Gaieties and Gravities - The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia (2024)

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"Among the Romans we know that Juvenal dedicated his sixth Satire to the abuse of the fair sex, but his worst charge only accuses them of being as bad as the men; and if we are to infer that the licentiousness of his own life was at all equal to the grossness of his language, we may safely presume that his female acquaintance were not among the most favourable specimens of the race. The unnatural state of Monachism has been the bitter fountain whence has flowed most of the still more unnatural abuse of women; the dark ages have supplied all the great luminaries of Misogyny, who have ransacked their imaginations to supply reasons for perverted religion, and excuses for violated humanity. Valerius's Letters to Rufinus, the Golden Book of Theophrastus, and St. Jerome's Exhortations to Celibacy, have furnished all authors, from the Romance of the Rose downwards, with materials for this unmanly warfare-so narrow is the basis on which are grounded all the sorry jests, shallow, arguments, and pitiful scandals of ribalds and lampooners; and so easy is it to obtain a reputation for that species of wit which; as Johnson says of Scriptural parody, " a good man detests for its immorality, and a clever one despises for its facility." . Chaucer's Wife of Bath, Merchant's Tale, &c. all borrowed from the above-mentioned sources, were little more than good- humoured, though gross caricatures; Boileau, whose tenth Satire is a more bitter denunciation, should have recollected, that he was naturally as well as professionally compelled to celibacy, and might have consulted his friend Fontenelle upon the fable of the Fox and the Grapes: it was perhaps to be expected that the melancholy Dr. Young, who undervalued human nature and happiness, should have levelled his shafts against the masterpiece of one and the dispenser of the other-Woman!--but what shall we say of the contemporary satirists, Pope and Swift, each of whom, after trifling with and inveigling the affections of two accomplished ladies, who sacrificed every thing to the promotion of their happiness, slunk back from marriage, or, if married, were not only mean and cowardly enough to conceal it, but ungrateful enough to publish heartless libels against the whole sex?"--Gaieties and Gravities by Horace Smith.

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Rhombicuboctahedron by Leonardo da Vinci

Gaieties and Gravities is a collection of essays by Horace Smith.




" Alas!If He that made us were extreme to markThe trifled hour, what human soul could live?We trifle all, and he who best deservesIs but a trifler. What art thou whose eyeFollows my pen, or what am I that write?Both triflers." HURDIS.



Or the following Papers, the greater part havealready been published, mostly in the New MonthlyMagazine; and if the Author be asked why such productions, (many of them very frivolous in their nature,) should be preserved from that fate which condemns so much Literature of better quality to bestrictly fugitive, he is really unprepared with an answer; unless it may be surmised that their very lightness may keep them awhile from sinking, as strawsand bubbles will float upon those waters of oblivion,wherein things of greater weight and value are dailydoomed to be engulphed . He may urge in extenuation, that he is only following the example of otherPeriodicalists, whose collections have been not unfavourably received by the Public -and lastly, he mayadvance a plea which most Scribblers, whatever maybe the opinion of their Readers, will consider valid,—that he ventures upon the present Work at thesolicitation of his Publisher.

CONTENTS OF VOL. I.PagePleasant IllusionsWINTERThe Englishman in FranceHuman OssifragesPitcairn's Island •A Sprig of SpleenwortThe Culprit and the JudgeMy Tea-Kettle •The Widow of the Great Army11314212736434453The Spare BlanketOn Dancing5558Song-To FannyOn an Infant Smiling as it awokeEnglish Genealogy.- SundayOn Noses68697083Walks in the Garden, No. I. 93May Morning · 104Walks in the Garden, No. II. 117Man, versified from an Apologue 127Walks in the Garden, No. III. 128Address to the Mummy at Belzoni's Exhibition 137English Pride 140Walks in the Garden, No. IV. 151Coronation Extraordinary · 158Address to the Orange Tree at Versailles • 165The Cemetery of Père La Chaise, at Paris 168viii CONTENTS.Sunday in ParisPortrait of a SeptuagenaryPage179182Address to the Alabaster Sarcophagus lately depositedin the British Museum 222The Obliging AssassinOn Lips and KissingTo a Log of Wood upon the Fire The WorldThe First of March225· 227237239249Peter Pindarics.- The Milkmaid and the Banker 250The Farmer's Wife and the Gascon 251The Eloquence of Eyes 254The Lawyer and the Chimney Sweeper 262Advantages of having no HeadPeter Pindarics.-The Surgeon and the House PaintersLetters from Paris, No. I.-Miss Mary Ball to Miss263266Jane Jenkins •No. II. •On Asses273276280287 Peter Pindarics.-The Auctioneer and the LawyerThe Gouty Merchant and the Stranger 290The Cave of the EnchantressPeter Pindarics. -The Fat Actor and the RusticThe Bank Clerk and the Stable KeepersThe Last of the Pigtails · ·Peter Pindarics.-Piron and the Judge of the PoliceThe Farmer and the Counsellor291300302 304313315The Collegian and the Porter · 317Rousseau's Hermitage . 320Advertisem*nt for a DedicateeSatirists of Women. -Chances of Female HappinessThe Miseries of Reality326336344GAIETIESANDGRAVITIES.WINTER.THE mill-wheel ' s frozen in the stream,The church is deck'd with holly,Misletoe hangs from the kitchen-beam,To fright away melancholy:Icicles clink in the milkmaid's pail,Younkers skate on the pool below,Blackbirds perch on the garden rail,And hark, how the cold winds blow!There goes the squire to shoot at snipe,Here runs Dick to fetch a log;You'd swear his breath was the smoke ofa pipe,In the frosty morning fog.Hodge is breaking the ice for the kine,Old and young cough as they go,The round red sun forgets to shine,And hark, how the cold winds blow!In short, winter is come at last-a mighty evil tothe shivering hypochondriacs, who are glad to catch atany excuse to be miserable; but a visitation which, byVOL. I.B2 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES .those who are in no actual danger of dining with DukeHumphrey, or of being driven, from lack of raiment,to join in the exclamation of poor Tom, may very appropriately be hailed in the language of Satan, " Evil,be thou my good!" The Spaniards have a proverb,that God sends the cold according to the clothes; andthough the callousness and hardihood acquired by theragged be the effect of exposure, and not an exemptionfrom the general susceptibility, the adage is not theless true, and illustrates that beneficent provision ofNature, which, operating in various ways, compensatesthe poor for their apparent privations, converts theabused luxuries of the rich into severe correctives, andthus pretty nearly equalizes, through the variousclasses of mortals, the individual portions of suffering and enjoyment. In the distribution of the seasons,care seems to have been taken that mankind shouldhave the full benefit of this system of equivalents.To an admirer of Nature, it is certainly melancholy tobe no longer able to see the lusty green boughs wrestling with the wind, or dancing in the air to the soundof their own music; to lose the song of the lark, thenightingale, the blackbird, and the thrush; thesight of the waving corn, the green and floweryfields, the rich landscape, the blue and sunny skies.It appears a woeful contrast, when the glorioussun and the azure face of heaven are perpetuallyhidden from us by a thick veil of fog;, when thepoached and swampy fields are silent and desolate, andseem, with a scowl, to warn us off their premises;when the leafless trees stand like gaunt skeletons,WINTER. 3while their offspring leaves are lying at their feet,buried in a winding-sheet of snow. There is a painful sense of imposition, too, in feeling that you arepaying taxes for windows which afford you no light;that for the bright and balmy breathings of Heaven,you are presented with a thick yellow atmosphere,which irritates your eyes, without assisting them tosee. Well, I admit that we must betake ourselves,in-doors, to our shaded lamps and our snug firesides. There is no great hardship in that: but ourminds are driven in-doors also, they are compelledto look inwards, to draw from their internal resources;and I do contend that this is the unlocking of a moreglorious mental world, abundantly atoning for all ourexternal annoyances, were they even ten times moreoffensive. That man must have a poor and frozenfancy who does not possess a sun and moon obedientto his own will, which he can order to arise withmuch less difficulty than he can ring up his servantson these dark mornings; and as to woods, lakes, andmountains, he who cannot conjure them up to hismind's eye with all their garniture and glory, as gliblyas he can pronounce the words, may depend upon itthat he is-no conjurer. It is well known, that in ourdreams objects are presented to us with more vividbrilliancy and effect than they ever assume to our ordinary perceptions, and the imaginary landscapes thatglitter before us in our waking dreams are unquestionably more enchanting than even the most picturesquereality . They are poetical exaggerations of beauty,the beau idéal of Nature. Then is it that a vivaciousB 24GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.and creative faculty springs up within us, whose omnipotent and magic wand, like the sword of harlequin,can convert a Lapland hut into the Athenian Parthenon, and transform the desolate snow-clad hills ofSiberia, with their boors and bears, into the warm andsunny vale of the Thessalian Tempè, where, throughthe glimpses of the pines, we see a procession of shepherds and shepherdesses marching to offer sacrifice inthe temple of Pan, while the air brings to us, at intervals, the faint sound of the hymn they are chanting.There was nothing ridiculous in the saying of theclown, who complained that he could not see Londonfor the houses. Mine is a similar predicament in themonth of June; I cannot see such landscapes as Ihave been describing, on account of the trees andfields that surround me. The real shuts out theideal. The Vale of Health upon Hampstead Heathdeprives me, for months together, of the Vale ofTempè; and the sand-boys and girls, with their donkies, drive away Pegasus upon a full gallop, and ejectthe nymphs and fauns from the sanctuary of my mind.The corporeal eye puts out the mental one: I amobliged to take pastoral objects as they present themselves, and to believe the hand-writing on the fingerposts which invariably and solemnly assert that I amwithin four miles of London, and not in " Arcady'sdelicious dales," on the " vine-covered hills andvalleys of France," or in Italy's " love-breathingwoods, and lute-resounding waves." But when thefields around me are covered with snow, and fogs anddarkness are upon the land, I exclaim with Milton,gayWINTER. 566"so much the rather thou, shine inward, lightdivine; " and, betaking myself to my fire-side, lo!the curtain is drawn up, and all the magnificentscenery of classic realms and favoured skies burstsupon my vision, with an overpowering splendour.Talk not to me of the inspiration and rapture diffused around Parnassus and Helicon; of the poeticintoxication derived from quaffing the " dews ofCastaly," the true, the blushful Hippocrene,"--or " Aganippe's rill." I boldly aver, that Apollohimself walking amid the groves of the muse-hauntedmountain, never shook such radiant inspiration fromhis locks as often gushes from the bars of a registerstove, when the Pierian " Wall's End " or " Russel'sMain" has had its effulgence stimulated by a judiciously applied poker; and as to potable excitements ofgenius, I will set the single port of Canton against thewhole of European and Asiatic Greece, and am prepared to prove, that more genuine Parnassian stimulushas emanatedfrom a single chest of eight- shilling blacktea, than from all the rills and founts of Arcady,Thessaly, and Boeotia. I am even seriously inclinedto doubt whether the singing of the nightingale hasever awakened so much enthusiasm, or dictated somany sonnets, as the singing of the tea-kettle.December is the true pastoral month.part, I consider my Christmas summer as havingjust set in. It was but last night that I enjoyedmy first Italian sunrise. I was sitting, or rather standing, with my shoulders supported against a chesnuttree, about half way down the slope of the celebratedFor my6 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Vallombrosa, watching the ascent of the great luminaryof day, whose coming was announced by that greenishhue in the horizon, which so often attends his uprisingin cloudless climates. In the opposite quarter of theheavens, the pale moon was still visible; while themorning star, twinkling and twinkling, appearedstruggling for a few moments' longer existence, thatit might just get one peep at the sun. Behind me thetufted tops of the chesnut woods began to be faintlyillumined with the ray; while the spot where I stood,and the rest of the vale, were still enveloped in agrey shade. Immediately opposite to me, two youngshepherds had plucked up a wattle from the fold, andas their sheep came bleating forth, they stood on eachside of the opening, singing, in a sort of measured chant,alternate stanzas from the Orlando Furioso. They hadchosen that part of the 8th book, where Angelica iscarried, by magic art, into a desolate island; and inthe pride of my Italian lore, and my anxiety to " warbleimmortal verse and Tuscan air, " I was on the verypoint of taking up the story, and quoting the uncourteous treatment she encountered from the licentiousold Hermit, when a gust of cold wind blowing inunder the door of my room puffed out my sun, and adrop of half-frozen water falling from the ceiling uponmy head, owing to the derangement of a pipe in thechamber above, simultaneously extinguished my moon!Ever while you live, let your parlour be an oblongsquare, with the door in one corner, and the fire-placein the centre of the farther end, by which means youwill have two snug fire-side places, secure from theseWINTER. 7reverie-breaking draughts of air; and if, before tuneing up your wind-pipe, you were just to take a look atthe water-pipe, you need not, like me, be subject tothe demolition of the loveliest sunrise that was everinvisible. Such are the casualties to which the mostprudent visionaries are exposed: but are the ploddingfellows of fact and reality a whit more secure of theirenjoyments? I appeal to every man who has reallyvisited the classic spot from which I was thus ejectedwithout any legal notice, whether a cloud, a storm, theheat of the sun, or some other interruption, has notfrequently driven him from the contemplation of abeautiful landscape which he has in vain endeavouredto resume under equally favourable circ*mstances.His position, somehow or other, presents the sameobjects in a less picturesque combination; the day isnot so propitious; either there is less amenity andrichness in the light, or the tints have decidedly altered for the worse; in short, his first view, as compared with the second, is Hyperion to a Satyr. Nowmark the advantages of the fire-side landscape overthat of the open fields. No sooner had I retrimmedmy lamp, rendered doubly necessary by the extinctionof my sun and moon; composed myself afresh in myarm-chair, and fixed my eyes steadfastly upon the fireshovel, which happened to stand opposite, ―than thewhole scene of Vallombrosa, the god of day climbingover the mountains, the chesnut-woods, and the spouting shepherds, gradually developed themselves anewwith all the effulgence and exact individuality of thefirst impression. The sun had stood still for me without8 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.a miracle, and continued immovable until I had time totransfer the whole gorgeous prospect upon the canvasof my brain. There it remains; it is mine in perpe-`tual possession, and no new Napoleon can take it downand carry it off to the Louvre. It is deeply and ineffaceably engraved upon my sensorium; lithographedupon the tablet of my memory, there to remain whileReason holds her seat. To me it is a portion of eternityenclosed within a frame; a landscape withdrawn fromthe grand gallery of Heaven, and hung up for ever inone of the chambers of my brain. Neither age normildew, nor heat nor cold, can crack its varnish, ordim the lustre of its tints.Fear no more the heat of the sun,Northe furious winter's rages;Thou thy worldly task hast done,Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages.The " exegi monumentum," and other valedictoryvain-glories of the classic poets, were very safe auguries, for they were either altogether unknown, orknown to be true:Both bound together, live or die,The writing and the prophecy.But I run still less risk in predicting the durabilityof my imaginary painting, for I can neither injurenor destroy it, even if I had the inclination. In allethical, moral and didactic writings, how unceasinglyare we reminded of the frailness and evanescence ofhuman possessions—a truth which is inculcated uponus as we walk the streets, by those silent monitors,WINTER. 9sun-dials and tombstones. Who ever read Shirley'sbeautiful poem beginning"The glories of our earthly stateAre shadows, not substantial things,"without a deep and solemn conviction of the uttervanity and fugaciousness of all mortal grandeur;without feeling that it was perishable as the reflection of the world upon a bubble, insubstantial asthe shadow of smoke upon the water? Such is theslippery nature of realities; but whoever urged thisobjection against the imperishable visions of thebrain? You may as well talk of cutting a ghost'sthroat, as of cutting down any of the trees which Inow see nodding in my ideal landscape, and whichwill continue to wave their green heads, spite of all themortgagees and woodmen in existence. Show methe terra-firma in Yorkshire that can with impunitymake such a boast as this. Mine is an estate uponwhich I can reside all the year round, and laugh atthe Radicals and Spenceans, while the bona fidelandholders are only redeeming their acres from thegrasp of those hungry philanthropists, that they maybe devoured piecemeal by the more insatiable mawof the poor's-rates. Fortresses and bulwarks are nothalf so secure as my little mental domain, with noother protection than its ring-fence of evergreens . Isthere a castle upon earth that has not, at some period,been taken; and did you ever know a castle in the airthat was? As the traveller, when he beheld theColiseum in ruins, remarked that there was nothingstable and immutable at Rome except the river, whichB 510 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.had been continually running away; so I maintainthat no human possession is positive and steadfast,except that which is in its nature aërial and unembodied. With these impressions, I should thinkrather the better of my theory, if it were proved tobe inconsistent with facts; and should assert morestrenuously than ever, that the moral is more solidthan the physical, and that abstractions are the onlytrue realities.But methinks I hear some captious reader exclaim-" What is the value, after all, of your ideallandscape? it is a picture of nothing; and the moreit is like, the less you must like it ." Pardon me, courteous reader. Some sapient critic, in noticing Hunt'sstory of Rimini, (which with all the faults of its lastcanto is a beautiful and interesting poem, ) remarkstauntingly that we may guess at the fidelity of theItalian descriptions of scenery, when the author hadnever wandered beyond the confines of Highgate andHampstead Heath. So much the better. He neverundertook to give us a fac-simile of Nature's Italianhand-writing, or a portrait of any particular spot;but to present the general features of the country,embellished with such graces as his fancy enabledhim to bestow: and unless it be argued that everylocal prospect is incapable of improvement, it mustbe admitted that combination and invention are preferable to mere accuracy of copying. As well mightit be objected to the statuaries who chiseled theApollo Belvedere and Venus de Medici out of blocksof marble, that they had never seen a god or a goddess.WINTER. 11We may reasonably doubt whether the author of theLaocoon group ever saw a man and his three sonsenwreathed by serpents; and we may be sure that ifhe had, and attempted to give a faithful and closedelineation of the spectacle, he would not have succeeded half so well as he has. Such matter-of-factcritics might quarrel with Dante for never havingbeen in Hell, and with Milton for not having visitedParadise before he presumed to describe it. Awaywith these plodders with scissars and shears, whowould clip the wings of imagination! If we maysnatch a grace beyond the reach of art, so may wesnatch one beyond the reach of nature; and if Icould be transported in propriâ personâ to the sceneof my Italian landscape, I have little doubt that Ishould gaze around me with disappointment, andfinally prefer the imaginary to the real scene.From the operation of this benevolent system ofequivalents springs the variety of national character,which depends in a great degree upon climate. Luxuriating in the deliciousness of warm suns, cloudlessskies, beautiful scenery, and a soil spontaneouslyfertile, the Italian finds happiness enough in his external impressions, and, considering the dolcefar nienteas the summum bonum of existence, suffers his spiritto evaporate through his senses, and dreams awaylife in a kind of animal listlessness. An Englishmanis obliged to draw upon his mind for the gratificationsdenied to his body, and apply to his fire- side for thewarmth withheld from him by the sun: hence thetwo distinguishing traits of his character-mental12 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.activity and domestic virtue. It is astonishing thatnobody has thought of constructing an IntellectualReaumur, graduated according to the degrees of cold,and shewing at one glance how much literary talentmay be calculated upon in the different capitals ofEurope. Up to a certain point acuteness would increase with the rigour of the climate; and in allof the knotty and abstruse problems of metaphysics,Edinburgh would be found at a higher pitch thanLondon. There appears to be something in a Scotchman's brain equivalent to the gastric juice in his stomach, which enables him to digest, decompound, andresolve into their primitive elements, the most stubborn and intractable propositions. I should be disposed to assign to Edinburgh the post of honour uponthis scale, and to consider this distinction as conferringupon it a much better claim to the title of the Northern Athens, than the fancied resemblance between theCalton Hill and the Acropolis. Farther north, bothmind and body must be expected to degenerate; andI should no more dream of ideas flowing from thebenumbed scull of a Laplander or a Kamschatkan,than of water gushing from a frozen plug. If myconjecture as to the influence of climate in formingthe Italian character be correct, it may perhaps beasked, since the temperature has been in all agesequally luxurious, how I account for their ancestorshaving built Rome and conquered the world. He isno genuine theorist who cannot annihilate both timeand space to reconcile contradictions. But I am notdriven to this necessity, as I have only to adoptTHE ENGLISHMAN IN FRANCE. 13the theory lately promulgated by Mr. Galiffe, who,because the grammars of the Russian and Romanlanguages are both without any article, and the foundations of some of the most ancient cities in each country are exactly similar in structure, boldly pronouncesthat Rome was founded by a colony of Muscovites.Braced with all the vigour of a northern temperament,they had time to extend their empire to the extremities of the earth, and rear the magnificent edificesof Rome, before they began to experience the degenerating effects of the climate. In fact they wereonly an earlier eruption of Goths and Vandals, anddid not properly become Italians until about the periodof the decline and fall. So far, therefore, from militating against my theory, they afford a beautifulconfirmation of its accuracy.THE ENGLISHMAN IN FRANCE.A FRENCHMAN seeing as he walk'dAfriend of his across the street,Cried " Hem!" exactly as there stalk'dAn Englishman along the road,One ofthose Johnny Bulls we meetIn every sea-port town abroad,Prepared to take and give offence,Partly, perhaps, because they speakAbout as much of French as Greek,And partly from the want of sense!The Briton thought this exclamationMeant some reflection on his nation,14 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.So bustling to the Frenchman's side,"Mounseer Jack Frog," he fiercely cried,"Pourquoi vous faire Hem!' quand moi passe? ”Eyeing the querist with his glass,The Gaul replied, “ Monsieur God- dem,Pourquoi vous passe quand moi faire ' Hem?" "HUMAN OSSIFRAGES. *" Here's fine revolution, an' we had the trick to see ' t. Didthese bones cost no more the breeding but to play at loggatswith them? Mine ache to think on 't." Hamlet.It was the latter end of April, which was ripeningwith a genial warmth into May; the flowers were everywhere emerging into the gaiety of the landscape thatsurrounded me, like young belles coming out for thefirst time at a ball-room; while the bees, like so manybeaus, not only fluttered and sung around them, butoccasionally kissed the honey from their lips with allthat frankness of innocent enjoyment which is visiblyinculcated by Nature: the south wind went merrilyalong, singing to the boughs " like a piping bacchanalamid the flowers; " birds and insects were enjoying inthe sunny air their renovated being, new vegetationwas gushing from bud and blossom, the ants werecreeping out of the crevices of the soil; it appeared as

  • That species of eagle termed the ossifrage or ospray is thus

called from its breaking the bones of animals in order to feedupon them.HUMAN OSSIFRAGES. 15if re-animation was exuding from every pore of Nature,while her face seemed to be lighted up with a conscioussmile, as if her mighty heart thrilled with complacentjoy at the universal happiness she was diffusing. -Asmoky shower, to use one of Chaucer's picturesquewords, instead of disturbing, gave a keener relish to mysensations; for nothing is more delightful at this seasonthan to contemplate in the quick alternations of rainand sunshine, carefully watering and warming theearth, the manifest presence of Nature, " dressing herplants visibly, " as the author of The Months elegantlyobserves, " like a lady at her window." We want nomiraculous handwriting on the wall, for he who canfail to perceive it on the earth in the punctual recurrence of this vernal process must be wilfully blind,For my ownpart, I can scarcely help imagining uponthese occasions that the visible arm of the Creator isoutstretched from the heavens to till and cultivate thebeautiful garden of the world, and so dispense sustenance and delight, corn, fruit and flowers, to the innumerable beings, human and animal, whom he has calledinto existence.Spring is undoubtedly the most exhilarating of allseasons, not only from its moral associations and promises of a flowery future, but from certain involuntaryimpulses arising from a quickened circulation and developement of the senses, wherein we sympathise physically with the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Butthere is nothing gloomy in any period or appearanceofNature. Tothe superficial observer indeed, who hasseen the winds of April rocking as it were the cradle16 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.of the young flowers, and breathing the breath of lifeinto birds and insects, it may appear melancholy tofollow them to their graves in the great funeral procession of autumn; but in the beautiful provisions ofour system there is in reality no such thing as death.Nature's great business is reproduction; and as sheworks always upon the same materials, spirit andmatter, life and extinction, one organisation and another, are perpetually interchanging substances andnatures without any annihilation of either. With alldue deference to Shakspeare, " Imperial Cæsar deadand turned to clay" might be converted to noblerpurposes than those which Hamlet has assigned;for there is no product or element of Nature withwhich he may not have become renewed and blendedunder the vivifying and mysterious mouldings of herhand-" The leprous corpse, touch'd by this spirit tender,Exhales itself in flowers of gentle breath;Like incarnations of the stars when splendourIs changed to fragrance, they illumine death,And mock the merry worm that wakes beneath:Nought we know dies. Shall that alone which knows,Be as a sword consumed before the sheathBy sightless lightning? " *If Pythagoras had limited his system of transmigration to the body instead of the soul, he would nothave been very remote from the truth; for he mighthave drawn from Nature abundant analogy for his

Shelley's Adonais.HUMAN OSSIFRAGES. 17theory. The rains that fall to reascend in sap are butso much future leaves and flowers; wine is simplybottled sunshine and showers; corruption puts onincorruption, and even yonder dunghill, which hasalready passed through various stages of incarnation, isdestined to others in the ceaseless round of reproduction, and changing into beauty, fragrance, and life,shall either be converted into tulips and roses, flutterin the air in the form of butterflies and moths, or reassuming a vegetable being, become again incorporated with men, beasts, or birds.Never proposing to myself any definite object in myrural rambles, I know not whither they will conductme, sometimes strolling to the uplands, at anotherroaming along the valleys, and not unfrequently exemplifying the " scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus" of Horace by plunging into the woods, and exclaiming as I stretch myself beneath the trees-" Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,Hear the soft winds above me flying,With all the wanton boughs dispute,And the more tuneful birds to both replying;Nor be myself, too, mute. ”It is exactly the same in writing. I begin with oneintention, and end with another; start for Cornwall,and am carried away by some freak of the pen to Harwich or the Highlands. The dunghill which I justnow introduced by way of illustration has occasioned anew subject to shoot up in my imagination, and determined me to write a profound essay on the very interesting subject of manure! Not that I mean to be18 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.stercoraceous and agrestick, as if I were inditing for theFarmer's Journal; -no, I shall endeavour, like Virgil,"to toss my dung about with an air of dignity,"in which I have the better chance of succeeding, inasmuch as the material upon which I am about to dilate is no fat and filthy compost, but a curious andcleanly powder. Very few are probably aware thatthere is every year a considerable importation ofbones from the Continent, which are crushed and usedfor manure; many an English farmer thus realizingtowards his continental neighbours the well-knownthreat of the Giant to little Jack and his companions—" I'll grind their bones to make mebread," and affording at the same time a new and more striking illustration of that system of reproduction from old materialsto which I have already alluded. Residing upon theeastern coast, and farming a considerable extent ofcountry, I have made repeated and careful experiments with this manure; and as the mode of burial inmany parts of the Continent divides the differentclasses into appropriated portions of the churchyard,I have been enabled, by a little bribery to sextons andcharnel-house men, to obtain specimens of every rankand character, and to ascertain with precision theirseparate qualities and results for the purposes of thefarmer, botanist, or common nurseryman. These it ismy purpose to communicate to the reader, who maydepend upon the caution with which the different testswere applied, as well as upon the fidelity with whichthey are reported.A few cartloads of citizen's bones gave me a luxu-HUMAN OSSIFRAGES. 19riant growth of London pride, plums, Sibthorpia orbase money-wort, mud-wort, bladder-wort, and mushrooms; but for laburnum or golden chain I was obliged to select a lord mayor. Hospital bones suppliedme with cyclamen in any quantity, which I intermixedwith a few seeds from the Cyclades Islands, and thescurvy-grass came up spontaneously; while manurefrom different fields of battle proved extremely favourable to the hæmanthus or blood-flower, the trumpetflower and laurel, as well as to widow-wail and cypress. A few sample sculls from the poet's corner of aGerman abbey furnished poet's cassia, grass of Parnassus, and bays in about equal quantities, with wormwood, crab, thistle, stinging-nettle, prickly holly, teazel,and loose-strife. Courtiers and ministers, when converted into manure, secured an ample return of jackin-a-box, service-apples, climbers, supplejacks, parasiteplants, and that species of sun-flower which invariablyturns to the rising luminary. Nabobs form a capitalcompost for hepatica, liver- wort, spleen-wort, hips, andpine; and from those who had three or four stars atthe India House I raised some particularly fine Chinaasters. A good show of adonis, narcissus, jessamine,co*ckscomb, dandelion, monkey-flower, and buckthorn,may be obtained from dandies, although they are aptto encumber the ground with tickweed; while a gooddrilling with dandisettes is essential to those beds inwhich you wish to raise Venus's looking- glass, Venus'scatchfly, columbines, and love-apples. A single dressing of jockies will ensure you a quick return of horsemint, veronica or speedwell, and colt's-foot; and a20 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.very slight layer of critics suffices for a good thickspread of scorpion senna, viper's bugloss, serpent'stongue, poison-nut, nightshade, and hellebore. If youare fond of raising stocks, manure your beds withjobbers; wine-merchants form the most congenial stimulant for sloes, fortune-hunters for the marygoldand golden-rod, and drunkards for Canary wines,mad-wort and horehound. Failing in repeated attempts to raise the chaste tree from the bones of nuns,which gave me nothing but liquorice-root, I appliedthose of a dairy-maid, and not only succeeded perfectlyin my object, but obtained a good crop of butter-wort,milk-wort, and heart's ease. I was equally unsuccessfulin raising anysage, honesty, or everlasting from monks;but they yielded a plentiful bed of monk's hood, jesuit'sbark, medlars, and cardinal flowers. My importation ofshoemakers was unfortunately too scanty to try theireffect upon a large scale, but I contrived to procurefrom them two or three ladies' slippers. As schoolboys are raised by birch, it may be hardly necessary tomention, that when reduced to manure they returnthe compliment; but it may be useful to make knownas widely as possible, that dancing-masters supply thebest hops and capers, besides quickening the growthof the citharexylum or fiddle-wood. For your mimosas or sensitive plants there is nothing betterthan a layer of novel-readers, and you may useup the first bad author that you can disinter forall the poppies you may require. Coffee-house waiterswill keep you supplied in cummin; chronologistsfurnish the best dates, post-office men serve well forFITCAIRN'S ISLAND. 21rearing scarlet-runners, poulterers for hen-bane, tailorsfor cabbage, and physicians for truffles, or any thingthat requires to be quickly buried. I could haveraised a few bachelors' buttons from the bones ofthat class; but as nobody cares a button for bachelors,I did not think it worth while. As a general remark itmaybe noticed, that young people produce the passionflower in abundance, while those of a more advancedage may be beneficially used for the elder-tree, thesloe, and snapdragon; and with respect to different nations, my experiments are only sufficiently advanced to enable me to state that Frenchmen arefavourable to garlic, and that Poles are very good forhops. Of mint I have never been able to raise much;but as to thyme, I have so large a supply, as the reader will easily perceive, that I am enabled to throwit away; and as he may not possibly be in a similar predicament, I shall refer him for the rest ofmy experiments to the records of the HorticulturalSociety.PITCAIRN'S ISLAND.Can such things be,And overcome us like a summer cloud,Without our special wonder?SHAKSPEARE.In the Spring of last year I landed with a wateringparty from the American brig Washington upon theremote Island of Pitcairn, where the mutineers of the22 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Bounty have establised a colony of English faces, andawakened echoes of the English tongue, amid the unexplored solitudes of the great Pacific Ocean. Tome as a Briton every thing I beheld was intensely interesting;-the recognised countenances of my country, as exhibited in the male population-the softskins and olive hue of the elderly females -the blendedcharacteristics of both races in the younger inhabitantsof either sex-the incipient corruption of the language by the adoption of Otaheitean terms and pronunciation-the strange incongruous union of civilization and barbarism, -were all so many distinct objects of curious speculation. Declining the profferedhospitality of the natives, I struck inland towards ahill at some distance, from whose summit I conjecturedthat I could easily command the whole limited extentof the country. On the side where I ascended therewere but partial marks of cultivation, but the wholesurface was a natural garden of palm, cocoa-nut, banana, and plantain trees, interspersed with guava andorange; and never had I beheld a more magnificentsun-set than that which burst upon my vision when Igained the top. Not a cloud floated in the horizonthe great orb of fire seemed to be sinking into an oceanof molten gold, the glowing waves heaving towards theshore with a slow and majestic undulation, while thesky exhibited every gradation of tint from the intensity of light to the rosy flushes and mellow purple ofevening. While I was yet gazing, another and moresilvery light seemed to steal across the heavens; andturning to the opposite quarter, I beheld the full moonPITCAIRN'S ISLAND. 23ascending with solemn splendour, although the rivalluminary was yet more than half visible. Such wasthe transparency of the atmosphere, that notwithstanding this plenitude of light, the planets and constellations already began to sparkle in their blue depthswith a fullness of brilliancy unknown in our northernlatitudes. One might have thought it was a jubilee inheaven-that all its glorious magnificence was putforth; and as I contemplated the sky, and sea, andearth, and all the sublime pageant of creation, I feltlifted above humanity and its petty thoughts, andbrought into a holy and ineffable communion with thegreat Creator.Descending on the opposite side of the hill, whosebroken and uneven declivity presently reconducted metowards the shore, I sat myself down at the foot of aprojecting rock, from which a cascade fell into a beautiful little lake, and flowing out again at the other extremity in the form of a meandering runnel, was presently lost in the sea. Tufts of scattered water-liliesalternately caught and lost the brightness of the moonbeam as they danced upon the troubled surface of thewaves in the vicinity of the cascade; and towards thecentre of the lake there was a pigmy island of not morethan twenty yards diameter. Nature seemed to havewrought every thing in miniature, yet with a surpassing beauty and exquisite proportion. Notwithstanding the rich verdure of the little floating garden, andthe garland of flowers with which it was belted round,I observed in the middle one of those barren circlesdenominated Fairy-rings; and while I was wondering24 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.whether those tiny elves ever visited this sequesteredand romantic nook, and in what language they wouldbe found to discourse if their parleyings became audible to mortal ears, I heard a low and mellow symphony, as if of Eolian harps, but withal more musicaland delicate. Looking round to discover its source, Icould behold nothing but the serene and silent moon,from whose full orb a bar of rippling light ran alongthe sea, appearing to terminate at my very feet. Aschoolboy might have fancied that he was holding anilluminated kite by a cord of silver, and Endymionwould gladly have favoured the same imagination thathe might send his heart up as a messenger to the goddess whom it adored. For myself, I could only dreamthat I was brought by that connecting stream of lightinto some sort of communication with the inhabitantsof the moon, if such indeed there be, or at all eventswith the traditionary old man who sits in that desolate sphere with no other accompaniments than hislantern and bush.Again the same symphony breathed around me, appearing now to proceed from the little island, towardswhich I turned; and as I beheld the hyacinths andsnowdrops, campanulas and lilies of the valley, allshaking their little white bells in the breeze, I couldnot help conceiting that from their silvery turrets theyhad rung out that floral music upon the wind, so liquid was it, so sweet and gracious, so like some richspontaneous modulation of the air. But who shalldescribe my astonishment when, in the midst of themagic circle I have before mentioned, and in the fullPITCAIRN'S ISLAND. 25lustre ofthe moonbeams, I beheld a company of fairiessurrounding one who lay extended as if in death, andwho, from the crown upon his head which shook out adazzling splendour, appeared to have been their king.She whom I conjectured to be their queen, advancingbefore the others, knelt down beside the body, andplacing her hand upon its bosom, exclaimed in a birdlike voice, but infinitely more tuneable than lark toshepherd's ear,"66" Feel his heart, -'tis cold as stone!He's dead-dead-quite dead and gone!While in a water-lily sleeping,Down came the mountain-torrent sweeping,And, before my love could fly,Dash'd him on the rocks-to die!"Hereupon the symphony was renewed, and the restof the company gathering round the mourner, endeavoured to console her in the following choral dirge:"Mourn no longer his mishap, ―Move, oh move him from thy lap;Braid no more his golden locks,All dishevell❜d by the rocks,And his face of marble hueWith thy tears no more bedew.All our fairy troops shall hoverRound the hearse that bears thy lover,And his bright remains shall beSepulchred right royally."--But the widowed Queen of Shadows ejacul*ted ina tone of still more impassioned grief—"From these arms he shall not stir,These shall be his sepulchre;VOL. I.26 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Come, my love-look up-behold, —Again to my breastThy cheek is press'd:Oh! how cold-how shuddering cold!” -No sooner had she ceased than the attendants resumed their consolatory chaunt.“ For a winding-sheet we'll takeLeafof lily from the lake:-Silver shell of nautilusShall his coffin be-and thusWill we see him tomb'd afarIn some silent cave of spar,Where a glow-worm in an urnOfchrystal for a lamp shall burn.His toll-bell shall the death- watch ring,Humming birds his dirge shall sing,And for banners he shall haveTulips waving o'er his grave.Thus shall he enshrined be,Royally-right royally."Gazing upwards with a look of appealing grief, thedisconsolate Queen exclaimed-"Must I leave him?-Never, never!Lay me by his side for ever,For my bosom's thrilling smartTells me,-oh, my heart! my heart!"Still the mourner would have spoken,But, alas! her heart was broken;-Still her scarlet lips she stirr'd,But their music was not heard:Prone she fell upon her lover,Heaved a sigh-and all was over!Methought a wailful cry was uttered by the wholeassemblage, followed by a sad and strange funereal mu1A SPRIG OF SPLEENWORT. 27$sic, which was suddenly interrupted by the loud barking of a dog; when I found that the volume of Shakspeare in which I had been reading the MidsummerNight's Dream, having fallen from my hand uponmy pointer's head, he had instantly dissipated my reverie, and most unwelcomely hurried me back from thePacific Ocean, and the dreams of imagination, to theI dull and dusty reality of my chambers in Gray'sInn Square.A SPRIG OF SPLEENWORT."A fancy would sometimes take a Yahoo to retire into acorner, to lie down and howl and groan, and spurn away allthat came near him, although he were young and fat, wantedneither food nor water; nor did the servant imagine whatcould possibly ail him. And the only remedy they foundwas to set him to hard work; after which he would infalliblycome to himself." SWIFT.If the only rational animal were not by far themost unreasonable of beings, we should never haveheard so many lugubrious complaints about thewretched lot and miserable destiny of man. Moralistsand divines, with the intention of impressing theprobationary nature of our existence, have harpedupon this strain usque ad nauseam; for it may bedoubted whether their doctrine be perfectly salutaryin its tendency, while it is clear that it is by no meanstenable as to truth. Ingratitude and discontent cannever be the constituents of virtue, nor can our unhappiness in this world confer upon us the smallestc 228 GAIETIES. AND GRAVITIES.additional claim to happiness in the next. If it beself-inflicted, we may rather presume the contrary;and it is our interest to favour this impression, forhowever prone we may be to indulge in mental sufferings and despondency, there are very few of us whowould attempt to compete in bodily anguish with theHindoo fanatics who keep their hands clasped till thenails grow out at the back, hang before a slow firewith their faces downwards, or while they swing uponhooks suspended from elevated beams, shower downflowers upon their admirers, as if in the act of beatitude. Ille placet Deo cui placet Deus, says St.Augustine; Addison asserts that " Cheerfulness isthe best hymn to the Divinity," and in fact it is impious to suppose that the Great Father of mankind,whose benignity and love so strikingly pervade universal Nature, could delight in the misery of his children, or have created them for other purposes thanthose of virtuous enjoyment.WeLet us consider the fate of this unhappy creaturein the abstract. We, whose lot is cast in the temperate regions of the earth, have at least no reason tocomplain of the habitation provided for us.might have been freezing under the pole, or scorchedbeneath the torrid zone: this forms at least oneground of gratitude.Who can place limits to the gratifications whichmay be administered to us through the senses alone,inferior as they are to those of the mind? Naturehas been prodigal in supplying delights, and the ingenuity of man has been unceasingly occupied in con-A SPRIG OF SPLEENWORT. 29tributing to their increase or modification. A wholeworld of pleasure is perpetually streaming into usthrough the eye, to whose sensations the green liveryof Nature has been rendered peculiarly grateful andrefreshing. This little organ, like the vases of theBelides, is never filled , although perpetually replenished; and we pass from the contemplation of naturalbeauties to the study of artificial ones, -from theever-changing landscape, heavens and sea, to the endless succession of buildings, statues and paintings, as ifthe day were too short for its enjoyments. When thebodily eye is shut the mental vision is opened, andthe same sights are again presented to us, heightenedto the exquisite of ideal perfection, or made attractive by every species of grotesque and fantastic combination. What a succession of pleasant tattoos areperpetually beating upon the tiny drum of the ear,from the siren mouth of Beauty, " warbling immortal verse and Tuscan air," or the rich harmonies ofsong and cymbal, cithern, harp and lute," " in manya bout of linked sweetness long drawn out," to thesymphonious concert of the birds, the music of thewinds, " the murmuring woodlands, the resoundingshore, " or that " deep and dreadful organ-pipe- thethunder!" Is there a fish, bird, or animal in any ofthe elements, or one of the corners of the world, however remote, which has not been rendered subservientto the indulgences of our palate; while earth spreadsbefore us a never-ending banquet of inanimate productions, stretching up her branching hands from theground, and pouring into our mouths corn, wine, and"30 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.honey, with a thousand varieties of fruit and vegetable luxury? And that they may not leave a singlesense ungratified, do not the greater part of thememit delicious fragrance, while myriads of flowersimpregnate the very winds with odours the mostexquisite? Yet these ministerings to the sense, manifold and voluptuous as they are, were always meantto be kept in subjection to the enjoyments providedfor the celestial part of this lord of the creation!Pleasures of bodily perception he shares with thebeasts that perish; but what a new creation of unbounded beatitude is opened to him by the possessionof the reasoning faculty, and the consciousness of animmortal soul! The consolations of religion- thedelights of literature-the joys that emanate from thehead and heart-books and intellectual society, friendship and domestic bliss, -every one of these is an inexhaustible source ofjoy, whose runnels and streamletsit would require a separate essay to specify; and yetthe happy creature who combines them all with thekeen though subordinate delights of sense - whois placed in the midst of this transitory paradiseunder a promise that if he walks in that path whichimparts the most intense enjoyment to existence, hemay exchange it for an eternal one, -dares, in theblindness of ingratitude, to murmur at his fate! Itonly depends upon himself to be a demi-god, and toconvert the world into an elysium." Let us but striveTo love our fellow-men as heaven loves us,(Which is true piety, ) and earth will seemItself a heaven. "-A SPRIG OF SPLEENWORT. 31That the quantity of human happiness actuallyenjoyed is less than might be fairly presumable fromthe above premises, and the circ*mstances in whichman is placed, cannot be controverted; but it is thecreature who has frustrated the benevolent intentionsof the Creator. Artificial modes of existence, imaginary wants, luxury, excess, and all those sophistications which highly civilized life introduces, undoubtedly tend to destroy, or at least vitiate, oursusceptibility to natural and simple pleasures. Ofthe laws which regulate the mysterious union of mindand matter we know little or nothing: experienceteaches us, however, that the health of the sentientfaculty is governed by that of our organisation; andas most of the upper classes of society dedicate theirbodies to indolence, indulgence, and injurious habitsforeign to the original purposes of Nature, we mayfairly presume that their minds are in a morbidstate of inaptitude to their fair portion of happiness.Tædium, spleen, vapours, blue-devils and megrimsof the spirit, are consequently the ordinary characteristics of these ranks, -the taxes paid for their privileges; but they are by no means the inevitable concomitants of superior station. Exercise of the mindand body, temperance, virtue, -these are the ingredients of happiness; these are in the power of all whowill submit to a little self-denial; and I believe it willbe generally found that the wisest and best of men havebeen remarkable for possessing the best spirits, evento an occasional degree of playfulness and puerility.Minds capable of the greatest things can enjoy the32 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.most trivial, as the elephant's trunk can knock downa lion or pick up a pin. Cheerfulness is the healthof virtue, or man in his natural state: melancholyis a disease either of the body or mind-a derangement of Nature's plan.There may be many real miseries in life; but theimaginary ones, or those created by self-love, are infinitely more numerous. Who does not reckon amonghis acquaintance a counterpart of Gozzi's friendGiulio? "He listens patiently to all my calamities,but it is that he may match every one with a greaterof his own. Has the hail injured my crops this year,after two or three words of hasty condolence he informs me that five years ago his farm was devastatedby the overflowing of a river. Have I a sick wife,he bewails the horrors ofill health, and tells mehe has a servant lying dead in the house. Has myhouse fallen out of repair, he has lately been obligedto rebuild his own entirely. Have I been robbed, hecurses all thieves, and exclaims that he has just foundit necessary to put a new lock upon his escritoire.Whatever I say to Giulio only serves to awakenhis self-love. "-Very true, Signor Gozzi; but whatprompted you to the recital of all these misfortunesbut the very same feeling? There are thousands of people who delight in retailing or even magnifying thesedoldrums, merely that they may be talking aboutthemselves. They find a pleasure in prating abouttheir pains the ingenuity of their selfishness rivalsthe skill of the bee who extracts honey from nettles.They obtain a growth of fresh joys by manuring

A SPRIG OF SPLEENWORT. 33their minds with misery, and build up a new happiness out of the ruins of the old. Were they toexpatiate upon their wealth, or rank, or talents, or highconnexions, or any of the advantages they enjoy overtheir neighbours, as so many others do, they mightjustly be accused of pride and vanity; but nobodycan accuse them of these propensities when they confess, with a perfect candour, their losses, trials, andmisfortunes; their want of health, personal attractions,and mental abilities. Lay not that flattering unctionto your souls, most crafty simpletons and obliqueegotists! This is the commonest though shallowestsubterfuge of self-love. There is hardly a crime,folly, or misery of which some men will not accusethemselves, even wrongfully, rather than not be thesubject of conversation. Not a few love to detail alltheir bodily ailments, and recapitulate a whole Buchan of remedies with a most nauseating minuteness.If they did but know how sincerely their compassionate and sympathising auditors regret that none ofthem proved mortal! Others again will boast of abad leg or cadaverous complexion with a vanity asdeformed as their figures, holding every defect to beredeemed if it happen to appertain to.that impeccableobject of their idolatry -self. Disserting upon theirmisfortunes operates their immediate cure; their misery is like silence-it ceases the moment it is talkedabout.66' They make self-love supply an ointmentFor all defect and disappointment,As dogs by their owntongues can cureWhatever evils they endure. "c 534 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Then again we have a fashionable sect of volunteers in hypochondria, amateurs of misery, knights ofthe woeful countenance, enacting Jaques without hisintellect, and sighing like furnace without the accompaniment of a ditty; who are sad and lack-a-daisicalupon principle, who sentimentalize by rote, talkabout Rousseau and Werter, weep over a heart-rending novel whenever they are observed by others, andhappen to have a clean white handkerchief; expatiate upon the luxury of woe, and patheticallyexclaim in the language of Rogers-"Go, you may call it madness, folly,You shall not steal away my rest;There's such a charm in melancholy,I would not, if I could, be blest.Oh if you knew the pensive pleasureThat fills my bosom when I sigh,You would not rob me of a treasureMonarchs are too poor to buy.”Now surely this is a very sorry and pitiful way ofplaying the fool. A Merry-Andrew is despicableenough; occasionally we laugh at him, now and thenwith him, and sometimes he fails to excite even a smile;but his object is at least intelligible, he strives toelicit our risibility, and if he succeed by tickling oursides instead of our fancies, he has still added a modicum to the general sum of pleasant sensations.what is the motive of the Sad-Andrew, the lugubriouszany, the moping mountebank, who with his lacrymose visage and sickly suspirations plays the fool tomake us cry, and in the lack of substantial sorrows,or the insufficiency of those that actually fall to hisButA SPRIG OF SPLEENWORT. 35share, sets his perverted wits to work in coining andissuing a whole Birmingham of counterfeit calamities?After all, exclaims some genuine or mimic Hypochan, if life be even so fraught with enjoyments asyou have pretended, and our mind could be so regulated as to avail itself of all its pleasurable susceptibilities, it would but imbitter the thought that wemust be shortly torn away from earth and all its attractions! And then with a paviour's sigh he quotesfrom Horace-" Linquenda tellus et domus, et placensuxor. "-Most perverse and insatiable malcontent, dostthou blow hot and cold with the same breath, -complain that life is wretched, and lament that it is not oflonger duration? Ifthou accusest heaven for not givingthee more, whom art thou to thank for calling theeout of the dumb darkness of nonentity and givingthee so much; for bestowing upon thee three or fourscore years of pleasant existence, and making it dependent upon thyself whether thou shalt exchangeit for an eternity of beatitude? Go-and learn thatthere is no deeper ingrate than he whose real melancholy arraigns the dispensations of Providence, andno greater fool than the coxcomb who assumes a sadhess that he does not feel.36 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.PLEASANT ILLUSIONS." Where Ignorance is bliss, ' tis folly to be wise."MADAME DE GENLIS, in her ingenious fiction ofthe Palace of Truth, whose inmates unconsciouslyuttered the real sentiments of their hearts, while theyimagined themselves to be courteously pouring forththe customary amenities of politeness and flattery, hasinculcated a very doubtful moral . She has proved,indeed, the hollowness and insincerity of civilised life;the ridiculous contrast between smiles upon the face,and curses on the lip; between hatred in the bosom,and compliments from the tongue: she has exposedthe general inconsistency between professions andfeelings, and the confusion with which most individuals would be covered, could they be aware that thesuggestion of Momus had been realised, and that awindow had been secretly opened in their bosoms forpublic inspection: —but she has at the same time convinced us, that without this amiable dissimulation andexterior falsehood, the world would be one wretchedscene of ingenuous strife. It would, in fact, exhibitall the envy, hatred, and malice of her Palace of Truth,without the affability of look and demeanour whichvarnished them over: we should have all the nauseousness of the pill, and miss nothing but the gilding.Falsehood and duplicity may be rendered vices bytheir quantum or their motive, but they cannot bePLEASANTILLUSIONS.37essentially culpableif we admitabsoluteunqualifiedtruth to be inconsistentwithcivilisedlife. Nobodycan doubt that, with the unconditionalexerciseof thislatter virtue, we shouldquicklydegenerateinto savageness. Whenour first parentsknewsin, they put ongarments

from that moment

our mindshave requiredto be clothedas carefullyas our bodies, perhapsmorefor it is the skill with whichwe concealdeformities, assist defects, and embellishbeauties, that constitutes the charmof our moralas well as of our personal appearance.SO;Let the designinghypocritebe brandedas he deserves-let everyhonesthandbe furnishedwith awhip for the interestedor malignantliar-let selfishcunningand deceitbe ever, as they are now, the objects of our scorn

but, avaunt

! ye rigouristsandmoralpuritans, who wouldrenderus all a set ofmatter-of-factmisanthropes, whowoulddissipateeverypleasantillusionof life, and, fishingup Truthfromthe bottomof that well into whichthe first inhabitantsof the worldvery properlycast her, wouldinstalher as a householddeity, and the grimidolof our worship. Mistakenzealots! how couldye render her empireuniversal? Are therenot falsehoodsby implicationwhichcouldnot be renderedamenableto yourjurisdiction? Evencouldye indicta smileora bow, and imposea fine uponcomplimentarysuperscriptionsand signatures, are therenot substantialinfractionsof yourlaw, which, thoughtangible, yecannottouch? He mustbe a shrewdofficerof yourcourtwho shalldiscoverand bringup for judgment38 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.uponall the false teeth, false hair, eyebrows, whiskers, andlegs, and the numerous other lies, whether ivory, crinical, or cork, with which our sex pass themselves offthe world for pleasanter and more perfect beingsthan they would otherwise appear.He must be astill keener inquisitor who shall detail the finer subterfuges of female delinquents, and painfully undeceivėmankind by verifying the simulated forms, features,and complexions of those fair impostors. Not all thegnomes and sprites of the Rosicrucians could form àpolice numerous enough to serve a subpoena uponevery white hair that was mendaciously plucked out;to arrest every broad-cloth untruth, in the form of àdandy-jacket upon old shoulders; or confiscate thefraudulent pads and fibbing rouge of emaciated belles.Should they succeed thus far, they will have to layinformations against all constructive falsehoods in themode of living; against rich paupers and poor spendthrifts; against married couples, who wear the semblance of peace to the public, while they carry on aprivate domestic war; and against every vice whichpays Virtue the compliment of imitating her exterior.They must arraign, in short, all those decent forgeries and amiable impositions which give a zest to polished society, by borrowing the garb of the Graces,and throwing it becomingly around our frailties andimperfections.Nor would their duties, though already sufficientlyarduous, be terminated here. To be consistent, theymust endeavour to introduce a similar uniformity ofTruth into the other departments of Nature. ThePLEASANT ILLUSIONS. 39bee must not offer us at the same moment honey anda sting; the snake must surrender either his poisonor his painted coat; the cat must not sleek over hertalons with softness; no nettles must be concealed beneath the flowers; the Siberian crab must taste assweet as it looks; hemlock and nightshade must shedtheir green leaves; and our fields must nourish notypes of that blooming fruit which flourished uponthe borders of the Dead Sea. Truth declares theexistence of evil, moral and physical; we must, therefore, use no disguises to render vice less hideous, ormake our deformities less apparent; and life, embittered by the naked hatefulness of the passions, mustsink into a painful disease, of which sleep will be thewelcome palliative, and death the sole remedy.There is a fanaticism of virtue as well as of religion,and the extremes of both are equally to be avoided .The Quakers have no more got rid of falsehood andbad grammar by the affectations of their phraseology,than they have conquered vanity by the elaborate plainness of their garb. As we cannot lift ourselves above human nature, all aspirations after absolute perfection areuseless; while all those venial transgressions of Truth,which have an amiable motive, may safely be pronounced more praiseworthy and beneficial, than themalignant tenets of Diogenes in his tub, Timon uponthe sea-shore, or the Cynic in his cell, however theirvirulent satires may be susceptible of proof and demonstration. Motive is every thing. He who promulgates Truth with a malicious intention, is moreculpable than the man who infringes it with a bene-40 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.volent one. So far, at least, we may hold with theanomalous dictum of the jurists, that the greater thetruth, the greater the libel. " O qu'il est aimé quirend amiable! " says Gentil Bernard: and what is thisamiability but a constant deviation from the strict integrity of fact, an avoidance of unpleasant veracities,and an indulgence in soothing illusions; a benevolentendeavour to make others pleased with themselvesand us, by placing the character of all parties in abetter light than if we brought it within the strictfocus of the rays of truth? " Where Nature has beensevere," said Hoppner, the portrait-painter, " wesoften; where she is kind, we aggravate." Such isthe art of the amiable man in painting the minds ofhis acquaintance, or exhibiting his own; and whowould dream of accusing either the one or the otherof a culpable duplicity? No, no; a pleasant deception is better than a painful reality: let us be happyin the dark, rather than be enlightened into misery.We have all our little foibles of self-love, our vanitiesof egotism, our illusions and inflations which maysometimes cause us, perhaps, to flutter a little toohigh, and enjoy ourselves out of our real sphere; butlet us not anticipate the Fates in clipping one another's pinions. Alas! the best of us are but as butterflies; cut off our wings, and we are nothing butworms." All the world's a stage," exclaims Shakspeare;and Champfort, enlarging upon this idea, observes:-" La societé, les salons, les cercles, ce qu'on appelle lemonde, est une pièce misérable, un mauvais opéra,PLEASANT ILLUSIONS. 41sans întérêt, qui se soutient un peu par les machineset les décorations." This is only partially true. Tohim who is willing to sit quietly in the front of thehouse, and lend himself to the illusion of the stage,the world is a goodly, glorious, and magnificent drama, possessing the deepest of all interests, and exciting the pleasantest or the sublimest of all sensations:but if, in our busy and mischievous anxiety for ferreting out the real truth, we insist upon going behind thescenes, we have no one to blame but ourselves if " welose by seeking what we hope to find; " if we turn indisgust from the painted visages, narrow intellects, andheartless indifference of the actors, while we contemplate with scorn the tinsel decorations and palpabletrickery which so lately deluded us into astonishmentand rapture. Then, indeed, the world becomes whatChampfort has described it to be: but if a man willwither up his soul by plunging into the moral desert,when he might be luxuriating in some smiling Oasis,let him not complain of that barrenness and sufferingwhich is wilful and self- inflicted. The last- quotedauthor himself confesses that-" Il y a des hommes àqui les illusions sur les choses qui les intéressent sontaussi nécessaires que la vie. Quelquefois cependantils ont des aperçus qui feroient croire qu'ils sont prèsde la vérité; mais ils s'en éloignent bien vîte, et ressemblent aux enfans qui courent après un masque, etqui s'enfuient si le masque vient à se retourner.”Such men are right in flying from the Meduseanhead, which, by dissipating their illusions, and shakingthe serpents with which it is environed, would convert42 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.their hearts into stone. Let me for ever remain defenceless, a butt to every consolatory falsehood andpleasant cheat, rather than be armed with the fatalspear of Ithuriel. Rather would I hold with the wilyGaul, that speech was given to man to conceal histhoughts, than have his tongue betray all the secretsof his bosom, unless we could approximate his naturenearer to the angelic. I do not acknowledge Truthto be more my friend than Plato; it is because she isgreat, and in some respects as terrible as great, thatI wish her not to prevail. Away, then, ye croakingforethoughts and foresights, that would pour yourdark bodings in our ear, and make us think unfavourably, although, perchance, too truly, of our species!Avaunt! ye ravens, who would tell us that love is adream, and friendship a romance; that all the glittering joys of life are splendid lies, while all its miseriesare dark realities! Keep your pestilent and gloomywisdom to yourselves, and leave us to our happy ignorance. Tell us not that the distrustfulness of age willquickly dissipate our flattering visions; reprobating,with Fontaine, " cette philosophie rigide qui faitcesser de vivre avant que l'on soit mort," let uscling, even in second childhood, to the pleasant delusions of our first, and continue to be dupes, ratherthan finish by being misanthropes. It is better toknow nothing than to know too much. In the beginning of the world, the knowledge of the tree ofgood and evil was accompanied with death: so it isstill, with death to the soul, with extinction to theheart. Taking the scriptural fact either literally orallegorically, let us profit by its lesson.THE CULPRIT AND THE JUDGE. 43THE CULPRIT AND THE JUDGE.THE realm of France possess'd, in days of old ,A thriving set of literati,Or men ofletters, turning all to gold:-The standard works they made less weightyBy new abridgments-took abundantPains their roughnesses to polish,And plied their scissars to abolishThe superficial and redundant;And yet, instead of fame and praise,Hogsheads of sack, and wreaths of bays,The law, in those benighted ages,By barbarous edicts did enjoin,That they should cease their occupation,Terming these literary sagesClippers and filers of the coin:(Oh, what a monstrous profanation! )Nay, what was deeper to be dreaded,These worthies were, when caught, beheaded!But to the point. A story shouldBe like a coin-a head and tailIn a few words enveloped. Good!I must not let the likeness fail.A Gascon, who had long pursuedThis trade of clipping,And filing the similitudeOf good King Pepin,Was caught by the police, who found himWith file and scissars in his hand,And ounces of Pactolian sandLying around him.44 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.The case admitting no denial,They hurried him forthwith to trial;When the Judge made a long orationAbout the crime and profanation,And gave no respite for repentance,But instantly pronounced his sentenceDecapitation!"66"As to offending Powers divine,"The culprit cried, " be nothing saidYour's is a deeper guilt than mine:I took a portion from the headOfthe king's image; you, oh, fearful odds!Strike the whole head at once from God's!"MY TEA-KETTLE."O madness to think use of strongest wines,And strongest drinks, our chief support of health.”MILTON.A CERTAIN popular writer who is wasting his timeand misemploying his formidable pen in vituperatingthat most innocent and ingratiating of all beverages,'Tea, should be condemned, for at least six months, todrink from a slop-basin the washing of a washerwoman's Bohea; or be blown up with some of Twining'sbest Gunpowder: or be doomed to exemplify one ofPope's victims of spleen, and"A living tea-pot stand, one arm held out,One bent; the handle this, and that the spout."MY TEA-KETTLE. 45His cottage economy may be very accurate in itscalculations: I dispute not his agrestical or bucoliclore; but why should this twitter of Twankay presumeto denounce it as insalubrious, or brand its frugal infusions with riot and unthrift? Is Sir John Barleycorn,after the brewer's chymist has " drugged our possets; "or " Blue Ruin," with all its juniper seductions; or Roman Purl, still more indigestible than Cleopatra's, -toleave no alternative of tipple to the thirsty cottager?Is he to have no scruples for drams, and yet to besqueamish and fastidious about a watery decoction,to play the anchorite about a cup of tea? Sobrietyand temperance are not such besetting virtues amongour lower orders, that we can afford to narrow theirinfluence by circ*mscribing the use of this antidoteagainst drunkenness; and the champion of the brewersshould recollect the dictum of Raynal -that tea hascontributed more to sobriety than the severest laws,the most eloquent harangues of Christian orators, orthe best treatises ofmorality. But we have within ourrealm five hundred as good as he, who have donefull justice to the virtues of this calumniated plant.Dr. Johnson, as Mrs. Thrale knew to her cost, wasan almost insatiable tea-bibber, and praised that ɛalutiferous potation with as much cordiality as hedrank it.Bontikoe, a Dutch physician, considers it a universalpanacea; and after bestowing the most extravagant encomiums upon it, declares that two hundred cups maybe drank in a day with great benefit. The learnedGrusterzippius, a German commentator, is of opinion46 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES .that the " Te veniente die, te decidente," alludes tothe morning and evening use of this beverage amongthe Romans, while the " Teteneam moriens deficientemanu" seems to intimate its being occasionally usedas a species of extreme unction among the ancients.The late Emperor of China, Kien Long, of pious memory, composed a laudatory ode upon this fragrantproduct of his country, and a nephew of the writer's,a Guinea-pig on board one of the East India ships,having occasion to go to Nankin to buy a pair of trowsers for himself, and a piece of Indian rubber for hisbrother, found means of procuring a copy, of which Isubmit the first verse to the reader's inspection:-" Kou-onen peing-tcho onen-chang,King-tang shoo kin Cong-foo-tse;Chong- choo lee-kee kou- chon whang ,To-hi tche-kiang She-whang-te."The artful allusion to Confucius in the second line,and the happy introduction of the subject beverage inthe fourth, will not escape the most careless critic.Candour requires that we should not disguise, on theother hand, the opinion of Swift, who thus writes inhis Journal to Stella: -"I was telling Sir George Beaumont ofmy head; -he said he had been ill of the samedisorder, and by all means forbid me Bohea Tea, whichhe said always gave it him, and that Dr. Radcliffe saidit was very bad. Now I had observed the same thing,and have left it off this month, having found myself illafter it several times; and I mention it that Stella mayconsider it for her poor own little head. "-This libellous insinuation does not amount to much. Swift wasMY TEA-KETTLE. 47a splenetic and deficient being, unimpassioned by thebeauties of Stella and Vanessa, and therefore naturallyunimpressed by the beauties of Bloom, -incapable ofBohea -a Narses or a Menophilus among the lovers ofTea. What! is China, with its 330 millions of inhabitants, a nation of invalids? Rather may we apprehendfrom the universal potion of Tea an acceleration of theMalthusian dilemma, when the population shall pressupon the limits of food, than any debilitation of ournational strength. For my own part, I am so persuadedof its benign influences upon vitality, hospitality, conviviality, comicality, and all the other ' alities, that ifthere be any adventurous spirits abroad, any fellowsof pith and enterprize stirring, any champions of theaqueous infusion instead of that of the grape, we willhoist the standard of revolt against the vine-crownedBacchus, dispossess him of his Pards to yoke a coupleof milch cows to his car, twitch from his hand theThyrsus " dropping odours, dropping wine," to enwreath it with tea-leaves, substitute for the fir-cone atit* tip a tiny sugar-loaf, convert Pan into a slop-basin,and Silenus and the Satyrs into cups and saucers.Fecundi calices quem non fecere Disertum?Apply this to tea-cups; and why should we not beas jovial and Anacreontic under their pacific inspiration as if we revelled in the orgies of the rosy god, andwere stunned and stimulated by all the cymbals ofthe Bacchanals? Surely it is more natural to make atoast of our mistresses at tea than at dinner-time; andif upon the authority of the " Nævia sex cyathis, sep-48 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.tem Justina libatur," we are to toss off a bumper toevery letter of her name, be the idol of my heart asinterminable as she pleases in her baptismal application, a Polyhymnia or Sesquipedalia at the least, Bacchus will not look the worse in an Anacreontic forcombining his old and new attributes, the vine andthe tea plant. Let us tryFill the Tea-pot, fill!Round my rosy temples twineA Tea-leaf wreath, that I may singLike the conquering God of wine.When the whole East proclaim'd him king,When to the sky, with music ringing,Shouts of " Io Bacche!" flinging,Each Satyr, nymph, and piping-boy,Danced around him mad with joy,Until on Ariadne's breastHis flushing cheek he wildly press'd,The mingled ecstasies to proveOfmusic, wine, Bohea, and love.Fill the Tea-pot, fill!Give mea nymph whose lengthen'd nameIn longer spells my heart may fetter,That I may feed, not quench my flame,By bumper-toasts to every letter.And so on. As I'm an honest man, and a sober, I thinkthese verses, as flowing, bibulous, and hilarious as anythat were ever roared over a magnum of Port, or abeaker of Burgundy, to a shrieking set of three-bottleCorinthians. Falstaff and his followers may blusterabout their sherries-sack; but I maintain against all impugners, that it will not mount into the brain and fillMY TEA-KETTLE. 49it so full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes as yourgenuine Souchong, one cup of which . But thisreminds me, before I go any farther, to caution allneophytes, or old tea-drinkers, to abstain from the useof the word dish: it is a vile phrase, in spite of the authority of Addison, -a scullion term-washerwomanish-fit only for the gossips of the laundry or thekitchen. Let them take the counsel, moreover, of anot inexperienced practitioner, and prefer the homelykettle to the patrician look and classical pretensionsof the urn. All associations connected with the latterare lugubrious and mortuary; it has funeral, cinerary,and lachrymal namesakes, with whom we need notsadden our thoughts in the hours of recreation.sides, it is like a hollow friend: its heart soon gets cold,it ceases to pour forth its consolations with any warmthof feeling, and so spoils our tea that it may gratify oursight. It is hallowed by no fire-side reminiscences, fitonly for some ostentatious tea-tippler, whose palate isin his eye, or for some dawdling and slip-shod bluestocking who loves-"To part her time 'twixt reading and Bohea;To muse, and spill her solitary tea."BeWhat revolution in taste can be effected withoutcompromising the interests of some individual orother? Here is a Bardolph-faced friend who tellsme it will be very hard for him to have the complexion and reputation of drunkenness without its enjoyment; but there is no help for it-he must lookhis fortunes in the face, and reflect that it is better toVOL. I. D50 GAIETIES AND accused of a vice, being innocent, than acquittedof it, being guilty. Next comes a punster, who trembles lest his occupation should be gone; assuring methat many of his best jokes would never have been relished, had not his half-tipsy auditors been enabled tohear, as well as to see double; and that the only goodhit he ever made at a tea-table, was at a Newmarketparty, when incautiously burning his fingers by taking up the toast from the fire, and breaking the plateas he let it fall upon the floor, he observed that it wastoo bad to lose the plate after having won the heat.My dear sir, as Dr. Johnson said upon another occasion, rest your fame for colloquial excellence upon that,and judge from such a specimen what you may hopeto accomplish when you become more copiously saturated with Souchong. Writers as well as utterers ofgood things will be spiritualised and clarified in theirintellects, by substituting libations of tea for those ofwine; and, as to the averment of the miscalled Teianbard-" If with water you fill up your glasses,You'll never write any thing wise;For wine is the steed of Parnassus,That hurries a bard to the skies. "I hold it to be a pernicious, false, and Bacchanalianheresy, for which he was deservedly choked with agrape-stone. No; your genuine Apollo sits thronedupon a pile of tea-chests instead of Parnassus: yourauthentic Castaly flows from a tea-pot, your legitimateMuses haunt the plantations of Canton. If a man wereADDRESS TO MY KETTLE. 51naturally so prosaic as to be enabled to say, withBenedick " I can find out no rhyme to lady butbaby, —an innocent rhyme, " I defy him to perseverein the use of this verse-compelling beverage, withoutcommitting poetry. Even a tea-board will convertand stimulate the most inert. Look you there! I amunconsciously lapsing into rhyme-an involuntary Improvisatore!-Tea, I was going to state, inspires suchwarm poetical desires. -Lo, where it comes again!One would imagine I had dipped my pen in Souchonginstead of ink. It absolutely runs away with me, perpetrating bouts rimés in its course, and forcing me tocommit to paper the followingADDRESS TO MY KETTLE.Leaving some operatic zanyTo celebrate the singers many,From Billington to Catalani,Thy voice I still prefer to any,―MY KETTLE!Some learned singers, when they tryTo spout, become embarrass'd, dry,And want thy copious fluency, -MY KETTLE!They, when their inward feelings boil,Scold, storm, vociferate, turmoil,And make a most discordant coil, -MY KETTLE!You, when you ' re chafed, but sing the more;And when just ready to boil o'er,In silent steam your passions soar, —MY KETTLE!D 252 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.To hear their strains, one needs must bearLate hours, noise, lassitude, hot air,And dissipation's dangers share,—MY KETTLE!But thine, my nightly Philomel,—Thine is a voice whose magic spell,Like Prospero's can tempests quell, —MY KETTLE!Peace, home, content, tranquillity,Domestic bliss and friendship's tie,Own its endearing melody, -MY KETTLE!Others, of Bacchanalian life,Find nothing in their cups so rife,As wrath and Lapithæan strife, -MY KETTLE!Those filled by you a balm bestow,Warming the heart, whose social glowBids all the kindly feelings flow, —Then is thine inspiration seen,—Then is thy classic tide sereneMy Helicon and Hippocrene, -MY KETTLE!MY KETTLE!For these, and more than I've related,Joys with thy name associated,To thee this verse be dedicated, -MY KETTLE!THE WIDOW OF THE GREAT ARMY. 53THE WIDOW OF THE GREAT ARMY.Ar the time that the great army under Napoleonperished in the snows of Russia, a French woman,stated to be of respectable family and education,was so deeply affected by the calamity of her country, and her melancholy apprehensions for its futurefate, that she became deprived of her senses, put onwidows' weeds, and wandered about Paris, bewailingthe fate of the unfortunate armament. Dressed indeep sables, she may still almost daily be seen in theChamps Elysées, in the same state of mental alienation; and the Parisians, who allow neither national norindividual sorrows to deprive them of a heartless joke,have long since christened her " The Widow of theGreat Army." This unfortunate female is supposed toutter the following stanzas at the period of the firstinvasion: -Half a million of heroes-I saw them all:O God! ' twas a sight of awful delightTo gaze on that army, the glory of Gaul,As it roll'd in its fierceness of beauty forth,Like a glittering torrent, to deluge the North!The war-horses' tramp shook the solid ground,While their neighings aha! and the dread hurraOf the myriad mass made the skies resound,As th' invincible Chief, on his milk-white steed,Vanwards gallop'd , their host to lead.54 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Sword, sabre, and lance of thy chivalry, France,And helmet of brass, and the steel cuirass,Flash'd in the sun as I saw them pass;While day by day, in sublime array,The glorious pageant roll'd away!Where are ye now, ye myriads? Hark!O God! not a sound; -they are stretch'd on the ground,Silent and cold, and stiff and stark:On their ghastly faces the snows still fall,And one winding-sheet enwraps them all.The horse and his rider are both o'erthrown:-Soldier and beast form a common feastFor the wolf and the bear; and, when day is flown,Their teeth gleam white in the pale moonlight,As with crash ofbones they startle the night.Oh, whither are fled those echoes dread,As the host hurraed, and the chargers neigh'd ,And the cannon roar'd, and the trumpets bray'd? —Stifled is all this living breath,And hush'd they lie in the sleep of death.They come! they come! the barbarian hordę!Thy foes advance, oh, beautiful France,To ravage thy valleys with fire and sword:Calmuc and Moscovite follow the trackOfthe Tartar fierce and the wild Cossack.All Germany darkens the rolling tide;Sclavonian dun, Croat, Prussian, Hun,With the traitorous Belgian bands allied;While the Spaniard swart, and the Briton fair,Their banners wave in our southern air.Sound the tocsin, the trumpet, the drum!Heroes of France, advance, advance!And dash the invaders to earth as they come!Where's the Grand Army to drive them back? -March, countrymen, march! -attack, attack!THE SPARE BLANKET. 55Ah me! my heart-it will burst in twain!One fearful thought, to my memory brought,Sickens my soul, and maddens my brain, —That army of heroes, our glory and trust,Where is it? what is it?-bones and dust!THE SPARE BLANKET.COLD was the wind, and dark the night,When Samuel Jinkins, call'd by someThe Reverend, (tho' I doubt his right, )Reach'd Yarmouth's town, induced to comeBy ardour in the cause of Zion,And housed him at the Golden Lion.His chamber held another bed,But, as it was untenanted,Our hero, without fear or doubt,Undress'd, and put the candle out;And, Morpheus making haste to drop hisDrowsiest soporific poppies,Sleep soon o'ertook the weary elf,Who snored like—nothing but himself.The night was pretty far advanced,When a stray smuggler, as it chanced,Was by the yawning Betty ledTothe aforesaid empty bed."Tis plain that, since his own bassoonDid not awake him with its tune,Sam could not hear his neighbour,Who very leisurely undress'd,Put out the light, retired to rest,And, weary with his labour,Form'd a duet with nose sonorous,Although it sounded like a chorus.56 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.The witching-time of night is nearHark! ' tis the hollow midnight bell,Whose echoes, fraught with solemn fear,Far o'er the land and ocean swell.The sentry, on his lonely post,Starts, and bethinks him of a ghost;Lists, eager for the distant soundOf comrades marching to the round,And bends athwart the gloom his eye,The glimmer of their arms to spy: —While many a startled nymph awaking,Counts the long chime so dull and dread,Fancies she sees the curtains shaking,Draws underneath the clothes her head,Feels a cold shudder o'er her creep,Attempts to pray, and shrinks to sleep.Although our Missionary wokeJust at this moment in a shiver,'Twas not the clock's appalling strokeThat put his limbs in such a quiver;-The blankets on his bed were two,So far from being thick and new,That he could well have borne a dozen;No wonder that, with such a store,When his first heavy sleep was o'er,The poor incumbent woke half-frozen."Since Betty has forgot the clothes,"Quoth Sam, (confound her stupid head! )" I'll just make free to borrow thoseThat lie upon the empty bed:"So up he jump'd, too cold and rawTo be punctilious in his work,Grasp❜d the whole covering at a claw,Offstripp'd it with a single jerk,And was retreating with his prey,When, to his horror and dismay,THE SPARE BLANKET. 57His ears were almost split asunderBy a Hollo!" as loud as thunder!66He stood transfix'd, afraid to breathe,With trembling lips and chatt'ring teeth;But cry'd at last, with desperate shout,"Satan, avaunt!-I've found thee out. "Meanwhile, the Smuggler, who had shoutedAt finding all the blankets gone,Though for a little while he doubtedThe cause of the phenomenon,Soon as he heard Sam's exclamation,Concluded, without hesitation,'Twas an exciseman come to seizeHis contraband commodities;Wherefore, within his fist collectingHis vigour and resentment too,And by the voice his aim directing,Since every thing was hid from view,He launch'd a more than mortal blow,Intended to conclude the matter,Which, whizzing on its work of woe,Fell, with a desolating clatter,Just where our Missionary bore hisTwo front teeth, or Incisores.This made the Jinkins fiercer burnTo give his foe a due return,And punish him for what the brute didWhen his front teeth he had uprooted.Rearing, with this intent, his fist,Although the Smuggler's face it miss'd,It met his ear with such a rap,He thought it was a thunder-clap,Especially as from the crashHis eye-balls gave a sudden flash.Jinkins, meanwhile, with clamour dire,Vociferating " Thieves!" and " Fire!"D 558 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Host, hostess, men and maids, rush'd in,Astounded by his fearful din,While many more prepared to followWith lights and buckets, hoop and hollo!His foe, who saw how matters lay,Slipp'd on his clothes, then slipp'd away;And, being somewhat waggish, thusBegan the adventure to discuss: ~~"Sure, neither acted like a wise man,To think the devil would fight th' exciseman,When both pursue the self-same endsLike fellow-labourers and friends.Both have authority to seizeUnlawful spirits, where they please;Both have a right to claim as bootiesAll those, who have evaded duties;They roam together, hour by hour,Both seeking whom they may devour;And since th' inseparable twoA partnership in this world form,Heaven grant that both may have their due,And, in the next, be friends as warm!"ON DANCING.A good man's fortune may be out at heels.SHAKSPEARE.WERE a book to be written upon the discordantopinions held by different nations, or by the samepeople at different periods, upon any given subject,none would present a more contradictory estimate,than the harmless recreation of dancing. For someON DANCING. 59thousand of years, in the early stages of the world,it was exclusively a religious ceremony. The danceof the Jews, established by the Levitical law to beexhibited at their solemn feasts, is, perhaps, the mostancient upon record. The dancing of David is alsofrequently quoted; and many commentators havethought, that every Psalm was accompanied by adistinct dance. In several of the temples, a stage wasspecially erected for these exercises; but, in processof time, they seem to have been practised by secular,as well as spiritual, performers. The daughters ofShiloh were thus recreating themselves in the vineyards, when they were caught by the young men ofthe tribe of Benjamin, who presently danced intotheir good graces, and carried them off for wives-aprocess which is frequently imitated, even in thesedegenerate days. The heathens, also, could " sporta toe" in the very earliest ages. Pindar calls Apollo"the dancer;" Homer, in one of his hymns, tells usthat this deity capered to the music of his own harp;and from Callimachus we learn that the Nereideswere proficients in this elegant accomplishment, at theearly age of nine years *. For several centuries, itwas confined to military movements, when a battlewas a grand Ballet of Action, opposing armies becamepartners in the dance of death, and cut throats andcapers with equal assiduity . Since those truculentand operatic days, it has been limited to festive andjoyous occasions; but how various the estimation in

  • See the Vestriad, a mock Epic Poem.

60 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.which it has been held by inconsistent mortals! Socrates, a wise Grecian, took lessons in this art fromAspasia. Cicero, an enlightened Roman, urges thepractice of dancing against Galbinius, as a grave andheinous offence. Of the moderns, many hold it anutter abomination to dance upon a Sunday; whileothers signalize the Sabbath by an increased hilarityof heel. In Germany, a band of enthusiastic damselsformerly testified their devotion to St. Vitus, by dancing round his shrine, until they contracted a maladywhich still bears his name: the modern Herrnhuters,of the same district, would suffer martyrdom, ratherthan heathenize their legs by any similar profanation.Our own country, at the present moment, possessesa sect of Jumpers, who, seeming to imagine that hewho leaps highest must be nearest to Heaven, solemnize their meetings by jumping like kangaroos, andjustify themselves very conclusively from Scripture,because-David danced before the Ark-the daughterof Shiloh danced in the yearly festival of the Lordand the child John, the son of Elizabeth, leapt beforeit was born! The Methodists, on the other hand,maintain, in its full latitude, the doctrine of the ancient Waldenses and Albigenses, that as many pacesas a man makes in dancing, so many leaps he makestowards Hell. Even the amiable Cowper, the poet,suffered his fine mind to be so darkened by bigotry,as to believe that a great proportion of the ladies andgentlemen, whom he saw amusing themselves withdancing at Brighthelmstone, must necessarily beON DANCING. 61damned *; and in a religious publication, now beforeme, I find it stated, that a sudden judgment overtooka person for indulging in this enormity: a large lumpstarted up in his thigh while dancing; but upon hissolemn promise not to repeat the offence, the Lordheard his prayer, and removed his complaint †. Awriter in the same work, after denouncing those whoadmit " dancing and other vain amusem*nts into theirschools," concludes with an alarming belief, " thatthis dancing propensity has, in some places, nearlydanced the Bible out of the school! " In conformitywith these enlightened views, and in defiance of thesacred writer, who expressly declares that there is atime to dance, the Methodists exclude from their communion all those who practise dancing, or teach it tochildren, while their ministers refuse to administerthe Sacrament to all persons guilty of frequentingballs. Let us hope that the increasing good sense ofthese well-meaning, but misguided ascetics, will speedily get the better of such monkish austerities; thatthe time may come, when they may feel persuadedthat our Heavenly Father can contemplate this innocent recreation of his creatures with as much benignityas a parent beholds the gambols of his children; andthat the now gloomy inmates of the Tabernacle mayjustify the change, by adopting the beautiful sentiment of Addison-" Cheerfulness is the best Hymnto the Deity." I do not despair of seeing a whole

  • Hayley's Life, p. 100.

+ Evangelical Magazine, Aug. 1812. Ibid. June 1808.62 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.brotherhood and sisterhood standing up in pairs for acountry-dance, all anxious to make amends for losttime; while he, who is to lead off, claps his yellowgloves in ecstasy, and calls aloud to the band to playup Wesley's Fancy, or the Whitfield Reel.I abhor that atrocious and impious doctrine, thatFrance and England are natural enemies, as if GodAlmighty had made us only to cut one another'sthroats; and yet I must say that I hate the French,and hate them too for one of their most elegant accomplishments-their inexhaustible genius for dancing. With the fertility of their ballet-masters, I haveno quarrel: let them attitudinize till they have twistedthe human form into as many contortions as Fuseli;let them vary figures and combinations ad infinitum,like the kaleidoscope; let them even appropriate distinct movements to each class of the human and superhuman performers. I admit the propriety of theircelebrated pas called the Gargouillade, which, as aFrench author informs us, is devoted to the entrée ofwinds, dæmons, and elementary spirits, and of whosemode of execution he gravely proceeds to give anelaborate and scientific description. But why musttheir vagaries quit their proper arena, the Operastage, and invade our ball-rooms and assemblies?They have kicked me out of dancing society fulltwenty years before my time. The first innovationthat condemned me to be a spectator, where I usedto be a not undistinguished performer, was the sickening and rotatory Waltz; of which I never saw theobject, unless its votaries meant to form a contrast, toON DANCING. 63the lilies of the valley, " which toil not, neither dothey spin." Waiving all objections upon the groundof decorum, surely the young men and women of thepresent age were giddy enough before, without thestimulus of these fantastical gyrations. If a fortunehunter choose to single out an heiress, and spin roundand round with her, like a billiard-ball, merely to getinto her pocket at last, there is at least a definableobject in his game; but that a man should volunteerthese painful circumvolutions for pleasure, really seemsto be a species of saltatory suicide. I never saw thefigurantes at the Opera whirling their pirouettes, likewhipping-tops, without wishing to be near them witha stout thong, that I might keep up the resemblance;and as to imitating their ungraceful roundabouts, byjoining in a waltz, I would rather be a tetotum atonce, or one of the front wheels of Mrs. C― y'scarriage. Thanks to the Goddess of fashion, fickle asshe is foolish, our ball-room misses have at lengthceased to be twisted and twirled in this unmercifulmanner, and our spinning-jennies are again prettynearly confined to Manchester and Glasgow.Tired as I was of sitting like a spondee, with mytwo long feet hanging idle on my hands, (if the catachresis may be allowed, ) I began now to entertainhopes of again planting my exploded heel upon achalked board. But alas! I was doomed to experience, that there are as many disappointments between the toe and the ground as between the cupand the lip. France, my old enemy, was upon thewatch to export a new annoyance: the Genius of64 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Quadrille started up from amid the roses painted ona ball- room floor, and my discomfited legs were againcompelled to resume their inglorious station beneaththe benches. I could not put them into a go- cart,and begin all my steps again: I could not make a toilof a pleasure, rehearse beforehand, and study my taskby card and compass, merely to make an exhibitionof myself at last . It was too like amateur acting;the constraint of a ballet, without its grace or skillthe exertion of dancing, without its hilarity; and itwas moreover an effort in which I was sure to beeclipsed by every boarding-school miss or master, whowould literally learn that by heart, which I, in my distaste to these innovations, could only expect to learnby foot. In this melancholy and useless plight, doI wander from one ball-room to another, dancingnothing but attendance, and kicking nothing but myheels; sometimes, like a tripod that has lost a leg,leaning disconsolately against the wall, because I cannot stand up in my proper place; and sometimesbeating time to the music with my foot, which is asbitter a substitute for genuine jumps, as is the coculusIndicus for real hops.Oh, for the days that are gone! —the golden age ofco*cked hats; the Augustan era of country-dance; theapotheosis of minuet! How well do I remember thefirst night I ventured upon the latter, that genuinerelic of the old French court! What an awful recollection have I of the trying moment, when, with aslow and graceful curve of my arm, I first depositedthe triangular beaver upon my powdered locks, press-ON DANCING. 65ing it down upon my forehead, with a firm determination to look fierce and fascinating, and yet with atender and sympathetic regard for the economy of myelaborate curls; somewhat in the style recommendedby old Izaak Walton, when, in instructing you to impale a worm for angling, he bids you handle him tenderly withal, and treat him like a friend. The scentedpulvilio, which the untwisted hairs reproachfully effused, still seems to salute my nose, and flutter between my eyes and the dipping and swimming figureof my partner. With what pride I led her to herseat, and what a bewitching bow I flattered myself Ihad made, when she blushed into her chair! In thosehappy days, the next operation was a regular andpersevering set-to at the genuine old English countrydance; and the amusem*nts of the night were invariably wound up by the Boulanger, or Sir Roger deCoverley. One of my nieces played me those exploded tunes a few days ago, and what a flush of rosyrecollections did they conjure up! Their music seemedto penetrate into the quiet caves and grottoes of memory, awakening ideas that had long slumbered undisturbed. Methought they issued from their recesseslike so many embodied sprites; and, fastening theirflowery wreaths to the spokes of Time's great wheel,they dragged it rapidly backward, until the days ofmyyouth became evolved before me in all the fidelityand vividness of their first existence. Then did Iagain behold the rich Miss B , the sugar-baker'sdaughter, whom my parents invariably urged me toengage for the supper-dances, with many a shrewd66 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.•hint that a partner at a ball often became a partnerfor life;-nor was her corpulent mother omitted, whocarried vanity so far as even to affect a slight degreeof palsy, that the motion of her head might give amore dazzling lustre to the magnificent diamondswith which it was thickly studded . I see her now, ather old place in the card-room, shaking and sparklinglike an aspen-tree in the sunshine of a white frost. Ibehold, also, the bustling little old man, her father,receiving the tickets of admission in all the pomp ofoffice, with his snuff-coloured suit, and the powderedand pomatumed peak coming to a point in the centreof his bald head. I hear him boasting, at the sametime, of his wealth and his drudgery, and declaringthat, with all the hundreds he had spent upon his hothouses and plantations at Hackney, he had never seenthem except by candle-light. As for the daughter,thank Heaven, I never danced with her but once; andmy mind's eye still beholds her webby feet paddlingdown the middle, with the floundering porpus- likefling she gave at the end, only accomplished by bearing half her weight upon her partner, and invariablyout of tune. Often have I wondered at the patienceof the musicians, in wasting rosin and catgut uponher timeless sprawls. She was obtuse in all her perceptions, and essentially vulgar in appearance: in theconsciousness of her wealth she sometimes strove tolook haughty, but her features obstinately refused toassume any expression beyond that of inflexible stupidity. She was too opulent, according to the sapientcalculations of the world, to marry any but a richON DANCING. 67man; and she succeeded, at length, in realizing hermost ambitious dreams. Her husband is a yellowlittle nabob, rolling in wealth, and half suffocated withbile. She has three rickety children, whom she isashamed to produce. With no more ear than a fish,she has a box at the Opera, and gives private concerts.In short, there is no luxury she is incapable of relishing, which her fortune does not enable her to command; and no enjoyment really adapted to her taste,in which her imagined gentility does not deter herfrom indulging.What a contrast was the accomplished, the fascinating Fanny with her lovely features irradiated with innocent hilarity, yet tempered with sentiment and deep feeling. She was all intelligencespiritual-ethereal; at least, I often thought so, asher sylph-like form seemed to be treading upon air,while it responded spontaneously to every pulsationof the music, like a dancing echo. In the romance ofa first love, one who thought it would be delightfulto die for her sent her the inclosed song, but shenever noticed the effusion, though she never returnedit. Poor Fanny! she fell a sacrifice to one of thosepests of society, a dangler, a male coquet; who paidher his addresses, won her affections, changed hismind, and married another-the scoundrel! Herpride might have borne the insult, but her love couldnot be recalled-her heart was broken. Her finemind began to prey upon itself-the sword wore outthe scabbard-her frame gradually faded away, and arapid decline at length released her from her uncom-68 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.plaining misery. Many a vow have I made to suppress my unavailing grief, and refrain from visitingthe place of her burial; when, in the very midst ofmy resolutions, my feet have unconsciously carriedme to it again. Most truly might I have exclaimedwith Tibullus,"Juravi quoties rediturum ad limina nunquam?Cùm bene juravi, pes tamen ipse redit."SONG. TO FANNY.When morning through my lattice beams,And twittering birds my slumbers break,Then, Fanny, I recall my dreams,Although they bid my bosom ache,For still I dream ofthee.When wit, and wine, and friends are met,And laughter crowns the festive hour,In vain I struggle to forget;Still does my heart confess thy power,And fondly turn to thee.When night is near, and friends are far,IAnd, through the tree that shades my cotgaze upon the evening star,How do I mourn my lonely lot,And, Fanny, sigh for thee!I know my love is hopeless -vain,But, Fanny, do not strive to robMy heart of all that soothes its painThe mournful hope, that every throb Will make it break for thee!ON AN INFANT SMILING AS IT AWOKE. 69ON AN INFANT SMILING AS IT AWOKE.AFTER the sleep of night, as some still lakeDisplays the cloudless Heavens in reflection,And, dimpled by the breezes, seems to breakInto a waking smile of recollection,As if from its calm depths the morning lightCall'd up the pleasant dreams that gladden'd night: —So does the azure of those laughing eyesReflect a mental Heaven of thine own;In that illumined smile 1 recognizeThe sunlight of a sphere to us unknown;Thou hast been dreaming of some previous blissIn other worlds, for thou art new to this.Hast thou been wafted to Elysian bowers,In some blest star where thou hast pre-existed;Inhaled th' ecstatic fragrancy offlowersAround the golden harps of Seraphs twisted,Or heard those nightingales of ParadisePour thrilling songs and choral harmonies?Perchance all breathing life is but an essenceFrom the great Fountain Spirit in the sky,And thou hast dreamt of that transcendant presenceWhence thou hast fall'n, a dew-drop from on high,Destined to lose, as thou shalt mix with earth,Those bright recallings of thy heavenly birth.We deem thy mortal memory not begun, —But hast thou no remembrance of the pastNo lingering twilight of a former sun,Which o'er thy slumbering faculties hath castShadows of unimaginable things,Too high or deep for human fathomings?70 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Perchance, while reason's earliest flush is brighteningAthwart thy brain, celestial sights are given;As skies that open to let out the lightningDisclose a transitory glimpse of Heaven;And thou art wrapt in visions, all too brightFor aught but Cherubim, and Infant's sight.Emblem of heavenly purity and blissMysterious type which none can understand,Let me with reverence approach, to kissLimbs lately touch'd by the Creator's hand: -So awful art thou, that I feel more proneTo claim thy blessing than bestow mine own.ENGLISH GENEALOGY.-SUNDAY." I am no herald to enquire of men's pedigrees; it sufficeth me if I know their virtues." SIDNEY."Sunday must needs be an excellent institution, since thevery breaking of it is the support of half the villages roundtown." BONNEL THORNTON.If it were possible to trace back the current of anEnglishman's blood to its early fountains, what astrange compound would the mass present! What aconfusion and intermingling of subsidiary streamsfrom the Britons, Romans, Danes, Saxons, and Normans; amalgamating with minor contributions fromundiscoverable sources, mocking the chemist's powerto analyse, and almost bewildering imagination toconceive! Being myself " no tenth transmitter of afoolish face," I have sometimes maliciously wishedENGLISH GENEALOGY. -SUNDAY. 71that a bona fide, genuine, scrupulously-accurate family tree, shooting its branches up into the darknessof antiquity, could be displayed before some of ourboasters of high descent and genealogical honours.Heavens! how would it vary from their own emblazoned parchment and vellum records! What confusion of succession-what scandal thrown upon LadyBarbaras and Lady Bridgets, all immaculate in theirtime what heraldic bars in noble scutcheons, ancientand modern, from the now first-detected intrigues ofchaplains, captains, pages, and serving-men, with theirfrail mistresses, whose long stomachers, stuck up inthe picture-gallery of the old Gothic hall, look likeso many insurance- plates against the fire of Cupid'sunlawful torch! Strange that there should be a limitto this pride of ancestry! If it be glorious to traceour family up to Edward the First, it should be stillmore so to ascend to Edward the Confessor; yetpride seldom mounts higher than the first illustriousname, the first titled or celebrated progenitor, whomit chooses to call the founder of the family. Thehaughtiest vaunter of high pedigree and the honoursof unbroken descent, from the time of William theConqueror, would probably weep with shame at beingenabled to follow his name three hundred years fartherback, through a succession of ploughmen, mechanics,or malefactors. As it cannot be denied that all families are, in point of fact, equally ancient, the distinction consists in possessing records to prove a certain succession; and even this, it appears, ceases to beaboast beyond a certain point. Fantastical vanity!72 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.which, while it cannot deny to the beggar at thegate the privilege of being equally descended fromAdam and Eve, rests its own claim to superiorityupon being enabled to prove a fiftieth part of thesame antiquity, struts, like the jay in the fable, inothers' finery, and piques itself upon the actions ofancestors, instead of its own. Give me the man, whois an honour to his titles; not him whose titles arehis honour!But if an Englishman be such a heterogeneouscompound as to his personal composition, he has theconsolation of knowing that his language is, at least,equally confused and intermingled with Teutonic,Celtic, and classical derivations. Let us consider, forinstance, the hebdomadary (as Dr. Johnson wouldcall it) , or the days of the week, named after theSun, the Moon, Tuisco, Woden or Odin, Thor,Freya, and Saturn; four Scandinavian or northerndeities, three Pagan gods worshipped in the south,and not one Christian sponsor! Let the reader liftup the curtain of time, and, taking a hasty glimpse ofthe last ten or twenty centuries, suffer his imaginationto wander amid the scenes and associations suggestedby the enumeration we have just made. Perched onthe crags of rocks and mountains, and frowning at therolling clouds and snow-storms that lour beneath, hewill mark the gigantic heroes of the north; the warriors of Ossian will stalk gloomily before him; he willroam through the five hundred and forty halls ofThor's palace, till he find him seated on his thronewith his terrific wife Freya by his side, and in hisENGLISH GENEALOGY.SUNDAY. 73hand the gigantic hammer of which he has read in theRunic poetry; and finally, he will ascend into theScandinavian Elysium, or Palace of Valhalla, where hewill behold the beatified warriors drinking mead outof the skulls of their enemies, administered by the fairhands of the Valkyriæ, those virgin Houris of thenorth, blessed with perpetual youth and never-fadingbeauty. Turning from the appalling sublimity ofthese cold, desolate, and warlike regions, let his fancyrevel in the rich and sunny luxuriance of Grecianlandscape, awakening from their long sleep all thebeautiful realities and classical fictions connected withthe glorious god of the Sun, the Apollo of the poets,the patron deity of Delphi and of Delos. How beautiful is the morning! Slowly rising above the mountains of Argos, the sun shoots a golden bloom overthe undimpled waters of the Ægean and the sea ofMyrtos, gilding every height of the Cycladean Islands,as if the very hills had caught fire to do honour to thequinquennial festival of Apollo, now celebrating atDelos. See! in every direction the green ocean isstudded with the white sails of barks (like daisies inthe grass) hastening to the ceremony, from Attica,Boeotia, and Thessaly; from Lesbos and Crete; fromIonia and the coasts of Asiatic Greece. As they approach, their crews are seen doing reverence to thesun, and the faint dulcet sound of flutes and hautboysmelts along the wave.Let me stop while I can, for I have got astrideupon my favourite hobby-horse, and if I am sufferedto proceed, I shall gallop to every province of Greece,VOL. I. E74 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.and visit every scene of jubilee, from the great Olympic Games to the Feast of Adonis, which the Syracusan gossips of Theocritus were so anxious to witness. Suffice it that a slight sketch has been attemptedof a Sun-day among the people of Delos. Let us seehow it has been celebrated by other nations. InHebrew, the word Sabbath signifies rest; and theJews fixed it on the Saturday, the last day of theweek, to commemorate the completion of the work ofcreation, and the reposing of the Lord. It was notdistinguished by a mere cessation from labour, butwas enlivened by every species of rejoicing, they whotook the most pleasure deeming themselves the mostdevout; and, amid a variety of puerile and superstitious ceremonies, they were particularly enjoined tolie longer in bed on that morning. If it were allowable to reverse the profane jest of the pork-lover, whowished to be a Jew, that he might have the pleasureof eating pork and sinning at the same time, I shouldbe tempted to express a similar desire for the contemporaneous comfort of lying in bed and performing areligious duty. The Sunday, or Christian Sabbath,was appropriated to the first day of the week, ineternal remembrance of the resurrection of Christ;but was not strictly solemnized as a period of cessation from all business until about the year 321 , whenConstantine ordered its more rigorous observance, andinterdicted all prosecutions, pleadings, and juridicalprocesses, public or private. Of all the blessings everbestowed on the world, it may be questioned whetherany have been attended with more beneficial conse-ENGLISH GENEALOGY. SUNDAY. 75quences to morals, health, and happiness, than the'institution of a seventh day of rest, without whichthe lot of mortality, to the mass of mankind, wouldbe hardly endurable. What contemplation so kindly,social, and endearing, as to behold the great humanfamily linked by religion in one domestic brotherhood,and reduced to one common level, assembling weeklyunder the same roof to pour forth their gratitude toGod, their universal benefactor and father? Andyet how various have been the temper and spirit withwhich the Sabbath has been solemnized in differentages, fluctuating from the sternest self-mortificationand the most inexorable rigour, to the opposite extreme of irreverend and licentious hilarity. Wellmight Erasmus say, that the human understandingwas like a drunken clown attempting to mount ahorse; —if you help him up on one side, he falls overon the other. The old Puritan, who refused to brewon a Saturday, lest his beer should work on theSunday, was scarcely more ridiculous than the sceptical G. L. Le Sage of Geneva, who, according to hisbiographer Prevost, being anxious to ascertain whether the great Author of Nature still prescribed tohimself the observance of the original day of rest,measured, with the nicest exactitude, the daily increaseof a plant, to ascertain whether it would cease growing on the Sabbath, and finding that it did not, ofcourse decided for the negative of the proposition. Bystatute 1 Car. I. no persons on the Lord's-day " shallassemble out of their own parishes, for any sportwhatsoever; nor, in their parishes, shall use any bullE 276 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.or bear-baiting, interludes, plays, or other unlawfulexercises or pastimes; on pain that every offendershall pay 3s. 4d. to the poor." In 1618, King James,on the other hand, was graciously pleased to declare,"That for his good people's recreation, his Majesty'spleasure was, that after the end of divine service theyshould not be disturbed, letted, or discouraged fromany lawful recreations; such as dancing, either of menor women; archery for men; leaping, vaulting, or anyother harmless recreations; nor having of May-games,Whitsun-ales, or Morrice-dances; or setting up ofMay-poles, or other sports therewith used, so as thesame may be had in due and convenient time, withoutimpediment or let of divine service." A statute, the29 Charles II. enacts, " that no person shall workon the Lord's day, or use any boat or barge; " and bythe non-repeal of this absurd law, the population ofLondon, on the only day when its labouring classeshave leisure for recreation, are denied the healthyenjoyment of their noble river, unless they choose tosubject themselves to a penalty of 5s.Our own times have had their full share of thispendulating between extremes. To the lively Parisians nothing appeared more atrociously tyrannical,than that their restored sovereign should shut up theshops on a Sunday, and compel some little externalreverence to the day, beyond the mere opening of thechurch-doors for the accommodation of a few devoutold women. His pious inflexibility, on this point, hadvery nearly occasioned a counter-revolution. "Eh!ENGLISH GENEALOGY. -SUNDAY. 77mon Dieu," said the Frenchman in London, when helooked out of window on a Sunday morning in thecity, "what national calamity has happened?" Thehouses all shut up-the silent and deserted streets,forming such a sepulchral contrast to their ordinarybustle-the solemn countenances of the few stragglingpassengers, and the dismal tolling of innumerablebells, might well justify this exclamation in a foreigner; nor would his wonder be diminished, uponlearning that this was the English mode of exhibitingtheir cheerfulness and gratitude to Heaven. Whatwould such a man say, especially when he reflectedupon the Sunday theatres, dances, and festivities ofFrance, were he to be told that, even in these times,the lawfulness of shaving on a Sunday had beenseriously discussed by one of our most numeroussects? The question was thus gravely submitted tothe Methodist Conference of 1807: " As it has beensuggested that our rule respecting the exclusion ofbarbers, who shave or dress their customers on theLord's day, is not sufficiently explicit and positive,what is the decision of the Conference on this important point?" And thus replieth that august bodyto the weighty interrogatory: " Let it be fully understood that no such person is to be suffered to remain in any of our societies. We charge all our superintendants to execute this rule in every place,without partiality and without delay." Poor humannature! how often, in thy failure to enforce these andother unattainable austerities, dost thou verify thelines of Dryden!-78 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES... Reaching above our nature does no good,We must fall back to our old flesh and blood. "Is there no island of rest for thee between Scylla andCharybdis? must thou be for ever bandied to andfro bythe conflicting battledores of fanaticism andindifference?It may not be unamusing, perhaps not uninstructive, to consider the mode in which some of the various classes of London society dispose of themselvesupon the Sabbath.The rational Christian goes to church in an exhilarating spirit of grateful devotion to God, and universal charity to mankind; and, feeling persuadedthat the most acceptable homage to the Creator mustbe the happiness of the creature, dedicates the restof the day to innocent recreations, and the enjoymentof domestic and social intercourse.The bigot enters his Salem or Ebenezer, hopingto propitiate the God of unbounded benignity byenforcing systems of gloom and horror; by dreadfuldenunciations against the rest of mankind, and ascetical self-privations. He holds with the CaliphOmar, that we must make a hell of this world tomerit heaven in the next. In all probability, he is avice-suppresser, and, hating to see others enjoy thatwhich he denies to himself, wages a petty but malignant warfare against human happiness, from the poorboy's kite to the old woman's apple-stall. If in goodcirc*mstances, he orders out his coachman, footman,and horses, to go to chapel, that the world may atonce know his wealth and his devoutness; yet dinesENGLISH GENEALOGY. - SUNDAY. 79upon cold meat, to let God Almighty see that he doesnot unnecessarily employ his servants on the Sabbath.Music on this day is an utter abomination; and, if hehad his will, he would imprison the running watersfor making melody with the pebbles; set the wind inthe stocks for whistling; and cite the lark, the thrush,and the blackbird, into the Ecclesiastical Court.The man of fashion cannot possibly get dressedin time for church; the park is mauvais ton; —thereis no other place to ride in; —he hates walkinglounges at the subscription-house, and votes Sundaya complete bore, until it is time to drop in at theMarchioness's, in Arlington-street.Jammed in by other carriages, and sometimesunable to move from the same spot for hours together,the woman of fashion spends her Sunday morningin the Ring, exposed to sun, wind, and dust, andthe rude stare of an endless succession of Orientalvulgarians.Half filling his showy and substantial carriage, therich citizen rides from his country-house to the church,fully impressed with the importance of the duty he isperforming, and not altogether unmindful of the necessity of acquiring an appetite for dinner. He has,moreover, a lurking hope that his supplications maynot have an unpropitious effect on the fate of hismissing ship, the Good Intent, on which he is shortinsured; * to strengthen which influence, he deplores

  • An insurance company at Cadiz once took the Virgin

Mary into formal partnership, covenanting to set aside her80 GAIETIES AND his son their religious omission of the introductoryand concluding prayer in the newly printed bills oflading; censures the same impropriety in the form ofmodern wills; and informs him that most of the oldmercantile ledgers had the words " Laus Deo" veryproperly printed in their first page. His wife, fat andfine, with a gorgeous pelisse, and a whole flowergarden in her bonnet, sits opposite to him, and, asthey go to church to abjure all pomps and vanities,their rich-liveried servant, with fifty bobs and tagsdangling from his shoulder, clatters up the aislebehind them, to perform the essential offices of carrying one little Prayer-book, and shutting the doorof their pew. Whatever be the rank of those whopractise this obtrusive and indecorous display, it isof the very essence of vulgar upstart pride, and constitutes an offence, which the beadle of every parishought to have special orders to prevent.The city dandy and dandisette, arrayed in the verynewest of their septenary fashions, pick the cleanestway to the Park, and leaving the verdant sward,umbrageous avenues, and chirping birds of Kensington Gardens, to nurserymaids and children, prefertaking the dust, and enjoying the crowd by the roadside, accompanied by the unceasing grating of thecarriage-wheels in the gravel.portion of profits for the enrichment of her shrine in thatcity. Not doubting that she would protect every vessel, inwhich she had such a manifest interest, they underwroteships of all sorts, at such reduced rates, that in a few monthsthe infatuated partners were all declared bankrupts.ENGLISH GENEALOGY. --SUNDAY S . 81The maid-servant, having a smart new bonnet, asksher mistress's permission to go to morning-service;and, when her fellow- servants inquire what the sermon was about, exclaims, with a toss of her head," I always told Mary what the flirting of that fellowTomkins would come to: spite of all his fine speechesabout the banns, they wasn't no more asked in churchthan I was.99The labourer, or mechanic, who was formerlyenabled to freshen his feet in the grass of the greenfields, and recreate his smoke-dried nose with thefragrance of a country breeze, can no longer enjoythat gratification, now that London itself is gone outof town. He prowls about the dingy swamps ofBattersea or Mile- End, with a low bull-dog at hisheels, which he says he will match, for a gallon ofbeer, with e'er a dog in England. Being of the samestock with the co*ckney young lady, who patheticallylamented that she " never could exasperate the Haitch,"and then innocently inquired " whether the letter Wewasn't a wowell?" he, with a scrupulous inaccuracy,misplaces his H's, V's, and W's. At Vauxhall hestops to buy an ash-stick; because, as he argumentatively tells Bill Gibbons, his companion, " I alwayslikes a hash un." However numerous may be his acquaintance, he never meets one without asking himwhat they shall drink, having a bibulous capacity asinsatiable as that of a dustman, who, beginning at sixo'clock in the morning, will swallow a quart of washysmall beer at every door on both sides of a long street.E 582 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.The more decent artisan, having stowed four youngchildren, all apparently of the same age, in a handcart, divides with his wife the pleasure of draggingthem, for the benefit of country air, as far as theMother Red Cap in the Hampstead-road, where heascends into a balcony commanding a fine view of thesurrounding dust, smokes his pipe, drinks his ale,and, enjoying the heat of the high road as he lugs hisburden back again, declares, that " them countryexcursions are vastly wholesome. "It was my intention to have contrasted with thesescenes " the sound of the church-going bell" in a quietsequestered village; but, in writing of London, Ihave so far caught its spirit, as to have left myselflittle room for further enlargement, and I shall, therefore, comprise all I had to say in the following extractfrom Wordsworth's " White Doe of Rylstone:"-" From Bolton's old monastic tower,The bells ring loud with gladsome power;The sun is bright; the fields are gay,With people in their best arrayOf stole and doublet, hood and scarf,Along the banks of the crystal Wharf,Through the vale, retired and lowly,Trooping to that summons holy.And up among the moorlands, seeWhat sprinklings of blithe company!Of lasses and of shepherd grooms,That down the steep hills force their way,Like cattle through the budded brooms;Path, or no path, what care they?And thus, in joyous mood, they hieTo Bolton's mouldering Priory."ON NOSES.883ON NOSES.And Liberty plucks Justice by the nose.SHAKSPEARE.IT has been settled by Mr. Alison, in his " Essayon the Philosophy of Taste," that the sublimity orbeauty of forms arises altogether from the associationswe connect with them, or the qualities of which theyare expressive to us; and Sir Joshua Reynolds, indiscoursing upon personal beauty, maintains, that asnature, in every nation, has one fixed or determinateform towards which she is continually inclining, thatform will invariably become the national standard ofbodily perfection . " To instance, " he proceeds, " ina particular part of a feature: the line that forms theridge of the nose, is beautiful when it is straight; this,then, is the central form, which is oftener found thaneither concave, convex, or any other irregular formthat may be proposed; "-but this observation he iscareful to limit to those countries where the Greciannose predominates, for he subsequently adds, in speaking of the Ethiopians, " I suppose nobody will doubt,if one of their painters was to paint the goddess ofbeauty, but that he would represent her black, withthick lips, flat nose, and woolly hair; and it seems tome that he would act very unnaturally if he did not;for by what criterion will any one dispute the proprietyof his idea?" And he thus concludes his observations84 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.on the subject: " From what has been said, it may beinferred, that the works of Nature, if we compare onespecies with another, are all equally beautiful; andthat preference is given from custom, or some association of ideas; and that, in creatures of the samespecies, beauty is the medium or centre of all variousforms. " If this definition be accurate, we are notauthorised in admiring either the Roman or the Jewish noses, both of which are too exorbitant and overbearing-the high-born ultras of their class; -still lesscan we fall in love with the Tartarian notions, wherethe greatest beauties have the least noses, and where,according to Ruybrock, the wife of the celebratedJenghiz Khan was deemed irresistible, because shehad only two holes for a nose. These are the radicalIn medio tutissimus seems to be as true uponthis subject as almost every other, and, in the application of the dictum, we must finally give the preferenceto the Grecian form, of which such beautiful specimenshave been transmitted to us in their statues, vases,and gems. Whether this were the established beauidéal of their artists, or, as is more probable, the predominant line of the existing population, it is certainthat, in their sculptures, deviations from it are veryrare. In busts from the living, they were, of course,compelled to conform to the original; but I can easilyimagine, that if it did not actually break the Grecianchisel, it must have nearly broken the heart of thestatuary, who was doomed to scoop out of the marblethe mean and indented pug-nose of Socrates. Whencedid that extraordinary people derive their noble figurenoses.ON NOSES. 85and beautiful features, which they idealised into suchsublime symmetry and exquisite loveliness in the personification of their gods and goddesses? If theywere, indeed, as the inhabitants of Attica pretended,the Autocthones, or original natives, springing fromthe earth, it were an easy solution to maintain, thatthe soil and climate of that country are peculiarlyadapted to the most faultless and perfect developement of the human form: but if, as more sober historyaffirms, they were a colony from Sais in Egypt, ledby Cecrops into Attica, we must be utterly at a lossto account for their form, features, and complexion.Traces of this derivation are clearly discernible in theirreligion and arts; and the sources of their various orders of architecture are, even now, incontestably evident in the ancient and stupendous temples upon thebanks of the Nile; in none of whose sculptures, however, do we discover any approximation to the beautiful features and graceful contour of the Greeks.Ethiopians, Persians, and Egyptians, are separatelyrecognisable, but there are no figures resembling theAthenians. The features of the Sphinx are Nubian; the mummies are invariably dark- coloured; andthough their noses are generally compressed by theembalming bandages, there is reason to believe thatthey have lost very little of their elevation in the process. Leaving the elucidation of this obscure matterto more profound antiquaries, let us return to ourcentral point of beauty-the Nose.A Slawkenbergius occasionally appeared among theGreeks, as well as the moderns; but from the exube-86 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.rant ridicule and boisterous raillery with which themonster was assailed, we may presume that a genuineproboscis was of rare occurrence. Many of the lampoons and jokes, circulated by the wits of Athens, areas extravagant as the noses themselves, and enoughhas been preserved to fill a horse's nose-bag. Let thefollowing, from the Anthology, suffice as a sample: —" Dick cannot wipe his nostrils if he pleases,(So long his nose is, and his arms so short; )Nor ever cries " God bless me!" when he sneezes;He cannot hear so distant a report."Or this, which is attributed to the Emperor Trajan:-" Let Dick some summer's day exposeBefore the sun his monstrous nose,And stretch his giant-mouth to causeIts shade to fall upon his jaws;With nose so long, and mouth so wide,And those twelve grinders side by side,Dick, with a very little trial,Would make an excellent sun-dial."Many of these epigrams were derived by the Greeksfrom the Oriental Facetiæ; and if we would tracethe pedigree of a joke, which even at our last dinnerparty set the table in a roar, we should probably huntit back to the symposia of Athens, and the festivehalls of Bagdat . It must be confessed that, in severalof these instances, if the wit be old, it is very little ofits age; for Hierocles, like his successor Joe Miller,seems now and then to have thought it a good joke toput in a bad one.Ovid, it is well known, derived his sobriquet of Nasofrom the undue magnitude of that appendage, thoughON NOSES. 87it did not deter him from aspiring to the affections ofJulia, the daughter of Augustus. It is not, perhaps,so generally known, that the cry of " Nosey!" issuingfrom the gallery of the play-house, when its inmatesare musically inclined, is the nick-name, which haslong survived a former leader of the band, to whomnature had been unsparingly bountiful in that prominent feature; and who, could he have foreseen hisimmortality among the gods, might have exclaimed,with his illustrious namesake,"Parte tamen meliore mei super alta perennisAstra ferar, nomenque erit indelebile nostrum."Though a roomy nose may afford a good handlefor ridicule, there are cases in which a certain magnificence and superabundance of that feature, if not abstractedly becoming, has, at least, something appropriate in its redundancy, according with the characteristics of its wearer. It has advantages as well as disadvantages. A man of any spirit is compelled to takecognisance of offences committed under his very nose,but with such a promontory as we have been describing, they may come within the strict letter of thephrase, and yet be far enough removed to afford hima good plea for protesting that they escaped his observation. Heis not bound to see within his nose, muchless beyond it . Should a quarrel, however, becomeinevitable, the very construction of this member compels him to meet his adversary half way. Nothingcould reconcile us to a bulbous excrescence of this inflated description, if we saw it appended to a poor littleinsignificant creature, giving him the appearance of the88 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Toucan, or spoon-bill; and suggesting the idea of hisbeing tied to his own nose to prevent his straying.But suppose the case of a burly, jovial, corpulent alderman, standing behind such an appendage, with allits indorsem*nts, riders, addenda, extra-parochial appurtenances, and Taliacotian supplements, like a sowwith her whole litter of pigs, or (to speak more respectfully) like a venerable old abbey, with all its projecting chapels, oratories, refectories, and abutments;and it will seem to dilate itself before its wearer withan air of portly and appropriate companionship. Ispeak not here of a simple bottle- nose, but one ofa thousand bottles, a polypetalous enormity, whoseblushing honours, as becoming to it as the stars,crosses, and ribbons of a successful general, are trophies of past victories, the colours won iu taverncampaigns. They recal to us the clatter of knives,the slaughter of turtle, the shedding of claret, thedeglutition of magnums. Esurient and bibulous reminiscences ooze from its surface, and each protuberanceis historical. One is the record of a Pitt - club dinner;another of a corporation feast; a third commemorates a tipsy carousal, in support of religion and socialorder; others attest their owner's civic career, “ until,at last, he devoured his way to the Lord Mayor'smansion, as a mouse in a cheese makes a large housefor himself by continually eating: "-and the wholependulous mass, as if it heard the striking up of theband at a public dinner on the entrance of the viands,actually seems to wag to the tune of " O, the roastBeef of Old England!"ON NOSES. 89As there are many who prefer the arch of the oldbridges to the straight line of the Waterloo, so thereare critics who extend the same taste to the bridge ofthe nose, deeming the Roman handsomer than theGrecian—a feeling which may probably be traced toassociation. A medallist, whose coins of the Romanemperors generally exhibit the convex projection, conceives it expressive of grandeur, majesty, and militarypre-eminence; while a collector of Greek vases willlimit his idea of beauty to the straight line depicturedon his favourite antiques. The Roman unquestionably has its beauties; its outline is bold, flowing, anddignified; it looks as if Nature's own hand had fashioned it for one of her noble varieties; but the termhas become a misnomer; it is no longer applicable tothe inhabitants of the Eternal City, whose nasal bridgesseem to have subsided with the decline and fall oftheirempire.While we are upon the subject of large noses, wemust not forget that of the Jews, which has length andbreadth in abundance, but is too often so ponderous,ungraceful, and shapeless, as to discard every idea ofdignity, and impart to the countenance a character ofburlesque and ugly disproportion. It is not one ofnature's primitive forms, but a degeneracy producedby perpetual intermarriages of the same race duringsuccessive ages.Inest sua gratia parvis; let it not be imagined thatall our attention is to be lavished upon these folionoses; the duodecimos and Elzevirs have done execution in the days that are gone, and shall they pass90 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.away from our memories like the forms of last year'sclouds? Can we forget " le petit nez retroussé" ofMarmontel's heroine, which captivated a sultan, andoverturned the laws of an empire? Was not the downfal of another empire, as recorded in the immortal workof Gibbon, written under a nose of the very snubbiestconstruction? So concave and intangible was it,that when his face was submitted to the touch of ablind old French lady, who used to judge of her acquaintance by feeling their features, she exclaimed" Voilà une mauvaise plaisanterie! " Wilkes, equallyunfortunate in this respect, and remarkably ugly besides, used to maintain, that in the estimation of society a handsome man had only half an hour's start ofhim, as within that period he would recover by hisconversation what he had lost by his looks. Perhapsthe most insurmountable objection to the pug orco*cked-up nose, is the flippant, distasteful, or contemptuous expression it conveys. To turn up our nosesis a colloquialism for disdain; and even those of theancient Romans, inflexible as they appear, could curlthemselves up in the fastidiousness of concealed derision. “ Altior homini tantum nasus," says Pliny," quam novi mores subdolæ irrisioni dicavêre: " andHorace talks of sneers suspended, naso adunco."It cannot be denied, that those who have been snubbedby nature, not unfrequently look as if they wereanxious to take their revenge by snubbing others.66As a friend to noses of all denominations, I musthere enter my solemn protest against a barbarous abuseto which they are too often subjected, by convertingON NOSES. 91them into dust-holes and soot-bags, under the fashionable pretext of taking snuff; an abomination forwhich Sir Walter Raleigh is responsible, and whichought to have been included in the articles of his impeachment. When some " Sir Plume, of amber snuffbox justly vain," after gently tapping its top with alook of diplomatic complacency, embraces a modicumof its contents with his finger and thumb, curves roundhis hand, so as to display the brilliant on his littlefinger, and commits the high-dried pulvilio to the air,so that nothing but its impalpable aroma ascends into his nose, we may smile at the custom as a harmless andnot ungraceful foppery: but when a filthy clammycompost is perpetually thrust up the nostrils with a voracious pig-like snort, it is a practice as disgusting tothe beholders as I believe it to be injurious to the offender. The nose is the emunctory of the brain, andwhen its functions are impeded, the whole system ofthe head becomes deranged. A professed snuff-takeris generally recognisable by his total loss of the senseof smelling-by his snuffling and snorting-by his palesodden complexion—and by that defective modulationof the voice, called talking through the nose, thoughit is in fact an inability so to talk, from the partial ortotal stoppage of the passage. Not being providedwith an ounce of civet, I will not suffer my imagination to wallow in all the revolting concomitants of thisdirty trick; but I cannot refrain from an extract, bywhich we may form some idea of the time consumed inits performance. " Every professed, inveterate, andincurable snuff-taker, (says Lord Stanhope,) at a mo-92 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.derate computation takes one pinch in ten minutes.Every pinch, with the agreeable ceremony of blowingand wiping the nose, and other incidental circ*mstances, consumes a minute and a half. One minuteand a half, out of every ten, allowing sixteen hours toa snuff-taking day, amounts to two hours and twentyfour minutes out of every natural day, or one day outof every ten. One day out of every ten amounts tothirty-six days and a half in a year. Hence, if wesuppose the practice to be persisted in forty years, twoentire years of the snuff-taker's life will be dedicated totickling his nose, and two more to blowing it. " Takenmedicinally, or as a simple sternutatory, it may be excused; but the moment your snuff is not to be sneezedat, you are the slave of a habit which literally makesyou grovel in the dust: your snuff-box has seized youas Saint Dunstan did the Devil, and if the red-hotpincers, with which he performed the feat, could occasionally start up from an Ormskirk snuff-box, it mighthave a salutary effect in checking this propensityamong our real and pseudo-fashionables.It was my intention to have written a dissertationupon the probable form of the nose mentioned inSolomon's Song, which, we are informed, was like “ thetower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus; " and Ihad prepared some very erudite conjectures as to thecomposition of the perfume which suggested to Catullus the magnificent idea of wishing to be all nose:"cQuod tu cum olfacies, Deos rogabis,Totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum."ON NOSES. 93But I apprehend my readers will begin to think Ihave led them by the nose quite long enough; andlest they should suspect that I am making a handleof the subject, I shall conclude at once with aSONNET TO MY OWN NOSE.Onose! thou rudder in my face's centre,Since I must follow thee until I die,-Since we are bound together by indenture,The master thou, and the apprentice I,-O be to your Telemachus a Mentor,Though oft invisible, for ever nigh;Guard him from all disgrace and misadventure,From hostile tweak, or Love's blind mastery.So shalt thou quit the city's stench and smoke,For hawthorn lanes, and copses of young oak,Scenting the gales of Heaven, that have not yetLost their fresh fragrance since the morning broke,And breath of flowers " with rory May- dews wet,"The primrose-cowslip-blue-bell-violet .WALKS IN THE GARDEN. -No. I.Heureux qui, dans le sein de ses dieux domestiques,Se dérobe au fracas des tempêtes publiques,Et dans un doux abri, trompant tous les regards,Cultive ses jardins, les vertus, et les arts.DELILLE.A GENTLE fertilizing shower has just fallen-thelight clouds are breaking away—a rainbow is exhibiting itself half athwart the horizon, as the sun shoots94 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.forth its rays with renewed splendour, and the readeris invited to choose the auspicious moment, and accom-'pany the writer into his garden. He will not exclaimwith Dr. Darwin,"Stay your rude steps! whose throbbing breasts enfoldThe legion fiends of glory or of gold; ”-but he would warn from his humble premises all thosewho have magnificent notions upon the subject; whodespise the paltry pretensions of a bare acre of groundscarcely out of the smoke of London, and requiregrandeur of extent and expense before they will condescend to be interested. To such he would recommend the perusal of Spence's translation from theJesuits' Letters, giving an account of the Chinese emperor's pleasure-ground, which contained 200 palaces,besides as many contiguous ones for the eunuchs, allgilt, painted, and varnished; in whose enclosurewere raised hills from twenty to sixty feet high;streams and lakes, one of the latter five miles round;serpentine bridges, with triumphal arches at eachend: undulating colonnades; and in the centre of thefantastic paradise a square town, each side a mile long.Or they may recreate their fancies with the stupendous hanging gardens of Babylon-a subject whichno living imagination could perfectly embody and depict, unless it be his who has realised upon canvasssuch a glorious conception of Belshazzar's feast. Orhe may peruse Sir William Temple's description of aperfect garden, with its equilateral parterres, fountains, and statues, " so necessary to break the effectof large grass-plots, which, he thinks, have an ill ef-"WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 95fect upon the eye; " its four quarters regularly dividedbygravel walks, with statues at the intersections; itsterraces, stone flights of steps, cloisters covered withlead, and all the formal filigree-work of the Frenchand Dutch schools. -If the reader be a lover of poetry,let him forget for a moment, if he can, the fine tasteand splendid diction of Milton, in describing the Garden of Eden, the happy abode of our first parents66 -From that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,Rolling on orient pearl and sands ofgold,With mazy error under pendant shadesRannectar, visiting each plant, and fedFlow'rs worthy of Paradise, which not nice artIn beds and curious knots, but nature boon,Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,Both where the morning sun first warmly smoteThe open field, and where the unpierced shadeImbrown'd the noontide bowers. Thus was this placeA happy, rural seat of various view. ”—Let him also banish from his recollection the far-famedgarden of Alcinous, which however, as Walpolejustly observes, after being divested of Homer's harmonious Greek and bewitching poetry, was a smallorchard and vineyard, with some beds of herbs, andtwo fountains that watered them, enclosed within aquickset-hedge, and its whole compass only four acres.Such was the rural magnificence which was in thatage deemed an appropriate appendage to a palace withbrazen walls and columns of silver. -Modern times,however, have shewn us how much may be accomplished in a small space. Pope, with the assistance ofLord Peterborough, " to form his quincunx, and to96 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.rank his vines," contrived to impart every variety ofscenery to a spot of five acres; and might not, perhaps,have been insincere when he declared, that of all hisworks, he was most proud of his garden. —But a truceto these deprecations and dallyings with our own modesty the breezes are up, the sky is cloudless; letus sally forth, and indulge in the associations and chitchat suggested by the first objects that we encounter.

This border is entirely planted with evergreens, sobenignantly contrived by nature for refreshing us withtheir summer verdure and cheerfulness, amid the sterility and gloom of winter. This, with its gracefulform, dark-green hue, and substantial texture, is theprickly-leaved Phillyræa, said to have been firstbrought into Europe by the Argonauts, from theisland of the same name in the Pontus Euxinus. Fromthe river Phasis in Colchis these voyagers are reported to have first introduced pheasants, though manywriters contend that the whole expedition was fabulous, and that all the bright imaginings and poeticalembellishments lavished upon the Golden Fleece, resolve themselves into the simple and not very dignifiedfact of spreading sheep-skins across the torrents thatflowed from Mount Caucasus, to arrest the particlesof gold brought down by the waters. Our own Crusades, however irrational their object, were attendedwith many beneficial results, not only introducing usto the knowledge of Saracenic architecture, but supplying our European gardens with many of the choicestOriental productions. While we are on the subject ofthe Crusades, let us not omit to notice this PlantaWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 97genista, or broom, said to have been adopted in thosewars as a heraldic bearing, and ultimately to havefurnished a name to our noble English family, thePlantagenets. Next to it is the Arbutus, the mostgraceful and beautiful of all plants, and nearly singular in bearing its flowers and strawberry-like fruit atthe same time, although the florets be but the germof the next year's fruit. Virgil seems to have beenvery partial to this elegant shrub. By its side is asmall plant of that particular Ilex, or holm oak, onwhich, in the south of Europe, more especially inCrete, are found those little insects, or worms, calledkermes, whence a brilliant scarlet dye is extracted,and which are so rapidly reproduced, that they oftenafford two crops in a year. From these small wormsthe French have derived the word vermeil, and we ourvermillion; though the term is a misnomer, as the genuine vermillion is a mineral preparation. The Juniper-tree need not detain us long, now that its berriesare no longer used for flavouring gin, the distillerssubstituting for that purpose oil of turpentine, which,though it nearly resembles the berries in flavour, possesses none of their valuable qualities. Box and Arborvitæ, those treasures of our ancient gardeners, mayalso exclaim that their occupation is nearly gone, sincethe taste for verdant sculpture is exploded, and giants,animals, monsters, coats of arms, and peaco*cks, nolonger startle us at every turn*. Yews also, which,

  • This false taste, however, may boast the sanction of a most

classical age. Pliny, in the description of his Tuscan Villa,VOL. I. F98 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.from their being so easily tonsile, were invaluablefor forming mazes, now only retain their station inour church-yards, where they were originally orderedto be planted by law, that, upon occasion, theirtough branches might afford a ready supply of bows.But this Laurel cannot be so easily dismissed; it isliterally and truly an evergreen, for classical associations assure to it an imperishable youth and freshness.Into this tree was Daphne metamorphosed when shefled from Apollo in the vale of Tempè; with theseleaves did the enamoured god bind his brows, anddecree that it should be for ever sacred to his divinity;since when, as all true poets believe, it has been aninfallible preservative against lightning; —and fromtufted bowers of this plant did the Delphic girls rushout upon Mount Parnassus, when with music, dancing,and enthusiastic hymns, they celebrated the festivalofthe god of day. A wreath of laurel was the noblestreward to which virtue and ambition aspired, beforethe world became venal, and fell down to worship thegolden calf. Cæsar wore his, it is said, to hide adefect; and our modern kings have little better pleafor their crowns, from the Tartar dandy down toFerdinand the Embroiderer. Yonder is the Laurus,might be supposed to be pourtraying some of the worst specimens of the art of gardening which our own country exhibitedin King William's time, dwelling, with apparent pleasure, onbox-trees cut into monsters, animals, letters, and the names ofthe master and artificer; with the usual appendages of slopes,terraces, water- spouts, rectangular walks, and the regular alternations by which " half the garden just reflects the other."WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 99or bay-tree, a garland of whose leaves was deemedtheir noblest recompense by ancient poets; but ourmodern Laureates, not even content with the additionof a hundred pounds and a butt of sack, must havepensions and snug little sinecures besides. Virgilplaces Anchises in Elysium, in a grove of sweet-scentedbays.--Those three shrubs planted close together arethe Privet, and two varieties of Holly, so placed thattheir black, yellow, and red berries might be intermixed; the Misletoe, with its transparent pearls,would have formed a beautiful addition; but it is aparasite, and requires larger trees to support it. OnNew Year's Day the ancient Druids went out to seekthis plant with hymns, ceremonies, and rejoicings, distributing it again among the people as somethingsacred and auspicious.Two or three hundred years hence this young plant,which has only lately been added to the garden, maybecome a majestic Cypress: it is of very slow growth,and still slower decay, on which account the ancientsused it for the statues of their gods. The gates ofSt. Peter's church at Rome, made of this wood, hadlasted from the time of Constantine, eleven hundredyears, as fresh as new, when Pope Eugenius IV. ordered gates of brass in their stead. Some will have itthat the wood Gophir, of which Noah's ark was made,was cypress. Plato preferred it to brass for writinghis laws on; the Athenians, according to Thucydides,buried their heroes in coffins of this wood, and manyof the Egyptian-mummy chests are formed of the samematerial. The beautiful youth who killed Apollo'sF 2100 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.favourite stag, was metamorphosed into this tree.-Those taller trees at the back of the plantation areFirs and Pines, sacred in the olden time to Pan. Unacquainted with brandy, the ancients used to tap thesetrees for a species of turpentine to fortify and preservetheir wines, whence the Bacchanalian Thyrsus wasalways terminated with a fir cone. Our garden cannotboast a single Pinaster; but there is a noble one onthe lawn of the Episcopal Palace at Fulham, whencethese large flakes of smooth bark were lately peeled off,and, by subdividing them into thin laminæ, they maybe written on like so many sheets of paper, withoutthe smallest preparation . For this purpose they wereused by the ancients, who also formed a papyrus fromthe bark of the mulberry-tree, whence the Latin wordliber signified both the bark of a tree, and a book; andthe term folium, a leaf, was on the same accountequally applied to both. From liber comes libellus, alittle book; and hence have we derived our Libel law,with all its difficulties and anomalous inflictions. Whowould have thought that, amid all the delightful associations of our garden, the Attorney-General wouldhave popped his gown and wig upon our thoughts frombehind the peaceful bark of a pine?Leaving these evergreens, let us for a moment takea seat beneath this beautiful Plane, a tree which was.brought originally from the Levant to Rome, andformed such a favourite decoration in the villas of hergreatest orators and statesmen , that we read of theirirrigating them with wine instead of water. Pliny affirms, that no tree defends more effectually from theWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 101heat of the sun in summer, nor admits its rays morekindly in the winter. Its introduction into Englandis generally ascribed to Lord Bacon, who planted anoble parcel of them at Verulam: -nor can I gazethrough its branches upon the blue benignant heavens,without participating that enthusiasm of natural religion by which Bacon himself was actuated, when heoccasionally walked forth in a gentle shower withoutany covering on his head, in order, as he said, that hemight feel the spirit of the universe descending uponhim. Mention is made of a plane-tree growing at avilla of the Emperor Caligula, whose hollow trunkwas capacious enough to contain ten or twelve personsat dinner, with their attendants; but the most celebrated upon record, is that with which Xerxes was somuch smitten, that he halted his whole army for somedays to admire it; collecting the jewels of his wholecourt to adorn it; neglecting all the concerns of hisgrand expedition, while he passionately addressed it ashis mistress, his minion, his goddess; and, when he finally tore himself away, causing a representation of itto be stamped on a gold medal, which he continuallywore about his neck.Some interesting reflections will be suggested bythe mere nomenclature of plants, if we attend to a fewof the more common sorts, as we stray along theborders, and through the green-house. This little elegant flower, with its hoar and dark green leaves, andgolden crown, has had two sponsors; having first beenhonoured with the name of Parthenis, imparted to itby the Virgin Goddess, until Artemisia, the wife of102 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Mausolus, adopted it, and ordered that it should bearher own. The columns, and obelisks, and towers ofthe far-famed mausoleum built by this Queen havegradually crumbled, until they have become so effectually mingled with the dust, that even the site of oneof the wonders of the world is utterly unknown; whilethis fragile flower, immutable and immortal, continuesprecisely the same as when her youthful fingers firstpruned its leaves in the windows of her palace. Inthis Teucrium, or tree germander, we recognise thename of King Teucer, who first introduced it amonghis Phrygian subjects, as well as the worship of Cybele, and the dances of the Corybantes. Black Hellebore, or melampodium, is not very inviting in its associations, if we merely consider its dangerous qualities; but it possesses an historical interest, when werecollect, that with this plant Melampus cured themad daughters of King Prætus, and received theeldest in marriage for his reward. Euphorbia commemorates the physician of Juba, a Moorish prince; andGentiana immortalizes a King of Illyria. * These references might be extended among ancient names tothe end of our walk; but we will now advert to a fewofthe more modern derivations. Tournefort gave tothis scarlet jasmine the name of Bignonia, in honourof Abbot Bignon, librarian to Louis XIV. TheBrowallia demissa and elata record a botanist ofhumble origin, who afterwards became Bishop ofUpsal; and the French, by a Greek pun upon Buo-

  • See Smith's Introduction to Botany, p. 374.

WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 103naparte's name, introduced a Calomeria into theirbotanical catalogue, although it has now probablychanged its name with the dynasty. Linnæus, in hisCritica Botanica, has, in several instances, drawn afanciful analogy between botanists and their appropriate plants; but as it might be tedious to go moreminutely into this subject, the reader can refer to thesame authority from which we have already quoted.Other motives than the natural and laudable one ofcommemorating distinguished botanists have sometimes influenced the bestowal of names upon plants,and satire and irony have occasionally intruded themselves into the sanctuary of science. " Buffonia tenuifolia is well known to be a satire on the slender botanical pretensions of the great French zoologist; as theHillia parasitica of Jacquin, though perhaps not meant,is an equally just one upon our pompous Sir JohnHill. I mean not to approve of such satires: theystain the purity of our lovely science. If a botanistdoes not deserve commemoration, let him sink peaceably into oblivion . It savours of malignity to makehis crown a crown of thorns; and if the applicationbe unjust, it is truly diabolical. " *But see! this Convolvulus begins to shut up itsflowers, a sure indication of approaching rain; and theCalendula pluvialis, commonly called the poor man'sweather-glass, has already closed its petals in anticipation of an April shower. These barometers of nature are seldom mistaken; the big drops are already

  • Smith's Introduction to Botany, p. 382.

104 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.falling around us; -run, run, let us seek the shelterof the house, and at our next walk we will take theopposite side of the garden, in the hope of gleaningsome reflections from its variegated borders.MAY MORNING.Up and away! ' tis a holiday!Come lads and lasses with merry facesTo the May-bowers;Behold the grass is pranckt with daisies,The banks with flowers.The sun is flinging on waters glancingHis early light;The birds are singing, and branches dancing,At the glad sight.Come, let us rush in the maze of boughs,And meet at the May-pole to dance and carouse;He that is first shall be Jack in the Green,And the forwardest lass shall be crown'd our Queen.LISTEN to the author of the Faery Queen, whocurbs the exuberance of his rich imagination, and, confining himself to a simple though beautiful transcriptfrom nature, thus ushers in the month of May: -" Is not thilke the merry moneth of May,When love-lads masken in fresh array?How falles it, then, we no merrier beene,Ylike as others, girt in gaudy greene?Our bloncket liveries* bene all too saddeFor thilke same season, when all is ycladdeGray coats.MAY MORNING. 105With pleasaunce; the ground with grasse, the woodsWith greene leaves, the bushes with bloosming buds.Youngthes folke now flocken in every where,To gather May-buskets * and smelling brere;And home they hasten the postes to dight,And all the kirk pillows, eare day-light,With hawthorne buds, and sweete eglantine,And girlonds of roses, and soppes in wine.Such merimake holy saints doth queme, +But we sitten here as drownde in dreme."Reader! if thou dost not catch the fragrance ofthe May-garlands, and inhale the freshness of themorning grass, springing up from beneath thy feet;if thou dost not see the sparkling eyes and joy-flushedcheeks of the country damsels and youths as theyreturn from their Maying; if thou dost not hear theirsongs and laughter, borne fitfully to thine ear by thebalmy breeze, -then do I maintain that thou lackesttaste to relish the rural accuracy, the cordial andcountrified simplicity, the gusto, in short, with whichSpenser, in the above passage from his ShepheardsCalender, commences his May Eclogue. Perhapsthou art offended with the rude antiquity of the garbin which it is clothed: -nay then, thou shalt havesomething as gorgeous and modern as thy heart couldwish, if thou wilt but read Darwin's Invocation tothe same month.

"Born in yon blaze of orient sky,Sweet May! thy radiant form unfold,Unclose thy blue voluptuous eye,And wave thy shadowy locks of gold.Boskets, bushes: from Boschetti, Ital. + Please.F 5106 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES." For thee the fragrant Zephyrs blow,For thee descends the sunny shower;The rills in softer murmurs flow,66And brighter blossoms gem the bower.Light graces dress'd in flowery wreaths,And tiptoe joys, their hands combine;And Love his sweet contagion breathes,And laughing dances round thy shrine."Warm with new life the glittering throngsOn quivering fin and rustling wing,Delighted join their votive songs,And hail thee, Goddess of the Spring!"Here are mellifluous diction, poetical personifications, and elaborate generalities, but no picture oflife, or portrait of nature; none of that kindly unionof human happiness and nature's flowery outpouring;nothing of that holiday of earth and its inhabitants,which form the charm of Spenser's delineation. Themodern is correct and insipid, heartless and fine.Alas! these extracts illustrate but too accurately thefeelings of the respective periods in which they wereproduced, and the different cordiality with which thesame festival was celebrated. May-day is no holidaydependent on the rubric, or the musty fables of monksand saints; —it is a jubilee of Nature's own appointing,when the earth, dressing herself up in flowers andgreen garlands, calls aloud to her children to comeout into the fields and participate in her merrymaking-a gladsome invitation which has been accepted with sparkling eyes and happy hearts sincethe world itself was young. Romulus named themonth of May in honour of his nobles and senators,MAY MORNING. 107termed Majores, or Elders; as the following monthwas called June out of compliment to the Juniors,who served him in his wars; and though it is wellknown that we have some absolute wisdom among ourElder or Alder-men, yet it must be admitted thatthose worshipful dignitaries, in the time of Romulus,evinced a more genial and cheerful sagacity than hasbeen ever exemplified by their successors, for theynearly converted the whole month of May intoholidays. As they saw the young year advancingtowards them, budding with beauty, and pouringout bounteous promises of fruits and harvests, theysent out their hearts and voices into the valleys andmeadows to meet her, escorting her emblematicallyinto the city under the symbol of the Goddess Flora,crowned with triumphant garlands, and preceded bybanners and dancing. Jack in the Green, and ourgambols round the May-pole, are but sorry types ofthis splendid festival, so far as externals are concerned; but they " have that within which passethshow;" they retain the essentials of the old Paganjubilee: -to go a- Maying is not less healthy to thespirit than the frame; it is a reprieve from thethraldom of cities and artificial life, and rubs thecanker of care from our hearts, by sending them outamong the green leaves. It enables the plodders andthe sons of toil to shake hands with nature; and asthey pluck the blossom bough amid freshness andfragrance, and the music of birds and the sounds ofhuman happiness, it brings them into direct andgrateful communion with that benignant Deity whom108 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.they have been too apt to view through the mediumof gloomy or mysterious abstractions. This is torender it a religious rejoicing in the finest sense ofthe word; and so was it observed and felt over thewest of Europe for a number of happy centuries, aspecial act having passed in our own country so lateas the time of James I. legalising the observance ofthe usual May-games, Morris-dances, and dancinground the pole, even on a Sunday. Who but mustfeel his face flush with delight, if he suffer his imagination to run back through all the Mays of antiquity, with their awakening suns, delicious meadows, budding groves, sparkling waters, and rejoicingcreatures? Who but must feel his heart sink withinhim, when he reflects that all this bloom of happinesswas blighted by the withering hand of the Puritans,who, after having suppressed the theatres, enactedthat all convicted actors should be publicly whipped,and all spectators of plays fined five shillings for everyoffence, proceeded to denounce May-poles and Morrisdances as " the devil's standards, which all those whofollow do it unto damnation." " It is certain," says thehistorian and apologist of the Puritans, " that theLord's day was duly observed, neither servants norchildren being allowed to walk in the fields, or frequentthe public-houses. "* What strange notions must thesemiserable fanatics have entertained, when they deemedit irreligious to pour forth their grateful hearts to theDeity amid the glories of his own creation!

  • Neale's History ofthe Puritans Abridged, chap. 19.

MAY MORNING. 109In the fresh fields, his own cathedral meet,Built by himself-star-roof'd, and hung with green;Wherein all breathing things, in concord sweet,Organ'd by winds, perpetual hymns repeat.Thank Heaven! these wretched tormentors ofthemselves and others have passed away; at least therod has been wrenched from their hands, and theirsuccessors are but puny whipsters, waging a pettywarfare of annoyance against the recreations of thepoor and the defenceless. But as if human happinesswere for ever to be sacrificed to some fatal mistake,the god of Avarice succeeded to the empire from whichthe dæmon of Bigotry had been expelled, and wedrudged and toiled, and made ourselves slaves, forthe base ambition of wearing chains of gold. Thenbegan the period when our children were educated inthe faith of " wise saws and modern instances," andPoor Richard's morals, such as-" stick to yourbusiness, and your business will stick to you," apenny saved is a penny got, " " a fool and his moneyare soon parted, " and a thousand similar axioms,until a holiday was considered an enormity, and theexpenditure of an unnecessary shilling a profligateabomination. Such were the sordid prostrations thatprepared us for the toilsome and anxious delirium ofthe last twenty or thirty years—the æra of our commercial prosperity, as it is called, when increased taxation excited fresh efforts to defray it, and the enlarged manufactures and trade justified additional imposts; when speculators and capitalists became wholesale slave-masters, and men, women, and children99 66110 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES .66voluntarily and rapidly wore out their frames by taskwork, until the former were bloated and choakedwith their overgrown wealth, and the latter had nomore enjoyment of life, or communion with nature,than the steam-engines and spinning-jennies to whichthey were made subsidiary. This was indeed thepropter vitam vivendi perdere causas, " an enormous mistake of the means for the end; a desperatestruggle to keep our heads above water, which wasworse than drowning. But this long fit of Mammonmadness is subsiding; the convulsions are abated: wehave time at last to wipe the perspiration from ourbrows; and though we may emerge from our agoniessomewhat poorer and more exhausted than we couldwish, we may be ultimate gainers, both in health andhappiness, if we dedicate the first fruits of our unaccustomed leisure to the rural duties, and the renewalof that cheerful and cordial intercourse with nature,which exhilarated the lives of our ancestors; but fromwhich we have profanely cut ourselves off by ourplodding, sophisticated, and artificial modes of existence.How can we begin this reform better than by recurring to the ancient and heart-refreshing observanceof May-day? -C'est le premier pas qui coute. -Whowill step out of the dust, and smoke, and anxious turmoil of London, into the green fields, and, with asprig ofblossoming hawthorn in his hand, give up theday to rural rambles and holiday associations? I will,for one; and I hereby invite the reader, whether gentle or simple, to accompany me. What! obey theMAY MORNING. 111call of a stranger?-Ay, or you will not go at all; forto many of ye Nature is a greater stranger still, andyet she wafts you a perfumed billet, which she dispatches by the breeze; she has decorated her festivehalls with boughs and garlands, painted the floorwhere we are to dance with living buttercups and daisies; and hark! her feathered orchestra has alreadystruck up its music, for I can distinguish the notesof the blackbird and the thrush. Into such oblivionhas the celebration of May fallen of late years, thatyou know not, perchance, the glories and eulogieswith which it has been hailed. Old Izaak Walton records a saying of his friend Sir Henry Wootton, thathe would rather live ten May months than forty Decembers-a sentiment to which you shall gladly subscribe before we part. Listen to the song of Milton: —"Hail, bounteous May! that dost inspireMirth, and youth, and warm desire:Woods and groves are of thy dressing,Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.-Thus we salute thee with thy early song,And welcome thee, and wish thee long!"And mark into what exclamations an Italian poetbursts in his passionate worship of the Spring:--"O dolce primavera-o fior ' novelli,O aure, o arboscelli-o fresche erbette,O piagge benedette-o colli, o monti,O valli, o fiumi, o fonti-o verde rivi,Palme, lauri, e olivi-edere e mirti;O gloriosi spirti de gli boschi;OEco, o antri foschi-o chiare limfe,O faretrate Ninfeo agresti Pani,O Satiri e Silvani-o Fauni e Driadi,112 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Naiadi ed Amadriadi-o Semidee,Oreadi e Napee, -or siete sole. "SANNAZZARO,Which Leigh Hunt has thus happily translated, preserving the same recurrence of rhime in the middle ofthe line:-"O thou delicious Spring-O ye new flowers,Oairs, O youngling bowers-fresh thickening grass,And plains beneath Heaven's face-O hills and mountains,Valleys, and streams, and fountains-banks of green,Myrtles and palms serene, ivies and bays;And ye who warm'd old lays, spirits o' the woods,Echoes, and solitudes, and lakes of light:O quiver'd Virgins bright, Pans rustical,Satyrs and Sylvans all, Dryads, and ye That up the mountains be; and ye beneathIn meadow or flowery heath, -ye are alone!"*Shame on us, sluggards of the South! Althoughthe Scottish breezes have hardly yet been warmedby the sun, and the panting buds and blossoms havescarcely burst their cerements, the country-folks havebeen out by moon-light waiting the arrival of Maymorning, and singing, in the silent woods, Cunningham's May-eve, or Kate of Aberdeen." The silver moon's enamour'd beamSteals softly through the night,To wanton with the winding stream,And kiss reflected light." To beds of state go, balmy Sleep!('Tis where you ve seldom been, )May's vigil while the shepherds keepWith Kate of Aberdeen." &c. &c.

  • See an admirable paper in the Indicator, No. 29.

MAY MORNING. 113Nay, if ye will not obey my summons, I shall classye with the superannuated, to whom a contemporary.writer refers in his description of Spring:"O how delightful is the bursting spring,When the warm blood leaps nimbly through the veins,And with the budding forth and blossomingOf fields and groves, methinks the soul attainsFresh life and greenness, wantons in the breeze,Sings with the birds, and with the waving treesDances in unison. The spring-time gushesIn us as in the lusty grass and bushes;And the same hand that o'er the meadow showersKing-cups and daisies, daffodils and pansies,Garlands the human heart with all the flowersOflove, hope, rapture, and poetic fancies.If, when all nature feels this pregnant thrilling,To its delicious promptings thou art mute,Be sure that age begins, with touches chilling,To freeze thy sap and wither up thy root.”Let those who are willing to enrol themselves in thisclass keep their May-day in London; for even in itsmurkiest precincts the penetrating voice of nature isheard and answered on that auspicious morn, withghastly smiles and a lugubrious hilarity. To whatdo its festivities amount? This is the solitary jubileeofthose wretched boys who climb up our dark suffocating chimneys at the risk of limb and life; whoseribbons and tinsel , and forced unnatural gambols, dobut impress upon our minds, with a more painfulintensity, their ordinary state of privation, suffering,and squalor. Reader! compare these rejoicings , andtheir heart-rending associations, with the extracts youhave been perusing, and the genial, exhilarating, and114 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.ennobling impressions with which they spontaneouslyconnect themselves; and if (having the power toescape) you are still found within the bills of mortality, I can only say you have no right to be there,for you must be more or less than a mortal.But what will Dr. Killjoy say? What will theworld think, if a man of my religious character isseen? O, Sir, I cry your mercy. You are,perhaps, one of the saints, —one of those who makereligion a matter of public form and observance between man and man, rather than a governing principle, or silent communion between your own heartand its Creator. You have no idea of devotion, except in the House of God; and give me leave to add,that even there you have very little notion, exceptof the House itself. You have converted the accessory into the principal; the stimulant of inspirationinto the inspirer. Your spiritual conceptions areessentially material; your imagination is of brick andmortar, and has built up the type into the archetype; you know nothing of the Deity but by symbols. Has not your own poet Cowper declared that“ God made the country, man the town?" and thinkyou he is more likely to be found in a temple builtby hands, than in the midst of his own glorious andimperishable works? Was this most beautiful earthand its magnificent canopy made for brutes to gazeat? Was the sun set in a blaze, that it might lightoxen and sheep to the pond; or the moon hung onhigh for dogs to howl at? Is no celestial aspiration,no pious enthusiasm to be awakened when we "lookMAY MORNING. 115through Nature up to Nature's God?" You may, foronce, believe Shakspeare, when he assures you thatthere are" Sermons in stones, books in the running brooksAnd good in every thing."Well, then, since you are inexorable, let me appealto the grave-looking gentleman by your side, witha bill of lading in one hand, Lloyd's List in theother, and moving his lips in some deep calculationto himself.Do you mean me, Sir? I would attend you withpleasure if I thought it would give me a good appetite for my dinner; but you must know that Icannot possibly be absent from ' Change. -I am quiteaware of that; -but how do you mean to manageafter your death? or do you imagine that the grimking will put up his scythe in its scabbard, and walkdown stairs again, if you assure him that you arepositively engaged to meet your broker at fouro'clock? How you must envy the statue of Charlesthe Second, which keeps its happy station night and day, holidays and Sundays! Why, the pauper who'scrapes the mud off the high road is less of a drudgethan you, who are incessantly scraping up gold . Hisbody is not half so much exposed to annoyance asyour mind; and, when his day's labour is done, andhis appetites satisfied , he falls asleep without thinking of the morrow; -whereas your head is perpetuallyat work; you can hardly sleep from the fear of losingwhat you have got; and so far from your cravingsbeing appeased by plenty, you are everlastingly hungering and thirsting for more.116 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.There you are mistaken; for as soon as I havecompleted a plum, I mean to retire to my box in thecountry.My most solvent friend, you may deceive yourself,but you cannot deceive ´me. You will no more besatisfied with one plum in your second childhood,than you were in your first; -there is but one boxto which you will ever retire, and into that you willbe screwed down, narrow as it is, with all your Consols and Reduced, and your villa at Mile End; ay,and your Bank-stock and Exchequer-bills into thebargain: so you may as well make holiday while youcan, and follow me into the green lanes and freshsmelling groves.But I don't want to see any trees: it was only lastWednesday week that I got down to Mile Endtime enough to walk round my own plantations witha lantern, when I saw ever so many; some of themtwenty feet high.Nay, then, you may well be sick of the country,and can have no possible occasion to go a- Maying.—Gentle maiden, you, at least, will not refuse me whenI assure you that, whatever the ancients may have saidto the contrary* , May is Love's own month. Was notZephyr with Aurora playing,66As he met her once a-Maying,"

  • It was formerly considered inauspicious to marry in this

month, to which Ovid alludes in his Fasti:"Nec viduæ tædis eadem, nec virginis aptaTempora; quæ nupsit, non diuturna fuit:Hac quoque de causa, si te proverbia tangunt,Mense malum Maio nubere vulgus ait.”WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 117when he became the happy father of Mirth? " Love,whose month is ever May," is a phrase of Shakspeare's,no uninitiated investigator of the human heart; buthe meant the May of the country, not the season offashion and dissipation in London, where the youngmen are too much absorbed by ambition or avariceto feel any kindly expansion of the affections. Willyou not join in our rural rambles?Hark! the cuckoo calls us; and I cannot waita moment longer. If you wish to share our festival,follow me into the warm thick-flowering meadows,or the budding copses.WALKS IN THE GARDEN.-No. II.But are not wholesome airs, though unperfumedBy roses; and clear suns, though scarcely felt;And groves, if unharmonious, yet secureFrom clamour, and whose very silence charms;To be preferr'd to smoke, to the eclipseThat metropolitan volcanoes make,Whose Stygian throats breathe darkness all day long;And to the stir of commerce, driving slow,And thundering loud, with his ten thousand wheels?COWPER.IN our last walk, we discovered the approach ofrain from the shutting up of the Convolvulus, andAnagallis arvensis, commonly called the poor man'sweather-glass;-the rain is nowover; but as the cloudshave not yet dispersed, we can derive no assistancefrom this sun-dial in ascertaining the time of the day.118 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.However, we need not be at a loss; this Helianthus,or annual sunflower, is not only" True as the dial to the sun,Although it be not shone upon;"but enables us to form some estimate of the hour,even when the great luminary is invisible-an advantage which we cannot obtain from the dial. See,its large radiated disc already inclines westward,whence we may be sure that the afternoon has commenced it will follow the setting sun, and at night,by its natural elasticity, will again return to the east,to meet the morning sun-beams. It was thought,that the heat of the sun, by contracting the stem,occasioned the flower to incline towards it; but thesensibility to light seems to reside in the radiatedflorets, as other similarly formed flowers, such as severalof the Aster tribe, the daisy, marigold, &c. exhibitthe same tendency, though not in so striking a manner. Many leaves likewise follow the sun, of whicha clover-field affords a familiar instance. But theflowers we have enumerated, as they resemble thesun in their form, seem to have a secret sympathywith its beams, in absence of which some will notexpand their blossoms at all; while on hot cloudlessdays they absorb such a quantity of light, that theyemit it again in the evening in slight phosphoricflashes. These scintillations were first observed toproceed from the Garden Nasturtion: subsequentlyM. Haggren, of Sweden, perceiving faint flashes repeatedly darting from a Marigold, extended his ex-WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 119aminations, and stated, as the result, that the following flowers emitted flashes more or less vivid,in this order: the Marigold; Garden Nasturtion;Orange Lily; African Marigold; Annual Sun-flower.Bright yellow, or flame colour, seemed in generalnecessary for the production of the light, for it wasnever seen on flowers of any other hue. It wouldhave been well if every plant possessed as appropriatea name as the Helianthus; and if Ovid, in his notice.of this flower, had always been equally fortunate inadapting botanical qualities to poetical purposes.Nature has provided us with various substitutesfor watches besides the Sunflower, many othersopening and shutting their petals at certain hoursof the day, thus constituting what Linnæus callsthe horologe, or watch of Flora. He enumeratesforty-six which possess this kind of sensibility, dividing them into, 1st, Meteoric flowers, which expandsooner or later, according to the cloudiness, moisture,or pressure of the atmosphere. 2dly, Tropical flowers,opening in the morning and closing in the evening,earlier or later as the length of the day increases ordiminishes. 3dly, Equinoctial flowers, which openat a certain and exact hour of the day, and , for themost part, close at another determinate hour. Weneed not give the list, but can refer to their respective hours of rising and setting, if we encounterany of them in our rambles.Observe this Pear-tree; in its wild state it hasstrong thorns, which have entirely disappeared fromculture, whence Linnæus denominates such plants120 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.tamed, or deprived of their natural ferocity, as wildanimals sometimes lose their horns by domestication.The analogy between vegetable and animal life approaches much nearer than is generally imagined.Recent observation has traced the progress of the sap,from its first absorption by the roots, through thecentral vessels of the plant, into the annual shoot,leafstalk, and leaf, whence it is returned, and, descending through the bark, contributes to the process of forming the wood; thus describing a course,and fulfilling functions, very nearly correspondent tothe circulation of the blood. There is somethingequivalent to respiration through the whole plant,the leaves principally performing the office of thelungs -it has one series of vessels to receiveand convey the alimental juices, answering to thearteries, veins, &c. of animals; and a second set oftrachea, wherein air is continually received and expelled. It absorbs food regularly, both from the earthand the atmosphere, converting the most vitiatedeffluvia, in the process of digestion, into the purestair. The vegetable and animal parts of creation arethus a counterbalance to each other, the noxiousparts of the one proving salutary food to the other.From the animal body certain effluvia are continuallypassing off, which vitiate the air, and nothing can bemore prejudicial to animal life than their accumulation; while, on the other hand, nothing can be morefavourable to vegetables than these very effluvia,which they accordingly absorb with great avidity,and convert into the purest air. Plants are providedWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 121with muscles, by which they open and shut theirflowers, turn their leaves to the sun, even if theyhave been repeatedly folded back from it, and perform more complicated motions, as may be witnessedin the sensitive plants, the Dionæa Muscipula (orFly-trap), and many others; nor have calm and reflecting writers been wanting who strenuously maintain the doctrine of a perceptive power in vegetables.As Corallines, Madrepores, and Sponges, formerlyconsidered as fossil bodies or maritime plants, haveby subsequent investigations been raised to the rankof animals, Dr. Percival does not consider it extravagant to suppose that, at some future period, perceptivity may be discovered to extend even beyondthe limits now assigned to vegetable life. * A Hopplant turning round a pole follows the course of thesun, and soon dies when forced into an opposite lineof motion; but remove the obstacle, and the plantquickly returns to its former position . When thestraight branches of a Honeysuckle can no longersupport themselves, they strengthen themselves bybecoming spiral: when they meet with other branchesof the same kind, they coalesce for mutual support,and one spiral turns to the right, one to the left; thusincreasing the probability of their finding support bythe diversity of their course.Lord Kames relates,that among the ruins of New Abbey, in Galloway,"there grows on the top of a wall a plane-tree twentyfeet high. Straitened for nourishment, it severalVOL. I.

  • Manchester Transactions, Vol. II.

G122 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.years ago directed roots down the side of the wall,till they reached the ground, ten feet below: andnow the nourishment it afforded to those roots, duringthe time of descending, is amply repaid, having everyyear since that time made vigorous shoots."-If aplant be placed in a room which has no light exceptfrom a hole in the wall, it will shoot towards thehole, pass through it into the open air, and thenvegetate upwards in its natural direction. Even inthe profoundest calm, the leaves of the Hedysarumgyrans are in perpetual spontaneous motion; somerising, and others falling, and others whirling circularly by twisting their stems. From these and otherevidences of spontaneity, Dr. Percival infers thatvegetables have a limited degree of sensation and enjoyment; that they have an inferior participation inthe common allotment of vitality; and thus that ourgreat Creator hath apportioned good to all things," in number, weight, and measure. "Leaving these physiological researches to thosewho are more competent to discuss them, let us resume our desultory notices as we sit beneath thisLaburnum; and, as we cannot record many poeticalphrases of the Dutch, let us not omit to mention thatthey call this tree, with not less fancy than propriety,the Golden Rain. Was it from one of these treesthat Jupiter climbed to the window of the brazentower in which Danaë was confined, and thus gaverise to the fable of his visiting her in a golden shower?-Fix your eyes steadfastly upon the cup of thisNarcissus growing at our feet, and by suffering yourWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 123imagination to wave its magic wand, you will see,slowly rising from its petals, and expanding into manhood, the beautiful youth who, in the early ages ofthe world, sat beside the Boeotian fountain, and wooedthe reflection of his own face, mistaking it for theNaiad of the waters, until his heart and the delusion were both broken together. Methinks I seethe astonished and awe-struck countenances of thenymphs, when, on proceeding to take up his bodythat it might be placed on the funeral pile, they sawnothing but a beautiful flower, around which theyknelt in silent reverence. What is it that brings thebees buzzing around us so busily? See, it is thistuft of Coltsfoot which they approach with a harmonious chorus, somewhat like the " Non nobis,Domine," of our singers; and, after partaking silentlyof the luxurious banquet, again set up their tunefulpæans. Honey is of no other use to plants than totempt insects, who, in procuring it, fertilize the flowerby disturbing the dust of the stamens, and even carrythat substance from the barren to the fertile blossoms.Observe what a quantity of this yellow material iscollected on the legs and thighs of the little pilferers;who, as they carry it home for the construction oftheir combs, settle upon a thousand different flowers,and assist the great purpose of vegetable reproduction, while they are providing a receptacle for theirown. Lavender and Rosemary afford a wax alreadyprepared, as may be easily perceived on a close inspection of the leaf, and on this account are particularly acceptable to these winged marauders. ItG 2124 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.has been held a gross libel upon animals to say, thata man has made a beast of himself when he has drunkto such excess as to lose his reason; but we mightwithout injustice say, that he has made a humble-beeof himself, for those little debauchees are particularlyprone to intoxication. Round the nectaries of Hollyhocks you will generally observe a set of determinedtopers quaffing as pertinaciously as if they belongedto Wilkes's Club; and round about the flower (tofollow up the simile) several of the bon-vivants will befound lying on the ground, inebriated, and insensible.Honey is found in Aloes, Colocynthis, and otherbitter flowers, as constantly as in Cowslips, Foxglove,and Honeysuckle; and the assertion of Strabo, thata sort was produced in Pontus which was a strongpoison, owing to the bees having fed on Aconite andHemlock, is not credited. Besides the flowers wehave mentioned, bees are particularly fond of theLime-tree, Privet, and Phillyrea; but the cultivationof these useful insects is now nearly neglected. Meadwas the nectar of the Scandinavian nations, which theyquaffed in heaven out of the sculls of their enemies:we may, therefore, conclude that its use was not forgotten upon earth, and that the honey whence it wasprepared must have been produced in amazing quantities to supply those thirsty tribes. In fact, it continued the prevailing beverage of the common peoplein the north of Europe until very modern times, whenit was superseded by malt liquors, and the bees wereabandoned to the wastes and wilds. There is hardlybees-wax enough produced in England to answer theWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 125demand for lip- salve alone; but importation fromAmerica supplies all our wants, for the quantity obtained in that country is annually increasing. A fewyears ago the hum of a bee had never been heard onthe western side of the Allegany mountains: a violenthurricane carried several swarms over that lofty ridge,and finding a new unexhausted country, singularlyfavourable to their propagation, they have multiplied,until the whole of those boundless savannahs andplains have been colonized by these indefatigable emigrants. Little thinks the ball-room beauty, when thetapers are almost burnt out, that the wax by whoselight her charms have been exalted was once hiddenin the bells and cups of innumerable flowers, sheddingperfume over the silent valleys of the Susquehannah,or nodding at their own reflected colours in the watersof the Potomac and Delaware.Intoxication is not confined to the humble- bee,for yonder is one of the common sort, whom I havebeen watching within the calyx of that flower, wherehe seems to be motionless and insensible. Look again,my friend, and you will find your eyes have deceivedyou. That is the Ophrys, commonly called the Beeorchis, which grows wild in many parts of England,and whose nectary and petals closely resemble, in formand colour, the insect whence it takes its name. Bythis contrivance the flowers have the appearance ofbeing pre-occupied, and often escape those hourlyrobbers; or would it be too visionary to imagine thatthe beefirst appeared in this vegetable state , detacheditself in process of time from its parent plant, and ac-126 GAIETRES AND GRAVITIES.quired its present vitality? There is a Fly-orchisalso, as well as a Spider-orchis, which may have undergone similar changes. " A fanciful naturalist,who had studied this subject, thought it not impossiblethat the first insects were the anthers and stigmas offlowers, which had by some means loosened themselves, like the male flowers of Vallisneria, and thatother insects, in process of time, had been formedfrom these; some acquiring wings, others fins, andothers claws, from their ceaseless efforts to procurefood, or secure themselves from injury*. ”I see, by the expression of your countenance, thatyou hesitate to ask the name of the humble plant uponwhich your eyes are fixed, doubting whether it be aflower or a weed. For my part, I know not whichare the most beautiful-the wild flowers, or those thatare cultivated; but the little tuft on which you aregazing is the pretty weed called " Forget-me- not."Apoet has seldom any thing to bestow but the productions of his Muse, although she be often as pooras himself, as the reader will readily admit when heperuses the following return for a present of thisplant:-Thanks, Mira, for the plant you sent:-My garden whensoe'er I enter,"Twill serve at once for ornamentAnd for a vegetable Mentor.-If Duty's voice be heard with scorning,Or absent friends be all forgot,Each bud will cry, in tones of warning,66 Forget me not! -Forget me not!"

  • Dr. Darwin's " Origin of Society," canto 2.

MAN. 127A nobler theme its flowers of blueInculcate on the thoughtful gazer,That the same hand which gave their huePainted yon glorious arch of azure.Yes-He whose voice is in the thunderPlanted this weed beside the cot,And whispers through its lips of wonder,"Forget me not! -Forget me not!"A poor return your gift insures,When paid in this poetic greeting;—The flowers which I exchange for yoursAre less delightful, quite as fleeting.-Yet when the earth my bones shall cover,Some few may live to mark the spot,And sigh, to those that round it hover,"Forget me not!-Forget me not!"MAN,VERSIFIED FROM AN APOLOGUE BY DR. SHERIDAN.AFFLICTION one day, as she hark'd to the roarOf the stormy and struggling billow,Drew a beautiful form on the sands of the shore,With the branch of a weeping willow.Jupiter, struck with the noble planAs he roam'd on the verge of the ocean,Breath'd on the figure, and calling it Man,Endued it with life and motion.A creature so glorious in mind and in frame,So stamp'd with each parent's impression,Among them a point of contention became,Each claiming the right of possession.128 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.He is mine, said Affliction; I gave him his birth,I alone am his cause of creation:--The materials were furnished by me, answer'd Earth; -I gave him, said Jove, animation.The gods, all assembled in solemn Divan,After hearing each claimant's petition,Pronounced a definitive verdict on Man,And thus settled his fate's disposition:Let Affliction possess her own child, till the woesOf life cease to harass and goad it;After death give his body to Earth, whence it rose;And his spirit to Jove, who bestow'd it .WALKS IN THE GARDEN. -No. III." The life and felicity of an excellent gardener is preferableto all other diversions." EVELYN."What could I wish that I possess not here?Health, leisure, means to improve it, friendship, peace,No loose or wanton, though a wandering Muse,And constant occupation without care."To me the branches of the trees always appear tostretch themselves out and droop their leaves with anobvious sense of enjoyment, while they are fed bythe renovating moisture of a shower. I have beencomplacently watching my shrubs and plants duringthis repast; but the rain is now over, they have finished their meal, and as they have already begun withfresh spirits to dance in the breeze and glitter in thesunshine, let us sally forth to share their festivity.What a delicious fragrance gushes from the freshenedWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 129grass and borders! It is the incense which the grateful earth throws up to heaven in return for its fertilising waters. Behold! here is one ofthe many objectswhich the shower has accomplished: by moisteningthe wings of the flying Dandelion, it has conveyed itto the earth at the very moment when it was bestadapted for the reception of its seed. " The variousmodes by which seeds are dispersed, cannot fail tostrike an observing mind with admiration. Who hasnot listened in a calm and sunny day to the cracklingof furze bushes, caused by the explosion of their littleelastic pods; or watched the down of innumerableseeds floating on the summer breeze, till they are overtaken by a shower, which, moistening their wings,stops their further flight, and at the same time accomplishes its final object, by immediately promotingthe germination of each seed in the moist earth?How little are children aware, as they blow awayseeds of Dandelion, or stick burs in sport upon eachother's clothes, that they are fulfilling one of the greatends of nature!"* The various mechanism and contrivances for the dissemination of plants and flowersare almost inexhaustible. Some seeds are providedwith a plume like a shuttleco*ck, which, renderingthem buoyant, enables them to fly over lakes and deserts; in which manner they have been known to travelfifty miles from their native spot. Others are dispersedby animals; some attaching themselves to their hair orfeathers by a gluten, as Misletoe; others by hooks,

  • Smith's Introduction to Botany, p. 302.

theG 5130 GAIETIES AND Burdock and Hounds-tongue; and others areswallowed whole, for the sake of the fruit, and voideduninjured, as the Hawthorn, Juniper, and somegrasses. Other seeds again disperse themselves bymeans of an elastic seed-vessel, as Oats and Geranium; and the seeds of aquatic plants, and thosewhich grow on the banks of rivers, are carried manymiles by the currents into which they fall. The seedsof Tillandsia*, which grows on the branches of treeslike Misletoe, are furnished with many long threadson their crowns, which, as they are driven forwardsby the winds, wrap round the arms of trees, and thushold them fast till they vegetate. When the seeds ofthe Cyclamen are ripe, the flower- stalk graduallytwists itself spirally downwards till it touches theground, and forcibly penetrating the earth, lodges itsseeds, which are thought to receive nourishment fromthe parent root, as they are said not to be made togrow in any other situation. The subterraneous Trefoil has recourse to a similar expedient, which howevermay be only an attempt to conceal its seeds fromthe ravages of birds; while the Trifolium globosumadopts a still more singular contrivance: its lower florets only have corols, and are fertile; the upper oneswither into a kind of wool, and, forming a head, completely conceal the fertile calyxes. But the most curious arrangement for vegetable locomotion is to befound in the awn or beard of Barley, which , like theteeth of a saw, are all turned towards one end of it:

  • Darwin's Loves of the Plants, canto 1.

WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 131as this long awn lies upon the ground, it extends itselfin the moist air of night, and pushes forward the barley-corn which it adheres to; in the day it shortens asit dries, and as these points prevent it from receding,it draws up its pointed end, and thus, creeping like aworm, will travel many feet from its parent stem.The late Mr. Edgeworth constructed a wooden creeping hygrometer upon this principle, which expandingin moist weather, and contracting itself when it wasdry, in a month or two walked across the room whichit inhabited.If Nature have been thus ingenious in providingfor the dispersion of seeds, she has not been less provident in her arrangements for procuring a prolificand inexhaustible supply. Her great leading principle seems to be eternal destruction and reproduction,which one of our essayists tells us may be simplifiedinto the following concise order to all her children,"Eat and be eaten." She has been not less prodigalin the seeds of plants than in the spawn of fish; asalmost any one plant, if all its seeds should grow tomaturity, would in a few years alone people the terrestrial globe. The seeds of one Sunflower amountto 4000; Poppy has 32,000. Mr. Ray asserts that1012 seeds of Tobacco weighed only one grain, andthat thus calculated, they amounted in one plant to360,000; and he supposes the seeds of the Ferns toexceed a million on a leaf! Nor does this exuberanceseem necessary to counteract their small tenacity oflife; for, on the contrary, the vital principle in seedsis generally preserved with a remarkable vigour. Great132 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.degrees of heat, short of boiling, do not impair theirvegetative power, nor do we know any degree of coldwhich has such an effect . They may be sent roundthe world, exposed to every variety of climate, without injury; and even when buried for ages deep inthe ground, they retain their vitality, although theywill not germinate, apparently from the want of someaction of the air, as it has been ascertained by repeatedexperiments that seeds planted in the exhausted receiver of an air-pump will not vegetate. The earththrown up from the deepest wells, although all possibleaccess of fresh seeds be carefully excluded, will, uponexposure to the air, shoot forth weeds, grasses, andwild flowers, whose seeds must have lain dormantfor many centuries; and it is very common, upondigging deeper than usual in gardeners' grounds,to recover varieties of flowers which had long beenlost.Observe in this beautiful double Dahlia how highlynature may be improved, all double flowers beingproduced by cultivation, although their reproductivepowers are frequently lost in the process; whence theyhave been termed by botanists vegetable monsters.This operation is effected in various ways: in somethe petals are multiplied three or four times, withoutexcluding the stamens, whence they are able to produce seeds, as in Campanula and Stramonium; butin others the petals become so numerous, as totally toexclude the stamens, and these are, of course, unproductive. In some, the nectaries are sacrificed for theformation of petals, as in Larkspur; while in others,WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 133the nectaries are multiplied to the exclusion of thepetals, as in Colombine."Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too,"sings Cowper; and ours, humble as it is, may affordus some instruction, as we sit and contemplate itsevergreen inhabitants, filling their little amphitheatrein due succession of rank and dignity."Foreigners from many lands,They form one social shade, as if convenedBy magic summons of the Orphean lyre.”These Vine-leaves, which were suspended yesterdayby a thread with their under-surfaces turned towardsthe windows, have already recovered their naturalposition, although detached from the stem; whencewe not only learn that light acts beneficially upon theupper surface and injuriously upon the under side ofleaves, but we have proof that the turning is effectedby an impression made upon the leaf itself, and notupon the foot-stalk. Fruit-trees on the opposite sidesof a wall invariably turn their leaves from the wallin search of light, which seems to have a positiveattraction for them, exclusive of any accompanyingwarmth; for plants in a hot-house present the frontsof their leaves, and even incline their branches to thequarter where there is most light, not to that wheremost air is admitted, nor to the flue in search of heat.Light gives the green colour to leaves; for plantsraised in darkness are of a sickly white, of which thecommon practice of blanching Celery in gardens, bycovering it up with earth, is a proof under every one'sobservation. By experiments made with coloured134 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.glasses, through which light was admitted, it appearsthat plants become paler in proportion as the glassapproaches nearer to violet.This annual Mesembryanthemum would have afforded us another illustration of the extraordinaryprovisions of Nature for the dispersion of seed. It isa native of the sandy deserts of Africa, and its seedvessels only open in rainy weather, otherwise the seedsin that country might lie long exposed before theymet with sufficient moisture to vegetate. Succulentplants, which possess more moisture in proportion asthe soil which they are destined to inhabit is parchedand sunny, attain that apparently contradictory quality by the great facility with which they imbibe, andtheir being almost totally free from perspiration, whichin plants of other latitudes is sometimes excessive.According to Dr. Hales, the large annual Sunflowerperspires about seventeen times as fast as the ordinaryinsensible perspiration of the human skin; and thequantity of fluid which evaporates from the leaves ofthe Cornelian Cherry in the course of twenty- fourhours, is said to be nearly equal to twice the weightof the whole shrub. Sometimes, from a sudden condensation of their insensible evaporation, drops ofclear water will, even in England, in hot calm weather, fall from groves of Poplar or Willow, like aslight shower of rain. Ovid has made a poetical useof this exudation from Lombardy Poplars, which hesupposes to be the tears of Phaeton's sisters, whowere transformed into those trees.How utterly vain and insignificant appear all theWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 135alembics and laboratories of chemists and experimental philosophers, when compared with the innumerable,exquisite, and unfathomable processes which Nature,in silence and without effort, is at this instant elaborating within the precincts of our little garden! Fromthe same mysterious earth, planted in the same pot,her inscrutable powers will not only concoct variousflowers utterly dissimilar in form, odour, colours, andproperties, —some perhaps containing a deadly poison,others a salutary medicine; but she will even sometimes combine all these discordant secretions in thesame plant. The gum of the Peach-tree, for instance,is mild and mucilaginous. The bark, leaves, andflowers, abound with a bitter secretion of a purgativeand rather dangerous quality. The fruit is repletenot only with acid, mucilage, and sugar, but with itsown peculiar aromatic and highly volatile secretion,elaborated within itself, on which its fine flavour depends . How far are we still from understanding thewhole anatomy of the vegetable body, which can createand keep separate such distinct and discordant substances! * Iron has been detected in roses, and issupposed to be largely produced by vegetable decomposition, from the chalybeate quality and ochrous deposit of waters flowing from morasses; and it is wellascertained that pure flint is secreted in the hollowstem of the Bamboo, in the cuticle of various grasses,in the cane, and in the rough Horsetail, in which latterit is very copious, and so disposed as to make a na-

  • Smith's Introduction to Botany.

136 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.tural file, for which purpose it is used in our manufactures. What a contrast, exclaims the same ingenious botanist, to whom we have been so largelyindebted, between this secretion of the tender vegetable frame, and those exhalations which constitutethe perfume of flowers! One is among the mostpermanent substances in nature-an ingredient in theprimæval mountains of the globe; the other, the invisible, intangible breath of a moment!Among the innumerable advantages to be derivedfrom a knowledge of botany, however slight, may bementioned the perpetual amusem*nt which it affordsin scenes which to others might be only productive ofennui; the impressions of pure natural religion whichit awakens, and the lofty and ennobling sentiments bywhich they are invariably associated. Nor do we needfor this purpose the garden's artificial embellishments,as the same sensations may be excited, even in amore striking degree, amid the most desolate scenes.Nature in every form is lovely still.I can admire to ecstasy, althoughI be not bower'd in a rustling grove,Tracing through flowery tufts some twinkling rill,Or perch'd upon a green and sunny hill,Gazing upon the sylvanry below,And harking to the warbling beaks above.—To me the wilderness of thorns and bramblesBeneath whose weeds the muddy runnel scramblesThe bald, burnt moor-the marsh's sedgy shallows,Where docks, bullrushes, waterflags, and mallows,Choke the rank waste, alike can yield delight.A blade of silver hair-grass nodding slowlyIn the soft wind, -the thistle's purple crown,Theferns, the rushes tall, and mosses lowly,WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 137Athorn, a weed, an insect, or a stone,Can thrill me with sensations exquisite, -For all are exquisite, and every partPoints to the mighty hand that fashion'd it.Then as I look aloft with yearning heart,The trees and mountains, like conductors, raiseMy spirit upward on its flight sublime;And clouds, and sun, and heaven's marmorean floor,Are but the stepping-stones by which I climbUp to the dread Invisible, to pourMy grateful feelings out in silent praise.When the soul shakes her wings, how soon we flyFrom earth to th' empyrean heights, and tieThe Thunderer to the tendril of a weed.ADDRESS TO THE MUMMY AT BELZONI'SEXHIBITION.AND thou hast walk'd about (how strange a story! )In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,Whenthe Memnonium was in all its glory,And Time had not begun to overthrowThose temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,Of which the very ruins are tremendous.Speak! for thou long enough hast acted Dummy,Thou hast a tongue-come-let us hear its tune;Thou ' rt standing on thy legs, above-ground, Mummy!Revisiting the glimpses of the moon,Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features.Tell us--for doubtless thou canst recollect,To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame?Was Cheops or Cephrenes architectOf either Pyramid that bears his name?138 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer?Had Thebes a hundred gates, as súng by Homer?Perhaps thou wert a Mason, and forbiddenBy oath to tell the mysteries of thy trade, -Then say what secret melody was hiddenIn Memnon's statue which at sun-rise play'd?Perhaps thou wert a Priest—if so, my strugglesAre vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles.Perchance that very hand, now pinion'd flat,Has hob-a-nob'd with Pharaoh, glass to glass;Or dropp'd a halfpenny in Homer's hat,Or doff'd thine own to let Queen Dido pass;Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,Atorch at the great Temple's dedication.I need not ask thee if that hand, when arm'd,Has any Roman soldier maul'd and knuckled,For thou wert dead, and buried, and embalm'd,Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled: -Antiquity appears to have begunLong after thy primeval race was run.


Thou couldst develope, if that wither'd tongueMight tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,Howthe world look'd when it was fresh and young,And the great deluge still had left it greenOr was it then so old that History's pagesContain'd no record of its early ages?Still silent? incommunicative elf!Art sworn to secrecy? then keep thy vowsBut prythee tell us something ofthyselfReveal the secrets of thy prison-house:Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumber'd,What hast thou seen-what strange adventures number'd?ADDRESS TO THE MORNING. 139Since first thy form was in this box extended,We have, above-ground, seen some strange mutations;The Roman empire has begun and ended,New worlds have risen-we have lost old nations,And countless kings have into dust been humbled,While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy headWhen the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses,March'd armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,And shook the Pyramids with fear and wonder,When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder?Ifthe tomb's secrets may not be confess'd,The nature of thy private life unfold:-Aheart has throbb'd beneath that leathern breast,And tears adown that dusty cheek have roll'd: -Have children climb'd those knees, and kiss'd that face?What was thy name and station, age and race?Statue of flesh-Immortal of the dead!Imperishable type of evanescence!Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,And standest undecay'd within our presence,Thou wilt hear nothing till the Judgment morning,When the great Trump shall thrill thee with its warning.Why should this worthless tegument endure,If its undying guest be lost for ever?O let us keep the soul embalm'd and pureIn living virtue, that when both must sever,Although corruption may our frame consume,Th' immortal spirit in the skies may bloom!140 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.ENGLISH PRIDE.Here let us fix our foot, hence take our view,And learn to try false merit by the true.STILLINGFLEET.YES the English are unquestionably an unsociable people; and I had no sooner discovered thefact, than I proceeded to explore the causes of thisantipathy to communicativeness and good fellowship;which, after tracing them through all their ramifications and disguises, I found invariably convergingin one little corner of the heart, inscribed with theword-Pride. Bruce was not satisfied when he bestrode the three streams whose union formed theNile; he would still ascertain which was the highestand most abundant source from which the waterswere supplied and in like manner I pursued my researches until I found that the great Pride fountainfrom which the bitter waters of English reserve pourtheir petrifying influence, was the pride of Wealth.National pride-pride of birth—of rank-of talent-Ihad encountered in foreign countries; but this master-folly, which in England swallows up all the rest,appears to be indigenous to the soil, sharing thathonour with its congenial products, the crab-appleand the thistle. To a certain extent this feeling mayhave originated in the absolute necessity for riches,in a country where no man can maintain an establishment, or even move in circles at all elevated aboveENGLISH PRIDE. 141the mechanical classes, unless he possess an incomewhich upon the Continent would enable him to compete with half the nobility. Without this infallibleproof of his gentility, he must subside at once intothose profane ranks of the vulgar, which Horaceabominated-a degradation to which the perpetuallyrising tide of prices, during the last war, condemnedmany an unpensioned old maid and respectable annuitant. It is some comfort to the poor plebeianwho cannot afford to be a gentleman, to throw theblame of his exclusion from polished society, and ofour expensive modes of living, upon others; but thepaltry distinctions, the jealous hauteur, the " meanness that soars, and pride that licks the dust, " theenvy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, embittering the system of that social intercourse intowhich he is unable to gain admittance, are the faultsof the people themselves, and may well reconcile himto his exemption from their influence. Let king,lords, and commons, retain their respective pales; —we speak not in any spirit of anarchy or levelling;but we would laugh to scorn those fantastical shadesof difference by which the middling classes affect toregulate their intercourse, and which, however disguised, ultimately resolve themselves into that mostcontemptible of all prides--the pride of purse. Talents, virtue, powers of amusem*nt, congeniality ofdisposition, all fade away before, the irresistible attraction of a certain stile in establishment; and whocan wonder that parties constituted upon this principle are uniformly stiff, stupid, and ceremonious? In142 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.ssemblages of this sort, it sometimes appears to be areceived maxim, that talking spoils good society;and its most distinguished members are apt to resemble Baron Grimm's friend, who possessed such awonderful talent for silence.There is scarcely a parish in England which is notdivided into visiting classes, kept separate with almostas rigid an inviolability as the castes of the Hindoos.The squire, the retired manufacturer or merchant,who inhabits the great mansion, looks around him forall the similar establishments within the limits of adrive or ride, and confines the honour of his acquaintance to those whose merits are attested by an unquestionable quantity of brick and mortar. He visitsthe house, not its inmates; and his mode of estimating their value is not a whit less preposterous thanthat of the pedant in Hierocles, who, having a houseto sell, used to carry about a brick in his pocket as aspecimen. Next comes the class who, without arriving at the dignity of a park or a domain, have beenfortunate enough to lay up a store of gout and illhealth by keeping their own carriages. They remember the proud exclamation of the Spaniard whofell in crossing his garden-" This comes of walkingupon earth, ”—and carefully abstain from noticing allsuch terrestrial animals. They compose friendships asSir Richard Blackmore did his poems, to the rumbling of their carriage-wheels, and entertain a vaguenotion of Damon and Pythias, Pylades and Orestes,Æneas and Achates, as gentlemen in easy circ*mstances, who duly went to call on one another in theirENGLISH PRIDE. 143own chariots, and scrupulously left cards if eitherhappened to be out. In the third class are thosepetty dignitaries, who, as a line must be drawn somewhere, openly maintain the double resolution of onlyvisiting where a man-servant is kept, and a shop isnot kept. The former is the grand desideratum. Itwas once the fashion, says the author of the Tale of aTub, for all the world to wear shoulder- knots! " Thatfellow has no soul, exclaims one; -where is hisshoulder-knot?" Exactly thus do their modern imitators doubt whether a man can possibly possesssoul fit for their sublime notice, unless there be a tag,rag, and bobtail, flapping from his servant's shoulderThat Desdemona should " see the Moor's complexionin his mind," and fall in love with a black, they condemn as unnatural, at the very moment when theyare perhaps attaching themselves to a blackguard,because they see a bit of gold lace upon his footman'scollar. Last of all come-the rabble-the lower orders, as they are termed, whose social intercourse,if not so refined as that of their superiors, is probablymore productive of enjoyment by its freedom, unreserve, and exemption from all heart-burning andrivalry. Knowing that " their miseries can neverlay them lower," they exemplify the meeting of extremes, and prove that the only classes who taste thetrue comforts of fellowship, are the few who are abovejealousy, and the many who are beneath it.Nor is this absurd arrogance by any means peculiarto the country: it exists in full force among themiddling classes of London, particularly in the city,144 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.3where, indeed, the virus of the disease might be expected to manifest itself with peculiar malignity.Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme is there daily enacted witheven more farcical pretension than Molière wouldhave ventured to delineate; and I have often seensubstantial citizens, after laughing heartily in thetheatre at the representation of High Life belowStairs, return home to perform, in their own persons,the very follies which they had ridiculed in theirinferiors. Some may perhaps recollect an awful andaugust conclave of saltatory civic magnificos, whoycleped themselves the City Assembly, and heldtheir solemn festivities beneath the appropriate roofof Haberdashers' Hall, deep in the labyrinth of somelane within lanes, whose names I have forgotten. Itwas the Selecta è Veteris, or rather the Selecta è Profanis, of Cheapside and Broad- street: to be a member was the summit of civic ambition, and happy wasthe mercantile aspirant who could even get a ticketfor admission once in the season. Upon the oldprinciple, that to be sociable you must be exclusive,brokers and persons standing behind a counter were,by the rules of the establishment, declared inadmissible, and many a long debate do I remember amongthese " potent, grave, and reverend signiors," on theimportant points, whether certain merchant-brokers ofindisputable wealth came within the first exception;and whether bankers, though avowedly within theletter, were embraced by the spirit of the second. AsTyre, Sidon, Palmyra, and Carthage, have beenswept away, we cannot so much wonder that theENGLISH PRIDE. 145City assembly, with all its plums, diamonds, lordmayors, aldermen, gorgeousness, vulgarity, and prideof dunghill aristocracy, has ceased to exist; orthat its equally dull and narrow-minded rival, theLondon, has shared its fate. But their spirit survives;-" even in their ashes live their wonted fires,"and the prostration of mind with which their worthy descendants fall down before any golden calf,would have done honour to the worshippers of Baal .Walking lately with one of these gentry in the City,I was astonished at finding myself suddenly thrustout into the kennel, that we might give the wall toa pompous little porpus, whom my companion salutedwith a profound respect. "That," said he, drawinghimself up with a proud consciousness of the honourhe had received in being noticed, " that is AldermanCalypash; he is worth at least ten thousand a-year. ""I am glad of it," I replied, " as, but for that circ*mstance, he would not be worth any thing whatever." But who shall describe the anxious reverencewith which he approached, or the cringing and crawling with which he attempted to win the eye of somehigh-priest of Mammon, some Croesus of the synagogue, as we elbowed our way through Jews and Gentiles to get a peep of him upon ' Change? "Heis wortha million," said my informant, as soon as his feelingsallowed him to give utterance to the tremendous word.-"You are still richer," I replied, " for you aresatisfied." Among women, where wealth admits of moreobvious manifestation by external signs, it attracts adeference equally unqualified, and I have often amusedVOL. I. H1146 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.myself with following an expensively dressed female,and marking the effect of her magnificence upon thosewhom she encountered. On the faces of the moreamiable of her own sex, I have read unaffected admiration of the display, mixed with some shadowingsof regret that they could not, by an equally costlystyle of dress, participate in the happiness which theyconceive to be its inevitable concomitant; but it mustbe confessed that the greater number of countenancesexpressed an angry scrutiny, that seemed to measurethe value, per yard, of every lace and satin, while inthe eagerness to depreciate that which they could nothope to rival, I have more than once caught mutterings of " The veil is only a net-lace after all; " or," The trimming of the pelisse is nothing but cottonvelvet."One would have thought it hard enough that theinsatiable demands of Government should consume somuch of our substance, and drink up the very lifesprings of our hospitality; and certainly we might aswell have had popery at once as the national debt,for it condemns us to as many fast-days, withoutaffording us any chance of absolution. It is a millstone around the neck of our social system; it compels us, like Dutch malefactors, to pump ourselves todeath, that we may keep our heads above water; ithas destroyed more good dinners than the worst cookin Christendom; it squats itself in the middle of ourkitchen-grate, like a huge night-mare, and with onehand stops the smoke-jack, while with the other itrakes out the fire; -it compels us to shut the door inENGLISH PRIDE. 147the faces of our friends, that we may open them tothe tax-gatherer. And yet, as if the bounds ofjoviality and companionship were not sufficiently circ*mscribed by this voracious monster, we must voluntarily narrow them still further, by acknowledgingthe supremacy of a newfiend-the dæmon of Luxury.Enjoyment of our friends' society was formerly considered the rational object of a dinner-party; butyou now invite them that you may exhibit your superior magnificence, and, by exciting their envy oranger, do your best towards converting them intoA enemies. Sir Balaam's frugal but substantial mealshave been long exploded, and the reign of alternatefasts and feasts has been substituted: -servants andhorses are half-starved, and friends wholly excludedfor a month, that the doors may be thrown open forone day of emulous ostentation. I never sit besidea silver plateau, (too often a compound of meannessand vanity-a showy but sorry substitute for solidfare, ) without fancying that I hear the grumbling ofthe numerous stomachs at whose expense it has beenpurchased; nor can I be easily brought to acknowledgethe wisdom of either giving or receiving one granddinner where there were formerly five pleasant ones.Here, again, is another pervading cause of the sullenness and unsociability of which we are accused; -conviviality is exchanged for competition-hospitalityunless it mean to finish its career in the King's Benchmust be frequently nigg*rdly, that it may be occasionally gorgeous, and the apple of discord is throwndown upon every table long before the appearanceH 2148 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.66of the dessert. Tomkins refuses to visit Simkins,because the latter gives French wines, which hecannot afford to retaliate; and Huggins withholdsthe light of his countenance from Briggs, because henever gives him a second course, although he alwaysprovided one for the said Briggs at his own house.Nay, so minute are these balancings and calculations,that they even take cognizance of fractional parts.' Excessively shabby of Mrs. Brown, " I once heard alady exclaim, " to give us a dinner of five and seven,when she had two courses of seven and nine at myhouse, and her party more numerous than mine too."Upon inquiry, I learnt that these accurate numbershad reference to the dishes with which the table wascovered. All the infinite combinations of the kaleidoscope are produced by the same few materials;and on peeping into the heart of an Englishman,it will be found that all the disguises, changes, andvarieties, of which we have been endeavouring toafford a partial glimpse, are but new modificationsof the old element -pride.Misfortunes never come single. Taxation andluxury had no sooner laid their benumbing handson our social system, than fashion introduced latedinner-hours; and these, as if to give the death-blowto all that remained of genuine unsophisticated sociability, exploded suppers. Suppers, -those unpretending, economical parties, which could be oftenafforded, and yet never seemed to be sufficientlyfrequent, those only meals to which women, bytheir continued presence, imparted a thousand charms,-ENGLISH PRIDE. 149substituting the Muses and the Graces for theworship of Bacchus, uniting decorum with hilarity,compelling their male associates to forego the eternaldiscussion of politics and business, and condescend,for once, to be unanimous in the determination to bevivacious and happy. Then was it that the songwent round, and the hastily-prepared dance, doublydelightful because unpremeditated, afforded sufficientgratification to the most resolute votaries of Terpsichore, and yet allowed them to seek their beds insober time, without injuring their health or encroaching upon the next day's duties. I am old enoughto remember when these truly festive entertainmentswere common as the flowers in May; and vulgarenough to regret the temperate bowl of punch whichin many families was duly administered, when theparty was not sufficiently numerous to justify morevigorous demonstrations of enjoyment. Routs, ices,and sour negus, are miserable substitutes for thesenoctes cænæque Deum. They have passed away, andwith them has fled the soul of all gallant and hilarioussociality.Even in our domestic circles we resemble theasymptotical lines, which perpetually approach without ever effecting a complete union. We have littlefamily cordiality after we become old enough to setup a pride of our own. Sons will not marry untilthey can maintain a separate establishment; theywould hold it a degradation to bring their wivesunder the paternal roof; and as they cannot affordto gratify their anti-social feelings without a con-150 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.siderable independence, many, of course, remainunmarried. Hence the number of profligate youngmen, and disappointed and unhappy young womeninevitably destined to become old maids. In France,the married sons and daughters are frequently collected together in the large old family mansion; andin those patriarchal establishments I have often founda harmony and domestic happiness, for which I havelooked in vain in the disunited union by which thedifferent branches of an English family are flimsilyheld together. By the arrangement that prevailsabroad, the venerable parents of the society ensuresolace and protection until they die, in the midstof their descendants; while in England their offspring fly from them one by one, until they areleft, in the utmost social need of their old age, lonelyand desolate. Affection in the one country seems tobe centripetal, while with us it is centrifugal. Pride,churlishness, and hauteur, are equally perceptible inour demeanour towards inferiors and domestics, ascompared with the frank benignity and condescensionwhich they invariably experience upon the Continent. " Surely," exclaims some starch personification of cold pride and ignorant prejudice, " surelyyou would not recommend familiarity with servants!"Familiarity, thou most rigid formalist, is a comparative term. My old schoolmaster used often totell me that there were many degrees of intermediatesolidity between a Westphalia ham and a whipsyllabub; so are there between the familiarity thatbreeds contempt and that which generates an un-WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 151reserved but respectful attachment. How often haveI seen Italians shrug up their shoulders, and utterexclamations of surprise, when an English barouchepassed them, with its broad-shouldered owner lollingat his ease inside, while the lady's maid was tanningin the sun, or biding the pelting of the storm, in thedickey outside. Their respect for the sex knows notthese paltry distinctions of rank: theirs is the genuinegallantry of feeling; ours is the spurious one of manners and externals. Proofs crowd upon me: but Ifeel that I have established my assertion. I haveweighed thee, John Bull, in the scale of nations; Ihave tried thee by a foreign test, and of pride andunsociableness thou art finally convicted.WALKS IN THE GARDEN.-No. IV.My garden takes uphalf my daily care,And my field asks the minutes I can spare.HARTE.IT was said of Burke, that no one could standunder the same gateway with him, during a shower ofrain, without discovering that he was an extraordinary man, ―avery consolatory assertion to the inhabitants of London, who were not, perhaps, previouslyaware that any discovery could be made or pleasantassociation awakened during that most irksome period, when they are huddled with strange companionsunder the shelter of a low arch, gazing listlessly at the152 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.rushing and wrangling kennel, or walking to the backof the covered way to exchange weeping looks withthe sky. In that ten minutes of London's suspendedanimation, all is desolation and gloom; the desertedstreet is a wide waste of bubbles and mud; from theunimbibing flag-stones the discoloured drops scrambleinto the gutter to disembogue themselves into a feculent and stercoraceous receptacle, whither the imagination refuses to follow them: -now and then theloud pattering on an umbrella announces the approachof some sturdy pedestrian who hurries by, and thecheerless prospect is again confined to mud and stones,until a hackney-coach rattles past with its lame anddripping cattle, while the flap-hatted driver holds hishead on one side to avoid the pelting of the storm ,utterly indifferent to the upheld fingers of the shopand-alley-imprisoned women, or the impatient calls ofappointment-breaking men; signals to which, buthalf an hour before, he would have been all eye, allear. No delectable associations, either natural or literary, spring up to alleviate the tedium of such a detention as we have been describing; for even therecollection of Swift's imitative description of a cityshower will but aggravate the annoyances of our situation, by the fidelity with which he has pourtrayedthe scene. How different the effect of a shower inthe country! We have already noticed the air ofenjoyment with which the trees droop down theirbranches to be fed, and the silent satisfaction withwhich the thirsty earth drinks in the refreshing mois-WALKS IN THE GARDEN. 153ture; but there is scarcely a drop of rain which wemay not moralize into as many conceits as Jaquessummoned up from the tears of the poor woundedstag. Are we in a puerile mood, we may forthwithrealise that most palatable conception of MotherBunch, by which our youthful imaginations have beenso often raised to ecstasy, (is it not the tale of PrinceFlorizel?) wherein the discriminating fairy rewardsher obedient children, by summoning from the air ashower of tarts and cheesecakes -a prodigy which wecan thus easily accomplish with the wand of fancy.The limpid drops destined to feed the corn whence theflour is obtained, and expand the pulp of the currant,raspberry, or gooseberry, which is to be enshrined inits paste, are clearly the primal though unconcoctedelements of the feast which Mrs. Bunch, (away withthe disrespectful term Mother!) perfected amid the magical ovens of the sky, and showered down into the upturned mouths of her infantine worshippers. Everyfall of rain is, in fact, a new supply from the greatante-natal infinite of pastry."Are we poetically inclined in our combinations,there is not a drop from which imagination may notextract beauty and melody, by pursuing it into thelabyrinth of some " bosky dell" or dark umbrageousnook, only lighted up by the yellow eyes of the primrose; or we may convert it into a little crystal bark,suffering our fancies to float upon it adown some guggling rivulet, under a canopy of boughs, and betweenbanks of flowers, nodding, like Narcissus, at theirH 5154 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.own image in the water, and so sailing along in themoonlight to the accompaniment of its own music, wemay realize Coleridge's" Hidden brookIn the leafy month of June,That to the sleeping woods all nightSingeth a quiet tune. ”By patience and perseverance the leaf of the mulberry-tree becomes satin; the rain which we shakefrom our feet may be metamorphosed into that leaf,and ultimately revisit them in the form of silk stockings. By anticipating the silent elaborations of Nature, and following up her processes, we may substantiate the dreams of those poets and Oriental writerswho tell ofroses, jonquils, and violets, falling from thesky, for almost every one of the globules of rain maybe a future flower. Absorbed by the thirsty roots,it may be converted into sap, and, working its wayinto the flower- stalk, may, in process of time, assume the form of petals, turning their fragrant lipsupwards to bless the sky, whence they originally descended. Or, are we disposed to contemplate theshower with a more exalted anticipation, we have butto recollect that all flesh is grass, and the inevitable.converse of the proposition, that all grass is destinedto become flesh, either animal or human, and straitway the rain becomes instinct with vitality, and wemay follow each drop through its vegetable existenceas pasture into the ribs of some future prize-ox; orinto the sparkling eye of its proprietor, some unbornMr. co*ke or Lord Somerville, standing proudly by itsWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 155side; or into the heart of a Milton, the blood of aHampden, or the brain of a Bacon. Thus in a passing shower may we unconsciously be pelted with thecomponent parts of bulls and sheep, poets, patriots,and philosophers-a fantastical speculation perhaps,but it is better than shivering at the end of an alley inHolborn without thinking of any thing, or flatteningone's nose against the pane of a coffee-house windowin splenetic vacancy.Having mentioned the name of Bacon, let us notomit to record his assertion, that " when ages growto civility and elegancy, men come to build stately,sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were thegreater perfection: " a remark no less honourable tothe noble science of horticulture, than historicallyaccordant with fact. Our own pre-eminence at thepresent moment may be adduced in confirmation; andit is no slight evidence of advancing civilization inChina, that they have become not less enthusiasticthan expert in the cultivation of flowers. Scarce European plants command higher prices at Pekin thancould be obtained for any Chinese production in London. But we have rambled and preluded till theshower is over, and we may now again venture outinto the garden. This Fig-tree suggests the passingremark, that although the sexual system of plants owesits establishment chiefly to Linnæus, the fact waswell known to the ancients. The Date-palm, in allages a primary object of cultivation, bears barren andfertile flowers upon separate trees; and the Greekssoon discovered, that to have abundant and well-fla-156 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.voured fruit, it was expedient to plant both together.Without this arrangement dates have no kernel, andare not good fruit. In the Levant the same processis practised on the Pistacia and fig. This gall whichhas fallen from our young oak is a tumour or a diseasein the tree, and will ultimately become animated bymyriads of insects. Galls for making ink are the oakapples of a Levant Quercus, different from any ofours. Yonder is the Holly, from whose bark the treacherous bird- lime is prepared. Poets have bewailedthe hard fate of the eagle, whose wing had furnishedthe plume of the arrow by which he was shot-whyhave they not melodised in verse the perfidious treatment of linnets and robins, whose natural perch isthus converted into a snare to rob them of their lifeand liberty? In passing this Vine, so fertile in allpleasant and hilarious associations, we may record thatDr. Hales, by affixing tubes to the stump of onewhich he had cut off in April, found that the saprose twenty-one feet high; whence we may form somenotion of the moisture which these plants absorb fromthe earth, and brew into wine, in their minute vessels,for the recreation and delight of man. The villageclock striking the hour of eleven, reminds me of oneremarkable circ*mstance which I might otherwisehave omitted to notice that it is a number totallyunknown in botany, no plant, tree, shrub, or flower,having yet been discovered in which the corolla haseleven males. The prevalence of the Polyandriansystem among plants is attested by the singular fact,that out of 11,500 species of plants enumerated in theWALKS IN THE GARDEN. 157first thirteen classes of the Cambridge collection, thereis not one, bearing barren and fertile flowers, in whichthe females exceed the males." In the royal ordering of gardens," says Bacon,"there ought to be a garden for every month in theyear;" by the adoption of which recommendation, evenin private pleasure-grounds, we might secure to ourselves the enjoyment of a perpetual bloom, placingourselves , as it were, beneath the cornucopia of Florato be crowned with a perennial garland. Even whenthe evergreens in the depth of winter refute their ownname, and present nothing to the eye but wavingtufts of snow, we may perpetuate the summer landscape by turning our glance inward, and recalling thefloweryness and green overgrowth ofthe past season: -or in the midst of leafless shrubs and trees, whose.fleshless bones are wrapped in snow, like skeletons intheir winding-sheets, we may call around us all theirverdant glories by anticipating the garniture of thefollowing spring, in the manner of which Cowper hasafforded so beautiful an example: --These naked shoots,Barren as lances, among which the windMakes wintry music, sighing as it goes,Shall put their graceful foliage on again,And more aspiring, and with ampler spread,Shall boast new charms, and more than they have lost.Then each in its peculiar honours clad,Shall publish even to the distant eyeIts family and tribe. Laburnum, richIn streaming gold; syringa, ivory pure;The scentless and the scented rose; this red,And of a humbler growth, the other tall,158 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.And throwing up into the darkest gloomOf neighbouring cypress, or more sable yew,Her silver globes, light as the foamy surf That the wind severs from the broken wave:-The lilac, various in array, now white,Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now setWith purple spikes pyramidal, as ifStudious of ornament, yet unresolvedWhich hue she most approved, she chose them all;—Copious of flowers the woodbine, pale and wan,But well compensating her sickly looksWith never-cloying odours, early and late; -Hypericum all bloom, so thick a swarmOf flowers, like flies clothing her slender rods,That scarce a leaf appears; -mezerion too,Though leafless, well attired, and thick besetWith blushing wreaths, investing every spray;-Althea with the purple eye: the broomYellow and bright, as bullion unalloy'dHer blossoms; and luxuriant above allThe jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets,The deep dark-green of whose unvarnish'd leafMakes more conspicuous, and illumines moreThe bright profusion of her scatter'd stars."CORONATION EXTRAORDINARY.I HAVE seen the Coronation, and never did I witness a sight so magnificent-so august-so sublime.If ever the exclamation of " hæc olim meminisse juvabit" can be applicable, it must be to a spectacle likethis, which, by eclipsing the future as well as thepast, has condensed the wonders of a whole life in oneCORONATION EXTRAORDINARY. 159absorbing moment, and given me reason to be thankful that my existence was made contemporaneous withsuch a surpassing display of glory and splendour. Sofar from seeking to aggrandise what I have seen, evenif that were possible, by any inflation of language, Ihave purposely abstained, during several days, fromany attempt at description, in order that some portionofmy enthusiasm might be suffered to evaporate; andyet, even now, I feel the necessity of perpetually keeping my pen below the level of my feelings, lest Ishould be suspected of intemperate exaggeration. Inall sincerity of heart I may say, that I unaffectedlypity those who, from any inexcusable considerationsof interest, or the more justifiable causes of compulsory absence, have been debarred from sharing the intense gratification which I have experienced. Exhibitions of this nature are rare, and a concurrence ofcirc*mstances united to give interest and magnificenceto the present, which may never be again combined.The previous night, by its serene splendour, seemedanxious to do honour to the approaching gorgeousness. One would have thought that it was a courtday in heaven, and that all its nobility were present,sparkling in their stars, and coronets, and girdles oflight; while imagination easily converted the milkyway into a cluster of radiant courtiers gathering aroundthe throne from which their splendours were derived.Morning began to dawn with a calm loveliness, whichrather confirmed than dissipated these floating delusions of the mind. From the gallery where I hadprocured a seat, I saw the stars gradually "'gin to160 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.pale their ineffectual fires," until none remained visible but Dian's crescent, slowly changing its hue fromgold to silver, and the sparkling son of Jupiter andAurora, Lucifer, who, by his reluctant twinklings,seemed struggling for a little longer existence, that hemight catch one glimpse of the approaching magnificence. Already were the eastern skies steeped in afaint grey light, interspersed with streaks of palegreen, while fresh flushes of a rosier hue came everymoment flooding up from beneath the horizon, and abreeze, sent forward as the herald of the sun, presently wafted around me such a gush of crimson radiance, that I felt (to use the only poetical expressionof Sternhold and Hopkins) as if the morning " onthe wings of wind came flying all abroad. " Behold,I exclaimed," the jocund dayStands tiptoe on the misty mountains' top;"and I was endeavouring to recollect Tasso's beautifuldescription of sunrise, when the increasing charms ofthe daybreak compelled me to concentrate all myfaculties in the contemplation of the scene with whichI was surrounded.The gallery where I had taken my station was aterrace which overhangs the Lake of Chêde, oppositeto Mont Blanc; and he who from this point has seenthe sun rise, and shower its glories upon the romanticand stupendous wonders with which he is encompassed,will not marvel that I shrink from the hopeless attempt of its description. It is a spectacle to be felt,not painted. Amid the solitude of those gigantic andCORONATION EXTRAORDINARY. 161sublime regions there is something peculiarly impressive in witnessing the magnificence of Nature, as shesilently performs her unerring evolutions; and theheart of man, feeling itself in the immediate presenceof Omnipotence, turns with instinctive reverence to itsCreator. But let me resume my narrative of the Coronation—not of a poor fleeting mortal like ourselves,but of that glorious King coeval with the world, andto endure till the great globe itself shall crumble anddissolve;-of that truly legitimate Sovereign, whoalone can plead divine right for his enthronement,since the Almighty has planted his feet deep in thebowels of the earth, and lifted his head above theclouds;-of that Monarch of the mountains, who indeed deserves the appellation of Majesty-MontBlanc. If I cannot say, in newspaper phraseology,that the morning was ushered in with the ringing ofbells, I may affirm that ten thousand were wavingto and fro in the breezes of Heaven, for the lilies ofthe valley, and the hyacinths, and the blue- bells, andthe wild flowers, were all nodding their down-lookingcups at the earth; and who shall say that they werenot melodious with a music inaudible to human ears,although fraught with harmonious vibrations for theinnumerable insects who were recreating themselvesbeneath their pendent belfries? No daughter of earth,however fair or noble, would have been presumptuousenough to aspire to the honour of strewing flowerson this august occasion, for a heavenly florist hadfashioned them with his hand, and perfumed themwith his breath, and Flora scattered them sponta-162 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.neously from her lap as she walked along the valleys. By the same mighty hand was performedthe ceremony of the anointing; and as I saw thedews of heaven glittering in the dawning light, whilethey fell upon the head of the mountain, I exclaimed," Here, indeed, is a monarch who may, without impiety, be termed the Lord's anointed!" Burstingforth from a pavilion of crimson and gold clouds, thesun now threw his full effulgence upon the lofty forehead of Mont Blanc; and the glaciers, and the rocksof red porphyry and granite, and the valley of Chamouni, and that sea of diamonds, the Mer de Glace,gradually became clothed in gorgeous robes of light.As I contemplated the sea-green pyramids of ice thatsurrounded Mont Blanc, each, as it became tippedwith sun-light, appearing to have put on its coronetof sparkling silver, methought there never had beenso grand a potentate, encircled with such splendid nobility and courtiers. Nor did the great hall in whichthey were assembled appear unworthy of its tenants;for as it had not been built by hands, so neither wasit limited by human powers, possessing only the wallsof the horizon for its boundaries, and having for itsroof the azure vault of heaven, painted with varicoloured clouds, and illuminated by the gloriousand flaming sun. From the tops of the surrounding heights, various stripes of purple clouds, lacedwith light, assumed the appearance of flags and banners floating in the air in honour of the joyous day;but my attention was more particularly directed totwo hovering masses of darker hue, which, majestically descending from heaven towards the summit ofCORONATION EXTRAORDINARY. 163Mont Blanc, at length deposited their burthen uponits head in the form of a crown of snow, which anelectric flash instantly lighted up with intolerablesplendour, while a loud peal of thunder gave noticeto all the world that the ceremony of Coronation hadbeen accomplished. Alps and Apennines " rebellow'd to the roar;" every mountain opening its deeptoned throat, and shouting out thejoyful intelligenceto its neighbour, until, after countless hollow andmore hollow reverberations, the sound died away inthe distance of immeasurable space.Nor was the banquet wanting to complete thisaugust festival; for as mine eye roamed over the fertile plains and valleys commanded by the eminence onwhich I stood, I found that He who owns the cattleon a thousand hills had covered them with corn, andfruits, and wine, and oil, and honey, spreading outa perpetually renewed feast for whole nations, diffusing, at the same time, odours and perfumes on everyside, and recreating the ears of the guests with themingled harmony of piping birds, melodious winds,rustling woods, the gushing of cascades, and thetinkling of innumerable rills. Again I turned mylooks towards Mont Blanc, and lo! a huge avalanche,detaching itself from its summit, came thunderingdown into the valley below, making earth shake withthe concussion. " Behold!" I exclaimed, " He whooverthroweth the horse and his rider" hath sent hisChampion to challenge all the world; and at thismoment a smaller portion, which had broken awayfrom the falling mass, came leaping towards me, andshivered itself into a cloud of snow beneath, as if the164 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.tremendous Champion had thrown down his gauntlet at my feet. Overcome with awe and wonder, Ishrunk into myself; and as the rocks, and caverns,and mountains round echoed to the roar of the falling avalanche, methought they hailed the Coronationof the monarch, and shouting with athousand voices,made the whole welkin ring to their acclamations ofMont Blanc Mont Blanc! Mont Blanc!Since witnessing this most impressive scene, I haveread an account of the Coronation of " an islandmonarch throned in the west," with all its circ*mstantial detail of Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts,and Knights in their ermine robes, Kings at Arms,and Heralds in their gewgaw coats, and Bishops inthe pomp of pontificals, with the parade ofgold spurs,ewers, maces, swords, sceptres, crowns, balls andcrosses; but when I compared it with the stupendousexhibition of nature which I had so lately beheld, thewhole sunk into insignificance; nor could I suppressa smile of pity as I shared the feeling with whichXerxes contemplated his mighty armament, and reflected that, in a few fleeting years, the whole of allthis human pride, with the soldiers and horses thatparaded around it, and the multitude that huzzaedwithout, would be converted into dust; the haughtiestof the nobles lying an outstretched corpse in a darkand silent vault, with nothing of his earthly splendourleft but the empty trappings and escutcheons which,in mockery of the lofty titles with which they are inscribed, will hang mouldering upon his coffin. Theceremony will not, however, have been unavailing,ADDRESS TO THE ORANGE TREE. 165if it shall have awakened reflections of this naturein the minds of those who contributed to it, and haveimpressed upon their hearts the truth of Shirley'snoble lines, in the contention of Ajax and Ulysses:"The glories of our earthly stateAre shadows, not substantial things;There is no armour against fate,Death lays his icy hand on kings: -Sceptre and crownMust tumble down,And inthe dust be equal madeWith the poor crooked scythe and spade."


ADDRESS TO THE ORANGE-TREE AT VERSAILLES,CALLED THE GREAT BOURBON, WHICH IS ABOVEFOUR HUNDRED YEARS OLD.WHEN France with civil wars was torn,And heads, as well as crowns, were shornFrom royal shoulders,One Bourbon, in unalter'd plight,Hath still maintain'd its regal right,And held its court-a goodly sightTo all beholders.Thou, leafy monarch, thou alone,Hath sat uninjured on thy throne,Seeing the war range;And when the great Nassaus were sentCrownless away, (a sad event! )Thou didst uphold and representThe House of Orange.166 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.To tell what changes thou hast seen,Each grand monarque, and king and queen,Of French extraction;Might puzzle those who don't conceiveFrench history, so I believeComparing thee with ours will give More satisfaction .Westminister-Hall, * whose oaken roof,The papers say (but that's no proof) ,Is nearly rotten;Existed but in stones and treesWhen thou wert waving in the breeze,And blossoms (what a treat for bees! )By scores hadst gotten.Chaucer, so old a bard that timeHas antiquated every chime,And from his tomb outworn each rhymeWithin the Abbey;And Gower, an older poet, whomThe Borough church enshrines, (his tomb,Though once restored, has lost its bloom,And got quite shabby, )Lived in thy time-the first perchanceWasbeating monks† when thou in FranceBy monks wert beaten,Who shook beneath this very treeTheir reverend beards, with glutton glee,As each downfalling luxuryWas caught and eaten.Perchance, when Henry gain'd the fightOf Agincourt, some Gaulish Knight,(His bleeding steed in woeful plight,With smoking haunches, )

  • Rebuilt in 1399.

There is a tradition (though not authenticated) thatChaucer was fined for beating a friar in Fleet Street.ADDRESS TO THE ORANGE TREE. 167Laid down his helmet at thy root,And, as he pluck'd the grateful fruit,Suffer'd his poor exhausted bruteTo crop thy branches.Thou wert of portly size and look,When first the Turks besieged and tookConstantinople;And eagles in thy boughs might perch,When, leaving Bullen in the lurch,Another Henry changed his church,And used the Pope ill.What numerous namesakes hast thou seenLounging beneath thy shady green,With monks as lazy;Louis Quatorze has press'd that ground,With his six mistresses aroundA sample ofthe old and soundLegitimacy.And when despotic freaks and vicesBrought on th' inevitable crisisOf revolution,Thou heard'st the mobs' infuriate shriek,Who came their victim Queen to seek,On guiltless heads the wrath to wreakOf retribution.Oh! of what follies, vice and crime,Hast thou, in thy eventful time,Been made beholder!What wars, what feuds-the thoughts appal!Each against each, and all with all,Till races upon races fallIn earth to moulder.Whilst thou, serene, unalter'd, calm,(Such are the constant gifts and balmBestow'd by Nature! )168 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Hast year byyear renew'd thy flowers,And perfumed the surrounding bowers,And pour'd down grateful fruit by showers,And proffer'd shade in summer hoursTo man and creature.Thou green and venerable tree!Whate'er the future doom may beBy fortune giv’n,Remember that a rhymester broughtFrom foreign shores thine umbrage sought,Recall'd the blessings thou hadst wrought,And, as he thank'd thee, raised his thoughtTo heav'n!THE CEMETERY OF PERE LA CHAISE,AT PARIS.Quid sis, esse velis, nihilque malis;Summum nec metuas diem, nec optes.་I AM half disposed to admit the assertion of a livelyauthoress, that the French are a grave people, andabsolutely determined upon contradicting the receivedopinion in England, that in the volatility of theircharacter their sympathies, however easily excited,are generally evanescent; and that the claims of kindred or friendship, so far from awakening any permanent sensibility, are quickly superseded by theparamount dominion of frivolity and amusem*nt.Let any man who is labouring under this mistakenimpression pay a visit to the Cemetery of Père LaChaise; and if he do not hate France more thanCEMETERY OF PÈRE LA CHAISE . 169falsehood, he will admit that in the precincts of thisbeautiful and affecting spot there is not only a morestriking assemblage of tasteful decorations and appropriate monumental sculpture, but more pervadingevidences of deep, lingering, heart-rending affectionfor the dead, than could be paralleled in England orany other country of Europe. The tombs elsewhereseem to be monuments of oblivion, not remembrance;they designate spots to be avoided , not visited, unless by the idle curiosity of strangers: here theyseem built up with the heart as well as with thehands; they are hallowed by the frequent presenceof sorrowing survivors, who, by various devices ofingenious and elegant offerings, still testify theirgrief and their respect for the departed, and keep upby these pious visitings a sort of holy communion .between the living and the dead . Never, never shallI forget the solemn yet sweet and soothing emotionsthat thrilled my bosom at the first visit to Père LaChaise. Women were in attendance as we approachedthe gate, offering for sale elegant crowns, crosses,and wreaths of orange-blossoms, xereanthemum,amaranth, and other everlasting flowers, which themourning relatives and friends are accustomed to suspend upon the monument, or throw down upon thegrave, or entwine among the shrubs with which everyenclosure is decorated. Congratulating myself thatI had no such melancholy office to perform, I passedinto this vast sanctuary of the dead, and found myselfin a variegated and wide-spreading garden, consistingof hill and dale, redolent with flowers, and thicklyVOL. I.170 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.planted with luxuriant shrubs and trees, from themidst of which monumental stones, columns, obelisks,pyramids, and temples, shot up in such profusion,that I was undecided which path to explore first,and stood some time in silent contemplation of thewhole scene, which occupies a space of from sixty toeighty acres. A lofty Gothic monument on the rightfirst claimed my attention, and on approaching itI found that it contained the tomb in which are theashes of Abelard and Eloisa, united at last in death,but even then denied that rest and repose to whichthey were strangers in their unhappy and passionatelives. Interred, after various removals, at Soissons,in the year 1820, they were transported in the yeareight of the Republic from Chalons- sur-Saone to theMuseum of French Monuments at Paris, and thenceto the romantic spot which they at present occupy.We learn from the inscription, that with all histalents Abelard could not comprehend the doctrineof the Trinity, and on this account incurred thecensure of contemporary hierarchs. Subsequently,however, he seems to have seen the wisdom of a moreaccommodating faith; and having evinced his orthodoxy by the irrefragable argument of causingthree figures to be sculptured upon one stone, whichis still visible, being let into the side of his tomb, hewas restored to the confidence and protection of thechurch. I had seen at Paris the dilapidated house inwhich he is stated to have resided; and now to bestanding above the very dust which once contributedto form the fine intellect and throbbing hearts of theseCEMETERY OF PÈRE LA CHAISE. 171celebrated lovers, seemed to be an annihilation of intervening centuries, throwing the mind back to thatremote period when Eloisa, from the " deep solitudesand awful cells" of her convent, indited those lovebreathing epistles which have spread through theworld the fame of her unhappy attachment. Quitting this interesting spot, a wilderness of little enclosures presented itself, almost every one profuselyplanted with flowers, and overshadowed by poplar,cypress, weeping willow, and arbor vitæ, interspersedamong flowering shrubs and fruit-trees; for theground, before its present appropriation, had been laidout as a pleasure-garden. Many of the tombs wereprovided with a watering-pot for the refreshment ofthe flowers, and the majority had a stone seat for theaccommodation of those who came hither to indulgein melancholy retrospection, as they stationed themselves upon the grave in which their affections weredeposited. Here and there the sufferers, from filial,parental, or conjugal deprivation, were seen trimmingthe foliage or flowers that sprung up from the remains of their kindred flesh; and as they handled theshrubs, whose roots struck down into the very grave,one could almost imagine that the dead stretchedforth their leafy arms from the earth to embrace oncemore those whom they had so fondly encircled whenalive. In many instances, however, it must be confessed that this pious duty was deputed to the keepers of the ground, who for a small stipend maintainedthe tombs in a perpetual greenness. Some contentedthemselves with hanging a funeral garland on theI 2172 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.monuments of their friends, by the number and freshness of which tributes we were enabled to judge, insome degree, of the merits of the deceased, and ofthe recency with which sad bosoms and glisteningeyes had occupied the spot on which we then stood.Some were blooming all over with those floweryofferings, while others, with a single forlorn andwithered chaplet, or absolutely bare, showed thattheir mouldering tenants had left no friends behind,or that time had wrought his usual effect, and eitherbrought them to the same appointed house, or"steeped their senses in forgetfulness."In ascending the hill, extensive family vaults areseen, excavated in its side in the style of the ancients,with numerous recesses for coffins, the whole enclosed by bronze gates of exquisite taste and workmanship, through which might be seen the chairsfor those who wish to shut themselves up and meditate in the sepulchre which they are permanently tooccupy; while the yellow wreath upon the ground,or coffin, pointed out the latest occupant of thechamber of death. Some well-known name was perpetually presenting itself to our notice. In one placewe encountered the tomb of the unfortunate Labedoyère, who was the first to join Napoleon whenhe advanced to Grenoble in 1815, and expiated hisoffence with his life. The spot in which the haplessNey was deposited was also shown to us, but hismonument had been removed. A lofty and elegantpyramid on the height bore the name of the celebratedMassena; and as we roamed about, we trod over theCEMETERY OF PERE LA CHAISE. 173remains of republicans, royalists, marshals, demogogues, liberals, ultras, and many of the victors andvictims of the Revolution, whose exploits and sufferings have filled our gazettes and been familiar in ourmouths for the last twenty or thirty years.A few steps more brought us to the summit of thehill, commanding a noble view of Paris, the innumerable white buildings of which stood out with apanoramic and lucid sharpness in the deep blue ofa cloudless sky, not a single wreath of smoke dimmingthe clearness of the view. Nothing was seen to move-a dead silence reigned around-the whole sceneresembled a bright and tranquil painting.66On the highest point of the whole cemetery, underthe shade of eight lime-trees planted in a square,is the tomb of Frederic Mestezart, a Protestant pastor of the Church of Geneva. A French writer wellobserved, on the occasion of this tomb, raised in themidst of the graves of Catholics, and in the formerproperty of one of the most cruel persecutors ofProtestantism, "O the power of time, and of the revolutions which it brings in its train! A minister ofCalvin reposes not far from that Charenton wherethe reformed religion saw its temple demolished andits preacher proscribed! He reposes in that groundwhere a bigoted Jesuit loved to meditate on his plansof intolerance and persecution!" Not far from thisspot is the tomb of the well-known authoress MadameCottin, and monuments have also been lately erectedto the memory of Lafontaine and Molière. A lowpyramid is the appropriate sepulchre of Volney; and174 GAIETIES AND the extremity of a walk of trees, surrounded bya little garden, is the equally well adapted monumentof Delille, the poet of the Gardens. Mentelle andFourcroy repose at a little distance; and in the samevicinity, beneath a square tomb of white marble,decorated with a lyre, are deposited the remains ofGrétry, the celebrated composer, whose bust I hadthe day before seen in the garden of the Hermitageat Montmorency, once occupied by Rousseau. Howrefreshing to turn from the costly and luxuriousmemorials of many who had been the torments andscourges of their time, to these classic shades, wheresleep the benefactors of the world-men who haveenlightened it by their wisdom, animated it by theirgaiety, or soothed it by their delightful harmonies!Amid the tombs upon the height is a low enclosure,arched over at top to preserve it from the weather,but fenced at the sides with open wire-work, throughwhich we observed that the whole interior surface wascarefully overspread with moss, and strewed withfresh gathered white flowers, which also expandedtheir fragrance from vases of white porcelain; thewhole arranged with exquisite neatness and taste.There was no name or record but the following simpleand pathetic inscription: -" Fille chérie! -avec toimes beaux jours sont passés! 5 Juin, 1819." Someyears had elapsed since the erection of this tomb, yetwhenever I subsequently visited it, which I sometimesdid at an early hour, the wakeful and unweariedsolicitude of maternal regret had preceded me; themoss was newly laid, the flowers appeared to be just66CEMETERY OF PÈRE LA CHAISE. 175plucked, the vases shone with unsullied whiteness, asif even the dew had been carefully wiped off. Howkeen and intense must have been that affection whichcould so long survive its object, and gather fresh forceeven from the energy of despair!An inscription to the memory of Eleanor MacGowan, a Scotchwoman, recalled to mind the touching lines of Pope-" By foreign hands," &c.; butthough we might admire the characteristic nationality,we could hardly applaud the taste, which had plantedthis grave, as well as some others of her countrymen,with thistles. English names often startled us as wewalked through the alleys of tomb-stones; and itwas gratifying to find that even from these, thecoarse and clumsy, though established emblems ofthe death's head and marrow-bones, had been discarded. Obtuse, indeed, must be those facultieswhich need such repulsive bone- writing to explainto them the perishableness of humanity!We nowhere encountered any of the miserabledoggrel which defaces our graves in England, underthe abused name of poetry; and, in fact, poetic inscriptions of any sort were extremely rare. Somemay assign this to the want of poetical genius in theFrench, but it might be certainly more charitable,and possibly more just, to attribute it to the sincerityof their regrets; for I doubt whether the laceratedbosom, in the first burst of its grief, has ever anydisposition to dally with the Muses. A softenedheart may seek solace in such effusions, but not anagonized one. Some rhyming epitaphs were, however,176 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.visible. Under the name of the well-known Regnaultde St. Jean d'Angely these lines were inscribed:" François, de son dernier soupirIl a salué la patrie;Un mêmejour a vu finirSes maux, son exil, et sa vie."And a very handsome monument to the memory ofan artist, named Ravrio, in bronze and gold, informsus that he was the author also of numerous fugitivepieces, to prevent his following which into oblivion,his bust, well executed in bronze, surmounts his tomb;and the following verses give us a little insight intohis character:"Un fils d'Anacréon a fini sa carrière,Il est dans ce tombeau pour jamais endormi;Les enfans des beaux arts sont privés de leur frère,Les malheureux ont perdu leur ami."The practice of affixing busts to tombs seems worthy of more general adoption: -it identifies and individualizes the deceased, and thus creates a moredefinable object for our sympathies . Perhaps theminiatures which we occasionally saw let into thetomb-stones and glazed over attained this point moreeffectually, as the contrast between the bright eyeand blooming cheek above, and the fleshless skeletonbelow, was rendered doubly impressive. Not onlyis the doggrel of the English churchyard banishedfrom Père La Chaise, but it is undegraded by thebad spelling and ungrammatical construction which,with us, are so apt to awaken ludicrous ideas wherenone but solemn impressions should be felt. Theorder by which all the lapidary inscriptions mustCEMETERY OF PÈRE LA CHAISE. 177be submitted to previous inspection, though savouringsomewhat of arbitrary regulation, is perhaps necessaryin the present excited state of political feeling, and isdoubtless the main cause of the general propriety anddecorum by which they are distinguished. The wholemanagement of the place appears to be admirablyconducted: -decency and good order universally prevailed; not a flower was gathered-not a monumentdefaced-not a stone scribbled over. It was impossible to avoid drawing painful comparisons between thestate of the plainest tombs here, and the most elaborate in Westminster Abbey, defaced and desecratedas many of the latter are by the empty-headed puppies of the adjoining school, and the brutal violationsof an uncivilized rabble. This sacred respect for theworks ofart is not peculiar to the cemetery of Père LaChaise, nor solely due to the vigilance of the police; forin the innumerable statues and sculptures with whichParis and its neighbourhood abound, many scatteredabout in solitary walks and gardens at the mercy ofthepublic, I have never observed the smallest mutilation,nor any indecorous scribbling. The lowest Frenchman has been familiarized with works of art until hehas learnt to take a pride in them, and to this extentat least has verified the old adage, that such a feeling"emollit mores nec sinit esse feros. "As I stood upon a hill, I saw a funeral processionslowly winding amid the trees and avenues below. Itsdistant effect was impressive, but, as it approached,it appeared to be strikingly deficient in that wellappointed and consistent solemnity by which the sameceremony is uniformly distinguished in England.1 5178 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.The hearse was dirty and shabby, the mourningcoaches as bad; the horses and harness worse; thecoachmen, in their rusty coats and co*cked hats, seemedto be a compound of paupers and old-clothesmen;the dress of the priests had an appearance at oncemean and ludicrous: the coffin was an unpainteddeal box; the grave was hardly four feet deep, andthe whole service was performed in a careless andunimpressive manner. Yet this was the funeral ofa substantial tradesman, followed by a respectabletrain of mourners! Here was all the external observance, perhaps, that reason requires; but where ourassociations have been made conversant with a morescrupulous and dignified treatment, it is difficult toreconcile ourselves to such a slovenly mode of interment, although it may be the established system ofthe country. All the funerals here are in the handsof a company, who, for the privilege of burying therich at fixed prices, contract to inhume all thepoor for nothing. It is hardly to be supposed, thatin such a multiplicity of tombs there are not someoffensive to good taste. Many are gaudy and fantastical, dressed up with paltry figures of the Virginand Child, and those tin and tinsel decorations whichthe rich in faith and poor in pocket are apt to setup in Roman Catholic countries: but the generalityare of a much nobler order; and I defy any candidtraveller to spend a morning in the Cemetery of PèreLa Chaise without feeling a higher respect for theFrench character, and forming a more pleasing estimate of human nature in general.( 179 )SUNDAY IN PARIS."Tis church-time, and half of the shops are half shut,Except in the quarters of trade, where they putAt defiance what Louis enacted;The streets are as full as before-and I guessThe churches are nearly as empty, unlessSome mummery pageant be acted.When worship becomes a theatrical show,Parisians of course most religiously goTo pray for the forwardest places,Where best they may see a fine puppet for hours,Before a fine altar of tinsel and flowers,Perform pantomimic grimaces.Some gaze on his shoes and his gloves of white kid,Or the jewels with which every finger is hid,Orhis flounces of violet satin;Other eyes on his laces and mitre are kept,Attentive to all his performance—exceptThe prayers that he mumbles in Latin.The senses give thanks- no responses are made,And when there's a pause in the form and parade,The orchestra strikes up a chorus;The women then ask, Who is that? —Who is this?While the men slily ogle the singers, and kissTheir hands to the sweet Signoras.Is there nothing of fervour?-O yes, you may markSome hobbling old crones in a vestibule dark,Who dab in the consecrate lotionShrivell❜d fingers to cross their forehead and breastThen kneel at a chapel with candlesticks dress'd,And kiss it with real devotion.180 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.They pour from the church-and each dandisette begs,As she crosses the street and exhibits her legs,To know what is further intended;For Sunday's devoted to pleasure and shows,And the toils of the day of rest never closeTill the Sabbath is fairly ended.One talks of Versailles-or St. Cloud-or a walk;And a hundred sharp voices that sing, not talk,Vivaciously second each mover:Some stroll to the Bois de Boulogne; others strayTo the Tuilleries, Luxembourg, Champs Elysées,To the Garden of Plants, or the Louvre.But the dinner-hour comes-an important event!What pondering looks on the cartes* are now bent!And how various-how endless the fare is,From the suburb Guinguette, to where epicures chooseFricandeaus, fricassées, consommés, and ragouts,At Grignion's, Beauvillier's, or Very's.Some belles in the Tuilleries' walks now appear,While loungers take seat round about them-to sneer,To chat, read the papers, or slumber.In disposing the chairs there are different whims,But one for the body, and two for the limbs,Are reckon❜d a moderate number.The Boulevards next are the grand rendezvous,Where parties on parties amusem*nt pursue,A stream of perpetual friskers,From the pretty Bourgeoise and the trowser'd Commis,The modern Grisette, and the ancient Marquis,To the Marshal of France in whiskers.Crowds sit under trees in defiance of damps;Th' Italian Boulevard, with its pendulous lamps,By far is the smartest of any-

  • Bills offare.

SUNDAY IN PARIS. 181In bonnets, slim waists, and bare elbows dress'd out,Each Parisian beauty may there have a routFor the price of the chair-a penny.English women are known by their dresses of white;The men by superior neatness and heightThey talk of gigs, horses, and ponies;All look twice as grave as the French—yet their laugh,When they choose to indulge it, is louder by half,And they turn in, of course, at Tortoni's.The theatres open, some thirty or more—All are fill'd, yet the crowd seems as thick as before,Regardless of mud, or of weather;You'd swear it were carnival-time; and in soothThe town is a fair-every house is a booth,And the people all crazy together.What braying ofgongs-what confusion of tongues!What a compound of noise from drums, trumpets, and lungs!Each striving his neighbour's to smother;Mimes, mountebanks, conjurors, each have their rings,While monkeys and dancing-dogs- roundabouts-swingsAre so thick, they encroach on each other.Here's a dwarf, and a monster, both beautiful sights!And there is the man without fingers, that writesWith his chest, and his grinders afterBoth scribbled so well, you can't say which is worst;-There Judy and Punch with a cat is rehearsed,In a circle convulsed with laughter.A tavern or ball-room each mansion appears;Up stairs, under mirrors and bright chandeliers,You may witness quadrilling bodies;While some smoke below in the Estaminets,And others take ice, Roman punch, and sorbets,Or chat to the Bar-install'd Goddess.In all, gaming claims indiscriminate love;The dice-box and billiard-ball rattle above,If you pass by a palace or stable.182 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Below, at the corner of every street,Swart shoe-blacks at parties of cards you may meet,The blacking-box serving as table.The Palais Royal is a separate fair,Withits pickpockets, gamblers, and nymphs debonnaire,Of character somewhat uncertain:But as it is late, and these scenes, I suspect,Won't bear a detail too minute and direct,For the present we drop the curtain.PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY;BY HIMSELF. *" I will conduct you to a hill-side, laborious indeed at thefirst ascent, but else so smooth, so green, so full ofgoodly prospects and melodious sounds, that the harp of Orpheus was nothalf so charming."AFTER all the critical denunciations against theunfortunate wight, who suffered the smallest inklingof himself or his affairs to transpire in his writings; -after the pretty general confinement of Auto-biography to players, courtesans, and adventurers; -afterthe long absorption of individuality in the royal andliterary plural we, the age has at last adopted theright legitimate Spanish formula of " I the King: ”our writers, from Lord Byron downwards, have become their own heroes, either direct or allegorized;and if any one will cast his eye over the columns of

  • Now no longer in existence.

PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 183our periodical literature , he will find one half of thearticles to be personal narratives, or auto-biographyin some of its innumerable ramifications. If selfpreservation be the first law of nature, self-description seems now to be the second, and we may fairlypronounce the present to be the golden age of Egotism. I, for one, do not complain of this, providedit be done with talent; for a long familiarity with literature has produced its usual effects upon me, makingme more solicitous as to the manner than the matter;and as a good horse cannot be of a bad colour, so Ihold that an able writer can hardly have a bad subject. We can scarcely expect so much talent, and weneed hardly require so much frankness, as characterized the Confessions of Rousseau; for no paper couldfail to be interesting if it gave a faithful transcript ofthe author's mind. We have enough of dates andregisters, and the freaks offortune, and all the changesand ills that flesh is heir to! but it appears that weare very scantily supplied with histories of mind. Mr.Coleridge, indeed, has given us " a psychological curiosity;" but as it has reference only to one eventfulnight, it serves to stimulate rather than allay our appetite for similar revelations. Some of our youngestwriters, who can have experienced little vicissitude ofmental or bodily estate, indulge in the most trivialdetail of personal matter: -may not I then, a not unobservant veteran, record the life of my mind (if Imay so express myself) with as much privilege andimmunity as is conceded to these chroniclers of external and physical existence? " That which hath made184 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.them drunk hath made me bold; " and thus inspired,I shall proceed to give a sketch of the progress of mymind, so far as I have myself been enabled to pronouncejudgment upon it, suppressing some things, butmis-stating none; and occasionally indulging in thosediffusive and desultory wanderings which my own experience has proved to be almost inevitable ingredientsin the character of a Septuagenary.Few men perhaps are better qualified for this task;for, owing to a defective memory, I have, from a veryearly age, been in the habit of keeping a Journal, notof facts only, but of feelings, thoughts, and impressions; and thus I may be said never to have forgottenany thing, or, if I had forgotten it, always to havepossessed the power of recovering what I had lost, bya reference to my Diary. Mysterious operation!—Certain hieroglyphics are marked upon a paper witha black liquid, which, after a lapse of years, shallhave the power of penetrating through the eyes intothe sensorium, and of calling up from their sleeprecollections which, but for this summons, would haveslumbered for ever. Sometimes these reminiscenceshave brought up with them roots and off- shoots, andminute appendages of time, place, and circ*mstances,of which no record existed on paper, but which, unknown to myself, had lain buried in the tenacious soilof even an infirm memory, quietly awaiting the uprising of that master-thought with whose fibres theywere intertwined. What an infinite series of suchthoughts and images must be stored up in the vastrepertory of memory; all, too, so admirably classed,PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 185and ticketed, and arranged, that even after the accumulation of years each is capable of being called upfrom its hiding-place by a simple, unfelt, and instantaneous act of volition! A Journal is a valuable stimulant to this incomprehensible faculty . A basin ofwater thrown down a pump, of which the sucker isdry, places at your disposal the inexhaustible fountains of the earth, and a similar outpouring of thepast may frequently be procured by the expansionwhich an old Diary gives to the memory.Locke is considered as having set at rest the question of innate ideas; but not with me. I was neverconvinced by his arguments, nor pleased with his cumbrous, rambling, and illogical style; and besides, Ihad, or fancied that I had, proofs in my own experience which upset all his reasoning; for fancies, andimaginations, and dreams, have presented to me combinations which could never have arisen from any external operations in this world, and appeared to justify strong presumptions of an ante-natal existence.-They were the twilight of a sun that had set-theflutterings of a bird not yet reconciled to his newcage-the convulsions of a spirit in the crisis of transmutation—the yearnings of a soul looking back to therace it had run, before it fully entered upon its newcareer. There is nothing preposterous in supposingthat the soul of man is too precious a relic to be inclosed in only one evanescent shrine; while it is hardlyconsistent with reason or justice to suppose that itseternal doom, whether for good or ill, can be meritedbythat fleeting probation to which one human life is186 GAIETIES AND What! are we to march out of the invisibleinto the visible world, play our short and sorry pranks,and then return into invisibility, like the figures of aphantasmagoria, which start from the darkness to grin,and mock and mow, and " squeak and gibber," andthen shrink up again into darkness? Like the performers in a grand theatric procession, we may come inat one door, and having the cradle and the coffin for ourO. P. and P. S. , strut across the stage of life in allthe dignity of tinsel trappings, and so out at theother; but who shall assure us, that, like the sameperformers, we may not occasionally run round behind the scenes of the graves, return to the first entrance, and repeat our procession? —Ay, who shallwarrant us against these new incarnations of the oldspirit, like the Avatars of the Hindoo God, or thePlatonic metempsychosis-not however into animalforms, but a new human one-another and the same?I have never been wholly satisfied with the great object of most men's speculation -the looking forwardand conjecturing what we are to be in a future world;but have been not less anxious to know what we havebeen in the past one. I have invoked all the gods- 66 quibus imperium est animarum, umbræque silentes,et Chaos et Phlegethon," that by their auspices Imight be enabled " pandere res altâ terrâ et caliginemersas;" imploring them to draw up the veil that Imight look backward, and have revealed to me thedomains, and appearances, and modes of being, inthe great Ante-natal Infinite. Some one has inscribedin the Catacombs at Paris, " Rogas ubi post obitumPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 187jaceas! ubi non nata jacent! " but where is thisboundless and yet undiscoverable land-this real terraincognita! The earth has swallowed up and decomposed all that has hitherto existed; but what encampment is vast enough to contain the marshalled myriadswaiting to be called into existence, for we cannot boast,whatever Ovid might, that " one half of round eternity is ours." The world is probably young, juststarting on the race of eternity, to which its presentexistence may bear the same proportion as a grain ofsand to itself; and the number of human beingsh*therto born will, of course, be in the same ratioto those not yet animated. Psha! it is a vain andfantastical speculation; our faculties are limited, andwe may lose the enjoyment of what is proffered bystraining too ardently after what is withheld, like thedog who snatched at a reflection in the water and losthis dinner, or the wiseacre who wasted a summermorning in strenuous endeavours to leap beyond hisshadow. Yes, such researches, by raising our eyesfrom the realities of life, may betray us into danger.Thales, the Milesian, while gazing at the moon, fellinto a pond: “ Had you looked into the water," saida countryman to him, " you might have seen themoon, but by gazing on the moon you could neverhave seen the pond."I told you I should be desultory and discursivemy signature implies , it; but I proceed to my purpose. I shall only give a very loose sketch or summary of the whole, which, for the sake of condensation, I shall throw into large masses of time, and188 GAIETIES AND conformity to this arrangement I shall briefly sumupTHE FIRST TWENTY YEARS OF MY LIFE.How sweet to contemplate those beautiful framesin which an immortal soul is enshrined, before it isagitated by the passions, or debased by crime! Whata compound of the angelic and human nature! howlovely as an object, how interesting as a mysteriousproblem! The appeal of infant innocence is irresistible: infants are mighty in their very helplessness.What must they be then, when, to all these touchingsympathies, is added the powerful instinct of parentalaffection? I call it instinct advisedly, for it will befound that nature is an economist, even of the affections, and proportions them pretty accurately to thewants of the object. Hence it is strongest in thehuman subject; for no animal is born in so helplessa state, or so long requires assistance. It is morepowerful in the mother, because the child is more dependant upon her ministering offices; and in her it isgenerally most intense towards the deformed in bodyor mind, the ricketty or the idiotic; -not from anyperverse or deficient judgment, but from a watchfulimpulse of nature directing her tenderness in thatchannel where it is the most needed. Preservation ofthe species seems to be the pervading principle of theworld; and it is wonderful to reflect how actively andperpetually this agency is at work without our beingconscious of its presence. Birds and beasts, whenthey have answered the great purpose of temporaryprotection, lose this instinct, previously so acute;1PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 189they even cease to have the smallest recognition oftheir offspring, and though the pride of man revoltsfrom any analogies drawn from the animal kingdom,I believe that in many of their leading tendenciesthere is a marvellous accordance between them. ThusI apprehend that parental affection progressivelyweakens as it ceases to be required; and though asense of benefits conferred or received may substitutea lively sentiment or principle of friendship, it is nolonger an instinct about the preservation of whichnature is solicitous. Were our feelings upon thesepoints governed by justice or a balance of benefits,they would be much more powerful towards our parents than our offspring; but the reverse is notoriously the case.I am happy to say that I was rather a stupid boy,and in defiance of the poet's maxim, that " the child'sthe father of the man, " I am prepared to maintainthat I ceased to be thus obtuse long before I had anyclaim to the toga virilis. Precocity is generally anindication of disease: and it has been very safely predicated of infant prodigies that they rarely grow upclever, because, in fact, they rarely grow up at all.They " o'er- inform their tenement of clay; "-the fireof intellect burns faster than the body can supply itwith aliment, and so they spiritualize and evaporate .Mind and body are yoked together to pursue theirmysterious journey with equal steps, nor can one outstrip the other without breaking the harness and endangering the whole machine. I would rather thatmychild's right shoulder should grow higher than his190 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.left, than that his mind should get the start of hisbody; for the former would only affect his symmetry,the latter is frequently a fatal symptom. Were allauthors as ingenious as Dr. Johnson in disclaimingthe juvenile miracles of wit attributed to them, thenumber of our really precocious writers, who haveattained subsequent celebrity, would probably be extremely limited. As to solitary instances of preternatural talent in children, limited to one direction,they do not come within the scope of my argument.Such is that incomprehensible faculty of arithmeticin the celebrated Calculating Boy, who in an instantcan solve problems which would be an hour's puzzleto our ablest calculators, " with all appliances andmeans to boot; ” and yet this urchin cannot even explain the process by which he performs the miracle.Onewould imagine that, by some peculiar organizationof his brain, a ray of omniscience had shot athwart it,giving us a single glimpse of its divine origin; as, whenthe clouds are opened by lightning, we appear to geta momentary peep into the glories of the innermostheaven. With such an example of inexplicable intuition, we need not despair of future striplings, who, inthe intervals of peg-top and cricket, will kindly sparea moment for quadrating the circle, discovering thelongitude, explaining the cause of polar attraction,and solving other Œdipean riddles which have puzzledthe world since its creation, while the young sagesshall be all unconscious of the might within them.Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings may suchrevelations be ordained. As, however, the loss ofPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 191one of our senses generally quickens and strengthensthe rest, so the preternatural growth and vigour ofany particular mental faculty commonly cripples orweakens the others. Ahump-backed man is spindleshanked, and the Calculating Boy, in all directionsbut one, was weak-minded and simple. In every thing"order is heaven's first law;" proportion and equilibrium are the only elements of beauty and strength.Among the advantages of my birth it was my goodfortune to be member of a large family, the collisionof which is highly beneficial in rubbing off the littleasperities and singularities that the youthful characteris apt to throw out in the petulance of its developement. The severe discipline and turmoil of schoolcompletes this process, as the lashing and roaring ofthe ocean assimilates the pebbles upon its beach; butI question whether, in this rough mode of polishing,the remedy be not worse than the disease. What idlecant and talking by wrote is it in old men to declare,with a grave shake of the head or theatrical sigh, thattheir school-days were the happiest of their lives.-Away with such nonsense! they were no such thing.For myself I can declare that I look back with unmixed horror to that period, and that no temptationsshould induce me to live my life over again, if I wereagain compelled to struggle through that accursedSlough of Despond. I was never flogged; and yetmy mental sufferings were acute. Were I called uponto specify them, I could not easily do it: they consisted rather of an aggregate of petty annoyances thanof any one overpowering evil. Of a delicate constitution192 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.and sensitive mind, every nerve and fibre seemed tobe perpetually set on edge. My senses and appetiteswere all outraged by grossness and coarse viands;I was maddened with noise and hurly- burly; at onetime the boisterous mirth and practical jokes of myschoolfellows distressed me; at another, I was terrified by their cries and contortions as they suffered under the rod. Tough and obdurate mindssoon got inured to all this, but mine was of amore tender temperament, nor could it find anyconsolation in a hoop or skipping-rope. I hold itlittle vanity to say that " my desires were dolphinlike, and showed themselves above the element theylived in." So deeply was my mind impressed withthe laceration of my feelings at this period, that inafter-life I never sent a child to school without athousand misgivings and qualms of conscience; andI would rather have thrown a boy to the Minotaurat once, than have sacrificed him to the slow tormentof any public school, polluted by the system of whatis technically termed fa*gging -that is, compelling ayoungster to crouch beneath the foot of some malignant tyrant of the first or second form, that hemay finally take his revenge, not on his oppressor,but on the next stripling over whom, as he advancesto seniority, he is to exercise the same wanton cruelty.Cowardly and debasing prac ice! It may fit boys forthe army, but it can hardly fail to render them notless abject towards their superiors, than reckless andoverbearing to those beneath them.It is humiliating to reflect how little is subsequentlyPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 193retained after passing through this fiery ordeal.Atleast five schoolboys out of ten make a point of forgetting their Latin and Greek, which is nearly allthey can acquire at a public school, with as much ra- .pidity as possible. F- says, that such a man is better than one who never studied the classics, as anempty censer still has a grateful odour from the perfume it contained; but I suspect he would rather sitdown to one full bottle of Port than smell to a dozenempty claret bottles, whatever might have been thefragrance of their bouquet. Porson, who retained somuch that he could afford to boast of what he hadlost, was justified in exclaiming to a chattering pretender, " Sir, I have forgotten more than you everknew." But, after all, it is better to have knowledgeto brag of than ignorance. " How comes it," said aflippant youngster to Dr. Parr, that you never wrotea book?-suppose we write one together." " In thatway," said the Doctor, " we might indeed make a verythick one. "-" How?"-" Why, by putting in all thatI know and all that you do not know.”66In due time I exchanged the scholastic form for astool in a merchant's counting-house, and found myLatin of special service in supplying the initials forpounds, shillings, and pence, with which I headedthe columns of the Petty-cash Book; while my Grecian lore fully qualified me to institute a comparisonbetween the famous honey of Hybla and Hymettus,and the sugar samples which were ranged on shelvesover my head. What a revulsion of mind I experienced at being suddenly plunged from the allVOL. I. K194 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.commanding summit of Mount Pindus and the flowryvale of Hamus, where my young fancy had held con-´verse with nymphs, fauns, and Dryads, into the murky day candle-light of a counting-house in the City,where my aspiring intellect was to be fed from theclassic fountains of brokers, wharfingers, and sailors!Ductile as water, the mind at that age soon takes theform of whatever surrounds it. The poor pride ofexcelling, even in this humble knowledge, renderingme assiduous, I won the confidence of my employer;and, after due probation, was promoted to what istermed a pulpit-desk, where I stood from nine in themorning till eight at night, behind three enormousbooks which I was employed in posting, and for mysole reward received the honorary appellation of bookkeeper. Greater men than I have performed lesshonourable drudgery for a rag of ribbon across thebreast or round the knee; and I only regret the continuance of offices like mine, because in the great improvement of mechanical science I think animal machines may be dispensed with, and a steam-engine beadvantageously substituted for a book-keeper. Myevenings were my own; and as I was never very fondoftheatres, routs, and parties, and was constitutionallytemperate, I had still some leisure hours for reading,and invariably carried a book with me to bed to keepme awake, —a practice which I have since occasionallyadopted for a purpose directly opposite. My rangedid not extend beyond the catalogue of a circulatinglibrary, but nothing came amiss to me; my appetitewas too keen to be discriminative, and I swallowedPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 195trash with a relish which nothing but the raciness ofyouth and novelty can impart, and which I have sincefound often wanting when more nutritious and wholesome aliments were spread before me. Detecting someheraldic error in the Gentleman's Magazine, I wrotea letter to correct it: how many times I correctedmy own correction I cannot say, but I remember it occupied four sides fairly written, and the reader, if hebe not himself an occasional author, can hardly imagine the impatience with which I waited for the endof the month. My hopes of its being inserted werebut faint, but they were strong enough to take me tothe publisher's early on the first day of the month,where I bought the number, went up a court to lookover the table of contents, and found that my communication had been inserted. Few moments of my lifehave afforded me more gratification. My countenancedropped, however, when I got home and turned tothe article, for at the first blush it appeared to me, bythe space it occupied (about a column) , to have beenmiserably cut up and curtailed; but on comparing itwith my copy I discovered that not a syllable wassuppressed, and that this seeming contraction was butthe natural effect of printing. I continued an occasional correspondent of the venerable Mr. SylvanusUrban till my mind was out of arms, and I becamevain enough to imagine that I was fifty years tooyoung to be entitled to the patronage of this Mæcenasof old women.About the latter end of this period, I began to begratified with the notion that I was rapidly advancingK 2196 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.towards that epoch which may be termed the primeand flower of human life, when the animal and intellectual faculties attain their most perfect maturity anddevelopement: an idea which was fortified by the recollection that the law itself had fixed twenty-one forman's arrival at years of discretion. I cannot helpsmiling when I look back and reflect how many times,as I came near it, I postponed this happy æra of compound perfection, complimenting myself at each newremoval on my own more enlarged views, and speakingwith some contempt of my own juvenile miscalculations. Nay, when I could no longer conceal, evenfrom myself, that my corporeal powers were on thewane, I consoled myself with the belief that my mentalones were daily waxing more vigorous and manly; andonce entertained thoughts of writing an Essay to provethat the grand climacteric of the frame is the period ofrational perfection. There is a pleasure even in recalling one's own inconsistencies, for they illustrate abeautiful and benignant provision of nature, -a perpetual system of equivalents balancing the pleasuresof every age, by replacing the present with the future,and weaving around the mind a smiling horizon ofhope, which, though it recedes as we advance, illuminates our path, and tempts and cheers us on until thesunset of life. But I am anticipating. I had mademany more extracts from my early Journals, but Ifind I am ever encroaching too much; and that I maykeep within some modesty of limit, I shall proceed atonce to the second division of my life.iPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 197FROM TWENTY TO FORTY.In the early portion of this period , I became sensible of a decided alteration in my literary taste; forI not only lost all admiration of the old romances ofGomberville, Calprenede, Mad. Scuderi, and even SirPhilip Sidney's Arcadia, which I had devoured tenyears before with a keen relish, but I found myself incapable of taking the trouble to unravel the contrivedintricacies and managed embarrassments of the moremodern novels and romances: I no longer hung withbreathless interest over the " Midnight Apparition,"or " Mysterious Skeleton," and my stubborn tears refused any more to blister the pages of the " Victim ofSentiment," or the " Agonies of an Orphan." I amlosing all sensibility, said I to myself, and getting obdurate and stony; but I found that any magnanimousact of virtue, any description of generous feeling, anytrait of simple heartfelt emotion, still struck upon asympathizing chord in my bosom, and occasioned thatsuffusion of face and tingling of the blood which allprobably have felt, though few have attempted to describe. My heart was not so rocky, but, that when itwas struck with a wand of inspiration like this, thewaters would gush forth; my sensibility, methought,had only taken a loftier and more noble range, and Ifelicitated myself upon the decided improvement inmy taste. So have I done ever since through a prettynumerous succession of similar changes; and I was,perhaps, right in pronouncing each a melioration; for,in the exquisite system of adaptation to which I have198 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.alluded, each was probably the best for the existingtime, as it was the most conformable to the alternationsof my physical and mental organization. At first itwas somewhat startling to find such a mass of literature withdrawn from my enjoyment; but not only werenew stores opened as the old ones were closed up, butI found a fresh source of gratification in attending tothe style and composition as well as the matter: Ibegan to relish the author as well as the book. A similar substitution is perceptible in the sensual appetite,which, when it loses the unfailing elasticity of youth,derives a new pleasure from selection and refinement;and thus it will invariably be found, that if new enjoyments be not provided for mind and body as we advance in life, the old ones are rendered more piquantand intense. Diminution of quantity is atoned by increase of quality, the maternal hand of Nature spreading her blessings over the surface of life, so that everyage may have a pretty equal share of happiness.My literary inclinations now turned decidedly to theuseful and real, rather than the ornamental and imaginary. My taste for poetry diminished . ShakspeareI have idolized at all ages, and I therefore still readhim, but the historical plays rather than the poeticalones; Pope became a favourite, and Milton was occasionally taken down from my book-shelves; but Ino longer troubled my head about the poetical publications of the day, unless they fell in my way in thereviews and magazines. History and biography weremy principal studies; I could even look into scientificworks and political economy, once my abomination;PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 199and in metaphysics and criticism I found much delight.I no longer read so much in bed, but I reflected moreon what I had been perusing in the day. When Ispeak of my studies, the reader is not to imagine thatI was at this time a scholar, or man of literature; -Irefer only to the bias of my mind in the few hours dedicated to such pursuits, and alas! they were but few,for these years were the dark age of my life, blightedby the turmoil and anxieties of commercial pursuits,and agitated by their stormy vicissitudes. Under certain limitations I am a confirmed Optimist; Parnell'sHermit, elegantly bound, is generally laid on my table;and it is not the farcical exaggeration of Candide,nor the sneering wit of Voltaire, that can stagger mybelief in a great and consoling principle. It depends,to a certain extent, upon ourselves, whether or notevery thing shall be for the best:-misfortunes improved are converted into blessings; advantagesabused become our greatest curses, of which the readerwill discover abundant confirmation if he will lookround among his acquaintance. To believe in Optimism is to realize its truth: it is the summary of allreligion and all philosophy, as it is the dispenser of allhappiness. I wanted not Pliny's nor Cicero's eulogyto throw myself upon literature for consolation underany afflicting reverse which I experienced: my mindwelcomed it as a friend from whom it had too long beenseparated; and not only did it lose the sense of theblankness and desolation that surrounded it, by plunging into composition, but the fortunate issue of myfirst effort, by none less expected than by myself, fur-200 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.nished me a handsome pecuniary supply. Education,however, and all the wise saws and modern instancesof money-getting sages, had inspired me with such ahorror of professional authorship, that I seized thefirst opportunity of again embarking upon the periloussea of speculation and adventure. My cargo was necessarily of little worth, but past experience had made mecautious; the fear of loss was more powerful than thehope of gain; and fortune, constant in nothing but herinconstancy, made such rapid atonement for her formerunkindness, that at the close of this second period I wasenabled to perform three of the wisest, because theyhave been the happiest, actions of my life, -I married;I left off business; I retired into the country." Amarus est mundus et diligitur; puta, si dulcisesset, qualiter amaretur," is an observation of thegolden- mouthed Saint; numerous other preachers andmoralists have inveighed against too great a loveof the world, and accounted for its bitterness by thefear of our too intense attachment, were the tasteof life more sweet and palatable; but none of themseemed to have warned us against a contrary dangertoo great a detachment . from the earth, and indifference to existence in the ardent and insatiablecuriosity for penetrating into the mysteries beyondthe grave, and developing the secrets of futurity.Had I, at this period, remained without tie or occupation, I verily believe that my restless spirit, everhungering after hidden things, would have spurnedat this, and sickened for the invisible world. Thenarrow house of death would have been the veryPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 201itforbidden blue chamber whose unknown wonders Ishould have been most anxious to explore. I shouldhave been in a balloon of high fancies, only heldfluttering to the earth by a few flimsy strings, andanxious for the moment of cutting them, that Imight soar upon my voyage of discovery. But I wasblessed with children; and, like that sacred Indiantree whose pendent branches strike fresh roots intothe ground, I found myself tied with new ligaturesto the world at every increase of my family. Thereis a drawing by Cipriani, of Cupids entwining wreathsaround a vase, upon which I have often gazed till thetears suffused my eyes, for I have imagined that vaseto be my heart, and the loves and affections aroundmy children; so rosy, so grateful to every sense, soredolent of balm and all deliciousness, were the domestic garlands with which I was wreathed and boundanew to the earth. We no longer live in those turbulent and lawless times when children were valuedas a defence; when it could be said, " Happy is hethat hath his quiver full of them, for he shall not beafraid to meet his enemy in the gate; " but even nowthey are our best defences against our own lawlessnessand instability; they are the anchors which preventour being blown about by the gales of vice or folly.Nature, meaning us to have them, made them correctives as well as blessings; and certain it is, thatthose who are without them, whether men or women,wanting the proper vent for their affections, are apt toworship Egyptian idols . Dogs, horses, cats, parrots,and monkeys, become substitutes for Heaven's ownк 5202 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.image. Men may suffer their hearts to become absorbed by worldly occupations; but I have seldomknown the married woman who had strength of mindenough to walk straight forward in the path of goodsense, unless she had a child to shew her the way.All my female readers in this predicament will pleaseto consider themselves the exceptions.At my time of life to retire from business wasdeemed little less than lèse-majesté against the throneof Mammon, and flagrant contumacy towards all civicprecedent. Like my betters, I should not have presumed to enjoy life till I was past all powers of enjoyment; I should have grubbed on till I was worn out,and then have retired to the rich man's poor-house atClapham Common, or Hackney, with a debilitatedframe and an empty mind, annoyed with idleness,incapable of employment; hungering for excitement,and yet able to feed upon nothing but itself. Hadthey possessed the power, I believe some of theNebuchadnezzars would have thrown me into thefiery furnace for refusing any longer to worship thegolden image; for when they found that I " scornedtheir smiles, and viewed with smiles their scorning,"they discovered that I was an unfeeling ostrich, andought to have remained in business for the sake ofmy children. Of all the disguises assumed by avariceand selfishness, this is the most flimsy and hypocritical.I have known many men to continue their gamblingspeculations under this pretext, scatter a fine fortune,and leave their offspring beggars; but I never knewone, however conscious of the hazardous nature ofPORTRAIT OF A SÉPTUAGENARY. 203his operations, who had affection enough for his children, to make a settlement upon them and render themindependent of himself and his desperate adventures.No, no; this is miserable cant. Though not insensible to the value of money as a means, I despise itas an end of life. God knows that in these times,when, by the ingenuity of the Funding System, weare daily paying for the wars of our pugnacious ancestors, and have imposed fresh taxes on ourselves byour luxuries, a modicum will not suffice; but I hadagreat deal more than enough for the higher characterto which I now began humbly to aspire-that of aphilosopher. I have never desired to be richer: itwould not hurt me to be poorer. As to my children,they will receive a much larger patrimony than theirfather did; and I am by no means sure that theywill possess any advantage over him from commencing life with better prospects. I will leave offwhile I am winner, said I to the gold-worshippers:"Hic cestus artemque repono. " Pursue your perilousvoyage to the Eldorado of your imaginations, andPlutus prosper you! May you have the touch ofMidas, without his ears! -may the sands of Pactolusbe your ballast, the Gold Coast your place of lading,and your souls be woven of the Colchian fleece! Ishall rejoice at, not envy, your success; deeming myself still more successful that from my loop-holes ofretreat I can gaze upon you, and exclaimInveni portam; spes et fortuna valete;Sat me lusistis; ludite nunc alios.201 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES .The reader is not to imagine, because I retired intothe country, that I was addicted to field-sports. Inever killed a bird in my life; but I was once persuaded to angle at Laleham, and the hook stuck inmy memory for years afterwards; nor am I nowwithout a twinge of self- reproach as I record it . OldIzaak Walton, however, must share the blame: hispastoral lines first induced me to try a fishing-rod ,but I cannot understand how a man so sensible tothe inanimate beauties of nature can have been sounfeeling towards her sentient productions. My scruples upon these points are the result of circ*mstances,not principles; early opportunity would probablyhave seared all these sympathies, and I thereforeclaim no merit for a sensitiveness which, after all,many will, perhaps, deem morbid and fastidious.There are virtues of necessity, and constitutionalvirtues, such as temperance in men of delicate health,upon which we should be cautious not to piqueourselves; for there is little merit where there is noself-denial to endure, and still less where there is nopossibility of sinning. Some people have a virtuousorganization, and are physically moral. No; I withdrew myself into rural shades from more powerful,and I hope more noble impulses, —from a convictionthat they are favourable to peace, to health, to virtue;as well as from an ardent enthusiastic love of naturein all her attitudes and varieties of scenery and season.Burns, in one of his letters, records the peculiar delight he experienced in strolling along the borders ofa wood on a gusty autumnal day. I could not un-PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY.• 205derstand this when I first read it, but I have felt itsince; and I have never experienced any sorrow, orannoyance, that I could not mitigate, if not subdue,by looking upon the smiling face of external nature,or contemplating her charms as reflected in the lucidpages of Shakspeare, or listening to her voice as attested in the melodious inspiration of Comus andLycidas. But let me not anticipate: these are mentalluxuries which belong rather to a following period,and the mention of them reminds me that it is timeto proceed to that division of my existence whichextendsFROM FORTY TO SIXTY.For the first time in my life I found myself blessedwith tranquillity and leisure, and I seized the propitious opportunity for establishing an inquisitioninto my own mind. Self-scrutiny, in the hurly-hurlyof business, I had little inclination to practise, thoughI knew that the storms of that period had not passedover me without some devastation of the domain:but halcyon days were come, and I sallied boldly intomy own heart to clear away the rubbish and eradicate the weeds. There was enough to do. My temper, though not soured, was no longer sweet. It wasneither white-wine nor vinegar. I was never sulky,but occasionally testy and irritable; unduly annoyedwith trifles, peevish at any disturbance of my regularhabits. Politics moved me at times to acerbity andexasperation, though I had no interest in their jugglesbeyond an intense and passionate hatred of tyranny,206 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.hypocrisy, and usurpation. Fortified with the foreknowledge that age has a powerful tendency to renderus cold, suspicious, and narrow-minded, I set myselfat work to discover whether any symptoms of thissenile infection were yet perceptible. By nature Iknew that I was cordial and confiding; but I knewalso, that these qualities had occasioned me to suffersomewhat in purse, and I suspected that they mighthave impoverished my disposition. Examinationconfirming my suspicions, I endeavoured to make anew adjustment, grounded upon what was due tomyself as well as others; but I rather think that informing my balance I leaned strongly to the formerof the two parties. As to the little overflowingsof my temper, if I could not reduce them altogether, I at least brought them down to low-watermark, and more I would not attempt, rememberingthe couplet of Dryden66 Reaching above our nature does no good,We must fall back to our old flesh and blood."Impeccability I left to the fanatics, who would fainbe as outrageous saints as they once were sinners. Itis astonishing how much good may be effected, howmuch bitterness mollified, how much latent happiness developed, by this species of self- inspection,pursued with candour and governed by philosophy.The mind is autocratic, and can create itself, so farat least as concerns temper and capacity for receivingand communicating pleasure.Among the changes of mode and habit which IPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 207have recorded of this period, I find, that after all mydenunciations against it as a frivolous waste of time,I fell into the practice of playing whist, which Ihave continued to this day; not however as a gambleror professed tactician, but rather for society and relaxation, preferring my own family or neighbours,however inexpert, to the regular practitioners. Ionly state this trifle, to accompany it with the remarkthat my own detected inconsistencies made me moreindulgent than I had hitherto been to the vacillationsofothers.-My Journal assures me that I have grievedin spirit more often than was becoming, when mydinner was not dressed to my liking; and that a disposition was creeping on me to attach too much importance to the refection of the animal system. Awriter of no mean celebrity has maintained that thebrains are in the stomach, and Persius talks of the"magister artium, ingenique largitor venter; " butrather than “ make a god of my belly," I would haverealized the fable of Menenius Agrippa, and set allthe members of my body in mutiny against it until itwas starved into submission. This vice of age I crushed as soon as it was hatched. I eat to live, but amin no danger of living to eat. -By the same memorialI find, that as I approached fifty I more than oncefelt a disposition to sneak over my birth-day withoutnotice; but I soon got ashamed of this weakness, andhave celebrated it ever since with due festivity, givingall notoriety to my age, that the malicious accuracyof the world might flap my ears should I attemptto relapse into obliviousness. There is no harm in208 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.availing ourself of others' littlenesses to prevent ourown. Poor humanity! how inconsistent art thou inthe treatment of the natal day! What assemblage offriends, what merry-making and bumpers to thehealth of the chubby and bedizened child! -whatshouting, what roasting of oxen, and out-pouring ofale, among the young heir's tenants, when " Long expected one-and-twenty, happy year, is come at last! ”How duly are all the family circled round the plenteousboard as this revolving day rolls us up the hill oflife; and as we begin to descend it, how graduallyand imperceptibly does the celebration die away, tillit passes over in silence, unrecorded, except in theconsciousness of the ageing individual, or the spitefulwhispers of his associates! Sometimes it is noticedonly to be falsified , as in the case of Lady L—,whose husband always inquires on her birth- day howold she will please to be on the following year. Sometimes the party stands doggedly at bay against time,like old C , who having arrived at ninety, refusedto go any farther, and has remained there ever since;as if he could alter the hour by stopping the clock,or arrest the great wheel by refusing to count itsrotations. A little boy of mine once lowered theindex of a barometer to " much rain"-ran into thegarden, and was astonished to find it as fine as ever.Old C , in his second childhood, is not much morereasonable.My impertinent Chronicle assures me also that aboutthe same period I detected myself in little paltry actsof stinginess, grudging half-pence, and looking suspi-PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 209ciously after " candle-ends and cheese-parings," thoughI never dreamt of making any alteration in my establishment; so true is Swift's remark, that five poundsa-year would save any man from the reputation ofbeing a nigg*rd. This propensity is of a very encroaching character: it is a sort of dry-rot, which, ifit once gain admission, will creep along the beams andrafters of your mind, till the whole fabric be corroded.Much trouble did it cost me to eradicate this weed;and often have the latent seeds sprung up afresh, anddemanded all my vigilance to prevent their gainingpossession of the premises.Exercise for the body, occupation for the mindthese are the grand constituents of health and happiness; the cardinal points upon which every thing turns.Motion seems to be a great preserving principle ofnature, to which even inanimate things are subject;for the winds, waves, the earth itself, are restless, andthe wafting of trees, shrubs, and flowers, is known tobe an essential part of their economy. Impressed withthis truth, I laid down a fixed rule of taking severalhours' exercise every day, if possible, in the open air;if not, under cover: and to my inflexible adherence tothis system do I attribute my remarkable exemptionfrom disease, as well as from the attacks of low spirits,or ennui, that monster who is ever prowling to waylaythe rich and indolent."Throwbut a stone, the giant dies."What exercise is to the frame, occupation is to themind. I portioned out my hours so as not to leave210. GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.a moment unemployed: I commenced a systematiccourse of reading, and became pretty regularly engaged in composition, that most delighful of all recreations-so absorbing, that it renders us unconscious ofthe lapse of time-so soothing, that it lulls to rest allthe sorrows of the heart. Never was I so busy aswhen I became an idle man; never was I so happyas when I was thus busy. Fortunately, I had successenough to give an interest to the pursuit, without arriving at that distinction which is apt to engenderbitterness . Satisfied with the delight of composition,I cared little about present, and less about future fame.Fontenelle declared, that if he were dying, and knewthat his desk contained papers that would render hismemory infamous, he would not walk across the roomto burn them. Had they no family or friends to beaffected by their posthumous reputation, perhapsmany men would be equally indifferent.I have recorded the pleasure of being à father; candour obliges me to mention some of its annoyances.My son grew up with a decided predilection for thatprofession which I have ever held in deep abhorrence-the Army. Habituated, as I have said, to look atmen and actions in the abstract and elemental, I couldnot see why gold lace and feathers, and scarlet clothand music, should so dazzle and stun me to all perceptions of right and wrong, as to make me respectthe man who would hire himself as a trader in blood.Such persons, I may be told, are necessary; but Ishould be sorry to see my son in the occupation.The army will excuse me:-they have the admirationPORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 211of a thoughtless world, and may well despise the crazynotions of a fantastical old man, who cannot see anypower of absolution either in a Pope or a gold epaulette. My youngster was reasoned out of this boyishhankering; but, alas! his second choice still was uncongenial with my wishes, for he now selected the bar.My notions, I am aware, are absurd, unreasonable,preposterous; but that I might venerate at least oneindividual of this profession, I have been all my lifelooking for the advent of some conscientious barrister,who should scrupulously refuse a brief, unless thecause of his client at least wore the appearance ofhonesty and justice; who should exert his skill andeloquence in redressing the injured, and releasing theunwary from the traps and fetters of the law, whilehe left knaves and robbers to its merited inflictions.How can I respect a being, the confidant, perhaps, ofmalefactors, who will torture his ingenuity, and wrestthe statute-book, to screen them from punishment, andturn them loose upon society for fresh offences; —whowill hire out his talents to overreach the innocent, todefraud the orphan, to impoverish the widow; -who,with a counterfeit earnestness, will lay his hand uponhis heart and make solemn asseverations, every one ofwhich he knows to be false; and for another two orthree guineas, will on the same day take the oppositeside, and with the same vehemence maintain facts andreasonings diametrically the reverse? It must be asdifficult to render this practice consistent with a manly candour and honourable sense of the importanceof truth, as to prevent the system of quibbling, chi-212 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.canery, and hair- splitting, from being destructive ofall enlarged and comprehensive views. We all knowthere are exceptions, but in the aggregate I am afraidthat the " honourable profession" is not so independent as could be wished. They sell themselves in retailto their clients, and by wholesale to Government whenever the Minister has a mind to bait a trap for rats.—Worldly ideas of the gentility of a profession, or thechances of advancement in it, blinded me not. Perhaps I did not render sufficient homage to the necessary modifications of society-by raising my views tothe contemplation of man in his elements, I overlookedhis accidents and all the paltry distinctions of humaninstitution. A man of honour or talent has alwaysbeen welcome; and I have felt no horrors if he wereof a vulgar trade, or even wore a shabby coat. Farfrom seeking birth and rank, I have been rather prejudiced against their possessors, deeming it difficultfor such persons to overcome the seductions of theireducation. The spoilt children of Fortune, like thoseof the nursery, are apt to be very empty, very arrogant, and very offensive. -No: I would neither havemy son live upon the blood and misery, nor upon thevices and follies, of his species. I would neither havehim fawn upon a general, nor truckle to a judge, norfeast a lawyer. I made him a farmer-that most ancientand honourable of all professions. I made him independent of all the world; and bidding him look only tothe universal mother, Earth, who, like the maternalpelican, feeds her offspring from her torn bosom, Itaught him to support himself by ministering to thePORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 213comfort, enjoyment, and support of others. Of thepressure to which agriculturists have been subjected,he has cheerfully borne his portion: he is not rich,but he is virtuous, he is happy, and, above all, he isindependent .The holy vessel of the Athenians, during a courseof seven hundred years, had been so often rebuilt, thatsome of their sophists maintained it was no longer thesame ship, and frequently used it as an illustration indiscussing the question of personal identity. I myself,both in body and mind, had undergone such a total replacement of feelings and ideas, in my little existence ofthreescore years, that I was inclined to think myself adifferent personage altogether from the short-sightedyouth, who considered forty as a grave paternal age,and connected sixty with nothing but ideas of decrepitude and decay. I remember when I thought thatthe consciousness of getting old and approaching theedge of the dread abyss, must, at the former age, begin to dim the sunshine of existence, and at the latterbe sufficient to overcloud and darken all its enjoyments.These spectres of fancy vanished as I came near them.At forty I set myself down for a young man: andfinding myself at sixty hale, hearty, and happy, ableto dig in mygarden, enjoy literature and the arts, andcultivate the Muse with a keener relish of existencethan ever, I settled in myown mind that this was the realmeridian and zenith of human life. Children, whenfirst they ride in a carriage, imagine that the trees andhouses are moving on while they are stationary; andin like manner I could see plainly enough the ravages214 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.of time upon my contemporaries, and observe thatthey were getting on, while I myself seemed to havebeen standing still, and at some loss to account for allmy old friends running a-head of me. This is anotherillustration of that benignant provision of nature,which will not suffer even our self-love to be wounded,and equalises the happiness of life's various stages, bymaking even the foibles of age minister to its enjoyments. Whether or not this happy self-delusion retained its power at a more advanced period, will beseen as I proceed to that portion of my life whichextendsFROM SIXTY TO SEVENTY.The over- weening and somewhat triumphant estimate which I had formed of my three-score meridianwas slightly checked, by my hearing one friend whisper to another at a dinner-party,-" Old W- begins to twaddle; he has told us that story half a dozentimes lately."-Old W! that amen " stuck in mythroat;" it threatened my zenith, and savoured of theazimuth. Six times too! I protest it was but three,but that I confess was twice two much. My memorycertainly had lost a portion of its tenacity, and unlessI could retain impressions long enough to allow themto strike root, they quickly withered away; in whichemergency I was, perhaps, too apt to trade upon myyouthful capital of anecdotes. This defect I endeavoured to remedy by a common-place book; for if Iforced myself to remember one thing, I not unfrequently forgot another. It appeared as if the chamber of the brain were full, and could only accommodatePORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 215When thus new tenants by ejecting the old ones.reminded of my repetition of the same story to thesame party, I instantly recalled the fact, which provesthat my offence was a want of recollection rather thanof memory, a distinction not always attended to.-One, however, is often the precursor of the other.Considering that novelty has generally been deemeda necessary ingredient in the production of laughter,I have been sometimes astonished at the punctualburst with which my old bon-mots were invariablyfollowed up by myself, even when others have observed a provoking gravity; and have been at a lossto decide whether it were habit, or sympathy withmy first enjoyment of the joke awakening a kind ofposthumous echo. At all events I set a good example; if others would not follow it, more shame forthem.My communion with nature in the beauty of herexternal forms, far from diminishing at this period,became every year more intense and exquisite, heightening by reflection my relish for the works of art; butI observed in the latter my eye derived its principalgratification from gracefulness of figure and outline,rather than from composition, colouring, or scientificdisplay. Thus, I preferred statuary to painting, as itsuffered my attention to feed without interruptionupon the harmonious proportions and symmetry of thegreat goddess; and in the graphic art I found moredelight in a single drawing of the divine Raphael, thanin all the hues of Titian and the colourists, or all thepatient elaboration of the Flemish and Dutch minia-216 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.turists. In my love of nature I felt jealous of the artistbeyond mere fidelity of form (I speak principally offigures); and in engraving, where there is no colourto compensate for alienating the eye, I deemed thatstyle the best which is confined to outline. Some ofthe commoner productions of this sort are generallylying on my table, and I find undiminished delight inthe French Cupid and Psyche from the paintings ofRaphael's pupils, Hope's Costumes of the Ancients,etchings of the Elgin Marbles, Retch's Faustus, andother similar productions. Generally speaking, artistsand professors appear to me to acquire a false artificialtaste, which, overlooking the simple and natural,makes difficulty of execution the test of excellence, —a mistake extending from painters and sculptors downto opera-dancers and musicians.My mind is less excursive than it was; it requiresless excitement, and is satisfied with less nutriment,preserving, in its mystic union with the body, a consentaneous adaptation; for, though I walk or ride outwhenever the weather permits, I can no longer exercise limbs as I was A sunny seat in mygarden begins to be preferred to my old grey mare.I sit there sometimes for a considerable time, and thinkthat I am thinking, but I find that the hour has passedaway in a dreamy indistinctness-a sort of half consciousness, sufficient for enjoyment, though incapableof definition. These waking dreams may be a resource of nature for recruiting the mind, as I havealways found mine more vigorous and active aftersuch indulgence.PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 217There is one calamity to which age seems inevitablyexposed-the dropping off into the grave of our earlyfriends and associates, as we advance towards thefinal bourne and seem to have most need of their social offices. But nature, ever on the watch to providesubstitutes for our deprivations, while she blunts oursympathies in this direction, quickens them in another, by raising up a new circle of friends in our children and grand-children, less subject to the invasionof death, and better qualified by attachment and gratitude to minister to the wants of the heart. Theseare the affections that garland it with the buds andblossoms of a second spring; these are the holy bandwhose miraculous touch can bid the thorn of mortality, like that of Glastonbury, break forth into flowers even in the Christmas of our days. This is thecup of joy that contains the sole aurum potabile, thegenuine elixir vitæ that can renovate our youth andendow us with a perpetuity of pleasure.

In my former solitary wanderings and contemplations of nature, I had delighted to let my imaginationembody forth the dreams of Grecian mythology andfable; to metamorphose the landscape that surroundedme to the mountains and dells of Arcadia and Thessaly; to people the woods and waters with nymphs,fauns, Dryads, Oreads, and Nereids; losing myselfin classical recollections, and bidding them occasionally minister to the inspirations of the Muse. But thecharms of rural scenery now kindled in my bosom ahigher and holier sentiment. I looked out upon thebeautiful earth, clothed in verdure and festooned withVOL. I. L218 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.. {flowers, upon the glorious all- vivifying sun, upon thegreat waters bounding in unerring obedience to themoon, and into the blue depths of heaven, until Istood, as it were, in the presence of the OmnipotentUnseen; my senses drank in the landscape till theybecame inebriated with delight; I seemed interfusedwith nature; a feeling of universal love fell upon myheart, and in the suffusion of its silent gratitude andadoration I experienced a living apotheosis, being inspirit rapt up into the third heaven, even as Elijahwas in the flesh. Bold romantic scenery was not essential to the awakening of this enthusiasm: it hassprung up amid my own fields; and in the study ofbotany, to which I have always been attached, thedissection of a flower has been sufficient to call it forth,though in a minor degree. All nature, in fact, isimbued with this sentiment, for every thing is beautiful, and every thing attests the omnipresence ofDivine love; but grand combinations will, of course,condense and exalt the feeling. Old as I am, I canstill walk miles to enjoy a fine prospect; I often getup to see the sun rise, and I rarely suffer it to set,on a bright evening, without recreating my eyes withits parting glories. I can now feel the spirit in whichthe dying Rousseau desired to be wheeled to the window, that he might once more enjoy this sublimespectacle.How often, in my younger days, have I repeated thewell-known lines ofDryden,66 Strange cozenage! none would live past years again,Yet all hope pleasure from what still remain,PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. 219And from the dregs of life think to receiveWhat the first sprightly running would not give:I'm tired of toiling for this chymic gold,Which fools us young, and beggars us when old."I would live pastapI had lived to disprove them.years again, but it should be the latter, not the former portion; for the current of my life, as itproaches the great ocean of eternity, runs smoother.and clearer than in its first out-gushing. Like Job's,my latter days have been the most fully blessed. Iam now seventy years of age; and bating the loss ofa few teeth, and some other inevitable effects of ageupon my person, I still possess the mens sana in corpore sano, and " bate no jot of heart or hope." Myjourney from sixty to seventy has been as delightfulas that from forty to sixty; nor do I anticipate anyfuture disappointment should it be extended to eightyor ninety, for my confidence in nature's substitutionsand benignant provisions is boundless. Had she fixeda century as the impassable boundary of life, we mightfeel some annoyance and apprehensions as we approached it; but by leaving it undetermined, she has, to acertain extent, made us immortal in our own belief,for Hope is illimitable. I often catch myself anxiously inquiring of what disease my seniors have died, asif their disappearance were contrary to the usualcourse ofthings, and attributable to accident. " Theshortness of human life," says Dr. Johnson, " has afforded as many arguments to the voluptuary as themoralist. " Howoperative, then, must it be with mewho am anxious to combine both tendencies, and beL 2220 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.considered a moral voluptuary, or, in other words, aphilosopher: not a follower of Aristippus, or discipleof the Cyrenaic school, devoted to worldly and sensual delights under which the soul " embodies and embrutes; " but as a pupil of the much misunderstoodand calumniated Epicurus, cultivating intellectual enjoyments, and holding pleasure to be the chief good,and virtue the chief pleasure! These are the laudabledelights to which I feel a new stimulant from considering the shortness of my remaining career; and whether its termination be near or distant, these enjoyments will, I verily believe, accompany me to the last,and enable me to fall, like Cæsar, in a becoming anddecent attitude.1I have just laid down Wordsworth's Excursion,which I have been reading in the fields. How beautiful is the evening! The ground is strewed withdead leaves, which the wind has blown up into littleheaps like graves; autumn has spread her varicoloured mantle over those which still flutter on thetrees, some of which, crisp and red, tinkle in the air;while, from the chestnuts over my head, a large russetleaf, flitting from time to time before my eyes, or falling at my feet, seems to pronounce a silent " mementomori." The sun is rapidly sinking down, leaving thevalley before me in shade, while the woods that clothethe hill upon my left, suffused with rosy light, buttranquil and motionless, seem as if they reposed inthe flush of sleep. Three horses, unyoked from theplough, are crossing the field towards their stable, andthe crows that have been following the furrow retire

PORTRAIT OF A SEPTUAGENARY. .221cawing to their nests, while a flock of sheep, attendedby the shepherd and his dog, are slowly withdrawingto the fold. Every thing seems to breathe of death, -to remind me that my sun too is setting, and that Imust shortly go to my long home, for the night isapproaching. And here, methinks, if my appointedtime were come, with the grass for my bed of death,the earth and sky sole witnesses of my exit, I couldcontentedly commit my last breath to the air, that itmight be wafted to Him who gave it.Life is at all times precarious; -there are but a fewfeet of earth between the stoutest of us and the grave,and at my age we should not be too sanguine in ourcalculations; yet, if I were to judge from my ownunbroken health and inward feelings, as well as fromthe opinions of others more competent to pronounce,I have yet ten years at least, perhaps many more, ofhappiness in store for me. Should the former periodbe consummated, I pledge myself again to communewith the public. Should it be otherwise, I may, perhaps, be enabled to realize the wish of the celebratedDr. Hunter, who half an hour before his death exclaimed, " Had I a pen, and were able to write, Iwould describe how easy and pleasant a thing it is todie!" In either alternative, gentle reader, if my example shall have assisted in teaching thee how to livegrateful and happy, and to look upon death with resignation, the object of this Memoir will be attained,and thou wilt have no cause to regret perusing thissketch ofA SEPTUAGENARY.222 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.ADDRESS TO THE ALABASTER SARCOPHAGUS,LATELY DEPOSITED IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM.THOU alabaster relic! while I holdMy hand upon thy sculptured margin thrown,Let me recall the scenes thou couldst unfold,Mightst thou relate the changes thou hast known,For thou wert primitive in thy formation,Launch'd from th' Almighty's hand at the Creation.Yes-thou wert present when the stars and skiesAnd worlds unnumber'd roll'd into their places;When God from Chaos bade the spheres arise,And fix'd the blazing sun upon its basis,And with his finger on the bounds of spaceMark'd out each planet's everlasting race.How many thousand ages from thy birthThou sleptst in darkness, it were vain to ask,Till Egypt's sons upheaved thee from the earth,And year by year pursued their patient task;Till thou wert carved and decorated thus,Worthy to be a King's Sarcophagus.What time Elijah to the skies ascended,Or David reign'd in holy Palestine,Some ancient Theban Monarch was extendedBeneath the lid of this emblazon'd shrine,And to that subterranean palace borneWhich toiling ages in the rock had worn.Thebes from her hundred portals fill'd the plainTo see the car on which thou wert upheld: -What funeral pomps extended in thy train,What banners waved, what mighty music swell'd,ADDRESS TO THE ALABASTER SARCOPHAGUS. 223As armies, priests, and crowds, bewail'd in chorusTheir King-their God—their Serapis-their Orus!Thus to thy second quarry did they trustThee and the Lord of all the nations round.Grim King of Silence! Monarch of the dust!Embalm'd- anointed-jewell'd-scepter'd-crown'd,Here did he lie in state, cold, stiff, and stark,A leathern Pharaoh grinning in the dark.Thus ages roll'd—but their dissolving breathCould only blacken that imprison'd thing,Which wore a ghastly royalty in death,As if it struggled still to be a King;And each revolving century, like the last,Just dropp'd its dust upon thy lid—and pass'd.The Persian conqueror o'er Egypt pour'dHis devastating host-a motley crew;The steel- clad horsem*n-the barbarian hordeMusic and men of every sound and hue→Priests, archers, eunuchs, concubines and brutesGongs, trumpets, cymbals, dulcimers and lutes.Then did the fierce Cambyses tear awayThe ponderous rock that seal'd the sacred tomb;Then did the slowly penetrating rayRedeem thee from long centuries of gloom,And lower'd torches flash'd against thy sideAs Asia's king thy blazon'd trophies eyed.Pluck'd from his grave, with sacrilegious taunt,The features of the royal corpse they scann'd: -Dashing the diadem from his temple gaunt,They tore the sceptre from his graspless hand,And on those fields, where once his will was law,Left him for winds to waste, and beasts to gnaw.224 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Some pious Thebans, when the storm was past,Unclosed the sepulchre with cunning skill,And nature, aiding their devotion, castOver its entrance a concealing rill.Then thy third darkness came, and thou didst sleepTwenty-three centuries in silence deep.But he from whom nor pyramid nor sphinxCan hide its secrecies, Belzoni, came;From the tomb's mouth unloosed the granite links,Gave thee again to light, and life, and fame,And brought thee from the sands and desert forthTo charm the pallid children of the North.Thou art in London, which, when thou wert new,Was, what Thebes is, a wilderness and waste,Where savage beasts more savage men pursue,—A scene by Nature cursed—by man disgraced.Now-'tis the world's metropolis—the highQueen of arms, learning, arts, and luxury.Here, where I hold my hand, ' tis strange to thinkWhat other hands perchance preceded mine; 'Others have also stood beside thy brink,And vainly conn'd the moralizing line.Kings, sages, chiefs, that touch'd this stone, like me,Where are ye now?—where all must shortly be!All is mutation;-he within this stoneWas once the greatest monarch of the hour: -Ilis bones are dust-his very name unknown.Go-learn from him the vanity of power:Seek not the frame's corruption to control,But build a lasting mansion for thy soul.( 225 )THE OBLIGING ASSASSIN.FROM THE FRENCH.ONCE sleeping in an Inn at Dover,Dreaming of thieves-my passage over—And murderous hands that grasp'd a trigger,The door flew open-I awoke,When a pale heterocl*te figure,With dusty shoes, stalk'd in and spoke:"You see what ' tis I want-make haste!Dress!-you've no moment's time to waste."Trembling all over with the notionOf being suddenly dispatch'd,I huddled on my clothes, and snatch'dMy hat-prepared for locomotion;But thrust into a chair, he putRound me a winding- sheet, or shroud:Behold me pinion'd hand and foot,What horrors to my fancy crowd!While no resistance could be plann'dTo one with instrument in hand,Who with a grin began to seize andGrasp me firmly by the wesand,In this alarming plight compell'dTo keep as silent as a fish,Some compound to my lips he held,Mixing it in a brazen dish;And when I winced, and made grimace,He dash'd it foaming in my face.Fuming and fretting, white as snow,Expecting some terrific death,Drops from my face began to flow,I clench'd my teeth and pump'd my breath.L 5226 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Moved by the terror I betray'd,And wishing to dispatch me quicker,He flourish'd an alarming blade,Whose very aspect made me sicker:To work he went-my throat soon ranWith blood from an incision given;More than half dead, I then beganTo recommend my soul to Heaven.The cut-throat presently repentingThat all my pangs should thus be sped,Stepp'd back, and then came on, presentingAsort of fire-arm at my head.He seized me by the throttle fast,Until my visage black became;And then, to finish all at last,Th' assassin took deliberate aim.-Amazement! spite of all his pains,By miracle I ' scaped his ire,For meaning to blow out my brains,The powder hit me-not the fire.Madden'd to find his purpose balk'd,He tried a different method quite,In clouds of dust, as round he stalk'd,Striving to stifle me outright.As fate still saved me from his fangs,And Death was slow to grant his prayer,In order to increase my pangs,He twisted, pull'd and tore my hair.I gave a sigh-th' assassin prone }To let no prize his clutches pass,Snatch'd up my purse beside me thrown,And then prepared my Coup-de-grace.At this transported more and more,My knife (of bone) I fiercely drew;My adversary gain'd the door,And in a glass my face I view.ON LIPS AND KISSING. 227Guess my surprise-my joy to see,That the assassin who distress'd me,Instead of mortal injury,Had kindly powder'd, shaved, and dress'd me!ON LIPS AND KISSING."But who those ruddy lips can miss,Which blessed still themselves do kiss."How various, delicate, and delightful, are the functions of the lips! I purpose not to treat them anatomically, or I might expatiate on the exquisite flexibility of those muscles, which, by the incalculable modulations they accomplish, supply different languages toall the nations of the earth, and hardly ever fatiguethe speaker, though they so often prove wearisome tothe auditor. Nor shall I dwell upon the opposite impressions which their exercise is calculated to excite,from the ruby mouth of a Corinna, to the lean-lippedXantippe, deafening her hen-pecked mate, or the gruffvoice of the turnkey who wakes you out of a soundsleep, to tell you it is seven o'clock, and you mustget up directly to be hanged. But I shall proceed atonce to external beauty, although it must be admitted,before I enter into the mouth of my subject, that thereis no fixed standard of perfection for this feature,either in form or colour. Poor Mungo Park, after having turned many African women sick, and frightenedothers into fits, by his unnatural whiteness, was onceassured by a kind-hearted woolly-headed gentleman,228 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.that, though he could not look upon him without aninvoluntary disgust, he only felt the more compassionfor his misfortune; and upon another occasion, heoverheard a jury of matrons debating whether a female could be found in any country to kiss such emaciated and frightful lips. How Noah's grandchildren,the African descendants of Ham, came to be black,has never yet been satisfactorily explained, and itwere therefore vain to inquire into the origin of theirenormous lips, which do not seem better adapted to ahot climate than our own; but there is good reason tobelieve that the ancient Egyptians were as ponderously provided in this respect as their own bull-god,for the Sphinx has a very Nubian mouth, and theMemnon's head, so far from giving us the idea of amusical king who could compete with Pan or Apollo,rather tempts us to exclaim in the language of Dryden-" Thou sing with him, thou booby! never pipeWas so profaned to touch that blubber'd lip."A more angular and awkward set of two-leggedanimals seem never to have existed. They must haveworshipped monkies on account of their resemblanceto their own human form divine; and we cannot attribute their appearance to the unskilfulness of the artistrather than the deformity of the subject, for the drawings of animals are always accurate, and sometimes extremely graceful.All this only makes it the more wonderful that Cecrops, by leading a colony from the mouths of theNile to Attica, should found a nation which, to sayON LIPS AND KISSING. 229"nothing of its surpassing pre-eminence in arts andarms, attained in a short period that exquisite proportion and beauty of form of which they have left usmemorials in their glorious statues, and have thus eternally fixed the European standard of symmetry andloveliness. The vivid fancy of the Greeks not onlypeopled woods, waves, and mountains with imaginarybeings, but by a perpetual intermingling of the physical and moral world, converted their arms, instruments,and decorations into types and symbols, thus elevatinginanimate objects into a series of hieroglyphics, as theyhad idealised their whole system of mythology into acomplicated allegory. To illustrate this by recurringto the subject of our essay. Many people contemplatethe classical bow of the ancients without recollectingthat its elegant shape is supplied originally by Nature,as it is an exact copy of the line described by the surface of the upper lip. It is only by recalling this circ*mstance that we can fully appreciate that curiousfelicity which appropriated the lip- shaped bow toApollo the god of eloquence, and to Cupid the god oflove, thus typifying that amorous shaft, which is neverso powerfully shot into the heart as through the medium of a kiss. It is in this spirit of occult as well asvisible beauty that classical antiquity should be feltand studied. No upper lip can be pronounced beautiful unless it have this line as distinctly defined as Inow see it before me in a sleeping infant. I am sorryto be personal towards my readers, particularly thoseof the fair sex, but, my dear Madam, it is useless toconsult your glass, or complain that the mirrors are230 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.not half so well made now as they were when youwere younger. By biting them you may indeed makeyour lips blush deeper sweets, " but you cannot bidthem display the desiderated outline. Such vain endeavours, like the formal mumbling of prayers, " arebut useless formalities and lip-labour. " Yours are, infact, (be it spoken in a whisper,) what a friend of minedenominates sixpenny lips, from their tenuity, andmaintains them to be indicative of deceit. He, however, is a physiognomist, which I am not, or at leastonly to a very modified extent. All those muscleswhich are flexible and liable to be called into actionby the passions may, I conceive, permanently assumesome portion of the form into which they are mostfrequently thrown, and thus betray to us the predominant feelings of the mind; but as no emotions caninfluence the collocation of our features, or the fixedconstituents of our frame, I have no faith in theirindications. As to the craniologists and others whomaintain that we are made angels and devils, not bywings at our shoulders or tails at our backs, but bythe primitive bosses upon our skulls, I recommendthem a voyage to one of the South Sea islands, wherethey will find the usual diversity of individual character, although all the infants' heads are put into a frameat the birth, and compelled to grow up in the shapeof a sugar-loaf. Not that Spurzheim would be embarrassed by this circ*mstance. He would only pronounce from their mitre-like configuration that theyhad the organ of Episcopativeness.Nay, Miss, I have not been so absorbed in this lit-ON LIPS AND KISSING. 231tle digression, but that I have observed you endeavouring to complete the classical contour of yourmouth by the aid of lip-salve, as if bees-wax and rougecould supply what the plastic and delicate hand of Nature has failed to impress. Cupid has not stampedhis bow upon your mouth, yet I swear by those lips,(I wish you would take a hint from one of our LITTLE though by no means one of our minor poets, andcall upon me to kiss the book, ) that they are beautifully ripe and ruddy," Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,And yet an union in partition."They are such as Cornelius Gallus loved; -" Flammea dilexi, modicumque tumentia labra,Quæ mihi gustanti basia plena darent: "and if any one should object that an Egyptian præfectwas a bad judge of beauty, you may safely maintainthat the elegies which bear his name were in fact composed by monks of the middle age, whose competencyto decide upon such a subject will hardly be disputed.Those lips are full and round, but beware of their being tempted into a froward expression, for, if" Like a misbehaved and sullen wenchThou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love,"I will supply thee with no more eulogiums from eithermonks or præfects. The " slumberous pout" whichKeats has so delightfully described in his sleepingDeity, is the only one which is becoming.I see another of my readers mincing up her mouth,with that toss of the head and self-satisfied air, which232 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.assure me that she is a flirt and coquette; and thoughher lips be ruddy, " as they in pure vermilion hadbeen dyed," I entreat her to recollect, that "lipsthough rosy must still be fed," and recommend her"to fall upon her knees and thank heaven fasting fora good man's love. " If she make mouths at me as wellas at her lovers, and heed not my counsel, I can onlyexclaim,"Take, O take those lips away,Which so often were forsworn, "-&c.1and have nothing to thank her for but the recallingof those exquisite lines, whether they be Shakspeare'sor Fletcher's.Now, however, I behold a nobler vision hangingover and irradiating the page. It is of a lovelynymph, in whose looks and lips the bows of Apolloand Cupid seem intertwined and indented. She doesnot simper from affectation, nor smile because it isbecoming, nor compress her lips to hide a defectivetooth, nor open them to display the symmetry of therest; but her mouth has that expression which thepainter of Bathyllus, in the Greek Anthology, wasinstructed to catch, -" And give his lips that speaking airAs if a word were hovering there."Hers is not of that inexpressive doll-like character,which seems to smirk as if it were conscious of its ownsilly prettiness; nor has she the pouting come-kiss-meunder-lip of sealing-wax hue which one sees in theportraits of Lely and Kneller; but while in the ani-ON LIPS AND KISSING. 233-mation of her looks intelligence seems to be beamingfrom her eyes, enchantment appears to dwell withinthe ruby portals of her mouth. Its very silence iseloquent, for hers are the lips which Apollo loved inDaphne, and Cupid in his Psyche, which Phidiasand Praxiteles have immortalized in marble, andwhich immutable Nature still produces when she isin her happiest and most graceful moods. Hers isthe mouth, in short, which, to use an appropriatebotanical phrase, conducts us by a natural and delightful inosculation to the second division, or ratherunion of my subject—Kissing.This is a very ancient and laudable practice,whether as a mark of respect or affection. TheRoman Emperors saluted their principal officers bya kiss; and the same mode of congratulation wascustomary upon every promotion or fortunate event.Among the same people, men were allowed to kisstheir female relations on the mouth, that they mightknow whether they smelt of wine or not, as it seemsthose vaunted dames and damsels were apt to maketoo free with the juice of the grape, notwithstanding a prohibition to the contrary. The refinementof manners among these classical females was probably pretty much upon a par with that depictedin the Beggar's Opera, where Macheath exclaims,after saluting Jenny Diver, -"One may know byyour kiss that your gin is excellent. " The ancientsused not only to kiss their dying relations, from astrange notion that they should inhale the departing234 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.soul, but repeated the salutation when dead, by wayof valediction; and, finally, when they were laid uponthe funeral pile. There is no accounting for tastes;but, for my own part, I would rather salute the living;and I even carry my singularity so far as to preferthe soft lips of a female, to that mutual presentationof bristled cheeks to which one is subject by the customs of France. A series of essays has been writtenon the rational recreation of kissing, by John Everard,better known as Johannes Secundus, the author ofthe Basia, which has the disgrace of being even morelicentious than his prototypes, Propertius and Catullus. This gentleman held the same situation underthe Archbishop of Toledo, that Gil Blas filled underthe Archbishop of Granada; but instead of devotinghis time to the improvement of homilies, he employed himself in describing kisses of every calibre,from the counterpart of that bestowed by Petruchioupon his bride, who "kist her lipsWith such a clamorous smack, that at the partingAll the church echo'd".to the fond and gentle embrace described by Milton,when Adam, gazing upon our first parent in thedelicious bowers of Eden- " in delightBoth of her beauty and submissive charmsSmiled with superior love, as Jupiter

  • Plato seems to have thought that this interchange might

occur among the living, for he says when he kisses his mistress,66 My soul then flutters to my lip,Ready to fly and mix with thine."ON LIPS AND KISSING. 235On Juno smiles, when he impregns the cloudsThat shed May flowers; and press'd her matron lipWith kisses pure."Old Ben Jonson, unlike Captain Wattle, preferredthe taste of his mistress's lip to Sillery or ChateauMargaud, for which we have the authority of hiswell-known song-" Or leave a kiss within the cup,And I'll not ask for wine."And Anacreon himself, tippler as he was, did notrelish his Chian, " had not the lips of love first touch'dthe flowing bowl. " The poets in general can hardlybe supposed to have possessed " lips that beauty hathseldom bless'd; " and if they have not always recordedthis fact, they were probably restrained by the sanctitude of that injunction which orders us not to kissand tell. Yet there ought to be no squeamishness inthe confession, for Nature herself is ever setting usexamples of cordiality and love, without the leastaffectation ofsecrecyt" This woody realmIs Cupid's bower; see how the trees enwreatheTheir arms in amorous embraces twined!The gugglings of the rill that runs beneath,Are but the kisses which it leaves behind,While softly sighing through these fond retreatsThe wanton wind woos every thing it meets."We may all gaze upon the scene, when, according tothe poet," The far horizon kisses the red sky,"or look out upon the ocean"When the uplifted waters kiss the clouds."236 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.•66There was doubtless an open footpath over thatheaven-kissing hill," whereon, according to Shakspeare, the feathered Mercury alighted; and therewere, probably, many enamoured wanderers abroadon that tranquil night recorded by the same poet-"When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,And they did make no noise.”Even that phlegmatic compound, a pie, has its kissingcrust. There is no kissing, indeed, animate or inanimate, that has not its recommendations; but thereis a nondescript species, somewhat between both,against which I beg to enter my protest-I mean thedegrading ceremony of a man made in God's image,kneeling to kiss the hand of a fellow- mortal at Court,merely because that mortal is the owner of a crownand the dispenser of places and titles. Nay, thereare inconsistent beings who have kissed the foot ofthe Servant of servants at Rome, and yet boggled atperforming the ko-tou at Pekin, to the Son of theMoon, the Brother of the Sun, and the Lord of theCelestial Empire. Instead of complaining at knocking their nobs upon the floor before such an augustpersonage, it seemed reasonable to suppose that theywould conjure up in their imaginations much morerevolting indignities. Rabelais, when he was in thesuite of Cardinal Lorraine, accompanied him to Rome,and no sooner saw him prostrate before the Pope, andkissing his toe, as customary, than he suddenly turnedround, shut the door, and scampered home. Uponhis return, the Cardinal asked him the meaning of thisinsult. " When I saw you," said Rabelais, " who areTO A LOG OF WOOD UPON THE FIRE. 237my master, and, moreover, a cardinal and a prince,kissing the Pope's foot, I could not bear to anticipatethe sort of ceremony that was probably reserved foryour servant."TO A LOG OF WOOD UPON THE FIRE.WHEN Horace, as the snows descendedOn Mount Soracte, recommendedThat Logs be doubled,Until a blazing fire arose,I wonder whether thoughts like thoseWhich in my noddle interposeHis fancy troubled.Poor Log! I cannot hear thee sigh,And groan, and hiss, and see thee die,To warm a Poet,Without evincing thy success,And as thou wanest less and less,Inditing a farewell address,To let thee know it.Peeping from earth-a bud unveil'd,Some " bosky bourne" or dingle hail'dThy natal hour,While infant winds around thee blew,And thou wert fed with silver dew,And tender sun-beams oozing throughThy leafy bower.Earth-water-air-thy growth prepared,And if perchance some Robin, scaredFrom neighbouring manor,Perch'd on thy crest, it rock'd in air,Making his ruddy feathers flareIn the sun's ray, as if they wereA fairy banner.238 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Or if some nightingale impress'dAgainst thy branching top her breastHeaving with passion,And in the leafy nights of JuneOutpour'd her sorrows to the moon,Thy trembling stem thou didst attuneTo each vibration.Thou grew'st a goodly tree, with shootsFanning the sky, and earth-bound rootsSo grappled under,That thou whom perching birds could swing,And zephyrs rock with lightest wing,From thy firm trunk unmoved didst flingTempest and thunder.Thine offspring leaves-death's annual prey,Which Herod Winter tore awayFrom thy caressing,In heaps, like graves, around thee blown,Each morn thy dewy tears have strown,O'er each thy branching hands been thrown,As if in blessing.Bursting to life , another raceAt touch of Spring in thy embraceSported and flutter'd;Aloft, where wanton breezes play'd,In thy knit-boughs have ringdoves madeTheir nest, and lovers in thy shadeTheir vows have utter'd.How oft thy lofty summits wonMorn's virgin smile, and hail'd the sunWith rustling motion;Howoft in silent depths of night,When the moon sail'd in cloudless light,Thou hast stood awestruck at the sight,In hush'd devotion-TO A LOG OF WOOD UPON THE FIRE. 239"Twere vain to ask; for doom'd to fall,The day appointed for us allO'er thee impended:The hatchet, with remorseless blow,First laid thee in the forest low,Then cut thee into logs-and soThy course was endedBut not thine use-for moral rules,Worth all the wisdom of the schools,Thou may'st bequeath me;Bidding me cherish those who liveAbove me, and the more I thrive,A wider shade and shelter giveTo those beneath me.So when death lays his axe to me,I may resign as calm as theeMy hold terrestrial;Like thine my latter end be foundDiffusing light and warmth around,And like thy smoke my spirit boundTo realms celestial.THE WORLD.Nihil est dulcius his literis, quibus coelum, terram, maria,cognoscimus.THERE is a noble passage in Lucretius, in which hedescribes a savage in the early stages of the world,when men were yet contending with beasts the possession of the earth, flying with loud shrieks throughthe woods from the pursuit of some ravenous animal,unable to fabricate arms for his defence, and without240 GAIETIES AND to staunch the streaming wounds inflicted on himby his four-footed competitor. But there is a deepersubject of speculation, if we carry our thoughts backto that still earlier period when the beasts of thefield and forest held undivided sway; when Titanianbrutes, whose race has been long extinct, exercised aterrific despotism over the subject earth; and that"bare forked animal," who is pleased to dub himselfthe Lord of the Creation, had not been called up out ofthe dust to assume his soi-disant supremacy. Geologists pretend to discover in the bowels of the earthitself indisputable proofs that it must have been formany centuries nothing more than a splendid arenafor monsters. We have scarcely penetrated beyondits surface; but, whenever any convulsion of Natureaffords us a little deeper insight into her recesses, weseldom fail to discover fossil remains of gigantic creatures, though, amid all these organic fragments, wenever encounter the slightest trace ofany human relics.How strange the surmise, that for numerous, perhapsinnumerable centuries, this most beautiful pageant ofthe world performed its magnificent evolutions, thesun and moon rising and setting, the seasons followingtheir appointed succession, and the ocean uprolling itsinvariable tides, for no other apparent purpose thanthat lions and tigers might retire howling to their dens,as the shaking of the ground proclaimed the approachof the mammoth, or that the behemoth might performhis unwieldy flounderings in the deep! How bewildering the idea, that the glorious firmament and itsconstellated lights, and the varicoloured clouds, that'"THE WORLD. 241hang like pictures upon its sides; and the perfumewhich the flowers scatter from their painted censers—and the blushing fruits that delight the eye not lessthan the palate—and the perpetual music of winds,waves, and woods, -should have been formed for therecreation and embellishment of a vast menagerie!And yet we shall be less struck with wonder-thatall this beauty, pomp, and delight, should have beenthrown away upon undiscerning and unreasoningbrutes, if we call to mind that many of those humanbipeds, to whom Nature has given the " os sublime,"have little more perception or enjoyment of her charmsthan a 66 cow on a common, or goose on a green."Blind to her more obvious wonders, we cannot expectthat they should be interested in the silent but stupendous miracles which an invisible hand is perpetually performing around them-that they should ponder on the mysterious, and even contradictory metamorphoses, which the unchanged though change-producing earth is unceasingly effecting. She convertsan acorn into a majestic oak, and they, heed it not,though they will wonder for whole months how harlequin changed a porter-pot into a nosegay: she raisesfrom a little bulb a stately tulip, and they only noticeit to remark, that it would bring a good round sum inHolland; -from one seed she elaborates an exquisiteflower, which diffuses a delicious perfume, while toanother by its side she imparts an offensive odour:from some she extracts a poison, from others a balm,while from the reproductive powers of a small grainshe contrives to feed the whole populous earth: andVOL. I. M242 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES .yet these matter-of-course gentry, because such magical paradoxes are habitual, see in them nothing morestrange than that they themselves should cease to behungry when they have had their dinners; or thattwo and two should make four, when they are addingup their Christmas bills. It is of no use to remindsuch obtuse plodders, when recording individual enthusiasm, that"My charmer is not mine alone; my sweets,And she that sweetens all my bitters too,Nature, enchanting Nature, in whose formAnd lineaments divine I trace a handThat errs not, and find raptures still renew'd,Is free to all men- universal prize;"for though she may be free to them, she sometimespresents them, instead of a prize, " an universal blank."The most astounding manifestations, if they recurregularly, are unmarked; it is only the trifling deviations from their own daily experience that set themgaping in a stupid astonishment.For my own part, I thank Heaven that I can neverstep out into this glorious world —I can never lookforth upon the flowery earth, and the glancing waters,and the blue sky, without feeling an intense and evernew delight; -a physical pleasure that makes mereexistence delicious. Apprehensions of the rheumatismmay deter me from imitating the noble fervour ofLord Bacon, who, in a shower, used sometimes to takeoff his hat, that he might feel the great spirit of theuniverse descend upon him; but I would rather gulpdown the balmy air than quaff the richest ambrosiathat was ever tippled upon Olympus: for while itTHE WORLD. 243warms and expands the heart, it produces no otherintoxication than that intellectual abandonment whichgives up the whole soul to a mingled overflowing ofgratitude to Heaven, and benevolence towards man.—"Were I not Alexander," said the Emathian madman, " I would wish to be Diogenes; " so when feasting upon this aërial beverage, which is like swallowingso much vitality, I have been tempted to ejacul*te, -Were I not a man, I should wish to be a cameleon.In Pudding-lane and the Minories, I am aware thatthis potation, like Irish whiskey, is apt to have thesmack of the smoke somewhat too strong; and eventhe classic atmosphere of Conduit-street, may occasionally require a little filtering: but I speak of thatpure, racy, elastic element, which I have this morningbeen inhaling in one of the forests of France, where,beneath a sky of inconceivable loveliness, I reclinedupon a mossy bank, moralizing like Jacques; when, asif to complete the scene, a stag emerged from the trees,gazed at me for a moment, and dashed across an opening into the far country. Here was an end of everything Shakspearian, for presently the sound of hornsmade the welkin ring, and a set of grotesque figures,bedizened with lace dresses, co*cked hats, and jackboots, deployed from the wood, and followed the chasewith praiseworthy regularity-the nobles taking thelead, and the procession being brought up by the" valets des chiens à pied ."-Solitude and silence againsucceeded to this temporary interruption, though inthe amazing clearness of the atmosphere I could seethe stag and his pursuers scouring across the distantM 2244 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.plain, like a pigmy pageant, long after I had lost thesound of the horns and the baying of the dogs. Aman must have been abroad to form an idea of the lucidness and transparency, which confers upon him anew sense, or at least enlarges an old one, by the additional tracts of country which it places within thevisual grasp, and the heightened hues with which thewide horizon is invested by the crystal mediumthrough which it is surveyed.In the unfavoured regions, where Heaven seems tolook with a scowling eye upon the earth, and the handof a tremendous Deity is perpetually stretched forthto wield the thunder and the storm, men not onlylearn to reverence the power on whose mercy they feelthemselves to be hourly dependant, but instinctivelyturn from the hardships and privations of this worldto the hope of more genial skies and luxurious sensations in the next. The warmth of religion is frequently in proportion to the external cold: the more thebody shivers, the more the mind wraps in ideal furs,and revels in imaginary sunshine; and it is remarkable, that in every creed climate forms an essential feature in the rewards or punishments of a future state.The Scandinavian hell was placed amid " chillingregions of thick-ribbed ice, " while the attraction ofthe Mahometan paradise is the coolness of its shadygroves. By the lot of humanity, there is no proportion between the extremes of pleasure and pain. Noenjoyment can be set off against an acute tooth-ach,much less against the amputation of a limb, or manypermanent diseases; and our distributions of a futureTHE WORLD. 2451state strikingly attest this inherent inequality. Thetorments are intelligible and distinct enough, and lacknot a tangible conception; but the beatitudes areshadowy and indefinite, and, for want of some experimental standard by which to estimate them, are littlebetter than abstractions.In the temperate and delicious climates of the earth ,which ought to operate as perpetual stimulants tograteful piety, there is, I apprehend, too much enjoyment to leave room for any great portion of religiousthefervour. The inhabitants are too well satisfied withthis world to look much beyond it. " I have no objection," said an English sailor, " to pray uponoccasion of a storm or a battle; but they make us sayprayers on board our ship when it is the finest weatherpossible, and not an enemy's flag to be seen!" Thisis but a blind aggravation of a prevalent feeling amongmankind, when the very blessings we enjoy, by attaching us to earth, render us almost indifferent to heaven.When they were comforting a king of France uponhis death-bed, with assurances of a perennial throneamid the regions of the blessed, he replied, with a melancholy air, that he was perfectly satisfied with theTuilleries and France. I myself begin to feel theenervating effects of climate, for there has not been asingle morning, in this country, in which I could havesubmitted, with reasonable good humour, to be hanged:while in England, I have experienced many days, inand out of November, when I could have gone throughthe operation with stoical indifference; nay, could haveeven felt an extraordinary respect for the Ordinary,246 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.and have requested Mr. Ketch to " accept the assurances of my distinguished consideration," for takingthe trouble off my own hands. I am capable of feeling now why the Neapolitans, in the last invasion,boggled about exchanging, upon a mere point of honour, their sunny skies, " love-breathing woods andlute resounding waves," and the sight of the dancingMediterranean, -for the silence and darkness of thecold blind tomb. Falstaffs in every thing, they " likenot such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath. " Fromthe same cause, the luxurious Asiatics have alwaysfallen an easy prey to the invader; while the Arabhas invariably been ready to fight for his burningsands, and the Scythian for his snows, not becausethey overvalued their country, but because its hardships had made them undervalue life. Many mencling to existence to perpetuate pleasures, as there aresome who will even court death to procure them .Gibbon records what he terms the enthusiasm of ayoungMussulman, who threw himselfupon the enemy'slances, singing religious hymns, proclaiming that he sawthe black-eyed Houris of Paradise waiting with openarms to embrace him, and cheerfully sought destructionthat he might revel in lasciviousness. This is not thefine courage of principle, nor the fervour of patriotism,but the drunkenness of sensuality. The cunning device of Mahomet, in offering a posthumous bonus tothose who would have their throats cut for the furtherance of his ambition, was but an imitation of Odinand other northern butchers; and what is glory, inits vulgar acceptation, stars, crosses, ribbons, titles,THE WORLD. 247public funerals, and national monuments, but the blinding baubles with which more legitimate slaughtererslure on dupes and victims to their own destruction?These sceptred jugglers shall never coax a bayonetinto my body, nor wheedle a bullet into my brain;for I had rather go without rest altogether, than sleepin the bed of honour. So far from understanding theambition of being turned to dust, I hold with the oldadage about the living dog and the dead lion. I ampigeon-livered, and lack gall to encounter the sternscythe-bearing skeleton. When I return to the landof fogs I may get courage to look him in the skull;but it unnerves one to think of quitting such deliciousskies, and rustling copses, and thick-flowered meads,and Favonian gales, as these which now surround me;and it is intolerable to reflect, that yonder blazing sunmay shine upon my grave without imparting to meany portion of his cheerful warmth, or that the blackbird, whom I now hear warbling as if his heart wererunning over with joy, may perch upon my tombstonewithout my hearing a single note of his song.

As it has been thought that the world existed manyages without any inhabitants whatever, was next subjected to the empire of brutes, and now constitutes thedominion of man, it would seem likely, that in its progressive advancement to higher destinies it may ultimately have lords of the creation much superior to ourselves, who may speak compassionately of the degradation it experienced under humanpossession, and congratulate themselves on the extinction of that pugnaciousand mischievous biped called Man. The face of Nature248 GAIETIES AND still young; it exhibits neither wrinkles nor decay;whether radiant with smiles or awfully beautiful infrowns, it is still enchanting, and not less fraught withspiritual than material attractions, if we do but knowhow to moralize upon her features and presentments.To consider, for instance, this balmy air which isgently waving the branches of a chestnut-tree beforemy eyes-what a mysterious element it is! Powerfulenough to shipwreck navies, and tear up the deepgrappling oak, yet so subtle as to be invisible, and sodelicate as not to wound the naked eye. Naturallyimperishable, who can imagine all the various purposes to which the identical portion may have beenapplied, which I am at this instant inhaling? Perhaps at the creation it served to modulate into wordsthe sublime command, " Let there be light," whenthe blazing sun rolled itself together, and upheavedfrom chaos -perhaps impelled by the jealous Zephyrus, it urged Apollo's quoit against the blue-veinedforehead of Hyacinthus; -it may perchance havefilled the silken sails of Cleopatra's vessel, as shefloated down the Cydnus; or have burst from themouth of Cicero in the indignant exordium-" Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientiâ nostrâ?" orhis still more abrupt exclamation, " Abiit-evasit—excessit ―erupit! " It may have given breath to utterthe noble dying speeches of Socrates in his prison, ofSir Philip Sidney on the plains of Zutphen, of Russellat the block. But the same inexhaustible elementwhich would supply endless matter for my reflections,may perhaps pass into the mouth of the reader, andTHE FIRST OF MARCH. 249be vented in a peevish-" Psha! somewhat too muchof this," and I shall therefore hasten to take my leaveof him, claiming some share of credit, that when soample a range was before me, my speculations shouldso soon, like the witches in Macbeth, have " madethemselves air, into which they vanished. "THE FIRST OF MARCH.THE bud is in the bough, and the leaf is in the bud,And Earth's beginning now in her veins to feel the blood,Which, warm'd by summer suns in th' alembic of the vine,From her founts will over-run in a ruddy gush of wine.The perfume and the bloom that shall decorate the flower,Are quickening in the gloom of their subterranean bower;And the juices meant to feed trees, vegetables, fruits,Unerringly proceed to their pre-appointed roots.How awful is the thought of the wonders under ground,Ofthe mystic changes wrought in the silent, dark profound;How each thing upward tends by necessity decreed,And a world's support depends on the shooting of a seed!The Summer's in her ark, and this sunny-pinion'd dayIs commission'd to remark whether Winter holds her sway:Go back, thou dove of peace, with the myrtle on thy wing,Say that floods and tempests cease, and the world is ripe forSpring.Thou hast fann'd the sleeping Earth till her dreams are all of flowers,And the waters look in mirth for their overhanging bowers;The forest seems to listen for the rustle of its leaves,And the very skies to glisten in the hope of summer eves.M 5250 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Thy vivifying spell has been felt beneath the wave,By the dormouse in its cell, and the mole within its cave;And the summer tribes that creep, or in air expand their wing,Have started from their sleep at the summons of the Spring.The cattle lift their voices from the valleys and the hills,And the feather'd race rejoices with a gush of tuneful bills;And if this cloudless arch fills the poet's song with glee,O thou sunny first of March, be it dedicate to thee.PETER-PINDARICS.The Milkmaid and the Banker.A MILKMAID with a very pretty face,Who lived at Acton,Had a black Cow, the ugliest in the place,A crooked- back'd one,A beast as dangerous, too, as she was frightful,Vicious and spiteful,And so confirm'd a truant, that she boundedOver the hedges daily, and got pounded.'Twas all in vain to tie her with a tether,For then both cord and cow eloped together.Arm'd with an oaken bough, (what folly!It should have been of birch, or thorn, or holly,)Patty one day was driving home the beast,Which had, as usual, slipp'd its anchor,When on the road she met a certain Banker,Who stopp'd to give his eyes a feastBy gazing on her features, crimson'd highBy a long cow-chase in July."Are you from Acton, pretty lass?" he cried:Yes," with a curtsey she replied.PETER PINDARICS. 251Why then you know the laundress, Sally Wrench?”" She is my cousin, Sir, and next- door neighbour. ""That's lucky-I've a message for the wench,Which needs despatch, and you may save my labour.Give her this kiss, my dear, and say I sent it,But mind, you owe me one-I've only lent it. "."She shall know," cried the girl, as she brandish'd her bough," Of the loving intentions you bore me;But as to the kiss, as there's haste, you'll allowThat you'd better run forward and give it my Cow,For she, at the rate she is scampering now,Will reach Acton some minutes before me."The Farmer's Wife and the Gascon.AT Neuchatel, in France, where they prepareCheeses that set us longing to be mites,There dwelt a farmer's wife, famed for her rareSkill in these small quadrangular delights.Where they were made, they sold for the immensePrice of three sous a-piece;But as salt-water made their charms increase,In England the fix'd rate was eighteen-pence.This damsel had to help her in the farm,To milk her cows and feed her hogs,A Gascon peasant, with a sturdy armFor digging or for carrying logs,But in his noddle weak as any baby,In fact a gaby,And such a glutton when you came to feed him,That Wantley's dragon, who " ate barns and churches,As if they were geese and turkies,"(Vide the Ballad, ) scarcely could exceed him.252 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.One morn she had prepared a monstrous bowlOf cream like nectar,And wouldn't go to Church (good careful soul!)Till she had left it safe with a protector;So she gave strict injunctions to the Gascon,To watch it while his mistress was to mass gone.Watch it he did he never took his eyes off,But lick'd his upper, then his under lip,And doubled up his fist to drive the flies off,Begrudging them the smallest sip,Which if they got,Like my Lord Salisbury, he heaved a sigh,And cried, " O happy, happy fly,How I do envy you your lot!"Each moment did his appetite grow stronger;His bowels yearn'd;At length he could not bear it any longer,But on all sides his looks he turn'd,1And finding that the coast was clear, he quaff'dThe whole up at a draught.Scudding from church, the farmer's wifeFlew to the dairy;But stood aghast, and could not, for her life,One sentence mutter,Until she summon'd breath enough to utter"Holy St. Mary!"And shortly, with a face of scarlet,The vixen (for she was a vixen) flewUpon the varlet,Asking the when, and where, and how, and whoHad gulp'd her cream, nor left an atom;To which he gave not separate replies,But with a look of excellent digestionOne answer made to every question-"The Flies!"PETER PINDARICS. 253"The flies, you rogue! -the flies, you guttling dog!Behold, your whiskers still are cover'd thickly;Thief-liar-villain-gormandizer-hog!I'll make you tell another story quickly. ”So out she bounced, and brought, with loud alarms,Two stout Gens-d'Armes,Whobore him to the judge-a little prig,With angry bottle-noseLike a red cabbage- rose ,While lots ofwhite ones flourish'd on his wig.Looking at once both stern and wise,He turn'd to the delinquent,And ' gan to question him and catechiseAs to which way the drink went:Still the same dogged answers rise,"The flies, my Lord-the flies, the flies!""Psha!" quoth the Judge, half peevish and half pompous,"Why, you're non compos.You should have watch'd the bowl, as she desired,And kill'd the flies, you stupid clown. "—"What! is it lawful then," the dolt inquired,"To kill the flies in this here town?"-"The man's an ass-a pretty question this!Lawful? you booby! -to be sure it is.You've my authority, where'er you meet ' em,To kill the rogues, and, if you like it , eat ' em.”"Zooks!" cried the rustic, "I'm right glad to hear it.Constable, catch that thief! may I go hangIfyonder blue-bottle (I know his face)Isn't the very leader of the gangThat stole the cream; -let me come near it!"-This said, he started from his place,And aiming one of his sledge- hammer blowsAt a large fly upon the Judge's nose,254 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.The luckless blue-bottle he smash'd,And gratified a double grudge;For the same catapult completely smash'dThe bottle-nose belonging to the Judge!THE ELOQUENCE OF EYES.-Nor doth the eye itself,That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,Not going from itself; but eyes opposedSalute each other with each other's formSHAKSPEARE.THE origin oflanguage is a puzzling point, ofwhichno satisfactory solution has yet been offered. Children could not originally have compounded it, for theywould always want intelligence to construct any thingso complicated and difficult; and as it is known thatafter a certain age the organs of speech, if they havenot been called into play, lose their flexibility, it iscontended, that adults possessing the faculties to combine a new language would want the power to expressit. Divine inspiration is the only clue that presentsitself in this emergency; and we are then driven uponthe incredibility of supposing that celestial ears andorgans could ever have been instrumental in originating the Low Dutch, in which language an assailant ofVoltaire drew upon himself the memorable retort fromthe philosopher: " That he wished him more wit andTHE ELOQUENCE OF EYES.fewer consonants." No one, however, seemscontemplated the possibility that Nature neverus to speak, any more than the parrot, to whom she hasgiven similar powers of articulation; or to have speculated upon the extent of the substitutes she has provided, supposing that man had never discovered theprocess of representing appetites, feelings, and ideasby sound. Grief, joy, anger, and some of the simplepassions, express themselves by similar intelligible exclamations in all countries; these, therefore, may beconsidered as the whole primitive language of Nature;but if she had left the rest of her vocabulary to be conveyed by human features and gestures, man, by addressing himself to the eyes instead of the ears, wouldhave still possessed a medium of communication nearlyas specific as speech, with the great advantage of itsbeing silent as the telegraph. Talking with his features instead of his tongue, he would not only save allthe time lost in unravelling the subtleties of the grammarians from Priscian to Lily and Lindley Murray,but he would instantly become a cosmopolitan, a citizen of the world, and might travel " from old Beleriumto the northern main," without needing an interpreter.We are not hastily to pronounce against the possibility of carrying this dumb eloquence to a certainpoint of perfection, for the experiment has never beenfairly tried. We know that the exercise of cultivatedreason, and the arts of civilized life, have eradicatedmany ofour original instincts, and that the loss of anyone sense invariably quickens the others; and we may256 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.therefore conjecture that many of the primitive conversational powers of our face have perished from disuse, while we may be certain that those which stillremain would be prodigiously concentrated and exalted, did they form the sole medium by which ourmind could develope itself. But we have no meansof illustrating this notion, for the wild boys and menwho have from time to time been caught in the woods,have been always solitaries, who, wanting the stimulus of communion, have never exercised their faculties; while the deaf and dumb born among ourselves,early instructed to write and talk with their fingers,have never called forth their natural resources and instructive powers of expression.Without going so far as the Frenchman who maintained that speech was given to us to conceal ourthoughts, it is certain that we may, even now, conveythem pretty accurately without the intervention of thetongue. To a certain extent every body talks withhis own countenance, and puts faith in the indicationsof those which he encounters . The basis of physiognomy, that the face is the silent echo of the heart, issubstantially true; and to confine ourselves to one feature-the eye -I would ask what language, what oratory can be more voluble and instinct with meaningthan the telegraphic glances of the eye? So convincedare we of this property, that we familiarly talk of aman having an expressive, a speaking, an eloquenteye. I have always had a firm belief that the celestials have no other medium of conversation, but that,carrying on a colloquy of glances, they avoid all theTHE ELOQUENCE OF EYES. 257wear and tear of lungs, and all the vulgarity of human vociferation. Nay, we frequently do this ourselves. By a silent interchange of looks, when listening to a third party, how completely may two peoplekeep up a by-play of conversation, and express theirmutual incredulity, anger, disgust, contempt, amazement, grief, or languor. Speech is a laggard and asloth, but the eyes shoot out an electric fluid thatcondenses all the elements of sentiment and passion inone single emanation . Conceive what a boundlessrange of feeling is included between the two extremesof the look serene and the smooth brow, and the contracted frown with the glaring eye. What varietiesof sentiment in the mere fluctuation of its lustre, fromthe fiery flash of indignation to the twinkle of laughter, the soft beaming of compassion, and the meltingradiance of love! " Oculi sunt in amore duces," saysPropertius; and certainly he who has never knownthe tender passion knows not half the copiousness ofthe ocular language, for it is in those prophetic mirrors that every lover first traces the reflection of hisown attachment, or reads the secret of his rejection,long before it is promulgated by the tardy tongue.It required very little imagination to fancy a thousandCupids perpetually hovering about the eyes ofbeauty,—a conceit which is accordingly found among the earliest creations of the Muse. "Twas not the warrior'sdart, says Anacreon, that made my bosom bleed, -No-from an eye of liquid blueA host of quiver'd Cupids flew,And now my heart all bleeding liesBeneath this army of the eyes.258 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.And we may take one specimen from innumerableothers in the Greek Anthology:Archer Love, though slily creeping,Well I know where thou dost lie;I saw thee from the curtain peepingThat fringes Zenophelia's eye.The moderns have dallied with similar conceits tillthey have become so frivolous and threadbare as tobe nowpretty nearly abandoned to the inditers of Valentines, and the manufacturers of Vauxhall songs.The old French author Bretonnayau, not contentwith lamenting, like Milton, that so precious an organas the eye should have been so limited and vulnerable,considers it, in his " Fabrique de l'Eil," as a bodilysun possessing powers analogous to the solar orb, andtreats it altogether as a sublime mystery and celestialsymbol. A short extract may shew the profundity ofhis numerical and astronomical views:"D'un de trois-et de sept, à Dieu agréable,Fut composé de l'œil la machine admirable.Le nerf et le christal, l'eau et le verre pers,Sont les quatre élémens du minime univers;Les sept guimples luisans qui son rondeau contournent,Ce sont les sept errans, qui au grand monde tournent,Car le blanc qui recouvre et raffermit nos yeux,Nous figure Saturne entre ces petit* creux," &c. &c.And yet all this mysticism is scarcely more extravagant than the power of witchcraft or fascinationwhich was supposed to reside in the eyes, and obtained implicit credence in the past ages. This infection, whether malignant or amorous, was generallysupposed to be conveyed in a slanting regard, such asTHE ELOQUENCE OF EYES. 259that " jealous leer malign," with which Satan contemplated the happiness of our first parents." Non istic obliquo oculo mea commoda quisquamLimat, non odio obscuro, morsuque venenat,"says Horace; and Virgil makes the shepherd exclaim,in his third eclogue,"Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos."Basilisks, co*ckatrices, and certain serpents, were fabled not only to have the power of bewitching thebirds from the air, but of killing men with a look-amode of destruction which is now limited to the exaggerations of those modern fabulists yclept poets andlovers.Every difference of shape is found in this variformorgan, from the majestic round orb of Homer's oxeyed Juno, to that thin slit from which the vision ofa Chinese lazily oozes forth; but in this, as in otherinstances, the happy medium is nearest to the line ofbeauty. If there be any deviation, it should be towards the full rotund eye, which, although it be aptto convey an expression of staring hauteur, is still susceptible of great dignity and beauty; while the contrary tendency approximates continually towards themean and the suspicious.As there is no standard of beauty, there is nopronouncing decisively upon the question of colour.The ancient classical writers assigned to Minerva,and other of the deities, eyes of heaven's own azureas more appropriate and celestial. Among the earlyItalian writers, the beauties were generally blondes,260 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.being probably considered the most estimable onaccount of their rarity; and Tasso, describing theblue eyes of Armida, says with great elegance,"Within her humid melting eyesA brilliant ray of laughter lies,Soft as the broken solar beamThat trembles in the azure stream."Our own writer Collins, speaking of the Circassians, eulogises " Their eyes' blue languish, and theirgolden hair," with more beauty of language thanfidelity as to fact; but our poets in general give thepalm to that which is least common among ourselves,and are accordingly enraptured with brunettes anddark eyes. When Shakspeare bestowed green eyesupon the monster Jealousy, he was not probably awarethat about the time of the Crusades there was a prodigious passion for orbs of this hue. Thiebault, kingof Navarre, depicting a beautiful shepherdess in oneof his songs, says," La Pastore est bele et avenant,Elle a les eus vairs,"which phrase, however, has been conjectured to meanhazle; an interpretation which will allow me to joinissue with his Majesty, and approve his taste. Buttaste itself is so fluctuating, that we may live to seethe red eye of the Albinos immortalised in verse, orthat species of plaid recorded by Dryden-" The balls of his broad eyes roll'd in his head,And glared betwixt a yellow and red."For my own part, I decidedly prefer the hue ofTHE ELOQUENCE OF EYES. 261that which is now bent upon the page, for I hold thatan indulgent eye, like a good horse, cannot be of abad colour.Mypaper would be incomplete without a word ortwo upon eyebrows, which, it is to be observed, arepeculiar to man, and were intended, according to thephysiologists, to prevent particles of dust or perspiration from rolling into the eye. Nothing appears tome more impertinent than the fancied penetration ofthese human moles, who are for ever attributing imaginary intentions to inscrutable Nature; nor moreshallow and pedlar-like than their resolving every thinginto a use; as if they could not see, in the gay coloursand delicious perfumes, and mingled melodies lavishedupon the earth, sufficient evidence that the beneficentCreator was not satisfied with mere utility, but combined with it a profusion of gratuitous beauty anddelight. I dare say that they would rather find a usefor the coloured eyes of Argus in the peaco*ck's tail ,than admit that the human eyebrows could havebeen bestowed for mere ornament and expression.Yet they have been deemed the leading indices ofvarious passions. Homer makes them the seat of majesty-Virgil of dejection-Horace of modesty—Juvenal ofpride -and we ourselves consider them such intelligible exponents of scorn and haughtiness, that we haveadopted from them our word supercilious. In livelyfaces they have a language of their own, and canaptly represent all the sentiments and passions ofthe mind, even when they are purposely repressed inthe eye. By the workings of the line just above a262 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.lady's eyebrows, much may be discovered that couldnever be read in the face; and by this means I amenabled to detect in the looks of my fair readers sucha decided objection to any farther inquisition into theirsecret thoughts, that I deem it prudent to exclaim, inthe language of Oberon-" Lady, I kiss thine eye,and so good night."THE LAWYER AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER.A ROGUISH Old Lawyer was planning new sin,As he lay on his bed in a fit of the gout;The mails and the daylight were just coming in,The milkmaids and rushlights were just going out: —When a Chimney-sweep's boy, who had made a mistake,Came flop down the flue with a cluttering rush,And bawl'd, as he gave his black muzzle a shake,66 My master's a-coming to give you a brush. ”"Ifthat be the case," said the cunning old elf," There's no moment to lose-it is high time to flee;Ere he gives me a brush, I will brush off myself,If I wait for the Devil, the Devil take me!"So he limp'd to the door without saying his prayers;But Old Nick was too deep to be nick'd of his prey,For the knave broke his neck by a tumble down stairs,And thus ran to the Devil by running away.( 263 )PETER PINDARICS.The Surgeon and the House Painters.PAINTERS are like the dry-rot, if we let ' emFix on our pannels and our planks,There's no ejectment that can get ' emOut till they've fairly play'd their pranks.There is a time, however, when the ghastlySpectres cease to haunt our vision;And as my readers, doubtless, would like vastlyTo calculate it with precision,I'll tell them for their ease and comfortWhat happen'd t'other day at Romford.In that great thoroughfare for calves,Destined to pacify the yearningsOf Norton Falgate, gormandizing,There dwelt a Surgeon, who wenț halvesWith the apothecary, in the earningsFrom broken limbs and accidents arising.But somehow the good Romford dronesWere so confounded careful against harms,They neither broke their legs nor arms,Nor even slipp'd their collar-bones.In short, he couldn't find one benefactorAmong these cruel calf and pig-herds,To treat him with a single fracture.Was ever such a set of nigg*rds!The fact is, that they never took the road,Except on vehicles which God bestow'dBut if with other legs you take a journey,What wonder if they sometimes overturn ye?64 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.One morn a Patent Safety CoachDeparted from the Swan with the Two Necks,A sign that seems intended to reproachThose travellers of either sex,Who deem one neck sufficient for the risksOf ditches, drunkards, wheels, and four-legg'd frisks.Just as they enter'd Romford with a dash,Meaning to pass the Opposition,The front wheel came in violent collisionWith a low post-was shiver'd, smash!And down the coach came with a horrid crash."Zooks!" cried the coachman, as he swore and cursed,"That rascal Jack will get to Chelmsford first: -We might have had worse luck on't, for I seesNone ofthe horses hasn't broke their knees."As to his fare-or any human limb,Had ten been broken, ' twas all one to him.Luckily for the passengers, the masterOfthe Plough Inn, who witness'd the disaster,Ran with his men, and maids, and spouse,Th' imprison'd sufferers unpounded,Convey'd the frighten'd, sick, and woundedInto his house;Then hied himself into the town, to urge onThe speed ofthe aforesaid Surgeon.He came inquired the wounds and spasmsOf all the mistresses and masters;Applied lint-poultice-balsams-plasters,And cataplasms,Bandaging some, and letting others blood,And then ran home to tell how matters stood.Like Garrick ' twixt Thalia and Melpomene,His wife put on her tragi-comic features:-She had a heart-but also an uncommon eyeTo the main chance, and so she cried-" Poor creaturesDear me, how shocking to be wounded thus!—THE SURGEON AND THE HOUSE- PAINTERS. 265A famous God-send certainly for us!Don't tell me any more, my dear Cathartic;The horrid story really makes my heart ach.One broken rib- an ankle sprain'd-that's worse,I mean that's better, for it lasts the longer;Those careless coachmen are the traveller's curse,How lucky that they hadn't got to Ongar!Two bad contusions-several ugly wounds,Why this should be a job of fifty pounds! —So now there's no excuse for being stingy;'Tis full twelve years-no matter when it was—At all events, the parlour's horrid dingy,And now it shall be painted-that is poz! ” —The Painters come-two summer- days they giveTo scrape acquaintance with each pannel,Then mix the deadly stuff by which they live,(The smell's enough to make the stoutest man ill, )And now, in all their deleterious glory,They fall upon the wainscot con a more.The parlour ' s done-you wouldn't know the room,It looks four times as large, and eight times lighter,But most unluckily, as that grew whiter,The hall look'd less, and put on tenfold gloom." There's no use doing things by halves, my dear,We must just titivate the hall, that's clear. ”66 Well, be it so, you've my consent, my love,But when that's done, the painters go, by Jove!"-They heard him, and began. All hurry-scurryThey set to work instanter,But presently they slacken'd from their hurryInto a species of snail's canter.The Surgeon, who had had his fillOfstench, and trembled for his bill,Saw day by day, with aggravated loathing,That they were only dabbling, paddling,Twiddling, and fiddle-faddling,VOL. I. N266 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.And helping one another to do nothing;So call'd the foreman in, and begg'd to know,As a great favour, when they meant to go.66 Why," quoth the honest man, scratching his nob,"Not afore master gets another job.” —The Surgeon storm'd and swore, but took the hint,Laid in a double stock of lint,And to his patients at the Plough dispenses,Week after week, new pills and plasters,Looks very grave on their disasters,And will not answer for the consequences,Ifthey presume to use their arms or feet,Before their cure is quite complete.66 No, no," he mutters, " they shall beServed as the painters treated me;And if my slowness they reproach,I'll tell them they shall leave the placeThe moment there's another raceRun by the Patent Safety Coach.ADVANTAGES OF HAVING NO HEAD!The very head and front of my offending Hath this extent-no more. SHAKSPEARE.I HATE the man who can never see more than oneside of a question- who has but a single idea, andthat perhaps a wrong one. -No; I adopt an impressionzealously, perhaps erroneously, but I forget not the"audi alteram partem. " I can plead my own cause;but I have not given myself a retaining fee; I amtherefore open to conviction, and forward to acknow-ADVANTAGES OF HAVING NO HEAD. 267ledge all that may be reasonably claimed by my opponents. Candour and liberality are my motto, inthe spirit of which I begin with confessing, that thereare occasions when that bulbous excrescence termed ahead may be deemed a handy appendage. As a peg tohang hats on-as a barber's block for supporting wigs,or a milliner's for showing off bonnets—as a target forshooting at when rendered conspicuous by a shininghelmet-as a snuff-box or a chatter-box-as a machinefor stretching nightcaps, or fitting into a guillotine, orfor shaking when we have nothing to say: in all thesecapacities it is indisputably a most useful piece ofhousehold furniture. Yet, as far as my own experience goes, its inconveniences so fearfully predominateover its accommodations, that if I could not have beenborn a column without any capital, made compact andcomfortable by an ante-natal decollation, I would atleast have chosen to draw my first breath among" The Anthropophagi, and men whose headsDo grow beneath their shoulders;"-that by carrying mine adversary in this manner, lockedup as it were in mine own chest, I might keep him inas good subjection as St. Patrick did when he swamacross the Liffey, and be the better enabled to stomachwhatever miseries he might entail upon me.Away with the hackneyed boast so pompously putforth by simpletons who have no pretensions to thedistinction they claim for the race-that man only hasa reasoning head! Tant pis pour lui. If he possessthis fine privilege, he treats it as worldlings sometimesN 2268 GAIETIES AND their fine clothes-he values it so highly that hehas not the heart to use it, or show it in his conduct.His reason lies in the wardrobe of his brain till it becomes moth-eaten; or if he exert it at all, it is that itmay commit a moral suicide and try to get rid of itself. Never so happy as when he can escape fromthis blessing, he dozes away as much of it as he can insleep; or blows out his highly-vaunted brains everyevening with a bottle of port wine; or tells you, witha paviour's sigh, that the happiest man is the laughinglunatic, who finds his straw-crown and joint-stool thronea most delightful exchange for all the vanity and vexation of irrational reason. Now, if a man could butleave off at his neck-make his shoulders the ultimaThule of his figure-convert himself into a pollard,all this would be accomplished at once. He wouldnot belong to either the family of the Longheads orthe Wrongheads; he would be neither headstrongnor headlong; he could not be over head and ears indebt or in love; head-ach, and face-ach, and toothach, and ear-ach, would be to him as gorgons, andgriffins, and harpies-imaginary horrors: opthalmickmedicines he needs not; he neither runs his head intodanger nor against a wall, and whether corn be highor low- rents paid or unpaid-the five per cents. reduced to four, or the three per cents. to nothing, hẹcares not, for there is no earthly matter about whichhe can trouble his head. A chartered libertine, helaughs (in his sleeve) at kings and parliaments; thewandering Jew, St. Leon, or Melmoth, were not moreimpassive; guillotines and new drops have for himADVANTAGES OF HAVING NO HEAD. 269no more terrors than has a thumbscrew for a sprat, ortight boots for an oyster; Jack Ketch and the Headman are no more formidable to him than are the Centaurs and Amazons to us. " Let the gall'd jade wince,his withers are unwrung." The happy headless roguepays neither powder nor capitation tax. The LondonTavern and the Crown and Anchor are his patrimonial kitchens, wherein he alone may reckon withouthis host. All ordinaries are at his mercy; he maygorge with his friends until the revel rout be dispersedby the watchmen. " The sloe-juice and ratsbane, andsuch kind of stuff," be it ever so villainous, can neverget up into his brain; and as to the reckoning in allthese cases, it is so much a-head-and what is thatto him?It may be thought that I have said enough uponthis no-head, but I cannot refrain from adding, thata man thus happily truncated would possess immenseadvantages over his companions, should the guardiansof the night break in upon his symposia as I haveimagined; for he could not be tweaked by the nose,nor thrust out head and shoulders; although he mighttumble down stairs without any risk of breaking hisneck or fracturing his skull. During life he mightplay as many pranks as Yorick the king's jester, andafter death no Hamlet could exclaim over his remains" Why, will he suffer this knave to knock himabout the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tellhim of his action of battery?”Plato's Atlantis, and Sir Thomas More's Utopia,and Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, would all be realised270 GAIETIES AND the felicitous life of such a being as I have suggested. But methinks I hear my fair readers exclaim,What happiness is there without love, and where wouldsuch an animal find a mistress? Do we not alreadyhear husbands often complaining that their wiveshave no heads, and vice versâ? Besides, might henot seek the original " good woman, " of whom a decapital likeness is suspended as a public-house sign atShoreditch, and another at Walworth, neither ofwhich did I ever pass in my suburban rambles without many marital yearnings, and longings, and aspirations? These were the only beatific visions that everidentified the conception of the novelists and dramatists-Love at first Sight. That stump of a neck isirresistible. In the event of a marriage thus constituted, some difficulty might occur as to the responses,but it could be obviated by signs, as in the unions ofour deaf and dumb; not by a nod or shake of the headindeed, but by some equally intelligible indication;and methinks I could rival Catullus himself in composing an epithalamium for such a nuptial pair, for Imight safely predicate that they would never lay theirheads together to hatch mischief, nor run them againstone another in anger, nor lose their time in kissing,nor fall together by the ears. No fear of Bluebeardsin this happy state, which, if it could be universallyaccomplished, would at once restore to us the Saturniaregna- the golden age-the millennium.Envious, and timid, and jealous people, are perpetually on the watch to oppose every improvement asrevolutionary innovation; and by some such I ex-ADVANTAGES OF HAVING NO HEAD. 271pect to be told that my project is jacobinical, as tending to make the profane vulgar independent of thoselegitimate correctives-the axe and the halter; but Icannot see the matter in this light. John Bull, weare sometimes told, is like a restive horse-give himhis head and he runs to the devil; but, by my proposition, the common people will never be able to makehead at all, whatever be their provocations; so that Ireally consider myself entitled to the great prize fromthe members of the Holy Alliance. Other cavillersmay urge that it would be injurious to the progressof knowledge and the cultivation of literature, as ifthe brains could not exist any where but in the head!Buffon, no ignoramus in such matters, was decidedlyof opinion that the stomach was the seat of thought.Persius dubs it a Master of Arts,"Magister Artium,Ingenique largitor venter. "Ventriloquism is yet in its infancy, but who shouldlimit its eloquence were it cultivated from necessity?So satisfied are we of the reflecting disposition of thisportion of our economy, that we call a cow, or otherbeast with two stomachs, a ruminating animal, par excellence. Why might not our clergy, instead of dividing their discourses into heads- Cerberean, Polypean, and Hydraform, which always afflict me with acephalalgy-spin the thread of their sermons, likethe spider's, from the stomach instead of the head,and apportion them under the titles of the peristalticmotion, the epigastre, the hypochondre, and the colon272 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES,names as sonorous and classical as those of theMuses, with which Herodotus has baptised his respective chapters? Even constituted as we now are, withhead- quarters already provided for the brains, willany one deny that an Opera-dancer's are in his heels,or that Shakspeare had not a similar conviction, whenhe makes one of his characters exclaim," Hence will I drag thee headlong, by the heels,Unto a dunghill which shall be thy grave!"Does he not, moreover, distinctly mark the seat ofpride and aspiring talent, when he says of Wolsey," He was a manOf an unbounded stomach-ever rankingHimself with princes."But I have said enough. If the reader be satisfiedthat I am suggesting a prodigious improvement, Ihave carried my point: if he be not, I deny that hehas a rational head, and thus establish my argument.Here are the two horns of a dilemma, which, if hewill continue to wear his super-humeral callosity inspite of my admonitions, may supply it a fitting decoration; and so having conducted him to the samepredicament as Falstaff in Windsor Forest, I leavehim to moonlight and the fairies.( 273 )LETTERS FROM PARIS.No. I.Miss Mary Ball to Miss Jane Jenkins.DEAR Jane, we reach'd Paris as day-light was closing,And its aspect, to use a French phrase, was imposing.Its magnificent portals, majestic and wide,Through which Temple-bar without stooping might rideIts houses of such Brobdignagian height,That they make Portland-place Lilliputian quite, -Its spacious Boulevards, with their vistas of green,Flank'd with structures of stone that ennoble the scene, -The Rue de la Paix, with the tower at its end,All of brass like the one where Danaë was penn'd, -(This was made out of cannon, and Boney must pop Himself, like the knob of a poker at top;But it's gone, and a little white flag met my eyesThat look'd like a kite in the shadowy skies, )—All these sights, quickly seen in succession, combinedTo dazzle, delight, and astonish my mind.We droveto Meurice's, and there should each thing go,That, to use Papa's phrase, cannot jabber the lingo,For our language is spoken by all that you meet;Nay, even the charges are English complete,And beef and plumb- pudding you get if you choose,With young roasted-pig, which the French hate like Jews.Next morning with Pa to the Louvre I flew,The statues, and marbles, and sculptures to view.La! Jenny, they're quite indecorous: why, Madam,They've not e'en the primitive wardrobe of Adam!I didn't know which way to look; but in FranceThese matters are view'd with complete nonchalance;And the ladies around me, like cool connoisseurs,Were raving in raptures on limbs and contoursN 5274 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES."O Dieu! que c'est beau! c'est superbe, magnifique!Voilà ce que c'est que de suivre l'antique!There's the young piping Faun-hark, he's going to warble;Is it petrified nature, or animate marble?Is this one of the stone-produced men of Deucalion?That the vivified nymph of enamour'd Pygmalion?”Thus mounting the hobby Virtù, the fair prancersInterrogate statues, though none of them answers;Then hurry to criticise ice at Tortoni's,Or the elephant actor that plays at Franconi's.Colour'd gowns without sleeves are the promenade dress,Which to me has a servant-like look, I confess;Some wear an elaborate cap, but upon itNot an atom ofhat or iota of bonnet!Then they lace down their waists, while the garment so scant isThat you see the hips working like lean Rozinantes;And ' tis painful to mark the unfortunate stoutScrewing every thing in that the hips may stick out.Their legs, as our malaprop statesman once said," Form the capital feature in which they're ahead"Of us and of all from the Thames to the Po,And the reason is plain-they are always on show;For to walk on such horrible pavements as theseThey must constantly hold up their clothes to the knees.I shall tell you, of course, all the lions I've seen,And the places and wonders at which I have been;But as things of importance flow first to my pen,You shall hear ofmy bonnet in Rue Vivienne.The bonnets in fashion are sable as ink,But there's nothing to me so becoming as pink;So I vow'd I would do my face justice, in spiteOf fashion and France, and not look like a fright.The French I have learnt is what Chaucer, you know,Says was taught to the scholars at Stratford-by- Bow,LETTERS FROM PARIS. 275But at Paris unknown-so I got a PrecisianTo teach me the phrases and accent Parisian;And in stating my wants I was cautious to closeWith-" Il faut qu'il soit doublé en couleur de rose."I wish you had seen their indignant surprise,The abhorrence they threw in their shoulders and eyes,And the solemn abjurings each minx took upon her,As if I had offer'd offence to her honour."Nous en avons en noir-mais, O Ciel! O Dieu!En rose!! Ah, vous n'aurez pas ça dans la rue.Ce n'est pas distingué c'est très mal-honnête,C'est passé-c'est chassé" -Six weeks out of date!66 Then they tried on their own, and exclaim'd " Howbecoming!C'est charmant-distingué!" —I knew they were humming,For I look'd just as sable and solemn, or worse,Than the plume-bearing figure preceding a hearse.--Would they put in a lining of pink, if I waited?This point was in corners and whispers debated;But granted, on pledge not to tell for they said, itMight implicate deeply their à-la-mode credit.And the price? "Soixante francs, quand c'est garni commecela;C'est toujours prix-fixe-nous ne marchandons pas. "I blush'd as I offer'd them forty; but theyTook the cash without blushing or once saying nay.I think you'll allow me one merit, dear Jane, -I'm the least of all women inclined to be vain;But this bonnet, I frankly confess, did enhanceThe notion I had of myself—and of France.The value I set on my beauty is small,For the manner-the fashion's the thing after all:Thus in bonnets it isn't the feathers and lace,So much as the smartness, gentility, grace,That the wearer possesses; -now these, you'll acknowledge, IMay modestly claim without any apology;And I offer you none for this lengthen'd reportOn my bonnet, ( the plume would be handsome at Court, )276 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES .For I'm sure my dear Jenny would wish me to stateAll that interests deeply my feelings and fate.The scene where my purchase first made its débutI reserve for the next for the present adieu:I meant to add more, but I hear Papa call,So can only subscribe myself—Yours, Mary Ball.P. S.Pray, Jenny, don't quarrel with me, but the laws,If I write on this flimsy and bibulous gauze;For were I to scribble on substance less taper,They would charge double postage, though one sheet ofI think the Police has commanded it thinFor reading outside all the secrets within.2nd P. S.I've just time to add, (having open'd my letter, )That I like my new bonnet still better and better.paper:No. II.Miss Mary Ball to Miss Jane Jenkins.I BOUGHT my new bonnet on purpose to wearAt th' Italian Boulevards, to which thousands repairAs the twilight approaches. Imagine three rowsOf chairs at each side of an avenue; thoseAre quickly engaged in succession, till allAre cover❜d with parties, en habit de bal.While lamps from the trees their effulgence are throwing,Between them a dense population is flowingOf all that is dashing and gay: -Cuirassiers,Polish Lancers, and Guards, whisker'd up to the ears!Large parties of English, with spruce-looking face;Old Ultras-a fatuous, posthumous race;LETTERS FROM PARIS. 277Inundations of women, no longer in caps,But extravagant bonnets worth six or eight Naps;Cits, soldiers, and lovers, wives, husbands, and brats,Cloaks, spencers, and shawls, turbans, helmets, and hats,All jumbled together, to form, when they meet,A grand cosmopolitan rout in the street.Behind roll the carriages-good ones are rarish,For most have an aspect extremely Rag-fairish; —Calêches, with horses that pine for the pleasureOfsharing the dinner of NebuchadnezzarFiacre, gig, tilbury, cabriolet,And demi-fortunes, with their wretched displayOf one woe-begone horse, which on our side the waterAre sacred to knights of the pestle and mortar.Some jump out, and saunter-some gaze at the throng,Or nod to their friends as they rattle along.Here parties of bowing Parisians stand,With badges at button-hole, hats in their hand,Who stop the whole tide as they congee, and show noReserve or compunction, but chatter pro bono."Madame, j'ai l'honneur-Je suis charmé, ravi. ""Je vous salue, Monsieur-Vous êtes toujours poli.""Quevous avez bonne mine!-Vous me flattez-Pardon!"" Il y a beaucoup de monde. -Mais très-peu du haut ton.""Je suis désesperé de vous quitter; bon soir. "66 Ah, Madame, vous me crevez le cœur-au revoir."John Bull, with a shake, or a slap on the back,Cries "Harry, how goes it, my hearty?" "What, Jack!Weren't you spilt from your dennet in Bond Street? I say,Do you like the French wines-have you been to the play?""Yes, I went to see Talma; what horrible stuff!The French are all blackguards: the women take snuff.Have you dined at Beauvillier's and Very's? Egad,What would Tattersal say to their horses? D-d bad!Rue de Rivoli's fine:-but the credit is Boney's.This mobbing's a nuisance. I vote for Tortoni's."278 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.•We follow'd such in, and they brought us a carteOf the ices ('twould pose you to learn it by heart),So I glanced down the column of " Glaces et Sorbets,"And begg'd them to give me an ice " framboisée,"While Pa, having ponder'd and changed a good deal,Cried " Waiter!" and pointed to " à la Vanille."In an instant I gazed on a conical mass,Half pallid like Inkle, half dark like his lass:And as Yarico never yet doated on InkleAs I upon Ice, it was gone in a twinkle.But Pa, with a face that denoted disaster,Swore his tasted ofputty, of paint, sticking-plaster;And after repeated attempts and frustration,Made it over to me with an ejacul*tion.The walks were now cramm'd, and I wish'd to renewOur stroll-but he gave me a snappish Pho! pho!And said he was tired, though I fancy the lossOfhis ice, not fatigue, made him grumpy and cross;And ' twas doubly provoking, for just at that minuteLieutenant O'fa*gan had " stipt from his dinnett,"And joining our party, was quoting Lord Byron,Admiring my bonnet, and calling me syren!Wewent to the Gallery, Jenny, to seeThe pictures-and thither our countrymen fleeTo determine their bets. It's the fourth of a mile,Which point causes daily disputes, and you'd smileTo hear them contesting how soon they could walk it,Laying wagers, and straightway proceeding to stalk it.Captain Strut ofthe Fourth was twelve minutes, and thenLieutenant O'fa*gan performed it in ten;But Sir Philip O'Stridle accomplish'd the taskIn nine, without effort. I ventured to askWhathe thought of the pictures, " The pictures? that's prime!"Who'll be staring at signs when he's posting ' gainst time?Here's an answer at once, if a foreigner startsAn Idea that we're not getting on in the Arts.LETTERS FROM PARIS . 279•Our countrymen flock, though they seldom have got anyTaste for Museums, or lectures, or botany,Tothe Jardin des Plantes-not for rational feasts,But to flutter the birds and to worry the beasts:And these (' tis a fact that we all must agree to)Cut out ours in the Tower, and extinguish Polito.Yet though on the whole they so greatly surpass us,They haven't that big-headed brute, the Bonassus.That's a point where we beat them, but even on this oneThey come very near in a beast call'd the Bison.The old one-eyed Bear I shall never forget,Who some time ago, being rather sharp-set,Pick'd the bones of a hypochondriacal Gaul,Who by way of a suicide jump'd in his stall.Whose taste was the worst- whose the frightfullest wishThe man's for his death, or the bear's for his dish?But a truce to the Gardens, and bear with the swivel-eye,For Pa has just enter'd to take me to Tivoli." Pauline! my new. bonnet!" Well, nobody knowsHow I joy that 'twas " doublé en couleur de rose."Quick! give me my shawl- where's my best bib and tucker?Lud!-like my own ruff, I am all in a pucker!Pa calls me I'm coming"-so Jenny, you seeI can only subscribe my initials,M. B.280 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.ON ASSES.My Oberon, what visions have I seenMethought I was enamour'd of an Ass!SHAKSPEARE.Procul este profani! Avant ye witlings, who withgibes and jeers would turn my honest conceptions intomockery. I address not ye; no, nor the poor humanbutts on whom ye break your poorer jests, " thoughby your smiling ye seem to think so. " I had no suchstuff in my thoughts as bipeds, not even those whowear the head of BOTTOм; but as the times are critical, and equivocation might undo us, it may be wellalso to premise that though my references be altogether quadrupedal, they mount not to those goldenAsses (not of Apuleius, I dare aver, ) which are placedupon royal tables, and whose panniers laden with salt(assuredly not Attic) minister stimulants to the palatesof kings and courtiers. No-my paper means whatit professes it is dedicated to donkeys, Jerusalemponeys, &c . , but who have no patronymic right to betermed any thing but Asses.Every association connected with this most interesting animal is classical, venerable, hallowed. At thefeast of the goddess Vesta, who was preserved by thebraying ofan Ass from the attacks of the Lampsacangod, that animal was solemnly crowned; and in anold Calendar still extant the following note is writtenON ASSES. 281against the month of June: " Festum Vestæ-Asinuscoronatur. " As we know that many of our customs arederived from Pagan institutions, is it not probable thatthe crowning of our Laureates originated in this superstition? The Gnostics worshipped this long-eareddeity. In the precincts of the Holy Land, thoughnot invested with idolatrous honour, the Ass was heldin high respect and reverence; and I know not anycontrast of fate more affecting, and reverse of grandeur,even including that of the Jewish nation itself, moreabsolute and wretched, than the present doom of thisoutcast quadruped with its former lot in Palestine,where, as the use of horses was prohibited, the Asswas the royal beast, whose covering was cloth of gold,whose housings were studded with the carbuncle andthe pearl, and whose provender was showered downinto royal mangers. Deborah, addressing her songto the rulers of Israel, exclaims-" Speak, ye thatride on white Asses, ye that sit in judgment. " JairofGilead, we are told, had thirty sons, who rode uponas many Asses, and commanded in thirty cities; andthe holy writer, wishing to exalt the grandeur ofAbdon, one of the judges of Israel, proclaims that hehad forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode uponseventy Asses. According to a tradition of the Jewish Rabbins, one of the ten privileged creatures formedbyGod at the end of the sixth day, was the identicalbeast bestrode by Balaam, the same that Abrahamloaded with wood for the sacrifice of Isaac, whichMoses long after employed to transport his wife andson across the desert, and which, still existing in the282 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES .depths of some unknown and impenetrable wilderness,will continue to be miraculously fed and guardeduntil the advent of their pretended Messiah, when hewill mount upon its back and ride forth to conquerall the nations of the earth.But, leaving these reveries, must we not admit,unless we join Maimonides and Gregory of Nyssa inconsidering the whole story a vision or allegory, thatthe animal whereof we write is the same that, on theflowery banks of Euphrates, saw the Angel of theLord standing before it with a drawn sword, turnedaside thrice into the path of the vineyard, and, whensmitten for crushing its master's foot against a wall,was miraculously endued with speech that it mightrebuke its infatuated rider? When the priests andelders looked forth from the towers and temples andwalls of Hierosolyma towards the valley beneath,where the multitude were filling the air with Hosannas, and spreading palm-branches before the Saviour of the world, who was destined to overthrowthe Sophists of Athens and the Pagan Pontiffs of allconquering Rome, they beheld him riding upon—anAss. Reader! if thou hast been more fortunate thanhe who now addresses thee, and hast been enabled topick up a little book of Heinsius entitled, " LausAsini," I counsel thee to lay it next thy heart, for itdisserts of most long-eared matter, and is rich in asininereminiscences. Doubtless thou hast passed the PonsAsinorum of the mathematicians -thou hast laughedat the punishment inflicted by Apollo upon the Phrygian king-thou hast feasted on the third Dialogue ofON ASSES. 283Lucian, wherein he relates his adventures after beingconverted into an Ass by a sorceress-and hast beenenraptured with Apuleius's most exquisite and imaginative expansion of this fiction; and if thou canststill deny that the Ass who is now passing thy door,instead of being loaded with sand and cabbages, bearsa rich freightage of sacred, classical, and scientific associations and conceits, I tell thee thou art duller"than the fat weed that rots itself at ease on Lethe'swharf," and meritest thyself that appellation whichlimits all thy ideas of the passing quadruped.Poor, shaggy, half-starved, mauled and maltreatedbeast! when I behold thee-" Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,Fallen from thy high estate”-and, alas, too often " weltering in thy blood! " andyet bearing thine insults and torments with a resignation, a fortitude, a heroism, that would do honourto a Stoic philosopher, I am not content with the poet'sexclamation " I love the patient meekness of thyface," but feel tempted to transform the commonwhereon I encounter thee into the greensward of thefairies, that I may say with Titania-"Come, lie thee down upon this flowery bed,While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy."The reader will say that I am full of my subject;and, pleading guilty to the charge, I confess that Iknow no sound more affecting, more pathetic, than284 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.66 the braying of an Ass, " startling the night's dullear." It seems a sense of intolerable wrong," an outpouring of long accumulated griefs, the delivery ofan agonized soul, the hysteric of exhausted patience;and, while the sides distend as if the heart were bursting, and the deep-closing sigh sends its appealingbreath up to Heaven, I have sometimes followed it ,and found delight in imagining that there might notonly be reason for the poor Indian's hope—"Who thinks, admitted to yon equal sky,His faithful dog shall bear him company”—but that these long-eared innocents may be rewardedfor their endurance in some garden of paradisaicalthistles -some Eden of perpetual pasture-some Elysium of clover.What a poor compound is humanity, and howridiculous, as well as ungrateful, is its pride, whenwe see beauty and nobility converting this despisedbeast into a species of parent, and receiving its milkinto their veins as the sole means of health or existence! I have never beheld this unconscious wet-nurseof the wealthy standing at the doors of our proudmansions, without sending my imagination not onlyup-stairs, where the pale sons and daughters of sickness were reclining upon their luxurious sofas, butinto the sheds and penthouses of Knightsbridge orPetty France, where their four-footed foster-brothersand sisters, compelled, like the hairy Esau, to exchange their birthright for a mess of pottage, wereporrecting their long ears at every sound, and en-ON ASSES. 285deavouring to snuff the return of their teemingmothers, in the mingled impatience of defraudedappetite and disappointed affection. No substance isso poor in stimulants for present thought, but that itmay be rendered pregnant in its past concoction andfuture decomposition; and as I have sometimes gazedupon this foal- purloined milk, frothing into a tumbler,I have traced it backwards to the earth when it wasgrass, and to the skies when it was rain; and followingits forward destiny, I have fancied it converted intothe bloom of beauty's cheek, or the sparkle of its eye,or by a still more subtle sublimation refecting andinspiring the brain until it finally evaporate in dazzlingcoruscations of wit. We are all compounds of the samematter, and should therefore learn to sympathise withall its organizations.Although my subject, that I might be strictly asinary, has led me to a grave and serious treatment, it isnot unfertile in more trivial suggestions. In England,where cruelty to animals of all kinds has attained itsmaximum, this Paria of the quadrupeds endures solarge a share of outrage that I have sometimes imagined there must be a special Tophet reserved forits drivers; and as I once fell into conversation withan individual of that class, I endeavoured to explainto him the doctrine of the metempsychosis, insistingon the probability that he would one day be an Asshimself, and receive exactly such usage as he bestowed. Being assured, in answer to his inquirywhether there was any thing " about that there" inthe Bible, that there was grave warranty for the286 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.belief, he appeared staggered, mused a while, andthen exclaimed, “ Vell, Sir, there's von thing, if it'sever so true-I never hits mine over the head; ".-acirc*mstance which so reconciled him to the doctrineof Pythagoras, that he let fall a heavy blow upon hisbeast's crupper, and disappeared. If the Ass benot entitled to rank as an esquire, Cervantes makeshim at least a squire- bearer, whereas the squire himself is only a shield-bearer; aad our long-eared herowas formally dubbed a gentleman by King Charles.A Mayor of Rochester, just at the commencement ofan elaborate address to that Monarch, was accompanied by the loud braying of an Ass, when his Majestyexclaimed, " One at a time, Gentlemen, one at a time."Acommon tradition attributes the black line, or cross,upon the shoulders of this animal to the blow inflictedby Balaam; in allusion to which a witling, who hadbeen irreverently sneering at the miracles in the presence of Dr. Parr, said triumphantly, " Well, Doctor,what say you to the story of Balaam's Ass, and thecross upon its shoulders?"—" Why, Sir, " replied theDoctor, " I say, that if you had a little more of theCross, and a great deal less of the Ass, it would bemuch better for you." Asinger once complaining toSheridan that himself and his brother (both of whomwere deemed simpletons) had been ordered to takeAss's milk, but that, on account of its expensiveness,he hardly knew what they should do.-" Do?" criedSheridan, " why apply to one another, to be sure."Gentle reader, whether of that sex whose limbshang together against the ribs of this forlorn animal,PETER PINDARICS. 287from a side-saddle, or of that more ponderous genderthat doth bestride his narrow back like a Colossus,if in thy summer jaunts to Margate or Brightonthou dost make him minister to thy pleasures, toilingthrough the sun and dust to bear thee to cake- smelling bowers, and tea-dispensing shades, O, bethinkthee of his regal stalls in Palestine, and grudge himnot the thistle by the way-sides: recall his silkenhousings, and have pity on his gored and raggedsides remember his glorious burden in the valley ofCedron, and respect his present wretchedness: museupon the fate of Balaam, and cast away thy staff.PETER PINDARICS.The Auctioneer and the Lawyer.A CITY Auctioneer, one Samuel Stubbs,Did greater execution with his hammer,Assisted by his puffing clamour,Than Gog and Magog with their clubs,Or that great Fee-fa-fum of war,The Scandinavian Thor,Did with his mallet, which ( see Bryant'sMythology) fell'd stoutest giants: —For Samuel knock'd down houses, churches,And woods of oak and elm and birches,With greater ease than mad OrlandoTore the first tree he laid his hand to.He ought, in reason, to have raised his ownLot by knocking others' down;And had he been content with shakingHis hammer and his hand, and taking288 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Advantage of what brought him grist, heMight have been as rich as Christie;—But somehow when thy midnight bell, Bow,Sounded along Cheapside its knell,Our spark was busy in Pall-mallShaking his elbow, -Marking, with paw upon his mazzard,The turns of hazard;Or rattling in a box the dice,Which seem'd as if a grudge they boreTo Stubbs: for often in a trice,Down on the nail he was compell'd to payAll that his hammer brought him in the day,And sometimes more.Thus, like a male Penelope, our wight,What he had done by day undid by night:No wonder, therefore, if, like her,He was beset by clamorous brutes,Whocrowded round him to prefer Their several suits.One Mr. Snipps, the tailor, had the longestBill for many suits-of raiment,And naturally thought he had the strongest Claim for payment.But debts of honour must be paid,Whate'er becomes of debts of trade;And so our stilish auctioneer,From month to month throughout the year,Excuses, falsehoods, pleas alleges,Or flatteries, compliments, and pledges.When in the latter mood one day,He squeezed his hand, and swore to pay.-" But when?"—" Next month.-You may depend on't,My dearest Snipps, before the end on't;—Your face proclaims in every feature,You wouldn't harm a fellow- creature1PETER PINDARICS. 289You're a kind soul, I know you are, Snipps."" Ay, so you said six months ago;But such fine words, I'd have you know,Butter no parsnips."This said, he bade his lawyer drawA special writ,Serve it on Stubbs, and follow itUp with the utmost rigour of the law.This lawyer was a friend of Stubbs;This is to say,In a civic way,Where business interposes not its rubs;For where the main chance is in question,Damon leaves Pythias to the stake,Pylades and Orestes break,And Alexander cuts Hephæstion;But when our man of law must sue his friends,Tenfold politeness made amends.So when he meets our Auctioneer,Into his outstretch'd hand he thrust hisWrit, and said, with friendly leer," My dear, dear Stubbs, pray do me justice;In this affair I hope you seeNo censure can attach to meDon't entertain a wrong impression;I'm doing now what must be doneIn my profession.”-" And so am I," Stubbs answer'd with a frown,So crying "Going-going-going-gone!"He knock'd him down! -VOL. 1.290 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.The Gouty Merchant and the Stranger.IN Broad- street Buildings, on a winter night,Snug by his parlour fire a gouty wightSate all alone, with one hand rubbinHis leg roll'd up in fleecy hose,While t'other held beneath his noseThe Public Ledger, in whose columns grubbing,He noted all the sales of hops,Ships, shops, and slops,Gum, galls and groceries, ginger, gin,Tar, tallow, turmerick, turpentine, and tin.When, lo! a decent personage in blackEnter'd, and most politely said,"Your footman, Sir, has gone his nightly track,To the King's Head,And left your door ajar, which IObserved in passing by,And thought it neighbourly to give you notice."" Ten thousand thanks-how very few get,In time of danger,Such kind attentions from a stranger!Assuredly that fellow's throat isDoom'd to a final drop at Newgate.He knows, too, the unconscionable elf,That there's no soul at home except myself.""Indeed!" replied the stranger, looking grave;" Then he's a double knave.He knows that rogues and thieves by scoresNightly beset unguarded doors;And see how easily might oneOf these domestic foes,Even beneath your very nose,THE CAVE OF THE ENCHANTRESS. 291Perform his knavish tricks, —Enter your room as I have done,Blow out your candles-thus-and thus,Pocket your silver candlesticks,And walk off-thus."-So said so done he made no more remark,Nor waited for replies,But march'd off with his prize,Leaving the gouty merchant in the dark,THE CAVE OF THE ENCHANTRESS.66 Che trar di sotto a i chiusi marmiPuò corpo estinto, e far, che spiri, e senta:che al suon de' mormoranti carmiFin nella reggia sua Pluto spaventa,E i suoi Demon negli empj ufficj impiegaPur come servi; e gli discioglie, e lega.”TASSO.PASSING through Calabria last year, on my returnfrom Greece, I found myself near the site of the ancient Apollonia, in whose neighbourhood, accordingto Plutarch, a sleeping Satyr was once caught, andbrought to Sylla as he returned from the Mithridaticwar; but as his inarticulate voice, partaking both ofthe neighing of a horse and the bleating of a goat,prevented him from making any intelligible answer tointerrogatories, the Roman spurned from him a creature which seemed to partake more of the bestial thanof the human nature. As caves and grottos seldom0 2292 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.disappear, I thought it not unlikely that the one inwhich this monster was stated to have been discoveredmight still exist; and on making inquiry of the peasants, I was informed that there was a large subterranean opening into the rocky earth at about fourmiles distance, which was reported to be of considerable extent, but that no good Christian cared to visit it,because it was haunted by an enchantress, or modernWitch of Endor, who possessed the terrific power ofraising up the phantoms of whatever dead personsmight be named by her visitants. This superstitiouslegend, as I deemed it, only making me more anxiousto investigate the spot, I procured a guide, with whomI traversed a singularly wild and romantic country inthe direction of the sea, much musing whether thebeing I was to encounter would present herself to meunder the appearance of some ancient Pythoness, ofthe Cumaan Sibyl, the Nymph Egeria, whose subterranean mode of residence she imitated, Circe, Medea,or any other prophetess of the classic ages; whethershe would prefer the semblance of Alcina, Melissa,Armida, the fairy Morgana, or some of those enchantresses who figured in the days of chivalry; or whether, finally, she might assume the guise of the WeirdSisters, and so " hold the word of promise to my earto break it to my hope," or condescend to personate avulgar witch, and resemble some of those numerousold hags who were condemned to the stake to confirmthe treatise upon witchcraft and demonology, writtenby his most learned and sacred Majesty King Jamesthe First. In the midst of these meditations we reachedTHE CAVE OF THE ENCHANTRESS. 293the entrance of the cave, which my guide contemplatedwith a profound horror; and as no entreaties wouldprevail upon him to enter, I took a pistol in eachhand, being in sooth somewhat apprehensive of banditti, though perfectly undismayed by any fear of supernatural adversaries, and marched slowly forwardinto the mouth of the aperture.From the appearances of the interior, I should conjecture it to have served as a place of refuge for somepious hermit of the early ages, rude seats being hewnout of the rock, and sufficient light admitted by tunnels communicating with the surface to enable a person to read in any part without difficulty. Passingthrough a narrow passage at the extremity of the firstporch I entered a second, where, to my infinite amazement, I beheld a young and beautiful female gazingearnestly upon a large book: her complexion waspale, and her dark hair parting at the top of her head,and falling on each side upon her shoulders, discovered a high and fair forehead, with a finely carved brow, which seemed to be the seat of intensethought. So much was she absorbed in study, thatshe did not observe my entrance until I intercepted aportion of the light that fell upon the volume, when,without expressing any surprise or alarm, she turnedtowards me, and said with a gentle voice-" You area stranger; why do you invade my solitude?" Simpleas was the question, I hardly knew what reply tomake, stammering out with some hesitation, thatI had no excuse for my intrusion but curiosity, excited by the marvellous stories related by the peasants294 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.of the surrounding district; although I assured herthat I put no faith in the absurd rumours of her supernatural powers, particularly of her ability to raiseapparitions of the dead. " And why not?" shecalmly resumed. " Is not every thing that, the earth, the sea, the sky, with their respectivetenants, and all the glorious pageant of nature, a mystery and a miracle? Will you believe in innumerablethings that are incomprehensible, because they are offrequent occurrence, and refuse to credit one because itis rare? Is it more wonderful that men should reappear than that they should live and die? Speak;name the mortal, either of the past or present times,whom you would wish to behold. "Startled at the determined confidence of her tone,which I attributed to the delusions of some mentalhallucinations, rather than to any consciousness ofsupernatural power, I felt somewhat embarrassed byher command, although resolved to put her assumedmagic to the test of proof. Having lately been reperusing Sappho's Hymn to Venus, preserved byDionysius of Halicarnassus, as well as her celebratedode, so indifferently imitated by Catullus, and so admirably translated by our Ambrose Phillips, one ofthose sudden associations of thought for which thereis no accounting suggested her at that moment to mymind, and I suddenly exclaimed-" Sappho, thepoetess. " —" Behold her!" said the female, and quietlyresumed her studies.Turning eagerly round, I observed for the firsttime that one side of the grotto was covered by aTHE CAVE OF THE ENCHANTRESS. 295black curtain, which began slowly to arise; but whatwords can express the wonder with which I was bewildered and astonished, when, as the mysterious draperybecame completely upfurled, I found myself gazingupon the island of Delos, in the Egean Sea, with anintuitive knowledge of the localities that surroundedme, and even of the living personages that figured inthe scene. Ancient tradition having asserted that itwas a floating island until Jupiter " Immotamquecoli dedit, et contemnere ventos," I at first imaginedthat it had again broken from its rocky moorings andbeen wafted up to the mouth of the cave; but a moment's observation dissipated this fancy, for I seemedto be standing in the centre of the island, surroundedby a vast multitude of people, who were assembled tocelebrate the great quinquennial Festival of Apollo.Before me was the beautiful Temple of that deity,forming the principal ornament of a city, watered bythe little river Inopus, behind which rose Mount Cynthus, covered with laurel groves. The sun had notyet risen; but the moon was full, and Diana, as ifanxious to show all honour to her brother deity,poured from the heavens a steady and resplendentlight, illuminating the whole group of the Cyclades,and diffusing a rippling brightness over the Egean,whose waves laid themselves gently down upon theyellow sands of the island with a hushing sound.The ocean was covered with vessels from the SaronicSea to the Hermaic Gulf on the west, and from theIcarian Sea to the Hellespont on the east, their whitesails alternately catching and losing the moonbeams,296 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.and their oars, as they cut the glittering waters, appearing to flash like meteors. All were loaded withvotaries, bearing offerings of statues, pictures, andcostly presents, or with visitants from various parts,hurrying to witness this magnificent festival. TheIonians were there with their wives and children, thenatives of Thessaly, Boeotia, Arcadia, and Argolis;and even the remote Hyperboreans had freighted abark with the tribute of their first fruits.But that which excited most attention was the splendid deputation of the Athenians, in five handsomevessels, headed by the sacred galley called Paralus,which was said to have been preserved from the timesof Theseus, and during whose absence from Athensno criminal could be executed. Crowding with otherinhabitants to the beach, I saw the Deliastes descendfrom it, followed by the four priests of the family ofthe Ceryces, who claimed Mercury for their ancestor;the priestesses called Deliades, all crowned with laurel;and lastly, the dancing-girls, attended by Philammon,whom Plutarch mentions as the inventor of the sacreddances used at Delphi. As it was customary to rehearse their performance beforehand, they danced, assoon as they landed, the Geranon, intended by itsfigure to represent the turns and intricacies of theLabyrinth.By the time this was concluded, a thin grey lighthad stolen over the deep blue of the eastern heavens,which, gradually assuming a rosy hue, deepened at lastinto those golden flushes which fly up the sky to announce the coming of the god of day. At this sightTHE CAVE OF THE ENCHANTRESS. 297the multitude, with the priests and priestesses, the officers ofthe sanctuary, and all those who were to figurein the ceremonies, arranged themselves in order in frontof the Temple, anxiously gazing towards the quarterwhence their deity was to arise; and as soon as theupper surface of his fiery orb became visible abovethe horizon, the whole assembled people sunk uponone knee, and stretching their right hands to theeast, shouted out simultaneously- "Apollo! Apollo!Apollo!" leaving a short interval between each exclamation. The seas and islands, and the blue concave of the air, reverberated the sound, and as I contemplated the illuminated countenances and glisteningeyes of this vast assemblage, and, upon turning to theeast, beheld the sun's disk now fully developed, Icould not help imagining that he had quickened hisuprising at this triumphant summons, and that he casta complacent smile upon this crowd of kneeling votaries, assembled in the island which his rays had firstvivified after the great Ogygian deluge.Musical instruments now sounded a solemn prelude,' and the whole body of the priests and choristersunited their voices in the following chaunt:" Hail to Apollo, the magnificent, the beautiful,Glorious God of Creation;Celebrate his jubilee with sacrifices dutiful,And hymns of devout adoration;"which was followed by an animated Pæan from thePriestesses:" God of the Earth!-God ofthe Earth!Our praises we pour from the place of thy birth:-0 5298 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.May our Pæans and cries, with our Holocausts, riseTo thy dwelling on high, O thou Lord of the skies!"The sacred band now falling back on either side tothe sound of the dulcimer, tabret, lute, the silvercythern, and the Phrygian pipe, I perceived in thecentre her whom I had ordered to be summoned-thepoetess Sappho; the cincture that bound her whitegarments fastened by a golden sun, and her blackhair and laurel wreath attached by a similar clasp.Of low stature, dark complexion, and features farfrom beautiful, there was yet something indescribablyinteresting, and even fascinating, in her appearance.It exhibited nothing wanton or immodest, and thoughher burning blood seemed to flush through her faceand every part of her naked throat and arms, a highand holy intelligence sate with such a redeeming virtueupon her brow, that I pronounced her to be a mental,rather than a sensual voluptuary. As a votaress ofVenus, love was her religion; as an exalted poetess herself, she reverenced intellect in others: and when thesefeelings combined to produce an intense excitement ofall her ideas and sensations, both of heaven and earth,I easily imagined that she could abandon herself totheir beatitudes with a passionate enthusiasm both ofthe head and heart, of the senses and affections, whichmight well terminate in that deliquium and ecstasyshe has so eloquently described in her ode. In modern times she would have been a devotee-a fanatic-perhaps a maniac or a martyr; but she would havebeen cold and chaste, for the same reason that shewas susceptible and amorous-because her religion en-THE CAVE OF THE ENCHANTRESS. 299joined it. Her modest and dignified rebuke of Alcæus, preserved by Aristotle, and her unalterable constancy to Phaon, for whom she finally sacrificed herlife, confirm this view of her character, and seem torefute every imputation of gross or promiscuous attachment.Adead silence pervaded the whole multitude as shestepped forward a few paces and made a gracefulreverence to the sun. Methought her languid eyesat first justified her own phrase of the Όψεων υπολείψεις,but she had no sooner swept the golden lyre she heldin her hand, than they became animated with a holyrapture; she then extended both arms to the god ofday, and in a voice of surpassing sweetness began-" Twin-born of Dian! "-when, lo! the envious curtainsuddenly fell, and I found myself alone with the Enchantress of the Cave!" By all that is beautiful and mysterious!" I passionately exclaimed, " disappoint me not thus!" and Iwas rushing forward to tear down the drapery thatrobbed me of this glorious vision, when she cried inan authoritative voice-" Rash man, forbear! youhave seen my power; provoke not its exercise againstyourself. You demanded to see, not to hear, thepoetess; -have you not been gratified? "-" O fully,most fully! And if this enchanting pageant must nomore be seen, I have only to submit with gratitude,and depart; trusting that ere I quit this vicinity I mayagain be allowed to visit your abode, and witness somenew display of your inexplicable power."-" That isunnecessary; you may summon me to your presence300 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.66whenever you think fit."-Startled at an announcement which suggested to my mind that I might beassociating myself with some of the manifold incarnations of the arch-fiend, I replied with some hesitationBy what name shall I invoke you, and how shallI obtain dominion over your magical incantations?”-"You yourself," said the female with a playful smile,can best judge of your implicit power over me andmy enchantments, when I inform.66is-IMAGINATION."you that my namePETER PINDARICS.The Fat Actor and the Rustic.CARDINAL Wolsey was a manOf an unbounded stomach, Shakspeare says,Meaning (in metaphor) for ever puffingTo swell beyond his size and span;But had he seen a player of our daysEnacting Falstaff without stuffing,He would have own'd that Wolsey's bulk idealEquall'd not that within the boundsThis actor's belt surrounds,Which is, moreover, all alive and real.This player, when the peace enabled shoals Of our odd fishesTo visit every clime between the poles,Swam with the stream, a histrionic Kraken,Although his wishesMust not in this proceeding be mistaken,For he went out professionally-bentTo see how money might be made, not spent.PETER PINDARICS. 301In this most laudable employHe found himself at Lille one afternoon;And that he might the breeze enjoy,And catch a peep at the ascending moon,Out ofthe town he took a stroll,Refreshing in the fields his soulWith sight of streams, and trees, and snowy fleeces,And thoughts of crowded houses and new pieces.When we are pleasantly employed, time flies;He counted up his profits, in the skies,Until the moon began to shine,On which he gazed awhile, and then66 Pull'd out his watch, and cried-" Past nineWhy, zounds, they shut the gates at ten! "-Backwards he turn'd his steps instanter,Stumping along with might and main;And though ' tis plainHe couldn't gallop, trot, or canter,(Those who had seen him would confess it, ) heMarch'd well for one of such obesity.Eyeing his watch, and now his forehead mopping,He puff'd and blew along the road,Afraid of melting, more afraid of stopping,When in his path he met a clownReturning from the town." Tell me," he panted in a thawing state," Dost think I can get in, friend, at the gate? "" Get in?" replied the hesitating loon,Measuring with his eye our bulky wight,—66 Why- -yes, Sir, I should think you might,A load of hay went in this afternoon."302 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.The Bank Clerk and the Stable-keepers.Shewing how Peter was undoneBy taking care of Number One.OF Peter Prim (so Johnson would have written)Let me indulge in the remembrance;-Peter!Thy formal phiz has oft my fancy smitten,For sure the Bank had never a completerQuiz among its thousand clerks,Than he who now elicits our remarks.Prim was a formalist, a prig,A solemn fop, an office Martinet,One of those small precisians who look bigIfhalf an hour before their time they getTo an appointment, and abuse those elvesWho are not over-punctual, like themselves.Ifyou should mark his powder'd head betimesAnd polish'd shoes in Lothbury,You know the hour, for the three-quarter chimesInvariably struck as he went by.From morning fines he always saved his gammon,Not from his hate of sloth, but love of Mammon.For Peter had a special eyeTo Number One:-his charityAt home beginning, ne'er extends,But where it started had its end too;And as to lending cash to friends,Luckily he had none to lend to.No purchases so cheap as his,While no one's bargains went so far,And though in dress a deadly quiz,No Quaker more particular.PETER PINDARICS. 303This live automaton, who seem'dTo move by clockwork, ever keenTo live upon the saving plan,Had soon the honour to be deem'dThat selfish, heartless, cold machine,Call'd in the City-a warm man.A Bank Director once, who dwelt at Chigwell,Prim to a turtle-feast invited,And as the reader knows the prig well,I need not say he went, delighted!For great men, when they let you slice their meatMay give a slice of loan-a richer treat.No stage leaves Chigwell after eight,Which was too early to come back;So, after much debate,Peter resolved to hire a hack.The more inclined to this because he knewIn London-Wall, at Number Two,An economic stable-keeper,From whom he hoped to get one cheaper.Behold him mounted on his jade,A perfect Johnny- Gilpin figure;But the good bargain he had madeCompensating for sneer and snigg*r,He trotted on, -arrived-sat down,Devour'd enough for six or seven,His horse remounted, and reach'd town,As he had fix'd-exactly at eleven.But whether habit led him, or the Fates,To give a preference to Number One(As he had always done),Or that the darkness jumbled the two gates,Certain it is he gave that bell a drag,Instead of Number Two,Rode in-dismounted-left his nag,And homeward hurried without more ado.304 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Some days elapsed, and no one cameTo bring the bill, or payment claim:He 'gan to hope ' twas overlook'd,Forgotten quite, or never book'dAn error which the honesty of PrimWould ne'er have rectified, if left to him.After six weeks, however, comes a pairOfgroom-like looking men,Each with a bill, which Peter they submit to;One for the six weeks' hire of a bay mare,And one for six weeks' keep of ditto:Together-twenty-two pounds ten!The tale got wind. -What, Peter make a blunder!There was no end of joke, and quiz, and wonder,Which, with the loss of cash, so mortifiedPrim, that he suffer'd an attackOfbile, and bargain'd with a quack,Who daily swore to cure him-till he died;When, as no will was found,His scraped, and saved, and hoarded storeWent to a man to whom, some months before,He had refused to lend a pound.THE LAST OF THE PIGTAILS."The body is the shell of the soul; apparel is the husk ofthat shell; the husk often tells you what the kernel is."QUARLES.No; never will I forgive thee, Frank Hartopp!Hadst thou been mine enemy, I might have obeyedthe divine injunction, and pardoned thee; but as weare no where enjoined to forgive our friends, thouTHE LAST . OF THE PIGTAILS. 305shalt never have absolution for thine offence. Talknot to me of the last of the Romans; thou hadst aprouder distinction, for thou wert the last of the pigtails! And to cut it off, at the solicitation of thyDalilah of a daughter! -verily, Frank, thou mustwear in thy head the instrument that Samson wielded:-it was an act of capillary suicide, a crinigerous felode-se; and were the locks of Berenice, which ascendedfrom the Temple of Venus, to shoot from their constellation, or the golden hair by which Absalom wassuspended in the forest of Ephraim, or the immortalringlet ravished from Belinda, to offer themselves as asubstitute for thy loss, they could neither restore theeto thy former honours, nor to thy pristine place in myesteem. Feeling with that author who could not bearto see an old post grubbed up to which he had beenlong familiarised, what must I endure at the excisionof this appendage, which I had seen hanging from ahead I loved for nearly half a century , until I hadidentified it with my friend as part and parcel ofhimself?Theblow, too, fell upon a wounded spirit; for I hadscarcely recovered the extinction of the last of theco*cked- hats, with which my old friend John Nutt, ofhappy civic memory, had walked away into the otherworld. What a treat was it to me, some of whosesenses have already left me, and gone forward to theland of shadows to announce my speedy coming-- whata treat was it to me, in my walks city-wards, to throwmine eyes over the profane round-hatted vulgar ofFleet-street or Cheapside, and encounter in the distance306 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.the lofty triangular summit of my friend, like someprecious argosy or " huge ammiral" sailing up out ofthe last century, every corner richly freighted withantique reminiscences, and as pregnant with tripleassociations as the trident of Pluto! What a collyriumto my feeble eyes to gaze upon his blue, collarless,basket-buttoned coat, ever fresh in texture thoughvenerable in form, with its circular halo of powderbehind, gradually shading off into that debateable landwhich was daily invaded by pulvillio and daily recovered by the brush! His long-flapped waistcoat wasof the same material and hue; so were his breeches,(for I renounce the new-fangled squeamishness of expressing them by " small clothes;") his narrow stockallowed his worked frill to meander upon his bosom,or wanton in the wind, in sympathy with the ruffleson his sleeve; his powdered wig balanced itself withmajestic curls, like fins, on either side; and behind-(dost thou hear, Frank Hartopp?) there dependeda goodly pigtail. By heavens! I'll have a starlingtaught that word to ring it in thine ear! -John wascharacteristic in every thing, even in epicurism, ofwhich he was the professed high-priest. Methinks Inow behold the peevish expression and drop of theunder-jaw, which would sometimes follow the firstmouthful of venison, and hear the gentle oath withwhich he would excommunicate the gamekeepers, forshooting a buck and leaving it to die slowly whilethey went in pursuit of another. His, however, wasnot the anger of feeling, but of taste; inasmuch asthe animal thus expiring in a feverish state, the fleshTHE LAST OF THE PIGTAILS. 307(to use his own phrase) " ate tough and coddled,instead of being short and crisp in the mouth!" Howimportant and reflective was his look, as his palatetoyed with the first glass of Madeira, ere he pronounced that verdict against which there was no appeal; for to question his authority in a tavern wouldhave been to deny Diana at Ephesus. It was saidthat he could distinguish by the flavour from whatisland a turtle had been imported, and in whatforest a buck had been shot; but these, I apprehend,are fond exaggerations of his disciples. He is sweptinto the invisible world, but his form and figure arestill present to my mind's eye: the warrants of thegrim serjeant cannot be served upon those who residewithin the verge of the imagination; Death himselfcannot prevent our friends from living in our memory.Time, alas! has not left me many with whom I cangrapple in a more tangible form, and I am jealous ofthe smallest fragments of these relics. Three-fourthsof my heart, like an old ivy-plant, are under ground,and I do but cling with a more stubborn and sinewygrasp to that which I can still embrace. The leastchange, even in the external appearance of my remaining friends, is as an uplifted finger, pointing to thegreat metamorphosis impending over them. Theiroutward figure is finally made up in my mind, and Icannot bear to have it altered; they are all remnants,and should consider themselves as having survived thefashions. I miss even an old button from their coats,as if I had lost one of my holdfasts. To me the veryhairs of their head are numbered; and to cut off a308 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.whole handful of my affections at once! -Frank!Frank! if I should pardon thee, how canst thouforgive thyself?Whither am I now to turn these aged eyes, if Iwould seek any thing antique or picturesque in thesurface of society? I see the earth thickly studdedwith black and blue reptiles called men; but as todistinguishing one from another, I might as well attempt to pick out a particular bee from his hive, orant from its nest. The world is nothing now buta monotonous modification of broad-cloth- a hom*ogeneous mass of bipeds; —and so far from encountering those pictorial varieties of costume which give suchgraphic animation to Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims,we have lost even the wig and gold-headed cane ofour Doctors; our co*cked-hats have fallen into asmuch desuetude as the desecrated Tripod of the Pythoness, and the last of our pigtails has been decollated! When I look around me I seem to have survived myself, or to have walked by mistake into awrong century. I hate such a congregation of duplicates as our streets present-such a mass of dittossuch an accumulation of fac-similes —such a civil regiment:—and as if the human monotony were not sufficient, we build our streets so like barracks or manufactories, so mathematically uniform, so much like prolonged honeycombs, that it has always puzzled meto explain how the tenants find their respective cells,even in the day-time. By night, I take it for grantedthat they rarely succeed. If I ever change my residence, it shall be to Regent-street, where there is atTHE LAST OF THE PIGTAILS. 309least a chance of finding my own house; or where, ifI am at a loss, I may at all events describe it as anondescript, belonging to the order of Disorder.3The establishment of mail- coaches accelerated thissocial amalgamation, by conveying the fashions in fouror five days from Bond-street to the Highlands andthe Land's End, and enabling the extremities of theisland to be whisked up to London by four bloodhorses . Bell and Lancaster have completed the process: we can all read and talk alike, though I flattermyself some can still write a little better than theirneighbours: the rural Echoes no longer babble in dialect, and our farmers neither wear cowskin waistcoats,nor rusticise like Hobbinol and Diggon Davy. Character, as to its broad delineations, is blotted out; individuality is extinct: nobody is himself, we are allevery body, and we ought each of us to be designatedas Mr. Community, or Public, Esq. I pity thedramatist who is compelled to see the broad foot ofImprovement (as it is termed) trampling down his harvest, and crushing the very elements and materials ofhis art. We have no longer any genuine quizzes orodd fellows- society has shaken us together in its baguntil all our original characters and impressions havebeen rubbed out, and we are left as smooth and polished as old shillings. Having no angles, we slipthrough the fingers of the play-wright: he might aswell attempt to dramatize a bag of marbles. Can wewonder at the degraded state of the drama, the remaining interest of which is still feebly upheld by agross violation of existing costume, and the retention310 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.of those ancient modes, particularly in our farces,which by stamping the age, character, and professionof the wearer, adapted themselves so happily to dramatic representation.Dress is a greater ingredient in the formation ofcharacter than is generally supposed, and we may bestrictly called, in more senses than one, the creaturesof habit. The Romans were aware of this when theygave their citizens the exclusive jus toga, as a garment which might distinguish them in every quarterof the world, and stimulate them to uphold the national reputation. Our clergymen are restrained fromany public indecorum by respect for their cloth:Quakers carry about with them a drab-coloured Mentor, which sticks closer to them than did Minerva toTelemachus; and the gentlemen of the long robe seein their garment a Janus-like kind of monitor, somewhat resembling the Agatho-demon of Socrates. Asan artificial memory may be created by types and symbols, so we may peruse these woollen didactics untilwe acquire a morality of broad cloth, and derive a character from our wardrobe. Individuals may partakethis sentiment without reference to their profession.Could the wearer of laced garments, when they werein vogue, be seen in any act or situation unworthy ofa gentleman? No; he must act up to his clothes.But now all distinctions of rank are annihilated:hair-powder, the last difference between masters andservants, has vanished; our heads are as much alikeexternally as they are within; we are become a characterless multitude. Elijah's mantle retained hisTHE LAST OF THE PIGTAILS. 311inspiration; but I should wish to know what gifts canbe expected to reside in a poodle upper-benjamin, orwhether artists can extract more from our modernuniforms than the dramatist. What sort of a figureshould we cut in marble? or could any existing Hogarth throw a mass of modern hats into the corner ofhis picture, so that we might individualize every one,and appropriate it to its owner amid the group of living figures? The drab-coloured Quakers have neveryet produced an artist; and the black and blue oneswill probably be no better provided should the present modes continue.But worse than this confusion of ranks is the levelling and jumbling of ages by this preposterous omniparity of appearance. It was but last week that ayoung acquaintance of mine overtaking, as he imagined, a fellow-collegian, and saluting him with ahearty slap on the back and the exclamation-" Ah!Harry, is it you?" found he had nearly knocked thebreath out of his own grandfather! These pedestriananachronisms, these walking impostors, these liars inbroad-cloth, these habitual cheats, all ought to be sentto Bridewell; for if the reputation of juvenility be agood, is it not felonious to obtain it under false pretences? Every superannuated Adonis and “ Dandyof sixty" should be shut up with all the grandmothersof the Loves in a House ofmutual correction. What!is the tailor to be our modern alchymist, and takemeasure ofus for a new youth? Is his magical gooseto lay the golden egg which we may resolve into thetrue aurum potabile and elixir vita? Are his scissors312 GAIETIES AND dash the fatal shears from the hand of Atropos,and is he to pass the thread of life through his needle?Some of our juvenile septuagenaries, who strive toescape a second childhood by never going out of thefirst, seem besotted enough to imagine that they canstop the great wheel of Time by stuffing their wigsand co*cked-hats between the spokes, and blunt thescythe of Death by wreathing it with bunches of touchme-not, as the Tyrannicides, Harmodius and Aristogiton, twined roses around their swords. As wellmight they expect to arrest the progress of senility bystopping their watches, or ensure a perpetual springby sticking artificial primroses in their button-holes.Let them " bid Taliocotius trim them the calves oftwenty chairmen," and if he obey the summons, I willcredit the possibility of their rejuveniscence; let themimitate Sinbad the Sailor, and shake the old man fromtheir shoulders, and I will allow them to be coveredwith a youthful habit. Rather should they recollectthe reproach of Fontenelle to a greybeard who haddyed the hair of his head black-" Sir, it is easy tosee that you have worked more with your jaws thanyour brains." The old Frenchman who refused totake physic because he was in hopes death had forgotten him, and was afraid of putting him in mind, hadbetter plea for his folly than these ancient simpletons,who hope to sneak by him in the disguise of boy'sclothes. When any such are detected and carried offby the hawk-eyed King of shadows, I recommendtheir friends to insert their deaths in somewhat the following style: " Died in the full flower of his poodlePETER PINDARICS. 31366great-coat, aged eighty" or, " Cut off in the primeofhis Cossack trowsers, aged threescore and ten❞—or,Suddenly snatched from his friends in the first yearof his Petersham hat, and sixty-seventh of his age”-Mr. such-a-one. And should I myself survive a certain friend, which I hardly wish now that he has disfigured himself so piteously, I will take care to perpetuate that which he has vainly endeavoured to cutoff from my recollection, by inscribing on his tomb—" Here lies Frank Hartopp, the last ofthe Pigtails.'"9PETER PINDARICS.Piron and the Judge ofthe Police.PIRON, a poet of the Gallic nation,Who beat all waggish rivals hollow,Was apt to draw his inspirationRather from Bacchus than Apollo.His hostess was his deity,His Hippocrene was eau-de-vie,And though ' tis saidThat poets live not till they die,Whenliving he was often dead, —That is to say, dead drunk. " While I,”Quoth Piron, " am by all upbraidedWith drunkenness, the vilest, worst,Most base, detestable, degraded,Of sins that ever man repented,None ofyou blames this cursed thirstWith which I'm constantly tormented.VOL. I. P314 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Worse than a cholic or a phthisic,E'en now it gripes me so severely,That I must fly to calm it, merelySwallowing brandy as a physic.”—To cure this unrelenting feverHe pour'd such doses through his lips, heWas shortly what the French call ivre,' Anglicè-tipsy;And while the midnight bell was pealingIts solemn tolling,Our Bacchanal was homeward reeling,Tumbling and rolling,Until at last he made a stop,Suffering his noddle, which he could not keepUpright, upon the ground to drop,And in two minutes was asleepFast as a topRound came the guard, and seeing him extendedAcross the gutter,Incompetent to move or utter,They thought at first his days were ended;But finding that he was not dead,Having lost nothing but his head,They popp'd him on a horse's back,Just like a sack,And shot him on the guard-house floor,To let him terminate his snore.Next morning, when our tippling bardHad got his senses,They brought a coach into the yard,And drove him off to answer his offences,Before the judge ofthe police,Who made a mighty fuss and clamour;But, like some justices of peace,Who know as much oflaw as grammar,Was an egregious ninny-hammer.PETER PINDARICS. 315"Well, fellow," cried the magistrate,"What have you got to say for boozing,Then lying in the streets and snoozingAll night in that indecent state?”"Sir," quoth the culprit to the man oflaw," It was a frost last night in town,And tired of tripping, sliding, and slipping,Methought I might as well lie down,And wait until there came a thaw.""Pooh! nonsense! psha!Imprisonment must be the lotOf such a vagabond and sot.But tell me, fellow, what's your name?”" Piron."-" The dramatist?" " The same. ""Ah, well, well, well, Monsieur Piron,Pray take your hat and quit the court,For wags like you must have their sport;But recollect, when you are gone,You'll owe me one, and thus I show it:I have a brother who's a poet,"And lives as you do by his wits."Quoth Piron, "that can never pass,For I've a brother who's an ass,So we are quits."The Farmer and the Counsellor.A COUNSEL in the Common Pleas,Who was esteem'd a mighty wit,Upon the strength of a chance hitAmid a thousand flippancies,And his occasional bad jokesIn bullying, bantering, browbeating,Ridiculing and maltreatingWomen or other timid folks,In a late cause resolved to hoaxP 2316 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.A clownish Yorkshire farmer-oneWho, by his uncouth look and gait,Appear'd expressly meant by FateFor being quizz'd and play'd upon:So having tipp'd the wink to thoseIn the back rows,Who kept their laughter bottled downUntil our wag should draw the cork,He smiled jocosely on the clown,66 And went to work.' Well, Farmer Numscull, how go calves at York?"Why-not, Sir, as they do wi' you,66But on four legs instead of two."“ Officer!” cried the legal elf,Piqued at the laugh against himself,"Do pray keep silence down below there.Now look at me, clown, and attend,Have I not seen you somewhere, friend?"-"Yees-very like-I often go there. ""Our rustic's waggish-quite laconic,”The counsel cried with grin sardonic;-" I wish I'd known this prodigyThis genius of the clods, when IOn circuit was at York residing.-Now, Farmer, do for once speak true, -Mind, you're on oath, so tell me, youWho doubtless think yourself so clever,Are there as many fools as ever66 In the West Riding?"Why no, Sir, no; we've got our share,But not so many as when you were there."PETER PINDARICS. 317The Collegian and the Porter.AT Trin. Coll. Cam.-which means, in proper spelling,Trinity College, Cambridge, there residedOne Harry Dashington-a youth excelling .In all the learning commonly providedFor those who choose that classic stationFor finishing their education: -That is he understood computingThe odds at any race or match;Was a dead hand at pigeon-shooting;Could kick up rows-knock down the watchPlay truant and the rake at random—Drink-tie cravats and drive a tandem.Remonstrance, fine, and rustication,So far from working reformation,Seem❜d but to make his lapses greater,Till he was warn'd that next offenceWould have this certain consequenceExpulsion from his Alma Mater.One need not be a necromancerTo guess that, with so wild a wight,The next offence occurr❜d next night,When our Incurable came rollingHome as the midnight chimes were tolling,And rang the College bell. —No answer.—The second peal was vain-the thirdMade the street echo its alarum;When to his great delight he heardThe sordid Janitor, old Ben,Rousing and growling in his den." Who's there? —I s'pose young Harum- scarum."""Tis I, my worthy Ben-'tis Harry."Ay, so I thought—and there you'll tarry.318 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.""Tis past the hour-the gates are closed,You knowmy orders-I shall loseMy place if I undo the door.”—" And I" (young Hopeful interposed)"Shall be expell'd if you refuse,So prythee"- -Ben began to snore.—" I'm wet," cried Harry, "to the skin;Hip! hallo! Ben! -don't be a ninny;Beneath the gate I've thrust a guinea,So tumble out and let me in. "66 Humph!" growl'd the greedy old curmudgeon,Half overjoy'd and half in dudgeon,"Now you may pass; but make no fuss,On tiptoe walk, and hold your prate."."Look on the stones, old Cerberus,"Cried Harry as he pass'd the gate," I've dropp'd a shilling-take the light,You'll find it just outside---good night."Behold the porter in his shirt,Cursing the rain which never stopp'd,Groping and raking in the dirt,And all without success; but thatIs hardly to be wonder❜d at,Because no shilling had been dropp'd;So he gave o'er the search at last,Regain'd the door, and found it fast!-With sundry oaths, and growls, and groans,He rang once twice-and thrice; and then,Mingled with giggling heard the tonesOf Harry mimicking old Ben."Who's there?-'Tis really a disgraceTo ring so loud-I've lock'd the gateI know my duty-'Tis too lateYou wouldn't have me lose my place?"-PETER PINDARICS. 319"Psha! Mr. Dashington: remember,This is the middle of November,I'm stripp'd; ---'tis raining cats and dogs.”"Hush, hush!" quoth Hal; " I'm fast asleep;"And then he snored as loud and deep66 As a whole company of hogs:But, harkye, Ben, I'll grant admittanceAt the same rate I paid myself."Nay, master, leave me half the pittance,"Replied the avaricious elf."No: all, or none a full acquittance:The terms, I know, are somewhat high;But you have fix'd the price, not I—I won't take less;-I can't afford it."So, finding all his haggling vain,Ben, with an oath and groan of pain,Drew out the guinea, and restored it."Surely you'll give me," growl'd th' outwittedPorter, when again admitted," Something, now you've done your joking,For all this trouble, time, and soaking."" Oh, surely-surely," Harry said;“Since, as you urge, I broke your rest,And you're half drown'd, and quite undress'd,I'll give you leave to go to bed."320 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.ROUSSEAU'S HERMITAGE.-O qui me gelidis in vallibus HæmiSistat, et ingenti ramorum protegat umbrâ!O WHAT picturesque, what romantic associationsdid I connect with this spot! A hermitage in themidst of woods is abstractedly scenic and piquant tothe fancy; but when I recollected the glowing andpastoral beauties with which this morbid enthusiasthad invested it in his Confessions-when I called tomind that he had here composed some of his mosttouching effusions, and had attributed their fervour tothe inspiration of these sylvan and sequestered haunts,my imagination was disposed to run riot in the luxuriance of its rural shadowings. I had determined,however, that the Hermitage itself was a kind of Swisscottage, somewhat like those in the gardens of thelittle Trianon, the trellis-work of whose latticed windows was nearly hidden by clusters of roses, jessamin,and honeysuckle; while acacias, mountain-ash, laburnum, and other flowering trees, gracefully threw theirvaricoloured foliage over the roof, contrasting finelywith the gigantic boughs and impenetrable shade ofthe forest in which the whole was embowered. Alas!this inauspicious day was but a tissue of disappointments. After toiling up the hill of Montmorency, Ilooked around me, and if its valley be in reality whatit is generally stated to be, -one of the most picturesque and romantic spots in France, -I can only say,So much the worse for France. I agree with theROUSSEAU'S HERMITAGE. 321Parisian, who pronounced that the view from Richmond Hill would be no great matter, ifyou took awaythe wood and water, for here they are both wanting,and the prospect is precisely as he states-no greatmatter. The town itself is small and shabby, andwould be little known but from its vicinity to theHermitage, and the influx of pilgrims to visit it, forwhose accommodation a large and well-appointed establishment of donkeys is in perpetual readiness. Notchoosing to avail ourselves of this conveyance, wewalked along a winding road, which led to the pointof attraction, and Kere we did encounter the prettiestand most pastoral scene imaginable. A sudden dipof the path left some high and broken ground on ourleft, thickly planted with the finest walnut-trees wehad yet seen.The sound of music induced us toelimb this ascent, and upon the summit, under theshade of outspreading boughs, was a group of peasantgirls dancing quadrilles, all attired alike in their Sunday costume, (for it was the Sabbath-day, ) consistingof crimson cotton gowns, black aprons, and elegantlyworked caps; while the band had converted a grassybank into an orchestra, and the parents, seated onbenches, or reclining upon the ground, encircled thewhole assemblage. Nothing could be more melodramatic than the dresses, scenery, dancing, and tout-ensemble of this picturesque little company; and yetnothing could be more unaffected, simple, and modest,than the air of the performers. It seemed a spontaneous effusion of tranquil enjoyment; and was rendered doubly attractive to us, whatever it might be toP 5322 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.the parties concerned, by the absence of men, who inthis country are in woeful discordance with all pastoralassociations. Unwillingly quitting this primitive scene,we bent our steps to the Hermitage, which we foundto be a common-place, square, vulgar house, in thecourt-yard of which stood a carriage, no very hermitlike appendage. Passing through some shabby rooms,we were ushered into the far-famed garden, a small,formal, square enclosure, surrounded by walls, in onecorner of which was a poor bust of Jean-Jacques,with some lines by his quondam patroness; in anotherwas a bust of Gretry, the musician, who tenanted thehouse after Rousseau; and at the extremity was amiserable miniature attempt at rusticity, consisting ofa cork-screw walk, a gutter with a large stone or two,meant to imitate a cascade and rock, and that indispensable article in all French gardening, a little basinwith ajet d'eau. " O what a falling off was here!"Disappointed and dejected, I left this paltry cabbagegarden, resolved to plunge for consolation into thewoods of Montmorency; but these have long sincegone to warm ragouts and fricandeaus for the epicuresof Paris, and nothing now exists but some mathematical rows of poplars, and straggling plantations ofyoung trees and underwood. Yet this dry chalkyvalley, glaring with white houses-this forest of twigsand young poplars this co*ckney hermitage, worthy ofMile End or Homerton, the Parisians consider as thebeau idéal of all that is wild, sylvan, and romantic;proudly adducing them as irrefragable proofs of thesuperiority of their own environs, whenever a Lon-ROUSSEAU'S HERMITAGE. 323doner ventures to say a word in behalf of RichmondHill.Almost every eminence in the vicinity of Paris capable of affording a view has been seized by somemonarch or mistress for the construction of a chateau;and if Voltaire and other leading writers of the Frenchhave fixed their Augustan æra of literature in thereign of Louis Quatorze, and decried all deviationfrom this standard of perfection as barbarous, it is notto be expected that succeeding builders of palacesshould depart from the established system of gardening practised by Le Notre under that Grand Monarque,and so happily illustrated in the quincunxes, stars,terraces, parterres, clipped alleys, and verdant sculpture of Versailles. The ostentatious, formal, and artificial style of that age, has not only extended itself bymeans of the Academy to the literature of France, buthas stamped itself upon the taste of the country, andleft a legible impress upon the national character.Magnificence and extent in some degree redeemed theoriginal;—its successors have only meanness andpoverty superadded to the reproach of servile imitation, and this is the character of nearly all the gardensand grounds in the immediate vicinity of the capital.Circ*mstances have conspired to perpetuate the parsimony of nature. The practice of cutting down allthe trees of a certain age for fuel is utterly destructiveof any thing like scenery. Those hoary monarchs ofthe forest, which impart a character of grandeur to theglades they overshadow, and awaken correspondentemotions in the spectator by carrying his thoughts1324 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.into the past and future, are strangers to these purlieus; but there is no lack of slim, sickly shoots, -plantations of underwood, and forests of sticks disposed in rows, with rectilinear avenues. With theexception of the trees that line the roads, and thoseforming the Boulevards, I have not yet seen one ofany apparent age; nor even among these have Icountered a single noble or majestic specimen.


There is nothing fantastical in supposing somegeneral analogy to exist between the features of acountry and the character of its inhabitants. Unconversant with the physical beauties of nature, theFrench know not how to appreciate her moral charms;and as they supply her nigg*rdliness in the one instance by a jet d'eau and an evergreen maze, so theysubstitute for the other, frigid declamation, pedanticrules, and elaborate art. Who can wonder at LaHarpe's declaration, that pastoral poetry is in morediscredit among them than any other species of composition? or at the Abbé de Lille's regretting that the"false delicacy and unfortunate prejudices " of hiscountrymen should have proscribed the style suited tosuch writings? Who can be amazed that they are notonly blind to that fervent, impassioned, and enthusiastic drama, which draws its inspiration from the deepfounts of Nature, but that from the time of Voltairethey have ever flouted it with derision and contempt?Is it not consistent that they should exalt the classical,meaning by that term the productions of Corneille,Racine, and Voltaire, over the romantic, as exemplified in the works of such bunglers as Shakspeare?ROUSSEAU'S HERMITAGE. 325Can we wonder, in fine, that they should utterly failin gardening, and in all those works of art the perfection of which requires an intense feeling of nature ortaste for simplicity; while they are the inventors ofco*cked-hats, hoops, and hair-powder; unrivalled inbijouterie, and all the littlenesses of art; peerless indancing, as far as perfection consists in deviatingfrom all natural attitudes, and paramount in cookery,which necessarily implies a similar departure fromevery thing primitive and simple?Whatever be their other deficiencies, no one can accuse them of being wanting in grandiloquence. -Havethey not, in the very heart of this classical metropolis,fountains of the Elephant, of the Naiad, of Bacchus,and of the Devil; Barriers of Battle, Mount Parnassus, and Hell; a Hospital of Scipio, a Pantheon,Odeon, Gymnasium, Olympic Circus, a Cosmographic Saloon, besides Turkish Gardens, Gardens of theDelta and Tivoli? Not only have they triumphalArches and Columns, but a single Coffee-house of athousand Columns, which is at the same time a lowshabby room, with a fine lady in the bar, and a fewpillars against the walls. May not the traveller whopays attention to their gaudy signs encounter in thesingle street of St. Honoré, the Guardian Angel, theSymbol of Peace, the Palm of Victory, the Triumphof Trajan, the Blush of Aurora, and the Pharos ofLeander? -Even the Christian names of the rabbleare pagan and poetical. The writer, being in want ofa maid-servant, received applications from a Zoe, aRosalie, an Adrienne, two Augustines, one Anastasie,326 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.and one Adèle; the latter of whom, by way of summing up her qualifications, declared that she was of adisposition altogether sweet and amiable, knew howto touch the piano a little, and could sing songs forthe amusem*nt of children. The French of all ranks,and under all circ*mstances, are just as fond of grandiloquence and altisonant phrases as they were in thetime of Sterne. Boileau's maxim, that " one wouldrather tolerate, generally speaking, a low or commonthought, expressed in noble words, than a noblethought expressed in mean language," has not beenlost upon them; for it was exactly adapted to thepride of a people who could more easily obtain thecommand of a thousand sounding words than of asingle fine idea.



"But what so pure which envious tongues will spare?Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair." Port." On me when dunces are satiric,I take it for a panegyric." SWIFT.ANACREON being asked why he addressed all hishymns to women and none to the gods, answered,-" Because women are my deities;" and the ladieswere, no doubt, mightily indebted to him and similar voluptuaries, who set them up in their houses, as certain barbarous nations did their Lares and Lemures,for playthings and ornaments, to be deified when theirowners were in good luck and good humour, and vilipended and trodden under foot in every access of passion or reverse of fortune. Little flattering as is suchpraise, it is still observable that the ancient writersseldom abused the sex " in good set terms," or carriedtheir vituperation beyond the excusable limits of raillery and a joke. Socrates vented only witticismsagainst Xantippe: Xenarchus, the comic poet, innoticing that none but the male grasshoppers sing,exclaims, "How happy are they in having dumbwives!" and Eubulus, another old Grecian jester,after mentioning the atrocities of Medea, Clytemnestra, and Phædra, says it is but fair that he shouldproceed to enumerate the virtuous heroines, when hesuddenly stops short, wickedly pretending that he cannot recollect a single one. Among the Romans we know that Juvenal dedicated his sixth Satire to the abuse of the fair sex, but his worst charge only accuses them of being as bad as the men; and if we are to infer that the licentiousness of his own life was at all equal to the grossness of his language, we may safely presume that his female acquaintance were not among the most favourable specimens of the race. The unnatural state of Monachism has been the bitter fountain whence has flowed most of the still more unnatural abuse of women; the dark ages have supplied all the great luminaries of Misogyny, who have ransacked their imaginations to supply reasons for perverted religion, and excuses for violated humanity. Valerius's Letters to Rufinus, the Golden Book of Theophrastus, and St. Jerome's Exhortations to Celibacy, have furnished all authors, from the Romance of the Rose downwards, with materials for this unmanly warfare-so narrow is the basis on which are grounded all the sorry jests, shallow, arguments, and pitiful scandals of ribalds and lampooners; and so easy is it to obtain a reputation for that species of wit which; as Johnson says of Scriptural parody, " a good man detests for its immorality, and a clever one despises for its facility." . Chaucer's Wife of Bath, Merchant's Tale, &c. all borrowed from the above-mentioned sources, were little more than good- humoured, though gross caricatures; Boileau, whose tenth Satire is a more bitter denunciation, should have recollected, that he was naturally as well as professionally compelled to celibacy, and might have consulted his friend Fontenelle upon the fable of the Fox and the Grapes: it was perhaps to be expected that the melancholy Dr. Young, who undervalued human nature and happiness, should have levelled his shafts against the mas terpiece of one and the dispenser of the other-Woman!--but what shall we say of the contemporary satirists, Pope and Swift, each of whom, after trifling with and inveigling the affections of two accomplished ladies, who sacrificed every thing to the promotion of their happiness, slunk back from marriage, or, if married, were not only mean and cowardly enough to conceal it, but ungrateful enough to publish heartless libels against the whole sex?

Let this be always recollected when any one ventures the hackneyed quotations from Pope, " Every woman is at heart a rake""Most women have no characters at all "—" Thelove of pleasure and the love of sway: " with other citations equally just and novel. As to Swift, he canluckily be seldom quoted in decent company; yeteven he could confess that the grossness and degeneracy of conversation observable in his time were mainlyattributed to the exclusion of women from society.Conscious that this self-spotting calumny is somewhatlike spitting against the wind, modern writers have generally had the good sense to avoid putting themselvesin the way of its recoil; and if a late noble authordelighted to vent his spleen against the sex in general,and his wife in particular, he might plead in his defence that which I believe might be adduced by allsimilar libellers—" Forgiveness to the injured doth belong;They never pardon who commit the wrong."Nor be it forgotten that such men may be only exemplifying the fable of the Painter and the Lion, for itis easier to traduce fifty women than practise onevirtue."Women want the waysTo praise their deeds, but men want deeds to praise."I do not merely admire women as the most beautiful objects of creation, or love them as the solesources of happiness, but I reverence them as the redeeming glories of humanity, the sanctuaries of the330 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.virtues, the pledges and antepast of those perfect qualities of the head and heart, combined with attractiveexternal charms, which, by their union, almost exaltthe human into the angelic character. Taxation andluxury, and struggles for existence, have made ussuch a cold, selfish, plodding nation, that we shouldbe base indeed, were it not for the disinterestednessand enthusiasm of our females, whose romance is necessary to qualify the painful reality of our existence.And yet, from the first moment when I began to reflect, I have always thanked God that I was not borna woman, deeming them the bestowers rather thanenjoyers of happiness-the flower-crowned victimsoffered up to the human lord of the Creation.Passing over the early period of her life, which,however, is one of perpetual restraint and unvariedsubjection to the most self-denying forms and observances, we will suppose a female to have attained afitting age for that great and paramount end of herbeing-marriage. Men have a thousand objects inlife-the professions, glory, ambition, the arts, authorship, advancement, and money-getting, in all their ramifications, each sufficient to absorb their minds andsupply substitutes in case of primary failure; but ifa woman succeed not in the one sole hope of her hazardous career, she is utterly lost to all the purposesof exertion or happiness; the past has been all thrownaway, and the future presents little but cheerless desolation. Love is only a luxury to men, but it maybe termed a necessary to women, both by the constitution of society and the decrees of nature; for she hasSATIRISTS OF WOMEN. 331endowed them with superior susceptibility and overflowing affections, which, if they be not provided withan object, perpetually corrode and gnaw the heart.And what are her feelings and chances in this fearfullottery?-A constant sense of degradation, in beingcompelled to make her whole life a game, a manœuvre,a speculation; while she is haunted with the fear ofultimate failure. And how alarmingly must the number of these involuntary nuns increase with the yearlyaugmenting distress of taxed, and luxurious, and expensive England, where the moral restraint of Malthus, while it inflicts no privations upon the man, condemns the female to an utter blighting of the soul,aggravated, perhaps, by dependency or want. Blistered be the tongue that can ridicule, and paralysedthe hand that can libel, those victims of an artificialand unnatural system who have been unfeelingly taunted as Old Maids! Well could I excuse them, if, inthe bitterness of sickened hope and the idleness of unjoyous solitude, they were even prone to exercise avigilant censorship over the peccadilloes of their morefortunate rivals; but I repel the charge, and cansafely affirm that some of the most amiable, kindhearted, liberal women I have ever known, were inthis calumniated class.One chance of " single blessedness" is still reservedfor these Celibates. Their affections, unclaimed uponearth, sometimes seek a recipient in the skies; responding to the manifestations of divine love whichthey see on every side of them, they draw down religious lightning direct from Heaven, while men seek332 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.conductors, which only guide it towards the earth.-The devotion of the former, as it is founded uponfeeling, may be uninquiring, and have a tendency toenthusiasm, but it will be cheerful and happy, becauseemanating from the heart; the latter approach thissubject with their heads -a process which not unfrequently makes them sceptics, or bigots, or hypocrites.But let us suppose the happier case of a young woman, who, from her beauty or fortune, is sure to receive offers -that is to say, who will attract fools orsharpers, and be taken as a necessary appendage of herface or her purse. Even here, how little selection isallowed to her:---she may reject one, perhaps two; butif the third be merely free from positive objections,prudence urges his acceptance, relations second prudence, and she marries a man because he affords herno good excuse for hating him. The Circassians ofEurope have little more choice than their namesakesof Asia. The happy pair" begin by committing agreat mistake-they withdraw themselves from theworld to spend the honeymoon together: familiarityproduces its usual effects; they see too much of oneanother at first, and the results are exhaustion andennui. She who marries an Idler, who will hang uponher society till she is wearied, and then seek recreation elsewhere, has not so many chances of happinessas the woman whose husband is compelled to tear himself from her company for his duties, and gladly returns to it for his enjoyments.A man's love generally diminishes after marriage,while a woman's increases; both of which resultsSATIRISTS OF WOMEN. 333might have been anticipated: for that appetite, eitherof person or purse, which the Bridegroom too oftendignifies with the name of love, disappears with enjoyment; while the Bride, whose affections were perhaps little interested at first, finds them imperceptiblykindled by a sense of duty, by the consciousness ofher dependence, and the gratifications and noveltywhich her total change of life invariably presents atthe outset. Awakening from this trance, she has leisure to discover that she has made over to her lordand master, strictly and truly so designated, not onlyall her present possessions, but all her future expectations -all that she may even earn by her talents:---shehas not become his servant, for servants, if ill used, maydepart, and try to better themselves elsewhere; but hisserf, his slave, his white negro, whom, according toJudge Buller, (himself a married man, ) he may correct with a stick of the same thickness as his thumb,whatever may be its dimensions. We hear of rosyfetters, the silken chains of love, the soft yoke ofHymen--but who is to bear the soul- grinding bondageof dislike, contempt, hatred? How is a woman toavoid these feelings if she be maltreated and insulted;and how is she to redress her wrongs? The laws, madeby the men, and therefore flagrantly in their own favour, provide no remedy: if she use her sole weapon,the tongue, she is proclaimed a scold, a shrew, and reminded of the ducking-stool; if she make his ownhouse uncomfortable to her husband, every body'selse is open to him; he may violate his marriage- vow,and is still a marvellous proper gentleman; he may334 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.associate with profligates, and his friends exclaim-" Poor man! he has been driven to this by a badwife! If the deserted and injured woman meantimeseek relief from her sorrows in the most innocent recreation, Spite, with its Argus eyes, keeps watch uponher door, and Calumny dogs her footsteps, hissing ather with its thousand tongues, and spitting out liesand poison from every one. Let no man choose mefor umpire in a conjugal dispute. I need not ask whois the delinquent--my heart has decided against himby anticipation.Such, I shall be told, is the result of uncongenialunions; but it is a mistake to suppose that men seekcongeniality in their wives. In friends, who are toshare their sports and pursuits; to accompany themin shooting, hunting, fishing; to talk politics or religion over a bottle; they naturally select similarity oftastes: but women are to do nothing of all this; theyare chosen for their domestic duties, and as these areperfectly distinct from the man's, he looks out for contrast rather than uniformity. Hence the male horrorof Bluestockings, the sneer with which every blockhead exclaims " Our wives read Milton and ourdaughters plays! " the alacrity with which he assumesthat such learned ladies must necessarily " make sloppytea, and wear their shoes down at heel; " and the convincing self-applause with which he quotes the triteepigram66 Though Artemisia talks by fitsOf councils, fathers, classics, wits,Reads Malbranche, Boyle, and Locke," &c.SATIRISTS OF WOMEN. 33566 Let us imagine, not a patient stock-fish, like Griselda, but an accomplished woman, paired, notmatched," with " a sullen silent sot, one who is evermusing but never thinks," an animal who, like Londonsmall-beer, gets sour if not soon drunk; -or united toa drone and a dunce, who lounges all day long beforethe fire, spitting into it like a great roasting apple;-or submitted to the caprices of a man who keeps hisgood temper for company and his bad for his wife;abroad as smiling and promising as a Siberian crab,while at home his heart's core is as sour; -or tormented with a profligate, who But I musthave done, although I have not half finished, for Imight stretch the line to the crack of doom. When Iconsider all the hardships and trials to which the fairsex are subject by those unjust institutions of societywhich exact the greatest strength from the weakestvessel, and reflect, moreover, that Nature has unkindlyimposed upon it all the pains and penalties of continuing the race, I can only repeat once more, that I thankHeaven for not having made me a woman.336 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.ADVERTIsem*nT FOR A DEDICATEE."Thy letters have transported me beyondThis ignorant present time; and I feel nowThe future in the instant." Macbeth." I will contrive some way to make it known to futurity thathad your Lordship for my patron.”SWIFT.I HAVE just completed an Epic Poem, in twentyfour cantos, constructed as Apelles painted his Venus,by combining all the most distinguishing beauties ofmy contemporaries, prosaic and poetical, in one elaborate and immortal work. It is in the octo-syllabicirregular metre: my hero is a sort of civilized savage,uniting all the bursts of passion and ferocious valourof a barbarian with the refined love and unalterableconstancy of a preux chevalier; and after many melting, fierce, and tragical adventures with the heroine,who has a bluish bloom upon her glossy black hair,voluptuous lips, and eyes like the Gazelle, they bothfinally disappear in a mysterious and unexplained manner; making themselves air, like the witches in Macbeth or the spectral figures of a phantasmagoria.Then I have a supernatural nondescript, in the shapeof a crazy beldame, who, however, occasionally assuines the semblance of a deformed imp, or dwarf,seemingly a cross breed between the Pythoness andthe Gipsy, or Caliban and a witch, who reads andprophesies in the fustian style of Bobadil or Pistol,and though he, she, or it, have not wit enough toADVERTIsem*nT FOR A DEDICATEE. 337escape from hunger and rags, is yet gifted with realprescience, made the pivot of the whole plot, all thecomplications of which are forced to wind and evolvein subserviency to the delirious rhapsodies of this inspired hag, or urchin . The propriety of such a character, in a work professing to be a picture of reallife, and founded upon authentic history, as mine is,will not, I think, be questioned by the most hypercritical reader. Moreover, I have a metaphysical muffin-man, who indulges in high and holy musings, philosophises the face of nature, disserts upon the mysteries of creation, delights in the most exalted andprofound abstractions, and occasionally rings his belland cries " Muffins! " with as simple, natural, andpenny-beseeching a look, tempered, however, withdignity, as was ever assumed by Belisarius himself.I have also a; but softly, let me not divulge too much; for in these times of literary competition, a rival author may first steal a hint, and bythat means pick my pocket of my whole story, as hasalready been effected in numerous instances. Onemay submit to be pillaged by the dead, and in thisway it is astonishing what a number of good things Imyself have had stolen from me by Shakspeare andothers; but this plagiarism by anticipation on thepart of the living—this ante-natal robbery, sometimesextending to our very names and attributes, as inthe instance of the unfortunate Peter Bell, -loudlycalls for legislative interference, or we may all of ushave our literary bantlings cut off before they areborn, or see them ushered into the world as forgeriesVOL. I.338 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.of themselves —copied originals -counterfeits of theirown identity.No more glimpses, therefore, no more furtivepeeps, will I afford into the penetralia of my poetictemple. Suffice it to proclaim that I may cry, withArchimedes, " Eureka! I have found it,"-not theproblem he was solving, but the road to immortality;and that the "jamque opus exegi," and the " exegimonumentum," and the " one half of round eternity"with which the Classics flattered themselves at the termination of their labours, appear flat and insipid, ashaving received their accomplishment, when comparedwith my correspondent auguries which have yet toenjoy the gratification of their fulfilment. I haveregularly booked myself as an inside passenger tofuture ages; but I hate travelling alone: there isroom for one more; and as it is customary to advertisefor partners in a trip to Paris, Switzerland, or Naples,so I take this public method of announcing that I canaccommodate any nobleman or gentleman who is willing to become my Dedicatee, with a conveyance to posterity; and should he be married, I will endeavour tooblige his wife (upon a suitable remuneration) with aseat in the dickey. It may be satisfactory to bothparties, before I expound the fare for which I stipulate,that I should say a word or two on the nature of thejourney which we are about to undertake, and the advantages which I have to offer to my companion.First and foremost, I beseech the parties to whom Iaddress myself, to recall the assertion of Horace, thatmany heroes who lived before Agamemnon died un-ADVERTIsem*nT FOR A DEDICATEE. 339celebrated, and have become utterly forgotten forwant of a poet to record their achievements. Tojudge what they have lost, let us contemplate whathas been gained by their more fortunate successorswho have become immortalized in Homer's Iliad.That poem was written about twenty-eight centuriesago, within which period the Roman Empire wasbegun, and has utterly passed away! Conceive, fora moment, the innumerable generations of Greeks,Romans, and barbarians, that have disappeared inthat time, and " left not a wreck behind;" -themighty kingdoms that have successively obtaineddominion over the earth, and passed away likeshadows; the stupendous temples of marble andgranite which have been built and gradually crumbled into dust, while the perishable paper and parchment, rendered buoyant and indestructible by thegenius of Homer, has floated down the stream oftime unaltered and uninjured. The art of printinghas now placed his work beyond the reach of accident, and we may safely predict that it is onlyin the first infancy of its fame; that when the footof Time shall have crushed the pyramids into sand,and the wild Arab shall gallop his camel over theirsite, the poem of Homer will be as popular as it isnow; and that it will not finally perish until " the greatglobe itself and all which it inherit shall dissolve."Well, my worthy readers, noble or gentle, is itnothing to be one of the company in this insubmergible passage-boat, pleasantly sailing down thestream of time till you are proudly launched upon340 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.the ocean of eternity? Such is the nature of thelittle jaunt I propose to you, if you accept a placein my epic ark; but I will candidly avow thatthere is a peculiarity in its structure which maymaterially affect its durability. Alas! the fame ofa modern poem is like the statue set up by Nebuchadnezzar-its feet are of clay. To write in aliving language is like tracing figures upon the seashore: the tide of ages renders it soon indistinct,and at last illegible. Only four centuries haveelapsed since the death of Chaucer, and he is already obsolete: it is probable that the futurechanges of our language will not be so rapid, forShakspeare did much to fix it, and we shall notwillingly run away from a standard which he hasrendered so delightful; but still it is mortifying touse such mouldering materials, and build upon aquicksand. A living language is as a painting-perpetually changing colour and soon perishing;dead one is as a marble statue-always the same.What has occasioned the Greek and Roman tonguesto be preserved, but the beauties of their authors?and why should not the English of the nineteenthcentury live as a dead language, after it is dead asa living one, for the sole purpose of handing downmy immortal epic? I see nothing improbable in thesupposition.aBut even a temporary preservation from oblivion isno trifling boon; and it is an instructive proof of theinnate superiority of low-born pennyless talent overbirth, rank, riches, power, and honour, however grandADVERTIsem*nT FOR A DEDICATEE. 341and distinguished in their fleeting generation, to reflect what nameless nothings some of their once proudpossessors would have now become, but that theythrew their crumbs from their table to some poor devilof an author; and by having their names foisted into aDedication, were preserved from oblivion, as strawsand gilded flies are enshrined in amber, and beetlesand crawling things occasionally eternised in petrifactions. Such is the difference between the aristocracy ofnature and of courts; -the nobility of genius, and thatof stars and ribands. This becomes ludicrously striking, when the author, who holds no patent of nobilitybut that which God has signed, addresses his patron,some titled amateur scribbler, and requests the sanction of his celebrity that he may descend to posteritywith his lordship or his grace, who in the course of afew years is only unearthed from his illustrious obscurity by the digging of commentators.Take for instance, the following passage from Dryden's Dedication of the Rival Ladies, to the RightHonourable the Earl of Orrery: -" I have little rea--son to desire you for my judge, for who could so severely judge of faults as he who has given testimonyhe commits none? Your excellent poems have afforded that knowledge of it to the world, that your enemiesare ready to upbraid you with it, as a crime for a manof business to write so well. ** *** There is nochance which you have not foreseen; all your heroesare more than your subjects—they are your creatures;and though they seem to move freely in all the salliesof their passions, yet you make destinies for themQ 3342 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.66which they cannot shun. They are moved (if I maydare to say so) like the rational creatures of the almighty poet, who walk at liberty in their own opinionbecause their fetters are invisible. *** I have dwelt,my Lord, thus long upon your writings, not becauseyou deserve no greater and more noble commendations,but because I am not equally able to express them inother subjects," &c. &c . Who knows any thing nowa-days of his lordship's plays and poems, except fromthis passage?-Let us make another citation from thesame author's Dedication of " An Evening's Love, "to " His Grace William Duke of Newcastle, one ofhis Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, and ofthe most noble Order of the Garter," &c. &c.—" Methinks I behold in you another Caius Marius, who inthe extremity of his age exercised himself almost everymorning in the Campus Martius, amongst the youthfulnobility of Rome. And afterwards in your retirement,when you do honour to poetry by employing part ofyour leisure in it, I regard you as another Silius Italicus, who, having past over his consulship with applause,dismissed himself from business and the gown, andemployed his age amongst the shades in the readingand imitation of Virgil. " His Grace's plays, like himself, have passed away, leaving nothing but their titlesbehind them; and his literary celebrity is destined tobe solely upheld by his splendid folio on Horsemanship, still occasionally encountered in collections ofscarce rubbish, where, after the roble author has beenengraved in every possible attitude and dress, he is atlength represented mounted on Pegasus, as a poetADVERTIsem*nT FOR A DEDICATEE. 343should be, and in the act of ascending from a circle ofhouyhnhnms, kneeling around him in the act of adoration.But for Pope's exquisite mock-heroic, what shouldwe have known of Lord Petre, the lock-severing peer;or of Mrs. Arabella Fermor, from whom the fatalringlet was excised; or of Sir George Brown, the SirPlume of the Poem, who, in Bowles's splenetic edition,smirks at us in an engraving in all the self-satisfactionof a black wig, embroidered sleeve, and silken sash?After strutting their little hour upon the stage of life,they would long since have sunk into their originaldust, and the passing of a single century would haveoverwhelmed them in impenetrable oblivion.Patrician and wealthy readers! I implore you tobear in mind that Cheops and Cephrenes, who entrusted their preservation to the Pyramids, have beenfilched from their sarcophagi, and nobody knows bywhom. I invite you to contemplate that affecting rebuke of ancestral pride, the burial-place of Thebes,whence the mummies of the whole aristocracy are dugup as fuel, cut into hundred and half hundred weights,and sold to the Arabs for the purpose of heating theirovens. Now, if they had committed the preservationof their name and exploits to some competent poet,they might have abandoned their earthly tegument toits kindred element; -they could not altogether haveperished . Had they been embalmed in verse, theyneed not have been solicitous about pickling theirbodies. I counsel you seriously to perpend what Epicurus wrote to Idomeneus: " All the glory and gran-344 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.deur of Persia, even should you succeed in all yourundertakings, will never equal the honour conferredon you by my letters; "—and that Seneca, writing toLucullus, says; " I have credit with posterity, andcan confer immortality upon you: " both of which assertions have been abundantly verified. But it is useless to multiply examples, or accumulate exhortations.Mine, I repeat, is the sole perpetuity. I have a seatto sell, not in a certain House, but in an imperishablevehicle just about to start for posterity. I have a portion of immortality to dispose of; and that it may befairly knocked down to the highest bidder, I requestthat all offers and tenders may be sent to the publishers, postage paid, it being always understood that thefortunate purchaser of my Dedication must undertaketo get my work noticed in the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews, or I will not answer for the sale of myfirst edition.THE MISERIES OF REALITY .(6Expectation whirls me round;Th' imaginary relish is so sweetThat it enchants my sense."SHAKSPEARE.I WISH I had been born in that bloom and springof the young world which modern phlegmatists presume to denominate the fabulous ages. To have diedthen would have been better than to live now; for me-THE MISERIES OF REALITY. 345thinks I might have left a name alone whose shadowyexistence should have been sweeter than my presentdull and lustreless vitality. When the beautiful Helle. fell from the golden-fleeced ram into the sea, sincecalled the Hellespont, I might, perchance, (for I amas stout a swimmer as Leander, ) have supported herfainting loveliness to the Propontic shore; -might Inot have arrested the flight of Cupid when the fatalcuriosity of the trembling Psyche shook the oil fromher suspended lamp and broke his slumbers; orhave assisted Arethusa in the rescue of Proserpine,when " swarthy Dis" tore her from the flowers shewas gathering " in Enna's field , beside Pergusa's lake,"and so have left my name to be entwined with thoserose-like nymphs in the unfading wreaths of poesy?-Of one thing I am confident; I should have joinedthe expedition of the Argonauts. My feet would haveinstinctively hurried me to the sea-shore,"When Hercules advanced with Hylas in his hand,Where Castor and Pollux stood ready on the strand,And Orpheus with his harp, and Jason with his sword,Gave the signal to the heroes, when they jump'd on board;"for even now I have taken the same leap with myimagination. I feel myself shaking hands with thewarriors and demigods, the sons of Jupiter, Neptune,Bacchus, and the winds, who formed the gloriouscrew; I taste the banquet and hear the music in theCave of Chiron; I see the enamoured Naiads stretching up their white arms to pull the blooming Hylasinto their fountain as he stoops to fill his vase; and Ifeel myself a partaker in the adventures with the346 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Harpies and Sirens, and all the magic and Mysteryof Medea and the Golden Fleece. What a deliciousperpetuity of stimulus and excitement, when the unexplored world was not only a continual novelty,offering fresh nations and wilder wonders with everynew coast that was navigated, or country that wasexplored, but supernatural prodigies, " Gorgons,and Hydras, and chimeras dire," established themselves in every lone mountain and sequestered cave;and the woods, waves, and fields were peopled withşatyrs, fauns, and nymphs; while innumerable deities,hovering in the elements, occasionally presented themselves to human vision! In those imaginative daysthe faculties of man kept bounding from one enchantment to another. All nature was ready-made poetry,and life itself the very quintessence of vitality.Oh, the contrast of the present!-We have passedthrough all the stages of civilization, and arrived atthe antipodes of the fabulous: the world is in its oldage; the fountain of its young fancies is as dry anddusty as a turnpike-road. We have fallen upon evildays, ay, and upon evil tongues too, for there is asuicidal rage for destroying the imaginations of ourown youth, and degrading into bald, hateful allegory,all the poetic visions and romantic illusions of theworld's infancy. It is a dull, plodding, scientific,money-getting, measuring, calculating, incredulous,cold, phlegmatic, physical age-a tangible world,limited to the proof of sense--a horrible æra of fact.Wehave dragged up Truth from the bottom of a well,and looking through her muddy spectacles, refuse toTHE MISERIES OF REALITY. 347see any thing beyond our nose. If it appear toostartling to aver that ignorance is bliss, I can maintain, from my own experience, that it is sometimes amisery to grow wise . With what awful wonder, notuntempered by delight, have I, when a boy, contemplated a Will-o'-the-wisp, or Jack-o'-lanthorn, especially if he performed his luminous minuet in the vicinity of a churchyard; and how intensely was I interested in Dr. Shaw's account of the mysterious ignisfatuus which attended his whole company for abovean hour in the valleys of Mount Ephraim, in theHoly Land; not to mention the numerous balladsand stories illuminated by the presence ofthis ominousflame! —Alas! it never appears to me now; and if itdid, I should only recollect that one nasty philosopherhas assured me it is generated by putrescence; anothermaintains it to be gaseous; and I have the satisfaction of reflecting that, under a new modification, Imay every night see those fine old mysterious personages, Jack and Will, imprisoned in a lamp, andshedding their innocuous light upon the gutters ofThames-street and Pudding-lane. Their near relation, the fire-damp, the destructive agency of which,in mines, has rivetted my attention to many a tale ofterror, has, by another lamp, been rendered so passiveand uninflammable, that he now takes fire at nothing,and affords no materials for sympathy or fear.Thunder and lightning have lost many of theirsublime associations, since I have learnt the theory oftheir production. Every theatre contains a Salmoneus-the electric fluid has been brought down from348 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.Heaven by a Prometheus in the shape of a kite, andwe have even converted it into a plaything, biddingit stream from our knuckles at the working of a glassmachine. Not content with familiarizing and degrading every thing that was grandly real, we have utterlyannihilated all that was strikingly illusory. As tothe man in the moon, whose features I could once distinctly recognize, I take it for granted that he haslong since been had up, or rather down, to Bow-street,and committed as a vagrant. The Patagonian giantsof Magellan, and the nine-feet high Tartarians ofFerdinand Mendez Pinto, have no more real existencethan the Brobdignagians of Swift; and as to the"Anthropophagi, and men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders," our cursed good sense compelsus to laugh at them as ridiculous and unwarrantablefictions. Let no author calculate on being able to invent anything permanently supernatural and appalling;all his impossibilities will be realized, his mysteriesfamiliarized . Does the reader recollect the SpectreBoat in Coleridge's Ancient Mariners, or the StormShip in Washington Irvine's story of Dolph-Heyliger,which, to the consternation of nautical eyes, was seenploughing up the waves at the rate of ten knots anhour in a dead calm, or sailing with great velocityright against the wind and tide, manifestly impelledin this preternatural manner by spectral or diabolicinfluence? These watery apparitions have lost theirterrors the boiling of a kettle has dissolved the mystery; an impalpable vapour performs all these prodigies at once, and we go to Richmond and back inTHE MISERIES OF REALITY. 349the steam-boat, against wind and tide, by the aid ofno other demons than a copper of water and half achaldron of coals. Ghosts of all sorts have been compelled to give up the ghost, and the Red Sea mustpossess incredible shoals of exorcised apparitions. Theunicorn is defunct as an imaginary animal; it hasbeen recently discovered in the interior of Asia, andnow only lives in stupid reality. A stuffed mermaidhas been exhibited in Piccadilly. Sphinxes, griffins,hypogriffs, wiverns, and all the motley combinationsof heraldry, will probably be soon visible at sixpencea-head; while the thought-bewildering family, wizards, and conjurers, spite of the demonology of King James and the authority of the sorceressof Endor, have been all burnt out and obliged tomove over the way-into the verge of history. Ourjudges no longer, like Sir Matthew Hale, fall upontheir knees after condemning an old woman to beburnt for witchcraft, and thank God that they havenot departed from the approved wisdom and venerableinstitutions of our ancestors; but content themselveswith applying the same phraseology to other abusesequally inhuman, and alike destined to correction inthe progress of light and reason. Oberon and Titania,and Puck and Robin Goodfellow, and all the train of" urchins, ouphies, fairies green and white, " who werewont, with tiny feet, to imprint the mystic ring uponour meadows, and drop the magic tester in cleanlychambers, whither are ye fled? Ye are gone, withgiants of mighty bone and bold emprise," topeople the belief of less sensual nations, leaving us tothe "VOL. I. R350 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.grope our lonely way through this ignorant present,these dark ages of the mind, this night of fancy, thistomb of the imagination.I myself, simpleton that I ann, have been instrumental in defrauding my mind of some of its mosthallowed and romantic impressions, by joining therabble rout whom the peace vomited forth to penetrateinto all the sanctuaries of the Continent. Whatvague and reverential notions had I of the interior ofa Catholic church! -how deeply interesting to read,at the commencement of a romance, that " the evening bell was just tolling for vespers, when the beautiful Donna Clara, attended by her Duenna, enteredthe great church of St. Ildephonso, at Madrid!” —and what a rich association of gorgeous shrines, lovelynuns, choral monks, mellow symphonies, floated up atthe bidding of this simple exordium! I have stoodin these churches. Heavens! what a revulsion! —Itis like being admitted behind the scenes at a theatre.I have seen them used as a thoroughfare by portersand errand-boys, making a short cut from one door toanother, first carefully dipping their dirty fingers in apuddle of holy water; —I have gazed upon shrines oftin and tinsel flaring in the sickly light of two farthingrushlights; --I have beheld nuns, old, ugly, and corpulent, with a bundle of keys, relics, and trumpery, attheir girdle; and as to getting a glimpse of even onethat was loveable---filthy hags! I wouldn't cross afive-barred gate to kiss a whole convent.A vineyard, which my imagination had clothedwith all sorts of scriptural and poetical embellishments,THE MISERIES OF REALITY. 351appeared, upon actual inspection, little more romanticthan a potatoe-field, and infinitely less picturesquethan our Kentish hop-grounds. -This was a violentslap on the mental face, but my elastic hopes stillsuggested a consolation: France, said I , is a flat,unlovely country-the least interesting in Europe;but Clarens, the groves of Clarens, which fired theimagination of the sensitive author of " La NouvelleHeloise," and inspired those eloquent outpouringsof love which- In short, I fed upon theexpectation of these leafy landscapes, until I arrived inSwitzerland, when, with a throbbing heart, I hurriedto the scene of enchantment, and was horrified by agrisly apparition of stumps, the hallowed woods havingbeen lately cut down by the monks of St. Bernard tosupply fuel for boiling their miserable broths andpottages. Oh, the sacrilegious, soup-eating old curmudgeons! Still sanguine, I looked forward to Rome:the eternal city could not, at all events, disappointme. On my arrival, I engaged an erudite Cicerone,who took me to one of the most celebrated remainsof antiquity, consisting of a few mouldering wallsscarcely elevated above the surface, which I found,according to the researches of the most learned investigators, was the unquestionable site either of a theatre,or a forum, or a palace, or public baths; but they hadnot yet settled which. Few of the other ruins werebetter defined or appropriated; and as to the localityof the ancient city, the topographers agreed in nothingbut in ridiculing each other's decisions. Thus I wenton, trampling down some beautiful illusion at every552 GAIETIES AND GRAVITIES.step I took, shattering with my carriage-wheels all thefair forms which my imagination had set up by theroad- side, and perpetually substituting the real forthe ideal, to my own infinite loss in the exchange.But I saved nothing by returning home; for thefarther mischief which I had refrained from perpetrating myself, had been committed by others. Thewhole earth had been rummaged by restless tourists:my table was loaded with travels, and my pathwaybeset with panoramas desecrating every thing thatwas holy, familiarizing the romantic, and reducingthe wild and visionary to a printed scale of yards,feet and inches. The new world is now as neighbourly as the New River, and the Terra Incognitais as well known as the Greenwich Road. Athens isremoved to the Strand, the North Pole to LeicesterSquare: Memnon's head, with a granite wedge for abeard, is set up in Great Russell Street; the Parthenonis by its side; the tomb of Psammis has been open toall the passengers of Piccadilly, Alexander's sarcophagus may be seen every day except Sunday,Cleopatra's needle is on its way to Wapping, and allthe wonders of the world are become as familiar tothe co*ckneys of London as the Chelsea Bun-houseor the Pump at Aldgate.All my waking dreams are dissolved, and I mightdefine myselfas a two-legged matter-of-fact, but for thefortunate circ*mstance that the illusions of my sleepseem to become more vivid as thoseof the external worldfade and die away. The nightmare has not yet beenput in the pound, or carried to the green-yard. TheTHE MISERIES OF REALITY. 353phantasms of the brain, conjured up by the wizardMoon and the sorceress Night, are beyond the jurisdiction of travellers, painters, or allegorists. No meddling Ithuriel starts from amid their shadows to withdraw the veil of fancy and show me the dowdyfeatures of truth; thither, therefore, does my imagination delight to escape from this benumbing worldof matter and reality; so gladly abandoning itself tothe wild abstractions of dreams, that I pursue themlong after I am awake, and when they melt into daylight, I can almost sit down, like Caliban, and cry tosleep again.END OF VOL. I.LONDON:PRINTED BY S. AND R. BENTLEY,Dorset Street.

JAN 11 1932


See also

  • Horace Smith

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