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secret soul of him, ashamed of himself, as party to that bad, base, fraudulent transaction.
It is done, then, it seems, and no mistake; the frightful Niagara Fall is shot; and the famous old three-decker, "Britannia" (Queen, Lords, Commons), with all flags flying, "Hearts of oak,' our Captain cried," and "tremendous cheers" resounding fore and aft, of Jack Tars in a jocund humour, has gone down into the monstrous deep. My friends, it is a parlous plunge; and the omens of it-as is known, are meantime a little obscure to me. No poor Indian, in his poor canoe of bark, taking it, was ever yet, that I know of, extant again, as good for much in this God's world. At best, after certain months, some twenty miles down the river, some putrid rag and tatter of him might be heard of, which the farmer of a thrifty, economic turn could utilise in way of manure. But with the "Heart of Oak," perhaps, it may fare better. Instead of mere planks and tatters of poor corpses making the shores hideous, the good old ship may come up again bodily, with flags still flying bravely, Jack Tars still cheering, cheering, and triumph of all on board, as after such a feat in the Naval line, as Blake and mighty Nelson never dreamed of. One hopes it may turn out so-though not without fear, one hopes it. In a world always of an abstruse kind, though we scientifically peer into it ever so, no strangest resuscitations need ever be wholly despaired of.
The case of our ancient friend Jonah should seem to be more or less in point here. Jonah, prophetic person of the Hebrew species, gone upon bad courses, and "fleeing from the face of the Lord"-it is a phrase, my much illuminated friends, with deep meaning now, as of old-thought it best for him to go by sea. The infatuated mortal so fleeing! It is well known whither he fled-into the devouring belly of "a great fish"-whale, say some; but we will leave the species obscure, not seeking to be wise beyond what is written. Clear finis of Jonah, you would say, and conclusion put upon him and his prophesyings. But it did not turn out so; it turned out quite other than so, as is vouched to us by the record. Jonah, engulphed in his dark prison, wondering much, as is like, where the deuce it was he had got to, tumbled about as we may fancy there, seeking his way out-tumbled and rumbled extremely, and "cried" mightily, as we read. The unhappy prophet! one pities him a little in his dark plight; but also one must confess to a little human feeling for the whale, unused to a diet of live prophets, and puzzled to dispose of this one. A prophet not to be disposed of by the understood methods of digestion. Whale strove hard to digest the prophet, diligently secreting its juices upon him; the indigestible
prophet, secreted upon corrosively, tumbled and rumbled, as was natural, not the less terribly, but the more. Finally, the poor seamonster, very sick with its prophet, and thinking, in the dim, fishy mind of it, it must have swallowed the very devil himself, incontinently "vomited" its prophet, glad to be quit of him on any terms; vomited him on dry land"-which was considerate on the poor seamonster's part-and wished him God-speed elsewhither. Jonah, equally glad, for his part, to be quit of the sea-monster, hied him to Nineveh forthwith, and was diligent in the Lord's work there. A prophet, no longer mutinous, seeking in that infatuated manner to flee; but zealous wholly to serve, as improved by his dark experiences. Venerable old piece of Jew history, by certain persons not believed, and even held flatly ridiculous. Not needful here to go into this, nor profitable in the least, if we were to go. For my own poor part, I find it about as believable as most things I read in Dryasdust, Lord Macaulay, and the like. Some image of an eternal verity I also find in it, of which there is in poor Dryasdust, nothing, or next to nothing. Image which, as heart of the matter, remains for ever precious to me, even were the mere husk and outer vehicle set aside as sheerly preposterous. But, as I said, we will not go into this. Sufficient for present purposes, that in this old History, or Mythus-call it what you will, in the God's name-inexpressibly unimportant what you call it-this thing which of old was, or perhaps was not—it does not really much matter which—we seem to have a rather pretty type or figure of the sad thing which even now is. Poor old Bull-as I figure it in an easy way-deep sunk in his dark esuriences, and "fleeing from the face of the Lord"-he, surely, as the unhappy prophet of old did, has got himself fairly pitched overboard-has pitched himself overboard, poor blockhead-and the sea-beast Democracy, for his much sins, has devoured him. Horrid sea-monster! which this while past has had its eye upon him, and "blest its maw destined to this good hour." Will its maw, now it has at length got him, really be at all the better for Bull, as able to digest, assimilate, conclusively make pulp, nutriment, and nonentity of him? Will the monster find Bull digestible? This is now the question of questions. Any accurate horoscope of Bull, in the strange, new conditions he has got into, I could not undertake to calculate. Be it far from me-the like of me-to attempt so intricate a problem! But one or two little points of prophecy one may venture to promulgate as sure. I venture to predict, with much confidence, of Bull in the belly of the sea-beast, that his tumblings and rumblings will be dreadful there. The exploits of the dark creature are already, in this kind, dreadful
enough, and may almost be held unexampled; but now, in the yet darker condition he has got into, they will needs become dreadfuller and ever dreadfuller. Truly, it seems a frightful outlook on the times now just ahead of us; and yet withal there is hope in it. While there is life there is hope; and whilst poor Bull keeps tumbling and rumbling, though never so wildly, absurdly, it is at least a sure sign there is life in him. Do but keep tumbling about sufficiently, finding yourself in a dark place, were it even the belly of a sea-beast, and there is chance you may get your way out. And this leads us to little point of prophecy, number two. It is clear to me, as the sun at noon, that poor Bull will not be digested; that in the fulness of time he will be vomited. For his mad plungings and tumblings will be such as the interior of no creature, sea, or other, could very long suffer to go on in it. The sea-beast, I well foresee, will have its own sad ado with Bull; assiduously seeking to digest him, will find the funds of tough life in him too much for it, and finally, giving him up as a clearly unmanageable morsel, will belch him forth to the light again, glad to be rid of him on any terms. That Bull, too lively-tough to be digested, in the fulness of time will be vomited and once more see the sun, may be held, I think, as sure, certain. That he will be vomited on dry land," as the prophet had the luck to be; that, improved by his dark experiences, he will cease his wretched "fleeing from the face of the Lord," hie him with haste to Nineveh, and there, with holy fear in the heart of him, with pious, persistent valour, work the Lord's work as Jonah did, sedulous to do it, or to die! I wish I were as sure of all this, my friends, as I am of his mere being vomited. But of all this also there is hope-this-which is what we accurately mean by a new heavens, and a new earth-is, one hopes, to be the haven of poor Bull, after all his weary, noisy tumblings in the dark, and sojourn in the bellies of the sea-monsters.
Of the detail of this remarkable deliverance of his being vomited, which one confidently predicts for Bull; of the precise hows and methods of it; above all, of the times and the seasons, nothing here to be said: clearly it would be nothing short of frantic in one to try to write in any detail of this. Some loose hints, guesses-too probably of the wide kind-suggestions, ditto ditto, are all that on such a matter the wisest can have to offer. Hints which had best be of the briefest, as this of "Reformed Parliament." Sure enough, Parliament swaying us as it does, till in some wise manner it be reformed, the outlooks for us are much the reverse of hopeful. And the manner of reforming it
now in vogue, by "enfranchisement" of ever new legions of merc human swine and hippopotami, creatures of the mud and the sty, and the beer-trough-this, my friends, is a palpably mad, other than quite wise manner, and it is well seen whither it is taking us-direct into the bad abysses, and the belly of Leviathan, the huge sea-monster. My poor Parliamentary friends, I see well you will never reform yourselves, save in some express image of the mud-gods, or-to phrase it otherwise-the devil. For any adequate reform of you, as I perceive, there will be needed some beneficent "pressure from without." Pressure which, it really is my hope, and almost now, alas! my sole one, may one of these days be brought to bear on you. Hero-Oliver-had we but some hour or so of him back-he, as I think, would be the right one to reform you; he. Parliament once well clutched by the throat, and tumbled right out into the river, the poor country would clearly be much the better for it, and the Thames eels no worse, I think. This, of flinging it out bodily for the eels, and the whitebait down about Greenwich to fat themselves cheerily withal, more and more gets to seem to me the one Reform urgently needed for a thing called British Parliament. And to this our Hero-Oliver, if we had him, with his old experience of Parliaments, would promptly prove himself adequate. How to get him-how to get him-jeeringly asks of me this poor idiot and the other-supposing him really the man to do the necessary turn for us? My friends, I have no patent for the finding or the making of Olivers. To the making of a Hero-Oliver there goes faculty quite other than mine. Hero-Oliver is made elsewhere; and is of the nature of a thing sent us, mainly by the upper powers. How to get himhow to get him? My friends, were he once well sent us, I will trust in him to get you, and to know what to do with you when gotten. It is not "emancipation" of any kind that some of you are like to obtain at the hands of him. And if no Hero-Oliver gets you within reasonable time-unspecified-then the devil will get you, my poor friends, and he, too, will know what to do with you; grill you very terribly, I rather fear. Some Hero-Oliver for us, or else the devil, the dark foul belly of the sea-beast, and mere tumbling and rumbling about in it through the long dark ages and cons—this, I get more and more to see conclusively, is the alternative before our poor England now. Heaven send us some Hero-Oliver, or some dozen or so, who, rolled into one, might be about equal to an Oliver! Thus only can we hope to escape from this reign of Dizzy and the devil, which I clearly see to be upon us.
My admirable friends, I have done; from me no word more of
writing on this so horrible topic. Why should I have written at all of it? Ah! why? why? I will leave the courteous Echo to answer, not, I confess, being able to do it, completely to my own satisfaction. Except for a sort of frantic rage and grief over the business, torturing one's poor inwards, and almost compelling—if one was not to fall asunder in the midst some hearty human expression of itself, one sees not with perfect clearness, why one really should at all have written. Almost seems-one's poor bit of writing or speech being no more than we see it-as if silence, of the two, might have been the better and diviner. But of a truth, it is a time this, when for the little remnant of persons, still, with some approach to scientific accuracy, properly to be called men, the grief of life has come to be great. Such is the horrid preponderance of quasi-men, phantasms, and foul hippopotami, dirtily gurgling in the mud-bath. For the Zoological Gardens hippopotamus I have by comparison a kind of respect; with the clumsy movements of him I have at odd times entertained myself, and I have grown to have some kindly feeling for the poor unwieldy brute monster. Him, in some easy disengaged way, I consider, as it were, almost tenderly, as a relative, though far removed. But, alas! they are human hippopotami, these others-good heavens! they are not removed-in some mystic and quite unfathomable way, I am bound to them and they to me; from the easy disengaged point of view I cannot, if I would, regard them they are brothers; hippopotami, alas! and I hate the dirty gurgling ways of them; yet authentic brothers withal, whom at peril of my soul I must love, as I never could the Zoological Gardens specimen. Ach Gott! it is very dreadful this- the inevitable, manifold nameless infections of it are dreadful; so that almost at times, in some access of a depressed mood, I have believed myself—I too like the rest -getting to be a hippopotamus. Positively the fact, my friendsstrange as mayhap it may seem to you-that once, in this kind of hypochondriacal humour, as if horrid transformations were in progress, I had to put up my hand to assure myself that some kind of hideous snout was not actually making its appearance. Seems it not natural enough for an unhappy person thus afflicted, to put forth his bit of protest at a time, against much that he sees going on among his borthers of the hippopotamus variety? Surely, it is natural enough: were it only to reassure himself that he is not yet quite a hippopotamus. Not, as he hopes, yet quite, he-though always, as he well knows, in danger, so constant and manifold are the subtle and nameless infections.