« НазадПродовжити »
matter that you are in spirit. If you were here, my dear sister, I could not pronounce the words which I can write to you from a distance. I have a tenderness for you, and an admiration which I feel to be as great and more chaste than I can have for any woman in the world. You will mention Fanny-her character is not formed ; her identity does not press upon me as yours does. I hope from the bottom of my heart that I may one day feel as much for her as I do for you. I know not how it is, my dear brother, I have never made any acquaintance of my own-nearly all through your medium ; through you I know, not only a sister, but a glorious human being ; and now I am talking of those to whom you have made me known, I cannot forbear mentioning Haslam, as a most kind, and obliging, and constant friend. His behavior to Tom during my absence, and since my return, has endeared him to me for ever, besides his anxiety about you. by To-morrow I shall call on your mother and exchange information with her. I intend to write you such columns that it will be impossible for me to keep any order or method in what I write ; that will come first which is uppermost in my mind; not that which is uppermost in my heart. Besides, I should wish to give you a picture of our lives here, whenever by a touch I can do it.
I came by ship from Inverness, and was nine days at sea without being sick. A little qualm now and then put me in mind of you; however, as soon as you touch the shore, all the horrors of sickness are soon forgotten, as was the case with a lady on board, who could not hold her head up all the way. We had not been into the Thames an hour before her tongue began to some tune-paying off, as it was fit she should, all old scores. I was the only Englishman on board. There was a downright Scotchman, who, hearing that there had been a bad crop of potatoes in England, had brought some triumphant specimens from Scotland. These he exhibited with natural pride to all the ignorant lightermen and watermen from the Nore to the Bridge. I fed upon beef all the way, not being able to eat the thick porridge which the ladies managed to manage, with large, awkward, horn-spoons into the bargain. Reynolds has returned from a six-weeks' enjoyment in Devonshire ; he is well, and persuades · Blackwoou cre have been two letters one in the Examiner, copied fru by Reynolds. I don't know who This is a mere matter of moment: I English Poets after my death. Even as a matter of present interest, the attempt to crush me in the “Quarterly” has only brought me more into notice, and it is a common expression among book-men, “I wonder the Quarterly' should cut its own throat.” It does me not the least harm in society to make me appear little and ridiculous: I know when a man is superior to me, and give him all due respect; he will be the last to laugh at me; and, as for the rest, I feel that I make an impression upon them which insures me personal respect while I am in sight, whatever they may say when my back is turned.
The Misses are very kind to me, but they have lately displeased me much, and in this way:now I am coming the Richardson !-On my return, the first day I called, they were in a sort of taking or bustle about a cousin of theirs, who, having fallen out with her grandpapa in a serious manner, was invited by Mrs.
to take asylum in her house. She is an East-Indian, and ought to be her grandfather's heir. At the time I called, Mrs.
was in conference with her up stairs, and the young ladies were warm in her praise down stairs, calling her genteel, interesting, and a thousand pretty things, to which I gave no heed, not being partial to nine days' wonders. Now all is completely changed: they hate her, and, from what I hear, she is not without faults of a real kind; but she has others, which are more apt to make women of inferior claims hate her. She is not a Cleopatra, but is, at least, a Charmian: she has a rich Eastern look ; she has fine eyes, and fine manners. When she comes into the room she makes the same impression as the beauty of a leopardess. She is too fine and too conscious of herself to repulse any man who may address her: from habit she thinks that nothing particular. I always find myself at ease with such a woman : the picture before me always gives me a life and animation which I can. not possibly feel with any thing inferior. I am, at such times,
too much occupied in admiring to be awkward or in a tremble: I forget myself entirely, because I live in her. You will, by this time, think I am in love with her, so, before I go any further, I will tell you I am not. She kept me awake one night, as a tune of Mozart's might do. I speak of the thing as a pastime and an amusement, than which I can feel none deeper than a conversation with an imperial woman, the very “yes” and “no” of whose life is to me a banquet. I don't cry to take the moon home with me in my pocket, not do I fret to leave her behind me. I like her, and her like, because one has no sensation : what we both are is taken for granted. You will suppose I have, by this, had much talk with her—no such thing; there are the Misses – on the look out. They thiok I don't admire her because I don't stare at her ; they call her a flirt to me—what a want of know. ledge! She walks across a room in such a manner that a man is drawn towards her with magnetic power; this they call flirting! They do not know things; they do not know what a woman is. I believe, though, she has faults, the same as Charmian and Cleopatra might have had. Yet she is a fine thing, speaking in a worldly way; for there are two distinct tempers of mind in which we judge of things—the worldly, theatrical and pantomimical; and the unearthly, spiritual and ethereal. In the former, Bonaparte, Lord Byron, and this Charmian, hold the first place in our minds; in the latter, John Howard, Bishop Hooker rocking his child's cradle, and you, my dear sister, are the conquering feel. ings. As a man of the world, I love the rich talk of a Charmian; as an eternal being, I love the thought of you. I should like her to ruin me, and I should like you to save me
stablishment of our national honesty. There is, of a truth, nohing manly or sterling in any part of the Government. There .re many madmen in the country, I have no doubt, who would ike to be beheaded on Tower-hill, merely because of the sake of clat ; there are many men, who, like Hunt, from a principle of aste, would like to see things go on better ; there are many, like Sir F. Burdett, who like to sit at the head of political dinners ;but there are none prepared to suffer in obscurity for their country. The motives of our worst men are interest, and of our best vanity ; we have no Milton, or Algernon Sidney. Governors, in these days, lose the title of man, in exchange for that of Diplomate or Minister. We breathe a sort of official atmosphere. All the departments of Government have strayed far from simplicity, which is the greatest of strength. There is as much difference in this, between the present Government and Oliver Cromwell's, as there is between the Twelve Tables of Rome and the volumes of Civil Law which were digested by Justinian. A man now entitled Chancelor has the same honor paid him, whether he be a hog or a Lord Bacon. No sensation is created by greatness, but by the number of Orders a man has at his button-hole. Notwithstanding the noise the Liberals make in favor of the cause of Napoleon, I cannot but think he has done more harm to the life of Liberty than any one else could have done. Not that the Divine Right gentlemen have done, or intend to do, any good—no, they have taken a lesson of him, and will do all the further harm he would have done, without any of the good. The worst thing he has taught them is, how to organize their monstrous armies. The Emperor Alexander, it is said, intends to divide his Empire, as did Dioclesian, creating two Czars besides himself, and continuing supreme monarch of the whole. Should he so do, and they, for a series of years, keep peaceable among themselves, Russia may spread her conquest even to China. I think it a very likely thing that China may fall of itself: Turkey certainly will. Meanwhile European North Russia will hold its horn against the rest of Europe, intriguing constantly with France. Dilke, whom you know to be a Godwinperfectibility man, pleases himself with the idea that America will be the country to take up the human intellect where Eng.
land leaves off. I differ there with him greatly : a country like the United States, whose greatest men are Franklins and Washingtons, will never do that : they are great men doubtless; but how are they to be compared to those, our countrymen, Milton and the two Sidneys ? The one is a philosophical Quaker, full of mean and thrifty maxims; the other sold the very charger who had taken him through all his battles. Those Americans are great, but they are not sublime men; the humanity of the United States can never reach the sublime. Birkbeck's mind is too much in the American style; you must endeavor to enforce a little spirit of another sort into the settlement —always with great caution ; for thereby you may do your descendants more good than you may imagine. If I had a prayer to make for any great good, next to Tom's recovery, it should be that one of your children should be the first American poet. I have a great mind to make a prophecy; and they say that prophecies work out their own fulfillment.
'Tis the witching hour of night,
For what listen they?
To hear what I shall say.
Moon ! keep wide thy golden ears-
A pretty lullaby.
And hear my lullaby!