« PredošláPokračovať »
round of his battery on the defeated spirit, who had entered the room Bacchi plenus (full of wine). Amanda retreated for a short time, but returned to the charge and found the eloquence of the sister star, and the impudence (boldness or valour let us call it) of the allied power had decided the fate of the day. Mercator escaped slightly wounded, and recovered in a few days; but the man of love, wine, and war, was led off the field and placed at home on his parole, whilst the sisters retired with flying colours, and the able Captain made good his quarters at home or elsewhere, for he was every where at home, and with him
« Ubi bene, ibi patria,”
was the device of his standard.
On the ensuing morn, or rather at noon thereof, the vanquished victor sought a parley with the son of Erin, and he (the latter) was demanded at a court of enquiry, at the seven stars. He had a rendezvous with a German lady, and a call to make at a banker's on a subject of finance ; so various were his duties and occupations. - It is believed that he first attended the lady's court, to enquire into the strength and resources of the captive chief, and to concert future plans of operation. He put off the Germanic alliance for a day, and his wife for a week. Whether he attended the banker or not regards not the present subject; but he repaired to the prisoner's quarters in the quality of a parlementaire, nor was the gift of the gab denied him, love, logic, and liquor being his forte. The steady merchant appeared and talked of the terms of an honourable retreat ; the chief shook his head ; the Irishman would admit of no appeal but to the sword; he was a polished and dangerous blade himself; a piece of well-tempered steel, and fit for any thing except a pulpit. In honourable love no ransom is taken, the man of war had advanced too far, for he had made proposals and terms already; he accordingly struck his flag, and shortly after filed off (not in Indian files) by the side of the white serjeant, who did her duty by him ever after. It is asserted by some that she commanded in chief, and that one of her sisters, who passed the line with her, was second in command ; whether this was the case or not is doubtful, but all agree in stating that the husband is happy, and his happiness is increasing yearly. The captain, the zealous and faithful ally of the family, continued to serve in the same way, and arrived at more honours than emolument. Thus ended this match-making farce, which is of a far more easy and elegant cast than those of the counties of Galway and Roscommon to wit; the palm must therefore be given where due: and if this gentle campaigning, or civil war, these ruses de la petite guerre, or belle-stratagems, can prove of any use to parties concerned in such manæuvres, they are offered without a comment by a friend to the fair
ON LONDONERS AND COUNTRY PEOPLE.
I do not agree with Mr. Blackwood in his definition of the word Cockney. He means by it a person who has happened at any time to live in London, and who is not a Tory-I mean by it, a person who has never lived out of London, and who has got all his ideas from it.
The true Cockney has never travelled beyond the purlieus of the Metropolis, either in the body or the spirit. Primrose-hill is the Ultima Thule of his most romantic desires ; Greenwich Park stands him in stead of the Vales of Arcady. Time and space are lost to him. He is confined to one spot, and to the present moment. He sees every thing near, superficial, little, in hasty succession. The world turns round, and his head with it, like a roundabout at a fair, till he becomes stunned and giddy with the motion. Figures glide by as in a camera obscura. There is a glare, a perpetual hubbub, a noise, a crowd about him ; he sees and hears a vast number of things, and knows nothing. He is pert, raw, ignorant, conceited, ridiculous, shallow, contemptible. His senses keep him alive ; and he knows, inquires, and cares for nothing farther. He meets the Lord Mayor's coach, and without ceremony treats himself to an imaginary ride in it. He notices the people going to court or to a city-feast, and is quite satisfied with the show. He takes the wall of a Lord, and fancies himself as good as he. He sees an infinite quantity of people pass along the street, and thinks there is no such thing as life or a knowledge of character to be found out of London. “Beyond Hyde Park all is a desert to him.” He despises the country, because he is ignorant of it ; and the town, because he is familiar with it. He is as well acquainted with St. Paul's as if he had built it, and talks of Westminster Abbey and Poets' Corner with great indifference. The King, the House of Lords and Commons, are his very good friends. He knows the members for Westminster or the City by sight, and bows to the Sheriffs or the Sheriffs' men. He is hand and glove with the Chairman of some Committee. He is, in short, a great man by proxy, and comes so often in contact with fine persons and things, that he rubs off a little of the gilding, and'is surcharged with a sort of second hand, vapid, tingling, troublesome self-importance. His personal vanity is thus continually flattered and perked up into ridiculous selfcomplacency, while his imagination is jaded and impaired by daily misuse. Every thing is vulgarised in his mind. Nothing dwells long enough on it to produce an interest; nothing is contemplated sufficiently at a distance to excite curiosity or wonder. Your true Cockney is your only true leveller. Let him be as low as he will, he fancies he is as good as any body else. He has no respect for himself, and still less (if possible) for you. He cares little about bis own advantages, if he can only make a jest at your's. Every feeling comes to him though a medium of levity and impertinence; nor does he like to have this habit of
mind disturbed by being brought into collision with any thing serious or respectable. He despairs (in such a crowd of competitors) of distinguishing himself, but laughs heartily at the idea of being able to trip up the heels of other people's pretensions. A Cockney feels no gratitude. This is a first principle with him. He regards any obligation you confer upon him as a species of imposition, a ludicrous assumption of fancied superiority. He talks about every thing, for he has heard something about it; and understanding nothing of the matter, concludes he has as good a right
He is a politician ; for he has seen the Parliament House : he is a critic; because he knows the principal actors by sight-has a taste for music, because he belongs to a glee-club at the West End; and is gallant, in virtue of sometimes frequenting the lobbies at half-price. A mere Londoner, in fact, from the opportunities he has of knowing something of a number of objects (and those striking ones) fancies himself a sort of privileged person ; remains satisfied with the assumption of merits, so much the more unquestionable as they are not his own; and from being dazzled with noize, show, and appearances, is less capable of giving a real opinion, or entering into any subject than the meanest peasant. There are greater lawyers, orators, painters, philosophers, players in London, than in any other part of the United Kingdom: he is a Londoner, and, therefore, it would be strange if he did not know more of law, eloquence, art, philosophy, acting, than any one without his local advantages, and who is merely from the country. This is a