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o said one of the cads at the Elephant and Castle , the othet day , while I was sitting ensconced in the further corner of the coach , which had just stopped , on its outward bound passa ge , at that famous house of call . Common-place as the
words may seem , and heedless as I usually am of other people ' s business , there was something , it must have been in the tone in which they were uttered , which instantly arrested my attention . How came I to hear them at all ? How came I , as I did hear them , not to say , ' What is that to me ? ' What made me instantly feel that Mrs . Thomson was wanted with no common want , that the fact of her being wanted was something to me because it was something to humanity ? And \ vhat has fixed that conviction on my mind , although I remain , and am likely to live and die , in total ignorance as to who wanted Mrs . Thomson , or what she was wanted for ? The tone of the cad is the primary solution of these difficulties . I never heard a cad speak in such
a tone before . There was in it neither the servility of inferiority , nor the insolence of superiority , nor the familiarity of equality It conveyed not the faintest intimation of the relative situation of the speaker and the party spoken to . Grievously imperfect is the art of printing , and that of musical notation , and all the devices of elocutionary accentuation . They all fail me , or I would endeavour to present to the reader ' s eye that which so peculiarly
affected my ear when the cad said , ' Mrs . Thomson , you are wanted * Perhaps I shall come nearest to it by negatives . It was not said angrily , nor urgingly , nor sarcastically , nor supplicatingly ., nor deprecatin gly . Nor was it said without feeling ; and yet there was no symptom of private or personal feeling . It was as if a common want of human nature had been announced ;
a deficiency claiming respect , and suppressing irritability , by its universal character . There was something that reminded one of the enunciation of a great and abstract proposition . Some resemblance to the tone in which Kepler might have apprized you that the squares of the times of the planetary revolutions arc as the cubes of the mean distances of the planets from the sun . But
this was not all . It was not the tone for any mere physical truth . The enunciation was that of a moral proposition . The want of Mrs . Thomson had some relation to human feelings and condition . And yet again , it was not the relation of champion , deliverer , philanthropist ; not the nepd which is felt , in great emergencies , of those who by energetic interposition would have wrought a sudden change . Not in so calm a tone would the ill-treated
prisoner in his dungeon say , ' Howard , you are wanted . ' Nora beaten French regiment exclaim , ' Napoleon , you are wanted . It was as far removed from these , as from the ludicrous distress of
< MRS . THOMSON , YOU ARE WANTED I'
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), April 2, 1834, page 282, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2632/page/50/