“Yes,” said I, “but why did you ask for a razor when you were left alone with Gumbo?”
“Why,” said Moore, “I knew Gumbo was marked somewhere and somehow, but the place and manner I didn’t know. And my father might have remembered the dodge of Histiaeus in Herodotus: he might have shaved Gumbo’s head, tattooed the chart on that, and then allowed the natural covering to hide the secret ‘on the place where the wool ought to grow.’”
THE ROMANCE OF THE FIRST RADICAL.
A PREHISTORIC APOLOGUE.
“Titius. Le premier
qui supprime un abus, comme on dit, est toujours
victime du service qu’il rend.
Un Homme du Peuple. C’est
de sa faute! Pourquoi se mele t’il de ce
qui ne le regarde pas.”—Le Pretre de Nemi.
The Devil, according to Dr. Johnson and other authorities, was the first Whig. History tells us less about the first Radical—the first man who rebelled against the despotism of unintelligible customs, who asserted the rights of the individual against the claims of the tribal conscience, and who was eager to see society organized, off-hand, on what he thought a rational method. In the absence of history, we must fall back on that branch of hypothetics which is known as prehistoric science. We must reconstruct the Romance of the First Radical from the hints supplied by geology, and by the study of Radicals at large, and of contemporary savages among whom no Radical reformer has yet appeared. In the following little apologue no trait of manners is invented.
The characters of our romance lived shortly after the close of the last glacial epoch in Europe, when the ice had partly withdrawn from the face of the world, and when land and sea had almost assumed their modern proportions. At this period Europe was inhabited by scattered bands of human creatures, who roamed about its surface much as the black fellows used to roam over the Australian continent. The various groups derived their names from various animals and other natural objects, such as the sun, the cabbage, serpents, sardines, crabs, leopards, bears, and hyaenas. It is important for our purpose to remember that all the children took their family name from the mother’s side. If she were of the Hyaena clan, the children were Hyaenas. If the mother were tattooed with the badge of the Serpent, the children were Serpents,