« AnteriorContinuar »
has been overruled by, an erroneous statement; either it has been reported to you, that the superb canopies of Aylmer de Valence's, and Crouchbach's tombs are irreparable, or that they do not merit the expense they would require to render them perfect and secure. I will not for a moment
suppose that these, or some other excuses equally plausible, have not been framed for their destruction, because I would not credit that such a cruel demolition was suggested without any excuse at all. So far from any information being dubious, I am desired by high authority to believe, that but for the interference of a gentleman of rank,-a member of parliament, a distinguished traveller, and a man of refined and extensive taste,-the ornamental parts of the above-named monuments would not now have been in existence, and that a respite, not a free pardon, was all his exertions could obtain. It is right that the public should know these facts, and I will now endeavour in a few words to explain to them the value of these elegant specimens of architectural design. In the first place, the tombs would be mere wrecks without their superstructures; in the next, they screen the high altar (which in their absence would have had a defence of another kind), contiguous to which they stand on its North side; and lastly, I would urge the beauty of their forms, and the delicacy of their sculpture, in both which respects they are not inferior to the celebrated Percy monument in Beverly Minster, while they far excel all the other monuments in this church.
I am at a loss to know by what authority we can even threaten to remove or mutilate the sacred monuments of our ancestors. Surely those who built, or promoted the building of our churches, have a right to occupy a small space within their consecrated walls ; as they had a right to expect the reverence of future ages for their tombs : and surely if those spacious aisles, with all their useful and ornamental accompaniments, afforded ample room for the frequent and stately processions of the Roman Catholic religion, we cannot reasonably demand the removal of screens or tombs on the plea of their being impediments or incumbrances. But no such excuse that I can hear, has been offered in palliation of the threatened destruction at Westminster Abbey. It is boldly declared that the fabrics of the tombs in question, are insecure, and must therefore be taken down to prevent their falling. Repair is unthought of, or untalked of, as if a few pounds were begrudged upon two of those objects which have brought many hundreds into the coffers of the church. Let me entreat you, Sir, to pause a little longer before you give your sanction to such an instance of wanton and unjustifiable havoc. Economy will deduct but little from the load of censure, which must inevitably light upon the advocates of this measure. If your funds are exhausted, appeal to the bounty of the public; I for one, will subscribe towards the repair of your ancient monuments, and I am sure your lists could not long remain unfilled. But surely the overplus of the sum which was appropriated to the restoration of the altar screen, would have proved more than sufficient to reinstate the adjoining tombs in their ancient beauty. Those tombs are the chief ornaments of the choir, they do honour to the names they record, and to the luxuriant architecture of Edward the Third's reign. 'Let me, let the public, then hope, that all fear for their preservation is needless, and that neither expense nor trouble will be spared in their restitution.
I have the honour to remain,
COURTSHIP. It would perhaps be one of the most difficult tasks that could be required of any person, to lay down precise rules for the guidance of another, as to the mode of conduct to be pursued during the period of courtship, as a prelude to entering the holy precincts of matrimony. For as the insidious little urchin, love, finds innumerable avenues to the human heart, so must the mode of courtship be guided, governed, and carried on, by an equal variety of ways, suited at once to the impressions made on the mind of the wooer, and to the temper and dispositions, propensities and qualifications of the wooed. In spite of the general opinion that our affections are for the most part, placed upon persons of congenial feelings, sentiments, tastes, and inclinations, with our own, it frequently happens that the tormentor of mankind plants his envenomed sting in bosoms of directly opposite natures, and daily experience teaches us the difficulty we have to encounter, when once the fatal shaft is let fly. This important fact may be established by reference to both sexes; for although it is most natural for courtship to be commenced by the male part of the creation towards the female, it is equally certain that it is frequently commenced by the latter. Nay, oftentimes without determination or intention (by a thousand nameless kindnesses and solicitudes) for some time even without discovery. Nor can I find in my heart to cast blame upon the wooer, even under such circumstances, though I would willingly warn my fair countrywomen against a too hasty attachment to any object, however apparently desirable: notwithstanding it bas been very justly observed that
“Of all the passions giv’n us from above,
The noblest, softest, and the best is love." It is of the utmost importance for them to be thoroughly convinced of the sincerity of the professions, as well as acquainted with the general bent of the mind, of the man to whom they pay any thing like marked attention-before they suffer themselves to be drawn into situations which may probably blight their early hopes of happiness, and render the latter part of their lives
burdensome. I am inclined to think that hasty marriages are seldom happy ones-love at first sight may have been strongly impressed upon the heart, but it should be mellowed and softened by time and scrutinizing observation.
It is important to both parties, that by frequent association, the sentiments and dispositions, should, if possible, be ascertained, in order to discover whether in the state of matrimony, they can combine, compare, establish, or remove, opinions founded in prejudice, or in error, from which association alone, mutual happiness in wedded life can be anticipated.
The embarrassments, the hopes, the doubts, the fears of young lovers are not to be described, no one can know, but those who have felt them ; and it is more than probable, that if the attempt were made, no two persons would describe similar feelings, under similar impressions. The grand difficulty, however, I apprehend to be, in making the declaration. The time--the place--the manner, of conveying this important piece of information to a sincerely beloved object, require due consideration. The delightful anticipations of its being received with a smile of appro
bation, and rewarded with a return, are checked by the apprehensions of an indifferent reply, or a negative to all hope, which renders the situation truly difficult
How many tedious days, and sleepless nights, are consumed in anxieties unimaginable, till this desirable object is accomplished ! so many circumstances are to be taken into consideration, that it is not easy to arrive at any decision : added to which, secrecy appears to be a necessary precaution.
Some convey their sentiments of esteem and adoration in books, lent or given to the beloved object, by scraps of poetry, alluding particularly to some part or passage they contain, and assimilating the circumstances related, to their own situation, and the sentiments expressed, to those which they entertain; others, for the sake of gain, make overtures to relations and friends. The bold and fearless openly avow themselves lovers, but neither of the latter can justly be said to feel the real ardour of the sublime passion of love.
“ But-happy they: the happiest of their kind!
The truly disinterested lover, however, who entertains a pure and affectionate regard for the object of his adoration, and for that object alone, will, in spite of all obstacles that can be placed in the way, find means to convey the sentiments of the heart, of which the following among others is a remarkable instance:
A country swain had long felt the sympathetic movements of affection and regard for the rustic daughter of an elderly matron, who resided in the same village with himself, and although he had frequent opportuni-, ties of meeting and conversing with her upon ordinary occasions and subjects, his diffidence was so great, that at every meeting he found new obstacles to the declaration he intended to make, so that at each interview his embarrassment increased; nor could he possibly divine, a method of decreasing them without a confession of his ardent attachment, but how this consummation so devoutly to be wished, was to be accomplished, he knew not.
He, however, at length hit upon an expedient of a novel, but certainly moving nature, to acquaint his dulcinea with his sentiments in a short and impressive manner. The language of the eyes may be read, and understood in the more enlightened and polished circles of society; but he was determined at once to put her in possession of the unalterable feelings of his heart. For this important purpose he called to his aid, his constant companion and friend, whose faithful and unremitting assiduities for his safety and welfare, had been manifested upon many difficult and trying occasions; one to whom he could confide the inmost secrets of his soul.
without fear of being ridiculed or betrayed. It was no other than his faithful dog Cæsar, who was also well known to the object of his regard. To this unbiassed friend was deputed the power of conveying to his beloved, the most important secret to his future peace and happiness.
Having arranged his plan of proceeding, he arose early one morning, and stationed himself, in company with Cæsar, under the chamber window of his inamorata, and waiting till the window was opened, he affixed a short billet, to a true blue ribbon, which he tied round the dog's neck, containing the following emphatic words-—"I wish my dog was your dog;" then taking his companion in his arms, he threw him into the maiden's chamber, with a shout of " Go along Cæsar,” and immediately disappeared.
Say, ye learned and refined who study looks of love, and read the language of the eyes, whether a more candid and impressive declaration could have been made by the most cultivated mind. It was, in fact, the "multum in parvo," the explicit and unequivocal testimony of true devotion. The love-lorn youth was spared the embarrassment of a verbal communication, and the maiden, the blushes so natural upon such occasions. So delicate a declaration of his unalterable feelings, could hardly fail to have a suitable effect on the fair one to whom it was imparted. Suffice it to say, that it was productive of the desired results--the happy union of the parties. Whether the success of this scheme ought to induce others to try a similar experiment or not, is a question which can only be decided by those who may be similarly situated : for, it must be confessed, there is a probability that the quadruped may in some cases prove more acceptable than the biped; and then the mortification must be inconceiyable.
“Can any length of years gone by
Love's bliss destroy, or ardour tame?
Has ne'er deserv'd that blessed name.
The lover from his fair to rove?
Seems fair to him, he does not love.
Sincere affection's impulse warm?
Priz'd ever most amid the storm.”
ON A YOUTH AGED 17.
O when the grave receiv'd this patient guest,
QUACK EXTRAORDINARY. The following abridged advertisement which must have been originally put forth upwards of a century ago, abundantly proves that the arts of quackery and puffing, now brought to such perfection, had made some progress even at that period:
« In King-street, Westminster, at the Queen's arms and Corn-cutter, liveth Thomas Smith, who by experience and ingenuity, has learnt the art of taking out and curing all manner of corns, without pain or drawing blood. He likewise takes out all manner of nails, which cause any disaster, trouble, or pain, which no man in England can do the like. He can on several occasions help persons afflicted, as killing the scurvy in the gums; though they be eaten away never so much, he can raise them up again. He cures the tooth-ache in half an hour, let the pain be never so great, and cleanses and preserves the teeth. He can with God's assistance, perform the same in a little time. I wear a silver badge, with three verses, the first in english, the second in dutch, the third in french, with the states of Holland's crownet on the top which was gave me as a present by the States-general of Holland, for the many cures, &c. My name on the badge underwritten, Thomas Smith, who will not fail, God willing, to make out every particular in this Bill, &c. &c.
“ The famousest ware in England, which never fails to cure the toothache in half an hour, price ls. the bottle. Likewise a powder for cleansing the teeth, which makes them as ivory without wearing them, and without prejudice to the gums, ls. the box. Also two sorts of water for curing the
scurvy in the gums, though they are eaten away to the bottom, it will heal them, and cause them to grow as firm as ever, very safe, without mercury, or any unwholesome spirit. To avoid counterfeits, they are only sold at his own house &c. price of each bottle half a crown or more, according to the bigness, with directions."
Harl. MSS. Smith is mentioned in the Tatler. He used to go out every day in quest of customers, and made a periodical call at all the coffee-houses then in London.
PARISIAN ON DITS.
“We never had so many balls at Paris as this winter," writes a fair correspondent.“ Marshal Suchet, has given a most splendid fete. M. Chateaubriand will soon give one to which three thousand persons are invited; and Rothschild, the banker, is preparing one on a scale of great magnificence and liberality, that will cost 100,000 francs. Talma is about to appear in two characters in one tragedy; the first character ends with the second act, and the last begins with the third act.”
We are likewise informed, that M. Paillet de Varcey has lately published “The Life and Writings of Voltaire;” wherein he represents him as a bad son, bad brother, and bad Frenchman; as ungrateful, lying, avaricious, and above all, ignorant of orthography.
Horace Vernet has nearly completed a picture for the gallery of the Duke of Orleans, the subject of which is the “ Bataille d'Hanau.”
The taking of the Trocadero has just appeared at the Diorama.
The exhibition of French paintings, of which the greater part are said to be representations of late events, will open in April.
The academy of fine arts has lately elected the following foreign associates :- Alvares and Thorwaldsen, sculptors; Lunghi, engraver; Rossini and Zingarelli, musical composers; and Schinckel, architect.