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There gold-robbing varlets and brazen-eyed harlots,
The squalor, the vice, and the dregs of the town,
The wine-bibber reeling, the murderer stealing
From daybreakvile spawn of the peer and the
Round it assemble where the leaves tremble,
Calm, o'er abysses of crime looking down.


Yet sweet as the morning with verdure adorning
Those haunts of Debauch by her votaries trod,
Divine as the wild wood beloved in our childhood,
And pure as if nurtured in Eden's young sod;
Green those leaves quiver, radiant for ever,
Sinless as when first create' by their God.


Beholding thus stainless, that life ever painless,
Still budding thro' smoke 'neath the blue heaven's
My thoughts with emotion supreme as devotion
Seem'd yearnings to cherish that type of its race:
I could have bless'd it, I could have kiss'd it,
Clasping it round in a loving embrace.


PUTTING aside, for the present, the whole
British army and navy, which have nothing
to do with my proposition, I will lay it down
as a principle, that all human beings have a
natural propensity to run away. To run
away whither? and from what? Well, that
is not the question. I only know that, after
a patient survey of human historyafter
recalling innumerable instances, after, secretly
communing with my own heart, which
is, I hope, no fainter than other men'sit
seems to me as certain as any truth in
physics, that any man who did not constantly
control his nature by a powerful effort, would
at some period of his life inevitably run away.

Cognisant of this weakness in our nature,
knowing how it leads uswhen we have not
the happiness of being able to run away
ourselvesto take a delight in reading how
somebody else ran away, does not the
skilful fictionist continually present us with
artful narratives of flight and concealment,
seasoning them with powerful motives, and
raising us to the highest pitch of sympathy
and interest, by showing his hero who has
run away, always on the point of being
hunted down, tracked out, and brought back
again? How we exult in his escapes; how
we go with himno matter how great a
rascalwhen he slips away, and, for a while,
is once more free; how we enjoy the calm
retirement of his hiding-place,— the more, if
it is in the midst of a busy town or city, in
the very neighbourhood, perhaps, of his
persecutors, who fancy he is far off. How we
share in the excitement of his stealing out
amongst them in disguise; how we feel with
him a fascination in the idea that some accident
may, at any moment, break the charm
of that peaceful shelter, and send him out a
breathless fugitive once more. There are
Caleb Williams, Frankenstein and the Student,
Timon of Athens, the Fair Imogen,
Colonel Jack, Gil Blas, Lara, and Childe
Harold; Robinson Crusoe, Bunyan's Pilgrim,
the Chevalier des Grieux, the Lover of Mr.
Longfellow's Evangeline, and a score of people
in the late Monsieur Sue's Mysteries of Paris.
And if I were to mention the instances of
real men who have yielded to the innate and
fascinating desire of running away, this paper
would run to seed in a mere dry list of
names. Not to mention the Wandering Jew
who has been running away now for nearly
two thousand years, leading, I should say, not
a miserable, but a fine natural supernatural
sort of life, full of a strong but not unpleasing
excitement, bating remorse, which time may
be charitably supposed to have diminished
there was Governor Wall, Wortley Montagu,
the Abbé Prevost, Mirabeau, Edgar Allan
Poe, Oliver Goldsmith, Louis Philippe, John
Wilkes, Dick Whittington, Samuel Taylor
Coleridge, alias Comberbatch, Louis Napoleon
Bonaparte, Sir Richard Steele, William
Hutton, Thomas Otway, Eugene Aram,
Jonathan Swift, Lord Bolingbroke, William
Cobbett, Jean Jacques Bousseau, and a thousand
others, not including the less illustrious
list of initials who have always ran away,
and are daily advertised for in the columns
of the newspapers; and leaving out of the
question, as actuated by a different passion,
all those infatuated persons who have ran
away to get married by Fleet and Savoy
parsons, and blacksmiths at Gretna.

As I run over these names, and many
more that I have not ventured to write down,
remembering their lives and adventures,
most of them read long ago, and more than
half-forgotten, I am more than ever
convinced of the soundness of my principles by
observing what is the particular incident
which, above all others, is fresh as ever in my
memory. Who was Caleb Williams's
tormentor; and even why he tormented him I
have not, after twenty years, a very clear
remembrance. What was the name of the
student who created the monster in Frankenstein;
or why he turned his attention to that
mischievous art, I have entirely forgotten.
Nor could I be relied upon to give the briefest
outline of the lives of any of those persons
whose names I have mentioned; but I
remember well that each and every one, for
some reason, and at some time or other,
ran away. This is what held me delighted
through page after page and chapter after
chapter, and this it is which still makes each
name and story pleasant to recall. There is
Sir Bichard Steelepoor Dick Steele, as
some people call him. I am not familiar
enough with him to speak of him in that
easy manner; but I know that he rode in the
Guards, and fought a duel, and became a
Christian hero; and wrote plays and essays
in the Tattler, the Guardian, and the Spec-
tator, and became Mr. Addison's double, and
got into debt, and had a narrow-minded

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