Page images
PDF
EPUB

jury, as much sugar of lead and water queens, in gingerbread array, dazzled as would have poisoned half a troop from the walls of the Compter oppoof horse.*

site. Meantime, the crowds, up to - Apropos to pigs, we did not see sa- midnight, kept increasing rather than pient Toby “in his place,” as we may diminishing, by the approach of visitsay, this year. There were some un- ors who could contrive to spare “just der-graduates exhibited, who had; as half an hour in the evening.' Holit were, just taken their degree; and born kept on the march by the pass at they seemed, indeed, to have got the St Sepulchre's; Islington poured in vices of education along with its ear- its myriads by the avenues of Leather liest advantages; for one of them, who Lane, and Saffron-Hill. There were could scarcely read, was challenging the ordinary abundant casualties bethe company to play at cards !—But longing to 'such occasions, of shoes Toby was really a professor !—the lost, pockets picked, apple-stalls knockPorson of his kind ! and we should be ed down, and broken noses exchanged. sorry that any mishap had occasioned Soon after twelve o'clock, however, his absence.

the candles began to be extinguished, Time pressed us in London; and the fiddlers fell asleep, and even the space confines us now, or we could bears could dance no longer. Before linger longer upon this intoxicating two, the show-men were counting their exhibition, which happens“ only once gains; and the customers were gone a year.” The whole scene was lighted homewards,reckoningover their losses; up just as we began to think of coining neither party, perhaps, quite conaway. The general gaiety was not con- tented with the appearance of existing fined to Smithfield, but extended it- circumstances—but both comforting self, far 'and wide, all down Giltspur themselves with the prospect of doing Street. Newgate stood rather sullen better next year." and « amort" - but gilt kings and

Fact.

TIME'S WHISPERING GALLERY.

No. V.

A VISIT TO THE LEASOWES.

Shenstone. Your servant, sir-I am Sh. Ah, I fear, sir, that our ground told you were inquiring for me. in this rugged part of the world does

Mr Ludgate. 'Beg pardon, sir, but not lie much like that on each side of my friend Mr Robert Dodsley, (you the Islington turn-pike road; and our know Robert, sir) hearing that I was go- streams, I take it, are rather more raing down into Warwickshire, has sent pid and noisy than the New River. you something in a parcel-new books, But you shall be heartily welcome to I believe, for that is what he deals in. see the place ;-and to say the truth, He bade me introduce myself, and I was just setting out on a stroll. Shall promised me that you would shew me I have the honour of escorting you? your pretty gardens.

Mr L. 'Thank you kindly, sir. Sh. Excuse my breaking the seal What then, your garden is not all in in your presence-So I see by my one piece ? friend Robert's letter, that you were a Sh. If you wish to see a mere flower neighbour of his, but that you have garden, sir, you must go elsewhereretired from your china-shop to rural- your own nurserymen and florists ize in the suburbs- Is it not so, Mr round London would shew you that Daniel Ludgate ?

-mine are ornamented grounds-Sir, Mr L. Why, Mr Shenstone, I can't the Leasowes is the first exemplification say but that I have bought a bit of a' of a new science,—that of landscapebox out by Islington, and if now I gardening, and I trust it is an effort not could carry home in my head a hint unworthy the notice of the tasteful or so for the improvement of our gar- and judicious. My aim has been to den, it would please Mrs L., who is lay out my whole property on the wild to have all about us made smart. principles of the picturesque.

Mr L. 'Beg pardon for not exactly Mr L. (reads.) comprehending-but have you laid out « Darts through yon times her quivering your whole fortune in a venture on beams." one sort of article-though I don't

There's a deal of it-my glasses want quite know what the commodity is wiping. which you speak of—and did it turn Sh. Pray, sir, don't trouble yourself. out a good speculation ?

My lines do not by any means come Sh. Good heavens ! are you laugh- mended from your tongue.” We will ing in your sleeve, Mr Londoner? proceed—there is a seat a little farther But you look as grave as a judge, and on. Now, then, how do you like that your question seems to be really in

cascade? earnest. Well, then, I mean that I Mr L. Bless my heart! that pond have embellished my patrimony, my has burst out sadly-how it does run estate, my landed property, this place, over! Though perhaps you want to get the Leasowes, according to certain rid of some of the water. rules of taste.

Sh. It is a stream, and not meant to : Mr L. Oh, I ask your pardon- be coufined. (Aside.) Oh for a modi'tis a sweet, snug little farm, what a cum of patience! and yet there is pity it is so hilly, and so overrun with something laughable, too, in all this. trees!

Mr L. A stream, sir ? but it seems · Sh. (aside) at could have put it to be penned up-If those great big into Dodsley's head to saddle me with lumps of stone were taken away, it , such a blockhead? But I love Dods. would run off easier. ley, and will constrain myself to do

Sh. It would ; but the varied apthe civil thing to his Cockney crony. pearance and dashing sounds are much (Aloud) Come, sir, we'll set out, if you

admired. please.

Mr L. Well, if so-and no doubt Mr L. At your service, sir, and I you

know best. Perhaps, also, it keeps shall be obliged to you.

the fish from going away. Have you Sh. Come in here, sir; we account many in that large pond, Mr Shenthis shady walk, affording, as you see,

stone ? glimpses of that piece of water, a plea- Sh. ( pettishly.) I don't know, sir. sing situation.

Mr L. Dear me! it is odd you have Mr L. It must be charming indeed never tried to find out. in dead summer-'tisn't quite so warm

Sh. I value the water for the picas one could wish it just now. turesque features it adds to the valley;

Sh. True--but the views are as fine as for the rest, I am neither sportsman as in hotter weather. Here, this way, nor epicure. is a rustic edifice to give the scene an

Mr L. I don't dispute your word, object. It has an inscription, perti- kind sir, about that sort of value nent enough, I hope Would you like not that I quite comprehend what picto read it? You can see it while you turesque is—but I make not the least sit on this bench.

manner of doubt, that you would catch Mr L. Why, if I can find my eyes fish in that water there, if you would -I hope I have 'em in my waistcoat- but try your hand. Only try, sir, pocket —Ah, yes, I thought so.

do. (Reads.)

Sh. (sneering.) Why, the fact is, “ Here, in cool grot and mossy cell,

my men have sometimes caught a few We rural fays and fairies dwell.”

red herrings, and a stock-fish or two; Pray, good sir, what are fays?, I have for those sorts do not agree with my

but I do not encourage the fishery, heard folks say, “by my fay;" but I

stomach. always thought 'twas short for faith. Sh. We won't etymologize, if you

Mr L. Dear now-why, bless me!

--Oh ho, Mr Shenstone, I smell a please, Mr Daniel. Mr L. (reads.)

rat; you love a joke. No, no, we

don't get our Lent salt-fish from the " Though rarely seen by mortal eye,

Leasowes. But I am quite rested When the pale moon, ascending high, Darts through your limbs

now; may we go on?

Sh. (aside.) Come, the booby is Sh. Limes, sir,“ yon limes”-the good-humoured ; but would it were trees opposite.

over. (Aloud.) Stop, sir, stop; don't go through that gate--it is meant to Ah! rather come, and in these dells disown come in at, not to go out by.

The care of other strains, and tune thine Mr L. Oh, I find no difficulty in

own.” getting through it.

What! and so you have erected a tombSh. How perverse it is, that you stone to our friend Robert? But Doddy will not understand me I mean, sir, isn't dead yet. Is it not rather unusual, that it will lead you to take the wrong sir, to do it beforehand ? point of view. That walk is so laid Sh. A tombstone! no such thingout, as to be entered at the other end. a mere appropriation of the spot to the The prospects suit best in that direc- memory of a worthy man—a record of tion. Here, sir, here-how do you my respect for him-a compliment to fancy this lawn

a brother poet. However, sir, we must Mr L. It is a nice place indeed; if get forward-not so fast either—this it was levelled, 'twould make a good bench will hold us both, while we bowling-green. It is a good deal like look towards the Priory. a place I used to go to, only the statue Mr L. Why, your seats are so there was a shepherdess, and this is I many-and, to say the truth, I a’n't don't know exactly what—'twas a tea- at all tired, and don't in the least want garden at Hoxton, where

to sit so soon again; and, besides, I Sh. Pray, sir, don't mention such had a little touch of gout last autumn. odious puppet-shows. This urn is in- But, as you please, good sir, I'm conscribed to the memory of the late Mr formable. Those pales round the Soinerville, the poet of The Chase. You Priory are rather roughish. What may have heard Dodsley mention him. d'ye think, sir, of a neat Chinese rail

Mr L. I have, sir. Now, though ing? My wife has ordered ever so that urn is of a good size, I have sold many yards of it for our fence. jars of real china nearly as big- I have Sh. Mrs Ludgate may copy the deindeed. Oh, then, that statue is the signs on your quondam cups and sau. gentleman's monument !-Dear, what cers, and welcome; but I am not at a very odd-looking man he must have all smitten with the teapot taste now been-he has amazingly large ears, and in vogue. I derive my hints from great bumps, almost like horns, on his paintings of another sort. forehead!

Mr L. Every one to his liking-no Sh. I wish, Mr Ludgate, you would affront, I hope. But what is here? a keep to your crockery-ware compari- bowl, I protest. " To all our friends sons; yet it is too ridiculous to be an- round the Wrekin.”

Heaven help your bow-bell Sh. That famous hill is seen from wits! that is a cast of the piping Fawn, this station. It is the distant one which and not an image of Mr Somerville. lies in that direction. But come, come, we will leave this Mr L. Is it indeed ? I have heard seat. Our next post is beyond those talk of it. Now, I dare say, you have willows. This rough building is, you a syllabub out of this bowl sometimes. see, dedicated to my noble friend the Sh. No, sir, my beechen bowl has Earl of Stamford.

never been honoured (I should prefer Mr L. And pray, sir, may I be so saying, profaned) by such a rus-inbold as to ask what my lord does with urbe beverage. it? Does he keep anything there? Mr L. Then, sir, what do you drink

Sh. Do with it? Pshaw, sir, he was out of it? present at the opening of that water- Sh. Pshaw, sir, there it stands, and fall; and the building is named after looks in character; and the inscription him, to commemorate that occasion, is apt, and that is enough. Excuse and his friendship for me. After we me, for I am tired of whys and whats have passed through that piece of forest and wherefores. And you, sir, I am ground, there is something that will, sure you are tired also. Now, I can I presume, gratify you. Now, sir, assure you, that it is not worth while here it is-read what is on that stone. for you to go over the rest of the Mr L. (Reada)

place; for there is nothing in the To Mr Dopsler.

whole walk but wood and water, and " Come then, my friend, thy sylvan taste shrubs and grass, and rocks and banks, display ;

and all that sort of things, with a few Come, hear thy Faunus tune his rustic lay; busts and inscriptions which you won't

gry at.

care a farthing for. Let me shew you Sh. Yes, sir. I am strangely defithe short way to Hales Owen. cient in love for terraces, and yew pea

Mr L. Why, I can't deny but that cocks, and smoking arbours, and nineI thought I should see a garden full of pin alleys. I am afraid this sightflowers and fountains, and arbours and seeing has been as dull to you as it shell-work; but it has been all the would have been to me to witness your world like taking a long walk by Hamp- unpacking some crates of delft ware. stead and Highgate, with a peep into My compliments to Dodsley. That a churchyard now and then. However, high road leads straight to Hales Owen as you are satisfied, I suppose you in- --you can't miss it. I wish you a tended to make the place such as it is good morning.– what a blessed riddidn't you, sir?

dance !

No. VI.

MILTON AT CHALFONT.

Milton. Is the plague abated, El- half-part folly and half-part lasciviwood, or does it still walk onward in ousness, occupies the hands and heads its strerigth, commissioned as it is to of our wits and beauties. I trow I chastise this evil nation ?

shall give them more substantial food, · Elwood. No, John Milton, it hath when I print the manuscript which I not ceased. The deaths indeed are intrusted you with. But their cloyed some deal fewer, but the pestilence re- appetites and debile stomachs will pertains the same hold of the guilty city. adventure be unable to digest what It gladdeneth me, however, friend, io has its basis in Scripture, and its orthink that thou camest at my sugges- naments from diligent study of antion to this Zoar of Chalfont, where, cient and modern lore. under God, thou art, as it seemeth, Elw. I have brought thy papers aloof from peril.

safely back. · Mil. Worthy friend, your care of Mil. And have you given the work me is not to be requited by thanks. an attentive perusal ? The service you will have rendered to Elw. I have, friend John, and truly a later age, by saving me, must be I may say, thou hast descanted on your recompence. Blind as I am, the lapse of our first parents very crippled in my joints, and with the pertinently; but what aileth thee that snows of premature age drifted among thou hast not put rhymes to thy lines? these locks of brown, I yet feel that I they are not hexameters, or according have that within which will make the to other classic metre—they are much world my debtor. These our times one, I wot, as the verses in Abraham will not perchance acknowledge the Cowley's Davideis; and yet neither he obligation, for it is an age of slavery nor any other Englishman, as far as and frivolity, of shallowness and im- my poor knowledge goes, hath dispiety, of profane jesting and depraved pensed with rhymes in a narrative

indulgence. Our writers no longer poem. · drink from the cisterns of their fore- Mil. Rhyme is no necessary ad

fathers, but turn towards France, and junct or true ornament of good verse; draw their waters at her noisy but it is but the invention of a barbarous scanty fountains, while the wells of age, to set off wretched matter and poesy in our native land are full even lame metre. to overflowing, pure as drops of un- Elw. Then this is an experiment of swept dew, and wholesome as noon- thine, is it not? tide breezes on the hills in summer. Mil. In some measure-for true it Chaucer, and Spenser, and Shake- is, that most of the famous modern speare, are cast aside, and mouldiness poets, carried away by custom, and is creeping over their covers, while a much to their own vexation and hinvile book of love-songs, some rhymes- drance and constraint, have subunitter's sorry tragedy, or a miscellany, ted to the bondage of rhyme. But VOL. XIV.

2 L

both Italian and Spanish poets of to the lofty import of the sense, that prime note, have rejected it both in I could almost conceive that there was longer and shorter works'; and in even a resemblance between it and the pieour own English tragedies it has been ces of grand music, which I have erstcast aside, much to their advantage, so while heard thee play upon thine orI claim not the invention of the metre, gan. but only its application to a new pur- Mil. Ah, you are getting the betpose for which it is highly eligible. ter of your prejudices. Mark me,

Elw. Thou knowest, John Milton, such, however tardy the avowal may that my religious persuasion forbid- be in coming, will be the general and deth me to be acquainted with the permanent opinion concerning this stage ; and I have thought it right to mode of verse, well exercised. The abstain even from looking at the print- neglect of rhyme, in a poem of magnied works of the much vaunted Wil- tude, and on a solemn and weighty liam Shakespeare.

subject, is so little to be taken for å Mil. Ay, in him, independently defect, (for that will be the cry when of the admirable matter, which 'tis it first appears,) that this emprize of pity that the fanatical notions of your mine is rather to be esteemed the first sect cut you off from enjoying, you good example set in England, of anwould find excellent specimens of the cient liberty recovered to heroic poenobleness and beauty of this metre. try, from the troublesome and newRhyme is a trivial' thing, and of no fangled bondage of rhyming. true musical delight; for that con- Elw. Well, better judges than I sists only in apt numbers, fit quantity am will determine upon thy sucof syllables, and the sense variously cess in this particular; but no one, drawn out from one verse to another, John, will have a more friendly feel and not in the jingling sound of like ing of joy, if thine honest reputation endings, which, among the learned is enlarged thereby. ancients, was ever in disrepute, and Mil. I want not the buzz of conavoided as a fault, both in poetry and temporary applause, and I know that all good oratory. In Shakespeare, how- I shall not have it, Elwood. A petuever, whose purpose led him to em- lant lampoon, a scrap of prurient singploy this verso sciolto (as the Italians song, or a graceless fling at those sacall it) in colloquies, you would find cred oracles, to which I have resorted that he was not tied up to the metrin for a subject, will find fitter audience cal strictness I have submitted to, than my theme can be expected to do his is made more familiar-greater li- in these degenerate times. The mucence and flexibility were essential to sic of the songs of Zion is discord to his design—not but that he hath pas- the ears of the sons of Belial. sages of memorable and well-sustain- Elw. Pity is it that it is so; and ed excellence, even if they be only yet, John Milton, solemn as thine arrhythmically considered, much more gument is, and decorously as thou hast if the skill, the imagination, the treated it, canst thou, without offence, power, which revel in them, be taken denominate it a song of Zion? Reinto account. How can you defraud member, the still small voice of the yourself, by such narrowness of mind, Spirit whispered those songs only into of such a treat, especially as you do favoured ears of old. not scruple to read the ancient dra- Mil. Why, good friend, what are matists? Where is the difference be- your scruples? I do not insinuate that twixt them?

my production is any new portion of Elw. We have talked of that be- revelation. Nevertheless, what hinfore. I prefer telling thee what I ders but that it be the effect of a sathought of thy poem concerning Lost cred efflux upon my spirit, the work Paradise. I contess, that, though at of inspiration ? first I thought thy metre prosaic, and Elw. What! canst thou fancy a lacking something of an accustomed poem, John, to be the dictate of that delight, yet, before I had finished all sacred One, who is the comforter of the thy ten books, I found such charming faithful? Is not this thing of thine varieties of cadence, such continuous- a piece of verse-work, and merely ness and prolongation of a new kind meant to be the amusement of idle of harmony, such suitableness of sound hours ?

« PreviousContinue »