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his pulse, when the feat was over, I suppose he would have found the effect of it there. Perhaps you remember the Undertakers' dance in the Rehearsal, which they perform in crape hatbands and black cloaks, to the tune of “ Hob or Nob;" one of the sprightliest airs in the world. Such is my fiddling, and such is my dancing; but they serve a purpose, which at some certain times could not be so effectually promoted by any thing else.
I have endeavoured to comply with your request, though I am not 'good at writing upon a giveni subject. Your Mother however comforts me by her approbation, and I steer myself in all that I produce by her judgment. If she does not understand me at the first reading, I am sure the lines are obscure, and always alter them; if she laughs, I know it is not without reason; and if she says, “ that's well, it will do”—I have no fear lest any body else should find fault with it. She is my lord chamberlain, who licenses all I write:
TO MISS C--
ON HER BIRTH DAY.
How many between east and west,
Disgrace their parent earth,
The day that gave them birth ;
Not so when Stella's natal morn
Revolving months restore,
And wish her born once more!
If you like it, use it. If not you know the remedy. It is serious, yet epigrammatic-like a bishop at a ball!
TO THE REV. WILLIAM UNWIN.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I am sensibly mortified at finding myself obliged to disappoint you; but though I have had many thoughts upon the subject you propose to my consideration, I have had none that have been favorable to the undertaking. I applaud your purpose, for the sake of the principle from which it springs; but I look upon the evils, you mean to animadvert upon, as too obstinate and inveterate, ever to be expelled by the means you mention. The very persons, to whom you would address your remonstrance, are themselves sufficiently aware of their enormity; years ago, to my knowledge, they were frequently the topics of conversation
at polite tables; they have been frequently mentioned in both houses of parliament; and, I suppose, there is hardly a member of either, who would not immediately assent to the necessity of reformation, were it proposed to him in a reasonable way. But there it stops; and there it will for ever stop, till the majority are animated with a zeal, in which they are at present deplorably defective. A religious man is unfeignedly shocked, when he reflects upon the prevalence of such crimes; a moral man must needs be so in a degree, and will affect to be much more so than he is. But how many do you suppose there are among our worthy representatives, that come under either of these descriptions? If all were such, yet to new model the police of the country, which must be done in order to make even unavoidable perjury less frequent, were a task they would hardly undertake, on account of the great difficulty that would attend it. Government is too much interested in the consumption of malt-liquor, to reduce the number of venders. Such plausible pleas may be offered in defence of travelling on Suudays, especially by the trading part of the world, as the whole bench of bishops would find it difficult to overrule. And with respect to the violation of oaths, till a certain name is more generally respected, than it is at present, how
ever such persons as yourself may be grieved at it, the legislature are never likely to lay it to heart. I do not mean, nor would by any means attempt, to discourage you in so laudable an enterprise; but such is the light in which it appears to me, that I do not feel the least spark of courage qualifying or prompting me to embark in it myself. An exhortation therefore written by me, by hopeless desponding me, would be flat, insipid, and uninteresting; and disgrace the cause instead of serving it. If after what I have said however, you still retain the same sentiments, Macte esto virtute tuả, there is nobody better qualified than yourself, and may your success prove, that I despaired of it without a reason. . Adieu, my dear friend,
TO THE REV. WILLIAM UNWIN.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I WRITE under the impression of a difficulty not easily surmounted, the want of something to say. Letter-spinning is generally more entertaining to the writer, than the reader; for your sake therefore, I would avoid it, but a dearth of materials is very apt to betray one into a trifling strain, in spite of all our endeavours to be serious.
I left off on Saturday, this present being Monday morning, and I renew the attempt, in hopes that I may possibly catch some subject by the end, and be more successful.
When I wrote the first two lines, I thought I had engaged in a hazardous enterprise; for thought I, should my poetical vein be as dry as my prosaic, I shall spoil the sheet, and send nothing at all: for I could on no account endure the thought of beginning again. But I think I have succeeded to admiration, and am willing to flatter myself, that I have even seen a worse impromptu in the news-papers.
Though we live in a nook, and the world is quite unconscious that there are any such beings in it as ourselves, yet we are not unconcerned about what passes in it. The present