« ElőzőTovább »
will infallibly be murdered for your buttons." At a dinner at Monk Lewis's chambers in the Albany, Lord Byron expressed to the writer his determination not to go there again, adding, "I never will' dine with a middle-aged man who fills up his table with young ensigns, and has looking-glass panels to his bookcases." Lord Byron, when one of the Drury-lane Committee of Management, challenged the writer to sing alternately (like the swains in Virgil) the praises of Mrs. Mardyn, the actress, who, by the by, was hissed off the stage for an imputed intimacy, of which she was quite innocent.
The contest ran as follows :—
"Wake, muse of fire, your ardent lyre,
Pour forth your amorous ditty, But first profound, in duty bound,
Applaud the new committee; Their scenic art, from Thespis cart
All jaded nags discarding, To London, drove this queen of love,
Enchanting Mrs. Mardyn.
Though tides of love around her rove,
I fear shell choose Pactolus— In that bright surge bards ne'er immerge, So I must e'en swim solus. 'Out, out, alas!' ill-fated gas, That shin'st round Covent Garden;
Thy ray how flat, compared with that
From eye of Mrs. Mardyn!"
And so on. The reader has, no doubt, already discovered" which is the justice, and which is the thief.'"
Lord Byron at that time wore a very narrow cravat of white sarsnet, with the shirt-collar falling over it j a, black coat and waistcoat, and very broad white troweers, to hide his
lame foot—these were of Russia duck in the morning, and jean in the evening. His watch-chain had a number of small gold seals appended to it, and was looped up to a button of his waistcoat. His face was void of colour; he wore no whiskers. His eyes were grey, fringed with long black lashes; and his air was imposing, but rather supercilious. He undervalued David Hume; denying his claim to genius on account of his bulk, and calling him, from the heroic epistle,
"Tbe fattest hog in Epicurus' sty."
One of this extraordinary man's allegations was, that "fat is an oily dropsy." To stave off its visitation, he frequently chewed tobacco in lieu of dinner, alleging that it absorbed the gastric juice of the stomach, and prevented hunger. "Pass your hand down my side," said his lordship to the writer; '' can you count my ribs?" "Every one of them." "I am delighted to hear you say so.
I called last week on Lady;
'Ah, Lord Byron,' said she, 'how fat you grow!' But you know Lady
is fond of saying spiteful
things!" Let this gossip be summed up with the words of Lord Chesterfield, in his character of Bolingbroke: "Upon the whole, on a survey of this extraordinary, character, what can we say, but 'Alas, poor human nature!'"
The writer never heard him allude, to his deformed foot except upon one. occasion, when, entering the greenroom of Drury-lane, he found Lord Byron alone, the younger Byrne and Miss Smith the dancer having just left him, after an angry conference about a pas seul. "Had you been here a minute sooner," said Lord B. "you would have heard a question about dancing referred to me;— me! (looking mournfully downward) whom fate from my birth has prohibited from taking a single step."
Art. XX.—The Operation of theCorn Laws during the last Sixty Years, stated in the shape of Substantive Propositions. By Alexander Mcndell, Esq. London: Longman, Rees, and Co. 1833.
The effects of the policy of the com laws on the two great interests of the country have been long the subject of anxious and heated controversy. The plan which the author of this pamphlet has struck upon for the purpose of removing the misconceptions so generally prevalent on these points, is to set forth the whole case consecutively in a series of plain propositions. The latter amount to 19 in all, and the result which they convey may be summed up in the following brief manner :— That, in comparing the fiye years ending with 1830 and the five years ending with 1815 together, it will appear that in the more recent period there were grown three millions and a half quarters of corn a year less than were produced in the former; that the importation of foreign corn has since increased"; and that, as a natural consequence, the hands employed in the extra production of 1815 were thrown out of work in 1830. This circumstance, according to the author, is a main source of the distress which has been so lamentably obstinate in its visitation ever since; here, too, he says, is the key to the knowledge of the cause for the great augmentation of the tax for relieving the poor, as may be partly proved by the fact, that whilst those rates did not exceed, in 1815, five millions and a half, they reached, in 1832, the goodly amount of seven sterling millions. The last two of the propositions are expressive of what the author wishes to be done in the way of a remedy. He recommends that for the purpose of restoring to this country the source of the increase of
the home growth of corn, its great and increasing demand for corn should be allowed to produce the effect of raising the price abroad, which it does at home ; he would therefore abolish the importationprice, and allow corn to come in at all times, subject only to a duty moderated in such a way as not to prevent the operation of our demand in raising the price of the article abroad. Mr. Mundell suggests, in addition, that it would be most in conformity with sound policy to allow a drawback on the exportation of corn, which would be equal to the amount of the duty on importation, as this plan, he says, would have the practical effect of bringing the best grain by the duty, and sending out the worst grain by the drawback.
Art. XXI —Lord Brougham's Courts' Bill Examined. By H. B. DenTon, Esq. London: Crofts. 1833.
Without having ever heard of the author's name before, we must say that there is quite enough in this pamphlet to satisfy us how little worthy he is of entering into a discussion on any subject which demands the exercise of an impartial, temperate, and discreet judgment. In conformity with the classical practice of all persons placed in similar circumstances as Mr. Denton, this gentleman sets out with a very animated declaration of his gallant attachment to the cause of legal reform. He loves it, as tenderly as the apple in his eye, and would eulogise and bespatter it with all the profuse idolatry of a Covent-garden declaimer. But, as the ancient priests used to do, Mr. Denton merely decorates his victim before the sacrifice: for, before we get half-waythrough the pamphlet, it becomes, as palpable as the sun in the meridian, that he is a foe, heart and hand, to all change of the present constitution of the legal tribunals. If his reasoning were as cogent as his language is violent, this pamphlet would be entitled to a ponderous crown of victory. But, since assertion is uniformly the substitute for proof, and as Mr. Denton seems inclined to argue more in obedience to his inclination than his better judgment, we do not in the least wonder that this idol of Sir Robert Peel should see in the Local Courts' Bill of Lord Brougham nothing but a series of projects involving useless expense, and unnecessary violence to the established order of business —projects needlessly injurious to the interests of large bodies of respectable individuals — projects which change any thing or every thing, merely for changing sake— projects, in a word, which swell enormously the legal patronage already too extensively enjoyed, and we suppose Mr. Denton would say, too corruptly disposed of. From this description of the nature and import of Mr. Denton's contribution to the legal department of our literature, the sensible reader will easily pardon us if we abstain from inviting him to a nearer acquaintance with its contents.
either the thoughts or in the subjects, the latter being almost all derived from the great mart of poetry over which Venus, to this hour, with undiminished jurisdiction, presides. Mr. Moxon evidently has too much good sense to accept the homage that might be offered to him as an original poet. But we venture to affirm, that no person who has a relish for the beautiful, can read these charming compositions without being affected by the gentle and uninterrupted harmony of his numbers, the spirit of elevated contemplation which breathes in every line, and the indescribable touches of grace, taste, and feeling, which it is never the fortune of ordinary minds to be able to developc. We consider this little emanation, as we presume it to be, as a promise to be succeeded by a much more important performance. Let Mr. Moxon not mind the neglect or the rash and indiscriminate criticism that may pronounce unfavourably on his essay; let him bear in mind that it is one of nature's sovereign laws; that the blossom should die before the fruit is ripe; and therefore analogy would teach him that should this, the earliest of his emanations, be consigned to the tomb, the event is no more than one stage nearer to the period of intellectual maturity.
Art. XXII.—Sonnets. By Edward Moxon. London. 1833.
Thb collection of sonnets forming the contents of this beautiful specimen of the art to which it belongs, is marked by the evidences of a warm imagination and a tender sensibility, but chastened into a subdued and somewhat melancholy tone, which is far from diminishing the interest of these effusions. Nothing, certainly, can be said to be new in
Art. XXIII.—Lives of English Female Worthies. By Mrs. J. SandFord. Vol I. London: Longman, Rees, and Co. 1833.
This is the first of a series of volumes, undertaken most properly by a lady, with the view of illustrating the lives of those females who have made themselves conspicuous in history by their merits. Mrs. Sandford, with great good sense, seems to have taken the necessary
steps to ascertain the difficulties which she was to encounter as a preliminary measure of importance. She certainly must have felt that the exclusion of the gentle sex from the political arena, from the field, and from almost every scene where fame and the usual rewards of merit are to be obtained, left the female race but very few opportunities of manifesting that power of efficiently acting for the general interests of the world, with the ambition for doing which they are no doubt duly supplied. But though the biographies of which she has to treat are not associated with the glory of military triumphs, or the conquest of kingdoms, or with beneficent plans of legislative wisdom, yet that interest of mankind which is directed alone to the investigation of human character in all its varieties, will be to Mrs. Sandford a guarantee that her labours will be adequately prized. Notwithstanding the ingenious apology made by this lady, we shall, we hope, with perfect impunity to our character for gallantry, take the liberty of remonstrating against the introduction of more than a very small proportion of royal and purely historical characters. Mrs. Sandon will surely remember that she is weaving her web of instruction for the fireside of an old English habitation, and that the more the circumstances of the character from which the moral is to be inferred, resemble the circumstances of those who are to be impressed by the history, the greater chance will there be that the grand object of her enterprise will be accomplished.
At all events, queens, princesses, and peeresses, may, in such cases, be dispensed with; for there is no possible community of feeling or motive, capable of being established between them and the women who form the true female population of
the country. We think those anomalous beings called maiden queens, and celebrated mistresses, even those that had their heads cut off, deserve no sympathy at present. The less that is said of them the better; and for an exemplification of the justice of our statement, we would refer the reader to the two lives which form the contents of the volume before us; we would put it to bim boldly to declare if he did not think that the portrait of the domestic Mrs. Hutchinson, the heroine of the one, is infinitely more worthy of being studied than that of the exalted Lady Jane Grey, whose chequered career furnishes the materials of the other.
Art. XXIV.—The Archer's Guide; containing full Instructions for the Use of that Ancient and Noble Instrument, the Bow: Directions for the choice of Arrows; and all Information of Archery, Sfc. Sre. By an Old Toxopholite. London: Hurst. 1833.
Wb are very happy to hear, from so unobjectionable an authority as our Old Toxopholite, that there is scarcely a county in England, at the present moment, in which at least one association for the practice of archery does not exist. This noble amusement is recommended to our attention by associations calculated to kindle the honest pride of every Englishman: for it was by the bow that England first manifested that innate valour which has carried her arms triumphantly almost to the ends of the earth. The historical matter with which this excellent little work commences, will therefore be read with infinite delight, as it exhibits, in rapid and glowing descriptions, feats of chivalrous bravery by the archers of England—such as are calculated to dwell upon the memory, as objects of permanent contemplation.
After carrying us through the interesting historical account of archery, our Toxopholite proceeds to dwell particularly on the several implements which go to constitute the engine generally known by the title of the bow and arrow. Under the head of '' Bow" he describes the different kinds of wood used in its manufacture; next, he considers the "Bowstring," and gives ample directions for the important processes of stringing and unstringing a bow. The " Arrow" receives a long and curious illustration; after which the author successively describes the quiver, the bracer, the shooting glove, the belt, pouch, tassel and grease box, and the target.
The next section of the work embraces the whole of the methods of using the implements. In this department due veneration is conceded to the Five Points of Archery of the renowned Ascham. A sensible chapter is devoted to the description of the best means for attaining skill in the art of archery; the different kinds of shooting, and the value of each, are then dwelt upon, and their distinctions elaborately pointed out; and the whole concludes with a glossary, in which the various terms of this patriarchal amusement, as handed down by our forefathers, are familiarly explained.
Art. XXV.—Poor Laws and Paupers Illustrated. The Parish. A Tale. By Harriet MartiNeau. Published under the Superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. 1833.
Terrible as this picture is of domestic calamity, yet it is only a copy
of a sad reality. It is evident that the able authoress has carefully gone over the whole of the parliamentary documents connected with the poor laws, and that in the numerous facts which these presented, she was enabled to construct the plot of" The Parish." Never was the desolating plague of the English system of poor laws brought to our bosoms and homes in a more terrific shape before. There is great propriety— nay, there is benevolence with solid virtue—in making such afflictions as are here described, the familiar subjects of daily contemplation. They are not necessarily the lot of human beings—they are not a curse which cannot be evaded, like the avalanche that crushes, or the earthquake that devours whole communities—no, no; the evils that we are now dealing with are curable diseases; they may be remedied; and no legislator in the country, no minister, should be allowed to sleep, by the dinging of these misfortunes in his ears, until the absolute specific is administered, and administered with effect.
Art. XXVI.—Sermons delivered on occasion of the Death of the Rev. John Dick, D.D. Grey Friars Church, Glasgow-, Professor of Theology to the United Secession Church. By John Mitchell, D.D. S.T.P. Glasgow; and James Peddie, D.D. Edinburgh. Glasgow: Robertson. 1833.
The history of the reverend gentleman, the subject of these mournful eulogies, is somewhat remarkable. He gave, at a very early period of his life, undoubted proofs of innate genius, and was only twelve years of age when, without the knowledge of his parents, he presented himself before the senatus of King's College,