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This child, who was never allowed to read | has wove ; Henry culld the flow'reť: bloom ; 0, thou or hear a story of distress, might he, by no wert born to please me ; Here's a health to all good possible accident, have heard sung, only touch the warbling lyre; No, 'twas neither shape
lasses ; Youth's the season made for joys ; Gently once perhaps, and therefore with the more nor feature ; Pray, Goody,please to moderate ; Hope wondering attentiveness :
told a flattering tale, and a hundred others, were "Old woman, old woman, oh whither so bigh? burlesque or buffo song, of any pretension, was
all foreign compositions, chiefly Italian. Every To sweep the cobwebs ont of the sky: And I shall be back again by-and-by?"
pretty sure to be Italian.
“When Edwin, Fawcett, and others, were ratThe disposition to associate ideas varies in tling away in the happy comic songs of O'Keefe,
with his triple rhymes and illustrative jargon, the different temperaments. With children who audience little suspected that they were listening associate strongly and rapidly, the slightest to some of the finest animal spirits of the southcircumstances prevail and the merést accident to Piccini, Paesiello, and Cimarosa. Even the is liable to counteract the closest attention wild Irishman thought himself bound to go to and care. Secret associations
Naples, before he could get a proper dance for his govern
gayety. The only genuine English compositions children, of the very existence of which their worth anything at that time, were almost confined parents have no suspicion,
to Shield, Dibdin, and Storace, the last of whom, Proceeding farther in Mr. Hunt's book, the author of Lullaby, who was an Italian born in since writing the above, we find the confir- of the two countries
, the only one, perhaps, in
England, formed the golden link between the music mation of our suggestions in the following:- which English accentuation and Italian flow were
ever truly amalgamated; though I must own that “Shelley delighted to play with children, par. I am heretic enough (if present fashion is orthodoxy) tieularly my eldest boy; the seriousness of whose to believe, that Arne was a real musical genius, of imagination and his susceptibility of a 'grim' im- a very pure, albeit not of the very first water. He pression (a favorite epithet of Shelley's) highly
, has set, indeed, two songs of Shakspeare's (the interested him. He would play at frightful Cuckoo song, and where the bee sucks) in a spirit creatures' with him, from which the other would of perfect analogy to the words, as well as of the snatch a fearful joy,' only begging him ‘not to do liveliest musical invention; and his air of Water the horn,' which was a way Shelley had of screw- parted, in 'Artaxerxes,' winds about the feelings ing up his hair in front, to imitate a weapon of that with an earnest and graceful tenderness of regret, sort."
worthy in the highest degree of the affecting Hunt's mother was fond of music and “a beauty of the sentiment. gentle singer.” Her son looks back with a was of one cast.”
“ All the favorite poetry of the day, however, pleased and affectionate recollection of the songs of that day, of which, as well as in the Hunt's recollection of "Encompassed in pastoral poetry of the time, “the feeling was an angel's frame," " Fresh and strong the true though the expression was somewhat breeze is blowing,” and “Alone by the sophisticate.” Hooke, Boyce, Dibdin, Jack- light of the moon,” recalls the days when son, Shield and Storace were the fashionabl our own childhood was delighted by the composers, and the songs most in vogue same; and we should have stood well pleased were the “ Lass of Richmond Hill,” “ 'Twas by his side at the music-stall where, dragging within a mile of Edinborough Town," "Ah, these long-lost favorites to light, he was dearest Henry,” &c. Many of these, which carried back in pleasant abstraction to when, have been, and we believe are still, looked a “smooth-faced boy,” he sung them at his upon as purely English, were borrowed, our mother's knee. author thinks, from the Italian.
In reference to the song of “ Dans votre
lit,” the favorite of his sister, because, in her “I have often, in the course of my life, heard Whither, my love? and For tenderness formed, ignorance of the French language, she boasted of as specimens of English melody. For associated with the last word the name of her many years I took them for such myself, in com- brother, he
says :mon with the rest of our family, with whom they were great favorites. The first, which Stephen “The song was a somewhat gallant, but very Strace adapted to some words in the Haunted decorous song, apostrophizing a lady as a lily in Tower,' is the air of La Rachelina in Paesiello's the flower-bed. It was 'silly, sooth,' and 'dalopera, * La Molinara.' The second, which was put lied with the innocence of love,' in those days, by General Burgoyne to a song in his comedy of after a fashion which might have excited livelier the 'Heiress,' is To sono Lindoro, in the same en- ideas in the more restricted imaginations of the chanting composer’s ‘Barbiere di Seviglia' The present. The reader has seen, that my mother, opce popular English songs and duets, &c., Hov notwithstanding her charitableness to the poor import is expression; For me, my fair a wreath | maid-servant, was a woman of strict morals; the
tone of the family conversation was scrupulously correct, though, perhaps, a little flowery and Salt. He was a worthy man, and might
The name of the morning reader was Thom on-like, (Thomson was our favorite poet;) Set the songs that were sung at that time by have been a clever one, but he had it all to the most fastidious, might be thought a shade himself. He spoke in his throat, and was freer than would suit the like kind of society at famous for saying “murracles," instead of present. Whether we are more innocent in hav
“miracles." ing become more ashamed, I shall not judge. Assuredly, the singer of those songs was as innocent as the mother that bade him sing them.”
“Our usual evening preacher was Mr. Sandiford,
who had the reputation of learning and piety. It Among Hunt's earliest memories is that was of no use to us, except to make us associate of having seen, at different times in his boy- inaudible hum-drum.
the ideas of learning and piety in the pulpit with
Mr. Sandiford's voice was hood, Wilkes, Pitt, and Fox. He describes hollow and low; and he had a habit of dipthe former in a flap-waistcoated suit of ping up and down over his book, like a chicken scarlet and gold, and Mr. Pitt, some years drinking Mr. Salt was eminent for a single word. later, in a blue coat, buckskin breeches and Mr. Sandiford surpassed him, for he had two boots, and a round hat, with powder and variety in them. One was the dispensation of
audible phrases. There was, it is true, no great pig-tail
. “ He was thin and gaunt, with Moses; the other, (with a due interval of hum,) his hat off his forehead and his nose in the the Mosaic dispensation. These he used to air.” “I saw him again,” he says, “in the repeat so often, that in our caricatures of him House of Commons, sawing the air and they sufficed for an entire portrait. The reader occasionally turning to appeal to those about Church, Newgate street,) with six hundred boys, him, while he spoke in a loud, important, seated like charity-children up in the air, on each and hollow voice." When the persons he side of the organ, Mr. Sandiford humming in the appealed to said, “Hear! hear!” Hunt valley, and a few maid-servants who formed his thought they said, Dear! dear! in objection, sleep. We were not allowed to read. The great
afternoon congregation. We did not dare to go to and wondered that Pitt did not appear dis- boys used to get those that sat behind them to concerted. Later still he saw Mr. Fox, "fat play with their hair. Some whispered to their and jovial , though he was then declining neighbors
, and the others thought of their lessons He who had been a ' beau' in his youth, then have been good listeners, and most of us attentive
and tops. I can safely say, that many of us would looked something Quaker-like as to dress, ones, if the clergyman could have been heard. As with plain-colored clothes, a broad-round hat, it was, I talked as well as the rest, or thought of white waistcoat, and white stockings." my exercise. Sometimes we could not help joking Christ's Hospital, at which Leigh Hunt was and laughing over our weariness; and then the
fear was lest the steward had seen us. It was educated, is said to have sent out, toward the part of the business of the steward to preside over close of the last century and the beginning the boys in church time. He sat aloof
, in a place of the present, more living writers in its pro- where he could view the whole of his flock. There portion than any other English school was a ludicrous kind of revenge we had of him, among them were Charles Lamb and Cole- whenever a particular part of the Bible was read. ridge. Christ's Hospital, which in the time The boys waited anxiously till the passage com
This was the parable of the Unjust Steward. of Henry the Eighth was a monastery of menced; and then, as if by a general conspiracy, Franciscan friars, had its revenues assigned at the words thou unjust steward, the whole by Edward the Sixth, at the instigation of school turned their eyes upon this unfortunate offiRidley, to the maintenance and education of cer, who sat
"Like Teneriffe or Atlas unremoved.' a certain number of orphan boys, born of citizens of London. It has since been ex- We persuaded ourselves, that the more unconscious
he looked, the more he was acting.” tended, so that boys from all ranks are now admitted; and it is considered as a medium
Of Bowyer, the head master, well known between the patrician pretension of such through Coleridge and Lamb, Hunt gives a schools as Eton and Westminster, and the ludicrous description, and some very remarkplebeian submission of the charity schools. able anecdotes. We have room for only Of the religious education at this institution, two. The first relates to a boy towards Mr. Hunt thinks the effect produced was whom the master had a peculiar dislike :not what was intended. The persons who
“One day he comes into the school, and finds him were in the habit of preaching might as well
placed in the middle of it with three other boys. have hummed a tune, for they inspired He was not in one of his worst humors, and did nothing in the boys but mimicry.
not seem inclined to punish them, till he saw)
antagonist. 'Oh, oh! sir,' said he; 'what, you that he was oblivious of classical associaare among them, are you?' and gave him an ex- tions, and quite forgot to wander amid the of the Grecians, and said, 'I have not time to flog haunts of Addison and Warton in Oxford, all these boys: make them draw lots, and ri or those of Gray, Spenser, and Milton, in punish one.' The lots were drawn, and C —'s Cambridge. In relation to these Universiwas favorable. 'Oh, oh! returned the master, ties, he remarks that England's two greatest when he saw them, you have escaped, have you, philosophers, Bacon and Newton, were bred sir?' and pulling out his watch, and turning
summe at Cambridge, and three out of her four to punish the whole three; 'and, sir," added he great poets; while Oxford, not always know
with another slap, Ill begin with ing " the goods the gods provided, repudiyou. He then took the boy into the library and ated Locke, alienated Gibbon, and had face to say, with an air of indifference"I have nothing but angry sullenness and hard ex'not time, after all, to punish these two other boys." pulsion to answer to the inquiries which its
very ordinances encouraged in the sincere The other was the case of an unfortunate and loving spirit of Shelley." lad who could not be broken of a habit of Praised everywhere as a young Roscius drawling his words and neglecting his stops in poetry, the vanity of our youth in his in reading. He was to read on the occa- teens is not to be wondered at; but he met sion named, in a book called “ Dialogue be with some mortifications which were wholetween a Missionary and an Indian.” some and served to steady his brain for a
time. Taken by his father to visit Dr. . Master. Now, young man, have a care, or I Raine, master of the Charter House, this will set you a swinging task.' (A common phrase gentleman had the candor, instead of laudof his.)
“Pupil. (Making a sort of heavy bolt at his ing the genius of the youthful aspirant, to calamity, and never remembering his stop at the warn him against the perils of authorship, word Missionary.) Missionary Can you see the and added that “the shelves were full.” It wind ?
was not till he came away, unluckily, that “(Master gives him a slap on the cheek.) Hunt thought of the answer, “ Then, sir, we
Pupil. (Raising his voice to a cry, and still will make another," which he imagined forgetting his stop.) • Indian No! Master. * God's-my-life, young man! have a
would have annihilated the Doctor. The care how you provoke me.'
mortification of having let slip the chance Pupil. (Always forgetting the stop.). Mis- of such a repartee was, however, solaced sionary How then do you know that there is such soon after, when receiving a message from a thing ! (Here a terrible thump)
his grandfather that if he would come to Pupil. (With a shout of agony.)
· Indian Philadelphia he would make a man of him, Because I feel it,'"
he had the felicity to send word in reply,
that “men grew in England as well as in Immediately after leaving school, Hunt America." began to write verses, which his father in
Hunt (excepting, on his mother's account, judiciously collected and published by sub- the women of Philadelphia) professes to scription. The author acknowledges that have no great predilection towards Amerithey were chiefly imitative. “I wrote odes,” cans. In addition to his own individual
“ because Collins and Gray had “ mote," he possesses, in this instance, an written them, blank verse,' because Aken- abundance of that national dim-sightedness side and Thomson had written blank verse, which prevents the English in general from and a ‘Palace of Pleasure,' because Spenser seeing any virtue equal to their own. Twice had written a'Bower of Bliss.'”
in the course of the Autobiography we meet Introduced to literati and shown about at with the remark (somewhat flattened by parties, the young poet was " fooled " nearly repetition) that he cannot get out of his tothe“ top of his bent” with conceit; and a head the idea that there is a great counter visit to some collegians at Cambridge and built along the American coast, behind Oxford, where the repute of his volume had which all the people stand like linen dragone before him, filled up the measure of pers." Possibly among such knights of the his self-complacency. Though visiting these cloth-yard might be found some able and Universities for the first time, he was so pos- willing to serve Mr. Hunt with good meassessed with the presence of Mr. Leigh Hunt, ure.
Our author's remarks upon Dr. Franklin, title of Oh, thou wert born to please me, he sang a man as far removed from his appreciation with Mrs. Crouch to so much effect
, that not only as the unaccustomed proportions of the ele- was it always called for three times, but no play
was suffered to be performed without it. It should phant appear to the barking spaniel, are in be added that Mrs. Crouch was a lovely woman, the true spirit of dogged English prejudice, as well as a beautiful singer, and that the two and a most unfortunate exception to Hunt's performers were in love. I have heard them sing usual manly frankness and freedom from it myself, and do not wonder at the impression it
made on the susceptible hearts of the Irish. political one-sidedness. While objecting to Twenty years afterward, when Mrs. Crouch was Dr. Franklin that he did not represent “all no more, and while Kelly was singing a duet in that our nature largely requires or may rea- the same country with Madame Catalini, a man in sonably hope to attain to, it would be well the gallery cried out, “Mr. Kelly, will you be good to consider who has. What individual, or please me?" The audience laughed; but the call
enough to favor us with Oh, thou wert born to even what age, has, in clearing away the went to the heart of the singer, and probably came back settlements, (to use our author's own from that of the honest fellow who made it. The illustration,) been able to show fully its com man may have gone to the play in his youth, with plexion? Franklin“ did the duty next hinn,"
somebody whom he loved by his side, and heard and labored in his vocation, and for his own wished to hear again.”
two lovers, as happy as himself, sing what he now time, with a far-seeing reference to the future. The taste for extravagance which his
Our author's recollection of Madame Cacountrymen had imbibed from the English talini is, that in her brilliant singing there needed to be repressed, and economy and was “ more force than feeling.” He sketches even parsimony, in the spirit of patriotism, several of the prominent performers of that to be rendered respectable; to which end day; among them De Camp, of whom it he wrote “ Poor Richard's Almanac," adapt- was said that “ he failed in fops, but there ing it to the occasion, and not intending was fire in his footmen;" the fat beauty, Mrs. it, as Leigh Hunt must well know, to rep- Billington, who used to perform with Braresent his philosophy.
ham; the bass-singer, Lablache, "full of Hunt's attention became drawn toward might and mirth;" and the tragic actress and the stage. He had written a tragedy, a singer Pasta, the secret of whose greatness comedy, and a farce: the latter he offered was "perfect truth, graced by idealism." to Kelly of the Opera House, of whom he gives the following portrait and anecdote: - “ All noble passions belonged to her; and her
very scorn seemed equally noble, for it trampled
When shemeasured “ He had a quick, snappish, but not ill-natured her enemy from head to foot, in Tancredi, you re
only on what was mean. voice, and a flushed, handsome, and good-natured ally felt for the man, at seeing him soreduced into face, with the hair about his ears. The look was a little rakish or so, but very agreeable.
nothingness. When she made her entrance on the " Mr. Kelly was extremely courteous to me; but in front of the audience, midway between the side
stage, in the same character-which she did right what he said of the farce, or did with it, I utterly scenes-she waved forth her arms, and drew them forget. Himself I shall never forget; for as he was the first actor I ever beheld anywhere, so he quietly together again over her bosom, as if she was one of the first whom I saw on the stage. And when, in the part of Medea, she looked on the
sweetly, yet modestly, embraced the whole house. Actor, indeed, he was none, except inasmuch as he children she was about to kill, and tenderly parted was an acting singer, and not destitute of a certain their hair, and seemed to mingle her very eyes in spirit in everything he did. Neither had he particular power as a singer, nor even a voice. lovingness with theirs, uttering, at the same time, He said it broke down while he was studying in notes of the most wandering and despairing sweetItaly ; .Where, indeed, he had sung with applause
. ness, every gentle eye melted into tears.” The little snappish tones I spoke of, were very manifest on the stage : be had short arms, as if to
The first actor Hunt remembers to have match them, and a hasty step; and yet, notwith- seen upon the English boards, was the celestanding these drawbacks, he was heard with brated Jack Bannister, who, when he had pleasure, for he had taste and feeling. He was a
made delicate composer, as the music in Blue Beard you laugh heartily in a comedy, would evinces ; and he selected so happily from other bring the tears into your eyes for some honcomposers, as to give rise to his friend Sheridan's est sufferer in an afterpiece." “ Fawcett had banter, that he was an “importer of music and a brazen face and a voice like a knife-grindcomposer of wines,” (for he once took to being a er's wheel. He was all pertness, coarseness wine-nierchant) While in Ireland, during the early part of his career, he adapted a charming and effrontery, but with a great deal of air of Martini's to English words, which, under the comic force; and whenever he came trotting
on the stage, and pouring forth his harsh cated country girls, in romps, in hoydens, and in rapid words, with his nose in the air, and a wards on whom the mercenary have designs. She facetious grind in his throat, the audience wore a bib and tucker, and pinafore, with a bouncwere prepared for a merry evening." This ing propriety, fit to make the boldest spectator
alarmed at the idea of bringing such a household description would answer for our Burton. responsibility on his shoulders. To see her when Munden is described as famous for grimaces, thus attired shed blubbering tears for some disapand “ making something out of nothing;” pointment, and eat all the while a great thick slice and Lewis as combining whimsicality with of bread and butter, weeping, and moaning, and elegance, and levity with heart, —“ the meant to bite next, was a lesson against will and
munching, and eyeing at every bite the part she type of airy genteel comedy.” Elliston was, appetite worth a hundred sermons of our friends in his better days, the most genuine of lov- on board the hoy; and, on the other band, they ers. “No man approached a woman as he could assuredly have done and said nothing at all did—with so flattering a mixture of rever- amiableness as she did, when she acted in gentle,
calculated to make such an impression in favor of ence and passion—such closeness without generous, and confiding characters. The way in insolence, and such trembling energy in his which she would take a friend by the cheek and words. His utterance of the single word kiss or make up a quarrel with a lover, or charming' was a volume of rapturous accompaniment) the song of Since then I'm
coax a guardian into good-humor, or sing (without fervor."
doom'd, or in the Dead of the Night, trusting, as Then comes Liston, “ who Listonized the she had a right to do, and as the house wished whole piece in which he appeared;" and her to do, to the sole effect of her sweet, mellow, Mathews, still remembered on our own stage and loving voice-the reader will pardon me, but in his “At Homes," his “Monsieur Mor- tears of pleasure and regret come into my eyes at bleau," and his “Sir Fretful Plagiary,” in
the recollection, as if she personified whatsoever
was happy at that period of life, and which has which characters, says Hunt, it was a sight gone like herself. l'he very sound of the little to see him looking wretchedly happy at his familiar word bud from her lips, (the abbreviation of victimizers, and digging deeper and deeper husband,) as she packed it closer, as it were, in the into his mortification at every fresh button man's face, taking him at the same time by the
utterance, and pouted it up with fondness in the of his coat that he buttoned up.”
chin, was a whole concentrated world of the power Next follows Dowton, who was "the best of loving. Falstaff of his day," and Cooke, the hook
“That is a pleasant time of life, the play-going nosed, malignantly smiling hypocrite and to the theatre, and brothers and sisters, parents
time in youth, when the coach is packed full to go villain, whose Shylock and Sir Archy Mac and lovers, (none of whom, perhaps, go very often,) Sarcasm are still remembered by some of are all wafted together in a flurry of expectation; the old play-goers among us.
when they only wish as they go (except with the Kemble our author admired not
lovers) is to go as fast as possible, and no sound it was the fashion to do," but considered that when the smell of links in the darkest and mud
is so delightful as the cry of Bill of the Play; it was studied acquirement rather than diest winter's night is charming; and the steps of genius which caused the critics to like him. the coach are let down; and a roar of hoarse He thinks Mrs. Siddons, though the mistress voices round the door, and mud-shine on the paveof lofty, queenly, and appalling tragic effect, looking lobby which is about to be entered; and failed in the highest points of refinement. they enter, and pay, and ascend the pleasant stairs, “With the exception of Mrs. Siddons,” (who, and begin to hear the silence of the house, perhaps it must be remembered, was, in Hunt's day, the first jingle of the music; and the box is entered declining,) “ all the reigning school of tra- their places and being looked at; and at length
amidst some little awkwardness in descending to gedy," he says, "had retrograded towards the they sit, and are become used to by their neighbors
, time that preceded Garrick; and the con- and shawls and smiles are adjusted, and the play, sequence was that when Kean brought back bill is handed round or pinned to the cushion, and nature and impulse, he put an end to it at the gods are a little noisy, and the music veritably once, as Garrick had put an end to Quin."
commences; and at length the curtain is drawn
and the first delightful syllables are heard: Of Mrs. Jordan, who "made even Methodists
". Ah! my dear Charles, when did you see the love her," he says, "she seemed to hold a lovely Olivia !! patent from nature herself for our delight.” "Oh! my dear Sir George, talk not to me of Room or no room, we cannot get over the Olivia. The cruel guardian," &c.
" Anon the favorite of the party makes his apnext two pages without quoting them :
pearance, and then they are quite happy; and " Mrs. Jordan was inimitable in exemplifying next day, besides his own merits
, the points of the the consequences of too much restraint in ill-edu- 1 dialogue are attributed to him as if he was their