A man here said to me, “Her went up ’xactly like an angel,” as if he often 토토사이트 saw them go, and thought I must have seen them too. (He was speaking of the finish of a play he saw in town.) Another person here was very certain of what angels did or did not do. A stranger came to the back-door one Sunday morning, and asked for a drink of cider to help him on his way. He was denied it by the maid who was in charge there, and thereupon he said to her—“You know not what you do. You might be entertaining angels unawares.” To which she answered—“Get thee’ long. Angels don’t go drinkin’ cider church-times.”

People sometimes ask me for advice on matters of which I am no judge, and a girl once asked me this:—She had been engaged to a young man for several years, but the engagement had just been broken off. She used to suffer dreadfully from toothache; and in the early days of his affection he sent her to the dentist, and paid for putting in a plate of teeth. Was that plate of teeth a present that ought to be returned? Rightly or wrongly, I said that it was not; and I see she has it still.

When teeth are drawn, young people here think nothing of the pain, but often speak with pride of the resistance of their teeth—“he scarce could stir’n,” or “he had a proper job to get’n.” In a letter to my father, 20 January 1860, my grandfather says—“I saw a man spitting out blood, and asked him the matter, when he said he had had a tooth drawn, and the doctor had torn the jaw.... I gave him brandy on lint, which soon stopped the flow of blood.... The old dentists or tooth-drawers used to apply salt and water, which was not bad, though a little brandy would have been better: but the fact is their charge was only sixpence, so they could not afford the brandy. But now, I hear, those new fashioned ones charge as much as five shillings: therefore there is no excuse.{59}”

A man here who was born in 1852, tells me that he had whooping-cough when he was four years old, and that he was treated for it (if not cured of it) by being laid on a sheep’s forme. A forme is the imprint that a sheep makes on the grass by lying in one place all night; and when the sheep gets up in the morning, a sort of vapour rises from the warm ground underneath into the cold morning air. He was taken out into a meadow in the early morning, and was told to lie face-downwards on a forme and breathe this vapour in, not merely through the nostrils but with open mouth. He breathed it in until the ground was cold and there was no more vapour to be breathed (a matter of about five minutes) and then he was taken home to bed.

People now-a-days laugh at cures like that, but they laughed at Jenner when he first said that there was something about a cow that kept small-pox away. There may be something about a sheep that cures the whooping-cough; but there may be people who would rather have the whooping-cough than cure it in this way. I remember about fifty years ago a claret was being advertised as an antidote to gout; and the old three-bottle men who tried it, all said that they would rather have the gout.

I started drinking port when I was less than two years old. An injudicious friend remonstrated with my mother—if I had port when I was well, what could I take if I were ill and needed strengthening? She answered that it would prevent my ever being ill. I never was ill enough to spend a day in bed till I was fifty-five, and might never have been ill at all, if I had gone on drinking port proportionately; but I degenerated with the times and only drank two glasses, not two bottles, as I should. There is an entry in Dyott’s Diary, 10 November 1787—“There were just twenty dined, and we drank sixty-three bottles of wine.” I heard of a man going to a physician because he could not drink three bottles, as his father did before him. The physician said, “Perhaps it was port that your father drank.” Even in my time it has become a different wine. If I can trust my tongue, the vintages of 1900 and 1904 are quite unlike the vintages of 1847 and 1858 at similar ages. Phylloxera attacked the Douro vineyards after 1878, and most of them have been replanted with a stronger sort of vine.{60}

My grandfather was a little disturbed about my starting port so early in my life. He writes to my father on 22 November 1858, “My views are different from yours respecting the treatment of young children: however, I hope all will go right with him,” and again on 30 January 1859, “I hope he gets on well—but not too much port wine, mind.” All went right with me, and I got on as he hoped; and he writes on 25 December 1859 that a neighbour said I had “limbs strong enough for a wrestler.”

Wrestling was formerly as great a sport in Devon as in Cornwall; but it died out in this district about fifty years ago. My brother writes to my father, 2 August 1866—“I went to see the wrestling, but it was a rough and clumsy business.” This was at a festival at Lustleigh in honour of the opening of the railway. My grandfather writes to my father, 28 May 1858—“There was a grand wrestling match at Moreton on Saturday, set on foot by Mr *, who said he would see one match more before he left the world.” A few years earlier there was wrestling at Moreton every summer. My grandfather notes, 22 June 1841, “Moreton Wrestling today,” 14 June 1842, “Wrestling at Moreton today and tomorrow,” and so on, and usually with a further note that so-and-so or so-and-so had gone off there instead of sticking to work.

Writing to my father on 10 November 1861, my grandfather says, “Football was a game much played in my youth, but cricket was my favourite game.” He was born in 1789; and the cricket and football of a century ago were very different from cricket and football now.

The chimney-pot hat used to be worn in playing cricket; and I have seen it worn in matches on village-greens and even at Lord’s. The distinction between Gentlemen and Players was much sharper then than now; and the Gentlemen wore chimney-pots, while the Players wore caps. Policemen also wore chimney-pots, a London fashion adopted in Milan and retained by policemen there. And the Channel Pilots wore chimney-pots. I remember them on liners starting from the Thames. The pilots were dropped off Dover or the Isle of Wight, and kept their hats on even when going down the ship’s side to the pilot cutter, and came on board in the same style on voyages home.{61}

My father told me how he once got a lesson in the Continental way of taking off your hat to anyone. He met Louis Philippe strolling in the Tuileries gardens, and raised his hat to him as he would have raised it to Prince Albert or anyone like that in England. And in reply the King not merely raised his hat, but swung it right down to the level of his knees and up again.

He notes in his diary on 17 September 1840 that he was at Versailles that afternoon, and “there were no cheers or any sign of respect” when Louis Philippe drove out from the Trianon. He also notes on 15 September that “the Palais de Justice is strongly guarded, as young Bonaparte is imprisoned there.” Some years afterwards he saw ‘young Bonaparte’ in the Tuileries gardens and Louis Philippe at Kew.—Napoleon the Third had landed in France on 6 August 1840, and was sentenced on 6 October to imprisonment for life, not escaping until 1846.

After a visit to the Palais de Justice, 16 October 1839, he notes down in his diary—“An advocate on the right bench was addressing the judges as I entered. He used an immense deal of action and gesture, quite unknown at the English bar. Then the advocate on the other side replied. His action was much more violent, even when reading from documents.” He liked things quietly done. In his diary, 24 March 1838, he speaks of Lord Denman as “a judge more to my liking than any one I ever saw: quite a contrast to some of them, especially in his exclusive attention to the case in hand, instead of officiously meddling with every thing and body in the court.”

Some twenty years ago a very astute old man in Paris got into litigation in the English courts about a group of companies that he controlled; and he asked me confidentially how much I thought he ought to give the judge in order to secure the right decision. I felt it would be waste of time to tell him that we did not do this here: so I told him what huge salaries our judges got, and what big fortunes most of them had made while they were at the Bar. He saw their price would be prohibitive, and gave the notion up. He really had a very strong case that was bound to win upon its merits; but from what he said, I gathered that merits were not always the decisive point in France in litigation or in anything else.{62}

I once saw a trial for brigandage in Sicily. (I think it must have been at Girgenti in 1885, but am not quite sure.) This band of brigands never made mistakes. They never tried to rob a man unless he happened to be carrying a good amount of money: they never held a man to ransom unless he was worth ransoming; and they never fixed his ransom at a higher sum than his people could just manage to pay. They evidently had good information; and there were comparatively few people from whom the various bits of information could have come. And now the police had not only got the band of brigands, but had got the members of the syndicate that ran the band. I saw the prisoners in court—they were all inside a great big iron cage like one of the aviaries at the Zoo—and I have never seen more respectable and pious looking people than some of the members of that syndicate.

There was a story going round Sicily then of some young scamp, who was hard up, and arranged with brigands to capture him and share the ransom that his parents were quite sure to pay. The parents paid up heavily, and the brigands kept their word and gave him half.

I was at Taormina in 1883—it was a quiet place then with only two small inns, not a suburb of hotels, as now—and I was reading in Goethe’s diary of his travels, 7 May 1787, how he sat there in a garden by the sea and planned Nausikaa, a five-act tragedy of which he wrote no more than sixty lines. I am only a Wahrheit man myself, and have no Dichtung in me: yet I have imagined Nausicaa in Corfu, when looking at the stone Phæacian ship there; and I have also imagined Ulysses in Sicily, when looking at the seven great rocks the Cyclops hurled at him at Aci; but Taormina brought me down to 735 B.C., with the first Greek colony in Sicily on the little headland there, and all that this portended for Carthage and for Rome. Being a real poet, Goethe only talks geology about the rocks at Aci, and rather regrets he did not picnic there and hammer off some specimens of zeolite. He says the Taormina scenery will provide him with a setting for his play: he will model Ulysses on himself, his own conversation being quite as entertaining and instructive as anything Ulysses can have said to the Phæacians; and he will model Nausicaa on the ladies he left broken-hearted at each place where he stayed.{63}

A poet ought not to disclose the sources of his inspiration. One day Petrarch was thinking of Laura till his eyes were filled with tears, and he walked into a brook he did not see: hence Del mar Tirreno. And one day Toplady got underneath a rock and kept dry in a storm: hence Rock of Ages. Toplady was here the wiser man, and the better poet too, for he says nothing of the rain, whereas Petrarch talks of his wet feet.

Goethe has disclosed his sources here; and his setting for the play seems just as inappropriate as his heroine and hero. The ancients were convinced that Corfu was Phæacia, and there is a certain austerity about Corfu that exactly suits the theme; whereas Taormina is all riotous luxuriance, befitting a Cyclops or a Satyr, but not Nausicaa. And surely Ulysses and Nausicaa are worlds away from Goethe and the ladies who adored him. Croce has called him ‘gran poeta’ and ‘borghese’ also, that is, ‘bourgeois’ or ‘middle-class’; and I think it hits him off.

Tradition has made Homer old and blind, and knows nothing of his maturity or youth. And from this I gather that he made his reputation late in life; and I suspect he made it with his later work, the Odyssey, or rather with the striking part of it, the travels of Ulysses, v. 1-xiii. 184. I fancy that Ulysses was to Homer what Hajji Baba was to Morier—a character of whom he could narrate all manner of tales collected from all sources; and his tales of Southern Italy and Sicily were just the tales to take the fancy of the Greeks, when they first thought of planting colonies there.

For my own part I believe that he lived on until about 800 B.C.—as Herodotos avers, ii. 53—and that he heard the first explorers’ tales of all the places that Ulysses visits. I do not underrate the difficulties of this, and have read some cubic feet of books about them; but, where the critics trace the handiwork of different poets, I cannot see anything but Homer at different stages of his life. He must have reached a good old age; and an author’s point of view may shift a long way with advancing years. In the Vatican Library they show you Henry the Eighth’s treatise against Martin Luther with the author’s dedication to the Pope.{64}

There is an amusing little volcano near Girgenti, and I once spent the best part of a day there playing with it, 26 March 1885. It is called the Maccaluba, which clearly is the Arabic maklûbah, ‘topsy-turvy,’ so that the name goes back to the days of Arab rule in Sicily. The mound is about 150 feet high, and on it there are little cones that shoot out gas and mud. You throw turf and stones into the mouth of a cone until you stop it up: then it wheezes and gurgles for a while, and finally shoots out the things you have put in; and you retire briskly, as the mud is scorching if it catches you. But the whole volcano was very quiet then, and seemed more bored than angry in the way it shot things out.

Apart from its great cone, Etna has always given me the notion of a big Bath Bun, the little cones being the lollipops. It covers more than four hundred square miles—twice the whole extent of Dartmoor—and it is only two miles high. It looks best at long distances, where the lower part is hidden and the cone stands out: the best view I ever had of it, was from a steamer going from Brindisi to Malta. With little more than a third of the height, Vesuvius made more show. But it is sad to see Vesuvius now, after the eruption of 1906: the cone fell in, and that has deprived the mountain of its former grace. Volcanoes have these ups and downs. I always wish I could have seen the rise of Monte Nuovo on the other side of the bay. It is 450 feet in height, and rose up from level ground in the course of a few hours.

We have an extinct volcano here, only half a mile from this house. One sees geologists going round there now and then with their little bags and hammers and going off with specimens. An eminent geologist came lecturing here in 1906, and he spoke of volcanoes breaking out again after long periods of calm, such outbreaks being usually most violent. One of the listeners was much disturbed at hearing this, and thought it hardly worth his while to go on putting in potatoes near such a dangerous place. So he inquired when that hillock were a-likely to be bustin’ forth. With the spaciousness of a true geologist, the lecturer replied, “In the science of geology a period of thirty thousand years is relatively....” The man went on with his potatoes.