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Where I shall read, in words of flame, The glories of thy wondrous name.
We conclude these miscellaneous extracts with a song, which, allied as it has been to the poet's own music, has seldom been sung by any one, and never by its author, without producing delightful emotions. It is well conceived, and very pleasingly written.
THE MEETING OF THE SHIPS.
"When o'er the silent seas alone,
"Sparkling at once is every eye,
Ship ahoy! ship ahoy!' our joyful cry; While answering back, the sounds we hear, Ship ahoy! what cheer, what cheer?'
"Then sails are back'd-we nearer come-
The sacred songs of Moore are not of a very high class. They are too much tinged with his characteristic peculiarities of illustration, which, unsuitable in all earnest or impassioned poetry, are still less admissible when Heaven inspires the song, and when the solemnity of the subject should repress all feelings that are not humble or sublime. We shall give one example of his style in this department, not so much because it is more striking, as because, in point of taste, it is less exceptionable than most of the others.
"The turf shall be my fragrant shrine;
"I'll read thy anger in the rack That clouds awhile the day-beam's track; Thy mercy in the azure hue
Of sunny brightness breaking through!
"There's nothing bright, above, below, From flowers that bloom to stars that glow,
But in its light my soul can see
"There's nothing dark, below, above,
This is well: but it reminds us of something better in the "Labourer's Noon-Day Hymn;" telling us, in something of a similar strain, that even where the stately temples of human workmanship are inaccessible, the God of Nature has not therefore dispensed with our devotions, but has provided a place for his worship wherever the thankful knee can be bent, or the prayerful hand uplifted.
"Why should we crave a hallow'd spot?
In bringing this criticism to a close, we think we may say that we have brought together a great and remarkable variety of lyrical specimens, sufficient to demonstrate, that, if Moore is deficient in the higher powers of poetical conception and delineation, he is at least possessed, in no ordinary degree, of that species of talent which borders on genius, and which, under the regulation of a purer taste, or with the check of a less "indulgent public," might have produced a great deal that was well worthy of a fond remembrance. Even as it is, we conceive that he has contributed liberally to confer its due honour on lyrical poetry; and that much pleasure, and not a little instruction, both by way of beacon and of example, may be derived from the study of his compositions.
A TRUE STORY.
"THE Course of true love never did run smooth." Didn't it? Let any man look round him for a single moment, and he will see how unfounded and absurd is this observation of Mr William Shakspeare. Pray, what was there to hinder the equable flow of the true love of your neighbour, Mr Bibbs, and his fat wife? Was there any objection on the part of parents? -any trouble from rivals?-or even any delay about pin-money and settlements? Not a vestige of any of these things. In the course of the accustomed number of months they were fairly and legally married, without a single ripple on the stream of their courtship, and have been a pattern-couple, without quarrels, disagreements, or misunderstandings of any kind whatever, for twenty or thirty years. But you say, perhaps, their love is not true love. Isn't it? I grant he wrote no sonnets; she never thought of suicide; he never mentioned a dagger to her in his life; and I have no reason to believe that she, even at her first ball, considered Mr Bibbs an angel. But their love was true enough for all that—a good, solid, substantial love, fitted for all weathers, ballasted with a good deal of plain sense, and not without a glance of af fectionate regard to the comforts of a well-spread table, easy-hung fourwheeled carriage, and pretty little income of eight or nine hundred a year. This is my definition of true love. If you prefer Shakspeare's account of it, and consider no love worth having that is not accompanied with woes and accidents, quarrels among friends, and other accessories, I beg to say you have not made such use of your powers of observation as you ought to have done, or you would have found out long ago that such loves as those are never lasting. And this, I take it, is the reason that authors of novels generally close their stories with a description of the wedding. If they continued their labours, how different would be the scene! Waverley and Rose Bradwardine flying to Boulogne for debt;
Henry Morton and Edith Bellenden separated from incompatibility of temper; not to mention the celebrated divorce case before the House of Lords, "Reginald Dalton v. Cyril Thornton!" Will no person of an enquiring turn of mind give us a postnuptial account of all the heroes and heroines who have excited our interest so intensely? It would put a good deal of romance to flight, and teach us the great and useful lesson, that people may be just as happily married in the good old-fashioned way-bridemaids, marriage favours, and wedding cake-as if they nearly broke their necks jumping out of up-stairs windows, and hurrying off to Gretna Green. But, mercy upon us! we have got into such a prodigious passion with love matches, and sighing, and dying, that we have forgotten the main object with which we began this paper, which was to give notice to the reader that, if in this eventful history he finds difficulties thrown in the way of the hero and the heroine, he is not to imagine that those difficulties prove that their love was one whit more sincere than if all had gone "gaily as a marriage bell," from the first agony of popping the question to the last extremity of putting on the ring. No-it certainly did so happen that in this one particular instance the course of true love was occasionally somewhat rough; but it by no means follows that the roughness was the cause of the love being true, or that the truth of the love was the cause of the course of it being rough. So much for Shakspeare-and now for John Plantagenet Simpkinson.
The labours of the Statistical Society, I suppose, have left very few people in ignorance that ours is a borough town, though the inhabitants have not the inestimable privilege of hating each other on principles of the purest patriotism once every three or four years, when some soaring squire or plethoric manufacturer is ambitious of a seat in Parliament; by which periphrasis I would have it understood, that we return no member, albeit we
have a mayor and corporation, a townhall and lock-up house, and other visible signs of corporate dignity.
Cast your eye, oh reader!" through the dim vista of departed years," and it is highly probable, if you look sharp, you will see a youthful couple seated under the elm-trees at the west end of the flourishing town of Buzzleton, on the fourth day of June, eighteen hundred and thirty-seven. I cannot take it upon me positively to affirm that the lady was "beautiful exceedingly," or that she had the slightest appearance of being a native of a "far countrie;" for it was impossible to suppose for a moment that those bright, cherrylooking lips, rosy-coloured cheeks, and mild happy blue eyes, belonged, by possibility, to any one but a nice modest English girl of eighteen or nineteen. Nor would it be safe to delude the reader into an improper sympathy with the hero, by hinting that he had the slightest resemblance to those "whiskered pandours and those fierce hussars," who make such a tremendous sensation in novels of fashionable life. No one could ever have fancied him a Hungarian magnate, or Polish prince, or even a German baron; for the fat county of Suffolk was visible in every feature of the object of my description. A brown surtout with black buttons, thrown loosely back, showed a considerable extent of a fancy-coloured waistcoat, for the interesting individual-(but why keep up a vain mystery, which the accomplished reader has penetrated long ago? it was Simpkinson, junior, himselfin short, John Plantagenet Simpkinson, sitting tête-à-tête with Mary Padden)-for the interesting individual— as I was going to say when this parenthesis interrupted me-rejoiced in a vast expanse of chest, of which he was a little conceited; though candour at the same time compels me to admit, that the ample "breadth and verge enough," which was so becoming, and indeed heroic, as revealed by the aforesaid fancy-coloured waistcoat, extended itself considerably below the point at which it ought to have grown by degrees, and beautifully less," and constituted altogether a stout, squarebuilt young man, with every appearance of health and strength, but none of that stiff-necked noodleism which the French people and English milliners call an air distingué. You will
perhaps ask why this jolly, good-humoured looking young gentleman had such a magnificent name as Plantagenet; but I submit that that is a ques tion more properly directed to his godfathers and godmothers than to me; but, at the same time, if you merely ask for information, and with no sinister intention, I will only mention to you that his father was the most eloquent man in our parish, and rejoiced in long words. Now, as Plantagenet is a name, you will observe, of four syllables, whereas Stubbs is only of one, you will at once see a primâ facie reason why the royal denomination was preferred, and the name of the maternal uncle Mr Stubbs, the opulent brewer in Chadfield-for this occasion rejected. This is my own opinion; but of course you are at liberty to devise any other reason for it that may be more agreeable to yourself.
We are not to suppose that the couple I have now introduced to you sat silent all this time, merely because I have not yet given you any account of their conversation; for it is a circumstance well known to our whole town that Miss Padden had a total aversion to the absurd doctrines of the Pythagoreans, so far as their silence was concerned, and in fact lost no opportunity of practising the divine faculty of speech. She spoke very well and prettily, and there can be no doubt that such beautiful lips and interesting blue eyes would have made very inferior language pass off for eloquence, at all events in the opinion of Mr Simpkinson, junior.
"So you are going off to-morrow, Tadgy? (And here, oh reader, in another parenthesis, let me call your attention to the endearing diminutive "Tadgy"—short for Plantagenet! To what vile uses may we come, Horatio?)
"Yes," said Tadgy, with a mournful shake of the head.
"Oh it must be such a pretty place that London, with Hyde Park and Almack's, and Westminster Abbey, and Madame Tussaud. How I envy you all the sights! Ain't you happy, Tadgy?"
"No," replied the youth, "I would rather stay at Buzzleton, and be near you, Polly."
"Your servant, Mister Plantagenet," said the young lady, gently with
drawing her hand from the clasp of the sentimental swain-but whether from coquetry, or propriety, or to preserve a new white kid glove, I will not undertake to determine-"I wasn't fishing for a compliment, I assure you."
people at Almack's and Vauxhall, and".
"Never trouble yourself about designing people, dear Polly; write to me every week, and as I am to come down every half year for three weeks, we shall do almost as well as if we
"And you will write faithfully, and think of me always?" said Mary, in a voice from which all liveliness had disappeared.
"But it is no compliment, Polly-met." it is only the truth; and why shouldn't I be sorry to leave Buzzleton? There will be no nice walks like this, nor listening to your songs, nor talking of what's to happen."
"When?" interrupted Miss Pad
Mr Plantagenet Simpkinson again laid his hand upon the pretty little white kid glove, which this time was not withdrawn, and looking in the sweet blue eyes which I have already mentioned, said
"Won't I?-that's all."
Miss Padden seemed quite as satisfied with this declaration as if it had been made in the words of fire upon the bended knee; and I do not feel myself at liberty to give any account of what was said on either side for at least ten minutes. At the end of that time an individual was seen walking towards them at the other extremity of the alley.
"Here's that horrid boy, Bob," said Mary, looking somewhat displeased.
"Infernal troublesome fool!" muttered Mr Plantagenet, " I should like to kick him into the river."
The enquiring reader is anxious to be informed who and what was Bob. Bob was Mary's younger brother, and the most disagreeable detestable boy that ever was known in Buzzleton. Those who had studied Gulliver's Travels called him the Yahoo ; those who trusted only to their own sense of fitness in the art of nomenclature called him the Beast. But this, being a generic name, was varied by the more acute disciples of Buffon, by referring him to any particular species which appeared appropriate to his peculiar qualities the ass, the owl, the ostrich, the baboon, and a variety of other respectable citizens of the animal kingdom, were called upon to furnish a designation for Mr Robert Padden; and it was this amalgam of Mr Polito's menagerie that caused such a disagreeable sensation by his appearance in the elm walk, and excited a
strong inclination in the usually pacific bosom of Plantagenet to drown him in the deep waters of the Buzzle. Bob, however, as if unconscious of any feelings of the kind, lounged up to where the youthful pair were seated, and, with a sulky look towards the young gentleman, enquired of his sister what she was always walking about with Tadgy Simpk's'n for?
Now, this is a very embarrassing sort of question, and accordingly Miss Mary, whether from not having studied the motives of her so doing, or from not wishing to reveal them, remained silent; whereupon Mr Simpkinson addressed the Yahoo, in a tone of voice by no means common with that good-natured individual, and said:
"Your sister has a right to please herself, I suppose."
"I s'pose she has and she does it too," replied the agreeable youth; "I
"Well, they sell sugar, don't they? -and that's a grocer, isn't it? There's no use trying to gammon us here. You're going to be a grocer: now, the last man Mary was spoony with was something better than that, at any rate."
"What do you mean, Robert?" asked the sister.
"Why, Bob Darrel, the Chadfield doctor. You know very well; but he's married now, and so you're doing the civil to Tadgy.'
"Never mind him, Mary, my dear," said Tadgy;" I don't believe a word he says.
At the same time I never knew that you were acquainted with Dr Darrell.
"I had a fever three years ago, when I was staying at your uncle Stubbs's, and he was called in."
"Yes, and nearly called out too; for young Stubbs, that's gone into the army, wanted to shoot him for being too attentive. Those doctor fellows are always squeezing hands, and clutching hold of arms; and pretend it's only feeling the pulse. I think Stubbs should have shot him."
"What for?" asked Plantagenet. "Why, for marrying that other woman. He ought to have married Mary.'
"How can you listen to such nonsense, Tadgy?" said Mary; "you know Bob's agreeable way of saying pleasant things. I assure you Dr Darrel was only a very good and kind doctor; and, if you like to believe me rather than Bob, you will not mind any thing more he says."
Plantagenet looked at the honest open countenance of his future bride, and saw that no deceit could possibly lie on those sunny cheeks, and in those clear innocent eyes; so he gave her hand a gentle squeeze, and looked with ineffable disdain on the mischievous countenance of Mister Bob.
"Well," said that gentle squire, "you needn't sit billing and cooing here all day. I'm afraid somebody may go and tell father; and I know he would be very angry if he knew you had been carrying on your rigs before the whole town. You had
better come home, Mary; for, if any body does tell father, and I'm called in as a witness, I am afraid I must tell all I've seen.'
"What have you seen, you insolent blockhead?" said Plantagenet, springing up.
"Oh, never mind! If you're really going to marry our Mary, it doesn't much matter. I only hope she wont be disappointed again-that's all."
"I never was disappointed, you idle, false-tongued, intolerable wretch!" exclaimed Mary, the tears of anger and vexation springing into her eyes.
"Weren't you?" replied the benevolent brother; "then that's a pleasure to come; for you may depend upon it, when Tadgy rises to be a grocer on his own account, he'll forget you as easily as Doctor Darrell."
The speaker came more abruptly to a close than was his custom, for he saw something so peculiar in the flashing eyes and swelling chest of Plantagenet, that he thought it better to decamp at once. He accordingly strolled off in the same listlesss manner in which he had made his approach; and the lovers felt as if relieved from some horrible oppression, when they saw the long figure of the overgrown Yahoo, with his coat a mile too large for his thin body, and his trowsers a mile too short for his long legs, thereby revealing nearly the whole extent of his Wellington's, slowly disappear at the turning of the elm walk.
"Thank heaven I have not shoved him into the water!" was the pious exclamation of Plantagenet, when he found that, for this occasion, he was free from the guilt of murder.
"I can't understand what pleasure the boy can have in saying disagreeable things, and inventing such abominable stories," was the contemporaneous observation of his sister.
And hereupon followed a full explanation of all the incidents that the Yahoo, either then or at any former time, had alluded to; and, as usually hap pens in affairs of that kind, both parties felt that the attempt of Mr Bob to sow dissension, had had the very opposite effect, by giving an opening to a more full and free communication than could have been found under any other circumstances.
On getting up to go home, it might have been remarked by those who are superstitiously inclined, that the first