Et certamen erat, Corydon cum Thyrside, magnum.

MORN, in yellow and white came broadening out from the mountains,
Long ere music and reel were hushed in the barn of the dancers.
Duly in matutine bathed before eight some two of the party,
There where in mornings was custom, where over a ledge of granite
Into a granite bason descended the amber torrent
Duly there two plunges each took Philip and Arthur,
Duly in matutine bathed, and read, and wished for breakfast;
Breakfast commencing at nine lingered lazily on to noon-day.
Tea and coffee was there; a jug of water for Hewson;
Tea and coffee; and four cold grouse upon the sideboard;
Cranberry-jam was reserved for tea, and for festive occasions:
Gaily they talked, as they sat, some late and lazy at breakfast,
Some professing a book, some smoking outside at the window.
'Neath an aurora soft pouring a still sheeny tide to the zenith,
Hewson and Arthur, with Adam, had walked and got home by eleven;
Hope and the others had staid till the round sun lighted them bedward.
They of the lovely aurora, but these of the lovelier women
Spoke—of noble ladies and rustic girls, their partners.
Turned to them Hewson, the chartist, the poet, the eloquent speaker.
Sick of the very names of your Lady Augustas and Floras
Am I, as ever I was of the dreary botanical titles
Of the exotic plants, their antitypes, in the hothouse:
Roses, violets, lilies for me! the out-of-door beauties;
Meadow and woodland sweets, forget-me-nots and heartsease!
Pausing awhile, he proceeded anon, for none made answer.
Oh, if our high-born girls knew only the grace, the attraction,
Labour, and labour alone, can add to the beauty of women,
Truly the milliner's trade would quickly, I think, be at discount,
All the waste and loss in silk and satin be saved us,
Saved for purposes truly and widely productive——
That's right,
Take off your coat to it, Philip, cried Lindsay, outside in the garden,
Lindsay, cigar-loving hero, the Piper, the Dialectician,
Take off your coat to it, Philip.

Well, well, said Hewson, resuming;
Laugh if you please at my novel economy; listen to this, though;
As for myself, and apart from economy wholly, believe me,
Never I properly felt the relation of man to woman,
Though to the dancing-master I went, perforce, for a quarter,
Where, in dismal quadrille, were good-looking girls in plenty,
Though, too, school-girl cousins were mine—a bevy of beauties,—
Never (of course you will laugh, but of course all the same I shall say it,)
Never, believe me, revealed itself to me the sexual glory,
Till in some village fields in holidays now getting stupid,
One day sauntering “long and listless,’ as Tennyson has it,
Long and listless strolling, ungainly in hobbadiboyhood,
Chanced it my eye fell aside on a capless, bonnetless maiden,
Bending with three-pronged fork in a garden uprooting potatoes.
Was it the air? who can say? or herself, or the charm of the labour?
But a new thing was in me; and longing delicious possessed me,
Longing to take her and lift her, and put her away from her slaving:
Was it to clasp her in lifting, or was it to lift her by clasping,
Was it embracing or aiding was most in my mind; hard question!
But a new thing was in me, I too was a youth among maidens:
Was it the air, who can say? but in part 'twas the charm of the labour.
I was too awkward, too shy, a great deal, be assured, for advances,
Shyly I shambled away, stopping oft, but afraid of returning,
Shambled obliquely away, with furtive occasional sidelook,
Long, though listless no more, in my awkward hobbadiboyhood.
Still, though a new thing was in me, though vernal emotion, the secret,
Yes, amid prurient talk, the unimparted mysterious secret
Long, the growing distress, and celled-up dishonour of boyhood,
Recognised now took its place, a relation, oh bliss' unto others;
Though now the poets, whom love is the key to, revealed themselves to me,
And in my dreams by Miranda, her Ferdinand, sat I unwearied,
Though all the fuss about girls, the giggling, and toying, and coying,
Were not so strange as they had been, so incomprehensible purely;
Still, as before, (and as now) balls, dances, and evening parties,
Shooting with bows, going shopping together, and hearing them singing,
Dangling beside them, and turning the leaves on the dreary piano,
Offering unneeded arms, performing dull farces of escort,
Seemed like a sort of unnatural up-in-the-air balloon-work,
(Or what to me is as hateful, a riding about in a carriage,)
Utter divorcement from work, mother earth, and objects of living,

As mere gratuitous trifling in presence of business and duty,
As does the turning aside of the tourist to look at a landscape
Seem in the steamer or coach to the merchant in haste for the city.
Hungry and fainting for food you ask me to join you in snapping—
What but a pink paper comfit, with motto romantic inside it?
Wishing to stock me a garden, I'm sent to a table of nosegays;
Pretty, I see it, and sweet; but they hardly would grow in my borders.
Better a crust of black bread than a mountain of paper-confections,
Better a daisy in earth than a dahlia cut and gathered,
Better a cowslip with root than a prize carnation without it.

That I allow, said Adam.
But he with the bit in his teeth,—scarce
Breathed a brief moment, and hurried exultingly on with his rider,
Far over hillock, and runnel, and bramble, away in the champaign,
Snorting defiance and force, the white foam flecking his quarters,
Rein hanging loose to his neck, and head projected before him.

Oh, if they knew and considered, unhappy ones! oh, could they see, could
But for a moment discern, how the blood of true gallantry kindles,
How the old knightly religion, the chivalry semi-quixotic
Stirs in the veins of a man at seeing some delicate woman
Serving him, toiling—for him, and the world; some tenderest girl, now
Over-weighted, expectant, of him, is it? who shall, if only
Duly her burden be lightened, not wholly removed from her, mind you,
Lightened if but by the love, the devotion man only can offer,
Grand on her pedestal rise as urn-bearing statue of Hellas;—
Oh, could they feel at such moments how man's heart, as into Eden
Carried anew, seems to see, like the gardener of earth uncorrupted,
Eve from the hand of her Maker advancing, an helpmeet for him,
Eve from his own flesh taken, a spirit restored to his spirit,
Spirit but not spirit only, himself whatever himself is,
Unto the mystery’s end sole helpmate meet to be with him;—
Oh if they saw it and knew it; we soon should see them abandon
Boudoir, toilette, carriage, drawing-room, and ball-room,
Satin for worsted exchange, gros-de-naples for linsey-woolsey,
Sandals of silk for clogs, for health lackadaisical fancies!
So, feel women, not dolls; so feel the sap of existence
Circulate up through their roots from the far-away centre of all things,
Circulate up from the depths to the bud on the twig that is topmost!

Yes, we should see them delighted, delighted ourselves in the seeing,
Bending with blue cotton gown skirted up over striped linsey-woolsey,
Milking the kine in the field, like Rachel, watering cattle,
Rachel, when at the well the predestined beheld and kissed her,
Or, with pail upon head, like Dora beloved of Alexis,
Comely, with well poised pail over neck arching soft to the shoulders,
Comely in gracefullest act, one arm uplifted to stay it,
Home from the river or pump moving stately and calm to the laundry;
Aye, doing household work, as many sweet girls I have looked at,
Needful household work, which some one, after all, must do,
Needful, graceful therefore, as washing, cooking, scouring,
Or, if you please, with the fork in the garden uprooting potatoes.—
Or—high-kilted perhaps, cried Lindsay, at last successful,
Lindsay, this long time swelling with scorn and pent-up fury,
Or high-kilted perhaps, as once at Dundee I saw them,
Petticoats up to the knees, or, it might be, a little bit higher
Matching their lily-white legs withthe clothes that they trod in the wash-tub!
Laughter loud ensued; and seeing the Tutor embarrassed,
It was from them, I suppose, said Arthur, smiling sedately,
Lindsay learnt the tune we all have learnt from Lindsay,
For oh, he was a roguey, the Piper o' Dundee.
Laughter ensued again; and the Tutor still slightly embarrassed
Picked at the fallen thread, and commenced a reply to Hewson
There's truth in what you say, though truly much distorted;
These, I think, no less than other agaceries, cloy one;
Still there's truth, I own, I perfectly understand you.
While the Tutor was gathering his thoughts, continued Arthur,
Is not all this just the same that one hears at common-room breakfasts,
Or perhaps Trinity wines, about Gothic buildings and Beauty?
And with a start from the sofa came Hobbes; with a cry from the sofa,
There where he lay, the great Hobbes, contemplative, corpulent, witty,
Author forgotten and silent of currentest phrase and fancy,
Mute and exuberant by turns, a fountain at intervals playing,
Mute and abstracted, or strong and abundant as rain in the tropics;
Studious; careless of dress; inobservant; by smooth persuasions
Lately decoyed into kilt on example of Hope and the Piper,
Hope an Antinous mere, Hyperion of calves the Piper.
Beautiful! cried he upleaping, analogy perfect to madness!
O inexhaustible source of thought, shall I call it, or fancy!
Wonderful spring, at whose touch doors fly, what a vista disclosing!

Exquisite germ! Ah no, crude fingers shall not soil thee;
Rest, lovely pearl, in my brain, and slowly mature in the oyster.
While at the exquisite pearl they were laughing and corpulent oyster,
Ah, could they only be taught, he resumed, by a Pugin of women,
How even churning and washing, the dairy, the scullery duties,
Wait but a touch to redeem and convert them to charms and attractions,
Scrubbing requires for true grace but frank and artistical handling,
And the removal of slops to be ornamentally treated.
Philip who speaks like a book, retiring and pausing he added,
Philip here, who speaks—like a folio, say'st thou, Piper?
Philip shall write us a book, a Treatise upon The Laws of
Architectural Beauty in Application to Women;
Illustrations, of course, and a Parker's Glossary pendent,
Where shall in specimen seen be the sculliony stumpy-columnar
(Which to a reverent taste is perhaps the most moving of any,)
Rising to grace of true woman in English the Early and Later,
Charming us still in fulfilling the Richer and Loftier stages,
Lost, are we end, in the Lady-Debased and the Lady-Flamboyant:
Thence why in satire and spite too merciless onward pursue her
Hither to hideous close, Modern-Florid, modern-fine-lady?
No, I will leave it to you, my Philip, my Pugin of women.
Leave it to Arthur, said Adam, to think of, and not to play with.
You are young, you know, he said, resuming to Philip,
You are young, he proceeded, with something of fervour to Hewson,
You are a boy; when you grow a man, you'll find things alter.
You will learn to seek the good, to scorn the attractive,
Scorn all mere cosmetics, as now of rank and fashion,
Delicate hands, and wealth, so then of poverty also,
Poverty truly attractive, more truly, I hear you witness.
Good, wherever found, you will choose, be it humble or stately,
Happy if only you find, and finding do not lose it.
Yes, we must seek what is good, it always and it only;
Not indeed absolute good, good for us, as is said in the Ethics,
That which is good for ourselves, our proper selves, our best selves;
This if you find in another, desert not, whatever you call it,
Call it a likeness of souls, call it anything else you fancy,
Perfect response, if you please, to what would in us be most perfect,
Answer most searching to what in ourselves is profoundest and shyest:
This if you find in another, desert not, wherever you find it,
Happy if only you find, and finding do not lose it!

Ah, you have much to learn, we can't know all at twenty,
You are a boy, as I said; when you grow a man, you'll say so.
This was the answer he had from the eager impetuous Hewson:
Yes, I say it now, I know I'm young; and know, too,
How the grown-up man puts-by the youthful instinct,
Learns to deal with the good, but what good is, discerns not;
Learns to handle the helm, but breaks the compass to steer by;
In the intuitive loses far more than his gain discursive;
Or, in the lingo you love, the lingo emphatic of Aldrich,
Gets up the form syllogistic, ignoring the premise and matter.
While he spoke, Adam rose, sat again, and dropping his eyelids
Bowed his face in his hands, and rested his hands on the table;
So for a minute he sat—the one first minute of silence;
Looked up at last, and laughed, and answered, speaking serenely,
Speaking serenely, but still with a moisture about the eyelids.
Truly, queer fellow is Hewson! for bidding him choose good only
Thus to upbraid me with years, chill years that are thick'ning to forty.
Nay, never talk! listen now! What I say you can't apprehend—
No, you are looking elsewhere. You will not ever, I fancy—
Till you ignore your premise, repairing the loss by a new one,
Till you discard your compass, if not for instruction in steering,
Yet to purchase a better and pay, I suppose, for the purchase.
So much in repartee—but let us return to the question.
Partly you rest on truth, old truth, the duty of Duty.
Partly on error, you long for equality.
Aye, cried the Piper,
That's the sore place, that confounded Egalité, French manufacture,
He is the same as the Chartist who made an address in Ireland,
What, and is not one man, fellow-men, as good as another?
Faith, replied Pat, and a deal better too!
So rattled the Piper:
But undisturbed in his tenor, the Tutor.
Partly in error
Seeking equality, is not one woman as good as another?
I with the Irishman answer Yes, better too; the poorer
Better full oft than richer, than loftier better the lower.
Irrespective of wealth and of poverty, pain and enjoyment,
Women all have their duties, the one as well as the other;
Are all duties alike? Do all alike fulfil them?
It is to these we must look, and in these we are not on a level;

Neither in these, nor in gifts, nor attainments, nor requirements.
However noble the dream of equality, mark you, Philip,
Nowhere equality reigns in God's sublime creations,
Star is not equal to star, nor blossom the same as blossom;
Herb is not equal to herb, any more than planet to planet.
True, that the plant should be rooted in earth, I granted you wholly,
And that the daisy in earth surpasses the cut carnation,
Only, the rooted carnation surpasses the rooted daisy:
There is one glory of daisies, another of carnations;
Foolish were budding carnation, in gay parterre by greenhouse,
Should it decline to accept the nurture the gardener gives it,
Should it refuse to expand to sun and genial summer,
Simply because the field-daisy, that grows in the grass-plat beside it,
Cannot, for some cause or other, develope and be a carnation.
Would not the daisy itself petition its scrupulous neighbour?
Up, grow, bloom, and forget me; be beautiful even to proudness,
E'en for the sake of myself and other poor daisies like me.
Rooted in earth should it be, carnation alike or daisy,
That I grant, and refer you to Shakespeare on gillyflowers,
Where in the Winter's Tale Leontes Perdita questions.
Education and manners, accomplishments, refinements,
Waltz, pandventure, and polka, the knowledge of music and drawing,
All these things are Nature's, to Nature dear and precious.
We must all do something, man, woman alike, I own it;
Yes, but woman-and-man in lady-and-gentleman is not
Lost, extinct; it lives; if not, God help them, change them!
We must all do something, and in my judgment do it
In our station; independent of it, but not regardless;
Holding it, not for enjoyment, but because we cannot change it.
All! replied Philip, Alas! the noted phrase of the prayer book,
Doing our duty in that state of life to which God has called us,
Seems to me always to mean, when the little rich boys say it,
Standing in velvet frock by mama's brocaded flounces,
Eying her gold-fastened book and the chain and watch at her bosom,
Seems to me always to mean, Eat, drink, and never mind others.
Nay, replied Adam, smiling, so far your economy leads me,
Velvet and gold and brocade are unwise to my fancy;
Benefit of trade, I see, is mockery vile and delusion.
Nay, he added, believe me, I like luxurious living
Even as little as you, and grieve in my soul not seldom,

More fer the rich indeed than the poor, who are not so guilty.
Ah! replied Philip again, But as for the rest of the story,
Truly I see a good deal in the daisy-carnation fable;
Though I should like to be clear what standing in the earth means.
But, as you said to me when this long discussion started,
There's truth in what you say, though I don't quite understand you.
So the discussion ended; and Arthur rose up smiling,
Now, quoth he, that Philip daren't bully you more, it is my turn.
How will my argument please you? To-morrow we start on our travel.
And took up Hope the chorus.
To-morrow we start on our travel.
Lo the weather is golden, the weather-glass, say they, rising;
Four weeks here have we read; four weeks will we read hereafter;
Three weeks hence will return and revisit our dismal classics,
Three weeks hence re-adjust our visions of classes and classics.
Fare ye well, meantime, forgotten, unnamed, undreamt of,
History, Science, and Poets! lo, deep in dustiest cupboard,
Thookydid, Oloros' son, Halimoosian, here lieth buried!
Slumber in Liddell-and-Scott, O musical chaff of Old Athens,
Dishes, and fishes, bird, beast, and sesquipedalian blackguard!
Sleep, weary Ghosts, be at peace, and abide in your lexicon-limbo!
Sleep, as in lava for ages your Herculanean kindred,
Sleep, and for ought that I care, 'the sleep that knows no waking,'
Æschylus, Sophocles, Homer, Herodotus, Pindar, and Plato.
Three weeks hence be it time to exhume our dreary classics.
And in the chorus joined Lindsay, the Piper, the Dialectician.
Three weeks hence we return to the shop and the wash-hand-stand-bason,[1]
Three weeks hence unbury Thicksides and hairy Aldrich.
But the Tutor enquired, the grave man, nicknamed Adam,
Who are they that go, and when do they promise returning?
And a silence ensued, and the Tutor himself continued,
Airlie remains, I presume, he continued, and Hobbes, and Hewson,
Lindsay and Arthur and Hope to verify Black are a quorum.
Answer was made him by Philip, the poet, the eloquent speaker.
Airlie remains, I presume, was the answer, and Hobbes, peradventure;
Terry let Airlie May-fairly, and Hobbes, brief-kilted hero,
Tarry let Hobbes in kilt, and Airlie 'abide in his breaches;'
Tarry let these, and read, four Pindars apiece an it like them!
Weary of reading am I, and weary of walks prescribed us;

Weary of Ethic and Logic, of Rhetoric yet more weary,
Eager to range over heather unfettered of gillie and marquis,
I will away with the rest, and bury my hairy 'Tottle.
And to the Tutor rejoining, Be mindful; you go up at Easter,
This was the answer returned by Philip, the Pugin of Women.
Good are the Ethics, I wis; good absolute, not for me, though;
Good too Logic, of course; in itself, but not in fine weather.
Three weeks hence, with the rain, to Prudence, Temperance, Justice,
Virtues Moral and Mental, with Latin prose included,
Three weeks hence we return, to cares of classes and classics.
I will away with the rest, and bury my hairy 'Tottle.
But the Tutor enquired, the grave man, nicknamed Adam,
Where do you mean to go, and whom do you mean to visit?
And he was answered by Hope, the Viscount, His Honour, of Ilay.
Kitcat, a Trinity coach, has a party at Drumnadrochet,
Up on the side of Loch Ness, in the beautiful valley of Urquhart;
Mainwaring says they will lodge us, and feed us, and give us a lift too:
Only they talk ere long to remove to Glenmorison. Then at
Castleton high in Braemar, strange home, with his earliest party,
Harrison, fresh from the schools, has James and Jones and Lauder.
Thirdly, a Cambridge man I know, Smith, a senior wrangler,
With a mathematical score hangs-out at Inverary.
Finally too, from the kilt and the sofa said Hobbes in conclusion,
Finally Philip must hunt for that home of the probable poacher,
Hid in the braes of Lochaber, the bothie of What-did-he—call-it.
Hopeless of you and of us, of gillies and marquisses hopeless,
Weary of Ethic and Logic, of Rhetoric yet more weary,
There shall he, smit by the charm of a lovely potato-uprooter,
Study the question of sex in the Bothie of What-did-he-call it.

  1. Cottage and matotine.