Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

exhausted ingenuity in the contrivance, and exercised invention in ornamenting it. It is broad on the sides of the head, and flat on the top, very richly embroidered, and surmounted by the coronet. All the figures are in the attitude of prayer, and have animals at their feet. As this fine monument has long been neglected, it has sustained much wanton injury. The statues in particular are barbarously mutilated; they are carved in alabaster, and are entirely covered with the initial letters of the names of the idlers, who to the number of their follies added this piece of mischief.* Sir Julius Cæsar, who was master of the hospital in the early part of the seventeenth century, among other benefactions, gave to the church the pulpit, which is of oak, and very curiously carved. It is of an hexagonal form, each face containing the representation of a building, and the following text: “ EZRA, THE SCRIBE stood vpon a pvlpit of wood which he had made for the Preacher. Neheh. ch. 8. 4." I should not have deemed the altar screen worthy of notice, if I were not sure that it has often been regarded as a beautiful specimen of design and workmanship. I cannot account for the prejudice in favour of this expensive piece of carving, but I am certain, that he who admires this piece of T6 gothic," and despises Batty Langley, must be destitute of taste and consistency.

Yours, &c.

I.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

And though the joys our early dreams
So fondly promised, Fate deny,
They cheer us still in sunny gleams
Of pensive pleasing Memory!

E. A. B.

* On the north side of the chancel is a handsome tomb of Purbeck marble, whose canopy once sheltered the figures in brass, of a man, a woman, and sev eral children, but all these, together with the inscription, have been destroyed.

GEORGE FREDERICK COOKE.

From his childhood Cooke was fond of theatricals.

When a boy, he resided at Berwick on Tweed, which was sometimes visited by the Edinburgh company of comedians. On such occasions, he and his companions were constantly in attendance at the theatre, hoping to deceive those rigid sentinels, the door-keepers, and money-takers. The juvenile party observed, that the back door was unguarded, till near the hour of performance, and by it they contrived to enter unperceived. The next consideration was, how they should conceal themselves till the time of drawing up the curtain, when they were in hopes that amidst the bustle and confusion behind the scenes, they would not only escape notice, but enjoy the secret wonders of the magic show. Cooke espied a barrel, and congratulating himself on this snug retreat, he crept in, like the hero of that immortal melo-drama, Tekeli, which is now “renewed in all its strength," for the admiration of the intelligent audiences of the British metropolis. But, unfortunately for the embryo actor, as well as for the hero of Tekeli

, there appeared to be much lurking danger in his lurking-place, a barrel being little less liable to untoward movements than a buck-basket. Cooke soon perceived that he had as companions, two twenty-four pound cannon-balls, but not being yet initiated into the mysteries of the scene, he did not suspect that cannon-balls in a barrel create thunder no less than in a twenty-four pounder. Poor George Frederick was in the thunder barrel of the theatre. The play was Macbeth, and the thunder was wanted, to give due effect to the entrée of the witches in the first

The Jupiter Tonans of the theatre approached and seized the barrel. Judge the breathless fear of our hero: it was too great for words, and he only shrunk closer to the bottom of his hiding-place. His tormentor proceeded to cover the open end of the barrel with a piece of old carpet, and tie it carefully to prevent the thunder from being spilt

. Still the inmate was most heroically silent; the machine was lifted by the Herculean property-man, and carried carefully to the side scene, lest in rolling the thunder should rumble before its time. Swearing all the way that the cannon bullets “were infernally heavy,” he placed the complicated machinery in readiness: the witches enter amidst flames of rosin: the thunder-bell rang, the barrel received its impetus, and away rolled George Frederick, and his ponderous companions. Silence would now have been no virtue, and he roared most manfully, to the surprise of the thunderer, who neglecting to stop the rolling machine, it entered on the stage, and George Frederick bursting off the carpet head of the barrel, appeared before the audience, just as the witches agreed to meet again, when “ the hurly burly's done.”

scene,

ALGERNON SIDNEY.

WHEN Algernon Sidney laid his head on the block at the time of his execution the executioner, according to the usage on such occasions, asked him, “ if he should rise again.".

_" Not till the general resurrection,” was the answer, “ strike on!"

EXTERNAL AND INWARD GRIEF.

There exists an erroneous, though too prevalent custom, of estimating the sincerity of sorrow by the violence of its outward demonstrations. He, therefore, who can command a ready supply of tears and sighs, may confidently lay claim to the character of a tender-hearted and affectionate friend : while he who confines his silent anguish within his own unhappy bosom, though he be not stigmatized as hard-hearted and unfeeling, is accounted at best a cold, unsympathising being. Those great philosophers, however, who have made the varying passions of human nature the chief objects of their profound investigations, have universally concurred in the sentiment of Seneca,

Curæ leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent.

Light sorrows speak, while heart-felt pangs are dumb.' Yet let not be from hence concluded, that sighs and tears are incompatible with real sorrow, far from it: there are many most acutely-feeling brests, which cannot refrain from giving utterance to their griefs. Such sorrow is, however, in general neither lasting nor deep-rooted : it resembles a torrent, at first bursting with impetuous fury from its sources in the mountains, then with unruffled surface gently gliding along the peaceful valley

When the first passionate bursts of uncontrollable anguish have subsided; when the tears have streamed forth in such plenteous torrents, that their source is nigh exhausted; the heart feels relieved of half its agonizing burthen.

To the turbulence of tempestuous grief soon succeeds the calm of mild serenity; and though a passing cloud of sadness may for a moment overshadow the mind, soon will it melt away before the irradiate sunbeam of returning peace. Then springs forth the elated soul, to trace anew the paths of pleasure, and form for itself new enjoyments; or, like the vine, torn from its native supports, it entwines its affections around some beloved surviving object, and forgets its sorrows.

But deep, inconsolable, heart-rending agony finds no vent for tears and lamentations: it cherishes in secret its bitter sorrows, broods over its ruined hopes and blighted affections, and inly pines away, till it sinks into the

grave, bowed down beneath the pressure of unutterable woe. Such was the unhappy fate of H Bereft in the space of a few short days of wife and child-the only ties that bound him to life, and sweetened his cup of bitterness-not a tear was seen to bedew his cheek, not one momentary sigh was heard to burst from his bosom. It was generally whispered among his neighbours, that the loss was not to him irreparable, that he would soon lull to rest every painful recollection in the arms of some endearing being. Oh! could they have conceived the anguish that preyed upon his heart; could they have beheld him bending in mute agony over the bed of death; they would have pitied, aye, and have venerated, rather than mocked at his sufferings.: But he is now at rest! The oppressive load of agony was too intolerable to be borne;

“ Sunk in self-consuming anguish,

Can the poor heart always ache!
No!-the tortured nerve must languish,

Or the strings of life will break.”
VOL. 1. 14.

P

The returning spring breathed its balm around him, but he was insensible to the fragrance: Nature shone forth in all her loveliness, but his eye was blind to every beauty: Spring had indeed shed her genial influence on all around him, but the frozen winter of despair still reigned within his bosom. Ere the last violet had faded from the mountains, his aching head peacefully reclined on its mouldering pillow.

Z.

THE HAUNTED PHYSICIANS.

A LOVER, whose mistress was dangerously ill, sought every where for a skilful physician in whom he could place confidence, and to whose care he might confide a life so dear to him. In the course of his search he met with a talisman, by the aid of which spirits might be rendered visible

. The young man exchanged, for this talisman, half his possessions, and having secured his treasure, ran with it to the house of a famous physician. Flocking round the door he beheld a crowd of shades, the ghosts of those persons whom this physician had killed. Some old, some young; some the skeletons of fat old men; some gigantic frames of gaunt fellows; some little puling infants and squalling women; all joined in menaces and threats against the house of the physician-the den of their destroyerwho however peacefully marched through them, with his cane to his chin, and a grave and solemn air. The same vision presented itself, more or less, at the house of every physician of eminence. One at length was pointed out to him in a distant quarter of the city, at whose door he only perceived two little ghosts. “Behold," exclaimed he, with a joyful cry, " the good physician of whom I have been so long in search!” The doctor, astonished, asked him how he had been able to discover this. " Pardon me,” said the afflicted lover, complacently," your ability and your reputation are well known to me." My reputation !" said the physician, " why I have been in Paris but eight days, and in that time I have had but two patients.” “ Good God!” involuntarily exclaimed the young man, " and there they are!"*

SONNET.

I love to gaze upon the Evening Star,

When Nature almost slumbers :-nought is heard

Save distant waterfall, or lonely bird,
Which breathes its wildest, softest strains afar,-
Or sprightly music of the soft guitar;

Which, floating o'er the bosom of a lake,

Bids Echo in her rocky home awake.
But Oh! I love the more to gaze thereon,

Since, Emma, thou didst love thereon to gaze, -
For though my dreams of love have long been gone,

'ond Memory's finger points to those bright days,
And still I hail them-in my humble lays-
Glad star of Eve! Elysium unto me!-
Perchance

my

Enma dwelleth now with thee.

* George Cruikshank has recently illustrated this story with a humorous plate.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »