Imagens das páginas

Are scenes like these; yet, in the book of Time,
Of many a blot, there is a primal leaf,
Whose pictures are congenial to the soul,
Concentring all in peace, whose wishes rest ;-
With rapture to the Patriarchal days-
The days of pastoral innocence, and health,
And hope, and all the sweetnesses of life-
The thought delighted turns; when shepherds held
Dominion o'er the mountain and the plain ;
When, in the cedar shade, the lover piped
Unto his fair, and there was none to chide ;-
Nor paltry hate-nor petty perfidy:

But Peace unfurl'd her ensign o'er the world;
And joy was woven through the web of life,
In all its tissue; and the heart was pure;
And Angels held communion with mankind.


Far different are the days in which 'tis ours
To live; a demon spirit hath gone forth,
Corrupting many men in all their thoughts,
And blighting with its breath the natural flowers,
Planted by God to beautify our earth:-

Wisdom and worth no more are chiefest deem'd
Of man's possessions; Gain, and Guilt, and Gold,
Reign paramount; and, to these idols, bow,
All unreluctant, as if man could boast

No loftier attributes, the supple knees
Of the immortal multitude. Ah me!

That centuries, in their lapse, should nothing bring
But change from ill to worse, that man, uncouch'd,
Blind to his interests, ever should remain-
The interests of his happiness; and prove,
Even to himself, the fiercest of his foes.
Look on the heartlessness that reigns around-
Oh, look and mourn; if springs one native joy,
Doth art not check it? In the cup of Fate,
If Chance hath dropp'd one pearl, do cruel hands
Not dash it rudely from the thirsting lip?
With loud lament, mourn for the ages gone,
Long gone, yet gleaming from the twilight past,
With sunbright happiness on all their hills,
The days, that, like a rainbow, pass'd away,—
The days that fled never to come again,—
When Jacob served for Leah; and when Ruth,
A willing exile, with Naomi came

From Bethlem-Judah; glean'd the barley-fields
Of Boaz, her mother's kinsman, trembling crept,
At starry midnight, to the threshing floor,
And laid herself in silence at his feet.


Thou, Nature, ever-changing, changest not-
The evening and the morning duly come-

And spring, and summer's heat, and winter's cold-
The very sun that look'd on Paradise,

On Eden's bloomy bowers, and sinless man,
Now blazes in the glory of his power.
Yea! Ararat, where Noah, with his sons,
And tribes, again to people solitude,
Rested, lone-gazing on the floods around,
Remains a landmark for the pilgrim's path!


And thus the months shall come, and thus the years
Revolve; and day, alternating with night,
Lead on from blooming youth to hoary age,
Till Time itself grows old; and Spring forgets
To herald Summer; and the fearful blank
Of Chaos overspreads, and mantles all!


Farewell, ye placid scenes! amid the land
Ye smile, an inland solitude; the voice
Of peace-destroying man is seldom heard
Amid your landscapes. Beautiful ye raise
Your green embowering groves, and smoothly spread
Your waters, glistening in a silver sheet.
The morning is a season of delight

The morning is the self-possession'd hour-
'Tis then that feelings, sunk, but unsubdued,
Feelings of purer thoughts, and happier days,
Awake, and, like the sceptred images

Of Banquo's mirror, in succession pass!


And first of all, and fairest, thou dost pass
In memory's eye, beloved! though now afar
From those sweet vales, where we have often roam'd
Together. Do thy blue eyes now survey

The brightness of the morn in other scenes?
Other, but haply beautiful as these,

Which now I gaze on; but which, wanting thee,
Want half their charms; for, to thy poet's thought,
More deeply glow'd the heaven, when thy fine eye,
Surveying its grand arch, all kindling glow'd;
The white cloud to thy white brow was a foil;
And, by the soft tints of thy cheek outvied,
The dew-bent wild-rose droop'd despairingly.

June 2.


[ocr errors]

seldom think-and still seldomer write. But it would appear that when we do think on politics we think deeply; and as deep thoughts generally are allied to deep feelings, our emotions on the late "occasion" have been pro found partly tragic and partly comic, such as are beautifully expressed by those two fine lines:


Says a smile to a tear

We do not remember ever to have and gloomiest weather would probaseen the country looking more beauti-bly, to a person of our political temful than it did during the month of perament, have felt warm and bright, May, or than it continues to do now as the Liberals were seen slinking bethat it is Midsummer. It was al- hind the horizon-nothing left of them together such a month of May as we but so many jellies, which are popularly read of in the old poets. Dædala Tel- supposed to be shot-stars. Politics ·lus is an expression of which we now are a subject on which we never speak thoroughly understand and feel the beautiful spirit. Thomson's Seasons by no means do justice to Spring and Summer-at least those of 1828 have far transcended his richest descriptions, which absolutely seem poor, tame, and wishy-washy, when com pared with the glowing and glorious originals. Our face and frame have undergone a change most pleasing to ourselves and others; the crowfeet at the corner of our eyes have disappear ed; spectacles we have laid aside; our forehead is without a wrinkle'; cheeks full-complexion clear-lips ruddy-nose not so-pricked-up ears quite pinky-and our queue, or tail, bobbing upon our shoulders (not so narrow as many suppose) as we walk along, with all the vigour and alacrity of a Jack-Tar's tie in a jig. As we walk along? Yes! For, would you believe it, for the first time these twenty years, the gout has left his card, pour prendre congé," at our feet; we have kicked our cloth-shoe to the devil and over the back-of-beyond, like an old bauchle; our crutch is now at this blessed moment not for use but ornament; we can shew a toe with any man of our years, weight, and inches, in all Britain ; and intend accompanying that active old Irishwoman, Mrs M'Mullan, on her next match of a hundred miles within the twenty-four hours. No such instance of the renewing of youth has been exhibited by any other Eagle of modern times.

[ocr errors]

On the cheek of my dear!" Perhaps not one of all our many hundred thousand readers had ever seen a gentleman kick himself out of a company. They may, one and all of them, have seen a gentleman kicked out of a company by another gentleman; but there is nothing particu larly laughable in that-on the contrary it is, what the Americans would call, tedious. Mr Huskisson has proved himself a man of a very original mind-a man of genius-by anticipating and preventing, and improving upon, the ancient practique. He foresaw the foot of Wellington slowly uplifted; turned suddenly and shortly round upon himself, and with pump applied to his own posteriors, absolutely kicked himself out of the Cabinet, with apparently the most perfect resignation.

Of all things in this world, the most difficult to us is the writing of a letter. Yet, when we have occasionally overcome the difficulty, and got through a letter, we find it the easiest thing in the world to understand what we, the writer, would be at; nor does it ever enter our heads to maintain that yes means no, that we have said no when we said yes, or that black and white are convertible terms. Not so with Mr William Huskisson. He is as bad a letter-writer as you may meet with during the 22d of June; but though clumsy, he is clear; intelligible to all mankind but himself; and his text London, 1828.

With all possible affection and respect for the seasons of spring and summer, candour obliges us to confess that the effects on our health and happiness little short of magic, to which we have now alluded, have, we verily believe it, been produced partly by the change in the atmosphere, and partly by the change in the Cabinet. The coldest

can be understood without a commentary, by all men, women, and children, saving and excepting the late Colonial Secretary. His late correspondence with the Duke of Wellington must be included in all subsequent editions of the Complete Letter-Writer.

Having no room for a Noctes this month, our readers must be contented with a laugh at Mr Huskisson in his epistolic character. Not to mince the matter, no man ever made of himself such a fool, (at the least,) as our late Atlas, on whose shoulders was thought to repose, in succession, the weight of the last half-dozen administrations. In the first place, who in his senses would dream of writing a letter on business at two o'clock in the morning? You might as well write an article for Maga after ten tumblers. It won't do. Mr Huskisson had been bothered, and badgered, and bitten for hours; and yet nothing would satisfy him, before going to bed, but to indite an epistle to the Duke of Wel'lington, at that moment, it is to be hoped, in a sound, strong, snoring sleep. Had Mr Huskisson felt disinclined to tumble in, we should have had no objection whatever to his sit ting up all night long, and cruelly braying Lord Sandon, with unsparing pestle, in the mortar of his imagination. After a few broiled chickens, and pots of porter, the languor, and irritation, and excitement,

the frail and feverish being of an hour," would have given place to alacrity, composure, and strength of mind; his vote on the East Retford question,

"In his flowing cups freshly remembered,"

would have been dismissed with a

chuckle or a hiccup; the sour looks of friends with forbidding faces, which he complains frowned on him at the close of the debate," however unimportant in itself the question which had given rise to that appearance, would have risen before him through the misty vapours of the hot toddy, clothed in the tenderest effulgence of their wonted smiles; pen, ink, and paper, would have appeared things not of use, but ornament; and he would ultimately have lain down to balmy slumbers, with his fine countenance placid beneath its tufted night-cap, as the face of a child asleep in its simplicity, after its lisped prayers. In

[ocr errors]

stead of such Christian course of con→ duct, nothing would satisfy the Secretary but to keep prancing about the parlour, with his tail cocked like that of a nag under ginger, his eyes fiery as a ferret's, lips pale and quivering, sallow cheeks, discoloured with crim son, dilated nostrils, and clenched fists, big with inflating self-importance, as an elderly matron with what she vainly imagines to be a child, but known to all the rest of the wise, but wicked world, to be but wind-and then pulling a chair with great violence to his escritoire, down with a thud on his hurdies, determined to demolish, by one magnanimous epistle, the poor helpless creature, scarcely known by any greater achievement than having had the good fortune to win Waterloo !

Surely there was a sad want of judgment in all this, betokening a diseased mind, that must have rendered its owner unfit for a place in the Cabinet. Hear the words of his vain regret, his imperfect penitence, and his angry remorse" For that statement I am sure I shall receive the indulgence of every gentleman, when I say it was made under a state of health far from good, and after sixteen hours toil of mind between official business in Downing-street and attendance in the House of Commons: under these circumstances I wrote that letter, which I now acknowledge it would have been better to postpone till next morning."

Let us have a look at the letter.
"Downing-street, Tuesday Morning,
Two a. m. May 20.

"MY DEAR DUKE,-After the vote which, in regard to my own consistency and personal character, I have found myself, from the course of this evening's debate, compelled to give on the East Retford question, I owe to you, as the head of the administration, and to Mr Peel, as the leader of the House of Commons, to lose no time in affording you an opportunity of placing my office in other hands, as the only means in my power of preventing the injury to the King's service, which may ensue from the appearance of disunion in his Majesty's councils, however unfounded in reality, or however unimportant in itself the question, which has given rise to that appearance.

"Regretting the necessity of troubling you with this communication, believe me, my dear Duke, ever truly yours, (Signed) "W. HUSKISSON."

This is the only good letter of the whole batch-and is as plain as any -pike-staff. Neither does it betray any symptoms of having been written at two o'clock of the morning, after 16 hours' toil, in a state of bad health, hastily, or under the influence of strong feelings. It is an honest-looking epistle-and good for sore eyes. But we have Mr Huskisson's own word for it -that it did not express his real sentiments, wishes, and intentions. It is, he has himself told us, a piece of mere humbug. It was not intended to be it is not a resignation.

Now, gentle and hungry reader, suppose that you had been engaged to dine with a friend in his own houseday and hour distinctly specified, and that you had, on the morning of the feast, written a letter to himself or lady, expressing your sorrow that it would not be in your power to appear before your plate, what would you now think of yourself, and what would the whole world think of yourself, had you complained that your chair had been occupied by another bottomthat it never had been your foolish intention to lose your dinner-and that had Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom, in great alarm and consternation at your intimated absence, written, conjointly and severally, calling upon you for Godsake not to leave their table desolate at such a crisis, you would have been prevailed on to eat in your words, as well as their turtle-soup and venison-pasty, and played a knife and fork to the admiration of all beholders?

This first letter of the series is certainly what Mr Coleridge would call a "Psychological curiosity." Written hastily and hurriedly, it is as cool as a cucumber-produced at midnight, the very witching hour of night, it is clear as day-penned at an hour when Mr Huskisson "could drink hot blood," it is mild as milk,-composed "after sixteen hours toil of mind, between official business in DowningStreet, and attendance in the House of Commons," it has all the character of a composition by an elderly gentleman, sitting by the side of a purling stream in literary leisure, and though the writer himself has the amiable modesty to say that "it would have been better had he postponed it 'till the next morning," we beg leave to assure him that he, in saying so, does injustice to himself and his epis.

tle; for all parties have unanimously pronounced it the very best letter he ever wrote during the course of his pretty long, active, and miscellaneous life.

Well-off went the letter in a box by itself-to the Duke of Wellington. It had not far to go-only a few yards —but the more hurry the less speed; and though written at two, it did not meet the eyes of his Grace till ten o'clock of the morning. For eight hours it enjoyed a private and confidential nap in its cabinet-box. Did Mr Huskisson expect that the Duke was to be wakened out of his sleep at two or three o'clock of the morning? That would have been most unreasonable indeed; and if he knew that the Duke seldom sat down to the dispatch of public, till he had finished private business-say about ten o'clock-after a hearty breakfast-why not wait for a few hours-why all this strangely mingled impatience and resignation?

Mr Huskisson has not favoured us with a detailed account of his meditations between the hours of two of the morning and one of the forenoon of May 20, 1828. He must have thought the Duke of Wellington a very dilatory correspondent. Eleven hours had elapsed, and no reply to his letter. Lord Dudley, it seems, had meanwhile called upon the Secretary, about one o'clock; and after transacting some business connected with his department-business which occupied about an hour-Mr Huskisson "observed to my noble friend, in a passing jocular way, that I was guilty of a little act of insubordination last night, in the East Retford Bill, but felt myself bound, in point of honour, to vote as I did. Allusion to the subject began and ended there, and my noble friend was still sitting with me when I received from the noble Duke a letter”yes, a letter-which there can be no doubt Mr Huskisson snatched off the salver-for we are not told that it was in a cabinet-box-with an eagerness that must have astonished his orderly. We shall suppose the letter read-once -twice-thrice-that there might be no misunderstanding of its contents,and on the close of the final perusal, we think it will be granted, that a sight of Mr Huskisson's face must have been worth a trifle. As the Duke's letter is not long, we shall quote it.

« AnteriorContinuar »