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modesty—or trespassing, by wanton personalities, on the parks and lawns of private life. In a word, it will aim at being merry and wise, instead of merry and otherwise.

For the sedate, there will be papers of a becoming gravity ; and the lover of poetry will be supplied with numbers in each number.

As to politics, the reader of Hood's MAGAZINE will vainly search in its pages for a panacea for agricultural distress, or a grand Catholicon for Irish agitation ; he will uselessly seek to know whether we ought to depend for our bread on foreign farmers, or merely on foreign sea-fowl; or, if the repeal of the Union would produce low rents and only three quarter days. Neither must he hope to learn the proper terminus of reform, nor even whether a finality man means Campbell's last man, or an undertaker.

A total abstinence from such stimulating topics and fermented questions is, indeed, ensured by the established character of the editor, and his notorious aversion to party spirit. To borrow his own words, from a letter to the proprietors,—“ I am no politician, and far from instructed on those topics which, to parody a common phrase, no gentleman's newspaper should be without. Thus, for any knowledge of mine, the Irish prosecutions may be for pirating the Irish melodies ; the Pennsylvanians may have repudiated their wives; Duff Green may be a place, like Goose Green; Prince Polignac a dahlia or a carnation, and the Duc de Bordeaux a tulip. The Spanish affairs I could never master, even with a Pronouncing Dictionary at my elbow; it would puzzle me to see whether Queen Isabella's majority is or is not equal to Sir Robert Peel's; or, if the shelling the Barcelonese was done with bombs and mortars, or the nutcrackers. Prim may be a quaker, and the whole civil war about the Seville Oranges. Nay, even on domestic matters, nearer home, my profound political ignorance leaves me in doubt on questions concerning which the newsmen's boys and printers' devils have formed very decided opinions; for example, whether the corn law league ought to extend beyond three miles from Mark Lane -or the sliding scale should regulate the charges at the glacia. rium-what share the Welsh whigs have had in the Welsh

riots, and how far the Ryots in India were excited by the slaughter of the Brahmin Bull. On all such public subjects I am less au fait than that Publicist the Potboy, at the public. house, with the insolvent sign, The Hog in the Pound.”

Polemics will be excluded with the same rigor; and especially the Tractarian schism. The reader of Hood's MAGAZINE must not hope, therefore, to be told whether an old Protestant church ought to be plastered with Roman cement; or if a design for a new one should be washed in with Newman's colors. And most egregiously will he be disappointed, should he look for controversial theology in our Poets' Corner. He might as well expect to see queens of Sheba, and divided babies, from wearing Solomon's spectacles !

For the rest, a critical eye will be kept on our current litera. ture, a regretful one on the drama, and a kind one for the fine arts, from whose artesian well there will be an occasional drawing

With this brief explanatory announcement, Hood's MAGAZINE AND COMIC MISCELLANY is left to recommend itself, by its own merits, to those enlightened judges, the reviewers; and to that impartial jury-too vast to pack in any case-the British public.

THE HAUNTED HOUSE;

A ROMANCE.

“ A jolly place, said he, in days of old,
But something ails it now: the spot is curst."

HARTLEAP WELL, BY WORDSWORTH.

PART I.

SOME dreams we have are nothing else but dreams,
Unnatural and full of contradictions;
Yet others of our most romantic schemes
Are something more than fictions.

It might be only on enchanted ground;
It might be merely by a thought's expansion ;
But in the spirit, or the flesh, I found
An old deserted mansion.

A residence for woman, child, and man,
A dwelling-place-and yet no habitation;
A house--but under some prodigious ban
Of excommunication.

Unhinged the iron gates half open hung,
Jarr'd by the gusty gales of many winters,
That from its crumbled pedestal had flung
One marble globe in splinters.

No dog was at the threshold, great or small;
No pigeon on the roof-no household creature
No cat demurely dozing on the wall
Not one domestic feature.

No human figure stirred, to go or come,
No face looked forth from shut or open casement ;
No chimney smoked—there was no sign of home
From parapet to basement,

With shatter'd panes

the

grassy court was starr'd; The time-worn coping-stone had tumbled after; And thro' the ragged roof the sky shone, barr'd With naked beam and rafter.

O'er all there hung a shadow and a fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is haunted!

The flow'r grew wild and rankly as the weed,
Roses with thistles struggled for espial,
And vagrant plants of parasitic breed
Had overgrown the dial.

But gay or gloomy, steadfast or infirm,
No heart was there to heed the hour's duration ;
All times and tides were lost in one long term
Of stagnant desolation.

The wren had built within the porch, she found
Its quiet loneliness so sure and thorough;
And on the lawn-within its turfy mound-
The rabbit made his burrow.

The rabbit wild and grey, that flitted thro’
The shrubby clumps, and frisk'd, and sat, and vanish'd,
But leisurely and bold, as if he knew
His enemy was banish'd.

The wary crow—the pheasant from the woods-
Lull'd by the still and everlasting sameness,
Close to the mansion, like domestic broods,
Fed with a “shocking tameness."

The coot was swimming in the reedy pond,
Beside the water-hen, so soon affrighted ;
And in the weedy moat the heron, fond
Of solitude, alighted.

The moping heron, motionless and stiff,
That on a stone, as silently and stilly,
Stood, an apparent sentinel, as if
To guard the water-lily.

No sound was heard except, from far away,
The ringing of the Whitwall's shrilly laughter,
Or, now and then, the chatter of the jay,
That Echo murmur'd after.

But Echo never mock'd the human tongue;
Some weighty crime, that Heaven could not pardon,
A secret curse on that old building hung,
And its deserted garden.

The beds were all untouch'd by hand or tool;
No footstep marked the damp and mossy graveler
Each walk as green as is the mantled pool,
For want of human travel.

The vine unprun'd, and the neglected peach,
Droop'd from the wall with which they used to grapple;
And on the canker'd tree, in easy reach,
Rotted the golden apple.

But awfully the truant shunn'd the ground,
The vagrant kept aloof, and daring poacher;
In spite of gaps that thro' the fences round
Invited the encroacher.

For over all there hung a cloud of fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is haunted !

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