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While I touch the string-,
Wreathe my brows witb laurel > For the tale I sing.
Has for once a moral. Common Sense one night.
Though not used to gambols; Went out by moonlight,
With Gemus on his rambles.
While 1 touch the string, &c.
Common Sense went on,
From the path before him;
.While 1 touch, &c,
So they came at last,
To a shady river; Common Sense soon passed,
Safe as he doth ever. While the boy, whose look
Was in heaven that minute Never saw the brook,
Hut tumbled headlong in it.
While I touch, &c
How the wise one smiled.
When safe o'er the torrent; < . At that youth so wild.
Dripping from the current• Sense went home to bed, ,
Genius left to shiver, On the bank 'tis said.
Died of that cold river.
While I touch, &c.
Instead of going to bed, •
And let poor Genius shiver' .. Hefriendly should have led, *
The youth safe o'er the river." For though the brook was shaded
Common Sense well knew the road, Thus Genius might have waded
To Sense's abode.
; While yatTtouch, &e.
By friendship left alone,'
It really was past joking; To miss the stepping stone,
And get so chill a soaking. It was too tyd, in truth,
For that wise one to be smiling; When mishap befell the youth,
For him to be deriding. .. w
_ wliiieyou.touch, &c.
;;iv. ',_,.-. .
By Sense's timely aid,'
If he would but have striven;• Fresh existence, it is said,
To Genius had been given. . JJut since he scorned to have 1 An ear to friendship's right Lost Genius found a grave, On that bright, hapless night.
While you touch, &c.
The sports and pastimes of a people are entitled to consideration, as well as the history of their wars, their commerce, and industry. The English, more than any European nation, have been celebrated for their holidays, Christmas gambols, and festive commemorations, most of which may be traced to a remote antiquity. The recreations introduced by the Saxons were chiefly of a robust and military nature; consisting of hunting, hawking, casting of darts, and wrestling. Justs and tournaments constituted the favourite games of the Normans, and, for several centuries after the conquest, formed the general pastime of the upper ranks.
When the chivalrous enthusiasm which characterised the middle ages declined, violent exercises grew out of fashion with the nobility,and their example was followed by other classes. Many, however, of the ancient recreations continued till the reign
of Elizabeth. Justing in the lists, pageants and shows, hunting and horse-racing, formed the chief diversions of the gentry; while the lower classes amused themselves with pitching the bar, shooting with the broad arrow, and playing at racket, nine holes, quoits, &c. Baiting different animals formed a popular amusement. Hentzner, after describing the baiting of bulls and bears, adds, "To this entertainment there follows that of whipping a blinded bear; which lis performed by five or six men, standing circularly with whips, which they exercise on him without mercy, as he cannot escape from them because of his chain."
A less cruel, but not more rational, amusement, is recorded by the same writer. They are "vastly fond of great noises/that fill the ear, such as the firing of cannons, drums, &c. So that it is common for a number of them, that have got a glass in their heads, to go up some belfry, and ring the bells for hours together for sake of exercise." ' Elizabeth herself was not less enamoured of" uproarious" amusement, and during her meals she used to listen to a concert of trumpets, fifes, cornets, and kettle-drums, which made the hall ring with their deafening noise. She also joined in the more barbarous diversions of her subjects, being frequently a spectator in the tiltyard of the baiting of bears, bulls, and other animals.
The most popular, and, perhaps, most harmless, of the ancient pastimes, was Running at the Quintain. The quintain, at first, was nothing more than the trunk of a tree, or post, set up for the practice of tyros iii chivalry. In process of time the diversion was improved, and the resemblance of a human figure carved in wood was introduced. To render the appearance of the figure more formidable, it was generally made in the likeness of a Turk or Saracen, armed at all points, bearing a shield upon his left arm, and a sword in his right. The quintain, thus fashioned, was placed upon a pivot, so as to move round with facility. In running at. the figure, it was necessary for the horseman to direct his lance with great adroitness, and make his stroke upon the forehead, or upon the nose; for if he struck wide of these parts, especially upon the shield, the quintain turned round with velocity; and, if he was not exceedingly careful, gave him a severe blow on the back, with the wooden sabre held in the right hand. Another form of the quintain was an upright post, with a cross-bar placed horizontally, which turned upon a swivel. A board was nailed to one end of the bar, and a bag of sand to the other. Jt was the custom to tilt against the board, with a spear, or long staff; and it required great dexterity to avoid being struck with the bag of sand, as it swung round. The fields were the usual scene of this diversion, but it was frequently permitted in the heart of London; and Stowe relates, that he had seen a quintain set up on Cornhill, where "the attendants of the lord of Merry-disports have run and made great pastime."
During the Easter holidays this game was played on the river, where boats supplied the place of horses. The tiller stood with his lance in the prow, leaving the boat to be rowed, or carried by the force of the stream, against a shield, suspended from a pole. If he broke his lance, and kept his place in the boat, he was loudly applauded; but if, as was more frequently the case, the shock threw him into the water, " there were upon the
bridge, wharfs/and houses, by the river side, standing great numbers to see and laugh thereat."""
The cut we give represents the land description of quintain—one knight may be seen speeding by to avoid the revolving blow of the sand bag—another chivalrous hero is unhorsed, and sprawling on the ground, to the great amusement of the spectators. In the distance may be seen a representation of the water quintain.
The mathematics and the metaphysics
Fall to them."—
Taming qf the Shrew.
"Sunt bona, sunt quxdam mediocra, sunt mala pltira."
Without books there would be no readers, but without authors, there would be neither. It needs no ghost to cast his windingsheet to convince us of that. I am a bit of a scribbler myself; therefore marvel not, good people, that I assert authors to be the " foremost men of all this world." They are at once the spur and the rein upon the competitors, in the great race-course of life, they are the lever by which public opinion is %vorked, the chisel by which the form and pressure of the state, the fashion and variety of the times are modelled. They are the apprentices to fact, and the high-priests of invention. They take the grave and the plodding safely through the highways of common sense one hour; and they entice the young and the ardent into the by-paths of fancy —flowers strewed and redolent of ornament—the next. They are the embellishers of truth, yet the patrons of imagination, the illustrators of nature, yet the "dreamers of dreams." Their arm is more powerful than many armies, but sometimes it is as a child's; their weapons are more deadly than two-edged swords, yet, ill directed, as fragile as wind-shaken reeds; their influence is more potent than sceptres and principalities ; still occasionally, as profitless as "sounding brass, or tinkling cymbals." Sometimes they wear the " front of Mars," and achieve " more wonders than a man;" sometimes they come, (in comparison,) " in shape no bigger than an agate stone." Their discourses, which are to-day " most excellent music," to-morrow sound " drowsily upon the ear of time;" you may " fare sumptuously," at one house, off their excellent fancies, and yet at another sup full of idle talk,
"Begot%t nothing but vain phantasy."
Ever in extremes, yet ever potent, scattered, like the men of Israel, yet present in
influence every where: divided, yet their voice is heard over all nations; and, like the winds, they blow in many quarters, yet regulate the whole atmosphere of men, manners, and opinions. In fine, they are they that
"Play such fantastic tricks before high hea-
But they are also those,
"To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy,*1
and dauntlessly to expose to the contempt and punishment they deserve,
"Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's con-
Such are authors.
To what an extent would the inquiry into the character, the number, the quality, the successes, the disappointments of such lead. Jt would be a recital of hopes deferred, anticipations blasted, dreams dissolved, vanity chastised, and labours lost; sometimes, and this is a brighter picture, of genius rewarded, fancy cherished, learning patronised, modest merit exalted, and perseverance crowned with success. On the one side, it is a tale of broken hearts, on the other, of happy minds—of poverty and riches—of degradation and immortality!
But, for all this,—and it proves hope and ambition very powerful—despite the difficulty of the ascent to victory; for all this, the school of authorship is overflowing with students. Its classes, and they are many, are more than full rated, and, from the "first form " of veterans, to the "last form " of boys—from the figures of Lilliput, to the giants of Brobdignag, there are enough and to spare. Their schoolmaster, the world, has an Atlantean labour to keep them within any bounds; and his ushers and assisia?its, the Reviewers, (and these are even borrowed from the mass, and have their favourite scholars,) quite as much as they can do to preserve decorum, and to maintain the supremacy of genius, philosophy, and virtue, the three graces that patronise the establishment.
Such are authors, and there are, as one of my mottoes expresses, " good, bad, and indifferent" ones; yet may each, in his little or larger circle,—and all have some suffrages—continue to find votaries, and obtain patrous. They are the greatest link between men and manners, between to-day and yesterday; between thafwhich is, and that which was—the living and the dead—and, if they fall, who shall we have to write our epitaphs 1
A SPANISH PARTY OP PLEASURE,
OR TUNNY FISHING.
That part of the coast of Andalusia, which extends from the gut of Gibraltar to the island of Gaditania, (Cadiz,) was the theatre of the most remote and striking events of which the mythologic history makes mention. It was there that the Phoenicians, and other maritime nations from the northern coast of Africa, made their first discoveries; there it was that, for the first time, their eyes were dazzled at the sight of the riches of the country, and that their hearts were inflamed by the thirst for conquest. Andalusia was then to the half civilized world, what Peru now is to the entire universe—namely, the country which bore in its bosom that precious metal which has caused so much strife amongst men, and which furnishes all the luxuries of life; and its iuhabitants, as is always the case, having received that pernicious gift from the bountiful hand of nature, neglected the inexhaustible treasures of agriculture, slumbered in the security of uninterrupted prosperity, and left a door open to the avidity of their victors; but what still further excited their cupidity was the rich fishery offered to them by the innumerable tribes of tunny fish migrating at the commencement of spring from the frozen regions of the Pole; and urged by the impulse of nature, making the rocky caverns of the Mediterranean the depot of their embayatic geminations, and forming one of the curious and interesting phenomena of the creation. At the moment of their approach to the Straits, implacable enemies, guided by instinct, are in waiting to exterminate them, to bar their passage and to impede their course; the sea now becomes the theatre of obstinate war, violence characterising the assailant, stratagem and wile directing the pursued; so does self-preservation inspire the lowest intellect of the great Creator's works. The Espadante, a marine monster, measuring from twenty to twenty-five feet in length, is the enemy in question, numbers of which attack their victims, and would sacrifice them all to their sanguinary rapacity, did not their agility and tactics save them by dividing themselves into small numbers, and by defiling in presence of their huge assailants, the cumbrous weight of which allows them not to wheel round speedily enough to seize upon their prey; some, however, inevitably fall into their power, and are driven close to the shore, where the omnivorous animal, man, immolates them to his interest, and to the cravings of his appetite. Such were the migrations of these inhabitants oftheocean
in the days of Hercules-'—such are they" at the present day; the palaces of the Phoenicians have passed away—the very ruins of Carthage, on which Marius wept over his misfortunes, exist no more— but the indestructible and the creative principles of nature are still the same; the palm-tree and its bland climate must visit the pole, and the whole earth be convulsed and changed, ere these fish cease to seek the degree of heat requisite to develope their engendered young. Is there not here enough to confound the pride of conquest, and to tarnish the lustre of empires 1
I was at Cadiz, in the month of April, when a lovely Spanish woman proposed to me a fishing party, to catch the thon or tunny fish, adding, that as I was an Englishman, she feared that I would make but a poor figure there. "Why V said I, "I have the perfect angler by heart, and all sorts of fishing tackle." "That don't signify," replied she; "but you must ride on a miserable, slow, and docile animal." "I understand you, that which Don Quixote has immortalized by his wit; agreed—Cervantes and Sterne have given it an additional value in my eyes." The day arrived, a number of young people joined us, we embarked in little boats, crossed the beautiful harbour of Cadiz, passed under that bridge which does honour to Roman architecture, landed at the village of Chiclana, and continued our journey on the gentle quadruped in question: the lofty pines, the rich, enamelled herbage, the clear firmament, and delightful air, enchanted us all. We arrived at the place agreed upon, and at length the hour of action arrived, and we all, to the number of twenty, prepared for it. Old experienced fishermen, who guard the banks of the sea, are accustomed to discover the approach of the tunny fish by certain spots in the water j at the moment that they perceived these indications, they caused drums to be beaten, and as the fish majestically moved forward under the water, the reiterated cry of vareo drew from the village a host of sailors, idlers, and fishermen, many of whom embarked in a little squadron of boats to surprise their prey, directed by a signal given from a signal tower, after which they threw thin nets over the spot to which the tunny fish fled for refuge from the pursuit of the Espadanies. Our nets were very soon filled with fish, the weight of which, attached to our boats when we reembarked, caused them to move so slowly that we seemed scarcely to glide through the waters ; but on our arrival, laden with our precious booty, the scene became absolutely theatri
cal: crowds of men and women' of ante-1 diluvian appearance, approached, each armed with a long pole and a crook at the end of it, and desperately attacked the fish, striking each on the head: the wounded animals resisted: some were triumphantly borne on shore, others dragged with them the attacking party, and plunged them in the sea ; but the crook prevailed at last, and the sacrifice was completed by the fisherman's cutting them open, and taking their ovarious treasure from them; these scenes are repeated and multiplied to an infinite degree ; from five hundred to one thousand actors are engaged at the same time, and the sea is covered with blood. The massacre concludes by the placing the fish on cars, to be taken to the salting houses, after depriving them of their eggs and eyes: these belong to the hooker's combatants, who also receive the value of one franc each, the fish being reserved for the fishermen, who are proprietors of the boats. Arrived at our inn, what was our surprise to find that not a tunny fish was to be had; it was considered there as contraband, nor could be purchased nearer than ten or twelve leagues off. "What!" said I to mine host, " you dare not partake, or dispose of this valuable present which nature makes you ?" " Not to us," said he, shaking his head, "but to his excellency the marquis of Villa Franca, a grandee of Spain of the first class, lord chamberlain fo his majesty, &c. &c. &c, who alone has the privileges of these fisheries." "Such," said I, " is the uncertainty of all human affairs!" At this moment my beautiful Spanish donna put herfair hand on my lips: " A truce to moralizing,'* said she, "let us order some cod-fish, which your intrepid and industrious countrymen take the trouble to go to the banks of Newfoundland for." I agreed, and thus ended this curious and delightful fishing party—" far fetched and dear bought." —My reader will divine the rest.
LECTURE ON EYES.
We have heard of Lectures on Heads, Lectures on Hearts, and Lectures on Noses ; but never, I believe, Lectures on Eyes, which, in my opinion, (and I am sure all the ladies will think with me,) would form as proper and as fertile a subject for a lecturer's wit, humour, and acumen, as any that the whole compass of nature affords. The eyes are not only the most potent of beauty's features, but