Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

Perhaps 't was hardly quite assured enough,
But modesty's at times its own reward,
Like virtue; and the absence of pretension
Will go much farther than there's need to mention.


Serene, accomplish'd, cheerful but not loud;
Insinuating without insinuation;
Observant of the foibles of the crowd,

Yet ne'er betraying this in conversation;
Proud with the proud, yet courteously proud,

So as to make them feel he knew his station And theirs without a struggle for priority, He neither brook'd nor claim'd superiority.


That is, with men: with women he was what
They pleased to make or take him for; and their
Imagination's quite enough for that:

So that the outline 's tolerably fair,

They fill the canvass up- and "verbum sat."

If once their phantasies be brought to bear
Upon an object, whether sad or playful,
They can transfigure brighter than a Raphael. 3


Adeline, no deep judge of character,

Was apt to add a colouring from her own: "T is thus the good will amiably err,

And cke the wise, as has been often shown. Experience is the chief philosopher,

But saddest when his science is well known: And persecuted sages teach the schools Their folly in forgetting there are fools.


Was it not so, great Locke? and greater Bacon? Great Socrates? And thou, Diviner still, Whose lot it is by man to be mistaken,

And thy pure creed made sanction of all ill ? Redeeming worlds to be by bigots shaken,

How was thy toil rewarded? We might fill Volumes with similar sad illustrations, But leave them to the conscience of the nations.


I perch upon an humbler promontory, Amidst life's infinite variety:

With no great care for what is nicknamed glory, But speculating as I cast mine eye

On what may suit or may not suit my story,

And never straining hard to versify,

I rattle on exactly as I'd talk
With any body in a ride or walk.


I don't know that there may be much ability
Shown in this sort of desultory rhyme;
But there's a conversational facility,

Which may round off an hour upon a time.
Of this I'm sure at least, there's no servility
In mine irregularity of chime,
Which rings what's uppermost of new or hoary,
Just as I feel the "Improvvisatore."

creed, but the use — or abuse-made of it. Mr. Canning one day quoted Christianity to sanction Degro slavery, and Mr. Wilberforce had little to say in reply. And was Christ crucified, that black men might be scourged? If so, he had better been born a Mulatto, to give both colours an equal chance of freedom, or at least salvation.

[blocks in formation]

3 [The reader has already seen in what style the Edinburgh Reviewers dealt with Lord Byron's early performance (antè, p. 419.) the effect which that criticism produced on him at the time and how he felt the more favourable treatment which he received from the Monthly Review (p. 420.). We should not, however, in the page last referred to, have forgotten to observe, that the young poet was not less courteously and encouragingly welcomed in another publication. We allude to an article on the "Hours of Idleness," by J. H. Markland, Esq., the learned Editor of the Chester

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


Juan replied, with all becoming deference,
He had a predilection for that tie;
But that, at present, with immediate reference
To his own circumstances, there might lie
Some difficulties, as in his own preference,

Or that of her to whom he might apply: That still he'd wed with such or such a lady, If that they were not married all already.

Next to the making matches for herself,

And daughters, brothers, sisters, kith or kin, Arranging them like books on the same shelf,

There's nothing women love to dabble in More (like a stock-holder in growing pelf)

Than match-making in general: 'tis no sin Certes, but a preventative, and therefore That is, no doubt, the only reason wherefore. XXXII.

But never yet (except of course a miss

Unwed, or mistress never to be wed, Or wed already, who object to this)

Was there chaste dame who had not in her head Some drama of the marriage unities,

Observed as strictly both at board and bed,
As those of Aristotle, though sometimes
They turn out melodrames or pantomimes.

Mysteries, which concluded in these terms:-"We heartily hope that the illness and depression of spirits, which evidently pervade the greater part of these effusions, are entirely dispelled; and are confident that George-Gordon Lord Byron' will have a conspicuous niche in every future edition of Royal and Noble Authors.'"- See Gentleman's Mag. vol. lxxvi. p. 1217.]

4 [Three small vessels were apparently all that Columbus had required. Two of them were light barques, called caravels, not superior to river and coasting craft of more modern days. That such long and perilous expeditions into unknown seas, should be undertaken in vessels without decks, and that they should live through the violent tempests by which they were frequently assailed, remain among the singular circumstances of those daring voyages. — WASHINGTON IRVING.]


They generally have some only son,

Some heir to a large property, some friend

Of an old family, some gay Sir John,


Or grave Lord George, with whom perhaps might A line, and leave posterity undone,

Unless a marriage was applied to mend The prospect and their morals: and besides, They have at hand a blooming glut of brides.


From these they will be careful to select,

For this an heiress, and for that a beauty; For one a songstress who hath no defect,

For t'other one who promises much duty; For this a lady no one can reject,

Whose sole accomplishments were quite a booty; A second for her excellent connections;

A third, because there can be no objections.


When Rapp the Harmonist embargo'd marriage'
In his harmonious settlement (which flourishes
Strangely enough as yet without miscarriage,

Because it breeds no more mouths than it nourishes, Without those sad expenses which disparage

What Nature naturally most encourages). Why call'd he "Harmony" a state sans wedlock? Now here I've got the preacher at a dead lock.

Because he either meant to sneer at harmony

Or marriage, by divorcing them thus oddly.
But whether reverend Rapp learn'd this in Germany
Or no, 't is said his sect is rich and godly,
Pious and pure, beyond what I can term any

Of ours, although they propagate more broadly. My objection's to his title, not his ritual, Although I wonder how it grew habitual.


But Rapp is the reverse of zealous matrons,

Who favour, malgré Malthus, generation Professors of that genial art, and patrons

Of all the modest part of propagation; Which after all at such a desperate rate runs, That half its produce tends to emigration, That sad result of passions and potatoes Two weeds which pose our economic Catos.

Had Adeline read Malthus? I can't tell;

I wish she had: his book's the eleventh commandment,

Which says, "Thou shalt not marry," unless well: This he (as far as I can understand) meant. 'T is not my purpose on his views to dwell,

No. canvass what "so eminent a hand" meant; 2 But certes it conducts to lives ascetic, Or turning marriage into arithmetic.

1 This extraordinary and flourishing German colony in America does not entirely exclude matrimony, as the "Shakers" do; but lays such restrictions upon it as prevents more than a certain quantum of births within a certain number of years; which births (as Mr. Hulme observes) generally arrive "in a little flock like those of a farmer's lambs, all within the same month perhaps." These Harmonists (so called from the name of their settlement) are represented as a remarkably flourishing, pious, and quiet people. See the various recent writers on America.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Miss Raw, Miss Flaw, Miss Showman, and Miss Knowman,

And the two fair co-heiresses Giltbedding.

She deem'd his merits something more than comAll these were unobjectionable matches, [mon: And might go on, if well wound up, like watches.


There was Miss Millpond, smooth as summer's sea,
That usual paragon, an only daughter,
Who seem'd the cream of equanimity,

[water, Till skimm'd- and then there was some milk and With a slight shade of blue too, it might be,

Beneath the surface; but what did it matter? Love's riotous, but marriage should have quiet, And being consumptive, live on a milk diet.


And then there was the Miss Audacia Shoestring,
A dashing demoiselle of good estate,
Whose heart was fix'd upon a star or blue string;
But whether English dukes grew rare of late,
Or that she had not harp'd upon the true string,

By which such sirens can attract our great, She took up with some foreign younger brother, A Russ or Turk- the one's as good as 'tother.


And then there was-but why should I go on, Unless the ladies should go off? - there was Indeed a certain fair and fairy one,

Of the best class, and better than her class, — Aurora Raby, a young star who shone

O'er life, too sweet an image for such glass, A lovely being, scarcely form'd or moulded, A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded;

Rich, noble, but an orphan; left an only

Child to the care of guardians good and kind; But still her aspect had an air so lonely!

Blood is not water; and where shall we find Feelings of youth like those which overthrown lie

By death, when we are left, alas! behind,
To feel, in friendless palaces, a home
Is wanting, and our best ties in the tomb?


2 Jacob Tonson, according to Mr. Pope, was accustomed to call his writers "able pens, "persons of honour," and especially" eminent hands." Vide Correspondence, &c. &c. "Perhaps I should myself be much better pleased, if I were told you called me your little friend, than if you complimented me with the title of a great genius,' or an eminent band,' as Jacob does all his authors."- Pope to Steele.]

3 [See D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, New Series, vol. ii. p. 308., and the Dissertation prefixed to Mr. Douce's valuable edition of Hollar's Dance of Death.]


Early in years, and yet more infantine

In figure, she had something of sublime In eyes which sadly shone, as seraphs' shine.

All youth—but with an aspect beyond time; Radiant and grave-as pitying man's decline;

Mournful-but mournful of another's crime, She look'd as if she sat by Eden's door, And grieved for those who could return no more.


She was a Catholic, too, sincere, austere,
As far as her own gentle heart allow'd,

And deem'd that fallen worship far more dear

Perhaps because 't was fallen: her sires were proud Of deeds and days when they had fill'd the ear

Of nations, and had never bent or bow'd
To novel power; and as she was the last,
She held their old faith and old feelings fast.

She gazed upon a world she scarcely knew
As seeking not to know it; silent, lone,
As grows a flower, thus quietly she grew,

And kept her heart serene within its zone.
There was awe in the homage which she drew;
Her spirit seem'd as seated on a throne
Apart from the surrounding world, and strong
In its own strength-most strange in one so young!


Now it so happen'd, in the catalogue Of Adeline, Aurora was omitted,

Although her birth and wealth had given her vogue,
Beyond the charmers we have already cited;
Her beauty also seem'd to form no clog

Against her being mention'd as well fitted, By many virtues, to be worth the trouble Of single gentlemen who would be double.

And this omission, like that of the bust

Of Brutus at the pageant of Tiberius, 1
Made Juan wonder, as no doubt he must.

This he express'd half smiling and half serious; When Adeline replied with some disgust,

And with an air, to say the least, imperious, She marvell'd "what he saw in such a baby As that prim, silent, cold Aurora Raby?"

Juan rejoin'd-" She was a Catholic,

And therefore fittest, as of his persuasion;
Since he was sure his mother would fall sick,
And the Pope thunder excommunication,
If" But here Adeline, who seem'd to pique
Herself extremely on the inoculation
Of others with her own opinions, stated
As usual- -

the same reason which she late did.

And wherefore not? A reasonable reason,

If good, is none the worse for repetition; If bad, the best way's certainly to tease on, And amplify you lose much by concision, Whereas insisting in or out of season

Convinces all men, even a politician;

Or what is just the same-it wearies out. So the end's gain'd, what signifies the route?

Sce Tacitus, b. vi.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »