Imagens das páginas


he had inculcated, of the manner in which they had been neglected. He pictured to himself Louisa weeping for the fate of her brother, and endeavouring to invoke justice upon his destroyer. When he strove to avoid these melancholy visions, and to seek consolation in that religion of which he had been ashamed to profess himself a servant, he remembered the hand which had written “ Thou shalt do no murder !" and the lips which had said, “ Agree with thine adversary quickly!” Night came and brought no rest. How full of horror was its darkness ! The morning dawned brightly, and Captain Grahame arrived to summon him to the place of rendez

Herbert was there before him. He was attended by an old military man, who came immediately to Lionel, and expressing his regret for the occasion which brought him to that spot, begged to know if there was no way yet open for reconciliation. Lionel seemed again dis posed to act under the influence of proper feelings. # Consider, Lionel,” whispered his second, what will the world say ?" The momentary impulse was subdued. The old officer was repulsed with a cold reply. Their stations were taken in silence. They fired together, and Lionel fell.

The surgeon who was in attendance hastened to the spot. The unfortunate youth still lived, but the wound was mortal. He was conveyed to a neighbouring cottage, where he expired in a few hours. Previously to this he shook hands with his antagonist, and appeared to join mentally in prayer, but preserved an unbroken silence.

It is time for us to close the scene. Louisa is now the inmate of a religious house in the south of France: for Lionel, he rests in the sleep of death, despised by the many who only saw in him the thoughtless, the hasty, and the extravagant; but deeply lamented by the few who knew him as the warm, the generous, and the affeetionate. Let his faults sleep with him, or be only remembered that they may warn the inexperienced to acquire fixed principles, and to avoid a temporizing morality; to conceal no feelings, but those of guilt, and to assume the appearance of no sentiments, from the actual existence of which they would recoil.

M. S.


January 8, 1821. MY DEAR COURTENAY, “I cannot think how that poor wretch Swinburne could contrive to invent so many imaginary miseries in the Christmas Holidays. For my own part, I have absolutely been trying to discover, or rather verify, some of them by my own experience, and, as I have been totally unable, I shall be cruel enough to accuse him of being the sole cause of all his unhappiness. Well, let him rest for a melancholy mo ping sort of being. I only hope that he will not send, and that you will not publish, any more of his complaints; indeed I am heartily sorry that I did not join my vote to Oakley's for the expulsion of the first, for I hear them abused wherever I go; and, with all his affected love for Eton, people ought not to know, as I never did before, that there was such a kind of person there. I think you might describe your sorrows with much greater justice; for I conclude that you have been writing all you can, and revising all you have had in the way of contributions, which, I should think, was little enough. What could have induced you to promise an “ Etonian" for the 1st of January? You will never be able to do any thing without the regular meetings of the Club, and the inspiring sanction of the Privy


Council. I do not know how you will be able to appease his Majesty, or Messrs. Knight and Warren; but when it does come out, which, it is devoutly to be hoped, will happen by the 1st of February, do not let us hear any thing about “ unavoidable delays," “ unforeseen circumstances," and such fummery; but tell the plain honest truth-that the boys would not write when they could amuse themselves better; and I am sure all charitable people will pardon you much sooner than if you had filled a page with the most elaborate excuses. How. ever, we shall soon come together, and then we shall see what can be done to set this dilatory publication on its legs again.

Well, I think by this time I have prosed quite long enough, and probably you will think so too, considering that you have been the object of the attack. But prithee, good Peregrine, take all this in good part; and now you shall be refreshed a little by the opinions of all the erudite company I have lately met, respecting the merits of our conjoint labours.

In the first place, you must know that I came to Mr. Seymour's the second week in the Holidays, and have remained here ever since; and, as my visit is pretty nearly elapsed, I take the first opportunity of recording and collecting the precious observations, lest they drop from my memory in the interval before I see you.

Now the good people, many of them old Rawsdon Court acquaintances, have only read the two first Numbers, which is a very happy thing. These, indeed, I sent them, and their curiosity has not led them to inquire after the third; so that, at present, I cannot be accused of putting them in print. If I were, I should undoubtedly transfer the blame to Rowley, as it is ten to one if any of them remember the signature.

To begin systematically, -I was asked by some person,“ Pray, Sir, can you inform me what was the origin of The Etonian ?"" For this I referred him to the fiercely upon


First Number, and advised him strongly to purchase it, as indeed I did every one else. Shortly afterwards he said, “ And may I ask what may be the end of it?" “Oh!" replied I," it is quite out of my power to tell you ; but I hope it is as far off as possible." You will excuse my pun, the more so as I tell it myself;--but, apropos, to speak seriously, I sat one day at dinner next to my old friend and nomenclator, Mr. Ormsby, who condemned most unequivocally our general levity, our innumerable puns, unnatural double entendres, and the like, evidently not flowing from the momentary wit and impulse of the author, but introduced by clumsy and deliberate mechanism. By way of example, he fell most

“ Lovers' Vows;" and I assure you I had great difficulty in somewhat alleviating his objections, which I was the more anxious to do, as the article was a great favourite of mine. Why,” said he, “ why do you not rouse that Martin Sterling of yours from his lethargy? He seems to be a boy of sound steady talents, and would give a weight and decided principle to your work, in which it is sadly deficient."

I fully coincided in some of his opinions; informed him that the obnoxious puns were greatly removed from the Third Number, and that we intended in the Fourth to bring forward an excellent production of his favourite, upon Principle ;” and another, equally good, of your own, upon “Silent Sorrow.” By-the-by, why should you hoard up such a number of good articles after they have been given notice of and formally acknowledged ? By all means give them insertion as speedily as possible. For instance, -M‘Farlane's “Bogle of Anneslie;" “ The Genius of Æschylus contrasted with that of Sophocles;" “ Sterling's Review of the present State of Literature at Eton;" “ Le Blanc's Castles in the Air," &c. &c.

The punch-bowl, and Sir Thomas Nesbit's warm and constant praises of porter, and Musgrave's “ vehicular metaphors," have given serious alarm to many sober and well-minded people in this vicinity; insomuch so, that I really believe they consider our respectable Club, with the exception of yourself, Montgomery, Sterling, and Le Blanc, as little better than a collection of topers, coachmen, and suchlike characters; indeed, I have some trouble in persuading them that Musgrave has left off driving, and that I have not been called to the honourable office of punch-maker since the second meeting; all the rest having been totally on business.

A valiant old Wykehamist, who was no other than our friend Mr. Thompson, attacked me most violently for libelling his favourite school; and moreover accused us of ignorance, certainly not without a cause, for it seems we have been guilty of the grand mistake of spelling his founder's name with an i instead of a y. Moreover, he launched out into a violent philippic against the laxity of Eton discipline; which he instanced by their permitting such a foolish publication to continue.. “ We manage those things better at Winchester," said he, “at least we did so when I was there. The boys had too much to do to think of scribbling for amusement's sake. Latin and Greek are what you are sent to learn; and if you

do them well it is quite sufficient. This meddling with English must take away from your attention to your studies, and does you neither good nor credit, I can as sure you."

This was all very disagreeable and very annoying to me; but I knew he was rather fretful in his temper; and, as he was old and I young, it did not become me, even if I had been inclined, to answer him. The most difficult opponent I engaged with was a young Lady, who complained of our having taken unpardonable liberties in our observations on female characters in sundry parts of our publication-adding withal this pithy quotation

The proper study of mankind is man." I defended myself as well as I could, and promised

« AnteriorContinuar »