« AnteriorContinuar »
most jealous juries of tradesmen, have ladies' hats must not be larger than borne ample testimony to the reason, the actual doorways of the country ableness of this modern extension of will admit-not at least until time is the wants of life, by the liberal allow- allowed for a corresponding increase ance of necessaries which they have in our architectural proportions. With sanctioned in the tailors bills of liti- respect to personal ornaments also, gating minors.-The real and true ear-rings must not be so weighty as test of a refined polity is not the gal- to tear the lobes of the ears ; nor lows; but is to be found rather in should a bracelet prevent, by its size, such well-imagined insolvent laws, as the motions of the arm. “ Barbaric discharge a maximum of debt with pomp and gold” is a fine thing ; but a minimum of assets ; and rid a a medallion, as heary and as cumgentleman annually of his duns, with brous as a shield, appended to a lady's the smallest possible quantity of bosom, would be anything but a luxucorporeal inconvenience. When lux- ry. So in the other extreme, a watch uries become necessaries, insolvency should not be so small as to render the is the best safety-valve to discharge dial-plate illegible; nor should a the surplus dishonesty of the people, shoe be so tight as to lame its wearer which, if pent up, would explode in for life. Beauty, it has been said, dangerous overt acts of crime and vi- should learn to suffer; and there are, olence; and it should be encouraged I am aware, resources in vanity, that accordingly.
will reconcile man, and woman too, The importance and value of luxu- to martyrdom : but these resources ry being thus liberally stated, it is should not be exhausted wantonly ; proper to bear in mind, that the more and in pleasure, as in economy, there and the less is the great pivot, upon is no benefit in lighting the candle at which all moral questions turn; and both ends. The true philosopher exthat in superfluities, as in all things tracts the greatest good out of everyelse, a wise man will confine himself thing: and fools only, as Horace has
in the words of my motto) to what is it, run into one vice in trying to avoid necessary. Although necessity is a, another. Let not the reader, from conventional idea, that expands and these remarks, suppose that their aucontracts with circumstances, like the thor is a morose censurer of the tent in the Arabian tales, which, times ; or that the least sneer is inwhen folded, would lie in the hand, tended against that idol of all orthobut when opened, would shelter a doxy_" things as they are.” As a large army; yet, after all, the thing general proposition, nothing can be itself has its limits, and must in some more true, than that whatever is estabdegree be determined by the physical lished, even in the world of fashion, is, conditions of the animal. There is a for the time being, wisest, discreetest, point at which the inconvenience of best; and woe betide the man that superfluities so far exceeds their utility, flies too directly in its face. that luxury becomes converted into a There is, however, one point upon perfect bore. What, for instance, which I own myself a little sore ; and but an annoyance, would be the most in which, I do think, superfluities are splendid feast, to a man whose sto- carried to a somewhat vicious excess. mach is already overladen with food ? I speak it with hesitation ; but the Human ingenuity may effect much; matter has been to me a source of and the Roinans, by means of emetics, much inconvenience and discomfort. met this emergency with considerable Let no one, therefore, imagine me an skill : but on a more enlarged expe- insufficient, because a prejudiced aurience of general history, it must be thority. After all, who so well knows conceded, that it is quite impossible where the shoe pinches, as he that to add one more superfluous meal to wears it ? The point to which I althose already established by general lude, and I beg the patience of the usage. So also in matters of dress, reader, is the vast increase of super
fluities, which of late years have be- weening increase of spider-tables, come primary necessaries in the ap- that interferes with rectilinear propointment of a well-furnished house. gression: An harp mounted on a Here, indeed, is a revolution ; a sounding-board, which is a stumblingrevolution more formidable than block to the feet of the short-sighted, the French and the American eman- is, I concede, an absolute necessity; cipation put together. We all re- and a piano-forte should occupy member the time when one tea-table, the centre even of the smallest two or three card-tables, a pier glass, given drawing-room," the court a small detachment of chairs, with awards it, and the law doth give it,” two armed corporals to command —but why multiply footstools, till them, on either side the fire-place, there is no taking a single step in with a square piece of carpet in the safety? An Indian cabinet also, or a centre of the floor, made a very de- buhl armoire, are, either, or both of cent display in the drawing, or, as it them, very fit and becoming ; but it was then preposterously called, the cannot be right to make a broker's
hearth were not; and twice a day did inkstand, as large as a show twelfthBetty go upon her knees to scour the cake, is just and lawful ; ditto, an ormarble and uncovered slab. In the namental escrutoire ; and a nécessaire bed-rooms of those days, a narrow for the work-table is, if there be slip of carpet round the bed was the meaning in language, perfectly necesmaximum of woollen integument al- sary. These, with an adequate conlowed for protecting the feet of the tingent of musical snuff-boxes, or midnight wanderer from his couch ; molu clocks, China figures, alabaster and, in the staircases of the fairest vases and flower-pots, together with a mansions, a like slip meandered down discreet superfluity of cut-paper nonthe centre of the flight of steps.. At descripts, albums, screens, toys, that time, curtains rose and fell in a prints, caricatures, duodecimo classics, line parallel to the horizon, after the new novels and souvenirs, to cut a simple plan of the green siparium of dash, and litter the tables, must be alour theatres ; and, being strictly con- lowed to the taste and refinement of fined to the windows, they never the times. But surely some space dreamed of displaying themselves in should be left for depositing a coffeefront of a door. No golden serpents cup, or laying down a useful volume, then twisted their voluminous folds when the hand may require to be reacross the entire breadth of the room ; lieved from its weight, or when it is nor did richly-carved cods, heads and proper to take a pinch of snuff, or shoulders, under the denomination of agreeable to wipe one's forehead. dolphins, or glittering spread-eagles, Josses, beakers, and Sevres' vases with a brass ring in their mouths, sup- have unquestionably the entrée into a port fenestral draperies, which rival genteel apartment; but they are not the display of a Waterloo-house calico entitled to a monopoly of the locale ; vender. Thus far, I admit, the nor are Roman antiquities, or statues change is an improvement. Nay, I even by Canova, justifiable in usurpcould away with ladders to go to bed ing the elbow-room of living men and withal, though many a time and oft women. Most unfortunately for mythey have broken my shins. I would self, I have a very small house, and a not either object to sofas and otto- wife of the most enlarged taste; and mans, in any reasonable proportion; the disproportion between these blessbut protest I must, and in the strongest ings is so great, that I cannot move terms too, against such a multiplica- without the risk of a heavy pecuniary tion and variety of easy chairs, as ef- loss by breakage, and a heavier perfectually exclude the possibility of 'sonal affliction in perpetual imputaeasy sitting; and against the over- tions of awkwardness. Then, again,
it is no easy matter to put on a smiling unquestioned. Ornaments, I admit, and indifferent countenance, whenever are ornamental ; and works of art afa friend, accustomed to some latitude ford intellectual amusement of the of motion, runs, as is often the case, highest order. But then perfection is his devastating chair against a high- their only merit; and a crack or a priced work of art, or overturns a ta- flaw destroys all the pleasure of a ble laden with an “infinite thing" in sensible beholder. Yet I bare not a costly bijouterie. I have long made statue that is not a torso, nor a Chelit a rule to exclude from my visiting- sea china shepherdess with her full list, or at least not to let up-stairs, complement of fingers. I have not a ladies who pay their morning calls vase with both its handles, a snuff-box with a retinue of children : but the that performs its waltz correctly, oor thing is not always possible ; and one a volume of prints that is not dogsurchin with his whip will destroy ear'd, stained, and ink-spotted. more in half an hour, than the worth These are serious evils ; but they are of a month's average domestic expen- the least that flow from a neglect of diture. Oh ! how I hate the little the maxim which stands at the head fidgeting, fingering, dislocating imps! of my paper. Perpend it well, readA bull in a china-shop is innocuous er; and bear ever in mind that, in to the most orderly of them. Why our desires, as in our corporeal strucdoes not some wise draconic law ban- ture, it is not given to man to add a ish them forever to the nursery ? cubit to his stature. I am very tired;
The general merit of nick-nacks is so “ dismiss me,-enough."
HYMN OF THE CALABRIAN SHEPHERDS TO THE VIRGIN.
BY L. E. L.
A peasant group, whose lips are full of prayer
DARKER and darker fall around
The shadows from the pine,
To gather round thy shrine.
Our earthly hopes and fears,
The tenderness of tears.
Those who knelt with us here-
The distant, and the dear. We pray thee for the little bark
Upon the stormy sea;
Is it not known to thee?
His head upon his brand,
His own beloved land.
Thy hymns his earliest tone,
The music of his own.
Their own Italian shore;
Back to the home which, wanting them,
Seems like a home no more.
Amid his native seas,
Upon our olive trees.
The dew rejoice our vines,
In music through the pines.
Be kept in fear and love ;
And fear for those above.
Oh ! let them wash away
Pray for us, Mother, pray!
Around thine altar bung;
Before thine image sung.
And sanctify the lay;
Pray for us, Mother, pray !
AN ADVENTURE IN CEYLON.
You have often asked me for the par- Matura. I went on board between ticulars of the adventure of our friend eleven and twelve o'clock of the day; H., in the Jungle of Ceylon, with the and, as it was the month of July, with two Bears; and having lately had the the Monsoon blowing in my favor circumstances related to me by our with all its vigor, I had no doubt of friend himself, I shall endeavor to reaching the place of my destination, conquer my habitual dislike to writ- though sixty miles off, before daylight ing, while I impart them to you. In of the following morning. With this doing so I shall adhere, as nearly as idea, I had provided no sea-stock bepossible, to the very words he used in yond a bottle of brandy, accidentally his narration; and, as the whole is in- put into my hands, and a change of teresting, I have no scruple in making linen, with dressing utensils. You him commence with you, as he did may judge of my disappointment, when with me, from the day before his day dawned, between five and six bairbreadth escape. To those who o'clock, as it does in that country, to never were in the country where the find that we had overshot our port. scene is laid, it is necessary to explain It was impossible to land amidst the that the southern coast of Ceylon, tremendous surf on that coast in the from Tangalle stretching eastward to south-west Monsoon; and the Tandil, the province of Batticaloa, is a desart, or master of the boat, who, by the with the single exception of Hamban- way, was bound to Trincomalee, said, totte, where a civil servant is station- that all he could do was to land me in ed, for the superintendence and col- a small bite or bay called Pootanie, lection of the salt spontaneously pro- which was still some hours' sail duced along the coast. The charac- a-head, and between fifty and sixty ter of the country varies, being some- mniles beyond the breakfast awaiting times deep sand, at others jungle and me at Hambantotte. This was raforest, and frequently large grassy ther serious to a man with a good applains. The inhabitants of this tract petite, who had tasted nothing from of country, of nearly two hundred the day before at breakfast, in a part miles, are so few, that it may be said of the country quite uninhabited, exto be abandoned entirely to elephants, cepting by a couple of men posted buffaloes, wild hogs, and last, not here and there, for the purpose of carleast, abundance of leopards, as well rying the Tappaul. But I felt strong
Occasionally, a few runners are sta- paign had taught me to fast. I thought tioned in huts, from fifteen to twenty too, if I once got ashore, I should be miles apart, for the purpose of trans- able to find one or other of the Tapmitting such letters as Government paul huts I have mentioned, and come may send by that route ; and there is, in for a share of the currie and rice of moreover, an empty rest-house or two, its inmates. At a station, moreover, merely sufficient to shelter the weary by name Pallitopanie, about half-way traveller from the rays of the sun. between where I was to be put ashore
“I was proceeding,” said our friend, and Hambantotte, there was an Eng" in the way of my duty, from Point lish corporal, with a few native solde Galle to the Post of Hambantotte, diers, in charge of a depot of salt. on the south-east coast of the island, But to proceed. I was landed in a and had sent forward my servants and small canoe from the larger vessel. I baggage by land, while I myself em- took with me a black man, who was barked in a native boat, called a dho- proceeding to Trincomalee with sonie ney, at the small bay of Belligham, trifling articles of merchandise, who half way between Point de Galle and said he could show me the hut in the
53 ATHENEUM, VOL. 2, 3d series.
neighborhood, where I could get one a-shooting them; and though I bad of the runners before-mentioned to be heard of instances of their attacking my guide, as well as to carry a small men, I had never on any occasion seen leathern case with a change of linen them that they did not run away on and dressing utensils. We had no raising a shout or firing a shot. When sooner stepped on the beach, than the I came near, one of the perceived men in the canoe treacherously push- me, and gave that angry cry, which ed off for their vessel, and my black all who have been accustomed to elefriend threw himself at my feet, im- phants know so well. I shouted and ploring me to let him go also, and that ran forward, but instead of taking to I should proceed far enough not to be flight, as I expected, the one who saw seen, otherwise the men in the canoe me made out of the jungle after me. would not be prevailed on to return for I had got past the herd, and I fled on him; and, separated from his proper- my way with all the swiftness of ty on board the dhoney, he should be which I was capable. He was overruined. I granted his request; and, taking me fast, however, and was not from a small distance, had the satis- many yards from me, when I turned faction of seeing him taken off by the round, and threw my portmanteau at people in the canoe, and of feeling him. By special good fortune this myself alone in a desart, hungry, and arrested his progress, and he stopped without the means of procuring food, as if to examine my kit. When I had and even ignorant of the road, and, got forty or fifty yards from him, I of course, with little chance of finding stopped also. Perhaps you will scarceany of the letter-carriers or their huts. ly credit me when I say, that even It was now drawing towards three then I was not afraid; but so it was, o'clock, and with my little valize in and I looked upon the affair more in a one hand, and my brandy bottle, about ludicrous than in any other light. I half full, in the other, I went in search was determined not to give up my of the hut. After fruitlessly spending packet so easily, and I again shouted an hour in endeavoring to find it, I and ran back a few paces towards my deemed it better, as the sun was fast friend. Upon doing so, be renewed descending, to turn my face towards his attack, and charged me a second the west, and to endeavor to reach time. This time I should have had a the next station, Yallé by name, about poor chance for it, but fortunately a sixteen miles distant, and where there small inequality of ground intervened, was a rest-house. The country was when he was close upon me, and I a number of open plains of different started to one side, stooping down as sizes, divided from each other by ex- much as possible, while he passed ontensive low jungles, interspersed with wards. I saw him bewildered at havthe large forest trees of the country. ing lost me, while I skulked away as It was not without some difficulty that quickly as I could, and regained my I could find the path; and iny strik road by a circuitous route. I had not ing upon the right one I considered proceeded much farther when the sun as particularly fortunate. I jogged on set, and in the very short twilight at a brisk pace, and all went well till which follows in that climate, I perabout sunset, when I was aware of a ceived two animals come out of the herd of elephants in the jungle on each jungle into the path, about 100 yards side of the path I had to pass. I could before me. In the uncertain light, I just see their backs occasionally above at first took them for the half-grown the bushes, and hear the small trees calves of wild buffaloes, an animal cracking and giving way on each side, abounding in that part of the island, as they walked through themi, as a and they proceeded with their heads man would through a field of corn. down towards a large tree by the side These animals gave me but little un- of the road I had to pass, where they easiness, as I had frequently been began snuffing about the roots. I was