pride nor improvidence of man can destroy. The children of the poor sleep as sound and are as merry, probably, as the children of the rich. And perhaps, after all, these splendid equipages that are passing on every side, bear as many heavy and aching hearts, as lean against the steps and balustrades by the wayside. Everything is done here to get money. For instance, the scene in the street before the windows of my hotel, last evening, presented the two following specimens. First, a man with a hand organ struck up, and a woman and child, (his wife and daughter probably) after carefully laying down their bonnets and shawls, commenced dancing in the street, and after a variety of evolutions, they went around to the spectators to collect as many pence as they could. Next came a man with a flute, and a child apparently four or five years old was set to dancing upon stilts five feet high. SUNDAY, P. M. This afternoon I have heard the finest church music by far, that I ever listened to ; and the only performers were a man and two boys, It was at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The organ is the richest I ever heard. As to the ages of the children, the one of them might be ten, and the other twelve or thirteen years old. Their voices were so completely formed that I supposed, for some

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


time, that women were singing, and at the same
time peculiarly soft, with none of that shrillness
which is apt to be the fault in a woman's voice. .
The man's voice was a perfect organ. Amid
the deepest notes of the organ, I heard it as dis-
tinctly as the diapason itself. The greatest ease
characterized the whole performance, as it always
does the highest music. The sermon was very
well; the reading execrably bad. The prayers
were sung forth in a kind of recitative tone pecu-
liar to the cathedral worship of the church of
England; for it falls short in the tone of song
of that which is used in the Jewish and Romish
rituals. The service held as it was in this ancient
building, beneath high Gothic arches, surrounded
by ancient marble tombs and statues, by galleries
of every fashion, and carved work curious and
antique, with banners over head, and helmets and
swords hung on the walls—the service, I say, in
such circumstances, seemed as if it ought to be held
by no common people—but by the high born and
high bred—by renowned knights, or heroes going
forth to battle for their country.
After attending upon the service at the Cathe-
dral, I passed the evening with Mrs. Hemans.
The conversation naturally turned upon the scene

I had just left, and her part in it was sustained with

the utmost poetical enthusiasm. She spoke of the
various accompaniments of the service, and when
she came to the banners, she said, “they seemed
to wave as the music of the anthem rose to the
lofty arches.” I ventured here to throw in a little
dash of prose—saying that I was afraid that they
did not wave; that I wished they might, and looked
up to see if they did, but could not see it. “No."
she replied with vivacity, “wave is not the word—
but they thrilled—I am sure of that.” And that, it
is very likely, something short of “the vision divine”
might see. Such vision, however, this lady un-
doubtedly possesses. She has the genuine afflatus,
and those who think its breathings too measured
and monotonous, do not consider or read her poet.
ry in the right way. There is nothing dramatic
or epic in her best poetry; it is essentially lyrical.
And those who attempt to read it by the volume,
as much mistake, as if they should undertake to
read a book of hymns, or the Psalms of David in
that way. In her own chosen walk, Mrs. Hemans
has few competitors in Britain, and no equal; and
so long as solemn cathedrals, and ancestral halls,
and lowly homes remain in England, her song
will not die away.
July 8. I have experienced to-day my first
travellers' vexation.. I had fallen in with a couple

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


of travellers in Wales, and we had agreed to go in
company to the Giants' Causeway. We had taken
our passage to Belfast, for this morning, and when
the coach drove up to the door of our hotel, it was
so overloaded that we would not go in it. It was
amusing to see the national characteristics of my
companions on this occasion. The Englishman
was all pride, and wrath, and decision. “I will not
go in this coach!” was his reply to the apologetic
coachman—“and I will be sent on 1 or I will apply
to a magistrate and see if there is any law in Ire-
land.” The Frenchman appeared not a little like a
subject under a galvanic battery; he shook his fist,
and his elbows twitched, and he stammered and
stuttered—saying I know not what—for I was too
much amused with the muscular contractions, to
take notice of anything else. The American—
widelicit myself—was very calm on the occasion,
and this calmness is said to be our national trait of
manner. I understand this last observation, how-
ever, to apply only to the case of an affray or
To BELFAST, JULY 9. The most remarkable
town on this route is Drogheda, with a population
of 25,000, and yet looking like a population of
mendicants; scarcely a well-dressed man or woman
in the thronged streets; but decrepitude, disease,
beggary, rags, presenting themselves everywhere
in frightful masses. It is almost entirely a city of
mud-walled cottages, and thatched roofs; and al-
together a spectacle, so entirely unlike anything I
ever witnessed before, or shall probably ever wit.
ness again, that I would not have failed to come
and see it. Drogheda is a walled town, standing
on the river Boyne, and known in history as sur-
rendering to William III. after the battle of Boyne,
The battle was fought near this town; an obelisk,
which we saw at a distance, marks the spot.
William's conquest is celebrated on the twelfth of
this month, by processions of the Protestants, which,
being held in dislike by the Catholics, often occa-
sion quarrels—on which account, troops are at this
time ordered into the north, and we passed a regi-
ment of them to-day. Indeed, these “grievances
red-dressed” of Ireland appear everywhere in all
the cities and villages.
We have passed hundreds of Irish cottages to-
day; but what pen shall describe them, that does
not literally bespatter the page with mire and dirt!
mud and thatch, with little light—nasty as pig.
styes—ragged women and children about the door,
and often the men lying down by their hovels, in
laziness, filth, and rags—a horribly vile puddle

[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »