Page images
PDF
EPUB

De Grammont, Mademoiselle Montpensier, De Retz, Bellegarde, Duc de Richelieu, Sully. The English can set against this array only Pepys, North, Waldegrave, Bubb Doddington, Coleridge, and, equal to the best of the French, Boswell and Horace Walpole. The French, before Sismondi, had no creditable history of the country; but no one complained, since every thing was so much more agreeably transmitted in their memoirs.

NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.

Woman in her Social and Domestic Character. By MRS. JOHN SANDFORD. Fifth American edition. Boston: Otis, Broaders & Co. 1840. Woman as She Should Be. By REV. HUBBARD WINSLOW. Fourth edition. Boston: Otis, Broaders & Co. 1840.

There can be no topic more useful for discussion, not only in books, but in domestic circles, than the appropriate sphere and real duties of women. Sufficient attention has not hitherto been paid to it; and an earnest inquiry set on foot among our most active and intelligent writers, both male and female, could not fail to elicit much practical truth, and exert an extensive influence on society. The volumes before us, which have run through several editions already, are exactly suited to awaken inquiry on this subject, and, to a certain extent, to satisfy inquiry also. They should be universally read, for the soundness of their doctrines, and should form the text-books to be referred to in future discussions.

The History of the Condition of Women, in various Ages and Nations. By MRS. D. L. CHILD. Third edition. Boston: Otis, Broaders & Co. 1840.

Kindred to the above-mentioned works is this of Mrs. Child, whose name is a guarantee for a sensible and useful book. The facts which she has con'rived to bring together, in the space of two ordinary duodecimo volumes, evince a degree of perseverance and research only paralleled by the zeal of the writer in the cause of her sex and of humanity. Her volumes will be prized not only on account of the interesting character of the subject, but from their furnishing the historical materials requisite for an intelligent discussion of the proper sphere and duties of

woman.

The American Medical Almanac for 1841. Designed for the daily use of Practising Physicians, Surgeons, Students, and Apothecaries; being also a Pocket Memorandum and Account Book, and General Medical Directory of the United States and the British Provinces. By J. V. C. SMITH, M. D., editor of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. Vol. III, continued annually. Boston: Otis, Broaders & Co. 1841.

The title page of this book gives a perfectly full and satisfactory account of the contents. It is very neatly got up in the small pocket size, and substantially bound,

From Bentley's Miscellany for November.
THE ORIGIN OF THE BUCENTAUR.*
A man yet young, but clad in garments tatter'd
A man of evident griefs-(for suffering
Looks from his hollow cheek, and from his shatter'd
Yet noble form, and dimm'd, yet threatening
Glances, whose haughtiness might quail a king)—
Before the Doge Ciani's palace gate

Hath sat for days-motionless as a thing
Of marble!-Suppliants, officers of state,
Guards, gorgeous dames, the servitors who wait,
Pass and repass, and yet he heeds them not!-
His soul sits brooding on his dreary fate!—

"The Doge Ciani comes!"-He moves no jot-
No homage yields-scarce hears the crowd's acclaim-
Nay, scarce the Doge's shout, "Ha!—art thou not?—
Thy name?"

"Name! I had two!-one titular, one my ownRoland Ranucci was my name by birth;

But Alexander is the one more known.

Sienna was my birth-place, the wide earth Has been my kingdom, and my will sent forth Mandates, which monarchs, slave-like, have obeyed.I'm now a mark for mockery and mirth!— The Kaiser hath despoil'd me, and hath made The Holder of the Keys, his arts betray'd,

A houseless vagabond!-yea, so that Rome, The three-crown'd seven hills whereou I sway'd, Hath yell'd me from her! Friend, nor food, nor home Have I, nor hope! I would that I were dead!Strike!-Barbarossa's gold will pay you for my head!"

The Prince Ciani sinks upon his knee

Before the beggar'd Pontiff, and around The City of the Islands of the Sea

Behold the nobles groveling on the ground In homage, like their noblest. A wild sound Of welcome multitudinous shakes the sky, Startling like thunder! And the clouds which frown'd On the unthron'd Alexander's destiny Are swept away! Visions, long, long past by, Resume existence in his brain again; For She of the Lion lifts her hand on high, Swearing to seek the Kaiser in his den, By words to calm, or sheathed in steel to cope With him whose impious soul defies the anointed Pope.

Frederick the Swabian sits in state, and lo!

The Adrian envoys front him. He, the Greek, Emanuel, blinded, Henry Dandolo,t

He, that was after Doge, stands forth to speak Peace 'twixt the Pontiff and the Prince to seek. "Venice doth Frederick Barbarossa greet

Long may he reign, protector of the weak, And queller of the strong!-Lo, you! the heat Of furious feud, most impious and unmeet

In Christian clime, between thee and the Pope Rages, which humbly Venice doth entreat

May now be quenched for ever; in which hope She, for the Pope, her guest, doth peace demand. Say, will the Kaiser take the Pontiff's proffer'd hand?”

* A melancholy interest surrounds the above production. The clever author, who had been for some time a contributor to our Miscellany, besides being the author of several popular ballads, placed it in our hands only a few days before, in a moment of mental aberration, he terminated his existence. Mr. Inman had been subject to occasional fits of mental excitement, induced principally by too much study. To this elever young man a the words of a song entitled "The Days of Yore," set to medal was awarded by the Melodists' Club in 1837, for music by John Parry, Jr., and also gained the prize of the value of ten guineas in 1838. Mr. Inman was also the writer of the national song, "St. George's Flag of club awarded its prize of fifteen guineas on the 25th of England," composed by Mr. Blewett, to whom the same June last, He also wrote the song, "Sweet Mary, Mine," which Madame Stockhausen and Miss Birch rendered so popular last season by singing it at numer

ous concerts.

+ This was Byron's "octogenarian chief, Byzantium's conquering foc." Sabellicus recounts the perfidy of Emanuel, the Emperor of Constantinople, thus: "Mostrando adunque egli di yoler di segreto parlare ad Henrico Dandolo, uno degli ambasciatori, menatolo in luogo occulto, con ferro ardente lo privo di vista."

"No, by the blood of God!" the Swabian roar'd ;
"Hence to your marshy hovels by the sea,
And leave the shaveling to my threatening sword!
What boots our quarrel unto yours or ye?
Nay, mark, moreover, meddlers that ye be,
If ye would not have his fate be your own,
Send me his head, or you will hear from me!-
And thank your insignificance alone

I keep not yours for hostages. Begone!"
Then Dandolo," For these thy words, proud king,
The Planter of the Lion to thy throne

Hurls down her gage, and brands thee as a thing
Most miscreant and leprous! and stands forth
As champion to the death for Heaven, 'gainst thee and
earth!"

[ocr errors]

At dawn the Istrian waves were calm and clear, And ruddy with the morn-blush-but at night Ruddier with blood, and studded with the gear

Of shatter'd galleys! The wan moon's soft light Stream'd o'er the fragments of a fearful fight, Corpses, and mangled limbs! and mast and oar Hither and thither drifting. In fierce might Venice hath grappled with the Emperor, And grappled, as her custom was of yore,

Daringly! Eighty galleys did she meet With thirty. Yea, and came off conqueror!

With prizes which outnumbered her own fleet! Home went her warriors chanting o'er the sea, Not unto us, O Lord! be glory given, but Thee!"

Yea, eighty galleys were the armament

Of her whose impress in her after-pride Was the five vowels! 'Gainst the which were sent But thirty of th' Italians; but their tried And val'rous seamanship so well replied To Austria's boasting, that o' the eighty sail They captured forty; eight beneath the tide They sunk. They also took the admiral, Otho, fierce Redbeard's nephew. A brisk gale Ransomed the rest, or Almaine had not had A galley left to carry home the tale.

Think ye how each Venetian's heart beat glad To view such booty, gained against such odds. "A miracle!" they cried. "Not man's hand fought, but God's!"*

The admiral, Otho, had a sort of sneaking

Love for the Pope, or haply his own fame,
And wisely owned this vengeance as heaven's wreaking,
Since, thereby, certes, neither shame nor blame
Could fall on his or any other name!
With this consoling subterfuge imprest,

One morning to his grace, the Doge, he came,
And gaining audience, ventured to suggest
That with the family influence he possest,

If he were sent to expound this miracle
To Frederick, all would shortly be redrest.

The Doge assented; Otho's scheme took well, Worried by words, by superstition cowed, Bold Frederick lost all heart, and to the Pontiff bowed

Abject! Pefore the altar of Saint Mark
The Pope, in full pontificals arrayed,
Stood, smiles illumining his visage dark!

For at his feet the despot kneels, who laid
Such anguish on his soul, that life was made
A curse! This strange success so fat had fed
His ancient pride, that, all results unweighed,
He placed his foot on Frederick's neck, and said
In the great Psalmist's words, " Thus do I tread
On the young lion, and the venomous snake!"
Whereat the Kaiser raised his bended head,
And cried, "Not thou, but Peter!" Then thus spake
"Peace, impious dog! Not Peter only, also I!"
The Pontiff, flashing anger from his eye,

Then to the Ciani he addressed these words,

"In memory of this day, and that when ye Had God to aid the prowess of your swords, Take ye this ring, and know that we decrce Venice is henceforth sovereign of the sea; It is her lordship, heritage, and fie",

*The famous device of Austria, A, E, I, O, U, was

first used by Frederick III., who adopted it on his plate, books, and buildings. These initials stand for "Austrim Est Imperare Orbi Universo;" or, in German, "Alles Erdreich Ist Osterreich Unterthan."-Hallam's Middle Ages.

We, God's vicegerent, will it. It shall be
To Venice as a wife. In joy and grief,
Handmaid and comfort. To thee, the chief
Of the republic, we entrust this ring,
In token of the covenant; which our brief
At full shall certify! For revelling
Be this day marked amid the calendar,
And kept each year!"* It was.

Bucentaur !

by the mob was, "Give us back the eleven days | respect be improved. The cover, which is so we have been robbed of"-the reader will recol- arranged as to avoid the extra postage, he hopes lect that Hogarth introduces this in his Election to make a sheet of abiding interest, so combining Feast); and, several years after, when Bradley, original and selected articles, of foreign and do worn down by his labours in the cause of science, mestic literature, science and art, and from such was sinking under the disease which closed his sources of respectability, as to make it a work of 'Twas called the mortal career, many of the common people attri- authority and reference. buted his sufferings to a judgment from heaven, J. E. INMAN. for his having been instrumental in what they considered to have been so impious an undertaking.-Edinburgh Review.

AN UNFORTUNATE AUTHOR.-What truth there may be in the following paragraph from a recent newspaper, we cannot say. There is much of it, however, which we suspect to have a strong general resemblance to circumstances of actual daily occurrence in literature:

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"A person who signs himself Samuel Hardman,' and dates from King's Road, Brighton,' has addressed a letter to the editors of newspapers in Brighton,' in which he begs leave to acquaint' them that he has lost two hundred and odd pounds by publishing' his Descriptive Poem of the Battle of Waterloo,' his Petition to the House of Commons, and a few other little things.' He gives the following details of his fruitless exertions to force a sale: When I published my "Descriptive Poem of the Battle of Waterloo," I paid three pounds to some of the daily papers, and not less than one pound to all the daily and weekly papers; and also one to all the monthly and quarterly reviews. I placarded the streets from Whitechapel Church to Hyde Park Corner, and so on all round London. I presented a copy to the Lord Mayor in the Mansion House; I had three men walking the streets with boards on their backs three weeks; I had my house in Kennington Lane, close to Vauxhall Gardens, placarded all over; they were acting the Battle of Waterloo in the gardens; and after all this enormous expense, I only sold one sixpenny number, and my publisher, Mr. Chappell, of the Royal Exchange, only sold seven numbers; so that we got four shillings between us, for me laying out upwards of one hundred pounds. I expended the same sum on my "Petition to the House of Commons," thinking that I should recover some part of my former loss; but, alas! I only sold seventeen sixpenny numbers of that petition. I have now only sold sixteen numbers of my five letters.'"

COFFINS IN HEREFORD CATHEDRAL.-On the 3d of April, men employed in opening a grave in the north aisle of Hereford Cathedral, found, at the depth of about four feet, two stone coffins, one finely chiseled, in which were two male skeletons, evidently the remains of persons holding high offices in the church. One skeleton was enveloped in a silk robe, embroidered with gold lace, and shoes made right and left, with cloth tops and pointed toes, and the hair on the skull was abundant and perfect. The other, which was in the chiseled coffin, had also a robe of silk embroidered with gold, a wig on, but no shoes; under the skull was a pillow with feathers in it. The coffins were covered with stone slabs, but nothing was found indicating the names of the parties.

WALDIE'S

SELECT CIRCULATING LIBRARY,

AND

JOURNAL OF POLITE LITERATURE.

EDITED BY JOHN SANDERSON, ESQ.

Professor of Classics in the Central High School, Philadelphia;

Author of the "American in Paris," &c.

The regularity of its former publication, not a failure in seven years, will be taken as a guaran tee for the future punctuality of the Library; but there is only one way to make that permanent, viz. by payment in advance. This is an indispensable pre-requisite from all at a distance. The losses by deviating from this rule formerly, are too heavy to be forgotten soon, and a little reflection may satisfy any one of the reasonableness of the request. The reasons are too obvious, indeed, to require much discussion, Five dollars are all that a subscriber risks, but the publisher risks thousands, by crediting. The publisher is in a city, and can be reached without trouble. A subscriber lives perhaps a thousand miles off; and how is he to be reached? It might cost six times the amount to collect the trifle. Payment in advance, then, as all may perceive, is a reasonable request, and sad experience compels the proprietor to make it absolute. The few who paid in advance for 1840, will be supplied for 1841, unless otherwise ordered.

An early remittance of names is respectfully úrged, so as to enable the proprietor to make proper calculations about the quantity to be printed, as he will print very few over the num ber absolutely subscribed for. To this he would call particular attention.

To his brethren of the press, throughout the country, the proprietor returns grateful thanks for former favours, and hopes the work will be again so conducted as to warrant a renewal of their friendly assistance. A few copies of the Port Folio are still on hand, a year of which will be forwarded in payment for advertising as much of this announcement as they may think an equivalent; or two years will be sent for publishing the whole.

TERMS.

The proprietor of this popular and well known periodical has the gratification of replying to the many affectionate inquiries after its resumption, from his kind friends and patrons-friends and patrons in the true meaning of the words by the publication of this first number. Restored by a beneficent Providence once more to active life, he hopes again to be able to give that superintendence to the publication which was his 1. The Library is published on a double royal pride and pleasure for seven years. He antici- sheet, sixteen pages quarto each, on new type, and pates, with inexpressible satisfaction, the renewal printed in the best style of book work. The weekly of associations with thousands of families, with Journal of Belles Lettres will be contained on the either of which an acquaintance is an honour. two outer leaves of the number. To compensate for During his protracted indisposition, the intensity this arrangement, five numbers will be published of suffering was greatly mitigated by the genemonthly. the British Calendar to that of other nations. 2. Price FIVE DOLLARS a year, if paid at, or reLord Chesterfield was the original promoter of ceived from his kind-hearted patrons; and the an agent from this office. rous expressions of sympathy and regard re-mitted to, the office. SIX DOLLARS if collected by this measure, which was carried in 1751. The gloom and tedium of a sick room were much 3. Subscriptions commence with January, and no following curious anecdote happily illustrates lightened by the rays of genuine friendship subscriptions taken for less than a year. the presumption and ignorance of the mob of emitted from every quarter. This egotism, he must be all post-paid. Postmasters are allowed by those days:-Lord Chesterfield took pains, in hopes, will be judged of mildly-he certainly law to forward subscriptions free. As postage has the periodical journals of the day, to prepare the has no wish to make a display-but the impulse been a very heavy item of expense, we urgently reminds of the public for the change; but he found of grateful acknowledgment for such disinte-quest subscribers' attention to this.

THE LOST DAYS.-Bradley, astronomer-royal, had a considerable share in the assimilation of

it much easier to prevail with the legislature, than to reconcile the great mass of the people to the abandonment of their inveterate habits. When Lord Macclesfield's son stood the great contested election for Oxfordshire, in 1754, one of the most vehement cries raised against him The words which Sabellicus puts into Alexander's mouth, are, "Ricevi questo anello d'oro, o Ciani, e per mia autorità, con questo pegno ti farai il mare soggetto, la qual cosa tu e tuoi successori ogni anno in tal giorno

osservate, accio quelle che haveranno a seguire intendano la signoria del mare per ragion de guerra esser vostra, c come la moglie al huomo, cosi il mare al vostro dominio

rested kindness was irrepressible, and he could
not announce the reappearance of the work
without yielding to it.

To these friends he addresses himself, solicit
have the Library once more introduced among
ous for their continued support, and hopes to
their families, see it honoured again with a place
on their centre tables, and become a welcome
weekly visiter. He is at the same time very
desirous to extend his acquaintance and form

new friends.

From the arrangements made, dictated by ex

Letters

Premiums. As we have some extra copies for 1836, 1837, 1838, and 1839, we offer two of these years' Library and the new year for Ten Dollars. At the same rate to old subscribers, who wish to complete sets.

A few sets of the Library yet on hand for sale.

We have sent the Library to those old punctual friends who were on our list at the "suspension." Those who do not wish to take it, will please let us know through a postmaster-not by returning the number, for that we do not get, but by

[blocks in formation]

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY ADAM WALDIE & CO. No. 46 Carpenter Street, PhiladeLPHIA. $5 for 60 numbers, payable in advance.

JOURNAL.

During the publication of Jesse's work, we propose extracting from the best authors, anecdotes, characters, &c. of the most distinguished persons who flourished during the seventeenth century-thus throwing cotemporary information on the most brilliant period of the history of Europe. "The standard of virtuous and honourable feeling seems never to have been reduced lower in England than in the reign of James I. Even the most exalted spirits were unable entirely to soar above the mephitic atmosphere in which they were enveloped. The wisdom of Bacon could not prevent him from groveling in the dust of a court, and soiling the splendours of a character which might have shone stainless through all ages, by acts which have rendered him a warning to posterity, when he should have been its highest example. The varied accomplishments of Raleigh, a man whom Nature had fashioned to be the model of all gallantry, honour, and wisdom, serve but as lights to draw into more conspicuous notice his faults and his follies, for of vices he ought surely to be acquitted. Not all the learning and patriotism of Coke can ever cleanse his fame from the blot with which his fierce inhumanity towards the unfortunate Raleigh has stained it. Thus, amongst nearly all the eminent men of that day, we look in vain for that conjunction of the great and the good, which is the only basis of a truly noble character. There cannot be a stronger proof of the disorganised state of moral feeling at this period, than the various fates of the individuals whom we have just named. Somerset, a convicted adulterer and murderer, retired upon a pension. Northampton, his accomplice, endowed an almshouse, and died an edifying death in his own palace. Bacon, the services for which he had sold his honour forgotten, perished in destitute povertythe learned head and brave heart of Raleigh could not save him from the steel of the executioner; and disgrace was the portion accorded to the honesty and profound sagacity of Sir Edward Coke. In times thus ordered, it is gratifying to find one instance where worth and valour, and learning and prosperi

vation with them: that there must have been a wonderful fund of internal virtue, of strong resolution, and manly philosophy, which, in an age of such mistaken and barbarous gallantry, of such absurd usages and false glory, could enable Lord Herbert to seek fame better founded, and could make him reflect, that there might be a more desirable kind of their eyes so obstinately against seeking what is glory than that of a romantic duellist.' None shut ridiculous, as they who have attained a mastery in it: but that was not the case with Lord Herbert. His valour made him a hero, be the heroism in vogue what it would; his sound parts made him a philosopher. Few men, in truth, have figured so conspicuously in lights so various; and his descendants, though they cannot approve him in every walk of glory, would perhaps injure his memory, if they suffered the world to be ignorant, that he was formed to shine in every sphere into which his impetuous temperament or predominant reason conducted him.

"As a soldier, he won the esteem of those great captains, the Prince of Orange, and the Constable de Montmorency. As a knight, his chivalry was drawn from the purest founts of the Fairy Queen. Had he been ambitious, the beauty of his person would have carried him as far as any gentle knight can aspire to go. As a public minister, he supported the dignity of his country, even when his prince disgraced it; and that he was qualified to write its annals, as well as to ennoble them, the history I have mentioned proves, and must make us lament, that he did not complete, or that we have lost, the account he purposed to give of his embassy. These busy scenes were blended with, and terminated by meditation and philosophic enquiries. Strip each period of its excesses and errors, and it will not be easy to trace out, or dispose the life of a man of quality into a succession of employments which would better become him. Valour and military activity in youth, business of state in the middle age, contemplation and labour for the information of posterity in the calmer scenes of closing life. This was Lord Herbert. The deduction he will give himself."

ty, were all united, as they were in the person of THE OLD KING AND THE YOUNG HEIR. Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury."

The life of Lord Herbert is given by Jesse. It is also written by himself, and in the advertisement prefixed, the following character is given of him by Horace Walpole.

"The noble family which gives these sheets to the world, is above the little prejudices which make many a race defraud the public of what was designed for it by those, who alone had a right to give or withhold. It is above suppressing what Lord Herbert dared to tell. Foibles, passions, perhaps some vanity, surely some wrong-headedness, these he scorned to conceal, for he sought truth, wrote truth, was truth. He honestly told when he had missed or mistaken it. His descendants, not blind to his faults, but through them conducting the reader to his virtues, desire the world to make this candid obser

BY CHARLES WEST THOMSON. "all this thou see'st is but a cloud, And module of confounded royalty."

High upon the walls of night,
Hangs the belt of proud Orion,
And the winds are moaning light,
Like the growl of slumbering lion.
There's a sadness every where,

O'er the wintry landscape lying; Men look round with thoughtful air, For the poor old year is dying.

SHAKSPEARE.

The poor old year!

There he lies, his sceptre gone,
All his pride and strength departed;
Poor old monarch, pale and wan,
Sick and weak, and broken hearted.

His straggling hair and matted beard,
Show how much he is neglected;
Yet once by many he was feared,
And by the most, at least respected.

On his bed of withered leaves,

NO. 2.

Poor old year!

He drags his snowy sheet around him, His palsied hand no more receives The rod of power, as when they crowned him. His fading eye no more retains

The faces near him, friend or lover; There's scarce a breath of life remains, Alas! poor king! 'tis almost over.

The poor old year! The clock! it strikes the midnight round, One-two--three-four-five-six-seven ; He stands and listens to the sound; Eight-nine-ten-elevenTwelve!-and the moment that the bell, Its last tone to the air has given, He falls, as stricken by the knell, And gives his spirit up to Heaven. The poor old year! But hark! what means this merry chime, Thro' the frosty midnight ringing"Tis the prancing steeds of time,

The young heir! the New Year bringing.
How they shout him-how they quaff

Bumpers to his health and glory!
The poor old year hears not their laugh,
He is but a theme for story

To the Merry New Year. Joyous, blithe he seems, and gay,

Full of hopes and promises-
Pure and fresh, as winds that stray
In summer landward from the seas.
He looks fair and smiling now-
How each heart his presence cheereth!
Think you he will keep his vow?
Will he prove what he appeareth.

A Happy New Year?

God be with us we know not
What beneath his robe he hideth;
Whether a calm or adverse lot,

Unknown fate for us provideth.
God be with us-let's be gay;

In his smiles hope on, hope ever-
Dream not of the coming day,

But make ourselves amid his favour,
A Happy New Year.

Talent.-Homer was a beggar; Plautus turned a mill; Terence was a slave; Boefius died in jail; Tasso was often distressed for five shillings; Cervante died of hunger; Milton ended his life in obscurity; Bacon lived a life of meanness; Spenser died of want; Dryden lived in poverty and died of distress; Otway died of hunger; Lee in the streets; Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield was sold for a trifle to save him from prison; Fielding lies in the burying ground of an English factory; Savage died in prison; Chatterton destroyed himself; and John Keats died of a broken heart.

From the Charivari.

THE MAN OF ANECDOTE. Under the general title of storyteller, I include the members of a family as varied as it is numerous, and which, although appearing under divers denominations, and with separate qualities, do not the less belong to a singular and original type. There are professed storytellers, in the same way that there are professed vaudeville and romance writers these deal in written literature, the former in oral literature.

In the hotel, in the back shop, in the cottage, on the deck of each vessel, in the barrack-room, everywhere where men habitually assemble, if only to the number of two or three, there, in the midst of them, we are sure to meet a storyteller, whose constant care it is not to lose ground in the opinion of his audience; and, above all, to observe with jealous care that none encroach on his privilege. Let a number of persons, who are not in the constant habit of meeting together, form an assembly on the occasion of a baptism, a wedding, or a burial, rest assured, that in less than a quarter of an hour one of the party will have assumed the exclusive right of speech, and that he will recount his stories in the waiting room, in the coach, at the church, in the cemetery, at table, in the garden, or at the fireside, in the street, and even to the very door of his dwelling, where a few intrepid auditors never fail to accompany him.

66

In certain houses, the choice of a storyteller is a matter of nice consideration; on this choice the celebrity of the entertainments given, and the affluence of guests, most frequently depend. Indeed I should not be surprised to see, in letters of invitation," the storyteller's arm chair will be taken by M.," as we see in the present day, "A band will attend under the direction of Collinet." I have said that there are storytellers in the same way that there are vaudeville writers; but it was never my intention to institute a comparison between these two estimable classes. Oh, how wide the difference! How great, with regard to genius, are the exigencies of the first compared to those of the second! A vaudeville is played forty or fifty nights, while a story will only serve once. Write three or four vaudevilles in a year, and you will be considered as a distinguished author; but if your budget boast but of two or three anecdotes, the most unpretending salon of the Marais will dismiss you ere a fortnight have elapsed. The story teller is required to possess an immense, a gigantic magazine; his auditors are endowed with the privilege of hawking about and spreading the story, the bon mot he has brought to light, without even exciting the susceptibility of the société des gens de lettres, but for him the rule non bis in uno is peremptory. The life of a storyteller is, therefore, one of unceasing labour. He rises every morning with the necessity before him of creating a subject, of grouping his personages, of inventing an intrigue, of hitting off characters, of manufacturing a joke. Nor does his task end here; he must not only possess the qualities of an author, he must also be a finished comedian. Here a particular pas. sage requires a smile on the lip,-there another must be given in a fearful tone; now his diction must be naif, and now impassioned; here sarcastic and witty, there sombre and terrible; and when he has carefully studied his gesture and expression-when he has gone through what

may be called his rehearsal-it is time to appear on the scene of his future exploits.

Then poor C-V- would suddenly break up the assembly and make his retreat, in an agony of noble indignation; and, ordering his son to be brought before him, would greet him with the following rebuke: "Wretch! you have dared to sell me the same pun twice; you have basely deceived your old father; you have committed a paltry theft; and I predict that you will end your days on the gallows!"

last gasp. But it sometimes happened that H—, whether through laziness or thoughtlessness, Like a star who would esteem it infra dig. to would give his father a second edition of some appear on the stage at the rise of the curtain, our bon mot or adventure, which he had already sold storyteller always manages to be the last comer. a fortnight back, and for which he received Already he feels the glow of gratified vanity in double pay without a blush. If the memory of reflecting that in each group the enquiry is the old man had lost its tenacity, that of his au anxiously made, "Do you think he'll come! Idience had not, who invariably stopped him with wonder whether he'll come!" And what can the heart-breaking remark, "You have told us equal the voluptuous satisfaction he feel on hear- that already." ing the "ah !" escape from every mouth at his appearance. That" ah !" which is equal to the loud applause with which a favourite actor is greeted on his first appearance for the evening. After this he makes his tour with open snuffbox for the men, compares all the women under thirty to roses, persuades mammas that they are growing quite young again, and when he has effectually secured the good wishes of his audience, he takes a seat, waits with apparent indifference until a general silence is established, and then commences. He must, indeed, be inexpe- A LESSON IN DANCING, AND A CLErienced and imprudent who would dare to gather RICAL DANCING MASTER. a single branch of the laurel which it is the storyteller's privilege to monopolise. The latter, who "Have you read Baruch?" was the question is a sworn foe to competition, has a thousand which La Fontaine was in the habit of propoundmeans whereby to crush his rival at the outset―ing to every person he met. "Have you read a pitiful smile, accompanied with a slight shrug Young?" we should take the liberty of asking, Who has of the shoulders,-a fit of sneezing at the most were not the enquiry a useless one. interesting passage, or a controversy suddenly not wandered, with the poet of the "Night entered into in the very middle of the story on a Thoughts," under the gloomy cypress trees of point of the utmost indifference. One might the churchyards his imagination loved to depict? swear it was a dramatic author called upon to for, in spite of their dark and sombre colouring, judge the composition of a brother in trade. his portraitures possess attractions which it is Every storyteller has his peculiar line. This almost impossible to resist. Such is the constione excels in sentimental stories, that in tales of tution of the heart; in its alternations of reverie, travel, another is ever on the scent for scandalous the image of grief and suffering is not without a adventures; some deal in reminiscences of the certain charm; and we all know, and must have empire, others are acknowledged masters in the felt, that there is a pleasure even in melancholy. art of punning; every school has its representa- And yet how much in Young is false and extive, every style boasts of its celebrity, from the aggerated! How little he possesses of that genclassic to the romantic, from the ancient tragedy tle and unaffected sadness which finds its way to the modern sea novel. at once to the heart, and twines around its strings while it softens and relaxes them; in fact, in his strained and pompous elegies, there is something laboured and artificial, which checks the illusion, and compels us to think of the author instead of the sentiment. There are fine verses and fine images, but very little nature. True grief, the grief which consoles the heart as if with a hand of iron, does not so coquettishly and carefully arrange the crape folds of its mourning. The declamation of Young is constantly directed against solitude; hence we infer that reverie and contemplation were not habitual to him; yet the Parnassus of the poets is a solitary mountain. Be this as it may, it would have seemed at one time that the most emphatic of our elegiac poets was not predestined to sigh away his soul in lugubrious accents. In his youth, when the horizon of his future life was brilliant clouds, he was among the gayest and merriest, hurrying joyfully along the path of life, and gathering the smiling flowers that embroidered its walks. It was not until multiplied chagrins and bitter disappointments had shivered the prism which reflected so bright a tint on the objects of his hopes and fancy, that he gave utterance to those lamentations which conjure up so despairing an image of human nature.

It is no extraordinary thing to see a storyteller arrive at a venerable old age. But, alas! Voltaires are scarce; most commonly, a storyteller who has passed his sixtieth year can claim no other title than that of dotard; and we avoid him with as much eagerness as formerly we sought him with. Think not that this decay can ever induce him to give up. The storyteller is the intrepid champion of his worth, and, like a certain actress of our acquaintance, prefers universal desertion to an honourable retreat. This suggests a reminiscence which I shall not be sorry to relate in conclusion of this article.

Among the story tellers who flourished among the last generation, perhaps the most remarkable was C— V—. He had established his chair in the green room of one of our first theatres, and there nightly delighted an audience as numerous as it was select. When C-V- had grown so old as no longer to find sufficient resources in his exhausted imagination, while, notwithstanding, death would have appeared less bitter than the obligation of renouncing his daily tribute of admiration and applause; how was he to do? This is the expedient on which he hit. C-Vmade, with his son, H-, a very clever young man to this day, a treaty, whereby he should become bound to compose facetious stories for his father, at the rate of 12 fr. for each story. Thus revictualled, our venerable storyteller would cling more tenaciously than ever to the arm chair which had witnessed all his flattering triumphs, secretly determined not to quit it until his very

When Young left the university, he was a master of arts, and brought away with him a vast stock of Greek and Latin. But the fire of a fine imagination was not extinguished under the heavier acquisition of his scholastic pursuits; its vivida vis and enthusiasm had survived, and

Rosse himself, and his Spanish servant Diego, were asserted to have been witnesses. James, however, was far from being satisfied with the testimony which had been brought forward: he, very properly, despatched a serjeant-at-arms to Rome, who returned with a strong asseveration from Lord Rosse and his servant, that the statement was wholly and entirely false. In addition to this step, the king took the trouble of comparing Lady Exeter's supposed confession with some of her letters, the result of which was, the expression of his decided opinion that the criminating document was a forgery. Having summoned Lady Lake and her daughter into his presence, and explained his reasons for suspicion, he informed them, that, as the charge now rested entirely on their own assertions, he must require the joint testimony of some other party. A chambermaid, one Sarah Swarton, was then produced, who affirmed that she had stood behind a hanging at the entrance of the apartment, and had overheard the countess reading the confession of her own guilt. In addition to this, a document was produced, purporting to be the deposition of one Luke Hutton, that for forty pounds Lady Exeter had hired him to poison her accusers: this man, however, happened opportunely to appear, and denied all knowledge of the affair.

In order to ascertain what degree of credit was to be placed in the sole remaining testimony of the chambermaid, James took an opportunity of riding to Wimbledon, for the purpose of having a personal survey of the scene of action. On inspecting the apartment in which Lady Exeter was said to have made her confession, James discovered that a person standing behind the hangings could not possibly have heard the voice of another, if placed in the situation sworn to by Sarah Swarton: the experiment was severally made by the king and the courtiers who accompanied him. The next step was to summon the housekeeper, by whom, being assured that the same hangings had remained there for thirty years, the king immediately remarked, that they did not reach within a foot of the ground, and could not consequently have concealed any person who endeavoured to hide behind them. “Oaths," said Jaines, "cannot confound my

sight."

cernment, could we bring home to him the credit
of having discovered the hidden meaning con-
tained in the famous letter to Lord Mounteagle,
which led to the annihilation of the popish plot.
Whether, however, this remarkable instance of
discrimination is to be attributed to him or to
Secretary Cecil, will probably ever remain in
doubt.*

The personal accomplishments of James were
decidedly inferior to his intellectual acquirements.
The portraits of him are less numerous than
might have been expected, in consequence of a
superstitious repugnance which he entertained to
sit for his picture, a weakness which Dr. John-
son informs us, may be reckoned among the an-
fructuosities of the human mind. In stature
James was rather above than below the common
size-not ill made, though inclined to obesity;
his face full and ruddy; his beard thin; and his
hair of a light brown, though latterly it had be-
come partially gray. Sir Anthony Weldon thus
describes the king's personal appearance and pe-
culiarities, with which he must have been well
acquainted. "He was of a middle stature, more
corpulent through his clothes than in his body,
yet fat enough, his clothes ever being made large
and easy, the doublets quilted for stiletto proof,
his breeches in great plaits and full stuffed; he
was naturally of a timorous disposition, which
was the reason of his quilted doublets; his eyes
large, ever rolling after any stranger that came in
his presence, insomuch as many for shame have
left the room, as being out of countenance; his
beard was very thin; his tongue too large for
his mouth, which ever made him speak full in
the mouth, as if eating his drink, which came out
into the cup on each side of his mouth; his skin
was as soft as taffetta sarsnet, which felt so, be-
cause he never washed his hands, only rubbed
his fingers' ends slightly with the wet end of a
napkin; his legs were very weak, having had
(as was thought) some foul play in his youth be-

the king gives himself the sole credit of the disco* In his speech to parliament concerning the plot, very: "When the letter was showed to me by my secretary, wherein a general obscure advertisement did upon the instant interpret and apprehend some dark was given of some dangerous blow at this time, I Previous to the trial of Lady Rosse and her struction of them, and in another sort, than I am sure phrases therein, contrary to the ordinary grammar conmother for conspiracy, the king sent for Sir any divine, or lawyer, in any university would have Thomas Lake, and advised him to leave his wife taken them to be meant, by this horrible form of and daughter to their fate. Sir Thomas, how-blowing us up all by powder; and, therefore, ordered ever, declined doing so, observing that he could that search to be made, whereby the matter was disnot refuse to be a husband and a father. The covered and the man apprehended." Harl. Misc. cause was heard before James in the star cham- vol. iii. p. 8. Again, in the preamble to the act for a ber, and lasted five days. The king was compublic thanksgiving, we find-"The conspiracy mencing to produce his evidence, when Lady had it not pleased Almighty God, by inspiring the would have turned to the utter ruin of this kingdom, Rosse anticipated him by confessing her guilt, king's most excellent majesty with a divine spirit to and thus escaped the penal sentence which she interpret some dark phrases of a letter showed to his would otherwise have incurred. Lady Lake was majesty, above and beyond all ordinary construction, fined ten thousand pounds to the king, five thou- thereby miraculously discovering this hidden treasand to the Countess of Exeter, and fifty pounds son." We can hardly imagine the king making so to Hutton, Sarah Swarton was sentenced to be public a boast, or rather, being guilty of so gross whipt at the cart's tail, and to do penance at St. falsehood, had the credit been due to another; and Martin's church. The king compared what had but it is curious, in the circular of the Earl of Salisbury, to find the following decisive passage: "We taken place with the circumstance of the trans- (Salisbury and Suffolk) both conceived that it could gression of our first parents; Lady Lake he not by any other way be like to be attempted than with likened to the serpent, her daughter to Eve, and powder, while the king was sitting in that assembly, Sir Thomas to Adam. Sir Thomas Lake as- of which the lord chamberlain conceived more proserted that the whole affair cost him thirty thou- bability, because there was a great vault under the sand pounds.* said chamber, we all thought fit to forbear to impart it to the king until some three or four days before the Sessions."-Winwood, vol. ii. p. 171.

James would merit far higher praise for dis

Aulicua Coquinaria; Sanderson; Camden's
Annals in Kennett.
L41.

2

a

† Weldon, p. 164. For Johnson's Sesquipedalianism, see Croker's Boswell. I quote from recol

lection.

fore he was born, that he was not able to stand at seven years of age; that weakness made him ever leaning on other men's shoulders." From what we have seen of the king's character, we should rather have attributed the last mentioned peculiarity to a moral, instead of a constitutional weakness.

James was extremely indifferent as to dress, and is said to have worn his clothes as long as they would hang together. When a new-fashioned Spanish hat was once brought him, he pushed it away, observing that he neither liked the Spaniards nor their fashions. On another occasion, when an attendant produced for his wear a pair of shoes adorned with rosettes, he inquired whether they intended to make a “rufflefooted dove" of him? He was so regular in his habits and meals, that one of his courtiers observed, that were he to awake after a seven years' sleep, he would not only be able to tell where the king had been on each particular day, but what he had partaken of for dinner.

In his hunting costume, the appearance of Jaines must have been highly ludicrous: Walpole says he hunted in the "most cumbrous and inconvenient of all dresses, a ruff and trouser breeches." Sir Richard Baker, who was knighted by James, informs us that the king's manner of riding was so remarkable, that it could not with so much propriety be said that he rode, as that his horse carried him. James was accustomed to say that "a horse never stumbled but when he was reined."

The king's equestrian ungainliness was the more unfortunate, in one of his exalted rank, as all processions, and journeys of state and convenience, were at this period, with few exceptions, performed on horseback. Even the peers were accustomed to ride to parliament in their robes. Sir Symonds D'Ewes, in his curious journal, gives the following description of one of the royal processions to the house of lords: it is illustrative of the character of James and the man

the morning, not without some danger escaped, ners of the period. "I got a convenient place in to see his majesty pass to parliament in state. It is only worth the inserting in this particular, that head, between the serjeants-at-arms carrying Prince Charles rode with a rich coronet on his maces, and the pensioners carrying their poleaxes, both on foot. Next before his majesty rode Henry Vere, Earl of Oxenford, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, with Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel,† Earl Marshal of England, on his left hand, both bareheaded. Then followed his majesty with a rich crown upon his head, and most royally caparisoned.

*

to Westminster, these passages following were "In the king's short progress from Whitehall accounted somewhat remarkable:-First, That he spake often and lovingly to the people, standing thick and threefold on all sides to behold him. 'God bless ye! God bless ye!' contrary to his former hasty and passionate custom, which often in his sudden distemper would bid a p-x or a plague on such as flocked to see him; secondly, Though the windows were filled with many great ladies as he rode along, yet that he spake to none of them but to the Marquis of Buckingham's

* Henry Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford, killed at the siege of Breda, in 1625.

A knight of the Garter, an antiquary, and a man of taste. He sat as Lord High Steward at the trial of the memorable Earl of Strafford. In 1644 he was created Earl of Norfolk. In 1646 he died at Padua, but was buried at Arundel.

« PreviousContinue »