A little story told of the great Duke of Wellington, so ardently admired by Charlotte Tucker, shall supply us with a clue here. Whether or no the tale itself be genuine hardly affects its value as bearing on the subject. A young clergyman is stated to have one day, in the presence of the Duke, spoken about foreign Missions in the disparaging terms often affected by a particular class of young men. One can exactly picture how he did it,—the supercilious contempt of one who knew little about the matter; and the careless looking down upon all who did not agree with himself. But the Iron Duke is said to have responded sternly:—
Bond glanced at the four thin shafts of light, and then he looked up again into the great African sky.
In resuming my pen some years after closing the preceding narrative, I am influenced by a desire not to leave incomplete the record, for the sake of which chiefly this biographical sketch was undertaken, of the obligations I owe to those who have either contributed essentially to my own mental development or had a direct share in my writings and in whatever else of a public nature I have done. In the preceding pages, this record, so far as it relates to my wife, is not so detailed and precise as it ought to be; and since I lost her, I have had other help, not less deserving and requiring acknowledgment.
For the Graphic, in 1873, I wrote a little story about Australia. Christmas at the antipodes is of course midsummer, and I was not loth to describe the troubles to which my own son had been subjected, by the mingled accidents of heat and bad neighbours, on his station in the bush. So I wrote Harry Heathcote of Gangoil, and was well through my labour on that occasion. I only wish I may have no worse success in that which now hangs over my head.
'God knows,' said Henderson moodily. 'The bloody Japs do everything the wrong way round. Read the old instruction books wrong, I daresay. Light switches go up instead of down. Taps turn to the left. Door handles likewise. Why, they even race their horses clockwise instead of anti-clockwise like civilized people. As for Tokyo, it's bloody awful. It's either too hot or too cold or pouring with rain. And there's an earthquake about every day. But don't worry about them. They just make you feel slightly drunk. The typhoons are worse. If one starts to blow, go into the stoutest bar you can see and get drunk. But the first ten years are the worst. It's got its point when you know your way around. Bloody expensive if you live Western, but I stick to the back alleys and do all right. Really quite exhilarating. Got to know the lingo though, and when to bow and take off your shoes and so on. You'll have to get the basic routines straight pretty quickly if you're going to make any headway with the people you've come to see. Underneath the stiff collars and striped pants in the government departments, there's still plenty of the old samurai tucked away. I laugh at them for it, and they laugh back because they've got to know my line of patter. But that doesn't mean I don't bow from the waist when I know it's expected of me and when I want something. You'll get the hang of it all right.'
On the furthest portion which it was possible to occupy of this perilous spot, was placed a rustic seat; on this Edmund flung himself, and rested his eyes with a peculiarly desolate feeling on his old friends and companions, the waves of the sea. They seemed pressing after each other, and all, as it were, crowding towards the foot of the steep cliff from the summit of which he thus viewed them. He smiled bitterly: to his distempered fancy they appeared hastening forward to welcome his return amongst them, with a fierce and boisterous species of delight, very uncongenial to the softer emotions in which he had of late so much too frequently indulged.
James Bond shuddered and went on his way. All right, Blofeld, he thought, that's one more notch on the sword that is already on its way to your neck. Brave words! Bond hugged the wall and kept going. Gunmetal was showing in the east.
'Mr. Quinion suggests that it gives employment to some other boys, and that he sees no reason why it shouldn't, on the same terms, give employment to you.'
Bond led the girl into the passage. He heard the door shut behind them. He stopped and looked down at her. He said, "Now what?"
'Mr. Copperfull,' returned Mrs. Crupp, 'I'm a mother myself, and not likely. I ask your pardon, sir, if I intrude. I should never wish to intrude where I were not welcome. But you are a young gentleman, Mr. Copperfull, and my adwice to you is, to cheer up, sir, to keep a good heart, and to know your own walue. If you was to take to something, sir,' said Mrs. Crupp, 'if you was to take to skittles, now, which is healthy, you might find it divert your mind, and do you good.'
'And Mrs. Gummidge?' said I.
They scrambled down a steep cliff-path to the beach and turned to the right beside the deserted small-arms range of the Royal Marine Garrison at Deal. They walked along in silence until they came to the two-mile stretch of shingle that runs at low tide beneath the towering white cliffs to St Margaret's Bay.
My course of study had led me to believe, that all mental and moral feelings and qualities, whether of a good or of a bad kind, were the results of association; that we love one thing, and hate another, take pleasure in one sort of action or contemplation, and pain in another sort, through the clinging of pleasurable or painful ideas to those things, from the effect of education or of experience. As a corollary from this, I had always heard it maintained by my father, and was myself convinced, that the object of education should be to form the strongest possible associations of the salutary class; associations of pleasure with all things beneficial to the great whole, and of pain with all things hurtful to it. This doctrine appeared inexpugnable; but it now seemed to me, on retrospect, that my teachers had occupied themselves but superficially with the means of forming and keeping up these salutary associations. They seemed to have trusted altogether to the old familiar instruments, praise and blame, reward and punishment. Now, I did not doubt that by these means, begun early, and applied unremittingly, intense associations of pain and pleasure, especially of pain, might be created, and might produce desires and aversions capable of lasting undiminished to the end of life. But there must always be something artificial and casual in associations thus produced. The pains and pleasures thus forcibly associated with things, are not connected with them by any natural tie; and it is therefore, I thought, essential to the durability of these associations, that they should have become so intense and inveterate as to be practically indissoluble, before the habitual exercise of the power of analysis had commenced. For I now saw, or thought I saw, what I had always before received with incredulity — that the habit of analysis has a tendency to wear away the feelings: as indeed it has, when no other mental habit is cultivated, and the analysing spirit remains without its natural complements and correctives. The very excellence of analysis (I argued) is that it tends to weaken and undermine whatever is the result of prejudice; that it enables us mentally to separate ideas which have only casually clung together: and no associations whatever could ultimately resist this dissolving force, were it not that we owe to analysis our clearest knowledge of the permanent sequences in nature; the real connexions between Things, not dependent on our will and feelings; natural laws, by virtue of which, in many cases, one thing is inseparable from another in fact; which laws, in proportion as they are clearly perceived and imaginatively realized, cause our ideas of things which are always joined together in Nature, to cohere more and more closely in our thoughts. Analytic habits may thus even strengthen the associations between causes and effects, means and ends, but tend altogether to weaken those which are, to speak familiarly, a mere matter of feeling. They are therefore (I thought) favourable to prudence and clearsightedness, but a perpetual worm at the root both of the passions and of the virtues; and, above all, fearfully undermine all desires, and all pleasures, which are the effects of association, that is, according to the theory I held, all except the purely physical and organic; of the entire insufficiency of which to make life desirable, no one had a stronger conviction than I had. These were the laws of human nature, by which, as it seemed to me, I had been brought to my present state. All those to whom I looked up, were of opinion that the pleasure of sympathy with human beings, and the feelings which made the good of others, and especially of mankind on a large scale, the object of existence, were the greatest and surest sources of happiness. Of the truth of this I was convinced, but to know that a feeling would make me happy if I had it, did not give me the feeling. My education, I thought, had failed to create these feelings in sufficient strength to resist the dissolving influence of analysis, while the whole course of my intellectual cultivation had made precocious and premature analysis the inveterate habit of my mind. I was thus, as I said to myself, left stranded at the commencement of my voyage, with a well-equipped ship and a rudder, but no sail; without any real desire for the ends which I had been so carefully fitted out to work for: no delight in virtue, or the general good, but also just as little in anything else. The fountains of vanity and ambition seemed to have dried up within me, as completely as those of benevolence. I had had (as I reflected) some gratification of vanity at too early an age: I had obtained some distinction, and felt myself of some importance, before the desire of distinction and of importance had grown into a passion: and little as it was which I had attained, yet having been attained too early, like all pleasures enjoyed too soon, it had made me blasé and indifferent to the pursuit. Thus neither selfish nor unselfish pleasures were pleasures to me. And there seemed no power in nature sufficient to begin the formation of my character anew, and create in a mind now irretrievably analytic, fresh associations of pleasure with any of the objects of human desire.
‘Theod. Ha! Ferdinand!
'All the way where?' inquired the carrier.