صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

swear; and so he laid a wager he'd never swear again ; boating, and other sports, are there no such things to be soft and expressive: it is large, black, and full of lustre, and yesterday, in the middle of dinner, while he was had as quarter-staves, single-stick, and broken heads ? rolling, as it seems to do, in liquid gems of dew. I had champing his bird, and cutting up your argument about A good handsome pain there is a gallant thing, and shot a bird of this beautiful species; but, on taking it up, cruelty, all of a sudden what does our vicar but clap his strengthens the soul as well as the body. If there must I found that it was not dead. I had wounded its breast; hand to his jaw as if he was going to give a view holla, be a certain portion of pain in the world, these were the and some big drops of blood stained the pure whiteness and rap out the d-dest oath you ever heard. He had ways to share it. But to sneak about, safe one's-self, of its feathers. As I held the hapless bird in my hand, champed a shot, by G-d, with an old tooth. Now with a gun and a dog, and inflict all sorts of wounds hundreds of its companions hovered round my head, that's meat and drink to you, Harry, for all your ten- and torments upon a parcel of little helpless birds,- uttering continued shrieks of distress, and, by their derness."

Tomkins, you know not what you are at, when you do plaintive cries, appeared to bemoan the face of one to “ Why, it was only a shot in a black coat, Jack, in- it; or you are too much of a man to go on."

whom they were connected by ties of the most tender stead of a black cock."

"I cannot think that we inflict those tortures you and interesting nature ; whilst the poor wounded bird “That's famous. I'll tell him of that. Oh, Hal, speak of ?"

continually moaned, with a kind of inward, wailing note, your laugh is savage. See--you enjoy the sport now “How many birds do you wound instead of kill ? expressive of the keenest anguish: and, ever and anon, yourself."

Say, upon an average, twenty to one, which is a gene- it raised its drooping head, and turning towards the " It ought to be a lesson to him."

rous computation. llow many hundred birds would wound in its breast, touched it with its bill, and then “Oh yes! mighty considerate persons you Tatler and this make in the course of the day? How many thou- looked up in my face, with an expression that I have no Spectator men are, and would make fine havock with

sands in the course of a season? To bring them down, wish to forget, for it had power to touch my heart, whilst our amusements."

and then be obliged to kill them, is butcherly enough: yet a boy, when a thousand dry precepts in the acade* Excuse me. It is you that make fine havock. I but to lame, and dislocate, and shatter the joints and mical closet would have been of no avail." would bave you amuse yourself to your heart's content, bodies of so many that fly off, and leave them to die a if you would do it without breaking the bones and hearts lingering death in their agony, -I think it would not be

"Well now, Harry, that's touching;d-mme if it isn't. of your fellow-creatures. unwortliy of some philosophers and teachers, if they from being dry, eh, with your claret; but all that you

He's right about the precepts. You have saved 'em " • Fellow-creatures !' and their hearts!' The hearts were to think a little of all this as they go, and not talk

have said hasn't touched me like that story. A lapof woodcocks and partridges ! Pooh, pooh! Bilson of the "sport" and the “amusement" like others; as if might have borne his pain better, I own, though it's a men were to be trained up at once into thought and

wing! Hang me if I shall have the heart to touch an. d-d thing, that sort of jar ; but what he says, is very

other lapwing. want of thought, into humanity and cruelty. Really,

“But other birds, Jack, have feelings, as well as laptrue ;-he says, if you come to think of it, there must be men are not the only creatures in existence; and the pain in the world, and it would be unmanly to think of laugh of mutual complacency and approbation is apt to

wings.” it in this light."

" What do you say, though, about Providence ? Bilson contain very sorry and shallow things, even among the “Very well. Then do you, Jack, who are so manly,

said some famous things about Providence. What do “ celebrated” and “highly respectable." I don't speak and so willing to encourage one's sports, stand a little of you, Jack; but of those who make a profession of

you say to that ?"

“Oh, ho! what he farther, and let me crack your shin with this poker." thinking, which you know you are not under the neces“Nonsense. That's a very different thing." sity of doing. But what's the matter ?"

“ Adinits and leaves them Providence's care'' “Perhaps you'd prefer a good crack on the skull ?": « I've got the d-dest toothache come upon me. It's “Nonsense."

this cursed draught. Of all pains the toothache is the Does he ?-You remember the passage, Jack, in Pope: “Or a thrust-out of your eye?"

most horrible. I've no patience with it." “No, no: all that's very different." I'll shut the door. There--now never mind the

God cannot love (cries Blunt with tearless eyes) “Well: you know what you have been about this

The wretch he starves; and piously denies. toothache, for I'll bear it capitally." morning. Go and pick your way again along the “ You hear it! Thai's a good one. Very easy for

The humbler bishop, with a meeker air, palings there ; and leave me your fowling-piece, and I'll you to bear it ; but how the devil can I ?-Im! bm !

Admits, and leaves them, Providence's care." endeavour to shoot you handsomely through the body." (writhing about) it's the cursedest pain.”

“ But we are Providence, Jack. Nay, don't start; I “ Nonsense, nonsense. I'm a man, you know; and “ Stay-here's some oil of cloves Mrs. Wilton has mean :hat our own feelings, our own regulated feelings a bird's a bird. Besides, birds don't feel as we do. brought you. How does it feel now?"

and instructed benevolence, are a part of the general They're not Christians. They're not reasoning beings. Wonderfully. The pain is quite gone.

It was

action of Providence, a consequence and furtherance of They're not made of the same sort of stuff. In short, very bad, I assure you. You must nut think I am the Divine Spirit. You see, I can preach as well as it's no use talking. There's no end of these things." wanting in proper courage as a man, because it hurt me

Dilson. Humanity is the most visible putting forth of “ Just so. This is precisely the way I should argue You know, Harry, I can be as bold as most inen, the Deity's hand; the noblest tool it works with. Or if if I had the winging of you. Here I should say, is Mr. though I say it who shouldn't." John Tomkins. Mind, I am standing with my manning

this theolozy doesn't serve, recollect the fable of Jupiter Hly dear Jack, you have as much right to speak the and the Waggoner.

Are we content with abstract repiece by a hedge.”

truth, as I have. The boldest of men is not expected ferences to Providence, when we can work out any good “With your what ?"

to be without feeling. An officer may go bravely into for ourselves, or save ourselves from any evil ? Did “ With my manning-piece. You cançot say fowling- battle, and bear it bravely too, but he must feel it: he Bilson wait for Providence to induct himn to his living ? piece, when it is men that are to be brought down.” cannot be insensible to a shattered knce." “Oh, now you're joking."

Did he not make a good stir about himself? Push him “ Certainly not.

into a ditch the next time you meet him, and see if he "I beg your pardon; you will find it no joke pre- “ Or to a jaw blown away---"

will not bustle to get out of it. Leave hiin to get out by sently. Here, says I, is Mr. John Tomkins coming; or “By no means." Here is a Tomkins. Look at him. He's in fine coat

himself, and see if he does not think you a hard-hearted “(r four of his ribs jammed in—"

fellow. Wing him, Jack, wing him ; and see if he'll and waistcoat (we can't say feather, you know :) keep “ Horrible !" close : now for my Joe Manton: you shall see how I'll

apply to Providence or a surgeon." " Or a face mashed, and lis nose forcell in"

" Eh? That would be famous. I say—I must be pepper him. • Pray don't,' says my companion. A “ Don't speak of it!" Tomkins is a Tomkins after all, and has his feelings as

going though ; it's getting dark, and I must be in town

“ Or his two legs taken off by a cannon-bail, he by nine. we have.'

Well, Harry, my boy, good by. I can't say • Stutt!' says I : ' Tomkinses don't feel as we being left to fester to death on a winter's night on a do. They're not Christians, for they do not do as they large plain."

you've convinced me; you know I told you I wasn't to would be done by. They're not reasoning beings, for

be convinced ; but I plainly told you I don't like the

“Upon my soul, you make my flesh creep on my story of the lapwing; makes the bird look like a sort they do not see a leg's a leg. They're not made of the bones."

of hunan creature; and that's not to be resisted, dainme same sort of stuff; and so if they bleed, it does not “ A gallant spirit is not bound to feel all this, or even if it is. So I'm taken in about lapwings. Adieu.” signify :--if they die of a torturing fracture, who cares ? to hear of it, without shuddering, even though the battle In short, it's no use talking. There's no end of these

“Well, Jack, you shall say that in print, and perhaps may be necessary, and a great good produced by it to

do more good than you are aware. Have you any obthings. So here goes. Now if I hit hiin, he is killed society." outright, which is no arm to any body; and if I wound

jection ?

Certainly, certainly, God knows.'' him, why he only goes groaning and writhing for three

“ Not I, 'faith ; I'd say it any where, if it came into

“ It is only a woodcock or a snipe that ought to bear or four days, and who cares for that ?'”

my head. But how ? In the Sporting Magazine ?" it without complaining: your partridge is the only piece “Upon my soul, if I listen, you'll make a milk-sop of of flesh and blood that we may put into such a state for

"Why I'm afraid we can hardly attain to sucii emime. Consider-think of the advantages of fresh air and

nence as that, especially on sucii a subject." no necessity, but purely for our sport and pleasure." exercise ; of getting up in the morning, and scouring the

“I was thinking so. Oh, I see :-you'il pull your “How? What's that you say?".

hive about my ears.

Well, so be it. Adieu, Harry; country, and a!) that."

“I say it is none bat birds that we may, with a per“Excellent: but, my dear Tomkins, the birds are not

I'll send you the books." fect conscience, lame, lacerate, mash, and blow their legs bound to suffer, because you want fresh air."

“Adieu, honest Jack, jolliest of the myrmidons of and beaks away, and leave, God knows where, to perish “young-eyed Massacre.' “ But it's the only time of the year, perhaps, that I of neglect and torture, they being the only masculine can get out: and I must have something to do--some- creatures living, and not to be lowered into comparison

CARACTACUS. thing to occupy me and lead me about."

with soldiers and gallant men." • The birds, Tomkins, are not bound to have their · lley ?-Why as to that-Hey? What? 'Fore From the Isle of the West the captive came, lege and thighs broken, because you are in want of some- George, you bewilder me with your list of tortures. Downcast his eyes, but not with shame ; thing to lead you about."

But how am I to be sure that a bird feels as you say?

??" The soldier is sad at the captive's chain, “Well, you know what I mean. I mean that we

“It is enough that you know nothing certain. As As he thinks of his own fur home again : must not look too nicely into these things, as somebody you are no: sure, you have no right to hazard the injus- The fortune of battle hath chain d his land, said about fish; or we should fret ourselves for nothing. ice, especially as you cannot help being sure of one And led him away to a southern land ; The birds kill one another."

thing; which is, that birds have flesh and blood like our- But his lofty soul is unconquer'd still“Yes, from necessity; for the want of a meal. But selves, and that they afford similar evidences of feeling Fetters ca:inot subdue that brave one's will; they do not torture-or if they did, that would be

and suffering. Allow me to read you a passage that I Though his chain is deep in his dungeon floor, because they did not reason as well as you and I, Tom- cut the other day out of an old review. It is taken from And the bolts are brass of his triple door, kins.”

Fothergill's Essay on the Philosophy, Study, and Use of And darkness is round him, and racks are nigh, “What I mean to say is, that there's pain in the Natural History; a book which I shall make acquaint- His hcart is not craven, he fears not to die. world already: we cannot help it; and if we can turn ance with as soon as I can. Here it is, it to pleasure, so much the better. This is manly, I

From his western isle to the Roman gate, think.”

" It may, perhaps, be said, that a discourse on the in- To swell out a triumph's long-drawn state, “Well said indeed. But to turn pain into pleasure, iquity and evil consequences of murder would come with At the van of the conqueror's chariot bound, and to add to it by more pain, are two different things, a bad grace from one who was himself a murderer. Who 'Mid the jeer of the crowd and the soldiers round, are they not? To bear pain like a man, and tu can describe that which he has not seen, or give utter

Had that warrior been led ;--his face was pale, infiict it like a sportsman, are two different things." ance to that which he has not felt? Never shall I forget

But his blue eyes were bright, and his limbs were hale ; " A sportsman can bear pain as well as any body." the remembrance of a little incident which occurred to His stature was losty, his carriage bore " Then why does he noi begin by turning his own me during my boyishı days-an incident which many

The impress proud of his native shore, pain into a pleasure ? As it is, he turns his own plea- will deem trifling and unimportant, but which has been

That the haughty Roman, though conqueror he, sure to another's pain. Why does he not begin with particularly interesting to my heart, as giving origin to

Look'd not with more kingly majesty. himself ?"

sentiments, and rules of action, which have since been O'tis the hero's crowr., if he fall “ How with himself ?" very dear to me.

From the height of power in a victor's thrall, “Why you talk of the want of amusement and ex- “Besides a singular elegance of form and beauty of To preserve the unshaken heart, and bear citenieni. Now to say nothing of cricket, and golf, and plumage, the eye of the common lapwing is peculiarly Bravely the suffering that waits him there;

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

While the coward will fly to the dagger or bowl,
From the agony ha rowing up the soul;
Which each new breath is a torture higher,
Each moment of time an age in fire:
The last glance of glory extinguish'd, forgot,
Man, life, and creation one hideous blot-
Loud peans the deeds of the conqueror swell,
But who will the captive's triumph tell?

From his dungeon gloom to the glare of day Is Caractacus led by his guards away.

His wrists are link'd with an iron chain,

But he hears its clank with unalter'd mien; For his courage is firm as that man's should be Who has learn'd to conquer adversity.

On his brow at times a deep thought made

A hue pass over of darker shade;

Mayhap 'twas a gleam of his island earth,
His green meads of Severn and native hearth.
In blood to the last he had done and dared,
And the Roman had deeply his vengeance shared;
While, though vanquish'd, 'twas only by those who gave
To the universe law, and to freedom a grave.

Claudius sat on the world's proud throne,
Round him his glittering warriors shone;
Lord of a thousand victories, he
Concentred his empire's majesty;
That empire which stretches from Afric's pyres
To the icy North's impassive fires;
While Iberia and Mesopotamia display
The arc of its rising and setting day.
Purple and gold was the robe he wore,
With its rich folds piled on the marble floor.
Perfumes in clouds of incense arose,
Bearing the odours of amber and rose
To the ceilings of fretwork and ribs of gold,
And paintings rich that their wreaths enfold.
The victor's bay bound the emperor's brow,
And shaded the lightning that flash'd below
From a deep eye, dark as a winter midnight,
When the hidden thought rush'd from its depth to light.
The adamant lip and the moveless limb,
Seem to comport with none but him.
Guards and patricians stand around,
And the lictors mark the imperial bound.

Sudden the tramp of feet draws nigh,
The portal arch fixes every eye.
All is still as eternity within,
Without is a rattling fetter's din,
At intervals clanking as it draws near,

Its sound of captivity, suffering, and fear.
He comes! he comes! to the Roman gaze
That meets him in silence and in amaze,
The Briton comes, with his stature tall,
Like a lion entrapp'd in the hunter's thrall,
That looks on his bondage and seems to say-
"I am a sovereign born-I am one to-day!"
He turn'd not his head from the victor's throne,
For his sight was placed upon him alone.
The grandeur around, and the southern's pride,
Drew not his princely glance aside.
Though his palace afar on his native plain
Was a rude hut built on the wild campaign;
Though earth was the floor, and mud the wall,
To him 'twas more worth than that guilded hall.
The wolf's rough hide o'er his shoulders cast
Caught the butterfly courtier's smile as he past,
But his carriage crush'd the vain sneer ere it broke,
For his limbs were knit like his native oak-
It would humble the stoutest Roman there,
One grasp of his iron arm to dare.

"I am conquer'd, a prisoner, my crown is with thea; I fought that my country, my race might be free.

If this be a crime in a Roman eye,
Lictors, lead me forth, for this will I die.
Let to-morrow enthrone me in power again,
Again will I combat, although it be vain,
Thee, Claudius, or thine, and will gloriously die,
As honor requires in our far country;
There we brand a slave with a curse of scorn,
And deem none noble but the blessed free-born.
What wonld'st thou with me?-I have nothing now
Save my own stern will that the world shall not bow!"
Thus the captive said, and the Roman cried :-
"Go, his chains unloose, lest the universe wide,
While it sees us the victor in battle, may know,
We're vanquish'd in greatness of soul by a foe!"

ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE. I-TRAGEDY IN THE FAMILY OF KYTE. this frightful piece of domestic history had been ought upon the modern stage, the dramatist, in consequence of the hero's setting his house on fire, would probably have called it (not with thorough applicability, but that does not signify to a good play-bill) the "Sardanapalus of Private Life." It is impossible, of course, to pronounce complete judgments on the parties concerned, in this or any other tragedy. To judge all, it is necessary to know all. But the writer tells us, if Lady Kyte had begun with a little less anger, it is probable that no tragedy would have taken place.

that

Loving-kindness does not always effect what it wishes;

but it is the only sure card to play, whether to do away evil or to lessen it. And that man must be stupid or a monster, who would not adore, above all other women, the wife that with a real love for his person, should have treated him kindly in a matter like this.

Sir William Kyte was a baronet of very considerable fortune and an ancient family, and on his return from his travels, had so amiable a character, and was reckoned what the world calls so fine a gentleman, that he was thought a very desirable match for a worthy nobleman's daughter in the neighbourhood, of great beauty, merit, and a suitable fortune. Sir William and his lady lived very happy together for several years, and had four or five fine children, when he was unfortunately nominated at a contested election to represent the borough of Warwick, in which county the bulk of his estate lay, and where he, at that time, resided. After the election, as some sort of recompence to a zealous partizan of Sir William, Lady Kyte took an innkeeper's daughter for her own maid; she was a tall, genteel girl, with a fine complexion, and seemingly very modest and innocent. Molly Jones, for that was her name, attracted Sir William's attention; and after some time the servants began to entertain some suspicions that she was too highly in her master's favour; the housekeeper in particular soon perceived that there was too much foundation for their suspicions, and knowing that the butler had made overtures to Molly, she informed him of the circumstance, and his jealousy having rendered him vigilant, he soon discovered the whole affair, and found that it had proceeded much further than was at first apprehended. The housekeeper made use of the butler's name, as well as his intelligence to her lady; and this threw everything into confusion; Lady Kytes's passion soon got the better of her discretion: for, if instead of reproaching Sir William for his infidelity, she had dissembled her resentment till his first fondness for this new object had abated, she might probably have reclaimed her husband; who, notwithstanding this temporary defection, was known to have a sincere regard and esteem for his lady. The affair being now publicly known in the family, and all restraints of shame or fear of discovery being quite removed, things were soon carried to extremity between Sir William and his lady, and a separation became unavoidable. Sir William left Lady Kyte with the two younger children, in possession

of the Mansion House in Warwickshire; and retired
himself with his mistress, and his two eldest sons, to a

large farmhouse on the side of the Cotswold hills. The
situation was fine, plenty of wood and water, and com-
manded an extensive view of the vale of Evesham : this
tempted him to build a handsome box there, with very
extensive gardens planted, and laid out in the luxurious
taste of the age; and not content with this, before the
body of the house was quite finished, Sir William added
two large side fronts, for no better reason than that his
mistress happened to "what is a Kite without
say,
wings?"
The expense of finishing this place, which
amounted at least to £10,000., was the first cause of
Sir William encumbering his estate; and the difficulties
in which he was involved making him uneasy; he, as is
too often the case, had recourse to his bottle for relief.
He kept what is called a hospitable table, and being
seldom without company, this brought on a constant
course of dissipation and want of economy, by which
means his affairs in the course of a few years became
almost desperate.

There was taken into the family about this time a freshcoloured country girl, in the capacity of a dairy-maid, with no other beauty than what arises from the bloom of youth; and as people who once give way to their passions know no bounds, Sir William, in the decline of life, conceived an amorous regard for this girl, who was scarce twenty; this event produced still further confusion in the family. Mrs. Jones soon observed this growing passion in Sir William, and either from resentment or the apprehension, or perhaps the real experience of ill usage, thought proper to retire to Cambden, a neighbouring market-town, where she was reduced to keep a little sewing-school for bread. Young Mr. Kyte, whether shocked at this unparalled infatuation of his father, or as was commonly said, finding himself exposed to the continual insults of his female favourite, sought an asylum and spent most of his time with a nobleınan, a friend of his, in Warwickshire. Sir William, though he had now a prospect of being successful in this humble amour, and of indulging it without molestation, yet began at length to see the delusive nature of all vicious pursuits, and though he endeavoured to keep up his spirits, or rather to drown all thought by constant intoxication; in his sober intervals he became a victim to gloomy reflections; he had injured a valuable wife, which he could not now reflect upon without some remorse; he had wronged his innocent children, whom he could not think upon without the tenderest sentiments of compassion. His son, who had been a sort of companion to him for several years, had now left him through his ill usage, and as Mrs. Jones had for some time been useful to him, he was shocked at being deserted even by the woman for whose sake he had brought this distress upon his family; and he found himself almost alone in that magnificent, but fatal mansion, the erecting and adorning of which had been the principal cause of ruining his fortune. Tormented by these contending passions, he had for a week raised himself by

constant inebriation to a degree of phrensy, and behaved in so frantic a manner that even his new favourite could bear it no longer, and had eloped from him. On the

day on which he executed his fatal resolution, he sent

for his son, and for his new mistress, with what inten-
tion can be only conjectured, but luckily neither of them
obeyed the summons. Early in the evening, it being in
the month of October, the butler had lighted two can-
dles as usual, and set them upon the marble table in
the hall. Sir William came down and took them up
himself, as he frequently did; after some time, however,
one of housemaids ran down stairs in a great fright, and
said, "the lobby was still all in a cloud of smoke." The
servants, and a tradesman that was in the house upon
business, ran immediately up, and forcing open the
door whence the smoke seemed to proceed, they found
that Sir William had set fire to a large heap of fine
linen, piled up in the middle of the room, which has
been given by some old lady, a relation, as a legacy, to
his eldest son.
While the attention of the servants was
entirely taken up with extinguishing the flames in this
room, Sir William had made his escape into an adjoin-
ing chamber, where was a cotton-bed, and which was
wainscotted with deal, as most finished rooms then
were; when they had broken open this door, the flames
burst out upon them with such fury that they were all
glad to make their escape out of the house, the prin-
cipal part of which sumptuous pile was, in a few hours
burned to the ground, and no other remains of Sir Wil-
liam were found next morning, than the hip-bone and
the vertebiæ, or bones of the back, with two or three
keys, and a gold watch, which he had in his pocket.
This was the dreadful consequence of a licentious pas-
sion, not checked in its infancy.

SPECIMENS OF CELEBRATED AUTHORS.

SECOND SPECIMEN OF ST. EVREMOND.

His opinion of the best food; and of the English and their comedies.

at once.

It is not easy to give a complete specimen of an author
His qualities are often various, and demand
various samples. Those of St. Evremnod, for instance,
are a gallant good-nature, a refined epicurism (in the
ordinary sense of the word), great good sense in judging
of common life, and now and then a disposition to ban-
ter; which last is said to have so pervaded his manners
(that is to say, the spirit of it, or the disposition to un-
dervalue and to look at the petty side of things), as to
give him a "sneering physiognomy." There is a look of
this kind in some of his portraits, though not all; and
it is easy enough to suppose, that a man of St. Evre-
mond's fine, but not profound, sense, falling upon the
times he did, and on such a court as Charles the Second's
however he may have accommodated himself to circum-
stances, may have had misgivings about human nature,
calculated to give this turn to his countenance. Of the
good-natured gallantry we have given a sample. The
banter we must keep for another time. Here follow
specimens of the refined epicurism, and the solid judg-
The first is part of a letter written to a friend

ment.
in exile.

JUDICIOUS EATING (if you can afford it).

You'll tell me, perhaps, that I was not of so gay a humour in my own misfortunes, as I appear to be in your's; and that it is ill-breeding in a man to bestow all his concern upon his own misfortunes, and be indifferent to, nay, and even merry with the calamities of his friends. I should agree with you in that if I behaved myself so; but I can honestly affirm to you that I am little less concerned at your exile than yourself; and the little mirth which I advise you to, is in order to have a share of it myself, when I shall find you capable of receiving it.

As to what relates to my own misfortunes, if I have formerly appeared to you more afflicted under them than I seem to be at present, it is not because I was so indeed. I was of opinion that disgraces exacted from us the decorum of a melancholy air, and that this apparent mortification was a respect due to the will of our superiors, who seldom bethink themselves of punishing us, without a design to afflict us. But then you are to know that under a sad outside and mortified cou: tenance, I gave myself all the satisfaction I could find in myself; and all the pleasure I could take in the conversation of my friends.

After having found the variety of that grave temper we learn from morality, I should grow ridiculous myself, if I c ntinued so serious a discourse, which makes me proceed to give you some advice that shall be less troublesome than instructions.

Adapt as much as possibly you can, your palate and appetite to your health: tis a great secret to be able to reconcile the agreeable and necessary in two things, which have been almost always opposite. Yet after all, to arrive at this great mystery, we want nothing but sobriety and niceness; and what ought not a man to do that he may learn to chuse those delicious dishes at his meals, which will keep both his mind and body in a good disposition, all the remainder of the day? A

man may be sober without being nice, but he can never be nice without being sober. Happy is the person that enjoys both these qualities together! For thus his pleasure is ever inseparable from his diet.

Spare no cost to get Champagne wines, though you were 200 leagues from Paris. Those of Burgundy have lost all their credit with the men of good taste, and scarce do they preserve a small remainder of their old reputation with the citizen. There is no province that affords excellent wines for all seasons but Champagne. It furnishes us with the Vin d'Ay, d'Avenet, and d'Auvilé till the Spring; Tessy Sillery, and Versenat, for the rest of the year.

If ask me which of all these wines I prefer, withyou out being swayed by the fashion of the Tastes, which false pretenders to delicacy have introduced; will tell you that the Vin d'Ay is the most natural of all wines, the most wholesome, the most free from all smell of the oil, and of the most exquisite agreeableness, in regard of its peach-taste which is peculiar to it, and is in opinion, the chief of all tastes and flavours.

Leo X., Charles V., Francis I., and Henry VIII. had each of them their house in or near Ay, in order to the more curious getting their qnantities of wines. Amongst the greatest affairs of the world, in which those princes were more or less concerned, it was not the least of their cares to have the Vin d'Ay in their cellars.

Be not too desirous of rarities, but be nice in your choice of what may be had with convenience. A good, wholesome, natural soup, which is neither too weak nor too strong, is to be preferred for common diet before all others; as well as for the exactness of its taste, as for the advantage of its use.

Tender, juicy mutton, good sucking veal, white and curious barn-door fowls, well fed but not crammed; fat quail taken in the country; pheasant, partridge, and rabbit, all which have an agreeable natural savour in their taste, are the true meats which may help to furnish your table all the seasons of the year. The WoodHen is particularly to be esteemed for excellency, but it is not sought after where you or I are, by reason of its so great rarity.

If an indispensible necessity obliges you to dine with some of your neighbours, whom either their money or dexterity hath excused for serving in the Rear-van, conmend the hare, the stag, the roe-buck, the wild-boar, but eat none of them: let even ducks and teal have your good word too. Of all brown meats, the snipe alone is to be commended, in favour of its taste, though it is somewhat prejudicial to health.

Look upon all mixtures, and kitchen compositions, called Ragouts, or kick-shaws to be little better than poison. If you eat but little of them they will do you but little hurt; if you eat a great deal, it is impossible but their pepper, vinegar, and onions must ruin your taste at last, and soon cause a alteration in your health. Sauces, if you make them yourself, as simple and plain as possible, can do no harm at all. Salt and orange are the most general and the most natural seasoning. Fine herbs are wholesome, and have something in them more exquisite than spices; but they are not equally proper for everything. One must use them with judgment in meats where they are most agreeable, and distribute them with so much discretion that they may improve the proper taste of the meat, without making their own discerned,

Having thus discoursed to you of the qualities of wines, and the properties of meats, 'tis necessary to come to the most proper counsel for the adapting of the palate to the body

Let nature incite you to eat and drink by a secret disposition, which is lightly perceived, and doth not press you to it through necessity. Without appetite the most wholesome food is capable of hurting, and the most agrecable of disgusting us. With hunger the necessity of eating is a sort of evil which causes another after the meal is over, by making us eat more than we should. The appetite (vulgarly called a good stomach) prepares, if I may so speak, an exercise for our heat in the digestion whereas greediness prepares labour and pain for it. The way to keep us always in good temper is to suffer neither too much emptiness, nor too much repletion, that so nature may never be tempted to fill itself greedily with what it wants, not impatient to discharge

its load.

The English and the Comedy.

manners.

There is no comedy more conformable to that of the ancients, than the English, as for what relates to the It is not a mere piece of gallantry, full of adventures and amorous discourses, as in Spain and France; but a representation of the ordinary way of living, according to the various humours, and different characters of men. It is an Alchymist, who by the illusion of this art, feeds the deceitful hopes of a vain Curioso. It is a silly credulous coxcomb, whose foolish facility is continually abused; it is sometimes a ridiculous politician, grave and composed, starched in everything, mysteriously suspicious, that thinks to find out hidden designs in the most common intentions, and to discover artifice in the most innocent actions of life. It is a whimsical lover, a swaggering bully, a pedantic scholar, the one with natural extravagancies, the other with ridiculous affectations. The truth is, these cheats and cullies, these politicians and other characters so ingeniously devised, are carried on too far, in our opinion; as those which are to be seen upon our stage, are a little too faint to the relish of the English; and the reason of that

perhaps, is, because the English think too much, and we, commonly, not enough.

And, indeed, we are satisfied with the first images of things; and by sticking to the bare outside, we generally take appearances for reality, and the easy and free for what is natural. Upon this head I shall observe, by the bye, that these two last qualities are sometimes most improperly confounded. The easy and the natural agree well enough in their opposition to what is stiff and forced; but when we are to dive into the nature of things, or the natural humour of persons, it will be granted me, that the easy will scarce carry it far enough. There is something within us, something hidden, that would disIt cover itself, if we sounded the subject a little more. is as difficult for us to enter in as for the English to get out. They become masters of everything they think on, though they are not so of their own thoughts. Their mind is not at rest, even when they possess their subject; they still dig when there is no more ore to be got; and go beyond the just and natural idea which ought always to be maintained, by carrying their inquiries too far.

The truth is I never saw men of better understanding than the French, who apply themselves to consider things with due attention; and the English, that can shake off their meditations, to return to that faculty of discourse and freedom of wit, which, if possible, ought always to be had. The finest gentlemen in the world are the French that think and the English that speak. I should insensibly run into two general considerations; and therefore must re-assume my subject of comedy, and observe a considerable difference which is to be found between theirs and ours. It consists in this, that being zealous to copy the regularity of the ancients, we still drive to the principal action, without any other variety than that of the means that brings us to it.

It is not to be denied but that the representation of one principal event ought to be the sole scope and end proposed in tragedy; for we cannot without some violence and pain find ourselves taken off from what employed our first thoughts. The misfortune of an unhappy king, the sad and tragical death of a great hero wholly confine the mind to these objects; and all the variety it cares for, is to know the different means that contributed to bring about this principal action; but comedy being contrived to divert and not to busy us, provided probability be observed, and extravagance avoided. Variety, in the opinion of the English, is an agreeable surprise, and change that pleases; whereas the continual expectation of one and the same thing, wherein there seems to be no great matter of importance, must of necessity make our attention flag. Thus instead of representing a signal cheat carried on by means all relating to the same end, they represent several cheats, each of which produces its proper effect. As they scarce ever stick to the unity of action, that they may represent a principal person, who diverts them by different actions; so they often quit that principal person, to shew that various things happen to several persons in public places. Ben Jonson takes this course in his Bartholomew Fair. We find the same thing in Epsom Wells, and in both these comedies, the ridiculous adventures of those public places are comically represented.

There are some plays which have in a manner two plots, that are interwoven so ingeniously the one into the other, that the mind of the spectators, (which might be affected by too sensible a change,) finds nothing but satisfaction in the agreeable variety they produce. It is to be confessed that regularity is wanting here; but the English are of opinion that the liberties which are taken in order to please the better, ought to be preferred before exact rules, which dull authors improve to an art of tiring their audience.

Rules are to be observed for avoiding confusion; good sense is to be followed for moderating the flight of a luxurious fancy; but rules must not so constrain the mind as to fetter it; and a scrupulous reason ought to be banished, which adhering too strictly to exactness, leaves nothing free and natural.

They who cannot attain a genius which nature hath denied them, ascribe all to art which they may acquire; and to set a value upon the only merit they have, which is that of being regular, they employ all their interest to damn any piece that is not altogether so. As for those that love the ridicnle; that are pleased to see the follies of mankind; that are affected with true characters, they will will find some of the English comedies as much, or perhaps, more to their relish, than any they have

ever seen.

Our Moliere, whom the ancients have inspired with the true spirit of comedy, equals their Ben Jonson in representing truly the various humourous and different ways of men, both observing in their characters a just regard to the peculiar taste and genius of their own nation. I believe they have both carried that point as far as the ancients ever did. But it is not to be denied but that they had a greater regard to their character than to the plot, which might have bee better laid together, and more naturally unravelled.

One of Shadwell's Plays.

[ocr errors][merged small]

SIR,

For some reason or other I do not receive my London Journals till Saturday; but, nevertheless, I have caught a glimpse of the last No. through the window-panes of the booksellers, and perceive the attack-nay, let me use a gentler term, the mild reproof of the fair "Old Boy." Delighted am I to think that anything of mine has attracted the bright eyes of a lady, and grateful also that she has treated an old beau so considerately. Her letter is like a Barbary comfit-sweet and sugary outside, but of sufficient pungency within, to give it zest. I could bear such gentle brainings with a lady's fan every day of my life, and be thankful into the bargain. "Old Boy," however, must graciously condescend to pardon me if I make a remark or two on her letter. In these I will be as brief as possible.

In the first place, then, I never said that the place in which I beheld the deplorably dressed ladies was a bazaar, nor even a "fashionable shop," in the common sense of the term. It was no place for the sale of nicknacks and gew-gaws-the frequenters of such shops are entitled to the full measure of "Old Boy's" censurebut it was a good, honest, downright boutique where in their carriages in a most laudable manner. ladies come to buy a yard of stuff, and then drive away Illdressed they certainly were, and of the "middle or poorer orders" they certainly were not, as the footmen with gold-headed canes at the door amply testified.

"Old Boy" says that French ladies are parchment skeletons. Undoubtedly there may be such between the Belgian frontier and the Pyrenees, but the average French women are better, fuller formed, and withal morc graceful, than any three women out of six, from Regent's Park to St. James's. Of their faces I say nothing. What was the remark of a young Frenchman to me only the other day, on his first visit to England? "We should run after them at Paris for their facesbut, Mon Dieu! their feet, their teunnuw, how ugly!" It is seldom one sees an English woman of proper dimensions-she is either too thin and lank, or too fat and stumpy. There is with us no medium between the dome of St. Paul's, and London Monument.

My fair opponent seeins mightily smitten with our delightful home parties. Sir, I have never stood in more need of Job's especial virtue, and your golden maxim, "make the best of what you have," than at some of the aforesaid delightful English home parties. If" Old Boy" is as enchanted with them as she professes to be, I never knew or heard of any one who, in the way of amusement, was grateful for so little, and that little so indifferent. English sprightliness, God help us, is a most soporific affair.

Lastly, French ladies, according to your correspondent, are never satisfied unless you make love to them. This information can at most be but second-hand-for can "Old Boy," as a woman, conscientiously say, that she ever beheld a gentleman make a "tender declaration" If she cannot, to a French lady, with her in the room? then she must have obtained the important proof of French levity and French female inferiority to us in from the gossipings of others. intellectual pleasures, not from her own experience, but Moreover those others must have been men, and in the assertions of men who kill time with love declarations, I put but little trust.

"Thou hast mis-spoke, mis-heard-tell o'er thy tale again."

I have been accused of being brusque. It is better to be brusque and sincere in your brusquerie, especially when a service is intended, than to be mealy-mouthed and false. It is my love for my countrywomen that prompted me to raise such an outcry against their style of dress. I am so enamoured of their faces, that I would their figure, air, carriage, and every thing else about them, were perfection. If we do not try we shall never mend, and if we never mend, we shall become the butt of the rest of Europe. The very "thick ancled, trainoil eating Russians," will excel us in the matter of dress and manners. Whatever brusquerie there is in me, I It is not well to be harsh with men, ask pardon for. much less with women-so I hope that "Old Boy" will cast a glance of sweet reconciliation on

OLD CRONY. Evergreen Lodge, August 14, 1834.

INTOLERANCE.

"(

(From Dr. Bouring's "Minor Morals," lately published.) "THERE was a very droll dispute at school to day, papa!" said George: one boy insisted that a Latin verse was written one way in the original, another declared it was written another way: the quarrel became so hot that we expected it would have ended in blows; when one of the bigger boys recommended that each should bring his book: and it was found that each had quoted the passage correctly from his own copy, but they had different editions, and the text was different."

"It was," said Mr. Howard, "only a small display of that intolerance of which there are too many great

exhibitions in the world. Each boy thought himself "My purpose in telling the story was not to excite faith. But this secret knowledge was confined to a few ; right, and had good reason for thinking so; but there your scorn or dislike towards the Monk, who, though the rest were bound to a strict observance of the letter of was not the same reason for thinking the other he could not believe, against the knowledge he had,

the Koran. The most effectual class in the Koran were wrong. He had seen his own book with his own that those identical crows really escorted St. Anthony the fedavees-youths often purchased or stolen from eyes, and had, therefore, very sufficient evidence for up the Tagus, may have believed that St. Anthony their parents when children, and brought up under a himself; but he could not know what evidence the was escorted by crows. I did not wish you to be particular system of education, calculated to impress other had had. Hence the folly of expecting every- angry with the Monk, or the Monk's tale, but I wish upon their minds the omnipotence of the sheikh, and the body to think as we think. They will think as we to ask you two questions. If I had really desired criminality as well as uiter impossibi ity of evading his think, if the same reasons are given to them, and if and tried to believe the story, could I have done so,

orders, which were like the mandates of heaven itself. those reasons intiuence them as they influence us. in spite of myself ?”

These fedavees were clothed in white, with red bonnets If they have other reasons unknown to us, or if our No, indeed, papa, that would have been impossi- and girdles, and armed with sharp daggers, but they reasons appear to them not to warrant our opinions, ble," said the children at once.

assumed all sorts of disguises when sent on a mission. they cannot think as we think: it is impossible, and "You would not have been so foolish."

Mario Polo gives a curious romantic account of the garthere is no help for it.

'And if I could not have believed it, even though

den at Alamool, to which the fedavee designed for an “But what ought to be helped, and ought to be I wished to believe it, could I do so because the important mission, was carried in a state of temporary avoided, is our attempting to punish others because Monk, or any other person, wished one to believe it?” stupor, produced by powerful opiates, and where, on they do not see as we see, or think as we think. "Oh no! no!" they all repeated again and again. awakening he found everything that could excite and This is persecution.

Well then, my children, the lesson I wish to teach gratify his senses. He was made to believe that was a “When I was in Lisbon, I was accompanied by a

you is this:
Never be angry with any person,

foretaste of the paradise of the prophet, reserved for his Monk to the church of St. Anthony. You have merely because his opinion is not your opinion ;

faithful and devoted servants, and thus became willing heard, perhaps, that the armorial bearings of that never be angry because you cannot persuade him to

to encounter death, even under the most appalling forms, beautifully-situated city, are a vessel dismasted, but change his opinion; and above all, never do him any

in order to secure a permanent seat in the abode of bliss. guided through the waters by two crows, one seated injury, or hesitate about doing him a good, because

Marco Polo's narrative is confirmed by Arabian writers, on the prow and the other on the stern of the ship. his opinion and yours are different. Nobody can be

and Von Hainmer inclines to believe it true in the main ; The device is in honour of a miracle said to have been lieve what he likes, however he may try to do so; at

others attribute the visions in the garden to the effects wrought in favour of St. Anthony, the patron saint all events, if he hears all that is to be said on all

of the intoxicating preparation administered to the of the Tagus, who, when at sea, sailing on a mission sides of a question. Still less can any body believe

fedavees. The name of huskish, which is that of an to the heathens, fancied himself lost: for all the crew according to the likings of others. Where you doubt, opiate made from hemp-leaves, is supposed to have been of the vessel in which he had sailed had perished of inquire.

Assassins;" others derive the In your own opinion seek nothing but

the origin of the word “

latter from Hassan ben Sabah, the founder of the order. plague, and he was left, wholly ignorant of naviga- truth, because truth, after all, is the great thing. In tion, to the mercy of the waves. In his despair, he your conduct to others, be guided by the rule that

The word becoming fainiliar 10 the crusaders was by

them carried to Europe where it was used as synonymous knelt down to pray, when he saw two black pinioned you should never cause useless pain. In the minds birds descend from heaven, one of which seized the of the best men there is always has been, and always, have adopted it to signify a robber on the high road,

with that of Sicarius, or hired murderer, but the Italians rudder, and the other perched on the bow of the perhaps, will be, much difference of opinion as to ship: by these he was safely conducted to Portugal. what is true, but everybody knows and feels what is

without necessarily implying the crime of murder.

The assassins, either by force or treachery, gained posAnd among the majority of the Portuguese there is kind, and truth itself is most likely to be found when

session of many other castles and hill-forts in Persia. no more doubt of the miracle than of the ordinary it is sought for by tolerance and benevolence.

The Sultan Melek Shab attacked them, the doctors of events of which they have been witnesses themselves.

the law excommunicated them, but the fedavees carried “Did you believe the story, papa ?' enquired

secret death among their enemies; the Sultan's minisEdith.

ter, Nigam ul Mulk, was stabbed, and his master soon By no means; and, though I never said any ACCOUNT OF THE ASSAMINS.

after died suddenly, it was supposed by poison. The thing which should show that I felt contempt for the

Assassins spread into Syria, where they acquired strong credulity of the Portuguese, yet I have no doubt they (From Part 19 (just published) of the Penny Cyclo- holds in the mountains near Tripoli; and the Sultan of considered me somewhat heretical.' pædia,-a publication which for compressed fulness and

the Seljucides was glad to come to an agreement by “Come,' said the monk, 'with me to the Igreja variety of information, executed with the greatest tact

granting them several districts. Hassan ben Sabah, de San Antonio, and I will give you such evidence as

and ljudgment, and brought up to the most recent en- having extended his order over great part of the Moshall be irresistible.' We walked together under the magnificent arches of the church,-between avenues quiries, may compete with the very costliest of its name

hammedan world, died at Alamoot in 1124, after thirty

five years' reign. He bequeathed his authority of Keah of pillars, on many of which the miracles of the Saint sakes. We have long had it upon our conscience that

Buzoorg Oomeid, one of the dais of the order. Buzoorg were recorded, and we reached a narrow staircase at we did not say this before, and have now a particular, renewed the war with the Szijucides, and Aboos Wefaut, the foot of the tower. 'Follow me,' said the monk, reason for regretting that we did not do so. But this

his Dai al Kebir in Syria, entered into a temporary aland fear not.' I ascended after him the long, long winding stone steps, the darkness of the way being must not prevent our doing it).

liance with Baldwin II. King of Jerusalem, through the

agency of Hugo de Pagens, grand master of the Temonly lighted by distant gleams which broke through Assassins, a military and religious order, formed in plars, against their common enemies the Seljucide the narrow interstices left in the thick walls, and on Persia in the eleventh century. It was a ramification of Turks. After this, the Assassins were sometimes on reaching the top, the monk pointed out a buge cage,

the Ismaelites, who were themselves a branch of the friendly terins, but oftener at variance, with the Chrisit was as large as an ordinary sized room, in which great Mobammeden seat of the Shiites, the supporters of Mohammedan neighbours.

tian princes of Syria and Palestine, as well as with their were two enormous black crows, gravely seated on a

To accomplish their object, metal bar. 'Look there, Senhor,' said the monk, and

the claim of Ali's posterity to the caliphate. But among they never scrupled to resort to assassination. In 1126 bowed his head reverently before the crows; 'those the Ismaelites there were many who were Mussulmans the prince of Mosul was stabbed as he entered the are the identical birds which brought St. Anthony only in appearance, and whose secret doctrine amounted

Mosque by Assassins disguised as Dervises; soon after, hither. And do you doubt the miracle now?'

a caliph of Bagdad was killed likewise, and also a Sultan "I doubted it, and did not doubt the less in conto this ; that no action was either good or bad in itself

of Cairo, notwithstanding his Fatemite. sequence of what I saw. And why did I doubt, and that all religions were the inventions of men. These The Syrian, or western branch of the Assassins, howEdith ?' unbelievers were formed into a secret society by one

ever, continued to exist for some years later under their ““I suppose papa, because you did not think they Abdallah, a man of the old Persian race, who had been

Dai al Kebir, Massyad, not far from Beyroot, was their were the real crows that brought St. Anthony to

principal strong hold. The history of this branch is the brought up in the religion of the Magi, and was a hater Lisbon.' Even so, my love ; and I did not believe

most familiar to Europeans, being much interwoven with that St. Anthony had been brought to Lisbon by of the Arabs and of their faith. After several bloody that of the Crusaders and of the great Sultan Sala-edcrows at all; and the attempt to convince me that insurrections against the Abbaride caliphs, the Ismael

deen. The latter was several times in danger from the the two crows were still living, and had lived for many ites succeeded in placing on the throne of Egypt a pre

daggers of the Assassins. The Dai al Kebir Sinan, a hundred of years, was one difficulty more to be

man who had a reputation for Sanctity, sent in 1173, tended descendant of Ismael, the seventh Imaum in the lieve, and not one difficulty less.'

an embassy to Almeric, the Christian King of Jerusalem, “The monk's reasoning was what logicians call

line of Ali, from whom the Ismaelites had taken their offering, in his name and that of his people, to embrace hegging the question.' He took for granted, the

This descendant, whose name was Obeid Allah

Christianity, on condition that the Terroplars, wlio were very thing to be proved, that St. Anthony had been

their neighbours, would remit the annual tribute of forty Mehdee, was the founder of the Fatemite dynasty, so escorted by the crows, and thus fancied that his

thousand gold ducats which they had imposed on them, called from Fatema, Mohammed's daughter. Under the telling me the crows I saw were the real crows, was

and live in future in peace and good neighbourhood toto weigh down all my experience of the habits of protection of these princes a lodge of the secret doctrine wards them. Almeric was delighted with the offer, and the animal, all my knowledge of natural history, and was established at Cairo, and its members spread over a

dismissed the envoy with honour. The envoy, however, the very natural reflection, that it was much more

on his return to his territory, was killed by a party of great part of Asia. Their ostensible object was to maintain Templars, led by Gaultier du Mesnil. After this, the likely that there should be a succession of crows the claims of the Fatemite caliphs to universal dominion, Assassins resorted again to their daggers, which they provided by the monk and his brethren, as the old and to urge the destruction of the caliphs of Baodad as

had laid aside for many years. Among others, Conrad, ones died, than that a perpetual miracle should be usurpers. One of the adepts, Hassan Ven Sabah, thought Marquis of Tyre and Montferrat, was murdered by two wrought in order to prove the truth of a very impro- of turning these instruments to his own advantage. He bable story.

fedavees in the market-place of Tyre, 1192. The reaBesides, I saw that the crows were had filled high offices under the Sultan of the Seljucide

sons of this murder which some have ascribed to Richard richly and regularly fed, and I might have asked him Turks, but, on being disgraced, he went to Egypt,

of England, have been the subject of a long controversy, why if the crows were miraculously preserved, all the where he was received with distinction by the caliph, which Von Hammer does not succeed in elucidating. expenses of nourishing them were not saved ? became a zealous adherent of the Ismaelite lodge; and,

The assassins kept the Christians of Tripoli in continual And did you not tell him, papa, that you could after many vicissitudes and wanderings, obtained pos

fear. They levied contributions on the Christian princes look through the whole of the imposture? said session, by the aid of his brethren of the hill-fort of for the safety of their lives; and they even demanded George. “Did you not tell him that he was a rogue, Alamoot (or vulture's nest), situated to the north of

of St. Louis, King of France, on his passing through and that you were not to be duped by his roguery?” Casvin, in Persia, and there, (A. D. 1090), established

Acre on his return from the Damietta expedition. Louis, “Softly, my impatient boy; that would neither an independent society, or order, consisting of seven

however, indignantly refused. At last the Syrian Ashave been prudent nor courteous; it would have degrees, with himself at the head as Sheikh at jebel, i.e. sassins were conquered, and their stronghold taken, by done neither me, nor him, nor any body good. No sheikh of the mountain. Under him came three dai al

Bibars, the Mamluke Sultan of Egypt, fourteen years good to me, for I should have been exposed to some Kebir, the grand priors of the order ; 3rdly, the dais, or

after the destruction of the Eastern branch by the Mondanger; the Monk would have looked upon initiated masters ; 4thly, the refeeks, or companions: guls

. Many, however, found refuge in the mountains with hatred, because my expression of incredulity 5thly, the fedafees, or devoted ; 6thly, the laseeks,

of Syria, and became inixed with the Yezeed Koords ; would have implied contempt for his opinions, or aspirants or novices; 7thly, the prophane or common

and some of the tenets of the order are believed to still distrust of his honesty and veracity; it would have people. Hassan drew out for the dais, or initiated, a

linger among them. done him no good, for it was his interest to persist

catecbism consisting of seven heads, among which were, Hammer, Geschichte der Assassinen ; also Sir John in the fraud, and as to the facts of the case, he knew implicit obedience to their chief; secrecy; and lastly, the Malcolm's History of Persia ; and Wilken’s History of more about them than I did; and no good to any principle of seeking the allegorical, and not the plain the Crusades. body else, for no body else was present. But it may

sense in the Koran, by which means the text could be do good now to you and to others, for to others you

distorted into anything the interpreter pleased. This may tell the story, as I may tell it to

did away effectually with all fixed rules of morality or

name.

me

hers.

It is a difficult

of the most familiar objects. Do we take too much
credit for this! May heaven so prosper our undertak-
ings, as we can truly say No. An author after a certain
time of life, and long struggles, and discoveries painful
to his self-love, and (we must add) after discovering
that the best thing in him is the love of what is apart
from him, and which has no more to do with himself
then with every one else,—perhaps also we should say,
after being used to the praises of the good-natured,—
grows comparatively unambitious of eulogies on a purely
literary account. He has learned to make deductions
from their applicability to him; and above all, he has
learnt (but with pleasure, not with pain) to make de-
ductions from the enthusiasm of the good-hearted, and
to know, or think he knows, how much may remain
his due, after the proper allowances for the colouring
reflected from their own pleasure and their own natures.
People like our Journal because they like the things it
talks about, and because they see a writer who believes
in them, and has a cheerful religion.
thing to state the amount of what liking may remain,
for ourselves, personally or in a literary point of view;
because, on such an occaaion, candour and modesty run
an equal chance of looking like an affectation. All
self-reference runs a hazard of that cast; nor should
we have made any, if it had not been impossible to
touch upon the nature of a publication like this without
it. Suffice to say, that without pretending not to be
deeply sensible of approbation from some persons, on
any score, by far the greater part of our delight on
seeing the progress of this Journal has arisen from the
additional proof it has afforded of the natural good-
heartedness of men of all parties. Men only mistrust
one another, beoause they think mistrust universal, and
that others will not do them justice. They are better
than they take each other for, often then they take
themselves for; and many a man who feels his reputa-
tion in some things to be beyond his deserts, knows
that he is mistaken and undervalued in others. If all
the world (with a few diseased or monstrously educated
exceptions) could see each other just as they are, they
would lay down their recriminations with blushes, and
embrace each other with pity and regard.
The only
thing they want is to be candid and compare notes,
or to act lovingly as if they had done so; and thus
when they see a man who has suffered enough and en-
joyed enough so to act, they hail him and believe in
him, because they believe in themselves. They feel
that he does them justice,-does justice to the natures
of most, and the capabilities of all; and therefore they
come willingly forth to warm their hands and their
hearts, at the fire which he has taken upon him to
light.

LEOR 457 4

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.

WHEN any one, whose judgment we respect, expresses approbation of an "article" of our writing, it gives it such a gloss in our eyes, that we are sometimes moved, in our vanity, to look at it again, in order to see what has pleased him, and read it by the glad light of companionship. For writing an article, and reading it over afterwards, are two very different things. In writing you give yourself up to your faith in the subject; you are absorbed in it; you do not think of criticism or objection; you are wrapped all round as in a bower of your own building, pleased with the task for its own sake, perhaps with the sense of power. We do not say it is always so; but generally, and when one is in the humour. But on reading over the article when it comes from the printer, the feelings are often very different. You doubt parts of it, perhaps dislike others; we do not mean for their want of truth, but their want of merit, of spirit. You suspect the public will not like it; that it is dull, common-place; that there is no reason why you should have called their attention to such old stories. You doubt, however true you may have been, whether the public will see the truth with your eyes, or care to see it no better painted. And then the necessity of correcting the press horribly aids these suspicions. It is going over your impulses in cold blood, examining the foot prints you have made in the vivacity of your first impressions; it seems as if you were going to retrace them mechanically in the public eye; and this too, without being sure that they are worth tracing at all.

Conceive then what our pleasure must be, when those who have a right to judge, pronounce our little Journal to have done well, both in spirit and letter; acknowledge the veracity with which we profess to love the objects of our worship, and acquit us of having done them dishonour; nay, recommend our recommendations of them; and above all, though of various parties themselves, and therefore habitually disposed (as it might be thought) to countenance no neutral ground of any sort taken up by one who has fought hard in partizanship himself, unite heartily in approving this cultivation of one sequestered spot in the regions of literature, where party itself is negatived as of inferior good to the progress of mankind, and love enshrined as the only final teacher of all knowledge and advancement? No new religion, truly; an ancient and most proclaimed one; and too sacred and wonderful to have justice done it in these small chapels built for conventional persuasion. Yet herein, we, conceive, lies our merit, whatever it may be. It is our ambition to be one of the sowers of a good seed in places where it is not common but would be most profitable, to be one of those who should try to render a sort of public lovingkindness a grace of common-life, a conventional, and for that very reason, in the higher sense of the word, a social and universal elegance. We dare to whisper in the ears of the wisest, and therefore of the all-hearing and the kindliest-judging, that we would fain do something, however small and light, towards Christianizing public manners. If this effort, lightly as we presume to aid it, be too much for us,-if it be far too premature, too impracticable, too absurd,-if the old ways of advancing or benefitting mankind, are better, or not yet to be dispensed with,—and if the wise see nothing in this portion of our impulses but a mistake generated partly by suffering and partly by great animal spirits and an inveterate sanguineness, yet they will see, at any rate, that our mistake is a thing inclusive, that there are good things of necessity inside it, and that if we end in doing nothing but extending a faith in capabilities of any sort, and showing some thousands of our fellowcreatures that sources of amusement and instruction await but a touch in the objects around them, to start up like magic, and enrich the meanest hut, perhaps the most satiated ennui, we shall have done something not unworthy to receive the countenance of their unanimity. A ship, going on a voyage of discovery, is privileged from attack, by 'great nations. A little fairy vessel, laden with cargoes of pleasant thoughts, would, if it could appear, doubtless receive no lesss the grace of their exemption.

We are constantly receiving letters telling us how rejoiced the writers are to see a paper of this sort set up, how it confirms or renews their hopes, how it brings back a feeling of youth to the old, makes considerate the petulance of the young, and brightens the aspect

In addition to the acknowledgments we have made to periodicals, whose continued encouragement is delightfu to us, we have now to offer our best thanks to others of all parties, and shades of party, and such as do honour to their respective causes by their zeal and talents,—some of them of the first order,-to the Atlas, to the True Sun, to the Glasgow Argus, the Northern Herald (Belfast), the Western Independent (Paisley), the Northampton Mercury (not Herald, as was formerly mistaken), the Leeds Mercury, the Birmingham Journal, the Scotsman, the Dublin papers, with others which we have heard of but not seen, and are afraid of misnaming. The fiercest and most anarchy-loving Radicals (as they are supposed) have, with equal warmth and modesty, commended the humanities and the graces advocated by this Journal, in the person of one of their most popular champions, Mr. Cleave; even the uproarious Fraser, whose comfort doth not lie too much on the side of the dulcet, trieth to conclude a sour smile with a sort of sweetness; and lo! the very Jupiter of the Olympus of Toryism, Christopher North himself, parting on either side from him his muttering thunders and his admonished gods, and dressing his looks at the thought of the everlasting Love, bursteth through those cloudy inferiorities, and descendeth in sunshine on our bit of the Golden Age. Metaphor apart, most heartily do we forget old enmities, -most heartily have we long forgotten them, since we found in what loving corners of the heart enmities themselves may grow out of mistakes, and what identity of object may be pursued by different opinions. A man of genius, such as that of the editor of Blackwood, cannot, by the very tenure of his genius, by the poetry of his

nature, but desire all the best and noblest things for the world, whatever he may think of the amount of their possibility; and so desiring, he cannot but hail any belief in them, in the sincerity and durability of which he has become convinced; for he knows that such a belief is good for its own sake, and its own poetry, even should it end in producing no happier prose. There are a few words, at the beginning of his notice of this Journal, connecting us with the dearest of our friends, for which alone we should be inclined to love him, nine parts out of ten, had he said even nothing further: and he will not take it amiss, if we add, that we had another friend, with whom he would have shared a mutual admiration had he known him, and with whose writings should we ever find him getting better acquainted (for we can only think he has hitherto but impatiently glanced, not steadily looked at him), we shall love him the remaining tenth. He will know whom we mean; one, who was

idly said to be killed by the criticism of the Quarterly Review; but whose end, though assuredly none the happier for want of success, was long visible in a frame of extreme sensibility, and delicacy of organization, and was hastened by affectionate vigils at the bed of a dying brother. Alas! hard are the trials through which we go: there is no doubt of that; and harder the thought that we might have done more to lessen those of others, and hasten better times; but in construing things kindly, we acquire a right to think kindly of ourselves; and Mr. Keats's Life was neither so short nor so unhappy as many might suppose ¡t. He lived ten years to another's one. His thoughts, for the most part, were steeped in the riches of a generous heart and a luxuriant imagination. Good God! why are not all men of genius of one mind, like natural brothers? and why do they not make a point of knowing one another, and preventing unworthy impressions? They would carry the world before them (God willing). And so they will, we trust, some day, spinning it like ivory, with easy fingers; for goodwill is surely God's will, and "peace" and "goodwill" are to increase, both according to reverend prophecies and to new signs. Happy they, meanwhile, who can piece out imperfect pretensions with perfect love, casting out the fear even of being considered vain and assuming.

TABLE-TALK.

Adm iration and Contempt. Of unwise admiratio much may be hoped, for much good is really in it; but unwise contempt is itself a negation; nothing comes of it, for it is nothing.-Carlyle.

Never do evil, solely on the ground that it is deserved. -Bentham

TO CORRESPONDENTS.

We are obliged to Mr. I. J. for the extract from the review of Mr. Landor's book; but another gentleman, who possesses a copy of the book itself, has been kind enough to lend it us.

We fear we cannot gratify our friend D. G. in the regular addition to our plan which he proposes. It is much easier to wish to be able to do these things, than to do them.

The "Return," from the German of Mückler, shall be inserted. Also the letters of J. D. and E. E. upon Goethe. We shall have much pleasure also in publishing the sonnet to Earine, but do not at present exactly understand the connexion between the last three words of the twelfth line and the context.

We regret that we were unable to avail ourselves of the ticket sent us for the shew of Dahlias at the Zoological Gardens. But we shall forget neither the subject, nor the sender.

[blocks in formation]
« السابقةمتابعة »