صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

But I've always been told,

With respect to the gold,
For which she herjewel eternal' had sold,

That the old Harridan,

Who, no doubt, knew her man,
Made some compromise-hit upon some sort of plan,
By which Friar and Ghost were both equally pinn'd-
Heaven only knows how the · Agreement got wind ;-

But its purport was this,

That the things done amiss
By the Hag should not hinder her ultimate bliss;

Provided—Imprimis,

The cash from this time is
The Church's—impounded for good pious uses-
-Father B. shall dispose of it just as he chooses,

And act as trustee

In the meantime, that She,
The said Ghostess,-or Ghost, as the matter may be,-
From“ impediment," "hindrance," and "let" shall be free,
To sleep in her grave, or to wander, as he,
The said Friar, with said Ghost may hereafter agree.-

Moreover-The whole

Of the said cash, or “cole,"
Shall be spent for the good of said Old Woman's soul !
• It is farther agreed—while said cash is so spending,
Said Ghost shall be fully absolved from attending,

And shall quiet remain

In the grave, her domain, To have, and enjoy, and uphold, and maintain, Without molestation, or trouble, or pain, Hindrance, let, or impediment, (over again) From Old Nick, or from any one else of his train, Whether Pow'r,-Domination,-or Princedom,-or Throne, * Or by what name soever the same may be known, Howsoe'er called by Poets, or styled by Divines,Himself,—his executors, heirs, and assigns. *Provided that, nevertheless, notwithstanding All herein contained,-if whoever's a hand in Dispensing said cash, or said “cole,” shall dare venture To misapply money, note, bill, or debenture, To uses not named in this present Indenture, Then that such sum or sums shall revert, and come home again Back to said Ghost, who thenceforward shall roam again, Until such time or times as the said Ghost produces Some good man and true, who no longer refuses To put sum or sums aforesaid to said uses; Which duly performed, the said Ghost shall have rest, The full term of her natural death, of the best,

* Thrones! Dominations ! Princedoms! Virtues ! Powers !

MILTON.

Basil now,

In consideration of this, her bequest,
In manner and form aforesaid, as exprest :
In witness wherof, we, the parties aforesaid,
Hereunto set our hands and our seals-and no more said,
Being all that these presents intend to express,
Whereas-nowithstanding-and nevertheless.-
Sign'd, sealed, and deliver'd this 20th of May,
Anno Domini blank, (though I've mentioned the day,)
(Signed)

Basil.
OLD WOMAN (late) CLOTHED IN GREY.

I am told,
Walking off with the gold,
Went and straight got the document duly enrolld,
And left the testatrix to mildew and mould
In her sepulchre, cosey, cool,—not to say cold.
But somehow—though how I can hardly divine,-

A runlet of fine

Rich Malvoisie wine
Found its way to the Convent that night before nine,
With custards, and 'flawns,' and a 'fayre florentine,'
Peach, apricot, nectarine, melon, and pine;
And some half a score nuns of the rule Bridgetine,
Abbess and all, were invited to dine
At a very late hour, that is after Compline.
Father Hilary's rubies began soon to shine
With fresh lustre, as though newly dug from the mine ;

Through all the next year,

Indeed, 'twould appear
That the Convent was much better off as to cheer.
Even Basil himself, as I very much fear,
No longer addicted himself to small beer;

His complexion grew clear,

While in front and in rear
He enlarged so, his shape seem'd approaching a sphere.
No wonder at all, then, one cold winter's night,
That a servant girl going down stairs with a light
To the cellar we've spoken of, saw with affright
An Old Woman, astride on a barrel, invite
Her to take, in a manner extremely polite,
With her left hand, a bag she had got in her right;
For tradition asserts that the Old Woman's purse
Had come back to her scarcely one penny the worse !

The girl, as they say,

Ran screaming away,
Quite scared by the Old Woman clothed in grey ;
But there came down a Knight at no distant a day,

Sprightly and gay

As the bird on the spray, One Sir Rufus Mountfardington, Lord of Foot's-cray, Whose estate, not unlike those of most of our 'Swellbeaux, Was what's, by a metaphor, term'd out at elbows;'

[ocr errors]

And the fact was, said Knight was now merely delay'd
From crossing the water to join the Crusade
For converting the Pagans with bill, bow, and blade,
By the want of a little pecuniary aid
To buy arms and horses, the tools of his trade,
And enable his troop to appear on parade ;

The unquiet Shade

Thought Sir Rufus, 'tis said,
Just the man for her money,—she readily paid
For the articles named, and with pleasure convey'd
To his hands every farthing she ever had made ;

But alas! I'm afraid

Most unwisely she laid
Out her cash–the beaux yeux of a Saracen maid
(Truth compels me to say a most pestilent jade)
Converted the gallant converter--betray'd
Him to do everything which a Knight could degrade,
E'en to worship Mahound !-she required—he obey'd
The consequence was, all the money was wasted
On Infidel pleasures he should not have tasted;
So that, after a very short respite, the Hag
Was seen down in her cellar again with her bag.
Don't fancy, dear Reader, I mean to go on
Seriatim through so many ages by-gone,

And to bore you with names

Of the Squires and the Dames
Who have managed at times to get hold of the sack,
But spent the cash so that it always came back;

The list is too long

To be giv'n in my song,
There are reasons beside would perhaps make it wrong;
I shall merely observe, in those orthodox days,
When Mary set Smithfield all o'er in a blaze,

And show'd herself very se

-vere against heresy, While many a wretch scorned to flinch, or to scream, as he Burnt for denying the Papal supremacy,

Bishop Bonner the bag got,

And all thought the hag got
Releas'd, as he spent all in fuel and faggot.

But somehow—though how
I can't tell

you,

I vow-
I suppose by mismanagement-ere the next reign
The Spectre had got all her money again.

The last time, I'm told,

That the Old Woman's gold
Was obtain'd, -as before, for the asking,—'twas had
By a Mr. O'Something from Ballinafad ;
And the whole of it, so 'tis reported, was sent
To John Wright's, in account for the Catholic Rent,
And so, like a great deal more money--' it went !

[ocr errors]

So 'tis said at Maynooth,

But I can't think it's truth;
Though I know it was boldly asserted last season,
Still I can not believe it; and that for this reason,
It's certain the cash has got back to its owner !
Now no part of the Rent to do so e'er was known, or
In any shape ever come home to the donor.
GENTLE READER !—you must know the proverb, I think-
To a blind horse a Nod is as good as a Wink!'

Which some learned chap,

In a square College cap,
Perhaps, would translate by the words Verbum Sap. !'

Now should it so chance

That you're going to France
In the course of this Spring-we're already in May--

Do pull up, and stay,

Pray,

If but for a day,
At Dover, through which you must pass on your way,
At the York,--or the Ship--where, as all people say,
You'll get good wine yourself, and your horses good hay,
Perhaps, my good friend, you may find it will pay,
And you cannot lose much by so short a delay.

First Dine !-you can do

That on joint or ragoût-
Then say to the waiter,— I'm just passing through,
Pray, where can I find out the old Maison Dieu ?'
He'll show you the street-(the French call it a Rue,
But you won't have to give here a petit ecu).
Well, when you've got there, never mind how you're taunted,
Ask boldly, Pray, which is the house that is haunted ?'
-I'd tell you myself

, but I can't recollect
The proprietor's name; but he's one of that sect
Who call themselves Friends, and whom others call 'Quakers,'--
You'll be sure to find out if you ask at the baker's,–

Then go down with a light

To the cellar at night,
And as soon as you see her don't be in a fright,

But ask the old Hag

At once, for the bag!
If
you

find that she's shy, or your senses would dazzle,
Say, Ma'am, I insist !-in the name of St. Basil!'

If she gives it you, seize

It, and do as you please-
But there is not a person I've ask'd but agrees,
You should spend-part at least--for the Old Woman's ease.
For the rest--if it must go back some day-why, let it!
Meanwhile, if you're poor, and in love, or in debt, it
May do you some good, and,
I WISH YOU MAY GET IT !!!

Thos. INGOLDSBY.

THE LONJA OF SEVILLE.

BY THE HON. R. DUNDAS MURRAY (ELIBANK.)

The Lonja, or Exchange of Seville, though boasting of no high antiquity, ranks not the least among the many relics of art to be met with in every quarter of that time-honoured city. Its site is but a few paces distant from the cathedral; so close, indeed, that the lofty outlines of the latter overshadow its own severer proportions, and render them less striking than they really are. Still, in spite of this disadvantage, it tells, , with an air of noble simplicity, of the far-reaching hopes of its founders. It was here that the discoveries of Columbus were to be turned to account; here the wealth of the Indies' was to be stored up, and to be parted among the merchants from strange lands who were to resort hither, and be witnesses to the fame and greatness of the Spanish Empire. Happily for such views, it was the fortune of Spain to possess an architect every way capable of doing justice to them. The Lonja is the work of Juan de Herrera, one of the most accomplished men of his times, and no mean proficient in his art, as the Escurial, and many other edifices, may testify. His favourite style, the Italian, which indeed he was the first to introduce into his native country, is that in which he has chosen to rear this building, unquestionably one of the best specimens of his genius. Its shape is that of a massive square, the design of which approaches almost to plainness, there being neither columns, nor other architectural details, to clothe or otherwise ornament the exterior. On each of its four sides a lower and upper tier of windows stretch away in long lines; and, as if the light they admitted was alone worthy of the distinction; around these its channels are some ornaments gathered, though with a sparing hand. Scanty as they are, however, they serve to relieve the general air which everywhere else is that of quiet and solid strength.

Passing into the interior, we find ourselves in a spacious court, the solitary fountain in the centre of which yet murmurs as it used to do in the days of Philip the Second. Round the court runs an arcade, supported by square pillars, and especially devised as a shelter against inclement weather. Not that inclement weather includes only the severities of winter; on the contrary, the dog-days in Seville are far more inclement, certainly far less tolerable than the heavy winter rains; and it seems, therefore, that to both of these evils the architect addressed himself when he constructed so choice a retreat as this, where hundreds might assemble without incommoding each other, and at the same time be secured from the extremes of either season.

From the basement story a wide staircase leads to a suite of apartments above. As we ascend we find ourselves in the midst of a wealth and luxury seen in no other part of the edifice. The broad steps underfoot, the heavy balustrades—which from the easiness of the ascent seldom feel the weight of a hand, are all of beautiful red marble, brought from the Sierra de Moron. Even the walls, to the height of some feet from the

39

VOL. VII.

« السابقةمتابعة »