« AnteriorContinuar »
to my eyes without grace, without beauty, without wit; that you, younothing but you, such as I see you, such as you are, could please me, and absorb all the faculties of my mind; that you have affected it all over; that my heart has no recess that you do not see; no thoughts of which you are not the mistress; that my strength, my arms, my soul, are altogether yours; that my soul is in your body, and that the day on which you change or cease to live, will be that of my death; that pature, the earth, is beautiful to my eyes only because you inhabit it. If you do not believe all that, if your mind is not convinced of it, penetrated, you grieve me, you love me not. There is a magnetic fluid between the persons who love each other. You know very well that I could never bear to let you have a lover, much less to offer you one. To tear his heart and to see him would be to me the same thing; and then, if I should dare to lay my hand upon your hallowed person--no, I should never dare to do it, but I would quit a life where that which is most virtuous should have deceived me.
“But I am sure and proud of thy love. Misfortunes are the trials which expose all the violence of our mutual passion. A child, adorable as its mamma, is about to see day, and may pass many happy years in thy arms. A thousand kisses upon thy eyes, upon thy lips, upon thy heart-Adorable woman! what is thy ascendancy! I am very ill of thy illness. I have, besides, a burning fever. Do not keep Le Simple more that six hours. Let him return directly to bring the cherished letter of my Queen.
“Do you remember the dream in which I was your shoes, your clothes, and I fancied that you entered quite into my heart? Why did not nature arrange in that way? There are many things to do.
“N. B." “ To Citoyenne Bonaparte, &c."
The letters, which are too Gallic for the English taste, are omitted; but the preceding specimens of epistolary composition are unrivalled in their way. In elegance of feeling and easy grace they greatly excel Richardson's.
STANZAS ON LORD BYRON.
Now has mortality resumed its part
I. R. Evcsham.
WHEN wafted by the cooling breeze,
Along the moonlit tide;
Beneath our vessel glide;
Of happy hearts like our's,
Like gleams o'er summer flow'rs.
Are vesper's holy songs;
The solemn notes prolongs.
That calm and glowing sea,
First led my heart to thee!
THE APPRENTICE-A Rough Sketch. AÞONGST the numerous grades and orders of society with which this great metropolis abounds, there is not one, perhaps, more easily to be distinguished, than that so imperfectly and briefly described in the present sketch :-A more nötable and unvarying species of civilized beings, could hardly have been selected, from the lower orders at least; for whilst almost every other class is endeavouring, “ more or less,” to attain a greater elevation in life than is properly becoming, or else sinking into the contrary extreme, this—and this only~-pursues that beaten track which seems to have been trodden by it in unvarying sameness ever since the first days of commerce. The nobleman, the churchman, the squire, and the plain commoner, are all equally distinguished from those either immediately above or below them in life; and each may easily perceive that line of distinction which the requisite regulations of society have drawn between them; but yet how often do we find them anxiously bent on appearing in any character rather than in their own proper one ;-the nobleman filling the place of the coachman on his own carriage box—the son of the church voluntarily associating himself as the boon companion, and partaker in the field sports, of fox-hunting squires,-and, last not least,' the plain honest tradesman elevating his castle-building caput above the level of all other common heads, as loftily as though a coronet were de: 'scending from the clouds to fit it; all are equally “ aiding and abetting.” to confuse and destroy the necessary harmony of society, as well as to set bad examples to those who may be looking to them for better. But the never-varying Apprentice, (for it is a difficult matter to fix a more comprehensive name upon so important a body, when it is considered to how many different branches the word must be applied; including, as it does, some part of every trade and profession),—the never-varying, holiday-making Apprentice, leagues not with these in any attempt to subvert the natural orders and regulations of civilized existence—his utmost ambition is to be genteel, and to pass for somebody'-his greatest intrusion upon the circles of the more favored orders above him, is only the result of a wish to acquire a more correct imitation of external gentility, wherewith to astound his less presumptuous compeers, when he again returns to their wonted society. He seeks not to thrust himself forward into spheres which neither edacation nor a sufficiency of means enable him to appear in with propriety: but neither will he relinquish one atom of his airs or his consequence, his boots or his walking cane, to degrade himself by mixing with the lower orders :'-he keeps contentedly to his Hornsey. wood, Richmond, and Shooters Hill; and to his gallantry and genteel tea gardens'-rob him of these, and his store of earthly comforts is filed!
There is something exquisitely amusing in the consequential airs of fancied superiority with which these innocent gentry take out their Sunday apparel; and I have often received both entertainment and instruction from observing the progress of one of these heroes of a day, through the Sunday turn-out of admiring belles, and envious beaux, who regularly throng every avenue of approach to what is called “the country. - There is nothing your regularly cut Apprentice so much prides himself upon as his dress let him but have his habiliments of divers assorted colours --let his boots be appropriately Day and Martin'd, and his red silk mouchoir enchantingly lavender-flower watered-his hat be properly deposited on the right side
of his well-curled or otherwise hair-his shirt frill be most strikingly displayed, and his chequered neckcloth duly detaining his head in chanceryimmobility:-let him have a tapering switch to be jantily swung about in the right hand, whilst the yellow.ochred glove belonging to it is safely incarcerated in the left; let him also have the captivating eye-glass, pendant from its broad black silk ribband; and, added to these and all other blessings, the interesting accompaniment of some love-lorn damsel, either from his master's shop, or from the neighbouring milliners give him, at the same time, a fine day and gloriously hot weather,' with plenty of dust and goodly company, all on the road to some rural retreat,—and then, then indeed, is he at the acme of his glory! at the summit of his ambition ! whilst the Dimme, sir! who cares for you!' expression, which crowns the tout ensemble, proclaims to the whole world his happy consciousness of his own innumerable perfections; and draws, at the same time, an admiring attention to his vastly genteel appearance.'- It was but a short time since, that I was favored, accidentally, with a partial illustration of the foregoing imperfect outline, wbich may thus fairly be said to have been taken from the life.'- I was amusing myself on the water with a few young friends, not far from Richmond, and as the weather was uncommonly sultry, we had unanimously agreed to bathe; a convenient spot, as we thought, was speedily selected, and a few moments more beheld us frolicking in the embraces of old Father Thames--when, lo! the word was given that a boat with a large party of ladies was close upon us !—too close, alas! for ns to think of reaching the verdant shores in our rear, ere the little vessel bore down directly upon our little denuded party. An ill-mannered bank had concealed the approach of these unexpected intruders till thus too late; the boat came suddenly upon us—and, thus obliged to make a virtue of necessity, we resolved to stand the indecorous attack most manfully, up to our chins in water. One of the youngest of our floating battery even had the hardihood to propose a general discharge of aquatic missiles; but none were desirous of being greeted with the hatchetedged kiss of an oar in exchange for the compliment. It was, certainly, a gay set-out that approached us,-a very gay one, truly : numerous and dazzling enough were the silks, shawls, feathers, and towers that wooed the light airs wantoning over their surfaces ; loud laughter and obstreperous merriment seemed the order of the day; the boat glided over the calm · bosom of the water, now dipping on one side, now on the other, as the unequal strokes of the clumsily-handled oars, splashed in and out under the guidance of two or three gaily bedecked young men, alternately swayed the delighted party either to the right or to the left. This interruption was but of brief duration ;-the boat passed on without its occupants appearing to take more than ordinary notice of us modestly clad wights. Indeed their attention was completely confined to the beauties of nature behind us, where the very fine specimens of willow twigs and bulrushes, which bedecked the banks in plenteous profusion, formed a sufficiently attractive novelty to keep the eyes of all the party intently fixed in that direction.
On arriving at the place where we intended to exhibit our masticating abilities, we were not greatly surprised to find the fair party, which had passed us in the river, soberly occupying one half of the apartment; of the remainder we speedily took possession, and I amused myself with watching the movements of the ladies and gentlemen before me. “ Pray,
ladies,” said a little long-backed male animal, attired in the tip-top style of display (witness three separate red, blue, and green silk under waistcoats, &c.) taking up a position, and his coat tails before the rusty grate, unconscious of a fire, -* Pray ladies-a, what will you take? Something, of course, after your voyage.
Wat shall I horder ?"_" Oh! Mister Dobbs,” cried an elderly treble-voiced female, “ that's just like you ! mon- strous considerative—that's certain; but, Sir! I don't think we want nothing yet!"_“Oh, you don't, eh!" repeated the considerative' Mister Dobbs Z“ don't come none of that, Miss Agasty-we must have something, you know, so let's know what it's to be-I always like to attend upon the ladies !"
Why,, yes, lor! Mister Dobbs, and so you dothat's certain," chorused a second of the opposite sex—" and so I think we'd better give you an oppertunity of shewing your extreme peliteness;" and, accordingly, such of the party as had finished the operation of dysting their shoes, were called in to assist in determining the matter. Mr. Dobbs, in the mean while, patting his showy spurs with his switch, and waiting patiently for an oppertunity' of shewing his extreme. peliteness,' together with his attractive person, to the greatest advantage at one and the same time. “Well, now!" ejaculated one, “what's it to be?”—“Eh ?" sighed Mister Dobbs—“ O! something cooling!” quoth another. Water, then !” bounced a fourth : “ Cakes and ale !" aspirated a fifth :and a tide of words followed in interesting debate. Then some slight whispering—“no-no-no spirits yet,” cried another: at length,“ zounds! spirits this weather are only fit for"_" The Devil, man! let's have cherry bounce then !" rejoined his opponent, “ that's capital stuff for”—“ The
pretty ladies, to be sure !" smirked the fire-place-occupying “ pelite' Mr. Dobbs, with a most exhilarating laugh of approbation; and after a sympathetiche ! he! he!. had gone round the party, the argument was again resumed, and at length satisfactorily concluded :-“ Waitar !” exclaimed the complaisant Mister Dobbs,—“Waitar !-a-bring three pots o' porter for the ladies !"* -Such an unexpected climax had nearly overpowered my risible muscles, already suffering from considerable restraint, but luckily my handkerchief was in my hand, and I managed to escape with only a few convulsive coughs and hysteric splutterings, followed by most of my grinning companions.
We saw no more of the gay party, until the evening: they were then on Richmond-hill, amusing themselves with the ante-diluvian enjoyments of rolling on the grass, romping, &c. One of the fair damsels, who ap peared very much flushed, in particular engaged our attention; she was Haunting about over the greensward most mirthfully, in a kind of serpen tine, skaiting dance !-and whilst observing her entertaining gambols, with her endeavours steadily to trip it on the light fantastic toe,' she tripped in good earnest; her fantastic toe, disdaining farther restraint, bounded high in ether, and she fell; the squall which proclaimed it, brought her companions in flocking to her aid, and very quickly reinstated her upon terra firma ;-and here the gently blushing goose-quill would gladly have shunned its predetermined purpose. In vain, it must be told-oh! that it should be my sorrowful task to blazon such a fact !-alas! alas !—the lady was speedily discovered to have sipped too freely of the pelite' Mr. Dobbs's three pots of porter !!
* A fact.