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Allow even the thousandth part of human pub-case was always intrinsically similar. The lishing for the emission of Thought, though Life of Nero occupies some diamond pages of perhaps the millionth were enough, we have our Tacitus: but in the parchment and pastill the nine hundred and ninety-nine employ-pyrus archives of Nero's generation how many ed in History proper, in relating occurrences, did it fill? The Author of the Vie de Sénéque, or conjecturing probabilities of such; that is at this distance, picking up a few residuary to say, either in History or Prophecy, which snips, has with ease made two octavos of it. is a new form of History;-and so the reader On the other hand, were the contents of the can judge with what abundance this life- then extant Roman memories, or, going to the breath of the human intellect is furnished in utmost length, were all that was then spoken our world; whether Nature has been stingy on it, put in types, how many "longitudinal to him or munificent. Courage, reader! Never feet" of small-pica had we,-in belts that would can the historical inquirer want pabulum, go round the Globe? better or worse; are there not forty-eight longitudinal feet of small-printed History in thy Daily Newspaper?

History, then, before it can become Universal History, needs of all things to be compressed. Were there no epitomizing of HisThe truth is, if Universal History is such a tory, one could not remember beyond a week. miserable defective" shred" as we have named Nay, go to that with it, and exclude compres it, the fault lies not in our historic organs, but sion altogether, we could not remember an wholly in our misuse of these; say rather, in hour, or at all: for Time, like Space, is inso many wants and obstructions, varying with finitely divisible; and an hour with its events, the various age, that pervert our right use of with its sensations and emotions, might be them; especially two wants that press heavily diffused to such expansion as should cover in all ages want of Honesty, want of Under- the whole field of memory, and push all else standing. If the thing published is not true, over the limits. Habit, however, and the natural is only a supposition, or even a wilful inven- constitution of man, do themselves prescribe tion, what can be done with it, except abolish serviceable rules for remembering; and keep it and annihilate it? But again, Truth, says at a safe distance from us all such fantastic Horne Tooke, means simply the thing trowed, possibilities;-into which only some foolish the thing believed; and now, from this to the Mohammedan Caliph, ducking his head in a thing extant, what a new fatal deduction have bucket of enchanted water, and so beating out we to suffer! Without Understanding, Belief one wet minute into seven long years of servi itself will profit little and how can your pub- tude and hardship, could fall. The rudest lishing avail, when there was no vision in it, peasant has his complete set of Annual Regisbut mere blindness? For us in political ap-ters legibly printed in his brain; and, without pointments, the man you appoint is not he who the smallest training in Mnemonics, the prowas ablest to discharge the duty, but only he per pauses, sub-divisions, and subordinations who was ablest to be appointed; so too, in all of the little to the great, all introduced there. historic elections and selections, the maddest Memory and Oblivion, like Day and Night, work goes on. The even worthiest to be known and indeed like all other Contradictions in this is perhaps of all others the least spoken of; strange dualistic Life of ours, are necessary nay some say, it lies in the very nature of such for each other's existence: Oblivion is the events to be so. Thus, in those same forty- dark page, whereon Memory writes her lighteight longitudinal feet of History, or even when beam characters, and makes them legible; they have stretched out into forty-eight longi- were it all light, nothing could be read there, cudinal miles, of the like quality, there may not any more than if it were all darkness. be the forty-eighth part of a hair's-breadth that will turn to any thing. Truly, in these times, the quantity of printed Publication that will need to be consumed with fire, before the smallest permanent advantage can be drawn from it, might fill us with astonishment, almost with apprehension. Where, alas, is the intrepid Herculean Dr. Wagtail, that will reduce all these paper-mountains into tinder, and extract therefrom the three drops of Tinder-water Elixir?

As with man and these autobiographic Annual-Registers of his, so goes it with Mankind and its Universal History, (which also is its Autobiography :) a like unconscious talent of remembering and of forgetting again does the work here. The transactions of the day, were they never so noisy, cannot remain loud for ever; the morrow comes with its new noises, claiming also to be registered: in the immeasurable conflict and concert of this chaos of existence, figure after figure sinks, as all that has emerged must one day sink: what cannot be kept in mind will even go out of mind; History contracts itself into readable extent; and at last, in the hands of some Bossuet or Müller, the whole printed History of the World, from the Creation downwards, has grown shorter than that of the Ward of Portsoken for one solar day.

For, indeed, looking at the activity of the historic Pen and Press through this last halfcentury, and what bulk of History it yields for that period alone, and how it is henceforth like to increase in decimal or vigesimal geometric progression,-one might feel as if a day were not distant, when perceiving that the whole Earth would not now contain those writings of what was done in the Earth, the human memory must needs sink confounded, and cease remembering!-To some the reflec-, tion may be new and consolatory, that this state of ours is not so unexampled as it seems; that with memory and things memorable the

Whether such contraction and epitome is always wisely formed, might admit of question; or rather, as we say, admits of no question. Scandalous Cleopatras and Messalinas, Caligulas and Commoduses, in unprofitable propor.. tion, survive for memory; while a scientific

Pancirollus must write his Book of Arts Lost; | sand times, if we name him George Fourth. and a moral Pancirollus (were the vision lent The whole Saxon Heptarchy, though events, him) might write a still more mournful Book to which Magna Charta, and the world-famous of Virtues Lost; of noble men, doing, and Third Reading, are as dust in the balance, daring, and enduring, whose heroic life, as a took place then (for did not England, to mennew revelation and development of Life itself, tion nothing else, get itself, if not represented were a possession for all, but is now lost and in Parliament, yet converted to Christianity?) forgotten, History having otherwise filled her is summed up practically in that one sentence page. In fact, here as elsewhere what we call of Milton's (the only one succeeding writers Accident governs much; in any case, History have copied, or readers remembered) of the must come together not as it should, but as it “fighting and flocking of kites and crows." can and will. Neither was that an unimportant wassail-night, when the two black-browed Brothers, strongheaded, headstrong, Hengist and Horsa, (Stallion and Horse,) determined on a man-hunt in Britain, the boar-hunt at home having got over-crowded; and so, of a few hungry Angles, made an English Nation, and planted it here, and-produced thee, O Reader! Of Hengist's whole campaignings scarcely half a page of good Narrative can now be written; the LordMayor's Visit to Oxford standing, meanwhile, revealed to mankind in a respectable volume. Nay what of this? Does not the Destruction of a Brunswick Theatre take above a million times as much telling as the Creation of a World?

Remark nevertheless how, by natural tendency alone, and as it were without man's forethought, a certain fitness of selection, and this even to a high degree, becomes inevitable. Wholly worthless the selection could not be, were there no better rule than this to guide it: that men permanently speak only of what is extant and actively alive beside them. Thus do the things that have produced fruit, nay whose fruit still grows, turn out to be the things chosen for record and writing of; which things alone were great, and worth recording. The Battle of Chalons, where Hunland met Rome, and the Earth was played for, at swordfence, by two earth bestriding giants, the sweep of whose swords cut kingdoms in pieces, hovers dim in the languid remembrance of a few; while the poor police-court Treachery of a wretched Iscariot, transacted in the wretched land of Palestine, centuries earlier, for "thirty pieces of silver," lives clear in the heads, in the hearts of all men. Nay moreover, as only that which bore fruit was great; so of all things, that whose fruit is still here and growing must be the greatest, the best worth remembering; which again, as we see, by the very nature of the case, is mainly the thing remembered. Observe too how this "mainly" tends always to become a "solely," and the approximate continually approaches nearer: for triviality after triviality, as it perishes from the living activity of men, drops away from their speech and memory, and the great and vital more and more exclusively survive there. Thus does Accident correct Accident; and in the wondrous boundless jostle of things, (an aimful PowER presiding over it, say rather, dwelling in it,) a result comes out that may be put up with.

Curious, at all events, and worth looking at once in our life, is this same compressure of History, be the process thereof what it may. How the "forty-eight longitudinal feet" have shrunk together after a century, after ten centuries! Look back from end to beginning, over any History; over our own England: how, in rapidest law of perspective, it dwindles from the canvas! An unhappy Sybarite, if we stand within two centuries of him and name him Charles Second, shall have twelve times the space of a heroic Alfred; two or three thou- | shall bring in question."

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To use a ready-made similitude, we might liken Universal History to a magic web; and consider with astonishment how, by philosophic insight and indolent neglect, the evergrowing fabric wove itself forward, out of that ravelled immeasurable mass of threads and thrums, (which we name Memoirs;) nay, at each new lengthening, (at each new epoch,) changed its whole proportions, its hue and structure to the very origin. Thus, do not the records of a Tacitus acquire new meaning, after seventeen hundred years, in the hands of a Montesquieu? Niebuhr must reinterpret for us, at a still greater distance, the writings of a Titus Livius: nay, the religious archaic chroni cles of a Hebrew Prophet and Lawgiver escape not the like fortune; and many a ponderous Eichhorn scans, with new-ground philosophic spectacles, the revelation of a Moses, and strives to re-produce for this century what, thirty centuries ago, was of plainly infinite significance to all. Consider History with the beginnings of it stretching dimly into the remote Time; emerging darkly out of the mysterious Eternity: the ends of it enveloping us at this hour, whereof we, at this hour, both as actors and relators, form part! In shape we might mathematically name it HyperbolicAsymptotic; ever of infinite breadth around us; soon shrinking within narrow limits: ever narrowing more and more into the infinite depth behind us. In essence and significance it has been called "the true Epic Poem, and universal Divine Scripture, whose 'plenary inspiration' no man (out of Bedlam or in it)

2 x 2

COUNT CAGLIOSTRO.

IN TWO FLIGHTS.

[FRASER'S MAGAZINE, 1833.]

Flight First.

small number seem utter Pasquils, mere ribald libels on Humanity: these too, however, are at times worth reading.

"THE life of every man," says our friend Herr Sauerteig, "the life even of the meanest "In this wise," continues our too obscure man, it were good to remember, is a Poem; friend, " out of all imaginable elements, awakperfect in all manner of Aristotelean requi-ening all imaginable moods of heart and soul, sites; with beginning, middle, and end; with 'barbarous enough to excite, tender enough perplexities, and solutions; with its Will-to assuage,' ever contradictory yet ever costrength, (Willenkraft,) and warfare against alescing, is that mighty world-old Rhapsodia Fate, its elegy and battle-singing, courage of Existence, page after page, (generation after marred by crime, everywhere the two tragic generation,) and chapter, (or epoch,) after elements of Pity and Fear; above all, with chapter, poetically put together! This is what supernatural machinery enough,-for was not some one names the grand sacred Epos, or the man born out of NONENTITY; did he not Bible of World-History; infinite in meaning die, and miraculously vanishing return thither? as the Divine Mind it emblems; wherein he The most indubitable Poem! Nay, whoso will, is wise that can read here a line and there a may he not name it a Prophecy, or whatever line. else is highest in his vocabulary; since only in Reality lies the essence and foundation of all that was ever fabled, visioned, sung, spoken, or babbled by the human species; and the actual Life of Man includes in it all Revelations, true and false, that have been, are, or are to be. Man! I say therefore, reverence thy fellow-mun. He too issued from Above; is mystical and supernatural, (as thou namest it:) this know thou of a truth. Seeing also that we ourselves are of so high Authorship, is not that, in very deed, the highest Reverence,' and most needful for us: Reverence for oneself?'

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"Remark, too, under another aspect, whether it is not in this same Bible of World-History that all men, in all times, with or without clear consciousness, have been unwearied to read, (what we may call read :) and again to write, or rather to be written! What is all History, and all Poesy, but a deciphering somewhat thereof, (out of that mystic heaven-written Sanscrit,) and rendering it into the speech of men? Know thyself, value thyself, is a moralist's commandment, (which I only half approve of;) but Know others, value others, is the hest of Nature herself. Or again, Work while it is called To-day is not that also the irreversible “Thus, to my view, is every Life, more pro-law of being for mortal man? And now, what perly is every Man that has life to lead, a is all working, what is all knowing, but a faint small strophe, or occasional verse, composed interpreting and a faint showing forth of that by the Supernal Powers; and published, in same Mystery of Life, which ever remains insuch type and shape, with such embellish-finite,-heaven-written mystic Sanserit? View ments, emblematic head-piece and tail-piece it as we will, to him that lives Lite is a divine as thou seest, to the thinking or unthinking matter; felt to be of quite sacred significance. universe. Heroic strophes some few are; Consider the wretchedest straddling biped full of force and a sacred fire, so that to latest that wears breeches' of thy acquaintance; ages the hearts of those that read therein are into whose wool-head, Thought, as thou rashly made to tngle. Jeremiads others seem: mere supposest, never entered; who, in froth-element weeping laments, harmonious or disharmo- of business, pleasure, or what else he names nious Remonstrances against Destiny; whereat it. walks forever in a vain show; asking not we too may sometimes profitably weep. Again Whence, or Why, or Whither; looking up to have we not (flesh-and-blood) strophes of the the Heaven above as if some upholsterer had idylle sonhough in these days rarely, made it, and down to the Hell beneath as if he owing to Poor Laws, Game Laws, Population had neither part nor lot there: yet tell me, Theories, and the like! Farther, of the comic does not he too, over and above his five finite laughter-loving sort; yet ever with an un-senses, acknowledge some sixth infinite sense, fathomable carnestress, as is fit, lying under- were it only that of Vanity? For, sate him in neath for, bethink thee, what is the mirth- the other five as you may, will this sixth sense fullest, grinning face of any Grimaldi, but a leave him rest? Does he not rise early and transitory mosk, behind which quite otherwise sit late, and study impromptus, and, (in congrins--the most indubitable Death's-head! How-stitutional countries,) parliamentary motions, ever, I say further, there are strophes of the and bursts of eloquence, and gird himself in pastoral sort, (as in Ettrick, Afghaunistan, whalebone, and pad himself and perk himself, and elsewhere ;) of the farcic-tragic, melo- and in all ways painfully take heed of his dramatic. of all named and a thousand un-goings; feeling (if we must admit it) that an nameable sorts there are poetic strophes, writ- altogether infinite endowment has been inten, as was said, in Heaven, printed on Earth, trusted him also, namely, a Life to lead? Thus and published, (bound, in woollen cloth, or does he too, with his whole force, in his own clothes,) for the use of the studious. Finally, a way, proclaim that the world-old Rhapsodia of

Existence is divine, and an inspired Bible; fashion with ourselves,) we run to witness all and, himself a wondrous verse therein, (be it manifestations thereof: what man soever has heroic, be it pasquillic,) study with his whole marked out a peculiar path of life for himself, soul, as we said, both to read and to be written! | (let it lead this way or that way,) and success. "Here also I will observe, that the manner fully travelled the same, of him we specially in which men read this same Bible is, like all inquire, How he travelled; What befell him else, proportionate to their stage of culture, to on the journey? Though the man were a the circumstances of their environment. First, knave of the first water, this hinders not the and among the earliest Oriental nations, it question, How he managed his knavery? Nay, was read wholly like a Sacred Book; most it rather encourages such question; for noclearly by the most earnest, those wondrous thing properly is wholly despicable, at once Hebrew Readers; whose reading accordingly detestable and forgettable, but your half-knave, was itself sacred, has meaning for all tribes he who is neither true nor false; who never in of mortal men; since ever, to the latest genera- his existence once spoke or did any true thing, tion of the world, a true utterance from the (for indeed his mind lives in twilight with catinnermost of man's being will speak signifi- vision, incapable of discerning truth;) and yet cantly to man. But, again, in how different a had not the manfulness to speak or act any style was that other Oriental reading of the decided lie; but spent his whole life in plasMagi; of Zerdusht, or whoever it was that first tering together the True and the False, and so opened the matter? Gorgeous semi-sensual therefrom manufacturing the Plausible. Such Grandeurs and Splendours; on infinite dark- a one our Transcendentals have defined as a ness brightest-glowing light and fire;-of moral Hybrid and chimera; therefore, under which, all defaced by Time, and turned mostly the moral point of view, as an Impossibility, and into lies, a quite late reflex, in those Arabian mere deceptive Nonentity,-put together for Tales and the like, still leads captive every commercial purposes. Of which sort, nevertheheart. Look thirdly at the earnest West, and less, how many millions, through all manner of that Consecration of the Flesh, which stept gradations, from the wielder of king's sceptres forth life-lusty, radiant, smiling-earnest, in to the vender of brimstone matches, at teaimmortal grace, from under the chisel and the tables, council-tables, behind shop-counters, in stylus of old Greece. Here too was the Infinite priests' pulpits, incessantly and everywhere, do intelligibly proclaimed as infinite: and the now, in this world of ours, in this isle of ours, antique man walked between a Tartarus and offer themselves to view! From such, at an Elysium, his brilliant Paphos-islet of exist- least from this intolerable over-proportion of ence embraced by boundless oceans of sadness such, might the merciful Heavens one day and fatal gloom.-Of which three antique man- deliver us. Glorious, heroic, fruitful for his ners of reading, our modern manner, you will own Time, and for all Time, (and all Eternity) remark, has been little more than the imita- is the constant Speaker and Doer of Truth! tion; for always, indeed, the West has been If no such again, in the present generation, is rifer of doers than of speakers. The Hebrew to be vouchsafed us, let us have at least the manner has had its echo in our Pulpits and melancholy pleasure of beholding a decided choral aisles; the Ethnic Greek and Arabian Liar. Wretched mortal, that with a single in numberless mountains of Fiction, rhymed, eye to be "respectable," for ever sittest cobrhymeless, published by subscription, by puf- bling together Inconsistencies, which stick not fery, in periodicals, or by money of your own, for an hour, but require ever new gluten and (durch eignes Geld.) Till now at last (by dint labour,-will it, by no length of experience, no of iteration and reiteration through some ten bounty of Time or Chance, be revealed to thee centuries) all these manners have grown ob- that Truth is of Heaven and Falsehood is of solete, wearisome, meaningless; listened to Hell; that if thou cast not from thee the one only as the monotonous moaning wind, while or the other, thy existence is wholly an illuthere is nothing else to listen to ;-and so now, sion and optical and tactual Phantasm; that well nigh in total oblivion of the Infinitude of properly thou existest not at all? Respectable! Life, (except what small unconscious recognition What in the Devil's name, is the use of Respectthe straddling biped' above argued of may ability, (with never so many gigs and silver have,) we wait, in hope and patience, for some spoons,) if thou inwardly art the pitifullest of fourth manner of anew convincingly announc- all men? I would thou wert either cold or hot. ing it." One such desirable second-best, perhaps the

These singular sentences from the Esthe-chief of all such, we have here found in the tische Spring-würze we have thought right to Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, Pupil of the translate and quote. by way of proem and Sage Althotas. Foster-child of the Scherif of apology. We are here about to give some Mecca, probable Son of the last King of Trebicritical account of what Herr Sauerteig would sond; named also Acharat, and unfortunate call a " flesh-and-blood Poem of the purest child of Nature; by profession healer of disPasquil sort;" in plain words, to examine the eases, abolisher of wrinkles, friend of the poor biography of the most perfect scoundrel that and impotent, grandmaster of the Egyptian in these latter ages has marked the world's Mason-lodge of High Science, Spirit-sum history. Pasquils too, says Sauerteig, "are at moner, Gold-cook, Grand Cophta, Prophet, times worth reading." Or quitting that mys- Priest, and thaumaturgic morallist and Swin tic dialect of his, may we not assert in our dler; really a Liar of the first magnitude. own way, that the history of an Original Man thorough paced in all provinces of lying, what is always worth knowing? So magnificent a one may call the King of Liars. Mendez thing is Will, (incarnated in a creature of like Pinto, Baron Münchäusen, and others, are

celebrated in this art, and not without some colour of justice; yet must it in candour remain doubtful whether any of these comparatively were much more than liars from the teeth onwards: a perfect character of the species in question, who lied not in word only, nor in act and word only, but continually, in thought, word, and act; and, so to speak, lived wholly in an element of lying, and from birth to death did nothing but lie,-was still a desideratum. Of which desideratum Count Alessandro offers, we say, if not the fulfilment, perhaps as near an approach to such as the limited human faculties permit. Not in the modern ages, probably not in the ancient, (though these had their Autolycus, their Apollonius, and enough else,) did any completer figure of this sort issue out of Chaos and Old Night: a sublime kind of figure, presenting himself with "the air of calm strength," of sure perfection in his art; whom the heart opens itself to with wonder and a sort of welcome. "The only vice, I know," says one, "is Inconsistency." At lowest, answered we, he that docs his work shall have his work judged of. Indeed, if Satan himself has in these days become a poetic hero, why should not Cagliostro, for some short hour, be a prose one? "One first question," says a great Philosopher, "I ask of every man: Has he an aim, which with undivided soul he follows, and advances towards! Whether his aim is a right one or a wrong one, forms but my second question." Here then is a small "human Pasquil," not without poetic interest.

not stagnate, go silent, and fall to pieces in the ditch? Such question did the scientific curiosity of the present writer often put: and for many a day in vain.

Neither, indeed, as Book-readers know, was he peculiar herein. The great Schiller, for example, struck both with the poetic and the scientific phases of the matter, admitted the influences of the former to shape themselves anew within him; and strove with his usual impetuosity to burst (since unlocking was impossible) the secrets of the latter: and so his unfinished Novel, the Geisterscher, saw the light. Still more renowned is Goethe's Drama of the Gross-Kophta; which, as himself informs us, delivered him from a state of mind that had become alarming to certain friends; so deep was the hold this business, at one of its epochs, had taken of him. A dramatic Fiction, that of his, based on the strictest possible historical study and inquiry; wherein perhaps the faithfullest image of the historical Fact, as yet extant in any shape, lies in artistic miniature curiously unfolded. Nay mere Newspaper-readers, of a certain age, can bethink them of our London Egyptian Lodges of High Science; of the Countess Seraphina's dazzling jewelleries, nocturnal brilliancies, sibyllic ministrations and revelations; of Miss Fry and Milord Scott, and Messrs. Priddle and Shark Bailiff; and Lord Mansfield's judgmentseat; the Comte d'Adhémar, the Diamond Necklace, and Lord George Gordon. For Cagliostro, hovering through unknown space, twice (perhaps thrice) lighted on our London, and did business in the great chaos there.

However, be this as it may, we apprehend the eye of science at least cannot view him Unparalleled Cagliostro! Looking at thy with indifference. Doubtful, false as much is so attractively decorated private theatre, wherein Cagliostro's manner of being, of this there in thou actedst and livedst, what hand but is no doubt, that starting from the lowest point itches to draw aside thy curtain; overhaul of Fortune's wheel, he rose to a height univer- thy paste-boards, paintpots, paper-mantles, sally notable; that, without external further-stage-lamps, and turning the whole inside out, ance, money, beauty, bravery, almost without find thee in the middle thereof! For there of common sense, or any discernible worth what- a truth wert thou: though the rest was all ever, he sumptuously supported, for a long foam and sham, there sattest thou, as large as course of years, the wants and digestion of life, and as esurient; warring against the one of the greediest bodies, and one of the world, and indeed conquering the world, for it greediest minds; outwardly in his five senses, remained thy tributary, and yielded daily rainwardly in his "sixth sense, that of vanity," tions. Innumerable Sheriff's-officers, Exempts, nothing straitened. Clear enough it is, how- Sbirri, Alguazils, of every European climate, ever much may be supposititious, that this ja- were prowling on thy traces, their intents hospanned Chariot, rushing through the world, tile enough; thyself wast single against them with dust-clouds and loud noise, at the speed all; in the whole earth thou hadst no friend. of four swift horses, and topheavy with lug- What, say we in the whole earth? In the gage, has an existence. The six Beef-eaters whole universe thou hadst no friend! Heaven too, that ride prosperously heralding his ad- knew nothing of thee (could in charity know vent, honourably escorting, menially waiting nothing of thee;) and as for Beelzebub, his on him, are they not realities? Ever must friendship, as is ascertained, cannot count for the purse open, paying turnpikes, tavern-bills, much. drink-moneys, and the thousandfold tear and But to proceed with business. The present wear of such a team; yet ever, like a horn-of-inquirer, in obstinate investigation of a pheplenty, does it pour; and after brief rest, the nomenon so noteworthy, has searched through chariot ceases not to roll. Whereupon rather the whole not inconsiderable circle which his pressingly rises the scientific question: How? tether (of circumstances, geographical posi Within that wonderful machinery, of horses, tion, trade, health, extent of money capital) wheels, top-luggage, beef-eaters, sits only a enables him to describe: and, sad to say, gross, thickset individual, evincing dulness with the most imperfect results. He has read enough; and by his side a Seraphina, with a Books in various languages and jargons; look of doubtful reputation: how comes it feared not to soil his fingers, hunting through that means still meet ends, that the whole En- ancient dusty Magazines, to sicken his heart gine (like a steam-coach wanting fuel) does in any labyrinth of iniquity and imbecility;

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