« AnteriorContinuar »
when he died by a fall down stairs in as Mr. Whately observes—a perfect the dark. He was present at the bat- picture of his mind, sinple, elegant, tle of Preston Pans, which was fought and amiable, and which will always close to his father's garden walls. suggest a doubt whether the spot inFor the last twenty years he lived spired his verses, or whether in the chiefly on tea, using it three times a- scenes which he formed, he only realday ; his pipe was his first companion ized the pastoral images which abound in the morning and last at night. He in his songs. That elegant trifler, never remembered to have taken a Horace Walpole, was enthusiastically dose of physic in his life, prior to his fond of gardening. One day telling last fatal accident, nor of having a his nurseryman that he would have his day's illness but once.
trees planted irregularly, he replied, The association of gardening with “ Yes, sir, I understand ; you would pastoral poetry, was exemplified in have them hung down--somewhat Shenstone's design of the Leasowes— poetical.”
« Come, let us stray Where Chance or Fancy leads our roving walk."
NEW POST-OFFICE REGULATION. answer the purpose of a bookseller to It is said, that the Lords of the Trea- bave down one or two books in a parsury have issued, or intend to issue, cel for a single customer,-would in an order to the postmaster-general, such an arrangement find a great acpermitting the free transmission to au- commodation.. An additional hundred thors residing in the country of the weight to each of the mail coaches proof sheets of any work going through would be no drawback upon their the press, and which may be sent to speed or safety; and all new works of them for correction. For this pur- immediate interest might be thus cirpose the proofs are, it is said, to be culated throughout the country. As sent open to Mr. Francis Freeling, in France the regulation alluded to who will enclose them in a post-office was made exclusively in favor of litecover, and forward them according to rature, a method of preventing decepthe address, and perform the same on tion has been adopted. Persons sending their return. This arrangement, if books, are required to leave them open carried into effect, will certainly be an at the ends, a band with the address accommodation, as far as it goes; and upon it being simply placed round the we think that other important concescentre. sions to the interests of literature might THE FATE OF HERETICS. be made without injury to, and even The following anecdote of Italian to the advantage of, the revenue. In priest-craft is genuine. A worthy woFrance all the new publications, ex- man in Rome, who kept an hotel and cept those of very great weight, are boarding-house, having observed with forwarded by the mail coaches at a wonder the correct morals and decotrilling expense ; so that persons who rous habits of many English and Gerreside in the provinces may receive man heretics, asked her confessor if it them with the greatest possible rapidi- was really true, that all these poor foty. If at a moderate rate per pound reigners would go into everlasting fire; weight new works could he forwarded as she could not understand why these from London by the mail coaches, in- heretics, whose virtuous and Christdividuals who reside at a distance from jan lives were an example to many the large towns to which parcels of Romans, should perish everlastingly. newly published books are sent, or The priest reproved her folly and even in those towns,- for it does not presumption, and thus explained ::
“Even in his mother's womb the act of parliament, a two-penny stainp), heretic is already the indisputable pro- and distributed, gratis, to the purchaperty of the devil; for which reason sers of the regular newspaper. By he is not so frequently teased and the new arrangement of printing the tempted by the arch-enemy as we supplementary matter upon the same Christians are, who cannot be depriv- sheet, enlarged for that purpose to ed of our claims on heaven, except four feet in length, and a yard in width, by great wickedness and impiety. Re- a saving of about 701. for each supjoice not, therefore, at the good ac- plementary number will be effected; tions and good manners of those here- as the sheet, being undetached, will
tics, which are, indeed, the certain not require an extra stamp. A wri ta tokens of their irredeemable dampa- ter in an evening paper calculates,
tion; nor take offence at the elect, that in the forty-eight columns of the who so often stumble and fall in their Times of Monday there are nearly struggles with the tempter. The fa- 150,000 words; and a calculating corvorites of God are those whom the respondent of our own tells us, that in devil incessantly seeks to entangle; the colossal sheet in question, there but, being sure of the souls of here- were nearly as many words as in all tics, he never tempts thein more than the morning and evening newspapers once, and then only out of wantonness which were published on the same and pastime.”
day in the French capital.
SPEED THE PLOUGH.
INEBRIETY IN SWEDEN. In China, agriculture is held in It is a fact that this vice more effecthigh honor. On a certain day in the ually destroys the happiness of this spring, the Emperor appears in the country than any war ever did. The character of a husbandman, and with lists of births and of mortality of two oxen which have their horns gild- Stockholm present the most surprised, and with a varnished plough, he ing phenomenon—that there died in ploughs up several furrows, and af- the last year 1439 persons more than terwards sows them with his own hand. were born. This proportion is obHis principal lords do the like, till served particularly amongst the garri they have tilled the whole spot set son, and ascribed to drinking immoapart for the purpose ; and as Magel- derately of brandy. haëns adds, the Empress, assisted by her ladies, then dresses a homely din
AMERICAN BULL. ner, which the imperial mummers eat A late Vandalia Intelligencer, caltogether.
culating the increase of the population STIQUIOTECHNY.
of Indiana in the last two years,' obUnder this musical and elegant ti- serves that, " allowing five souls to tle a work has been published at Pa- each voter, we have derived from emiris, the object of which is to teach the gration an accession of 20,000.” art of learning to read in twenty or “ Five souls to each voter!” is rather thirty lessons of an hour each, by ana- more than falls to the lot of electors lysing the sounds of words.
The following distinguished indiviThe largest sheet of paper ever used duals died in the month of April :by a newspaper was sent forth from Oliver Goldsmith, April 4, 1774 ; the press of the Times on Monday Francis Bacon, April 9, 1626; George last. Hitherto, when there was an Frederick Handel, April 13, 1759 ; accumulation of advertisements, or Benjamin Franklin, April 17, 1790 ; other matter, at the Time's office, a Miguel de Cervantes, April 23, 1616; supplementary sheet was printed (each William Shakspeare, April 23, 1616; sheet bearing, by virtue of a recent William Cowper, April 25, 1800.
WHERE the fell tyrant, Winter, so ly upon us. However regular may lately held his reign, we now behold be our walks, we are daily surprised rising beauty and tranquil peace, for at the rapid march of vegetation ; at Spring has again returned. The month the sudden increase of freshness, of April is proverbial for its fickleness; greenness and beauty: one old friend for its interiningling showers and flit- after another starts up before us in ting gleams of sunshine; for all spe- the shape of a flower. The violets, cies of weather in one day; for a which came out in March in little wild mixture of clear and cloudy delicate groups, now spread in myriskies, greenness and nakedness, flying ads along the hedge-rows, and fill sehail, and abounding blossoms. But, cluded lanes with fragrance. to the lover of nature, it is not the April is, indeed, the moist and budless characterized by the spirit of ex- ding month, nourished with alternate pectation with which it embues the rains and sunshine. Nature after the mind. We are irresistibly led to look less unequivocal rigor of winter, seems forward ; to anticipate, with a delight- to take delight in rendering herself more ful entbusiasm, the progress of the evident in this operation than in any season. It is one of the excellent other. Winter rains and summer sung laws of Providence, that our minds may appear to the superficial observer shall be insensibly moulded to a sym- to bring him nothing but cold and heat; pathy with that season which is pass- but the watering the vegetation with ing, and become deprived, in a certain light showers, then warming it, and degree, of the power of recalling the then watering it again, seem to show images of those which are gone by ; to our very eyes her "own sweet whence we reap the double advantage hand,” divested of its “cunning." of not being disgusted with the dead. She dresses her plants visibly, like a ness of the wintry landscape from a lady at her window. comparison with the hilarity of spring; This is truly the spring and youthand when spring itself appears, it fulness of the year. March was like comes with a freshness of beauty an honest blustering servant, bringing which charms us, at once, with novel.. home buds and flowers for his young ty, and a recognition of old delights. mistress. April is she herself, issuSymptoms of spring now crowd thick- ing forth adorned with them.
6 ATHENEUM, VOL. 2, 3d series.
The blossom of fruit-trees presents tints of winter, mostly predominates. a splendid scene : in the early part of And now how truly delightful is the the month, gardens and orchards being appearance of the little flower-garden. covered with a snowy profusion of The crocus, the daisy, the polyanthus, plum-bloom; and the blackthorn and and the dark violet, all rivalling each wild plum wreathe their sprays with other in beauty, now excite our utsuch pure and clustering flowers, that most attention ; while the tulip, the they gleam in hedges and the shadowy hyacinth, and the carnation, scent the depths of woods, as if their boughs air with their sweetness, radiated with sunshine. In the latter All is harmony and joy, for the part of the month, the sweet and cheering rays of the sun have retur blushing blossoms of apples, and of the to gild the produce of the earth, : wilding, fill up the succession, harmo- to make merry the heart of every 1 nizing delightfully with the tendering thing. The feathered songster green of the expanding leaves, and the grove are now busily employec continuing through part of May, re- collecting together materials for th calling early recollections, and de- little nests, and in providing food lightful thoughts of our “ youthful their young ones. In the plough days."
field the rustic sower is engaged The fields and meadows, which a depositing the seed in the groui few weeks since were uninviting and leaving to heaven the glorious task of desolate, are now all covered with a completing the work :charming verdure of various hues,
“ Laborious man among which, however, the green, so
Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow!
".. Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! refreshing to the eye after the sombre And temper all, thou world-reviving Sun."
FIRST AND LAST.
TAKE down from your shelves, gentle or be it short, no man sees at one and reader, your folio edition of Johnson's the same moment. Happy would it Dictionary, or, if you possess Todd's be for us, sometimes, if we could edition of Johnson, take down his if we could behold the end of a four ponderous quartos, turn over eve- course of action as certainly as we do ry leaf; read every word from A to the beginning : but oftener, far oftenZ; and then confess, that, in the er, would it be our curse and torment, whole vocabulary, there are not any unless with the foresight or foreknowtwo words which awaken in your ledge, we had the power to avert the heart such a crowd of mixed and di- end. rectly opposite emotions as the two But let me not anticipate my own which now stare you in the face intentions, which are to pourtray, in FIRST and LAST! In the abstract, they some eight or ten sketches, the links embrace the whole round of our es- that hold together the first and last of istence : in the detail, all its brightest the most momentous periods and unhopes, its noblest enjoyments, and its dertakings of our lives; to trace the most cherished recollections; all its dawn, progress, and decline of malortiest enterprises, and all its smiles ny of the best feelings and motives and tears; its pangs of guilt, its vir- of our nature ; to touch, with a tuous principles, its trials, its sorroirs, pensire coloring, the contrasts they and its rewanis. They give you the present ; to stimulate honorable endawn and the close of life; the be- terprises br the examples they furginning and the end of its couniless nish; and to amuse by the form in husr senes. Ther are the two ex- which the truths they supply are emtremiues of a path, which, be it long, bodied. I shall begin with a subject, not exactly falling within the legiti- serve as an appropriate introduction; mate scope of my design ; but it will and I shall call it
THE FIRST AND LAST DINNER.
Twelve friends, much about the predictions of festive merriment. same age, and fixed, by their pursuits, They wantoned in conjectures of their family connexions, and other lo- what changes time would operate; cal interests, as permanent inhabitants joked each other upon their appearof the metropolis, agreed, one day ance, when they should meet,--some when they were drinking their wine at hobbling upon crutches after a severe the Star and Garter at Richmond, to fit of the gout,-others poking about institute an annual dinner among them- with purblind eyes, which even specselves, under the following regulations : tacles could hardly enable to distinThat they should dine alternately at guish the alderman's walk in a haunch each other's houses on the first and of venison-some with portly round last day of the year; that the first bellies and tidy little brown wigs, and bottle of wine uncorked at the first others decently dressed out in a new dinner should be recorked and put suit of mourning for the death of a away, to be drunk by him who should great-granddaughter or a great-greatbe the last of their number; that they grandson. Palsies, wrinkles, toothshould never admit a new member; less gums, stiff hams, and poker knees, that, when one died, eleven should were bandied about in sallies of exumeet, and when another died, ten berant mirth, and appropriated, first to should meet, and so on; and that, one and then to another, as a group when only one remained, he should, of merry children would have distrion those two days, dine by himself, buted golden palaces, flying chariots, and sit the usual hours at his solitary diamond tables, and chairs of solid table; but the first time he so dined pearl, under the fancied possession of alone, lest it should be the only one, a magician's wand, which could transhe should then uncork the first bottle, form plain brick, and timber, and humand, in the first glass, drink to the ble mahogany, into such costly treamemory of all who were gone.
sures. There was something original and “As for you, George,” exclaimed wbimsical in the idea, and it was ea- one of the twelve, addressing bis gerly embraced. They were all in the brother-in-law, “I expect I shall see prime of life, closely attached by re- you as dry, withered, and shrunken as ciprocal friendship, fond of social an old eel-skin, you mere outside of a enjoyments, and looked forward to man !” and he accompanied the their future meetings with unalloyed words with a hearty slap on the shoulanticipations of pleasure. The only der. thought, indeed, that could have dark- George Fortescue was leaning ened those anticipations was one not carelessly over the side of the yacht, very likely to intrude itself at this laughing the loudest of any at the moment, that of the hapless wight who conversation which had been carried was destined to uncork the first bottle on. The sudden manual salutation of at his lonely repast.
his brother-in-law threw him off his It was bigh summer when this fro- balance, and in a moment he was lic compact was entered into; and as overboard. They beard the heavy their pleasure-yacht skimmed along splash of his fall, before they could be the dark boson of the Thames, on said to have seen him fall. The their return to London, they talked yacht was proceeding swiftly along ; of nothing but their first and last but it was instantly stopped. feasts of ensuing years. Their imagi- The utmost consternation now prenations ran riot with a thousand gay vailed. It was nearly dark, but For