Page images
PDF
EPUB

ON EARLY RISING,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

In a Letter to Mr North.
MR North,

your eyes, I will not say open, but part. I HOPE that you are not an early lyso, outof a country gentleman's house riser. If you are, throw this letter into worth five thousand a-year. It is now the fire--if not, insert it. But I beg aquarter past five, andafinesharp, blusyour pardon ; it is impossible that you tering morning, just like the season

. can be an early riser ; and, if I thought In going down stairs, the ice not haSo, I must be the most impertinent ving been altogether melted by the man in the world; whereas, it is uni- night's rain, whack you come upon versally known that I am politeness your posteriors, with your toes point

, and urbanity themselves. Well then, ing up to heaven, your bands pressed pray what is this virtue of early rising, agaiust the globe, and your whole body that one hears so much about? Let us bob, bob, bobbing, one step after anoconsider it, in the first place, accord- ther, till you come to a full stop or ing to the seasons of the year-second- period, in a circle of gravel. On get ly, according to peoples' profession- ting up and shaking yourself

, you inand thirdly, according to their cha- voluntarily look up to the windows to racter.

see if any eye is upon you--and perLet us begin with Spring-say the haps you dimly discern, through the month of March. You rise early in blind mist of an intolerable headache

, the month of March, about five o' the old housekeeper in a flannel night clock. It is somewhat darkish-at cap, and her bands clasped in the least gloomyish-dampish-rawish- attitude of prayer, turning up the

kic coldish-icyish-snowyish. You rub whites of her eyes at this inexplicable your eyes and look about for your sally of the strange gentleinan. Well, breeches. You find them, and after my good sir, what is it that you pro hopping about on one leg for about pose to do will you take a walk in five minutes, you get them on. It the garden and eat a little fruit—that would be absurd to use a light during is to say, a cabbage leaf, or a jerusalem that season of the year, at such an ad artichoke? But the gardener is not yanced hour as five minutes past five, quite so great a goose as yourself, and so you attempt to shave by the spring is in bed with his wife and six childawn. If your nose escapes, you are dren. So after knocking with your a lucky man; but dim as it is, you shoulder against the garden gatejou can see the blood trickling down in a turn about, and espying perhaps a small hundred streams from your gashed and temple in the shrubbery, thither yor mutilated chin. I will leave your ima- repair, and therein I shall leave you gination to conjecture what sort of till breakfast, to amuse yourself with neckcloth will adorn your gullet, tied the caricatures, and the affecting pic

. under such circumstances. However, tures of Eloisa and Abelard. In the grant the possibility of your being intervals of reflection on the virtue of dressed and down you come, not to early rising in spring, I allow

you to the parlour, or your study--for you study the history of Europe, in the would not be so barbarous—but to fragments of old newspapers. enjoy the beauty of the morning, -as March, April, and May, are gone, Mr Leigh Hunt would say, out of and it is Summer-so if you are ap doors." The moment you pop your early riser, up you lazy dog, for it is phiz one inch beyond the front wall

, between three and four o'clock. How a scythe seems to cut you right across beautiful is the sun-rise! What a truly the eyes, or a great blash of sleet

clogs intellectual employment it is to stand up your mouth, or a bail shower rate for an hour with your mouth wide tles

away at you, till you take up a posi- open, like a stuck pig, gazing on their tion behind the door. Why, in the great orb of day! Then the choristers se name of God, did I leave my bed ? is of the grove have their mouths open the first cry of nature--a question to likewise; cattle

are also lowing-and if which no answer can be given, but a there be a dog kennel at hand, I wat. long chitter grueing though the frame. rant the pack are enjoying the benefits You get obstinate, and out you go. I of early rising as well as the best of give you every possible advantage. You you, and yelping away like furies beare in the country, and walking with fore breakfast. The dew too is on

a

the ground, excessively beautiful no you were plopped into the boiler of a doubt and all the turkeys, how-tow- steam engine? Just so in a morning dies, dueks, and guinea-fowls, are mop- of Autumn. You go out to look at ing, waddling, and strutting about, in a the reapers. Why the whole corn for manner equally affecting and pic- twenty miles round is laid flat-ten turesque, while the cawing of an adja- million runlets are intersecting the cent rookery invites you to take a stroll country much farther than fifty eyes in the grove, from which you return can reach- the roads are rivers--the with an epaulette on each shoulder. meadows lakes-the moors seas-naYou look at your watch, and find it is ture is drenched, and on your return at least five hours till breakfast--so home, if indeed you ever return, (for you sit down and write a sonnet to the chance is that you will be drownJune, or a scene of a tragedy ;-you find ed at least a dozen times before that,) that the sonnet has 17 lines and that you are traced up to your bed-room * the dramatis persone having once been by a stream of mud and gravel, brought upon the stage, will not which takes the housemaid an hour to "budge. While reducing the sonnet to mop up, and when, fold after fold of "the bakers’ dozen, or giving the last cold, clammy, sweaty fetid plaids,

kick to your heroine, as she walks off benjamins, coats, waistcoats, flannels, * with her arm extended heavenwards, shirts, breeches, drawers, worsteds, you hear the good old family bell warn- gaiters, clogs, shoes, &c., have been ing the other inmates to doff their peeled off your saturated body and mightcaps—and huddling up your pa- limbs, and are laidinone misty steaming pers, you rush into the breakfast-par- heap upon an unfortunate chair, there, lour. The urn is diffusing its grateful sir, you are standing in the middle of steam in clouds far more beautiful the floor, in puris naturalibus, or, as than any that adorned the sky. The Dr Scott would say, in statu qun, a mesquire and his good lady make their morable and illustrious example of the entrée with hearty faces, followed by glory and gain of early rising. ci a dozen hoydens and hobbletehoys

It is Winter-six o'clock-You are and after the first course of rolls, muf- up-You say so, and as I have never fins, dry and butter toast, has gone to had any reason to doubt your veracity, xx that bourne from which the fewer tra- I believe you. By what instinct, or vellers that return the better-in come by what power resembling instinct, the new-married couple, the young acquired by long, painful, and almost baronet and his blushing bride, who, despairing practice, you have come at with thắt - infatuation common to á last to be able to find the basin to wash thinking people, have not seen the sun your hands, must for ever remain à rise for a month past, and look perfect- mystery. Then how the hand must cirly incorrigible on the subject of early cle round and round the inner region of rising.

the wash-hand stand, before, in a bless It is now that incomprehensible sea- ed moment, it comes in contact with a son of the year, Autumn. Nature is lump of brown soap! But there are now brown, red, yellow, and every other vessels of china, or porcelain, thing but green. These, I understand, more difficult to find than the basin; are the autumnal tints so much admir- for as the field is larger, so is the ed. Úp then, and enjoy them. Which- search more tedious. Inhuman man! fver way a man turns his face early in many a bump do the bed-posts enthe morning, from the end of August dure from thy merciless and unrelenttill that of October-the wind seems ing head! Loud is the crash of clothesto be blowing direct from that quarter. screen, dressing-table, mirror, chairs, Feeling the rain beating against your stools, and articles of bed-room furniback, you wonder what the devil it ture, seemingly placed for no other can have to do, to beat also against purpose than to be overturned. If your face. Then, what is the rain of there is a cat in the room, that cat is autumn in this country-Scotland ? the climax of comfort. Hissing and Is it rain, or mist, or sleet, or hail, or snuffing, it claws your naked legs, and show, or what, in the name of all that while stooping down to feel if she has is most abhorrent to a lunged animal, fetched blood, smack goes your head is it? You trust to a great coat-Scotch through the window, which you have plaid-umbrella-clogs, &c. &c. &c.; been believing quite on the other side but what use would they be to you, if of the room ; for geography is gone

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

2.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the points of the compass are as hidden edition of Cicero. You see the words, as at the North Pole and on madly and stride along the cold dim room in rushing at a venture, out of a glimmer the sulks. Your object has been to supposed to be the door, you go like a improve your mind-your moral and battering-ram against a great vulgar intellectual nature — and along with white-painted clothes-chest, and fall the rest, no doubt, your temper. You down exhausted on the uncarpetted therefore bite your lip, and shake and sliddery floor. Now, thou Matu- your foot, and knit your brows, and tine Rose of Christmas, tell me if there feel yourself to be a most amiable, rabe any exaggeration here? But you tional, and intelligent young gentlefind the door-so much the worse, for man. In the midst of these morning there is a passage leading to a stair, and studies, from which the present and all head over heels you go, till you collect future ages will derive so much benefit, your senses and your limbs on the the male and female servants begin to bear-skin in the lobby. You are a bestir themselves, and a vigorous knockphilosopher, I presume, so you enter ing is heard in the kitchen of a poker

I your study—and a brown study it is, brandished by a virago against the with a vengeance. But you are rather great, dull, keeping-coal in the grate. weak than wicked, so you have not ore Doors begin to bang, and there is hearda dered poor Grizzy to quit her chaff, clattering of pewter. Then comes the and kindle your fire. She is snoring gritty sound of sand, as the stairs and undisturbed below. Where is the tin- lobby are getting made decent; and, der-box ? You think you recollect the not to be tedious, all the undefinable precise spot where you placed it at ten stir, bustle, uproar, and stramash of a o'clock the night before, for, being an general clearance. Your door is openearly riser up, you are also an early ed every half minute, and formidable lyer down. You clap your blundering faces thrust in, half in curiosity, and fist upon the ink-stand, and you hear half in sheer impertinence, by valets

, it spurting over all your beautiful and butlers, grooms, stable-boys, cooks

, invaluable manuscripts--and perhaps and scullions, each shutting the door over the title page of some superb book with his or her own peculiar bang; of prints, which Mr Blackwood, or Mr while whisperings, and titterings, and Miller, or Mr Constable, has lent you horse laughter, and loud gaffaws, are to look at, and to return unscathed. testifying the opinion formed by these The tinder-box is found, and the fire amiable domestics, of the conformation is kindled—that is to say, it deludes of the upper story of the early riser. On you with a faithless smile; and after rushing into the breakfast parlour, puffing and blowing till the breath is the butt end of a mop or broom is nearly out of your body, you heave thrust into your mouth, as, heedless of a persive sigh for the bellows. You mortal man, the mutched mawsey is find them on a nail, but the leather is what she calls dusting the room ; and

, burst, and the spout broken, and no- stagger where you will, you come upthing is emitted but a short asthmatic on soinething surly; for a man who pluff, beneath which the last faint leaves his bed at six of a winter mornspark lingeringly expires—and like ing is justly reckoned a suspicious chaMoses when the candle went out, you racter, and thought to be no better find yourself once more in the dark. than he should be. But, as Mr Hogs After an hour's execration, you have says, I will pursue the parallel no fara. made good your point, and with hands ther. all covered with tallow, (for depend I have so dilated and descanted on upon it, you have broken and smashed the first head of my discourse, that I the candle, and had sore to do to prop must be brief on the other two, name it up with

paper in a socket too full of ly, the connection between early rising ancient grease,) sit down to peruse or and the various professions, and be to indite some' immortal work, an ora- tween the same judicious habit

, and tion of Cicero or Demosthenes, or an the peculiar character of individuals, article for Ebony. Where are the Reader, are you a Scotch advocate? snuffers ?

up stairs in bed-room. You say you are. Well, are you You snuff the long wick with your a confounded ninny as to leave a good fingers, and a dreary streak of black im- warm bed at four in the morning, to! mediately is drawn from top to bottom study a case on which of the page of the beautiful Oxford a much better speech if you never study

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

such

you

will niake

[ocr errors]

a

it at all, and for which you have al- the bill. None but a knave or an idiot ready received L.2, 25. Do you think I will not mince the matter-rises Jeffrey hops out of bed at that hour? early, if he can help it. Early risers No, no, catch him doing that. Unless, are generally milk-sop spoonies, nintherefore, you have more than a fourth nies with broad unmeaning faces and part of his business, (for, without groset eyes, cheeks odiously ruddy, knowing you, I predict that you have and with great calves to their legs 10 more than a fourth part of his ta- They slap you on the back, and blow ents,) lie in bed till half past eight. their noses like a mail-coach horn. f you are not in the Parliament They seldom give dinners. Sir, tea House till ten, nobody will miss you. is ready.” “ Shall we join the laReader, are you a clergyman?-A man dies ?". A rubber at whist, and by vho has only to preach an old sermon eleven o'clock, the whole house is in a if his old father, need not, surely, snore. Inquire into his motives for eel himself called upon by the stern early rising, and it is perhaps to get voice of duty, to put on his small- an appetite for breakfast. Is the great lothes before eight in summer, and healthy brute not satisfied with three tine in winter. Reader, are you a penny-rolls and a pound of ham to nalf-pay officer ? -Then sleep till ele- breakfast, but he must walk down to en; for well thumbed is your copy of the Pier-head at Leith to increase his he Army List, and you need not be voracity? Where is the virtue of goba lways studying. Reader, are you an bling up three turkey's eggs, and deditor ? -Then doze till dinner; for molishing a quartern loaf, before his he devils will be let loose upon thee in Majesty's lieges are awake? But I he evening, and thou must then cor- am now speaking of your red, rosy, ect all thy slips.

greedy idiot. Mark next your pale, But I am getting stupid-somewhat sallow early riser. He is your prudent, eepy; for, notwithstanding this phil- calculating, selfish money-scrivener. ppic against early rising, I was up It is not for nothing he rises. It is is morning before ten o'clock; so I shocking to think of the hypocrite biust conclude. One argument in fa- şaying his prayers so early in the morn our of early rising, I must, however. ing, before those are awake whom he otice. We are told that we ought to intends to cheat and swindle before he e down with the sun, and rise with goes to bed. nåt luminary. Why? is it not an I hope that I have sufficiently expo xtremely hard case to be obliged to sed the folly or wickedness of early -) to bed whenever the sun chuses to rising. Henceforth, then, let no knao so? What have I to do with the vish prig purse up his mouth and erect in—when he goes down, or when he his head with a conscious air of supeses up? When the sun sets at a rea- riority, when he meets an acquaintnable hour, as he does during a short ance who goes to bed and rises at a riod in the middle of summer, I gentlemanly hour. If the hypocrite ave no objection to set likewise, soon rose early in the morning, he is to be ter; and in like manner, when he despised and hated. But people of kes a rational nap, as in the middle sense and feeling are not in a hurry to

winter, I don't care if now and leave their beds. They have something len I rise along with him. But better to do. will not admit the general prin- I perceive that all the letters that ple; we move in different spheres. appear in your Magazine are numberut if the sun never fairly sets at alled as if they belonged to a series, I., r six months, which they say he does II., III., and so forth. If you chuse, ot very far north, are honest people you may number mine, “ On Early

n that account to sit up all that time Rising. No. I.” If I continue the sea bor him? That will never do. ries, my future communications shall

Finally, it is taken for granted by all be written in bed in the forenoon, arly risers, that early rising is a vir- and will not fail of being excellent. lous habit, and that they are all a

Yours, sincerely. lost meritorious and prosperous set

SERO SED SERIO. f people. I object to both clauses of

1

[ocr errors][merged small]

LULUI

[ocr errors]

THE LITERARY POCKET-BOOK; OR COMPANION FOR THE LOVER

OF NATURE AND ART.* If we were in one of our savage now praise the little red Literary Poca linnmoods, we should take up this little ket-Book for 1822. red Literary Pocket-Book, and tear it The prose, at the beginning of the mazh into ten hundred thousand pieces, volume, seems to be from the pen of us," strewing the December gales with Mr Leigh Hunt. Perhaps this con- supera them like drifting snow-flakes. But jecture is a stupid blunder of ours, y, y we are not in one of our savage moods. and that gentleman may smile at our We are sitting, with a pleasant smile simplicity. If so, far better is it for amerid on our intelligent features, and would him to smileat us than to frown. When are De not even hurt the Fly. Besides, we he smiles, his countenance has always will love the Olliers ; and should we detect appeared to us rather engaging; when su can them in the publication of trash, we he frowns, we cannot charge our meshall shut our eyes and pass on, pre- mory with so absurd looking a persona dela, tending not to observe it. Impartiality age. The perk of his mouth, and the adus is an odious vice in a critic. It shews crispness of his chin, always incline 21 he can have no heart. But our charac- us, when he sports wrathful, to pull is wa ter, we trust, is too well established his nose. But when he smiles, the ri

, men for partiality, for us to be under any case, as we said, is wholly altered

, and *** apprehension on that other score. we then feel disposed to invite him to a wine Where is the man of talent and of tea. We wish some friend would tell virtue, to whom we have not shewn him this for he never sees Blackthe grossest partiality ? -They are our wood ; and, as we know he has a true friends, and we can't help it. If we and keen relish of a compliment, we were are blamed for this, it is only by the wish him to be made happy by our best pert and the peevish, the vain and the revolence. In a late Number of the statt vile, the libellous and the licentious, Examiner, he seems to intimate to the the demagogue, the incendiary, and inhabitants of Cockaigne, that he one in die the traitor. These we have treated, challenged “to mortal combat

, or ca 100 and will treat,

with the most rigorous reer with lance," a general-nfficer, well impartiality ; if we cannot amend, we known in the military and literary in will at least punish-if we cannot close world, for an article in this Magazine, Lthe jaw, we will extract the fang-if supposed to contain some offensive we save the reptile's life, we will des matter. We allude to General Izzard

. stroy his poison-bag. But why this The General assures us that he has no heilt burst of eloquence? The Olliers are recollection whatever of that alleged pine good men,-and, therefore, not only incident in the life of Mr Hunt, who shall we treat them justly ourselves, must have been thinking of some other but we shall see that

they are proper- person, and some other work. Mr Hunt ly respected by others. We have heard must refresh his memory with a cup aid it whispered that Charles Ollier is the of saloop, and he will be happy to find author of that clever and kind-hearted that he was mistaken in having supa siano little volume, “Altham and his Wife.” posed that he ever committed such a If so, he ought to review in this Ma- flagrant act of folly and infatuation as gazine, instead of being reviewed ;-for to challenge any gentleman connected we like him, because there is nothing in any way

with this work, from C.N. lumbering about his style. He does ourselves, down to the lowest devil in not write, like some others we could the infernal establishment of Mr Bal. name, with a broad-nibbed pen, ori- lantyne. We recollect, some years ago, ginally flourished by some clerk in a that a little tailor challenged Tom publie office, and haggled at with a Crib-in the newspapers, –and got blunt knife, till it leaves every stroke himself bound over to keep the peace

. about the thickness of a ram-rod. His Had this salutary precaution not been mind writes a neat

running-hand, and taken, no doubt he would have killed his mental manuscripts are not blurred the Champion. In like manner

, we do and blotted. We love the Olliers, both undoubtedly remember some sort of C. and Jomand, therefore, we shall blustering in the Examiner a few years

* London. C. and J. Ollier, Vere Street, Bond Street. 1822.

« PreviousContinue »