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tired to bed with rather a good opinion of himself. His conversation, in his own opinion at least, had been, if not decidedly brilliant, essentially agreeable. He had accomplished rather a neat bon mot, unearthed an apt quotation, turned a graceful compliment in honour of a fair neighbour, whose beaming eyes evinced that it was duly appreciated, and delivered himself of a few well-constructed sentences on a subject under discussion with so much effect, that respectful silence on all sides proved him to be master of the situation. He was pleased with the part he had played-affable but not familiar with the men, delicately attentive but not vulgarly demonstrative with the womankind. He reflects with some degree of complacency on the whole tenor of the evening, and even gives way to some faint misgiving whether he really deserves to be so successful in society as he is usually admitted to be. His eyes softly close in tranquil slumber, whilst he is forming a dim resolution to render his claims to general approbation more thoroughly substantial than is now the case.
“Morning breaks"-here is the essayist's picture of this representative man's next morning-"a winter morning of darkness visiblechilly and grim, 'no light, but a wannish glare.' The man struggles once more into consciousness . . . collects his somewhat obfuscated senses, and thinks upon his general position, past, present, and future. Last night's career of social and intellectual success naturally claims his earliest attention. What a very unpleasant change steals over the aspect of affairs ! He had bade adieu to the company, not elated, not excited —simply satisfied with himself, and on good terms with everybody else wrapped in a mild glow of tranquil self-complacency. What has become of it all ? He does not look at the matter by any means from the same point of view. Words, smiles, looks, gestures, recur to him. Was he altogether so successful, so ingratiating and impressive, as he fondly imagined? A mist of doubt begins to spread over the scene. That bon mot hovered on the verge of absurdity. That quotation was just a stale trifle. Was the gleam of light that danced in the eyes of his fair neighbour, when he turned that easy compliment, a token of grateful pleasure or an indication of suppressed merriment at his expense? Was that respectful silence a tribute of public homage or an avowal of universal fatigue ? In short, did he not make himself rather a bore? Was he not a little absurd ? Did he not, on the whole, and speaking dispassionately, make a fool of himself? Such are the unwelcome thoughts that grate upon the waking mind. . . . You feel exceedingly small. You are ready to apologise to all your acquaintances, individually and collectively. You meditate vaguely upon retiring from the world, embarking for Australia, or subsiding into a Lilliputian lodging at a fifthrate watering-place, in Devon or Somerset. Probably, however, your satisfaction the night before, and your despondency at break of day, are equally exaggerated. Probably you did not make a fool of yourself, but probably also you did not electrify the public with either your wisdom or your wit. You were about as agreeable as anybody else, neither more nor less."
Indeed, as the essayist goes on to show, the waking up of a morning is a sort of double process—a shaking off both of bodily slumber and of mental delusion-but its first shock is often over-harsh, and drives us
from undue contentment into morbid self-abasement :—the balance is only regained as the day advances and the judgment resumes its natural sway.
Two sonnets of Wordsworth's, recording a thrush's jubilant ecstasies over-night, and the “sad vicissitude” in his wood-notes wild, next morning, admit of an entirely human application. The second sonnet commences :
'Tis he whose yester-evening's high disdain
Moon Doubly depressed, setting, and in her wane ?* Under the presidency of Dean Milner, call at the lodge at Queen's College in the evening, and you heard him with stentorian lungs, we are told, tumbling out masses of knowledge, illuminated by remarks so pungent, and embellished with stories, illustrations, gestures, and phrases so broad and unceremonious, that you half expected the appearance of the Lady Margaret, to remind the master of the house that she had built that long gallery, and those oriel windows, for meditation and studious silence. But "call again in the morning, and you found him brokenhearted over some of the sorrows to which flesh is heir, or agitated by some college controversy, or debating with his apothecary how many scruples of senna should enter into his next draught, as though life and death were in the balance.”+
A page of Byron's Diary, at three-and-thirty, opens with this wistfully self-addressed note of interrogation : "I have been considering what can be the reason why I always wake, at a certain hour in the morning, and always in very bad spirits—I may say, in actual despair and despondency, in all respects—even of that which pleased me over-night. In about an hour or two this goes off, and I compose either to sleep again, or, at least, to quiet."I The Very Reverend Isaac, Dean of Carlisle, and the, of malice aforethought, very irreverend George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron, had not much in common ;—but this “next morning” hypochondria was to each of them a thorn in the flesh-associated with infinitely diverse circumstances, moral and metaphysical, but traceable in some essential particulars to an affinity in physical constitution.
Burns knew what he was about when he sealed, as well as wrote, at midnight, the rapturous epistles to Clarinda that his cooler brains would have repudiated as pure “bosh,” next morning. One of them thus winds up: “'Tis now the witching time of night; and whatever is out of joint in the foregoing scrawl, impute it to enchantments and spells; for I cannot look over it, but will seal it up directly, as I don't care for tomorrow's criticism upon it."
• Wordsworth's Miscellaneous Sonnets, XXXV.
# The Clapham Sect, by Sir James Stephen (Essays in Ecclesiast. Biog. vol. ii.). | Diary of Lord Byron, Feb. 2, 1821.
To Clarinda, Let. xii.
Next morning's verdicts are so apt to be in the teeth of last night's evidence. Not to be eclipsed in pious ardour by any religious community, Laynez, we are told, at the twenty-fifth and last session at Trent, solicited and obtained the boon that the Jesuits should continue to be bound by their self-denying renunciation of all worldly wealth. But, says Father Paul, “with the return of day other thoughts returned;" and, on the morrow, Laynez persuaded the council to reverse their sentence, so as to leave to his society the privilege of holding estates as a body corporate. *
Not without significance is the attempt that was made in the House of Commons, on the bill of Strafford's attainder being referred to a committee of the whole House, to defer the committee till next morning, “as the business was of great weight, and morning thoughts were the best and strongest ;"| but the motion for going into committee forthwith was carried. In such an affair, next morning would never do.
Next morning, after a drinking bout, where a man has committed himself, he knows not to what extent, is notoriously and beneficently a trying time. Multi tristantur post delicias, convivia, dies festos. Rattlebrained and light-headed at night; headachy and brow-bent next morning. Horace was not beating the air as a mere speculator or theorist, when he taught how last night's indulgence weighs down the body, and how the down-weighted body weighs down the mind too.
-Corpus onustum Hesternis vitiis animum quoque prægravat unà. Scott describes the belated actors in the Porteous riots as gliding about with “an humble and dismayed aspect, like men whose spirits being exhausted in the revel and the dangers of a desperate debauch over-night, are nerve-shaken, timorous, and unenterprising on the succeeding day."I His own Francis Osbaldistone, after the rude revel at his uncle, Sir Hildebrand's, $ when morning light puts such a new colour on objects, sensations, and sentiments, is a case in point.
Nay, is not the Wisest of men, King Solomon himself, as Prior paraphrases him?
I drank; I liked it not : 'twas rage, 'twas noise;
How flowed our mirth, and whence the source begun !|| Mr. Herman Melville's Adventures in the South Seas present a graphic sketch of his companion there, the long-limbed doctor, getting
* Edinburgh Review, No. clij.; Art. The Founders of Jesuitism.
|| Prior's Solomon, book ii.
“mellow" one night on the liquor named Tee (inappropriately enough so named, for English ears at least), together with an old native toper, of hyper-haustive powers. It was a curious sight. Every one knows, that, so long as the occasion lasts, there is no stronger bond of sympathy and good feeling among men, than getting tipsy together. And how earnestly a brace of worthies, thus employed, will endeavour to shed light upon, and elucidate, their mystical ideas! We are told to fancy Varvy and the doctor, then; lovingly tippling, and brimming over with a desire to become better acquainted; the doctor politely bent upon carrying on the conversation in the language of his host, and the old hermit persisting in trying to talk English. The result was, that between the two, they made such a fricassee of vowels and consonants, that it was enough to turn one's brain.--" The next morning, on waking, I heard a voice from the tombs. It was the doctor, solemnly pronouncing himself a dead man. He was sitting up, with both hands clasped over bis forehead, and his pale face a thousand times paler than ever. . That infernal stuff has murdered me! he cried. “Heavens! my head's all wheels and springs, like the automaton chess-player. What's to be done, Paul ? I'm poisoned.'»*
But, in the oracular words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, metaphorically designed to convey a political lesson, "A sick stomach, and a throbbing head, are as little favourable to just conceptions, as the gay madness of the midnight carousal. This is the morning after a debauch.”+ And so it was that the doctor, after drinking an herbal draught, concocted by his host, and eating a light meal, at noon, " felt much better,” and began to behave himself
more rationally, and see things more accurately, than was practicable either the last thing over-night, or the first thing next morning.
It is a truthful picture that Wordsworth draws, of another pair of carousers, early on the morrow of their revel,—Benjamin the Waggoner, pacing heavily beside his team, with his raffish Sailor-friend slouching alongside him,
And after their high-minded riot,
Upbraided bis distempered folly. I In his rhetorical résumé of first this, that, and the other,-first friendship, first love, &c. &c.,—Mr. Slick of Slickville is not forgetful of " gettin' out o' winders at night [in school days], goin' down to old Ross's, orderin' a supper, and pocketin' your fust whole bottle o' wine
* Omoo, ch. Ixxii. † Contributions to the political press (Sept. 25, 1802). | The Waggoner, canto iv.
oh! that fust whole bottle christened the man, and you woke up sober next mornin', and got the fust taste o' the world—sour in the mouth, sour in the stomach, sour in the temper, and sour all over ;- yes,
that's the world."*
Naïve and pithy is worthy maister Mansie Wauch's avowal, that on the morning after the business of the play-house, he had to take his breakfast in bed, a thing very uncommon to him, being generally up at cock-craw; but, on this occasion, “having a desperate sore head, and a squeamishness at the stomach, occasioned, I jealouse in a great measure, from what Mr. Glen and me had discussed at Widow Grassie's, in the shape of warm toddy, over our cracks concerning what is called the agricultural and manufacturing interests.” Throughout the whole of the forepart of the day, Mansie remains rather queerish, as if something was working about his inwards, and a droll pain (he calls it) between his eyes. In vain he tries a turn at the spade, in his bit garden: it would not do; and when he comes in at one o'clock to his dinner, the steam of the fresh broth, instead of making him feel, as usual, as hungry as a hawk, is like to turn his stomach; while the sight of the sheep's head, “ one of the primest ones I had seen the whole season, looked, for all the world, like the head of a boiled blackamoor, and made me as sick as a dog ; so I could do nothing but take a turn out again, and swig away at the small beer, that never seemed able to slacken
There was a great dinner at Charlottenburg, one day in April, 1730,
his English Excellency, Hotham, in a despatch about it, "we all got immoderately drunk,”—his Prussian Majesty, Frederick William II., signally included. At this symposium it was that the king committed himself-orally, and post-prandially--to the proposition of marriage between his daughter and our Frederick, Prince of Wales. For, in a state of exhilaration, as Mr. Carlyle depicts him, he blabs out the secret, and they openly drink, “ To the health of Wilhelmina, Princess of Wales !" Upon which the whole Palace of Charlottenburg now bursts into tripudiation; the very valets cutting capers, making somersaults,and rushing off with the news to Berlin.
But how opens the ensuing chapter in Mr. Carlyle's history of that court? “ Already next morning, after that grand dinner at Charlottenburg, Friedrich Wilhelm, awakening with his due headache, thought, and was heard saying, He had gone too far." Or as Excellency Hotham reports the matter, in his despatch to my Lord Townshend at London, “ So soon as his Majesty was sober, he found that he had gone too far at that grand dinner of Monday the 3rd ; and was in very bad humour in consequence."|| And when Frederick William was in bad humour
* The Attaché, ch. liv.
+ Moir's Mansie Wauch, ch. xviii. I Don Juan, canto iv.
Carlyle's Hist. of Fredk. the Grt., vol. ii. book vii. ch. i. ii.