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out 'Nancy!' and all was darkness, while
through the horrid gloom he saw the glaring
eye-ball of a horse. 'Camaralzaman!' cried
the voice again: 'Have you been sleeping
here all night in the arm-chair?' Then a vivid
flame shot over Flashley's eyelidsthere was
a great fire blazing before him, in the midst
of which he saw the head of the Elfin,
who gave him a nod full of meaning, and
also like bidding farewell, and disappeared
in the fire,—while at his side stood Margery
with the carpet-broom.

It was six in the morning, and she had just
lighted the parlour fire. Without replying to
any of her interrogations of surprise, Flashley
slowly rose, and went out to take a few turns
round the garden; where he fell into a train
of thought which, in all probability, will have
a salutary influence on his future life.


SUPPOSING, we were to change the Property
and Income Tax a little, and make it somewhat
heavier on realised property, and somewhat
lighter on mere income, fixed and uncertain,
I wonder whether we should be committing
any violent injustice!

Supposing, we were to be more Christian
and less mystical, agreeing more about the
spirit and fighting less about the letter, I
wonder whether we should present a very
irreligious and indecent spectacle to the mass
of mankind!

Supposing, the Honorable Member for
White troubled his head a little less about
the Honorable Member for Black, and vice
versa, and that both applied themselves a little
more in earnest to the real business of the
honorable people and the honorable country, I
wonder whether it would be unparliamentary!

Supposing, that, when there was a surplus
in the Public Treasury, we laid aside our own
particular whims, and all agreed that there
were four elements necessary to the existence
of our fellow creatures, to wit, earth, air, fire,
and water, and that these were the first grand
necessaries to be uncooped and untaxed, I
wonder whether it would be unreasonable!

Supposing, we had at this day a Baron
Jenner, or a Viscount Watt, or an Earl
Stephenson, or a Marquess of Brunel, or a
dormant Shakespeare peerage, or a Hogarth
baronetcy, I wonder whether it would be
cruelly disgraceful to our old nobility!

Supposing, we were all of us to come off
our pedestals and mix a little more with
those below us, with no fear but that genius,
rank, and wealth, would always sufficiently
assert their own superiority, I wonder
whether we should lower ourselves beyond

Supposing, we were to have less botheration
and more real education, I wonder whether
we should have less or more compulsory
colonisation, and Cape of Good Hope very
natural indignation!

Supposing, we were materially to simplify
the laws, and to abrogate the absurd fiction
that everybody is supposed to be acquainted
with them, when we know very well that
such acquaintance is the study of a life in
which some fifty men may have been
proficient perhaps in five times fifty years, I
wonder whether laws would be respected

Supposing, we maintained too many of such
fictions altogether, and found their stabling
come exceedingly expensive!

Supposing, we looked about us, and seeing
a cattle-market originally established in an
open place, standing in the midst of a great
city because of the unforeseen growth of that
great city all about it, and, hearing it asserted
that the market was still adapted to the
requirements and conveniences of the great city,
made up our minds to say that this was stark-
mad nonsense and we wouldn't bear it, I
wonder whether we should be revolutionary!

Supposing, we were to harbour a small
suspicion that there was too much doing in
the diplomatic line of business, and that the
world would get on better with that shop
shut up three days a-week, I wonder whether
it would be a huge impiety!

Supposing, Governments were to consider
public questions less with reference to their
own time, and more with reference to all
time, I wonder how we should get on then!

Supposing, the wisdom of our ancestors
should turn out to be a mere phrase, and that
if there were any sense in it, it should
follow that we ought to be believers in the
worship of the Druids at this hour, I wonder
whether any people would have talked mere
moonshine all their lives!

Supposing, we were clearly to perceive that
we cannot keep some men out of their share
in the administration of affairs, and were to
say to them, 'Come, brothers, let us take
counsel together, and see how we can best
manage this; and don't expect too much
from what you get; and let us all in our
degree put our shoulders to the wheel, and
strive; and let us all improve ourselves and
all abandon something of our extreme opinions
for the general harmony,' I wonder whether
we should want so many special constables
on any future tenth of April, or should
talk so much about it any more!

I wonder whether people who are quite
easy about anything, usually do talk quite so
much about it!

Mr. Lane, the traveller, tells us of a superstition
the Egyptians have, that the mischievous
Genii are driven away by iron, of which they
have an instinctive dread. Supposing, this
should foreshadow the disappearance of the
evil spirits and ignorances besetting this earth,
before the iron steam-engines and roads, I
wonder whether we could expedite their flight
at all by iron energy!

Supposing, we were just to try two or three
of these experiments!