Affectional Alchemy. 113
suspected there was the slightest connection between Love and
Slander? yet there is. Read this scrap, which I cut from a paper
many years ago, and then to the proof: —
'•The slanderer is a pest; an incubus to society, that should be
subjected to a slow cauterization, and then be lopped off like a disa¬
greeable excrescence. Like the viper, he leaves a shining trail in his
wake. Like a tarantula, he weaves a thread of candor with a web
of wiles, or. with all the mendicity of hints, whispers forth his tale,
that, like the fabling Xilc. no fountain knows. The dead — av.
even the dead — over whose pale, sheeted corpse sleeps the dark
sleep no venomed tongue can wake, and whose pale lips have then
no voice to plead, are subjected to the scandalous attacks of the
" ' Who wears a mask the Gorgon would disown,
A cheek of parchment, and an eye of stone!'
" I think it is Pollock who says the slanderer is the foulest whelp
of sin, whose tongue was set on fire in hell, and whose legs were
faint with haste to circulate the lie his soul had framed.
" ' He has a lip of lies, a face formed to conceal,
That, without feeling, mocks at those who feel.'
"There is no animal I despise more than these moths and scaraps
of society, the malicious censurers —
" ' These ravenous fishes who follow only in the wake
Of great ships, because perchance they're great.'
" Oh, who would disarrange all society with their false lapwing
cries ! The slanderer makes few direct charges and assertions. His
long, envious finger points to no certain locality. lie has an
inimitable shrug of the shoulders, can give peculiar glances —
" ' Or convey a libel to a frown,
Or wink a reputation down ! '
"' He seems to glory in the misery he entails. The innocent wear
the foulest impress of his smutty palm, and a soul pure as • arctic