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LONDON JOURNAL.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 1835.

CORRESPONDENCE.

A FEW MINUTES' EDITORIAL TALK WITH THE READERILISIONS IN VERSE-FLOWERS IN A LETTER-QUESTION RESPECTING THE AMERICAN LOCUST ANSWERED -RECONCILEMENT TO TOWN-LETTER FROM MR HERAUD, ETC.

OUR pile of correspondence has so increased upon us by the omission of a week's answers, that we must notice it this time at the head of the paper, and turn the notice into an "Article." The letters, as they lie heaped before us, remind us of the "conspiracy of the papers" written in the days of the Regent, by the author of the Two-penny Post Bag,' who records the horror of that illustrious personage at the sight, and his dread lest they were "growing upon him " at a rate too formidable to overcome

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

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"As if they said, 'our grand design is To suffocate his Royal Highness.'"

The suffocation, however, in the present instance (were we important enough to have the honour of a death so royal), would be of a far pleasanter sort, resembling rather the death of a former illustrious personage, the prince who was drowned in a butt of Malmsey, intoxicating with sweets, leaving us "dead drunk" with honey like a bee, giving us a death of our own choice (if we could choose to die at all when so pleased): for never have we received a more encouraging or flattering stock of letters than at this moment; and the one which we shall notice first, has actually brought flowers in it,—a lump of blossoms from a garden in Wales-scenting the air here in London, and almost making us fancy that the words of the fair writer would become audible, bringing us a voice to match the fragrance

Ambrosial odours, o'er the cheek
Celestial warmth suffusing."-Gebir.

Their

They now lie before us, fragrant still, though they have been plucked for weeks. We wish we could put the odour into the LONDON JOURNAL. colours combine yellow and brown, like the bee's; and, assuredly, if a bee were to come into our room, he would find them out, and plunge into them, and look of a piece with their beauty.

No. 51.

and good humour. So, off, Restriction! and welcome! the universe, and the coming summer, and all pleasant subjects at will, and loads of good-humoured letters, the writers of which bind us to them for ever by letting us do what we like.

But before we proceed, we must say something of our JOURNAL and its new-year commencements. We promised at the beginning of the year to have some Lives and Travels in it, and have been fearing that the Readers would resent the non-performance of the promise; but they have been true LONDON JOURNAL Readers, good-natured; and, instead of doing so, have said nothing but kind things, and expressed satisfaction with what is laid before them. And we must say for ourselves that, although we have not kept our word in those particulars, we have more than kept it in the general conduct of our undertaking, having written a great deal more than we proposed on our setting out, and feeling certain that we shall continue to do so, though we have learnt, once for all, the imprudence of making specific promises-of which we here accordingly take our leave with a delighted penitence, now and for ever, feeling ourselves able to do our best when least restricted, and happy to discover that our Readers do not care what subjects the paper treats of, provided there is sincerity in the treatment,

From the Steam-Press of C. & W. REYN ALL, Little Pulteney-street.]

"

"

But we must explain a little farther, for we have neither been idle nor acting out of caprice. Our Romances of Real Life' do not fail us, and we verily believe never will, as long as the Reader chooses to have them-and they are popular. The Week' also, from its nature, is sure of its supply, and will be continued throughout its twelvemonth; and for a First Article' subjects being ad libitum, are of course never wanting. But when we came to look about us for Lives,' we found we could not reckon upon a supply always good enough, and though good extracts from Travels are more to be depended on, and we hope to have them still, though not systematically, we discovered that Readers in general like a greater variety, an admixture of shorter pieces than the new arrangements of the JOURNAL Would have permitted, especially comprising as they do, the valuable Shakspeare criticisms of Mr Hazlitt: and our Correspondents also perplexed us with the length as well as goodness of many of their communications, and new books came in, and miscellaneousness of all sorts abounded; so that we

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fairly did not know what to do with our proposed plan. Instead of the 'Lives,' therefore, we have enlarged the very brief summaries of character which we intended to give in our Week,' and keeping up what was already approved of, we have let the rest of the JOURNAL take its course, like our old friend the Butterfly in the poet, promising nothing except that we will taste every sweet that we can come nigh, and bring a bit of colour and joy into every homestead that chooses to welcome us.

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And so once more to set out again, with gladsome wings, the happier from just having been doing our duty in a graver shape,—a soldier in the ranks of 'Captain Pen.' Blessed be thy transforming power, O imagination! that thus beatest Ovid all to pieces, and canst metamorphose ourselves, and to whatsoever

shape we please,—provided only we have faith, and a hearty wish for it. By thee this instant, our rainy windows are changed into open ones, the clouds into sunshine, March into May, and nothing remains of ourselves, but the soul of us, in its Greek shape,the Psyche, or Butterfly aforesaid,-who quivering his wings like the finger-tips of some happy musician, when he is touching two notes at once, in the shake of a joyous symphony (like that of Gia fan ritorno, for instance) rises in the rapture of his anticipations, and issues forth to the blue air, drunk with the scent of gardens.

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We beg leave, however, to disclaim the application of these last four lines; for though we like to "flit,” we like also to "abide;" being of a right greedy disposition in matters of luxury, and loving to retain all the goods we have, whatsoever addition we make to the stock. Neither do we like to have any luxury cut short, not even the syllable O; for which reason we have here restored it from the hasty and incapable profanations of the commentators, who took it away from before the word abide-

"Mote please his fancy, or him cause t'abide”—'

a vile elision—endangering the right reading of the verse, even if intended only as a hint to read rapidly, Ever and not to change the two words into one. while you live, dear Reader, eschew all such perils, and let your ears be aware of the full measures of sweet poesy :--

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"Mote please his fancy, and him cause to abide." " toă, with swift distinctness if you will, and bide with the greater force in consequence; but never allow a commentator or school-boy critic, proud of his knowing that there are ten syllables in a heroic line, to pretend that two short syllables are not the same as one, and to be written at their full length accordingly. Hear the Italians sing their beautiful words, and mark the melodious relish with which they distinguish every syllable they utter, even while fusing their sweetness together. The Italian heroic measure is the same as ours, only with double instead of single rhyme; yet they have far more vowels than we, not one of which (except in certain conventional and colloquial instances, or when the poet himself chooses) they cut off, sliding them beautifully into one another with articulate smoothness. We have occasionally an instance in our own language, as in that line of Milton's allegro :—

"To many a youth and many a maid Dancing in the chequered shade."

Now, upon the principle of writing t'abide, for to abide, the y might be cut off here at the word many ; or the and should be written 'nd in that divine verse

in 'Paradise Lost'-speaking of the powers of music

to

"chase

Anguish, and doubt, and fear and sorrow, and pain.” But who would endure this? We may take, if we please, no more time in uttering sorrow and, than if it were written sorrow'nd; but who would lose the two beautiful sounds of the o and a? According to these cutters and maimers (violators of the Ellenborough Act) piano in a verse should be written pano, and fiori, fori. Here is a lovely line of Ariosto, in which Alcina, the magician, is described attracting the fishes to her out of the water :"Con semplici parole e puri incanti." (With simple sayings and enchantments pure.)

The Italians pronounce both the ee's in this line, and both the ii's, and make the verse the sweeter and richer. The two ee's may not be thought the happiest instance of this custom, but they go very sweetly

our intention to oppose any great public good, or any advancement of individual right. Singular indeed would be such a contradiction of half the spirit of our life. What we recommeud is, not the desertion of any just claim, public or private, but that we should take along with us every possible cheerfulness. and goodwill, both as a means of prosecuting our claim the better, and as a noble resource always, including a heart-home to retreat upon in case of the There are helpers in a spirit of cheerful sanguineness as well as of spleen; and though we would not undervalue the latter in case of necessity, far less be ungrateful to what its worthies have done for us, we think the former stand the better chance of being more just and persuasive, and of putting an end to the constant re-actions of anger and violence. But to the letter of our fair friend.

worst.

nevertheless; and the sound of the two ii's may be represented, in English by writing them poory in, instead of poor'in as a commentator would cut it; or it may be shown in another version of the line:

"With simple words and easy enchantments pure." Who would like to read eas' for easy in this line, or think the melody improved by it?

We have taken up too much space, we fear, in explaining this matter; but the subject beguiled us, and we have assumed, with an insolence common to periodical editorship, that the Reader is to let us do as we please.

Now then to do very much as we please, and lay before him the letter of our fair Correspondent from Wales, who gives a variety of pleasant information.

"No one reads with greater delight the LONDON JOURNAL, or is more grateful for the instruction she receives from it, than she of the verdant valley in l'ultima Cambria.' When one Monthly part' is duly conned, she counts the days till the next arrives. The first vol. is complete, and in nothing wanting save —may she with great humility suggest to the Editor, that an Index would tend much to economize the time and patience of its admirers? The Editor's poetical wand has conjured up a January's garden worthy of Boccaccio's magician; but the mildness of our northern winters has not only tempted several of our usually migratory birds to remain in their summer quarters, but also has blessed us with a greater variety of flowers than is to be found in the 'Household Almanac,' which probably took its list from the recorded produce of some 'olden days' January flowers, for now 'the pale primrose' and ranunculus unfold most sweetly their petals to our slanting sun, though with less luxuriance of bloom than to its stronger rays. The aconite, or wolf's-bane, opened rejoicingly its yellow buds, as soon as the sweet south' breathed on the frost-bound soil;' all these, of course, will flourish in the February's garden; but there is one of the botanist's monsters that blossoms when snow is on the ground, all unmindful of it, to the end of February, or later still-it is the winter double violet: its colour is a very pale lilac.

"But a still more precious plant, that blossoms in the open air, without requiring attention, is the Callycanthus Precor: some of its flowers shall be herewith enclosed, though in their withered state they can give but a faint notion of the humbly coloured blossom's singularly fragrant scent when freshly plucked. Its first buds opened at the close of November, when the leaves were still clustering thick upon the shrub; since that time, every tiny twig, every branch, has been clothed with flowers that none the wood mote see;' and in this beautiful (or rather, more odorous than beautiful) state it will remain till March wanes, or April dawns.

"The writer takes this opportunity of answering the question that heads the article in No. 41- The American Locust'-which interesting insect is not the same as the noisy, chirping, nay, often stunning, Cigala of the south, which she has many a time chased in Italy: it differs little from our northern grasshopper in size and appearance, but she cannot believe that the noise it makes is produced by the friction of the wings together, as is the case with the more musical sounding tones of ours.

"The real Egyptian locust of the Scriptures is still to be found in Malta; and the writer understands that in Arabia it abounds. In Malta she kept one for some time it measured above two inches long, was in form a common grasshopper, but of a brilliant green, with wings long enough to be able to take a flight of from one to two hundred yards, and thickly covered with black cabalistical characters. It would devour the leafy parts of a lettuce leaf in about ten minutes, or less time."

The next letter is from another fair Correspondent, and is one of those which stand in our first class of welcome communications, because they tell us of good positively effected, and objections reconciled. We take this opportunity of observing, that when we preach the doctrine of making the best of things, and fetching out all which they can yield, far is it from

January 29.

"As I know, dear sir, you are pleased to hear of any good arising through your instrumentality, I must tell you your papers have been the means of reconciling both me and my sister to town. We are lovers of the country: it was there we first drew our breath, were nurtured, and have spent the greater part of the years we have numbered: and although it is a sweet constraint which binds us to this city, it being the present abode of those we most fondly love, yet our hearts yearned for their native haunts, with their silence and solitude. Nay more, we determined to find no beauty in anything external which London could yield. We despised a small garden, because it was not a large one; thought a flower in a window a mockery of the love of rural life; and would scarcely take a walk in the suburbs, because the fields boasted not the picturesque beauty of those we had left, where "Nature seemed to sit alone." But your papers, dear sir, have taught us otherwise, and made us resolve to content ourselves with the sources of gratification we possess, without sighing for those beyond our reach."

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Socius is informed, that we had not forgotten AUNT SELBY; though one part of her letter conspired with circumstances to delay it; for the good lady, in her dislike of the squirrel's teeth, forgot that the poor free-born prisoner had a right to object to his cage; and we, on the other hand, do not like to object to a lady, and bandy arguments with her. The story of the key (not "lost," but carried away in another's pocket) was as true, as that Socius is hereby The Editor does not deal in figments of

told so.
that sort.

How are we to get happily married?" shall appear the first opportunity.

We are sorry that F.'s correction of the erratum did not reach us till our last number had gone to press. For the word "tomb" in his letter respecting Edwin and Emma,' the reader will be good enough to take his pen, and substitute "turf."

The following letter which we have had the honour the Flood,' shows him in a light so considerate of receiving from the author of the Judgment of towards the "poor devils" of the press, and also furnishes so useful an example of the attention which is paid to the construction and harmony of their verses, by poets who have a right respect for the art, that we cannot help availing ourselves of the permission given us at the close of it. It will help to excuse our long critical dissertation on to and abide :

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1st of March 1835. 28 Burton street, Burton Crescent.

MY DEAR SIR.

As by an engagement with my Newsman it is not until Sunday Morning that I receive your JOURNALS, which I peruse with pleasure, and preserve with anxiety, I was not aware until the present moment of the station which you had given me, both as translator and author, among your 'Poets on Ice.' I have now to thank you much and sincerely for the honour, and your motive in according it.

Will you permit me to mention, that either your fair Correspondent has mis-copied the extracts given from my two poems, or your printer has mistaken her manuscript? As here and there these errata make nonsense of the passage, you will probably per

mit me to furnish you with the means of correcting them.

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The 3rd line of the 8th stanza of The Ice Course' should run-" Far thy Cothurnus' sound." This is but a trifle.

In the description of "Dudael," 12th line should begin-" Bare and of life devoid,”- -not "Base,' &c.; 19th line should have been printed, "Were as a sealed fountain,"-not "seal'd fountain." The ed should be sounded, else the rythm were imperfect. In the 20th line you have "broke," instead of "brake." You who know how much euphony depends on the skilful alliteration of the vowel sounds, will forgive me mentioning an apparent trifle like this. Its importance may be felt, however, by examining the structure of two or three consecutive lines-e. g.

-the vigorous blood,

Was shackled, and the rivers of the heart
Were as a sealed fountain, and the veins
Parch'd became brittle like to glass, and brake,
Or hardened into marble."

Most of these corrections respect sound-those in the next quotation, extracted from the 'Descent into Hell,' regard sense. In the 9th line for "compart" read "compact." In the 14th line for "barren stamp" read "barren stump." In the 26th line a semicolon destroys the grammar of the verse: the passage should run

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❝and, all dusk as the sad night, The regal pall hangs the broad shoulder o'er, Frozen in gorgeous folds, and moveless quite." **]

In a preceding line the printer's devil has spelt glazing" glasing-Poor devil! he has to bear much blame-this, however, will not break his back. "Aught" also he has changed to " ought." As to this, he may plead difference of opinion.

You are at perfect liberty to do what you like with this letter. And believe me, my dear Sir,

Yours very sincerely, JOHN A. HERAUD. The communications with which we have been

favoured by W. D. C. shall appear in the SUPPLE

MENT.

Our friend ALFRED is too long this time, and hardly so good as before.

We have to thank several more Correspondents for Cumnor Hall.' It is pleasant to see a ballad making so melodious a stir, and giving occasion to so many people to show their good nature. The name of Mr W. of Doncaster, particularly pleased us,—an old acquaintance, if we mistake not.

We must positively be immodest, and print the following passage from the letter of our friend J. W. D. "The JOURNAL," quoth the cordial pen of this gentleman, "seems to many friends and myself to increase in interest and beauty: I earnestly hope that its success bears some proportion to its merits. We intend to celebrate its approaching anniversary, in, I trust, its own spirit, and wish it a long life and a merry. Pray read some more poems with us, after the fashion of that delightful reading of the Eve of St Agnes,' many of the beauties of which were then, to me at least, disclosed for the first time." We do not wonder that our Correspondent thinks the JOURNAL increased in interest and beauty, seeing that it has become more miscellaneous, and has to boast of such articles as those of Mr Hazlitt, Mr Webbe, &c. By the way, also, talking of Lives,' we give this week an excellent Life of Pythagoras,' by Mr Godwin, from his book on the Necromancers.' But pieces of biography by men of genius are rare things to get at.

"

"

The Snow-drop' next week. By the way, will the proprietor of the Englishman' allow us to ask why it is not sent to our office regularly? The price, to be sure, is nothing; but we do not find it so easy to secure a regular service of it, where we live, as he may imagine. The same question to our old and respected friend Tait.' It is hard that he should not be one to join the unpolitical meeting of good wills in this JOURNAL, when influential editors, of other parties, are not averse from acknowledging the claims of our neutral ground. The great Tory

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This question reminds us that we have not received the Dublin University' this time. Also, that we have received a new monthly periodical, The Agricultural and Industrial Magazine' (of which more by and by); another called the 'Literary Union' (ditto); and the first two monthly parts of a new weekly provincial (Lancaster), intitled The Companion,' which is a very clever and promising publication, of the LONDON JOURNAL order, though in an octavo shape, and might as well have done us the honour of asking us to stand godfather to it; for the • Companion,' be it known to time-honoured Lancaster,' is a name of our own. There is some good criticism in these opening numbers, upon Charles Lamb.

We should be glad to hear from P. F. on any other subject; the one he has chosen not being admissible into these our most ultra-considerate columns.

Luna by Day,' from the German of Richter would be gladly inserted; but we fear the uninitiated would misconstrue its spirit.

S. W. H. complains truly that one of the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the doctrines advocated by our Correspondent T. R., in his question to "Men of Business," is the fancy which too many of them entertain, that trade, and a love of literature, are incompatible. This fancy helps to produce the very error they deprecate, by leading young lovers of books to take them at their word; and so the dispute is exasperated on both sides. They should recollect, that many a thriving tradesman and merchant has been a lover of books and an author. Dodsley, the bookseller, was one; Richardson, the printer, another; Glover, the banker, a third; Voltaire, for all his wit and vivacity, knew how to put his money out to account as well as the shrewdest of city speculators; and the author of Robinson Crusoe' was author also of the 'Complete English Tradesman.'

W. H. gratifies us by finding that "repulse" was too strong a word. Not only, he may be certain, was no such thing intended by either party, but if either had had the least suspicion that any manifest ation of another sort was desirable, nothing would have been pleasanter than to act accordingly. As to the taunts of those days against "money-dealers," they were idle and unreflecting, and originated solely with the writer; who, though teaching others, required, in that respect, and perhaps a great many more, to be taught himself. W. H. highly pleases us by what he tells us of the good the LONDON JOUR fNAL does him.

well be kept distinct, and ultimately bound up by
themselves. Thomson was not omitted among the
"ice-poets" for want of love; as M. N. may see by
turning to a review of his Castle of Indolence,' in
No. 9. But we thought his Seasons' too well known
to render a quotation necessary. The passage res-
pecting Booth, and Cato's wig, is in Pope's Imita-
tions of Horace,'—the one addressed to Augustus.

The first part of the above answer to J. W. who
is thanked for his good opinion of the articles he al-
ludes to; but it is doubtful whether they could be
divested of the spirit at least of all political allusion
as to appear with propriety in the JOURNAL.

M. N. is informed that the SUPPLEMENTS are bound up at preser.t with the volumes, but as there will be a separate index to them by and by, they can

The article of our friend G. H. L. (from whom
we are always happy to hear) is too long, and not
quite of a nature for our JOURNAL. We must give
the same answer to the Gentleman who writes on
Monitorial Teaching,' and to the author of Pros
pects of a Law Student," who has a spirit, however,
of which we should be glad to see more.
Will J. H. inform us of the particular nature of orange by the way-always too sour.
what he wishes?

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SUNDAY IN THE SUBURBS;
BEING MORE LAST WORDS ON SUNDAY IN LONDON :'
WITH A DIGRESSION ON THE NAME OF SMITH.

J. B. extremely gratified us, not only by the copy of the publication which accompanied his letter, but

In writing our articles on this subject, we have been
so taken up, first with the dull look of the Sunday
streets, and afterwards with the lovers who make

by showing us how much intelligence and public their walls lively on the hidden side, that we fairly
feeling are to be looked for in the quarter whose
character he helps to elevate.

We doubt whether our Readers in general are yet quite bookstall enough to relish the communication

with which OLD CRONY has favoured us, intitled a A New Old Book.'

We take in good part (as well we may) the brusque but flattering advice of our anonymous friend, who will not stop to get ink to write to us, but venteth himself in pencil. But he will have

discovered in the meanwhile that we have not been
idle; and we are to discover, we suppose, for our
part, that the quotation at the top of his letter was
meant to apply to us. If so, it is the first time
we were aware of it, nor will matter of fact allow
us to acknowledge the likeness.

overlooked a feature in our Metropolitan Sabbath,
eminently sabbatical; to wit, the suburbs and their
holiday-makers. What a thing to forget! What a
thing to forget, even if it concerned only Smith in
his new hat and boots. Why, he has been thinking
of them all the week; and how could we, who sym-
pathise with all the Smith-ism and boots in existence,
forget them? The hatter did not bring home his
hat till last night, the boot-maker his boots till this
morning. How did not Smith (and he is a shrewd
fellow too, and reads us,) pounce upon the hat-box,
undo its clinging pasteboard lid, whisk off the silver
paper, delicately develope the dear beaver, and put it
on before the glass! The truth must be owned ;--
he sate in it half supper-time. Never was such a
neat fit.
All Aldersgate, and the City-road, and the
New- road, and Camden and Kentish-towns, glided
already before him, as he went along in it,—hatted
in thought. He could have gone to sleep in it,—
if it would not have spoiled his nap, and its own.

R. H. R.

A. B. protests, on account of his eye-sight, against the alteration in our type proposed by As to the change which he is good enough to propose himself, it stirreth much pleasing vision in our mind's eye, but also much formidable necessity for reflection.

Whatsoever communications addressed to us,

now remain unnoticed at the end of the present in-
ordinate article, have either not come to hand, or
consist of that sort of conventional merit which
baffles selection.

Then his boots!—Look at him.-There he goes up Somer's-town. Who would suspect, from the ease and superiority of his countenance, that he had not had his boots above two hours,-that he had been a good fourth part of the time labouring and fetching the blood up in his face with pulling them on with his boot-hooks,-and that at this moment they horribly pinch him! But he has a small foot-has Jack Smith; and he would squeeze, jam, and damn it into a thimble, rather than acknowledge it to be a bit larger than it seems.

at forty he will care little for little feet, and much for his corns and the public good. We are the more bold in this anticipation, from certain reminiscences we have of boots of our own. We shall not enter into details, for fear of compromising the dignity of literature; but the good-natured may think of them what they please. Non ignoro mali (said Dido), miseris succurrere disco: that is, having known what it was to wear shoes too small herself, she should never measure, for her part, the capabilities of a woman's head, by the prettiness of her slippers.

Napoleon was proud of a little foot; and Cæsar, in his youth, was a dandy. So go on, Smith, and bear your tortures like a man; especially towards one o'clock, when it will be hot and dusty.

Do not think very ill of him, especially you that pinch a little less. Jack has sympathies; and as long as the admiration of the community runs towards little feet and well-polished boots, he cannot dispense, in those quarters, with the esteem of his fellow men. As the sympathies enlarge, Jack's boots will grow wider; and we venture to prophesy that

Smith does not carry a cane with a twist at the top of it for a handle. That is for an inferior grade of holiday-maker, who pokes about the suburbs, gaping at the new buildings, or treats his fellowservant to a trip to White Conduit-house, and an Smith has a stick or a whanghee; or, if he rides, a switch. He is not a good rider; and we must say it is his own fault, for he rides only on Sundays, and will not scrape acquaintance with the ostler on other days of brisk forlornness of his steed, the inclined plane of the week. You may know him on horseback by the his body, the extreme outwardness or inwardness of his toes, and an expression of face betwixt ardour, fear, and indifference. He is the most without a footman of any man in the world; that is to say, he has the most excessive desire to be taken for a man who ought to have one; and, therefore, the space of road behind him pursues him, as it were, with the reproach of its emptiness.

A word, by the way, as to our use of the generic name Smith.' A Correspondent wrote to us the other day, intimating that it would be a good-natured thing if we refrained in future from designating classes of men by the name of Tomkins.' We know not whether he was a Tomkins himself, or whether he only felt for some friend of that name, or for the whole body of the Tomkinses; all we know is, that he has taken the word out of our mouth for ever. How many paragraphs he may have ruined by it, we cannot say; but the truth is, he has us on our weak side. We can resist no appeal to our good-nature made by a good-natured man. Besides, we like him for the seriousness and good faith with which he took the matter to heart, and for the niceness of his sympathy. Adieu, then, name of Tomkins! Even Jenkins we shall hardly venture upon in future. But let nobody interfere in behalf of Smith; for Smith does not want it. Smith is too universal. even a John Smith could not regard the use of his name as personal; for John Smith, as far as his name is concerned, has no personality. He is a class, a huge body; he has a good bit of the Directory to himself. You may see for pages together (if our memory does not deceive us), John Smith, John Smith, John Smith, or rather,

Smith, John,
Smith, John,
Smith, John,
Smith, John,

Smith, John,
Smith, John,

and so on, with everlasting Smith-Johnism, like a set of palisades or iron rails; almost as if you could make them clink as you go, with drawing something along them. The repetition is dazzling. The monotony bristles with sameness. It is a cheveau-deSmith. John Smith, in short, is so public and multitudinous a personage, that we do not hesitate to say fwe know an excellent individual of that name, whose regard we venture thus openly to boast of, without ear ing to run any danger of offending his modesty; for nobody will know whom we mean. An Italian poet says he hates his name of John, because if anybody calls him by it in the street, twenty people look out of window. Now let anybody call "John Smith!" and half Holborn will cry out "Well !"

As to other and famous Smiths, they are too strongly marked out by their fame; sometimes by

HINTS FOR TABLE TALK.
No. VII.
ASSOCIATION OF IDEAS MERCANTILE REMINISCENCES
CITY
GATHERING THE EVERY-DAY WALK-THE
REGULAR OLD GENTLEMAN-THE REGULAR
OMNIBUS-HORSEMEN-CAB-CARRIAGE-FAMIL-
IAR FACES SHOPS HOUSE TO LET DOOR WASH-
ING CROSSING SWEEPERS-EYE-SORES-THE HOUSE
IN CHANCERY.

It is truly said that the most barren and monotonous
object may be clothed with associations which will
make it a source of pleasure. The city clerk in his
counting-house glances over the row of account-
books big with the transactions of the firm for per-
haps the last half century, adorned and dated with
every "Anno Domini" since 17-, and their regu-
larity fatigues his eye, and he would fain find relief
in a strange face, or at the window, but it is dimmed,
or grained, and impenetrable to the visual organs.
But the merchant himself looks with far different
feelings upon these folios. As he reads the thousand,
the hundreds, the tens, and the units of each year, he
is reminded of some profitable speculation, or unfor-
tunate loss; some great bankruptcy, or time of panic;
some season when the stocks were very high, or an-
other in which they were equally low; from trans-
actions he is led to the persons connected with them,
and so on through an interminable maze of life and
circumstance. He feels anew the joy upon his first
lucrative speculation, and the grief upon the first se-
rious loss experienced by his firm; and bounding from
hill to hill in his land of memory, scans the rise and
progress of his "house" to its present standing in the
city. All these thoughts may pass in a mind of very
mediocre capacity; it is but an exercise of the faculty cabriolet, with a dapper foot-boy standing on a board

Every regular equestrian you recognise as he passes you on the road. There is one or two worth remarking. The old gentleman on a short thick-set bay cob, with a footman at a respectful distance-generally at a walking pace, but occasionally it quickens into a gentle amble. Should you, by any chance, be five minutes or so later than usual, you will meet the servant returning, leading his master's steed by the bridle, and he no doubt traverses the same road again in the evening to bring the old gentleman back. The rich merchant in his carriage, the stock-broker in his

of memory, of which all are possessed in a greater or
less degree.

six inches square, behind. You meet the same faces, morning after morning; and anything remarkable about any of these stranger acquaintances your eye catches at once. The impression which these faces leave upon your mind is very indecisive, altogether local, and you know them only at the usual place of the centre of the city; the population of the district passing on the road; should you meet one of them

their Christian names; and partly, indeed, by the uncommon lustre they attain by their very commonness, to make us at all squeamish in helping ourselves to their generic appellation at ordinary times. Who will ever think of confounding Smith, in the abstract, with Adam Smith, or Sir Sidney Smith, or the Reverend Sydney Smith, or James and Horace Smith, or Dr Southwood Smith, or any other concretion of wit, bravery, or philosophy?

By this time, following, as we talk, our friend Jack up the road, we arrived at the first suburb tea-gardens, which he, for his part, passes with disdain; not our friend, John Smith, be it observed, for his philosophy is as universal as his name; but Jack Smith,

our friend of the new hat and boots. And yet he will be a philosopher, too, by-and-by; and his boots shall help him to philosophize; but all in good time.

Meanwhile, we who are old enough to consult our inclination in preference to our grandeur, turn into the tea-gardens, where there is no tea going forward, and not much garden; but worlds of beer, and tobacco-pipes, and alcoves; and in a corner behind some palings there is (we fear) a sound of skittles. May no clergyman hear it, who is twisting his thumbs, or listening to the ring of his wine-glasses. How hot the people look! how unpinned the goodly old dames! how tired, yet untired, the children! and how each alcove opens upon you as you pass, with its talk, smoke, beer and bad paint! Then what a feast to their eyes is the grass-plat! Truly, without well knowing it, do they sit down almost as much to the enjoyment of that green table of Nature's in the midst of them, as to their tobacco and "half-andhalf." It is something which they do not see all the rest of the week; the first bit of grass, of any size, which they come to from home; and here they stop and are content. For our parts, we wish they would go further, as Smith does, and get fairly out in the fields; but they will do that, as they get freer, and wiser, and more comfortable, and learn to know and love what the wild-flowers have to say-to them. At present how should they be able to hear those small angelical voices, when their ears are ringing with stocking-frames and crying children, and they are but too happy in their tired-heartedness to get to the first bit of holiday ground they can reach?

*We come away, and mingle with the crowds re-
turning home, among whom we recognise our friend
of the twisted cane, and his lass; who looks the red-
dest, proudest, and most assured of maid-servants,
and sometimes "snubs" him a little, out loud, to
show her power; though she loves every blink of his
eye.
Yonder is a multitude collected round a ine-
thodist preacher, whom they think far "behind his
age," extremely ignorant of yesterday's unstamped,
but “well-meaning," a "poor mistaken fellow, sir:"
and they will not have him hustled by the police.
Lord X should hear what they say. It might put

an idea in his head.

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STAGE

From the time when the rising sun throws its rays upon the cross and dome of the majestic cathedral of St Paul, to the bustling hour of mid-day, there is a

constant influx of human life from the suburbs to

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Map of ten miles round London." The greater

part of these persons are pedestrians-some take an
omnibus, some the regular stage, some are in gigs,
some on horseback, and a few in their own carriages;
hackney cabs are never used, unless an individual has
cverslept himself in consequence of a previous night's
carousal, and then endeavours to redeem the time by
the help of four extra feet.

Beloved Lector, it is not so." The same road, trodden every day at the same hour a thousand times, will, on the thousand and first time, be found interesting and entertaining.

ing the window, that his appearance excites as little emotion as the opposite houses. Yet, if it be your desire, you may make him a "peg whereon to hang a tail" of observations and reflections. Remark the day he wears some new garment; if it be a dirty morning, does he not pick his steps with greater nicety? Does he wear a more thoughtful or a more gay countenance than usual? Speculate in your mind as to what may have been its cause.

In the first place, rising from the table after breakfast, you walk to the window to see what tone of countenance the weather bears. At that moment you see a precise old gentleman, rather stout, walking with a regular pace, which neither betokens hurry nor loitering; if there is the least chance of rain, he carries an umbrella under his arm-if fine weather, a stick of rather knotty wood, with a head like a vulture's beak, worn white and smooth by constant use. You have become so accustomed to his figure pass

When you get into the road, the accustomed omnibus passes with the same, or nearly the same, passengers; but this vehicle is not so favourable for observation as the regular stage-the driver of which you may almost claim acquaintance with. A constant passenger occupies the half of the coach-box, who considers he has an acknowledged right to the seat, and would be as greatly surprised at anyone taking possession of it, as at a stranger entering his house unbidden. Should you be caught by a sudden shower, you perhaps take the stage or omnibus. Upon entering it, you are almost looked upon as an intruder, not being a regular passenger.

You may further take notice of the different shops which are open, or opening, as you pass, how the

I have now in my eye those persons who tread and retread the same path, day after day, month after month and year after year-and to whom everything on the way is as familiar as the alphabet. I will suppose display of goods in the windows varies with the myself to be one of the pedestrians; that my residence is between two and three miles of the Exchange, near which is my office of business; that my way is a well-frequented road; that I am punctual to my time in setting out; and that I have gone in the morning to the city, and returned from thence in the evening every day, Sundays excepted, for a dozen years or so; and, moreover, that having found the nearest way between the two points, by sundry experimental journeys at first, I have always kept to that one road. One would be apt to say, that the monotony of such a course was fatiguing, and its familiarity wearisome.

season, taste, or fashion; or as some particular holiday or festival comes round that affects the trade, how every appropriate article is blandished forth to A newly opened shop is a redtempt a purchaser. letter observation-you watch the rise and progress, or decline and fall of the successful or unsuccessful tradesman on your route, as if you had an interest in the concern. On the first appearance of a bill in a window_" This house to let," you naturally give it a more particularly inquiring look, to ascertain the motive for removal, or to see the commencement of

in company, or in an out-of-the-way quarter, you are quite puzzled to think where you have seen the face before. You feel confident that you have seen it; but whether as an old acquaintance, a stage-coach companion, or how else, you cannot determine. You are annoyed, too, lest you should, unintentionally, have cut an old crony, or been guilty of a breach of good manners, or good feeling. Oftimes you cannot unravel the mystery till you again meet him at the accustomed spot on the daily peregrination. May not the same perplexity have occupied his mind with regard to yourself, which is likewise at the same moment explained?

the packing-up operations. As quarter-day approaches you are sure to observe some indications of a bustle-like the hum of the bees in the hive before

they swarm-and on the day itself, at a good distance, you catch sight of the half-loaded waggon,-chairs, tables, stools, and other articles of furniture lying about the pavement before the door, interspersed with straw, ropes, and rush matting. Having seen the departure of a tenant, you cast your eye on the house every morning to see if it be let, of which you have token by the removal of the bill. The new tenant also undergoes your scrutiny, and for a few mornings you give them a passing glance, to see if they appear comfortable in their new abode, and what kind of people they are.

There are also certain regular servant-maids, which

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you take note of, on their knees (not at their devo-
tions, but) "washing the door," as they say, but pro-
perly, the pavement before the door. By the by, I
may mention that an Esculapian friend of mine in-
formed me, that a large portion of the inmates of the
Metropolitan hospitals were servants with ulcerated
knees, which had been caused by continually kneel-
ng on stones and boards, to wash and scrub them.
Is there no remedy, or rather preventive, for this?

At the dirtiest crossing on your road, you usually give the sweeper a few halfpence on dirty days, and he or she is most likely a character. These mendiA cants, with "characters," always come best off. common-place beggar, I should think, sel dom gets much, at least in comparison with one who has a "character." Crossing-sweepers perplex one's eleemosinary faculties: one cannot bestow largess upon them all, and it is difficult to say who is the most deserving. I moreover feel as if I had no right to walk upon the swept part, unless I give something, and am sometimes inclined rather to walk in the mud. Although the sweeper depends on the casual bounty of passers by, and has no legal right to a tollthe trouble he bestows in keeping a passage clean appears to give him a shadow of a moral right, and I have an idea of trespass when I avail myself of the convenience without paying the price.

In the course of your daily route, there is sure to be some pimple on the fair face of nature, some blotch on the countenance of art, which acts as a

with the profound feeling of it in Timon, and also
with the soldier-like and determined resentment of
Alcibiades against his countrymen, who have ban-
ished him, though this forms only an incidental epi-
sode in the tragedy.

continual eye-sore to you. Some wrong spelt name
in a sign board-something out of the perpendicular-
some two lines not parallel, which ought to be so-
some building with wings, which are not equal-or
else some awkwardly divided name and trade over a
FISH Monger"
double shop front (such as " Cheese·
"Green. WHITE Grocer" “Carpenter and
- MERRY- Undertaker.") But the greatest of all
"house in chancery "-There it stands,
eye-sores is a
dull, dirty, and dilapidated; the windows broken
and the stones which have been thrown at them rest-
ing on the sills-the foundation rotten, and the roof
broken in it stands like a corpse among the living.

-

I have but touched upon what has occurred to me as most likely to be observable in every walk, as there are, of course, particular things peculiar to every locality, and remarkable to each individual.

BOOKWORM. Our correspondent has written to us to correct two errors of the press in his last communication. Purrititi should be Parritch; and Calestes ambo, Calebes ambo (Bachelors both, not Cælestials). The latter mistake was the Editor's, who could not see through a certain blot which happened to be upon the word, and thought that the designation might possibly refer to some jovial membership of a club, or some such thing, in which people take high-flying appellations from the exaltation of their animal spirits.

BY WILLIAM HAZLITT.

CHARACTERS OF SHAKSPEARE'S
PLAYS.

The fable consists of a single event;-of the transition from the highest pomp and profusion of artificial refinement to the most abject state of savage life, and privation of all social intercourse. The change is as rapid as it is complete; nor is the description of the rich and generous Timon, banquetting in gilded palaces, pampered by every luxury, prodigal of his hospitality, courted by crowds of flatterers, poets, painters, lords, ladies, who—

"Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear;
And through him drink the free air "—

more striking than that of the sudden falling off of
his friends and fortune, and his naked exposure in a
wild forest digging roots from the earth for his sus-
tenance, with a lofty spirit of self-denial, and bitter
scorn of the world, which raise him higher in our
esteem than the dazzling gloss of prosperity could do.
He grudges himself the means of life, and is only
busy in preparing his grave. How forcibly is the
difference between what he was, and what he is des-
cribed in Apemantus's taunting questions, when he
comes to reproach him with the change in his way of
life!-

"What, think'st thou,

That the bleak air, thy boisterous chamberlain,
Will put thy shirt on warm? will these moist trees
That have out-liv'd the eagle, page thy heels,
And skip when thou point'st out? will the cold
brook,

Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste
To cure thy o'er-night's surfeit? Call the creatures,
Whose naked natures live in all the spight
Of wreakful heav'n, whose bare unhoused trunks,
To the conflicting elements expos'd,
Answer mere nature, bid them flatter thee."

The manners are everywhere preserved with distinct truth. The poet and painter are very skilfully played off against one another, both affecting great attention to the other, and each taken up with his own vanity, and the superiority of his own art. Shakspeare has put into the mouth of the former a very lively description of the genius of poetry and of his own in particular:

"A thing slipt idly from me.
Our poesy is as a gum, which issues
From whence 'tis nourish'd. The fire i' th' flint
Shows not till it be struck: our gentle flame
Provokes itself and like the current flies
Each bound it chafes."

The hollow friendship and shuffling evasions of the Athenian lords, their smooth professions and pitiful ingratitude, are very satisfactorily exposed, as well as the different disguises to which the meanness of self

19

love resorts in such cases to hide a want of generosity
and good faith. The lurking selfishness of Apeman-
tus does not pass undetected amidst the grossness of
his sarcasms and his contempt for the pretensions of
others. Even the two courtezans who accompany
Alcibiades to the cave of Timon are very character-
istically sketched; and the thieves who come to
visit him are also "true men
in their way.-
An exception to this general picture of selfish de-
pravity is found in the old and honest steward, Fla-
vius, to whom Timon pays a full tribute of tender-
ness. Shakspeare was unwilling to draw a picture
"all over ugly with hypocrisy." He owed this charac-
ter to the good-natured solicitations of his Muse.
His mind was well said by Ben Jonson to be the
"sphere of humanity."

-

NO. X.-TIMON OF ATHENS.

TIMON OF ATHENS' always appeared to us to be writ-
ten with as intense a feeling of his subject as any one
play of Shakspeare. It is one of the few in which
he seems to be in earnest throughout, never to trifle
nor go out of his way. He does not relax in his
efforts, nor lose sight of the unity of his design. It
is the only play of our author in which spleen is the
predominant feeling of the mind. It is as much a
satire as a play: and contains some of the finest
pieces of invective possible to be conceived, both in
the snarling, captious answers of the cynic Apeman-
tus, and in the impassioned and more terrible im-
precations of Timon. The latter remind the classical
reader of the force and swelling impetuosity of the The moral sententiousness of this play equals that
moral declamations in 'Juvenal,' while the former have of Lord Bacon's Treatise on the Wisdom of the
all the keenness and caustic severity of the old stoic Ancients,' and is indeed scasoned with greater va-
philosophers. The soul of Diogenes appears to have riety. Every topic of contempt or indignation is
been seated on the lips of Apemantus. The churlish here exhausted; but while the sordid licentiousness
profession of misanthropy in the cynic is contrasted of Apemantus, which turns everything to gall and

bitterness, shows only the natural virulence of his temper and antipathy to good or evil alike, Timon does not utter an imprecation without betraying the extravagant workings of disappointed passion, of love altered to hate. Apemantus sees nothing good in any object, and exaggerates whatever is disgusting: Timon is tormented with the perpetual contrast between things and appearances, between the fresh, tempting outside and the rottenness within, and invokes mischiefs on the heads of mankind proportioned to the sense of his wrongs and of their treacheries. He impatiently cries out, when he finds the gold,

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One of his most dreadful imprecations is that
Which occurs immediately on his leaving Athens:

"Let me look back upon thee, O thou wall,
That girdlest in those wolves! Dive in the earth,
And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent;
Obedience, fail in children; slaves and fools,
Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench,”
And minister in their steads. To general filths
Convert o' th' instant green virginity!

Do't in your parents' eyes. Bankrupts, hold fast;
knives,
Rather than render back, out with your
And cut your trusters' throats! Bound servants,
steal :

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Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,
And pill by law. Maid, to thy master's bed:
Thy mistress is i' th' brothel. Son of sixteen,
Pluck the lin'd crutch from thy old limping sire,
And with it beat his brains out! Fear and piety,
Religion to the Gods, peace, justice, truth,
Domestic awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood,
Instructions, manners, mysteries and trades,
Degrecs bse vances, customs and laws,
Decline to your confounding contraries;
And let confusion live!-Plagues, incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap
On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners! Lust and liberty,
Creep in the minds and manners of our youth,
That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains,
Sow all th' Athenian bosoms; and their crop
Be general leprosy breath, infect breath,
That their society (as their friendship) may
Be merely poison !"

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Apemantus, it is said, "loved few things better than to abhor himself." This is not the case with Timon, who neither loves to abhor himself nor others. All his vehement misanthropy is forced, uphill work. From the slippery turns of fortune, from the turmoils of passion and adversity, he wishes to sink into the quiet of the grave. On that subject

his thoughts are intent, on that he finds time and
place to grow romantic. He digs his own grave by
the sea-shore, contrives his funeral ceremonies
amidst the pomp and desolation, and builds his mau-
soleum of the elements:-
1

"Come not to me again; but say to Athens,

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