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of this science is, that we are by nature herself compelled to make use of it. Whatever riches we may amass, whatever age we may attain, whatever honours we may enjoy, we are continually looking forward to one certain and universal Bathos, “ Death.”. From learning, from wealth, from power, our descent is swift and inevitable. We look upon the graves of our kindred, and say with Hamlet,“ to this must we come at last.”
This doctrine is so beautifully illustrated by a passage in Holy Writ, that we cannot refrain from laying it before our readers :
“ Alexander, son of Philip the Macedonian, made many wars, and won many strong holds, and slew the kings of the earth. And he gathered a mighty strong host, and ruled over countries and nations and kings, who became tributaries to him. And after these things he fell sick,and perceived that he should-die."*
A more beautiful instance of this figure cannot be imagined. It needs no comment. But we fear we are growing too serious, and shall therefore pursue this branch of our dissertation no further.
We hope our readers are by this time thoroughly convinced of the beauty and utility of this figure; we will proceed to exhort them most earnestly to apply themselves immediately to the study of “ the Art of Sinking in Life.”
The art may be divided into a great number of species; but all, we believe, may be comprehended under two heads,—the Bathos Gradual, and the Bathos Precipitate. We will offer a few concise remarks upon both, without pretending to decide between the various merits of each. Indeed, the opinion of the world appears pretty much divided between them ; as there are some bathers, who stand for a time shivering on the brink, and at last totter into the stream with a tardy and reluctant step,—while there are others who boldly plunge into the tide with a hasty and impetuous leap.
The Bathos Gradual is principally practised by poets and by coquettes. Of its use by the former we have frequent examples in our own day. A gentleman publishes a book ; it is bought, read, and admired. He publishes another, and his career of sinking immediately commences. First he sinks into a book-maker; next he sinks into absurdity; next he sinks into mediocrity; next he sinks into oblivion ; and, as it is impossible for him to sink much lower, he may then begin to think of rising to a garret.
* Maccabees, chapter 1.
The life of Chloe affords an admirable instance of the effect with which this species of the art may be exercised by coquettes. At twenty-four, Chloe was a fashionable beauty ; at twenty-six she began to paint ; at twenty-eight she was—not what she had been; and at thirty she was voted a maiden lady! Or, to use the slang of the loungers of the day: at twenty-four she was bang-up ; at twenty-six she was a made-up thing; at twenty-eight she was done up; and at thirty it was—all up with her. .
The Bathos Precipitate is adapted to the capacities of great generals, substantial merchants, dashing bloods, and young ladies who are in haste to be married.* For examples of it in the first we must refer you to Juvenal's Tenth Satire, as this part of our subject is hackneyed, and we despair of saying any thing new
For examples of the Bathos Precipitate in trade, you must make inquiries among the Bulls and Bears on the Stock Exchange; they can instruct you much better than ourselves by what method you may be a good man at twelve o'clock, and a bankrupt at one.
Upon referring to our memoranda, we find some inimitable examples of this species of the Bathos among the two latter classes of its practitioners. Some of these we will extract for the amusement of our readers :
Sir Edmund Gulley.-Became possessed of a handsome property by the
death of his uncle, February 7, 1818.-Sat down to Rouge et Noir, February 14, 1818, 12 o'clock P. M.-Shot himself through the head, February 15, 1818, 2 o'clock A. M.
* We might have added Stage Managers. Their genius for the Bathos Precipitate is frequently displayed in Notices of the following kind
“ Monday, January 7. « The New Drama, entitled ---, has been received with uninterrupted bursts of applause, and will be repeated every evening till farther notice.”
“ Tuesday, January 8. “ Io obedience to the wishes of the Public, the New Drama, entitled —, is withdrawn.” Lord. F. Maple.-Acquired great eclat in an affair of honour, March 2,
1818.-Horsewhipped for a scoundrel at the Second Newmarket
Meeting, 1818. Mr. G. Bungay-September, 1819. Four in hand-blood horses-shag
coat-pearl buttons. October, 1819, Plain chaise and pair. Miss Lydia Dormer, May, 1820.--Great beauty-manifold accomplish
ments—£4,000 a year. June, 1820-Chere amie of Sir J. Falkland. The Hon. Miss Amelia Tempest.-(From a daily paper of July 1820.)
“ Marriage in high life.—The beautiful Miss Amelia Tempest will
shortly be led to the hymeneal altar by the Marquis of Looney." (From the same paper of August 1820.)—“Elopement in high life.—Last week the Hon. Miss Am-l-a T-mp-st eloped with her father's footman.” Reader,
— When we inform you that we ourselves had long entertained a sneaking kindness for the amiable Amelia, you will imagine to yourself the emotion with which we read the above paragraph. We jumped from the table in a paroxysm of indignation, and committed to the flames the obnoxious chronicler of our disappointment; but the next moment composed our feelings with a truly stoic firmness, and, with a steady hand, we wrote down the name of the Hon. Miss Amelia Tempest, as an admirable proficient in the Bathos Precipitate.
The Temple of Diana at Ephesus.
While the lost eye in mournful glances falls
Bright o'er the mind the kindling prospect glows,
Twice sixty columns reared the glorious pile,
Accurst Ephesian ! * when thine impious hand
’Reft of thy pride-spoild by the victor's sword,
Eratostratus. + The Temple of Diana was destroyed by fire, on the same night in which Alexander the Great was born.
Again the goddess views her glittering fane,
St. Paul. + It is proper to state, that these lines have appeared surreptitiously a few weeks back in the “ Morning Chronicle,” in which the blank in the last line was filled up with the name of Lord “Byron." We deem it right to mention this, because the name which originally occupied the space was that of a schoolfellow, whom we are happy to reckon among the number of our contributors.-P. C.