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Taylor's “Liberty of Prophesying." As he pass'd by Cold-Bath-Fields, he Another unpardonable instance of pla
look'd giarism in a man of learning and ge
At a solitary cell; nius, was Porson's claiming "The De
And he was pleased-for it gave him a
hint vil's Walk.” I have good reason to know, that although Porson might not
For improving the prisons of hell. distinctly say that he was the author
He saw a Turnkey in a trice of it, yet he used to repeat it in such
Fetter a troublesome blade; a way as to lead people to believe it was bis own. Even Blackwood's Ma
How nimbly, quoth he, the fingers move,
If a man is but used to his trade. gazine mentions it as the composition of Porson. Yet the fact is that it was
He saw the same turnkey unfetter a man, the joint composition of Coleridge and
With but little expedition; Southey in some playful moments. As
And he laughed—for he thought of the you have attributed it to Porson, it is
Close by the Methodist meeting,
And she gave him a nod of greeting.
She tipp'd him the wink, and then cried How then was the Devil drest?
Avaunt! my name's Religion;
And she leer'd on Mr Wilberforce, He was in his Sunday's best;
Like a love-sick pigeon. His coat was red, and his breeches were
blue, And there was a hole where his tail
As he stood near Somerset House, he saw came through.
A pig down the river float;
The pig swam well, but every stroke Over the hill, and over the dale,
Was cutting his own throat. And he went over the plain ; And backward and forward he switch'd He view'd the sight with gloating eyes his tail,
Of joy and exultation; As a gentleman switches his cane.
For he thought of his own daughter, War,
And her darling child, Taxation. He pass'd by a cottage with a double coach-house,
He met a Lord of the north countrie, A cottage of gentility;
The Lord of the Dale was his name; And he grinn'd at the sight-for his fa- Such was the twin-likeness between the vourite vice
pair, Is pride that apes humility.
Thatit madeold Beelzebubstart and stare;
For he thought to be sure, 'twas a lookHe saw a Lawyer killing a viper,
ing-glass there, On the dunghill beside his stable; But he could not see the frame. And the Devil was shock’d, for it put him in mind
He saw a certain Minister, Of the story of Cain and Abel.
A Minister of his mind,
Go into a certain house,
With a majority behind.
The Devil quoted Genesis,
Like a learned clerk :
How Noah and his creeping things
Went into the Ark.
When he saw General
-'s face, And there he saw Brothers the Prophet,
He fled with consternation; And Brothers the Prophet saw him.
For the Devil thought, by a small misHe went into a rich Bookseller's shop;
take, Quoth he, we are both of one college
'Twas the general conflagration. For I sat myself like a cormorant once
Upon the Tree of Knowledge.
THE COUNTRY CURATE.
DURING the months of Februaryand my man told me, during the night ; March, in the year 18—, the coast indeed, the night' had been too dark, of Kent was visited by a succession of and too blustering, to encourage them violent storms, which caused a great- to lift their anchors; but the gale had er quantity of damage to the shipping increased so much towards sun-rise, and villages on the sea-shore than bad and was still so heavy, that I could been known to have occurred in the hardly hope that the anchors had not memory of man. On a certain day in dragged, or, which might prove even the earlier part of the latter month my more fatal, that the cables had not duties led me to visit that quarter of parted. my parish which lies on the other side As I neared the top of the hill, the of the last range of hills, and adjoins noise of the mighty element increased to the parish, or rather the outskirts, upon me, till its roar would have alof the town of Folkestone. The wind most drowned the thunder itself, so was out with a degree of fury, such as loud and so increasing had it become. even I, who reside so near this tem- But if the sense of hearing had impestuous coast, have seldom witnessed. pressed me with feelings of awe, these The clouds were not sailing, but rush- feelings were increased to an indescriing through the sky, in grey fleeces ; bable degree by the spectacle which a huge black mass ever and anon came presented itself to the sense of sight. up upon the blast, driving away from Immediately below me was the ocean, east to west, and sending forth a shower boiling and foaming far and near ; one of hailstones, which beat in my face huge caldron of troubled waters, which as I ascended the height, and compel- tossed and tumbled, as if a thousand led me more than once to cling to a fires were burning beneath it. The piece of gorze, or fern, for support. coast of France, which, on other days, The sheep were all cowering under the may be distinctly seen, even to the hill-top for shelter, with their backs glancing of a sun-beam on the windows turned towards the storm, and hud. of the houses in Calais, was now endled closely together; and the shep- tirely hidden. I could not, indeed, herds either took their places beside send my gaze beyond mid-space bethem, or ran home to their different tween the two shores ; and from that houses, among the glens and hollows point onwards, wave followed wave, in near. It was, indeed, a day in which fearful succession, till, one after anno one who could find a roof to cover other, they burst in tremendous force him would have chosen to be abroad; upon the chalky cliffs and pebbly so boisterous was the gale, and so keen strand of Kent. The town of Folkeand cutting were the gusts of hail and stone appeared devoted to utter destrucsleet which rode from time to time tion. The tide was pouring through upon it.
its lower streets, sweeping all live and It is impossible for one whose habi- dead substances before it ; the few fishtation, though it be shut out from a ing vessels which had been moored in view of the ocean, stands within the the harbour were lying high and dry, sound of its waves, when they are in far up the side of the hill, or floating wrath, not to think with peculiar an- in broken fragments upon the water ; xiety, during every gale or storm, of whilst the inhabitants, who had with the poor mariners who are exposed to difficulty escaped, were congregated in its violence. To-day, in particular, I the upper parts of the town, to watch felt myself full of apprehension ; for with grief and dismay the progress of there was a considerable fleet of vessels a power to which human ingenuity at anchor in the Downs, and several could oppose no obstacle. All this was large India-men had been seen at a late awful enough ; but my fears were too hour last night not far from the Point much alive for the brave men who of Dungeness. They bad not passed, were embarked in ships, to think much VOL. XIX.
of the state of those who suffered only to her assistance; and there she rode, from a loss of property.
straining and pitching her bows and I looked anxiously, first towards the bulwarks under, at the mercy of a couDowns, and afterwards in the direc- ple of cables, and a couple of crooked tion of Dungeness. From the former bits of iron. point the fleet had entirely disappear- Having stood for about half an hour ed. Many I saw stranded upon the to observe her, and fancying that, as shore ; others had probably escaped to she had hitherto done well
, she would a more safe anchorage ; and those continue so to do, especially as I thought which had endeavoured to beat out to that I could observe a clearing up to sea, were just visible on the lower part leeward, indicative of a change of wind, of the Goodwins. The waves were I paid the visit which I set out to pay, dashing over their broken hulls, and and returned to my house. Here the . their very masts were hidden, as every rest of the morning was spent in alterbreaker, of a size somewhat larger than nate hope and fear, as the face of the the rest
, burst upon them. For them heavens seemed to indicate a total cesand for their crews there was no hope sation, or a renewal of the storm ; but -all must perish—and all did perish hope gradually gave way to alarm, and before I quitted my station. In the alarm grew into despair, soon after direction of Dungeness, again, only darkness began. The sun went down one ship could be descried. She had fiery red, like a ball of burning coal. succeeded, apparently, in working out The wind, as if hushing him to sleep, before the storm had reached its height; began again to renew its violence. It and now having secured sea-room, was came for a while, in alternate lulls endeavouring to scud, either for the and gusts; which, succeeding each Downs or the river. Her top-gallant- other more rapidly every moment, endmasts were all struck; the only sail ed at length in the same tremendous hoisted was the fore-top-sail, and that hurricane which had prevailed during close-reefed ; under which she made the day. I could not sit quietly in my way, rapidly indeed, but not without chair. “I must go," said I, " to see falling every moment faster and faster how the Indiaman fares, and I will to leeward. It was, in truth, manifest, pray upon the beach for the poor peothat if she persisted in going on, she ple whom I cannot otherwise serve. must run ashore several miles on this So saying, I put on my great-coat, and, side of Deal ; and of that her crew ap- seizing my hat and stick, sallied forth. peared to be as fully convinced as those The clock struck nine as I laid my who watched her from the land. hand on the latch ; and I rejoiced to
She was now abreast of Folkestone, find, on crossing the threshold, that with a hurricane right on shore, and it was moon-light. I looked up into herself not above a mile and a half the sky, and beheld the fleeces receding from the breakers. Having carried a in the direction which they had foltelescope in my hand, I saw by the lowed in the morning ; but not so thick help of it that her decks were crowd- as greatly to obscure the moon's rays; ed with people, some of whom held which, on the contrary, shone out clear by the rigging and shrouds, others by and brightoccasionally, and at all times the binnacles and bulk--heads; whilst exerted some influence. I rejoiced at some were lashed to the wheel, by this; not only because I regarded it as which they vainly endeavoured to guide a good omen, but because I hoped that her. An attempt was now made to it might prove of essential service to wear, but it failed. The ship reeled the people on board ; whose fears, at round, and drove towards the shore least, would be more tolerable than if with a velocity which caused me to the night had been pitchy dark; and shut my eyes, that I might escape at under this impression, I pushed on least the horror of beholding her strike. with a quick pace. But my satisfaction But she did not strike. Two anchors was not of long continuance,-if
, inwere let go at once from the bow. By deed, the feeling be worthy of that little short of a miracle, they held; title,- wbich the mere glancing of the and as if Heaven itself had desired to moon's rays had excited. save her, the tempest suddenly lulled. I had not yet reached the top of the The waves, however, ran as they had bill, when the report of a gun, heard run before, “mountain high ; con- amidst the roar of the tempest, assured sequently no boat could be launched me that the vessel bad struck. It came
upon me like the last despairing shriek neared the reach of the waves, and of a drowning man, who cries out be- then having watched a receding bilcause nature so urges him, though low, the gallant party which dragged aware that no human aid is at hand. them hurled them into the breakers, Nor were my prognostications erro- whilst half a dozen stout fellows neous. When I attained the summit, sprung into each as it rose upon the I beheld a multitude of lights glan- foam. “God speed ye, God speed cing along the shore ; I heard voices ye-away, away,” and away they and shouts, and every other indication went. But the next wave was fatal to which sound could give, that all was two of them. Over they rolled, botover. I ran towards the spot, and be- tom upwards, and the crews were held the ship, her masts gone and her dashed upon the beach. The third, hull broken, in the midst of the break- however, rode it out. She bore one ers, at a distance of a full mile and lantern in her bow, and another in her a half from the land. Another gun was stern ; and it was truly a nervous thing fired—it was the last. Planks, bulk- to watch these lights appearing and heads, and spars, began now to drive disappearing, as the brave boat rose upon the shingle. A sort of rending and fell with the rise and fall of the noise came from the wreck, which in- waters. stantly disappeared. She had split up In the meanwhile, many eyes were into fragments; and of the living crea- eagerly turned towards the watertures which had hitherto clung to her, mark, with the expectation of discothe majority found a grave amid the vering some human creature who surf.
might be washed ashore, on a plank or There are few spectacles more ap- raft. All such, bowever, came tepalling, and at the same time more full nantless. Either the beings who had of deep excitation, than that of a ship- clung to them lost their hold, or not wreck. Not only is your attention expecting the ship to part so suddenly drawn to the vessel and its crew, but as she did, they neglected the precauthe hurry and bustle on shore, the tion of making themselves fast to the real sympathy displayed by men from spars. Our best hope, accordingly, cenwhose outward appearance little sym- tred in our own boat, which we saw pathy could be augured—the cries, bravely making her way; the tide beand exclamations, and movements of ing in her favour, though the wind was the crowd, -all tend to give to the thing against her. At length she appeared a degree of additional interest, which, to have gained her utmost limit. There in sober earnest, it hardly requires. she lingered, rising and falling, her It is enough to see a number of our lights glancing and disappearing toour fellow-creatures hovering on the brink unspeakable terror, for a full quarter of of eternity, without having our feel- an hour; when having, as it would ings additionally worked upon by the seem, done her utmost, she put about, proceedings of those around us. and made towards land. Twenty torches
A cry was now raised for boats. were held up to guide her. Her progress " Where is the Dauntless ?" shouted was like that of the lightning, and her one : “ High and dry,” exclaimed an- crew having watched the opportunity, other. “Is the Nancy safe ?” “No, she mounted upon the top of a wave, she is in pieces.” And so it was, that and rushed, with all its wbite foam, not a boat or barge of all that usually far up the beach. Then our party lay at anchor in the harbour could be running in, seized her by the bow, and brought on the instant into play. But so securing her against the ebbing, in the Kentish fishermen are not restrain three seconds she was safe. ed from action by trifles. “ Launch The search which her dauntless the Dauntless"" Down with the Sis- rowers had undertaken, proved all but ters"-" There lies the Pilot,” were fruitless. So complete was the wreck, echoed from mouth to mouth; and in that they could not discern any single half a second, an hundred hands were portion of the Indiaman more attracat work, hauling the boats named from tive than the rest. Nothing could be the beach, where the ebb tide had left observed, indeed, in the darkness of them, and rolling them along the the night, except floating boards, all shingle. “Hurrah, hurrah,” was now of them without occupants; and hence the only word uttered. Down they their sole success was in saving the came over the loose stones, till they life of one man, whom they found clinging to a hen-coop, and a good myself I was astonished, and more deal exhausted. I must do the men than half-suspected that the poor gen. of Kent the justice to observe, that the tleman was not altogether in his sound shipwrecked individual had no right senses. to complain of want of hospitality. The stranger continued an inmate Each of the spectators appeared more of my house for three whole days, and anxious than the rest to afford him ac- nothing passed between us all this commodation ; and it was only because while beyond the common intercourse I pressed his removal to the vicarage, of social life. I did not deem it conthat they yielded the point to me. A sistent with propriety to demand his post.chaise was accordingly prepared, name, or to make any inquiry into his into which we lifted him ; and as the condition ; and he, as it appeared, felt distance by the road exceeds not one po inclination voluntarily to offer the mile, he was undressed, and laid in information. Only once he observed, our best bed, within half an hour from casually, that he was afraid he must inhis landing. Some mulled wine and trude upon my hospitality till he should other cordials being administered to receive remittances which might enhim, he was left to his repose ; and it able him to travel, for that there was was not till a late hour on the follow- no money in his pockets when the ship ing day, that the ringing of his bell foundered, and that all his effects had gave testimony that he had awoke perished. Beyond this, however, he from the sleep into which our narco- communicated to me nothing, and of tics had lulled him.
his company I enjoyed no more than When he joined our family circle was absolutely indispensable during next morning, we were all much struck meals. with the appearance and demeanour Whilst his sojourn lasted, our mode of the stranger. He was very tall, con- of living was accordingly this : The siderably upwards of six feet-his stranger rose early and walked out; figure was commanding and noble he returned to breakfast, which he his features were fine, but there was an hastily swallowed, and then went forth expression of wildness in his dark eye, again ; and immediately on the conwhich could not pass unobserved. His clusion of dinner, he retired to his age I should guess to have been about apartment, where the remainder of the fifty; perhaps it was under that, for evening was spent in writing. This I black hair soon grows grey ; and the learned from my servant who carried lines, which were strongly marked in up lights when he rang for them; and his forehead, seemed to be the traces because he had requested me to supply rather of violent passion than of time. him with pens, ink, and paper ; but With respect to his manner, it is not whether they were letters, or what the very easy to describe it. No one could subject of his writings might be, I of mistake that he was a gentleman ; but course had no means of ascertaining. there was a restlessness and incohe- On the evening of the third day, howrence in his conversation, which pro- ever, a slight change occurred in his duced the reverse of an agreeable sen- manner. He sat with me after the sation upon those around him. It was dinner had been removed, and made curious enough that he never once al- an effort to be sociable, but he drank luded, of his own accord, to the events no wine ; and ever and anon, after supof yesterday. We, of course, referred porting a common-place conversation to them, and were beginning to con- for several minutes, he relapsed into gratulate him upon his escape, but he silence. The ladies soon left us, and abruptly changed the subject, by ask- then it was that I determined to sound ing some trifling questions respecting him as delicately as I could, on the the surrounding country. Had any state of his mind. person entered the parlour ignorant of The fire was blazing brightly, for the mode of his arrival amongst us, he the evening was frosty and calm ; we would have imagined that the stranger had drawn our chairs round it, and I had landed the day before, in perfect again urged him to take wine. “I safety, and in an ordinary way, from have not tasted wine,” said he, “these a voyage. The effect of all this upon twenty years, and I may not taste it the ladies was to create in them feel- while I live.”—“ Perhaps it disagrees ings of absolute horror, and they soon with you ; you may be of a consumpbegan to view him with dismay; for tive or inflammatory habit ?" "I know