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Now, we hear many of our readers “What are town-gardens and shrubcrying out against the barbarity of beries in squares, but an attempt to confining the free denizens of the air ruralize the city? So strong is the in wire or wicker cages. Gentle readers, desire in man to participate in country do, we pray, keep your compassion for pleasures, that he tries to bring some other objects. Or, if you are disposed of them even to his room. Plants and to be argumentative with us, let us birds are sought after with avidity, and just walk down stairs to the larder, cherished with delight. With flowers and tell the public truly what we there he endeavours to make his apartments behold-three brace of partridges, two resemble a garden ; and thinks of ditto of moor-fowl, a cock-pheasant, groves and fields, as he listens to the poor fellow,-a man and his wife of wild sweet melody of his little captives. the aquatic, or duck kind, and a wood- Those who keep and take an interest cock, vainly presenting his long Christ in song-birds, are often at a loss how mas bill—
to treat their little warblers during “Some sleeping killid
illness, or to prepare the proper food All murder'd."
best suited to their various constitu
tions; but that knowledge is absoWhy, you are indeed a most logical lutely necessary to preserve these little reasoner, and a most considerate Chris
creatures in health : for want of it, tian, when you launch out into an
young amateurs and bird-fanciers have invective against the cruelty exhibited often seen, with regret, many of their in our cages. Let us leave this den of favourite birds perish. murder, and have a glass of our wife's Now, here we confess is a good phyhome-made frontiniac in her own sician. In Edinburgh we understand boudoir. Come, come, sir,-look on there are about 500 medical practitionthis newly-married couple of canaries. ers on the human race,—and we have -The architecture of their nest is cer- dog-doctors, and horse-doctors, who tainly not of the florid order, but my come out in numbers—but we have Lady Yellowlces sits on it a well-sa- had no bird-doctors. Yet often, too tisfied bride. Come back in a day or often, when the whole house rings two, and you will see her nursing from garret to cellar with the cries of triplets. Meanwhile, hear the ear- children teething, or in the hoopingpiercing fife of the bridegroom !- cough, the little linnet sits silent on Where will you find a set of happier his perch, a moping bunch of feathers, people, unless, perhaps, it be in our and then falls down dead, when his parlour, or our library, or our nursery ? lilting life might have been saved by For, to tell you the truth, there is a the simplest medicinal food skilfully cage or two in almost every room of the administered. Surely if we have phyhouse. Where is the cruelty-here, or sicians to attend our tread-mills, and in your blood-stained larder ? But you regulate the diet and day's work of must eat, you reply. We answer-not merciless ruffians, we should not suffer necessarily birds. The question is about our innocent and useful prisoners thus birds-cruelty to birds ; and were that to die unattended. Why do not the sagacious old wild-goose, whom one Ladies of Edinburgh form themselves single moment of heedlessness brought into a Society for this purpose ? last Wednesday to your hospitable Not one of all the philosophers in board, at this moment alive, to bear the world has been able to tell us what a part in our conversation, can you is happiness. Sterne's Starling is weakdream that, with all your Jeffreyan ly supposed to have been miserable. ingenuity and eloquence, you could Probably he was one of the most conpersuade him, the now defunct and tented birds in the universe. Does dejected—that you were under the confinement,—the closest, most unpainful necessity of eating him with companioned confinement-make one stuffing and apple-sauce ?
of ourselves unhappy? Is the shoeThe intelligent autbor of the Trea- maker sitting with his head on his tise on British Birds does not con- knees in a hole in the wall from morndescend to justify the right we claim ing to nigbt, in any respect to be pito encage them ; but he shows his tied ? Is the solitary orphan, that sits genuine humanity in instructing us all day sewing in a garret, while the how to render happy and healthful their old woman for whom she works is out imprisonment. He says very prettily, washing, an object of compassion ? or the widow of fourscore, hurkling over idea of what he was saying ; and had the embers, with a stump of a pipe in he been up to the meaning of his words, her toothless mouth ? Is it so sad a would have been sbocked at his unthing indeed to be alone ? or to have grateful folly. Look at Canaries, and one's motions circumscribed within Chaffinches, and Bullfinches, and“ the the narrowest imaginable limits ? rest,” how they amuse themselves for Nonsense all. Nine-tenths of mankind, a while flitting about the room, and in manufacturing and commercial then finding how dull a thing it is to countries, are cribbed and confined be citizens of the world, bounce up to into little room,-generally, indeed, their cages, and shut the door from together, but often solitary.
the inside, glad to be once more at Then, gentle reader, were you everin home. Begin to whistle or sing youra Highland shieling? It is built of turf, self, and forthwith you have a duet, or and is literally alive ; for the beautiful a trio. We can imagine no more perheather is blooming, and wild-flowers fectly tranquil and cheerful life than too—and walls and roof are one sound that of a Goldfinch in a cage, in Spring, of bees. The industrious little crea- with his wife and his children. All tures must have come several long his social affections are cultivated to miles for their balmy spoil. There is the utmost. He possesses many acbut one human creature in that shiel- complishments unknown to his breing, but he is not at all solitary. He thren among the trees ;-he has never no more wearies of that lonesome place, known what it is to wanta meal in times than do the sun-beams or the shadows of the greatest scarcity; and he adTo himself alone, he chants his old mires the beautiful frost-work on the Gaelic songs, or frames wild ditties of windows when thousands of his feahis own to the raven or red deer. thered friends are buried in the snow, Months thus pass on ; and he descends or what is almost as bad, baked up again to the lower country. Perhaps he into pies, and devoured by a large supgoes to the wars-fights—bleeds and per-party of both sexes, who fortify returns to Badenoch or Lochaber; and their flummery and flirtation by such once more, blending in his imagination viands, and, remorseless, swallow do the battles of his own regiment, in zens upon dozens of the warblers of Egypt, or Spain, or at Waterloo, with the woods. the deeds done of yore by Ossian sung, Ay, ay, Mr_Goldy ! you are wonlies contented by the door of the same dering what I am now doing, and shieling, restored and beautified, in speculating upon me with arch eyes which he had dreamt away the sum
and elevated crest, as if you would mers of his youth.
know the subject of my lucubrations. To return to birds in cages ;--they What the wiser or better wouldst thou are, when well, uniformly as happy as be of human knowledge ? Sometimes the day is long. What else could oblige that little heart of thine goes pit-a-pat, them, whether they will or no, to burst when a great, ugly, staring contributor out into song,—to hop about so pleased thrusts his inquisitive nose within the and pert,—to play such fantastic tricks wires—or when a strange cat glides like so many whirligigs,—to sleep so round and round the room, fascinating soundly, and to awake into a small, thee with the glare of his fierce fixed shrill, compressed twitter of joy, at the eyes ;—but what is all that to the woes dawn of light? So utterly mistaken of an Editor ?-Yes, sweet simpleton ! was Sterne, and all the other senti- do you not know that I am the Editor mentalists, that his Starling, who he of Blackwood's Magazine, Christoabsurdly opined was wishing to get pher North ! Yes, indeed, we are that out, would not have stirred a peg had very man,—that self-same much-cathe door of his cage been flung wide lumpiated man-monster and Ogre.open, but would have pecked like a There, there !--perch on my shoulder, very game-cock at the hand inserted and let us laugh together at the whole to give him his liberty. Depend upon
world. it, that Starling had not the slightest
MOORE'S LIFE OF SHERIDAN.* In spite of all the sins, both of omis- themselves with that seditious confesion and commission, with which To- deracy. But the exposure of the hypory, Whig, and Radical Journals have, crisy is too interesting to be merely perhaps justly, charged them, these adverted to ; we must, in justice to are two volumes of extraordinary in- Mr Moore's simplicity and to Whig terest-nor are they discreditable to honesty, quote the passage. Mr Moore. The subject was, indeed, “In the Spring of this year was estaa most difficult and dangerous one, blished the Society of · The Friends of nor was it possible for a man of Mr the People,' for the express purpose of Moore's peculiar opinions, tempera- obtaining a Parliamentary Reform. To ment, and genius, to treat it without this Association, which, less for its proinvolving himself in a sea of troubles. fessed object than for the republican tenNo doubt, were we to submit his dencies of some of its members, was parwork to a strict and unsparing scruti- ticularly obnoxious to the loyalists of the ny, we could get up a long, laboured day, Mr Sheridan, Mr Grey, aud many article, full of refutations and imputa- others of the leading persons of the Whig tions and confutations, that would
party, belonged. Their Address to the prove him to be one of the greatest in the month of April, contained an able
People of England, which was put forth criminals on our annual Calendar. But and temperate exposition of the grounds as we have declared this to be a month
upon which they sought for Reform; of Mercy—we shall treat Mr Moore and the names of Sheridan, Mackintosh, with a gentleness that may well sur. Whitbread, &c., appear on the list of prise and delight himn—a gentleness, the Committee by wlrich this paper was indeed, which even in our most truculent Numbers we generally display to
" It is a proof of the little zeal which wards every writer who has at any
Mr Fox felt at this period on the subject time delighted us—and need we say,
of Reform, that he withheld the sanction that that
has been done by the poet of of his name from a Society, to which so Lalla Rookh ?
many of his most intimate political Let us take first the Politics-and
friends belonged. Some notice was taken
in the House of this symptom of backget done with them in not many words wardness in the cause; and Sheridan, in —then a paragraph or two about She- replying to the insinuation, said, that ridan, as Richard Brinsley in domes- they wanted not the signature of his tic and social life-and finally, a few Right Honourable Friend to assure them remarks on his Dramatic Genius. Each of his concurrence. They had his bond of these three subjects would furnish in the steadiness of his political princimatter for an article--but we hate ples and the integrity of his heart. Mr prosing—so hope to settle them all in Fox himself, however, gave a more defione sober and sensible shoct.
nite explanation of the circumstance. Never was any secret betrayed with
' He might be asked,' he said, ' why his
name was not on the list of the Society more naiveté, than the account which
for Reform? His reason was, that though Mr Moore gives of the principles of he saw great and enormous grievances, the Whigs, in advocating and fostering he did not see the remedy. It is to be the cause of reform. We cannot ima- doubted, indeed, whether Mr Fox ever gine the amazed looks with which Lord fully admitted the principle upon which Grey, and the remnants and refuse of the demand for a Reform is founded. the Fox party, must have read the When he afterwards espoused the quespassage alluded to, without bursting tion so warmly, it seems to have been into immoderate and remorseless merely as one of those weapons caught laughter. Never was such a char:re up in the heat of a warfare, in which made by any of all the adversaries of Liberty itself appeared to him too imthe Foxites, as that little passage con
minently endangered, to admit of the
consideration of any abstract principle, tains, where our author, speaking of the institution of the society of “ The except the summary one of the right or
resistance to po:ver abused. From what Friends of the People,” explains the has been already said, too, of the lanreal views and motives with which
guage held by Sheridan on this subject, Fox, Grey, Sheridan, &c. connected it may be concluded that, though far
• Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable Richard Brinsley Sheridan. By Thomas Moore. 2 vols. 8vo. Second edition. Longman and Co. London, 1825. VOL. XIX.
more ready than his friend to inscribe fuge in it when pressed upon the subject, Reform upon the banner of the party, and would laughingly advise his political he had even still less made up his mind friends to do the same ;— Whenever as to the practicability or expediency of any one,' he would say, 'proposes to the measure. Looking upon it as a ques- you a specific plan of Reform, always tion, the agitation of which was useful to answer that you are for nothing short of Liberty, and at the same time counting Annual Parliaments and Universal Sufupon the improbability of its objects be- frage—there you are safe.' He also had ing accomplished, he adopted at once, as evident delight, when talking on this we have seen, the most speculative of all question, in referring to a jest of Burke, the plans that had been proposed, and who said that there had arisen a new flattered himself that he thus secured the party of Reformers, still more orthodox benefit of the general principle, without than the rest, who thought Annual Parrisking the inconvenience of any of the liaments far from being sufficiently frepractical details.”
quent, and who, founding themselves on But this insincerity of the Whigs in
the latter words of the statute of Edward the cause of reform, about which they III., that ‘a Parliament shall be holden raised such clamours to molest the
every year once, and more often if need
be,' were known by the denomination of possessors of place and patronage, is still more clearly described in an ear
the Oftener-if-need-bes. 'For my part,
he would add, in relating this, • I am an lier part of the work, and that passage Oftener-if-need-be.' Even when most also, in justice to all parties, should serious on the subject (for, to the last, be extracted. It is where our author he professed himself a warm friend to speaks of Sheridan's debut as a politi. Reform) his arguments had the air of
being ironical and insidious. To Annual “ In the society of such men the des.
Parliaments and Universal Suffrage, he tiny of Mr Sheridan could not be long in
would say, the principles of representafixing. On the one side, his own keen
tion naturally and necessarily led,-any thirst for distinction, and, on the other,
less extensive proposition was a base a quick and sanguine appreciation of the compromise and a dereliction of right; service that such talents might render
and the first encroachment on the people in the warfare of party, could not fail to
was the act of Henry VI., which limited basten the result that both desired.
the power of election to forty shilling “ His first appearance before the pub- freeholders within the county, whereas lic as a political character was in con
the real right was in the ' outrageous junction with Mr Fox, at the beginning whom the preamble recites that the
and excessive' number of people, by of the year 1780, when the famous Resolutions on the State of the Representa choice had been made of late.-- Such tion, signed by Mr Fox as chairman of were the arguments by which he affected the Westminster Committee, together to support his cause, and it is not diffiwith a Report on the same subject from
cult to detect the eyes of the snake the Sub-committee, signed by Sheridan, glistening from under them.” were laid before the public. Annual
When the Whig-club dinners are Parliaments and Universal Suffrage were
remembered—the meetings in Palace the professed objects of this meeting;
Yard—the motions in the House of and the first of the Resolutions, sub- Commons, to say nothing of the hobscribed by Mr Fox, stated that ' Annual bernobbery of the Duke of Norfolk Parliaments are the undoubted right of with Wishart the tobacconist-history, the people of England.'
loses her gravity, and holds both her “Notwithstanding this strong declara- sides. The poor Whigs wanted but tion, it may be doubted whether Sheridan
this to render their degradation as was, any more than Mr Fox, a very sin complete as their influence and precere friend to the principle of Reform; and the manner in which he masked his
tensions have become despicable. But disinclination or indifference to it was
the worst part of the effect of the strongly characteristic both of his hu
simplicity with which these exposures mour
and his tact. Aware that the wild of the public dishonesty, of so many scheme of Cartwright and others, which
time-honoured and flagrant patriots, these Resolutions recommended, was is the distrust with which it must wholly impracticable, he always took re- inspire the people against every pub
* " Elections of knights of shires have now of late been made by very great outrageous and excessive number of people, dwelling within the same counties, of the which must part was people of small substance and of no value." 8 H. 6. c. 7.
HE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN THUS
lic man who professes to be their family consideration or political enerfriend. And yet, in the face of this gy, has the misfortune to incur the "peaching” of his whole political as- acquaintance of the great. Mr Moore sociates, Mr Moore impugns the in- touches the subject with the delicacy tegrity of Mr Burke ! He does not, peculiar to his poetical pen, and concertainly, attempt to underrate the sidering how much he has himself wonderful mind and acquirements experienced of that costly condescenof that extraordinary man; but he sion, there is perhaps not another paspeaks of him as so enthralled by his ragraph in his book so pregnant with temper and irascibility, as to have meaning, as the few sentences in which been little better than a maniac—an he speaks of Sheridan's enjoyment of inspired maniac he would perhaps be the proud consciousness of having surwilling to allow. But what are we mounted the disadvantages of birth and to think, either of the candour or the station, and placed himself on a level discernment of our author, who, with with the highest and noblest of the the visible demonstration before himn land. But mark what follows, and of all that Burke's forecasting wisdom let those who are possessed but of gehad predicted—come to pass—acted nius-remember the admonition it and done—described and recorded in contains, whenever they may be hothe chronicles of every civilized nation noured with the humbling situation -yet ventures to insinuate that the of a place at the tables of the lordly. influence upon the prophet himself, -“This footing in the society of of the stupendous apocalypse with the great he could only have attained which he roused and alarmed the by Parliamentary eminence. world, was the effect of a sordid calcu
MERE WRITER, with all his genius, lation—the consent of his poverty to a crime! And, forsooth, because it was ADMITTED adeundem among them. the opinion of those pure and precious Talents in literature or science, onreformers - those “Friends of the people," with whom he had acted, till BIRTH, may lead to association with they became such friends of the peo- the great, but rarely to equality—it is ple as Mr Moore has in his simplicity a passport through the well-guarded described. In quitting them, it is frontier, but no title to naturalization alleged, that he sold himself to the within. By him who has not been born ministry, when, in point of fact, ex- among them, this can only be achieved cept in the simple principle of hos- by POLITICS.” – Vol. II. p. 73. This tility to France, it is matter of history is well said ; but Mr Moore might and moral demonstration, that there have gone farther—for he must have was little communion of spirit, or com- often observed-shall we venture to mon scope of intelligence, between say felt ?—that the author or the artist Burke and Pitt, or any of the pro- at the table of the great, is but as a minent members of the administration dainty, served up for the entertainas it stood prior to the accession of the ment of the other arrogant guests. seceding Whigs. But Moore attack. There are not half-a-dozen tables in ing Burke, is the antelope attacking London of “ the lovers of the arts," the elephant-the war elephant, cas- as Mick Kelly calls them, which a tled and garrisoned with all his gor- man of genius, unknown in politics, geous trappings gloriously upon him, who has a right respect for himself, as he comes forth froin the orient would desire often to revisit—so ofgates of imperial palaces, amidst the fensively does the spirit of the legislaNabobs and Rajahs of the Indus and tive caste reign at them all. the Ganges.
There is one part of this work which Humiliating as the views of hu- will be read with interest and with surman nature are, which the Memoirs prise—we refer to Sheridan's intimacy of Sheridan lay open, in the conduct with his present Majesty-and we will of his political associates—there are venture to assert, that every word Mr yet passages which must awaken feel- Moore says regarding it will be worinings of intenser mortification than wood and gall to many a proud and even those which draw so much sym- pompous Whig. One thing it makes pathy towards him, in as much as out very clearly, viz. that there nethey affect the secret sentiments of ver did exist between the Prince of every man of talent, who, without Wales and Mr Fox that entire and