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L'ENVOY OF THE POET.
That only lures thy fancy to admire;
The ignis fatuus but a specious fire.
what is life without a quiet spirit? Like a Sisyphus, the ambitious idiot rolls up the hill the ponderous stone, which sooner or later must recoil, and crush him; say then, what becomes of all his glory? well may he at last exclaim,
-- - Farewel;
who might truly be denominated the modern Semiramis of the north, was a striking instance of ambitious folly, who did not scruple to connive at the murder of her own husband, as soon as she had grasped the reins of power: neither can I forget to instance the famous Cromwell, in England, who, after the publication of Colonel Titus's work entitled Killing no Murder, was in such a constant state of apprehension as to drive his own coach in disguise, fearful of assassination; while at the same time, he nightly changed his bedchamber, to evade the blow of the assassin.
OF FOOLS WHO BOAST THEIR ANCESTRY AND
Et genus et proavos, et quæ non fecimus ipsi
From what great stock dost thou boast blood,
Or else from Asiatic?
Who boasts the dye of old nick?
Or, art thou sprung from Roman* race ?
The kindred of thy daddy?
* It is said, that there may be found an English noble, whose pedigree goeth back even unto the era of the Roman
Or, art thou from the famous seed
Or else Hibernian Paddy?
Or, does the harper e'er rehearse
And boast thee sprung from madam;
Before the day of Adam?*
emperors; which may certainly be the case; as we find some of their extraordinary propensities handed down to the present period in his own person.
* The Welshmen are proverbial for priding themselves on the antiquity of their origin; to whom these lines of Shakspeare may well be applied:
- I was born so high, Our airy buildeth in the cedar's top;
And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun. This love of pedigree reminds me of the story of a fool, . who, having suddenly acquired wealth, was very desirous of armorial bearings; and, for that purpose, made application to an herald, in order to know whether he had any right to a coat of arms; but the research was vain, until the dealer in pedigrees inquired whether or no some of his ancestors had not rendered themselves conspicuous by any nota
Unrolling thy long pedigree
Emblazon’d bold as Tartars ?*
ble feat: to which the fool, after some consideration, replied, that his father certainly had made himself famous by escaping from the prison of Ludgate, where he had been some time confined for petty larceny, and that his liberty was so effected, by his parent's having affixed a cord round the neck of the statue of King Lud, which was placed over the gateway, and by which means he let himself down.-“ 'Tis well,” exclaimed the herald," I can now draw you out a pedigree of ten yards long, since it is plain that your father was a descendant from King Lud."
* The gentlemen of the College of Arms have a very happy nack at emblazoning, and can as easily produce yards as inches of pedigree, which tallies perfectly well with Butler's lines:
Nor does it follow, 'cause a herauld
Authentic, that we can make old. Apropos, as we are touching on the subject of heralds, it will not be amiss to say a few words respecting their accoutrements on high days and holidays; which very much
With eagles truss’d; chevaux de frize;
resemble the leathern surtouts of brewers' men, on the gilt cock and breeches of Bartholomew fair: nay, I have some. times thought that they were not altogether unlike moving packing cases: at all events, the wearers of tabards are usually as empty headed. But, referring once more to their costume, we should not pass over unheeded the words of Shakspeare, who makes his Falstaff thus ludicrously de. scribe them: “ There is but a shirt and a half in all my company; and the half shirt is two napkins t'acked together, and thrown over the shoulders, like a herald's coat without sleeves, &c.”
* The annotator was for some time incapable of divining the meaning of the poet's allusion, till the pannel of a ducal carriage, one day, unravelled the mystery in the following manner. “ Being lately at the west end of the town, a very dashing chariot came tearing along the street, and just drew up to the portal of a noble mansion, as the writer was passing it with a friend. The shower of mud, which came like hail from the rapid whirl of the wheels, caused us to halt; and one of the footmen vaulting from behind, with his long cane, which may be well termed the London lacquey's augural staff, opened the carriage door, when the noble owner stepped forth, regardless of the dirty pickle in which he had bedizened us plebeian pedestrians. “ That is the