« AnteriorContinuar »
Yet e'en to her one genial drop is given,
(1.) Hushabie, &c. These “ snatches of old song," after descending by oral tradition from generation to generation, like the common law, the poems of Ossian, and the mysteries of the Druids, have, in these printing times, been collected and published by the indefatigable industry of the London booksellers. We certainly cannot think them improved by the types ; but they are at least harmless, which is more than can be said of all our juvenile literature. The old nursery carol_Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross, has been rendered into Greek by a distinguished scholar, now a mitred pillar of Protestantism, who has, by a laudable pun, converted “ Cock-horse” into ir Tanextpúar, a compound worthy of Aristophanes.
(2.) Wandering Ceres -See Claudian de Rap. Proser. B. 3.
(3.) Roast Pig. I am aware that this antipathy of my palate will appear like gase tronomic heresy to the incomparable Elia. (4) “ W'isdom doth live with children round her knees.”
MONKEYS are certainly, there is no ourselves absolutely to assert, for the denying it, very like men; and, what truth is, we, for one or two, know nois worse, men are still more like Mon- thing whatever about the matter; all keys. Many worthy people, who have we mean to say is, that nobody has yet a high respect for what they choose to proved that they are not, and farther, call the Dignity of Human Nature, that whatever may be the case with are much distressed by this similitude, men, monkeys have reason and speech. approaching in many cases to absolute More than this it might be rash to identity; and some of them have write hold; and with the caution, therefore, ten books of considerable erudition and which distinguishes all our Philosophy ingenuity, to prove that a man is not a from that of the heedless and headmonkey, nay, not so much as even an long age in which we flourish, here ape ; but truth compels us to confess, we place our foot on ground impreg. that their speculations have been far nable alike to assault or explosion. from carrying conviction to our minds. It is flattering to see how all created All such inquirers, from Aristotle to things, animate and inanimate, imitate Smellie, principally insist on two great humanity-some of them, it must be leading distinctions—speech and rea admitted, most abominably, but, on
But it is obvious to the mean the whole, with commendable assiest capacity, that monkeys have both duity and success. What can possispeech and reason. They have a lan bly be more like the face of a man guage of their own, which, though not than the face of a horse? except, inso capacious as the Greek, is much more deed, that of a lion, a tiger, or a sheep. so than the Hottentottish; and as for Look attentively at the first team you. reason, no man of a truly philosophical meet, and either in leader or wheel. genius ever saw a monkey crack a nut, er you will not fail to recognise a chawithout perceiving that the creature racteristic likeness of some original possesses that endowment, or faculty, friend. The long face the wall eye in no small perfection. Their speech, - the upper or lower lip—the flat indeed, is said not to be articulate; cheek - the lantern jaw - the very but it is audibly more so than the colt's tooth-the same! Away flies his Gaelic. The words unquestionably do Majesty's most gracious mail-coach, run into each other, in a way that, to with a gentleman all in red standing our ears, renders it rather unintelli, on the stern, as straight as ODoherty, gible; but it is contrary to all the tooting a tin-horn six feet long;
and rules of sound philosophizing, to con one of the worthiest fellows you know, fuse the obtuseness of our own senses with a wife and six children, disapwith the want of any faculty in others; pears through the turnpike gate, withand they have just as good a right to out paying toll, in the shape of a Houymaintain, and to complain of, our in hnhynm at full gallop, and beautifully articulate mode of speaking, as we have caparisoned in brass- harness, all spick of theirs-indeed much more-for and span new, on the king's birth-day. monkeys speak the same, or nearly Or mount the steps, up and down, the same, language all over the habita into a collection of wild beasts, Pidable globe, whereas men, ever since cock or Wombwell, and turning on the the Tower of Babel, have kept chat saw-dust to the left, look-pray-at tering, muttering, humming and hawa that Lion. Saw ye ever, in all your born ing, in divers ways and sundry man days, such a striking likeness—such ners, so that one nation is unable to a noble full-length living portraitcomprehend what another would be none of your kit- kats, but from tip of at, and the earth groans in vain with the nose to the tip of the tail-of vocabularies and dictionaries. That Christopher North ? The same calm, monkeys and men are one and the grave, thoughtful eyes, that inspire same animal, we shall not take upon an immediate awe-the same chops,
* Monkeyana, or Men in Miniature, designed and etched by Thomas Landseer. Moon, Boys, and Graves. London.
which it is needless to characterize to the shape of a Sylvan, conspicuous to any one who has been either North those who can penetrate its haunts or Nero—the same posture of the among all the trees of the forest ?-If paws, fit alike to pat or fell-see, ever departed spirits revisit the earth see the same long, red tongue the they loved, that Mountain-Ash, call it yawn discovering a double shiver-de, by its own Scottish name, that Rowanfreeze of spike-tusks the same-and tree with stem straight, smooth, and hark-hark-Lord preserve us-in strong, yet in its abated brightness with both your hands into your ears speaking of the blast-with leaves de-the Roar--the Roar! Or, face about licate indeed to look at, and soft to the to the right, and there is the self-same touch, but imbued with preservative Editor of Blackwood's Magazine in a beauty as boldly they rustle to the royal Bengal Tiger. You imagine you winds-crowned with a thousand diasee him leaping along Lisson-Grove, dems, all blended into one glory visia with poor Leigh Hunt in his mouth, ble from afar,---gaze here, gaze here, as if the Cockney King were no bigger Caledonia, and, with the voice of all than a mouse. Finally, eyes forward, thy streams, bid hail the Image of thy and what think you of that Persian own Burns illumining the banks and sheep, with face so pensive, meek and braes o bónny Doon, while all the mild, so demure and melancholy, the linnets break out into delighted lilting very image of David Lester Richard, among the broom, and the blackbird, son, in the act of perusing that Cen on the top of his own tree, sends up tury of Inventions, each an unpaid-for his song in chorus to the lark, thick, panegyric on his own genius, which, fast, and wild-warbling beneath the like a small prolific Bantam, lays an rosy cloud !-Whence comes that fraegg a-day during the sonnet-season, grant breath upon the woody wildere and then-cackle-cackle-cackle! ness-is it from the sweet unseen
The imitation of humanity is equally ground-flowers, or from a tree in blosapparent in inanimate nature. Look som somewhere hidden in the shade ? on that pretty, little, white-rinded, Lo! yonder stands the old Hawthorn, airy, yet weeping birch-tree, still in white as the very snow-yet, as you her teens, so murmuring, and so balmy approach, 'tis mixed with glorious in budding spring, that breathes of green, even as the summer sea-wave summer too, and say if ever you saw heaves in foam. Therein the cheera a sweeter symbol-nay, it is her very ful shilfa builds her nest most beautiself-of. L. E. L., in her virgin ele- ful-or therein--hark the crashing gance and loveliness, charming all and then the flapping wing—as the cueyes, while, as if a breeze came by, shat, ne'er disturbed before, is startled her tresses are all a-dance over her from her shallow couch. Lonely as forehead, and with poetic lustre irra- is the place, yet see on the old rough diate the day. That Sycamore, so bark, now hard to read among moss bright above, so dark below, with head as some ancient inscription on the that loves the sunshine, and stem stone that shades in its cell some soli. round which, like living things, the tary spring-the names of lovers fond shadows conglomerate -a tent-like and faithful of yore, now and long tree, beneath whose umbrage might ago sleeping in the mools by each Beauty lie dissolved in delicious tears other's side! The roamer thinks of over some divine lyrical ballad-haply the rural poets that have tuned their the tale of Ruth,woo’d-won -wedded pipes to rural loves_and some sweet -deserted in time that, as “ through wild strain touches his ear from the dream and vision did she sink,” seemed Queen's Wake, or from “
Bonny Kila to be all but one dear, dim, delightful meny, as she gaed up the glen," or day, or Wisdom meditate, in the from the rich yet simple melodies half-glimmer half-gloom, on the im- which “ honest Allan" yet lives to mortality brought to light, not only breathe, inspired by the songs of auld in Holy Writ, but in the inspirations Scotland-on whose darkness and dimtoo of the great poets-that Sycamore, ness, his genius, strong in love, has so fair and so august, so beautiful and streamed light like sunbeams, regardso magnificent-remindeth it not of less of the more flaunting flowers, and the Genius of Wordsworth, the very seeking out the primrose and violet in man himself personified before you in nooks of the untrodden woods !
Nay, there is a white Currant Bush, rate! And what has become of your trained up on trellice against the loun imagination, if in that castle, with its sunny walls, and thickly clustering banner still outhung, which with berries, in their lucid roundness The evening air has scarce the power almost as large as grapes,-put out To wave upon the Donjon tower, your hand and pull a few, and to the
you see not a glorious statue of—Sir taste they are as sweet and luscious Walter Scott ? too, as from Lorraine or Provence So with clouds and mountains, they. that white currant-bush, with inno are all in various moods and manners cent thorns tipped with silk and velvet, like great men. But we have not time so that you may pluck ungloved, we now to trace their outlines—therefore, declare, is liker than even the amiable “ revenons à nos moutons”-that is poet himself, to William Procter let us return to our monkeys. Barry Cornwall, the delight of the The Monkey has not had justice suburban fruit-gardens, and furnish- done him, we repeat and insist upon ing to tender virgins an exquisite des- it; for what right have you to judge sert-or when distilled by household of a whole people, from a few isolated matron, a wine that never intoxicates, individuals, -and from a few isolated and worthy a gold medal from Mr individuals, too, running up poles with Loudon, the ingenious editor of the a chain round their waist, twenty Gardener's Magazine.-Out of the sun times the length of their own tail, or altogether, stuck in among the gravel, grinning in ones or twos through the and sorely stunted because of no ma bars of a cage in a menagerie? His nure, that dwindled, dwarfed, dimic eyes are red with perpetual weepingnutive of the small black red hairy and his smile is sardonic in captivity. gooseberry, no leaves, few berries, and Hisfur is mouldy and mangy, and he is nearly all jag, is a most fearful pic- manifestly ashamed of his tail, prehenture indeed of a Cockney, whose name sile no more—and of his paws, “very is needless - while that other, the hands, as you may say," miserable bramble yonder, tufted chiefly with matches to his miserable feet. To tags of dirty wool and hair, which a know him as he is, you must go to singing bird rather than peck at, would Senegal ; or if that be too far off for go without a nest, is a staring and rag a trip during the summer vacation, to ged likeness of an unmentionable son the Rock of Gebir, now called Gibral. netteer in the last stage of a consump- tar, and see him at his gambols among tion,--sick and sorry, weak and worth the cliffs. Sailor nor slater would less, and, ere another month go by, to have a chance with him there, standbe pronged up by the little decayed ing on his head on a ledge of six inches, root, flung over the hedge amongst five hundred feet above the level of nettles, and there left to rot in the gem the sea, without ever so much as once neral rubbish.
tumbling down; or hanging at the Hactenus of plants. Now look at same height from a bush by the tail, that Castle, a noble ruin. Yet not a to dry, or air, or sun himself, as if ruin either, though old, and belonging he were flower or fruit. There he to the olden time. On its head a is, a Monkey indeed; but you catch crown of battlements—for hair, wall. him young, clap a pair of breeches on flowers-granite for its body, 'cased him, and an old red jacket, and oblige in the unfeeling armour of old time” him to dance a saraband on the stones -and “seated on a heaven-kissing of a street, or perch upon the shoulhill.” Cliffs guard it on the right- der of Bruin, equally out of his natubelow which goes a river large," ral element, which is a cave among sweeping round a loch-behind a mo the woods. Here he is but the Ape of rass, in which " armies whole might a Monkey. Now if we were to catch sink,” in front the everlasting moun you young, good subscriber or contritains. See-how like the figure of a butor, yourself, and put you into a man! What a trenched forehead, cage to crack nuts and pull ugly faces, yet how bold! That “ coign of van although you might, from continued tage” is the nose ! That rent makes a practice, do both to perfection, at a mouth, from which the wind plays shilling a-head for grown up ladies like a warlike harper. A grim upper and gentlemen, and sixpence for chillip-and a chin that defies the ele. dren and servants, and even at a lower ments. A giant to fear and to venc rate after the collection had been some
weeks in town, would you not think key; but what à poor, paltry, diin, it exceedingly hard to be judged of in and indistinct Monkey would he be; that one of your predicaments, not only in comparison with the drawn, etched; individually, but nationally—that is, engraved, large-paper-proof Monkey; not only as Ben Hoppus, your own of a Thomas Landseer, playing the name, but as John Bull, the name of Pedagogue, the Pupil, or the Pugilist? the people of which you are an incar First of all, here is a Monkey in the cerated specimen ? You would keep character of Paul Pry. We doubt not incessantly crying out against this with that it is excellent; but, would you angry vociferation, as a most unwar. believe it, we have never seen Liston rantable and unjust Test and Corpos in that farce? Nor do we care a drachm ration Act. And, no doubt, were an though we never see him for we are Ourang-outang to see you in such a sick of Liston's buffoonery. London situation, he would not only form a is a great goose. She will keep gabmost mean opinion of you as an indi- bling for years about the most nausevidual, but go away with a most false ous nonsense, as if it were mirth, huimpression of the whole human race. nour, and wit. Mr Poole, we believe,
It is therefore highly gratifying to is the author of Paul Pry, and Mr us to see the Monkey in the hands of Poole is a man of true genius. But a man of genius like Thomas Land Paul Pry, though we never saw him, seer. Indeed, the Landseers are a fa- is, we fear, not a little of a bore-at mily of geniuses-father and sons. least so is every noodle who comes in. Like Goldsmith, they touch nothing upon you at supper from the theawhich they do not adorn; and Tho tre, and enacts you a bit of Liston or mas has here touched the Monkey; Murray in that character. The cockwho, unlike the lovely young Lavinia neys have spoiled Liston, who might when unadorned adorned the most, have been an excellent, perhaps a great looks like a man as he is, when dress comic actor, but for their childish and ed and acting like a man on the stage infantile fancy for his face; and that of the Theatre of Human Life. is a great deal for us to say, after ha
Several other artists, we know, have ving seen and heard him murder Domoralized the Monkey; and of their minie Sampson, on a stage by lamp philosophical works it will give us and chandelier light, before upwards pleasure to speak in a future Number; of a thousand people, not one of whom, but we suspect our present painter is however, we are happy to say, could the best of them all ; and on the prin- move a muscle at the spectacle, except ciple of “ meliores priores,” we begin those of disgust and contempt. Mr with the Monkeyana of Thomas Land- Liston, who is a gentleman and a man seer. Even an entire family of prigs of originality, ought not to suffer is a pleasant and impressive sight himself to make himself ridiculous not a single one,-father, mother, bro and entertaining in the eyes of fools ther, or sister, with the least spark of and idiots. We excuse Mr Landcommon sense or feeling to disturb the seer and Mr Poole for giving in to harmony-to break the effect of the the folly of, “I hope I don't intrude,” “ tottle of the whole.” But a family for there is no great harm in sacrifiof geniuses is still better, perhaps bee cing one's own taste in a trifle, to that cause so much rarer; and, therefore, of the bairnly public of Cockaigne. we prefer the Landseers and the Ros- They who“ live to please, must please coes, very much indeed, to the Hunts to live;" and, just as might have been and the Hazlitts.
expected, the Cockney critics have all What vivid-minded fellows great exclaimed, on viewing this Paul Pry, painters must be! Poets are nothing -“ inimitable-inimitable. Yet even to them in distinctness of conception. Landseer cannot give us Liston's face Poets, it is true, “ give to airy nothings -that face which”-and then off they a local habitation and a name.” But go with their impotent attempts at still they are airy nothings--for they imaginative exaggeration as impoare made of words, and words are air. tent as would be the attempts of a But painters give you form, shape, precocious little master, who had been colour-we had almost said substance. put into shorts and a long-tailed coat We ourselves, who are a poet, could at five, to describe, to his quondamgive you a very tolerable Monkey in wet, nunc-dry nurse, the pantomime of words,-either a prose or a verse Mon Punchinello.