Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

to the Octavo which has since emanated from the press, and contains the whole series of the present year. Suffice it to say, that I expected to hear from that pulpit some doughty polemic thundering, anathematizing every schismatic who hesitated upon a single point, and fighting shadows of his own creation ;--when, on the contrary, I found a Christian preacher, zealous for the cause of truth, but, at the same time, mild and pitiful towards the stray sheep of the flock. I looked for the denunciation, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus ;" but I heard the mild voice of persuasion, which would rather woo conviction, than drive a mistaken judgment into obstinacy of error, by ill-advised violence and bigotry.

Twelve o'clock.Shut my oak; took up my Thirty-nine Articles, and read a dozen pages in Bishop Tomline. Am determined to learn the Articles by heart, as well as the texts of proof, or it is no use to, dabble in Theology. I shall then have some sort of gauge or compass, which, under the Bible, may keep me clear of hidden rocks in controversial writings.

Two o'clock.Somebody rapped at my oak; Sterling's voice; was persuaded to accompany him to Evening Sermon, at St. Mary's; heard a most ingenious disquisition, by a very clever theologist, upon the degree of criminality evinced by Cain's sacrifice of the fruits of the earth, and Nimrod's man-hunting. In the midst of the discourse an old monumental tablet casually attracted my eye; a thought flashed across me I was under the same roof with the grave of Amy Robsart. I ventured to whisper a question to my companion. He replied, there is no stone to mark the spot, and we have but the tradition that the body was removed from Cumnor, and deposited in this Church, with pompous obsequies. “ Peace be with thee, lovely one !" I mentally exclaimed ; “ We know not what were thy faults and follies -but thou wert unfortunate, and we cannot deny thee the tear of pity. We know not the circumstances of your first connexion with that monster, Leicester, who, if we may believe the records of substantial history, had not a single virtue in counterpoise to his thousand crimes; but we are too sure that your end was cruel and untimely---not indeed as the facts have been perverted, for purposes of fiction, by the glowing pen of the mighty Magician." The village legends inform us that Lady Dudley died the death of Sisera, the captain of the host of Jabin :

The murderer put his hand to the nail, and his rigbt hand to the workman's hammer, and with the hammer he smote her. He has pierced and stricken through her temples. At his feet she bowed, she fell, she lay down ; at his feet she bowed, she fell: where she bowed, there she fell down dead." Observed a nuisance which had escaped my notice in the morning. The side aisles were thronged by several loungers, who

evidently did not think small beer of themselves or their neckcloths. They seemed to have come in to use their eyes, and not their ears, for their glasses were very busy, and the smile of selfcomplacency, or vacant stare, with which they gazed about them, only served me as a contrast to the anxious fixation of look, and contracted brows, of many of the Gownsmen in the gallery. Oh Raphael ! hadst thou but seen these originals, thou mightst have introduced them to advantage in the “ Preaching at Athens,” by way of the vain and self-sufficient Epicureans.

Five o'clock.—Hall dinner. Was sconced in a quart of ale for quoting Latin, a passage from Juvenal; murmured, and the fine was doubled.

Seven till Eight.Took a turn with Tomline, down the fashionable promenade in High-street, or Vanity Fair, as it may be truly called. Such a show of bonnets, pelisses, and shawls ! Every colour in the rainbow. Strings of girls, from forty years and upwards to fourteen. Found Mr. T. a perfect nomenclature. Learnt an infallible method of distinguishing the different females in the streets of Oxford. The Lady may be known by her firm step-indifferent look, which seems to say " I see plenty of Gownsmen every day, and therefore don't think you, or you, Sir, particularly worthy of my notice”-cheeks not flushed at your gaze, and eyes cold as the snows upon Mount Hecla. The Commonalty are quickly discovered by the flauntiness of their dress, and their impudent ogle, or affected demureness, which has something too arch in it for the merest novice in observation to mistake for modesty. Lastly, the Stranger is recognized by her timid glance, quickly withdrawn as soon as met, sudden blush, and somewhat of a faulter in her carriage, for she knows we are criticising her, from the colour of her eyes to the turn of her ancle.

Eight o'clock.-Mended my pen, and sat down with half a dozen letters before me, to be answered before the post went out. Wrote home, and informed the Squire that every thing was very high at the University ; we were cheated sadly; and ended this effusion of honest indignation, by binting that the author's purse was rather low. Suggested that my sisters might as well make me some card-racks, fire-screens, and other ornaments for my mantle-piece.

Ten o'clock.Reviewed my Diary for the week, and made a resolution of reform. Intend to read six hours in the day regularly, and to cut loungers.

You have now, my dear Golightly, a specimen of our life, at this hearty place. You will, however, please to remember, that it is the journal of an individual, a most unworthy member of this noble Society, and therefore will not prove so bad a logician as to reason from a particulars to universals. I remain, yours, &c.

A. L. B.

The Hall of my Fathers.*

(From The Poetry of the College Magazine.”)

“ I went to the place of my birth, and I said--The friends of my childhood, where are they?rand an echo answered, Where are they?”

Arabic M.S.-from Lord Byron.

“ Seek we thy once-loved home?
The hand is gone that cropt its flowers !
Unheard their clock repeats its hours !
Cold is the hearth within their bowers !

And, should we thither roam,
Its echoes, and its empty tread,
Would sound like voices from the dead."

CAMPBELL.

I.

The spirit of my soul is chang’d,

My thoughts have ta’en a sadder hue,
Since last thy verdant lawns I rang’d,

And bade them, with a tear, adieu !
And adverse fortune hath pursued

With gloomiest hatred thine and thee,
Forsaken mansion, since I stood.

With them, where they no more shall be.
And they who smiled have learnt to weep,

And they who loved are rent asunder;
Between them roars the angry deep-

Above them fate is black with thunder :
And moss and weeds grow on thy wall ;
Deserted is my Fathers' Hall.

II.

,
Oh! my young heart danc'd to liveliest measures,

And my ardent pulse beat high ;
And boyish joys, and hopes, and pleasures,

Flash'd merrily in my eye:
And smiling faces beam'd around me,

And all was mirth and glee,
And friendship's golden fetters bound me,

When last I look'd on thee.
But the dream of bliss is for ever fled,
And the friends of my childhood are absent or dead.

* The subject of these lines is not a fictitious one. The “ Hall” was the residence of a relation, now dead; and many of my happiest hours were spent under its roof.

M.

III. Yet oft, in solitary hours,

Thine image floats across my brain,
And all thy beauteous woods and bowers

Rush on my soul again :
And I roam on the banks of thy old canal,
And I hear the roar of thy waterfall,

And well-known forms to my eyes appear,
· And the voice of friends is in my ear;
And I view, by the light of the trembling moon,
The painted glass of thy old saloon,
On which, in childhood's artless days,
My wond'ring eyes were wont to gaze ;
While oft, with fond and pious care,
My mother traced each semblance there,
And bade me mark the red drops flow, .
In holy stains on my Saviour's brow,
And the crown of thorns that encircled his head,
And the cross that bore the Deathless Dead.
Long shall those hours my thoughts control,
So deep they sunk into my soul.

. IV.
And oft I roved, with ardour young,
Through gothic arch and gallery long ;
And view'd, emboss'd in panels high,
The scutcheons of my ancestry;
And portraits, rang'd in order grave,
Of statesmen proud and warriors brave;
And dames who graced the festive sport
Of good King Charles's gallant court.*
How reverend in my eyes appear'd
Each hoary head and flowing beard !
And how would fancy frame a tale
For ev'ry antique coat of mail,
And ev'ry scarf of lady bright,
Guerdon most meet for gallant knight,
Which painters' art had handed down
From distant ages of renown!

v.
But proudest was my bosom's swell,

And most my boyish soul was fir'd, When gaily would my grandame tell,

How thither, with his court, retir'd

* I do not wish to speak disrespectfully of my ancestors, but I must frankly confess that I do not know that the said portraits are theirs : in fact, for great part of this stanza I am as much indebted to imagination as to memory.-M.

From realms by civil discord rent;
And fury of the Parliament,
That Prince of heart misled, but good,
Who stain’d the scaffold with his blood ;
And how, from that old gothic door,
He heard the hostile cannon roar,
And caught afar the foeman's tramp,
And view'd the smoke of the rebel camp,
And sigh’d at each cannon that threaten'd the town,
And wept for his people, though not for his crown.
How oft I gaz'd, with anxious care,
On good King Charles's oaken chair;
And proudly laid my humble head
On good King Charles's royal bed;
And joy'd to see the nook revealed,
Where good King Charles had lain concealed,
And tasted calm and safe repose
Surrounded by a thousand foes !

VI. .
It soothes me now to think on days
· When grief and I were strangers yet,
And feed, in thought, a frequent gaze .

On scenes the heart can ne'er forget.'
The friends who made those scenes so bright
Are torn for ever from my sight;
Their halls are falling to decay,
Or own an unknown master's sway:

But still, upon my pensive soul,
The feelings of my younger day, .
The hour of mirth, the party gay,

In blissful visions roll.
Oh! welcome, then, was December's blast,
As it drove on the snow-storm thick and fast,
And welcome the gloom of December's sky,
For they told of approaching revelry;
And gave the signal, old and sweet,
For dearest friends in one Hall to meet,
Where jest, and song, and gallant cheer,
Proclaim'd the Christmas of the year.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »