Imágenes de páginas

Thou wilt hear nothing till the judgment morning,
When the great trump shall thrill thee with its warning.
Why should this worthless tegument endure,

If its undying guest be lost for ever?
O! let us keep the soul embalm’d and pure

In living virtue, that, when both must sever,
Although corruption may our frame consume,
The immortal spirit in the skies may



HORACE Smith. The wit and pleasantry of the late Mark Supple were well known to all the curious and eccentric circles of Westminster. He was an able and eminent reporter of the debates in Parliament, and acquitted his duties in that department with singular excellence, even when tipsy, during the whole of a debate. Attending in a crowded gallery one evening, when an important question was to come on, and the House extremely full on both sides ; Mr. Pitt, and the whole of the ministerial phalanx, were in their places; Mr. Addington in the chair, maintaining, with solemn gravity, the dignity of his office, and the whole assembly mute as mummies in a catacomb. The House, in short, had all the appearance of a Quaker's Meeting ; when Supple, tipsy as usual, gravely took his pinch of snuff, and broke in upon the silence of the House with this address to the chair :

“Mr. Speaker !-hiccup—I'll be very much obliged if you will be so good as to give us a Song." The Speaker

* The father of James and Horace Smith-himself a gentleman of learning and accomplishments, and Solicitor to the Board of Ordnance had the gratification of living to witness the literary triumphs of his two excellent sons, the admired authors of " The Rejected Addresses."

Horace Smith, besides being an accomplished poet, is the author of several interesting novels of the Waverley school. James, the admirable imitator of Scott, Wordsworth, and Crabbe, and author, we believe, of “The Milkmaid and Banker,” died on the 24th of December, 1839, aged

His greatly attached brother, loved and respected by all who know him, is happily still living, August 1845.

+ The incident which this anecdote relates, occurred towards the conclu. sion of Mr. Pitt's administration.


was electrified.-Mr. Pitt burst out into a loud and immoderate fit of laughter; and several other members, after many fruitless endeavours to preserve their gravity, followed his example. The Speaker called out, “Serjeant at Arms, do your duty, and bring that person to the bar.” In an instant the Serjeant flew to the gallery, and, with all the grim authority of office, demanded who it was that had presumed to insult the House. Nobody would peach ;* but the Serjeant was, by some silent finger, directed to Supple, upon whom he immediately seized. Supple, with great coolness, said, • My dear fellow, you are quite mistaken ;-that sly, drabcoloured gentleman," (pointing to a Quaker, seated in the front row, behind the clock) " is the man who called for the song ;

for my part, I have no taste for music.” The Serjeant flew like lightning after poor Obadiah, and dragged him out of the gallery in spite of all remonstrances, and was only prevented from bringing him to the bar, by the assurance of a gentleman in the Members' gallery, (who had witnessed and enjoyed the joke) that “the Quaker was not the man.”




DURING the protracted debates in Parliament, in 1802, on the subject of public scarcity, Mr. Wilberforce one night made a long and able speech, in the course of which he recommended great encouragement to the cultivation of potatoes, as a source of cheap food for the

poor. A reporter, who was desirous of attending to every thing which fell from that honourable gentleman, unluckily fell asleep, and only awoke just as Mr. Wilberforce was concluding. The reporter was extremely mortified at having missed the speech, and asked a droll fellow-labourer, the well-known Charles Wilson, who sat next him, to detail the leading points of the honourable member's argument. Wilson told him, with great gravity, that Mr. Wilberforce had been extremely eloquent in recommending the culture of potatoes,--that he had instanced their good effects in the gigantic stature, broad shoulders, vigorous constitution, and comely persons of the Irish peasantry, of whom he had seen so many herculean specimens in his walk through St. Giles's and Covent-garden ; and withal lamented, that his parents and guardians had not fed him, in his early youth, upon those salubrious roots, which would have rendered him tall and athletic, instead of the tiny person he was.

* Give the required information.

† To render this anecdote piquant to those readers who were unacquainted with Mr. Wilberforce, it will be enough to observe that the person of this distinguished Commoner and enlightened philanthropist, was very diminutive - that his shoulders were any thing but broad-and that, altogether, Mr. W. was one of those individuals whose great souls are lodged in very tiny exteriors.

This text was quite enough for the spinner of eloquence, who amplified these points in his next day's paper, to a speech of four columns, without a single sentence of what Mr. Wilberforce had really uttered. On the evening of the same day, (being at his post as usual) Mr. Wilberforce arose with the identical newspaper in his hand. The call of "privilege !" echoed from several voices; and Mr. Wilberforce addressed the chair by expressing “his unwillingness at all times to restrain the liberty of the Press, or to oppose the standing orders of the House, against that usage which had long prevailed, of detailing in the public papers what passed there in discussion ; but, where a gross misrepresentation was made of the speech of a member, it ought not to be passed in silence. He held in his hand a report, purporting to be one of his own speeches on the preceding night, and he would appeal to the House, whether it contained a syllable of what he had said.” (Read, read ! echoed from all sides.)

Mr. Wilberforce put on his spectacles, and proceeded to the reading ; but every sentence produced in the House a burst of laughter; until he came to that part of the speech where he was stated to lament that “ he had not been in his early youth fed upon potatoes, and thereby rendered tall, broad-shouldered, and athletic, instead of the tiny person he was.” This threw the House into a roar of laughter, when Mr. Wilberforce himself, dismounting his spectacles, good-humouredly joined in the laugh, and said—“Well, I protest the thing is so ludicrous, that it is hardly worth serious notice, and I shall pursue it no farther.”


Edinburgh Review for July, 1832. We have nothing more at heart than a cordial friendship between America and England. There is no reason in the world why it should not be, and every reason why it should. How gladly would we apply to our silly bickerings, Adams's happy allusion

upon their party sectional disputes ! “ We angry lovers mean not half what we say.” England is not merely the old country; it is the only country with which America has much European concern or contact. This circumstance has singled out and fixed an importance and character on every thing that she is supposed to do or say, or think or feel, concerning the United States, which her conduct would not possess were the rest of Europe equally in the field. It is as natural for them to think too much, as for us to think too little, about their glorious revolutionary struggle. The somewhat needless parade of their 4th of July anniversaries, connects England with annual hostile recollections. If they are astonished at the facility with which we seem to have forgotten the mortification of defeat, there is at least this merit in the oblivion, we must, as a previous condition, have entirely forgiven them their success! The eagerness of the aspiration, and of the effort with which America already flies her kite at every object of excellence, and every pinnacle of power, manifests an energy

and a purpose at which it is impossible not to clap our hands. We should clap the louder were they less palpably aware of their own merits ! The merit is a little disfigured by too evident a conceit of what they have done themselves, and by an unseemly jealousy of what has been done or is doing by others. England appears at times to be the particular object of this jealousy. The preference is more flattering than agreeable. To the degree that it is connected with an apprehension, that in consequence of their former dependency the pretensions of a step-dame superiority are lingering over our actual relation, it is quite unreasonable. As far as it is necessarily connected with our concurrent enterprise in the same lines of usefulness and ambition, both parties must consent to the consequences of so honourable a competition. What a source of honest pride to the Englishmen of Europe, that, whilst the race of France is stationary in Canada, and is disappearing in Louisiana--whilst Spain has scarcely impregnated with her stock the borders of the golden kingdoms of Mexico and Peru-our children have stamped our character on a vast continent, and so breathe our spirit and follow out our example, that they are already treading on our heels! Whatever clouds may seem at times to pass over the space between us, we never can believe but that the Englishmen of America brighten their countenances in the reflected glory of their European kindred, past, present, and to come! Let them overtake us, if they can, in the road of civilization and of honour ;-it is not so narrow, but that two can go abreast. Let them pass us, and we shall feel much prouder in their progress than shame at being left behind! America has enjoyed immense advantages from the waste of waters which are between us, and from the waste of wilderness at her back.

She must take along with them the disadvantages of her position and of her policy-and this among the rest, if she pays us the compliment of so considering it. Our ignorance is far, however, from being indifference ; much less is it premeditated ill-will. Could England be polled upon such a subject, the section of the present generation would be small indeed, which would not wish their American brethren hearty joy of their good fortune-joy that the United States have achieved their independence —joy that they have established such institutions as they thought were best suited to their condition-joy that they are laying deep in prosperous industry and political contentment, the foundations of an empire greater and happier-probably ten times greater-certainly a thousand fold happier—than the empire of the Cæsars.

In the meantime, it would be as well if the Americans would conceal their pride a little, and take more pains to be always proud in the right place. Of some things however—of their sense, their vigour, their manliness—it is impossible to be too proud. We, the mother country, (the Berecy'nthia* of a hundred sons, and every son a god,) stand too upon our right to share with them in their glory. Greece and Rome boasted of their colonies— their emigrant settlements in Asia or in Gaul. What would they have thought of ours ? How would they have trampled down trumpery criticisms upon a diversity of manners and a variety in dialect or accent! How would they

* A title of Cybele, who, in the heathen mythology, was the daughter of Cælus and Terra (Heaven and Earth), and wife of the old god Saturn.

« AnteriorContinuar »