صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

That held by these wretches in servile dependence,
To the House, not to me, he must give his attendance.

Poor Mamma! you remember how gay were her parties,
But now since her son for the county to start is,
She gives up all her balls, all her opera nights,
And invites to her house, oh ! such bumpkins and frights ;
Squires, parsons, and farmers, wives, daughters, and cousins,
In that county the families count by the dozens,
And were one omitted from out the vast whole,
An excellent vote would be lost at the poll;
You ne'er saw such creatures, such gaping, such staring,
Such vulgar assurance, such insolent daring;
Instead of “ My Lady,” one ventured to“ Miss " me,
And an overgrown booby attempted to kiss me ;
While I, scarcely able my passion to smother,
Was forc'd to lisp out “Wont you vote for my

brother?There's a fussy old lady just come up to town, With a red velvet bonnet and blue satin gown, In the fashion I guess of the reign of queen Dick, I wish the old beldame went strait to old Nick; I'm forc'd to escort her with all her young scions, By day and by night, while she visits the lions, But she musters of votes half-a-hundred at least, And so we must try to gain over the beast ; Sister Jane, who, you know, is determin d to joke all, Wishes she would be just like her interests, local. T'other night to a ball I was ready to go, When Mamma calld me down to take her to “ Jim Crow;" There was sport to be sure, and the piece was well acted, But the “ turn about, wheel-about," set me distracted; I was sitting as still as a cat on a shelf, While I wish'd to be turning and wheeling myself; Shut out by ill-stars from the joy of Almack's, I longed to leap down, and to join with the blacks; And had I been ask'd, on my word I believe, I'd accept for a partner Jim Crow, or Jack Reeve.

My brother, Lord Robert, dislikes the connection, And would, if he dar'd it, avoid the election ; He loves not to go (can you tell me what man does ?) To markets, and fairs, like the Marquis of Chandos, And puzzle the rustics with mingled oration On the stock of their farms, and the stocks of the nation, Give a hint at the follies of Bilboa's battle, Then turn to a lecture on breeding of cattle ; 'Gainst annual parliaments issue a summons, Because members and sheep are averse to short commons ; And swear that the ballot shall ne'er have his vote, Because in the city 'tis scarce worth a Grote. In this way poor Robert will ne'er be a charmer, He cannot, like Chandos, be statesman and farmer; Nor change from the praise of potatoes and pigs, Το pour

out his wrath on O'Connell and Whigs. I think, my dear friend, if I rightly divin'd, My lord Robert was rather a beau to your

mind; In the crush-room you ever made him your protector, And you petted his dog too, the beautiful Hector; Chose him for your squire when you rode in the park, And flirted But what's that?-a servant comes--hark !

As I live 'tis a call from the vulgar old fury
To claim me to join in a visit to Drury ;
'Tis a summons, that through me so instantly sends a
Thrill, that I can safely plead influenza.
“Go tell her, to-morrow I hope I'll be better;"
She's off, I thank Heav'n; I'll go on with my letter.

Though your Pa is a Whig, and though mine is a Tory,
I'm sure you have wept o'er my pitiful story.
You remember, when children, the juvenile balls
Old King George us'd to give in St. James's proud halls,
How politics ne'er interfer'd with our pleasure,
And none of us dream'd our expressions to measure;
When the king us'd to say that we two would unite
The parties that then were preparing for fight;
Bade you marry Tory, bade me marry Whig,
While we two for merriment ever agig,
With a smile on our lips, and a blush on our cheek,
Knew as much what he said as 'twere spoken in Greek.
We laugh'd I remember that laugh blithe and hearty-
At the nonsense of these stupid watchwords of party.
Alas ! Lady Mary, I fear on that score
The destinies order we ne'er shall see more ;
These magical words hope to ruin have hurld,
And quite overset the West end of the world.

My aunt, her soirées, the perfection of ton,
Are now party unions, not worth an old song ;
Her lions were poets and painters, romancers,
The opera singers, and opera dancers ;
In short, every one whom ambition or money
Could induce for a night to be odd, quaint, and funny.
Now she takes to old parsons and lawyers who wail
O'er the days are gone by; to young members who fail
In the House so improperly nicknam'd Reform’d,
We should call it the House which the vulgar have stormd,
Where both rank and fashion no longer bear sway,
But merchants and traders gain ground every day;
The young nobles, cough'd down, to my aunts bring their speeches,
And stick to the audience as closely as leeches ;
The orations, unspoken, in her house are read
Until she and her company all are half dead.
Then their plans for a cabinet, each of them feel
He could manage the country much better than Peel ;
He's too yielding, they say, and they date our vexation
From his free trade and Catholic conciliation.
I wonder my aunt can endure the dull praters,
Such broken-down statesmen and hopeless debaters;
But she has four sons, and if once we get in
Good places for all she is certain to win.

But the papers—why those that at one time would handle
Some delicate topics of gossip and scandal,
Describe our court dresses, record every ball,
The dullness of politics seizes them all ;
Those that came once a week, those that issue diurnal-
The Herald, John Bull, Morning Post, and Court Journal
Alas! for old times, when all these lov'd to dash on,
No parties but parties of pleasure and fashion.
If I take up the Post, what will first meet my vision?
6 The evil effects of the Poor Law Commission.”

If I glance at John Bull, 'tis the Connellite faction,
The dinner at Glasgow, and glorious reaction.”
And thus disappointed, and abîmée quite,
I exclaim with Macbeth, “ Hence, avaunt, leave my sight,
Your bones have no marrow, blood no circulation,
And your balls (not your eyeballs) have lost speculation ?”

You perceive, Lady Mary, how sad is my case ;
My mind's out of tune, and papa's out of place.
No pleasure is near us, no sporting, no dash ;
I've got no companions, and he has no cash.
You can't think with what bitter feeling he said it-
“ The loss of my office was loss of my credit :
With my mortgaged estates, retrench, love, I must,
For my salary's gone, and my tradesmen won't trust.'

What will be the end, dear, of all this confusion ?
This is surely as bad as the French Revolution,
When the gentry and nobles were driv'n to a distance,
And forced to beg, work, or to trade, for subsistence.
Lord bless me! should such be the end of our glories,
What shall we ladies do, poor unfortunate Tories?
By teaching, my bread, love, I never could win ;
And my hands are too soft and too tender to spin.
Had I got a blind eye,

broken

arm, or lame leg,
I might muster up courage to go out and beg ;
But with all my limbs sound, every Radical Turk,
When I ask'd him for alms, would say, “ Hussy, go work !"
The Movement, however, is going so fast,
That to this consummation things must come at last ;
But when that time arrives, the death-bell will be knelling
The fate of
Your ever-affectionate

HELEN.

INDEPENDENCE.

What a glorious and animating word is sang a bard of our own isle, rapt in the Independence! Whisper but a distant pro- splendid visions of imagination, while a mise thereof into the ear of man; and, chord within his own breast vibrated in straightway, though he were sluggish, and unison with the dulcet symphonies of hope. dull, and torpid as the sleeping sloth, he Independence is the admired, the coveted shall arise to gird on his armour and pre- of all, the ideal goal of earthly happiness ; pare for the strife. The hope of inde- and we all press onward, by paths, various pendence stirreth up his soul; and, as the as our manifold and dissimilar passions and war-horse that heareth“ the trumpets, and inclinations, to attain the prize. And hope, the thunder” of the battle and the “shout- undying hope, is by our side, grasping at ing afar off,” “he paweth in the valley, shadows of coming good, and ever crying, and rejoiceth in his strength, and he goeth “ Lo, here!” and “lo, there !” as a glimpse

of unreal things appears amid the rolling, But what is this wondrous possession, so dark clouds of futurity. All join in the prized, so sought, so ever dear? Is it a pursuit: but what is the end thereof? Alas! reality, or but a lovely phantom which it may be compared to the race of children, poets have dreamt of and melodiously hunting the gaudy butterfly of summer, invoked ?

which playeth before their eyes in tanta

lising, many-coloured beauty, fitting from Thy spirit, Independence, let me share, Lord of the lion heart and eagle eye!

tree to tree, and from flower to flower; Thy steps 1 follow, with my bosom bare,

Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky! often apparently within reach ; and, then, VOL. X.--NO. III.- MARCH 1837.

on.

Q

darting away to a distance. Yet the chase moves and has his being" in an artificial is continued, and they trample down, in world, to the dictates and opinions of which their path, flowers which might have he is an abject and bonded slave. afforded them real and lasting gratification Unfortunately somewhat of this descrip-and, at length, they pounce upon the tion might be truly said of many whose glittering prize. And what remaineth? natural position is in the higher grade of Breathless, with eager eyes, and out- society ; a class of which it will be sufficient stretched arms, they gather round to gaze to say that, although the duties of their upon their captive—and lo! in place of the station may frequently be irksome, “ weary, gorgeous thing which, erewhile, danced, stale, flat and unprofitable,” happiness and joyous, in the sunbeam, there appears but respect follow the performance thereof. Imthe crushed, and disgusting remains of a portunity and ingratitude may annoy, and mangled insect—they shudder—and turn crouching servility and fashionable folly away.

may disgust; but the truly noble mind Let the man who hath pursued inde- knoweth “ the way in which it should go," pendence in the shape of riches ; who hath and moveth on, like the stately vessel upon

risen early and toiled late, and taken no the face of the waters, shunning alike the rest,”—who hath passed the spring of youth Scylla of restless ambition and the Chain hope, and borne “ the burden and heat rybdis of morbid sensibility and soul-enerof the day” through the summer of man- vating lethargy. hood—let him, if the purpose of his soul With the vulgar, independence and hath been effected, and his coffers be filled, riches are synonymous; and they endure even to repletion—let him boast, and glo- strange privations and make inordinate rify, and plume himself upon his possessions sacrifices for the attainment of the latter: in the eyes of his fellow men. He

may

do but this; and more,—he may call around him

Avarum irritat, non satiat pecunia. the ministers of pleasure, the luxuries of Thelong-continued habit of calculating how life, the product of every climate, and the to amass strikes forth its roots and becomes thousand friends that love to linger round implanted in the soul of man; and the soil the well-spread board. But, can these in which it is nourished must be returned bestow independence on the mind? Let to its parent earth ere the union can be dishim retire and hold “communion with solved. The ruling passion clings with himself

upon his pillow and be still," and inveterate tenacity, and is ever exhibiting he dare not answer in the affirmative. For itself, even amid the self-conceited and there is indelibly written in the secret reckless display of wealth and ostentatious recesses of his heart that, with the multi- liberality. plication of riches, care increaseth, and

The man who hath acquired great wealth, duties accumulate, and new, and heretofore so far from having attained independence, unknown wants spring up in the soul, like hath but removed himself from the station the grass of the field in multitude.

in which he was placed, (and where, perIf such a man hath, as is too frequently chance, he was respected and useful, and the

case, made shipwreck of conscience, or might have been happy,) into another, good faith, or health, in his career, he hath wherein he is merely endured. It has but wrought as his portion a deeper deso- been said that the most fortunate of these lation, and prepared for himself on earth a children of mammon, our great capitalists, fate similar to that which is ascribed to “ tread close upon the heels of our nobiTantalus in the infernal regions. The lity”—but they are still at the heels. They pomp, and glories, and pageantries, and have left behind them, in their career, the festivities of the world may pass before him friendships of their earlier days, which they in gorgeous and alluring succession; but his seldom dare to acknowledge; and strive to appetite is palled, his heart is seared within unite themselves with a society which him, and his soul shrinks darkly aside, in shrinks from the contact. the midst of proffered enjoyment and sur- There are exceptions to every rule. But rounding pleasure, and sighs for the days of the situation of a “parvenu” is not to be his youth.

envied. If he shall have achieved that But, if honour and health remain unim- difficult, and, seldom effected, task of conpaired, and riches be accumulated, inde- quering the desire of yet increasing his pendence is yet afar off. The mere wealthy store, he has a faint glimmering of future man stalks in golden fetters, and“ lives and enjoyment. But independence is yet far

distant. Anxiously he watches for the from the nether spring. We are all, great man's smile, and dreads the coxcomb's avowedly, in pursuit of happiness. The sneer. The wit is as a serpent in his path. body is hurried to and fro in search of pleaHe is tremblingly alive to all that is pass- sure, and returns, ever weary and dissatising around him; and the ebullitions of fied, while the wells of life are neglected or youthful mirth and high spirits fall, like polluted; yet from them only may the sounds“ of ill omen," upon his ear, for he pure element, the sparkling draught that suspects them to be raised at his

expense. refreshes and invigorates the soul, be ever Unfitted for the situation in society in drawn. We determine to be happy, and which he aspires to move, by the very fly from or shun the only source from course which he has followed to attain it, whence happiness can be obtained; it is his condition presents a picture of “the within our own breasts, and we seek it in vanity of human wishes” scarcely worthy extraneous follies, and wild and extravagant of being traced in detail ; for, so numerous, anticipations and schemes for the future. and minute, and paltry are the obstacles And what follows ?

Onward we pursue between him and independence, that his our downward

course,

while the mind very servants appear to be formidable critics moaneth within, in solitary desolation, and hired spies over his conduct.

overshadowed and darkened by disappointWhere then is independence to be found, ment. A hateful train then, too frequently, if riches cannot purchase it? It is not to take possession, “ envy, hatred, and malice, be found in the paths of glory and ambi- and all uncharitableness” make their aption, which ever leave an "aching void” in pearance. We look upon the “good things” the heart, and, like the insatiate leech, of others with an evil eye and a distorted exclaim "Give! give !" If man, in society, judgment; comparing their, apparently, where all are mutually dependent one upon happiest moments, with those of our own another, be capable of attaining to a state in seeret grief. And downward, downward the any degree worthy the name of independ- degraded spirit wends its murky way into the ence, it must be sought by conquering the depths of misanthropy, the furious madness stubborn will, the unholy wish, and the of dissipation, or the impenetrable gloom of baseborn whisperings of envy-by endea- despair. vouring to be content with such things as It is not knowledge, nor great mental we have, and seeking to do our duty in that acquirements ; neither is it talent, or learnsituation of life in which it hath seemed fit ing, or even genius itself, that can bestow to the Almighty disposer of events to upon man that portion of independence to place us.

which he may. attain, although such qualiThis is a purely mental process, and little ties will enable him to reap a more abundependent on exterior circumstances. The dant harvest of delight when it shall be well-regulated mind, in its progress therein, acquired. It is the conquest over vain will discover that there exists not the wishes, the anchoring of the soul within the smallest necessity for abandoning the ad- range of our own possessions, that can alone vantages incident upon any peculiar posi- effect this “consummation” so devoutly tion in society. Such a mind will calmly to be wished.” Such a state of mind is beaulook around, and render them all availing tifully described by Martial — * to the accomplishment of its own serenity.

Mentiris Maxime, non vis : Reflection, observation, and experience will

Sed fieri si vis, hâc ratione potes. soon demonstrate, that the cup of unmingled Liber eris, cænare foris si, Maxime, nolis ; happiness appertains not to humanity as a

Veientana tuam si domat uva sitim;

Si ridere potes miseri chrysendeta Cinnæ ; lasting possession ; and that if, at times, it

Contentus nostra si potes esse toga; be proffered, we seldom taste thereof with- Hæc tibi si vis est, si mentis tanta potestas, out embittering the draught by our own

Liberior Partho vivere rege potes*. “ vain imaginings," and useless and tor- And such a state of independence is menting reflections upon the rarity of its

** The following translation is from memory :-+ appearance.

Would'st thou be free? 'Tis your chief wish you say. The career of our minds, during our brief Come on-l'll shew thee then the certain way.

If to no feasts abroad thou lovest to go, existence upon earth, frequently presents a strange anomaly, when we consider them as Can'st smile at pomp, and bound each wish and care,

To thine own fire-side, and thy humbler fare; the mainsprings of our actions, and as the

If thou the fitness of thy clothes dost prize fountains from which our wishes, and hopes, By their own use, and not by others' eyes;

If, in thy mind, such power and greatness be, and fears are ever gushing forth, as waters The Persian king's a slave, compar'd to thee.

[ocr errors]

Vis fieri liber?

When bounteous Heaven doth food at home bestow;

« السابقةمتابعة »