« AnteriorContinuar »
especially annoying a knight in scale armour, who maintained a most lachrymose gravity of countenance all the evening, and fainting under the weight of his barness, looked as if he would have given the world for a pint of beer. A group of young ladies, also, in pinafores and pink sashes, with hoops and skipping-ropes, gave an air of innocence and childlike revelry to the réunion. We gazed at them with unseigned interest, and moralizing even in the midst of masquerade, inwardly hoped that their hearts might ever be as pure and guileless as they then seemed,-a wish which towards the end of the evening we certainly did not think appeared likely to be realized, when their merriment became rather Anacreontic than infantile.
As far as eating and drinking went, it is but justice to say, that every one persormed admirably, but we observed, that with the generality of the parties, jugs of stont and dishes of cold beef, had the preference, in point of popularity, over champagne and cold fowls. But the end was answered just the same, for it had the effect of making the company exceedingly bacchanalian after supper, when their wit broke into full play. We perceived that the most favourite humour consisted in running very fast along the walks, and yelling loudly, -certainly a facetious performance; and it was esteemed an excellent conceit to bolt through the middle of the quadrilles, which were being perpetrated beneath the orchestra, and jostle the dancers one over the olher.
It was evident that the assumption of character was never once thought about. The only instance we remarked occurred whilst we were discussing some cold ham, when a young gentleman, habited as Jack Sheppard, walked into our box, and presenting a sixpenny pistol, shot a pea in our face, and then walked out again: and à propos des bottes-there are many legends told of the filmy slices of ham at Vauxhall, which ought to be refuted. We never saw any that were cut much under the thickness of ordinary slices, so think, like many other popular errors, the tradition lives upon its former credit.
It will scarcely be credited, that in the midst of all this gaiety we more than once caught ourselves yawning. Yet so it was; and only the wish to see if the mirth would take another turn, induced us to remain after a certain period. At last, even the vivacity of a recruiting party, who beat drums uninterruptedly the whole even. ing; and the vocalisation of a ballad-singer, whose lungs would have worked a blast-furnace, and the elegant evolutions of several energetic gentlemen who were walizing together to the band under the front walk, ceased to amuse us. The grey light of morniog was stealing over the gardens, putting to shame the few glimmering lamps that flickered on the motio “VIVE LE Masque,' now rapidly decaying; the chirp of two or three daring sparrows, accustomed to early rising, bad, supplanted the imitations of Herr Von Joel; and the spire of the Hamburgh church was once more vividly thrown out in the natural light when we left the gardens, most grateful with ourselves for having been to a masquerade, on the same prid. ciple that we thank a man, who, wearing a bad coat, tells us the address of his tailor.
THE LATE DR. MAGINN.
WILLIAM MAGINN is no more! The bright spirit whose wit has been the delight of thousands, whose learning has been the admiration of a quarter of a century,--whose poetry could win the applause of Byron himself,—and whose guileless simplicity and modesly was the charm of all who knew him, has passed the portals of death, and his place knoweth him no longer! The drama is over-the last scene of his eventful history has at length descended, and the picturesque little village of Walton-on-Thames now contains all that was mortal of one of the most distinguished critics and scholars of the age. He died in his forty-ninth year, and has left a wife and family to lament their irreparable loss.
Born in July, 1794, the precocity of his talents astonished all who knew him, and gave a cheering presage of his future eminence. He entered college in his tenth year, and passed through it with distinction, winning all the honours that dignify and adorn an university career. For a few years he assisted his father in conducting a large and celebrated academy in Cork; but on the first appearance of Blackwood's Magazine he quitted Ireland, and edited that journal in Edinburgh. His papers are eminently original and fine; they attracted considerable attention, and would do honour to the loftiest name in our literature. Having by his connection with this periodical, and his contributions to the Quarterly Review, fully established his name as a writer of first-rate ability, he came to London, and was soon appointed to the joint-editorship of the Standard with the amiable and learned Dr. Giffard. On the establishment of this Miscellany, Dr. Maginn became a contributor to its pages. To him the public are indebted for the able series of articles entitled 'The Shakspeare Papers,' which have been so justly admired.
The following sketches of him, as he appeared about this period, have been drawn by a man of no slight talent, and with great powers of observation-the late Dr. Macnish, better known by his assumed signature of the Modern Pythagorean.
'I dined to-day at the Salopian with Dr. Maginn. He is a most remarkable fellow. His flow of ideas is incredibly quick, and his articulation so rapid, that it is difficult to follow him. He is altogether a person of vast acuteness, celerity of apprehension, and indefatigable activity both of body and mind. He is about my own beight; but I could allow him an inch round the chest. His forehead is very . finely developed, his organ of language and ideality large, and his reasoning faculties excellent. His hair is quite grey, although he does not look more than forty. I imagined he was much older-looking, and that he wore a wig. While conversing, his eye is never a moment at rest; in fact, his whole body is in molion, and he keeps scrawling grotesque figures upon the paper before him, and rubbing them out again as fast as he draws them. He and Giffard are, as you know, joint editors of the Standard.'
I had some queer chat with O'Doherty. I did not measure Maginn's chest, but I examined his head. He has a very fine development of the intellectual powers, especially ideality and wit, which are both unusually large. His language is also large, and he has much firmness and destructiveness, which latter accounts for the satirical bent of his genius. 'That beautiful tale,“ The City of the Demons,” he informed me he wrote quite off-hand. He writes with vast rapidity, and can do so at any time. He speaks French, Italian, and German fluently; these, together with a first-rate knowledge of Latin, Greek, and English, make him master of six languages, so that you can allow him one. He is altogether a very remarkable man. Indeed, I consider him quite equal to Swift; and had his genius, like Swift's, been concentrated in separate works, instead of being squandered with wasteful prodigality in newspapers, magazines, &c., I have no doubt it would have been considered equally original and wonderful. He was much tickled with the apotheosis which I recited to him. I told him you were master of seven languages. Had you been present, I would have confined your abilities to a smaller number, lest he had taken it into his head to try you with the others. The letterpress of the Gallery of Literary Portraits he hit off at a moment's notice, and in the course of a few minutes.'
Scarcely less flattering is the following picture, which has been drawn by the elegant pen of Dr. Moir of Musselburgh, a distinguished poet, and a good man, of whom Maginn always spoke, as he deserved, in the highest terms: * To a portion, and no inconsiderable one, of the literary world, Dr. Maginn is
known par excellence as the Doctor ; in the same way as Professor Wilson is recognized as the Professor. Nearly twenty years, cheu ! fugaces, Posthume, lahun tur anni ! have glided over since ihe Doctor and I were co-litterateurs; and yet, strange to say, we have never chanced to meet. By every one capable of judging, the powers of Dr. Maginn are acknowledged to be of the highest order. Has he given the world assurance of this in the way he might have done? We doubt much; but from · The City of the Demons,' The Man in the Bill,'Colonel Pride,'' The Shaksp are Papers,' and many other things, posterity will be able to appreciate him. Ex pede Herc.'
Such was William Mayinn as he appeared to these two eminent men. And truly can it be said that the portrait is not overdrawn; or that if in any way unlike, it is because it scarcely does justice to the merits of its original. It is, to be sure, enviable praise to be associaied with so brilliant a name as Swift; bui, much as we admire the writings of the Dean, we must in justice say that they are far short of those of Maginn. For Swift was morose, and cynical, and austere, Maginn was kind, and gentle, and child-like. Swift's whole conversation was irony or sarcasm, Maginn's was entirely genial and anecdotical and free from bitterness. Like the lives of all literary men, that of Dr. Maginn will be best found in the series of his publications. We do not know a single individual to whom the praise of Parr on Fox more perfecıly applies, and never do we peruse it tha! we do not almost fancy it was written expressly for Maginn.
Can anything more exquisitely portray the kindliness of his heart, and his devotion to his children, than the following verses, now published for the first time, and inlaid in this place like pieces of rich mosaic? They are simple and homely; but it is the spirit ihey breathe for which we love them.
“TO MY DAUGHTERS. O my darling little daughters! And at last, when God commanding,
O my daughters, lov'd so well! I shall leave you both behind, Who by Brighton's breezy waters May I feel with soul expanding
For å lime have gone to dwell. Ishall leave you good and kind! Here I come with spirit yearning,
With your sight my eyes to chcer, May I leave my Nan and Pigeont When this sunny day returning
Mild of faith, of purpose true, Brings my forty-second year. Full of faith and meek religion,
With many joys, and sorrow's few. Knit to me in love and duty
Now I part, with fond caressing, Have you been sweet pets of mine! Part you now, my daughters dearLong in health, and joy, and beauty, Take, then, take your father's blessing, May it be your loi io shine!
In his forty second year. W. M.'
We hope it will not be found that the young and interesting family of the great man, whose genius reflecis credit on our country,--whose single-heartedness and benevolence were immediately observed by all who approached him,- who, in the course of as diversitied a lite as ever literary man led, never had but one toe: whose political principles swerved not from their original path, but continued steady and firm to the last, -- whose intellect adorned every theme that he touched, and whose only fault was to be too careless of the morrow (that prime failing in men of the loftiest minds),-we hope that this man's children will be provided for by the resources of such a couniry as ours. Literary men too rarely leave fortunes to their children; but the present is, perhaps, the most distressing instance that has happened for many years in England.
* If you had been called upon to select a friend from the whole human rare, where could you have found one endowed as he was with the guileless playfulness of a child, and the most correct and comprehensive knowledge of the world; or distinguished as he was by an elegant laste in ihe dead and living languages, by a thorough acquaintance with the most important events of past and present times, by a profound skill in the history, and by a well-founded and well-directed reverence for the constitution of his country, and by the keenest penetration into all the nearer and all the remoter consequences of public mcasures?'
PARR. Character of Foz. † A pet name for his youngest daughter.
MISCELL A NY.
HUNTING JOHN DORY, BY GEORGE SOANE,
BY ALBERT SMITH
THE BOAR-HUNT, . . . BI . R. ADDISON 351 MY FIRST CLIENT, THE BISHOP: A TRUE TALE OF GRAY'S INN,
BY J. B. 0. M. 353 THE FORGED WILL, , . . BY H. CURLING 367 A STRIKING INCIDENT,
BY H. R. ADDISON 377 A LITTLE TALK ABOUT BARTHOLOMEW FAIR; PAST AND PRESENT,
BY ALBERT SMITH 380 SUDDEN FEAR,
BY H. R ADDISON 385 TO 青春拳击非非非
. . 387 A CAMPAIGN WITH THE CHRISTINOS,
BY CHARLES F. FYNES-CLINTON 388 THE PHILOSOPHY OF TIME, EDITED BY ALFRED CROWQUILL 406 THE NORFOLK TRAGEDY-AN OLD SONG TO A NEW TUNE
BY THOMAS INGOLDSBY, ESQ. 410 RICHARD SAVAGE: A ROMANCE OF REAL LIFE. EDITED, WITH
OCCASIONAL NOTES, BY CHARLES WHITEHEAD . 411 A MALTESE GHOST STORY, . BY RICHARD JOHNS 442 THE TWO GATEKEEPERS, . . . BY G. D. 428