Page images
PDF
EPUB

99

children are calling for papa, and have their baskets filled with daisies and buttercups. The little sick boy, too, has made a flower necklace, which smells sweet as violets; and he says

he wants me, as soon as I have read prayers to the widow, who sent but now, to gather him some still prettier posies, which he says he will wreath into a krantz for his mamma,

who has been sitting by his bed-side since breakfast. The observant rogue has caught the word from me. It simply means a "garland;" and so Shakspeare uses it in Hamlet". It was the every-day word when I was in Denmark, though commentators would read u chants.

ALETHES. And so those pretty prattlers have taught you to pluck the flowers once more ! It was you that used to refer me to the words of Bacon, when I carelessly pulled a handful; and they were pretty words, too :-“ And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (when it comes and goes, like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air 5. I can repeat them, you see, like a schoolboy!

EUBULUS.
There is an old Grecian story, Alethes, of a great commander
-(the Duke of Wellington of his day)—who was caught riding
cock-horse with his children! And, soothe to say, they are
imperious in their infancy. I am of Paley's mind, who rejoiced
in the happiness of little children. None else would induce me
to pluck a flower. Did you ever read those pretty lines of
Walter Savage Landor's?-

“ And 'tis and ever was my wish and way
To let all flowers live freely, and all die,

“ Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home

Of bell and burial !”—Hamlet, Act v. Sc. i.
Essay of Gardens. Works, vol. i. P.

154.
6 Old Fuller says, after having quoted Horace's “Equitare in arundine longa,”
“ Such cases are no trespass on gravity, and married men may claim that privilege,
to be judged by their Peers, and may herein appeal from the censuring verdict of
Batchelors.”—Holy State, book iii. c. xxi. See also Hales of Eaton, vol. ii. p. 86.
Ed. 8vo.

5

4

5

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Whene'er their Genius bids their souls depart
Among their kindred in their native place.
I never pluck the rose ; the violet's head
Hath shaken with my breath upon its bank,
And not reproacht me; the ever sacred cup
Of the pure lily hath between my hands
Felt safe, unsoil'd, nor lost one grain of gold?!"

ALETHES. Well may you call them pretty! But come, the children are clamorous. Goldsmith must have seen such 66

noisy children just let loose from school !” For his line is alive!

7 Landor's Poems. Fæsulan Idyl, p. 317.

No. III.

Parochial Fragments, &c.

“ Liberal, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand;

Nor was perfection made for man below :
Yet all her schemes with nicest art are plann'd
Good counteracting ill, and gladness woe.”

BEATTIE's Minstrel, Book i. vi. “I would not, as some, to seem impartial, do no right to any. When actions are honourable, the honour is as much the history, as the fact; and so for infamy. It is justice, as well historical as civil, to give to every one his due. And whoever engageth in such designs as these, and governs himself by other measures, may be a chronographer, but a very imperfect, or rather insipid, historian.”

AUTHOR's Preface to Life of Lord Keeper Guilford, p. 15.

“Slander is like the fish called the remora, which, sticking to the helms of great ships, disorders the steerage. Ordinary persons are obnoxious to slander; but, for the most part, it is frivolous, slightly regarded, and turns to merriment. But, when applied to great men and ministers of state, it disturbs the course of affairs, and the whole government feels it.”

Life of Lord Keeper Guilford. Vol. ii. p. 162. 8vo.

“ Wealth, and honour, and power, and favour, are of God; but we have but stolen them from God, or received them by the hand of the devil, if we be come to them by ill means. And if we have them from the hand of God, by having acquired them by good means, yet if we make them occasions of sin, in the ill use of them after, we lose the comfort of the Holy Ghost, which requires the testimony of a rectified conscience, that all was well got, and is well used."

DONNE's Serm. xxviii. p. 279.

“ 'Tis highest Heaven's command
That guilty aims should sordid paths pursue ;
That what ensnares the heart should maim the hand,
And Virtue's worthless foes be false to glory too."

AKENSIDE. Ode xviii.

Parochial Fragments,

&c. &c. &c.

EUBULUS.

I Am glad to see you back again. I was afraid you

had wandered out for the day, under the idea that I was too much occupied to revert to our conversation of yesterday.

ALETHES.

I had made an engagement, Eubulus, with old James Long, the Clerk, and I found him such a faithful chronicler, that it was difficult to get away.

I hardly thought to have seen the old man again! But,-for I had taken the poems of Douza in my pocket,

“ Post divortia longa, post tot annos
Usurpare palàm data est potestas
Mutuâque frui allocutione ;

Quem nec spes mihi porrò erat videndi ?." The conversation of the old man and his remarks on bygone days cannot but rivet attention.

EUBULUS.

So I told you on a former occasion.

ALETHES.

We examined the Church throughout, as I had often done before, but he seemed delighted to point out afresh what he

1 Jani Douza Poemata, p. 205. Ed. 1609.

« PreviousContinue »