REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Very true, sir. Education is well finished, for all worldly
purposes, when the head is brought into the state whereinto I am accustomed to
bring a marrow-bone, when it has been set before me on a toast, with a white
napkin wrapped round it. Nothing trundles along the high road of preferment so
trimly as a well-biassed sconce, picked clean within and polished without; totus
teres atque rotundus. The perfection of the finishing lies in the bias, which keeps
it trundling in the given direction. There is good and sufficient reason for the fig
being barren, but it is not therefore the less a barren fig.
At Godstow, they gathered hazel on the grave of Rosamond; and, proceeding on
their voyage, fell into a discussion on legendary histories.
LADY CLARINDA. History is but a tiresome thing in itself: it becomes more
agreeable the more romance is mixed up with it. The great enchanter has made
me learn many things which I should never have dreamed of studying, if they had
not come to me in the form of amusement.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. What enchanter is that? There are two enchanters: he of
the north, and he of the south.
MR. TRILLO. Rossini!
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Ay, there is another enchanter. But I mean the great
enchanter of Covent Garden: he who, for more than a quarter of a century, has
produced two pantomimes a year, to the delight of children of all ages; including
myself at all ages. That is the enchanter for me. I am for the pantomimes. All the
northern enchanter's romances put together would not furnish materials for half
the Southern enchanter's pantomimes.
LADY CLARINDA. Surely you do not class literature with pantomime?
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. In these cases, I do. They are both one, with a slight
difference. The one is the literature of pantomime, the other is the pantomime of
literature. There is the same variety of character, the same diversity of story, the
same copiousness of incident, the same research into costume, the same display
of heraldry, falconry, minstrelsy, scenery, monkery, witchery, devilry, robbery,
poachery, piracy, fishery, gipsy-astrology, demonology, architecture, fortification,
castrametation, navigation; the same running base of love and battle. The main
difference is, that the one set of amusing fictions is told in music and action; the
other in all the worst dialects of the English language. As to any sentence worth
remembering, any moral or political truth, anything having a tendency, however
remote, to make men wiser or better, to make them think, to make them ever
think of thinking; they are both precisely alike nuspiam, nequaquam, nullibi,
LADY CLARINDA. Very amusing, however.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Very amusing, very amusing.
MR. CHAINMAIL. My quarrel with the northern enchanter is, that he has grossly
misrepresented the twelfth century.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. He has misrepresented everything, or he would not have
been very amusing. Sober truth is but dull matter to the reading rabble. The
angler, who puts not on his hook the bait that best pleases the fish, may sit all
day on the bank without catching a gudgeon.