[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Such is the immortality of poetic at-in 1809. Mrs. Piozzi, as is well known, tachments

outlived all her contemporaries, and wit. Forever wilt thou love and she be fair.

nessed the popularity of a modero litera.

ture of which she had no very high opin. That the poet was shortly afterwards ion. " married to another" is sufficient to ex. As for Della Crusca, he married, in plain the cessation of the correspondence, 1791, Miss Brunton, an actress, wbose from which Gifford argues that the inter. sister became Countess of Craven, and view resulted in aversion. And he might who had played the heroine in his tragedy further have reflected that when a poet is of “ Lorenzo.” His reply to the remon. reduced to talk of “petrifying suns” his strances of his aunt on the mésalliance correspondence has been known to cease shall be quoted, to show that he had his for lack of ideas.

lucid intervals. “She ought,” he said, The satirized poets did their best to “to be proud that he had brought a woman retaliate on Gifford by abusive sonnets in of such virtue and talents into the family. the newspapers; and Mr. Jerningham Her virtue his marrying her proved; and wrote a feebly vituperative poem on Gif- her talents would all be thrown away by ford and Mathias. The Della Cruscans taking her off the stage.”. Nevertheless, had, undeniably, the worst of the battle. he afterwards weakly yielded to his relaThe efficacy of Gifford's satire in putting tions, and withdrew her from the stage an end to the school is, however, more against her own inclination, thereby de. than doubtful. It is true that it after- priving himself of a source of income with wards came to be considered, naturally which, as a gambler and bon vivant, he enough, that he had given the Della Crus. could ill afford to dispense. He accordcans their death-blow. Scott, for in- ingly quitted England, and must have stance, writing in 1827, observes that “The betaken himself to France, an adventure Baviad” “squabashed at one blow a set which befel him in Paris, in September, of coxcombs who might have humbugged 1792, being thus amusingly given by Horthe world long enough;” but that is not ace Walpole: – the evidence of contemporary witnesses.

In the midst of the massacre of Monday Seven years after the publication of “The Baviad,” Mathias, in the preface to “The but' by those of the Baviad, was mistaken for

last, Mr. Merry, immortalized, not by his verses, Pursuits of Literature,” remarks that the Abbé Maury, and was going to be hoisted

even the Bavian drops from Mr. Gif to the lanterne. He cried out that he was ford's pen have fallen off like oils from Merry, the poet: the ruffians, who probably the plumage of the Florence and Cruscan had never read the scene in Shakespeare, yet geese. I am told that Mr. Greathead and replied, “ Then we will hang you for your bad Mr. Merry yet write and speak, and Mr. yerses; "but he escaped better than Cinna, I Jerningham (poor man !) still continues don't know how, and his fright cost him but a • sillier than his sheep.'

few “gossamery tears,” and I suppose he will This statement is in far better accord-be happy to re-cross the “silky ocean,” and ance both with the facts and the probabil- of this happy country.

shed dolorous nonsense in rhyme over the woes ities of the case. Satire, even first-rate satire, does not kill follies. They gradu- But England was not to see much more ally die of inanition, or are crowded out of Merry: English society was probably by newer fashions. Laura Matilda's dirge not so kind to the Radical husband of an in the “Rejected Addresses” is a stand actress as it had been to the bachelor of ing monument of the vitality of Della fashion. He withdrew, with his wife, to Cruscanism more than twenty years after America, in 1796, and died, three years its supposed death-blow.

afterwards, of apoplexy, in his garden at The career as stage-writers of Merry, Baltimore. Greathead, and Jerningham, their bad Merry did not fail to find in his own tragedies and bad farces, do not belong to day apologists of some pretensions_to my present subject. Of the subsequent taste. I find in the notes to George Dy. history of one or two of them a word may, er's poem, "The Poet's Fate," published however, be said. Jerning!am lived to in 1797. which contains early and interpublish, as late as 1812, two editions of a esting laudations not only of his schoolHaccid poem, called “The Old Bard's fellows Lamb and Coleridge, but also of Farewell,” after which he disappears from Wordsworth and Southey the follow life and literature. Mrs. Cowley, perhaps ing reference to Merry: “ But, after all, the most interesting of the group, died in though the hero of the Baviad betrayed rural and religious retirement at Tiverton, glitter and negligence, though he misled

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

From Good Words.

the taste of some, too much inclined 10 | became as a red rag to the Giffords who

1 admire and imitate defects, yet Merry's played the part of the bull in the china writings possess poetical merits; and the shop. But it is not with this clumsy rage spirit of liberty and benevolence which that posterity will regard our follies; nor breathes through them is ardent and sin. is it useful, or desirable, that we should cere.” The criticism may be incorrect, now so regard them. It is with a smile but it is worth noting, because it is the of amused anticipation, it is with a bland criticism of a contemporary. Had it not and philosophic interest, that the antiqua. been for Coleridge's fervently expressed rian of the future will turn to the pages of admiration for Bowles's sonnets, which so Punch or the libretto of “ Patience," to perplexes critics who do not judge litera. read of the Anna Matildas who lately de. ture from a historical point of view, the lighted to apparel themselves in what world would have continued to sneer at Bramston called "shape.disguising sacks" him, with Byron, as “simple Bowles,” – the Della Cruscas who took Postleand to know him only by Byron's line. thwaite for a great poet. The fact is, literary history will never be

intelligently written, till it is studied in
the spirit of the naturalist, to whom the
tares are as interesting as the wheat.
We may, perhaps, give the Della Crus-
cans, with their desperate strainings after

poetic fire and poetic diction, the credit
of having done something to shake the

THE quaint and ancient sea-town of supremacy of versified prose; of having Whitby is probably one of the most picforwarded, however feebly, the poetic turesque towns in England, and its picemancipation which Wordsworth and Cole. turesqueness is by no means its solitary ridge were to consummate.

The false attraction. Not only the artist, but the extravagance of Della Crusca may have antiquary, the geologist, the historian, one cleared the way for the truthful extrava. and all find interest in the neighborhood gance of Keats. It is, I am aware, cus.

of tomary to attribute the regeneration of

High Whitby's cloister'd pile, English poetry to the French Revolution, from whence St. Hilda's abbess and “her which "shook up the sources of thought five fair puns set sail for the holy island all over Europe," but the critics who use on that errand known to the readers of these glib catchwords are in no hurry to "Marmion." Sir Walter Scott, with his point out a concrete chain of logical con. usual keen appreciation of legendary lore, nection between Paris mobs and seques. has hardly left untouched one of the more tered poets. Plain judges will ever con important of the legends of Whitby. The sider it a far cry from “The Rights of abbey stands on the top of a cliff, which Man to “Christabel.” At all events, is approached from the town by two hun. Dyer was right in deprecating the savo dred stone steps. The ruin is magnifi. agery of Gifford's satire. The question cent, and can be seen not only from the Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

wide waters of the northern sea, but from

almost every part of the country round will apply to other schools and fashions about. The architecture is Gothic, of besides that of the "elegant Cesario's,” various dates, perhaps the earliest being whom Leigh Hunt designated par excel- 1140, and the latest 1400. Originally the lence as “the plague of the Butterflies.” building was cruciform, and extended in And here, I think, we touch upon the length from east to west three hundred moral which I promised at the outset. feet, in breadth from north to south one

It is not very long since the country, to hundred and fifty feet. The south aisle which Della Crusca ultimately betook of the choir and the south transept have himself, received to her shores the reputed disappeared; indeed, strange to say, the prophet of æstheticism, whose career, in south side has altogether suffered more other respects, presented remarkable par. than the north. The tower, which was allels with that of Robert Merry. Each supported by four immense pillars, each made bis poetical appearance in the col- with sixteen clustered columns, fell so umns of a newspaper called the World; lately as 1830. The parish church, dedi. each professed republican opinions; each cated to St. Mary, stands on the same wrote poems not remarkable for truth to cliff top, and is surrounded on all sides nature or sobriety of diction; each repre- by the last resting places of the ancient sented a school; and the name of each townsfolk. The four ancient gates or

[ocr errors]


Floregate, Baxtergate, Hakelsou- tiently and silently. One sees rather than gate, Kirkgate, keep their names with but hears how it is with the pale, sad-looking, slight modification. Kirkgate, it need ill-clad men who wander about by the hardly be said, is Church Street. A curi. lanes and on the cliffs by twos and threes, ous feature of the old town is the wooden few of them being able io turn their hand galleries which lead to the upper tene. to any other trade. The making of jet ments of houses, which are let in Alats, ornaments is an ancient craft. Charlton, Sometimes you may see three or four of in his quaint " History of Whitby,” says: these galleries, one above another, each “ I myself have lately viewed the earring approached by a flight of wooden steps. of a lady who had 'most certainly been As we have said, the houses are built in buried in one of these houes [houses) long the cliff side, and the difficulties of such before the time of the Danes' arrival in an arrangement are obvious. The yards Britain; it is of jet, more than two inches of Whitby rejoice in such names as Cock- long, and about a quarter of an inch thick, pit yard, Elbow yard, Loggerhead yard, made in the form of a heart, with a hole Vipond's Lane, and others equally sug- to its upper end, by which it has been gestive and euphonious. You may hear suspended to the ear. It lay, when found, The sound of whirring wheels as you pass in contact with the jaw bone, and if any up and down the narrow ways, and if you credit be due to antiquity, must assuredly do not mind running the risk of being have belonged to some British lady who half choked by jet.dust, rouge, lampblack, lived at or before the time the Romans etc., you will generally find yourself wel were in Britain, when ornaments of this come to enter and watch the various proc. sort were universally worn." The history esses through which the coal-like mineral of jet from before the Danes' arrival": passes before it becomes an artistic orna- to the present day would make a long ment. So far as I am aware, the ques article of itself, so I must hasten on. Uo tion, “What is jet?” has never been quite doubtedly the manufacture of jet orna. satisfactorily answered. At one time over ments has been one of the industries of twenty jet mines were being worked, need- this industrious iown for several centuing the labor of from two hundred to ries; as the name of John Carlill, jet. three hundred men; but owing to various worker, 1598, occurs in an old title-deed causes, notably the introduction of Span- of a house near the bridge. About 1814 ish jet, there is a falling off in the quan. a Frenchman named Bingent, or Biogant, tity of jet extracted from the cliffs and came over froin France, and settled in hills of the Whitby district. The Spanish Whitby as a manufacturer of jet, and jet - in the rough stale, of course - is helped in developing the local trade. And brought to Whitby and sold in large or considerable impetus was given to it by small quantities, to suit the purchaser, the late Lady Normanby, who introduced Of late years fortune or sashion has caused jet at the court of Queen Victoria. Sub. considerable fluctuation in the trade, and sequently, for many years, a period of the distress amongst the poorer jet-work- court mourning meant a period of pros. ers has often been very great. But it is perity for the town of Whitby. patiently borne — for the most part pa.


INDIAN FISH-EGG FOOD. - The Scientific connection we will give the following item from American, in acknowledging the receipt of a a correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, who specimen of the fish-egg food prepared by the says: 'During the spring of 1981 the writer native Indians of British Columbia, says: was in Sitka, and was a witness to one of the “The specimen received consists of a small most wonderful sights in the bay of Sitka. branch of cedar, the leaves of which are thickly For more than a week the water of the bay coated with dried fish eggs. Our correspon- was as white as milk with fish-spawn extenddent says the eggs of the specimen sent are ing as far as the eye could see.

The herring from a small fish that abounds in the waters were so numerous that people were gathering of Vancouver's Sound, and are collected by them from the water along the beach with making a mattress of cedar twigs and sinking their hands and filling baskets with them. them in shallow places until the fish have de. The Indians placed spruce boughs in the waposited their spawn, when the twigs are raised ter, and when these were taken out not a and the spawn allowed to dry. When used particle of the original green but what was they are simply soaked and eaten. In this covered with a thick coating of eggs.'

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]



British Quarterly Review, II. A HARD Day's WORK,



Chambers' Journal,

All The Year Round, .

Mrs. Oliphant. Part IV.,

Chambers' Journal,


Longman's Magazine, .





[ocr errors]





[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight Dollars, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sentin a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.

Single Numbers of The LIVING AGE, 18 cents.


Whose surface mirrors in its web of light

To-day's life shifting to and fro, “Scilicet et tempus veniet."

Whose lowest fathoms muffle round with (VERG., Georg. i. 493.)

night HERE where across the marl-pit's lone expanse

Remnants of long ago.
The light, grey green and golden, shifts,
I sit and watch the midge's myriad dance,

Yet — for the hidden zhings shall be revealed,

Even from the sea dead limbs shall start The silent eddying swifts.

A time may come when this sad mere shall

yield A trance unutterable holds the fen,

To nature's change or art:
No ripple stirs the sentinel reeds,
Save haply when some quick harsh water-ben

Then they that pass shall wear a pensive smile, Starts, scattering silver beads.

To see amid dry ooze and stones Perchance an axe-head, or perchance a pile

Of unremembered bones. Such tongueless calm were surely anodyne Blackwood's Magazine.

L J. G. Potent to lull a world-worn breast, Might teach an evil folk that seek a sign,

Peace from their plaintive quest:

Yet when I sit me by the dark pool's edge,

GAINSBOROUGH GHOSTS. Strange awe I feel, and shuddering,

(IN THE GROSVENOR GALLERY.) And that weird water gleaming through its

THEY smile upon the western wall,
Fawns like a guilty thing.

The lips that laughed an age agone,
The fops, the dukes, the beauties all,

Le Brun that sang, and Carr that shone, Haply - for fancy loves an idle guess - We gaze with idle eyes; we con

Dark feet, long since, and hands that burned, The faces of an elder time Hither brought the fruit of an accursed caress, Alas! and ours is fitting on; Cast it within, and turned.

Oh, moral for an empty rhyme !

Think, when the tumult and the crowd
Or lovers wan for whom no prospect glowed Have left the solemn rooms and chill,
Of double life and glad, to come,

When dilettanti are not loud,
To whose dim eyes each morrow only showed When lady critics are not shrill
Anguish and starless gloom –

Ah, think how strange upon the still

Dim air may sound these voices faint; Came to this spot with fingers intertwined,

Once more may Johnson talk his fill, And either drank the other's breath,

And fair Dalrymple charm the saint ! Then with the purpose of a single mind

Of us they speak as we of them, Plunged twain to seek one death,

Like us, perchance, they criticise :

Our wit, they vote, is Brummagem; Some golden decades back, when love was

Our beauty, dim to Devon's eyes ! love;

Their silks and lace our cloth despise, Ere, mammon flooding all the land,

Their pumps, our boots that pad the mud. That old-world passion found, faint arkless What modern Fop with Walpole vies? dove,

With St. Leger what modern Blood ? No foothold where to stand.

Ah, true, we lack the charm, the wit,

Our very greatest, sure, are small; Or here, when night was shorn of moon or And Mr. Gladstone is not Pitt, star,

And Garrick comes not when we call. A dark-eyed poet, born to lisp

Yet - pass an age — and, after all, Honey-sweet melodies, pursued afar

Even we may please the folk that look, The mad Will-o'-the-wisp,

When we are faces on the wall,

And voices in a history book! And as he hastened, lo! his footstep trips, In art the statesman still shall live, And ruining from the marge headlong,

With collars keen, with Roman nose; He sank to darkness, bearing on his lips

To beauty still shall Millais give Foam and an unhewn song.

The roses that outlast the rose.

The lords of verse, the slaves of prose, Such fancies take the dreamer on thy brink,

On canvas yet shall seem alive,

And chorm the mob that comes and goes,
Mute pool, who hold'st thy secrets fast,
And art an uninterpretable link

And lives — in 1985. 'Twixt present hours and past;

Saturday Review.

« ElőzőTovább »