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Samuel Butler's Cambridge Pieces by Samuel Butler

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This etext was produced from the 1914 A. C. Fifield edition by David
Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk


by Samuel Butler

On English Composition and Other Matters
Our Tour
Translation from an Unpublished Work of Herodotus
The shield of Achilles, with variations
Prospectus of the Great Split Society
A skit on examinations
An Eminent Person
Napoleon at St. Helena
The Battle of Alma Mater
On the Italian Priesthood
Samuel Butler and the Simeonites


This essay is believed to be the first composition by Samuel Butler
that appeared in print. It was published in the first number of the
EAGLE, a magazine written and edited by members of St. John's
College, Cambridge, in the Lent Term, 1858, when Butler was in his
fourth and last year of residence.

[From the Eagle, Vol. 1, No. 1, Lent Term, 1858, p. 41.]

I sit down scarcely knowing how to grasp my own meaning, and give it
a tangible shape in words; and yet it is concerning this very
expression of our thoughts in words that I wish to speak. As I muse
things fall more into their proper places, and, little fit for the
task as my confession pronounces me to be, I will try to make clear
that which is in my mind.

I think, then, that the style of our authors of a couple of hundred
years ago was more terse and masculine than that of those of the
present day, possessing both more of the graphic element, and more
vigour, straightforwardness, and conciseness. Most readers will
have anticipated me in admitting that a man should be clear of his
meaning before he endeavours to give to it any kind of utterance,
and that having made up his mind what to say, the less thought he
takes how to say it, more than briefly, pointedly, and plainly, the
better; for instance, Bacon tells us, "Men fear death as children
fear to go in the dark"; he does not say, what I can imagine a last
century writer to have said, "A feeling somewhat analogous to the
dread with which children are affected upon entering a dark room, is
that which most men entertain at the contemplation of death."
Jeremy Taylor says, "Tell them it is as much intemperance to weep
too much as to laugh too much"; he does not say, "All men will
acknowledge that laughing admits of intemperance, but some men may
at first sight hesitate to allow that a similar imputation may be at
times attached to weeping."

I incline to believe that as irons support the rickety child, whilst
they impede the healthy one, so rules, for the most part, are but
useful to the weaker among us. Our greatest masters in language,
whether prose or verse, in painting, music, architecture, or the
like, have been those who preceded the rule and whose excellence
gave rise thereto; men who preceded, I should rather say, not the
rule, but the discovery of the rule, men whose intuitive perception
led them to the right practice. We cannot imagine Homer to have
studied rules, and the infant genius of those giants of their art,
Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven, who composed at the ages of seven,
five, and ten, must certainly have been unfettered by them: to the
less brilliantly endowed, however, they have a use as being
compendious safeguards against error. Let me then lay down as the
best of all rules for writing, "forgetfulness of self, and
carefulness of the matter in hand." No simile is out of place that
illustrates the subject; in fact a simile as showing the symmetry of
this world's arrangement, is always, if a fair one, interesting;
every simile is amiss that leads the mind from the contemplation of
its object to the contemplation of its author. This will apply
equally to the heaping up of unnecessary illustrations: it is as
great a fault to supply the reader with too many as with too few;
having given him at most two, it is better to let him read slowly
and think out the rest for himself than to surfeit him with an
abundance of explanation. Hood says well,

And thus upon the public mind intrude it;
As if I thought, like Otaheitan cooks,
No food was fit to eat till I had chewed it.

A book that is worth reading will be worth reading thoughtfully, and
there are but few good books, save certain novels, that it is well
to read in an arm-chair. Most will bear standing to. At the
present time we seem to lack the impassiveness and impartiality
which was so marked among the writings of our forefathers, we are
seldom content with the simple narration of fact, but must rush off
into an almost declamatory description of them; my meaning will be
plain to all who have studied Thucydides. The dignity of his
simplicity is, I think, marred by those who put in the accessories
which seem thought necessary in all present histories. How few
writers of the present day would not, instead of [Greek text which
cannot be reproduced] rather write, "Night fell upon this horrid
scene of bloodshed." {1} This is somewhat a matter of taste, but I
think I shall find some to agree with me in preferring for plain
narration (of course I exclude oratory) the unadorned gravity of
Thucydides. There are, indeed, some writers of the present day who
seem returning to the statement of facts rather than their
adornment, but these are not the most generally admired. This
simplicity, however, to be truly effective must be unstudied; it
will not do to write with affected terseness, a charge which, I
think, may be fairly preferred against Tacitus; such a style if ever
effective must be so from excess of artifice and not from that
artlessness of simplicity which I should wish to see prevalent among

Neither again is it well to write and go over the ground again with
the pruning knife, though this fault is better than the other; to
take care of the matter, and let the words take care of themselves,
is the best safeguard.

To this I shall be answered, "Yes, but is not a diamond cut and
polished a more beautiful object than when rough?" I grant it, and
more valuable, inasmuch as it has run chance of spoliation in the
cutting, but I maintain that the thinking man, the man whose
thoughts are great and worth the consideration of others, will "deal
in proprieties," and will from the mine of his thoughts produce
ready-cut diamonds, or rather will cut them there spontaneously, ere
ever they see the light of day.

There are a few points still which it were well we should consider.
We are all too apt when we sit down to study a subject to have
already formed our opinion, and to weave all matter to the warp of
our preconceived judgment, to fall in with the received idea, and,
with biassed minds, unconsciously to follow in the wake of public
opinion, while professing to lead it. To the best of my belief half
the dogmatism of those we daily meet is in consequence of the
unwitting practices of this self-deception. Simply let us not talk
about what we do not understand, save as learners, and we shall not
by writing mislead others.

There is no shame in being obliged to others for opinions, the shame
is not being honest enough to acknowledge it: I would have no one
omit to put down a useful thought because it was not his own,
provided it tended to the better expression of his matter, and he
did not conceal its source; let him, however, set out the borrowed
capital to interest. One word more and I have done. With regard to
our subject, the best rule is not to write concerning that about
which we cannot at our present age know anything save by a process
which is commonly called cram: on all such matters there are abler
writers than ourselves; the men, in fact, from whom we cram. Never
let us hunt after a subject, unless we have something which we feel
urged on to say, it is better to say nothing; who are so ridiculous
as those who talk for the sake of talking, save only those who write
for the sake of writing? But there are subjects which all young men
think about. Who can take a walk in our streets and not think? The
most trivial incident has ramifications, to whose guidance if we
surrender our thoughts, we are oft-times led upon a gold mine
unawares, and no man whether old or young is worse for reading the
ingenuous and unaffected statement of a young man's thoughts. There
are some things in which experience blunts the mental vision, as
well as others in which it sharpens it. The former are best
described by younger men, our province is not to lead public
opinion, is not in fact to ape our seniors, and transport ourselves
from our proper sphere, it is rather to show ourselves as we are, to
throw our thoughts before the public as they rise, without requiring
it to imagine that we are right and others wrong, but hoping for the
forbearance which I must beg the reader to concede to myself, and
trusting to the genuineness and vigour of our design to attract it
may be more than a passing attention.

I am aware that I have digressed from the original purpose of my
essay, but I hope for pardon, if, believing the digression to be of
more value than the original matter, I have not checked my pen, but
let it run on even as my heart directed it.



This essay was published in the EAGLE, Vol. 1, No. 5. in the Easter
Term, 1859. It describes a holiday trip made by Butler in June,
1857, in company with a friend whose name, which was Joseph Green,
Butler Italianised as Giuseppe Verdi. I am permitted by Professor
Bonney to quote a few words from a private letter of his referring
to Butler's tour: "It was remarkable in the amount of ground
covered and the small sum spent, but still more in the direction
taken in the first part of the tour. Dauphine was then almost a
TERRA INCOGNITA to English or any other travellers."

[From the Eagle, Vol. 1, No. 5. Easter Term, 1859, p. 241.]

As the vacation is near, and many may find themselves with three
weeks' time on their hand, five-and-twenty pounds in their pockets,
and the map of Europe before them, perhaps the following sketch of
what can be effected with such money and in such time, may not come
amiss to those, who, like ourselves a couple of years ago, are in
doubt how to enjoy themselves most effectually after a term's hard

To some, probably, the tour we decided upon may seem too hurried,
and the fatigue too great for too little profit; still even to these
it may happen that a portion of the following pages may be useful.
Indeed, the tour was scarcely conceived at first in its full extent,
originally we had intended devoting ourselves entirely to the French
architecture of Normandy and Brittany. Then we grew ambitious, and
stretched our imaginations to Paris. Then the longing for a snowy
mountain waxed, and the love of French Gothic waned, and we
determined to explore the French Alps. Then we thought that we must
just step over them and take a peep into Italy, and so, disdaining
to return by the road we had already travelled, we would cut off the
north-west corner of Italy, and cross the Alps again into
Switzerland, where, of course, we must see the cream of what was to
be seen; and then thinking it possible that our three weeks and our
five-and-twenty pounds might be looking foolish, we would return,
via Strasburg to Paris, and so to Cambridge. This plan we
eventually carried into execution, spending not a penny more money,
nor an hour's more time; and, despite the declarations which met us
on all sides that we could never achieve anything like all we had
intended, I hope to be able to show how we did achieve it, and how
anyone else may do the like if he has a mind. A person with a good
deal of energy might do much more than this; we ourselves had at one
time entertained thoughts of going to Rome for two days, and thence
to Naples, walking over the Monte St. Angelo from Castellamare to
Amalfi (which for my own part I cherish with fond affection, as
being far the most lovely thing that I have ever seen), and then
returning as with a Nunc Dimittis, and I still think it would have
been very possible; but, on the whole, such a journey would not have
been so well, for the long tedious road between Marseilles and Paris
would have twice been traversed by us, to say nothing of the sea
journey between Marseilles and Civita Vecchia. However, no more of
what might have been, let us proceed to what was.

If on Tuesday, June 9 [i.e. 1857], you leave London Bridge at six
o'clock in the morning, you will get (via Newhaven) to Dieppe at
fifteen minutes past three. If on landing you go to the Hotel
Victoria, you will find good accommodation and a table d'hote at
five o'clock; you can then go and admire the town, which will not be
worth admiring, but which will fill you with pleasure on account of
the novelty and freshness of everything you meet; whether it is the
old bonnet-less, short-petticoated women walking arm and arm with
their grandsons, whether the church with its quaint sculpture of the
Entombment of our Lord, and the sad votive candles ever guttering in
front of it, or whether the plain evidence that meets one at every
touch and turn, that one is among people who live out of doors very
much more than ourselves, or what not--all will be charming, and if
you are yourself in high spirits and health, full of anticipation
and well inclined to be pleased with all you see, Dieppe will appear
a very charming place, and one which a year or two hence you will
fancy that you would like to revisit. But now we must leave it at
forty-five minutes past seven, and at twelve o'clock on Tuesday
night we shall find ourselves in Paris. We drive off to the Hotel
de Normandie in the Rue St. Honore, 290 (I think), stroll out and
get a cup of coffee, and return to bed at one o'clock.

The next day we spent in Paris, and of it no account need be given,
save perhaps the reader may be advised to ascend the Arc de
Triomphe, and not to waste his time in looking at Napoleon's hats
and coats and shoes in the Louvre; to eschew all the picture rooms
save the one with the Murillos, and the great gallery, and to dine
at the Diners de Paris. If he asks leave to wash his hands before
dining there, he will observe a little astonishment among the
waiters at the barbarian cleanliness of the English, and be shown
into a little room, where a diminutive bowl will be proffered to
him, of which more anon; let him first (as we did) wash or rather
sprinkle his face as best he can, and then we will tell him after
dinner what we generally do with the bowls in question. I forget
how many things they gave us, but I am sure many more than would be
pleasant to read, nor do I remember any circumstance connected with
the dinner, save that on occasion of one of the courses, the waiter
perceiving a little perplexity on my part as to how I should manage
an artichoke served a la francaise, feelingly removed my knife and
fork from my hand and cut it up himself into six mouthfuls,
returning me the whole with a sigh of gratitude for the escape of
the artichoke from a barbarous and unnatural end; and then after
dinner they brought us little tumblers of warm lavender scent and
water to wash our mouths out, and the little bowls to spit into; but
enough of eating, we must have some more coffee at a cafe on the
Boulevards, watch the carriages and the people and the dresses and
the sunshine and all the pomps and vanities which the Boulevards
have not yet renounced; return to the inn, fetch our knapsacks, and
be off to the Chemin de Fer de Lyon by forty-five minutes past
seven; our train leaves at five minutes past eight, and we are
booked to Grenoble. All night long the train speeds towards the
south. We leave Sens with its grey cathedral solemnly towering in
the moonlight a mile on the left. (How few remember, that to the
architect William of Sens we owe Canterbury Cathedral.)
Fontainebleau is on the right, station after station wakes up our
dozing senses, while ever in our ears are ringing as through the dim
light we gaze on the surrounding country, "the pastures of
Switzerland and the poplar valleys of France."

It is still dark--as dark, that is, as the midsummer night will
allow it to be, when we are aware that we have entered on a tunnel;
a long tunnel, very long--I fancy there must be high hills above it;
for I remember that some few years ago when I was travelling up from
Marseilles to Paris in midwinter, all the way from Avignon (between
which place and Chalon the railway was not completed), there had
been a dense frozen fog; on neither hand could anything beyond the
road be descried, while every bush and tree was coated with a thick
and steadily increasing fringe of silver hoar-frost, for the night
and day, and half-day that it took us to reach this tunnel, all was
the same--bitter cold dense fog and ever silently increasing hoar-
frost: but on emerging from it, the whole scene was completely
changed; the air was clear, the sun shining brightly, no hoar-frost
and only a few patches of fast melting snow, everything in fact
betokening a thaw of some days' duration. Another thing I know
about this tunnel which makes me regard it with veneration as a
boundary line in countries, namely, that on every high ground after
this tunnel on clear days Mont Blanc may be seen. True, it is only
very rarely seen, but I have known those who have seen it; and
accordingly touch my companion on the side, and say, "We are within
sight of the Alps"; a few miles farther on and we are at Dijon. It
is still very early morning, I think about three o'clock, but we
feel as if we were already at the Alps, and keep looking anxiously
out for them, though we well know that it is a moral impossibility
that we should see them for some hours at the least. Indian corn
comes in after Dijon; the oleanders begin to come out of their tubs;
the peach trees, apricots, and nectarines unnail themselves from the
walls, and stand alone in the open fields. The vineyards are still
scrubby, but the practised eye readily detects with each hour some
slight token that we are nearer the sun than we were, or, at any
rate, farther from the North Pole. We don't stay long at Dijon nor
at Chalon, at Lyons we have an hour to wait; breakfast off a basin
of cafe au lait and a huge hunch of bread, get a miserable wash,
compared with which the spittoons of the Diners de Paris were
luxurious, and return in time to proceed to St. Rambert, whence the
railroad branches off to Grenoble. It is very beautiful between
Lyons and St. Rambert. The mulberry trees show the silkworm to be a
denizen of the country, while the fields are dazzlingly brilliant
with poppies and salvias; on the other side of the Rhone rise high
cloud-capped hills, but towards the Alps we strain our eyes in vain.

At St. Rambert the railroad to Grenoble branches off at right angles
to the main line, it was then only complete as far as Rives, now it
is continued the whole way to Grenoble; by which the reader will
save some two or three hours, but miss a beautiful ride from Rives
to Grenoble by the road. The valley bears the name of Gresivaudan.
It is very rich and luxuriant, the vineyards are more Italian, the
fig trees larger than we have yet seen them, patches of snow whiten
the higher hills, and we feel that we are at last indeed among the
outskirts of the Alps themselves. I am told that we should have
stayed at Voreppe, seen the Grande Chartreuse (for which see
Murray), and then gone on to Grenoble, but we were pressed for time
and could not do everything. At Grenoble we arrived about two
o'clock, washed comfortably at last and then dined; during dinner a
caleche was preparing to drive us on to Bourg d'Oisans, a place some
six or seven and thirty miles farther on, and by thirty minutes past
three we find ourselves reclining easily within it, and digesting
dinner with the assistance of a little packet, for which we paid
one-and-fourpence at the well-known shop of Mr. Bacon, Market-
square, Cambridge. It is very charming. The air is sweet, warm,
and sunny, there has been bad weather for some days here, but it is
clearing up; the clouds are lifting themselves hour by hour, we are
evidently going to have a pleasant spell of fine weather. The
caleche jolts a little, and the horse is decidedly shabby, both qua
horse and qua harness, but our moustaches are growing, and our
general appearance is in keeping. The wine was very pleasant at
Grenoble, and we have a pound of ripe cherries between us; so, on
the whole, we would not change with his Royal Highness Prince Albert
or all the Royal Family, and jolt on through the long straight
poplar avenue that colonnades the road above the level swamp and
beneath the hills, and turning a sharp angle enter Vizille, a
wretched place, only memorable because from this point we begin
definitely, though slowly, to enter the hills and ascend by the side
of the Romanche through the valley, which that river either made or
found--who knows or cares? But we do know very well that we are
driving up a very exquisitely beautiful valley, that the Romanche
takes longer leaps from rock to rock than she did, that the hills
have closed in upon us, that we see more snow each time the valley
opens, that the villages get scantier, and that at last a great
giant iceberg walls up the way in front, and we feast our eyes on
the long-desired sight till after that the setting sun has tinged it
purple (a sure sign of a fine day), its ghastly pallor shows us that
the night is upon us. It is cold, and we are not sorry at half-past
nine to find ourselves at Bourg d'Oisans, where there is a very fair
inn kept by one Martin; we get a comfortable supper of eggs and go
to bed fairly tired.

This we must remind the reader is Thursday night, on Tuesday morning
we left London, spent one day in Paris, and are now sleeping among
the Alps, sharpish work, but very satisfactory, and a prelude to
better things by and by. The next day we made rather a mistake,
instead of going straight on to Briancon we went up a valley towards
Mont Pelvoux (a mountain nearly 14,000 feet high), intending to
cross a high pass above La Berarde down to Briancon, but when we got
to St. Christophe we were told the pass would not be open till
August, so returned and slept a second night at Bourg d'Oisans. The
valley, however, was all that could be desired, mingled sun and
shadow, tumbling river, rich wood, and mountain pastures, precipices
all around, and snow-clad summits continually unfolding themselves;
Murray is right in calling the valley above Venosc a scene of savage
sterility. At Venosc, in the poorest of hostelries was a tuneless
cracked old instrument, half piano, half harpsichord--how it ever
found its way there we were at a loss to conceive--and an irrelevant
clock that struck seven times by fits and starts at its own
convenience during our one o'clock dinner; we returned to Bourg
d'Oisans at seven, and were in bed by nine.

Saturday, June 13.

Having found that a conveyance to Briancon was beyond our finances,
and that they would not take us any distance at a reasonable charge,
we determined to walk the whole fifty miles in the day, and half-way
down the mountains, sauntering listlessly accordingly left Bourg
d'Oisans at a few minutes before five in the morning. The clouds
were floating over the uplands, but they soon began to rise, and
before seven o'clock the sky was cloudless; along the road were
passing hundreds of people (though it was only five in the morning)
in detachments of from two to nine, with cattle, sheep, pigs, and
goats, picturesque enough but miserably lean and gaunt: we leave
them to proceed to the fair, and after a three miles' level walk
through a straight poplar avenue, commence ascending far above the
Romanche; all day long we slowly ascend, stopping occasionally to
refresh ourselves with vin ordinaire and water, but making steady
way in the main, though heavily weighted and under a broiling sun,
at one we reach La Grave, which is opposite the Mont de Lans, a most
superb mountain. The whole scene equal to anything in Switzerland,
as far as the mountains go. The Mont de Lans is opposite the
windows, seeming little more than a stone's throw off, and causing
my companion (whose name I will, with his permission, Italianise
into that of the famous composer Giuseppe Verdi) to think it a mere
nothing to mount to the top of those sugared pinnacles which he will
not believe are many miles distant in reality. After dinner we
trudge on, the scenery constantly improving, the snow drawing down
to us, and the Romanche dwindling hourly; we reach the top of the
Col du Lautaret, which Murray must describe; I can only say that it
is first-class scenery. The flowers are splendid, acres and acres
of wild narcissus, the Alpine cowslip, gentians, large purple and
yellow anemones, soldanellas, and the whole kith and kin of the high
Alpine pasture flowers; great banks of snow lie on each side of the
road, and probably will continue to do so till the middle of July,
while all around are glaciers and precipices innumerable.

We only got as far as Monetier after all, for, reaching that town at
half-past eight, and finding that Briancon was still eight miles
further on, we preferred resting there at the miserable but cheap
and honest Hotel de l'Europe; had we gone on a little farther we
should have found a much better one, but we were tired with our
forty-two miles' walk, and, after a hasty supper and a quiet pipe,
over which we watch the last twilight on the Alps above Briancon, we
turn in very tired but very much charmed.

Sunday morning was the clearest and freshest morning that ever
tourists could wish for, the grass crisply frozen (for we are some
three or four thousand feet above the sea), the glaciers descending
to a level but little higher than the road; a fine range of Alps in
front over Briancon, and the road winding down past a new river (for
we have long lost the Romanche) towards the town, which is some six
or seven miles distant.

It was a fete--the Fete du bon Dieu, celebrated annually on this day
throughout all this part of the country; in all the villages there
were little shrines erected, adorned with strings of blue
corncockle, narcissus heads, and poppies, bunches of green, pink,
and white calico, moss and fir-tree branches, and in the midst of
these tastefully arranged bowers was an image of the Virgin and her
Son, with whatever other saints the place was possessed of.

At Briancon, which we reached (in a trap) at eight o'clock, these
demonstrations were more imposing, but less pleasing; the soldiers,
too, were being drilled and exercised, and the whole scene was one
of the greatest animation, such as Frenchmen know how to exhibit on
the morning of a gala day.

Leaving our trap at Briancon and making a hasty breakfast at the
Hotel de la Paix, we walked up a very lonely valley towards
Cervieres. I dare not say how many hours we wended our way up the
brawling torrent without meeting a soul or seeing a human
habitation; it was fearfully hot too, and we longed for vin
ordinaire; Cervieres seemed as though it never would come--still the
same rugged precipices, snow-clad heights, brawling torrent, and
stony road, butterflies beautiful and innumerable, flowers to match,
sky cloudless. At last we are there; through the town, or rather
village, the river rushes furiously, the dismantled houses and
gaping walls affording palpable traces of the fearful inundations of
the previous year, not a house near the river was sound, many quite
uninhabitable, and more such as I am sure few of us would like to
inhabit. However, it is Cervieres such as it is, and we hope for
our vin ordinaire; but, alas!--not a human being, man, woman or
child, is to be seen, the houses are all closed, the noonday quiet
holds the hill with a vengeance, unbroken, save by the ceaseless
roar of the river.

While we were pondering what this loneliness could mean, and
wherefore we were unable to make an entrance even into the little
auberge that professed to loger a pied et a cheval, a kind of low
wail or chaunt began to make itself heard from the other side of the
river; wild and strange, yet full of a music of its own, it took my
friend and myself so much by surprise that we almost thought for the
moment that we had trespassed on to the forbidden ground of some
fairy people who lived alone here, high amid the sequestered valleys
where mortal steps were rare, but on going to the corner of the
street we were undeceived indeed, but most pleasurably surprised by
the pretty spectacle that presented itself.

For from the church opposite first were pouring forth a string of
young girls clad in their Sunday's best, then followed the youths,
as in duty bound, then came a few monks or friars or some such folk,
carrying the Virgin, then the men of the place, then the women and
lesser children, all singing after their own rough fashion; the
effect was electrical, for in a few minutes the procession reached
us, and dispersing itself far and wide, filled the town with as much
life as it had before been lonely. It was like a sudden
introduction of the whole company on to the theatre after the stage
has been left empty for a minute, and to us was doubly welcome as
affording us some hope of our wine.

"Vous etes Piedmontais, monsieur," said one to me. I denied the
accusation. "Alors vous etes Allemands." I again denied and said
we were English, whereon they opened their eyes wide and said,
"Anglais,--mais c'est une autre chose," and seemed much pleased, for
the alliance was then still in full favour. It caused them a little
disappointment that we were Protestants, but they were pleased at
being able to tell us that there was a Protestant minister higher up
the valley which we said would "do us a great deal of pleasure."

The vin ordinaire was execrable--they only, however, charged us nine
sous for it, and on our giving half a franc and thinking ourselves
exceedingly stingy for not giving a whole one, they shouted out
"Voila les Anglais, voila la generosite des Anglais," with evident
sincerity. I thought to myself that the less we English corrupted
the primitive simplicity of these good folks the better; it was
really refreshing to find several people protesting about one's
generosity for having paid a halfpenny more for a bottle of wine
than was expected; at Monetier we asked whether many English came
there, and they told us yes, a great many, there had been fifteen
there last year, but I should imagine that scarcely fifteen could
travel up past Cervieres, and yet the English character be so little
known as to be still evidently popular.

I don't know what o'clock it was when we left Cervieres--midday I
should imagine; we left the river on our left and began to ascend a
mountain pass called Izouard, as far as I could make out, but will
not pledge myself to have caught the name correctly; it was more
lonely than ever, very high, much more snow on the top than on the
previous day over the Col du Lautaret, the path scarcely
distinguishable, indeed quite lost in many places, very beautiful
but not so much so as the Col du Lautaret, and better on descending
towards Queyras than on ascending; from the summit of the pass the
view of the several Alpine chains about is very fine, but from the
entire absence of trees of any kind it is more rugged and barren
than I altogether liked; going down towards Queyras we found the
letters S.I.C. marked on a rock, evidently with the spike of an
alpine-stock,--we wondered whether they stood for St. John's

We reached Queyras at about four very tired, for yesterday's work
was heavy, and refresh ourselves with a huge omelette and some good
Provence wine.

Reader, don't go into that auberge, carry up provision from
Briancon, or at any rate carry the means of eating it: they have
only two knives in the place, one for the landlord and one for the
landlady; these are clasp knives, and they carry them in their
pockets; I used the landlady's, my companion had the other; the room
was very like a cow-house--dark, wooden, and smelling strongly of
manure; outside I saw that one of the beams supporting a huge
projecting balcony that ran round the house was resting on a capital
of white marble--a Lombard capital that had evidently seen better
days, they could not tell us whence it came. Meat they have none,
so we gorge ourselves with omelette, and at half-past five trudge
on, for we have a long way to go yet, and no alternative but to

Abries is the name of the place we stopped at that night; it was
pitch-dark when we reached it, and the whole town was gone to bed,
but by great good luck we found a cafe still open (the inn was shut
up for the night), and there we lodged. I dare not say how many
miles we had walked, but we were still plucky, and having prevailed
at last on the landlord to allow us clean sheets on our beds instead
of the dirty ones he and his wife had been sleeping on since
Christmas, and making the best of the solitary decanter and pie dish
which was all the washing implements we were allowed (not a toothmug
even extra), we had coffee and bread and brandy for supper, and
retired at about eleven to the soundest sleep in spite of our
somewhat humble accommodation. If nasty, at any rate it was cheap;
they charged us a franc a piece for our suppers, beds, and two
cigars; we went to the inn to breakfast, where, though the
accommodation was somewhat better, the charge was most extortionate.
Murray is quite right in saying the travellers should bargain
beforehand at this inn (chez Richard); I think they charged us five
francs for the most ordinary breakfast. From this place we started
at about nine, and took a guide as far as the top of the Col de la
Croix Haute, having too nearly lost our way yesterday; the paths
have not been traversed much yet, and the mule and sheep droppings
are but scanty indicators of the direction of paths of which the
winds and rain have obliterated all other traces.

The Col de la Croix Haute is rightly named, it was very high, but
not so hard to ascend until we reached the snow. On the Italian
side it is terribly steep, from the French side, however, the slope
is more gradual. The snow was deeper at the top of this pass than
on either of the two previous days; in many places we sank deep in,
but had no real difficulty in crossing; on the Italian side the snow
was gone and the path soon became clear enough, so we sent our guide
to the right about and trudged on alone.

A sad disappointment, however, awaited us, for instead of the clear
air that we had heretofore enjoyed, the clouds were rolling up from
the valley, and we entirely lost the magnificent view of the plains
of Lombardy which we ought to have seen; this was our first mishap,
and we bore it heroically. A lunch may be had at Prali, and there
the Italian tongue will be heard for the first time.

We must have both looked very questionable personages, for I
remember that a man present asked me for a cigar; I gave him two,
and he proffered a sou in return as a matter of course.

Shortly below Prali the clouds drew off, or rather we reached a
lower level, so that they were above us, and now the walnut and the
chestnut, the oak and the beech have driven away the pines of the
other side, not that there were many of them; soon, too, the
vineyards come in, the Indian corn again flourishes everywhere, the
cherries grow ripe as we descend, and in an hour or two we felt to
our great joy that we were fairly in Italy.

The descent is steep beyond compare, for La Tour, which we reached
by four o'clock, is quite on the plain, very much on a level with
Turin--I do not remember any descent between the two--and the pass
cannot be much under eight thousand feet.

Passports are asked at Bobbio, but the very sight of the English
name was at that time sufficient to cause the passport to be
returned unscrutinised.

La Tour is a Protestant place, or at any rate chiefly so, indeed all
the way from Cervieres we have been among people half Protestant and
half Romanist; these were the Waldenses of the Middle Ages, they are
handsome, particularly the young women, and I should fancy an honest
simple race enough, but not over clean.

As a proof that we were in Italy we happened while waiting for table
d'hote to be leaning over the balcony that ran round the house and
passed our bedroom door, when a man and a girl came out with two
large pails in their hands, and we watched them proceed to a cart
with a barrel in it, which was in a corner of the yard; we had been
wondering what was in the barrel and were glad to see them commence
tapping it, when lo! out spouted the blood-red wine with which they
actually half filled their pails before they left the spot. This
was as Italy should be. After dinner, too, as we stroll in the
showy Italian sort of piazza near the inn, the florid music which
fills the whole square, accompanied by a female voice of some
pretensions, again thoroughly Italianises the scene, and when she
struck up our English national anthem (with such a bass
accompaniment!) nothing could be imagined more incongruous.

Sleeping at La Tour at the hotel kept by M. Gai (which is very good,
clean, and cheap), we left next morning, i.e. Tuesday, June 16, at
four by diligence for Pinerolo, thence by rail to Turin where we
spent the day. It was wet and we saw no vestiges of the Alps.

Turin is a very handsome city, very regularly built, the streets
running nearly all parallel to and at right angles with each other;
there are no suburbs, and the consequence is that at the end of
every street one sees the country; the Alps surround the city like a
horseshoe, and hence many of the streets seem actually walled in
with a snowy mountain. Nowhere are the Alps seen to greater
advantage than from Turin. I speak from the experience, not of the
journey I am describing, but of a previous one. From the Superga
the view is magnificent, but from the hospital for soldiers just
above the Po on the eastern side of the city the view is very
similar, and the city seen to greater advantage. The Po is a fine
river, but very muddy, not like the Ticino which has the advantage
of getting washed in the Lago Maggiore. On the whole Turin is well
worth seeing. Leaving it, however, on Wednesday morning we arrived
at Arona about half-past eleven: the country between the two places
is flat, but rich and well cultivated: much rice is grown, and in
consequence the whole country easily capable of being laid under
water, a thing which I should imagine the Piedmontese would not be
slow to avail themselves of; we ought to have had the Alps as a
background to the view, but they were still veiled. It was here
that a countryman, seeing me with one or two funny little pipes
which I had bought in Turin, asked me if I was a fabricante di pipi-
-a pipe-maker.

By the time that we were at Arona the sun had appeared, and the
clouds were gone; here, too, we determined to halt for half a day,
neither of us being quite the thing, so after a visit to the
colossal statue of San Carlo, which is very fine and imposing, we
laid ourselves down under the shade of some chestnut trees above the
lake, and enjoyed the extreme beauty of everything around us, until
we fell fast asleep, and yet even in sleep we seemed to retain a
consciousness of the unsurpassable beauty of the scene. After
dinner (we were stopping at the Hotel de la Poste, a very nice inn
indeed) we took a boat and went across the lake to Angera, a little
town just opposite; it was in the Austrian territory, but they made
no delay about admitting us; the reason of our excursion was, that
we might go and explore the old castle there, which is seated on an
inconsiderable eminence above the lake. It affords an excellent
example of Italian domestic Gothic of the Middle Ages; San Carlo was
born and resided here, and, indeed, if saintliness were to depend
upon beauty of natural scenery, no wonder at his having been a

The castle is only tenanted by an old man who keeps the place; we
found him cooking his supper over a small crackling fire of sticks,
which he had lighted in the main hall; his feeble old voice chirps
about San Carlo this and San Carlo that as we go from room to room.
We have no carpets here--plain honest brick floors--the chairs,
indeed, have once been covered with velvet, but they are now so worn
that one can scarcely detect that they have been so, the tables
warped and worm-eaten, the few, that is, that remained there, the
shutters cracked and dry with the sun and summer of so many hundred
years--no Renaissance work here, yet for all that there was
something about it which made it to me the only really pleasurable
nobleman's mansion that I have ever been over; the view from the top
is superb, and then the row home to Arona, the twinkling lights
softly gleaming in the lake, the bells jangling from the tall and
gaudy campaniles, the stillness of the summer night--so warm and yet
so refreshing on the water; hush, there are some people singing--how
sweetly their voices are borne to us upon the slight breath of wind
that alone is stirring; oh, it is a cruel thing to think of war in
connection with such a spot as this, and yet from this very Angera
to this very Arona it is that the Austrians have been crossing to
commence their attack on Sardinia. I fear these next summer nights
will not be broken with the voice of much singing and that we shall
have to hush for the roaring of cannon.

I never knew before how melodiously frogs can croak--there is a
sweet guttural about some of these that I never heard in England:
before going to bed, I remember particularly one amorous batrachian
courting malgre sa maman regaled us with a lusciously deep rich
croak, that served as a good accompaniment for the shrill whizzing
sound of the cigales.

My space is getting short, but fortunately we are getting on to
ground better known; I will therefore content myself with sketching
out the remainder of our tour and leaving the reader to Murray for

We left Arona with regret on Thursday morning (June 18), took
steamer to the Isola Bella, which is an example of how far human
extravagance and folly can spoil a rock, which had it been left
alone would have been very beautiful, and thence by a little boat
went to Baveno; thence we took diligence for Domo d'Ossola; the
weather clouded towards evening and big raindrops beginning to
descend we thought it better to proceed at once by the same
diligence over the Simplon; we did not care to walk the pass in wet,
therefore leaving Domo d'Ossola at ten o'clock that night we arrived
at Iselle about two; the weather clearing we saw the gorge of Gondo
and walked a good way up the pass in the early morning by the
diligence; breakfasted at Simplon at four o'clock in the morning,
and without waiting a moment as soon as we got out at Brieg set off
for Visp, which we reached at twelve on foot; we washed and dressed
there, dined and advanced to Leuk, and thence up the most
exquisitely beautiful road to Leukerbad, which we reached at about
eight o'clock after a very fatiguing day. The Hotel de la France is
clean and cheap. Next morning we left at half-past five and,
crossing the Gemini, got to Frutigen at half-past one, took an open
trap after dinner and drove to Interlaken, which we reached on the
Saturday night at eight o'clock, the weather first rate; Sunday we
rested at Interlaken; on Monday we assailed the Wengern Alp, but the
weather being pouring wet we halted on the top and spent the night
there, being rewarded by the most transcendent evening view of the
Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch in the clear cold air seen through a thin
veil of semi-transparent cloud that was continually scudding across

Next morning early we descended to Grindelwald, thence past the
upper glacier under the Wetterhorn over the Scheidegg to Rosenlaui,
where we dined and saw the glacier, after dinner, descending the
valley we visited the falls of Reichenbach (which the reader need
not do if he means to see those of the Aar at Handegg), and leaving
Meyringen on our left we recommenced an ascent of the valley of the
Aar, sleeping at Guttannen, about ten miles farther on.

Next day, i.e. Wednesday, June 24, leaving Guttannen very early,
passing the falls of Handegg, which are first rate, we reached the
hospice at nine; had some wine there, and crawled on through the
snow and up the rocks to the summit of the pass--here we met an old
lady, in a blue ugly, with a pair of green spectacles, carried in a
chaise a porteur; she had taken it into her head in her old age that
she would like to see a little of the world, and here she was. We
had seen her lady's maid at the hospice, concerning whom we were
told that she was "bien sage," and did not scream at the precipices.
On the top of the Gemini, too, at half-past seven in the morning, we
had met a somewhat similar lady walking alone with a blue parasol
over the snow; about half an hour after we met some porters carrying
her luggage, and found that she was an invalid lady of Berne, who
was walking over to the baths at Leukerbad for the benefit of her
health--we scarcely thought there could be much occasion--leaving
these two good ladies then, let us descend the Grimsel to the bottom
of the glacier of the Rhone, and then ascend the Furka--a stiff
pull; we got there by two o'clock, dined (Italian is spoken here
again), and finally reached Hospenthal at half-past five after a
very long day.

On Thursday walking down to Amstegg and taking a trap to Fluelen, we
then embarked on board a steamer and had a most enjoyable ride to
Lucerne, where we slept; Friday to Basle by rail, walking over the
Hauenstein, {2} and getting a magnificent panorama (alas! a final
one) of the Alps, and from Basle to Strasburg, where we ascended the
cathedral as far as they would let us without special permission
from a power they called Mary, and then by the night train to Paris,
where we arrived Saturday morning at ten.

Left Paris on Sunday afternoon, slept at Dieppe; left Dieppe Monday
morning, got to London at three o'clock or thereabouts, and might
have reached Cambridge that night had we been so disposed; next day
came safely home to dear old St. John's, cash in hand 7d.

From my window {3} in the cool of the summer twilight I look on the
umbrageous chestnuts that droop into the river; Trinity library
rears its stately proportions on the left; opposite is the bridge;
over that, on the right, the thick dark foliage is blackening almost
into sombreness as the night draws on. Immediately beneath are the
arched cloisters resounding with the solitary footfall of meditative
students, and suggesting grateful retirement. I say to myself then,
as I sit in my open window, that for a continuance I would rather
have this than any scene I have visited during the whole of our most
enjoyed tour, and fetch down a Thucydides, for I must go to Shilleto
at nine o'clock to-morrow.


This piece and the ten that follow it date from Butler's
undergraduate days. They were preserved by the late Canon Joseph
McCormick, who was Butler's contemporary at Cambridge and knew him

In a letter to THE TIMES, published 27 June, 1902, shortly after
Butler's death, Canon McCormick gave some interesting details of
Butler's Cambridge days. "I have in my possession," he wrote, "some
of the skits with which he amused himself and some of his personal
friends. Perhaps the skit professed to be a translation from
Thucydides, inimitable in its way, applied to Johnians in their
successes or defeats on the river, or it was the 'Prospectus of the
Great Split Society,' attacking those who wished to form narrow or
domineering parties in the College, or it was a very striking poem
on Napoleon in St. Helena, or it was a play dealing with a visit to
the Paris Exhibition, which he sent to PUNCH, and which, strange to
say, the editor never inserted, or it was an examination paper set
to a gyp of a most amusing and clever character." One at least of
the pieces mentioned by Canon McCormick has unfortunately
disappeared. Those that have survived are here published for what
they are worth. There is no necessity to apologise for their faults
and deficiencies, which do not, I think, obscure their value as
documents illustrating the development of that gift of irony which
Butler was afterwards to wield with such brilliant mastery.
'Napoleon at St. Helena' and 'The Shield of Achilles' have already
appeared in THE EAGLE, December, 1902; the "Translation from
Herodotus," "The Shield of Achilles," "The Two Deans II," and "On
the Italian Priesthood," in THE NOTE-BOOKS OF SAMUEL BUTLER; the
"Prospectus of the Great Split Society" and "A Skit on Examinations"
in THE EAGLE, June, 1913.

And the Johnians practise their tub in the following manner: They
select eight of the most serviceable freshmen and put these into a
boat, and to each one of them they give an oar; and having told them
to look at the backs of the men before them they make them bend
forward as far as they can and at the same moment, and having put
the end of the oar into the water pull it back again in to them
about the bottom of the ribs; and if any of them does not do this or
looks about him away from the back of the man before him they curse
him in the most terrible manner, but if he does what he is bidden
they immediately cry out:

"Well pulled, number so-and-so."

For they do not call them by their names but by certain numbers,
each man of them having a number allotted to him in accordance with
his place in the boat, and the first man they call stroke, but the
last man bow; and when they have done this for about fifty miles
they come home again, and the rate they travel at is about twenty-
five miles an hour; and let no one think that this is too great a
rate, for I could say many other wonderful things in addition
concerning the rowing of the Johnians, but if a man wishes to know
these things he must go and examine them himself. But when they
have done they contrive some such a device as this, for they make
them run many miles along the side of the river in order that they
may accustom them to great fatigue, and many of them being
distressed in this way fall down and die, but those who survive
become very strong, and receive gifts of cups from the others; and
after the revolution of a year they have great races with their
boats against those of the surrounding islanders, but the Johnians,
both owing to the carefulness of the training and a natural
disposition for rowing, are always victorious. In this way then the
Johnians, I say, practise their tub.


And in it he placed the Fitzwilliam and King's College Chapel and
the lofty towered church of the Great Saint Mary, which looketh
toward the Senate House, and King's Parade and Trumpington Road and
the Pitt Press and the divine opening of the Market Square and the
beautiful flowing fountain which formerly Hobson laboured to make
with skilful art; him did his father beget in the many-public-housed
Trumpington from a slavey mother, and taught him blameless works;
and he, on the other hand, sprang up like a young shoot, and many
beautifully matched horses did he nourish in his stable, which used
to convey his rich possessions to London and the various cities of
the world; but oftentimes did he let them out to others and
whensoever anyone was desirous of hiring one of the long-tailed
horses, he took them in order so that the labour was equal to all,
wherefore do men now speak of the choice of the renowned Hobson.
And in it he placed the close of the divine Parker, and many
beautiful undergraduates were delighting their tender minds upon it
playing cricket with one another; and a match was being played and
two umpires were quarrelling with one another; the one saying that
the batsman who was playing was out, and the other declaring with
all his might that he was not; and while they two were contending,
reviling one another with abusive language, a ball came and hit one
of them on the nose, and the blood flowed out in a stream, and
darkness was covering his eyes, but the rest were crying out on all

"Shy it up."

And he could not; him then was his companion addressing with
scornful words:

"Arnold, why dost thou strive with me since I am much wiser? Did I
not see his leg before the wicket and rightly declare him to be out?
Thee then has Zeus now punished according to thy deserts, and I will
seek some other umpire of the game equally-participated-in-by-both-

And in it he placed the Cam, and many boats equally rowed on both
sides were going up and down on the bosom of the deep-rolling river,
and the coxswains were cheering on the men, for they were going to
enter the contest of the scratchean fours; and three men were rowing
together in a boat, strong and stout and determined in their hearts
that they would either first break a blood-vessel or earn for
themselves the electroplated-Birmingham-manufactured magnificence of
a pewter to stand on their hall tables in memorial of their
strength, and from time to time drink from it the exhilarating
streams of beer whensoever their dear heart should compel them; but
the fourth was weak and unequally matched with the others, and the
coxswain was encouraging him and called him by name and spake
cheering words:

"Smith, when thou hast begun the contest, be not flurried nor strive
too hard against thy fate; look at the back of the man before thee
and row with as much strength as the Fates spun out for thee on the
day when thou fellest between the knees of thy mother, neither lose
thine oar, but hold it tight with thy hands."


It is the object of this society to promote parties and splits in
general, and since of late we have perceived disunion among friends
to be not nearly so ripe as in the Bible it is plainly commanded to
be, we the members of this club have investigated the means of
producing, fostering, and invigorating strife of all kinds, whereby
the society of man will be profited much. For in a few hours we can
by the means we have discovered create so beautiful a dissension
between two who have lately been friends, that they shall never
speak of one another again, and their spirit is to be greatly
admired and praised for this. And since it is the great goddess
Talebearer who has contributed especially to our success, inasmuch
as where she is not strife will cease as surely as the fire goeth
out when there is no wood to feed it, we will erect an altar to her
and perform monthly rites at her shrine in a manner hereafter to be
detailed. And all men shall do homage to her, for who is there that
hath not felt her benefits? And the rites shall be of a cheerful
character, and all the world shall be right merry, and we will write
her a hymn and Walmisley {4} shall set it to music. And any shall
be eligible to this society by only changing his name; for this is
one of its happiest hits, to give a name to each of its members
arising from some mental peculiarity (which the gods and peacemakers
call "foible"), whereby each being perpetually kept in mind of this
defect and being always willing to justify it shall raise a clamour
and cause much delight to the assembly.

And we will have suppers once a month both to do honour unto
Talebearer and to promote her interest. And the society has laid
down a form of conversation to be used at all such meetings, which
shall engender quarrellings even in the most unfavourable
dispositions, and inflame the anger of one and all; and having
raised it shall set it going and start it on so firm a basis as that
it may be left safely to work its own way, for there shall be no
fear of its dying out.

And the great key to this admirable treasure-house is Self, who hath
two beautiful children, Self-Love and Self-Pride . . . We have also
aided our project much by the following contrivance, namely, that
ten of the society, the same who have the longest tongues and ears,
shall make a quorum to manage all affairs connected with it; and it
is difficult to comprehend the amount of quarrelling that shall go
on at these meetings.

And the monthly suppers shall be ordered in this way: Each man must
take at least two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, which shall make the
wit sharp, or in default thereof one teaspoonful of pepper and
mustard; for the rest we leave the diet to the management of our
stewards and bursars, but after the cloth has been removed the
president shall single out some one of the company, and in a calm
and friendly manner acquaint him with his faults and advise him in
what way he may best amend the same. The member selected is
compelled by the rules to remain silent for the space of three
minutes, and is then to retort and bring up six instances. He is to
call the present members to witness, and all are to take one side or
the other, so that none be neutral, and the melee will doubtless
become general, and we expect that much beautiful latent abusive
talent will be developed in this way. But let all this be done with
an air of great politeness, sincerity, and goodwill, at least at the
commencement, for this, when evidently fictitious, is a two-edged
sword of irritation.

And if any grow weak in spirit and retreat from this society, and
afterwards repent and wish again to join, he shall be permitted to
do so on condition of repeating the words, "Oh, ah!" "Lor!" "Such
is life," "That's cheerful," "He's a lively man, is Mr. So-and-so"
ten times over. For these are refreshing and beautiful words and
mean much (!), they are the emblems of such talent.

And any members are at liberty to have small meetings among
themselves, especially to tea, whereat they may enjoy the ever fresh
and pleasant luxury of scandal and mischief-making, and prepare
their accusations and taunts for the next general meeting; and this
is not only permitted but enjoined and recommended strongly to all
the members.

And sentences shall be written for the training of any young hand
who wishes to become one of us, since none can hope to arrive at
once at the pitch of perfection to which the society has brought the
art. And if that any should be heard of his own free will and
invention uttering one or more of these sentences and by these means
indicate much talent in the required direction, he shall be waited
on by a committee of the club and induced, if possible, to join us,
for he will be an acquisition; and the sentences required are such
as: "I think so-and-so a very jolly fellow, indeed I don't know a
man in the college I like better than so-and-so, but I don't care
twopence about him, at least it is all the same to me whether he
cuts me or not."

The beauty of this sentence is not at first appreciable, for though
self-deceit and self-satisfaction are both very powerfully
demonstrated in it, and though these are some of the society's most
vehement supporters, yet it is the good goddess Talebearer who
nourisheth the seed of mischief thus sown.

It is also strictly forbidden by this society's laws to form a firm
friendship grounded upon esteem and a perception of great and good
qualities in the object of one's liking, for this kind of friendship
lasts a long time--nay, for life; but each member must have a
furious and passionate running after his friend for the time being,
insomuch that he could never part for an instant from him. And when
the society sees this it feels comfortable, for it is quite certain
that its objects are being promoted, for this cannot be brought
about by any but unnatural means and is the foundation and very soul
of quarrelling. The stroking of the hair and affectionate
embracings are much recommended, for they are so manly.

And at the suppers and the rites of Talebearer each member is to
drop an anonymous opinion of some other member's character into a
common letter box, and the president shall read them out. Each
member is to defend himself; the formula for the commencement of
each speech being: "I know who wrote that about me, and it is a
very blackguardly thing of him to say . . . "

N.B.--Any number of persons are allowed to speak at the same time.
By these means it is hoped to restore strife and dissension to the
world, now alas! so fatally subjugated to a mean-spirited thing
called Charity, which during the last month has been perfectly
rampant in the college. Yes, we will give a helping hand to
bickerings, petty jealousies, back-bitings, and all sorts of good
things, and will be as jolly as ninepence and--who'll be the first


But, my son, think not that it is necessary for thee to be excellent
if thou wouldst be powerful. Observe how the lighter substance in
nature riseth by its own levity and overtoppeth that which is the
more grave. Even so, my son, mayest thou be light and worthless,
and yet make a goodly show above those who are of a more intrinsic
value than thyself. But as much circumspection will be necessary
for thee to attain this glorious end, and as by reason of thy youth
thou art liable to miss many of the most able and effective means of
becoming possessed of it, hear the words of an old man and treasure
them in thy heart. The required qualities, my son, are easily
procured; many are naturally gifted with them. In order, however,
that thou mayest keep them in set form in thy mind commit to memory
the following list of requisites: Love of self, love of show, love
of sound, reserve, openness, distrust.

The love of self, which shall chiefly manifest itself in the
obtaining the best of all things for thyself to the exclusion of
another, be he who he may; and as meal-times are the fittest
occasion for the exercise of this necessary quality, I will even
illustrate my meaning that thou mayest the more plainly comprehend
me. Suppose that many are congregated to a breakfast and there is a
dish of kidneys on the table, but not so many but what the greater
number must go without them, cry out with a loud voice, immediately
that thou hast perceived them: "Kidneys! Oh, ah! I say, G., old
fellow, give us some kidneys." Then will the master of the house be
pleased that he hath provided something to thy liking, and as others
from false shame will fear to do the like thou wilt both obtain that
thy soul desireth, and be looked upon by thy fellows as a bold
fellow and one who knoweth how to make his way in the world, and G.
will say immediately: "Waiter, take this to Mr. Potguts," and he
taketh them, and so on, my son, with all other meats that are on the
table, see thou refrain not from one of them, for a large appetite
well becometh a power, or if not a large one then a dainty one. But
if thine appetite be small and dainty see thou express contempt for
a large eater as one inferior to thyself. Or again, my son, if thou
art not at a banquet but enterest any room where there are many met
together, see thou take the arm-chair or the best seat or couch, or
what other place of comfort is in the room; and if there be another
power in the room as well as thyself see thou fight with him for it,
and if thou canst by any craft get rid of him an he be more thickly
set than thyself, see that thou do this openly and with a noise,
that all men may behold and admire thee, for they will fear thee and
yield and not venture to reprove thee openly; and so long as they
dare not, all will be well. Nevertheless I would have thee keep
within certain bounds, lest men turn upon thee if thy rule is too
oppressive to be borne. And under this head I would class also the
care and tending of the sick; for in the first place the sick have
many delicacies which those who are sound have not, so that if thou
lay the matter well, thou mayest obtain the lion's share of these
things also. But more particularly the minds of men being weak and
easily overpowered when they are in sickness, thou shalt obtain much
hold over them, and when they are well (whether thou didst really
comfort them or not) they will fear to say aught against thee, lest
men shall accuse them of ingratitude. But above all see thou do
this openly and in the sight of men, who thinking in consequence
that thy heart is very soft and amiable notwithstanding a few
outward defects, will not fail to commend thee and submit to thee
the more readily, and so on all counts thou art the gainer, and it
will serve thee as an excuse with the authorities for the neglect or
breach of duty. But all this is the work of an exceedingly refined
and clever power and not absolutely necessary, but I have named it
as a means of making thy yoke really the lighter but nevertheless
the more firmly settled upon the neck of thy fellows. So much then
for the love of self.

As for the love of show this is to display itself in thy dress, in
the trimming or in the growth of thy whiskers, in thy walk and
carriage, in the company thou keepest, seeing that thou go with none
but powers or men of wealth or men of title, and caring not so much
for men of parts, since these commonly deal less in the exterior and
are not fit associates, for thou canst have nothing in common with
them. When thou goest to thy dinner let a time elapse, so that
thine entry may cause a noise and a disturbance, and when after much
bustling thou hast taken thy seat, say not: "Waiter, will you order
me green peas and a glass of college," but say: "Waiter (and then a
pause), peas," and then suffer him to depart, and when he hath gone
some little way recall him with a loud voice, which shall reach even
unto the ears of the fellows, say, "and, waiter, college"; and when
they are brought unto thee complain bitterly of the same. When thou
goest to chapel talk much during the service, or pray much; do not
the thing by halves; thou must either be the very religious power,
which kind though the less remarked yet on the whole hath the
greater advantage, or the thoughtless power, but above all see thou
combine not the two, at least not in the same company, but let thy
religion be the same to the same men. Always, if thou be a careless
power, come in late to chapel and hurriedly; sit with the other
powers and converse with them on the behaviour of others or any
other light and agreeable topic. And, as I said above, under this
love of show thou must include the choice of thine acquaintance, and
as it is not possible for thee to order it so as not to have
knowledge of certain men whom it will not be convenient for thee to
know at all times and in all places, see thou cultivate those two
excellent defects of both sight and hearing which will enable thee
to pass one thou wouldst not meet, without seeing him or hearing his
salutation. If thou hast a cousin or schoolfellow who is somewhat
rustic or uncouth in his manner but nevertheless hath an excellent
heart, know him in private in thine individual capacity, but when
thou art abroad or in the company of other powers shun him as if he
were a venomous thing and deadly. Again, if thou sittest at table
with a man at the house of a friend and laughest and talkest with
him and playest pleasant, if he be not perfect in respect of
externals see thou pass him the next day without a smile, even
though he may have prepared his countenance for a thousand grins;
but if in the house of the same friend or another thou shouldst
happen to stumble upon him, deal with him as though thy previous
conversation had broken off but five minutes previously; but should
he be proud and have all nothing to say unto thee, forthwith
calumniate him to thine acquaintance as a sorry-spirited fellow and

And with regard to smoking, though that, too, is advantageous, it is
not necessary so much for the power as for the fast man, for the
power is a more calculating and thoughtful being than this one; but
if thou smokest, see that others know it; smoke cigars if thou canst
afford them; if not, say thou wonderest at such as do, for to thy
liking a pipe is better. And with regard to all men except thine
own favoured and pre-eminent clique, designate them as "cheerful,"
"lively," or use some other ironical term with regard to them. So
much then for the love of show.

And of the love of sound I would have thee observe that it is but a
portion of the love of show, but so necessary for him who would be
admired without being at the same time excellent and worthy of
admiration as to deserve a separate heading to itself. At meal-
times talk loudly, laugh loudly, condemn loudly; if thou sneezest
sneeze loudly; if thou call the waiter do so with a noise and, if
thou canst, while he is speaking to another and receiving orders
from him; it will be a convenient test of thine advance to see
whether he will at once quit the other in the midst of his speech
with him and come to thee, or will wait until the other hath done;
if thou handle it well he will come to thee at once. When others
are in their rooms, as thou passeth underneath their windows, sing
loudly and all men will know that a power goeth by and will hush
accordingly; if thou hast a good voice it will profit thee much, if
a bad one, care not so long as it be a loud one; but above all be it
remembered that it is to be loud at all times and not low when with
powers greater than thyself, for this damneth much--even powers
being susceptible of awe, when they shall behold one resolutely bent
to out-top them, and thinking it advisable to lend such an one a
helping hand lest he overthrow them--but if thy voice be not a loud
one, thou hadst better give up at once the hope of rising to a
height by thine own skill, but must cling to and flatter those who
have, and if thou dost this well thou wilt succeed.

And of personal strength and prowess in bodily accomplishment,
though of great help in the origin, yet are they not necessary; but
the more thou lackest physical and mental powers the more must thou
cling to the powerful and rise with them; the more careful must thou
be of thy dress, and the more money will it cost thee, for thou must
fill well the bladders that keep thee on the surface, else wilt thou

And of reserve, let no man know anything about thee. If thy father
is a greengrocer, as I dare say is the case with some of the most
mighty powers in the land, what matter so long as another knoweth it
not? See that thou quell all inquisitive attempts to discover
anything about thine habits, thy country, thy parentage, and, in a
word, let no one know anything of thee beyond the exterior; for if
thou dost let them within thy soul, they will find but little, but
if it be barred and locked, men will think that by reason of thy
strong keeping of the same, it must contain much; and they will
admire thee upon credit.

And of openness, be reserved in the particular, open in the general;
talk of debts, of women, of money, but say not what debts, what
women, or what money; be most open when thou doest a shabby thing,
which thou knowest will not escape detection. If thy coat is bad,
laugh and boast concerning it, call attention to it and say thou
hast had it for ten years, which will be a lie, but men will
nevertheless think thee frank, but run not the risk of wearing a bad
coat, save only in vacation time or in the country. But when thou
doest a shabby thing which will not reach the general light, breathe
not a word of it, but bury it deeply in some corner of thine own
knowledge only; if it come out, glory in it; if not, let it sleep,
for it is an unprofitable thing to turn over bad ground.

And of distrust, distrust all men, most of all thine own friends;
they will know thee best, and thou them; thy real worth cannot
escape them, think not then that thou wilt get service out of them
in thy need, think not that they will deny themselves that thou
mayest be saved from want, that they will in after life put out a
finger to save thee, when thou canst be of no more use to them, the
clique having been broken up by time. Nay, but be in thyself
sufficient; distrust, and lean not so much as an ounce-weight upon

These things keep and thou shalt do well; keep them all and thou
wilt be perfect; the more thou keep, the more nearly wilt thou
arrive at the end I proposed to thee at the commencement, and even
if thou doest but one of these things thoroughly, trust me thou wilt
still have much power over thy fellows.


[It should be explained that Tom Bridges was a gyp at St. John's
College, during Butler's residence at Cambridge.]

We now come to the most eventful period in Mr. Bridges' life: we
mean the time when he was elected to the shoe-black scholarship,
compared with which all his previous honours sank into

Mr. Bridges had long been desirous of becoming a candidate for this
distinction, but, until the death of Mr. Leader, no vacancy having
occurred among the scholars, he had as yet had no opportunity of
going in for it. The income to be derived from it was not
inconsiderable, and as it led to the porter fellowship the mere
pecuniary value was not to be despised, but thirst of fame and the
desire of a more public position were the chief inducements to a man
of Mr. Bridges' temperament, in which ambition and patriotism formed
so prominent a part. Latin, however, was not Mr. Bridges' forte; he
excelled rather in the higher branches of arithmetic and the
abstruse sciences. His attainments, however, in the dead languages
were beyond those of most of his contemporaries, as the letter he
sent to the Master and Seniors will abundantly prove. It was
chiefly owing to the great reverence for genius shown by Dr. Tatham
that these letters have been preserved to us, as that excellent man,
considering that no circumstance connected with Mr. Bridges'
celebrity could be justly consigned to oblivion, rescued these
valuable relics from the Bedmaker, as she was on the point of using
them to light the fire. By him they were presented to the author of
this memoir, who now for the first time lays them before the public.
The first was to the Master himself, and ran as follows:-

Reverende Sir,

Possum bene blackere shoas, et locus shoe-blackissis vacuus est.
Makee me shoeblackum si hoc tibi placeat, precor te, quia desidero
hoc locum.

Your very humble servant,

We subjoin Mr. Bridges' autograph. The reader will be astonished to
perceive its resemblance to that of Napoleon I, with whom he was
very intimate, and with anecdotes of whom he used very frequently to
amuse his masters. We add that of Napoleon.


The second letter was to the Senior Bursar, who had often before
proved himself a friend to Mr Bridges, and did not fail him in this


Ego humiliter begs pardonum te becausus quaereri dignitatum
shoeblacki and credo me getturum esse hoc locum.

Your humble servant,

Shortly afterwards Mr. Bridges was called upon, with six other
competitors, to attend in the Combination Room, and the following
papers were submitted to him.


1. Derive the word "blacking." What does Paley say on this
subject? Do you, or do you not, approve of Paley's arguments, and
why? Do you think that Paley knew anything at all about it?

2. Who were Day and Martin? Give a short sketch of their lives,
and state their reasons for advertising their blacking on the
Pyramids. Do you approve of the advertising system in general?

3. Do you consider the Japanese the original inventors of blacking?
State the principal ingredients of blacking, and give a chemical
analysis of the following substances: Sulphate of zinc, nitrate of
silver, potassium, copperas and corrosive sublimate.

4. Is blacking an effective remedy against hydrophobia? Against
cholera? Against lock-jaw? And do you consider it as valuable an
instrument as burnt corks in playing tricks upon a drunken man?

This was the Master's paper. The Mathematical Lecturer next gave
him a few questions, of which the most important were:-


1. Prove that the shoe may be represented by an equation of the
fifth degree. Find the equation to a man blacking a shoe: (1) in
rectangular co-ordinates; (2) in polar co-ordinates.

2. A had 500 shoes to black every day, but being unwell for two
days he had to hire a substitute, and paid him a third of the wages
per shoe which he himself received. Had A been ill two days longer
there would have been the devil to pay; as it was he actually paid
the sum of the geometrical series found by taking the first n
letters of the substitute's name. How much did A pay the
substitute? (Answer, 13s. 6d.)

3. Prove that the scraping-knife should never be a secant, and the
brush always a tangent to a shoe.

4. Can you distinguish between meum and tuum? Prove that their
values vary inversely as the propinquity of the owners.

5. How often should a shoe-black ask his master for beer notes?
Interpret a negative result.


Among the eminent persons deceased during the past week we have to
notice Mr. Arthur Ward, the author of the very elegant treatise on
the penny whistle. Mr. Ward was rather above the middle height,
inclined to be stout, and had lost a considerable portion of his
hair. Mr. Ward did not wear spectacles, as asserted by a careless
and misinformed contemporary. Mr. Ward was a man of great humour
and talent; many of his sayings will be treasured up as household
words among his acquaintance, for instance, "Lor!" "Oh, ah!" "Sech
is life." "That's cheerful." "He's a lively man is Mr. . . . "
His manners were affable and agreeable, and his playful gambols
exhibited an agility scarcely to be expected from a man of his
stature. On Thursday last Mr. Ward was dining off beef-steak pie
when a bit of gristle, unfortunately causing him to cough, brought
on a fit of apoplexy, the progress of which no medical assistance
was able to arrest. It is understood that the funeral arrangements
have been entrusted to our very respectable fellow-townsman Mr.
Smith, and will take place on Monday.


I see a warrior 'neath a willow tree;
His arms are folded, and his full fixed eye
Is gazing on the sky. The evening breeze
Blows on him from the sea, and a great storm
Is rising. Not the storm nor evening breeze,
Nor the dark sea, nor the sun's parting beam
Can move him; for in yonder sky he sees
The picture of his life, in yonder clouds
That rush towards each other he beholds
The mighty wars that he himself hath waged.
Blow on him, mighty storm; beat on him, rain;
You cannot move his folded arms nor turn
His gaze one second from the troubled sky.
Hark to the thunder! To him it is not thunder;
It is the noise of battles and the din
Of cannons on the field of Austerlitz,
The sky to him is the whole world disturbed
By war and rumours of great wars.
He tumbled like a thunderbolt from heaven
Upon the startled earth, and as he came
The round world leapt from out her usual course
And thought her time was come. Beat on him, rain;
And roar about him, O thou voice of thunder.
But what are ye to him? O more to him
Than all besides. To him ye are himself,
He knows it and your voice is lovely to him.
Hath brought the warfare to a close.
The storm is over; one terrific crash
Now, now he feels it, and he turns away;
His arms are now unfolded, and his hands
Pressed to his face conceal a warrior's tears.
He flings himself upon the springing grass,
And weeps in agony. See, again he rises;
His brow is calm, and all his tears are gone.
The vision now is ended, and he saith:
"Thou storm art hushed for ever. Not again
Shall thy great voice be heard. Unto thy rest
Thou goest, never never to return.
I thank thee, that for one brief hour alone
Thou hast my bitter agonies assuaged;
Another storm may scare the frightened heavens,
And like to me may rise and fill
The elements with terror. I, alas!
Am blotted out as though I had not been,
And am become as though I was not born.
My day is over, and my night is come -
A night which brings no rest, nor quiet dreams,
Nor calm reflections, nor repose from toil,
But pain and sorrow, anguish never ceasing,
With dark uncertainty, despair and pain,
And death's wide gate before me. Fare ye well!
The sky is clear and the world at rest;
Thou storm and I have but too much in common."



Williams, I like thee, amiable divine!
No milk-and-water character is thine.
A lay more lovely should thy worth attend
Than my poor muse, alas! hath power to lend.
Shall I describe thee as thou late didst sit,
The gater gated and the biter bit,
When impious hands at the dead hour of night
Forbade the way and made the barriers tight?
Next morn I heard their impious voices sing;
All up the stairs their blasphemies did ring:
"Come forth, O Williams, wherefore thus supine
Remain within thy chambers after nine?
Come forth, suffer thyself to be admired,
And blush not so, coy dean, to be desired."
The captive churchman chafes with empty rage,
Till some knight-errant free him from his cage.
Pale fear and anger sit upon yon face
Erst full of love and piety and grace,
But not pale fear nor anger will undo
The iron might of gimlet and of screw.
Grin at the window, Williams, all is vain;
The carpenter will come and let thee out again.
Contrast with him the countenance serene
And sweet remonstrance of the junior dean;
The plural number and the accents mild,
The language of a parent to a child.
With plaintive voice the worthy man doth state,
We've not been very regular of late.
It should more carefully its chapels keep,
And not make noises to disturb our sleep
By having suppers and at early hours
Raising its lungs unto their utmost powers.
We'll put it, if it makes a noise again,
On gatesey patsems at the hour of ten;
And leafy peafy it will turn I'm sure,
And never vex its own dear Sharpey more.


SCENE.--The Court of St. John's College, Cambridge. Enter the two
Deans on their way to morning chapel.

JUNIOR DEAN. Brother, I am much pleased with Samuel Butler,
I have observed him mightily of late;
Methinks that in his melancholy walk
And air subdued whene'er he meeteth me
Lurks something more than in most other men.

SENIOR DEAN. It is a good young man. I do bethink me
That once I walked behind him in the cloister;
He saw me not, but whispered to his fellow:
"Of all men who do dwell beneath the moon
I love and reverence most the senior Dean."

JUNIOR DEAN. One thing is passing strange, and yet I know not
How to condemn it, but in one plain brief word
He never comes to Sunday morning chapel.
Methinks he teacheth in some Sunday-school,
Feeding the poor and starveling intellect
With wholesome knowledge, or on the Sabbath morn
He loves the country and the neighbouring spire
Of Madingley or Coton, or perchance
Amid some humble poor he spends the day,
Conversing with them, learning all their cares,
Comforting them and easing them in sickness.

SENIOR DEAN. I will advance him to some public post,
He shall be chapel clerk, some day a Fellow,
Some day perhaps a Dean, but as thou say'st
He is indeed an excellent young man -

Enter BUTLER suddenly, without a coat or anything on his head,
rushing through the cloisters, bearing a cup, a bottle of cider,
four lemons, two nutmegs, half a pound of sugar and a nutmeg grater.

Curtain falls on the confusion of BUTLER and the horror-stricken
dismay of the two Deans.



The Temperance commissioners
In awful conclave sat,
Their noses into this to poke
To poke them into that -
In awful conclave sat they,
And swore a solemn oath,
That snuff should make no Briton sneeze,
That smokers all to smoke should cease,
They swore to conquer both.


Forth went a great Teetotaller,
With pamphlet armed and pen,
He travelled east, he travelled west,
Tobacco to condemn.
At length to Cantabrigia,
To move her sons to shame,
Foredoomed to chaff and insult,
That gallant hero came.


'Tis Friday: to the Guildhall
Come pouring in apace
The gownsmen and the townsmen
Right thro' the market place -
They meet, these bitter foemen
Not enemies but friends -
Then fearless to the rostrum,
The Lecturer ascends.


He cursed the martyr'd Raleigh,
He cursed the mild cigar,
He traced to pipe and cabbage leaf
Consumption and catarrh;
He railed at simple bird's-eye,
By freshmen only tried,
And with rude and bitter jest assailed
The yard of clay beside.


When suddenly full twenty pipes,
And weeds full twenty more
Were seen to rise at signal,
Where none were seen before.
No mouth but puffed out gaily
A cloud of yellow fume,
And merrily the curls of smoke
Went circling 'thro the room.


In vain th' indignant mayor harangued,
A mighty chandler he!
While peas his hoary head around
They whistled pleasantly.
In vain he tenderly inquired,
'Mid many a wild "hurrah!"
"Of this what father dear would think,
Of that what dear mamma?"


In rushed a host of peelers,
With a sergeant at the head,
Jaggard to every kitchen known,
Of missuses the dread.
In rushed that warlike multitude,
Like bees from out their hive,
With Fluffy of the squinting eye,
And fighting No. 5.


Up sprang Inspector Fluffy,
Up Sergeant Jaggard rose,
And playfully with staff he tapped
A gownsman on the nose.
As falls a thundersmitten oak,
The valiant Jaggard fell,
With a line above each ogle,
And a "mouse" or two as well.


But hark! the cry is "Smuffkins!
And loud the gownsmen cheer,
And lo! a stalwart Johnian
Comes jostling from the rear:
He eyed the flinching peelers,
He aimed a deadly blow,
Then quick before his fist went down
Inspector, Marshal, Peelers, Town,
While fiercer fought the joyful Gown,
To see the claret flow.


They run, they run! to win the door
The vanquished peelers flew;
They left the sergeant's hat behind,
And the lecturer's surtout:
Now by our Lady Margaret,
It was a goodly sight,
To see that routed multitude
Swept down the tide of flight.


Then hurrah! for gallant Smuffkins,
For Cantabs one hurrah!
Like wolves in quest of prey they scent
A peeler from afar.
Hurrah! for all who strove and bled
For liberty and right,
What time within the Guildhall
Was fought the glorious fight.


This an adaptation of the following epigram, which appeared in
Giuseppe Giusti's RACCOLTA DI PROVERBI TOSCANI (Firenze, 1853)

Con arte e con inganno si vive mezzo l'anno
Con inganno e con arte si vive l'altra parte.

In knavish art and gathering gear
They spend the one half of the year;
In gathering gear and knavish art
They somehow spend the other part.


The following article, which originally appeared in the CAMBRIDGE
MAGAZINE, 1 March, 1913, is by Mr. A. T. Bartholomew, of the
University Library, Cambridge, who has most kindly allowed me to
include it in the present volume. Mr. Bartholomew's discovery of
Samuel Butler's parody of the Simeonite tract throws a most
interesting light upon a curious passage in THE WAY OF ALL FLESH,
and it is a great pleasure to me to be able to give Butlerians the
story of Mr. Bartholomew's "find" in his own words.

Readers of Samuel Butler's remarkable story The Way of All Flesh
will probably recall his description of the Simeonites (chap.
xlvii), who still flourished at Cambridge when Ernest Pontifex was
up at Emmanuel. Ernest went down in 1858; so did Butler.
Throughout the book the spiritual and intellectual life and
development of Ernest are drawn from Butler's own experience.

"The one phase of spiritual activity which had any life in it during
the time Ernest was at Cambridge was connected with the name of
Simeon. There were still a good many Simeonites, or as they were
more briefly called 'Sims,' in Ernest's time. Every college
contained some of them, but their head-quarters were at Caius,
whither they were attracted by Mr. Clayton, who was at that time
senior tutor, and among the sizars of St. John's. Behind the then
chapel of this last-named college was a 'labyrinth' (this was the
name it bore) of dingy, tumble-down rooms," and here dwelt many
Simeonites, "unprepossessing in feature, gait, and manners, unkempt
and ill-dressed beyond what can be easily described. Destined most
of them for the Church, the Simeonites held themselves to have
received a very loud call to the ministry . . . They would be
instant in season and out of season in imparting spiritual
instruction to all whom they could persuade to listen to them. But
the soil of the more prosperous undergraduates was not suitable for
the seed they tried to sow. When they distributed tracts, dropping
them at night into good men's letter boxes while they were asleep,
their tracts got burnt, or met with even worse contumely." For
Ernest Pontifex "they had a repellent attraction; he disliked them,
but he could not bring himself to leave them alone. On one occasion
he had gone so far as to parody one of the tracts they had sent
round in the night, and to get a copy dropped into each of the
leading Simeonites' boxes. The subject he had taken was 'Personal

Some years ago I found among the Cambridge papers in the late Mr. J.
W. Clark's collection three printed pieces bearing on the subject.
The first is a genuine Simeonite tract; the other two are parodies.
All three are anonymous. At the top of the second parody is written
"By S. Butler. March 31." It will be necessary to give a few
quotations from the Simeonite utterance in order to bring out the
full flavour of Butler's parody, which is given entire. Butler went
up to St. John's in October, 1854; so at the time of writing this
squib he was in his second term, and 18 years of age.


I.--Extracts from the sheet dated "St. John's College, March 13th,
1855." In a manuscript note this is stated to be by Ynyr Lamb, of
St. John's (B.A., 1862).

1. When a celebrated French king once showed the infidel
philosopher Hume into his carriage, the latter at once leaped in, on
which his majesty remarked: "That's the most accomplished man

It is impossible to presume enough on Divine grace; this kind of
presumption is the characteristic of Heaven. . .

2. Religion is not an obedience to external forms or observances,
but "a bold leap in the dark into the arms of an affectionate

4. However Church Music may raise the devotional feelings, these
bring a man not one iota nearer to Christ, neither is it acceptable
in His sight.

13. The ONE thing needful is Faith: Faith = 0.25 (historical
faith) + 0.75 (heart-belief, or assurance, or justification) 1.25
peace; and peace=Ln Trust--care+joy^(n-r+1)

18. The Lord's church has been always peculiarly tried at different
stages of history, and each era will have its peculiar glory in
eternity. . . . At the present time the trial for the church is
peculiar; never before, perhaps, were the insinuations of the
adversary so plausible and artful--his ingenuity so subtle--himself
so much an angel of light--experience has sharpened his wit--"WHILE
MEN SLEPT the enemy sowed tares"--he is now the base hypocrite--he
suits his blandishments to all--the Church is lulled in the arms of
the monster, rolling the sweet morsel under her tongue . . .

II.--Samuel Butler's Parody

1. Beware! Beware! Beware! The enemy sowed tracts in the night,
and the righteous men tremble.

2. There are only 10 good men in John's; I am one; reader,
calculate your chance of salvation.

3. The genuine recipe for the leaven of the Pharisees is still
extant, and runs as follows: --Self-deceit 0.33 + want of charity
0.5 + outward show 0.33, humbug infinity, insert Sim or not as
required. Reader, let each one who would seem to be righteous take
unto himself this leaven.

4. "The University Church is a place too much neglected by the
young men up here." Thus said the learned Selwyn, {5} and he said
well. How far better would it be if each man's own heart was a
little University Church, the pericardium a little University
churchyard, wherein are buried the lust of the flesh, the pomps and
vanities of this wicked world; the veins and arteries, little
clergymen and bishops ministering therein; and the blood a stream of
soberness, temperance and chastity perpetually flowing into it.

5. The deluge went before, misery followed after, in the middle
came a Puseyite playing upon an organ. Reader, flee from him, for
he playeth his own soul to damnation.

6. Church music is as the whore of Babylon, or the ramping lion who
sought whom he might devour; music in a church cannot be good, when
St. Paul bade those who were merry to sing psalms. Music is but
tinkling brass, and sounding cymbals, which is what St. Paul says he
should himself be, were he without charity; he evidently then did
not consider music desirable.

7. The most truly religious and only thoroughly good man in
Cambridge is Clayton, {6} of Cams.

8. "Charity is but the compassion that we feel for our own vices
when we perceive their hatefulness in other people." Charity, then,
is but another name for selfishness, and must be eschewed

9. A great French king was walking one day with the late Mr. B.,
when the king dropped his umbrella. Mr. B. instantly stooped down
and picked it up. The king said in a very sweet tone, "Thank you."

10. The Cam is the river Jordan. An unthinking mind may consider
this a startling announcement. Let such an one pray for grace to
read the mystery aright.

11. When I've lost a button off my trousers I go to the tailors'
and get a new one sewn on.

12. Faith and Works were walking one day on the road to Zion, when
Works turned into a public-house, and said he would not go any
further, at the same time telling Faith to go on by himself, and
saying that "he should be only a drag upon him." Faith accordingly
left Works in the ale-house, and went on. He had not gone far
before he began to feel faint, and thought he had better turn back
and wait for Works. He suited the action to the word, and finding
Works in an advanced state of beer, fell to, and even surpassed that
worthy in his potations. They then set to work and fought lustily,
and would have done each other a mortal injury had not a Policeman
providentially arrived, and walked them off to the station-house.
As it was they were fined Five Shillings each, and it was a long
time before they fully recovered.

13. What can 10 fools do among 300 sinners? They can do much harm,
and had far better let the sinners seek peace their own way in the
wilderness than ram it down their throats during the night.

14. Barnwell is a place near Cambridge. It is one of the descents
into the infernal regions; nay, the infernal regions have there
ascended to the upper earth, and are rampant. He that goeth by it
shall be scorched, but he that seeketh it knowingly shall be
devoured in the twinkling of an eye, and become withered as the
grass at noonday.

15. Young men do not seem to consider that houses were made to pray
in, as well as to eat and to drink in. Spiritual food is much more
easily procured and far cheaper than bodily nutriment; that,
perhaps, is the reason why many overlook it.

16. When we were children our nurses used to say, "Rock-a-bye baby
on the tree top, when the bough bends the cradle will rock." Do the
nurses intend the wind to represent temptation and the storm of
life, the tree-top ambition, and the cradle the body of the child in
which the soul traverses life's ocean? I cannot doubt all this
passes through the nurses' minds. Again, when they say, "Little Bo-
peep has lost her sheep and doesn't know where to find them; let
them alone and they'll come home with their tails all right behind
them," is Little Bo-peep intended for mother Church? Are the sheep
our erring selves, and our subsequent return to the fold? No doubt
of it.

17. A child will often eat of itself what no compulsion can induce
it to touch. Men are disgusted with religion if it is placed before
them at unseasonable times, in unseasonable places, and clothed in a
most unseemly dress. Let them alone, and many will perhaps seek it
for themselves, whom the world suspects not. A whited sepulchre is
a very picturesque object, and I like it immensely, and I like a Sim
too. But the whited sepulchre is an acknowledged humbug and most of
the Sims are not, in my opinion, very far different.


{1} This was called to my attention by a distinguished Greek
scholar of this University.

{2} The Hauenstein tunnel was not completed until later. Its
construction was delayed by a fall of earth which occurred in 1857
and buried sixty-three workmen.--R. A. S.

{3} Mr. J. F. Harris has identified Butler's rooms in the third
court of St. John's College.--R. A. S.

{4} As Walmisley died in January, 1856, this piece must evidently
date from Butler's first year at Cambridge.--R. A. S.

{5} William Selwyn D.D., Fellow of St. John's Lady Margaret
Professor of Divinity, died 1875.--A. T. B.

{6} Charles Clayton, M.A., of Gonville and Caius, Vicar of Holy
Trinity, Cambridge, 1851-65. Died 1883.--A. T. B.

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