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however, the regular 'routine of lic à party in the disputě. Why school business and amusements, should his inquiries, I ask, be which hardly leaves an Eton boy confined to the wild appearance of leisure for reflection on extraneous the shell ? Surely he 'ought to subjects, entirely removed from be tempted forwards to 'natural his mind this regret for the lost history, and be able to give an pleasures of home, and reconciled answer of the habits of the animal him to 'his novel situation and its tenant, and investigate the muscu. pursuits. The same traits of dis- lar action), by which the valves are position which he brought with opened or closed at the instinct him to Eton still remain. Our sys-or will of the creature. If'even 'tem may be compared to the hand common curiosity does not carry 'of the jeweller, who was employed him thus far, he is much more dein 'setting the breast-plate of the ficient in laudable ambition after High Priest with precious stones, knowledge than the child who cuts which merely rounded off the rough a hole in his drum; not, as I prominences, and gave a polish to would argue, merely from a the gems, so as to reduce the sepa. wanton love of mischief, but rate parts to harmonize with the rather from á philosophical imwhole, without destroying the in- pulse to discover the cause of dividual beauty of each; and the sound. Bellamy's Christmas' va same constitutes the partial meta- 'cation, I understand, was almost morphosis of character which takes entirely monopolized by his visits place at Eton, Bellamy is always to the British Museum, whither most anxious for the vacation; home his sisters accompanied him, før is the atmosphere most congenial to the purpose of pursuing a practihis feelings, and he invariably im- cal investigation of the science, ports among us, on his return to which has lately come in vogue, Eton, some new branch of study, or of pronouncing on the tem per and an old one revived the last scienti.. disposition of individuals from the fic whimsy which has been afloat form and curvature of their lips; in the blue stocking circles. Du- and the old marbles were famous ring the tong summer Holidays the subjects for our amateurs to pracfamily had been on a visit at one tise upon, and tax their ingenuity of the Sussex watering places, and to a laughable pitch. (N.B. This conchology was the ascendant of branch of physiognomy by the the hour. Bellamy came back to way might be turned to the beneEton with a large assortment of fit of the Club, as discriminative shells and other marine produc of the merits of future Candi. tions in his trunk, and a string of dates.)-I had no doubt myself appropriate dissertations on their that Bellamy would be successful respective shapes and colours in in his canvass for a seat in our his mouth. We were ceaselessly House, owing to the powerful inattacked by lectures on mono- terest which Golightly was expectvalves, bivalves, and multivalves, on ed to make in favour of this protege the spiral symmetry of the wintle of his. Though we all know that trap, and the delicate transparency Charles is but superficial in most of the dactylus. I have often of his acquirements, he is neverquarrelled with him for the su- theless a most useful member of perficial nature of this pursuit; our little world, from the variety and am willing to make the pub- of his pursuits ; and he proved himself in no respect more service- a manner as all his former hobbies. able than to the above gentleman There is only one exception to the in his quondam capacity of mana general rule, and that is his fond. ger of the Theatre. His voice ness for antiquarian pursuits; in not having as yet roughened into attestation of which you will find manhood's hoarseness, he was una- in his room a great box full of nimously allowed to be the Sin- mossy fragments of antique casclair of his day: his taste was cor- tles ;' sepulchral relics,' which he rect, and his ear good; conse- has committed sacrilege to proquently his vocal exertions were cure; old coins,' whose inscripanswered by the rapturous encores tions are illegible; pebbles from of a delighted audience. But every Portland Isle ;' a precious scrap thing in its proper place ! If we of embalmed wrapper ;'a tattered happen to be studiously compos- duodecimo,' which he tells you is ing our theme, it is no trifling a specimen of Caxton's typogranuisance to be interrupted in our phy, &c. &c. I will not add a flights of thought, and dragged word more : the man is before back to earth by a screaming duet, you, as like as he can stare, though which Messrs. Golightly and Bel- I say it; but if this production lamy may be getting up on the has not been effectual enough to other side of a thin wainscotting. make you acquainted with him, Luckily, however, for the repose of his conduct as a fellow member of his Dame's house, this Hermogenic our Honourable Society will soon fit was of no longer duration than make up all deficiencies; for the any of his other fancies; it lasted Ethiop will not change his skin, till the succeeding Holidays, and nor the Leopard his spots. was then shaken off in as summary
The Honourable Gentlemen weré of course elected without opposition, with the exception of Michael's black ball. They were immediately introduced to the Club. Mr. Bellamy came in with a very pretty ladylike air, and treated us with such a bow as the Secretary really hath not seen since he accompanied Miss Hodgson to Monsieur D'Egville. Mr. Swinburne looked as foolish as if he was making his debut at Almack's. His embarrassment excited compassion in every one. Even Mr. Oakley was so much affected by it that he offered him a seat at his tea-table.
Songs from various members concluded the evening. Mr.O'Connor, elated by the praise bestowed on his Greek, gave us an extempore effusion addressed to the new Members. Having a vacant page, and nothing further to notice, I shall conclude the fifth King of Clubs with what Mr. O'Connor calls his
Plumb-pudding Matthew, and syllabub Charles,
Erudite Zoïlus, elegant Quarles.
Hail to thee, Swinburne! in raptures I call on
The sage of the red nose and sorrowful cheek, 'Όνια διδασκαλον ’8 σανυ φαυλον
In parsing and prosing, in grammar and Greek.
Thine is the wisdom that flies from Quadrilles ; *
Thine is the virtue that shudders at ale;
Till we tack on a sweet little r to its tail.
Bentley, or Baxter, or Brunck, or Ruhnkenius,
Set by thy side, is an ignorant Put;
He and Golightly will find you— all But.
Come in your cloak of Hibernian frieze,
Sterling and Courtenay will set you to work;
You draw conclusions, while I draw the cork.
While you are prosing of Persian or Punic,
Merry Golightly will pur o'er his pun;
Honest O'Connor will stick to the tun.
And tbou, who thy rhymes must be hitching and stitching,
Till thy garland of laurel right dearly is earn’d, Whose stanza and smiles are so very “ bewitching,” t.
Whose periods and arms are so very “ well turn’d." I
Come from thine Aunts, and thy Sisters the Blues,
With grace in thy manner, and love in thy mien ;
And find in our punch-bowl a new Hippocrene.
But no, thou art pale at the mention of Rom,
Thou art ever the slave of the Nurse or the Nine, And thy measures so straight from the tea-table come,
That we sip milk and water in every line.
Hail to ye both, ye dissimilar Dubs;
Plum-pudding Matthew and syllabub Charles ;
(Hear, hear, hear!)
* “ Quadrilles."-Vide No. II. p. 126.-P.C.
ON CHARLES LAMB'S POETRY.
MY DEAR PAM,-Charles Lamb has published so little, and, as far as my observation has gone, that little from many groundless prejudices has been so little read, that I reckon upon the merit of introducing a new Writer altogether to at least one half of your gentle Readers. If I can show then any thing worthy of remembrance, any thing that savours of a fine and genial mind, and which none but one of the kindliest temperament and warmest affections could have produced, I think I shall have a claim to the thanks of every true son of the Muses, who may have been hitherto a stranger to the works of this author. Perhaps it is needless to premise that I do not consider Lamb a great Poet; he appears to be agitated by none of that fervent spirit of imagination, which masters and absorbs the faculties of one possessed by that “fine frenzy” of which Shakspeare speaks ; there is in him no mysterious profoundness of thought, which gives subject for meditation, when the words are well nigh forgotten; but little wayward brilliancy of fancy; no romance; but all he can justly lay claim to in his poetry, is a heartfelt tenderness, a domestic freedom, and once or twice the most perfect excellence in what has been called the “ curiosa felicitas" of language, that can well be conceived. As a critic, or rather (for now-a-days criticism seems to mean nothing but dull analysis, or verbal pulling to pieces of the suffering subject,) as an Indicator of the essentials of the Genius of Shakspeare and Hogarth, and as a discerning advocate of all our old and golden dramatists, I do not scruple to pronounce him first-rate ;-as the author of “ Rosamond Gray” he will make ever girl and boy, aye and youth too, sigh and muse: as the exquisite imitator of that queer ancient Master, Burton, he will make you laugh, even although you could have been as saturnine as they of Drurylane, at the distress of poor damned - Mr. H " Finally, without exception, and it is saying a good deal in the present day, Charles Lamb writes the best, the purest, and most genuine English of any man living
I know there are many persons, who for the most part are real lovers of Poetry, and very just and accurate judges of merit and peculiarities in Poets, who cannot endure ought else but what is in their opinions the “ highest heaven of invention;"-absorbed in Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton, they look down upon Fletcher, or Collins, or Burns; adoring Byron, or Shelley, or Wordsworth, they cannot waste their time and their feelings upon Lamb, Montgomery, or Campbell : life, they say, is short; Poetry
after all is but an amusement, and when they may enjoy that amusement in highest luxury and most enduring profit to their minds why hunt about for scraps and fragments of genius, which, when found, hardly repay the labour of the chase? True—let the busy Merchant, the keen Lawyer, the important Physician, stand out of the question; it is quite enough, in all conscience, if they ever humanize their hearts for a half hour with Hermia and Lysander, with Una in Faery, or with Eve in Paradise : but, from the devoted scholar, from the meditative man of literature, from the watchman and nursery-father of genius in all its forms, we expect other things; that he should know that great powers are not necessarily universal ones; that the grand intellectual instrument is valuable in all its melodies; and that sometimes even the milder and gentler tones issuing from it are more pleasing, because more symphonious with the feelings of the mass of mankind ; that the rose, though not endued with the umbrageous magnificence of the forest oak, hath still a faint, yet exquisite perfume of its own; and that many have remembered the Sparrow of Catullus, who have forgotten the Hector of Homer. I am not decrying the study, the rapturous study, of the master-spirits of the earth, nor puffing up into an absurd importance the flutterings of the little gregarious birds around the eagle of Heaven :-far from it; let your admiration of the first be paramount, but why should it be exclusive of the second ? Read Shakspeare, but why not also read sweet Fletcher ?. Read Burns, but why trample upon Hogg? Lastly, to the esoteric Wordsworthian I would say, “ Muse on your idol; I do not forbid you ; but condescend to pluck a flower from the shady vernal garden of the good-tempered, kindly-affectioned Charles Lamb!” It is far from my wish to kindle any incense to printed imbecility; I am more deaf than rocks to sailors, when the pulings of peasants are quoted and reviewed as the bursting forth of genius from the dust: I hate Della Crusca and all his little ones; neither am I much of a humour to believe that Master Dallas will turn out a great poet, because Pope wrote verses, perhaps not so good as his, at twelve years old! I make a difference between genius and mere cleverness: the slightest sure mark of the first I hold myself bound to watch ; for the second I care not if it be bound in morocco, or soiled with a gingerbread cake, The one is valuable, and deserves education, because it is the orphan of a Divinity ; the latter (more Romano) may, without injury to the republic, be allowed to take its own chance of growing fat and plump, and turning out good common sense. This is my criterion of judging the Spirits ; and thus it is, because I perceive, and have been charmed by, the plaintive querulousness, and sometimes joyous ebulliency, of his heart, that I now think Charles Lanıb worthy of a short notice in the pages of “ The Etonian.”