« AnteriorContinuar »
May 27.--Here is a vacant leaf, and the devil calling for copy : : and how to fill it up is to me a difficult riddle.
A riddle !-By the way I write very tolerable riddles; and for want of any thing better I will put in a couple, by way of exercise for the ingenuity of all who admire the resultant of first, second, and third.
VOL. I. PART I.
Alas! for that forgotten day
When Chivalry was nourished,
And beef and beauty flourished !
And falsehood sin was reckoned,
And fat monks wore my second !
Ob, then I carried sword and shield,
And casque with flaunting feather,
In winter and rough weather;
To ladies' eyes and tresses,
And loose my falcon's jesses:
But dim is now my grandeur's gleam;
The mongrel mob grows prouder;
And men are killed by powder;
And give unheeded orders,
With sheriffs and recorders.
In other days, when hope was bright,
Away! ye grieve and ye rejoice
Are hollow in your joy and woe! And now having completed my labours for the present, and being at this moment wonderfully sleepy, I wish the reader a good-night, and so bid him farewell. (Signed)
" By my halidame," said her Ladyship, taking her state this evening,
we shall miss the countenance of many of our liege servants around us. Davenant, we suppose, is tired of our frivolity, and the Doctor, we are assured, is afraid of it; and Tristram has broken his faith, and Marmaduke has broken his leg; and Vyvyan,--what has he broken ?-his heart, Julia, that he comes not among us? By my best veil, Julia, you are angry now; and you are only playing that eternal Patience on the sofa, to hide the red spot on your brow.”
Nay,” said Julia, laughing, “ I am playing Patience on a monument to-night. I have not seen him for a week.”
“ I could have sworn it. Look up then, and let us have the mystery. Is he unfaithful, or unfortunate ? in disgrace, or in the King's Bench ? Julia, Julia, you must not laugh on these subjects: pray, recollect, that partings and meetings, quarrels and reconcilements, hot tempers and cold bows, shakings of heads and shakings of hands, are, or ought to be, very serious and important matters at seventeen.”
“ Indeed! there then; I will become most decorously disconsolate, and most dutifully dull. But Vyvyan is such a fool! You saw some stupid rhymes in the Chronicle a week ago; he must needs keep me half an hour in the boudoir to hear them, while the horses were at the door, and Frederic at fault. He read, and I abused; he took up his hat, and I my ridingwhip: he said, they were his own, and I laughed vehemently. I could do nothing else, you know. Upon which, my mad spark kicks Shock, and quotes Shakspeare, clouds his brow, and clears the stair-case, leaving behind him Vol. I. PART II.
“ Jealousy and a head-ach, according to established cus
“ Nothing, as I hope for revenge, but much mirth and some astonishment, three sovereigns and one spur. But do not talk of him: he left me undismissed, and will come back to me unsummoned.-But he is such a fool. People should not write anonymous verses.
“ My Court shall never do so," said Lady Mary, laying her hand upon Number One, and looking proudly around upon its authors; “ Gerard Montgomery, Tristram Merton, Vyvyan Joyeuse, there are their names, uncurtained, unconcealed, avowed. We have no dazzling in a Domino, no murdering in a mask; we meet our friend face to face, and our enemy hand to hand, and in nowise shadowy shall be our welcome to the one and our blow to the other." And she knit her fair brows as she spoke, and clenched her white hand into the regular Elizabethan menace. It was an awful moment.
“ I wonder,” said Heron, laying down - The Island,' and placing the fore-finger of his right hand upon the extremity of his left eye-brow, “I wonder what his Lordship has done with his wits?”
“He has done very little with them,” said Medley.
“I knew it was all over with him," said Montagu,- Irvine Montagu is a small delicate young man, with blue eyes and light hair, who dresses himself six times a day, and laughs in a murmur, and speaks in a lisp, and does verses in a book with morocco binding and gilt leaves; “I knew it was all over with him, when he sacrificed his fine feelings at the shrine of his mistaken misanthropy."
« Bah!" said Medley.
“ I knew it was all over with him," said Holyoake,~Reginald Holyoake is the eldest son of an English squire, and is as full of prejudice and joviality as an old family, an old mansion house, old customs, and old wine can make him. “I knew it was all over with him, when he thought it fit to run away from his friends and his country, his stable, and his cellar, the house of his fore-fathers and the House of Peers, and to bury himself alive among his wild goose chases, and his wild bull chases, his gondolas and his carnivals, his Italian dames, and his cockney adorers. Now, a pestilence upon him, with his mountains and his megrims, his lakes and his low spirits, his wild woods and his wild glances, his cities in the water, and his maggots in the head. Your true temple of poetry is the hall of your ancestors, with their scutcheons hanging above, and their dust sleeping below, and their spirits floating around you."
- Bah!" said Medley.
“I knew it was all over with him," said Vernon, Frederic Vernon piques himself wonderfully upon his new acquaintance with Publishers and Publications, and all the Paraphernalia of the modern Parnassus: " I knew it was all over with him when John Murray gave him up. The sound of that man's name is better diet for a poet than a bough of Phæbus' own laurel : Albemarle-street in the title-page looks like a promise to pay.' It is the stamp which gives gold its value; wear it, and if criticism abuses and posterity forgets, you are sure at least to live half-a-dozen moons, and to lie on the table of half-a-dozen Marchionesses. Some sip inspiration in opium, some in tea, many in Geneva, a few in soda water; by Pindus, I find it the richest and purest in a single glance at a fair title-page of John Murray's. And the Childe hath put off his livery!- from the praise of the Quarterly to the puff of the Examiner, from the friendship of John Murray to the loving-kindness of John Hunt!
Oh! who would soar the solar height,
To set in such a stárless night?" “ After all,” said Lady Mary, (two words for which Bentley himself would never have found a meaning :) " after all, Lord Byron is a handsome man, and a great favourite with me; and I wish, with all my heart, I could read his tragedies; but I give it up: they are as heavy as Johnson's Dictionary, and as impracticable as Political Economy. Vyvyan himself would write better tragedies.”
“I have doubts on that point,” said Peregrine Courtenay.
“I have none at all,” said her Ladyship; “ his last poem made me cry like a child.”
I remember the occasion; it was when he mounted on the table to recite his · Briareus in Heaven,' and overturned your favourite crockery Mandarin in the scaling of your rose-wood Olympus. Tragedies from Vyvyan! you might as easily expect sonnets from Marmaduke, or sermons from me! By the by, the last would not be so unreasonable. I believe I shall subside into a Doctor of Divinity at last. I am not without occasional dreams of orthodox advancement; I read Paley, and reverence Luther ; I have no objection to the Articles, and very few to the Questions; I could take off my three heads as cleverly as another, and I should look infinitely well in lawn sleeves.”
“ You would look wonderfully out of character, my dear Peregrine ; you would be making verses in the vestry, and puns in the pulpit; the rich would not keep their sittings, and the poor would not keep their countenances; your patron