« 前へ次へ »
Co I look up,' he says, in a letter to a friend, 'to one God, and delight in referring all my hopes and wishes to him; I consider the doctrine and example of Christ as the greatest blessing God has given us, and that his character is the most perfect and lovely we ever knew, except that of God himself. This is my religion ; I hope it is not unsound.'
“Let it not be supposed that Sir James was indifferent to opinions, and considered all systems equally good ; on the contrary, he preserved his own through good report and evil report, and no temptation of interest ever made him swerve one moment from the maintenance and vindication of those he had adopted : but among these, the first was charity ; exclusiveness he considered as the very characteristic of Antichrist and pride. There was no sect of Christians, among the good and sincere, with whom he could not worship the Great Spirit to whom all look up, enter into their views, excuse what he might consider as their prejudices, and respect their piety: and whether it were in the pope's chapel, or the parish church, he felt the social glow,
• To gang together to the kirk,
And altogether pray ;
And youths and maidens gay.' The affection he thus felt for others, he in general had the happiness of finding reciprocal, for love must owe its origin to love. No one had less of a sectarian spirit ; nor did he ever attempt to make converts, except to Christian charity.”
After this it is almost unnecessary to say that his attempt to obtain the botanical chair at Cambridge was unsuccessful. This good and amiable man died in March 1828, after the illness of a single day. His character is summed up by Lady Smith, with the natural leanings of affection; and it is impossible it should be otherwise, though nothing is said that is not warranted by the whole tenor of the life of her husband, and by the documents and correspondence placed before us. And her es. timate is exceeded by the praises of his other friends. We shall give but one sample, and in her own words. “Of the poor and humble it gave him heartfelt pleasure to enter into their scanty pleasures, their little vanity, or even weakness; but the knowledge of the sacrifices they made to humanity and duty, of their kindnesses to each other, their fortitude in distress, melted his heart, and willingly would he have wiped all tears from their eyes. He truly felt that “ God hath made of one blood all the families of the earth;” and his benevolent sympathies extended to the whole human race.
Having so high an opinion of the moral tendency of the early memoirs of Sir James Edward Smith, and being so much pleased with the amiable and tender spirit in which his editor, has fulfilled her task, it may seem ungracious to whisper, at parting, that the work is far too bulky, that it contains much that is of little importance, and a great deal that is of none whatever. Nor is the arrangement what it might be, nor the narrative clearly developed. We should certainly also have liked to have seen a little more of the fire-side of a man, who at college, filled us with so much interest of a familiar and domestie kind. The youth who wrote so delightfully home, and to Kindersley his cousin, and Batty his friend, could not all at once lose this faculty. If the modesty of the writer has kept back letters, because addressed to herself, we are sorry for it. A few more of Sir James' own familiar letters were worth all the complimentary epistles in the volumes, and of these we have scarce one after his return to England in 1787. Still we owe Lady Smith thanks and gratitude for having given us so much that is instructive, and of most winning example ; in the history of her husband, and in the character of his parents.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF DANDO, THE OSTRACIDE. The subject of the following verses having become " better known than trusted," among the proprietors of coffee shops and eating-houses in the metropolis, was fain to make a predatory excursion, a few months before his death, into Kent; and to gratify his taste for ocean delicacies, confined bis esurient researches to the principal towns along the coast. Here the fresh sea.breezes gave a keever edge (if possible) to his inordinate appetite, -by the unlawful indulgence of which be frequently com. mitted himself, and was as frequently committed by the civil magistrates,-until at length he was ar. rested, once for all, in his career of gastronomical glory, by the unrelenting bailiff' who makes his caption at the suit of nature, and whose prison is the grave. To this circumstance alone we may ascribe the preservation of the native tribes (of oysters!) from total extinction.
“ Ever eating, never cloying,
All.devouring, all.destroying." Dando was won't to exclaim, with ancient Pistol,-" The world's mine oyster," &c.—and oysters indeed to him were the dearest objects to him in the world; albeit he contrived to obtain for nothing the enormous quantities he consumed of them. But since he has paid the debt of nature, although un able to discharge any other of his debts, de mortuis nil nisi bonum.
Oh, death! what havoc in this world you make !
Author of " Satan," a poem.
By magistrates in gaol he hath been bound, Because a maw-solemn was his maw,Entombing fish, flesh, fowl, in spacious rooms, Within his paunch's boundless catacombs ! In vain would prudence with his craving cope, — A satisfied appearance he could sham ill; Nor would he fast for Perceval,—if Pope, Whenever he could break through hunger's trammel : He ne'er believed that Pleasures dwell with Hope, And, sooner than such lays, he'd bolt a camel,Old Sherry's dramas,—though beneath the turf he's, Not much could move him, but he relish'd Murphy's. Though not a great philosopher he was, He'd heard of comets, and a monstrous tale he Had deem'd our sages' theories and laws, Fictitious, though sublime, like songs of Bayley : Yet he was always making out the cause ! And when his face I saw, I thought 'twas Paley; But he abhor'd a Lock(e), or I'm mistaken, Near any library that held his Bacon ! 'Tis true, he thought but little of philosophy ; Piscivorous was his craving, and he sought (I do not mean to offer an apology) Where he might batten on a feast unbought : Perhaps he then was studying conchology, And oyster-eating was a help,-he thought; But this I know, he had not vow'd in cloisters To lead a life austere, eschewing oysters. Oh, it would cheer the cockles of his heart, And set the muscles of his jaws in motion, To see as many as might fill a cart Of those delicious denizens of ocean! When once set down, he knew not to depart, Nor had he of repletion the least notion, Devouring all he saw,—'twas really cruel, But oysters to his appetite were fuel. Yes, oysters ever were his fav’rite fare, Of which for lunch, 'tis doubtful, if a dollar a Sufficiency could purchase for this spare, Gaunt epicure, whose stomach so intolera. Ble would demand a barrel for his share, And stuff in stern defiance of the cholera ! His thoughts were constantly, and eke his wishes, Just like a statesman's, on the loaves and fishes ! Rejoice, testaceous tremblers ! ope your lips, And show the shining pearls that lie between; Whose snowy lustre can so far eclipse The dental masticators of a queen: No more your foe shall take his coastwise trips, With maw insatiate,- yet with looks so lean,To banquet on six bushels, for a meal, At Hythe or Dover, -where he ate a Deal ! I've often grieved to think how many fears Disturb'd your oozy rest beneath the waters, Which rose, like spring-tides, with your briny tears, Anticipating Dando's daily slaughters : But hush your apprehensions, little dears ! The gourmand's gone,—with stomach like an otter's, So (of his yarn since Atropos the threads Hath cut) you may sleep easy on your beds !
• Query-Murphy's Plays, or Murphics, alias potatoes.
THE PRESENT STATE OF IRELAND.
Before this article reaches our readers, the result of nearly all the Irish elections will have been known, and conjecture as to the effective strength of the various parties will therefore have been superseded by certainty. A short statement, however, of the nature, objects, and means of those parties will not be useless. While it forms a necessary preparation for any future observations on Ireland, it will have its value even for the past. The ground occupied by the contending armies during the elections will be understood, and many perplexities and apparent contradictions will be cleared up, as soon as the position of each is delineated.
There are at present in Ireland three great parties—the Conserva. tive-Orange ; the Government, or Juste Milieu ; and the People. The object of the first, however absurd it may appear, is the recovery of their ancient ascendency. For this they sometimes praise, and for this they always oppose the Government. According as they perceive the Government incline towards themselves, or, staggered by the weight of public opinion, adopt a more rational and honourable policy, their organs flatter or denounce it. When the Yeomanry were armed, when the tithe war commenced, when a county was placed under the Peace Preservation Act, as it is wittily termed, they were soothed into a sort of sullen approval ; but when any symptoms of deference to general opinion appear, when any attempt is made to heal ancient party divisions, they stun Heaven with clamour, and pour every sort of abuse upon the devoted heads of the Ministers. It is not, however, to be imagined, that in their most cordial moods of gratitude they would not dash out the brains of the present government. On the contrary, their hatred knows no ebb. Instinct tells them that a Whig government must often bow to the declared sense of the nation, and that the very support they receive from it is in the teeth of all its principles and professions for the last fifty years. While, therefore, they accept favours from it, all their force, either secretly or openly, is directed to its overthrow. Reform never can be forgiven ; but the very announcement of a real revision of the Church Establishment has driven them nearly frantic. “ War to the knife,” is their motto at present,-“ Overthrow the government at all hazards, -the Tories must come in, and then farewell reform,” expresses the sole object of the Conservative (lub at Tims's. This party has been shaken, first, by the slight absurdity (for the conviction is gradually making way) of expecting that Protestant Ascendency can be restored by any government, that the Catholics can be stripped of property, of education, and the elective franchise, all of which, the very notion of ascendency, implies: and, secondly, by the advancing distress amidst the lower and middling classes of Orangemen, which is driving them into the ranks of repeal, slowly indeed in the country, but in a more decided manner in the towns.
The Government party, besides those who in all countries lick the hand that dispenses for the time being the public money, includes those who are opposed to Repeal ; some from conscientious motives, no donbt ; some because they fear the name of agitator, and therefore require, that before they join Repeal, the country should be so completely beyond recovery, that the most timid would acknowledge it was time to attempt a cure; but the majority, because they are already so rich, that no increase of general prosperity could be expected to add anything to their
personal comforts or gratifications, “ Let well alone,” is their principle. * The country is happy,” “ its exports increasing,” and if there be distress, it is only the the unavoidable inequality of condition ; some must be poor ; the misery of the lower classes is part of the scheme of Provi. dence. “ The looped and windowed raggedness” of the tradesman, to the philosophical eye, gives the pleasure of contrast to the surface of society, and by its simplicity relieves the glare and gorgeousness of opulence. Without misery, charity could not exist. The finest feelings of the heart would be dead or paralyzed for want of practice. Moreover, if you make the lower orders content with their situation, they become turbulent at once. If they can earn a sufficient livelihood by their daily labour, they give the night to plans of insurrection and Whiteboyism. Distress preserves the national dependence of society. With low wages incendiarism disappears, and a seditious spirit varies directly as the comfort of a people. A man whose belly is full fears nothing; put him in danger of starving, and there is one great element of terror. Juvenal held, that a man has no fancy for horrors while he is “ thunderstruck" about getting a dinner or a blanket. The lower orders, after a year of good wages, are ripe for anything.
This party, about two years since, issued a manifesto against Repeal, and (certainly with much prudence) at the same time declared, that prompt measures for the relief of Ireland were necessary; that, in short, there must be a total change of system ; meaning, it is to be presumed, that the old detestable scheme of division and force must be abandoned, and that Government must be conducted in accordance with the interests and feelings of the community. Let us very briefly examine how far the Whigs have followed the advice of this great body of their supporters. Let us review their measures and see what they have done to heal divisions, how have they advanced the prosperity, or consulted the feelings of the people.
They revived the Orange yeomanry, and told them they were revived for their exclusive loyalty. They put arms into the hands of 30,000 men, naturally violent, but then exasperated by what they considered as defeat, and told them they did so in order to coerce the people. They appointed a known, open, avowed Conservative as their Attorney General ; a man, whom the Duke of Wellington, if he had ousted Lord Grey, would have cheerfully retained -a man whom the Conservative press, while it denounced and opposed reform in all modes, loaded with praise ; and they have made him run a career of Special Commissions, of prosecutions of the press, of tithe arrests, and attachments and prosecutions, 'unexampled in the same duration of Tory power, and which has thrown the country into the terrible ferment we see, from one end of it to the other. What has been the consequence of this policy ? -Read it in the Conservative Club at Tims's—in the struggles for Protestant Ascendency-in the strenuous efforts to overthrow the government in the elections—in the L.2000 subscribed to throw the Irish Solicitor General, and Lord Grey's relation, Mr. Ponsonby, out of Dublin College ;-read it, in short, in the deadly hostility of the Conservatives to that Government which has provoked their passions without the means of gratifying them, and tantalized them with the prospect of enjoyment, while reform has rendered it impossible.
Pass over the conduct of the Whigs upon Repeal ; grant that, circumstanced as Ireland is, irritable, suspicious, perhaps ferocious, from a continued system of coercion, violent measures were the fittest to check