« السابقةمتابعة »
He neglected or despised the decencies of dress, language, and 'gesture; performing publicly, without shame, actions, which prejudice and propriety, in civilized societies, have covered with a thick veil. Such conduct was neither imitated nor approved in a country warmly attached to ritual observance, and which has been called the mother of superstition. The disappointed cynic was driven with ignominy from the banks of the Nile, and, repairing to Rome, soothed his chagrin and gratified his pride, that pride which, in the human heart, puts on such a variety of forms, by loading with abuse the customs, &c. of the country, which tolerated his insolence.
He attacked that excellent emperor and man, Titus Antoninus, who proved that he was the true philosopher by listening with patience to his impudent haranguer; and if any of the charges against him were true, by amending his conduct.
A prefect of the city, whose temper was very irritable, drove our unfortunate declaimer from the capitol; and, after passing through several cities of Greece unnoticed or despised, he fixed his abode at Athens, where he attracted the notice of A. Gellius, who has recorded several of their conversations.
One of his favourite topics was to inveigh against what he called the folly of wrapping up the names of things, the harmless propensities of nature, in refined phrase and delicate expression; he would perhaps have agreed with a certain writer that there was an increase of sin, since bad women were called women of pleasure, and the crime of adultery softened in the modish denomination of crim. con.
More vain in his particular way than any man alive, he grossly attacked the public spirit of Herodes Atticus, a citizen, who, diffusing his wealth in laudable exertion, and ornamenting his country by magnificent structures, reflected credit on the magnificence of a private man; many of the comforts and even luxuries of life within the reach of the poorest individual.
The territory on which the Olympic games were exhibited has been for ages a burning sand, the death of many a candidate from dust and heat; a spot rendered classical by poets, and affording a land-mark to the chronologist and historian, was scantily supplied with water; a reproach to the avarice, the poverty, or the taste of the Greeks. The quick-sighted zeal of Herodes provided for the defect; he conducted, at a vast expense of money, a copious stream, supplied from distant springs by an aqueduct, which, uniting magnificence with utility, was the wonder and ornament of his country.
A work, which it was difficult to speak or even think of without praise, which excited general approbation, was considered by Peregrinus as a good opportunity to exert his talent at satire and abuse.
He attacked Herodes as vain-glorious and os tentatious, in thus lavishing his wealth on an un
After much declamation in favour of self-denial, it was observed that, on the next celebration of the games, he was foremost in the crowd which pressed forward to enjoy the stream.
The office of a censurer of mankind, whatever his motives, is not of a kind to conciliate affection, but the inconsistencies of Peregrinus made him contemptible; a circumstance highly mortifying to a man hunting after popularity, and ambitious of posthumous fame.
Rendered desperate by disappointment, he resolved, on the fervour of false philosophy, to astonish the world, and build his reputation on what he judged an imperishable basis, by putting an end to his existence on a funeral pile.
Being questioned as to the end he had in view, he said, that he meant to hold forth to the world an impressive example; to teach men to despise death, and to bear pain with firmness and composure.
It was in vain he was told that a fear of death was implanted in our bosoms for the wisest purposes, and that it was everyone's first duty to perform the offices of society in that post in which Providence had placed him.
"If he imagines," said Lucian, on hearing of his design, "that there is anything so very heroic in committing himself to the flames, I can furnish him with a long list of fools and madmen who have excelled in this his favourite exit.
"In the blaze of a fierce fire, as suffocation is immediate, sensation ceases on the spot; but on any occasions which rouses their zeal or animates their devotion, the Indian Brahmins literally roast themselves by slow fires, voluntarily exposing themselves to the agonies of death for several hours.
If his passion arises merely from being tired of life, he need only return to his own country, where, as a parricide and an adulterer, he will instantly receive the reward of his crimes."
With all his firmness, the cynic appears to have dreaded the fate to which he had devoted himself. He was not without hopes that by the interference of his associates his proposed death would be prevented.
But general expectation being roused, his absolute and positive refusal to undergo that which he had offered, besides lowering him in the esteem of his followers, his failure would have exposed him to the risk of being torn to pieces by the populace, who, on such occasions, are not disposed to submit quietly to an impostor, who sports with their feelings and insults their credulity.
Finding he could expect nothing from their humanity, he appealed to their superstition; spoke of celestial communication, &c., which forbade the execution of his purpose; but he had gone too far to retreat, and finding that he had no alternative, but the death he had chosen, or a more shocking one, he prepared the pile with his own hands.
On the day appointed, and during the vast concourse of the Olympic games, he appeared with a train of attendants, addressed the people, and asserted that the evils he had suffered, and the pains he had endured, were sufficient testimonies of his attachment to philosophy without the present proof.
He then spoke on the vanity of life, and the glory of devoting ourselves to death for the benefit of others, but was interrupted by the shouts of his friends, who exclaimed that such a ́man ought to live for the sake of his country, for the instruction and edification of mankind. These words were instantly overpowered by the voices of a very considerable majority, who insisted that a non-performance of that which he had promised was unworthy of the character he had assumed, that a philosopher ought to set an example of consistency and faith.
"Conduct him to the pile!" re-echoing on every side, filled our philosopher with terror and dismay
Convinced that nothing but death, in the manner he had proposed, would satisfy the merciless multitude, in a tremor, produced by agitation of body and mind, he sunk on the ground: repeated faintings, succeeded by a fever, made it necessary to postpone the business.
A physician, who was sent for to administer relief, informed him, that if he was so anxiously bent upon death, he might save himself the trouble and ceremony of publicly inflicting it on himself, for that the fever, if unsubdued, would soon release him from his cares.
Peregrinus, not relishing the proposal, told his medical friend, that merely to die in his bed was not the thing he wanted; that so common a mode of going out of the world, unnoticed and unapplauded, had neither the charm of novelty, nor the attraction of popular admiration.
After a struggle of several weeks, between his fears, his disease, and his pride, the fever left him, and he positively fixed the time and place at which he would execute his purpose.
On the 16th July, A. D.165, and in the 236th Olymp., such was the formal style in which it was announced, he ascended for the last time a pile, which he had constructed with his own hands. Three miles from Olympia, on the evening of a serene day, and the moon shining with a silver light, Peregrinus presented himself to the public eye, with a long train of followers, and others, whom curiosity or admiration had attracted. Laying aside his mantle, his wallet and his staff, he set fire to the fabric he had formed of fir and other materials; then scattering incense around him, and turning his face to the south, he exclaimed in a loud voice, "Genii of my ancestors, open your arms to receive me!" and, leaping into the flames, was soon reduced to ashes.
By some mistake or other I got up a little sooner than usual the other morning. When I entered my parlour the room had a clean but cold look which half inclines to make you shiver, like the sun in a clear wintry day. The hearth was unsullied with ashes, and the coals in the grate, though blazing, were black and square. The fire was yet in its infancy, and the flames and smoke gambolled in the chimney like childhood. Betty was just in the act of unfolding the damask table-cloth. With a scientific sweep it was outspread in the air, and descended on to the table as (gently as a flake of snow. Nature's own hand gave grace to the drapery at the corners, and the edge of every fold formed an illustration of Hogarth's line of beauty.
Which is somewhat contradicted by an old saying," that it is better to do mischief than be idle.", I was not in a humour to read, and it was against my grain to sit looking at my fingers. Pens, ink, and paper were lying invitingly on the side table, but to write before breakfast was out of the question, so I began to act the limner, and sketch the scene before me the breakfast table. The table, covered with the cloth, was the first thing, then as the cups and saucers, bread, butter, eggs, egg cups, plates, and all the necessary et cetera were placed upon it by Betty, I placed them on paper with pen and ink. You see the sketch on the opposite page, dear Mr Editor, and could the reader see
it, I should not be at such pains in describing it. The perspective is not quite so bad as Hogarth's caricature upon that subject.
From drawing a sketch I proceeded to write a sketch, and further to introduce figures upon the picture, and to put words into their mouths. Here is the whole affair-the picture-the scene-the characters-and the dialogue Table Talk, and
[Here the reader is to suppose a breakfast table very graphically set forth, with urn, teapot, milk-jug, egg-cups, &c.]
JENTAC. No, I would not have that either, especially as it is in your own house, but let us split the difference, and talk, eat, and sip alternately.
THEO. That, I think, is the most intellectual way of enjoying this beverage, bearing in mind not to let either of these performances flag; keeping the battery of wit well supplied with ammunition—taking care the garrison fall not short in the victualling department
JENTAC. Stop, stop, I have not finished my reply to your first batch. In the second place, I always make punctuality a point-upon an appointment especially in the gastronomic way-'tis due to my friend's comfort, and to my own gratification
THEO. Come, Jack, a truce to your talking-the coffee will spoil.
JENTAC. I would not have the weight of such a transgression on my head, so here's for it.
THEO. "Fa' ta-fa' ta!" as a Scotchman would say to his guests at parriteti. I leave you to help yourself, I shall find it quite employment enough to attend to my own appetite.
JENTAC. Then you grant me a dispensation-a permission to set etiquette at naught?
THEO. To be sure. You shall enjoy full liberty while in my dominions.
JENTAC. Talking of liberty-coffee and liberty are not subjects which harmonise very well togethercoffee associates in the mind with Turkey-the most absolute of despotisms, and where one would run the risk of being made a head shorter for a less offence than placing the spoon on the wrong side of the cup. THEO. Very true; coffee often puts me in mind of the pleasures of absolute power. Say what you will -frown as ye will, ye moralists, and smile as ye will, ye demagogues, there is an unspeakable pleasure in the thoughts of having at one's command all
JENTAC. A truce! there-your lecture on politics will turn my coffee weak and waterish. If you will talk, friend Theophilus, let it be of coffee; add to the flavour of this delicious cup, anecdotes of its virtues; how authors have watered the soil of their brain with it, how Eastern warriors have refreshed themselves after the toils of blood on the battle field, and how British tars in the present day sing the praises of Arabia's berry, as of old they did of grog.
THEO. Verily, friend Jentaculum, thou art as learned upon that subject as am I. Thou art noted as a teller of anecdotes, and retailer of facts, scraps, and reminiscences. Can'st thou find naught on coffee in the index of thy mind?
JENTAC. I'faith, yes, friend Quaker, but I would rather sip my coffee, and hear you speak. When I have put an end thereunto then will I speak.
THEO. Am I, then, not to enjoy my coffee, but act the part of your slave, as among the Romans of old, and recite while you eat?
"Nor o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon." Especially this last item I would have attended to. To allow your coffee to cool is an insult to your host, as much as to say you care not for him or his coffee. There is nothing more execrable than such stuff. It is like the hatred of a brother-love turned into hate; delicious when replete with caloric; wanting that
THEO. Patience! Jack, patience and I beg you will not lay the blame to me. You exceeded the limits of my advice; I only meant that coffee should be drank as hot as is convenient and safe to the pa
late and the system, and in this direction I am supported by no less an authorty than Lord Bacon, who says that it should be taken as hot as one can drink it, and that thereby it comforteth the brain and heart, and helpeth digestion
JENTAC. Devil take Lord Bacon, and digestion Will they never bring the water to cool my tongue?
THEO. Patience, my dear fellow, is said to be a virtue. Strive, therefore, to
JENTAC. Theophilus, you have no feeling for one. Just give a tug at the bell to expedite the lazy dog!
THEO. I have heard it said, that proverbs should not be quoted in genteel society, and therefore I shall not say though 'tis on my tongue's end— JENTAC. 'Tis at my tongue's root. "Oh! could I kill with cursing."
THEO. I was saying, worthy Jentaculus, that it was at my tongue's end to repeat, in spite of Lord Chesterfield, a proverb-" Talk of the Devil "[Tiger enters) and here he is.
JENTAC. By all that's merciful he has brought the water hot-sottering from Pandemonium! Get out, ye imp, and bring me ice, and water from the Arctic regions ! Cold water-blockhead! to cool my tongue!
THEO. Be not too hasty, Jack! No doubt the lad knew thy complaint, and brought thee wherewith to cure it. Heat hath affinity for heat, and so the hot water will extract the hot coffee from thy tongue. JENTAC. O! thou Job's comforter. Hold with thy raillery, and cool my tongue!
THEO. Drink turpentine, and that will do't. (Enter Tiger with ewer of water. Jentac. seizes it, and makes one long draught of the contents).
JENTAC. Oh, that was cooling! I would not have exchanged it for Jove's immortal nectar. I would not have taken that ewer from my mouth to ransom nations.
(Jentac. looks suspiciously at Theo. and, taking his cup, empties it at a gulp.)
JENTAC. Oh-0-0-0 !-There, Theophilus, is a proof of my regard for you worthy of a Roman stoic. I've swallowed a cup of boiling coffee at a gulp, and thereby scalded my tongue. Water! water! So much for your advice! You were getting so energetic about hot coffee, that I began to think there JENTAC. Quite enough on that score, I think; but, might be some personal inuendoes. suppose every bachelor contributed as much, it Pray, Theophilus, ring for water. would amount to no contemptible sum-total. But, Tiger enters.) my worthy Theophilus, you have calculated your THEO. Some water instantly-quick! coffee cold, you have made it minus the caloric you JENTAC. Fly, ye dog! (Exit Tiger.) O my lately mentioned as so essential to its being relished. tongue!
O my tongue! (Rings the bell—
THEO. Most true, Jentaculus, the coffee is coldbut here, 'tis soon remedied [empties it into the slopbasin]. Now let me fill it again with a cup that is
THEO. You will have changed your opinion on that subject by the time the dinner cloth is removed. JENTAC. It may be so; so much for the influence of circumstances. But the cold water was as precious to me at that moment as it sometimes is to the travellers on the deserts of Arabia
to drink it as hot only as you can bear, and recollect, also, that in all remarks I may hereafter chance to make, present company is excepted.
THEO. Halt at Arabia—that reminds me to re-fill your cup. Put milk in first to your taste-now sugar: there's a cup fit for a Sultan! But recollect
JENTAC. I'll endeavour to follow your advice.
THEO. Do. But recollect that even if, in so doing, you meet with any mishaps, I am not to be answerable therefore. Let me fill your cup again.
JENTAC. No, thankee, I'm perfectly satisfied-had quite enough, and a scalded throat into the bargain!
THEO. Come! we'll drop the subject of the throat; but you are not really serious? Come, keep me company, I am only at my fifth cup. I must have
my quantum of ten.
JENTAC. Well, if I take another cup you must not mind me trifling over it with the spoon till it's cold (you said something of that just now)-for I must make the one last out your coming five,
THEO. Don't you think, Jack, that I should receive some token of approbation from Government, or contributing so much to the Treasury in the shape of the duty on coffee? I was calculating the other day, and find that it amounts to seven pounds eight. shillings every year for coffee alone—not so much as I had thought though, after all.
JENTAC. A certain Utilitarian friend of mine, whose name would give any one an appetite, says, that the best way to enjoy a breakfast is a willingness to be pleased with what is before you. How in the world can you make such a hearty breakfast without raising an appetite by a walk !
THEO. That is the very thing that would take away my appetite. I must have my breakfast immediately I am up, otherwise I could not relish all the dainties in the world.
JENTAC. Here then we differ. I must have a walk before breakfast, if 'tis but a turn round a garden, or across a yard twelve feet square. 'Tis all the effect of a variety of constitution.
THEO. We'll ask our friend Esculapius to explain the why and the wherefore to us. Were I in the best humour imaginable, and desiring to be pleased with all the world, I could not relish my breakfast if I had to walk before it.
JENTAC. Then, as matters stand, we have been both accommodated in our appetites. I have had a walk here before breakfast, and you enjoy it on the spot. How do you manage when you are invited out to breakfast?
THEO. Make a preliminary operation before I go out six cups out of my ten, at least. I cannot do otherwise, if I wish to preserve my day's comfort-as I do not possess Aladdin's lamp or ring to enable me to transport myself in an instant, and without any
JENTAC. Talking of Aladdin's lamp, I used often when alone over my coffee to fall to musing upon the luxurious scenes of the region of the Arabian Nights,' and imagine the beauteous Sultana sipping coffee in bed, by the side of the Sultan, to clear her sweet throat, as she endeavoured to spin out the thread of her tales and her life. But all these visions were dispelled by the London Journalist, who declares that coffee is not once mentioned in the whole tales of the thousand and one nights-that the Arabian berry had not been discovered at that time. Such appears to be the fact, but, as I hope to drink another cup! when I was at school I obtained as a prize a copy of the Arabian Nights,' the frontispiece of which was a very pretty copperplate, of the Sultan and Sultana sitting up in a very handsome modern four-post bedstead the sister sitting at the foot, and some black slaves pouring ou
coffee, a cup of which the Vizir's daughter held in her hand.
THEO. Ha! ha! ha! All artists do not attend very closely to appropriateness of custom and cos
JENTAC. Coffee seems to be so connected in my mind with Arabia, that I cannot divest myself of the idea.
THEO. Wine, sherbet was their coffee, cakes and fruit their bread and butter, and dates their eggs.
Thus far had I proceeded, when I suggested to myself, that, in writing in such a strain, I was likely to have nothing more than " labour for my pains." 'my That it was too thick and muddy for any one to wade through. That it was "flat and unprofitable," and so "weary," or rather "wearisome," as to require all the animating powers of the subject— coffee to arouse the reader. The time is gone by when "amusing and instructive dialogues" would be tolerated. It would require a first-rate pen, and a thousand times more wit than you possess, good myself, to render the thing bearable. Besides, the breakfast-table is not the place for such conversation. The pair who would sit down for an hour at a time, and propose, as in the dialogue, would deserve nothing less than to be made President and Vice of a Temperance Society (and no disparagement to that, either). Moreover, the buffoonery respecting the "hot coffee is very miserable. Such nonsense is only tolerated in Blackwood.' The original is poor, and detracts greatly from the merits of those inimitable colloquies, and every copy must be shocking.*
Thus did I condemn what myself had written; and there followed a wavering of mind whether the flames should consume it or not. I did not like the idea of so much clean paper being sullied to no purpose, and so the decision was, to refer to the London Journalist for judgment, who will perhaps consider the matter worth putting to a jury of readers.
So here you have it, Mr Editor, with prologue and epilogue. Is the verdict to be "guilty " or "not guilty"? whether from judge or jury, I bow to the decision. BOOKWORM.
*We are not acquainted with all the dialogue of this sort in Blackwood'; but with respect to what we have seen of it, we must differ with our friend BOOKWORM. The animal spirits are genuine, and those are half the secret in all" admirable fooling." The rest must consist of subtle intimations of thought; and there is no want of those.-ED.
MORE POETS ON THE ICE. [We have the greater pleasure in giving insertion to the following communication of one of our fair Readers, inasmuch as it speaks of Mr Heraud's 'Judgment of the Flood,' a poem which it has been upon our conscience not to have quoted sooner.]
DEAR SIR,-It is with much pleasure that I perused, in No. 44, your article, Ice with Poets upon it.' Nothing can be more delightful than those same poets whom you have exhibited so gracefully cutting figures on the ice. Shelley, Wordsworth, Milton, Redi, and Phillips play their parts with equal honour to their original skill and your critical You, of course, are not unaware of the fine use which Cowper has made of the subject in The Task,' since you have mentioned the fancy of Catherine the Second: the quotation was, however, too trite for such pages as yours, which rightly affect the choice and the recherché. But, as a lover of German literature, I cannot let the occasion pass without alluding to the beautiful descriptions connected with skaiting in some odes of Klopstock.
The Odes' of Klopstock, says a writer in the Foreign Review,'-written for relaxation during the composition of The Messiah'--exhibit the writer as a man, a poet, a lover, a friend, a husband, a patriot, and a Christian. Neither has he been ashamed to register his favourite amusements. In the exercise of skaiting and horse riding he much delighted, nor has he left them uncelebrated.
The following is a translation of one of his 'Odes on the former theme. It is intitled
The literal fidelity with which this translation seems to be executed (to say nothing of the peculiarities of Klopstock's lyrical compositions) gives the above a quaint turn of expression, which, however, will not be displeasing to the Reader, who will take the trouble to understand the ode, and imagine himself in the situation of the skaiters described in it.
Death streams out from the wave unheard! Death rushes from the secret fount!
Tho' lightly as this leaf
Thou glidest thither. Ah!
Youth, thou may'st sink and perish yet!
Another piece of Klopstock's, called The Art of Tialfa giant who is said to have invented the art of skaiting (according to the Scandinavian mythology) is of still more intricate structure. It has, nevertheless, been highly praised by Madame de Stael, and well deserves her eulogy. In the December number (1831) of Fraser's Magazine' a translation of this ode is given, but it is too long for quotation, and I am afraid, would with difficulty be rendered intelligible. It is composed in a kind of dialogue between three bards, and is distinguished by much life and character. The heroine of the lyric drama is conveyed in a sledge down the icetorrent surrounded with skaiters, and listening to a youth behind, who joyously impels forward the car, in which she reposes. "The youth the maiden loves, and she loves him, they celebrate to-day their nuptial-day."
The translations of these very difficult pieces, I have been told, were executed by Mr Heraud, the author of those two singularly extraordinary poems—— The Judgment of the Flood,' and 'The Descent into Hell,' to whose pen we are also indebted for the two articles in the Foreign Review,' and Fraser's Magazine,' in which they occur. Neither has he forgotten the subject itself in his own poetry. There is an allusion in The Judgment of the Flood' to that infernal ice described by Milton, in the passage quoted by you from The Paradise Lost.' allusion occurs in Mr Heraud's description of 'Dudael;' it is as follows:
"The Sarsar sped
His ice-bolts through the wide waste wilderness, And, from his black surcharged cloud aloft, Made desolation yet more desolate With cold, whereto the cold within the land Of Hades, or the frozen tracts of Hell Were comparable only; so intense, Extreme, and bitter; and it smote all things, And in the heart of all things mortal burn'd; Tree, bole and branches, with the writhen bolt Of winter blasted, leafless, barkless, sapless, Base and of life devoid; and herb and weed Wither'd; and in their headlong torrent floods' Congeal'd, and stiffen'd to a stony sheet. The wild steed stood aghast, whom rein had ne'er Check'd, now by more than human vigour curb'd, And in the human veins the vigorous blood Was shackled, and the rivers of the heart Were as a seal'd fountain, and the veins Parch'd became brittle like to glass, and broke, Or harden'd into marble. Over them
The ice-wind wrought its work; but on the ground
They clasp'd the bosom of maternal earth,
Had made the flesh insensible to change."
Take also the following scene from The Descent into Hell':—
"Hell slowly unfolds her adamantine door-
The Ninth of Space, an infinite Sepulchre,
Lo! shadowy thrones and phantoms there-within
As shadowy, phantom sounds, their voice a blast
That goes unquestion'd on, lost and aghast,
bility, my dear and good Fontenelle?" said my aunt one day to him. "Because I am not yet dead," replied he, smiling. He had the greatest confidence in strawberries, in consequence of having regularly had a fever every spring. He used to say, if I can reach the season of strawberries!-He had the happiness to reach it ninety-nine times, and it is to the use of strawberries that he always attributed his longevity. Memoirs of the Marchioness de Créquy.
Like Boreas' light on Hecla's haunted brow,
Glasing his aspect with a ghostly gleam;
From the void forehead like a transient dream, The void cold forehead, and the fitful light
Of massy and monarchal diadem,
Now beamless; and all dusk as the sad night
The regal pall; hangs the broad shoulder o'er
Frozen in gorgeous folds, and moveless quite.
7 Burns now that starless air intenselier frore-
It is not for me to enlarge on the picturesque beauty and sublimity of such passages as these. I have done my part in bringing them before you and your Readers. Lest I should make this communication too long, I beg leave now to remain, Your sincere admirer,
And constant Reader, HARRIET DOWNING. 74, Charlotte street, Fitzroy square, February 3rd.
FINE ARTS. Gallery of Portraits. Charles Knight. THIS part of the excellent Portrait Gallery' contains Jeremy Taylor, Lavoisier, and Sydenham. Taylor's portrait is nicely engraved, by Holl; it is a face of great power and benignity, befitting a liberal and sincere churchman. Lavoisier is rather chalky in the engraving, indistinct, and a little rotten (as it is termed) in the work. There is a little of that self-complacency of expression which we are so ready to accuse our continental neighbours of exhibiting, but real benevolence and intellect. His fate was one of the worst and most gratuitous of the cruelties into which the revolutionists of France were hurried by oppression and ignorance. Sydenham's portrait is not one of Scriven's happiest works; it is forcible, and the expression is good; but the execution is black and heavy, an unusual fault in the engraver's performances. The features of this great physician are eminently characteristic of the goodness and geniality of his nature.
The intimate society of the Hotel de Breteuil was composed at most of twenty habitués, for whom plates were daily laid out for supper, according to the custom of the times and the hospitality of this opulent and generous house. To give you a brief idea of it, it is sufficient to tell you that my uncle and aunt had, in Paris only, forty-four domestics. Monsieur Fontenelle came there to supper regularly on Thursdays. He was then forty-five years of age, but one would never have supposed him to be more than thirty-six. He was a pretty handsome man, five feet eight inches high, with an intelligent look. His countenance was open and eminently cheerful. He was the best formed man imaginable; and, though he had acquired the habit of walking bent, all his motions were graceful and easy; in a word, his personal appearance was particularly courtly and elegant. I assure you that Fontenelle was benevolence and charity exemplified; he gave yearly a quarter of his income to the curate of his parish for the poor, and I never heard him accused of egotism or insensibility. He related before me that ridiculous story of the asparagus with oil, but he named it as having happened to a doctor of Sorbonne, and it was forty or fifty years afterwards, when Voltaire had the treachery to produce it again, as if Fontenelle had been its hero. "How can they accuse you of wanting sensi
CICERO'S VILLA AT ARPINUM.
The spot, embellished with all the ornaments of hills and valleys, and wood and waterfalls, was one of Cicero's most favourite retreats. When Atticus first visited it, he was so charmed that, instead of wondering as before that it was such a favourite residence of his friend, he expressed his surprise that he ever retired elsewhere; declaring, at the same time, his contempt of the marble pavements, arched ceilings, and artificial canals of magnificent villas, compared with the tranquility and natural beauties of Arpinum. Cicero, indeed, appears at one time to have thought of the island, formed by the Fibrenus, as the place most suitable for the monument which he intended to raise to his beloved daughter Tullia. The situation of this villa was close to the spot where now stands the city of Sora. "The Liris," says Eustace, "still bears its ancient name till it passes Sora, when it is called the Garigliano. The Fibrenus, still so called, falls into it a little below Sora, and continues to encircle the island in which Cicero lays the scene De Legibus. Arpinum, also, still retains its name. Modern travellers bear ample testimony to the scenery round Sora being such as fully justified the fond partiality of Cicero and the admiration of Atticus." " Nothing," says Mr Kelsall, "can be imagined finer than the surrounding landscape. The deep azure of the sky, unvaried by a single cloud— Sora on a rock at the foot of the precipitous Appenines-both banks of the Garigliano covered with vineyards-the fragor aquarum alluded to by Atticus in the work De Legibus-the coolness, rapidity, and
ultra-marine line of the Fibrenus-the noise of its cataracts the rich turquoise colour of the Liris-the minor Appenines round Arpino, crowned with umbrageous oaks to their very summits-presenting scenery hardly to be equalled, certainly not to be surpassed, even in Italy. The spot where Cicero's villa stood, was, in the time of Middleton, possessed by a convent of monks, and was called the villa of St Dominic. It was built in the year 1030, from the fragments of the Arpine villa!
"Art, Glory, Freedom, fail-but Nature still is fair." Cicero always considered the citizens of Arpinum as under his particular protection and patronage; and it is pleasant to find, that its modern inhabitants still testify, in various ways, due veneration for their illustrious townsman. Their theatre is called the Teatro Tulliano, of which a drop scene is painted with a bust of the orator; and even now, workmen are employed in building a new town hall, with niches, destined to receive statues of Marias and Cicero.-Dunlop's History of Roman Literature.
REASON WHY CATS ARE FOND OF CHILDREN'S CRADLES.
A cat, which had been long remarked as one of the wildest of those which frequented a barn on the borders of a wood in Ayrshire-so wild indeed as to be seldom seen-was several times during a sharp frost observed, with no little surprise, to pass and repass into the adjacent farm-house, which it had not for some years been known either to enter or approach. It might have been inferred that it was compelled by hunger, had not this been the best season for catching birds; but, in one of its stealthy visits, it was very snugly coiled up beside a baby in the cradle, to the no small horror of the mother, who imagined, in accordance with the popular prejudice, that it had come to suck away the baby's breath. All we could say to pursuade her of the impossibility of the cat doing this was of no avail, and orders were immediately given to every servant on the farm to kill the poor cat wherever she could be found; her caution and agility, however, were long successful in saving her, and though the persecution she thus
experienced rendered her, if possible, much wilder than before, yet she was not thereby deterred-not even after being wounded by a pitch-fork, and her leg lamed by throwing a hatchet at her from pay. ing a daily visit to the baby in the cradle, because it was the warmest place within her knowledge, and next to food she considered warmth as indispensable to life. She persisted thus in venturing to the cradle till she was at length intercepted and killed.Faculties of Birds. (Library of Entertaining Knowledge). A very interesting volume.
A. M. is informed (we wish we could insert his pleasant letter) that the back numbers of the LONDON JOURNAL are to be procured at the office, in Pall Mall East or (by order) of any newsman. ¡
Our friend B. S. thinks that our perplexity about want of room, in connexion with the best possible legibility, would be settled by leaving out the leads; that is, bringing the lines closer together. But closeness of lines is one of the very things complained of by eyes which do not readily catch their commence
The LONDON JOURNAL does not go upon the plan mentioned by Berro.
H. A. in a very flattering manner, informs us of a surprising piece of intelligence; to wit, that we do not edit our own paper!
(" Garth did not write his own Dispensary.") We can only say, that so far from being aware of the fact, we have been fancying ourselves writing every week for the JOURNAL, ever since it was set up,Leading Articles, Weeks, Notes and Comments, &c. But perhaps we shall wake up from all this, and find we are somebody else.
We should be glad to find ourselves side by side with A READER OF THE LONDON JOURNAL on the top of the coach he speaks of.
Our respects to Mr G. B., and he will have the goodness to look at the answer given this day to BEPPO.
We will consider what is so kindly mentioned by ONE OF OUR WARMEST WELL-WISHERS.
We should be glad to insert the account of the 'Village Priest,' sent us by PHILANTHROPOS, but fear that some points of it might be thought unsuited to our unpolitical and uncontroversial paper.
There is genuine poetical feeling in the Vision' of ONE OF OUR READERS; but it would generally be looked upon as somewhat obscure; and we could wish that the author would take a more hopeful subject. His letter respecting the 'Indicator' and 'Companion,' shall be forwarded to the publisher.
We must try (modesty apart) if we cannot insert some passages from the letter of our cordial friend W. H. Meantime will he oblige us by stating what was the exact amount, or style, of the 'repulse' he speaks of? for we cannot but think he misconceived it.
Latin versions so long as those sent by JUVENIS ' would be complained of in a publication addressed to the Many.
We do not remember having seen any Valentine signed E.
A.'s versions from Anacreon do him credit, but there are so many others of a like merit and elegance before the public, that their insertion would subject us to the remonstrance alluded to in our answer to JUVENIS.
Numerous poetical contributions must take our good will for our deed.
PRIMROSE shall be noticed, and we hope to his satisfaction, in a week or two.
DACIAN writes in the style of one whom we are extremely desirous to agree with. We do not apprehend he will have much reason to be dissatisfied with us. All the parties concerned think as he does, with regard to the spirit of the matter.
LONDON: Published by H. HOOPER, Pall Mall East, and supplied to Country Agents by C. KNIGHT, Ludgate-street. From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.
TO ASSIST THE INQUIRING, ANIMATE THe strugglinG, AND SYMPATHIZE WITH ALL.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 1835.
SUNDAY IN LONDON.
[THE Editor having been busy with a new poem which he is about to publish, intitled 'Captain Sword and Captain Pen,' takes the liberty of substituting for his usual leading article the following remarks under the above title, which he wrote some time ago for the Weekly True Sun,' and which the proprie tors of that paper (with the liberality that characterises them in all their dealings) have kindly permitted him to reprint. They appeared when the newspaper in question was young, and had nothing of its present sale; so that they will be new to by far the greater part of our readers. The rest will have the kindness to put up with the repetition for the sake of their old acquaintance, the author.]
though it is a very fitting accompaniment.
youth, and her love, looking in the eyes of the man
Love is not peculiar to London on Sundays: they
Ir is astonishing what a deal of good stuff, of some sort or another, inherent or associated, there is in every possible thing that can be talked of; and how it will look forth out of the dullest windows of common-place, if sympathy do but knock at the door.
There is that house for instance, this very Sunday, No. 4 Ballycroft row, in the Smithy; did you ever see such a house, so dull, so drearily insipid, so very rainy-bad-Sunday like? old, yet not so old as to be venerable; poor, yet not enough so to be pitied; the bricks black; the place no thoroughfare; no chance of a hackney-coach going by; the maid-servant has just left the window, yawning. But now, see who is turning the corner, and comes up the row. Some eminent man, perhaps? Not he. He is eminent for nothing, except among five or six fellow-apprentices, for being the best hand among them at turning a button. But look how he eyes, all the way, the house we have been speaking of-see how he bounds up the steps-with what a face, now cast down the area, and now raised to the upper windows, he gives his humble yet impressive knock-and lo! now look at the maid-servant's face, as she darts her head out of the window, and instantly draws it back again, radiant with delight. It is Tom Hicks, who has come up from Birmingham a week before she expected him. The door is opened almost as soon as the face is seen; and now is there love and joy in that house, and consequently a grace in the street, and it looks quite a different place, at least in the eyes of the loving and the wise.
This is our secret for making the dullest street in the metropolis, nay the squalidest and worst, put forth some flower of pleasantness (for the seeds of good find strange corners to grow in, could people but cultivate them) and if our secret is not productive to everybody, it is no fault of ours: nay, for that matter, it is none of theirs; but we pity them, and have reason to think ourselves richer. We happened to be walking through some such forlorn-looking street with the late Mr Hazlitt, when we told him we had a charm against the melancholy of such places; and on his asking what it was, and being informed, he acknowledged, with a look between pleasure and sorthat it was a true one. The secret came home to him; but he could have understood, though he had not felt it. Fancy two lovers, living in the same street, either of whom thinks it a delight to exist in the same spot, and is happy for the morning if one look is given through the window-pane. It puts your thoughts in possession of the highest and most celestial pleasure on earth. No "milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale" is necessary to it,
From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYNELL, Little Pulteney-street.]
PRICE THREE HALFPENCE.
the reader complains of "weak eyes," or says that it is unaccountable how sleepy reading makes him, considering he is so "fond" of it; bibs are pulled up about the gentleman's chin, and gowns admired by their fair wearers; and the patients lounge towards the window, to wonder whether it is fine, or is clearing up, or to look at the rain-drops, or see what Mrs Smith is doing over the way. The young gentlemen or ladies look at the Bible, or the calendar, or the army-list, or the last magazine, or their trinkets, and wonder whether Richard will come; and the little children are told not to sing.
But the lovers!
These, however, we shall keep till the last, agreeably to the demands of climax.
But, stay a moment.—
So tender, or rather, according to Mr Bentham's philosophy, so "extra-regarding prudent," and so "felicity-maximising," is our heart, that we fear we may have been thought a little hard, by those whom we have described as uniting a sleepiness over their books with a profession of astonishment at their tendency, considering they are "so fond of books." But mistake us not, dear non-readers who happen to be reading us, or who read a newspaper though you read little else. Nothing would we ever willingly say to the useless mortification of anybody, much less of those who love anything whatsoever, especially a newspaper; and all the fault we find with you is, for thinking it necessary to vindicate your reputation for sense and sympathy on one particular score, when you might do it to better advantage by regretting the want of the very fondness you lay claim to. For in claiming to be fond of books, when you are not, you show yourselves unaware of the self-knowledge which books help us to obtain ; whereas, if you boldly and candidly expressed your regret at not being fond of them, you would show that you had an understanding so far superior to the very want of books, and far greater than that of the mechanical scholar, who knows the words in them, and nothing else. You would show that you knew what you wanted, and were aware of the pleasures that you missed: and perhaps it would turn out, on inquiry, that you had only been indifferent to books in the gross, because you had not met with the sort of reading suitable to your turn of mind. Now, we are not bound to like books unsuitable to us, any more than a poet is bound to like law-books, or a lawyer the study of Arabic, or a musician any books but his own feelings; nor is anyone, more than the musician, bound to like books at all, provided he loves the things which books teach us to love, and is for sowing harmony and advancement around him, in tones of good-humour and encouragement, to the kindly dance of our planet.
One of the pleasantest sights on a Sunday morning in the metropolis-to us, of course, particularly so-but justly also to all well-disposed and thinking Christians is the numerous shops exhibiting weekly papers for sale-the placards of our hebdomadal brethren, blue, yellow, and white, vociferous with large types, and calling the passenger's attention to Parliamentary investigations, monstrous convictions, horrible murders, noble philanthropies, and the humanities of books, theatres, and the fine arts. Justly did the divine heart, who suffered his disciples to pluck the ears of corn, and would have the sheep extricated from the ditch on a Sabbath, refuse to