the defects of the accepted translations; and in the
latter case, if exceptions be taken to his judgment,
he straightway opens up the quarries of his exhaustless
knowledge, and builds a very Chinese wall of evidence
around his position. Every learned man who enters
Ruloff’s presence leaves it amazed and confounded
by his prodigious capabilities and attainments.
One scholar said he did not believe that in matters
of subtle analysis, vast knowledge in his peculiar
field of research, comprehensive grasp of subject,
and serene kingship over its limitless and bewildering
details, any land or any era of modern times had given
birth to Ruloff’s intellectual equal. What
miracles this murderer might have wrought, and what
luster he might have shed upon his country, if he
had not put a forfeit upon his life so foolishly!
But what if the law could be satisfied, and the gifted
criminal still be saved. If a life be offered
up on the gallows to atone for the murder Ruloff did,
will that suffice? If so, give me the proofs,
for in all earnestness and truth I aver that in such
a case I will instantly bring forward a man who, in
the interests of learning and science, will take Ruloff’s
crime upon himself, and submit to be hanged in Ruloff’s
place. I can, and will do this thing; and I propose
this matter, and make this offer in good faith.
You know me, and know my address.
address at A dinner given by
the savage club, London, September
(See Chapter lxxxvii)
Reported by Moncure D. Conway in the Cincinnati Commercial
It affords me sincere pleasure to meet this distinguished
club, a club which has extended its hospitalities
and its cordial welcome to so many of my countrymen.
I hope [and here the speaker’s voice became low
and fluttering] you will excuse these clothes.
I am going to the theater; that will explain these
clothes. I have other clothes than these.
Judging human nature by what I have seen of it, I suppose
that the customary thing for a stranger to do when
he stands here is to make a pun on the name of this
club, under the impression, of course, that he is the
first man that that idea has occurred to. It is
a credit to our human nature, not a blemish upon it;
for it shows that underlying all our depravity (and
God knows and you know we are depraved enough) and
all our sophistication, and untarnished by them, there
is a sweet germ of innocence and simplicity still.
When a stranger says to me, with a glow of inspiration
in his eye, some gentle, innocuous little thing about
“Twain and one flesh” and all that sort
of thing, I don’t try to crush that man into
the earth—no. I feel like saying, “Let
me take you by the hand, sir; let me embrace you;