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mixed (if we may speak unprofanely) with a sort of scornful resentment; and turns off with one solitary, brief, comprehensive, and groaning ejaculation of “ Eh-Christ!"—We never see any body go to the window of a rainy morning, but we think of this poor
old barometer of a Patentee, whose face, we trust, will be handed
own in successive fac-similes to posterity, for their edification as well as amusement; for Tate had cultivated much hypochondriacal knowledge in his time, and been a sad fellow in a merry sense before he took to it in it's melancholy one,
The preparation for a rainy day in town is certainly not the pleasantest thing in the world, especially for those who have neither health nor imagination to make their own sunshine. The comparative silence in the streets, which is made dull by our knowing the cause of it,-the window-panes drenched and ever-streaming, like so many helpless cheeks,-the darkened rooms,--and at this season of the year, the having left off fires ;-all 'fall like a chill shade upon
the spirits. But we know not how much pleasantry can be made out of unpleasantness, till we bestir ourselves. The exercise of our bodies will make us bear the weather better, even mentally; and the exercise of our minds will enable us to bear it with patient bodies in-doors, if we cannot go out. Above all, some people seem to think that they can. not have a fire made in a chill day, because it is summer-time, tion which, under the guise of being seasonable, is quite the reverse, and one against which we protest. A fire is a thing to warm us when we are cold; not to go out because the name of the month begins with J. Besides, the sound of it helps to dissipate that of the rain. It is justly called a companion. It looks glad in our faces; it talks to us, it is vivified at our touch; it vivifies in return; it puts life, and warmth, and comfort in the room. A good fellow is bound to see that he leaves this substitute for his company when he goes out, especially to a lady ; whose solitary work-table in a chill room on such a day is a very melancholy refuge. We exhort her, if she can afford it, to take a book and a footstool, and plant herself before a good firé. We know of few baulks more complete, than coming down of a chill morning to breakfast, turning one's chair as usual to the fire-side, planting one's feet on the fender and one's eyes on a book, and suddenly discovering that there is no fire in the grate. A grate, that ought to have a fire in it, and gapes in one's face with none, is like a cold grinning empty rascal.
There is something, we think, not disagreeable in issuing forth during a good honest summer rain, with a coat well buttoned up and an umbrella over our heads. The first flash open of the umbrella seems a defiance to the shower, and the sound of it afterwards, over our dry heads corroborates the triumph. If we are in this humour, it does not matter how drenching the day is. We despise the expensive effeminacy of a coach; have an agreeable malice of self-content at the sight of crowded gateways; and see nothing in the furious little rainspouts, but a lively emblem of critical oposition,-weak, low, washy, and dirty, gabbling away with a perfect impotence of splutter.
Speaking of malice, there are even some kinds of legs which afford us a lively pleasure in beholding them splashed.
EADY. Lord, you cruel man!
INDICATOR. Nay, I was not speaking of your's, Madam. How could I wish ill to any such very touching stockings? And yet, now I think of it, there are very gentle and sensitive legs, (I say nothing of beautiful ones, becalise all gentle ones are beautiful to me) which it is possible to behold in a very earthy plight ;-at least the feet and ancles.
L. And pray, Sir, what are the very agreeable circumstances under which we are to be mudded ?
INDIC. Fancy, Madam, a walk with some particular friend, between the showers, in a green lane; the sun shining, the hay sweet smelling, the glossy leaves sparkling like children's cheeks after tears. Suppose this lane not to be got into, but over a bank and a brook, and a good savage assortment of waggon-ruts. Yet the sunny green so takes you, and you are so resolved to oblige your friend with a walk, that you hazard a descent down the slippery bank, a jump over the brook, leap (that will certainly be too short) over the ploughed mud. Do, you think that a good thick-mudded shoe and a splashed instep would not have a merit in his barbarous eyes, beyond even the neat outline of the Spanish leather and the symbolical whiteness of the stocking? Ask him.
L. Go to your subject, do.
INDIC. Well, I will. You may always know whether a person wishes you a pleasant or unpleasant adventure, by the pleasure or pain he has in your company. If he would be with you himself (and I should like to know the pleasant situation, or even the painful one, if a share of it can be made pleasant, in which we would not have a woman with us), you may rest assured that all the mischief he wishes you
very harmless. At the same time, if there are situations in which one could wish ill even to a lady's leg, there are legs and stockings which it is possible to fancy well-splashed upon a very different principle.
GENTLEMAN. Pray, Sir, whose may those be ?
INDIC. Not yours, Sir, with that delicate flow of trowser, and that careless yet genteel stretch out of toe. There is an humanity in the air of it,-a graceful but at the same time manly sympathy with the drapery beside it. I allude, Sir, to one of those portentous legs, which belong to an over-fed money-getter, or to a bulky methodist parson who has doating dinners got up for him by his hearers. You know the leg I mean. It is like unto the sign of the leg," only larger. Observe, I do not mean every kind of large leg. The same thing is not the same thing in every one, if you understand that profound apophthegm. As a leg, indifferent in itself, may become very charming, if it belongs to a charming owner; so even when it is of the cast we speak of in a man, it becomes more or less unpleasant accord, ing to his nature and treatment of it. I am not carping at the leg of an ordinary jolly fellow, which good temper as well as good living helps to plump out, and which he is, after all, not proud of exhibiting; keeping it modestly in a boot or 'trowsers, and despising the starched ostentation of the other ; but at a regular, dull, uninformed, hebetudinous, "gross, open, and palpable leg, whose calf glares npon you like the ground-glass of a postchaise lamp. In the parson it is some, whạt obscured by a black stocking. A white one is requisite to dis
play it in all it's glory. It has a large balustrade calf, an ancle that would be monstrous in any other man, but looks small from the contrast, a tight knee well buttoned, and a seam inexorably in the middle. It is a leg at once gross and symbolical. It's size is made up of plethora and superfluity; it's white cotton stocking affects a propriety; it's inflexible seam and side announce the man of clock-work. A dozen hard-worked dependants go at least to the making up of that leg. If in - black, it is the essence of infinite hams at old ladies' Sunday dinners. Now we like to see a couple of legs, of this sort, in white, kicking their way through a muddy street, and splashed unavoidably as they go, till their horrid glare is subdued into spottiness. A lamp-lighter's ladder is of use, to give them a passing spurn; upon which the proprietor, turning round to swear, is run against in front by a wheel. barrow; upon which, turning round again, to swear worse, he thrusts his heel upon the beginning of a loose stone in the pavement, and receives his final baptism from a fount of mud.
Our limits compel us to bring this article to a speedier conclusion, than we thought; and to say the truth, we are not sorry for it; for we happened to break off here in order to write the one following, and it has not left us in a humour to return to our jokes.
We must therefore say little of a world of things we intended to descant on-of pattens, -and eaves,-and hackney-coaches,-and waiting in vain to go out on a party of pleasure, while the youngest of us insists every minute that it is going to hold up,"—and umbrellas dripping on one's shoulder, and the abomination of soaked gloves, and standing up in gateways, when you hear now and then the passing roar of rain on an umbrella,-and glimpses of the green country at the end of streets, and the foot-marked earth of the country-roads, and clouds eternally following each other from the west,—and the scent of the luckless new-mown hay,--and the rainbow,--and the glorious thunder and lightning,--and a party waiting to go home at night, and last of all, the delicious moment of taking off your wet things, and resting in the dry and warm content of your gowu and slippers.
THE VENETIAN GIRL. The sun was shining beautifully one summer evening, as if he hade sparkling farewell to a world which he had made happy. It seemed also by his looks, as if he promised to make his appearance again tomorrow; but there was at times a deep breathing western wind, and dark purple clouds came up here and there, like gorgeous waiters on a funeral. The children in a village not far from the metropolis were playing however on the green, content with the brightness of the moment, when they saw a female approaching, who instantly gathered them about her by the singularity of her dress. It was not very extraordinary; but any difference from the usual apparel of their countrywomen appeared so to them; and crying out “ A French girl! a French girl!" they ran up to her, and stood looking and talking. She Beated herself upon a bench that was fixed between two elms, and for moment leaned her head against one of them, as if faint with wa
But she raised it speedily, and smiled with great complacency on the rude urchins. She had a boddice and petticoat on of different colours, and a handkerchief tied neatly about her head with the point behind. On her hands were gloves without fingers, and she wore about her neck a guitar, upon the strings of which one of her hands sested. The children thought her very handsome. Any body else would also have thought her very ill, but they saw nothing in her but a good-natured looking foreigner and a guitar, and they asked her to play. “Oh che bei ragazzi!” said she, in a soft and almost inaudible voice;visi lieti* !" and she began to play: She tried to sing too, but her voice failed her, and she shook her head smilingly, saying
66 Stanca ! Stancat !” “ Sing:-do sing,” said the children; and nodding her head, she was trying to do so, when a set of school-boys came up, and joined in the request. No, no,” said one of the elder boys, she is not well. You are ill, a'nt you, -Miss ?” added he, laying his hand
upon her's as if to hinder it. He drew out the last word somewhat doubtfully, for her appearance perplexed him; he scarcely knew whether to take her for a common stroller or a lady strayed from a sick bed. 6 Grazie!” said she, understanding his look :-“ troppo stanca : troppo.” By this time the usher came up, and addressed her in French, but she only understood a word here and there. He then spoke Latin, and she repeated one or two of his words, as if they were familiar to her. " She is an Italian ;'' said he, looking round with a good-natured importance; “for the Italian is but a bastard of the Latin." The children looked with the more wonder, thinking he was speaking of the fair Musician. dubito," continued the Usher, « quin tu lectitas poetam illum celeberrimum, Tassonem ;} Taxum, I should say properly, but the departure from the Italian name is con iderable,” The stranger did not understand a word. “ I speak of Tasso," said the Usher,-- Of Tasso.” 66 Tasso! Tasso !" repeated the fair minstrel,liosco-Tàs-so ;|| and she hung with an accent of beautiful langour upon the first syllable. “Yes," returned the worthy Scholar,
66 doubtless your accent may be better. Then of course you know those classical lines
Intanto Erminia infra l'ombrosy pianty,
66 oh-con66 1
D'antica selva dal cavallow-what is it ;'" The stranger repeated the words in a tone of fondness, like those of an old friend :
lotanto Ermivia infra l'ombrose piante
* Oh what fine boys! What happy faces !
+ Weary! Weary! | Thanks ;--too weary! too weary! $ Doubtless you read that celebrated poet Tasso. 1 On--I know Tasso.
I Meantime in the old wood, the palfrey bore
Erminia deeper into shade and shade;
And she appeared hatarixt alive and dead.
Our Usher's common-place book had supplied him with a fortunate passage, for it was the favourite song of her countrymen. It also singularly applied to her situation. There was a sort of exquisite mixture of silver clearness and soft mealiness in her utterance of these verses, which gave some of the children a better idea of French than they had had; for they could not get it out of their heads that she must be a French girl ;--- Italian-French perhaps,” said one of them. But her voice trembled as she went on like the hand she spoke of. diave heard my poor cousin Montague sing those very lines,” said the boy who prevented her from playing." Montague,” repeated the stranger very plainly, but turning paler and fainter. She put one of her hands in turn upon the boys affectionately, and pointed towards the spot where the church was. 6 Yes, yes,” cried the boy ;-" why she knew my cousin :-she must have known him in Venice.” “I told you,” said the Usher, “she was an Italian.”--" Help her to my aunt's,” continued the youth, “ she'll understand her :-lean upon me, Miss ;” and he repeated the last word without his former hesi. tation.
Only a few boys followed her to the door, the rest having been awed away by the Usher. As soon as the stranger entered the house, and saw an elderly lady who received her kindly, she exclaimed '“ La Signora Madre," and fell in a swoon at her feet.
She was taken to bed, and attended with the utmost care by her hostess, who woull net suffer her to talk till she had had a sleep. She merely heard enough to find out that the stranger had known her son in Italy; and she was thrown into a painful state of guessing by the poor girl's eyes, which followed her about the room till the lady fairly came up and closed them. “ Obedient! Obedient !" said the patient : “ obedient in every thing: only the Signora will let me kiss her hand;"! and taking it with her own trembling one she laid her cheek upon it, and it stayed there till she dropt asleep for weariness.
Tie all thy cares up! though her kind watcher, who was doubly thrown upon a recollection of that beautiful passage in Beaumont and Fletcher, by the suspicion she had of the cause of the girl's visit. “And yet," thought she, turning her eyes with a thin tear in them towards the church spire, “he was an excellent boy,--the boy of my heart.”.
When the stranger woke, the secret was explained: and if the mind of her hostess was relieved, it was only the more touched with pity, and indeed moved with respect and admiration. The dying girl (for she was evidently dying, and happy at the thought of it) was the neice of an humble tradesman in Venice, at whose house young Montague, who was a gentleman of small fortune, had lodged and fallen sick in his travels. She was a lively good-jatured girl, whom he used to hear coquetting and playing the guitar with her neighbours; and it was greatly on this account, that her considerate and hushing gravity struck him whenever she entered his room. One day he heard no more coquetting, nor even the guitar. He asked the reason,
when she came to give him some drink; and she said that she had heard him mention some noise that disturbed him.
66 But you do not call your voice and your music a noise," said he, “ do you, Rosaura ? I hope not,