Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

though we do not feel any very san- India Company's service, would be guine expectation of persuading the the only resources against eating each gin purveyors, the gas-lamplighters of other. With the barristers the solicithe palaces, nor even the Sir Felix tors must go, that active race, whose Booths of this world, of the advantage smaller dimensions by no means preof our speculation. But four-and-twen- clude their rival activity in extracting ty millions of money swallowed in the their subsistence from whatever they shape of liquid fire! The thought is can fix on. The generation of clerks more incendiary than another great and law subalterns of all shapes, sizes, fire of London. Well may the Sir and stings, who live by the superior Felixes of this world keep mansions in genera, must be reduced to the famine the Portman places of mankind, bathe point without delay. in turtle-soup, and wash their spaniels

So, naturalists say, a flea in Burgundy. Yet we wish that the

Has smaller fleas that on him prey, teetotallers would make a grand inva

And they have smaller still to bite 'em, sion of the distillery, and after boiling a

And so proceed, ad infinitum.few of the concoctors of conflagration in their own vats, let in the Thames to li. All must perish alike; and lawyers, quify the whole plant. With all this, we even to the grade invisible and next are aware of the respect due to vested the worm, must go together to obliinterests. The physicians, to whom vion. apoplexies are rent-rolls; the surgeons, With the consciousness of so sweep. who live on the broken bones of huma- ing a calamity before him, who can nity; the undertakers, who keep them- wonder that little Spring Rice should selves in their own houses, by remov- have proposed to take off the spirit ing every one else from theirs ; and license tax from the gin-shops, “ in the last, and most grasping of all, the full and undoubting confidence that Chancellors of the Exchequer, who the increased gin-drinking therefrom tax the tombstones, and lay their hands would make up the loss to the revenue?" upon every thing above and under ground. The slightest check on the The memory of Napoleon is inexnational propensity for gin would be haustible in France. His career was answered by a general wail from the so vivid, his exploits were so various, whole multitude who live on the sad and the space over which his military varieties of human wo. The work- life extended was so comprehensive, house would exhibit the portly ma- adventurous, and interesting, that we trons and pampered clerks who preside should not wonder if it supplied the over the distribution of the six millions gossipry of France with materials for of pounds sterling which go in pota- a century to come. Of all lives the toes and cheese to the pauperism of life of a great soldier is the most fertile Britain, lank as the mice that roamed in reminiscences of this order. Natheir empty halls. The turnkeys of poleon, one day the chief of cabinets, the county jails would grow melan- another day controlling camps-one choly, and toy with handcuffs no day deciding the fate of empires in longer. Jack Ketch would pro- council, another day deciding the fate nounce his occupation o’er; and the of wars in the field—a statesman by

drop itself might be sold for old office, a soldier by profession, and furniture not required at present by from the cradle to the grave a prethe owner.”

eminently brilliant, stirring, and auBut the calamity would not end dacious spirit_Napoleon was made to here. Themis herself might give up be the central figure of the most showy her last breath in a groan that would of all romances--the romance of hisshake the land from Westminster Hall tory. to the Lizard. The judges would find But his character was more devetheir circuits reduced to the important loped in what may be called the priduty of marching into the counties vate life of camps than in those larger with a posse of clowns before them, scenes which belong to thrones and and the sheriff's carriage to make up fields of battle. He had a singular the show. The leanness of the courts power of addressing himself to the would soon reduce the corporiety of feelings of the soldiery ; and this is the the lawyers, and a speedy mortality, more singular, from its seeming inor a general recruiting for the East compatibility with the character of his

9

mind. If ever man was haughty and was leading by the hand a little boy arrogant, bent upon high things, and about five years of age. Struck by the contemptuous of human feelings—if beauty of the woman, and her distress, ever man would have made a bridge the Emperor pulled up his horse by of human heads and hearts to power, the road-side, and said, “ What is the and would have immolated a genera- matter with you, my dear ?" The tion on the altar where he set up him- woman, not knowing the individual by self as the idol—that man was the pro- whom she was addressed, and being found, subtle, and remorseless Napo much discomposed by grief, made no leon. Yet never General of modern reply. The little boy, however, was times--nor, perhaps, of ancient-had more communicative, and he frankly more the skill of reaching the heart of answered, “ My mother is crying, sir, the soldier, more identified the glory because my father has beat her." of the soldier with his own success, or “Where is your father ?"_“ Close by more combined the affections of a com- here; he is one of the sentinels on rade with the dignity of a leader. duty with the baggage.” The Em

The latest work which has been peror again addressed himself to the published is a collection of anecdotes, woman, and enquired the name of her entitled "Evenings with Cambacérès;" husband ; but she refused to tell, being for the authenticity of the source the fearful lest the captain, as she supposed French publisher sufficiently pledges the Emperor to be, would cause her himself; and unlike as the whole com- husband to be punished. Malpeste, munication is to what might occur in your husband has been beating you ; the intercourse of a retired minister you are weeping; and yet you are so amongst ourselves, there is no impro- afraid of getting him into trouble, that bability whatever in its occurrence you will not even tell me his name. amongst our Gallic neighbours. The This is very inconsistent. May it not most vigorous life in France has a pro- be that you are a little in fault yourdigious tendency to trifling. Under self ? "_" Alas, Captain ! he has a despotic government, trifling only is thousand good qualities, though he has safe ; and it is perfectly evident that one very bad one-he is jealous, tertrifling was the chief employment per- ribly jealous: and when he gets into mitted to the two coadjutors of the a passion, he cannot restrain his vioFirst Consul. The prodigious genius lence.”—“ But that is rather serious : of Napoleon not merely threw the fa- in one of his fits of jealousy he may culties of his copartners in power into inflict on you some serious injury; the shade, but utterly stripped them of perhaps kill you.”-“ And even if he all responsibility. If Cambacérès had did, I should not wish any harm to been netting purses and Le Brun come to him ; for I am sure he would combing lap-dogs all the term of their not do it wilfully ; he loves me too natural lives, they could not have been well for that.”-“ And if I guess rightless importantly employed than while ly, you love him ?”—“ That is very they followed in the train of the First natural, Captain. He is my lawful Consul. In these evenings, whether husband, and the father of my dear the anecdotes were transmitted direct boy." So saying, she fondly kissed from the lips of the Ex-Chancellor, or her child, who, by the way in which collected by the editor from his re- he returned her caresses, proved his membrances, we probably have the affection for his mother. “ Well," chief materials of his meditations du said he again, turning to the woman, ring the career of the great Jacobin- “ whether you and your husband love Despot and Republican-Monarch of each other or not, I do not choose France. We give one of those anec

that he should beat you.

I am one of dotes, as curiously characteristic of the Emperor's aides-de-camp, and I Napoleon en campagne.

will mention the affair to his Majesty. During one of the campaigns in Tell me your husband's name.”-“If Germany the Emperor, wrapped in you were the Emperor himself, I would his grey great-coat, was riding about in not tell it you ; for, I know, he would the environs of Munich, attended only be punished.”-“Silly woman! All by two orderly officers. He met on I want is to teach him to behave well the road a very pretty-looking female, to you, and to treat you with the rewho, by her dress, was evidently a

spect you deserve.”

“ That would vivandière. She was weeping, and make me very happy, Captain ; but

[ocr errors]

66

reason.

though he ill-treats me, I will not get lutely capuchins ; but I am much mishim punished." The Emperor shrug- taken if they will not respect another ged his shoulders, made some remark man's wife. I desire that you do not upon female obstinacy, and gallopped strike your wife again ; and if my or. off.

der be not obeyed, the Emperor shall When he was out of the woman's hear of it. Suppose his Majesty were hearing, he said to the officers who to give you a reprimand, what would accompanied him : “Well, gentlemen, you say then?"-" Ma foi, General, what do you think of that affectionate my wife is mine, and I may beat her creature. There are not many such if I choose. I should say to the Emwomen at the Tuileries. A wife like peror—Sire, look you to the enemy, that is a treasure to her husband." In and leave me to manage my wife.” the course of a few minutes the bag- Napoleon laughed, and said—“ My gage, of which the boy had spoken, good fellow, you are now speaking to came up. It was escorted by a com- the Emperor.” The word produced pany of the 52d. Napoleon despatched its usual magical effect. The grenaone of the officers who was riding with dier looked confused, held down his him to desire the commander of the head, lowered his voice, and said, escort to come to him. “ Have you a “ Oh, sire, that quite alters the case. vivandière in your company?"_“Yes, Since your Majesty commands, 1, of sire," replied the Captain. “Has she course, obey."--" That's right. I a child?"_“ Yes ; little Gentil, whom hear an excellent character of your we are all so fond of.”

“ Has not the wife. Every body speaks well of her. woman been beaten by her husband?" She braved my displeasure, rather 6 I was not aware of the circumstance than expose you to punishment. Retill some time after its occurrence. I ward her by kind treatment. I prohave reprimanded the man. “ Is he mote you to the rank of sergeant; and, generally well-conducted ?"

“ He is when you arrive at Munich, apply to very jealous of his wife, but without the Grand Mareschal du Palais, and

The woman's conduct is ir- he will present you with four hundred reproachable.”_“ Does he know me francs. With that you may buy a by sight="_“I cannot say, sire ; but suttler's caravan, which will enable as he has just arrived from Spain, I your wife to carry on a profitable busithink it is probable he does not.”-“ Try Your son is a fine boy, and, at and ascertain whether he has ever scen some future time, he shall be provided me; and if he has not, bring him hither. for. But mind, never let me hear of Say you wish to bring him before the your beating your wife again. If I do, general of the division." On enquiry, you shall find that I can deal hard it appeared that Napoleon had never blows as well as you."_" Ah, sire, I been seen by the grenadier, who was a can never be sufficiently grateful for very fine-looking man, about five-and- your kindness." Two or three years aftwenty. When he was conducted to ter this circumstance, the Emperor was Napoleon, the latter said, in a familiar with the army in another campaign. tone, “ What is the reason, my lad, Napoleon had a wonderful power of rethat you beat your wife : She is a collecting the countenances of persons young and pretty woman, and a better whom he had once seen. On one of wife than you are a husband. Such his marches he met and recollected conduct is disgraceful in a French gre- the vivandière and her son. He imnadier."_“ Bah! General, if women mediately rode up to her, saying are to be believed, they are never in “ Well, my good woman, how do you t'ie wrong. I have forbidden my wife do ? Has your husband kept the proto talk to any man whatever ; and yet, mise he made to me?" The poor woin spite of my commands, I find her man burst into tears, and threw herconstantly gossiping with one or other self at the Emperor's feet. “Oh, sire, of my comrades."_“ Now, there is oh, sire ! since my good fortune led your mistake; you want to prevent a me into the gracious presence of your woman from talking ; you might as Majesty, I have been the happiest of well try to turn the course of the Da

" Then reward me by being nube. Take my advice; do not be the most virtuous of wives." A few jealous. Let your wife gossip, and be pieces of gold were presented with merry

If she were doing wrong, it these words; and, as Napoleon rode is likely she would be sad instead of off, the cries of “Vire l'Empereur," gay. Your comrades are not abso. uttered amidst tears and sobs by the

ness.

a

women.

mother and her son, were repeated by phy, the historic writings of Greece the whole battalion.

the most stirring, vivid, and lofty of

the world? They were all publicThe poetry of England should all written by men with all their awake. The time for manly appeals energies roused to their utmost pitch to manly feelings is come, if ever; by public life, and honoured, felt, and and poetry is the peculiar voice of rewarded by men themselves shaped manliness, feeling, and freedom. All into the muscle and proportions of the world is weary of sonneteering. heroism by public toils. What would The sorrows of sentimentalists have Pindar have been, writing sonnets on no charms for us. The loves of the some Laïs or Phryne of Thebes ? Laura Marias,—the Gulnares, with the Demosthenes, scribbling exquisite knife in one hand, and the lute in the papers on cookery and the passions in other,—the German heroines, “much the blue and sulphur Attic Review, bemersed in beer,"—and the fond published quarterly at the foot of the squaws, who make love with scalps,— Pnyx ? or Æschylus, forgetting the may perish in their own swamps, for battle of Marathon, and luxuriating any thing that we care. We shall in the loves of some Salaminian seanever read a line of their raptures; rover, and some captured sultana of but we desire to see the young minds Xerxes ? of England plunging deep into the We say, that if English poetry is vigorous and invigorating surges of henceforth be worth the ink that national poetry. What made Greece marks it on the paper, it must look for the great fount of poetry to man- its revival in national interest in seizing kind? What but that its poetry was on great national transactions, and in public. It was grounded on great showing its participation in the illuspublic events, stimulated by public trious struggles of its country. necessities, and ennobled by the con- We give the following verses, sung sciousness of public service. There at one of the Birmingham Conservanever was a nation where the son- tive dinners, as an evidence that neteer and the sentimentalist did so poetry can raise its voice among us little, or had so little to do. When still. The verses might evidently be this degeneracy of the muse crept in, more polished; but the feeling is the nation had already degenerated. good, and we wish to see many a folWhat made the oratory, the biogra- Tower of its example.

[ocr errors]

BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATIVE SONG.

""Tis the voice of our country, from centre to shore,
It calls on each Briton to slumber no more ;
It bids us arise, ere our birthright be gone,
And rally like men round the Altar and Throne.
“ The God of that Altar, through tumult and war,
Ever beam'd upon England his bright leading star ;
Ever pour'd on our fathers his blessing divine,
And ne'er shall their children prove false to his shrine.
“ Round the throne of our Monarchs for ages have stood
Saints, heroes, and sages, the great and the good,
No foe from without dared its ramparts to win,
And it shall not be canker'd by traitors within.
“ Too long, oh! too long has a faction held sway,
That piecemeal would dribble Old England away,
That would take from her King and her Nobles their own,
And cover with insult the Altar and Throne.
“ But it shall not avail them; the voice is gone forth,
It rings through the empire, east, west, south, and north;
For Britain, uproused and indignant, at length
Now bares, like a giant, the arm of her strength.
“ Here we stand for Old England, her rights, and her laws,
'Tis the cause of our country-God prosper that cause !
Unimpair'd to our children those rights shall descend,
We will live to preserve them, or die to defend.

[ocr errors]

beam, to hear the twittering of the The late Sir Humphrey Davy was a water-birds,” with many similar sights man of fine talent for chemistry, and and sounds, and to finish all by hookmight have been alive at this momenting a salmon, and carrying him home if he had not read an article in the in a basket. Edinburgh Review, which recom- All this is very well for Sir Hummended that every clever man should phrey. Yet, as Æsop says, if lions be an universal genius. Jeffrey set could paint, or salmon either, we the example, by curling his hair, and should probably hear a different aclearning quadrilles. The late Dr count of the rapturous nature of human Young, who was by nature almost a huntings and fishings. We premise Universalist, and fond of settling every that we are not Quixotic enough to thing, from a chess-board to the venture a syllable against the humaCopernican system, actually learned nity, wisdom, and necessity of angsleight-of-hand from Mr Ingleby the ling ; that we are not so utterly ignoemperor of the conjurors, and very rant of human nature as to expect that nearly broke his neck in exhibiting as an angler can be converted any more Harlequin at an opera-house masque- than a Jacobin; or so singularly illogirade. "We remember a chemical pro- cal as to argue, that tish can feel a fessor of some notoriety in London, hook through a jaw or a nostril ; or who suddenly astonished his friends, that whether they can feel or not, the and amused the public at that period, question should in the least impede the by displaying his head covered with sport of either gentlemen or ladies in curls, many and exquisite enough to hooking them for the mere sport of have done honour to any wig-block in the angler. Yet without attempting the shop of the celebrated artist, who to rival the picturesque of the philosohas passed down to history under the pher, may we not suppose a salmon title of Barber-rossa. Sir Humphrey with the pen in his gills inditing some limited his ambition to poetry and pie such state of the case as this. bald waistcoats, and certainly perpe- “ After having wintered in the centrated very curious performances in tral region of the Atlantic, in a depth both, yet without much success in of about ten miles, which no storm either, his poetry being prose, and his could disturb, and where the smoothwaistcoats patchwork. But these were ness of the sands, the calmness of the his follies. All have their follies, and water, and the luxuriant richness and he redeemed his by some of the most variety of vegetation made the most showy possible discoveries in che- delightful life for nine months of the mistry.

year, while all on the surface was raBut at present we have to do with ging tempest or bitter frost, the neceshis authorship. As he wrote prose, sity of providing for my offspring in which he mistook for poetry, he wrote the river in which I first saw the light, poetry, which he mistook for prose. drove me most reluctantly upwards. In his Salmonia he thus describes the As our column of about a hundred miladvantages of angling to the philoso- lions approached the shores, we found pher, the lover of nature, and the man sufficient reason to regret the delightof feeling! “It carries us into the ful regions which we had left below. most vivid and beautiful scenery of Instead of the pure water in which it nature, among the mountain lakes, was a luxury to move, we shrunk from and the clear and lovely streams that the half warm, half corrupt surface; gush from the highest ranges of ele- we were disgusted by the smell of the vated hills, or that make their way decayed vegetation poured down by through the cavities of calcareous the rivers, and were all but choked by strata. How delightful, in the early the mire which discoloured the emerald spring, after the dull and tedious time clearness of the ocean for leagues. At of winter, to wander forth by some last we reached our allotted rivers ; clear stream, to see the leaf bursting but here new evils awaited us ; vast from the purple bud, to wander upon troops of dog-fish, sharks, and seals the fresh turf below the shade of trees, awaited our coming, rushed upon us, whose bright blossoms are filled with and devoured thousands before our the music of the bee, and on the sur eyes. But our numbers were incalcu. face of the waters to view the gaudylable, and we pushed on. At length I flies sparkling like gems in the sun. shot up my native stream, and on glid

a

« PredošláPokračovať »