« ElőzőTovább »
for three or four years with that apathy with which the middle classes always regard the efforts made for their good by others. It seems, as though, with the false pride and bad taste which universally belongs to that peculiar class, they resented any attempt to rescue them from those contingencies to which we are all liable. This experiment involved the loss of a considerable sum of money, part of which was defrayed by the Committee, and part by the profits of some theatrical exhibitions, in which Dickens, Jerrold, Forster, and the “Punch" contributors were the chief actors. Dr. Smith is now one of the London Board of Health, and is devoting his energies to the good of his fellow-creatures. He has deliberately sacrificed a large private practice, that he may “work for the million instead of the few.” To quote a line from Goldsmith, he does not
“Give up to private practice what was meant for mankind.”
Dr. Smith, in social life, is benevolent, gentle, and consistent. * Beloved by his friends, he enjoys, with peculiar relish, the quiet of rural delights; the most pleasant and intellectual hours we have enjoyed have been with him, wandering after the labors of the day in the fields and woods about Highgate, and speculating on the ulterior destination of man. Dr. Smith believes in the immortality of our identity, and, although a Unitarian, uniformly speaks of our Saviour as a Divine Being; in support of this opinion, taking his conversation as being no evidence to the public, we refer to his “ Divine Government.” His conversation is singularly clear, and although slow, and somewhat hesitating in his speech, the words might be taken down from his mouth as uttered, and sent to the printer's without a correction. He reads with peculiar force and discrimination. One of his efforts we particularly remember; it was the greater part of “Comus,” one fine May day, in the woods near Loughton—the only accompaniment to the poetry of Milton being the singing of birds and the rustling of trees. Dr. Smith has two daughters by his first wife, and a son by his second marriage; the latter union was not fortunate; the dissentients had, however, the good taste to separate amicably, and preserve for each other a mutual respect, although the incompatibility of their tempers prevented their living together in a state of domestic happiness. # * In person he is short, and somewhat thickly made; but his head is very fine, and has a striking resemblance to Napoleon's. His eyes are gray, and deeply set—his brow massive and lofty. He is passionately fond of music and poetry. He occasionally preaches in Finsbury Chapel. He is approaching his sixtieth year, and from his temperate habits and strong constitution, seems likely to have a long life to benefit mankind by his labors. It is some"what surprising that there is no reprint of his works in America. COW ENTRY PAT MORE.
One evening at Mr. Moxon's, the publisher, some six years ago, a number of poets and writers were gathered together, canvassing the literary news. The “Poet of Publishërs, and the Publisher of the Poets,” handed to them some of the proof sheets of a volume which he was about to give to the public. It was read by one of the company present, and so well read, that it was the opinion of most present, that a great poet was about to rise upon the world. This volume was Coventry Patmore's. It appeared, and, although evidencing many gleams of poetical sentiment and felicitous language, was considered a promise rather than a performance. Since then we have heard nothing of the young bard; we must therefore consider him by his solitary volume of one hundred and fifty pages. The longest poems are those entitled, The River, Julien, The Woodman's Daughter, and Sir Hubert; the latter taken from Boccaccio. The first poem commences with so fine a stanza that it adds to the disappointment of the reader as he progresses.
“It is a venerable place,
The third and fourth lines are very bold and expressive.
“Upon a rise, where single oaks
Around its many gable ends
Its huge fantastic weather vanes
Its warm face through the foliage gleams,
The ivied turrets seem to love
Look where the merry butterflies
The lady loves the pale Witchaire,
The lady after a time promises to wed another, under the impression that Witchaire (what a namel) does not love her. The marriage takes place while the guest are toasting the bride and bridegroom.
“In the silent park a fignre stands
He mindeth neither warmth nor cold,
And yet he crieth, Chill, oh Chill,
And yet he crieth “Misery,”,
The moonshine shineth in his eye,
Full of vacuity as death
Fixedly, though expressionless
Thence tinged by colossal fingers quaint
Broad bars of red and purple light
Mournfully through the muffled air,
It is amusing to remark in this the confused jumble of Tennyson, Coleridge and Keats —
“His forehead cleareth suddenly!—
The two last lines are well thrown out to indicate the difference between the repose of hope and the calm of despair