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day. The principal north entrance (about four yards wide) at Hyde Park Place was about as much crowded as the doors of that worthy edifice, Cambridge meetinghouse, on a Commencement morning, and that not for a few minutes, but for successive hours. For one mile on the city side of the Park, the wheel-way was occupied by two lines of coaches and other vehicles, moving in opposite directions ; but unable to exceed, in any instance, a moderate walk, and often obliged to halt, as they sometimes do in our most extended and solemn processions. The walkers occupied a footway within that for carriages, and separated from it by a slight fence; and they formed, for the same distance, viz. a mile, a solid column from two to four rods wide. Besides these, there were numerous riders, drivers, and pedestrians scattered around and over the Park. I committed myself to the stream, which bore me down towards Hyde Park Corner, the principal south entrance, near which, and in full view of Wellington's house, is the statue of Achilles, erected (saith the superscription) by the ladies in honour of Wellington and his associates ! This statue has been the subject of much ridicule, as well as of grave censure ; and, in my opinion, it deserves both, and would not be tolerated a single day in a place of public resort in the United States; not, perhaps, that we are more virtuous, but that we have less temptation. The statue was cast from twelve twenty-four pounders, and weighs upwards of thirty tons. On the pedestal I read as follows:
To Arthur, Duke of Wellington,
And bis brave companions in arms,
Is inscribed by their countrywomen.
George IV. I doubt exceedingly if the country-women of those heroes had any concern in putting up this statue, though it may be difficult for them to avoid taking some interest in it, now that it is up, so peculiarly does offer self to their notice. I cannot but think that their name has been usurped to sanction what themselves would never sanction; and to supply the place of the drapery or the brick walls, which ought to hide this figure from the public view,-a figure fit only for an artist's workshop. I am willing to presume, for the honour of English dames and from some particular circumstances of the case, that the part of the inscription which relates to them, is a fiction. But perhaps some one will start up, and begin to discourse to me of prudery—of classical models—and of the old proverb about purity. He shall be welcome ; and when he is done, I will reply,--that we have a pur
and more intellectual religion than the Greeks had ; that moral aberrations, which in them might be excused, or at least would not imply a radical and irreclaimable wickedness of heart,—would in our stage of improvement be wholly unpardonable, and would argue an utter and hopeless abandonment to vice. Ought we not, and do we not, profess to aim at a higher standard of morality and of public decorum than existed at Athens, where a favourite of the city caused himself to be drawn in a car through the principal streets and in open day, in a manner too indecent and disgusting to admit of description ? I have a great respect for proverbs, and think, that rightly understood, they always contain much that is true and useful; but this one, “ To the pure all things are pure,” if literally understood, would not more justify the statue of Achilles, than it would the four-in-hand driving of Themistocles, or the huge nakedness of the women of Timmana. I am disposed to believe, that bis Grace the Duke of Wellington ought to bear all or a greater part of the blame of this statue ; for his taste it was (reinforced perhaps by that of certain privy counsellors) that directed the making and the placing of it.
After this reconnoisance of Achilles, and after contemplating for some time the innumerable multitudes passing in review before me, and seeing some quit and others come, I continued my perambulation to the western extremity of the Park, or rather of Kensington Gardens, about three miles. There is situated Kensington palace, the residence of the Duke of Sussex (a great friend to America); of the princess Sophia, the king's sister ; and of the Dutchess of Kent, whose young daughter is heir presumptive to the throne. It being Sunday, I did not apply for admission, but understood that on week days, the chaplain of the establishment would show it to all visiters for a shilling, the usual price for such gratifications in England. Near the palace is an extensive green-house, suitably filled. What interested me most about it, was the inscriptions scratched on the large glass windows; which, whether done last year or sixty years ago, were equally bright and legible. On a first glance, several of the mottos, names, and dates appeared, by the freshness of the lines, to have been just written, but on examination I found them from fifty to seventy years old. The following are specimens.
Wilkes is a rogue; and under it,
The writer is a liar. May the present contest between the American congress and their mother country be unanimously settled to the satisiaction of every true British subject.
These show the spirit and opinions of particular times. The following belong to all times.
Cupid sball never pierce my beart,
Though he strike it with his fiercest dart. To which was subjoined by another hand,
This lady all her resolution spoke,
But wrote on glass, in hopes it might be broke. This Park, or rather that part of it called Kensington Gardens, which may be considered a continuation of it, is covered with shrubs, beech, hemlock, lime, and other trees, in some places thinly scattered, and in others thick and nearly impervious. Not far from the palace there is a large and beautiful artificial lake, with swans and canoes gliding over its surface. Summer-houses, rustic seats and lodges invite to rest at suitable intervals. The Serpentine river, so called, I know not why (its form being an oblony square), is in Ilyde Park, not above half a mile from the city.
Chelsea lics nearly south of Hyde Park, and about three miles from Soho square, so that I was not carried any farther from my lodgings by making a visit to the Hospital in that place. The buildings have an air of perfect neatness and great comfort; the architecture is in good taste it was finished by Wren), and the material brick, with stone columns and pilasters. The grounds are finely laid out, and well enclosed with iron railing. In the centre court, which is open on the south or Thames side, is a bronze statue of Charles II., the founder. The scene and the walks on this side are charming beyond description. What an enormous tribute this nation pays to the spirit of war and of conquest! It is well, perhaps, that the mutilated remains of these blind instruments of pride and selfish ambition are not cast off when their services are done ;-that nourishment and rest are afforded to the surviving men and limbs, which have lost their fellows in distant lands. When the old and invalid soldiers arrive from abroad, and are paid off, and put upon this establishment, they throw off their campaigning caps, knapsacks, and coats, and strew them over the grounds; they get intoxicated, the place is filled, and their money obtained by merry friends or rather fair enemies, from London, and thus, le fin couronne les auvres.
The pensioners are dressed in coarse blue surtouts, with mili- · tary buttons, and generally a cocked hat. The dining hall is spacious, handsome, and perfectly clean. They break ast on bread and cheese, and porter; and dine on meat five days in the week; pease-soup is substituted for meat the remaining two days. They receive from sixpence to one shilling and sixpence per day, according to their rank. One monoped pensioner told me, that his absent leg was at New Orleans ;—that he saw General Packenham wounded and borne from the field, having his own leg carried away at the same moment by a cannon ball. I concealed the fact
of my being an American, and endeavoured to obtain from him some opinion of American courage ; but all that I could get from him, was, “Why shoul’nt they be brave-they are the same as
The English, he said, stood no chance at New Orleans ; they were cut down by scores without being able to strike a blow. Besides the cannon shot which deprived him of his leg, he received four musket balls in his body. The Americans had breast-works geven feet high, with loop-holes. I asked, why they attacked in that manner. He replied, that it was the fault of a Colonel M-, who was to have been on the ground a quarter of an hour first, and placed ladders across the fosse, and planks on them, so as to have formed foot-bridges. Instead of this, the main body arrived on the ground, and had to stand a dreadful fire, while the means of attack were being procured. This soldier belonged to the fourth or “ King's own.” Lord Chatham was colonel of it, but the acting commandant at New Orleans was Colonel Brooks.
If an intelligent person would take pains to visit the pensioners, and converse with them, he might obtain a great many interesting details respecting the military events of the last filty or sixty years,-details, which would be useful to history, and which will probably die with the veterans, who alone possess them. It appears to me, that a careful inquirer might collect among them materials for an amusing and valuable book.
In passing through St James' Park, on my return to London, I observed one of the sentinels (for they are posted all round this Park) calling very vehemently after an old lady, who was scrambling off as vehemently in an opposite direction. Finding that vociferation would not arrest her, the sentinel pursued, and overtook her, just as I encountered then both. The old lady's offence was that of walking with pattens, a practice prohibited in these parks. Being ordered by the soldier to take them off, she complied, and was permitted to go her way.
THE LAY MONASTERY.
Poets and Common-sense Men. THERE is something of mystery in the poetical character. We may talk as we will of gifted minds, and inspired thoughts, and holy feelings,--and may see in each other the strong light of some intellectual feature throwing a deep shadow over the rest of the mind,—and yet we are not a step nearer the solution than before. We may say, that poets hold secret communion with nature,—that they enter within the veil of her temple, and come out to reveal
what other eyes have not seen nor other ears heard ; aye, that poets themselves have their altars, their worshippers, their devotees,—and yet there is a mystery. We may say, that the same temperament, which prompts a man to be a poet, prompts him to love,that the same enthusiasm in thought and sensibility in feeling aro working out their different ends in each ;—but the silent miracle is still going on within those thoughts and feelings, we know not how. Many poets have said, that they had seasons of inspiration and “thick-coming fancies”-and intervals of mental rest-relapses into life's actuality and commonplace ; Milton could not write until the sun had passed down the auturonal equinox, nor after it had come up from the vernal; and poor Chatterton was idle save when the moon was near her full; but all this, so far from giving light upon the subject, makes us wonder still more at the anomaly.
The generality of mankind have little romance in their characters. But poets can create a fairy land in their own imaginations; and, looking abroad upon their own creation, they can enjoy a bright day even amid the storms of the world. This is a great and peculiar privilege,-one that nature alone gives, and withholds, and with which we usually find united a high and exquisite tone of feeling, often too high for the tone of ordinary life. I am, however, far from thinking, that this excess of feelings is what sometimes renders the poetical temperament an unhappy one; it is rather a want of harmony between these feelings themselves, and between them and the feelings of other men. There seem to be certain unseen, but powerful sympathies existing between the hearts of our great human brotherhood ; so that an emotion awakened in one should find its echo in all others ;as the sound of a flute finds a corresponding one on the strings of a harpsichord. A want of unison, arising from hearts and minds too highly strung, is the fountain of the poet's proverbial unhappiness--full even to overflowing. And thus it is, that the poetical temperament unfits men in some degree for life's ordinary scenes and duties,—that it lays them open to embarrassments,—and gives many a one occasion to say of the dead son of song, as a forgotten French poet once sung over the grave of the unfortunate Malherbe,
Il est mort pauvre,-et moi,
Je vis comme il est mort. In reference to the poetical faculty, as distinguished from its peculiar exercise, poets may be divided into two great classes, those who have within them the light of original genius, and those who borrow their lustre and draw their inspiration from the full urns of others. From the strong minds of the first, spring up vigorous conceptions, which have not been nurtured with a care