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great band of admiring disciples by sliding down the balusters of the rostrum (from which he preaches), from the top to the bottom, to illustrate the fatal ease with which man slides into the pit of destruction, while 'sliding up again'* was to symbolize the difficulty of winning his way back to the path of virtue. Action, gesticulation, and frantic ejaculations of the freest kind, were among the favourite weapons of these oratorical displays, and it is probably to some well-known and favourite resort of this kind that the bard alludes when he says,

“He can look above and look below,

He can deeply sigh and groan, ah !
He can shake the rocks and swallow the whale,

He's a greater man than Jonah.'
No wonder, therefore, that

• This wonderful man surprises the land,

Parson, lawyer, snob and surgeon,
From every place they run a race

To the wonderful man call'd Spurgeon.' At the head of this Ballad, there is a facetious woodcut, which to Mr. Spurgeon must have been a bitterness beyond that of aloes itself.' For, if there be anything in this life which Mr. Spurgeon hates, despises, and holds in pious abhorrence—it is a bishop; and here he is, at the top of this half-sheet, arrayed in full episcopal robes, in all the atrocious splendour of a full-bottomed wig, crowned with a mitre, lawn sleeves, a pastoral-staff in his right hand, and a bag of 30,0001. in his left; while, with indignant foot, he tramples on the words, The Bill!f This is very hard on the reverend divine, though he simply shares the luckless fate of the illustres Viri' of the Nuremberg Chronicle,' which, according to Dr. Maitland, was finished in July, 1493, and, that those who could not read the text might study, and be edified by, the pictures of cities and of illustrious men (tum civitatum tum illustrium virorum)' was adorned with woodcuts on almost every page. As in the ballad a bishop in Pontificalibus stands for, and is the effigy of, Mr. Spurgeon; so in the famous Chronicle,' one and the same woodcut, at folio 52, stands for Hosea, Sadoc, and Scipio Africanus; further on, for Juno and the prophetess Hulda ; or, at a later page, for Zephaniah, Æsop, Aulus Gellius, and John Wicliffe ! So, therefore, wonderful Mr. Spurgeon must be content to share the common fate of all reverend persons whose fame reaches the poet of Seven Dials, and be handed down to posterity under the guise of a jolly bishop in lawn sleeves, trampling on reform.

* Sed revocare gradum

Hic labor, hoc opus est.' + This effigy must clearly have been drawn to illustrate the conduct of some Right Rev. Divine in 1832.

Maitland's · Essays,' pp. 83, 84. So, in an early copy of Fox's · Martyrs,' a single woodcut represents two different companies of six burned at different places and times; and the same picture serves for Margery Polley, martyred, at p. 1524, and Cicely Ormes, at p. 1835.

Hulda ;

In passing on to · Lord Palmerston' we come to a kindred subject; for the Preacher of the Surrey Rotunda was said to have been a great favourite of the late Viscount, who "sat under' him more than once. All know how popular the Prime Minister was, and how widely his loss was felt; we are not, therefore, surprised to find his elegy enclosed in a broad border of black, and seven heavy stanzas of dolorous rhyme devoted to his memory. Whether the poet is affected by the greatness of his theme, or fairly swallowed up in grief, it is hard to say, but his usual sprightliness and flow of verse seem to have utterly forsaken him. His

poem

is an unbroken wail of the flattest and dullest monotone. Thus it

opens-
• You sons of Brittania,

In silence now weep,
For the loss of that statesman

Who in death's arm do sleep,
For that noble Lord Palmerston

Briton's deplore.
The glory of England

Alas is no more.
Mourn Briton's, mourn,

And in silence deplore
For the glory of England

Who now is no more.'

There are seven stanzas of this kind, but none rising above the dead level of Tupperian bathos, informing us (among other events) that he was born in October, seventeen eighty-four, that good able statesman who now is no more!' that he has been useful to England, to his country, to his Queen, to all foreign nations, who all • felt the loss of the late Sir Robert Peel, but will miss “ Pam” far more ;' that Great Britain is lost in grief, and Victoria our Queen so 'quite overcome' when the news reached her

“That she said my good statesman

Alas, is no more!
Lord Palmerston's gone

To that still silent bourne,
To his queen and his country

He can never return.'

Step

Step by step in his doleful strain the bard thus leads us on, and then with Shaksperian art having reminded us of

• That undiscovered country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns'

6

he closes his sad flight with

We hope now Lord Palmerston

To glory is gone,
The twentieth day of October

He was just eighty-one.' Cordially joining in this last pious aspiration for the welfare of departed greatness, we reach the grave of the warlike Mr. • Tom Sayers' who, also,

• Is gone to that silent bourne,

Where he must lay till the judgment day,
No more he can return.'

Of whom also the poet, in the fierceness of his grief, with a fine defiance of rhyme and a spondaic exuberance in the second line, further sings,

• At his residence in Camden Town,

Alas! Tom Sayers died !
On the eighth day of November

Eighteen hundred and sixty-five.
Tom is by all lamented

Since his equal none can find,
Tom expired in the prime of life

At the age of thirty-nine.' Mr. Sayers, the poem further tells us, ' was born at Brighton, where passed his youthful days,' was twelve years a pugilist, fought . sixteen hard battles, and only once was beat,' his last victory being over the bold Benicia Boy ;' no one could speak of Tom 'with envy or disdain,' though now he's gone' to a land where, alas ! his knowledge of the manly art of self-defence will be useless.

But we must hasten on; merely quoting, ere we go, a single verse from · Robert Stephenson's gone, God rest him,' which informs us that

• He died like a lamb, did that wonderful man

Generations to come will long bless him,
Up aloft he has gone, never more to return
The Father of Railways, God rest him.

Signed, JOHN MORGAN, Orchard Street, S.W.'
We notice this stanza, not only because we have a new simile

instead

seems,

instead of the invariable "still, silent bourne,' but because it is the only ballad out of all the five hundred which bears the author's name.

Our next half-sheet, headed “Shakespeare's House,' is altogether so singular, that we despair of giving our readers any adequate idea of what it is like. It was clearly written, many years ago, when a great outcry was raised against the notion of some Yankee speculator coming over to England and buying up the house of “Sweet Will’ for Barnum's museum.

It starts in indignant passion that such a desecration should have been even thought of! “to mutilate Nature's learned home-'

*A spot renowned before and after death'would be a national disgrace, and rouse the whole world to join in the bitter, though mysterious chorus of

Profanation, degradation,—Oh England, thou art a tardanation ! It

indeed, impossible to the bard that England could ever sink to such a depth of infamy; yet, he continues in a strain of fine sarcastic irony, Let it go, let it go, let the Jews get hold it, let Yankee Barnums prowl along those sacred walls,'

our Shakespere needs no fame,
'Tis but a house! a house! what's in a name?
Let it be sold, or in the sea be tossed-

His love and mighty labours ne'er will be lost. (Cho.) Altercation, dilapidation, Time steps in and cheats the Nation.'

Under our second heading of ‘Historical,' we have a dozen or two ballads, the titles of which sufficiently indicate their several subjects. The poet confines himself to no one kind of metre, and occasionally soars above all the restraints of rhyme ; for though metre,' says De Quincey, 'is naturally and necessarily adopted in cases of impassioned themes, for the very obvious reason that rhythmus is both a cause of impassioned feeling, an ally of such feeling, and a natural effect of it; yet interrogations and passionate ejaculations are no more than natural when metre has attuned the mind for such effects ;' and thus the poet is often hurried away into utter forgetfulness of all technical rules; but for the most part the style of verse is hum-drum itself. For example, "The Battle of Boulogne' thus opens :

On the second of August, eighteen hundred and one,

We sailed with Lord Nelson to the port of Boulogne,
For to cut out their shipping which was all in vain,

But to our misfortune they were all moored and chained, and after crawling heavily through six or seven like stanzas,

winds up with a single verse, which revea in the most barefaced way the drift of the whole poem, viz., to draw money from an admiring crowd for the benefit of the six dismantled' mariners who on a Saturday evening may be found in the New Cut or Leather Lane, each without arms or without legs, but all possessed of stentorian voices, and all with dismal potency howling out

"And

you

that relieve us, the Lord will you bless, For assisting poor sailors in the time of distress, May the Lord put an end to all cruel wars,

And peace and content be to all British Tars.' But these impostors are well known in the profession as belonging to the thieves' kitchen; and we are bound to add that, throughout the whole range of ballads, there is scarcely another trace to be found of the Muse's degradation to the baser

purposes of mendicity. The Battle of Algiers,' in ten fiery stanzas, is a much more honest composition; and, inspired by a grim woodcut of a yacht and a schooner under full canvas, and a river steamer gallantly leading the way headlong into a group of lofty shipping, thus boldly the poet begins : 'Come all you Britons stout and bold that love your native land, Rejoicing in our victory, Lord Exmouth gave command; Lord Exmouth will your rights maintain as you shall plainly sce, How we fought like lions bold, to set the Christians free.

You British Tars be steady, and maintain your glorious name,
You'll ever find Lord Exmouth to lead you into fame.'

As far as mere facts and dates are concerned neither Nelson nor Exmouth have cause to complain, and both are extolled to the skies as true British heroes; but. The Duke of Marlborough' in our next ballad has just cause of complaint in being made to sing a song of five stanzas on his death-bed from a wound at the Battle of Ramilies (1706) where both his horse and his aide-decamp were shot all by a musket-ball ;'* whereas we know that John Churchill fought at Oudenarde in 1708, at Malplaquet in 1709, and died in his bed at Blenheim in 1722. The bard is clearly at sea as to his facts and his chronology, for he makes the battle take place at night, and during an earthquake, in the reign of merry King Charles II.! who had been quietly buried in Westminster Abbey twenty-one years before, when Marlborough

* This is founded on fact: for when Marlborough was in the act of mounting a second horse, the head of Col. Brie his aide-de-camp, was carried off by a cannon-ball as he held the Duke's stirrup.

was

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