“ Very methodical,” cried Tremaine.
“I am a man of method, you know,” replied his friend ;“ but, as to Mr. Fox, you forgot, too, he had a partner in retirement. In truth, however, this retirement was only temporary; a mere fit of disgust, because people would not take his advice.
* Note by the Editor :-One would suppose (but the date of the publication disproves it), that Evelyn had already seen those delightful setters to Mr. Montague, in one of which Lord 'Orford says, with what joy could I bid adieu to loving and hating ! to crowds, public places, great dinners, visits, and above all to the House of Commons! But pray mind, when I retire, it shall be only to. London and Strawberry Hill.”
This in a less great man would have been called sulking No! he did not retire, and he died in harness after all."
“ You surely mistake," said Tremaine. country recalled him, and it was against his will.”
" I do not know that !” persisted Evelyn; “ at least his philosophy was soon and hastily laid aside, and at any rate the expectation, the hope of that recal, might feed him in solitude.-No, no! you must on every account bring some other example than that of Mr. Fox.”
66 The late Dean of Christ Church,' said Tremaine.
" Nemo nisi post mortem beatus,' returned Evelyn; “ the Dean still lives, and if you think he lives without rule or method, that he does not impose force upon his time, and not only make business, but engage in the very trammels of it, you are very much mistaken. By the bye,” added the doctor, as if suddenly recollecting something, and looking at his watch, “ the mention of business' reminds me that it is time I should tell you our business here so early."
Why, if it is at all pressing, I think it is time," replied Tremaine; “ but pray what is it?"
66. Neither more nor less than to get you to ride over to B, to meet your brother magistrates in their quarter sessions assembled.”
Tremaine seemed electrified, and uttered an exclamation amounting almost to a shriek; such as we may have witnessed in a well-graced actor of Lord Ogleby, when Sterling asks him if he meant to marry his sister Heidelberg.
My brother magistrates! quarter sessions !" cried he, shrinking as he spoke, “ what can possibly make you think of such a thing ?”
“ I cry your mercy," answered Evelyn, “ I thought you had been in the commission !”
Why, yes!” " And do you not mean to act? Have you not acted in Northamptonshire ?"
66 In some few instances I have."
" Why then, my friend, is it so wonderful that I should think an acting magistrate should do an act of magistracy? Do not, I beseech you, be affronted if I suppose, that what you have promised the world to do, you will not do by halves; and therefore I ask you again, to come away with me to the adjourned sessions for the West-Riding of the county of York."
It was in vain that Tremaine protested he was not well enough. Miss Evelyn said it would make him better; Jenkins, too, waited with accounts and plans ;-but that he himself was glad to put off, though Evelyn opposed it, till he heard that it really did not press for any particular day; and he allowed