ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HATE AS AN AGENT IN CIVILIZED LIFE.
It is not an uncommon
crotchet amongst benevolent
men to maintain
wickedness is necessarily
a sort of insanity, and that nobody would make
start out of the straight path unless stung to such disorder
a bee in his bonnet. Certainly when some very clever, well-educated
person like our friend, Randal Leslie, acts upon the fallacious principle
that "roguery is the best policy," it is curious to see how many points
he has in common with the insane: what over-cunning, what irritable
restlessness, what suspicious belief
that the rest of the world are in a
conspiracy against him, which it requires all his wit to baffle
to his own proper aggrandizement and profit. Perhaps some of my readers
may have thought that I have represented Randal as unnaturally far-
fetched in his schemes, too wire-drawn and subtle in his speculations;
yet that is commonly
the case with very refining intellects, when they
choose to play the knave; it helps to disguise
from themselves the
ugliness of their ambition, just as a philosopher
delights in the
ingenuity of some metaphysical process, which ends in what plain men call
"atheism," who would be infinitely
shocked and offended if he were called
Having premised thus much on behalf
of the "Natural" in Randal Leslie's
character, I must here fly off to say a word or two on the agency
human life exercised by a passion rarely
seen without a mask in our
debonair and civilized
age,--I mean Hate.
In the good old days of our forefathers, when plain speaking
blows were in fashion, when a man had his heart at the tip of his tongue,
and four feet of sharp iron dangling at his side, Hate played an honest,
open part in the theatre of the world. In fact, when we read History,
Hate seems to have "starred it" on the stage. But now, where is Hate?
Who ever sees its face? Is it that smiling, good-tempered creature, that
presses you by the hand so cordially, or that dignified
figure of state
that calls you its "Right Honourable friend"? Is it that bowing,
grateful dependent; is it that soft-eyed Amaryllis? Ask not, guess not:
you will only know it to be hate when the poison
is in your cup, or the
poniard in your breast. In the Gothic age, grim Humour painted "the
Dance of Death;" in our polished century, some sardonic wit should give
us "the Masquerade of Hate."
Certainly, the counter-passion betrays itself with ease to our gaze.
Love is rarely
a hypocrite. But Hate--how detect, and how guard against
it? It lurks where you least suspect
it; it is created by causes that
you can the least foresee; and Civilization multiplies its varieties,
whilst it favours its disguise: for Civilization increases the number of
contending interests, and Refinement renders more susceptible
the cuticle of Self-Love. But Hate comes covertly forth
from some self-interest we have crossed, or some self-love we have
wounded; and, dullards that we are, how seldom we are aware of our
offence! You may be hated by a man you have never seen in your life: you
may be hated as often by one you have loaded with benefits; you may so
walk as not to tread on a worm; but you must sit fast on your easy-chair
till you are carried out to your bier, if you would be sure not to tread
on some snake of a foe. But, then, what harm does the hate do us? Very
often the harm is as unseen
by the world as the hate is unrecognized by
us. It may come on us, unawares, in some solitary
byway of our life;
strike us in our unsuspecting privacy; thwart
as in some blessed
have never told to another; for the moment the world sees that it is Hate
that strikes us, its worst power of mischief
We have a great many names for the same passion,--Envy, Jealousy, Spite,
Prejudice, Rivalry; but they are so many synonyms for the one old heathen
demon. When the death-giving shaft of Apollo sent the plague
unhappy Achaean, it did not much matter to the victim
whether the god
were called Helios or Smintheus.
No man you ever met in the world seemed more raised above the malice
Hate than Audley Egerton: even in the hot war of politics
he had scarcely
a personal foe; and in private life he kept himself so aloof and apart
from others that he was little known, save by the benefits the waste of
conferred. That the hate of any one could reach the austere
statesman on his high pinnacle
of esteem,--you would have smiled at the
idea! But Hate is now, as it ever has been, an actual
Varieties of Life;" and, in spite of bars to the door, and policemen in
the street, no one can be said to sleep in safety while there wakes the
eye of a single foe.
The glory of Bond Street is no more. The title of Bond Street Lounger
has faded from our lips. In vain the crowd of equipages and the blaze of
shops: the renown
of Bond Street was in its pavement, its pedestrians.
Art thou old enough, O reader! to remember the Bond Street Lounger and
generation? For my part, I can just recall the decline
of the grand era. It was on its wane when, in the ambition
I first began to muse upon high neck cloths and Wellington boots. But
the ancient /habitues/--the /magni nominis umbrae/, contemporaries of
Brummell in his zenith, boon companions of George IV. in his regency--
the spot. From four to six in the hot month of June, they
to and fro, looking somewhat mournful
foreboding the extinction of their race. The Bond Street Lounger was
rarely seen alone: he was a social animal, and walked arm in arm with his
fellow-man. He did not seem born for the cares of these ruder times; not
made was he for an age in which Finsbury returns members to parliament.
He loved his small talk; and never since then has talk been so pleasingly
small. Your true Bond Street Lounger had a very dissipated look. His
youth had been spent with heroes who loved their bottle. He himself had
perhaps supped with Sheridan. He was by nature a spendthrift: you saw it
in the roll of his walk. Men who make money rarely
saunter; men who save
swagger. But saunter
and swagger both united to stamp
PRODIGAL on the Bond Street Lounger. And so familiar as he was with his
own set, and so amusingly supercilious with the vulgar
residue of mortals
whose faces were strange to Bond Street! But he is gone. The world,
though sadder for his loss, still strives to do its best without him; and
our young men, nowadays, attend to model cottages, and incline
Tractarianism. Still the place, to an unreflecting eye, has its
brilliancy and bustle; but it is a thoroughfare, not a lounge. And adown
the thoroughfare, somewhat before the hour when the throng
passed two gentlemen of an appearance exceedingly
out of keeping with the
place.--Yet both had the air of men pretending to aristocracy,--an old-
world air of respectability and stake in the country, and Church-and-
Stateism. The burlier of the two was even rather a beau in his way. He
had first learned
to dress, indeed, when Bond Street was at its acme, and
Brummell in his pride. He still retained in his garb the fashion of his
youth; only what then had spoken
of the town, now betrayed the life of
the country. His neckcloth ample and high, and of snowy whiteness, set
off to comely advantage
a face smooth-shaven, and of clear florid hues;
his coat of royal blue, with buttons in which you might have seen
yourself "veluti in speculum", was rather jauntily buttoned across a
waist that spoke of lusty middle age, free from the ambition, the
avarice, and the anxieties that fret Londoners into thread-papers; his
small-clothes, of grayish drab, loose at the thigh and tight at the knee,
were made by Brummell's own breeches-maker, and the gaiters to match
down the calf), had a manly dandyism that would have
done honour to the beau-ideal of a county member. The profession
was unmistakable,--the shovel-hat, the clerical
of the coat, the neckcloth without collar, that seemed made for its
accessory the band, and something very decorous, yet very mild, in the
whole mien of this personage, all spoke of one who was every inch the
gentleman and the parson.
"No," said the portlier of these two persons,--"no, I can't say I like
Frank's looks at all. There's certainly something on his mind. However,
I suppose it will be all out this evening."
"He dines with you at your hotel, Squire? Well, you must be kind to him.
We can't put old heads upon young shoulders."
"I don't object to his bead being young," returned the squire; "but I
wish he had a little of Randal Leslie's good sense in it. I see how it
will end; I must take him back to the country; and if he wants
occupation, why, he shall keep the hounds, and I'll put him into Brooksby
"As for the hounds," replied the parson, "hounds necessitate
I think more mischief
comes to a young man of spirit from the stables
than from any other place in the world. They ought to be exposed from
the pulpit, those stables!" added Mr. Dale, thoughtfully; "see what they
entailed upon Nimrod! But Agriculture is a healthful
and noble pursuit,
honoured by sacred
nations, and cherished by the greatest men in
classical times. For instance, the Athenians were--"
"Bother the Athenians!" cried the squire, irreverently; "you need not go
so far back for an example. It is enough for a Hazeldean that his father
and his grandfather
and his great-grandfather all farmed before him; and
deal better, I take it, than any of those musty old Athenians,
no offence to them. But I'll tell you one thing, Parson, a man to farm
well, and live in the country, should have a wife; it is half the
"As to a battle, a man who is married is pretty sure of half, though not
always the better half, of it," answered the parson, who seemed
peculiarly facetious that day. "Ah, Squire, I wish I could think Mrs.
Hazeldean right in her conjecture!--you would have the prettiest
daughter-in-law in the three kingdoms. And I do believe that, if I could
have a good talk with the young lady apart from her father, we could
remove the only objection
I know to the marriage. Those Popish errors--"
"Ah, very true!" cried the squire; "that Pope sticks hard in my gizzard.
I could excuse her being a foreigner, and not having, I suppose, a
shilling in her pocket--bless her handsome face!--but to be worshipping
images in her room instead of going to the parish
church, that will never
do. But you think you could talk her out of the Pope, and into the
"Why, I could have talked her father out of the Pope, only, when he had
not a word to say for himself, he bolted out of the window. Youth is
more ingenuous in confessing its errors."
"I own," said the squire, "that both Harry and I had a favourite notion
of ours till this Italian girl got into our heads. Do you know we both
took a great fancy to Randal's little sister,--pretty, blushing, English-
faced girl as ever you saw. And it went to Harry's good heart to see her
so neglected by that silly, fidgety mother of hers, her hair hanging
about her ears; and I thought it would be a fine way to bring Randal and
Frank more together, and enable
me to do something for Randal himself,--a
good boy with Hazeldean blood in his veins. But Violante is so handsome,
that I don't wonder at the boy's choice; and then it is our fault,--we
let them see so much of each other as children. However, I should be
very angry if Rickeybockey had been playing sly, and running
the Casino in order to give Frank an opportunity to carry on a
with his daughter."
"I don't think that would be like Riccabocca; more like him to run away
in order to deprive
Frank of the best of all occasions to court Violante,
if he so desired; for where could he see more of her than at the Casino?"
SQUIRE.--"That's well put. Considering he was only a foreign doctor,
and, for aught we know, once went about in a caravan, he is a gentleman-
like fellow, that Rickeybockey. I speak of people as I find them. But
what is your notion about Frank? I see you don't think he is in love
with Violante, after all. Out with it, man; speak plain."
PARSON.--"Since you so urge me, I own I do not think him in love with
her; neither does my Carry, who is uncommonly shrewd
in such matters."
SQUIRE.--"Your Carry, indeed!--as if she were half as shrewd
as my Harry.
PARSON (reddening).---"I don't want to make invidious remarks; but, Mr.
Hazeldean, when you sneer at my Carry, I should not be a man if I did not
SQUIRE (interrupting).--"She is a good little woman enough; but to
compare her to my Harry!"
PARSON.--"I don't compare her to your Harry; I don't compare her to any
woman in England, Sir. But you are losing your temper, Mr. Hazeldean!"
PARSON.--"And people are staring at you, Mr. Hazeldean. For decency's
yourself, and change the subject. We are just at the
Albany. I hope that we shall not find poor Captain Higginbotham as ill
as he represents himself in his letter. Ah, is it possible? No, it
cannot be. Look--look!"
SQUIRE.--"Where--what--where? Don't pinch so hard. Bless me, do you see
PARSON.--"There! the gentleman in black!"
SQUIRE.--"Gentleman in black! What! in broad daylight! Nonsense!"
Here the parson
made a spring forward, and, catching the arm of the
person in question, who himself had stopped, and was gazing intently
the pair, exclaimed,
me; but is not your name Fairfield? Ah, it is Leonard,--it
is--my dear, dear boy! What joy! So altered, so improved, but still the
same honest face. Squire, come here--your old friend, Leonard
"And he wanted to persuade
me," said the squire, shaking Leonard heartily
by the hand, "that you were the Gentleman in Black; but, indeed, he has
been in strange humours. and tantrums all the morning. Well, Master
Lenny; why, you are grown quite a gentleman! The world thrives with you,
eh? I suppose you are head-gardener to some grandee."
"Not that, sir," said Leonard, smiling; "but the world has thriven with
me at last, though not without some rough usage at starting. Ah, Mr.
Dale, you can little guess how often I have thought of you and your
discourse on Knowledge; and, what is more, how I have lived to feel the
truth of your words, and to bless the lesson."
PARSON (much touched and flattered).--"I expected nothing less from you,
Leonard; you were always a lad of great sense, and sound judgment. So
you have thought of my little discourse
on Knowledge, have you?"
SQUIRE.--"Hang knowledge! I have reason to hate the word. It burned
down three ricks of mine; the finest ricks you ever set eyes on, Mr.
PARSON.--"That was not knowledge, Squire; that was ignorance."
SQUIRE.--"Ignorance! The deuce it was. I'll just appeal
to you, Mr.
Fairfield. We have been having sad riots in the shire, and the
ringleader was just such another lad as you were!"
LEONARD.--"I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Hazeldean. In what
SQUIRE.--"Why, he was a village genius, and always reading
little tract or other; and got mighty discontented
with King, Lords, and
Commons, I suppose, and went about talking of the wrongs of the poor, and
the crimes of the rich, till, by Jove, sir, the whole mob rose one day
with pitchforks and sickles, and smash went Farmer Smart's thrashing-
machines; and on the same night my ricks were on fire. We caught the
rogues, and they were all tried; but the poor deluded labourers were let
off with a short imprisonment. The village genius, thank Heaven, is sent
packing to Botany Bay."
LEONARD.--"But did his books teach him to burn ricks and smash machines?"
PARSON.--"No; he said quite the contrary, and declared that he had no
hand in those misdoings."
SQUIRE.--"But he was proved to have excited, with his wild talk, the
boobies who had! 'Gad, sir, there was a hypocritical Quaker once, who