« AnteriorContinuar »
by national acclamation, and his name permanently inscribed in the calendar of genius. It will be long enough ere Great Britain has again leisure to bestow on poets and novelists ; but even were the interest of the country wholly at the disposal of writers of fiction, their chance of success would still be problematical. The inordinate popularity of any one voluminous poet, must always be succeeded by a blank. There exists but a certain number of poetical words and phrases in a language; and these, when dexterously strung together by the hand of a master, are committed to memory ; till, by the force of satiety, they degenerate into commonplace. The jingle of familiar rhymes becomes offensive; natural imagery fails to impress the mind, already imbued with the sublime and beautiful in their choicest features. After Milton, there was a pause ;-after Pope, there was a pause ;-after Byron, there will be a pause. But when the grandeur of Childe Harold and the picturesqueness of the Giaour, have, in some degree, faded from our recollection, some new minstrel will suddenly possess himself of the public ear, and gather together, in a new form, those “Orient pearls at random flung," in the wantonness of former opulence. Till then, we recommend the “ English Bards” to append their lyres, like Tasso's, “ad em ci presso ;" and leave the courtship of the Muses to the lyrists of Warren's Blacking and Wright's Champagne. BENEFACTORS OF POETS,
“ Je veux un jour avoir une chaumiere
Dont un verger ombrage le contour,
Avec ma mie, et ma muse, et l'amour." This poetical aspiration of Demaustier, has been realized by Lord Milton, in favour of John Clare ; and we regret to perceive that the circumstance provoked universal wonder and commendation. It seems that the golden age of Poesy is past, when, as a mark of gentle blood, every noble was expected to entertain a minstrel or two in his train;- when Marguerite of France imprinted a tender salute on the lips of the sleeping Alain Chartier, and when purses of gold, and jewels of price, were showered upon the inspired bard in guerdon of his genius. Goethe has a fine passage in his “Torquato Tasso," to prove that such favours are thriftily bestowed ; since the poet can requite with immortality the hospitality of his noble entertainer. We know not what measure of renown will be conferred by Clare on the representative of the house of Wentworth ; but eagerly seize the opportunity of adding our feeble echo to the clarion of Fame.
THE KING OF BAVARIA.—The public journals inform us that an attempt has been made by Ludwig I. to introduce to the notice of his Queen the divorced wife of Lord Ellenborough, who has been for some time past living openly under his royal protection. We confess we have long misdoubted this Joseph Surface of modern sovereignty ; he was always such a vastly “moral young man !" For the last twenty years, he has been playing fantastic tricks before high Heaven, till the earth has grown very much out of conceit with him. Who does not remember his Majesty's ode on visiting Weimar, (published in every petty newspaper of the German empire,) in which he addresses the reigning Duke as higher than Augustus, and Göthe as more eminent than Virgil ? Who does not remember his Körnerian ballads, breathing patriotism in every stanza ? And in what have all these fine effusions ended ? In the restoration of the Jesuits, in religious persecutions, an increased taxation, a crusade against the liberty of the press, and a Madame de Montespan intruded upon his Queen and Court.
NATIONAL GALLERY.-In one of Odry's monopolylogues, à la Matthews, we remember hearing him allude to the Théatre Français, as “ ce spectacle vis à vis du patissier dans la rue Richelieu ;” and we have little doubt that some day or other John Reeve will find occasion to allude to the projected National Gallery as the Long Room next door to the Foot-soldiers' barracks at Charing Cross. Whatever may be our national progress in political economy, our proficiency in national parsimony is indisputable. We, who have lavished half a million on a cottage in Windsor Park, (now pulled down as affording a dangerous refuge for rats on the royal demesne,)we who piled up the lath-and-plaster palace at Pimlico,—we who set up the brazen image in Hyde Park,,we who have been voting million after million for raising the royal attics here, and remodelling the royal hencoops and pig-styes there,--have actually lavished the sum of £50,000 for the construction of a conservative temple for the Fine Arts, in the metropolis ! This will do! Brother Jonathan has reason to be proud of us! Why, we might have boarded the nine muses at Crockford's
Bazaar for very little more money; or the pictures might have been deposited at the Pantechnicon. But a NATIONAL GALLERY, to become a lasting monument of penuriousness or bankruptcy,—a stigma on the taste of the reigning sovereign, worse than the exclamation of George II., “I hate bainting and boetry; who is this rascally Hogart that laughs at my Guards "_Forbid it, shades of the Medici!
A CONUNDRUM.—A noble poet of the day, a man of wit and fashion about town, contributed some charades to a new fashionable periodical ; the solution of which was promised for the following number. In the interim, his Lordship having forgotten the words expressed in the charades, went about bewailing his loss.
“ Can't recollect your words ?” said a rival scribbler. “Depend upon it you have eaten them !”
ROYAL Gossips.-It appears established as an axiom of modern kingmanship, that an anointed sovereign may speak, but must, on no account, presume to talk. Louis Philippe, the vicissitudes of whose life are probably more remarkable than those of any other individual in Europe, (with the exception of Baron Geramb, formerly of Carlton House, but now of La Trappe notoriety,) has contracted, it seems, a tendency to narration, extremely irksome to his courtiers, and still more so to his ministers of state. Professed story-tellers, and that-reminds-me-of-an-anecdote people, are in all situations of life inexpressibly tedious as companions; but, when connected with
“ The ceremony that to great ones 'longs," nothing can be more calamitous than the propensity thus exhibited by His Most Christian Majesty of the French. When we consider, however, the ten volumes of frivolous personal reminiscences bequeathed to us by his invaluable preceptress, who, to the day of her death, was in the habit of lecturing him in a quotidian billet of advice, beginning, “ Sire, mon trés cher enfant,” we are almost inclined to pity and forgive the mingled diffuseness and circumstantiality which distinguishes the royal gossip of the Palais Royal. So regular indeed are the intermission and recurrence of his favourite anecdotes, that the Queen and courtiers are said to note the hours of the day by “I recollect when I was an usher in Switzerland ;” “I remember just before the action of Genappe ;” or, “ It occurs to me that, when I was a school. master in the United States.” The King of the Belgians is stated, by the Carlists' journals, to have returned to Lacken, minus a button on the right breast of all his coats and uniforms ; lost in defending himself against the thrice-told tales of his illustrious father-in-law.
INCREASE OF CRIME AND DIMINUTION OF PUNISHMENT.-It has recently been noticed, with surprise, by many contemporary periodicals, that boiling to death was formerly included among the penalties of our criminal law, and that some half-adozen persons were publicly boiled in Smithfield, for poisoning and other enormities. We see nothing very wonderful in the fact! It stands to reason that the first insti. tution of legal tribunals, in any country, in any era, must be enforced and upheld by magnitude of penalties and inflexibility in their infliction ; and, moreover, that the quantity and quality of punishment should be commensurate with the civilization and refinement of the land. When life itself was an incessant struggle with hardship and privation, boiling or pressing to death were proportionate modes of punishment. Confinement on bread and water in an airy prison would have been luxury to one of our Celtic ancestors; and it is only in our own machinerytriumphant-age of do-nothingness that the sufferings of a month on the tread-mill can be duly appreciated. If the march of luxury should go on with its present speed, and the progress of national enervation continue, we have no doubt that in process of time misdemeanours will be chastised by a ride in a cart without springs ; and felons of note be awarded to a year's imprisonment, without the use of knife, fork, or spoon ; while a trespassing lord will be sentenced to dine without soup or fish, or to sleep on a flock bed. In the year 2032, a fine lady, convicted of infanticide, will be made to
Die of a rose in aromatic pain; and the sentence be quite as barbarous as the peine forte et dure of the middle ages.
SYMPTOMS OF LITERATURE.- Captain Skinner, in his Oriental Sketches, recently published, informs us, that the natives of Ceylon, having no other substitute for writing paper than the thin leaves of the Ola, use an iron pen, which they support in the thumb-nail of the left hand, allowed to grow for that purpose ; and that a literary
man is discovered by such a mark. Perhaps, had a similar custom prevailed in Great Britain, the Author of Junius would have been detected in the person of some mild Lord of the Bedchamber, or silver-tongued Silver Stick ; and, even in the present day, what mysteries might be developed ! The Messayer des Chambres announces to the news-lovers of Europe, that Sir Robert Peel officiates as the Editor of the Morning Post; while “ Horace Swiss, (they have not exactly hit it to a T,) Sir Charles Wetherell, et autres jeunes fashionables," act as redactors of the Albion ! Now if the notchery of the Cingalese men of letters were but introduced among our own literati, we should enabled to nail them in a minute !
THE CANONIZATION OF PRINCES.
“ The fickle breath of popular applause" is scarcely less impeachable for its application than for its mutability. Kings, Kaisers, and Princes hereditary, must assuredly find it very difficult to compute their chances of popularity, by any given law of precedent or probability. Louis le Bien aimé was by half his subjects styled Louis l’Inévitable ; Ferdinand, the well-beloved, is alternately execrated as a tyrant, or despised as an idiot; and Henri le Dieudonné has, by the nation on whom he was bestowed, been donné à tous les diables. But of all the instances of public waywardness on record, the most remarkable is the case of the late Duke of York !--a man lamented from one end of the kingdom to the other, idolized by the army-and honoured by a public monument; although it is universally known that his domestic life was a disgrace to himself, and that his public life reflected little honour on the country. His unfortunate expedition to Holland, the lamentable exposure connected with the discharge of his duties as Commander-in-Chief, and above all, his most un-statesmanlike, and most in-Englishmanlike · So help me God” declaration against the Roman Catholics, would have covered any other Prince with obloquy; and it has been ascertained, through the investigation recently set on foot by his creditors, that his Royal Highness died an insolvent debtor to the amount of £150,000! A certain convivial good-humour, and considerable stanchness in his private friendships, appears to have formed a limit to the “ virtues of this most popular Prince of the House of Brunswick," who has been canonized by Farty writers, in defiance of every rule of common sense or public decency.
ROYAL PATRONS OF FREEDOM.—We think it is Jean Paul who observes, that many princes and ministers affect to regard the liberty of the subject as a featherin their caps ; and in this resemble Mephistophiles, who, wearing the cock's feather in his bonnet,* is scared away by his cry. The truth is, that the freedom which finds favour in the eyes of hereditary rulers is not that which benefits the people, but that which benefits themselves. The butcher, knowing that a certain portion of exercise is necessary for his flock, provides it for them; and princes, knowing that men pine and grow rusty without an allowance of self-will, indulge them. They would have a man preserve as much independence of spirit as goes to make him cheerful, and a good workman. They know, that a proper quantity of fixed air makes their cham. pagne sparkle, and that a little more will break their musty bottles. They calcu. late, to a nicety, so much of this rare provender will enable a man to bear a stout burden; but so much will make him as strong as myself, and then he will no longer submit to be my drudge, but will set up on his own account. The moral of all this is, that free institutions and free-men never can be patronized by princes.
" Who would be free themselves must strike the blow.” Pedro is not quite such a brute as Miguel; and Louis Philippe has less power, if not less will, than Charles X., to be a despot- that is all the difference.
• According to popular superstition in Germany, the feather of a cock's tail in his cap is an indis. pensable part of the Devil's costume.
For Reform, 37 DURING the vacations of the Legisla. New Men,
Doubtful, ture, it is often difficult to mark the pro
Against, 11 gress of events during so short a space as
FOR SCOTLAND. a month. Public feeling, and the acts to Members of the old Par-s For Reform, 24 which it impels, are continually advanc
| Against, 15 ing, but frequently with a silent and im.
For Reform, 41 perceptible motion. The enactments of New men,
Doubtful, 10 the Legislature are the final expressions
Against, 15 of what was once an isolated individual The data, however, upon which this will, diffused gradually through the bulk calculation rested were in many instances of the nation, heaving uncertainly on the erroneous or insufficient, and there has billows of opinion like the unavailing been a good deal of shifting since it was plunges of a ship at anchor, now advance made. The constituency, which has to ing, now seeming to retrograde ; at last make its choice out of these candidates, spreading over all, and impressing the os will be found considerably narrower than tensible lawgivers, the organs of the moral was anticipated in England, Wales, and sense of the community, either with con in all probability Ireland. This is owing viction, or the feeling that resistance is to the provision that throughout the emunavailing. As in the mind of man the pire no person shall be entitled to be re first promptings to action are vague and gistered as a voter who has not paid his unsusceptible of being distinctly appre- assessed taxes before a certain day; and in hended and retained in the memory, so, England, no person who has not likewise in society, the growth of opinion can paid all rates due by him up to the same scarcely be made the subject of an intelli- period. This is palpably unjust. In the gible narrative. Results alone can be dis- first place, some distinction ought to have tinctly described. Since the dissolution been made between the right to be regisof Parliament, the country has been pre- tered as a voter, and the right to exercise paring for new exertions the cloud has the privilege. A temporary bar like the been re-charging itself with electric mat. non-payment of any tax, ought not to preter.
vent a man from getting upon the roll, or THE ELECTIONS.- The canvass for put him to the expense of a double appliseats in the first reformed Parliament is cation. In the second place, we cannot now universal. According to a calcula see why a man's being behind hand with tion made about the end of August, there Government is more likely to interfere were then in the field as candidates : with a due exercise of the franchise than FOR ENGLAND.
his being behind hand with any other Members of the Old ( For Reform, 248 creditor. Lastly, we cannot see, even supParliament,
Against, 74 posing there be such a mysterious demo.
For Reform, 174 ralizing power in the relation of debtor to New Men,
Doubtful, 60 a government, which is itself one of the
Against, 66 rankest and most notorious debtors in FOR WALES.
existence, why a man must be clear of all Members of the Old | For Reform, 15 local burdens before he can act in a pubParliament,
Against, 9 lic manner. In England, the oppressive
3 effects of this clause have been felt most New Men,
Doubtful, I heavily. The workings of ill-framed and
Against, 1 misapplied poor-laws have rendered the FOR IRELAND.
whole frame of society so unhealthy, that Members of the Old For Reform, 60 a load of this kind is severely felt. In
Parliament, Against, 27 Scotland, where coufirmed habits of self.
reliance prevail more—where a great class The Irish- but Old Nick himself might of those who are constantly on poor be puzzled to find a proper appellative for tith's brink,” tread their perilous path the Irish ascendancy faction. It owes its with a surer foot, an exertion has been existence to freedom of thought and necessary, but has been more uniformly utterance, and would deny it to all others. made with success. The entire novelty It rests its title to the possession of power of the situation of the electors may not to a violent revolution of no distant date, have been without its influence. With a and would claim for it the superstitious few exceptions, the conduct of the liberal reverence paid to existences whose comcandidates, as far as it has come within mencement dates beyond memory. It is the sphere of our knowledge, has been the strong arm claiming the attributes of fair, and what it ought to be. Were we
It is an attempt to give perpeto complain of anything, it would be a tuity to one moment of a state of transi. want of definitiveness and precision on tion. It is the most complete practical the part of the declarations of many of bull Ireland ever made, and has been them. Doubts are held by some as to attended with the worst consequences. specific pledges. They rank under the But be the ascendancy boys what they category of vows or promissory oaths, re may, even their most sweet voices have specting the character of which the reader been comparatively stilled by the prosmay consult Bentham's Book of Fallacies, pect of the coming elections.
Mealypage 82, et seq. Still it is possible for a mouthed, however, though our old eneman, without tying up his hands, to show mies are, their conduct is as bad as ever. by his words that he has distinct views They deceive voter, they bully of what general measures are necessary, another (quietly, as one of Robert Chamand is prepared to act up to them. What bers' heroes would say,) and they endea. we complain of on the part of many vour to lame their adversaries by all sorts liberal candidates, on the part of all who of legal quibbling. It will not do. The are identified with the Whig party, is an next Parliament will finish their beloved affectation of mystery. “Political science system, and every succeeding one will add is a thing so abstruse as to be beyond the to the number of clear-sighted, firm, recomprehension of the multitude, and flective, and bold legislators. “Wait till might be attended with dangerous conse we see how the Reform Bill works, and quences if discussed openly. The people then we will know whether the ballot be are so apt to run away with general con called for.” It is in the state of transi. clusions. An abstract principle is so apt tion that the ballot is most necessary. Veto be misapplied.” We tell these gentle terans may be brought to stand fire on a men that plain speaking is called for. bare field. It is the recruits that need Mystification always smells of legerde. to be trained to the business, by bushmain. The man who will not speak his fighting and barricade work. mind freely, “though the blank verse BANK CHARTER._ This is a subject should halt for it," if he have not made about which the public mind is at preup his mind to act dishonestly, has not at sent much busied, without entertaining all events made up his mind to act any very clear notions of the extent or honestly This is the impression natu bearing of the question. Every periodical rally, necessarily, and justly made on the discusses it, but none with precision or minds of all plain unlettered men by mastery of the topic; and readers pay to humming and having, and looking more their disquisitions the toll of a languid than you say.
The defeated faction, the attention. People know that it is time they anti-reformers are, from the very necessity were making up their minds, but know not of their case, forced into double-dealing. to whom they ought to apply for council. Great allowances must be made for men The Parliamentary Committee of In. who deal with people newly come to their quiry is now allowed, on all hands, to have estate, in the hopes of ousting them out been a bubble. It came to no conclusion, of it. We have seen only one addresss to and indeed, by the nature of its inquiries the electors of any district which speaks could not. Among the popular leaders decidedly the Tory language; and even Mr. ATTWOOD of Birmingham, and Mr. that is much after the fashion that we CORBETT, if not the soundest teachers on have heard some refugees speak French. this point, are at least the loudest. The They had been long enough in this Birmingham Journal, reporting the procountry to lose their own language, but ceedings at a meeting of the Council of not to acquire English. The English the Union, said “ Mr. Charles Jones Tories have discovered that the Church spoke in refutation of Mr. Cobbett's docneeds repairs- we mean reform. The trines on the currency.” Roused by this Scottish Tories, that the extension of the remark, COBBETT dispatched on the 19th franchise will be a benefit to Scotland. of August, a challenge to the Political