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son was famous for his veracity, and he would not have given it to
« The nymph, who gazed upon his clustering locks
Had by him, ere he parted thence, a son.
The hair of Milton, in this our illustrious collection, is followed, in the order of time, by that of Swift, consisting of two locks, one when he was young, a handsome brown; the other, a fine glossy white; which is affecting, from the circumstance of its having been cut off his head “by Mrs. Whiteway, his housekeeper, after his decease.” This is recorded on the paper that wrapped the hair, when it was presented to us. Swift's lock, and the one we shall next speak of, were also given us by the gentleman who honoured us with the bestowal of Milton's. From the thought of the white lock, we turn in pity and grief, knowing what Swift must have undergone while it was on his head. The other was cut, probably, in the time of King William, when young men often wore their own hair. It argues nothing against the genuineness of the older lock of hair, either in this or in the instance we shall mention next, that old people, in those days, wore wigs, and had their heads shaved-for the head was not always strictly shaved ; probably, when they stopped most in doors, it was not shaved for many days; the hair was suffered sometimes to grow a good deal even under the wig ; and in Swift's case, his hair may have been suffered to grow considerably, a short time before be died; for he never stirred from home, and there was no reason for cutting it. We have not an elaborate life of him by us to consult; but we think we have read somewhere that his hair was very dark. The lock before us is brown, and not a very dark brown. Swift's eyes are known to have been blue, which is not a colour generally found in company with very dark hair. Pope described them as being as “ blue as the Heavens.” Swift's hair belonged to Mr. Hoole, and was given him by John
We know not how the latter came by it, Probably it was a present to him as an author; or he may have had it from Sheridan the actor, father of Richard Brinsley, and son of Dr. Sheridan, the friend of Swift. The channels are many through which it might have come to him.
The next lock is Johnson's own. It is old and coarse, of a whitish
colour, mixed with grey. Not the less reverently is it to be regarded. The very coarseness of it suits somehow the peculiarity of his pretensions
- not as being coarse, but from a sort of unpoetical vigour and a disdain of things “fine." We are loth to call it horse..hair ; but it may be styled a very good Houyhnhum lock. Hoole attended Johnson in his last illness.
A mighty name ensues, with a minim specimen of hair attached to it, - Napoleon. There is no doubt of the authenticity of the specimen. It was obtained for the gentleman who gave it us, by his sister, who had it from the valet that cut the Emperor's hair. It is, in fact, nothing more than such a shred or two as the valet might have hastily picked up with his fingers, when he was quitting his task, or even retained upon his coat. It consists of two or three small scratches of hair, kept together by a bit of sealing-wax. The sorry look of it would be an evidence of its genuineness, if evidence were needed. It adds to the impression made upon the beholders, looking almost like a mockery of his fate. To complete its petty aspect, it is enclosed in a very small bit of paper. The late Mr. Hazlitt, who, from his hatred of the allies, was a fond admirer of the man who had so knocked them about the head and ears, stood one day looking at it, wrapt in thought; and some burst of enthusiasm was expected from him ; but, probably, on that account, he exclaimed, with his usual sincerity, “I cannot get up a sensation about it.” He said, that memorials of this kind did not touch him ; he supposed, from "a defect of imagination.” He was struck, however, with the shining relic of Lucretia Borgia. The impression of beauty is instantaneous, and wants no aid from reflection.
The names that close our list want none of the graces of fame, except those which time will bestow, and are far more affecting to us than the rest. They are those of Shelley, Keats, and Mr. Hazlitt himself.
Shelley's hair (quam chari capitis !) is a delicate chestnut lock, dashed with grey. He was prematurely grey. His mind was a hundred years old, and had affected his body. The lock was cut off about three years before he died, and sent in a letter from Italy. Over what a world of thought, feeling, fancy, imagination, pain, playfulness, subtlety, universality, had it not grown ! But the tenderness caused in our minds by looking at it, surpasses even the wonder and the admiration. We
pass to that of the next friend, admirable also for his genius, and only less dear to us, because we had not had occasion to know him un. der so many endearing circumstances. How we loved him, need not be added. Mr. Keats's hair was remarkable for its beauty,—its flowing grace and fineness. It was a kind of ideal, poetical hair; and the locks we possess (for we have two) are beautiful specimens, calling up the instant admiration of the spectators. They are long, thick, exquisitely fine, and running into ringlets. The colour is a brown, of that sort which has a yellowish look in it in some lights, and a darker one or auburn in others. They remind us of the love-locks in the time of the cavaliers. Colonel Hutchinson might have had such, or young Milton. They are tresses,—things rarely seen, now a days, of a natural growth, on the heads of young men :—and remember the poet was a young man, and manly in spirit as his locks were beautiful.
The lock of Mr. Hazlitt's hair is a good thick ring, smooth and glossy, and almost black. Those who remember this great writer, during his latter years only, have no conception what a fine head of hair he had at a period a little earlier. It rapidly degenerated ; and he cut it off as if in spite, and suddenly appeared with a docked grizzled head, to the great resentment of his friends, and (what he would not easily believe, or pretended not to believe) of the ladies. He was always desiring the regard of women ; and then, between complexional and metaphysical doubt, taking pains to prevent himself from having it. When we first had the honour of an interview with him, and he took off his hat, there fell from it about his ears a load of handsome dark curls, which alone would have furnished a favourable introduction of him to the fair sex. A lady, who was in the habit of seeing him, at an evening party sitting with these dark locks against some crimson window curtains, and who, like himeslf, was a connoisseur in the Fine Arts and their manæuvres, told him that he did it on purpose to set off the beauty of his hair. “Oh, no!” he exclaimed, “ if I could have done that, it would have been the salvation of me:” meaning, that if he could have been fop enough, he would have had enough self-sufficiency to act a less dif. fident figure in general.
With this characteristic and most Hazlitt-like anecdote we conclude our present paper, having nothing so good to say after it. We have other locks of hair, several from eminent living heads, who, we trust, will long remain unrecorded in notices like the present. As to what we have said of hair itself, and the pleasant and affectionate ideas associated with it, have we not said it in fifty other places? And shall we repeat in other words what we have said already? We are both too modest and too proud.
HIGH LIVING AND MEAN THINKING.
How much nicer people are in their persons than in their minds. How anxious are they to wear the appearances of wealth and taste in the things of outward shew, while their intellects are all poverty and meanness. See one of the apes of fashion with his coxcombries and ostenta. tions of luxury. His clothes must be made by the best tailor, his horses must be of the best blood, his wines of the finest flavour, his cookery of the highest zest ; but his reading is of the poorest frivolities, or of the lowest and most despicable vulgarity. In the enjoyment of the animal senses he is an epicure; but a pig is a clean feeder compared with his mind : and a pig would eat good and bad, sweet and foul alike, but his mind has no taste except for the most worthless garbage. The pig has no discrimination and a great appetite; the mind which we describe has not the apology of voracity: it is satisfied with little, but the little must be of the worst sort, and every thing of a better quality is rejected by it with disgust. If we could see men's minds as we see their bodies, what a spectacle of nakedness, destitution, deformity, and disease it would be! What hideous dwarfs and cripples! What dirt, and what revolting cravings ! and all these in connection with the most exquisite care and pampering of the body. If many a conceited coxcomb could see his own mind, he would see a thing the like of which is not to be found in the meanest object the world can present. It is not with beggary, in the most degraded state, that it is to be compared, for the beggar has wants, is dissatisfied with his state, has wishes for enjoyments above his lot, but the pauper of intellect is content with his poverty ; it is his choice to feed on carrion, he can relish nothing else, he has no desires
beyond the filthy fare. Yet he piques himself that he is a superior being; he takes to himself the merit of his tailor, his coachmaker, his upholsterer, his wine merchant, his cook; but if the thing were turned inside out, if that concealed nasty corner, his mind, were exposed to view, how degrading would be the exhibition !
After all our vaunts of the progress of intelligence, the truth yet is, that the minds of the mass of our population, like the bodies of the mass of the Irish nation, are fed on the very lowest kind of food, easy of production in the poorest soils, and affording the slightest nourishment. There is a potatoe diet of the press, which is a positive enemy of improvement; and it is not the labourer and the artizan who sit down con. tent with it, but the gentry, the fashionable, and their host of imitators. In London, every luxury is had or affected to be had for the body, and dunghills yield the banquets for the mind. We often wish that these things could be seen in kind ; that the man of professed nicety and taste could see the quality of the stuff with which he regales his mind. The breakfast table is laid out with every delicacy, and on it is a scavenger's cart filled with slabby noisome filth, the collection of the very kennels, the rakings of all the nasty corners; the voluptuary sips his chocolate, daintily picks his French pie, while he fills his mind with that fetid mass, the cookery of the scavengers ! How fastidious is the stomach of this man! how unspeakably coarse, and worse than beastly, his intellect ! No animal in the creation confines itself to filth only. The appetite for sheer ribaldry is unmatched in the depravities of taste. We lately heard one of the would-be exquisites declare, that the paper of his choice was the most scurrilous, and vulgar withal, of the London weekly papers, and doubtless it was his only reading; and a few minutes afterwards, he expressed his chagrin that some fine people had seen him get into a hackney coach at the door of a theatre! This man had no perception of the shabby way in which he treated his mind. What a loathsome hack vehicle was that, to which, without shame, he committed it ! To a just intelligence, how degrading should be accounted such a sign of the poverty of the understanding, or of its preference of the mean and vile! He sighed for the luxury and show of the carriage for his person, but he had no wishes for the mind above the garbage upon which it regaled. In this respect he was destitute of the humblest claims to respect, and yet he was contented. He knew not that his state of intelligence was below beggary ; and that, if his fortunes corresponded with his understanding, he would be clothed in the foulest rags, and fed by the sewers. Might it not reasonably be expected that people should take as much pride in the nicety of their minds as in that of their persons ? The purity of the mind, the careful preservation of it from the defilement of loose or grovelling thoughts, is surely as much a matter of necessary decency as the cleanliness of the body. The coarse clothing of the person is a badge of poverty : what then should be thought of the coarse entertainment of the imagination ? what destitution does it argue ? and when it is seen in connexion with all the luxuries of abundant wealth, how odious is the contest between the superfluities of fortune and the pitiable penury of the understanding! The mansion is spacious and elegantly furnished, but the soul of the occupier is only comparable to its dust-hole, a dark dirty receptacle for the vilest trash and rubbish.
You visit an affluent family in London; you see girls, for whose education no cost has been spared, who have been guarded with the most zealous care against vulgar associations, who are to be refined if they are to be nothing else ; and you see on their table a Sunday newspaper, the staples of which are obscenity and scurrility, put forth in a style probably much below the loosest conversation of the footmen in the hall. How would the parents shudder at the thought of their daughters listening to a familiar conversation of the coarsest turn carried on by their lackeys ? And what matters it in effect whether the debauchery is taken in at the eye or the ear? The writer of these remarks is acquainted with more than one family in which the father borrows his servant's paper, as that taken in for the reading of his children is too coarse and low for his entertainment; and we have heard the fact represented as a matter of jest, and without the slightest perception of the shame implied in it. We believe that the reading of the London draw. ing-rooms is generally lower than the reading in the servants' halls. It is the scandalous newspaper, or the fashionable or the scandalous novel ; a choice of vice, or the poorest frivolity. These causes cannot be without their effects. Let every man who permits them in his house, for one moment consider in what respect the intellectual entertainment of his sons and daughters is superior to the scurrilous humour of the lowest of the low. There are papers written for the pot-houses, and papers written for the fashionables, and their legions of servile imitators; and it is an indisputable fact, that the pot-house papers are, in style, matter, and decorum, superior to the fashionable. The paper, which, in evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons, was stated to be the favourite paper of the thieves, is more respectable in every point of morals and intelligence than the paper which is peculiarly patronized by the clergy and the aristocracy.
These things deserve to be thought of in another manner. The care of the mind has yet to have a commencement. Its servants and its food have hitherto been of the lowest sort ; but on both the character of the ministration and the nutriment the purity and soundness of the in. tellect must greatly depend. A good sign it will be, when some of the pride in the ostentation of gold is transferred to the show of the riches of the mind, and when the appearances of poverty of intellect are shun. ned as those now are of the poverty of the purse.
THE OUTLAW'S SONG.
YOUR beakers raise, my merry mates,
And cheerily troll the song,
We'll change ere it be long;
Or our bright weapons draw,
Success to the bold Outlaw !
The Tweed we'll cross, moss-troopers bold,
Ere the ice upon it thaw;
Success to the bold Outlaw !
The moon is down and dark the sky,
Bestride your steeds and away,
Must blaze ere it be day.
Fill me again the mantling cup,
My merry men, brave and free;
Drink up-sees on his knee.
We own love's gentle law;
Of the terrible Outlaw.