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whelmed with double sorrow, and began again a second lamentation. The rumour of this strange event was soon spread out of doors, and at length came to the ears of her husband, who, when he heard it, would receive no consolation or comfort from any one, and for a long time mourned in profound grief. Some time after this the real circumstances of the death of the youth were related by the husband, and when they were publicly known they excited much indignation against the mother, who had taken such fruitless pains to quell the natural instincts of love. The deceased Sylvestra was adorned in a becoming manner with wreaths of flowers, and small knots of party-coloured ribbons, and then laid out in the same sepulchre, side by side, with Girolamo; and the young of both sexes of Florence for many days came to view them and weep over their unhappy fate; and little poems and songs were thrown upon their bodies; and their epitaph was written in these words :
GIROLAMO AND SYLVESTRA.
“ Love could not join them in life-
ON THE APPROACH OF THE HOLIDAYS.
Ibimus, O socii comitesque.-Hor.
A few more days—and Vacuna, with all her train of smiles and pleasures, will be our companion. A few more days, and Eton will send forth her numerous foster-children, to forget, with due expedition, the precepts which she has laboured to instil. Already are all our Windsor vehicles, from imperial tandem to lowly chaise and pair, bespoken for the removal of our fellow-citizens ; already the rulers of our little state are looking forward to their release from “ durance vile," and our dames are blessing their stars,”' and preparing their last new apparel for a visit.
How busy is the scene! Wherever we go we are reminded by a thousand images that a great change in our commonwealth is at hand. Every friend we meet has a busy and thoughtful countenance, which seems to say to us, “ I shall see you no more for some time.”
What an alteration takes place in the manners and characters of our schoolfellows as the Holidays approach. An hundred little foibles and follies, which have lain dormant during the uniformity of an Eton life, now begin to spring up, and force themselves upon
our notice. Among these, the desire of making a figure, or, as it is more usually termed, “ cutting a dash," has a strong and extensive influence over the younger part of our community. Our little friend Gnavus, who, to do him justice, has been exercising all imaginable assiduity since his last vacation, is now busily employed in locking up his books, lest any one should suppose him to
a sap in the Holidays." Carus, who dresses, while at Eton, with an almost puritanical plainness, is terribly afraid that Mr. Íngalton's idleness may disappoint him of his top-boots; and Novus, whose quiet simplicity has hitherto procured for him the prænomen of Cawker, is anticipating, with inconceivable rapture, the splash which long spurs and a bit of blood will make on the London road.
How various are the enjoyments and pursuits in which the members of our commonwealth will shortly be engaged. One is anxious to see his friends, and another to see the world : one will read algebra, and another will read novels; one will kill birds in Norfolk, and another will kill time in Bond-street. Mr. Sterling is looking forward to an interview with the Vicar of the Parish, and Mr. Montgomery to a tête-a-tête with the belle of the county: Mr. Golightly is sighing for the glass of the lounger, and Mr. Rowley for the glass of the bon-vivant.
Perhaps the meditations of no two persons are alike; but the meditations of all have for their origin, their ground, their keystone—the Holidays. It is a circumstance that would surprise in no small degree an uninitiated observer, that in spite of the thousand delights and fascinations which are supposed to be concentrated in this single word-Holidays, -we scarcely meet a countenance which exhibits any extraordinary pleasure at their approach. And this we conceive does not proceed from any insensibility to the gratification of revisiting the places of our birth, and returning to the friends of our childhood; but rather from that reluctance we all feel to any change of place or habits which is accompanied with hurry and trouble. Of course, we do not assert that * The Holidays" are words conveying to any one unpleasant ideas;* but there is a certain degree of restlessness attending the preparation for them, which is disagreeable even to lively minds, and absolutely vexatious to more sober and sedate dispositions.
Some of our friends are now leaving this abode of literature, not to return to it again. On the countenances of these the joy which is supposed to be felt upon such an occasion is still less manifest. They have finished the course which, as boys, they had to run. The few duties which deyolve upon life at this age
have been concluded, by some of them heedlessly, by others with credit ; but
* Our good friend Mr. M. Swinburne excepted.-P.C,
they are concluded ; and the industrious and the idle, the steady and the wild, participate in the regret which their conclusion occasions,-a regret which the scholar endeavours to subdue by looking forward to academical honours, and the trifler to dissipate by examining the Russia and the Morocco of his leave-books.
We believe there is no one, however frivolous may be his pursuits, however strong his dislike of scholastic literature, who sees his final departure draw near without a considerable degree of regret, bordering on melancholy. Some may smile, and others may sneer, when we assure them that the best relief they can prepare for this painful sensation is the consciousness that their time in this place has been honourably and profitably employed. Wiser lips than ours have declared that the terrors of a death-bed are only to be dispelled by the remembrance of a life well spent. This final departure from
“ That dear schoolboy-dwelling which we love." is, as it were, the death-bed of our Eton life, and we can confidently assert that it stands in need of a similar consolation.
Agathus and Eugenio are two of our schoolfellows who have now bid their final adieu to " Father Thames." The first, though possessed of only moderáte talents, has succeeded, by regular habits and conciliating manners, in obtaining the applause of many, and the esteem of all. The latter, though adorned with talents sufficient to raise him to the highest honours, has so misapplied these natural endowments in wild or trifling pursuits, that he has been considered by many a madman, and by some a fool. Agathus withdraws from us with the gratifying consciousness that he enjoys the respect, if not the admiration, of his schoolfellows; while the farewell address of Eugenio was, " Aye, Sterling ! I've been a sad fellow!—but it can't be helped, we can't live over again."
Distant be the period of our departure ! but often, ere that period arrives, we shall derive a profitable lesson from the recollection of poor Eugenio's last words,—“. We can't live over
A NIGHT ADVENTURE.
" Fis pugil, et medicum urget."-HOR.
SIR, I will not preface the detail, which I am about to transmit to you, by any long introduction. It is sufficient to inform you that I am one of those who are afflicted by a Romantic Imagination, which, however it may inspire or enchant us in our moments of Poetical inspiration, is, as we all know, troublesome beyond measure in the ordinary affairs of life. The circumstances, which I am going to relate, are an exemplification of this trite but true observation.
It was on a beautiful Autumn Evening that I stole out unperceived from a party engaged in discussing the merits of some of my Father's oldest Claret, and left him eloquently and feelingly declaiming in its praise, to take a solitary ramble through the extent of grounds that had so often witnessed my infant gambols, or seen me, at a more advanced age, performing the voyages
of Æneas by means of a horse-pond and washing-tub ;-or imitating my favourite Hector in the destruction of the Grecian Navy, to the imminent peril of Farmer Ashfield's neighbouring hay-rick. It was an Evening, to delineate whose beauteous grandeur would require a heart teeming with all the inspiration of the Muses, a pen dipped in the brightest colours of imagination. A soft mellow silence pervaded the whole expanse of air and earth; the Sun, just sinking beneath the horizon, still retained influence sufficient to leave a bright tinge of red upon the western sky, and to deepen the verdure of the aged oaks, which, wreathing their huge gigantic branches into a thousand fantastic forms, overshadowed my path, and scarcely deigned to wave beneath the passing zephyr that agitated their foliage for a moment, and in the next had left all as still and solemnly silent as the grave. such an Evening as would be peculiarly fitted to conjure up all the phantasies of a warm imagination; which might easily have pictured to itself Queen Mab, and her fairy attendants, tripping nimbly over the herbage, or holding their sportive gambols far from the sight of intruding mortals, beneath the shade of some favourite beech. « On such a night as this,” I wandered unconsciously along, forgetful almost of my own existence, totally absorbed in contemplation, and forming in idea the most unearthly and romantic images. Long had I thus roamed, indifferent to every thing around me, and in a kind of delicious forgetfulness of the world and its unpleasant accompaniments. Already had
the darkness of Night succeeded to the shades of Evening, but so gradually had its sombre light given way to the gentle brightness of the Moon, that I was far from perceiving the change, and still pursued my way, unconscious of the dews that began to fall around me, till a sudden cloud obscuring the rays of the bright luminary above, and a sharp air that died away in threatening forebodings through the grove below, recalled my scattered senses, and, arousing me to the knowledge of myself and my situation, brought to my recollection the deserted party, and the supposition that, in all probability, the family would be alarmed at my absence. I was next reminded of a still more unpleasant circumstance; that, having no small distance to return, I should, in all probability, be caught in the storm which I now, for the first time, perceived had been accumulating all its horrors from every point of the heavens, and was just ready to burst forth with terrifying violence. As all this passed in quick revolution through my brain, I had already turned my face homewards, and, with buttoned-up coat, was on the point of starting forward with as great rapidity as the increasing darkness and devious path would admit, when my purpose was suddenly checked by the rain of which I had been but so lately forewarned. It fell in torrents so violent, that to proceed was impossible. I took refuge under a spreading tree, and had much ado to console myself by the reflection that I had met with
Adventure.” “ An Adventure,” Sir, it certainly, was, and a most lamentable one. I had not remained a minute in my uncomfortable situation, before I perceived two figures, of a most mysterious appearance, sheltering themselves from the storm, beneath the next tree. They were muffled up closely in thick cloaks, wore large slouched hats, and carried in their hands most villanous sticks. What could I suppose? what conclusion could I form, but that which all your readers, Sir, would form, under similar circumstances ? I was within a few yards of a brace of Highwaymen!
What could I do? escape was impossible ! the least noise was death to me! Silently and anxiously I listened to the conversation of my foes; and my terror was not abated, when I overheard these dark and terrible expressions :
“ Upon the word of a Gentleman!” said the first, “ I have not touched a single Guinea since I came into this part of the country !” “ Business is in truth very dull!” said the other. “ I have practised here for twenty years, and never was there a time when people have been so shy of putting themselves in my hands as they are at present!” No wonder ! thought I. “ I am afraid !” resumed the first, “ there is a strong prejudice gone abroad against our profession!” Prejudice! thought I. “ You are right!" replied the other ; "not one blockhead can die