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trustingly followed her companion, her heart dancing to the fiddles of Drury-lane ; the fiddles that she would hear. “And this is Bowstreet, my jessamy,” said Ralph. :: “ What's Bow-street?” inquired the maiden. How happy in the ignorance of the question !
“ Where they take up the thieves, and examine 'em, afore they send 'em to Newgate to be hanged.” The wench shivered. “ Never saw nobody hanged, I suppose? Oh, it's nothing, after two or three times. We'll have a day of it, my sweet marjoram, some Monday. We 'll go to the Old Bailey in the morning, and to the play at night : that's what I call seeing life,-eh, you precious pink! But, I say, arn't you tired ?"
"Well, I just am. Where is Mary Axe!” And the girl stared about her.
“Why, if I havn't taken the wrong turning, I'm blest, and that's lost us half a mile and more. I tell you what we 'll do. This is a nice comfortable house." Ralph spoke of the Brown Bear ; at that day, the house of ease to felons, on their transit from the opposite police office to Newgate. “A quiet, respectable place. We'll just go in and rest ourselves, and have atween us half-a-pint of ale."
“Not a drop ; not for the blessed world," cried the girl.
* And then, I 'll tell you all about the playhouse and the players. Bless you! some of 'em come to our house, when the servants give a party. And we make 'em sing songs and tell stories, and when they go away, why, perhaps we put a bottle of wine in their pockets--for, poor things! they can't afford such stuff at home,--and then they send us orders, and we go into the pit for nothing. And so, we'll just sit down and have half-a-pint of ale, won't we?”.
Silently the girl suffered herself to be led into the Brown Bear. The voice of the charmer had entered her heart, and melted it. To hear about plays and players was to hear sweet music : to listen to one who knew—who had spoken to the glorious London actors-who, perhaps, with his own hand had put wine-bottles in their pockets-was to gain a stride in the world. The gossip would not delay her above half-an-hour from St. Mary Axe ; and what wonders would repay her for the lingering! Besides, she was tired and the young man was very kind very respectful nothing at all like what she had heard of London young menand, after all, what was half-an-hour, sooner or later ?
Mr. Ralph Gum intonated his orders like a lord. The ale was brought, and Ralph drank to the maiden with both eyes and lips. Liquor made him musical : and with a delicate compliment to the rustic taste of his fair companion, he warbled of birds and flowers. One couplet he trolled over again and again. “Like what they call sentiment, don't you?” said Ralph. ." How can I tell ? answered the girl ; “it's some of your fine London stuff, I suppose.”
"Not a bit on it ; sentiment's sentiment all over the world. Don't you know what sentiment is? Well, sentiment's words that's put together to sound nicely as it were to make you feel inclined to clap your hands, you know. And that 's a sentiment that I've been singing ”—and he repeated the burden, bawling :
Oh the cuckoo's a fine bird as ever you did hear,
And he sucks little birds' eggs, to make his voice clear.' “There! don't you see the sentiment now?" The maiden shook her head. “Why, sucking the little birds' eggs-that's the sentiment. Precious clever birds, them cuckoos, eh? They're what I call birds of quality. They've no trouble of hatching, they havn't ; no trouble of going about in the fields, picking up worms and grubs for their nestlings : they places 'em out to wetnurse ; makes other birds bring 'em up; while they do nothing themselves but sit in a tree, and cry cuckoo all day long. Now, that 's what I call being a bird of quality. How should you like to be a cuckoo, my buttercup ?”
** There, now, I don't want to hear your nonsense. What's a cuckoo to do with a Christian?"-asked the damsel.
Nothing, my passion-flower-to be sure not; just wait & minute," said Ralph_“I only want to speak to my aunt that lives a little way off ; and I 'll be back with you in a minute. I've got a message for the old woman: and she's such a dear creeturso fond of me. And atween ourselves, whenever she should be made a angel of and when a angel's wanted, I hope she 'll not be forgotten--shan't I have a lot of money! Not that I care for money ; no, give me the girl of my heart, and all the gold in the world, as I once heard a parson say, is nothing but yellow dirt. And now I won't be a minute, my precious periwinkle.”
And with this, Mr. Ralph Gum quitted the room, leaving the fair stranger, as he thought, in profoundest admiration of the disinterestedness of footmen,
Though the clouds are black as night,
Never fear !
Never fear! Though the martyr's fagot blaze,
Never fear! Though they strive to cripple youth, Though they treat good deeds with ruth, God is ever with the Truth
Though the Storm-God flaps his wings,
Never fear! Though the tempest death-song sings,
Never fear! In the clouds are blue specks fair, Through the dark boughs blows an air, God is present everywhere
« MODERN PAINTERS."*
From this second volume by the celebrated Graduate, which we have perused most carefully, we rise with a feeling of considerable doubt,—we will add, of painful doubt,-for we have such a high opinion of the talents and of the honest intentions of this remarkable writer, that we are anxious to know whether we shall find him in the ranks of our friends, or of our enemies,—whether he is one of the advocates of Progress, or, in the form of a lover of Art, is endeavouring to lead mankind back to medieval superstition and priestcraft. Certain expressions which occur here and there have given us considerable uneasiness.
Let it be distinctly understood, that when any great question concerning the social condition of man arises, we are not impartial. “Progress" is the word written on our banner,--Progress is the article of our faith, which we cannot resign—the advocacy of Progress is the object of this periodical, from which it may not depart -We assume Progress not as an historical accident, but as an essential attribute of man, without which he does not fulfil the conditions of his being. To all exaltation of the middle ages, with their courage and their piety,—with their atrocity and their superstition,—with their virtues and their vices,—we are determined opponents, not only when it is openly brought forward, but when it is covertly insinuated. Therefore, when Mr Wordsworth wrote a Sonnet against the destruction of some piece of ground by a Railroad, we felt suspicious, not because we do not think the spoiling of a picturesque spot a very natural cause of lamentation, but because we thought it conveyed a regret at the advance of mankind, from that rude condition which approximates him most to unmodified nature. Therefore do we also feel suspicious, when our Graduate laments (p. 5) that "iron roads are tearing up the surface of Europe, as grape shot do the sea," that “their great sagene is drawing and twitching the ancient frame and strength of England together, contracting all its various life, its rocky arms and rural heart, into a narrow, finite, calculating metropolis of
Modern Painters, by a Graduate of Oxford. Vol. II. Smith and Elder: London.
manufacturers." What a world of feudalism, and anti-cultivation, may lie in that one short expression, " rural heart !" si
There are two points from which human progress may be attacked. We may hold up the beauties of medieval institutions; we may awe the public with mailed knights, and painted gothic windows, or we may advocate a sort of worship of Nature, and tell mankind that she is destined to be his instructress, not his instrument. Either way may be effective. The crowd below may be hit from the summit of a cathedral, or from that of a rude mountain. But the Nature-doctrine is most insinuating. The laudation of the middle ages implies on the face of it a love of a tyrannical form of rule, and would not be uttered by any one, (without much qualification) who did not set his face against liberality in politics. The other course has been adopted, not: only by writers who are the professed advocates of an obsolete toryism, but by some who have desired to found the most extreme republicanism. Rousseau, weary of the chains which the conventionalities of the 18th century had imposed on mankind-heartsick of petit-maitres and encyclopædists--flew to an adoration of an uncultivated condition, not perceiving that he was plunging man into a deeper state of servitude, than that from which he would have freed him. His “Dissertation against the Arts and Sciences” might have been written to please the men who imprisoned Galileo. Our cause is that of the progress of the humanmind ; and an independence which would place man in the posis tion of a North American Indian, is as alien from our sympathies, as the dependence which would bring him under an oriental despot.
Now, the Graduate, both in this volume and the preceding one,lets fall several phrases, which seem contrary to the grand principle-on which all Progress must be founded that man is the highest of created beings. Let us take an instance, in which he : speaks of the heathen writers, (p. 16.) “Her (external Nature's) beneficence they sought, and her power they shunned; her teaching through both, they understood never.” What is her “ teaching? It does not here mean natural science. Indeed that is not taught by Nature, but is deduced from her various phenomena. She presents the riddle, and the scientific man solves it. But this is not what is intended by the expression. All who have talked about the “teaching of Nature,” have contemplated a sort of: moral instruction, which is given to man by the external world and with respect to this, our unfaith is most decided.