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SPECIMEN OF AN UNPUBLISHED METRICAL ROMANCE,
"Twas prime of noon, and Branston's lord,
Gay spring budded on field and tree, the bloom was on the flower,
TAIT'S COMMONPLACE BOOK. VTT
ST. STEPHEN'S AND “ The Fancy.”_" John Gully, Esq. of Ackworth Park, ex-pugilist, and fisty-cuff champion of all England, is about to represent the ancient and loyal borough of Pontefract in the reformed Parliament! There is nothing like fighting one's way through the world after all. It is hard to tell on what subject Jack is ambitious to legislate, or what odds he would give or take on his race as a senator. They say that as an orator he is quite a “ fancy” man; though prone to argue in a circle, his remarks are of the most striking description, and generally smashers. John is a horrid Radical; and the Conservatives consider his election to be one of the severest blows the Constitution ever received.
MERCY OF THE LONDON POLICE!-A piece of humbug is running the round of the papers, about the respite of a ruffian named Sution, condemned to death for a brutal assault upon one of the new police, at whose merciful intercession (backed by a declaration that the commutation of the sentence would be “ agreeable to the feelings of the whole body!!") his life is to be spared. This is a sorry trick to make palatable to the Cockneys, the new police force, which is in terrible mauvaise odeur. A schoolboy could see through the clumsy device, and it will fail. The police will take nothing for their generosity, and a desperado is spared to society whom society would be mightily pleased to spare. Who was the deep dog that originated this transparent manœuvre?
CORPORATE MEATINGS.-We are told by one of the Sunday prints that “ the Corporation of London had a meating last week !” “ Whether this felicitous mis. print was accidental, or designed by some chuckling wag of a compositor, it is difficult to decide ; inferring analogically from past events, however, by which Meele ings invariably terminate in MEATINGS, we are disposed strongly to recommend the new orthography for especial adoption by the Corporation of London, as indicative of the two-fold purpose uniformly implied by their summonses of convocation.
COURT CIRCULARS.-The greater part of the paragraphs which the newspapers quote from the “ Court Circular," are often a disgrace to their columns, their rea. ders, and the very age we live in. For what object (reason is out of the question) they are concocted by the parties or personages whose names figure away therein, it is impossible to conceive : it cannot be to “keep thein before the public," because the drivelling sickening absurdity of the announcements would heap such a mass of shame upon them, as the warmest aspirant after notoriety would hardly find it his ambition to covet. At the expense of a little contempt, we might forgive the impertinence which informs us that “the Right Honourable Fum Fitz-fusbos visited the Admiralty yesterday," on the score of the hollow empty-headed vanity, which it is Fum's pleasure to display before a gaping nation ; but why Royalty should be so over-fond of pa rading their titles and their deeds to the lazy loyalty of this most thinking people, is indeed a marvel, Who, for instance, cares to be told that “in consequence of the rain and wind which blew from the N.E. yesterday noon, the Princess Augusta was prevented taking her usual promenade," or that “ Prince George of Cumberland, attended by his tutor, the Rev. Mr. Jelf, visited the Park on Thursday, and blew his royal nose with considerable energy?" It is useless to multiply quotations ; we heartily wish the absurdity done away-it brings into contempt the names of persons which better grace an honourable privacy, and it answers no purpose but to raise one's bile.
TAE SIEGE OF ANTWERP.-_Never, surely, has war been accompanied by more of odium, folly, and wickedness, than that bloody farce which is now being acted. before Antwerp. It makes the flesh crecp to think upon that murderous, monstrous, extravagant absurdity. Hundreds of lives have already been lost, and hogsheads of human blood are still destined to flow for one of the most abominable follies, surely, that the historian ever had to record. It is not for the possession of a city that the struggle is made,-that is gained; it is not for the chances of mastery that the Citadel is attacked,-none exist; the particular object is sure to be obtained, and by a given
time. The two generals write notes to one another, determining the points of attack and resistance in the most courteous imaginable manner, devising schemes for the least possible loss of life, and destruction to the habitations; and conveying, like gentlemen well bred and punctilious, the assurance of the high consideration with which each has the honour to be the mortal enemy of the other. The letter bearers who deliver their packages, are escorted back with the answer-and, pop! hoth go to work again like Trojans good and true. And the result of all this murder is as well and confidently known to both, to their countries, government, and to the surrounding states, as though it had actually taken place; and yet it is al. lowed, and honour, and valour, and loyalty, and chivalry, is breathed about as flippantly as if it was the holiest contest that ever engaged the anger of the oppressed. Detestable as is the very name of war, the thing might perhaps be tolerated if there were a chance, a possibility, however remote, of ultimate, effectual resistance; but here is none, literally, positively, undeniably, none; and yet men consent to be bat. tered down to death for the pleasure (!) of the King! This cold blooded butchery, this slaughterous waste of life, for the obstinacy of one man, is enough to make one blush for his very natute.
WANTS AND CAPABILITIES.-We are never so much tempted to moralize as after a perusal of the advertising columns of the Times. There is not one want “ which frail humanity is heir to," that has not as its counterpart a power of assanging its smart existing in the person of some other human being. The mise chief is, that even the bland whispers of the Brobdignaggian go-between we have named, do not always succeed in making patient and physician aware of each other's existence. There is something intensely pathetic in many of the sighs which exhale from the damp surface of that broadsheet. What hope can be held out to a “re. spectable young woman without followers?" who is so unreasonable as to desire a si. tuation “as nursery-maid where there is no infant ?" Or, to a “ respectable strong youth," who will only be satisfied with the office of " light porter ?" Both must pine unheeded, unless they agree to meet and sigh to each other. They are, indeed, “two for a pair.” The following we are inclined to think rather suspicious :-“ A lady of 30 years of age is desirous of meeting with a situation as useful companion. She is naturally cheerful, and to an invalid, flatters herself she would be an acquisition." Dear creature! who could find in his heart to shut the door in her face? We fear, however, she has no chance against the experience of a widow. “ Wanted, by a re. spectable widow, age about 36, and free from every incumbrance, a situation to su. perintend the concerns of a widower. To one who has a family, she flatters herself she would be an acquisition," &c. Who doubts it? We will back the widow for a rump and dozen they are man and wife in a month. These widows! Here is another:-“ A widow lady, of most respectable connexions, wishes for a situation to manage the domestic establishment of a widower or single gentleman. She feels con. fident of giving satisfaction." This is plain enough ; but there is another still plainer. The noose matrimonial dangles in every sentence.“ A widow, respectably connected, wishes a situation as housekeeper to a single gentleman or widower. She flatters herself she would be found an acquisition, as she is competent, and would not object, to superintend the education of the younger branches of his family." What not of the “ single gentleman's ?" Oh, fie!
Post UMOUS GARRULITY.-We remember to have read, in some gossiping anecdotic work,-Walpole, Wraxall, or St. Simon,-of the lying in state of a French Princess, arrayed, according to the prevailing custom of the times, in full court dress, long white gloves, &c. &c. ; in the course of which lugubrious ceremonial, the royal corpse was observed from time to time to lift up its dead hand, and blow its dead nose. It appears that her Royal Highness having died of an imposthume in the head, it was found indispensable that a lady of the bedchamber should conceal herself behind the body, and enable it to minister to this mortal necessity. The crowd ad. mitted to view the funeral pageant, ignorant of this arrangement, were, however, naturally surprised at the posthumous activity of the Princess ; just as many of Byron's friends (acquainted with his taciturnity on certain subjects, and his contempt of blues and precieuses) are amazed at the streams of loquacity now pouring forth under his name. They do not give sufficient credit to the activity of the lady of the bedchan. ber concealed behind the illustrious dead!
ULTIMUS ROMANORUM. The star of the ascendant of departed Majesty, the real Georgium Sidus, has set for ever. Stultz, the immortal Stultz! the Hungary tailor, as he was baptized by Brummel,--the Baron von Göthenberg, as he was heraldized by the Emperor,-STULTZ is no more! He who led a pattern life, whose measures were unimpugnable, whose operations were at once fitting and becoming, has fallen beneath the shears of destiny. Scarcely an ornament of the Georgian era now survives, and the Baron von Stultz may be regarded as the “ Last Man" of the world of Carlton House. It would be scandalous to pass over his death in silence, who, during his lifetime, received all but divine honours. The Roman Emperor made a Consul of his horse : it was reserved for an Austrian one to ennoble a tailor!
GREAT MEN.-“ A great man,” says Montesquieu, in his Lettres Persannes, “is one who sees the King, is familiar with ministers, has ancestors and debts, a pension or a place. If, in addition to all this, he can manage to conceal his inertness by an officious air, and his ennui by affected gaiety, he is a lucky man as well as a great one.” This description is intended to depict the Parisian nobleman of 1718!
LITERARY SENATORS.--Il faut opter !-We have long been of opinion that the career of the literary man, and the career of the politician, are parallel, and inca. pable of junction ; and accordingly reverence the firmness and candour with which the great Irish lyrist has rejected the mantle thrust upon him by his worshippers. Many great statesmen, it is true, have written books ;-but it is not by their books they are remembered; nor can we recall an instance of any voluminous author having made a figure in Parliament. The bloom of his spirit is shed elsewhere; and though Prior was a diplomatist, Addison, a Secretary of State, Waller and Steele, Senators, we do not conceive that the country was ever much the better for their political labours. There is an essential distinction of faculty between the minds of our men of letters and our Conscript Fathers; many qualities indispensable to a legislator, are unavailing to the calm, contemplative, deliberative, plodding, primming, correcting, polishing man of type and printer's ink. The first object with an author, who has generated a brilliant or original idea, is to wrap the bantling in the choicest robes, adorn it with a coral and bells, and parade it about for the admiration of the world. The first point to a politician who conceives a new opinion, is, on the contrary, to divest it of all flaunting drapery, strip it naked, and examine it with jea. lous scrutiny ; lest, under the deceptious garb of Mentor, he should admit some artful goddess into his confidence. A man who has once coquetted with the favour of the public upon hot-pressed paper, seldom surmounts the fever fit of vanity occasioned by the excitement; and even in the gravest debate, the notion of himself, the notion of the sufferings he has to conciliate, of the press, the clubs, the coteries, the universe,_clips his wings, qualifies his opinions, and perplexes his better judgment. So great is he in his own conceit, that the shadow of himself eclipses the subject before him. A great legislator never thinks of himself. If he attempts to produce a strong sensation in the house, it is for the sake of his country, for the triumph of the cause to which he has bound himself. Like the Brahmins who conceal themselves under the car of Juggernaut to roll forward the stupendous machine, they are careful to remain out of sight, that the triumph of the deity they serve, may be all in all. Your author, on the contrary, arrays himself in the embroidered raiment of the Ca. tholic priest, and by fantastic genutlexions and incense-offerings, renders himself as ostensible as possible. This authorship is always uppermost in his mind; and he is anxious to reflect upon his books, the distinction of his parliamentary triumphs, rather than impressed with a becoming sense of the mighty, enduring, and most responsible trust delegated to his guardianship. Instead of exclaiming with the Moor,
" It is the cause it is the cause, my soul!" he gmiles, like Maltolio, in the fondness of his self-conceit.
THE RADICALS.-“ Free and fair discussion of every tenet of political faith, how. ever bold or speculative, characterizes the Press at the present eventful period. Proscriptions, gags, and other instruments of intimidation, we must now class with the things which were with the burning of witches or the “ divine right" of Monarchs. The force of public opinion may be said, in the first instance, to bring about events; but it is evident that the latter again work upon public opinion, giving it consistency, aud strength, and boldness. In these latter days, the Radicals, formerly an insigni. ficant and isolated body, have taken a bold and prominent place in the ranks of political sectarians. Their numbers have increased to an extraordinary extent ; and, of course, their weight and importance has been proportionably augmented. If they do not surpass the Whigs or Tories in wealth and talent, we are inclined to concede No. X. --VOL. II.
that they do so in the multitude of miscellaneous recruits who will be found to liare lately mounted their facings and insignia. The name by which they are distinguished, from being one of reproach, has become respected ; and we now generally associate with it something like moral daring and political courage. Ten or twelve years ago, if a Radical were spoken of in genteel society, a feeling of horror, com. bined with pity and commiseration, immediately seized upon the minds of the company; while fancy shadowed forth, as a fair specimen of the body, some squalid Paisley weaver, whom sharp misery had worn to the bones_his desperate hand armed with a sithe or pike, and haply entrenched behind a “dry stane dyke" await. ing the attack of Mr. 's dragoons. Look upon that picture, and then upon this-where, in the foreground, you will see Mr. Attwood addressing a multitude of respectable well-dressed tradesmen, who occupy a measureless perspective before him. Such is the change which a few years have produced. They are now a mighty and a resolute body, destined for great good-or evil."-Caledonian Mercury.
For good, we have no doubt. The grand principle of the Radical or Independent Reformers is, “ The greatest happiness of the greatest number.” How can such a principle, steadily kept in view, lead to any thing but good ?
Let us consider who the champions of Radical Reform are. Whose political writings have most completely developed the true principle of social order? Those of the father of Radicalism, the illustrious Bentham. What great writer of the present day is most distinguished for high moral and political principle? The Editor of the Eraminer,-a gifted apostle of Radicalism. Who, among the patriots of the day, has laboured with most zeal and success, in the arena of Parliament, for the true interests of his country? Joseph Hume, another apostle of Radicalism. Who will say that these men and their disciples work for evil? The Quarterly Reriert, with a felicity of idea worthy of Castlereagh, who talked of men turning their backs upon themselves, declares that it is necessary to protect the people from themselves. Bnt the Quarterly may rest satisfied that the Radical Reformers, that is the people, will not act contrary to their own interests. There have been many instances of the people not understanding their real interests, or being wholly neglectful of them; but there are no instances of their rulers acting better for them than they would do for themselves. The population of a few towns or districts may, for a short time, lend too willing an ear to local teachers of a false doctrine ; but small harm can result from such a cause. In the first place, the people of those places will not receive a merely specious but deceptive doctrine from any but men whom they believe to be honest in their intentions towards all ranks, as well as zealous for the people's interest. To say that any large class of the people would listen to any thing which they perceive to be unjust, is a gross calumny. 2dly, Besides its being neces. sary, that the false doctrine, to delude any, should come from a man believed to be honest, and should have the appearance, to the minds of the people, of being just; if it is to endure for any length of time even in its own district, it must be able to stand the attack of the press, the pulpit, and all the intelligence of the place, the discussions of public assemblies, meetings of the different parishes, of the several crafts; and also, that continual discussion in private circles, which every doctrine of importance is sure to receive before being generally received by the population of a town or district. Lastly, the false doctrine has to encounter the attack of all the intelligence of the other towns or districts, and must overcome it all, ere the error can be so extensively received as to be productive of danger. This last security can scarcely be supposed to fail, in a country where brutal ignorance does not prevail. Of the safety of the great body of our working population from false doctrines, we feel perfectly assured, even at present; and when the taxes on know. ledge shall be removed, it will be impossible for false doctrines, either to spread abroad to other districts, or to maintain their existence in those places where they have arisen. In our present state of comparative darkness, what harm has Mr. Attwood's currency doctrines done ? Only a part of the population of Birming. ham has been for a time led to believe in them, as coming from so worthy a man; while everywhere else these doctrines have been exposed, and fallen harmless. Instead of support from other Unions, the Birmingham Union has, in this instance, met with nothing but ridicule. Cobbett's Equitable Adjustment has had a little better reception, because it is a much better way of doing the same thing. But there is not one town in Scotland, and we doubt if there are three in England, where the Equitable Adjustment would be carried by the votes of the working classes. Through out the whole country the scheme would be scouted as it deserves, were there any thought of its being carried into effect. Cobbett's attacks on sinecures, pensions, &c. were most effective during his late progress through Scotland, while his argu