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remonstrative roar. How is this? Bob and I are up to them. He is muzzled! The bailies had proclaimed a general muzzling, and his master, studying strength and economy mainly, had encompassed his huge jaws in a home-made apparatus constructed out of the leather of some ancient breechin. His mouth was open as far as it could be; his lips curled up in rage,-a sort of terrible grin; his teeth gleaming, ready, from out the darkness; the strap across his mouth tense as a bowstring; his whole frame stiff with indignation and surprise; his roar asking us all round, “Did you ever see the like of this ?” He looked a statue of anger and astonishment done in Aberdeen granite.
We soon had a crowd; the Chicken held on. “A knife! » cried Bob; and a cobbler gave him his knife: you know the kind of knife, worn away obliquely to a point, and always keen. I put its edge to the tense leather; it ran before it; and then! - one sudden jerk of that enormous head, a sort of dirty mist about his mouth, no noise, - and the bright and fierce little fel. low is dropped, limp and dead. A solemn pause; this was more than any of us had bargained for. I turned the little fellow over, and saw he was quite dead; the mastiff had taken him by the small of the back like a rat, and broken it.
He looked down at his victim appeased, ashamed, and amazed; snuffed him all over, stared at him, and taking a sudden thought, turned round and trotted off. Bob took the dead dog up and said, “John, we'll bury him after tea.” “Yes,” said I, and was off after the mastiff. He made up the Cowgate at a rapid swing; he had forgotten some engagement. He turned up the Candlemaker Row, and stopped at the Harrow Inn.
There was a carrier's cart ready to start, and a keen, thin, impatient, black-a-vised little man, his hand at his gray horse's head, looking about angrily for something.
«Rab, ye thief !” said he, aiming a kick at my great friend, who drew cringing up, and avoiding the heavy shoe with more agility than dignity, and, watching his master's eye, slunk dismayed under the cart,- his ears down, and as much as he had of tail down too.
What a man this must be,—thought 1,- to whom my tremendous hero turns tail! The carrier saw the muzzle hanging, cut and useless, from his neck, and I eagerly told him the story, which Bob and I always thought, and still think, Homer or King David or Sir Walter alone were worthy to rehearse. The severe little man was mitigated, and condescended to say, “Rab, my man, puir Rabbie,” — whereupon the stump of a tail rose up, the ears were cocked, the eyes filled, and were comforted; the two friends were reconciled. «Hupp!” and a stroke of the whip were given to Jess; and off went the three.
Bob and I buried the Game Chicken that night (we had not much of a tea) in the back green of his house in Melville Street, No. 17, with considerable gravity and silence; and being at the time in the “Iliad,” and, like all boys, Trojans, we called him Hector, of course.
From “Rab and His Friends. »
SIR THOMAS BROWNE
T he first copy of Sir Thomas Browne's “Religio Medici” apw peared in 1643, when it was printed from one of his manu
scripts without his consent. He was thus forced to become famous, for when his corrected version of the essay appeared, it gave him at once the place he still holds among the most notable essayists of modern times. He followed it by his treatise on « Vulgar Errors,” « Urn Burial,” and “The Garden of Cyrus.” After his death in 1682, his « Christian Morals” and “Miscellanies » were published by his literary executors.
The Religio Medici » itself is its author's best biography. “Now for my life," he writes in it; -“it is a miracle of thirty years, which to relate were not a history, but a piece of poetry, and would sound to common ears like a fable; for the world, I count it not an inn, but a hospital; and a place not to live, but to die in.) As we examine the intellect capable of this conception, we are more and more astonished at its unlikeness to what we are accustomed to assume as realities. Living in the England of the civil wars, in a world where Episcopalian and Presbyterian, Calvinist and Catholic were hacking and stabbing, torturing and burning and decapitating, he summed up bis politics and his theology in the sentence: «Natura nihil agit frustra" :
Nothing is vain that Nature does;
Resting secure in this faith, he uttered no anathemas and split no skulls for conscience' sake. To him as to Goethe in the midst of the Napoleonic wars, the disturbance produced by the evil passions of ambition, hate, and anger were unreal and transitory. The universe was still sane. The insane world in which others lived — Napoleon's world dominated by the God who sides with the best artillery - had no power over him. If it be true that at the sack of Syracuse, Archimedes was killed because he rebuked the victors for interrupting his mathematics, his aloofness from the world of brutal struggle for survival illustrates a frame of mind closely related to that in which Doctor Browne quoted and translated Lucan:
« Victurosque Dei celant ut vivere durent
Felix esse mori:))
“We're all deluded, vainly searching ways
To make us happy by the length of days;
It is hard for minds with modern habits fully to understand a thinker to whom Paracelsus was a scientific authority, witchcraft a reality, and the primum mobile a scientific definition, but the «Religio Medici» derives an additional charm from the imperfections which it owes to the superstition or the imperfect definitions of its times. It is never likely to go out of date. The passage of time which reveals its errors gives it a greater value as one of the most remarkable of those rare documents in which the human mind has recorded realities, both of strength and weakness, belonging not merely to the individual, but to humanity itself.
The author of «Religio Medici » was born in London, October 19th, 1605. By profession he was a physician, educated at Oxford and Leyden in all the learning of his day. «Religio Medici » appeared in the year in which Charles I. left London to take the field against the Parliament, but Doctor Browne practiced medicine and wrote philosophy without interruption until the Restoration. Charles II. knighted him, and he lived to the age of seventy-seven, dying, October 19th, 1682, on the anniversary of his birth.
W. V. B.
Cor my religion, though there be several circumstances that F might persuade the world I have none at all, as the gen
eral scandal of my profession, the natural course of my studies, the indifferency of my behavior and discourse in matters of religion, - neither violently defending one, nor with that common ardor and contention opposing another - yet in despite hereof, I dare, without usurpation, assume the honorable style of a Christian. Not that I merely owe this title to the font, my education, or clime wherein I was born, as being bred up either to confirm those principles my parents instilled into my understanding, or by a general consent proceed into the religion of my country: but having in my riper years and confirmed judg. ment, seen and examined all, I find myself obliged, by the principles of grace, and the law of mine own reason, to embrace no other name but this: neither doth herein my zeal so far make me forget the general charity I owe unto humanity, as rather to hate than pity Turks and infidels, and (what is worse) Jews; rather contenting myself to enjoy that happy style, than maligning those who refuse so glorious a title.
But because the name of a Christian is become too general to express our faith, there being a geography of religion as well as lands, and every clime distinguished not only by their laws and limits, but circumscribed by their doctrines and rules of faith; to be particular, I am of that reformed new-cast religion, wherein I dislike nothing but the name: of the same belief our Savior taught, the Apostles disseminated, the fathers authorized, and martyrs confirmed; but by the sinister ends of princes, the ambition and avarice of prelates, and the fatal corruption of the times, so decayed, impaired, and fallen from its native beauty, that it required the careful and charitable hands of these times to restore it to its primitive integrity. Now the accidental occasion whereupon, the slender means whereby, the low and abject condition of the person by whom so good a work was set on foot, which in our adversaries beget contempt and scorn, fills me with wonder, and is the very same objection the insolent pagans first cast at Christ and his Disciples.
Yet have I not so shaken hands with those desperate resolutions, who had rather venture at large their decayed bottom than bring her in to be new trimmed in the dock; who had rather promiscuously retain all, than abridge any, and obstinately be what they are, than what they have been, as to stand in diameter and sword's point with them: we have reformed from them, not against them; for omitting those improperations, and terms of scurrility betwixt us, which only difference our affections, and not our cause, there is between us one common name and appellation, one faith and necessary body of principles common to us both; and therefore I am not scrupulous to converse and live with them, to enter their churches in defect of ours, and either pray with them, or for them. I could never perceive any rational consequence from those many texts which prohibit the children of Israel to pollute themselves with the temple sof the heathen; we being all Christians, and not divided by such detested impieties as might profane our prayers, or the place wherein we make