« AnteriorContinuar »
Far less he recks of polish'd arts,
Close to the clansman's side is seen
Yet, when he hears the battle-cry,
Such are the hearts of steel, whom War
And what am I who thus can choose Such subject for so light a muse? Who wake the smile, and weave the rhyme, In such a scene, at such a time. Mary! whose pure and holy kiss Is still a cherish'd dream of bliss, When last I saw thy bright blue eye, And heard thy voice of melody,
And felt thy timid mild caress,
The lover's hope, the husband's vow
Mary! thou vision lov'd and wept,
A throb of madness and of pain Shot through my heart, and through my brain; I felt it then, I feel it now, Though time is stamp'd upon my brow; Though all my veins grow cold with age, And o'er my memory's fading page Oblivion draws her damning line, And blots all images-save thine.
Thou left'st me—and I did become
Away, away! Death rides the breeze ! There is no time for thoughts like these ;
Hark! from the foeman's distant camp
A VISIT TO ETON.
To the Editor of the Etonian. SIR, I SHOULD think that no one unless he is a misanthrope, or a methodist, which is little better, can pass through Eton without being amused at the various looks, sizes, and occupations of the motley group of which that Lilliputian world is composed. Methinks I hear one of them say, in all the dignity of offended pride, “ Softly, Mr. , not so Lilliputian; there are A- T- SE- , six feet high; and I myself, though far from being one of the biggest, would easily chastise you for your impertinence.” Boys still they all are, and boyish are their habits. I hope, however, I shall not be known as the author of these opinions, or the next time I visit Eton I shall meet with a sorry reception. Whether it is that my countenance is not very repulsive, my dress not very extraordinary, and my appearance on the whole not singular, I passed through the Quadrangle, (as it happened, particularly crowded,) without being so much quizzed as I expected; for, after the alarming stories which I had heard of the practical jokes of Etonians, it required no small resolution to encounter the mirth of such a formidable body of humourists. Once, to be sure, I heard a whisper, remarking it as very odd that I should wear gaiters under my trowsers; and a second time, when I happened to turn round on a sudden, I surprised a circle of dashing young fellows laughing at my look behind, where I suppose the cut of my coat was not according to the newest fashion. Some of them I recognised as old acquaintances, having seen them the evening before parading on the Terrace of Windsor Castle. The approaching school hour did not appear at all to have changed or saddened their looks, for they were laughing, quizzing, and flitting about, exactly in the A Visit to Eton.
way which first attracted my attention on the Royal Promenade. They all had books, some very gay ones, others such as hardly deserved the name, an inconsistency which I was at a loss to reconcile, unless it were that the first-mentioned had caught the infection of their master's finery. Here and there a cluster of Collegers, with their black gowns, had a good effect among the many varied colours which the greater proportion displayed : indeed I am so far bigotted that I never could have imagined a place of learning without some such classical costume. It was not easy to mistake the settled step, the sedate demeanour, and the pallid and rather sickly hue, which marked the countenances of those boys, whom, for the want of a more expressive name, with which I dare say the Eton vocabulary could supply me, I shall call the studious-such as I could picture to myself never mixing in the sports of their schoolfellows, and preferring a problem of Euclid to the finest game at cricket ever contested. Many of the lesser tribe appeared to be extremely busy in construing their lessons, and comparing their notes, as the time of purgatory grew nearer. Two or three seemed to be looked upon as a sort of oracles whom they all assailed with different interrogations. I was almost tempted to ask a question of one of the nearest of them, when the clock struck, and they all hurried away at the same itistant to different entrancés, and, in less than five minutes, the area was cleared, and the cloisters were silent. There are some associations connected with the sight of a school, particularly a large one, which always bring me back to the time of my boyhood, and recall to my recollection so strongly what I did, and what I thought, in former days, that I fancied myself, in this instance, nearly thirty years younger, and seemed almost transported again to the rule of my ancient Orbilius. I must confess that my situation at that time, both in point of happiness and liberty, was very different from that of ani Etonian. The walls weré my boundaries; and merely to pass them, without any consequent misdemeanor, was reckoned among the heaviest of those crimes to which the wisdom of the legislative founder had allotted punishments. This place of my education I always considered as a better sort of prison, and left it with all the joy that a prisoner would feel on obtaining his Habeas Corpus; except on stated occasions, wheni, preceded by our master, we walked in due order and regularity up a high green hill, at a short distance off, famous for its having been formerly, the station of a Roman camp. Well do I recollect how often I unwillingly encounted the cold frosty air of a winter morning on this bleak and desolate spot; how often, under a sweltering summer sun, I. laboured and toiled up the entrenchments, with which the caution of our ancient enemies had fortified the natural steepness. How= ever, such an excursion as this was some relief; and I generally