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Which seeme to labour under their fruites lode : The whyles the joyous birdes make their past vme Emongst the shady leaves, their sweet abode, And their trew loves without suspicion tell abrode.
We are then presented with one of his arbours; of which he was the cunningest builder in all Fairy-Land. The present one belongs to Venus and Adonis.
Right in the middest of that Paradise
Then od a stately mount, on whose round top
There was a pleasant arber, not by art
Nor Aeolus sharp blast could worke them any wrong.
Here Venus was wont to enjoy the company of Adonis; Adonis, says Upton, being matter and Venus form. Ovid would have said, he did not know how that might be; but that the allegory 'was genial."
The poets are a kind of Eclectic Philosophers, who pick out of theories whatever is suitable to the truth of natural feeling and the candour of experience; and thus, with due allowances for what is taught them, may be looked upon as among the truest as well as 'most universal of philosophers. The most opinionate of them, Milton for one, are continually surrendering the notions induced upon them by their age or country to the cause of their greater mother country, the universe; like beings deeply sympathizing with man, but impatient of wearing the clothes and customs of a particular generation. It is doubtful, considering the whole context of Milton's life, and taking away the excitements of personal feelings, whether he was a jot more in earnest when playing the polemic, than in giving himself up to the dreams of Plato: whether he felt more, or so much, in common with Raphael and Michael, as with the Genius of the groves of Harefield, listening at nighttime to the music of the spheres. In one of his prose works (we quote from memory) he complains of being forced into public brawls and "hoarse seas of dispute;" and asks what but a sense of duty could have enabled him thus to have been "put off from beholding the bright countenance of Truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies." This truth was truth universal; this air, the same that haunted the room of Plato, and came breathing from Elysium. No man had a greater taste than he for the "religio loci,"-the genius of a particular spot. The Genius of a Wood in particular was a special friend of his, as indeed he has been of all poets. The following passage has been often quoted; but we must not on that account pass it by. New beauties may be found in it every time. A passage in a wood has been often trod, but we tread it again. The pleasure is ever young, though the path is old. So
-When the sun begins to fling
His daring beams, me, Goddess, bring To arched walks of twilight groves, And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves, Of pine or monumental oak, Where the rude axe with heaved stroke, Was never heard the nymphs to daunt, Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt. There in close covert by some brook, Where no profaner eye may look, Hide me from day's garish eye, While the bee with honied thigh, That at her flowery work doth sing, And the waters murmuring, With such consort as they keep, Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
And as I wake, sweet music breathe
In the Arcades, a Marque performed at Harefield were the Countess of Derby, one of these Genii makes his appearance.-Two noble shepherds coming forward
are met by "the Genius of the Wood." We will close
Stay, gentle swains; for though in this disguise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes; Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluce Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye; the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskined nymphs, as great and good; I know, this quest of yours, and free intent, Was all in honour and devotion meant To the great mistress of yon princely shrine, Whom with low reverence I adore as mine; And, with all helpful service, will comply To further this night's glad solemnity; And lead ye, where ye may more near behold What shallow-searching fame hath left untold; Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone, Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon; For know, by lot from Jove, I am the power Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower, To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove. And all my plants I save from nightly ill Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill; And from the boughs brush off the evil dew, And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites. When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round Over the mount and all this hallow'd ground; And early, ere the odorous breath of morn Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassel'd horn Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about, Number my ranks, and visit every sprout With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless. But else in deep of night, when drowsiness Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I To the celestial Syrens' harmony, That sit upon the nine infolded spheres, And sing to those that hold the vital shears, And turn the adamantine spindle round, On which the fate of gods and men is wound. Such sweet compulsion doth in musick lie, To lull the daughters of Necessity.
This is a passage to read at twilight; or before putting out the candles, in some old country house.
There is yet one more passage which we must quote from Milton about a Genius. It concerns also a very dæmoniacal circumstance, the cessation of the Heathen Oracles. See with what regret the poet breaks up the haunt of his winged beauties, and sends them floating away into dissolution with their white bodies out of the woods.
Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;
He proceeds to dismiss the idols of Palestine, and the brute gods of Egypt
Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings loud.
We do not feel for those, nor does he; but the little household gods of Rome, trembling like kittens on the hearth, and the nymphs of Greece mourning their flowery shades, he loses with an air of tenderness. He forgets, that he and the other poets had gathered them into their own Elysium.
SECOND AND THIRD WEEK IN JUNE. GENERAL BEAUTIES OF THE MONTH.-SHEEPSHEARING,
THERE are some things in the following extract which ought to have been quoted earlier in the month; but amidst the exuberance of the creation one may be allowed sometimes to forget one's-self; and there are so many beautiful things belonging to every part and parcel of a season, that to dwell upon any one of them sometimes excludes twenty others which ought to be noticed in the same paper. It is not our fault; it is Nature's, for being so rich and lovely.
But let us hear Mr. Howitt, talking in the thick of the grass. We have never had the pleasure of seeing this gentleman; but, assuredly, we are here in his company, listening to his voice as he reclines upon some shady slope not far from Sherwood Forest; and as he pauses, a bee occasionally comes humming among us, as though to express its fervid approbation. His talk of gardens, of fields, and of trees, is all admirable: we object only to his angling, against which we have been moved into an expostulation or two in a note.
The general character of June, in the happiest seasons, is fine, clear, and glowing, without reaching the intense heats of July. Its commencement is the only period of the year in which we could possibly forget that we are in a world of perpetual change and decay. The earth is covered with flowers, and the air is saturated with their odours. It is true that many have vanished from our path, but they have slid away so quietly, and their places have been occupied by so many fragant and beautiful successors, that we have scarcely been sensible of their departure. Everything is full of life, greenness, and vigour. Families of young birds are abroad, and giving their parents a busy life of it, till they can peck for themselves. Rooks have deserted their rookery, and are feeding their vociferous young in every pasture and under every green tree. The swallow and swift are careering in the clear skies, and
Ten thousand insects in the air abound Flitting on glancing wings that yield a summer-sound.
The flower-garden is in the height of its splendour. Roses of almost innumerable species,-I have counted no less than fourteen in a cottage garden,-lillies, jasmins, speedwells, rockets, stocks, lupines, geraniums, pinks, poppies, valerians red and blue, mignionette, &c., and the glowing rhododendron abound.
It is the very carnival of Nature, and she is prodigal of her luxuries. It is luxury to walk abroad, indulging every sense with sweetness, loveliness, and harmony. It is luxury to stand beneath the forest-side, when all is still and basking at noon; and to see the landscape suddenly dark; the black and tumultuous clouds to assemble as at a signal; to hear the awful thunder crash upon the listening ear; and then, to mark the glorious bow rise on the lurid rear of the tempest, the sun laugh jocundly, and
Every bathed leaf and blossom fair Pour out its soul to the delicious air.
It is luxury to haunt the gardens of old-fashioned houses in the morning, when the bees are flitting forth with a rejoicing hum; or at eve, when the honeysuckle and the sweet-briar mingle their spirit with the breeze. It is luxury to plunge into the cool river; and, if ever we are tempted to turn angler, it must be To steal away into a quiet valley by a winding stream, buried, completely buried, in fresh grass; the foam-like flowers of the meadow-sweet, the crimson loose-strife, and the large blue geranium nodding beside us; the dragon-fly, the ephemera, and the kingfisher glancing to and fro; the trees above casting their flickering shadows on the stream; and one of our ten thousand volumes of our delightful literature in our pockets, then indeed might one be a most patient angler though not taking a single fish. What luxurious images would there float through the mind! Gray could form no idea of heaven superior to lying on a sofa and reading novels; but it is in the flowery lap of June that we can best climb
Up to the sunshine of encumbered ease. How delicious too The are the evenings become. frosts and damps of spring are past; the earth is dry, the night air balmy and refreshing; the glow-worn
*Don't. Where's the necessity of bringing pain into so sweet a time ?-Editor.
The less the better. Why angle at all? Is not all this beauty enough? Mr. Howitt does not do himself justice, when he recommends, or seems to recommend, angiing own poet.cal mind is such, that he is in no need of looking about for a sensation in the midst of all this richness; why should be not assist the richness towards satisfying others, instead of striking it with the poverty of want? and such a want! If certain contempts of pain be desirable to keep us clear from effeminacy, and too much self-indulgence, it is not pain of this sort, which the most effeminate may indulge in, and which keeps ourselves all the while safe and lapped up in clover! There are hundreds of noble pans which may be undergone both for ourselves and our fellow-creatures. Let us choose out of those, if we have not enough, and not hazard (to say the least of it) nnnecessary anguish, even to the meanest of the creation -We do not write this note, of course, to fishermen who must live, but to anglers who need not fish.--Edit.
has lit her lamp; the bat is circling about; the fragrant breath of flowers steals into our houses; and the moth flutters against the darkening pane. Go forth when the business of the day is over, thou who art pent in city toils, and stray through the newly-shot corn along the grassy and hay-scented fields; linger beside the solitary woodland; the gale of heaven is stirring its mighty and umbrageous branches; the wild rose, with its flowers of most delicate odour, and of every tint, from the deepest red to the purest pearl; the wreathed and luscious honeysuckle, and the verdurous, snowy-flowered elder embellish every way-side, or light up the most shadowy region of the wood. Field peas and beans in full flower, add their spicy aroma; the red clover is at once splendid, and profuse of its honied breath. The young corn is bursting into ear; the awned heads of rye, wheat and barley, and the nodding panicles of oats shoot from their green and glaucous stems, in broad, level, and waving expanses of present beauty and future promise. The very waters are strewn with flowers; the buck-bean, the water-violet, the elegant flowering-rush, and the queen of the waters, the pure and the splendid white lily invest, every stream and lonely moor with grace. The mavis and the merle, those worthy favourites of the olden bards, and the woodlark, fill the solitude with their elegant evening songs.
Over its own sweet voice the stock-dove broods; and the cuckoo pours its mellowest note from some region of twilight shadow. The sunsets of this month are transcendantly glorious, the mighty luminary goes down pavilioned amidst clouds of every hue; the splendour of burnished gold, the deepest mazarine blue fading away into the deepest heavens to the palest azure, and an ocean of purple is flung over the twilight woods, or the far stretching and lonely horizon. The heart of the spectator is touched; it is melted and wrapt into dreams of past and present, pure, elevated, and tinged with a poetic tenderness.
SHEEP-SHEARING, began last month, is generally completed this. It is one of the most picturesque operations of rural life, and from the most ancient times, it has been regarded as a scene of gladness and joy.
Like most of our old festivities, however, this has, of late years, declined; yet two instances in which it has been attempted to keep it alive, on a noble scale, worthy of a country so renowned for its flocks and its fleeces, will occur to the reader,-those of Holkham and Woburn; and in the wilds of Scotland, and the more rural parts of England, the ancient glory of sheepshearing has not entirely departed. And, indeed, its picturesqueness can never depart, however its jollity may. The sheep washing, however, which precedes the shearing, has more of rural beauty about it. As we stroll over some sunny heath, or descend into some sylvan valley in this sweet month, we are apt to come upon such scenes. We hear afar off the bleating of flocks; as we approach some clear stream, we behold the sheep penned on its banks; in mid stream stand sturdy hinds ready to receive them as they are plunged in, one by one, and after squeezing their saturated fleeces well between their hands, and giving them one good submersion, they guide them to the opposite bank. The clear running waters, the quiet fields, the whispering fresh boughs that thicken around, and the poor dripping creatures themselves, that, after giving themselves a staggering shake, go off gladly to their pasture, form to the eye an animated and splendid tout ensemble.
June 13th (1st O. S.) 1594, at Andely in Normandy, Nicholas Poussin, the landscape and historical painter. His family were reduced gentry. The addition of the earnest and grave character of the Normans to the general French vivacity, rendered him one of the great names in art, fit to be mentioned with those of Italy. He had learning, luxuriousness, and sentiment, and gave himself up to each, as his subject inclined him, though never perhaps without a strong consciousness of the art as well as nature of what he had to do. His historical performances are his driest; his poetical subjects full of gusto; his landscapes remote, meditative, and often with a fine darkness in them, as if his trees were older than any other painter's. Shade is upon them, as light is upon Claude's. Poussin was a genuine enthusiast, to whom his art was his wealth, whether it made him rich or not. He got as much money as he wanted, and would not hurry and degrade his genius to get more. A pleasant anecdote is related of him, at a time when he must have been in very moderate circumstances. He spent the greatest part of his life at Rome, and Bishop (afterward Cardinal) Mancini being attended by him one evening to the door, for want of a servant, the Bishop said, “I pity you, Monsieur Poussin, for having no servant." "And I pity your lordship," said the painter, "for having so many."
June 17th (5th O.S.) 1723, at Kirkaldy in Scotland, Adam Smith, author of the "Theory of Moral Senti
ments," and the "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." His father was comptroller of the customs of that place. He had the integrity of all men who are earnestly devoted to philosophical speculations; but was absent, and perhaps uncouth in
case. Sir Walter Scott has given somewhere an anecdote of an encounter between him and Johnson, in which the two moral philosophers cut a very unphilosophical figure in point of civility: but we do not recollect it well enough to repeat it.
THE DEAN OF SANTIAGO AND DON ILLAN OF TOLEDO.
[From "Lays and Legends of Spain," (just published.) The version of the present excellent story is from the easy and vigorous pen of the Rev. Blanco White. Readers need hardly be told now-a-days that the germ of it is to be found in the story of the Sultan and the Bucket of Water, in the Arabian Nights.
It was but a short hour before noon when the Dean of St. Jago alighted at the door of Don Illan, the celebrated magician of Toledo. The house, according to old tradition, stood on the bank of the perpendicular rock, which now crowned with Alcazar rises to a frightful height over the Tagus. A maid of Moorish blood led the Dean to a retired apartment, where Don Illan was reading. The natural politeness of a Castilian had rather been improved than impaired by the studies of the Toledan sage, who exhibited nothing in his dress or person that might induce even a suspicion of his dealing with the mysterious powers of darkness. "I heartily greet your reverence," said Don Illan to the Dean," and feel highly honoured by this visit. Whatever be the object of it, let me beg you will defer stating it till I have made you quite at home in this house. I hear my housekeeper making ready the noonday meal. That maid, Sir, will shew you the room, which has been prepared for you. And when you have brushed off the dust of your journey, you shall find a canonical capon hot upon the board."
The dinner, which soon followed, was just what a pampered Spanish canon would wish it-abundant, nutritive, and delicate. "No, no," said Don Illan, when the soup, and a bumper of tinto had recruited the Dean's spirits, and he saw him making an attempt to break the object of his visit; "no business, please your reverence, while at dinner. Let us enjoy our meal at present, and when we have discussed the olla, the capon, and a bottle of Yepes, it will be time enough to turn to the cares of life."
Lights being called for, Don Ilaln led the way to the lower part of the house; and dismissing the Moorish maid near a small door, of which he held the key in his hand, desiring her to get two partridges for supper, but not to dress them till he should order it: then unlocking the door, he began to descend by a winding stairThe Dean followed, with a certain degree of tre
pidation, which the length of the stairs greatly tended
to increase: for, to all appearance, they reached below the bed of the Tagus. At this depth, a comfortable neat room was found, the walls completely covered with shelves, where Don Illan kept his works on magic: globes, planispheres, and strange drawings, occupied the top of the book-cases. Fresh air was admitted, though it would be difficult to guess by what means, since the sound of gliding water, such as is heard at the lower part of a ship when sailing with a gentle breeze, intimated but a thin partition between the subterraneous cabinet and the river. "Here then," said Don Illan, offering a chair to the Dean, and drawing another for himself towards a small round table, we have only to choose among the elementary works of the science for which you long. Suppose we begin to read this small volume."
The ecclesiastic's full face had never beamed with more glee at the collection on Christmas Eve, when, by the indulgence of the church, the fast is broken at sunset, instead of continuing through the night, than it did now, under the influence of Don Illan's good humour and heart-cheering wine. Still it was evident that some vehement and ungovernable wish had taken possession of his mind, breaking out now and then in some hurried motion, some gulping up of a full glass of wine without stopping to relish the flavour, and fifty other symptoms of absence and impatience, which at such a distance from the cathedral could not be attributed to the afternoon bell. The time came at length of rising from table, and in spite of Don Illan's pressing request to have another bottle, the Dean, with a certain dignity of manner, led his good-natured host to the recess of an oriel window, looking upon the river.
"Allow me, dear Don Illan," he said, to open my heart to you; for even your hospitality must fail to make me completely happy till I have obtained the boon which I came to ask. I know that no man ever possessed greater power than you over the invisible agents of the universe. I die to become an adept in that wonderful science, and if you will receive me as your pupil, there is nothing I should think of sufficient worth to repay your friendship."
"Good sir," replied Don Illan, "I should be extremely loth to offend you, but permit me to say, that in spite of the knowledge of causes and effects which I have acquired, all that my experience teaches me of the hearts of men is not only vague and indistinct, but for the most part unfavourable. I only guess; I cannot read their thoughts, nor pry into the recesses of their minds. As for yourself, I am sure you are a rising man, and likely to obtain the first dignities of the church. But whether, when you find yourself in places of high honour and patronage, you will remember the humble personage of whom you now ask hazardous and important services, it is impossible for me to ascertain."
'Nay, nay," exclaimed the Dean, "but I know myself, if you do not, Don Illan. Generosity and friendship (since you force me to speak in my own praise) have been the delight of my soul even from childhood. Doubt not, my dear friend, (for by that name I wish you would allow me to call you) doubt not, from this moment, to command my services. Whatever interest I may possess, it will be my highest gratification to see it redound in favour of you and yours."
'My hearty thanks for all, worthy sir," said Don Illan ; "but let us now proceed to business, the sun is set, and if you please, we will retire to my private study."
The volume was laid on the table, and opened at the first page, containing circles, concentric and excentric, triangles with unintelligible characters, and the wellknown signs of the planets. "This," said Don Illan, "is the alphabet of the whole science. Hermes, called Trismegistus-" the sound of a small bell within the chamber made the Dean almost leap out of his chair. "Be not alarmed," said Don Illan; "it is the bell, by which my servants let me know they want to speak to me." Saying thus, he pulled a thick string, and soon after a servant appeared with a packet of letters. It was addressed to the Dean. A courier had closely followed him on the road, and was at that moment arrived at Toledo. Good Heavens!" exclaimed the Dean, having read the contents of the letters; "my great uncle, the archbishop of Santiago is dangerously ill. This is, however, what the secretary says, from his lordship's dictation. But here is another from the archbishop of the diocese, who assures me that the old man was not expected to live. I can hardly repeat what he adds. Poor dear uncle, may heaven lengthen his days! The chapter seem to have turned their eyes towards me and,-pugh-it cannot be-but the electors, according to the archdeacon, are quite decided in my favour. "Well," said Don Illan, "all I regret is the interruption of our studies; but I doubt not you will soon wear the mitre. In the meantime, I would advise you to pretend that illness does not allow you to return directly. A few days will give a decided turn to the whole affair; and at all events, your absence, in the case of an election, will be construed into modesty. Write, therefore, your despatches, my dear sir, and we will prosecute our studies at another time."
Two days had elapsed since the arrival of the messenger, when the verger of the church of Santiago, attended by servants in splendid liveries, alighted at Don Illan's door, with letters for the Dean. The old prelate was dead, and his nephew had been elected to the see, by the unanimous vote of the chapter. The elected dignitary seemed overcome by contending feelings; but, having wiped away some decent tears, he assumed an air of gravity, which almost touched on superciliousness. Don Illan addressed his congratulations, and was the first to kiss the new archbishop's hand; "I hope," he added, "I may also congratulate my son, the young man who is now at the university of Paris, for I flatter myself, your lordship will give him the deanery, which is now vacant by your promotion." My worthy friend, Don Illen," replied the archbishop elect, My obligation to you I can never repay. You have heard my character; I hold a friend as another self. But why would you take the lad away from his studies? An archbishop of St. Jago cannot want preferment at any time. Follow me to my diocese; I will not, for all the mitres in Christendom, forego the benefit of your instruction; the Deanery, to tell the truth, must be given to my uncle, my father's own brother, who has had but a small living for many years; he is much liked at Santiago, and I should lose my character if, to place such a young man as your son at the head of the chapter, I neglected an exemplary priest so nearly related to me." Just as you please, my lord," said Don Illan, and began to prepare for the journey.
The acclamations which greeted the new archbishop on his arrival at the capital of Gallicia, were, not long after, succeeded by an universal regret, at his translation to the see of the recently conquered town of Seville. "I will not leave you behind," said the Archbishop to Don Illan, who with more timidity than he shewed at Toledo, approached to kiss the sacred ring in the Archbishop's right hand, and to offer his humble congratulations; "but do not fret about your son; he is too young. I have my mother's relations to provide for, but Seville is a rich see; the blessed King Ferdinand who rescued it from the Moors, endowed its church so as to make it rival the first cathedrals inChristendom. Do but follow me, and all will be well in the end. Don Illan bowed with a suppressed sigh, and was soon after on the banks of the Guadalquivir, in the suite of the new Archbishop.
Scarcely had Don Illan's pupil been at Seville one year, when his far extended fame moved the Pope to send him a Cardinal's hat, desiring his presence at the Court of Rome. The crowd of visitors that came to
congratulate the prelate, kept Don Illan away for many days. He at length obtained a private audience, and, with tears in his eyes, entreated his eminence not to oblige him to quit Spain. "I am growing old, my lord," he said: "I quitted my house at Toledo only for your sake, and in hopes of raising my son to some place of honour and emolument in the church; I even gave up my favourite studies, except as far as they were of service to your eminence. My son," "No more of that, if you please, Don Illan," interrupted the Cardinal. "Follow me you must, who can tell what may happen in Rome? The Pope is old, you know. But do not tease me about preferment. A public man has duties of a description which those in the lower ranks of life cannot either weigh or comprehend. I confess I am under obligations to you, and feel quite disposed to reward your services; yet I must not have my creditors knocking every day at my door; you understand, Don Illan. In a week we set out for Rome." With such a strong tide of good fortune as had hitherto buoyed up Don Illan's pupil, the reader cannot be surprized.to find him, in a short time, wearing the papal crown. He was now arrived at the highest place of honour on earth; but in the bustle of the election and subsequent coronation, the man to whose wonderful science he owed this rapid ascent, had completely slipped off his memory. Fatigued with the exhibition of himself through the streets of Rome, which he had been obliged to make in a solemn procession, the new Pope sat alone in one of the chambers of the Vatican. It was early in the night. By the light of two wax tapers which scarcely illuminated the further end of the saloon, his holiness was enjoying that reverie of mixed pain and pleasure which follows the complete attainment of ardent wishes, when Don Illan advanced in visible perturbation, conscious of the intrusion on which he ventured. "Holy father!" exclaimed the old man, and cast himself at his pupil's feet. "Holy father, in pity to these grey heirs, do not consign an old servantmight I not say an old friend, to utter neglect and forgetfulness. My son-" "By St. Peter!" ejaculated his holiness, rising from the chair, "your insolence shall be checked-You my friend: a magician the friend of Heaven's vicegerent!-Away, wretched man! When I pretended to learn of thee it was only to sound the abyss of crime into which thou hadst plunged; I did it with a view of bringing thee to condign punishment. Yet, in compassion to thy age, I will not make an example of thee, provided thou avoidest mine eyes. Hide thy crime and shame where thou canst. This moment thou must quit the palace, or the next closes the gates of the inquisition upon thee."
Trembling, and his wrinkled face bedewed with tears, Don Illan begged to be allowed but one word more. "I am very poor, Holy Father," said he: "trusting in your patronage I relinquished my all, and have not left wherewith to pay my journey." Away I say, answered the Pope; "if my excessive bounty has made you neglect your patrimony, I will no further encourage your waste and imprudence. Poverty is but a slight punishment for your crimes." "But, father," rejoined Don Illan, "my wants are instant: I am hungry; give me but a trifle to procure supper to-night. To-morrow I shall beg my way out of Rome." "Heaven forbid that I should be guilty of feeding the ally of the prince of darkness" said the Pope. 'Away, away from my presence, or I instantly call for the guard." "Well then," replied Don Illan, rising from the ground, and looking on the Pope with a boldness which began to throw his Holiness into a paroxysm of rage, "if I am to starve at Rome, I had better return to the supper which I ordered at Toledo." Thus saying, he rang a gold bell, which stood on a table next the Pope.
The door opened without delay, and the Moorish servant came in. The Pope looked round, and found himself in the subterranean study under the Tagus. "Desire the cook," said Don Illan to the maid, to put but one partridge to roast; for I will not throw away the other on the Dean of St. Jago.
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
EVERY generation has had its "most impudent man alive," a designation invented, we believe, in favour of Bishop Warburton, whose genius, however, was perhaps nearly on a par with his pretensions. Very different was the case with the clever but shameless, and therefore foolish though clever man, who is the subject of the following account, and who became the quack he was for want of heart,-the secret of most apparent inconsistencies between cleverness and folly in the same individual.
John Henley was a native of Melton Mowbray, in the county of Leicester, where he officiated several years as curate, and conducted a grammar school; but feeling, or fancying that a genius like his ought not to be cramped in so obscure a situation, "having been long convinced that many gross errors and impostures prevailed in the various institutions and establishments of mankind, and being ambitious of restoring ancient eloquence;" but, as his enemies assert, to avoid the scandal and embarrassments of an amour, he repaired to the metropolis, and for a short time performed cleri
cal functions in the neighbourhood of Bloomsburysquare, with a prospect of succeeding to the lectureship of the parish, which soon became vacant.
Several candidates offering for the situation, a warm contest ensued; and after Mr. Henley's probation sermon, which he thought would ensure him an easy victory, we may judge of the disappointment of this disciple of Demosthenes and Cicero, when he was told by a person, deputed from the congregation, that they had nothing to object against his language or his doctrine, but that he threw himself about too much in the pulpit, and that another person was chosen."
Losing his temper as well as his election, he rushed into an adjoining room, where the principal parishioners were assembled, and thus addressed them, in all the vehemence of outrageous passion :-" Blockheads, are you qualified to decide on the degree of action necessary for a preacher of God's word? Were you able to read, or had you sufficient sense, you sorry knaves, to understand the most renowned orator of antiquity, he would tell you that the great, almost the only requisite, for a public speaker, was action, action, action; but I despise and defy you; provoco ad populum, the public shall decide between us." With these words he quitted the place for ever, but in order "to shame the fools," printed his discourse.
Thus disappointed in his hopes of preferment, in the regular routine of his profession, he becaine, "if the expression is allowable," (says our authority) a quack divine, a character for which he was eminently qualified, possessing a strong voice, fluent language, an imposing, magisterial air, theatric gesture, and a countenance which no violation of propriety, reproach, or self-correction, was ever known to embarrass or discompose.
He immediately advertised, that he should hold forth publicly two days in the week, and hired for this pur pose a large room, in or near Newport-market, which he called the Oratory; but previous to the commencement of his "Academical Discourses," he chose to write a letter to Whiston, the celebrated mathematician and dissenter, in which he desired to know, whether he should incur any legal penalties by officiating as a Separatist from the Church of England.
Whiston did not encourage Henley's project, and a correspondence took place, which, ending in virulence and ill-language, occasioned the latter, a few years after, to send the following laconic note to his adver
"To MR. WILLIAM WHISTON: "Take notice, that I give you warning not to enter my room at Newport-market, at your peril. JOHN HENLEY."
As tickets of admission for those who subscribed to his lectures, medals were issued with the rising sun for a device; and a motto expressive of the man, as well as of the motives by which he was impelled: "Inveniam viam aut faciam :" (I will find a way, or make one). He also published what may be termed a syllabus of his lectures, containing a long list of the various subjects he meant to handle, religious and political, in which it was easy to see, that he had selected whatever he thought likely to excite public curiosity.
By these and other means, particularly by his singular advertisements, which were generally accompanied by some sarcastic stanza on public men and measures, he generally filled his room. Sometimes one of his old Bloomsbury friends caught the speaker's eye; on which occasions, Henley could not suppress the ebullitions of vanity and resentment; he would suddenly arrest his discourse, and address the unfortunate interloper in words to the following effect: "You see, sir, all the world is not exactly of your opinion; there are, you perceive, a few sensible people who think me not wholly unqualified for the office I have undertaken."
His abashed and confounded adversaries, thus attacked (in a public company, a most awkward species of address), were glad to retire, and in some instances were pushed out of the room.
On the Sabbath day he generally read part of the liturgy of the Church of England, and sometimes used extempore prayer.
That the efforts of the oratory might be assisted by its handmaid, the press, Mr. Henley soon commenced author; the subject he chose," proved that he entertained no men opinion of his own abilities. To render some of his pamphlets more impressive, or more attractive, he published them in a black letter type. The following were the title of a few of his publications:"The Origin of Evil;" "The Means of Forming a Correct Taste;" "A Comparative View of Ancient and Modern Languages;" "Thoughts on the Scriptural Narrative of a Confusion of Tongues;" "A Defence of Christianity."
He was also supposed to contribute to the "Hypdoctor," a periodical paper, published at that time; and is said to have received from Sir Robert Walpole, a present of a hundred pounds, as a reward for his services in that paper. Sir Robert was never reckoned any great judge of literary merit. Henley was also author of a pamphlet occasioned by his obtruding himself into a religious controversy on baptism, entitled, "Samuel sleeping in the Wilderness."
As his popularity encreased, the place where he amused or instructed his friends, was found not sufficiently capacious, and he procured a larger and more commodious receptacle, near a Catholic chapel in Duke Street, Lincolns' Inn Fields.
In a fit of humourous caprice, or in the hope of enticing some of the frequenters of that place of worship
to visit him, he called his new room, in some of his advertisements, the little Catholic chapel. If any tholics happened to look in after mass, he was studious of paying them particular attention and respect, and would, in some way or other, introduce a recommendation of universal philanthropy and religious toleration. On one of these occasions, he uttered the following apostrophe: "After all this outcry about the devil, the Pope, and the Pretender, who and what is this bugbear, this monster, this Pope, whom we so much dread? He is only a man like ourselves, the ecclesiastical sovereign of Rome, the father and head of the Catholic Church." When the lecture concluded, he was seen to advance towards a leading man among the Catholics, and shaking him heartily by the hand, welcomed him in the following words, God bless you, I love you all; we are all Christians alike, from the same stock, divided only by a few non-essentials."
Whether this mode of proceeding was dictated by the liberal spirit of philosophical indifference, by Christian charity, by any latent Papistical propensity, or for the mere purpose of inviting customers of all persuasions to his shop, may be easily determined by considering the character of Henley. Having acquired, or assumed, the name of Orator Henley, it became the fashion in certain circles to hear his lectures; he attracted the notice and excited the resentment of Pope, who lashed him severely in his Dunciad. Much of the poet's satire is well applied; except where he describes him as a zany, and a talker of nonsense. This, certainly, is not a character or just description of Henley, who was impudent, insolent, and conceited, a vain-glorious boaster, determined at all events, and at all risks, to excite the attention of the public; but he exhibited at times a quaint shrewdness, a farcical humour, and occasionally a depth of reflection, far beyond the reach of a fool. He was rather what the Methodists once called their great episcopal assailant, (Bishop Lavington) "a theological and political buffoon."
A complete series of his singular advertisements, mottos, medals, and pamphlets, with a panegyric on him, in the form of a life, by Welstead, was at one time collected, and in the possession of an antiquary.
By coarse irony, vulgar raillery, and a certain humourous quaintness of expression, he often raised the laugh against opponents, superior to him in learning and argument. Henley once incurred the hostility of the government, and was several days in the custody of a king's messenger. On this occasion, Lord Chesterfield, the Secretary of State, amused himself and his associates in office, by sporting with the hopes and fears of our restorer of ancient eloquence. During his examination before the Privy Council, Henley asked leve to be seated, on account of a real or pretended rheumatism, and occasioning considerable merriment by his eccentric answers himself joining heartily and loudly in the laughs he excited. The noble lord having expostulated with him on the impropriety of ridiculing the exertions of the country, at the moment a rebellion raged in the heart of the kingdom, he replied, "I thought there was no harm in cracking a joke on a red-herring;" alluding to Archbishop Herring, who had proposed or actually commenced arming the clergy!
A number of 'disrespectable and unwarrantable expressions he had applied to persons high in office, and to their conduct, being repeated to him, his only reply was, "My lords, I must live." "I see no reason for that, Mr. Henley," replied Lord Chesterfield. The council seemed pleased at the retort, but Henley immediately answered; "That is a good thing, but unfortunately it has been said before."
After being reprimanded for his improper conduct, he was in a few days dismissed as an impudent but entertaining fellow.
The following was circulated by Henley as an advertisement, or by way of handbill, in Oct. 1726:
'Having been threatened by various letters, that if I do not drop the oratory, a minute account of my life and character shall be published, I take this method of informing those who propose undertaking it, that they must be speedy, or their market will be spoiled, as I am writing it myself.
SONGS OF TRADES, OR SONGS FOR THE PEOPLE. THE following article, which will be interesting to the awakened intelligence of the working classes, is taken from the very amusing third volume, (lately published,) of Mr. D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature. When will the trades of all England have their songs? When they are all well fed and happy. This is the process with the birds, and it must be so with men. The time will come; knowledge, and self-knowledge, and growing benevolence, are all preparing it, songless and even discordant as much of the interval may be. But come it will, as sure as wisdom brings justice.
Men of genius have devoted some of their hours, and even governments have occasionally assisted, to render the people happier by song and dance. The Grecians had songs appropriated to the various trades. Songs of this nature would shorten the manufacturer's tedious task-work, and solace the artizan at his solitary
I. The more ancient songs of the people perished by having been printed in single sheets, and by their humble purchasers having no other library to preserve them than the walls on which they pasted them. Those we have consist of a succeeding race of ballads, chiefly revived or written by Richard Johnson, the author of the well-known romance of the Seven Champions, and Delony, the writer of Jack of Newbury's Life and the "Gentle Craft," who lived in the time of James and Charles. One Martin Parker was a most notorious ballad-scribbler in the reign of Charles the First and the Protector.
'occupation. A beam of gay fancy kindling his mind, a playful change of measures delighting his ear, even a moralizing verse to cherish his better feelings--these ingeniously adapted to each profession, and some to the display of patriotic characters and national events, would contribute something to public happiness. Such themes are worthy of a patriotic bard, of the Southeys for their hearts, and the Moores for their verse.
Fletcher of Saltown said, "If a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make all the laws of a nation." The character of a people is preserved in their national songs. "God save the king," and "Rule Britannia," were long our English national airs.
"The story of Amphion building Thebes with his lyre was not a fable," says Dr. Clarke. At Thebes in the harmonious adjustment of those masses which remain belonging to the ancient walls, we saw enough to convince us that this story was no fable; for it was a very ancient custom to carry on immense labour by an accompaniment of music and singing. The custom still exists both in Egypt and Greece. It might, therefore, be said, that the walls of Thebes were built at the sound of the only musical instrument then in use; because, according to the custom of the country, the lyre was necessary for the accomplishment of the works." The same custom appears to exist in Africa. Lander notices at Yaoorie, that the labourers in their plantations were attended by a drummer, that they might be excited by the sound of his instrument to work well and briskly.
Athenaeus has preserved the Greek names of differcnt songs as sung by various trades, but unfortunately none of the songs themselves. There was a song for the corn grinders; another for the workers in wool; another for the weavers. The reapers had their carol;
the herdsmen had a song which an ox-driver of Sicily had composed; the kneaders, and the bathers, and the galley rowers, were not without their chant. We have ourselves a song of the weavers, which Ritson has preserved in his "Ancient Songs;" and it may be found in the popular chap-book of "The Life of Jack of Newbury;" and the songs of anglers, of old Izaak Walton, and Charles Cotton, still retain their freshness.
Among the Greeks, observed Bishop Heber, the hymn which placed Harmodius in the green and flowery island of the Blessed, was chanted by the potter to his wheel; and enlivened the labours of the Piraean mariner.
Dr. Johnson is the only writer J recollect who has noticed something of this nature which he observed in the Highlands. "The strokes of the sickle were timed by the modulation of the harvest song, in which all their voices were united. They accompany every action which can be done in equal time with an appropriate strain, which has, they say, not much meaning, but its effects are regularity and cheerfulness. There is an oar song used by the Hebrideans."
But if these chants "have not much meaning," they will not produce the desired effect of touching the heart, as well as giving vigour to the arm of the labourer. The gondoliers of Venice while away their long midnight hours on the water with the stanzas of Tasso. Fragments of Homer are sung by the Greek sailors of the Archipelago; the severe labour of the trackers, in China, is accompanied with a song which encourages their exertions, and renders these simultaneous. Mr. Ellis mentions, that the sight of the lofty pagoda of Tong-chow served as a great topic of incitement in the song of the trackers, toiling against the stream to their place of rest. The canoe-men, on the Gold Coast, in a very dangerous passage, on the back of a high curling wave, paddling with all their might, singing, or rather shouting their wild-song, follow it up," says M'Leod, who was a lively witness of this happy combination of song, of labour, and of peril, which he acknowledged was a very terrific process." Our sailors at Newcastle, in heaving their anchors, have their "Heave and ho! rum-below!" but the Sicilian mariners must be more deeply affected by their beautiful hymn to the Virgin. A society, instituted in Holland for general good, do not consider among their least useful projects that of having printed, at a low price, a collection of songs for sailors.
It is extremely pleasing, as it is true, to notice the honest exultation of an excellent ballad-writer, C. Dibdin, in his Professional Life. "I have learnt my songs have been considered an object of national consequence; that they have been the solace of sailors and long voyagers, in storms, in battle; and that they have been quoted in mutinies, to the restoration of order and discipline." The Portuguese soldiery in Ceylon, at the siege of Colombo, when pressed with misery, and the pangs of hunger, during their marches, derived not only consolation, but also encouragement, by rehearsing the stanzas of the Lusiad.
We ourselves have been a great ballad nation, and once abounded with songs of the people; not, however, of this particular species, but rather of narrative poems. They are described by Puttenham, a critic in the reign of Elizabeth, as "small and popular songs," sung by those Cantabanqui, upon benches and barrels' heads, where they have no other audience than boys, or country fellows that pass by them in the streets; or eise by blind harpers, or such like tavern-minstrels, that give a fit of mirth for a groat." Such were these "Reliques of ancient English Poetry," which Selden collected, Pepys preserved, and Percy published. Ritson, our great poetical antiquary in this sort of things, says that few are older than the reign of James
These writers, in their old age, collected their songs into little penny books, called "Garlands," some of which have been republished by Ritson, and a recent editor has well described them as "humble and amusing village strains, founded upon the squabbles of a wake, tales of untrue love, superstitious rumours, or miraculous traditions of the hamlet." They enter into the picture of our manners, as much as folio chronicles.
These songs abounded in the good old times of Elizabeth and James; for Hall in his Satires, notices them as
66 Sung to the wheel, and sung unto the payle;" That is, sung by maidens spinning, or milking; and indeed Shakspeare had described them as "old and plain," chanted by
"The spinsters, and the knitters in the sun,
And the free maids that weave their threads with bones."
They were the favourites of the Poet of Nature, who takes every opportunity to introduce them into the mouths of his clown, his fool, and his itinerant Autolycus. When the musical Dr. Burney, who had probably not the slightest conception of their nature, plicity, ventures to call the songs of Autolycus, “two and perhaps as little taste for their rude and wild simnonsensical songs," the musician called down on himself one of the bitterest notes from Stevens, that ever commentator penned against a profane scoffer.
Whatever these songs were, it is evident they formed a source of recreation to the solitary task-worker. But as the more masculine trades had their own songs, whose titles only appear to have reached us, such as "The Carman's Whistle," "Watkin's Ale," " Chopping Knives," they were probably appropriated to the respective trades they indicate. The tune of the "Carman's Whistle," was composed by Bird, and the favourite tune of "Queen Elizabeth," may be found in the collection called "Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book." One who has lately heard it played, says, that "it has more air than the other execrable compositions in her Majesty's book, something resembling a French quad
The feeling our present researches would excite would naturally be most strongly felt in small communities, where the interest of the governors is to contribute to the individual happiness of the laborious classes. The Helvetic society requested Lavater to compose the Schweizerlieder, or Swiss songs, which are now sung by the youth of many of the cantons; and various Swiss poets have successfully composed on national subjects, associated with their best feelings. In such paternal governments as was that of Florence under the Medici, we find that songs and dances for the people engaged the muse of Lorenzo, who condescended to delight them with pleasant songs composed in popufollowed by the men of genius of the age. These lar language; the example of such a character was often adapted to the different trades, opened a vein of invention in the new characters, and allusions, the humourous equivoques, and sometimes by the licentiousness of popular fancy. They were
leschi," and there is a modern edition, in 1590, in two collected in 1559, under the title of "Canti Carnasciavolumes quarto. It is said they sing to this day a popular one by Lorenzo, beginning
"Ben venga maggiɔ,
E'l gonfalon selvaggio."
(Welcome, welcome, may-time,
And the boughs they bring at day-time).
which has all the florid brilliancy of an Italian spring. The most delightful songs of this nature would naturally be found among a people whose climate and whose labours alike inspire a general hilarity; and the vineyards of France have produced a class of songs, of excessive gaiety and freedom, called "Chansons de Vendanges." "Le Grand d'Assoucy describes them in his Histoire de la Vie privee des Francais." "The men and women, each with a basket on their arm, assemble at the foot of a hill; there stopping, they arrange themselves in a circle. The chief of this band tunes up a joyous song, whose burthen is chorused; then they descend, and dispersed in the vineyard, they work without interruption their tasks, while new couplets often resound from some of the vine-dressers; sometimes intermixed with a sudden jest at a traveller. In the evening, their supper scarcely over, their joy recommences, they dance in a circle, and sing some of those songs of free gaiety, which the moment excuses, known by the name of vineyard songs. The gaiety becomes general; masters, guests, friends, servants, all dance together; and in this manner a day of labour terminates, which one might mistake for a day of diversion. It is what I have witnessed in Champagne, in a land of vines, far different from the country where the labours of the harvest from s painful a contrast.
The extinction of those songs which formerly kept
alive the gaiety of the domestic circle, whose were always chorused, is lamented by the Fre quary. "Our fathers had a custom to amus selves at the dessert of a feast by a joyous son nature. Each in his turn sung-all chorused ancient gaiety was sometimes gross and noisy prefers it to the tame decency of our times smiling, not laughing days of Lord Chesterfiel
"On ne rit plus, on sourit anjourd'hui, Et nos plaisirs sont voisins de l'ennui." (We do'nt laugh now-a-days; we smile; sage Our very pleasures border on ennui.)
These are old French Vandevilles, formerly meals by the company. Count de Granmont tioned by Hamilton as being
Agreable et vif en propos,
Celebre diseur de bon mots,
Recueil vivant d'antiques Vaudevilles
(Agreeable and apropos,
A famous sayer of bon mots,
A living storehouse of old Vaudevilles.)
These vaudevilles were originally invented by of Vau de Vire, or the Valley of the River Vi were sung by his men as they spread their cle the banks of the river. They were songs comp some incident or adventure of the day. At first gay playful effusions were called the songs of Vire, till they become known as Vaudevilles. 1 has well described them:
La liberte Francoise en ses vers se deploie; Cet enfant de plaisirs veut naitre dans la joie. (French freedom vents itself in song; the birth Of Pleasure's child must needs be known by mirth It is well-known how the attempt ended, of Ja and his unfortunate son, by the publication o "Book of Sports," to preserve the national cha from the gloom of fanatical puritanism; among i happy effects there was, however, one not a lit dicrous. The puritans, offended by the gentlest of mirth, and every day becoming more sullen, so shocked at the simple merriment of the people they contrived to parody these songs into sp ones; and Shakspeare speaks of the puritan of h "singing psalms to hornpipes." As Puritans are the in all times, the Methodists in our own repeate foolery, and set their hymns to popular tunes an which one of them said "were too good for the d They have sung hymns to the air of "The beds of roses," &c. Wesley once, in the pulpit, described self, in his old age, in the well-known ode of Ana by merely substituting his own name! There been Puritans among other people as well as our the same occurrence took place both in Italy France. In Italy, the Carnival songs were turned pious hymns; the hymn Jesu fammi morire is su the music of Vaga bella e gentile;-Crucifisso a capo to that of Una donna d'amor fino, one of the mos decent pieces in the Canzoni a ballo; and the beginning,
E la Madre Maria,"
was sung to the gay tune of Lorenzo de Medici, "Ben venga Maggio, E'l gonfalon selvaggio."]
Athenaeus notices what we call slang or flash s He tells us that there were poets who composed in the dialect of the mob; and who succeeded in kind of poetry, adapted to their various chara The French call such songs Chansons à la Vade; style of the poissardes (fishwomen) is ludicrously ap to the gravest matters of state, and convey the po feelings in the language of the povulace. This so satirical song is happily defined,
"Il est l'esprit de ceux, qui n'en ont pas." (The wit of those who have none.)
Athenaeus has also preserved songs sung by pet ers who went about on holidays to collect alm friend of mine, with taste and learning, has disco in his researches "The Crow Song" and "The Sw Song," and has transfused their spirit in a happy sion. I preserve a few striking ideas. The collectors for "The Crow" sung:
My good worthy masters, a pittance bestow, Some oatmea., or barley, or wheat for the crow. A loaf, or a penny, or e'en what you will;From the poor man, a grain of his salt may suffice, For your crow swallows all, and is not over-nice. And the man who can now give his grain, and no mor May another day give from a plentiful store. Come my lad to the door, Plutus nods to our wish, And our sweet little mistress comes out with a dish; She gives us her figs, and she gives us a smileHeaven send her a husband!
And a boy to be danced on his grandfather's knee, And a girl like herself, all the joy of her mother, Who may one day present her with just such anothe Thus we carry our crow-song to door after door, Alternately chanting we ramble along,
And we treat all who give, or give not, with a song."
Swallow-singing, or chelidonising, as the Greel is, was another method of collecting eleemo gifts, which took place in the month Boedromi August.
"The swallow, the swallow is here, Wth his back so black, and his belly so white, He brings on the pride of the year,
Wth the gay mouths of love, and the days of delig!
Songs in the style of Vade,-from a farce writer name, who made it popular.
Come bring out your good hamming staff, Of the nice tit bits let the swallow partake; And a slice of the right Boedromion cake. So give, and give quickly,
Or we'll pull down the door from its hinges: Or we'll steal young madam away!
But see! we're a merry boy's party,
And the swallow, the swallow, is here!"
adieu to the haunts of the muses, where he had gained a dubious fame, he set off alone, with a light heart, to explore a river, with the navigation of which he had not the slightest acquaintance. The distance to Hartford was not less than one hundred and forty miles, much of the way was through a wilderness, and in several places dangerous falls and rapids. With a bearskin for a covering, and his canoe well stocked with provisions, he yielded himself to the current and floated leisurely down the stream, seldom rising his paddle, and stopping only in the night for sleep. He told Mr. Jefferson, in Paris, fourteen years afterwards, that he took only two books with him, a Greek Testament and Ovid; one of which he was deeply engaged in reading when his canoe approached Below's Falls, where he was suddenly roused by the noise of the water rushing among the rocks through the narrow passage. The danger was imminent, as no boat could go down that fall without being instantly dashed to pieces. With difficulty he gained the shore in time to escape such a catastrophe, and through the kind assistance of the people in the neighbourhood, his canoe was drawn by oxen around the fall. From that time, till he arrived at his place of destination, we hear of no accident, although he was carried through several dangerous passes in the river. On approaching Dartmouth many spectators were attracted by the singularity of his slowly floating bark, and all were conjecturing what it could be, till its questionable shape assumed the true and obvious form of a canoe; but by what impulse it was moved forward none could determine. Something was seen in the stern, but apparently without life or motion. At length the canoe touched the shore; a person sprang from the stern to a rock in the edge of the water, threw off a bearskin in which he had been enveloped, and behold John Ledyard, in the presence of his uncle and connexions, who were among the spectators, and imagined him safe at college.
He next studied regularly for the church; and, again, shortly changed his views, and was about to set up a school. He could not, however, rest still, but entered as a common sailor with Captain Deshon, a friend of his father's, for a voyage to the MediterraAt Gibralter, it would seem, out of a gratuitous love of change, he entered into the British army; but was, presently, released, at Captain Deshon's persuasion and intercession.
These songs resemble those of our ancient mummers, who to this day, in honour of Bishop Blaise, the saint of wool-combers, go about chanting on the eves of their holidays. A custom long existed in this country to elect a Boy-Bishop in almost every parish; the Montem at Eton still prevails for the Boy-Captain; and there is a closer connexion perhaps between the custom which produced the "Songs of the Crow and the Swallow," and our northern mummeries, than may be at first suspected. The pagan Saturnalia, which the swallow song by its pleasant menaces resembles, were afterwards disguised in the forms adopted by the early Christians; and such are the remains of the Roman Catholic religion, in which the people were long indulged in their old taste for mockery and mummery, I must add in connexion with our main inquiry, that our own ancient beggars had their songs, in their own cant language, some of which are as old as the Elizabethan period, and many are fancifully characteristic of their habits and their feelings.
ABSTRACT OF THE MEMOIRS OF HIS LIFE AND TRAVELS.
JOHN LEDYARD was born in the year 1751, at Groton in Connecticut, a small village on the banks of the river Thames, opposite to New London. Little is known of his childhood; he attended the Grammar School in Hartford, and was originally intended for the law. The dryness of the pursuit, and perhaps the sedentary application, ultimately deterred him from that profession. He subsequently, at the age of nineteen, entered the Dartmouth college, just established by Dr. Wheelock; an institution intended to prepare young missionaries for the conversion and improvement of the Indians. His journey from Hartford to Hanover was performed in a sulky, the first vehicle of the kind that had been seen on Dartmouth Plain, and it attracted curiosity, not more from this circumstance, than from the old appearance of the equipage. Both the horse and the sulky gave evident tokens of having known better days; and the dress of their owner was peculiar, bidding equal defiance to symmetry of proportions and the fashion of the times. In addition to the traveller's own weight, the vehicle was burdened with a quantity of calico for curtains, and other articles to assist in theatrical exhibitions of which he was very fond. From the character of this outfit we may conclude that he did not intend time should pass on heavy wings at Dartmouth. Considering the newness of the country, the want of bridges, and the bad state of the roads, this jaunt, in a crazy sulky, was thought to indicate no feeble spirit of enterprise. The journey might have been performed with much more ease and expedition on horseback, but in that case his theatrical apparatus must have been left behind.
As a scholar, at college, he was respectable, but not over diligent; he acquired knowledge with facility, and could make quick progress when he chose; but was impatient of the school routine. Accordingly, he diversified his studies with acting Cato, and the like; but even this was not enough in the way of relaxation. He had not been quite four months in college, when he suddenly disappeared, without previous notice or permission. The full extent of his travels during his absence cannot now be known, but he is understood to have wandered to the borders of Canada, and among the Six Nations. Nothing more is heard of his missionary projects, although it is not clear at what time he absolutely abandoned them. When three months and a half had expired, he returned to college and resumed his studies.
If his dramatic performances were not revived, as it would seem they were not, his erratic spirit did not sink into a lethargy. In mid-winter, when the ground was covered with deep snow, Ledyard collected a party of whom he persuaded to accompany him to the summit a high neighbouring mountain, and there pass the night. The night, as may be supposed, was dreary and sleepless to most of the party, and few were they who did not greet the dawn with gladness. Their leader was alert, prompt at his duty, and pleased with his success. The next day they returned home, all perfectly satisfied, unless it were Ledyard, with this single experiment of their hardihood.
After abandoning his missionary schemes, he began to grow weary of college, and the more so, probably, as his unsettled habits now and then drew a rebuke from the president, from which he determined to escape. On the margin of the Connecticut river, which runs near the college, stood many majestic forest trees. One of these Ledyard contrived to cut down. He then set himself at work to fashion its trunk into a canoe, and in this labour he was assisted by some of his fellowstudents. As the canoe was fifty feet long and three wide, and was to be dug out and constructed by the unskilful workmen, the task was not a trifling one, nor such as could be speedily executed.
It was at last, however, finished and equipped. His wishes were now at their consummation, and biding
After his return to America, he set out upon a romantic expedition to London; to discover some rich relations living there, and gain their friendship and assistance. Some slight doubts were at first thrown upon his identity, which so disgusted him, that he never afterwards would accept of notice or assistance from them of any kind. He said they were not Ledyards.
About this period, Captain Cook was making preparations for his third and last voyage round the world. Nothing could more exactly accord with Ledyard's desires. As a first step towards becoming connected with this expedition, he enlisted in the marine service; and then, by his address, obtained an engagement with Cook, who immediately made him a corporal. While on their voyage he was sent, as a volunteer, to examine a Russian establishment on the coast of Onalaska. He was sent alone, because numbers could not be spared for so hazardous an undertaking. At Otaheite, still a corporal, he conducted an expedition up the peak of Mouna Roa. He was close to Cook's person at the time of his death; and is of the opinion, which has more latterly obtained, that Cook's own obduracy was the cause of his fate. While on board the Resolution, he wrote in a paper, got up among the officers, by whom his writing was considered somewhat florid and sentimental. From the specimens of his writings extant, this objection rather tells against the critics, than the criticized.
His next project was to establish a trade in turs, on the north-west coast of America. He spent a year or two in suffering incredible disappointments, and was ultimately obliged entirely to relinquish his projects. He is another instance of spirited enterprise left to shift for itself, while others profited by his invention. Among the many people who promised him the assistance of their capital, was Faul Jones, the famous captor of the Serapis.
His last disappointment found him in London, where he ultimately modified his views into a plan of travelling by land through the northern regions of Europe and Asia, over Behring's straits to the American continents. This he decided to do on foot. The day before he was on board, Ledyard wrote to Mr. Jefferson in the following animated strain :
"Sir James Hall presented me with twenty guineas pro bono publico. I bought two great dogs, an Indian pipe, and a hatchet. My want of time, as well as of money, will prevent my going any otherwise than indifferently equipped for such an enterprise; but it is certain that I shall be no more in want before I see Virginia. Why should I repine? You know how much I owe the amiable La Fayette. Will you do me the honour to present my most grateful thanks to him? If I find in my travels a mountain as much elevated above other mountains as he is above other men, I will name it La Fayette. I beg the honour, also, of my compliments to Mr. Short, who has been my friend, and who, like the good widow in Scripture, cast in, not only his mite, but more than he was able, for my assistance."
The equipment of two dogs, an Indian pipe, and a
hatchet, it must be confessed, was very scanty for a journey across a continent; but they were selected with an eye to their uses. The dogs would be his com. panions, and assist him in taking wild animals for food, the pipe was an emblem of peace to the Indians; and the hatchet would serve many purposes of convenience and utility. In December, 1786, he found himself in Hamburgh with one dog, ten guineas, and perfect health. There he met with Major Langham, an eccentric traveller, just then in extreme distress. The guineas soon changed hands, and Ledyard would have had Langham accompany him part of the way. The major, however, had less sympathy than his benefactor, and bluntly answered Ledyard, "No; I esterm you, but I can travel in the way I do with no man on earth." Towards the end of January he arrived in Stockholm. The ordinary mode of crossing the Gulf of Bothnia in the winter, is by means of sledges on the frozen water. It occasionally happens, however, that the gulf, though too much clogged with ice for ships, is not uninterruptedly frozen over. The only means then of reaching Petersburgh is by land, round the gulf, a distance of twelve hundred miles, over trackless snows, in regions thinly peopled, where the nights are long and the cold intense; and all this to gain no more than fifty miles.
Such was unfortunately the condition of the ice, when Ledyard arrived at the usual place of crossing. The only alternative was, either to stay in Stockholm till the spring should open, or to go around the gulf into Lapland, and seek his way from the Arctic Circle to Petersburg, through the whole extent of Finland, He did not deliberate long. New difficulties nerved him with new strength to encounter and subdue them. He set out for Tornea in the heart of winter, on foot, and alone, without money or friends, on a road almost unfrequented at that frightful season, and with the. gloomy certainty resting on his mind, that he must travel northward six hundred miles, before he could turn his steps towards a milder climate, and then six or seven hundred more in descending to Petersburg, on the other side of the Gulf. When Manpertuis and his companions were about leaving Stockholm, on their journey to Tornea, for the purpose of measuring a degree of the meridian under the Polar Circle, the King of Sweden told them, that "it was not without sensible concern, that he saw them pursue so desperate an undertaking;" yet they were prepared with every possible convenience for travelling and protection against a northern winter. A better idea of the degree and effects of cold, at the head of the Gulf, cannot be formed perhaps, than from Manpertuis' description. "The town of Tornea, at our arrival on the thirteenth of December, had really a most frightful aspect. Its little houses were buried to the tops in snow, which if there had been any daylight, must have effectually shut it out. But the snows continually falling, or ready to fall, for the most part hid the sun the few moments that he might have shown himself at mid-day. In the month of January the cold was increased to that extremity, that Reaumur's mercurial thermometer, which, in Paris in the great frost in 1709, it was thought strange to see fall to fourteen degrees below the freezing point, was now down to thirty seven. The spirit of wine in the others was frozen. If we opened the door of a warm room, the external air instantly converted all the air in it into snow, whirling round into white vortexes. If we went abroad, we felt as if the air were tearing our breasts in pieces. And the cracking of the wood, whereof their houses are built, as if the violence of the cold split it continually, alarmed us with an approaching increase of cold. The solitude of the streets was no less than if the inhabitants had been all dead; and in this country you may often see people that have been maimed, and had an arm or a leg frozen off. The cold, which is always very great, increases sometimes by such violent and sudden fits, as are almost infallibly fatal to those that happen to be exposed to it. Sometimes there arise sudden tempests of snow, that are still more dangerous. The winds seem to blow from all quarters at once, and drive about the snow with such fury, that in a moment all the roads are lost. Unhappy he, who is seized by such a storm in the fields. His acquaintance with the country, or the marks he may have taken by the trees, cannot avail him. He is blinded by the snow, and lost if he stirs but a step." Thus he reached Petersburgh. Through innumerable difficulties he succeeded in reaching Yakutsk. There he was seized by order of the empress Catherine, privately examined before an arbitrary tribunal, and eventually conveyed to the frontiers of the country with an intimation that a second intrusion would be his death. We must not dismiss the Russians without extracting a remark of Ledyard's, illustrating the greatest excess of a mean passion that has perhaps been heard of.
The cause of this stretch of power is a mystery: at Yakutsk the officers gave it out that Ledyard was arrested as a French spy; Catherine herself said that she could not permit a man to rush upon the fatal dangers which Ledyard would have encountered. Every circumstance proves these reasons to be too absurd. The most probable reason was a compliance with the jealousy of the Russian Fur Company, who dreaded the appearance of such an enterprising man as Ledyard on the North West coast of America.
"So strong is the propensity of the Russians to jealousy, that they are guilty of the lowest offences on that account. The observation may appear trivial,