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between it and eternity, and the roaring torrent through which the trembling horse scarcely suffers itself to be forced, and the creaking unfenced bridge, and the steep slippery ascent, and sudden shock of the downward perpendicular plunge, are strong sedatives. To say nothing of seven hours' rain, streams of water running in at our necks and out at our sleeves, just as if we had been fished up out of one of the water-falls, bonnets battered to pieces, and left with fragments of gloves in the desert, hair hanging like sea-weed about our faces; and then the continued struggle with refractory umbrellas. Every moment came a puff that turned up the whale-bones, and while both hands were employed to pull them down again, came a jerk that threatened to send us head foremost out of our insecure saddles. But we have got through it all good-humouredly and even merrily, and here we are safe from the
OUR READERS WHISKED TO THE
CONTINENT, ["Reminiscences of the Rhine, Switzerland, and a Corner of Italy."-Notice concluded.]
A Shrine by the Way- Side. - Strolled out while tea was preparing, and followed a crowd of people, who, as well as we could understand, were returning from a sermon. A very plain congregation, but all bowing and smiling, and looking good humoured. Turned up a narrow path-way, and fell in love with a large single tree, spreading itself out upon the gay horizon, and shading a wooden cross that had the moss of many winters on it. I am fond of these rude memorials, when time has mellowed down their every-day features, and given them a touch of rustic dignity. A solitary tree throwing out its bold ramifications on the calm bosom of the heavens, is one of the grandest and most beautiful objects in nature. And when it shades a wooden cross, a holy well, or a rude altar overhung with wild weeds, it is to me like a chapter in the New Testament; and I feel that I would not willingly part with one of these simple memorials of pious feeling, even with all that wise ones call its sins of superstition upon it, for much finer things. I love the way-side shrine; and when I see the tired female. lay down her load and kneel before it, with the absorbed expression of one who seeks a surer friend than the false ones of this world, I always feel a touch of kindly sympathy,picty so becomes a woman—it is her true staff and armour.*
True Picture and Fine Simile.-I once lived within view of a mill-stream that babbled cheerfully through pleasant fields while summer lasted; but when swollen by the winter rains, used to spread its waters over a wide valley, effacing everything but the dark boundaries. No combination of rock or ruin could produce such a cold, pale, desolate picture, as did those flooded fields when the moon shone on them; and yet it had beauty in it, but of a fearful melancholy cast, like a sweet voice singing of graves and death-beds
A Drenching.-Passed the cross of the Furca in a pelting storm. A cross in the desert has more religion in it than the illuminated shrine of St Peter's; it is the voice crying in the wilderness before the invention of dogmas. Rain more or less violent during seven long hours; in that time we passed through a succession of bold bleak valleys and roaring streams, and lost-as we are told--some views of rare splendour, over a mountain world of which King Fog had just crowned himself sovereign. Wretched chalets-mere heaps of loose stones, with a hole to creep in it, and miserable herdsmen in sooty night-caps, with cold and hunger in their blue hollow cheeks. "Les berceaux, les hameaux, les ormeaux, et leurs rameaux," are as much out of the question here, as in the charming region of St Giles's, where the Irish Shepherd pursues his calling. Had they (I mean the herdsmen) but a huge black hat slouched like a Spanish muleteer over the night-cap, or even the rough sheep-skin or blanket cloak, it would be something; but these poor souls look as if they had just escaped from the fever-ward of a hospital. The cattle are still in the high pastures, short-horned cows as bold and as wild as bulls, and bulls a great deal too familiar, I thought, walking bolt up to us as if they would call us to account in some way of their own, for encroaching on their bleak territory. Yet, notwithstanding this ungracious reception, after having journeyed for so many hours through a dreary desert, where neither song of bird, or hum of bee, (or sound of life, interrupted the silence of nature, to have our reveries broken up by the true mountain music of their bells, and see herds of cattle browsing peaceably, as if there was treachery neither in path or element.
This seems a contradiction to what I have just said about the Grimsel, when I was in love with silence and utter solitude. I spoke as I felt then, and do the same now; but independently of the bells being in keeping, and the bustle out of keeping, with the scene, I had not calculated how long enthusiasm, awakened and kept alive merely by external objects, without any exciting aim or project, could sustain itself against rain, fog, and wind; or how long, after one is as cold as a frog, and as wet as a dabchick, one can indulge in reveries about mountains that are covered with mist to their very skirts, or grow imaginative while perusing the rude enamel of a turf that oozes like a sponge, and answers drippingly to that most miserable word plashy. And then the danger. I am not myself a coward, perhaps too much the reverse; but the narrow crumbling track hanging in the air without a blade of grass
Piety, which in its true sense and under whatsoever diversity of religious opinion, is nothing but an affectionate reverence towards the Great Cause of the good and beautiful, becomes all people, if they did but know it. There is a period, in which long perversions of it are apt to drive good and sensible men into false notions with regard to its value, but unless they are of a mechanical order, and defective in some of the constituent properties of the infire human mind, they come round to it by the pure and modest reason which is to be found in imagination itself, and the noblest wants of a finite and loving creature.-Ed.
"Low brow'd rocks As ragged as our locks,"
and comfortably laid up at the Hospital, at the foot of St Gothard, thanking heaven for our escape from sore throats and fevers, and parching our damp garments over a pan of charcoal,-a night on the stove having only served to stiffen them up a little.
The Imaginative Faculty not in Superabundance.— A girl who was admiring the symmetrical arrangement of the skulls, (in a chapel at Stantz, in Switzerland), took one out of its nook, thrust her fingers into the sockets where eyes once were, turned it round and round as if it had been a dress cap until her curiosity was thoroughly satisfied, and then poked it back again into its place, as I have seen people thrust the skull of a horse into a hedge to fill up the aperture.
Mountains and Grocery.-Talking of Alps, I remember when a mountain was a mountain with me, no matter whether round, or square, or pointed; but now I compare, and grow critical, and no longer condescend to look at great clumsy-headed straightlined monsters, merely because they are so many thousand feet above the level of the sea. Intimacy with perfection breeds daintiness, and now even the snow mountains will not always go down. At first I bowed reverentially before them, and homaged their purity; but I soon found out, that, like other things, they had their every day moments, and so refused to notice any but the magnificent ones, pronounced the twilight white, too cold and ghastly, and the broad noon-day glare, when the sky was blue-blue, and the outline nakedly detached, too hard, with something of sugar or salt about it that I could not well get over."
Swiss Tea. To three ounces of tea-dust add half a pound of cowslip-flowers, and an equal quantity of any aromatic herb which happens to be at hand: dry and mix the whole carefully together. When thus prepared, take a small quantity of the mixture, let it infuse gently in warm water, then pour it gently into any vessel that happens to be at hand, sweeten with beet-root sugar, and add goat's milk to the taste.
A Ghastly Heap of Circumstances.-Last night a man (at Lucerne) murdered his wife's mother; and, having done so, walked quietly down stairs, and said to the first person he met with, I have murdered the woman. This declaration, he now says, was made in a moment of insanity, and persists in denying the crime. The evidence against him is too decisive to admit of doubt, and is strengthened by the known atrociousness of his character; but as the avowal of the accused himself is necessary to his condemnation, (a law pregnant with evil, and which makes the fate of a man depend not so much on his innocence or guilt, as on his physical force), he is consigned to a dungeon, until confinement, solitude, and prison fare shall have lowered his tone. There is in the same prison a young man not more than twenty, who has been in durance twelve months, on a charge of parricide; there exists no doubt of his having murdered both his parents. He chose slow poison as his instrument, augmenting the dose by slight degrees, and feasting on their gradual agonies!f To hear of such things congeals the blood as if one saw a spectre, or heard that something deadly had risen up from out of the earth, and was walking abroad in the world; yet this wretch's impenitent hardiness still holds out; all means have hitherto failed in extorting a confession. I asked what was likely to become of him; "he may probably be forgotten at last," was the answer,-thoughtlessly given, perhaps, for it is impossible to imagine justice so carelessly administered under any form of government whatever. And yet, notwithstanding the chances held out to the guilty, executions are frequent and terrible. Crime calls for punishment, nor should the honest and peaceable be liable to the danger of having the desperate criminal thrown out upon them, but a forced death in the midst of life, a death that cuts off the
• This is in the dandy "silver fork" style, and unworthy of the authoress. Mountains have always their immensity and their mystery, and we can surely draw upon these for defence, if threatened with the overpowering wit of saltcellars and sugar-loaves.-ED.
+ This man must have been a madman, defective in some common property of human sense and feeling. Most likely his skull would be found as defective as his character. His nature must be deformed or unfinished.
possibility of amendment, a death without repenti ance, (for what is the repentance of terror,) has something unnatural and appalling in it; and then the great question, amply resolved in our own, and other countries, where the example of capital punishment has been proved beyond all dispute to be ineffectual as a warning, ought it not to be laid at rest? Great and humane minds have investigated this great question, deeply and closely; and, in all its bearings, it is tried and condemned, yet its condemnation, like the death of the malefactor, has failed to produce any ultimate benefit.
In the corner of a shunned and neglected-looking field on the banks of the Emman, is the pastoral dwelling of the executioner, a lone wicked-looking hut, with a gibbet standing gloomily beside it. Again, near the Porte de Basle, and to the most public and frequented of the roads that lead out from the town, is the platform on which criminals are decapitated The executioner's house is close by, his garden touches the platform, and before the frost had killed everything, the soft fragrance of the mignonette, with which it was profusely sown, often attracted some of the members of my family towards its vicinity, little thinking who it was that loved flowers so much and cultivated them so sedulously. Flowers are not much cultivated here, and the little garden near the river had become a favourite with them. What a singular contrast! Flowers, the delight of innocent and gentle minds, and of the fearful instrument of condign punishment! Flowers sown or cherished by the wife or daughter of the executioner,-perhaps by his own hand.*
Home Yearnings.-I do not sufficiently understand the mechanisin of nature (human nature, I mean) to ac count for a feeling, which, in the midst of my true love for solitary mountain countries, and the deep and full enjoyment which I find in contemplating the lonely splendour of nature in her unpeopled worlds, now and then comes upon me. When I have lived in the midst of society I have never desired any other than that of the few who were dear to me, and, though a lover of cheerfulness and cheerful people, I have never cared much for what is called the world; yet when I drive along the road that leads back to the countries from which we have come, the road that goes to Berna and then to France, and so on, the utter absence of all movement, the intirely breaking off with every link that united us with the-if I may so call it-old world, has something melancholy in it, that gets hold of me I know not why. I often find myself looking out along the road to see if there is a carriage approaching, with a sort of interest for which I can not account, for I know that if Lucerne was a place of winter gaiety frequented by strangers, instead of liking, I should detest it. Why then should I, who have, if not all those I love, at least most of them around me; who possess the brightest and happiest of firesides, and never approach it without blessing the absence of what is called gaiety, and praising (from my heart) the better gifts of quiet, liberty, and lei. sure, for which we have exchanged it,-why should I cast a backward glance upon that for which I never had the slightest value? I cannot tell, and it is because I cannot, that I make a note of it, notieing also that it is only on that homeward road that it attacks me.†
German Students.-A German air, murmured on the piano in a soft but masterly way, brought us all crowding on the stairs to hear it more distinctly.. The performer, a young man in a carter's frock, sat with his back to the half-open door, touching the instrument with flying fingers, and an air of inspiration. I thought it might be Apollo just stepped down to take a little kirchwasser with the host, or say civil things to the dairy-maids, and looked up to see if there was not a cloud waiting for his divinity; but it was only a student from Heidelberg, in the favourite travelling dress. A pianoforte always makes part of the furniture of a German inn; everyone strums upon it. A girl, who had been a moment before peeling potatoes in the kitchen, has just played two or three waltzes at our request, and very prettily too, and then sung a popular air, accompanied by a very clumsy maritornes, who hummed a second, in good taste and perfect tune. What the French call "le sentiment de la musique," without which skill is ineffective and a powerful voice a calamity, seems innate in the coarsest German. The heaviest features brighteninto expression under its influence; all seem susceptible of the pleasure which is conveyed to the ear by a felicitous combination of musical sounds; and many, whose position in life puts the opportunity of musical instruction quite out of the question, give to the sweet and measured seriousness of their national songs and the wild originality of their mountain melodies, an expression of truth and feeling that leaves nothing to
Why not? Is he not a human being, with some flowery corner of humanity in his heart? And is it not better that he should have this link with his fellow-creatures, and see it appreciated?-ED.
+ The reason surely is, that anything which reminds us of home, reminds us of what we love best at home, and therefore becomes precious for so doing, though we can dispense with it when we get there.-ED.
The blouse-literally, a carter's frock, of unbleached or blue linen, with a broad belt.
be wished for by taste, or cavilled at by criticism.
A spacious inn, reputed excellent, at Andormatt, greatly brightened up since we once passed a night there in the society of fourteen students from Gottingen, and fearful society, we thought, when we saw them tumbling in, some with oak leaves in their hats, and all with the high qualities of Captain Rolando's gentlemen in their faces. But their fierceness went no further than the outward man, and if they were not well-bred according to the canons of politeness, they certainly were so, even to refinement, from the impulse of good-nature. Like all the German students whom we have encountered, when they became convivial they sung, and delightfully, but ceased immediately on hearing that I had gone to bed, "peur de déranger Madame," (for fear of disturbing the lady) as the only one who could make himself understood, said to L- the next morning.
Amongst the ambulating masks (at Lucerne) who were pleased to bestow themselves upon us, I must not omit the most interesting,-four German students from some distant town, equipped as peasants of the Tyrol, with the carnival accompaniments of saucer eyes and pasteboard noses, and the Spanish ones of castanets and guitar. Their song, intermixed with dance, their giddy joy, the taste, spirit, and feeling with which they performed, were highly characteristic. It was the merriest masking of the carnival, and as they capered to their wild music, snapping their
of mirthfulness which, when German gravity relaxes into fun, always seasons its enjoyments, their gaiety became contagious. Their music, too, was delightfully fresh and original, with a beautiful tender vein breaking through and chastening its gaiety. I have never seen anything so dramatic off the stage, nor often on it. It has always appeared to me that national music can only be done justice to by those whose early recollections are bound up with it, and who feel it in that spot of the heart's core which never grows old; it is then the song of memory, gay or sad as it may be, but always heart-felt. The popular airs of Germany sung by Germans have a delicious freshness about them, due, perhaps, as much to the spirit and feeling of the singers as to their intrinsic beauty. The heart throws itself into the song, and becomes again an actor in the chase, the gay carousal, the tender inquietudes of love. Both our students and their music were German to the letter, their song sparkled and overflowed like their wine cups, and the tone of sentiment, which is always there to refine its coarser particles, was given with sentiment and feeling.
Gayer nations have no idea of the hilarity of a German dancing song, as we saw it performed last night. Such an exuberance of animal spirits, such a throwing off of care, every muscle in movement, all joy and revelry to the finger's ends. But the dance over, and eyes and noses laid aside, our students be came grave men and bashful ones, with the exception of a single figure, whose convivial tone defied seriousness. Another a little man, with a keen blood-shot eye, and a single feather in his flat beaver, might have sate for the portrait of Oliver Cromwell.*
It cannot fail to be observed that the public would derive great advantage from continuing this proposed line of communication onwards through the populous and ill-arranged district lying between Holborn and Temple Bar. It is probable that many persons of delicate perceptions have never ventured to visit the precincts of Clare market; to them, any path, however circuitous, would be preferable to one which lies through this district. Others, however, of less fastidious habits, will bear testimony to the compounds of impurity in the lanes and courst which it contains; and all will join in the opinion that, next to a complete reformation, the best mode of
fingers, and rattling their castanets in that true spirit the houses on the right-hand side would, of course, be improving the state of this district would be to
wholly removed, a valuable frontage being thereby
How the proposed new line would be pursued east of Leicester square, may admit of some difference of opinion. Gwynn's suggestions on this point are, perhaps, rather too destructive, although adopted in recent times by the Crown surveyor. A wide street, leading directly from the corner of Leicester square to Long Acre would traverse various thoroughfares in such a way as to require the demolition of much valuable property, and to render it questionable whether the benefit derived, great as it would be, were worth the sacrifice; nor would a new street thus directed afford to those great points of confluence, Covent Garden market and the theatres, so complete A more
and effectual a relief as could be desired.
expedient proposition appears to be to alter the north
* We have mislaid a reference to some passage in which our authoress (unless our memory has confounded her with
some other writer) speaks with surprise of encountering some of these German students, who ask money on the high
road. She seems to have thought their request not unlike that of the beggar in Gil Blas, who presents his petition in the shape of a musket. But it is a custom allowed to German students, and brings their character no more into question than the famous salt-collecting of the Eton Montem,-not indeed so much with well-regulated minds, for the Etonians are not understood to want the money, while the students are; and German bonhommie does not reverse the notion of delicacy in this matter, after the fashion of some great and rich countries that ought to know better.
At parting with these volumes, we must again thank the highly intelligent and amiable writer for the pleasure they
have afforded us.-ED.
PROPOSED OPENING OF THE
FROM PICCADILLY TO LINCOLN'S INN.
THAT I do love thee, let not words express,
Gazing devoutly on thy glorious eye,
What else were hidden, even that thou art
Among the most obvious improvements that even
The opening a free passage on this line of communication has been a measure frequently urged, and it may fairly be supposed that no one will be found to deny the great convenience that would result from it to the public. As far as Leicester square nothing could be more easy of execution: the two sides of Sidney's alley should be pulled down, the houses rebuilt on a larger scale, and their fronts brought for ward in a line with the north side of Coventry street;
If this alteration were effected, an easy and straight
of this line of communication can be considered com-
Having reached the two great theatres by the new track above described, it becomes a matter of very urgent importance to effect some improvement in the vicinity of those splendid establishments. The proposition now to be made is, to form a large Piazza,† somewhat in the shape of a quadrant, of which the two straight sides, or radii, would be the two theatres, and the curve would be a handsome range of houses having a covered colonnade in front. The area thus cleared would be highly convenient for the reception of the crowd of carriages which are nightly collected round these two buildings, and it would essentially aid their architectural character and effect. The façades of both suffer much from the pressure and contiguity of the surrounding houses. That of Covent Garden, unquestionably the first pure example of the Greek Doric style erected in London, has on this account never yet been adequately seen. There is indeed no style that so much requires the accompaniment of space as the Greek Doric; for the perfect symmetry of all its component parts, which is one of the principal charms of this style, is utterly lost to the eye by
See Fifth Report of the Commissioners of his Majesty's
The vulgar application of the word piazza is so obviously incorrect, that it is perhaps scarcely necessary to say, that an open space is here intended, similar to what, with almost equal impropriety, is called a square. The centre of this piazza would afford a favourable situation for a sculptural monument commemorative of Shakspeare.
the distorting effect of perspective, when the point of sight is too near to the object.
A very beneficial purgation would be consequent on this improvement; some courts of very indifferent pretensions would be suppressed; and the parish of St Martin's would probably be induced to sacrifice a cemetery already too crowded with the dead to be any longer available for the purposes of decent interment.
The new avenue now in progress from Waterloo Bridge to Long Acre, will greatly facilitate the improvement of this vicinity, and, in conjunction with other improvements about to be suggested, will give a value to this spot in some respects unequalled in London, ensuring the speedy erection of a superior class of buildings. Hereafter we shall have to advert to the necessity of extending northwards this avenue: at present let us continue the course we have been pursuing eastward.
It is probable that any measure that would diminish the alarming and even dangerous confusion now attendant on the simultaneous departure of some thousands of persons from the two great theatres, would operate favourably to the interests of their proprietors.
open a spacious avenue through the centre of it. Let us suppose this effected by carrying from the corner of the new piazza at the theatres a wide street eastward to Carey street, and connecting it with the Strand near St Clement's church by a branch in the direction of the present Clement's lane, two new and commodious facilities of access would thus be offered to all persons on their way to the city or the inns of court, and the present most inconvenient outlet called Wych street, through which there is now of necessity much traffic, would be altogether superseded.
It is needless here to point out to those who are interested in the improvement of St Clement's and New Inns, that the execution of such a plan as we have above described, would be of inestimable advantage to those estates, and would hold out a tempting invitation to extend them, or, indeed, to establish an intirely new inn, by purchasing and clearing the adjacent ground, and erecting on the area so obtained commodious and cheerful chambers. When the low precarious rents arising from the dilapidated tenements of this district are compared with the high and almost extravagant value of chambers in the neighbouring inns of court, we shall be justified, perhaps, in entertaining a hope, that a profitable return might be realized by the execution of this part of our plan. The dispersion of the pauper population consequent on such an improvement would, it is apprehended, be immediately attended by a beneficial effect on the poor's-rates; a circumstance which is calculated to ensure a favourable consideration of this project from the parish authorities.
Nor, whilst enumerating the advantages that would result from this improvement, should we omit to of amending the sewage of the very imperfectly point out the great facilities which it would present The greater part of drained district in question. Drury lane is wholly without any sewer; many of the lateral streets and lanes are equally deficient, and most of the drains with which this neighbourhood is thus scantily provided, pass very objectionably under buildings in such a manner as to render access to them, for the purpose of repairing and cleansing, always inconvenient, and sometimes almost impracticable.
There is a minor improvement connected with the new avenue under consideration, to which it will be here well to allude. Every one must be aware of the extreme inadequacy of Chancery lane, as the principal and (with the exception of the still narrower and more crooked lane, called Fetter lane) the only means of direct communication between the two great high ways of Fleet street and Holborn; the southern extremity of this lane forms a pass constantly exposed to great and even dangerous obstruc
To obviate this, let Serle street be extended southward through the intervening alleys, and let it enter the Strand at Picket place: a most advantageous thoroughfare will thereby be obtained with very little sacrifice of property; and by further converting Great Turnstile into a serviceable carriage way, the cross communication between the two great parallel thoroughfares will be satisfactorily established, and will make what has been justly described by Gwynn as "one of the most convenient communications in town."
Vanity of Dispute.-Contest not a point merely because you are in the right, and another in the wrong. Out of such contests spring dissensions and enmity.-Bentham.
A LAST WISH.
WHEN the blood shall quit my heart,
And these eyes no longer see;
Nothing left my rest to mar.
And that there may be some shade
house where her school-mistress lives, by four men on a dark November night, walks across the old hall every night, clothed in a white sheet-what, sir, I desire to know is, what good did my little Sally ever get from that? Why, she has been thinking of nothing else ever since." Sir, with the profoundest respect, much. When the old nurse left her in her bed, she trembled as the door was shut, and said, "Oh! if those four men were to come now and try to kill me, what should I do?” and then she pulled the clothes tightly over her head and prayed to God, far more earnestly than she ever did before, to keep her safe from such cruel men, and to make her a good little girl, and love her dear father and mother better than she had done. And what if she did see, or think she saw, when she ventured to put out her head, and give a suspicious peep round the room, as the moon shone brightly through the crevices of the shutter, dimly illuminating it with a cold and melancholy light—what if she did see two large fierce and fiery blazing eyes staring her full in the face, and then saw them slowly advancing towards her, and thought she heard a low groan as of a dying man, and then, as they emerged from behind the little basket where her clothes were folded, saw them coming on rapidly, until she felt something fall heavily on her feet: it was only her dear "granma's" favourite tom cat coming to her to make friends for the night, and purring to her with much good humour. Why should she be alarmed? Mark, kind reader-because she thought it was a ghost! And pray, may I inquire whether this same reason would not have been given, poor old Betty had never told her ghost stories? Most certainly it would! And why? Because there is a feeling-I had almost said an innate feeling-within us, that there are ghosts, that there are spirits which do people the air," and who can see into our inmost souls, can pierce the recesses of our hearts-a kind of inferior deities, who know all our deeds, all our actions, "whether they be good, or whether they be evil."
From Apollo unto me
Came the gift of poesy;
I want no funereal show,
Prancing steed, and nodding plume;
Nor of hypocritic woe
The detested gloom;
Nor followers in dark disguise,
Nor give me what vain glory rears,
Beyond a few kind tears: Strew flowers, and give me these, And I shall rest at ease.
S. R. J.
BELIEF IN GHOSTS.
To the Editor of the London Journal. SIR,-I cannot express to you the pleasure I have felt in reading the pages of your Journal. To have found a man who can, and will, regale us with several columns of imaginative prose for three-halfpence, is a matter to me of no small gratification; and it is in discovering your anti-matter-of-fact vein, that I have become vain enough to suppose you will give publication-for the amusement, though, perhaps, not the instruction of your readers to a few words that I have to say on those creatures of imagination -those flying buttresses of poetry-ghosts.
It has often struck me, that to encourage the belief in spirits, especially in the young, is one way of making them religious. It may make them superstitious; but who is religious without being so? It may highly excite their tender imaginations, but it cannot fail to kindle a poetic flame in their minds--a flame which, when once kindled can never be extinguished, and which engenders virtue, morality, kind-heartedness, and benevolence. Oh! what would our mortal days be good for, were it not for imagination"Which colours life's dark cloud with orient rays!" "Well," coolly grunts a cui bono gentleman, while he munches his breakfast and sips his tea, "what has this to do with the question as to the good that my children are to get from being afraid to go to bed in the dark, after having been terrified by my old nurse, who has already almost frightened my little Sally out of her wits by telling her how the ghost of an old gentleman, who was killed many years ago in the
But tell me, you matter-of-fact gentleman, where would have been half our pleasure at the Abbey the other day, if there was no such thing as a ghost? While we poor guinea-ticket out-of-sight gentry were sitting in that venerable temple, listening in solemn silence to the spirit-moving tones of that pealing organ and the heart-stirring notes of that splendid choir-where, I say, would half our delight have been had we not imagined that such unequalled strains only inferior to the "strains unutterable of seraphs before the throne"-had roused the disembodied spirit of the immortal Handel, who slumbers in the dust close by, and that it flitted to and fro on the undulating air, as it struck and reverberated from the gilded roof? Why, without a ghost, I would have sold my ticket at a discount, and thought myself lucky!
"But who in the world ever did anything," says my sapient friend, "who believed in spirits?" Numbers, say I; and I will give you an instance. Did you ever hear, kind sir, of Robert Hall, a man of the most exalted genius, the most refined and lofty imagination, the purest taste? He believed in spirits. One day he was sitting in his study, writing a sermon on the influence of the evil spirit. The window was open. A friend called, and he left the room to see and converse with him. He was absent but a short time-I forget how long-and on returning found that his unfinished sermon was gone. It had fled it was nowhere to be found. The yard below the window, every place where it might have been wafted by the wind, was searched with the most diligent and scrupulous care, but without effect. Now what was Hall's conclusion? Why! one that everyone in his senses must have come to,-that the devil had taken it away. He firmly believed it, and so do I.
Now I know that most, if not all, of what I have been saying, runs counter to all modern notions of education. In these degenerate days, when every child is Pestalozzified into a pest-when every other child you meet is a prodigy-when everything is taught but obedience to parents and respect for superiors--when the only consideration is, how much is
stuffed in, no matter whether it be understood or not, such sentiments as mine will stretch wide the mouths and eyes of half the maternal world. "What!" a fond mamma will say, "find fault with. an education that sends home my child so clever and so learned, that he can actually correct Mr B. and myself! Where was the child that could do this when I was a girl?'" "My dear Mrs B.," I answer, "it is of this very cleverness and learnedness that I complain; and, that I may not appear singular in my opinion, allow me to cite to you the opinions of a man who has been justly styled the thinker of our age'—need I say that I allude to Mr Coleridge?— on this very identical subject. There are modes of teaching,' says he, in comparison with which we have been called on to despise our great schools and universities,
"In whose halls are hung Armoury of the invincible knights of old "— modes by which children are to be metamorphosed into prodigies. And prodigies, with a vengeance, have I known thus produced: prodigies of self-conceit, shallowness, arrogance, and infidelity. Instead of storing the memory, during the period when the memory is the predominant faculty, with facts for the after exercise of the judgment; and instead of awakening by the noblest models, the fond and mixed models, Love and Admiration, which is the natural and graceful temper of early youth, these nurselings of improved pedagogy are taught to dispute and decideto suspect all but their own and their lecturer's wisdom, and to hold nothing sacred from their contempt but their own contemptible arrogance.'
I must apologise, Sir, for the length to which my "few words" have extended, and the rambling style in which they are communicated. Allow me again to thank you for having been the source, to me, of much pleasure and unfeigned delight. H. B.
[We have inserted the above letter, both for the sake of the writer's goodness of intention, and because he has "more in him," than many a reader of his avowal about Robert Hall's ghost story might suppose. We certainly do not come to the same conclusions with him on that point, nor on the necessity of teaching children to be afraid of spirits, though we would open to them the most unbounded fields of possibility in all the regions of a loving faith. These, doubtless, are what he would arrive at himself; but it appears to us that the world have had enough of the rough ways to gentleness, of the husks and thorns of faith, however necessary such husks may have been to the ripening of the fruit; and that the time is arrived for enjoying the fruit itself.]
SUPPLEMENT OF THE LONDON JOURNAL,
[WE plainly confess that we make the following extract from the letter of an esteemed correspondent, both as a help towards the announcement of our Supplements, and as an evidence that they are not unapproved.]
To the Editor.
MY DEAR SIR,-I have seen one of the Supplements, and was astonished to find that you had contrived so well to draw so much intelligence and amusement from an otherwise dry subject, and one which is hardly ever rendered popular enough in style They like well with the great majority of readers. enough to hear of the antiquities of London, familiarised to them as you would do it, but grow weary of an old book containing them. Public writers have a good deal yet to do, to induce the majority of readers to read as they ought. Experience, I am inclined to think, will show that knowledge, through reading, will be best communicated where the difference between reader and writer is not made so manifest, at least where they approach nearer in sentiment and familiarity. Surely our great writers have now and then dreamt of monopolizing their researches into the hitherto unknown stores of knowledge, and by so doing make the day as distant as possible when literature, or the love of it, shall have become more the business of men's lives, or they would have condescended more, or rather have appeared to condescend more, to the level of their understandings. In my poor opinion, your style is much more calculated to induce us to read, and to love knowledge for its own sake, than any other, for the reasons I have attempted to give.
Your obliged servant,
H. W. S.
(a divine) did before us, in his masterly jeu d'esprit upon
August 28. Sin,Amongst your numerous correspondents, without the ambition of being noticed for one, allow me to make a remark on your last number. It relates to the profane expletives introduced in the Dialogue with a Sportsman." Be assured that to every mind of the least refinement, to say nothing about religion, such a practice is extremely offensive. The common plea adduced in justification of it—that it is to take the manner from life, and that without it the discourse would want the point arising from verisimilitude,-is trifling. Is then profaneness necessary to sprightliness, the expletives essential to wit; or if so, are we so destitute of them as to be compelled to resort to oaths? Better then, I say, want point, and wit, and everything else, than be shocked by the very attempt to give us pleasure.
It gives me great satisfaction to observe that the offensive practice is growing out of use. No one can have failed to notice the vast improvement in this respect, as well as in some other usages, that has taken place of late years in those classes of society that were formerly disgraced by them. They have descended now to the very dregs of the community; where it may be hoped that, as knowledge shall increasingly pervade the public mind, and better materials be afforded for conversation, they will be at length intirely worked off. It has occurred to me more than once to administer reproof to persons of decent appearance for the disgusting habit; and I have uniformly found, that the most covert expression of disapprobation against it has been instantly understood and felt, and led to its discontinuance. A Reverend once found himself seated in a coach with a
This weakness, in every instance without exception, we take to be one of five sorts. It is either a mere habit contracted in youth from bad example; or it is an instinct of weakness, affecting a sort of strength; or it is a brute strength, weak on the side of the un
fellow-traveller for the night-a man of gentlemanly derstanding; or it is an indulgence of spleen allowed itself by morbid knowledge, despairing of its fellowcreatures and of itself; or, lastly, it is pure folly giving itself airs of a knowledge of the world and a superiority to timid prejudices. But the two latter instances belong to the second. We have known very intelligent, and very good men too, swear; but as no
habits, and disposed to enter with him into free con-
man is without his weakness, so we never knew a
I have written the above from a concern for the success of your Journal. There is so much of good taste, sentiment, and information in it, that it is a pity its circulation should be abridged by anything that would make it objectionable to a large mass. The circle in which I move is chiefly religious, and I have ventured to recommend it there, which may in some measure account to you for what some might deem my over sensitiveness.
The "Romance of Real Life" is a part, I think, that must soon fail you. Under this impression I had recourse to several remarkable facts that I had met with in a course of reading, somewhat different I should apprehend from your own; and selected the books containing them, with a view of submitting them to your inspection. But as it might possibly be a work of supererogation, and as probably the character of your Journal can hardly as yet be considered as established, I forbear. It might, as far as I can judge, be made to take a higher and more permanent standing than most of its contemporaries, nor would this at all be retarded, but rather accelerated, by the absence of everything disagreeable to the purer classes of society.
Mr Bentham in his posthumous work on Deontology, has a passage on swearing, which our correspondent will be glad to see. "The passion of anger," he observes, "has been already denounced as useful on no occasion; pernicious and pain-giving on almost every occasion. All habits, therefore, that administer to it, are to be avoided. Of these habits, that of cursing and swearing is among the most foolish and the most mischievous. The popular sanction is happily directing its opprobium against such exhibitions. Fashion had once taken them under its protection; fashion is now repudiating them. In addition to the pain produced by the anger which excites them, other pain will be produced by the expression of anger in a form so offensive. In the minds of some, it will shock the religious affections; in the minds of all it will produce sensations which benevolence should avoid conveying.”
T. L. [We are obliged to the writer of the above letter, for the manifest good will which induced him to send it; but he misconceived us in supposing that we made our sporting hero swear, merely for the sake of painting him after nature, and describing manners. We did it purposely to shew, that he was as weak in manners as in argument. We confess we have not the precise notions on this subject, in a literary point of view, which are entertained by our correspondent, though we should be loath to disconcert any such kind persons as himself, and shall endeavour not to do so; but we can as unaffectedly say that we dislike swearing, and have taken more than one occasion of endeavouring to make it look what it is, as Swift
Our correspondent will see how sincerely we agree with Mr Bentham, when we repeat the following note which we wrote at the margin of this passage, on first reading his book :
"I never knew a swearer, whether a foolish person otherwise or not, in whom the habit was not traceable to some obvious weakness."
'DEW-BERRIES' NOT GOOSE
[THIS letter should have been inserted before. The interpretation of dew-berries by gooseberries was not ours, but that of some Shakspeare commentator in the edition from which we quoted. So far to vindicate our natural hedge-row discernment in the eyes of our obliging correspondent.]
Westminster. MY DEAR EDITOR, Rejoicing with exceeding great joy and gladness of heart at the increased success of your benevolent papers, I am anxious that you should not, even in trifles, be the cause of misleading any one of your readers. Do me therefore the kindness to notice, in any way most becoming to your editorial sensations, that there is an error in your annotation of "gooseberry” applied to Shakspeare's "dew-berries." My dear rambler in green lanes, by brakes and briars, who lovest nature in her wild luxuriance, and whose heart boundeth with thankfulness at the good in all things, you must surely be familiar with that delightful little berry which is so eagerly sought after, and obtained at such cost, by the young of all stations, and yclept by all the " black-berry,”—and I know that the very finest species of that fruit are still hailed in the eastern parts of our island, in the realms of East Anglia --even in the mouths of cottagers' boys, by the name of "dew-berries." Luxuriant in size and form, and covered with a delicious maiden bloom (whence its sweet prenomen), delightful to the eye and inviting to the taste, they are as supereminent over the other fruits of the world and the "waste" (as it is called) as the apricot was esteemed above its cultivated brethren. Hence their beautiful poetic association by Shakspeare in the same breath. During the last autumn, whilst rambling over many parts of East Anglia (where, by the bye, much of our old language,
and many of the customs and expressions of our ancestors, are still preserved in common use and parlance) I was forced to revert to the hours of childhood, and its battles with the thorns and prickles of the berry and the furze, and tempted to devote an hour to the seeking, plucking, and eating of this delicate "fairy-dish" (and it is a rarity), by the joyous shout of the young berry gatherers, when they were fortunate enough to discover a tree of the blooming dew-berry." The call of the young gentleman to his sister, "Oh, here, Matilda, here is a dewberry' tree!" and the anxious reply of the gentle 'dew-berry' of humanity, ." Don't pick them, dear Henry, till I come-I must pick them myself," still sound in my ears, and remind me of the then expressed hope that the bloom of innocence may continue till the hour appointed by heaven for her being gathered with affection to delight the hours of man's weary travail."
Leaving it to you to make the correction in any way you may think proper, I subscribe myself, with much delight and sympathy,
Your constant friend,
Portrait of Rousseau, by Madame de Stael-Rousseau had little eyes, which had no expression of themselves, but successively received that of the different impulsions of the mind. His eyebrows were very prominent and seemed proper to serve his moroseness, and hide him from the sight of man. His head was for the most part hung down, but it was neither flattery nor fear that had lowered it; meditation and melancholy had weighed it down like a flower bent by the storm or its own weight. When he was silent, his physiognomy had no expression ; neither his thoughts nor affections were apparent in his visage, except when he took part in conversation; but the moment he ceased speaking, they retired to the bottom of his heart. His features were common; but when he spoke they all acquired the greatest animation. He resembled the gods which Ovid describes to us, sometimes quitting by degrees their terrestrial disguise, and at length discovering themselves by the brilliant rays emanating from their countenance.
Profound and Noble Remark.-The happiness of the worst man of the species is as much an integrant part of the whole of human happiness, as is that of the best man.-Bentham.
We shall insert with pleasure, and gratitude, the Journey of S.; for it is excellent.
The quarter alluded to by G. F. was not available for his object; but we hope to succeed in another. An answer respecting his Manuscripts in our next.
An answer as speedily as possible to Mrs W. of Canterbury. The absence of the gentleman who attends to the business part of our Journal, renders it impossible at this moment.
We had not forgotten our old friend and correspondent H. W. S. whose letter (as he will see) was welcome to us for more reasons than one,
There was merit in the former lines of S. R. J. but we did not think them so good as those that appear in our present number.
We regret not to have advised URBANUS SYLVAN to select some more promising spot to commence his perambulations in, than the one he has chosen. We feel that we ought not to have tempted him into so much trouble to such an apparently thankless purpose.
The objections of J. D. to the National Gallery should have been inserted with pleasure, had not their tone been unsuited to the pages of this urbanest of hebdomadals.
Will W. S. allow us to make an occasional omission? If so, we shall have much pleasure in giving insertion to his communications; and we only propose taking this liberty, for reasons which he would approve as an editor, even for the sake of the just opinions which he advocates. Will he also tell us what he proposes by his title of "Quotations from Johnson?" Are the quotations to come? For we see nothing of the Great Quotable at present.
LONDON: Published by H. HoOPER, 13, Pall Mall East. From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 24, 1834.
TO ASSIST THR ENQUIRIXO, ANIMATE THE STRUGGLING, AND SYMPATHIZE WITH ALL.
(LIFE AFTER DEATH.-BELIEF IN
We made use of an inaccurate expression in our last number, which we are anxious to correct. We spoke of man as a "finite" creature. The term, strictly speaking, does not convey the meaning we intended. Finis is an end, and finite would imply a being, whose end, or utter termination, was known and certain. Assuredly we wrote the word in no such spirit of presumption. All our writings will testify, that we are of a religion which enjoys the most unbounded hopes of man, both here and hereafter. By finite we meant to imply a creature of limited powers and circumscribed present existence. Far were we from daring to lift up mortal finger against immortal futurity. Religion itself must first be put out of man's heart, and the very stars out of the sky, and no such words be remembered as sentiment and imagination and memory, and hope too; ay, and reason, before we should presume to say what end ought to be put to these endless aspirations of the soul.
We are for making the most of the present world, as if there were no hereafter; and the most of hereafter, as if there were no present world. We think that God, and Christianity, and utility, and imagination, and right reason, and whatsoever is complete and harmonious in the constitution of the human faculties, however opposed it may seem, enjoin us to do BOTH. We are surprised, notwithstanding the allowance to be made for the great diversity of Christian sects, how any Christian, calling himself such by the least right of discipline, can undervalue the utmost human endeavours in behalf of this world, the utmost cultivation of this one (among others) of the manifest and starry gardens of God; but we are most of all surprised at it in those that adhere the most literally to injunction and prophecy, while they know how to confine the fugitive
and conventional uses of the terms "this world," &c. &c. to their proper meanings.
In the feasibility of this consummation the most infidel Utilitarian is of the same faith with the most believing Christian, and so far is
the best good Christian, he, Although he knows it not.
Now he is only to carry his beloved reason a little farther, and he will find himself on the confines of the most unbounded hopes of another world as well as of the present; for reason itself, in its ordinary sense, will tell him that it is reasonable to make the utmost of all his faculties, imagination included. Mr Bentham, the very personification of his reason, has told him so. And if he come to the Pure Reason of the Germans, or the discoveries which that contemplative nation say they have made, in the highest regions of the mind, of a reason above ordinary reason, reconciling the logic and consciousness of the latter with the former's instinctive and hitherto undeveloped affirmations, he is told that he may give evidence to faith after his own most approved fashion. For our parts, we confess that we are of a more childJike turn of contentment; and that keeping our ordinary reason to what appears to us its fittest task, namely, the guarding us against the admission of gratuitous pains, we will suffer a loving faith to
• Deontology, vol. II. p. 102. The passage was given in the first Number of the London Journal.
[From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.]
open to us whatever regions it pleases, of possibilities
With regard to the belief in Spirits (which we take this opportunity of saying a few more words upon, as it was in answer to our correspondent on this subject that we made use of the word we have explained) it has surely a right, even upon the severest grounds of reason, to rest upon the same privileges of possibility, and of a modest and wise ignorance to the contrary, as any other parts of a loving and even a knowing faith; for the more we know of existence, the more we discover of the endless and thronging forms of it,-of the crowds in air, earth, and water; and are we, with our confessedly limited
faculties, and our daily discoveries of things wonderful, to assume that there are no modes of being but such as are cognizable to our five senses? Had we possessed but two or three senses, we know very well that there are thousands of things round about us, of which we could have formed no conception; and does not common modesty, as well as the possibilities of infinitude, demand of us, that we should suppose there are senses besides our own, and that with the help of but one more, we might become aware of phenomena, at present unmanifested to human eyes? Locke has given celebrity to a story of a blind man, who, being asked what he thought of the colour of red, said he conceived it must be like the sound of a trumpet. A counterpart to this story has been found (we know not with what truth) in that of a deat man, who is said to have likened the sound of a trumpet to the colour of red. Dr Blacklock, who was blind from his infancy, and who wrote very good heart and impart verses, in which he talked of light and colours with all the confidence of a repetitionexercise (a striking lesson to us verse-makers!) being requested one day to state what he really thought of something visible,—of the sun for instance,—said, with modest hesitation, that he conceived it must resemble "a pleasing friendship!” We quote from memory; but this was his simile. We may thus judge what we miss by the small amount of our own complete senses. We have been sometimes tempted to think, seeing what a beautiful world this is, and
PRICE THREE HALFPEnce.
how little we make of it, that human beings are not the chief inhabitants of the planet, but that there are others, of a nobler sort, who see and enjoy all its loveliness, and who regard us with the same curiosity with which we look upon bees or beavers. But a consideration of the divine qualities of love and imagination and hope (as well as some other reflections, more serious) restores us to confidence in ourselves, and we resume our task of endeavouring to equalize enjoyment with the abundance afforded us. When we look upon the stars at night-time, shining and sparkling like so many happy eyes, conscious of their joy, we cannot help fancying that they are so many heavens which have realized, or are in the progress of realizing, the perfections of which they are capable; and that our own planet (a star in the heavens to them) is one of the same golden brotherhood of hope and possibility, destined to be retained as a heaven, if its inhabitants answer to the incitements of the great Experimenter, or to be done away with for a new experiment if they fail. For endeavour and failure, in the particular, are manifestly a part of the universal system; and considering the large scale on which Providence acts, and the mixture of evil through which good advances, Deluges are to be accounted for on principles of the most natural reason, moral as well as physical, and an awful belief thus becomes reconcileable to the commonest deductions of utility.
But "bad spirits" and spirits to be "afraid of"? We confess, that large and willing as our faith is in the utmost possibilities of life and varieties of being, we see no reason of any sort to believe in those, at least not as made up of anything like pure evil or malignity. It is possible that other beings, as well as men, may partake more or less of imperfection, and so be liable to mistake and brute impulses; but, possibility, why should we? For as to pure evil or as we need not be troubled with this side of spiritual malignity for its own sake, apart from some procurement or notion of good, nothing which we see in all nature induces us to suppose it possible. The veriest wretch that ever astonished the community, did not perpetrate his crime out of sheer love of inflicting evil, but out of some false idea of good and pleasure, or of avoidance of evil, which idea might have been done away in him by a wiser and healthier training. And as to the belief in a great malignant principle or Devil (though even he has his horrible story lightened by a mixture of mistake and suffering), the most devout Christians have long been giving it up, especially since they have observed that the places in which he is mentioned in Scripture are very rare, sometimes apocryphal, and at other times translateable into a very different sense from what was commonly received. In truth, the word 66 devil" has not been translated at all; it has simply been repeated, and thus given rise, in many instances, to a manifest and painful delusion; for devil (diabolus, Latin; diavolo, Italian) is merely the Greek word diaßohos (diabolos) repeated; and diabolos signified simply an accuser, a calumniator; it was a Greek word for an evil-speaker, a thrower of stones, and came from a verb signifying to cast through, or against. The Latin word is used in the sense to this day, in the well-known appellation of the Attorney-General, which has caused so many jokes against that officer; for he who was known in France by the title of Pub