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I owned that I was by no means certain the loss of a friend whenever a bottle left that it was really the wine it affected to the cellar. Then the question flashed into be; but that I had found it unquestiona- my mind : Why not make some bly a wine of very distinguished quality, Comet Port ?” I was quite prepared to assert.
I was rather surprised. Still, I had He hardly seemed satisfied .with this heard a good deal of the tricks of the statement; he shook his head gravely. wine-trade. I said that possibly the thing
“It's not a thing there could be any was feasible; and that by some means, no doubt or mistake about," he said. “If doubt, a passable sort of Comet Port might you once tasted Comet Port, you'd remem- be manufactured. ber it all your life. There's nothing like “ Yes,” he cried impetuously; " but by it in the world; there never has been what means ? Why, in this way. To there never will be. It defies description. make Comet Port, we must make comets !” There never was such a vintage as the “ Make comets !” I echoed. comet year
the Great Comet year. We • Yes. How? you'll ask. That was my were most fortunate at Cardiff; we secured secret - my discovery. The effect of the a wonderful cellar of Comet Port." comet upon the vines was incontestable.
He mentioned the number of pipes, but Nor only the vines. The crops of all kinds I don't feel quite confident now about the were amazingly abundant everywhere. It figure stated. I know that I thought it was even said that there were more chilvery considerable.
dren born that year than were ever known “But we did'nt set enough store upon to have been born before within a similar it,” he proceeded; “ that was where we period - especially twins. There were rewere wrong. We were really wasteful peated instances, indeed, of no less than with it. We were too good-natured; we four children at one birth; three at a birth let every customer have it that asked for were not unusual ; twins were quite it; at a good price, look you - I don't say common. It was said, moreover, that otherwise — but nothing to what we might there was not a single wasp that year, and afterwards have obtained for it. We that all the flies were quite blind. That ought to have locked it up securely, at I'm not quite prepared to believe; but they lock up the crown-jewels in the certainly it was a most phenomenal season. Tower of London. I've seen them there The effects resulting from the comet were myself; for, as a young man, I was often altogether of a very striking kind. Well, in London. We ought to have slammed then, I argued, why not imitate the cause ? the cellar-doors in the face even of our Why not invent — create a precisely idenbest customers, and never have parted tical cause? call in the aid of art and with so much as a teaspoonful. Our stock ingenuity, and stimulate nature to further of Comet Port would now be worth a fabu- developments ?” He laid his hand upon lous price -- quite a fabulous price! But "my shoulder as he spoke, and lowered his
He stopped, as though he had forgot- voice to a hoarse, agitated whisper. I ten what he was about to add, or had could see that he was greatly excited. failed to find adequate words wherewith " It's an astronomical question. What's a to express himself.
comet, but a star surrounded by a gaseous “Do you know anything of astrono- inflammable matter, that by some chance my?” he asked suddenly.
or strange agency has become ignited! I admitted that I was by no means You've only to survey the heavens on a well skilled in that science.
clear night to perceive numberless stars After a pause, during which he eyed me circled by luminous gas — by nebulous rather curiously I thought, he proceeded : matter. These would all become comets “ There can be no harm in mentioning it if the gaseous air about them could only now. I'm an old man; I've given up busi- be thoroughly ignited. I've watched them ness this many a year; I can never hope night after night, hoping that by some accinow to see my plans carried out. But it dent they would clash together, or apwas a grand — a startling idea. It oc- proach each other so nearly as to set fire cured to me quite suddenly. I was busy to each other. They never did. Yet they about something else at the time, I remem- were so near to each other oftentimes, that ber. We were getting nearly to the end it seemed quite a miracle that there wasn't of our stock of the wine, though we'd a whole series of conflagrations in the raised the price of it almost exorbitantly. heavens. Thousands of comets! How it Every bottle was numbered, and specially would have affected the grapes ! what port sealed with blue wax, impressed with the we should have had ! ” initials of the firm. I cried as though at He had now raised his voice, and was talking very violently indeed, accompany- 1 often. It was unlucky my being out of ing his speech by very impassioned action. the way; but one of the cows was bad, A certain uncomfortable feeling came and I was seeing to doctoring her at the over me in regard to him. I looked up, moment. I think Davy had been to the and saw Becky in the doorway, with an ale-cask; I've always cautioned Becky to expression of alarm and amazement upon be watchful about his doing that; for he her face. Her hands were upraised, and gets over-excited and troublesome, and her wide-open eyes were fixed upon Davy. hardly knows what he says, if he takes She ejaculated some sentences in Welsh, but ever so little more than he's accusand then hurried away. It seemed to me tomed to. We're obliged to allowance that I could hear her calling across the him; and he submits generally with very farmyard to Griff Morgan.
good-will. He's better now, but we had a Well,” Davy continued, “why not set trying night with him. He couldn't sleep, fire to the stars? That was my plan. I and his talk was worse than I've known meant to have taken out a patent for it, it for a long time. He was feverish, and but I fell ill before I could quite complete fidgety, and rambling all the night my experiments, and make sure of the through. It's made me feel anxious, and best way of carrying my notion into exe- shaken myself this morning. You'll judge, cution. I spent heaps of money on it; but sir, that Davy's a little weak in his head I did not care for that success was cer- now and then. But he'll not be for troubtain in the end. I sent up rockets first — ling you any more. It's over now, and fired them out of cannon; but I could not you'll kindly forget it, sir, if you please. send them up high enough — they just i'll not keep you, sir; I'm walking your missed the stars by a few yards. Then I way down towards the works. There's tried fire-balloons; but the small ones allowance for to be made for Davy, sir. failed — they
ran before the wind without He's proud of his Cardiff days; and really mounting sufficiently. Then I determined he was doing very well there -- quite a to construct a fire-balloon of colossal pro- rich man, I may say — till his — his portions"
health” – he shrunk from saying mind, I “ Davy! said a severe warning voice. noticed — "till his health gave way. Still, Old Griff had entered the room. He laid he likes for to talk of his old days, when his hand upon his brother's arm with a he can get any one for to listen. I check peculiar look of earnest, almost severe him always when I can, for it carries him reproach. Davy stopped speaking, trem- too far, and isn't at all good for him.” bled, drew himself up, and covered his He made no further reference to what was eyes with his hand. He then suffered him- evidently his brother's monomania. He self to be led gently from the room. He had spoken all through with hesitation, as stopped in the doorway, however, and though the subject pained him, and every bowed to me with a sort of bewildered now and then he raised his hat, and politeness. Griff had firm hold of him, dabbed his forehead with his handkerI perceived, and had no intention of re-chief. I had never seen him looking so leasing him until he was fairly away from old, and ill, and infirm as he looked that my presence.
morning. Becky eyed me indignantly and rebuk- We had now approached the limits of ingly, I thought. I was reconciled to the his land. In the distance, I could see the fact that conversation was not possible be- tall, ragged, brown embankment my men tween us.
were busy about, with, on its crest, a It was clear that Davy was out of his string of earth-wagons drawn along the mind!
tramway by a puffing “ donkey-engine.” I saw no more of the brothers that day; Certainly, civilization was spoiling the but early the next morning, as I was set- prospect. It was a lovely country? with ting forth for the railway works, I met distant ranges of hills, in deep blue waves, Griff a few yards from the farm-house. I undulating along the horizon; with sudthink he had been waiting for me, for usu- den down-plunging valleys, musical with ally, at that hour, he had been busy on running and falling water; and, here and his land at a considerable distance. He there, high-climbing groves of fir trees, looked pale and distressed, his hands shedding around them a delightful, moist, shook, and he walked feebly.
fragrant shade. It was a fine landscape, “ Poor Davy was not well, sir, last affluent in natural beauties of form and night,” he said. “I'm sorry you should colour. And we were, so to say, marring have been troubled with his talking. It the picture by our cruel engineering cuthappens so at times with him, but not tings and slashinys. Well, we were not the first to bring the detriment of progress | almost. It's not the case with any other upon the place, at any rate. The restless farm in the country. Don't 'ee cross it! chatter and jangle of machinery were al- Don't 'ee venture, now, dear young man, ready to be heard echoing among the hills. for the love of Heaven! I'd never forgive The factories, the first invaders, had occu- myself, if harm were to befall you on my pied the land very completely. The ele- land I” vated ground in all directions was striped It was plain that Griff was as mad as with long lines of blue-white flannel, Davy. The doctor was right : they were stretched out in wooden frames, to dry “queer folk " indeed. and bleach in the open air. The railway I humoured the old man. I had crossed had come in, as the obsequious yet indis- the White Field scores of times – I need pensable servant of manufacture.
not say without harm coming of it. This I was about to spring over a stile, and morning, I avoided it, gaining the railway make a short cut across country to the works by a less direct route. I left old works, when old Griff laid his hand Griff leaning over the stile, gazing with on my arm. “You're never going across frightened eyes at the terrible thin land the White Field ?” he said in a quavering that covered so unsafely the hollow of the voice.
earth the bottomless pit. “Why not? It's the nearest way, and There was not much inclination for inthere's no crop on it to damage. You've dustry on the line, I found : the election let it lie fallow until it's a forest of proceedings had in every way demoralstinging nettles. Why don't you plough ized my army of navvies.
There was it?
again an early “ knock off,” and a hurry“ I daren't,” he said.
ing away to the numberless beer-shops I turned towards him : there was a which always spring up, mushroom-like, strange wild scared look in his face, and on the path of a railway. he was trembling all over.
On my return to the farm, I was sur“I know what I'm saying," he con- prised to hear the sound of angry talking tinued. “ I daren't plough it; I wouldn't in the kitchen. The brothers were quareven venture to scratch the surface with relling. Becky was in vain endeavouring my walking-stick."
to pacify them. They were upbraiding “Why not?”
and expostulating with each other. There “ The land there's as thin as an egg- was something of frenzy in the vehemence shell — there's just a mere coating of of their speech and action. They spoke chalk upon it. I would'nt so much as set partly in Welsh, partly in English. I foot on it for worlds; it would give way could only gather from their controversy under the slightest weight, like pie-crust, that they were engaged in mutual taunts, and let you through ! ”
in which the words “Comet” and “ White “ Where to?"
Field" largely figured. “ The bottomless pit !” he cried passion- • Why, what's all this about?” deately. “ The world's hollow, you know manded a deep firm voice, and Dr. Jen
this is a weak place in its crust — the kins, his Mackintosh flapping and rustling poorest, thinnest land in the whole coun- around him, strode into the kitchen. The try. It isn't safe; it would crackle under noise had been so great that the clatter of you like thin ice. I put up a board to his pony's hoofs on the road to the house warn people off, but it was blown down had not been heard. The old men were by the wind, or carried away by some silent in a moment. Their faces were still mischievous person. I know what I'm inflamed with anger, but they looked humsaying," he repeated wildly. “ If I'm mad bled and penitent, and they eyed the doc
- and I've been called so — it's not on tor appealingly — deprecating his reprethis point. The White Field wouldn't hension. bear the weight of a man
- no, nor of a
“ Is this the way you keep your promise, child. I sometimes watch, for hours to- Griff ? — Is this being true to your word, gether, to see the birds fall through ; but Davy? Is this how you behave before a it bears them — it's as much as it can do. visitor? I thought I knew you, and coulil At least I never saw one go in. The rooks trust you better. I'm quite ashamed of avoid it; they're so cunning, you see. I've you both. This, Griff, your care of poor watched them for hours, sometimes, hov- Davy!—This, Davy, your care of poor ering over it, but never alighting; and I Griff! I wouldn't have believed it of you. hear them call out, warning the young No, not a word. Go to each other. birds of their peril. It's a terrible | Never, never let me hear of such a thing thing having the bottomless pit so near happening again.”. one's house — within a stone's throw of it He spoke to them as a schoolmaster
might speak to two disobedient child-know. They've been overtaxing themscholars. They were much moved. They selves, to do you honour — been inclined burst into tears. “Davy!” cried Griff
. to shew off a bit, I take it, and so got into “Griff!” cried Davy. In a moment the mischief. I sometimes think with these old men were in each other's arms.
twin-born folk that there's only one sane The doctor motioned me to step outside mind between them; that they're all right the door with him.
so long as they keep together, a mutual “I'm afraid I must advise you to clear support and check upon each other. But out of this, and look for some other quar- directly they split, and set up for having ters. It's been too much for them separate interests and intelligences, somewas half afraid of it all along. But they'd thing goes wrong with them. been so well for so long that there seemed theory of mine, but I own not to having no great harm in running the risk. I've worked it out very thoroughly, even to been so busy, and the distance is so satisfying myself in regard to it. But I'm great, or I should have been round here inclined to think there is something in it. before now, to see how they were going We'll go in, in another minute; depend on. It's my fault; I ought to have man- upon it, we shall find them as quiet as aged better."
lambs, very sorry for what's happened, “ They're both mad,” I said rather super- and more than ordinarily watchful over fluously.
each other. Still, it's better to run no “ Mad as March hares, both of them, further risk; we must manage to find and have been so for years. You've heard some other quarters for you.” all about the Comet Port and the White When we re-entered the house, we Field, and all the rest of it?— Ah! I was found the brothers peaceably reading afraid so. Poor old boys! the excitement aloud alternate verses from the Welsh of your coming, you see, upset them. A Testament. very little will do it, you know, in these I left Llanberig almost imme liately. cases; any one would think that the Indeed, the progress of the works had quiet monotony of their usual life would rendered necessary my further movement be enough to drive a sane man mad; it down the line. I only expedited my dewould me for one, I know supposing parture by a day or two. I was on excelI'm sane, to begin with ; but it keeps these lent terms with my hosts when I quitted poor mad folk sane. I told you they the farm. There was not the slightest were rather queer, you remember. Their hint of any return of their mania. They mother died raving mad, poor soul! They were wonderfully courteous and cordial were both in the county asylum for some in bidding adieu to me. My last glimpse years. There had been too much inter- of them left them standing close together, marrying among the family, it was said. waving their hats to me, Griff his wideThough, if that's true, there must be a awake, and Davy his chimney-pot, as I good many stark mad people passing for turned my back upon the farm. I even sane in the principality, for we're a rare managed at last to conciliate Becky, in people for in-breeding. But Griff and some degree - chiefly, I think, by abanDavy were found so quiet and harmless at doning the neighbourhood. the asylum, that it was thought hardly It was years afterwards when I learned worth while to keep them there any from the doctor some tidings of my twinlonger. I'm one of the visiting surgeons, hosts. They had passed away quite and I strongly advised their discharge. peacefully, untroubled by any revisitation They've gone on wonderfully well up to of their malady. Davy had first departed, now. Each was instructed and required but Griff survived him only a few days. to look after and care for the other. That One grave held them both in the tiny gave them an object in life, a duty to ful- little hill-side church-yard of Llanberig. fil; and the effect upon them has been ex- Much sympathy had attended them in the cellent altogether. Each believes himself neighbourhood, and they died affectionsane, and knows the other to be mad, and ately regretted. They sleep tranquilly a strong affection exists between them. I under the tender shade of a superb old was in hopes that we'd brought them far-reaching yew-tree. The farm is now thoroughly round, and that they'd jog on in other hands, its proprietors still boastcomfortably to the end of their days. ing the name of Morgan, however. And That wasn't to be, it seems. But they'll the White Field has been ploughed over get all right again, I think, if we leave and over again, without, as far as I could them to themselves; only, we must re- learn, anybody sinking in much above the move the exciting cause that's you, you'ankles.
From The Saturday Review. distinctiveness helped to promote distincUNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE.
tions within its pale. At Bologna and The advisableness of aiming at a cyclo- Padua students as a rule were marked off pædic range in knowledge has had so into the divisions of Juristo and Artistæ much said in its favour of late years, by an and the schools at Oxford were even more extreme school of thinkers, that a few re-sharply defined. marks on the subject will not be out of And so, through many centuries, espeplace. That, at quite an early stage in cially at any time of extraordinary energy civilized education, men must cease to aim and progress, the work of specialization at universality in knowledge, and must be and division of labour has moved forward, content to specialize, would seem to be al- and may be traced in the statutes of sucmost self-evident. Lord Bacon's declara- cessive periods, whether they affect the tion that he had taken all knowledge to founding of Colleges or of Professorial be his province ” was, as coming from him, Chairs, or the regulation of University exneither unmeaning or presumptuous. Yet aminations. Within quite recent memory for all intellects but that very small num- we have seen both Oxford and Cambridge ber which, like his, have an almost super- declare in favour of specialization against human width and grasp, a narrower range a remnant of traditional universality. At would be admitted, one would think, early Cambridge, so late as 1851, it became for to become an essential necessity. And the first time possible that a man should when, now and then, we see an enthusias- take a degree in classical learning singly, tic student gallantly dashing out into the without the same mathematical prelimlimitless waters of universal knowledge, inary which had been till then required. we feel pretty certain that he is spending The complete emancipation of the Classiquestionable toil, and that he will by and cal Tripos was not effected until 1857. by be carried beyond his depth,
And at Oxford until 1852, when Modera
tions were instituted and the Final Schools νήπιος, ουδ' ενόησεν όσω πλέον ήμισυ παντός.
remodelled, it was still essential that a We have said that the necessity for divid- man should combine a considerable degree ing knowledge into departments and for of scholarship with logical and metaphysiconfining the individual attention gener- cal reading, before he could display in the ally to one more selected sections schools proficiency in either. would appear, after a certain stage in liter- Historically, then, intellectual labour ary and scientific development, to be a has been divided and subdivided in the nearly self-evident fact. It will be inter- great schools of learning. Individuals and esting briefly to trace the recognition of schools alike have to recognize the necesthis necessity in the progress of Universi-sary law, bound as they are by the limits ties. A University, by virtue of its name of power imposed on human understanding (though that is a point on which a good and endurance. It remains to estimate deal of discussion has been spent) and of the loss and gain of this imperative tax on its prime idea, is a school of universal progress, this inevitable law of advancing knowledge, and a corporation empowered civilization. There can be no doubt that to confer degrees in all or any liberal we suffer very considerable loss by being knowledge. And in the twelfth century compelled to divide intellectual labour, and accordingly, the great era of University to confine special attention to special defoundation throughout Europe, a student partments. Universality imparts freeat Oxford or Cambridge or Páris or Bo-dom,” is the saying of Locke; freedom is logna, with any pretensions to eminence, pro tanto abandoned by the necessary subwould go over the sevenfold course that division of labour. We lose, comparacomposed the omne scibile, the
tively, freedom in thought, freedom in Lingua, tropus, ratio, numerus, tonus, angulus, judgment, freedom in conversation. We astra,
occupy a lower level intellectually, and
suffer in proportion. We have less to conand then graduate in Arts. But, though template, fewer data for great general deuniversal in theory, the great intellectual cisions, a narrower field for developing centres were soon obliged to specialize in comparison, instance, illustration, and all practice. The omne scibile was divided that enriches the communication of into the trivium, or first three subjects, and thought, spoken or written. In other the quadrivium, or last four. The faculties words, the specializing process tends to of Law, Medicine, and Theology grew into give us comparative poverty in conception, marked and special prominence side by narrowness and therefore bias in reasoning, side with the faculty of Arts, and their barrenness and a feeble standard of wit in