THE MIRROR OF LITERATURE, AMUSEMENT, AND INSTRUCTION.
VOL. 12, NO. 340.] SUPPLEMENTARY NUMBER. [PRICE 2d.
* * * * *
SPIRIT OF THE "ANNUALS," FOR 1829.
For some days past our table has been glittering with these caskets
of song and tale in their gay attire of silken sheen and burnished
gold--till their splendour has fairly put out the light of our
_sinumbra_, and the drabs, blues, and yellows of sober, business-like
quartos and octavos. Seven out of nine of these elegant little books are
in "watered" silk bindings; and an ingenious lady-friend has favoured us
with the calculation that the silk used in covering the presumed number
sold (70,000) would extend five miles, or from Hyde Park Corner to
Brilliant as may be their exteriors, their contents are, as Miss Jane
Porter says of her heroines, "transcendently beautiful." But of these
we shall present our readers with some exquisite specimens. Our only
trouble in this task is the _embarras du richesses_ with which we are
surrounded; otherwise it is to us an exhaustless source of delight,
especially when we consider the "gentle feelings and affections" which
this annual distribution will cherish, and the innumerable intertwinings
of hands and hearts which this shower of _bon-bons_ will produce; and
such warm friends are we to this social scheme, that our presentation
copies are already in the fair hands whither we had destined them.
We begin with the parent-stock,
_Edited by Frederic Shoberl_, Esq.
The present volume, in its graphic and literary attractions is decidedly
superior to that of last year, an improvement which makes us credit what
the Ettrick Shepherd says of the proprietor--"There's no a mair just,
nay, generous man in his dealings wi' his authors, in a' the tredd, than
This beautiful Annual contains the original of our ENGRAVING, from a
plate by A. Freebairn, after an admirable picture by S. Prout, of which
the following story is illustrative:--
THE MAGICIAN OF VICENZA.
In the year 1796, on one of the finest evenings of an Italian autumn,
when the whole population of the handsome city of Vicenza were pouring
into the streets to enjoy the fresh air, that comes so deliciously along
the currents of its three rivers; when the Campo Marzo was crowded with
the opulent citizens and Venetian nobles; and the whole ascent, from the
gates to the Madonna who sits enthroned on the summit of Monte Berrico,
was a line of the gayest pilgrims that ever wandered up the vine-covered
side of an Alpine hill; the ears of all were caught by the sound of
successive explosions from a boat running down the bright waters of the
Bachiglione. Vicenza was at peace, under the wing of the lion of St.
Mark, but the French were lying round the ramparts of Mantua. They had
not yet moved on Venice; yet her troops were known to be without arms,
experience, or a general, and the sound of a cracker would have startled
her whole dominions.
The boat itself was of a singular make; and the rapidity with which this
little chaloupe, glittering with gilding and hung with streamers, made
its way along the sparkling stream, struck the observers as something
extraordinary. It flew by every thing on the river, yet no one was
visible on board. It had no sail up, no steersman, no rower; yet it
plunged and rushed along with the swiftness of a bird. The Vicentine
populace are behind none of their brethren in superstition, and at the
sight of the flying chaloupe, the groups came running from the Campo
Marzo. The Monte Berrico was speedily left without a pilgrim, and the
banks of the Bachiglione were, for the first time since the creation,
honoured with the presence of the Venetian authorities, and even of the
sublime podesta [the governor, a Venetian noble.] himself.
But it was fortunate for them that the flying phenomenon had reached the
open space formed by the conflux of the three rivers, before the crowd
became excessive; for, just as it had darted out from the narrow
channel, lined on both sides with the whole thirty thousand old,
middle-aged, and young, men, maids, and matrons of the city, a thick
smoke was seen rising from its poop, its frame quivered, and, with a
tremendous explosion, the chaloupe rose into the air in ten thousand
fragments of fire.
The multitude were seized with consternation; and the whole fell on
their knees, from the sublime podesta himself, to the humblest
saffron-gatherer. Never was there such a mixture of devotion. Never was
there such a concert of exclamations, sighs, callings on the saints, and
rattling of beads. The whole concourse lay for some minutes with their
very noses rubbing to the ground, until they were all roused at once by
a loud burst of laughter. Thirty thousand pair of eyes were lifted up at
the instant, and all fixed in astonishment on a human figure, seen
calmly sitting on the water, in the very track of the explosion, and
still half hidden in the heavy mass of smoke that curled in a huge globe
over the remnants. The laugh had proceeded from him, and the nearer he
approached the multitude, the louder he laughed. At length, stopping in
front of the spot where the sublime podesta, a little ashamed of his
prostration, was getting the dust shaken out of his gold-embroidered
robe of office, and bathing his burning visage in orange-flower water,
the stranger began a sort of complimentary song to the famous city of
The stranger found a willing audience; for his first stanza was in
honour of the "most magnificent city of Vicenza;" its "twenty palaces by
the matchless Palladio;" much more "its sixty churches;" and much more
than all "its breed of Dominicans, unrivalled throughout the earth for
the fervour of their piety and the capacity of their stomachs." The last
touch made the grand-prior of the cathedral wince a little, but it was
welcomed with a roar from the multitude. The song proceeded; but if the
prior had frowned at the first stanza, the podesta was doubly angry at
the second, which sneered at Venetian pomposity in incomparable style.
But the prior and podesta were equally outvoted, for the roar of the
multitude was twice as loud as before. Then came other touches on the
_cavalieri serventi_, the ladies, the nuns, and the husbands, till every
class had its share: but the satire was so witty, that, keen as it was,
the shouts of the people silenced all disapprobation. He finished by a
brilliant stanza, in which he said, that "having been sent by Neptune
from the depths of the ocean to visit the earth, he had chosen for his
landing-place its most renowned spot, the birthplace of the gayest men
and the handsomest women--the exquisite Vicenza." With these words he
ascended from the shore, and was received with thunders of applause.
His figure was tall and elegant. He wore a loose, scarlet cloak thrown
over his fine limbs, Greek sandals, and a cap like that of the Italian
princes of three centuries before, a kind of low circle of green and
vermilion striped silk, clasped by a large rose of topaz. The men
universally said, that there was an atrocious expression in his
countenance; but the women, the true judges after all, said, without
exception, that this was envy in the men, and that the stranger was the
most "delightful looking _Diavolo_" they had ever set eyes on.
The stranger, on his landing, desired to be led to the principal hotel;
but he had not gone a dozen steps from the water-side, when he exclaimed
that he had lost his purse. Such an imputation was never heard before in
an Italian city; at least so swore the multitude; and the stranger was
on the point of falling several fathoms deep in his popularity. But he
answered the murmur by a laugh; and stopping in front of a beggar, who
lay at the corner of an hospital roaring out for alms, demanded the
instant loan of fifty sequins. The beggar lifted up his hands and eyes
in speechless wonder, and then shook out his rags, which, whatever else
they might show, certainly showed no sequins, "The sequins, or death!"
was the demand, in a tremendous voice. The beggar fell on the ground
convulsed, and from his withered hand, which every one had seen empty
the moment before, out flew fifty sequins, bright as if they had come
that moment from St. Mark's mint. The stranger took them from the
ground, and, with a smile, flung them up in a golden shower through the
crowd. The shouts were immense, and the mob insisted on carrying him to
the door of his hotel.
But the Venetian vigilance was by this time a little awakened, and a
patrol of the troops was ordered to bring this singular stranger before
the sublime podesta. The crowd instantly dropped him at the sight of the
bayonets, and knowing the value of life in the most delicious climate of
the world, took to their heels. The guard took possession of their
prisoner, and were leading him rather roughly to the governor's house,
when he requested them to stop for a moment beside a convent gate, that
he might get a cup of wine. But the Dominicans would not give the
satirist of their illustrious order a cup of water.
"If you will not give me refreshment," exclaimed he, in an angry tone,
"give me wherewithal to buy it. I demand a hundred sequins."
The prior himself was at the window above his head; and the only answer
was a sneer, which was loyally echoed through every cloister.
"Let me have your bayonet for a moment," said the stranger to one of his
guard. He received it; and striking away a projecting stone in the wall,
out rushed the hundred sequins. The prior clasped his hands in agony,
that so much money should have been so near, and yet have escaped his
pious purposes, The soldiers took off their caps for the discoverer, and
bowed them still lower when he threw every sequin of it into the shakos
of those polite warriors. The officer, to whom he had given a double
share, showed his gratitude by a whisper, offering to assist his escape
for as much more. But the stranger declined the civility, and walked
boldly into the presence-chamber of the sublime podesta.
The Signer Dominico Castello-Grande Tremamondo was a little Venetian
noble, descended in a right line from Aeneas, with a palazzo on the
Canale Regio of Venice, which he let for a coffee-house; and living in
the pomp and pride of a _magnifico_ on something more than the wages of
an English groom. The intelligence of this extraordinary stranger's
discoveries had flown like a spark through a magazine, and the
_illustrissimo_ longed to be a partaker in the secret. He interrogated
the prisoner with official fierceness, but could obtain no other reply
than the general declaration, that he was a traveller come to see the
captivations of Italy. In the course of the inquiry the podesta dropped
a significant hint about money.
"As to money," was the reply, "I seldom carry any about me; it is so
likely to tempt _rascals_ to dip deeper in roguery. I have it whenever I
choose to call for it."
"I should like to see the experiment made, merely for its curiosity,"
said the governor.
"You shall be obeyed," was the answer; "but I never ask for more than a
sum for present expenses. Here, you fellow!" said he, turning to one of
the half-naked soldiery, "lend me five hundred sequins!"
The whole guard burst into laughter. The sum would have been a severe
demand on the military chest of the army. The handsome stranger advanced
to him, and, seizing his musket, said, loftily, "Fellow, if you won't
give the money, this must." He struck the butt-end of the musket thrice
upon the floor. At the third blow a burst of gold poured out, and
sequins ran in every direction. The soldiery and the officers of the
court were in utter astonishment. All wondered, many began to cross
themselves, and several of the most celebrated swearers in the regiment
dropped upon their knees. But their devotions were not long, for the
sublime podesta ordered the hall to be cleared, and himself, the
stranger, and the sequins, left alone.
For three days nothing more was heard of any of the three, and the
Vicenzese scarcely ate, drank, or slept, through anxiety to know what
was become of the man in the scarlet cloak, and cap striped green and
vermilion. Jealousy, politics, and piety, at length put their heads
together, and, by the evening of the third day, the _cavalieri_ had
agreed that he was some rambling actor, or Alpine thief, the statesmen,
that he was a spy; and the Dominicans that he was Satan in person. The
women, partly through the contradiction natural to the lovely sex, and
partly through the novelty of not having the world in their own way,
were silent; a phenomenon which the Italian philosophers still consider
the true wonder of the whole affair.
On the evening of the third day a new Venetian governor, with a stately
_cortege_, was seen entering at the Water Gate, full gallop, from
Venice: he drove straight to the podesta's house, and, after an
audience, was provided with apartments in the town-house, one of the
finest in Italy, and looking out upon the _Piazza Grande_, in which are
the two famous columns, one then surmounted by the winged lion of St.
Mark, as the other still is by a statue of the founder of our faith.
The night was furiously stormy, and the torrents of rain and perpetual
roaring of the thunder drove the people out of the streets. But between
the tempest and curiosity not an eye was closed that night in the city.
Towards morning the tempest lulled, and in the intervals of the wind,
strange sounds were heard, like the rushing of horses and rattling of
carriages. At length the sounds grew so loud that curiosity could be
restrained no longer, and the crowd gathered towards the entrance of the
_Piazza_. The night was dark beyond description, and the first knowledge
of the hazard that they were incurring was communicated to the shivering
mob by the kicks of several platoons of French soldiery, who let them
pass within their lines, but prohibited escape. The square was filled
with cavalry, escorting wagons loaded with the archives, plate, and
pictures, of the government. The old podesta was seen entering a
carriage, into which his very handsome daughter, the betrothed of the
proudest of the proud Venetian senators, was handed by the stranger. The
procession then moved, and last, and most surprising of all, the
stranger, mounting a charger, put himself at the head of the cavalry,
and, making a profound adieu to the new governor, who stood shivering at
the window in care of a file of grenadiers, dashed forward on the road
Day rose, and the multitude rushed out to see what was become of the
city. Every thing was as it had been, but the column of the lion: its
famous emblem of the Venetian republic was gone, wings and all. They
exclaimed that the world had come to an end. But the wheel of fortune is
round, let politicians say what they will. In twelve months from that
day the old podesta was again sitting in the government-house--yet a
podesta no more, but a French prefect; the Signora Maria, his lovely
daughter, was sitting beside him, with an infant, the image of her own
beauty, and beside her the stranger, no longer the man of magic in the
scarlet cloak and green and vermilion striped cap with a topaz clasp,
but a French general of division, in blue and silver, her husband, as
handsome as ever, and, if not altogether a professed _Diavolo_, quite as
successful in finding money whenever he wanted it. His first _entree_
into Vicenza had been a little theatrical, for such is the genius of his
country. The blowing-up of his little steam-boat, which had nearly
furnished his drama with a tragic catastrophe, added to its effect; and
his discovery of the sequins was managed by three of his countrymen. As
an inquirer into the nakedness of the land, he might have been shot as a
spy. As half-charlatan and half-madman, he was sure of national
sympathy. During the three days of his stay the old podesta had found
himself accessible to reason, the podesta's daughter to the tender
passion, and the treasures of the state to the locomotive skill of the
French detachment, that waited in the mountains the result of their
officer's diplomacy. The lion of St. Mark, having nothing else to do,
probably disdained to remain, and in the same night took wing from the
column, to which he has never returned.
As we love to "march in good order," we begin with the plates, the most
striking of which is the Frontispiece, _Marcus Curtius_, by Le Keux,
from a design by Martin, which we are at a loss to describe. It requires
a microscopic eye to fully appreciate all its beauties--yet the
thousands of figures and the architectural background, are so clear and
intelligible as to make our optic nerve sympathize with the labour of
the artist. The next is a _View on the Ganges_, by Finden, after
Daniell; _Constancy_, by Portbury, after Stephanoff, in which the female
figure is loveliness personified; _Eddystone during a Storm_; the
_Proposal_, a beautiful family group; the _Cottage Kitchen_, by Romney,
after Witherington; and the _Blind Piper_, from a painting by Clennell,
who, from too great anxiety in the pursuit of his profession, was some
years since deprived of reason, which he has never recovered.
In the _poetical_ department we notice the Retreat, some beautiful lines
by J. Montgomery; Ellen Strathallan, a pathetic legend, by Mrs.
Pickersgill; St. Mary of the Lows, by the Ettrick Shepherd; Xerxes, a
beautiful composition, by C. Swain, Esq.; the Banks of the Ganges, a
descriptive poem, by Capt. McNaghten; Lydford Bridge, a fearful
incident, by the author of Dartmoor; Alice, a tale of merrie England, by
W.H. Harrison; and two pleasing pieces by the talented editor. Our
Langsyne!--how doth the word come back
With magic meaning to the heart,
As Memory roams the sunny track,
From which Hope's dreams were loath to part!
No joy like by-past joy appears;
For what is gone we peak and pine.
Were life spun out a thousand years,
It could not match Langsyne!
Langsyne!--the days of childhood warm,
When, tottering by a mother's knee,
Each sight and sound had power to charm,
And hope was high, and thought was free.
Langsyne!--the merry schoolboy days--
How sweetly then life's sun did shine!
Oh! for the glorious pranks and plays,
The raptures of Langsyne!
Langsyne!--yes, In the sound, I hear
The rustling of the summer grove,
And view those angel features near,
Which first awoke the heart to love.
How sweet it is, in pensive mood,
At windless midnight to recline,
And fill the mental solitude
With spectres from Langsyne!
Langsyne!--ah, where are they who shared
With us its pleasures bright and blithe?
Kindly with some hath fortune fared;
And some have bowed beneath the scythe
Of death; while others, scattered far,
O'er foreign lands at fate repine,
Oft wandering forth, 'neath twilight's star,
To muse on dear Langsyne!
Langsyne!--the heart can never be
Again so full of guileless truth--
Langsyne! the eyes no more shall see,
Ah, no! the rainbow hopes of youth.
Langsyne! with thee resides a spell
To raise the spirit, and refine
Farewell!--there can be no farewell
To thee, loved, lost Langsyne!
Of the _prose_ articles, we have already given some specimens--The Hour
Too Many, a fortnight since; and Vicenza, just quoted. The next we
notice is Recollections of Pere la Chaise, for the graphic accuracy of
which we can answer; Eliza Carthago, an African anecdote, by Mrs.
Bowditch; Terence O'Flaherty, a humorous story, by the Modern
Pythagorean of Blackwood; two interesting stories of Modern Greece; a
highly-wrought Persian Tale, by the late Henry Neele; Miss Mitford's
charming Cricketing Sketch; the Maid of the Beryl, by Mrs. Hofland; a
Chapter of Eastern Apologues, by the Ettrick Shepherd; the Goldsmith of
Westcheap, a story of the olden time--rather too long; and a
characteristic Naval Sketch.
As we have already drawn somewhat freely on the present volume, we may
adduce that as the best proof of the high opinion we entertain of its
merits. The editor has only two or three pieces; but the excellent taste
and judgment displayed in the editorship of the "Forget-me-not" entitle
it to a foremost place among the "Annuals for 1829."
* * * * *
The Literary Souvenir,
_Edited by Alaric A. Watts, Esq_.
If the present were the first volume of the Literary Souvenir, the name
of the editor would be a passport to popularity; but as this is the
fifth year of its publication, any recommendation of ours would be
But the Souvenir for 1829, realizes that delightful union of painting,
engraving, and literature, (at whose beneficial influence we have
glanced in our accompanying number) even more fully than its
predecessors. Ten out of the twelve embellishments are from celebrated
pictures, and the whole are by first-rate engravers. Of their cost we
spoke cursorily in a recent number; so that we shall only particularize
a few of the most striking.
The engravings are of larger size than heretofore, and, for the most
part, more brilliant in design and execution than any previous year.
We can only notice _the Sisters_, (frontispiece) full of graceful and
pleasing effect, by J.H. Robinson, after Stephanoff; _Cleopatra, on the
Cydnus_, a splendid aquatic pageant, by E. Goodall, after Danby; the
_Proposal_, consisting of two of the most striking figures in Leslie's
exquisite painting of May Day in Queen Elizabeth's time; a _Portrait of
Sir Walter Scott_, from Leslie's painting, and considered the best
likeness; this is from the burin of an American artist of high promise.
We must not, however, forget _Ehrenbreitstein, on the Rhine_, by John
Pye, from a drawing by J.M.W. Turner, which is one of the most
delightful prints in the whole series.
In the _poetry_ are Cleopatra, well according with the splendid scene it
is intended to illustrate--and I think of Thee, a tender lament--both by
Mr. T.K. Hervey; Mrs. Hemans has contributed four exquisite pieces:
Night, the Ship at Sea, and the Mariner's Grave, by Mr. John Malcolm,
only make us regret that we have not room for either in our columns;
Mary Queen of Scots, by H.G. Bell, Esq., is one of the most interesting
historical ballads we have lately met with; the Epistle from Abbotsford,
is a piece of pleasantry, which would have formed an excellent pendent
to Sir Walter's Study, in our last; Zadig and Astarte, by Delta, are in
the writer's most plaintive strain; the recollections of our happiest
years, are harmoniously told in "Boyhood;" a ballad entitled "The
Captive of Alhama," dated from Woburn Abbey, and signed R----, is a
soul-stirring production, attributed to Lord John Russel; and the Pixies
of Devon has the masterly impress of the author of Dartmoor. And last in
our enumeration, though first in our liking, are the following by the
editor:--Invocation to the Echo of a Sea Shell; King Pedro's Revenge,
with a well written historiette; the Youngling of the Flock, full of
tenderness and parental affection; and some Stanzas, for our admiration
of which we have not an epithet at hand, so we give the original.
ON BURNING A PACKET OF LETTERS.
_By A.A. Watts, Esq._
Relics of love, and life's enchanted spring,
Of hopes born, rainbow-like, of smiles and tears:--
With trembling hand do I unloose the string,
Twined round the records of my youthful years.
Yet why preserve memorials of a dream,
Too bitter-sweet to breathe of aught but pain!
Why court fond memory for a fitful gleam
Of faded bliss, that cannot bloom again!
The thoughts and feelings these sad relics bring
Back on my heart, I would not now recall:--
Since gentler ties around its pulses cling,
Shall spells less hallowed hold them still in thrall!
Can withered hopes that never came to flower
Match with affections long and dearly tried
Love, that has lived through many a stormy hour,
Through good and ill,--and time and change defied!
Perish each record that might wake a thought
That would be treason to a faith like this!--
Why should the spectres of past joys be brought
To fling their shadows o'er my present bliss!
Yet,--ere we part for ever,--let me pay
A last, fond tribute to the sainted dead:
Mourn o'er these wrecks of passion's earlier day,
With tears as wild as once I used to shed.
What gentle words are flashing on my eye!
What tender truths in every line I trace!
Confessions--penned with many a deep drawn sigh.--
Hopes--like the dove--with but one resting place!
How many a feeling, long--too long--represt,
Like autumn flowers, here opened out at last!
How many a vision of the lonely breast
Its cherish'd radiance on these leaves hath cast?
And ye, pale violets, whose sweet breath hath driven
Back on my soul the dreams I fain would quell;
To whose faint perfume such wild power is given,
To call up visions--only loved too well;--
Ye too must perish!--Wherefore now divide
Tributes of love--first offerings of the heart;--
Gifts--that so long have slumbered side by side;
Tokens of feeling--never meant to part!
A long farewell:--sweet flowers, sad scrolls, adieu!
Yes, ye shall be companions to the last:--
So perish all that would revive anew
The fruitless memories of the faded past!
But, lo! the flames are curling swiftly round
Each fairer vestige of my youthful years;
Page after page that searching blaze hath found,
Even whilst I strive to trace them through my tears.
The Hindoo widow, in affection strong,
Dies by her lord, and keeps her faith unbroken;
Thus perish all which to those wrecks belong,
The living memory--with the lifeless token!
Barry Cornwall has contributed several minor pieces, though we fear his
poetical reputation will not be increased by either of them.
Some of the minor pieces are gems in their way, and one of the most
beautiful will be found appended to our current Number.
To the _prose_:--The first in the volume is "the Sisters," a pathetic
tale of about thirty pages, which a little of the fashionable
affectation of some literary coxcombs might fine-draw over a brace of
small octavos. As it stands, the story is gracefully, yet energetically
told, and is entitled to the place it occupies. The author of Pelham
(_vide_ the newspapers) has a pleasant conceit in the shape of a
whole-length of fashion, which, being the best and shortest in its line
that we have met with, will serve to enliven our extracts:--
TOO HANDSOME FOR ANY THING!
Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy was one of those models of perfection of which
a human father and mother can produce but a single example,--Mr.
Ferdinand Fitzroy was therefore an only son. He was such an amazing
favourite with both his parents that they resolved to ruin him;
accordingly, he was exceedingly spoiled, never annoyed by the sight of
a book, and had as much plum-cake as he could eat. Happy would it have
been for Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy could he always have eaten plum-cake, and
remained a child. "Never," says the Greek Tragedian, "reckon a mortal
happy till you have witnessed his end." A most beautiful creature was
Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy! Such eyes--such hair--such teeth--such a
figure--such manners, too,--and such an irresistible way of tying his
neckcloth! When he was about sixteen, a crabbed old uncle represented to
his parents the propriety of teaching Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy to read and
write. Though not without some difficulty, he convinced them,--for he
was exceedingly rich, and riches in an uncle are wonderful arguments
respecting the nurture of a nephew whose parents have nothing to leave
him. So our hero was sent to school. He was naturally (I am not joking
now) a very sharp, clever boy; and he came on surprisingly in his
learning. The schoolmaster's wife liked handsome children.--"What a
genius will Master Ferdinand Fitzroy be, if you take pains with him!"
said she, to her husband.
"Pooh, my dear, it is of no use to take pains with _him_."
"And why, love?"
"Because he is a great deal too handsome ever to be a scholar."
"And that's true enough, my dear!" said the schoolmaster's wife.
So, because he was too handsome to be a scholar, Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy
remained the lag of the fourth form!
They took our hero from school.--"What profession shall he follow?" said
"My first cousin is the Lord Chancellor," said his father, "let him go
to the bar."
The Lord Chancellor dined there that day: Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy was
introduced to him; his lordship was a little, rough-faced,
beetle-browed, hard-featured man, who thought beauty and idleness the
same thing--and a parchment skin the legitimate complexion for a lawyer.
"Send him to the bar!" said he, "no, no, that will never do!--Send him
into the army; he is much too handsome to become a lawyer."
"And that's true enough, my lord!" said the mother. So they bought Mr.
Ferdinand Fitzroy a cornetcy in the ---- regiment of dragoons.
Things are not learned by inspiration. Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy had never
ridden at school, except when he was hoisted; he was, therefore, a very
indifferent horseman; they sent him to the riding-school, and everybody
laughed at him.
"He is a d--d ass!" said Cornet Horsephiz, who was very ugly; "a horrid
puppy!" said Lieutenant St. Squintem, who was still uglier; "if he does
not ride better he will disgrace the regiment," said Captain Rivalhate,
who was very good-looking; "if he does not ride better, we will cut
him!" said Colonel Everdrill, who was a wonderful martinet; "I say, Mr.
Bumpemwell (to the riding-master,) make that youngster ride less like a
"Pooh, sir, _he_ will never ride better."
"And why the d---l will he not?"
"Bless you, colonel, he is a great deal too handsome for a cavalry
"True!" said Cornet Horsephiz.
"Very true," said Lieutenant St. Squintem.
"We must cut him!" said the Colonel.
And Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy was accordingly cut.
Out hero was a youth of susceptibility--he quitted the ---- regiment,
and challenged the colonel. The colonel was killed!
"What a terrible blackguard is Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy!" said the
"Very true!" said the world.
The parents were in despair!--They were not rich; but our hero was an
only son, and they sponged hard upon the crabbed old uncle! "he is very
clever," said they both, "and may do yet."
So they borrowed some thousands from the uncle, and bought his beautiful
nephew a seat in parliament.
Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy was ambitious, and desirous of retrieving his
character. He fagged like a dragon--conned pamphlets and reviews--got
Ricardo by heart--and made notes on the English constitution.
He rose to speak.
"What a handsome fellow!" whispered one member.
"Ah, a coxcomb!" said another.
"Never do for a speaker!" said a third, very audibly.
And the gentlemen on the opposite benches sneered and _heard!_--Impudence
is only indigenous in Milesia, and an orator is not made in a day.
Discouraged by his reception, Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy grew a little
"Told you so!" said one of his neighbours.
"Fairly broke down!" said another.
"Too fond of his hair to have any thing in his head," said a third, who
was considered a wit.
"Hear, hear!" cried the gentlemen on the opposite benches,
Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy sat down--he had not shone; but, in justice, he
had not failed. Many a first-rate speaker had began worse; and many a
country member had been declared a phoenix of promise upon half his
Not so, thought the heroes of corn-laws.
"Your Adonises never make orators!" said a crack speaker with a wry
"Nor men of business either," added the chairman of a committee, with a
face like a kangaroo's.
"Poor devil!" said the civilest of the set. "He's a deuced deal too
handsome for a speaker! By Jove, he is going to speak again--this will
never do; we must cough him down!"
And Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy was accordingly coughed down.
Our hero was now seven or eight and twenty, handsomer than ever, and the
adoration of the young ladies at Almack's.
"We have nothing to leave you," said the parents, who had long spent
their fortune, and now lived on the credit of having once enjoyed
it.--"You are the handsomest man in London; you must marry an heiress."
"I will," said Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy.
Miss Helen Convolvulus was a charming young lady, with a hare-lip and
six thousand a-year. To Miss Helen Convolvulus then our hero paid his
Heavens! what an uproar her relations made about the matter. "Easy to
see his intentions," said one: "a handsome fortune-hunter, who wants to
make the best of his person!"--"handsome is that handsome does," says
another; "he was turned out of the army, and murdered his
colonel;"--"never marry a beauty," said a third;--"he can admire none
but himself;"--"will have so many mistresses," said a fourth;--"make you
perpetually jealous," said a fifth;--"spend your fortune," said a
sixth;--"and break your heart," said a seventh.
Miss Helen Convolvulus was prudent and wary. She saw a great deal of
justice in what was said; and was sufficiently contented with liberty
and six thousand a-year, not to be highly impatient for a husband; but
our heroine had no aversion to a lover; especially to so handsome a
lover as Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy. Accordingly she neither accepted nor
discarded him; but kept him on hope, and suffered him to get into debt
with his tailor, and his coach-maker. On the strength of becoming Mr.
Fitzroy Convolvulus. Time went on, and excuses and delays were easily
found; however, our hero was sanguine, and so were his parents. A
breakfast at Chiswick, and a putrid fever carried off the latter, within
one week of each other; but not till they had blessed Mr. Ferdinand
Fitzroy, and rejoiced that they had left him so well provided for.
Now, then, our hero depended solely upon the crabbed old uncle and Miss
Helen Convolvulus; the former, though a baronet and a satirist was a
banker and a man of business:--he looked very distastefully at the
Hyperian curls and white teeth of Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy.
"If I make you my heir," said he--"I expect you will continue the bank."
"Certainly, sir!" said the nephew.
"Humph!" grunted the uncle, "a pretty fellow for a banker!"
Debtors grew pressing to Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy, and Mr. Ferdinand
Fitzroy grew pressing to Miss Helen Convolvulus. "It is a dangerous
thing," said she, timidly, "to marry a man so admired,--will you always
"By heaven!" cried the lover.
"Heigho!" sighed Miss Helen Convolvulus, and Lord Rufus Pumilion
entering, the conversation was changed.
But the day of the marriage was fixed; and Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy bought
a new curricle. By Apollo, how handsome he looked in it! A month before
the wedding day the uncle died. Miss Helen Convolvulus was quite tender
in her condolences--"Cheer up, my Ferdinand," said she, "for your sake,
I have discarded Lord Rufus Pumilion!" "Adorable condescension!" cried
our hero;--"but Lord Rufus Pumilion is only four feet two, and has hair
like a peony."
"All men are not so handsome as Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy!" was the reply.
Away goes our hero, to be present at the opening of his uncle's will.
"I leave," said the testator (who I have before said was a bit of a
satirist,) "my share of the bank, and the whole or my fortune, legacies
excepted, to"--(here Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy wiped his beautiful eyes with
a cambric handkerchief, exquisitely _brode_) "my natural son, John
Spriggs, an industrious, pains-taking youth, who will do credit to the
bank. I did once intend to have made my nephew Ferdinand my heir; but so
curling a head can have no talent for accounts. I want my successor to
be a man of business, not beauty; and Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy is a great
deal too handsome for a banker; his good looks will, no doubt, win him
any heiress in town. Meanwhile, I leave him, to buy a dressing-case, a
"A thousand devils!" said Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy, banging out of the
room. He flew to his mistress. She was not at home. "Lies," says the
Italian proverb, "have short legs;" but truths, if they are unpleasant,
have terrible long ones! The next day Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy received a
most obliging note of dismissal.
"I wish you every happiness," said Miss Helen Convolvulus, in
conclusion--"but my friends are right; you are much too handsome for a
And the week after, Miss Helen Convolvulus became Lady Rufus Pumilion.
"Alas! sir," said the bailiff, as a day or two after the dissolution of
parliament, he was jogging along with Mr. Ferdinand Fitzroy, in a
hackney coach bound to the King's Bench,--"Alas! sir, what a pity it is
to take so handsome a gentleman to prison!"
The MS. found in a Madhouse, by the same author, is perhaps too horrific
for this terror-loving age; but it is by no means less clever on that
account; _toute en huile_ would not do. Among the other tales are the
Rock of the Candle, Irish, by the author of Holland-Tide,--nearly forty
pages; and the Queen of May and Bridget Plantagenet,--of the olden
time--which would be spoiled by abridgment for our present purpose. The
same reason prevents our giving more than our commendation of Miss
Mitford's General and his Lady, who, we think are new company for our
In the Vision of Purgatory, by Dr. Maginn, (Irish, of course,) the
serious and ludicrous are mixed up with an abundance of skill and
humour; this piece should be read after the Madhouse sketch.
The Souvenir is opportunely dedicated to Mr. Peel; and whether as a work
of art, or elegant literature, it is decidedly worthy of such
distinguished notice. If the argument of the fine arts contributing to
virtue hold good, then the patronage of a minister will be patriotically
bestowed on such works as the Literary Souvenir.
* * * * *
_Edited by S. C. Hall, Esq._
It would be difficult and somewhat egotistical for us to describe the
pleasure we felt on our receiving this interesting volume for notice in
our pages. The amiable spirit which breathes throughout its pages, and
the good taste which uniformly dictates its editorship have secured the
_Amulet_ an extensive, and we are disposed to think, a more permanent,
popularity than is attached to other works of similar form.
[Footnote 1] In a few words, the _Amulet_ reached us in an early stage of
convalescence, when we began to feel that "no medicine is better for the
weakness of the body than that which soothes and tranquillizes the
soul." We are not suiting the action to the word; on the contrary, we
would desire to wear such truths as the _Amulet_ enjoins--in our "heart
of hearts," as well in returning health and vigour as in the above
The present volume contains Fourteen Plates, among which are _Murillo's
Spanish Flower Girl; Etty's Guardian Angels_, by Finden; a copy of Sir
Thomas Lawrence's portrait of _Lady Georgiana Fane_, from Colnaghi's
print; Eastlake's _Italian Mother;_ one of Collins's last pictures, _The
Fisherman Leaving Home; The Temple of Victory_, from Gandy,--all which
are first-rate works of art.
There are eighty contributions, as the bookmakers say, "in prose and
verse," with a predominance of the former. The first of the _prose_ is a
Strange Story of every day, by William Kennedy--well told, but too long
for extract. The Mountain Daisy, a village sketch, by the Editor's lady,
is gracefully written; and with the Fisherman, by the Editor, is a fair
characteristic of the amiable spirit to which we have already alluded;
and in the same tone of good feeling is the Rose of Fennock Dale, a true
story by the fair authoress of the Mountain Daisy; and the Wandering
Minstrels, by the Rev. F.A. Cox, L.L.D. Miss Mitford has contributed one
of her inimitable sketches, Little Moses; but the most staple articles
in the volume are The Battle of Bunaania, one of the Georgian Islands,
by Mr. Ellis, the missionary; Notices of the Canadian Indians, by Dr.
Walsh; a Journey over the Brocken, by Mr. Coleridge; and a Fragment, by
Miss Jane Porter. Our prose selection is from the last of these
articles; but we intend transferring a portion of Dr. Walsh's "Notices"
to our next "Manners and Customs."
* * * * *
THE SOUTH SEA CHIEF.
_By Miss Jane Porter_.
While in the north of Europe, I met with a rather extraordinary person,
whose account of himself might afford a subject for a pretty romance; a
sort of new Paul and Virginia; but with what different catastrophe, it
is not fair to presage. He described himself as a Frenchman, a native of
Bourdeaux; where, at an early age, he was put on board a merchant ship,
to learn the profession of a seaman. About that time war broke out
between Great Britain, and the lately proclaimed Republic of France;
and the vessel he was in, being attacked, and taken by an English
man-of-war, he was carried a prisoner into England. When there, his
naturally enterprising character would not submit itself to a state of
captivity; and, soon making his wishes understood, he entered on board a
British sloop, bound to New Holland. While gazing with rapt astonishment
on the seeming new heavens which canopied that, to him, also, new
portion of the globe; while the stars of the Cross were exciting his
youthful wonder; and he could no where find the constellations of the
Great, or Little Bear in the midnight firmament, the sky was suddenly
overcast with a cloud, like the pall of nature, and a fearful tempest
burst from it. The scene was dreadful on that wide waste of waters; and
the vessel being driven at last into the rocky labyrinths of the Society
Isles, was finally wrecked on one not many leagues from the celebrated
Otaheite. Laonce, the young Frenchman, and one seaman of the sloop, an
honest north Briton, were the only persons who escaped; for when morning
broke, they found themselves, restored from insensibility, lying on the
shore, and not a trace of the ship, or of those who had navigated her,
was to be discerned. The inhabitants of the island, apparently wild
savages by their almost naked state, instead of seizing them as a prey,
took them to their huts, fed, and cherished them. Hope for awhile
flattered them that some other vessel, bound for New Holland, might also
be driven upon those islands, though not with the same hard fate, and
that by her means they might be released, and conveyed back to Europe.
But days, and weeks, and months, wearing away without any such arrival,
they began to regard the expectation less, and to turn their minds to
take a more intimate interest in objects around them. Time, indeed,
accustomed them to what might be called barbarous, in the manners of the
people; by degrees, even themselves laid aside their European habits;
they exchanged their clothing for the half-exposed fashion of the native
chiefs; and, adopting their pursuits and pleasures, became hunters, and
bold fishers in the light canoe. Finally, they learnt to speak the
language, as if they had been born in the island; and, at length, sealed
their insular destiny by marrying native women. Laonce was hardly
eighteen when he was first cast ashore amongst them; but having a
handsome person, and those engaging manners, from a naturally amiable
disposition added to a gentleman's breeding, which never fail agreeably
impressing even the rudest minds, the eye of female tenderness soon
found him out; and the maiden, being the daughter of the king, and
beautiful withal, had only to hint her wishes to her royal sire; and the
king naming them to their distinguished object, she immediately became
his happy bride. Laonce, becoming thus royally allied, and in the line
of the throne, instantly received publicly the investiture of the
highest order of Otaheitan nobility, namely, a species of tattooing
appropriated to chiefs alone. The limbs of the body thus distinguished,
are traversed all over with a damasked sort of pattern, while the
particular royal insignia is marked on the left side of the forehead,
and below the eye, like a thick mass of dark tattooing.
But the young Frenchman, and his north Briton companion, had reserved to
themselves means of increasing their consequence, still more than by
their mere personal merits, with their new fellow-countrymen. A few days
after the wreck, the subsiding elements had cast up certain articles of
the ship, which they managed to turn to good account: the most valuable
of them were fire-arms and some gunpowder, and a few other implements,
both of defence, and use in household, or ship's repairs. The fire-arms
seemed to endow the new young chief, just engrafted into the reigning
stock, with a kind of preternatural authority; and, by the aid of his
old messmate, and new bosom-coadjutor, he exerted all his influence over
their awed minds, to prevent their recurrence to the frightful practice
he had seen on his first landing, of devouring the prisoners they took
in war. His marriage had invested him with the power of a natively born
son of the king; and, having made himself master of their language, his
persuasions were so conclusive with the leading warriors, that, in the
course of a very little time, it was rare to hear that so dreadful a
species of vengeance was ever tasted, even in stealth. However, so
addicted were some few of the fiercer sort, to this ancient triumph of
their ancestors, that he found it necessary to add commands to
persuasions, and then threats to commands; and having expressed in the
strongest terms his abhorrence of so cowardly and brutal a practice, he
told them, that the first man he saw attempt to touch the flesh of a
prisoner to devour it, he would instantly put the offender to death.
Shortly after this warning, a fray took place between the natives of his
father-in-law's dominions, and their enemies from a hostile island. A
number of captives were taken; and all under his command held his former
orders in such reverence, that none, excepting two (and they had before
shown refractory dispositions,) presumed to disobey his edict of mercy.
But these men, in derision of his lenity, particularly to the female
sex, selected a woman prisoner to be their victim; and slaying her, as
they would have done a beast, they commenced their horrible repast upon
her body. Laonce descried the scene at a distance just as they had
prepared their hideous banquet, and, going resolutely towards them,
levelled his musket at the cannibals. One of the wretches was killed
with the horrid morsel in his mouth, and a second shot, brought down his
voracious accomplice in the act. This bold example so awed all within
ken of the fact, that from that hour, until the day he quitted the
island, a period of fourteen years, no captive ever met with the
interdicted fate. Though the old sovereign continued in life, he
consigned the power to his new son, and Laonce became virtually king of
the place. Indeed, so reconciled was he and his friend the north Briton
(who also married) to the spot which had first sheltered them, and then
adopted them even as its legitimate offspring, that although many ships
of different nations touched there, no inducements could prevail on them
to quit their sea-girt home of simple nature, for all the blandishments
which civilized life could produce. Yet Laonce took a hospitable delight
in showing every act of friendship in his power to the captains of the
vessels; refitting them with food and fresh water; and rendering them
much essential service, in pointing out how to manage with safety the
difficult navigation round the several islands.
The animation with which he recited these circumstances, after he was
far from the spot where they took place, strongly portrayed the fearless
independence of his former life. He spoke with the decision of one whose
commands had been unappealable, and all the barbarian chief lightened in
his eyes. But when he recalled his home there, his family happiness, his
countenance fell, his eyes clouded, and he spoke in half-stifled words.
He described his palace-hut; his arms, his hunting spear, his canoe; his
return to his hut, with the fruits of the chase; the graceful, delicate
person of his wife; her clinging fondness on his entrance; his
tenderness for her, and for his children--for she bore to him a son and
a daughter; and, while he spoke, he burst into tears, and sobbed like a
child. "I was then beloved," said he, "Honoured!--master of all around
me; Now, I am nothing:--no home--no wife--no friend! I am an outcast
here!--when there! Oh, Berea! wilt thou have forgotten me?" His tears,
and wild agonies, prevented him proceeding; and my eyes could not remain
dry, when seeing such genuine grief, such real suffering.
But the cause of his being separated from his South-Sea home, and his
beloved Berea and her babes, remains to be told. It appears, that about
three years before the period I met him, a Russian ship, sent on a
voyage of discoveries, touched at the island where Laonce had become
naturalized. The captain was received with royal hospitality by the
king; and the _Prince Laonce_ became the glad interpreter between the
Europeans and his august father-in-law--for the captain spoke French.
And, besides procuring the crew all they wanted for common comforts, the
young chief loaded the commander and his officers with useful presents.
One night it blew a violent gale, and the Russian captain, deeming it
impossible to keep his anchorage in a bay so full of unseen dangers,
made signals to the land, in hopes of exciting some native, experienced
in the navigation, to come off, and direct him how to steer. Every
moment increased his jeopardy; the storm augmented; and, at each growing
blast, he expected to be torn from his cables, and dashed to atoms
against the rocks. No one moved from the shore. Again the signals were
repeated: Laonce had risen from his bed on hearing the first. Who was
there amongst all in that island, excepting his British comrade, who
would have known how to move _a ship_ through those boiling waves? The
light canoe, and a vessel of heavy burthen, were different objects! His
comrade was then watching by the side of an almost dying wife, who had
just made him the father of his first-born son. Could Laonce summon him
from that spot of his heart's tenderest duties, to attend to the roaring
guns of distress from a stranger vessel? Impossible! He rose, and looked
out on the night. He listened to the second signal, he wrung his hands,
and, sighing, was returning to his couch again. His wife had then risen
also. She clasped her arms round him, and a big tear stood in both her
eyes, "You tell me," said she, "that your people do not make those
thunders to heaven, and to earth, till they are drowning. You know you
can save them all. Go, Lao,"--and she smiled; "go; and the foreign
chief, after you have saved him, will give you something for me--either
a looking-glass, or a silk handkerchief. Go, Lao."
He wound his arms round the gentle pleader; and, almost ashamed that the
father and the husband in his heart, should make him calculate between
his own life and that of the gallant crew, he told her, that the tempest
raged too tremendously for him to dare stemming it. But she laughingly
repulsed his caresses, accusing his fondness for her as the inducement
of his assumed apprehensions; and being too long accustomed to the
rashness of her own people, in braving every weather, to believe any
plea of positive danger, she still persisted; saying she must have a
silk handkerchief that night from yon ship, or she should think he loved
his sound sleep better than he did his fond Berea.
The enthusiastic love which still warmed the faithful husband's breast,
and a third signal of distress from the struggling vessel, mastered his
better judgment, and, seizing his canoe, he dashed into the foaming
waves and boldly stemmed their fury to the object of his mission. The
overjoyed crew, as they heard his voice hailing them through the storm,
cast out a rope, by which they hoisted him into their cracking ship. The
most rapturous acknowledgments from the captain, greeted him as soon as
he jumped on the deck; and the eager seamen called him their deliverer.
He was happy! he said, he was happy in the achievement of what he had
done; he had obeyed the wish of his beloved Berea, and he had survived
the lashing surge. He was happy, in the confidence that he should rescue
the gallant vessel he came to take under his control. But that hour of
happiness was his last. He took the helm in his hands; he gave the
requisite directions to the seamen, for the management of the ship; and
he soon steered her out of the dangers of the bay, till she rode in
safety on the main ocean. He then asked for a boat to carry him on
shore, for his canoe had been crushed by an accident. But the wind still
blowing hurricanes, they would not venture the loss of one of their
boats: and during the hot contentions between him, and the ungrateful
chief of the vessel he had preserved, they were driven out far to sea;
whence his swimming arm, had he plunged into the boisterous deep, could
have been of no use to him. Indignation, despair, overwhelmed him. None
appeared to understand the nature of his feelings; all pretending to
wonder that a European born, should not be grateful to any occasion that
would carry him away from a savage country like that. In vain Laonce
remonstrated; in vain he talked of his wife and children; the captain
and his sailors laughed, promised him better of both sorts among his
kindred whites; and when he cursed their hardened hearts and cruel
treachery, they laughed again, and left him to his misery. At last, when
the protracted hurricane subsided, and the vessel's log-book proved that
she had been driven several degrees leeward of the Society Isles,
abandoned to a sullen despair, he ceased to accuse or to reproach; he
ceased even to speak on any subject, but cast himself into his lonely
berth during the day, that he might not be irritated to continued
unavailing madness, by the sight of the ingrates who had betrayed him.
To his straining eyes, nothing but the silvery line of the starlit sea
was on that distant horizon; but his heart's vision pierced farther,
and he beheld the sleepers in that home;--no, not the sleepers! His
disconsolate, his despairing wife, tearing her bright locks, and beating
the tender bosom he must no longer clasp to his own. His children--"Oh!
my babes!" cried he, and the cry of a father's heart for once pierced
the obdurate bosom of the captain, who, in that moment, had happened
to come upon the deck to examine the night. To ease his Otaheitan
benefactor, he declared he had thus carried him off, to share in the
honour of his expected discoveries. The unhappy chief, in then answering
him, begged, that if he had, indeed, any spark of honesty towards him,
he would prove it, by obeying his wish in one thing at least; and that
was, to set him on shore on the first European settlement they should
fall in with. "Do this," said he, "and I may yet believe you have
honour. For honour is a man's own act; a discovery is fortune's; and for
its advantages, did I stay, I should not have to thank you. But I want
none such. Set me on shore, and there I will follow my own destiny."
To this poor request, the iron-souled commander of the vessel, at last
consented; and in the course of some weeks after, Laonce was landed on
the coast of Kamschatka. His secret intent was to lie in wait for the
possibility of some ship touching at the port where he was set ashore,
that might be bound to the track of his beloved islands; but not
uttering a word of this, to the reprobate wretch who had torn him
thence, he simply bade him "farewell! and to use his next pilot better;"
so saying, they parted for ever. But weeks and months passed away, and
no vessel bound for the South Seas, showed itself in that distant
latitude; and its gloomy fogs, and chilling atmosphere, its pale sky,
where the sun never shone for more than three or four hours in the day,
seemed to wither up his life with his waning hopes! In no way did it
resemble the land he had left; the warm, and the genial heavens of the
home he was yet bent to find again;--and he left Kamschatka for some
more propitious port; but, like _Sinbad the Sailor_, he wandered in
vain. A cruel spell seemed set on him, or on the spirit of adventure;
for in no place could he hear of a vessel going the way of his prayers.
At last he arrived, by a most tedious and circuitous journey at Moscow,
with a design to lay his case before the young and ardent Alexander, the
then Emperor of Russia; with the hope that his benevolence, and a sense
of what he had done for the vessel which had betrayed him, would incline
his majesty to make some effort to return him to his island, and his
That this hope was not vain, the character of the good Alexander, since
proved by a life of undeviating promptness to all acts of humanity, may
be a sufficient voucher. But whether the homeward-bound chief, found, on
his setting his foot again upon the ground whence he had been so cruelly
rifled; and whence, indeed, the innocent confidence, the playful
bravery of his fond wife, had urged him; whether he found his
cherishly-remembered home, yet standing as he left it; and her, still
the tender and the true to his never-wandered heart; and whether his
children sprang to his knee, to share the parental caress; and the
people around, raised the _haloo_ of joy to the returned _son of their
king!_--whether these fondly-expected greetings hailed his arrival,
cannot be absolutely told; for the vessel that took him out, was to make
the circuit of the globe, ere it returned; hence, from that, and other
circumstances, the facts have never reached the narrator of this little
history, of what was really the meeting between Laonce and his Berea; of
the young chief, and the natives he had devotedly served! But can the
faithful hearts of wedded love, doubt the one; or manly attachment
suspect the other? For the honour of human nature, we will believe that
all was right; and, in the faith of a humble Christian, we will believe,
that "he who shewed mercy, found mercy!"; That he is now restored to his
island-home, and to his happy, grateful family!
* * * * *
Among the _poetical_ contributions are The Angels' Call, and Woman and
Fame, by Mrs. Hemans; Carthage, and Stanzas, by T.K. Hervey; the Chapel
on the Cliff, by W. Kennedy; all entitled to high praise. A Christian's
Day, by Miss A.M. Porter, is a sweet devotional composition. The extract
from one of Mr. Atherstone's unpublished books of the Fall of Nineveh,
maintains the high opinion already formed of the published part. Mr. C.
Swain has two beautiful pieces. We have only room to name those _gems_
of the poetry, viz. Wearie's Well, and another beautiful ballad, by W.
Motherwell; and some exquisite lines by the Rev. G. Croly; and to quote
The wind is sweeping o'er the hill;
It hath a mournful sound,
As if it felt the difference
Its weary wing hath found.
A little while that wandering wind
Swept over leaf and flower;
For there was green for every tree,
And bloom for every hour.
It wandered through the pleasant wood,
And caught the dove's lone song;
And by the garden-beds, and bore
The rose's breath along.
But hoarse and sullenly it sweeps;
No rose is opening now--
No music, for the wood-dove's nest
Is vacant on the bough.
Oh, human heart and wandering wind,
Go look upon the past;
The likeness is the same with each--
Their summer did not last.
Each mourns above the things it loved--
One o'er a flower and leaf;
The other over hopes and joys,
Whose beauty was as brief.
We congratulate the editor and the public on the past success of the
_Amulet_, especially as it proves that a pious feeling co-exists with a
taste for refined amusement, and that advantageously. There is nothing
austere in any page of the _Amulet_, nor anything so frivolous and light
as to be objectionable; but it steers in the medium, and consequently
must be acceptable to every well-regulated mind. Indeed, many of the
pieces in the present volume may be read and re-read with increased
advantage; whilst two only are unequal to the names attached to them.
* * * * *
_Edited by Thomas Hood, Esq._
The present is the first year of the _Gem_, which, as a work of art or
literature, fully comes within the import of its title. It is likewise
the first appearance of Mr. Hood as the editor of an "annual," who, with
becoming diffidence, appears to rely on the "literary giants" of his
muster-roll, rather than on his individual talent. Notwithstanding such
an editorship must have resembled the perplexity of Sinbad in the Valley
of Diamonds, Mr. Hood's volume is almost unexceptionably good, whatever
he may have rejected; and one of the best, if not _the best_, article in
the whole work, has been contributed by the editor himself. Associated
as Mr. Hood's name is with "whim and oddity," we, however, looked for
more quips, quirks, and quiddities than he has given us, which we should
have hailed as specially suited to the approaching festive season, and
from their contrast with the contents of similar works, as more likely
to attract by their novelty and humour.
The embellishments of the _Gem_, fifteen in number, have been selected
by A. Cooper, Esq. R.A. _The Death of Keeldar_ is a beautiful
composition by Mr. Cooper, and is worthy of association with Sir Walter
Scott's pathetic ballad. _The Widow_, by S. Davenport, from a picture by
R. Leslie, R.A. is one of the most touching prints we have yet seen, and
every one is capable of estimating its beauties, since its expression
will be sure to fasten on the affections of the beholder. _May Talbot_,
by J.C. Edwards, from a painting by A. Cooper, is admirable in design
and execution. Of the _Temptation on the Mount_, engraved by W.R. Smith,
after Martin, we have spoken in our accompanying Number; but as often as
we look at the plate, we discover new beauties. It is a just idea of
"all the kingdoms of the earth;" the distant effect is excellent, and
the "exceeding high mountain" is ably represented. The faces in the
_Painter's Study_ are decidedly superior to the rest of the print. The
_Fisherman's Daughter_, from a painting by Bone, is pleasing; and
_Venice, with the Embarkation of the Doge_, is a stirring scene of
pageantry and triumph.
Among the _poetry_ is the Painter's Song, a pleasing composition, by
Barry Cornwall, who has also The Victim, a dramatic sketch of twenty
pages. Stanzas by Horace Smith, Esq. are a pleasant satire upon the
little vanities of great people. We give the _Dream of Eugene Aram_ in
full, although it consists of nearly two pages of small type.:--
* * * * *
THE DREAM OF EUGENE ARAM.
BY T. HOOD, ESQ.
[The late Admiral Burney went to school at an establishment where the
unhappy Eugene Aram was usher subsequent to his crime. The admiral
stated, that Aram was generally liked by the boys; and that he used to
discourse to them about _murder_ in somewhat of the spirit which is
attributed to him in this poem.]
'Twas in the prime of summer time,
An evening calm and cool,
And four-and-twenty happy boys
Came bounding out of school:
There were some that ran and some that leapt,
Like troutlets in a pool.
Away they sped with gamesome minds,
And souls untouch'd by sin:
To a level mead they came, and there
They drave the wickets in:
Pleasantly shone the setting sun
Over the town of Lynn.
Like sportive deer they coursed about,
And shouted as they ran,--
Turning to mirth all things of earth,
As only boyhood can;
But the Usher sat remote from all--
A melancholy man!
His hat was off, his vest apart,
To catch heaven's blessed breeze--
For a burning thought was in his brow,
And his bosom ill at ease:
So he lean'd his head on his hands, and read
The book between his knees!
Leaf after leaf he turn'd it o'er,
Nor ever glanc'd aside--
For the peace of his soul he read that book
In the golden eventide:
Much study had made him very lean,
And pale, and leaden-eyed.
At last, he shut the ponderous tome;
With a fast and fervent grasp
He strain'd the dusky covers close,
And fixed the brazen hasp;
"O God, could I so close my mind,
And clasp it with a clasp!"
Then leaping on his feet upright,
Some moody turns he took,--
Now up the mead, then down the mead,
And past a shady nook,--
And, lo! he saw a little boy
That pored upon a book!
"My gentle lad, what is't you read--
Romance or fairy fable?
Or is it some historic page,
Of kings and crowns unstable?"
The young boy gave an upward glance,--
"It is _The Death of Abel_."
The Usher took six hasty strides,
As smit with sudden pain,--
Six hasty strides beyond the place,
Then slowly back again;
And down he sat beside the lad,
And talk'd with him of Cain;
And, long since then, of bloody men,
Whose deeds tradition saves;
Of lonely folk cut off unseen,
And hid in sudden graves;
Of horrid stabs, in groves forlorn,
And murders done in caves.
And how the sprites of injured men
Shriek upward from the sod,--
Ay, how the ghostly hand will point
To show the burial clod;
And unknown facts of guilty acts
Are seen in dreams from God!
He told how murderers walk the earth
Beneath the curse of Cain,--
With crimson clouds before their eyes,
And flames about their brain:
For blood has left upon their souls
Its everlasting stain!
"And well," quoth he, "I know, for truth,
Their pangs must be extreme,--
Wo, wo, unutterable wo,--
Who spill life's sacred stream!
For why? Methought, last night, I wrought
A murder in a dream!
"One that had never done me wrong--
A feeble man, and old:
I led him to a lonely field,
The moon shone clear and cold:
Now here, said I, this man shall die,
And I will have his gold!
"Two sudden blows with a ragged stick,
And one with a heavy stone,
One hurried gash with a hasty knife--
And then the deed was done:
There was nothing lying at my foot,
But lifeless flesh and bone!
"Nothing but lifeless flesh and bone,
That could not do me ill;
And yet I fear'd him all the more,
For lying there so still:
There was a manhood in his look,
That murder could not kill!
"And, lo! the universal air
Seem'd lit with ghastly flame,--
Ten thousand thousand dreadful eyes
Were looking down in blame:
I took the dead man by the hand,
And call'd upon his name!
"Oh, God, it made me quake to see
Such sense within the slain!
But when I touch'd the lifeless clay,
The blood gush'd out amain!
For every clot, a burning spot,
Was scorching in my brain!
"My head was like an ardent coal,
My heart as solid ice;
My wretched, wretched soul I knew
Was at the Devil's price:
A dozen times I groaned--the dead
Had never groan'd but twice!
"And now from forth the frowning sky,
From the heaven's topmost height,
I heard a voice--the awful voice
Of the blood-avenging sprite:--
'Thou guilty man! take up thy dead,
And hide it from my sight!'
"I took the dreary body up,
And cast it in a stream,--
A sluggish water, black as ink.
The depth was so extreme
My gentle boy, remember this
Is nothing but a dream!
"Down went the corse with a hollow plunge,
And vanish'd in the pool--
Anon I cleansed my bloody hands
And wash'd my forehead cool,
And sat among the urchins young
That evening in the school!
"Oh, heaven, to think of their white souls,
And mine so black and grim!
I could not share in childish prayer.
Nor join in evening hymn:
Like a devil of the pit I seem'd,
'Mid holy cherubim!
"And peace went with them one and all,
And each calm pillow spread--
But Guilt was my grim chamberlain
That lighted me to bed,
And drew my midnight curtains round,
With fingers bloody red!
"All night I lay in agony,
In anguish dark and deep--
My fever'd eyes I dared not close,
But stared aghast at Sleep;
For Sin had render'd unto her
The keys of hell to keep!
"All night I lay in agony,
From weary chime to chime,
With one besetting horrid hint,
That rack'd me all the time,--
A mighty yearning, like the first
Fierce impulse unto crime!
"One stern, tyrannic thought, that made
All other thoughts its slave;
Stronger and stronger every pulse
Did that temptation crave,--
Still urging me to go and see
The dead man in his grave!
"Heavily I rose up,--as soon
As light was in the sky.--
And sought the black, accursed pool
With a wild, misgiving eye;
And I saw the dead in the river bed,
For the faithless stream was dry!
"Merrily rose the lark, and shook
The dewdrop from its wing;
But I never mark'd its morning flight,
I never heard it sing;
For I was stooping once again
Under the horrid thing.
"With breathless speed, like a soul in chase,
I took him up and ran,--
There was no time to dig a grave
Before the day began:
In a lonesome wood, with heaps of leaves,
I hid the murdered man.
"And all that day I read in school,
But my thought was other where:
As soon as the mid-day task was done,
In secret I was there;
And a mighty wind had swept the leaves,
And still the corse was bare!
"Then down I cast me on my face,
And first began to weep,
For I knew my secret then was one
That earth refused to keep;
Or land or sea, though he should be
Ten thousand fathoms deep!
"So wills the fierce avenging sprite,
Till blood for blood atones!
Ay, though he's buried in a cave,
And trodden down with stones,
And years have rotted off his flesh--
The world shall see his bones!
"Oh God, that horrid, horrid dream
Besets me now awake!
Again--again, with a dizzy brain,
The human life I take;
And my red right hand grows raging hot,
Like Cranmer's at the stake.
"And still no peace for the restless clay
Will wave or mould allow;
The horrid thing pursues my soul,--
It stands before me now!"
The fearful boy looked up, and saw
Huge drops upon his brow!
That very night, while gentle sleep
The urchin eyelids kiss'd,
Two stern-fac'd men set out from Lynn,
Through the cold and heavy mist;
And Eugene Aram walked between,
With gyves upon his wrist.
Mr. Planche's versification of the homely proverb--Poverty parts good
company--will create many good-natured smiles, and run counter with Mr.
Kenney's To-morrow. Some of the minor pieces are very pleasing,
especially two by Hartley Coleridge, Esq.
We confess we do not admire the taste which dictated Mr. C. Lamb's
Widow; it is in every respect unworthy of the plate, and the feelings
created by the two are very discordant. We love a joke, but to call a
widow's sables a perpetual "black joke," disgusts rather than pleases
us. The Funeral of General Crawford, by the author of The Subaltern is
an affecting incident; and Nina St. Morin, by the author of May You Like
It, is of the same character. Catching a Tartar, by Mansie Wauch, and
the Station, an Irish Story, are full of humour; and May Day, by the
editor, abounds with oddities. Thus, "the golden age is not to be
regilt; pastoral is gone out, and Pan extinct--pans will not last for
ever;" "horticultural hose, _pruned_ so often at top to _graft_ at
bottom, that from long stockings they had dwindled into short socks;"
"the contrast of a large marquee in canvass with the long lawn;" "Pan's
sister, Patty, the wags called _Patty Pan_," &c. One of the finest
stories in the _Gem_ is the Rival Dreamers, by Mr. Banim; and curious
enough, this is the third Annual in which we have met with the same
legend. The present version is, however, the best narrative, which such
of our readers as know the O'Hara Family will readily believe. We could
abridge it for our present space; but it would be injustice to the
author to pare down his beautiful descriptions; and we will endeavour to
give place to the tale in a future Number. The Last Embarkation of the
Doge of Venice is interesting; almost every incident connected with that
huge pleasure-house is attractive, but one of the present, the Marriage
of the Sea, is well told. The Shearmen's Miracle Play smacks pleasantly
of "the good old times" of merry England. Miss Mitford has contributed
two of her inimitable sketches--Harry Lewington and his Dog, and Tom
Hopkins--the latter an excellent portrait of "the loudest, if not the
greatest man" in the little town of Cranley. We must give the village
lion, in little:--
* * * * *
At the time of which I speak, Tom Hopkins was of an age somewhat
equivocal; public fame called him fifty, whilst he himself stuck
obstinately at thirty-five; of a stout active figure, rather manly than
gentlemanly, and a bold, jovial visage, in excellent keeping with his
person, distinguished by round, bright, stupid black eyes, an aquiline
nose, a knowing smile, and a general comely vulgarity of aspect. His
voice was hoarse and deep, his manner bluff and blunt, and his
conversation loud and boisterous. With all these natural impediments to
good company, the lowness of his origin, recent in their memories, and
the flagrant fact of his residence in a country town, staring them in
the face, Mr. Tom Hopkins made his way into almost every family of
consideration in the neighbourhood. Sportsmanship, sheer sportsmanship,
the qualification that, more than any other, commands the respect of
your great English landholder, surmounted every obstacle.
With the ladies, he made his way by different qualities; in the first
place he was a character, an oddity, and the audacity of his vulgarity
was tolerated, where a man only half as boisterous would have been
scouted; then he was gallant in his way, affected, perhaps felt, a great
devotion to the sex, and they were half amused, half pleased, with the
rough flattery which seemed, and probably was, so sincere.
His house was an ugly brick dwelling of his own erection, situate in the
principal street of Cranley, and adorned with a green door and a brass
knocker, giving entrance into a stone passage, which, there being no
other way to the stable, served both for himself, and that very dear
part of himself, his horses, whose dwelling was certainly by far more
commodious than their master's. His accommodations were simple enough.
The dining-parlour, which might pass for his only sitting-room,--for the
little dark den which he called his drawing-room was not entered three
times a year; the dining-room was a small square room, coloured
pea-green with a gold moulding, adorned with a series of four prints on
shooting, and four on hunting, together with two or three portraits of
eminent racers, riders, hunters, and grooms. Guns and fishing-rods were
suspended over the mantelpiece; powder-horns, shot-belts, and game-bags
scattered about; a choice collection of flies for angling lay in one
corner, whips and bridles in another, and a pile of books and
papers,--Colonel Thornton's Tour, Daniel's Rural Sports, and a heap of
Racing Calendars, occupied a third; Ponto and Carlo lay basking on the
hearth-rug, and a famous little cocking spaniel, Flora by name, a
conscious favourite, was generally stretched in state on an arm-chair.
Here, except when the owner was absent on a sporting expedition, which,
between fishing, shooting, hunting, and racing, did, it must be
confessed, happen pretty often; here his friends were sure to find a
hearty welcome, a good beef-steak,--his old housekeeper was famous for
cookery!--and as much excellent Port and super-excellent Madeira--Tom,
like most of his school, eschewed claret and other thin potations--as
their host could prevail on them to swallow. Many a good fellow hath
heard the chimes at midnight in this little room.
* * * * *
In the present sheet we are only able to include Notices of _four_ of
the _nine_ Annuals, exclusive of the _Juvenile Presents_, which we
reserve for a "select party." Our notice of the _Winter's Wreath_ is in
type, but must stand over for the present, as well as those of the
_Keepsake, Anniversary, Bijou_, and _Friendship's Offering_, which will
freight another Supplementary Sheet, to follow very shortly. We prefer
this method to passing over the merits of these works with mere
commendatory generalities. It does not require a microscopic or a
critical eye to distinguish their beauties; but we hope the means we
have adopted for the present gratification of our readers will be such
as to induce them to look for the appearance of our SECOND SUPPLEMENT,
as well as to prove ourselves worthy of the _encore_. Like some comic
singers, we will endeavour to keep up the entertainment by "variations."
* * * * *
_Printed and Published by J. LIMBIRD, 143. Strand, (near Somerset
House,) London; sold by ERNEST FLEISCHER, 626, New Market, Leipsic; and
by all Newsmen and Booksellers_.