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his dandyism. From all those stores, small and great, nothing but that solitary and sorry impression would he receive.
Of all the countries that produced his furniture, all the trades that helped to make it, all the arts that went to adorn it, all the materials of which it was composed, and the innumerable images of men, lands, faculties, substances, elements, and interesting phenomena of all sorts to which the knowledge might give rise, he would know nothing.
the same hope, the same love, the same faith in the beauty
The reader will not be troubled in future with personal
Of his books he would know nothing, except that they were bound, and that they caust a great deal. Of his gardens he would know nothing, except that they were" tedious," and that he occasionally had a pink out of them to put in his button-hole-provided it was the fashion. Otherwise pinks are " vulgar." Nature's and God's fashion is nothing.
Of his hat and his coat it might be thought he must know something; but he would not, except as far as we have stated;--unless, indeed, his faculties might possibly attain to the knowledge of a "fit" or a "set," and then he would not know it with a grace. The knowledge of a good thing, even in the least matters, is not for a person so poorly educated-so worse than left to grow up in an ignorance unsophisticate. Of the creatures that furnished the materials of his hat and
coat,—the curious, handicraft beaver, the spinster silkworm, the sheep in the meadows (except as mutton), nothing would he know, or care, or receive the least pleasurable thought from. In the mind that constitutes his man-in the amount of his existence-terribly vacant are the regions-bald places in the map-desarts without even the excitement of a storm. Nothing lives there but himself-a suit of clothes in a solitudeemptiness in emptiness.
Contrast a being of this fashion (after all allowance for caricature) with one who has none of his deformities, but with a stock of ideas such as the other wants. Suppose him poor, even struggling, but not unhappy; or if not without unhappiness, yet not without relief, and unacquainted with the desperation of the other's ennui. Such a man, when he wants recreation for his thoughts, can make them flow from all the objects, or the ideas of those objects, which furnish nothing to the other. The commonest goods and chattels are pregnant to him as fairy tales, or things in a pantomime. His hat, like Fortunatus's Wishing Cap, carries him into the American solitudes among the beavers, where he sits in thought, looking at them during their work, and hearing the majestic whispers in the trees, or the falls of the old trunks that are everlastingly breaking the silence in those wildernesses. His coat shall carry him, in ten minutes, through all the scenes of pastoral life and mechanical, the quiet fields, the sheep-shearing, the feasting, the love-making, the downs of Dorsetshire and the streets of Birmingham, where if he meet with pain in his sympathy, he also, in his knowledge, finds reason for hope and encouragement, and for giving his manly assistance to the common good. The very tooth-pick of the dandy, should this man, or any man like him meet with it, poor or rich, shall suggest to him, if he pleases, a hundred agreeable thoughts of foreign lands, and elegance and amusement, - of tortoises and books of travels, and the comb in his mistress's hair, and the elephants that carry sultans, and the real silver mines of Potosi, with all the wonders of South American history, and the starry cross in its sky; so that the smallest key shall pick the lock of the greatest treasures; and that which in the hands of the possessor was only a poor instrument of affectation, and the very emblem of indifference and stupidity, shall open to the knowing man a universe.
We must not pursue the subject further this week, or trust our eyes at the smallest objects around us, which, from long and loving contemplation, have enabled us to report their riches. We have been at this work now, off and on, man and boy, (for we began essay-writing while in our teens,) for upwards of thirty years; and excepting znat, we would fain have done far more, and that experience and suffering have long restored to us the natural kindliness of boyhood, and put an end to a belief in the right or utility of severer views of any thing or person, we feel the same as we have done throughout; and we have
FIRST WEEK IN APRIL.
So extraordinary has been the winter, and full of all vernal anticipation, that it is impossible to expect, as a matter of course, any of the usual coincidences of the season. In the first week of April, swallows may generally be looked for in the south of England, and the Cuckoo and Nightingale may be neard; but we are not sure, that before this paragraph be read, they will not have become guests of long standing. At all events, we are not so likely, as in some seasons, to be too early for them with our notice. The horse- chesnut is already leafing the fruit-trees have blossomed; flies have been in the houses the whole winter; cowslips, we suppose, have thickened the beauteous carpets of the meadows; the sun is warm on the back of the pedestrian. Every thing, therefore, by day, is ready for the swallow and the cuckoo; and, as to the nightingale, if the nights are still cool, that is no objection with him. His glowing nature seems to love a little cold round about him ; from the midst of which his serenade rises with the intenser and therefore the graver joy.
So many quotations have been made in the periodical works from the pages of White of Selborne and others,
that we reckon it a piece of good fortune to be able to commence our extracts on these subjects with passages out of a new author, who has a real genius for them. The following notices of the swallows are from the work just published, entitled The Feathered Tribe of Britain, written by Mr. Mudie, an original and earnest observer, whom Nature, as is customary with her, has rewarded for his genuine passion, by making it eloquent. Mr. Mudie's pen is one of the most alive we ever met with. The birds rustle, and dart, and sing, and rend in his pages; and the eagle strains his prey with a truly sovereign foot. The passages here quoted, though very good, are by no means among his best. The reader may, therefore, judge how excellent the latter must be.
"Swallows perform their principal moult in warmer countries about the month of February, appear in plumage in the north of England about the first of April, and proceed northward, colouring as they fly, along all the places that are adapted to their habits, till about the end of the month they appear in the extreme north of
"Swallows are delightful little creatures, not only as they come from a far country, the harbingers of the blooming season; but on account of their industry, the celerity of their motions, and the perfect confidence in which they carry on all their operations.
"The most lovely scenes would lose much of their summer interest, if it were not for the presence and lively motions of the swallow. The banks of rivers and the margins of small lakes, are at all times delightful places for quiet contemplation, and for agreeable walks, when the sultry day draws near to a close, or on those stilly and transparent days which immediately precede rain. But there is an excess of repose about
them which would soon become monotonous and heavy, except for the evolutions of the swallows, now shooting into mid air, now skimming the surface of the water, and sipping or laving its plumage, as it speeds along, alternately with darting wing and with dart-like glide. Then, when we think of the myriads of gnats and flies which the teeming waters are constantly giving to the air, to sport (and sting) for their few hours, deposit their eggs, and die, making the shores and shallows, which are inaccessible even by the minnow, rank with their innumerable carcases, we feel how much the swallow contributes to keep sweet and clean those waters over which it glides, quaffing or bathing the while. The air is so still, that we hear the repeated strokes of its bill as it captures those insects which, to our sight, are viewless.
"The Swift is the garreteer of nature; not that it inhabits the highest grounds (for the very altitude of its place presupposes productiveness in its locality), but above every other creature. where it is found, it spends its time and finds its food Its place of habitation corresponds; for the highest crevices in steeples, towers, and jutting rocks that rise to a considerable altitude, amid fertile places, are the habitations of the swift, and its instinct leads it to adapt the structure of its nest to the elements.
"In dry weather the swifts hawk only towards morning and evening, flying lower down than when the air is different, and occasionally skimming the surface of the pools, and sipping and laving themselves as they dash along. At these times too, they are sportless and silent, and if the drought is of longer continuance, they seem fatigued; but when the upper air relents, they fly high, appear all day on the wing, accumulate in unwonted numbers, gliding, dashing, wheeling, playing numerous antics, screeching to each other, and apparently acquiring more energy the longer they are on the wing. These sportive dashings in the upper air become more numerous and energetic as the time of their departure approaches, as then their care of their broods has ceased, and they have only their own food to find each for itself. The solstitial showers generally give them a farewell feast; and at that time they may be seen on the wing for sixteen hours in the day without once alighting to rest. Their sight has, by experiment, been found to be so very acute, that from a distance of 400 feet, they can discern an object not more than half an inch in diameter, and how much less than that s not known. The same motive of exertion which they often perform in this country without any apparent rest, would suffice to carry them across the widest sea or desert that is in their way, or even from England to Africa in the course of one flight."
Almost every body is now intimate with certain poetical passages about the cuckoo, and with Mr. Wordsworth's beautiful expression, "a wandering voice," so characteristic of what every body has felt who has heard this mysterious bird, now here and now there in the hedges, playing his hiding flute. In our wish therefore not to repeat what has been said so often, and not to hunt for new poetical passages where they do not happen to present themselves at once to the memory, we shall give another extract from Mr. Mudie's book :
"Why the people of Scotland should have chosen their name for the cuckoo (gowk) as a synonyme for a fool, it is not easy to say, for there is more cunning about the
The one I particularly allude to in Theocritus, is in bis Epigrams, I think in the fourth. Dryden has transferred the word merry to the goldfinch, in the Flower and the Leaf, in deference, may be, to the vulgar error; but pray read his description of the nightingale there it is quite delightful. I am afraid that I like these researches as much better than those that relate to Shaftsbury, Sunderland, &c., as I do those better than attending the House of Commons. "Your's affectionately,
"C. J. Fox." How pleasant it is to be enjoying this good-natured statesman's company, long after his death!
As to the question, however, respecting the mirth or melancholy of the nightingale, which he has here somewhat hastily discussed, and which of late years is supposed to have been settled in favour of the gayer side by some fine lines of Mr. Coleridge, it surely resolves itself into a simple matter of association of ideas, and those modified by the hour at which the nightingale is chiefly heard. The word merry, in Chaucer's time, as quoted by Mr. Fox, had not the specific meaning here implied by it, but signified something alive and vigorous after its kind; as in the instance of "merry men," in the old ballads, and "merry England;" which did not mean a nation or set of men always laughing and enjoying themselves, but in good hearty condition; a state of manhood befitting men. This point is determined beyond
a doubt by Chaucer's application of the word to the organ, as the "merry organ,"-meaning the church organ, which, surely, however noble and organic, is not merry in the modern sense of the word.
cuckoo than about most birds, though its history, notwithstanding all that has been seen and imagined, and printed, and spoken, about it, is still as obscure as it is singular.
"Every body has heard the note of the cuckoo, or the imitation of it by a Dutch clock, though domesticated in the most birdless part of the city; and in the summer, it is difficult to be in any part of the country without hearing the cuckoo, and even seeing the bird as it flies hurriedly, and to all appearance heavily, from one tree to another, with generally a few of the smaller birds in its train.
The bird has something the air of the hawk, but none of the powers, and it does not seem to have much of the disposition. Its food is insects and their larvæ, especially the larvæ or caterpillars of the lepidoptera; and, as many of these are highly injurious to trees, it is probable that the cuckoo is of great service, as it is with us at the very seasons when, if not thinned, these caterpillars would commit their depredations. It beats for its food in the trees, and it is probable that its peculiar feet, its long wings and great tail, and its soft plumage, enable it to hunt among the leaves, especially on the under sides of them, in places which the smaller insect-hunting birds cannot reach.
Considering the general distribution and the numbers of cuckoos, the eggs and young have been very seldom seen, probably not one to a million of the birds. When found, it has always been in the nests of other birds, at least in all those of the recorded instances that are received as properly authenticated; and little birds, pipets and others, have been observed most industriously feeding cuckoos, after these had acquired their young or hair-brown plumage, and could fly. But before the habit can be considered as general, there must be numbers of young observed, bearing some nearer proportion to the abundance of the old birds, than have yet been found, although the cases that are recorded appear to be too many to be considered accidental; and the accident, too, is of a kind that rarely happens in the case of any other wild birds—that is, birds in a state of nature. The disproval of the old theory, that the bones of the under part of the female
cuckoo were such that it could not hatch, throws at least
a doubt on the universality of the habit, which would demand some additional proor on the other side, more than three or four isolated cases in the season; and that is, perhaps, nearly the usual number of young cuckoos that are seen in the nest.
"Still, we may safely conclude that the absolvement of the cuckoo from nest-building and rearing young, which are the severest labours of other birds, is meant to answer, and does answer, some very important purpose in the economy of nature; and that purpose can be accomplished only by employing in some other way that portion of time in the cuckoo, which, in other birds, is devoted to nidification and nursing. That is the grand point to be ascertained: it can be ascertained only by observation of the most careful nature; and till it is ascertained, the history of the cuckoo, unquestionably the most curious bird that visits the island, Dust remain imperfect and mysterious; as such, we shall not enter further upon it. Conjectures, in any quantity, may be had in the books."
The whole matter we conceive to be this. The notes of
the nightingale, generally speaking, are not melancholy in themselves, but melancholy from an association with night-time, and the grave reflexions which the hour naturally produces. They may be said to be melancholy also in the finer sense of the word (such as Milton uses it in his Pensieroso), inasmuch as they express the utmost intensity of vocal beauty and delight; for the last excessive feelings of delight are always grave. Levity does not do them honour enough, nor sufficiently acknowledge the appeal they make to that finiteness of our nature which they force unconsciously upon a sense of itself, and upon a secret feeling of our capabilities of happiness compared with the brevity of it.
Are not the birth-days of eminent men, and all other anniversaries, previous to the alteration of the old style,
marked wrong in the calendars? We fear so. At all events, till we are shewn to be wrong in the opinion, we must act upon it in what we have to date and to state on these points, and, accordingly (to begin with a pleasant name), instead of making Ovid to have been born on the 20th of March, we put his nativity twelve
On the subject of the nightingale we think we can
not please the reader better just now, than with giving days forward, and make a welcome gift of him to
a letter written by Mr Fox to the present minister, Lord Grey. It is the more agreeable, inasmuch as it lets us into the privacies of these public men, and shews us how like they are to other men, and to very amiable ones too. The conclusion is particularly pleasant. Mr. Fox was, indeed, a man of such a genial nature, that there is reason to believe that his ascendancy over his friends and his disciples was quite as much owing to it, as to his sense and eloquence; and reasonably; for as social happiness, the kindly intercouse between man and man, is the only end of all politics and statistics, however deep, a man like this exhibits the means and the end together in his own instance, and so leaves no sort of convincing omitted.— But to the letter.
April 1st.-Ovid born. So that the April Fools have not all the days to themselves. His birth dates fortythree years before the Christian era at Salmo, now Salmone in the modern Neapolitan territory of Abrazzo. He was the son of a Roman knight, had an easy fortune, and (to use a modern phrase) was one of the gayest and most popular men about town in Rome for nearly thirty years; till, owing to some mysterious offence given to the court of Augustus, which still forms one of the puzzles of biography, he was suddenly torn from house and home, without the least previous intimation, aud in the middle of the night, and sent to a remote and wintry place of exile on the banks of the Danube. Ovid was a good-natured man, tall and slender, with more affections than the levity of his poetical gallantry might lead us to suppose. His gallantries are worth little, and have little effect; but his Metamorphoses are a store-house of beautiful Greek pictures, and tend to keep alive in grown people the feelings of their boyhood.
A health to Ovid, readers of the London Journal: for immortal men never die. We must speak of them as they still exist among us, and not of their memories.
In defence of my opinion about the Nightingale, I find that Chaucer, who of all poets seems to have been the fondest of the singing of birds, calls it a merry note; and though Theocritus mentions nightingales six or seven times, he never mentions their note as plaintive or melancholy. It is true, he does not any where call it merry, as Chaucer does, but by mentioning it with the song of the blackbird, and as answering it, he seems to imply that it was a cheerful note. Sophocles is against us; but even he says, lamenting Itys, and the comparison of her to Electra is rather as to perseverance by day and by night, than as At all events, a tragic poet is not half so good authority in this question as Theocritus and Chaucer. I cannot light upon the passage in the Odyssey where Penelope's restlessness is compared to the nightingale; but I am sure that it is only as to restlessness and watchfulness that he makes the comparison. If you will read the last twelve books of the Odyssey, you will certainly find it, and I am sure you will be paid for your treat whether you find it or not. in Chaucer is in the Flower and Leaf, p. 99.
NEWS FOR THE UTILITARIANS. MR. BENTHAM'S TESTIMONY TO THE PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION, AND THE DUTY OF CULTIVATING AGREEABLE THOUGHTS.
We have been favoured with a copy of Mr. Bentham's posthumous and unpublished work on Deontology, which has been excellently well put together by Dr. Bowring from the manuscripts of his illustrious friend. In a popular point of view, it will be by far the most interesting of the great jurist's productions, being his guide to
the virtues and amiabilities of private life, and freed by his pupil from that word-compounding, every-thing-stating, and all-possible-objection-anticipating style, which, though highly desirable for the deeper student as omitting nothing which passed through his mind, was not so well calculated to recommend his book to the general reader. It does not appear to us that Mr. Bentham always makes out his case when stating the grounds of some parts of his philosophy, and the extreme easiness of their practice. He makes too little allowance, we think, for natural impulses; assumes too much necessity for individual reasoning, where the improvement ought to result from the progress of government; and is too apt to take for granted that the reasoning would This is the be conducted in a dispassionate manner. more striking, inasmuch as he himself in this very book, just and amiable as it is, is strongly and strangely moved against a philosopher so remote as Pluto; who even makes him forget himself so far, as to regret that there is no Index Expurgetorius-no list of forbidden The world, however, will not love the Prince of Utilibooks-prohibiting the perusal of certain philosophies! tarians the less for exhibiting these sallies of emotion; and they will love very much indeed, and be agreeably surprised, at the delightful, amiable doctrines laid down of general intercourse. From these we shall extract for their conduct in private life, and the advantage
some excellent passages next week. Meanwhile, we present our readers with something which will still more surprise most of the philosopher's enemies, and not a few, perhaps, of his friends; namely, an enthusiastic desirableness of cultivating what we have been writing testimony borne to the utility of imagination, and to the about in our first paper.
In the pursuit of pleasurable thoughts (exclaims Mr. Bentham) what infinite regions are open to the explorer! The world is all before him; and not this world only, but all the worlds which roll in the unmeasured tracts of space, or the measureless heights and depths of imagination. The past, the present, the future all that has been, all that is of great and goed, of beautiful and harmonious-and all that may be. Why should not the high intellects of days that are gone be summoned into the presence of the inquirer; and dialogues between, or with, the illustrious dead be fancied, on all the points on which they would have enjoyed to discourse, had their mortal existence stretched into the days that are? Take any part of the field of knowledge in its present state of cultivation, and summon into it the sages of former times; place Milton, with his high-toned and sublime philantrophy, amidst the events which are bringing about the emancipation of nations; Imagine Galileo holding intercourse with Laplace; bring Bacon-either the Friar or the Chancellor, or both-into the laboratory of any eminent modern chemist, listening to the wonderful devolopment, the pregnant results of the great philosophical mandate Experimentalize.' Every man pursuing his own private tendencies, has thus a plastic gift of happiness, which will become stronger by use, and which exercise will make less and less exhaustible all the combinations of sense with matter, the far-stretching theories of genius, the flight of thought through eternitywhat should prevent such exercises of the mind's creative will? How interesting are those speculations which convey men beyond the region of earth into more intellectual and exalted spheres. Where creatures endowed with capacities far more expansive, with senses far more exquisite than observation had ever offered to human knowledge, are brought into the regions of thought. How attractive and instructive are even some of the Utopian fancies of imaginative and benevolent philosophy! Regulated and controlled by the utiletarian principle, imagination becomes a source of boundless blessings."
"In all cases where the power of the will can be exercised over the thoughts, let those thoughts be directed towards happiness. Look out for the bright, for the brightest side of things, and keep your face constantly turned to it. If exceptions there are, those exceptions are but few, and sanctioned only by the consideration that a less favourable view may, in its results, produce a larger sum of enjoyment on the whole; as where, for example, an increased estimate of difficulty, or danger, might be needful to call up a greater exertion for the getting rid of a present annoyance. When the mind, however, reposes upon its own complacencies, and looks around itself for search of food for thought-when it seeks rest from laborious occupation, or is forced upon inaction by the pressure of adjacent circumstances, let all its ideas be made to spring up in the realms o pleasure, as far as the will can act upon the production.
"A large part of existence is necessarily passed in inaction. By day (to take an instance from the thou sand in constant recurrence), when in attendance on night, when sleep is unwilling to close the eyelids-the others, and time is lost by being kept waiting; by economy of happiness recommends the occupations of pleasurable thought. In walking abroad, or in resting
acquired knowledge, and his habits of reflection. Many years ago a celebrated public speaker, now living, told us that he made a point of talking his best, to whatever multitude were assembled; finding by experience that the emotion and interest of the hearers always found an understanding in themselves equal to the highest things he could say. And since the lapse of that period, how have not the means of knowledge encreased with the cheapness of literature! About mid-way betwixt this time and that, we heard a common working-man, as he walked along a country road, say more sensible, superior, and charitable things concerning a hare-hunt that was going on before him, than would have entered into the heads of the best educated men in his village fifty years ago, or perhaps enters into them now; not, of course, for want of equal natural faculties, but because his class have discovered that it is their interest to know as much as they can; while, on the other hand, the richest people are not always equally alive to the necessity of being in advance of that knowledge.
In consequence of the universal reading of cheap literature, Burns, perhaps does not require a glossary for his finest English words with any of those among the working classes in this country, who are respected among each other for their intelligence; and when the Scottish poet wrote English only, he sometimes affected words fine enough. It was the only evidence of a defective education betrayed by his style.
The reader will see in another place our opinion of Mr. Mudie's Feathered Tribes of England, and Mrs. Leman Grimstone's novel of Cleone. The new Review for the many, entitled the Printing Machine, full of sterling sense and acuteness, and admirably adapted to its purpose, requires no recommendation of ours. Mr. D'Israeli's second volume of his ninth edition of the Curiosities of Literature was published yesterday, and is still more entertaining than the first. Every body that can get it, should read the Bubbles from the Brunnens of Nassau, by an Old Man, for its sense, spirit, and humanity. But they say it is by Sir Francis Head, who scampered across the Pampas; and how can he be an old man? We cannot conceive of him in any such light. He must be riding and scampering still somewhere, and if he is not, must surely remain as young in his age as Lord Peterborough, who was the greatest poster of his time in Europe, and famous for his vivacity at seventy. Besides, they say that Sir Francis is not old: why then, should he call himself so? Is it his only affectation, and does he do it, like other middle aged seniors, only to make people protest against the epithet, and exclaim, You old !"
The friends of the gentleman so long and so agreeably known to the circles of taste and literature by the Conversation Sharp," (we believe the name is to be, and can be, no secret with the public) will be glad to find that a collection of his Letters and Essays in Prose and Verse has appeared. It has this moment been At the second page we meet put into our hands. with the following pleasant foretaste of the rest:"Utinam et verba in usu quotidiano posita minus timeremus."
at home, the mind cannot be vacant; its thoughts may be useful, useless, or pernicious to happiness; direct them aright; the habit of happy thought will spring up like any other habit.
Here is a
"Let the mind seek to occupy itself by the solution
"It frequently happens, when our own mind is unable to furnish ideas of pleasure with which to drive out the impressions of pain, these ideas may be found in the writings of others, and those writings will probably have a more potent interest when utterance is given to them. To a mind rich in the stores of literature and philosophy, some thought appropriate to the calming of sorrow, or the brightening of joy, will scarcely fail to present itself, clothed in the attractive language of some favourite writer; and when emphatic expression is given to it, its power may be considerably increased. Poetry often lends itself to this benignant purpose; and where sound and sense, truth and harmony, benevolence and eloquence are allied, happy indeed are their influences."
THE LONDON JOURNAL,
THE best things going forward in the poetical world are the play of the Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, (not
one of the author's best, but Knowles, as Ben Jonson said of Cartwright, "writes all like a man,") and the editions, in monthly volumes, of the works of Burns and Crabbe. Our living poets just now, with the exception of Mr. Knowles, are as silent as birds in August. One
of them, a warbler partaking of the mocking tribe, may be heard at intervals in the Times, imitating grave speeches with which we have nothing to do in these columns. Intimations, however, are given of something new from Miss Landon, who (to keep up our metaphor) is the very dove of the modern Castaly, giving out such a perpetual note of luxurious melancholy, that we know not whether to call it sorrow or love. And Elliot, in the magazines, occasionally beats against the iron bars of restriction, and utters his indignant cry. The best
poetry we have seen a long time is the prose of Pro
fessor Wilson's commentaries on Homer and the Greek Anthology, in Blackwood's Magazine. And this reminds us that there is a new poetess who writes in that magazine, and whom, in our ignorance perhaps of many of its former numbers, we never heard of till lately-Miss Hamilton. We know not who she is, except that she is one whom everybody ought to know. Her Muse is a kind of younger and less stately sister of Mrs. Hemans, with less command of images, and yet, we should guess, with a more universal sympathy.
It has been well observed by somebody, that Burns was not so uneducated a man as is supposed. He had Cooks, and some good teaching, and was acquainted, at an early period, with some of the best writers. We notice the circumstance chiefly in order to observe, that the intelligent part of what are called the uneducated are apt to be better instructed than is supposed, and that many a workman and peasant would surprize people, if they talked with him, with the amount of his
"He that would write well," says Roger Ascham, must follow the advice of Aristotle, speak as the common people speak, and think as the wise think."
"In support of this opinion many of the examples cited by you are amusing as well as convincing. The following from a great author may be added
"Is there a God to swear by, and is there none to believe in, none to trust to ?"
"What becomes of the force and simplicity of this short sentence, when turned into the clumsy English which schoolmasters indite, and which little boys can construe? Is there a God by whom to swear, and is there none in whom to believe, none to whom to pray?'" The whole of the volume is very sensible and elegant, and bears out the author's colloquial reputation.
Some of the letters, we should think, will get into the collections.
The First Book of a 40 Revolutionary Epick," or as he designates it, "The Revolutionary Epick," has been published by Mr. D'Israeli, Junr. He says he conceived the idea of it on the "plains of Troy," and that the old opinion of a connexion between Epic poems and the spirit of their age, flashed across his mind like the lightning which was then playing over Ida." There is more of the same magnificence of announcement, but it is suddenly checked by suggestions of modesty; and the author concludes his preface with humbly asking the public whether he shall proceed or not. It appears to us, from what we have seen of his poem, and of another work of his which we have lately read through, "The Psychological Romance," that Mr. D'Israeli has feeling, reflection, and imagination, the last in abundance but not of the subtlest or most poetical order; and that he too often takes splendid common-places, and the conclusions of other men's philosophy, for inventions of his own. His talents have gold in them, but mixed with alloy too obvious for currency, and are coarse in their "image and superscription." There is a sort of Oriental flare about him, which, with a little less thinking of his own glorification, and more of the inner man, would probably subside into a steady and shining light.
Landscape and portraiture of a mediocre rate do not constitute an interesting collection for exhibition, and Suffolk Street has not much else to boast of this year. Not that there is an absolute destitution of talent, but. what there is lies chiefly among the young and unfinished, and what there is of mastery is mostly second or third rate. Still there are a few pictures worth seeing Hancock's "Old Squire," pleased us more than any of his that we have seen. Inskipp has some striking pictures. The last of his name is very pretty. Childe has many exceedingly good. The effect of night with the deep rich tone, in the moonlight picture, 353, could not be better. The Moorish Tower is a very lively painting, and also the splendid Interior of a Church, by D. Roberts. Holines's pictures are not his best; but they are clever as usual. Lance shews us some tempting fruit. His Lady and Gentleman, are not quite so happy Barrett also, and Allen, assist in brightening the walls. 676. Flowers, by V. Bartholomew, are amazing for their brilliancy. We must also mention an exceedingly clever picture by W. Derby, facetiously called Turkey in Europe, being a dead turkey and other articles in still life, admirably painted. This picture perhaps struck us more than any in the place, from its great reality. We trust that we shall not be thought availing ourselves of an undue opportunity, in stating that Mr. Lawrence, a young artist who promises to do honour to his name, has an excellent likeness of one of the daughters of the Editor of this Journal.
Mr. Huggins, upon his appointment as Marine Painter to the King, had a commission for three pictures commemorative of the battle of Trafalgar; and two of these pictures are now exhibiting at Exeter Hall. To all who are interested in the actions of Nelson, (and few can be otherwise) they are worth the visit. The first presents the state of the action about half an hour after its commencement, the ships still orderly and fresh, ranged side by side, packed together, pouring the heavy torrents of destruction close into each other's fabric. The Victory looks like the noblest personification of its name, for it is already battered, as though it had drawn to itself the fiercest danger, solely that it might satisfy the desire of power, and have more to conquer. Of all modern fighters Nelson is the one to whose person at. taches our greatest sense of heroism. So brare, so
skilful, so eager with so much sentiment thrown into his actions, he seems most to have emulated the ideal fame of the knights of chivalry, or the early heroes of Greece. His refusal to put on the cloak a little before his death, was quite in the feeling of generous daring. Glory being his mistress, he scorned not to partake her perils. Not merely his pride and interest were in the but his heart and all its passions. Thus, if the importance of the events he brought about as are addition to his fame, his personal character in turn reflects a greater glory upon them, inasmuch as our sympathies are more strongly excited by exalted human nature, than by any political relations.
In naming Trafalgar, we think of Nelson, and more of the man than the victory. This is seldom the case with modern battles, and their colder regulators.
The other picture exhibited, represents the gale after the action, and we land lubbers have a few specimens of sea-signals, and a sample of nature's violence outdoing the human horror. The huge castle-like buildings which are toppling down into the openings of the flood, look as if they would pull into destruction with them the feeble boats, and the noble fellows who have ventured in them for the sake of their enemies.
of the Office of Ordnance, directed in a band imitating
It has employed my invention for some time to find
"I have more motives than one for singling you out first on this occasion, and I give you this fair warning, because the means I shall make use of are too fatal to be eluded by the power of physic.
If you think this of any consequence, you will not fail to meet the author on Sunday next, at ten in the morning, or on Monday, (if the weather should be rainy on Sunday,) near the first tree beyond the style in Hyde Park, in the foot-walk to Kensington. Secrecy and compliance may preserve you from a double danger of this sort, as there is a certain part of the world where your death has more than been wished for on
"I know the world too well to trust this secret in any breast but my own. A few days determine me your friend or enemy. FELTON."
"You will apprehend that I mean you should be alone, and depend upon it, that a discovery of any artifice in this affair will be fatal to you. My safety is ensured by my silence, for confession only condemn me."
As works of art the pictures are not without merit, though somewhat flat, and monotonous in colour; particularly the battle.
The musical world is doing little at present. Disappointment is expressed at M. Laporte's commencement of his opera season: but opera seasons are apt to commence poorly. The great singers, like other great isitors, seldom make their appearance till the company has been long assembled. Taglioni, however, the lady f the dance, has been making some charming amends her department. Signor Masoni, in spite of his abilities, has not anwered the expectations raised by injudicious friends, who announced him as a rival of Paganini. Paganini has no rival- unless, indeed, you could get a whole wood full of nightingales, and hear them in company with the person you loved best in the world. That would beat even him.
A valuable addition has been made to the list of our vocalists, in the person of Miss Clara Novello, a young lady of very great promise, and already of uncommon performance. Her pretty Christian name has been well bestowed; for she is of a very clear, correct, and pure order of singers; and, if we mistake not, has a great deal of feeling underneath it all, which, we hope, will be allowed to develope itself freely as she advances.
ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE.
MR. BARNARD AND THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH. [We purpose, under the above head to give, from time to time, a series of those extraordinary real circumstances often found in the history of private individuals, which have been said to shew truth in a stronger light than fiction. We shall abridge, enlarge, or copy them from our authorities, as the case may render expedient, with such notes or verbal alterations (facts being scrupulously adhered to), as may serve at once to fit them the better for present perusal, and to appropriate them to our publication. The following is not one of the most romantic in its results, nor in the raw-head-and-bloody-bone nature of the circumstances; but the extreme every-day look of the air of it, united with its real strangeness, appears to us to give it an interest of a sort at once natural and peculiar. Barnard's first two letters would have been no disgrace to Junius.]
William Barnard was the son of a surveyor (some say a coachmaker,) in Westminster, of good character, and apparently easy in his circumstances, in whose life nothing peculiar happened till he was charged with a crime, singular, from the mode in which it was executed, and remarkable, because there appeared no urgent motive for inducing him to risk his life in so rash and unjustifiable an enterprise.
In the year 1758, a letter was found under the door
The duke went to the spot at the time appointed, having previously desired a friend to observe at a distance what passed.
He waited near half an hour, and seeing no one he could suspect to be the person, turned his horse and rode towards Piccadilly; but after proceeding a few paces, he looked back, and saw a man leaning over a bridge, which is within twenty yards of the tree mentioned in the letter; he then rode gently towards the person, and passed him once or twice, expecting that he would speak; but as he still remained silent, his Grace bowed, and asked him if he had not something to say to him; but he answered, "No, I dont know you." The Duke, after telling him who he was, said, "Now you know who I am, I suppose you have something to say to me."
On the stranger's replying "I have not," his Grace directly rode out of the park.
A few days after, a second letter to the following purport was sent to the Duke, in the same handwriting, and conveyed under the door as the former
drest than persons of quality generally are; the only
*The late Duke, who died in 1817. He had, at the time of this letter, just succeeded to the title.
sending for the late Sir John Fielding, it was determined
The Duke, with a laudable caution, which did him, credit, was still unwilling to have him secured, lest he might injure an innocent man. A third letter was, however, received a few days afterwards, which, on comparing the directions, was evidently the production of the same person who had written the first. It was as follows:
"I am fully convinced you had a companion on Sun-
It was more than two months before the Duke heard any thing further of this extraordinary correspondent, when he was surprised by receiving the under-written letter by the penny-post, in a mean hand, but not in imitation of print like the other.
"To His Grace the Duke of Marlborough.
May it please your Grace,
"I have reason to believe that the son of one Bar
nard, a surveyor, in Abingdon Buildings, Westminster,
"It would be useless to your grace, as well as dan-
The several letters and circumstances were then re
capitulated by his Grace, particularly the last, which
new acquaintance a person of singular good humour and
"Were I a North Briton," says Mountwarren, "I should not stand alone as I do. He, no more than a freemason, can remain unsupported among brethren. The claim of common country is stronger with the Scot than the claim of common blood with us. England is sometimes called the stranger's home — it is a pity she leaves so many of her own children shelterless."
his remarkable answer. On the duke's saying, there must be something very odd in the man, Barnard answered, I imagine he must be mad." 'He seems surprized that I should have pistols," his Grace continued, to which he made answer, "I was surprized to see your Grace with pistols, and your star on.' Why were you surprized at that?" "It was so cold a day, I wondered you had not your great coat on," was his reply after a little hesitation.— On reading that part of the letter to him, which mentioned his father's being out of town, he remarked, "It is very odd; my father was then out of town."-This last circumstance struck the Duke more particularly, as the letter had no date. Before they parted, his Grace concluded with saying, "If you are innocent, it becomes you, much more than me, to find out the author of these letters, as it is an attempt to blast your character." Barnard then smiled, and took his leave.
On the strength of these circumstances, it was soon after thought proper to take him into custody. He was indicted, tried on the Black Act, at the Session House, in the Old Bailey, in May, 1758, and after a long and patient investigation, of the circumstances, equally honourable to the candour and humanity of the Duke, and to the impartiality of the judges and jury, acquitted.-It appeared in favour of the prisoner, corroborated by respectable evidence, that, on the day he met the Duke in Hyde Park, he had been sent by his father on business to Kensington. As to his being in the Abbey, a Mr. Greenwood, a person of credit, who, as is before observed, was seen with him there, proved that, contrary to Mr. Barnard's wish he had, with some difficulty, persuaded him to walk with him from Abingdon Buildings to the Park, that morning: that they were going thither without passing through the abbey, but Greenwood recollecting a new monument he had not seen, insisted on his going that way.
Many persons of fortune and reputation appeared : some of whom had dined with him at Kensington on the day above mentioned. These, with many others, had repeatedly heard Mr. Barnard speak with wonder of having twice met the Duke of Marlborough, and the circumstance of his Grace speaking to him being very singular.
They all united in the most ample testimonies of his regularity, sobriety, and pecuniary credit, and his being in the habit of daily receiving considerable sums.
Our authority for the above curious story informs us, that certain circumstances afterwards occurred, particularly a transaction with an East India director, which rendered the guilt of Barnard highly probable. The circumstances are puzzling; but we believe him to have been the man, particularly as he was so brief in his replies, and showed no anxiety to bring the offender to light. A clever man, such as he evidently was, could easily have contrived to make Greenwood appear to have originated the wish to go into the abbey,
and even to have made him do so: and as to the inconsistency of the rest of his conduct, there is no end to such inconsistencies in men as at present educated. Barnard might even have been conscious of a touch of the madness, which he attributed to the anonymous person, and which his questions and his strange smile not a little resemble. At the same time it is, perhaps, not unlikely that he had accomplices; that either of them was prepared to come forward, as the case might require; and yet that neither would stir more in it, if unsuccessful, than their knowledge of each other's secrets would render advisable.
THE NEW NOVEL. AN ENTIRE ABSTRACT.
THIS tale opens with the year 1810 during the assizes at Lancaster, where the hero, Sidney Mountwarren, a briefless barrister, is introduced to us. He is described as exhibiting by his general demeanour, the appearance of one who entertains a proud yet inoffensive consciousness of his own power, together with a disdainful sense of the neglect and privations which merit is ever fated to endure. While he is standing amid the crowd, musing upon his fortune, he excites the observation of an elderly person in the court, who, through a natural sympathy with the pensive melancholy of the young barrister, conceives a strong desire to effect a nearer acquaintance with him. The accident of a fall on the part of the old man, as he approaches Mountwarren, facilitates this object by eliciting the polite assistance of the latter, and the conversation begun with the common-places of good breeding, is continued in the language of friendly feeling. Mountwarren finds in bis
This is so true, that the defect reflected upon is one of the most unfortunate from which we Englishmen suffer. An animated dialogue ensues which affords our authoress the opportunity of developing many features of her amiable philosophy.
Festus Felix Connor, though having, according to his own showing, long since lost the literal title to his two first names, is yet one upon whom the hand of misfortune is incapable of leaving any sensible imprint, and he not only practices the philosophy of contentment successfully in his own case, but is obviously bent upon disseminating the principles of so admirable an art; and impresses his doctrine so well upon the mind of his new pupil, that before the conclusion of their journey Mountwarren is made sensible of the impropriety of the gloomy dissatisfaction he had hitherto permitted to cloud his thoughts and looks.
They arrive upon the banks of Windermere, in which beautiful situation is found the home of Felix Connor. Here the reader is introduced to two other characters the twin children of Connor, Cleone the daughter, the heroine of the story, and her brother Leon a blind child of peculiar intelligence and singularly affectionate disposition. The beauty of Cleone does not fail to make veller, whilst the extreme simplicity and unaffected impression on the susceptible heart of the young tramanners of the family excite in him feelings of growing esteem. A Dutch footman and his wife conclude the list, without adding to its attractions. Mountwarren takes un his abode for the night with his hospitable entertainer, who is neither sparing of his cheer nor his philosophy, and both guest and host retire upon the most agreeable terms with themselves and with one another. Upon the day following, in the co course of a walk with Felix Connor, Mountwarren accidentally encounters two gentlemen and a lady on horseback whom he immediately recognises as his old friends and former neighbours, the Arfleurs. Sir Edward Arfleur is de well meaning but of no very enlarged views. Frank scribed as a gentleman of the old school, hearty and Arfleur, the son, is a person introduced for so little purpose, and then so suddenly dismissed, as to render it a pity that he should have been called into existence at all; but Rosina his sister, the spiritual Rosina, is a character of more importance. This interview, which is as short as it was unexpected, admits us to a knowledge of some mutual sentiments of the tender kind which formerly existed in the breasts of Rosina and Mountwarren, but which a long cessation of intercourse had interrupted. The love for Cleone, however, having all the force of a new passion in its favour, predomiminates, and in a visit which our hero pays at the house ing to Rosina the state of bis affections; an avowal, of Sir Edward Arfleur, he makes no scruple of unfoldwhich is received by her with a composure very creditable to her understanding, but perhaps somewhat disparaging to her sensibility. From the description which Mountwarren gives of his new friends the Connors, quaintance, a desire which she ultimately succeeds in Rosina conceives a strong desire to cultivate their acgratifying, though at first strenuously opposed by her father, who with all the peremptory philosophy of a country squire associates nothing but disaffection and in answer to Mount warren's encomiums upon his friend's disloyalty with the known independence of Connor, and natural nobility, talks of "levelling principles," and of standing by the institutions of one's country," &c. But the principal objection entertained by Sir Edward Arfleur, no doubt, is the inequality of fortune between the two families. This "icy barrier" it is for the liberal minded Rosina to dissolve by her free and open address. She visits the Connors, finds in them all the excellent and interesting qualities she has been led to expect, and above all experiences a deep sympathy for the case of the poor blind Leon. If sympathy is akin to love, so is gratitude, and to the heart of the unfortunate sufferer, feelings, arising from this evidence of a regard so new to him in a stranger, are communicated, which rapidly passing over the stages that lie between kindness and passion, convert him from the humble object of Rosina's pity to the ardent candidate for her love. Far from meeting the repulses of prudery or the coquet's heartless indifference, Leon's fate reserves him for the rare happiness of an immediate and complete reciprocity of affection, and though the lovers separate at this period of their history, it is with that mutual declaration which softens the pains of absence.
The Arfleurs' return home into Gloucestershire, and Mountwarren's departure from the lakes, takes place immediately afterwards. An erroneous impression in the breast of the tender Cleone, from which much of the interest of the storv depends, takes its rise from this
circumstance. Mountwarren's liberations upon the prospects of his life conduct him to this resolution, viz. to repair to London forthwith, in the hope of propitiating Fortune by well-directed exertions in his profession, so long supinely neglected by him, and with the further purpose of soliciting the assistance of his mo ther, a widow, who, together with his two sisters, is residing at Boulogne; then to return to Cleone on the wings of love, and ask her to share his fortune and his heart. How these schemes come to be concealed from the knowledge of her whom they most concern, it is not easy to suppose. It is a reservation, as it appears to us, more remarkable for its accommodation to the exigencies of the plot than for its consistency with probability. Cleone, in her ignorance of the intentions of Mountwarren, attributes his hasty departure to an impatience of the separation from Rosina Arfleur, whom she imagines him to regard with feelings of love, and to be now bent on pursuing. Her own feelings are those of the most poignant grief, which, the moment Mountwarren has left her is vented in floods of tears. The following pretty passage occurs in this place, and may convey some idea of the pleasing style in which these volumes are written.
"There is no pang like that of unrequited love-so many vulnerable portions of our nature are wounded by it; even pride, ever prompt at the call of offended selflove, brings but late relief, and comes rather to repair ruin than to avert it; while memory, like a very antiquary, picks up sundry little relics that were better left to be buried with subverted hopes."
A few days subsequent to the departure of the Arfleurs and Montwarren, an event transpires which alters the whole aspect of things. Intelligence of the failure of a bank in which was invested the moderate capital upon which Felix Connor maintained his little household, comes upon them like a death-blow, and beggary stares them in the face. The old man's philosophy is now brought to the test, and is happily found to be of no spurious growth; he bears his reverse like a stoic, or, which is better, like a man, and has the happiness to find his children not behind him in all the qualities that can adorn adversity. They relinquish their home and proceed to London, a movement rendered desirable by the complete state of a treatise on the Philosophy of Happiness" which Mr. Connor, the author, purposes to submit to a London publisher. Vandorf, the Dutch servant, not sorry to separate from his spouse, accompanies the expedition. Mr. Connor having taken up his residence at Islington, loses no time in seeking Mountwarren. The latter, however, has left his chambers, and is reported to have passed over to France, and Connor's inquiries can elicit nothing more satisfactory. The next object which occupies his mind is the sale of his treatise, and for this purpose he proceeds to various publishers, with whom the description of his interview disappointment and disgust. At length a bookseller of presents no novelty, for the reason that it only describes daring benevolence, goes the length of expressing his consent to see it. The expectation revived in the mind of Connor upon this hint, causes our authoress to exclaim, feelingly, "How little soothes the buoyant spirit of genius; and yet the world is so unwilling to yield
that little !"
The wished for object is at last attained, and proof sheets and printer's devils come to gladden the heart of poor Connor. Anxiety, however, had enfeebled the old man, and he suffers a tedious illness. During her father's confinement, Cleone has to act upon her responsibility, and her management of the household affairs, youth and overwhelming poverty, exhibit her in a point under the combined disadvantages of inexperienced of view at once delightful and painful. In the meantime Leon, being able to contrive no other means of contributing to his sister's exertions, decides upon playing the savoyard. Disguised, with Vandorf for his treasurer, he allows himself to be conducted to the different squares, and there by his singing, an art in which he is represented as skilful, he succeeds in collecting something towards his father's subsistence. In the course of one of these peregrinations, having halted steps which he immediately recognized as that of Roopposite to a handsome house, he hears a voice on the sina Arfleur. She is leaving the house; Leon entreats Vandorf to lead him in pursuit of her, that they may discover, if possible, the place where she is sojourning. They miss her, however, and Leon returns home under the influence of the most agonizing feelings. His evident sufferings excite the anxious curiosity of his father and sister; and, after much fruitless entreaty Cleone alone is successful in drawing the secret from him. The manner in which this is brought about, as well as the remarks which introduce the dialogue, deserve the utmost praise for delicacy of thought and feeling.
Cleone, with her own desire and her father's consent, now seeks a situation as governess. The scene with Mrs. Hawkins, the advertiser, and her five daughters, is so natural and so well sustained, that we are sorry our limits forbid its insertion. The following passage, how.ever, is short, and happily describes this elegant family "In the masquerade of life, gravity is the garb in which imbecility loves to array itself; and it may generally be remarked, that those who have least in their own heads are most ready to shake them at others.. "Mrs. Hawkins's five daughters, destined, probably, in after life, to luxuriate, like herself, into rotundity of form, were singularly spare, with shrewd severe faces. Already the frequent frown had antedated their brows the character of age by the agency of unkindness, was