صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ladyship's petition to his Majesty, he did take it well enough, but gave no other answer than that ye had eaten of the forbidden tree. This was all her Majesty commanded me to say to your ladyship in this purpose; but withal did remember her kindly to your ladyship, and sent you this little token in witness of the continuance of her Majesty's favour to your ladyship. Now, where your ladyship desires me to deal openly and freely with you, I protest I can say nothing on knowledge, for I never spoke to any of that purpose but to the queen; but the wisdom of this state, with the example how some of your quality in the like case has been used, makes me fear that ye shall not find so easy end to your troubles as ye expect or I wish."

In return, Lady Arabella expresses her grateful thanks-presents he majesty with "this piece of my work, to accept in remembrance of the poor prisoner that wrought them, in hopes her royal hands will vouchsafe to wear them, which till I have the honor to kiss, I shall live in a great deal of sorrow. Her case," she adds, "could be compared to no other she ever heard of, resembling no other." Arabella, like the Queen of Scots, beguiled the hours of imprisonment by works of embroidery; for in sending a present of this kind to Sir Andrew Sinclair to be presented to the Queen, she thanks him for "vouchsafing to descend to those petty offices to take care even of these womanish toys, for her whose serious mind must invent some relaxation."

The secret correspondence of Arabella and Seymour was discovered, and was followed by a sad scene. It must have been now that the king resolved to consign this unhappy lady to the strictest care of the Bishop of Durham. Lady Arabella was so subdued at this distant separation, that she gave way to all the wildness of despair; she fell suddenly ill, and could not travel but in a litter, and with a physician. In her way to Durham, she was so greatly disquieted in the first few miles of her uneasy and troublesome journey, that they could proceed no further than to Highgate. The physician returned to town to report her state, and declared that she was assuredly very weak, her pulse dull and melancholy, and very irregular; her countenance very heavy, pale, and wan; and though free from fever, he declared her in no case fit for travel. The King observed, "It is enough to make any sound man sick to be carried in a bed in that manner she is; much more for her whose impatient and unquiet spirit heapeth upon herself far greater indisposition of body than otherwise she would have." His resolution, however, was, that she should proceed to Durham if he were king!" "We answered," replied the doctor, "that we made no doubt of her obedience." "Obedience is that required," replied the king, "which being performed, I will do more for her than she expected."*

The king, however, with his usual indulgence, appears to have consented that Lady Arabella should remain for a month at Highgate, in confinement, till she had sufficiently recovered to proceed to Durham, where the bishop posted, unaccompanied by his charge, to await her reception, and to the great relief of the friends of the lady, who hoped she was still within the reach of their cares, or of the royal favour.

A second month's delay was granted, in consequence of that letter which we have before noticed as so impressive and so elegant, that it was commended by the King, and applauded by Prince Henry and his council. But the day of her departure hastened, and the Lady Arabella betrayed no symptom of her first despair. She openly declared her resignation to her fate, and showed her obedient willingness, by being even over-careful in little preparations to make easy a long journey. Such tender grief had won over the hearts of her keepers, who could not but sympathise with a princess whose love, holy and wedded too, was crossed only by the tyranny of statesmen. But Arabella had not within that tranquillity with which she had lulled her keepers. She and Seymour had concerted a flight, as bold in its plot, and as beautifully wild, as any recorded in romantic story. The day preceding her departure, Arabella found it not difficult to persuade a female attendant to consent that she would suffer her to pay a last visit to her husband, and to wait for her return at an appointed hour. More solicitous for the happiness of lovers than for the repose of kings, this attendant, in utter simplicity, or with generous sympathy, assisted the Lady Arabella in dressing her in one of the most elaborate disguisings. "She drew a pair of large Frenchfashioned hose or trowsers over her petticoats; put on a man's doublet or coat; a peruke such as men wore, whose long locks covered her own ringlets; a black hat, a black cloak, russet boots with red tops, and a rapier by her side." Thus accoutred, the Lady Arabella stole out with a gentleman about three o'clock in the afternoon. She had only proceeded a mile and a half, when they stopped at a poor inn, where one of her confederates was waiting with horses, yet she was so sick and faint, that the ostler, who held her stirrup, observed, that "the gentleman could hardly hold out to London." She recruited her spirits by riding; the blood mantled in her face; and at six o'clock our sick lover reached Blackwall, where a boat and servants were waiting. The watermen were at first ordered to Woolwich; there they were desired to push on to Gravesend; then to Tilbury, where, complaining of fatigue, they landed to refresh; but, tempted by their fright, they reached Lee. At the break of morn, they discovered a French

[blocks in formation]

vessel riding there to receive the lady; but as Seymour had not yet arrived, Arabella was desirous to lie at anchor for her lord, conscious that he would not fail to his appointment. If he indeed had been prevented in his escape, she herself cared not to preserve the freedom she now possessed; but her attendants, aware of the danger of being overtaken by a king's ship, overruled her wishes, and hoisted sail, which occasioned so fatal a termination to this romantic adventure. Seymour, indeed, had escaped from the Tower; he had left his servant watching at the door, to warn all visitors not to disturb his master, who lay ill of a raging toothache, while Seymour in disguise stole away alone, following a cart which had just brought wood to his apartment. He passed the warders; he reached the wharf, and found his confidential man waiting with a boat; and he arrived at Lee. The time pressed; the waves were rising; Arabella was not there; but in the distance he descried a vessel. Hiring a fisherman to take him on board, to his grief, on hailing it, he discovered that it was not the French vessel charged with his Arabella. In despair and confusion he found another ship from Newcastle, which for a good sum altered its course, and landed him in Flanders. In the meanwhile, the escape of Arabella was first known to government; and the hot alarm which spread may seem ludicrous to us. The political consequences attached to the union, and the flight of these two doves from their cotes, shook with consternation the grey owls of the cabinet, more particularly the Scotch party, who, in their terror, paralleled it with the gunpowder treason; and some political danger must have impended, at least in their imagination, for Prince Henry partook of this cabinet panic.

Confusion and alarm prevailed at court; couriers were despatched swifter than the winds wafted the unhappy Arabella, and all was hurry in the sea-ports. They sent to the Tower to warn the Lieutenant to be doubly vigilant over Seymour, who, to his surprise, discovered that his prisoner had ceased to be so for several hours. James at first was for issuing a proclamation in a style so angry and vindictive, that it required the moderation of Cecil to preserve the dignity while he concealed the terror of his Majesty. By the admiral's detail of his impetuous movements, he seemed in pursuit of an enemy's fleet; for the courier is urged, and the post-masters are roused by a superscription, which warned them of the eventful despatch: "Haste, haste, post haste! Haste for your life! your life!"* The family of the Seymours were in a state of distraction; and a letter from Mr. Francis Seymour to his grandfather the Earl of Hertford, residing then at his seat far remote from the capital, to acquaint him of the escape of his brother and the lady, still bears to posterity a remarkable evidence of the trepidations and consternation of the old earl: it arrived in the middle of the night, accompanied by a summons to attend the privy council. In the perusal of a letter written in a small hand, and filling more than two folio pages, such was his agitation, that in holding the taper he must have burnt what he probably had not heard; the letter is scorched, and the flame has perforated it in so critical a part, that the poor old earl journeyed to town in a state of uncertainty and confusion. Nor was his terror so unreasonable as it seems. Treason had been a political calamity with the Seymours. Their pro genitor, the Duke of Somerset the protector, had found that "all his honors," as Frankland strangely expresses it, "had helped him too forward to hop headless." Henry, Elizabeth, and James, savs the same writer, considered that it was needful, as indeed in all soverignties, that those who were near the crown "should be narrowly looked into for marriage."

But we have left the Lady Arabella alone and mournful on the seas, not praying for favourable gales to convey her away, but still imploring her attendants to linger for her Seymour; still straining her eyes to the point of the horizon for some speck which might give a hope of the approach of the boat freighted with all her love. Alas! never more was Arabella to cast a single look on her lover and her husband! She was overtaken by a pink in the king's service, in Calais roads; and now she declared that she cared not to be brought back again to her imprisonment, should Seymour escape, whose safety was dearest to her!

The life of the unhappy, the melancholy, and the distracted Arabella Stuart is now to close in an imprisonment, with lasted only four years; for her constitutional delicacy, her rooted sorrow, and the violence of her feelings, sunk beneath the hopelessness of her situation, and a secret resolution in her mind to refuse the aid of her physicians, and to wear away the faster if she could, the feeble remains of life. But who shall paint the emotions of a mind which so much grief, and so much love, and distraction itself, equally possessed?

What passed in that dreadful imprisonment cannot perhaps be recovered for authentic history; but enough is known; that her mind grew impaired, that she finally lost her reason, and if the duration of her imprisonment was short, it was only terminated by her death. Some loose effusions, often began and never ended, written and erased, incoherent and rational, yet remain in the fragments of her papers. In a letter she proposed

addressing to Viscount Fenton, to implore for her his majesty's favour again, she says, "Good my lord, consider the fault cannot be uncommitted; neither can any more be required of any earthly creature but confession and most humble submission." In a paragraph she had written, but crossed out, it seems that a present of her work had been refused by the king, and that she had no one about her whom she might trust.

66

"This emphatic injunction," observed a friend, "would be effective when the messenger could read; "but in a letter written by the Earl of Essex about the year 1597, to the Lord High Admiral at Plymouth, I have seen added to the words "haste, hast, hast for lyfe!" the expressive symbol of a gallows prepared with a halter, which could not be well misunderstood by the inost illiterate of Mercuries.

'Help will come too late; and be assured that neither physician nor other, but whom I think good, shall come about me while I live, till I have his majesty's favour, without which I desire not to live. And if you remember of old, I dare die, so I be not guilty of my own death, and oppress others with my ruin too, if there be no other way, as God forbid, to whom I commit you; and rest as assuredly as heretofore, if you will be the same to me,

"Your lordship's faithful friend "A. S." That she had frequently meditated on suicide appears by another letter-"I could not be so unchristian as to be the cause of my own death. Consider what the world would conceive if I should be violently enforced to do it."

One fragment we may save as an evidence of her utter wretchedness.

"In all humility, the most wretched and unfortunate creature that ever lived, prostrates itselfe at the feet of the most merciful king that ever was, desiring nothing but mercy and favour, not being more afflicted for anything that for the losse of that which hath binne this long time the onely comfort it had in the world, and which, if it weare to do again, I would not avventure the losse for any other worldly comfort; mercy it is I desire, and that for God's sake!"

Such is the history of the Lady Arabella, who from some circumstance not sufficiently opened to us, was an important personage, designed by others, at least, to play a high character in the political drama. Thrice selected as a queen; but the consciousness of royalty was only left in her veins while she lived in the poverty of dependence. Many gallant spirits aspired after her hand, but when her heart secretly selected one beloved, it was for ever deprived of domestic happiness! She is said not to have been beautiful, and to have been beautiful; and her very portrait, ambiguous as her life, is neither one nor the other. She said to have been a poetess, and not a single verse substantiates her claim to the laurel. She is said not to have been remarkable for her intellectual accomplishments, yet I have found a Latin letter of her composition in her manuscripts. The materials of her life are so scanty that it cannot be written, and yet we have sufficient reason to believe that it would be as pathetic as it would be extraordinary, could we narrate its involved incidents, and paint forth her delirious feelings. Acquainted rather with her conduct than with her character, for us the Lady Arabella has no palpable historical existence; and we perceive rather her shadow than herself! A writer of romance might render her one of those interesting personages whose griefs have been deepened by their royalty, and whose adventures touched with the warm hues of love and distraction. closed at the bars of her prison gate; a sad example of a female victim to the state!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THOMAS AMORY, the son of a barrister and man of property, and author of this curious production, was an eccentric and singular man ni his own person. He resided, about the year 1757, in Orchard-street, Westminster, at which time it was ascertained that he had a wife; but very little else of him is known, except that his appearance, as well as character, though both those of a gentleman, were extraordinary; and that after a recluse literary life, he died in 1789, at the great age of 97. In Buncle he is supposed to have drawn a portrait of himself; and an idealism more robust with materialities does not exist. Buncle is a most strange mixture of vehement unitarianism in faith, liberality in ordinary judgment, and jovial selfishness in practice. He is a liberal, bigoted, whimsical lawful sensualist, Animal pleasure is his dearest object; the law his warrant for it; grief a business that must be attended to. A wife is the crowning desire of his conscience; but as his fancy is to settle matters with conscience, a series of good fortunes of a very peculiar description (that is to say, the loss of seven wives in succession!!) enables him to be a kind of innocent Henry the Eighth. He argues a lady into the sacred condition of marriage, spends a delightful season with her, she dies in the very nick of time, and he studies as hard as he can to grieve for a while, in order that he may justify

himself all the sooner in taking another. This is the regular process for the whole seven ! With amazing animal spirits, iron strength, little imagination, and a relishing gusto, he is an amusing and lively narrator, without interesting our sympathy in the least, except in the relish with which he eats, drinks, and makes matrimony. The work is in many volumes, crowded with all kinds of extraneous matter; but the perusal of which will amply repay all who have not time or patience for the larger work, of which our abstract is á still smaller specimen.

*

* *

step-mother that ever ill-luck inspired to make the son
of another woman miserable, I was denied almost
everything. The fine allowance I had at the univer-
sity was taken from me.
"Nor was this all the hard measures I received; I was
ordered by my father to become the young man's pre-
ceptor; to spend my precious time in teaching this.
youngster, and in labouring to make the little despicable
dunce a scholar. All this was more than I could bear.
My life became insupportable, and I resolved to range
even the wilds of Africa, if nothing better offered, rather
than live a miserable slave under the cruel tyranny
of those unrelenting oppressors. Indeed, it was im-
possible for me to stay at home, for my father took no
notice of me, and my mother-in-law and the boy did
all they could invent to render my life miserable."

He proceeds to England. On the passage he is lucky
enough to render assistance to a very charming young
lady a (a fellow-passenger). On landing they cannot
speedily determine to separate.

"Miss Melmoth and I continued at the Talbot for
three weeks; and during that time, breakfasted, dined,
and supped together. Except the hours of sleep we
were scarcely from each other. We walked out toge-
ther every day for hours, conversed, sometimes went to
cards, and often she sung while I played my flute.
With the greatest civility, and the most exact good
manners, we were as intimate as if we had been ac-
quainted for ages, and we found a satisfaction in each
other's company, as great as lovers generally experience;
yet not so much as one syllable of the passion was
mentioned; not the least hint of love on either side was
given, while we stayed at Whitehaven, and I believe
neither of us had a thought of it. It was a friendship
the most pure and exalted, that commenced at my
saving her life in the manner I have related, and by
some strange kind of magic, our notions and inclinations,
tempers and sentiments, had acquired such a sameness
in a few days, that we seemed as two spiritual Socias,
or duplicates of each other's mind. Body was quite
out of the case, though this lady had an extravagance
of beauty. My sole delight was that fine perception
which shed a lustre on her outward charms. How
long this state of things would have lasted, had we
continued more time together, and had the image of
the late Miss Nocl been more effaced, or worn out of
the sensorium of my head, I cannot say; but while it
did last, there could be nothing more strange than to
see two young people of different sexes, in the highest
spirits and most confirmed health, live together for
twenty-one days, perfectly pleased with each other,
entirely at their own disposal, and as to fortune, having
abundantly enough between them both, for comfortable
life, and yet never utter one word, nor give a look, that
could be construed into a declaration of the passion, or
a tendency towards a more intimate union; to com-
plete that connexion which nature and Providence re-
quire of beings circumstanced as we were.
This was
very strange. Till the clock struck twelve every night
we sat up, and talked of a variety of things, from the
Bibles down to the clouds of Aristophanes, and from
the comedies and tragedies of Greece and Rome to the
Minerva of Sanctius and Hickes's Northern Thesaurus,
Instead of Venus or any of her court, our conversations
would often be on the morals of Cicero, his academies,
and De Finibus; on the English or the Roman History,
Shakespeare's scenes of nature, or maps of life; whether
the Edipus or the Electra of Sophocles was the best
tragedy; and the scenes in which Plautus and Terence
most excelled. Like two critics, or two grammarians,
antiquaries, historians, or philosophers, would we pass
the evening with the greatest cheerfulness and delight."

He does not part from Miss Melmouth without a
promise to meet her again. He sets out for Yorkshire
to seek the friendship and assistance of Charles Turner.
"Having thus lost my charming companion, I travelled
into a vast valley, enclosed by mountains whose tops
were above the clouds, and soon came into a country
that is wilder than the Campagna of Rome, or the un-
cultivated vales of the Alps or Appennines. Warm
with a classical enthusiasm, I journeyed on, and with
fancy's eye beheld the rural divinities, in those sacred
woods and groves which shade the sides of many of
the vast surrounding fells, and the shores and promon-
tories of many lovely lakes and bright running streams.
For several hours I travelled over mountains tremen-
dous to behold, and through vales the finest in the
world. Not a man nor a house could I see in eight
hours time; but towards five in the afternoon, there
appeared at the foot of a hill a delightfully-situated
cottage that was half covered with trees, and stood by
the side of a large falling stream; a vale extended
from the south to the door, that was terminated with
rocks and precipices on precipices, in an amazing point
of view, and through the flowery ground the water was
beautifully seen as it wound to a deeper flood at the
bottom of the vale. Half-a-dozen cows were grazing
in view; and a few flocks of feeding sheep added to the
beauties of the scene."

At College, John Buncle, according to his plan of making the most of his time in every thing, devoted his entire energies to academical studies. The first book that fell into his hands was Locke on the Understanding, upon the principles of which he made a rigid scrutiny of his own powers.

*

"After this I began to study the first principles of things I was satisfied that whatever the order of the world produces, is in the main, both just and good; and consequently that we ought in the best manner to support whatever hardships are to be endured for virtue's sake: that acquiescence, and complacency, without respect to accident and injuries, ought to be our duty under a perfect administration; and with benignity and constancy we must ever act, from a settled persuasion, that all things are framed and governed by a universal mind."

He became deeply versed in cosmography; mathematics, history, ethics,-and studied with earnest attention the writings of the old philosophers; appropriating every Sunday to the study of revealed religion. Fortified by a happy temper, a robust constitution, a determined reliance on the wisdom of Providence, and a dogma from the old writers for every mischance, our optimist sits himself down with a hearty relish to the feast of life. "On the glorious first of August," Mr. Buncle sets out with his gun and dog to "wander over the pleasant country." The weather is charming, the game plentiful. In the course of his wandering, he lights upon a beautiful garden in a valley. "Finding one of the garden doors left open, I entered iminediately, and to screen myself from the scorching beams of the sun, got into an embowered alley, that led me to a large fountain in a ring or circular opening, and from thence, by a gradual, easy, shady ascent, to a semicircular amphitheatre of evergreens that was charming to behold. In this were several seats for ease, repast, or retirement, and at each end of it a rotunda, or temple, of the Ionic order. One of them was converted into a grotto, or shell house, in which a politeness of fancy had produced and blended the greatest beauties of nature and decoration. The other was a library filled with the finest books, and a great variety of mathematical instruments. Here I saw Miss Noel sitting, and so intent on writing, that she did not take any notice of me, as I stood at the window, in astonishment looking at the things before me, and especially at the amazing beauty of her face, and the splendour of her eyes, as she raised them now and then from the paper she wrote on, to look in a book that lay open upon a small desk before her. The whole scene was so very uncommon and so amazing, that I thought myself, for a while, on some spot of magic ground, and almost doubted the reality of what my eyes beheld; till Miss Noel, by accident, looked full at me, and then came forward to the open window, to know whom I wanted. Before I could answer, I found a venerable old gentleman standing by my side." Buncle explains that curiosity and hunger led him to the house.

*

"If this be the case,' says the good old man, 'you are welcome, sir, to Eden-park, and you shall soon have the best breakfast our house affords.' Upon this Mr. Noel brought me into his house, and the lovely Harriet made tea for me, and had such plenty of fine cream, and extraordinary bread and butter set before me, that I breakfasted with uncommon pleasure. The honour and happiness of her company rendered the repast quite delightful. There was a civility so very great in her manner, and a social goodness so charming in her talk and temper, that it was unspeakable delight to sit at table with her.",

Miss Noel he finds so wonderful an assemblage of beauty, accomplishments, and learning, that he is rapturously amazed; and in the arts and sweets of erudition and theological controversy they pass their time till the period fixed for their marriage.

"This world is a series of visionary scenes, and contains so little solid, lasting felicity, as I have found it, that I cannot call life more than a deception; and as Swift says, he is the happiest man, who is best deceived. When I thought myself within a fortnight of being married to Miss Noel, and of being thereby made as completely happy in every respect as it was possible for a mortal man to be, the small pox stepped in, and in seven days time reduced the finest human frame in the universe to the most hideous and offensive block. The most amiable of human creatures mortified all over, and became a spectacle the most hideous and unbearable. This broke her father's heart in a month's time, and the paradise I had in view sunk into everlasting night."

Having suffered this disappointment, Mr. Buncle returns to Dublin to see his father. He finds him married to his maid-servant, and his indulgence for her, and a nephew she had brought into the house, is unbounded. "Money, clothes, servants, horses, dogs, and all things he could fancy, were given him in abundance; and to please the basest of women, and the most cruel

In Farmer Price, the owner of the place, he discovers a schoolfellow; a fellow of most admirable spirit, charming wife, and plentiful table. Leaving Price, he wanders for a time among the Stainmore Hills. In his wanderings he comes upon a delightful grotto, which, with some neighbouring cottages, forms the habitation of a little female co-operating society, the two principal ladies of which are most "excellent in reason, philosophy, and mathematics," and out-talk and out-reason Mr. Buncle in algebra and theology;

they cultivate their intellect, garden, and live stock; and, accordingly, reason, laugh, and feed entirely to Buncle's admiration.

He next discovers a pretty hermitage in an open plain like a ring, and, going up to it, finds the skeleton of a man. "He lay on a couch in an inward room without any covering, and the bones were as clean and white as if they had come from the surgeon's hands. The ants to be sure, had eaten off the flesh. Who the man was, a paper lying on the table in a strong box, informed me." It is the skeleton of John Orton, a most desperate sinner, who, at the age of forty, repenting of his wicked life, gave up all his property to the poor, except what was sufficient to provide him with this retreat. Of Orton Lodge Buncle takes possession, and makes it in future his home. After a variety of adventures, leaping, riding, and tumbling about, among the hills of Stainsmore he discovers his friend's house; but his friend is abroad. A few more adventures and again he meets Miss Melmoth, to whom he is married.

"Two years, almost, this fine scene lasted, and during that period the business and diversions of our lovely retreat, appeared so various and pleasing that it was not possible to think a hundred years so spent, in the least degree, dull and tedious. Exclusive of books and gardening, and the improvement of the farms, we had, during the fine season, a thousand charming amusements on the mountains, and in the glens and valleys of that sweet silent place. Whole days we would spend in fishing, and in some cool grot by the water-side, or under an aged tree, on the margin of some beautiful stream."

"Another of our amusements, during the summer's bright day, was the pointer and gun, for the black cock, the moor cock, and the cook of the wood, which are in great plenty on those vast hills. Charlotte was fond of this sport, and would walk with me for hours, to see me knock down the game; till, late in the evening, we would wander over the fells, and then return to our clean peaceful little house, to sup as elegantly on our birds as the great could do, and with a harmony and unmixed joy they are for ever strangers to After supper, over some little nectared bowl we sweetly chatted, till it was bedtime; or I played on my flute, and Charlotte divinely sung." At the expiration of two years death deprived him of his Charlotte. He is for a while absorbed in grief, but speedily shakes off useless sorrow, locks up his house, and, with his boy O'Fin, mounts his horse." The sun was rising when we mounted our horses, and I again went out to try my fortune in the world; not like the Chevalier of La Mancha, in hopes of conquering a kingdom, or marrying some great princess; but to see if I could find another country girl for a wife, and get a little more money, as they were the only two things united that could secure me from melancholy, and confer real happiness.

He soon meets with another skeleton sitting in a library in the middle of the garden. It is the remains of a philosopher who thus constituted himself a memento mori for his friends and relations. With the daughter of this skeleton, the illustrious Statia, Mr. Buncle is united in holy wedlock. In two years time she is laid by the side of Charlotte. "Thus did I become again a mourner. I sat with my eyes shut for three days; but at last called for my horse, to try what air, exercise, and a variety of objects could do."

A Miss Cranmer next adorns Orton's Lodge, but in a little more than two years, "I laid my Antonia by my Charlotte and my Statia, and then rode off"-to Harrowgate.

We must slip over the fine description of six gentlemen he meets with at Harrowgate, (a description of the most lively gusto) of O'Regan, Lawyer Cock, and the beauties he secures from his clutches. Want of room curtails our wishes.

""

Maria Spence, admirable in the Arithmetic of fluxtions, is the fourth Mrs. Buncle. She dies in six months of a complication of physicians. 'Having lost my Maria I went up to London." On his way, at a village inn, he was shown into a room where two gentlemen were sitting each with a porringer of mutton broth before him. "One of them seemed a little consumptive creature about four feet six inches high, uncommonly thin, or rather exsiccated to a cuticle. His broth and bread, however, he supped up with some relish. He seemed to be above three score. The other was a young man, once very handsome, tall, and strong; but so consumed and weak that he could hardly speak or stir. He attempted to get down his broth, but not above a spoonful or two could he swallow. He appeared to be a dying man. While I beheld these things with astonishment, the servant brought in dinner, a pound of rump steaks, and a quart of green peas, two cuts of bread, a tankard of strong beer, and a pint of port wine. With a fine appetite, I soon dispatched my mess; and over my wine, to help digestion, began to sing the following lines.-"

[blocks in formation]

Doctor makes a wife of his anatomical subject, and conveniently dies that Buncle may fulfil his original intentions towards her. The lovely Agnes is the last of Mr. Buncle's matrimonial speculations. He wanders about the world for nine years, and at last, having done with hopes and fears for ever, he quietly settles himself at Orton Lodge, to moralize and prepare for death.

FEMALE CONVICTS.

FROM DR. LANG'S "HISTORICAL AND STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF NEW SOUTH WALES," (just published) the fullest and best account we have yet seen, the work of a zealous and conscientious man.

WHEN a female convict-ship arrives in the harbour, the circumstance is duly announced in the Government Gazette, and families requiring female servants are invited to make application according to a prescribed form. The applications are generally more numerous than the government can meet, and the females are assigned only to reputable families, according to the best judgment of the board appointed for the purpose. Many of them make good servants, and in due time get well married-chiefly to emancipated convicts, living either as agriculturalists in the country or in one or other of the various capacities in which the lower classes are employed in towns; the colonial government being always willing to grant permission for the marriage of a female convict, provided she is either a spinster or a widow, and provided the intended husband is a freeman and able to maintain a family.

and sent to the third class in the factory-the place of punishment for female-convicts-the marriage being null and void.

It sometimes unfortunately happens, however, that the female-convict, who has an opportunity of forming an eligible connexion in this way, and thereby acquiring her immediate liberty, has a husband alive in England, or has been imprudent enough to declare herself married on her arrival in the colony, under the idea that she will be more respected, forsooth, (for that is the usual account of the matter,) as a married woman. In such cases, it becomes a matter of importance to prove either the death or the non-entity of the English husband, and the expedients that are resorted to with this view are often highly ingenious. About seven years ago, I solemnized a marriage between a reputable young man, a native of the colony, and a female-convict who had been transported from Paisley, in the west of Scotland, for some mal-practices in a manufacturing establishment in which she had been employed. The young man was a carpenter, and it seemed his Scotch wife turned out so much to his satisfaction, that his brother was indnced to think seriously of espousing another Scotch female-convict who had arrived by the same vessel from the same part of Scotland. The brother's intended was the assigned servant of a respectable Scotch family residing near Sydney, and was naturally enough desirous of being on her own hands, as the wife of a free mechanic who could earn from thirty shillings to two pounds sterling a-week; but she had a husband in Paisley, and how to get him disposed of was the difficulty, for she had duly informed the government of her being a married woman on her arrival in the colony. The difficulty, however, was not too great to be surmounted-at least the parties thought so-and a letter was accordingly written, purporting to have come from some relative of the female's in Paisley, and communicating the distressing intelligence of the Scotch husband's death. The letter was brought me for my perusal by the two brothers, with a view to my soliciting permission from government (which must uniformly be obtained in the first instance by some clergyman of the territory, in the case of either party being a convict, for the publication of banns) I observed to the young men, before reading the letter, that it had no post-mark; but they readily explained that circumstance, by informing me that it had been brought out by the Scotch carpenter of a convict-ship lately arrived, who knew the parties; and, indeed, the exterior of it bore the appearance of its having been for months in a carpenter's tool.chest, or in some situation in which it would have been equally soiled. The letter was dated sufficiently far back for the accomplishment of a voyage to New South Wales in the interval, and was written with great ingenuity. It communicated a variety of particulars relative to persons and events in the town of Paisley, which in any ordinary case would have given it the indisputable character of a genuine letter. There were even a few incidental notices respecting one of the ministers of Paisley, which were exceedingly well conceived for the purpose of practising on clerical gullibility. Unfortunately, however, in lamenting, towards the close of the letter, that the female-convict to whom it was addressed was destined to spend the remainder of her days in so distant a part of the earth, the letterwriter had written the word earth in the cockney style -hearth. It immediately struck me that this peculiarly English species of bad-spelling could not have occurred so far north as the town of Paisley, where the vowel-sound commencing a word is never aspirated; and I, therefore, returned the letter to the young men, telling them that I was persuaded that it had been written in the colony, and that no such marriage as they contemplated would be allowed by the government. A few weeks thereafter, the woman absconded from her master's service, and was married to the currency-lad, by an episcopal clergyman in the interior, as a free-woman. As her flight, however, was immediately reported to the authorities, she was traced, apprehended,

Many of the female convicts conduct themselves in an unexceptionable manner, and rear large families of interesting and promising children, when reputably married in the colony; for it is not an unusual case for a woman, who has been exceedingly depraved and absolutely unmanageable in a single state, to conduct herself with propriety when advantageously married. Others, however, are indifferent enough in either condition, and when assigned as servants to respectable families are got rid of and returned to Government with all convenient speed. But the fault is by no means uniformly on the side of the convict. A remark-which I recollect having heard the eccentric, but truly apostolic, Rowland Hill, make at a public meeting of the friends of a Female Penitentiary Society in London many years ago-is unfortunately too well suited to the meridian of New South Wales: "Mistresses are always complaining," said the venerable old man, "or their having bad servants; but I will tell you what, ladies, there are a great many bad mistresses too."

There are instances of persons of the industrious classes of society, who have arrived free in the colony, marrying female convicts, and having no reason subsequently to regret the step they have taken. The experiment, however, is a dangerous one, and is sometimes attended with a different result. About seven years ago, a reputable Scotch mechanic, who was able shortly after his arrival in the colony to take jobs on his own account, was infatuated enough to marry a female convict of prepossessing appearance, but unfortunately of little else to recommend her. Previous to his marriage, he had been regular in his attendance on the ordinances of religion; but his wife had various other more eligible modes of spending the Sabbath than going to church, and he had accordingly to accompany her on Sundayexcursions of pleasure to the country. Unfortunately, however, his wife very soon got into trouble, as it is technically termed in the colony; i.e. into the commission of some crime or misdemeanour, which issues in the individual's flagellation, or imprisonment, or transportation, or death by law-for the phrase is sufficiently extensive in its signification. She had been concerned in a riot, which two free persons lodging in her husband's cottage had raised during his absence, and was immediately carried by the constables before the police magistrate of Sydney, who decides in a summary manner in all cases in which convicts, whether married or not, are concerned. The offender was in this instance sentenced to three months confinement, in the third or lowest class in the factory at Paramatta. One of the rules of that institution is, that no female shall be admitted into the third class without having previously undergone the operation of shaving the head; and the poor husband was in this instance so much distressed at the very appearance which he thought his wife would exhibit, when divested of her hair, that he actually called at my house to request that I would forward a petition which he had prepared to the authorities, that the operation might for once be dispensed with in his wife's favour. During the conversation that took place on the occasion, I took an opportunity to remind the Scotchman of his recent neglect of the ordinances of religion, and I saw him in church for a few Sabbaths thereafter. His wife, however, returned to him again at the expiration of her sentence, and I saw him no more.

When female convicts are returned to Government by the families to which they have been assigned, or are sentenced to punishment by the magistrates for petty misdemeanours, they are forwarded in a covered waggon to a sort of Bridewell at Paramatta, called the Female Factory, in which there are generally from two to five hundred female convicts, under the charge of a respectable matron and the superintendence of a committee of management. They are divided into three classes. The First Class consists of those who from particular circumstances have not been assigned as maid-servants to private families on their arrival in the colony, or of those who have been returned to Government by their masters without having any crime charged against them, or of those whose good conduct has merited their elevation from the inferior classes. All the females of this class are assigned as maid-servants, on being applied for by reputable persons, in the same way as on the arrival of a female convict-ship, the state of the Factory being announced weekly for the information of the public in the Government Gazette. The Third Class consists of incorrigible females, or of those who have been sentenced to a certain period of penal confinement in the Factory on account of some misdemeanour; and the Second Class consists of those who have served out their period of sentence in the Third, and who are undergoing probation ere they are again advanced to the First. The inmates of the Factory are employed variously, according to their characters and stations in the establishment, but chiefly in the processes connected with the manufacture of coarse woollen cloth, called Paramatta cloth, of which blankets and slop-clothing are made for the convict-servants of settlers throughout the territory.

With a view to disperse the female convicts more widely over the territory, and to enable respectable families in the interior to procure female servants with greater facility, the present Governor has established subordinate factories at Bathurst and Hunter's River, to which a proportion of the female convicts from each ship are forwarded on their arrival, and in which those

that have been returned to Government by their masters are kept for re-assignment in the district; and I am happy to add that the measure is likely to be attended with great benefit. Indeed, the system of management pursued for a long time previous, in regard to that portion of the prison-population of the colony, was obviously and outrageously preposterous. For instead of adopting every possible means to effect the dispersion of the female convicts, that they might at least have some chance of getting reputably settled, and even winking at pettier peccadilloes for the accomplishment of so important an object, they were generally immured, to the number of five or six hundred, within stone-walls and iron-gates. The impolicy of such a system will appear from the following consideration, in addition to various others that will naturally suggest themselves to the reader, viz., that there are frequent instances in the colony, as I have already had occasion to observe, of females who had been perfectly unmanageable when imprisoned in the Factory, subsequently becoming remarkably quiet and well-behaved wives and mothers of children.

There are comparatively few instances of female convicts committing capital offences in New South Wales. An instance of the kind, however, happened to fall under my own observation several years ago, in the following rather singular way. I was proceeding alone in a gig one Monday morning to solemnize a marriage at a considerable distance in the interior, when a young man, decently attired in the garb of a sailor or ship carpenter, who was walking towards Sydney, requested to know whether I was some other person whom he named. There was a feeling of distress evidently pourtrayed in the young man's countenance, that inducedme to ask him some question that immediately elicited his affecting story. He had arrived in the colony a few months before, as the carpenter of a convict ship, and finding that he could obtain eligible employment in Sydney, had obtained his discharge from the vessel, and remained on shore. On the Saturday evening previous, he was sitting in his lodging after having finished his week's labour, when some person, entering the house, incidentally mentioned that he had just been at the Supreme Court, and had heard sentence of death pronounced on a man and woman for robbing their master, a respectable settler residing about forty miles from Sydney. The name of the woman, which the stranger also mentioned at the time, coinciding with that of a sister of his own, who had suddenly disappeared from her father's house in London about two or three years before, and never afterwards been heard of by her relɛ tives, it immediately struck him that the woman might possibly be his lost sister. He accordingly went forth. with to the jail, and having obtained admittance, found to his inexpressible grief, that the woman under sentence of death was actually his own sister. His parents, he told me, were poor, but honest people, who had reared a large family of eight or nine children, and she was the only one of the number who had gone astray. On consulting some person as to what was proper for him to do in such circumstances, he was told to get a memorial to the governor, drawn upon his sister's behalf, and to have it recommended, if possible, by her master. He, therefore, went forthwith to a person in Sydney who wrote memorials for hire, and got a document of the kind drawn up. The writer was an emancipated convict, and the memorial was written in the usual style of such writers-taking for granted, as a matter of course, and strongly protesting the innocence of the criminal, and insinuating that her present situation is the result of misfortune rather than of misconduct. It was eleven o'clock at night before the precious document, which cost, if I recollect aright, two dollars, was finished; but, as soon as it was completed, the young man, who had never been a mile out of Sydney before, instantly set off alone and on foot through the gloomy forest to the residence of his sister's late master, to request him to recommend the memorial. He had reached his destination, and had got about half way to Sydney on his return, when I met him on the following Monday morning. On reading the memorial, I was apprehensive it would rather do harm than good, and therefore desired the young man to accompany me to a house a little way on, where we could obtain materials for writing, and where I should write something, which I had reason to hope would be of more service to him. The young man gladly accepted of my offer; and I accordingly wrote a short account of the manner in which he had discovered, and the anxiety he had manifested on her behalf, soliciting that if the ends of justice could possibly be attained by a milder punishment, the eelings of the community might not be outraged by the execution of a female, who had probably been herself the unhappy victim of some unprincipled seducer. The young man was extremely grateful for the little service done him, and I was happy to learn afterwards that his unfortunate sister's sentence of death was commuted into a milder punishment.

TABLE TALK.

Egyptian Doctors. In Egypt each physician studied one, and only one part of the body, a circumstance which multiplied them to a vast extent, as Herodotus particulerly remarks in his Euterpe. Romance of Ancient History. It must have been curious to have been obliged to send for thre different doctors, in case you had pains in the arms, head, and chest. The "members of the profession" might have called their trade the "profession of the members."

USEFUL KNOWLEDGE, CHEAPNESS COMBINED WITH ELEGANT TYPOGRAPHY AND
EMBELLISHMENTS.

ALLAN BELL and Co. having entered into arrangements with the Original Proprietors, for the REPUBLICATION of
THE BRITISH

LIBRARY;

Comprising the CLASSIC AUTHORS of GREAT BRITAIN; have, for the accommodation of a numerous class of purchasers, recently commenced issuing the following popular works, (which are printed in a style, in every respect corresponding with LARDNER'S, SCOTT'S, and BYRON'S Works.

IN MONTHLY PARTS AT ONE SHILLING, AND IN NUMBERS AT THREE-PENCE;

EACH IN NEAT PRINTED COVERS.

I.

Complete in TWELVE PARTS, or forty-two Numbers; or in Four Volumes foolscap, 8vo.
GOLDSMITH'S MISCELLANEOUS WORKS,

WITH AN ORIGINAL BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR, AND BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS.

"The present edition of Goldsmith's Works is one which we hesitate not to pronounce the most complete that has yet been offered
to the public."-Argus.
"The Life of the Author [GOLDSMITH] deserves to be noticed as one of the most elegant specimens of blographical composition,
do not hesitate to say, in the language.”—Chambers' Historical Newspaper.

II.

COMPLETE IN THREE PARTS, OR TWELVE NUMBERS,
Or One Vol. Foolscap, 8vo. price 3s. 6d. extra boards.

WALTON'S

AND COTTON'S COMPLETE ANGLER,

Edited by PROFESSOR RENNIE, of King's College London. Illustrated with twenty-eight Engravings, &c. &c.

III.

COMPLETE IN SIX PARTS, OR TWENTY-FOUR NUMBERS,
Or Two Vols. Foolscap, 8vo.

CRUSOE,

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON
WITH HOWELL'S LIFE OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK, &c. &c.
Embellished with a beautiful Portrait of DE FOE, Engraved on Steel by Lizars, &c.

IV.

Also just republished, complete in ONE VOLUME, Foolscap 8vo., extra embossed cloth, 3s. 6d., a NEW EDITION, revised and corrected, of

WHITE'S NATURAL HISTORY OF SELBORN;

With Notes by CAPTAIN THOMAS BROWN, and Illustrated with numerous beautiful Engravings by BONNER.

"We have no hesitation in saying, that, for cheapness, elegance, beauty, and correctness of typography, these editions of Standard British Authors bid fair to distance all competitors yet in the field."-Perthshire Courier.

"The present Library is, however, on a larger scale, and we heartily wish it success. Nothing can be more beneficial to the public mind than the cheap diffusion of our standard English authors."-Inverness Courier.

V.

SECOND EDITIO N.

In One Vol. 18mo. bound, gilt edges, 7s. 6d. or in Fourteen Numbers at SIXPENCE; each Number embellished with a characteristic
Steel Engraving by LIZARs, from Original Drawings, made expressly for the work, by MR. STEWART of Greenock.

THE ENTIRE WORKS OF ROBERT BURNS;

WITH HIS LIFE, A CRITICISM ON HIS WRITINGS, &c. &c. BY JAMES CURRIE, M. D.,
WITH AN ENLARGED AND CORRECTED GLOSSARY.

'This is one of the marvels of diamond editions. We have here in one volume eighteens, verbatim, the whole prose and poetry of Scotland's glory and shame,' Robert Burns, whom genius made immortal, and the Scottish nobility made an exciseman."— Leigh Hunt, vide True Sun.

VI.

A NEW

EDITION.

PRONOUNCING DICTIONARY

In one thick 12mo. Vol. 7s. 6d. Extra Cloth Boards, or twenty-one Numbers at four-pence, of WALKER'S AND KEY To the Classical Pronounciation of Greek, Latin, and Scripture Proper Names, &c. &c. Embellished with a beautiful Portrait of the Author. This will be found decidedly the most accurate, comprehensive, and beautifully printed Edition extant. It being printed rom New Pearl and Diamond Types, as much matter has been compressed within the compass of a duodecimo, volume, as is usually contained in a quarto published at Two Guineas. London: ALLAN BELL, and Co., Warwick Square,; and SIMPKIN and MARSHALL, Stationers Hall Court,; and may be had on order, of all Booksellers and Periodical Agents in Town and Country.

CHEAP MUSICAL PUBLICATIONS.

In Weekly Numbers, Price One Penny, and in Monthly Parts,
Price Sixpence,

THE PENNY MUSICAL GUIDE, DR. LANG'S HISTORY OF NEW SOUTH WALES.

In two thick vols. post 8vo. with fine original Map of the

Containing the Music and Words of the most popular Airs Due ts, Glees, &c. of Arne, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Winter, Weber, Bishop, &c., including the most popular

IRISH AND SCOTCH MELODIES,

With Accompaniments for the Piano - Forte, &c. The Melodies may also be played on the Violin, Flute, &c. No. I. and Part I. are embellished with a fine Steel-plate Portrait of Mr. Braham, gratis, and contain: The Blue Bonnets are over the Borders; When my Soul's Delight, from the Opera of Nina; Turn, Amarillis, a Madrigal; Let me wander, as sung by Miss Stephens; John Anderson my Joe; Together let us range the Fields; Gentle Youth, ah, tell me why; Still in Hope, from Love in a Village; When Time was entwining, by Calcott. In the course of the Work will be given Concise Instructions for Beginners, with Exercises for the Voice; and Observations on Accompaniment adapted for the Proficient Amateur.

ISSUED IN DOUBLE NUMBERS, Handsomely printed in demy 18mo. hot pressed, and stitched in a neat Wrapper, with

A BEAUTIFUL STEEL-PLATE ENGRAVING,

THE PENNY MUSICAL GRAMMAR,
By the celebrated Dr. Calcott.

Comprising a full explanation of all the Notes and Marks used in Music, and Treatises on the Sciences of Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm ; illustrated with humerous examples from the Works of the most Celebrated Composers, printed with an Elegant Music Type, on a new construction. By the study of The Penny Musical Grammar a Perfect Knowledge of Music may be attained, without the Assistance of a Master.

NEW WORKS OF THE SEASON.

Just Published by Messrs. COCHRANE and M'CRONE,
Waterloo Place.

Published by G. Berger, Holywell Street; B. Steill, Paternoster Row; at the Office of the Ladies Penny Gazette, King Edward Street and sold, on orders, by all venders of Periodicals.

Both the above Works are now complele.

Colony.
"We have seen the land, and behold it is very good."-
Judges, xviii. 9.

II.

A SYSTEM OF NATIONAL EDUCATION.
One vol. small post 8vo. price 7s. 6d. bds.
III.
The Fifth Volume of Allan Cunningham's Edition of
THE LIFE AND WORKS OF BURNS.
Containing two superb Landscape Vignettes.

IV.

MARTIN'S HISTORY OF THE BRITISH
COLONIES.

Vol. I. being British Possessions in Asia.
Vol. II. comprising the West Indies, will speedily appear.
"Mr. Martin's magnificent work will make a text book for
after, as it is an ornament to the present time."-Metropolitan.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SIR EGERTON

BRYDGES.

Will positively appear early in June.

V.
New Works of Fiction, by distinguished Authors.
THE ROMANCE OF ANCIENT HISTORY.
First Series-containing Egypt. 2 vols. post 8vo.
"Will rank among the best productions of the present day."-
Sunday Times.

THE YOUNG MUSCOVITE; OR, THE POLES IN
RUSSIA.

Edited by Captain CHAMIER. 3 vols. post 8vo.
STORIES OF THE STUDY.

By the Author of " Lawrie Todd," &c. 3 vols. post 8vo.
And in the Press,
WILL WATCH.
By the Author of Cavendish." "The Port Admiral," &c.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

BY VICTOR HUGO.

From which the Drama of Esmeralda, now acting at the Surrey
-Theatre, is taken.

An Abridgment of this popular and excellent Romance is commenced in No. 22 of THE CASKET, penny weekly periodical, now ready, and will be completed, chapter for chapter, without the omission of a single incident, in about three num bers, so that the purchasers of THE CASKET (the first of the penny publications) will have the entire novel for a few peace. The first chapter will be illustrated with an engraving of a Scene taken in the Theatre by Mr. R. Cruikshank; and other em bellishments will be given.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

LONDON JOURNAL.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11, 1834.

LETTERS TO SUCH OF THE LOVERS OF KNOWLEDGE AS HAVE NOT RECEIVED A CLASSICAL EDUCATION.

LETTER V.

ON THE GENII OF ANTIQUITY AND THE POETS.

(Conclusion of last week's Subject.)

TO ASSIST THE ENQUIRING, ANIMATE THE STRUGGLING, AND SYMPATHIZE WITH ALL.

THE bad Dæmon was thought to be of formidable shape, black, frowning, and brutal. A man, according to Pausanias, fought with one, and drove him into the sea. As we have told the story before (in the Indicator) and it is little to tell, we shall proceed to give the noblest passage ever written about Dæmons, in the scene out of Shakspeare. The spirit that appeared to Brutus has been variously represented. Some made it of the common order of malignant appearances; others have described it as resembling Cæsar. This was the light in which it was beheld by our great poet.

With what exquisite art, that is to say, with what exquisite nature has he not introduced this scene, and made us love and admire the illustrious patriot, who naving done what he could upon earth, and prepared for his last effort, is about to encounter the menaces of fate. How admirably, by the help of the little boy and the lute, has he painted him, who was only a dictator and a warrior because he was a great humanist,—the Platonic philosopher in action,—the ideal yet not passionless man,-such a one as Shakspeare loved, not because he loved only select human nature, but because he loved all that human nature contained.

We must confess, that in our opinion the address to the Ghost is not so good as in simple old Plutarch. There is too much astonishment and agitation in it; if not for nature, at least for the superinduced and philosophic nature, that we are led to suppose was in Brutus and the same objection might be made to what follows. The household are called up in too much alarm. It is Brutus's care for his servants, his bidding them take their rest, and what he says to the little luteplayer, overcome with sleep, that render the scene so charming. The divine scene also between him and Cassius, where he tells him that "Portia is dead," has just preceded it.

[blocks in formation]

Var. Calls my lord?

Bru. I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent and sleep; It may be, I shall raise you by and by

On business to my brother Cassius.

Var. So please you, we will stand, and watch your pleasure.

Bru. I will not have it so: lie down, good sirs;

It may be, I shall otherwise think me.

Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so;

I put it in the pocket of my gown. [Servants lie down. Luc. I was sure, your lordship did not give it me.

SPARROW AND CO. CRANE COURT.

No. 11.

Bru. Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful. Cans't thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile, And touch thy instrument a strain or two? Luc. Ay, my lord, an it please you. Bru.

It does, my boy. I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing. Luc. It is my duty, sir. Bru. I should not urge thy duty past thy might; I know young bloods look for a time of rest. Luc. I have slept, my lord, already. Bru. It is well done; and thou shalt sleep again; I will not hold thee long: if I do live, I will be good to thee. [Music and a song. This is a sleepy tune:-O, murderous slumber! Lay'st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy, That plays thee music?-Gentle knave, good night; I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thec. If thou dost nod, thou break'st thy instrument; I'll take it from thee; and good boy, good night. Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turn'd down, Where I left reading? Here it is, I think. [He sits down.

Enter the GHOST of CESAR. How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here? I think it is the weakness of mine eyes, That shapes this monstrous apparition. It comes upon me:-art thou any thing? Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil, That mak'st my blood cold, and my hair to stare? Speak to me, what thou art.

Ghost. Thy evil spirit Brutus.

Bru.
Why com'st thou ?.
Ghost. To tell thee, thou shalt see me at Philippi.
Bru. Well;

[blocks in formation]

Var. My lord.
Clau. My lord.

Bru. Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?
Var. & Clau. Did we, my lord?
Bru.
Ay: saw you anything?
Var. No, my lord, I saw nothing.
Clau.
Nor I, my lord.
Bru. Go, and commend me to my brother Cassius;
Bid him set on his powers betimes before;
And we will follow.

Var & Clau. It shall be done, my lord.

[Exeunt.

The Roman genius appears to have been a very material sort of personage compared with the Greek Dæmon, and altogether addicted to earth. We know not where it is found that he was first called Gerulus, or a carrier on of affairs; perhaps in Varro; but whether as Gerulus, or as Genius (the spirit of things generated), the Romans made him after their own likeness, and gave him as little to do with the stars as possible. The Romans had not the fancy of the Greeks, and cared little for their ethereal pleasures. Accordingly, their attendant spirit was either fighting and conquering (on which occasion he took the wings of Victory, as you may see in the imperial sculptures), or he was dining and enjoying himself; sitting under his plane-tree, and drinking with his mistress. To gratify their appetites, was called "indulging the Genius;" not to gratify them, was defrauding" him. They seem to have forgotten that he had anything to do with restraint. Ovid, the most poetical of their poets, in all his uses of the words Genius or Genial, never hints at the possibility of their having any meaning beyond something

"

PRICE THREE HALFPENCE.

local and comfortable. There is the Genius of the city, and the Genius of one's father. The Sabine women were "a genial prey." Crowns of flowers are genial; -a certain kind of musical instrument is particularly genial, and agrees dulcibus jocis ;* that is to say with double meanings:-Bacchus is the planter of the genial vine (Genial indeed was a name of Bacchus); a popular holiday, pleasantly described in the Fasti, where every one is eating and drinking by the side of his lass, is a genial feast.†

Hence the acceptation of the word among ourselves; though we are fain to give it more grace and sentiment. The "Genial bed" of Milton is not exactly Ovidian; though by the way, the good-natured libertine was the favourite Latin poet of our great puritan.

We hear little of the bad Genius among the Romans. They seem to have agreed to treat him as bad geniuess ought to be; and drop his acquaintance. But he was black, like his brother in Greece. Voltaire has a pleasant story of the Black and White Genius. Valerius Maximus, a servile writer, who had the luck to survive his betters and become a classic, tells a story, (probably to please the men in power whom he deified) which appears to have been confounded with that of Brutus. "We are told by Valerius Maximus," says Mr. Tooke, "that when Cassius fled to Athens, after Antony was beaten at Actium, there appeared to him a man of long stature, of a black swarthy complexion, with large hair, and a nasty beard. Cassius asked him who he was; and the apparition answered, "I am your Evil Genius."

Spenser has placed an Evil Genius at the gate of his false Bower of Bliss, and Old Genius, or the fatherly principle of life and care, at the door of the great nursery-gardens of the universe.

Old Genius the porter of them was; Old Genius, the which a double nature has.

He letteth in, he letteth out to wend,
All that to come into this world desire;
A thousand thousand naked babes attend
About him day and night, which do require
That he with fleshly weeds would them attire.

What follows and precedes this passage is a true piece of Platonical colouring, founded upon the old Greek allegories. These nursery grounds, sprouting with infants and with the germs of all things, would make a very happy place if it were not for Time, who with his "flaggy wings," goes playing the devil among the beds, to the great regret of Venus. It is an old story, and a true; and the worst of it is, that Venus herself (though the poet does not here say so) joins with her enemies to assist him.

[blocks in formation]
« السابقةمتابعة »