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their own position; so far from the slightest
shame or shrinking; so far from one single
deprecatory ' Pray don't make game of us!
We are decent folk after all, and well to do in
the world, though some of us do come from
Sueek! 'these are the people, so lost to every
sense of the ridiculous at home, as to tumble,
towzle, and in every other conceivable and
contemptuous mode maltreat the useful,
comfortable, authentic, and in every respect
unobtrusively defensible Brown Hat aforesaid!
Did its wearer stop before a shop-window to
look wistfully at one of those stupendous jars
of pickles, which with a dozen of hard eggs
for each guest, form so prominent a feature of
the Dutchman's merry-making suppers; his
coat-tails were sure to be pulled by some
grinning child, broader than long, and in
facture closely resembling Mr. Staunton's
broadly-based new chessman. Did he lean
over a gate to admire some magnificent bird,
the brilliant cleanlinesss of which on the
green carpet, gives us a new idea of the
beauty of ox or cow, a head would be picked
up from the dyke-side; with a liberal emission
of casual slang, and as likely as not, a
stone would have been throwndid Holland
contain a single stone for a David's sling to
utter. Did he adventure along the Wall of
Zwolle on a glowing autumn evening, or
meekly take the second best place on the
treckschuit which was to waft him down the
canal from Groningen to Delfzel (a water-
path in its way, as peculiar and contradictory
of all received principles as any railroad ever
carried over house-tops at the Minories, or
through the great pleasure-gardens and
greenhouses of a Sir Timothy Dod), it was
always one and the same storyone and the
same contemptone and the same experience.
Simple laughed with a most disconcerting and
noisy sincerity; and Gentle stuffed their
handkerchiefs into their mouthsheld both
their own sides and poked their neighbours.
' Driving Cloud " or other of the Ojibbeway
Indians if let loose in Clare-Market, would
hardly have been made to feel his conspicuousness
more signally than our traveller.
There was neither privacy, place, nor pity,
for the Brown Hat in Friesland.

Therefore, the wisest of these in advising
his son, may have meant to say to him,
'Never throw your oddity in the teeth of
other men's oddities.' You cannot expect
immunity for your own whims, if you force
them upon other people's whims. Never
expect that your 'ism' will find quarter
among their 'isms;' or (to put the adage
otherwise) he may have desired to recommend
a reading backwards of the old maxim
worn threadbare, rather by trampling upon,
than by carrying about, to wit'Live, and
let live.'

If then you would live a quiet life in Friesland,


THE day-dream of mankind has ever been
the Unattainable. To sigh for what is beyond
our reach is from infancy to age, a fixed
condition of our nature. To it we owe all the
improvement that distinguishes civilised from
savage life,- to it we are indebted for all the
great discoveries which, at long intervals,
have rewarded thought.

Though the motives which stimulated the
earliest inquiries were frequently undefined,
and, if curiously examined, would be found to
be sometimes questionable, it has rarely
happened that the world has not benefited by
them in the end. Thus Astrology, which
ascribed to the stars an influence over the
actions and destinies of man; Magic, which
attempted to reverse the laws of nature, and
Alchemy, which aimed at securing unlimited
powers of self-reward; all tended to the final
establishment of useful science.

Of none of the sciences whose laws are
fully understood, is this description truer than
of that now called Chemistry, which once was
Alchemy. That ' knowledge of the substance
or composition of bodies,' which the Arabic
root of both words implies, establishes a fact
in place of a chimera. Experimental philosophy
has made Alchemy an impossible belief,
but the faith in it was natural in an age when
reason was seldom appealed to. The credulity
which accepted witchcraft for a truth, was
not likely to reject the theory of the transmutation
of metals, nor strain at the dogma of
perpetual youth and health;—the concomitants
of the Philosopher's Stone.

The Alchemists claim for their science
the remotest antiquity possible, but it was
not until three or four centuries after the
Christian era that the doctrine of
transmutation began to spread. It was amongst
the Arabian physicians that it took root.
Those learned men, through whom was
transmitted so much that was useful in astronomy,
in mathematics, and in medicine, were deeply
tinctured with the belief in an universal
elixir, whose properties gave the power
of multiplying gold, of prolonging life indefinitely,
and of making youth perpetual. The
discoveries which they made of the successful
application of mercury in many diseases, led
them to suppose that this agent contained
within itself the germ of all curative
influences, and was the basis of all other
metals. An Eastern imagination, ever prone
to heighten the effects of nature, was not
slow to ascribe a preternatural force to this
medicine, but not finding it in its simple state,
the practitioners of the new science had
recourse to combination, in the hope, by that
means, of attaining their object. To fix
mercury became their first endeavour, and
this fixation they described as ' catching the
flying bird of Hermes.' Once embarked in
the illusory experiment, it is easy to perceive
how far the Alchemists might be led; nor