[merged small][ocr errors]

Whose flourish (meteor-like) doth curl the air
With flash of high-born fancies: here and there
Dancing in lofty measures, and anon
Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone:
Whose trembling murmurs melting in wild airs
Run to and fro, complaining his sweet cares
Because those precious mysteries that dwell
In music's ravish'd soul he dares not tell,
But whisper to the world: thus do they vary,
Each string his note, as if they meant to carry
Their master's blest soul (snatch'd out at his ears
By a strong ecstacy) through all the spheres
Of music's heaven; and seat it there on high
In th' empyreum of pure harmony.
At length, (after so long, so loud a strife
Of all the strings, still breathing the best life
Of blest variety attending on

His fingers fairest revolution.

In many a sweet rise, many as sweet a fall)
A full mouth'd diapason swallows all.

This done, he lists what she would say to this,
And she, although her breath's late exercise
Had dealt too roughly with her tender throat,
Yet summons all her sweet powers for a note.
Alas! in vain! for while (sweet soul) she tries
To measure all those wild diversities

Of chatt'ring strings, by the small size of one
Poor simple voice, rais'd in a natural tone;
She fails, and failing, grieves, and grieving dies.
She dies and leaves her life the victor's prize,
Falling upon his lute; O fit to have

(That liv'd so
so sweetly) dead, so sweet a grave!



This exquisite story has had another relator in Ford the dramatist, and according to a great authority, a finer one. The passage is very beautiful certainly, especially in the outset about Greece; and if the story is to be taken as a sentiment, it must be allowed to surpass the other; but as an account of the Duel itself, it is assuredly as different as playing is from no playing. Sentiment however completes every thing, and we hope our readers will enjoy with us the concluding from Ford:-

Menaphon. Passing from Italy to Greece, the tales
Which poets of an elder time have feign'defendants

To glorify their Tempe, bred in me

Desire of visiting that paradise.os

To Thessaly I came, and living private,

Without acquaintance of more sweet companions, bobbins à

Than the old inmates to my love, my thoughts,

I day by day frequented silent groves,

And solitary walks. One morning early

This accident encounter'd me: I heard

The sweetest and most ravishing contention,iew M ali vi kortADOS MĖNO
That art and nature ever were at strife in.

Ametlus. I cannot yet conceive what you infer

[blocks in formation]

Proclaiming, as it seem'd, so bold a challenge
To the clear choristers of the woods, the birds,
That, as they flock'd about him, all stood silent,
Wond'ring at what they heard. I wonder'd too.
Amet. And so do I; good, on!


A nightingale,
Nature's best skill'd musician, undertakes

The challenge, and for ev'ry several strain

The well-shap'd youth could touch, she sung her down ;
He could not run division with more art

Upon his quaking instrument, than she,

The nightingale, did with her various notes
Reply to. For a voice, and for a sound,
Amethus, 'tis much easier to believe

That such they were, than hope to hear again.
Amet. How did the rivals part?

You term them rightly,
For they were rivals, and their mistress harmony.
Some time thus spent, the young man grew at last
Into a pretty anger, that a bird

Whom art had never taught cliffs, moods, or notes,
Should vie with him for mastery, whose study

Had busied many hours to perfect practice :
To end the controversy, in a rapture

Upon his instrument he plays so swiftly,
So many voluntaries, and so qnick,
That there was curiosity and cunning,

Concord in discord, lines of diff'ring method
Meeting in one full centre of delight.

Amet. Now for the bird.


The bird, ordain'd to be

Music's first martyr, strove to imitate

These several sounds: which, when her warbling throat

diamond Fail'd in, for grief, down dropp'd she on his lute, And brake her heart. It was the quaintest sadness,

To see the conqueror upon her hearse,

To weep a funeral elegy of tears,

That, trust me, my Amethus, I could chide
Mine own unmanly weakness, that made me
A fellow-mourner with him.

[blocks in formation]

Men. He look'd upon the trophies of his art,

Then sigh'd, then wip'd his eyes, then sigh'd and cried :
"Alas, poor creature! I will soon revenge

This cruelty upon the author of it;

Henceforth this lute, guilty of innocent blood,

Shall never more betray a harmless peace
To an untimely end :" and in that sorrow,
As he was pashing it against a tree,

I suddenly stept in.

[ocr errors]

Orders received by the Newsmen, by the Booksellers, and by the Publisher, Joseph Appleyard. Printed by Joseph Appleyard, No. 19, Catherine-street, Strand.-Price 2d.


There he arriving round about doth fie,
And takes survey with busie curious eye:
Now this, now that, ne tasteth tenderly.


No. XXXIII.—WEDNESDAY, MAY 24th, 1820.


AMONG other comparative injuries which we are accustomed to do to the characters of things animate and inanimate, in order to gratify our human vanity,-such as calling à rascal a dog (which is a great compliment), and saying that a tyrant makes a beast of himself (which it would be a very good thing, and a lift in the world, if he could), is a habit in which some persons indulge themselves, of calling insipid things and persons STICKS. Such and such a one is said to write a stick; and such another is himself called a stick ;-a poor stick, a mere stick, a stick of a fellow.

We protest against this injustice done to those genteel, jaunty, useful, and once flourishing sons of a good old stock. Take, for instance, a common cherry stick, which is one of the favourite sort. In the first place, it is a very pleasant substance to look at, the grain running round it in glossy and shadowy rings. Then it is of primæval antiquity, handed down from scion to scion through the most flourishing of genealogical trees. In the third place, it is of Eastern origin; of a stock, which it is possible may have furnished Haroun Al Raschid with a djereed, or Mahomet with a camel-stick, or Xenophon in his famous retreat with fences, or Xerxes with tentpins, or Alexander with a javelin, or Sardanapalus with tarts, or Solomon with a simile for his mistress's lips, or Jacob with a crook, or Methusalem with shadow, or Zoroaster with mathematical instruments, or the builders of Babel with scaffolding. Lastly, how do you know but that you may have eaten cherries off this very stick; for it was once alive with sap, and rustling with foliage, and powdered with blossoms, and red and laughing with fruit. Where the leathern tassel now hangs, may have dangled a bunch of berries; and instead of the brass ferrel poking in the mud, the tip was growing into the air with it's youngest green.

The use of sticks in general is of the very greatest antiquity. It is impossible to conceive a state of society, in which boughs should not be plucked from trees for some purpose of utility or amusement. Savages use clubs, hunters require lances, and shepherds their crooks. Then came the sceptre, which is originally nothing but a staff, or a lance, or a crook, distinguished from others. The Greek word for sceptre signifies also a walking-stick. A mace, however plumped up and disguised with gilding and a heavy crown, is only the same thing in the hands of an inferior ruler; and so are all other sticks used in office, from the baton of the Grand Constable of France down to the tipstaff of a constable in Bow-street. As the shepherd's dog is the origin of the gentlest whelp that lies on a hearth-cushion, and of the most pompous barker that jumps about a pair of greys, so the merest stick used by a modern Arcadian, when he is driving his flock to Leadenhall-market with a piece of candle in his hat and No. 551 on his arm, is the first great parent and original of all authoritative staves, from the beadle's cane wherewith he terrifies charity-boys who eat bull's-eyes in church-time, up to the silver mace of the verger; the wands of parishes and governors; the tasselled staff, wherewith the Band-Major so loftily picks out his measured way before the musicians, and which he holds up when they are to cease; the White Staff of the Lord Treasurer; the court-officer emphatically called the Lord Gold Stick; the Bishop's Crozier (Pedum Episcopale) whereby he is supposed to pull back the feet of his straying flock; and the royal and imperial sceptre aforesaid, whose holders, formerly called Shepherds of the People (Пoves Aday) were seditiously said to fleece more than to protect. The Vaulting-Staff, a luxurious instrument of exercise, must have been used in times immemorial for passing streams and rough ground with. It is the ancestor of the staff with which Pilgrims travelled. The Staff and Quarter-Staff of the country Robin Hoods is a remnant of the war-club. So is the Irish Shilelah, which a friend has well defined to be "a stick with two butt-ends." The originals of all these, that are not extant in our own country, may still be seen wherever there are nations uncivilized. The Negro Prince, who asked our countrymen what was said of him in Europe, was surrounded in state with a parcel of ragged fellows with shilelahs over their shoulders, Lord Old Sticks.

But sticks have been great favourites with civilized as well as uncivilized nations; only the former have used them more for help and ornament. The Greeks were a sceptropherous people. Homer probably used a walking-stick, because he was blind; but we have it on authority that Socrates did. On his first meeting with Xenophon,. which was in a narrow passage, he barred up the way with his stick, and asked him in his good-natured manner, where provisions were to be had. Xenophon having told him, he asked again, if he knew where virtue and wisdom were to be had; and this reducing the young man to a non-plus, he said, "Follow me, and learn;" which Xenophon did, and became the great man we have all heard of. The fatherly story of Agesilaus, has caught amusing his little boy with riding

on a stick, and asked his visitor whether he was a father, is too well known for repetition.


There is an illustrious anecdote connected with our subject in Roman history. The highest compliment, which his countrymen thought they could pay to the first Scipio was to call him a walking-stick; for such is the signification of his name. It was given him for the filial zeal with which he used to help his old father about, serving his decrepid age instead of a staff. But the Romans were not remarkable for sentiment. What we hear in general of their sticks, is the thumpings which servants get in their plays; and above all, the famous rods. which the lictors carried, and which being actual sticks, must have inflicted horrible dull bruises and malignant stripes. They were pretty things, it must be confessed, to carry before the chief magistrate; just as if the King or the Lord Chancellor were to be preceded by a cat-o'-nine-tails.

Sticks are not at all in such request with modern times as they were. Formerly, we suspect, most of the poorer ranks in England used to carry them, both on account of the prevalence of manly sports, and for security in travelling: for before the invention of posts and mailcoaches, a trip to Marlowe or St. Albans was a thing to make a man write his will. As they came to be ornamented, fashion adopted them. The Cavaliers of Charles the First's time were a sticked race, as well as the apostolic divines and puritans, who appear to have carried staves because they read of them among the patriarchs. · Charles the First, when at his trial, held out his stick to forbid the Attorney-General's proceeding. There is an interesting little story connected with a stick, which is related of Andrew Marvell's father, (worthy of such a son), and which as it is little known, we will repeat; though it respects the man more than the machine. He had been visited by a young lady, who in spite of a stormy evening persisted in returning across the Humber, because her family would be alarmed at her absence. The old gentleman, high-hearted and chearful, after vainly trying to dissuade her from perils which he understood better than she, resolved in his gallantry to bear her company. He accordingly walked with her down to the shore, and getting into the boat, threw his stick to a friend, with a request, in a lively tone of voice, that he would preserve it for a keepsake. He then cried out merrily Ho-hoy for Heaven!" and put off with his visitor. They were drowned.


As commerce increased, exotic sticks grew in request from the Indies. Hence the Bamboo, the Whanghee, the Jambee which makes such a genteel figure under Mr. Lilly's auspices in the Tatler; and our light modern cane, which the Sunday stroller buys at sixpence a piece, with a twist of it at the end for a handle. The physicians, till within the last few score of years, retained among other fopperies which they converted into gravities, the wig and gold-headed cane, The latter had been an indispensible sign royal of fashion, and was turned to infinite purposes of accomplished gesticulation. One of the most courtly personages in the Rape of the Lock is

« ElőzőTovább »