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daining to ask an alms, this counterpart of the Elgin Theseus would glance downwards at his own mutilated form, and upwards at the perfect one of the passengers, to whom he left it to draw the inference; and if this silent appeal failed to extract even a sympathising look, he would sometimes, in the waywardness of his mighty heart, wish " that the Devil might have them,” (as who shall say he will not ?). In his paternal pride - he had sworn to give a certain sum as a marriage-portion to his daughter; it was nearly accomplished, and he was stumping his painful rounds for its completion, when he was assailed by certain myrmidons as a vagabond, and, after a Nemæan resistance, was laid in durance vile. Was not his an end that might indeed sanctify the means? And shall a man like this be held a beggar by construction, when such symbolic mendicants and typical pickpockets as Sir David Dewlap and Doctor Allbury may hold their plates at our throats, and rob us with impunity ? No-if I have any influence with the new Society, one of its earliest acts shall be the commitment of these Corinthian caterers to Bridewell, that they may dance a week's saraband together to the dainty measure of the Tread-Mill.
There is another class of eleemosynaries, who would be indignant at the appellation of Almsmen, since they make an attack upon your purse under the independent profession of Borrowers, while they are most valorous professors also (but most pusillanimous performers) of repayment. If they be gentry of whom one would fairly be quit for ever, I usually follow the Vicar of Wakefield's prescription, who was accustomed to lend a great coat to one, an old horse to a second, a few pounds to a third, and seldom was troubled by their reappearance. If they be indifferent parties, whom one may reasonably hope to fob off with banter and evasion, I quote to them from Shakspeare
“ Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry." Be they matter-of-fact fellows who apprehend not a joke, I shew them my empty purse, which, Heaven knows, is no joke to me, while it is the best of all arguments to them. But be they men of pith and promise, friends whom I well esteem and would long preserve, I refuse them at once, for these are companions whom I cannot afford to lose, and whom a loan would not long allow me to keep. Those who may be cooled by a refusal would have been alienated by an acquiescence. Friendship, to be permanent, must be perfectly independent; for such is the pride of the human heart, that it cannot receive a favour without a feeling of humiliation, and it will almost unconsciously harbour a constant wish to lower the value of the gift by diminishing that of the donor. Ingratitude is an effort to recover our own esteem by getting rid of our esteem for a benefactor; and when once self-love opposes our love of another, it soon vanquishes its adversary. We esteem benefactors as we do tooth-drawers, who have cured us of one pain by inflicting another. For the rich I am laying down no rules; they may afford to lose their friends as well as money, for they can command more of each; we who stand under the frown of Plutus must be economists of both, and it is for the benefit of such classes that I would have the whole brotherhood of mendicants, calling themselves borrowers, sentenced to the House of Correction--not till they had
paid their debts, for that would be equivalent to perpetual imprisonment, but until they had sincerely forgiven their old friends for lending them money, and placed themselves in a situation to acquire new ones by a promise never to borrow any more.
A fourth description of beggars, not less pestilent in their visitations, are the fellows who are constantly coming to beg that you will lend them a book, which they will faithfully return in eight or ten days, for which you may substitute years, and be no nearer to the recovery of your property. It is above that period since some of my friends have begged the second volume of Tom Brown's Works, the first of Bayle's Dictionary, Phineas Fletcher’s Purple Island, and various others whose absence creates many a “hiatus valde deflendus" in my bookshelves, which, like so many open mouths, cry aloud to heaven against the purloiners of odd volumes and the decimators of sets. Books are a sort of feræ naturæ to these poachers that have “nulla vestigia retrorsum ;" they pretend to have forgotten where they borrowed them, and then claim them as strays and waifs. You may know the number of a man's friends by the vacancies in his library, and if he be one of the best fellows in the world, his shelves will assuredly be empty: Possession is held to be nine points in law, but with friends of this class unlawful possession is the best of all titles, for print obliterates property, meum and tuum cannot be bound up in calf or morocco, and honour and honesty cease to be obligatory in all matters of odd volumes. Beggars of this quality might with great propriety be sent to the counting-houses of the different prisons and penitentiaries, where their literary abilities might be rendered available by employing them as book-keepers, a business in which they have already exhibited so much proficiency. One day for every octavo, two for a quarto, and three for every folio of which they could not give a satisfactory account, would probably be deemed an adequate punishment.
The last species of mendicants whom I should recommend to the new Suppression Society, and whom, judging by my own experience, I should pronounce the most unfortunate and unreasonable of any, are the young and old ladies, from the boarding-school Miss to the Dowager Blue Stocking, who, in the present rage for albums and autographs, ferret out all unfortunate writers, from the Great Unknown, whom every body knows, down to the illustrious obscure whom nobody knows, and beg them—just to write a few lines for insertion in their repository. If they will even throw out baits to induce so mere a minnow as myself to nibble at a line, what must they do for the Tritons and Leviathans of literature! Friends, aunts, cousins, neighbours, all are put in requisition, and made successively bearers of the neat morocco-bound begging-book. Surely, Mr. Higginbotham, you
will not refuse me when I know you granted the same favour to Miss Barnacles, Miss Scroggs, Mrs. Scribbleton, and many others. Besides it is so easy for you to compose a few stanzas.—Gadzooks! these folks seem to think one can write sense as fast as they talk nonsense--that poetry comes spontaneously to the mouth, as if we were born improvisatori, and could not help ourselves. I believe, however, that few will take the trouble to read that which has not occasioned some trouble to write ; and even if their supposition were true, we have the
authority of Dr. Johnson for declaring that no one likes to give away that by which he lives :-“You, Sir," said he, turning to Thrale, “would rather give away money than beer." And to come a begging of such impoverished wits as mine--Corpo di Bacco! it is robbing the Spittal-putting their hands in the poor-box-taking that "which nought enriches them, and makes me poor indeed"--doing their best to create a vacuum, which Nature abhors: and as to assuming that compliance costs nothing, this is the worst mendicity of all, for it is even begging the question. No, Mr. Editor, I cannot recommend to the new Society any extension of indulgence towards offenders of this class. The ladies, old and young, should be condemned to Bridewell, (not that I mean any play upon the word,) there to be dieted upon bread and water until they had completely filled one another's albums with poetry of their own composing ; after which process I believe they might be turned loose upon society without danger of their resuming the trade of begging. Other mendicant nuisances occur to me, for whose suppression the proposed Institution would be held responsible ; but I have filled my limits for the present, and shall therefore leave them to form the subject of a future communication.
The Sea-King woke from the troubled sleep
Of a vision-haunted night,
For the red sun's earliest ray
Was to rouse his bands that day,
And the silent stars on high,
And along the twilight-bay
In their sleep the hamlets lay,
He turn’d to the dusky shore,
And forth, in watery light,
And the forms, as they grew more clear,
And to beckon with faint hand
From the dark and rocky strand,
The Valkyriur, the Fatal Sisters, or Choosers of the Slain, in Northern Mythology
VOL. VIII. NO, XXXI.
Then a stillness on his spirit fell,
Before th' unearthly train,
And a sudden-rising breeze
Bore across the moaning seas
-There is joy in Odin's Hall!”
When afar the sunlight spread,
But at eve, the kingly hand
Of the battle-axe and brand
When a northern chief fell gloriously in battle, his obsequies were honoured with all possible magnificence. His arms, gold and silver, war-horse, domestic attendants, and whatever else he held most dear, were placed with him on the pile. His dependents and friends frequently made it a point of honour to die with their leader, in order to attend on his shade in the palace of Odin. And lastly, his wife was generally consumed with him on the same pile.-Mallet's Northern Antiquities.
BRITISH GALLERIES OF ART.-NO. VI.
Dulwich College. There are several Teniers' here, and two or three that require particular mention. First, however, as a better opportunity may perhaps not occur, I will state what strikes' me as being the distinguishing differences between this extraordinary artist, and his no less extraordinary living rival— Wilkie ; for this is not one of those comparisons that are entitled to be ranked as “ odious ;"—on the contrary, it can hardly fail to heighten our conception of the merits of both the subjects of it, if (as I think) it is calculated to illustrate those merits, and render them more obvious.-It is a mistake to consider either of these artists as comic painters. They are nothing less. I do not recollect a joke in any picture by either of them. They are painters of human life-at least of a certain class of it'; and if the scenes that occur in and distinguish that class are of a smiling character-good : but the artists choose them, not because they bear that character generally—but because they are there. They are painters of truth ;-and because such is the truth, they paint it-not because the truth is such. If the truth had been different, their pictures would have been different. Without knowing any thing of the personal character of either, I should judge them both, the one to have been, and the other to be, steady, serious, severe, pains-taking men-almost incapable of enjoying a joke, much less of inventing one. They are painters of facts and of things, not of sentiments, and ideas, and opinions; and as Nature is no joker, so they are none. Not that, if society or circumstances throw a joke in their way, they have any objection to pick it up; but they never think of going out of their way to find one. In fact they are conscientious to a fault; like Mr. Crabbe, the poet. They think that whatever is fit to be done, is fit to be painted ; and their choice of subject is confined to a class, and to nothing else.
There is, however, this grand difference between Teniers and Wilkie ;-that the one is a painter of the real truth, and the other of the ideal: for Wilkie's pictures are as ideal, in the true sense of that term, as the finest of the antiques are ;-that is to say, they are as much founded in the absolute truth of Nature, yet as little to be seen there in point of fact. Every one of Teniers' scenes has happened ; but not one of Wilkie's ever did or could happen; though there is no reason to be given why they should not. In short, the scenes of the one are absolutely true to nature, and consistent with it in all their parts; but the other's are nature itself.
Perhaps it may still farther illustrate the relative merits of these two extraordinary artists, if I say that, if Wilkie has more individual expression than Teniers, the latter has much more character ;—that if the scenes of the former are more entertaining and exciting, those of the latter are more satisfying ;-that if Wilkie's affect us more like a capital performance on the stage, Teniers' are felt and remembered more as actual scenes that have passed before us in real life ;-that, in fact, Wilkie's are admirable as pictures, but that Teniers' are the things
* Continued from page 557.