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Of azure sky, darting between their chasms ;
(To be continued.)
CANT.-There is no country in Europe where, what Jeanie Deans, in her interview with Queen Caroline, is pleased to term, « light life and conversation," is more severely dealt with than in “moral England." Quarter Sessions and the Tread Mill bear signal evidence to our tenderness for female virtue, our disgust towards laxity of morals; and the horrible crime of infanticide, so prevalent among the lower classes, is universally attributed, by our Jurists, to the purity of our moral code, and the severity of its enforcement. All this is very fine. It writes well,mit talks well, it assists in sticking an additional peacock's feather into the strutting day of our national pride. But is it not advisable that the limitations of such laws and statutes should be more accurately defined ? We know them to be applicable to the labouring classes ; we believe them to extend to the commercial and professional classes ; but it appears uncertain how far they stop short of “ The Order;" and whether the wives of Esquires and Knights Bannerets, and even Baronet3, are not included in an act of impunity. To what other influence can we ascribe the ardour with which Countess Guiccioli has been recently welcomed in the coteries of fashionable life? The mistress of an illustrious poet may be a very poetical personage ; and, as in the instance in question, a very pleasing one; but there can be no reason for committing Jenny Dobbs to the House of Correction and prison discipline, in retribution of the very circumstance which opens all the noble mansions in London to an Italian Countess. Byron's biographers and personal friends, have taken care that this lady's connexion with the noble poet, should be sufficiently bruited to the world; and from the Pope, downwards, we believe there is not an old woman in England or Italy, unaware of the state of the case. We cannot, therefore, but admire the consistency displayed by those wives and mothers of our nobility who are so scandalized by any lapse of discretion among the housemaids, in courting the society, and presenting to the friendship of their daughters, a lady living in separation from her husband, on grounds too noto. rious to be overlooked; or rather on grounds which constitute her sole claim to the notice of the world.
THE BYRON GALLEKY.-In walking through a forest, it is easy to detect the spot where a noble tree has been felled to carth, by the innumerable shoots and seedlings that owe their existence to its pristine vigour; and, if evidence were wanting of the influence exercised over the public mind by the two literary giants of the cen. tury, Scott and Byron, it might be found in the abundant offsets springing up in their place,-emanations from their former grandeur. Not a city, for instance, not a village, not a villa, visited by the noble Childe, in the course of his poetical or inortal pilgrimage, but has become hallowed ground to his contemporaries, and been made a subject for the pencil and the graver. Not a word that ever fell from his lips, but is cherished like some fragment of art,-some sketch by Vandyke, or outline by Michael Angelo Covetous as he was of glory, surely even the shade of Byron must be, by this time, appeased by the excess of incense burning upon his altars. We can fancy, indeed, that (like the majestic ghost depicted by the poet in the Elysian fields, as averting its face on the approach of a faithless friend,) it might turn with disgust from certain former companions who have made a merchandize of his memory ; but could the bard of Don Juan return to earth, we have little doubt he would be in perfect good humour with a world that has erected so stupendous a pyramid in his honour. It must be admitted that the stones thrown on the cairn are individually of small account; but the homage is the same. Byron has, in fact, been canonized
by national acclamation, and his name permanently inscribed in the calendar of genius. It will be long enough cre Great Britain has again leisure to bestow on poets and novelists; but even were the interest of the country wholly at the disposal of writers of fiction, their chance of success would still be problematical. The inordinate popularity of any one voluininous poet, must always be succeeded by a blank. There exists but a certain number of poetical words and phrases in a language; and these, when dexterously strung together by the hand of a master, are committed to memory; till, by the force of satiety, they degenerate into commonplace. The jingle of familiar rhymes becomes offensive; natural imagery fails to impress the mind, already imbued with the sublime and beautiful in their choicest features. After Milton, there was a pause ;-after Pope, there was a pause ;-after Byron, there will be a pause. But when the grandeur of Childe llarold and the picturesqueness of the Giaour, have, in some degree, faded from our recollection, some new minstrel will suddenly possess himself of the public ear, and gather together, in a new form, those “ Orient pearls at random flung," in the wantonness of former opulence. Till then, we recommend the « English Bards" to append their lyres, like Tasso's, “ ad em cipresso;" and leave the courtship of the Muses to the lyrists of Warren's Blacking and Wright's Champagne. BENEFACTORS OF POETS,
« Je veux un jour avoir une chaumiere
Dont un verger ombrage le contour,
Avec ma mie, et ma muse, et l'amour." This poetical aspiration of Demaustier, has been realized by Lord Milton, in favour of John Clare ; and we regret to perceive that the circunstance provoked universal wonder and commendation. It seems that the golden age of Poesy is past, when, as a inark of gentle blood, every noble was expected to entertain a minstrel or two in his train;- when Marguerite of France imprinted a tender salute on the lips of the sleeping Alain Chartier, and when purses of gold, and jewels of price, were showered upon the inspired bard in guerdon of his genius. Gosthe has a fine pas. sage in his “ Torquato Tasso," to prove that such favours are thriftily bestowed ; since the poet can requite with immortality the hospitality of his noble entertainer. We know not what mcasure of renown will be conferred by Clare on the representative of the house of Wentworth ; but eagerly seize the opportunity of adding our feeble echo to the clarion of Fame.
THE KING OF BAVARIA.-The public journals inform us that an attempt has been niade by Ludwig I. to introduce to the notice of his Queen the divorced wife of Lord Ellenborough, who has been for some time past living openly under his royal protection. We confess we have long misdoubted this Joseph Surface of modern sovereignty ; he was always such a vastly “moral young inan!" For the last twenty years, he has been playing fantastic tricks before high Heaven, till the earth has grown very much out of conceit with him. Who does not remember his Ma. jesty's ode on visiting Weimar, (published in every petty newspaper of the German empire,) in which he addresses the reigning Duke as higher than Augustus, and Göthe as. more eminent than Virgil? Who does not remember his Körnerian ballads, breathing patriotism in every stanza? And in what have all these fine effusions ended? In the restoration of the Jesuits, in religious persecutions, an increased taxation, a crusade against the liberty of the press, and a Madame de Montespan intruded upon his Queen and Court.
NATIONAL GALLERY.-In one of Odry's monopolylogues, à la Matthews, we remember hearing him allude to the Théatre Français, as “ce spectacle vis à vis du patissier dans la rue Richelieu ;” and we have little doubt that some day or other John Reeve will find occasion to allude to the projected National Gallery as the Long Room next door to the Foot-soldiers' barracks at Charing Cross. Whatever may be our national progress in political economy, our proficiency in national parsimony is indisputable. We, who have lavished half a million on a cottage in Windsor Park, (now pulled down as affording a dangerous refuge for rats on the royal demesne,) we who piled up the lath-and-plaster palace at Pimlico,-We who set up the brazen image in Hyde Park,we who have been voting million after million for raising the royal attics here, and remodelling the royal hencoops and pig-styes there,--have actually lavished the sum of £50,000 for the construction of a conservative temple for the Fine Arts, in the metropolis ! This will do! Brother Jonathan has reason to be proud of us! Why, we might have boarded the nine muses at Crockford's Bazaar for very little more money; or the pictures might have been deposited at the Pantechnicon. But a NATIONAL GALLERY, to become a lasting monument of penuriousness or bankruptcy,a stigma on the taste of the reigning sovereign, worse than the exclamation of George II., “I hate bainting and boetry; who is this rascally Hogart that laughs at my Guards :"_Forbid it, shades of the Medici!
A CONUNDRUM.--A noble poet of the day, a man of wit and fashion about town, contributed some charades to a new fashionable periodical; the solution of which was promised for the following number. In the interim, his Lordship having forgotten the words expressed in the charades, went about hewailing his loss. “ Can't recollect your words 2” said a rival scribbler. “Depend upon it you hare eaten them !"
ROYAL GossiPS.-It appears established as an axiom of modern kingmanship, that an anointed sovereign may speak, but must, on no account, presume to talk. Louis Philippe, the vicissitudes of whose life are probably more remarkable than those of any other individual in Europe, (with the exception of Baron Geramb, formerly of Carlton House, but now of La Trappe notoriety,) has contracted, it seems, a tendency to narration, extremely irksome to his courtiers, and still more so to his ministers of state. Professed story-tellers, and that-reminds-me-of-an-anecdote people, are in all situations of life inexpressibly tedious as companions; but, when connected with
“ The ceremony that to great ones ’longs," nothing can be more calamitous than the propensity thus exhibited by His Most Christian Majesty of the French. When we consider, however, the ten volumes of frivolous personal reminiscences bequeathed to us by his invaluable preceptress, who, to the day of her death, was in the habit of lecturing him in a quotidian billet of advice, beginning, “ Sire, mon trés cher enfant," we are almost inclined to pity and forgive the mingled diffuseness and circumstantiality which distinguishes the royal gossip of the Palais Royal. So regular indeed are the intermission and recurrence of his favourite anecdotes, that the Queen and courtiers are said to note the hours of the day by “I recollect when I was an usher in Switzerland;" “I remember just before the action of Genappe " or, “It occurs to me that, when I was a schoolmaster in the United States." The King of the Belgians is stated, by the Carlists' journals, to have returned to Lacken, minus a button on the right breast of all his coats and uniforms ; lost in defending himself against the thrice-told tales of his illustrious father-in-law.
INCREASE OF CRIME AND DIMINUTION OF PunisHMENT. It has recently been noticed, with surprise, by many contemporary periodicals, that boiling to death was formerly included among the penalties of our criminal law, and that some balf-adozen persons were publicly boiled in Smithfield, for poisoning and other enormities. We see nothing very wonderful in the fact! It stands to reason that the first insti. tution of legal tribunals, in any country, in any era, must be enforced and upheld by magnitude of penalties and inflexibility in their infiction ; and, moreover, that the quantity and quality of punishment should be commensurate with the viralivation and refinement of the land. When life itself was an incessant struggle with hardship and privation, boiling or pressing to death were proportionate modes of punishment. Confinement on bread and water in an airy prison would have been luxury to one of our Celtic ancestors ; and it is only in our own machinerytriumphant-age of do-nothingness that the sufferings of a month on the tread-mill can be duly appreciated. If the march of luxury should go on with its present speed, and the progress of national enervation continue, we have no doubt that in process of time misdemeanours will be chastised by a ride in a cart without springs; and felons of pote be awarded to a year's imprisonment, without the use of knife, fork, or spoon ; while a trespassing lord will be sentenced to dine without soup or fish, or to sleep on a flock bed. , In the year 2032, a fine lady, convicted of infanticide, will be made to
Die of a rose in aromatic pain; and the sentence be quite as barbarous as the peine forte et dure of the middle ages.
SYMPTOMS OF LITERATURE. Captain Skinner, in his Oriental Sketches, recently published, informs us, that the natives of Ceylon, having no other substitute for writing paper than the thin leaves of the Ola, use an iron pen, which they support in the thumb-nail of the left hand, allowed to grow for that purpose; and that a literary man is discovered by such a mark. Perhaps, had a similar custom prevailed in Great Britain, the Author of Junius would have been detected in the person of some mild Lord of the Bedchamber, or silver-tongued Silver Stick; and, even in the present day, what mysteries might be developed! The Messager des Chambres announces to the news-lovers of Europe, that Sir Robert Peel officiates as the Editor of the Morning Post; while “ Horace Swiss, (they have not exactly hit it to a T,) Sir Charles Wetherell, et autres jeunes fashionables," act as redactors of the Albion! Now if the notchery of the Cingalese men of letters were but introduced among our own literati, we should be enabled to nail them in a minute !
THE CANONIZATION OF PRINCES.
“ The fickle breath of popular applause" is scarcely less impeachable for its application than for its mutability. Kings, Kaisers, and Princes hereditary, must assuredly find it very difficult to compute their chances of popularity, by any given law of precedent or probability. Louis le Bien aimé was by half his subjects styled Louis l'Inévitable ; Ferdinand, the well-beloved, is alternately execrated as a tyrant, or despised as an idiot; and Henri le Dieudonné has, by the nation on whom he was bestowed, been donné à tous les diables. But of all the instances of public waywardness on record, the most remarkable is the case of the late Duke of York !--a man lamented from one end of the kingdom to the other, idolized by the army-and honoured by a public monument; although it is universally known that his domestic life was a disgrace to himself, and that his public life reflected little honour on the country. His unfortunate expedition to Holland, the lamentable exposure connected with the discharge of his duties as Commander-in-Chief, and above all, his piost un-statesmanlike, and most un-Englishmanlike " So help me God" declaration against the Roman Catholics, would have covered any other Prince with obloquy; and it has been ascertained, through the investigation recently set on foot by his creditors, that his Royal Highness died an insolvent debtor to the amount of £150,000! A certain convivial good-humour, and considerable stanchness in his private friendships, appears to have formed a limit to the “ virtues of this most popular Prince of the House of Brunswick," who has been canonized by Party writers, in defiance of every rule of common sense or public decency.
ROYAL PATRONS OF FREEDOM..We think it is Jean Paul who observes, that many princes and ministers affect to regard the liberty of the subject as a featherin their caps ; and in this resemble Mephistophiles, who, wearing the cock's feather in his bon. net,* is scared away by his cry. The truth is, that the freedom which finds favour in the eyes of hereditary rulers is not that which benefits the people, but that which benefits themselves. The butcher, knowing that a certain portion of exercise is necessary for his flock, provides it for them; and princes, kuowing that men pine and grow rusty without an allowance of self-will, indulge them. They would have a man preserve as much independence of spirit as goes to make him cheerful, and a good workman. They know, that a proper quantity of fixed air makes their champagne sparkle, and that a little more will break their musty bottles. They calcu. lats, to a nicety, so much of this rare provender will enable a man to bear a stout burden ; but so much will make him as strong as myself, and then he will no longer submit to be my drudge, but will set up on his own account. The moral of all this is, that free institutions and free-men never can be patronized by princes. “ Who would be free themselves must strike the blow.” Pedro is not quite such a brute as Miguel; and Louis Philippe has less power, if not less will, than Charles X., to be a despot that is all the difference.
• According to popular superstition in Germany, the feather of a cock's tail in his cap is an indis. pensable part of the Devil's costume.
(For Reform, 37 During the vacations of the Legisla. New Men,
Doubtful, 3 ture, it is often difficult to mark the pro
| Against, il gress of events during so short a space as
FOR SCOTLAND. a month. Public feeling, and the acts to Members of the old Par- | For Reform, 24 which it impels, are continually advanc liament, . . Against, 15 ing, but frequently with a silent and im.
For Reform, 41 perceptible motion. The enactments of New men, . . Doubtful, 10 the Legislature are the final expressions
(Against, 15 of what was once an isolated individual The data, however, upon which this will, diffused gradually through the bulk calculation rested were in many instances of the nation, heaving uncertainly on the erroneous or insufficient, and there has billows of opinion like the unavailing been a good deal of shifting since it was plunges of a ship at anchor, now advanc- made. The constituency, which has to ing, now seeming to retrograde; at last make its choice out of these candidates, spreading over all, and impressing the os- will be found considerably narrower than tensible lawgivers, the organs of the moral was anticipated in England, Wales, and sense of the community, either with con- in all probability Ireland. This is owing viction, or the feeling that resistance is to the provision that throughout the emunavailing. As in the mind of man the pire no person shall be entitled to be refirst promptings to action are vague and gistered as a voter who has not paid his unsusceptible of being distinctly appre. assessed taxes before a certain day; and in hended and retained in the memory, so, England, no person who has not likewise in society, the growth of opinion can paid all rates due by him up to the same scarcely be made the subject of an intelli- period. This is palpably unjust. In the gible narrative. Results alone can be dis- first place, some distinction ought to have tinctly described. Since the dissolution been made between the right to be regisof Parliament, the country has been pre- tered as a voter, and the right to exercise paring for new exertions—the cloud has the privilege. A temporary bar like the been re-charging itself with electric mat. non-payment of any tax, ought not to pre. ter.
vent a man from getting upon the roll, or THE ELECTIONS.—The canvass for put him to the expense of a double appliseats in the first reformed Parliament is cation. In the second place, we cannot now universal. According to a calcula- see why a man's being behind hand with tion made about the end of August, there Government is more likely to interfere were then in the field as candidates :- with a due exercise of the franchise than FOR ENGLAND.
his being behind hand with any other Members of the Old / For Reform, 248 creditor. Lastly, we cannot see, even supParliament, - Against, 74 posing there be such a mysterious demo.
(For Reform, 174 ralizing power in the relation of debtor to New Men, - Doubtful, 60 a government, which is itself one of the
Against, 66 rankest and most notorious debtors in FOR WALES.
existence, why a man must be clear of all Members of the Old ( For Reform, 15 local burdens before he can act in a pub. Parliament, - | Against, 9 lic manner. In England, the oppressive
(For Reform, 3 effects of this clause have been felt most New Men,
heavily. The workings of ill-framed and Against, I misapplied poor-laws have rendered the FOR IRELAND.
whole frame of society so unhealthy, that Members of the Old | For Reform, 60 a load of this kind is severely felt. In
Parliament, . 1 Against, 27 Scotland, where confirmed habits of self.