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shadow, what is? What a pity,in such cases it seems, as Dr. Johnson said of a certain musician's execution of some wonderful passages on the violoncello, that they were not impossible. The same writer to whom I have reverted observes, that it must have cost Smollett some labour and scratching to have christened his novels. I should not be surprised if the observation is true, for Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, and Ferdinand Fathom must own alliteration for their godfather. The literary labourers—I cannot help the infection myself—of the present day, are, however, very disciples to the fortuitous flourishes, and the/awtastic flashes of my theme. Our periodicals are the very garners of its riches, our new books are absolutely the reservoirs of its ingenuity, and it is not now who will produce the best volume, or the ablest article, but who will fit the one with the aptest appellation, and the other with the most tantalizing title. Mais n'importe, it will be the same were I to preach till doomsday, la bagatelle will exist to a greater extent, or lesser, long after we are gathered to our fathers; and were my voice as "potential as the duke's," I fear I should fail in persuading my alliterative brotherhood, that a man who has wise things in his head is never curious about words, unless it be those which expresshis meaning quickest and clearest.
THE HUMMING-TOP AND THE HOBBY-HORSE.
Of all the diversions to which children, whether (.f three or six feet stature, are generally addicted, we know of no two that are so prevalent as those of the humming-top and the hobby-horse. In saying this, however, we mean not to put these favourites upon an equal footing. The hobby is a pretty toy; but then he is but of limited power, carries only moderate weights, and is generally employed upon less momentous, though agreeable and useful, occasions. It is true, [that though all men have not the art to manage that charger, as we may call it, the hummingtop, nor even the good fortune to possess one, every man can boast of his hobby: but then, besides that this little, freakish palfrey is often restive, and will dash out of the high road of reason and good policy, the humming-top keeps its ground, always turns upon the main point—the pivot of cunning and interest — and while it amuses, enriches, and not unfrequently even ennobles, its owner. Not like the hobby-horse, a mere source of a somewhat profitable amusement, tlie top,
while it entertains, makes emolument"the principal result of its rotation; though played with, it plays upon the world, and while turning qn its own centre, turns the penny.
With respect to the comparative antiquity of these two' distinguished conveniehcies, though it has been made a subject of dispute, the advantage of the humming-top in this particular is as certain as that its benefits are| greater and more substantial than those of the hobby, Its origin was coeval with that of the world. The human race had scarcely commenced its career, when the prince of Darkness sported his humming-top to the infatuation and discomfort of Eve; and she, in turn, played off its enchantment upon her credulous spouse. From the first family it descended to the second, thence to the third, and so on; traversing with the spread of population the four quarters of the globe, humming as it moved, and deluding aod deceiving age after age, and nation after nation, Without the humming-top, the Greeks had never introduced their warriorloaded hobby into deceived Troy. Without his humming-top, Philip of Macedon had never quizzed the Grecian confederation, Mahomet the Arabians, nor Peter the hermit the rulers of Christendom. To come down to more modern times, without his humming-top, John Law of Edinburgh, had not been able to hoax both the court and the people of France; nor had the South-sea speculators, without theirs, procured such thousands of English dupes to be ruined and laughed at; nor again, unaided by their hummingtops, would the bulls and bears of the present day succeed so well in bubbling the public, and tricking one another. Even trade and commerce depend, in a degree, on one humming-top—the round of fashion j and government itself did owe a' part of its revenue to its humming-top— the lottery wheel.
How evident, then, that in utility, as well as antiquity, the humming-top is superior to the hobby-horse! that while the hobby-horse often runs his rider into, straits and difficulties, the humming-top constantly leads to success and prosperity! that while turning itself, it turns the credulity of others to the advantage of its whipper, guards him against the operations of Other humming-tops, protects him from surrounding perils, and ensures to him all his golden wishes! Friend, therefore, as I am to hobby-horses, when. rods with a tight rein, I cannot deny the higher virtues of the humming-top. It is true, that many are made wofully sensible of its power—that its rapid turnings are apt to give as rapid changes to the affairs of those who feel its effects, especially of those who keep hobbies,—but that, we .would say, is their fault: we must not convert the want of common sense in hobby-riders into culpability in the sporters of the humming-top. If its whippers, by virtue of their skill in making it spin, arej enabled to make their neighbours spin, not they, but the unwary sufferers are to blame.
3£Ubteto and analgdis.
ODES AND ADDRESSES TO GREAT PEOPLE.
12mo. London, 1825. Baldwin, Cra
DOCR, AND JOY.
It is a debatable point, whether society is most benefited by writers who make us laugh, or those who make us think. The toil of thinking is ultimately intended to be remunerated by laughter; or, if that be rather too broad for " ears polite," to produce a demure, exhilarated feeling, which is internally the same, though not expounded in " broad grins." The agreeable compound before us is intended to operate in the latter way, and is well made up for its object. It is a witty, pleasant, good-humoured little volume; though not quite equal, we think, in cleverness and raciness of humour, to the "Rejected Addresses," of .which it is an imitation, yet it is"a worthy member of that sprightly family. The Odes are fifteen in number, and are inscribed to divers well-known personages; to Graham the aeronaut; M'Adam the road reformer; Richard Martin, M.P. the Pythagorean; to Champion Dymoke'; the Great Unknown; the Steam Washing Company; Dr. Kitchenerj Secretary Bodkin, &c.
Our lively Satirist has ""shown a correct judgment of the merit of his effusions, by placing the best first—with .which we shall commence our selections;
TO MR. GRAHAM THE AERONAUT,
Sear Graham, whilst the busy crowd,
Their meaner flights pursue,
And take a bird's-eye view I—•
A few more whiffs of my segar
Have with thee for the skies :—
And all that in it lies I—
Away!—away!—the bubble fills—
We seem to cut the wind!—
The eagle's left behind I—
Ah, me! my brain begins to swim!--
The steeples and the trees—
The Dollond, ii you please!—
Do, Graham, let me have a quiz,
That little world of Mogg's I—
For that small Isle of Dogs !—
What is that seeming tea-urn there?
Wren must have been a Wren .'—
The little ways of men I
Little indeed I—my eyeballs acho
Their tolls upon my trust I—
Mac Adamized to dust 1
Look at the horses!—less than flies I—
To wish to be a Mayor!
For such a civic chair I—•
And there's Guildhall!—'tis far aloof—
Its little guardian Gogs,
By very little logs!—
Oh! Graham, how the upper air
One of our silken flags
Another brace of bags!
ODES AND ADDRESSES TO GREAT PEOPLE.
Come:—what d'ye think of Jeffrey, sir J
In Lilliput's Review,
For poets to pass through?
Look down I the world is but a spot.
On clouds the Byron did not sit,
And shall not we? Let's think aloud!,
Graham, we'll have our eyes I
Now we are in the skies.
0 Graham, Graham, how I blame
That used to fret me quite,—
The world is out of sight!
My name is Tims.—I am the man
1 am the very P. A. Z.
The London Lion's small pin's jhead
Campbell—(you cannot see him here)—*
Such great eggs from the sky ?—
Have thrust my poems by IJ
What else ?—I'm poor, and much beset
Some grains of golden dust!
An inch of cloth on trust!
What's Rothschild here, that wealthy man!
Spy out,—the Golden Ball!
Is gone—the 'Change and all!
Oh, Graham, mark those gorgeous crowds! Like birds of Paradise the clouds
Are winging on the wind! But what is grander than their range? More lovely than their sun-setchange ?—
The free creative mind 1
Ah, me! I've touch'd a string that opes The airy valve !—the gas elopes—
Down goes our bright Balloon !— Farewell, the skies! the clouds I I smell The lower world! Graham, farewell,
Man of the silken moon 1
The earth is close! the Cityncars—
Studded with tiny sparks I
We're close above the Parks 1
I hear the watchmen on their heats,
L—d I what a cruel jar
I've smoked my last segar 1
We despair to find another to match the aSrial excursion for nature, ease, grace, and moral satire. The next is to Mr. M'Adam, which is not quite so smooth and flowing as Mr. M.'s roads, though it begins with a spirited flourish;— m
M'Adam, hail! Hail, Roadian! hail, Colossus! who dost
stand Striding ten thousand turnpikes on the land! Oh, universal Leveller! all hail I
We must protest against Mrs. Fry being placed in Mr. Merryman's satirical gallery. Topics of ridicule are not so scarce that there is an absolute necessity to fall on the philanthropists: though some of them may not adopt the best possible plans for doing good, yet the purity of their intentions consecrates their labours, and throws a sort of sacredness about their persons. At all events, they are volunteers; they make no charge to the public; on the contrary they make considerable sacrifices, and have an unquestionable right to pursue their own course in rendering their gratuitous .services. We would leave, therefore, unannoyed, Mr. Brougham to superintend the dame schools, Mr. Place to keep a sharp look out on the balance of christenings and burials, and the worthy President to disseminate universally chemical and mechanical knowledge.
There are some pleasant conceits and happy imaginings in the "Epistle to the Great Unknown :',
Why dost thou conceal and puzzle curious
folks? Thou,—whom the second-sighted never saw. The master Fiction of fictitious history!
Chief Nong tong paw! No mister in the world—and yet all mystery 5 The "tricksy spirit" of a Scotch Cock
Lane— A novel Junius puzzling the world's brain— A man of magic—yet no talisman! A man of clair obscure — not him o\ the moon!
A star—at noon. A non-descriptus in a caravan, A private—of no corps—a northern light In a dark lantern,—Bogie in a crape— A figure—but no shape; A vizor—and no knight; The real abstract hero of the age"; The staple Stranger of the stage: A Some One made in every man's presump
Frankenstein's monster—but instinct with;
Another strange state captive in the north, Constable-guarded in an iron mask— « Still let me ask,
Hast thou no silver platter, No door-plate, or no card—or some such
matter, To scrawl a name upon, and then cast forth 1
Next follows a spirited ironical effusion to the Champion Dymoke,—but we shall toddle oh to the Clown of manifold grimace, Grimaldi, who is thus apostrophized eh his retirement from the pantomimic scene:
And hast thou really wash*d at last
And all thy public Clownsbip cast,
All youth.—all ages—yet to be
Shall have a heavy miss of thee!
Thou didst not preach to make us wise—
Thou didst not" lure us to the skies "—
And yet, heav'n knows! We could—we can
Much better "spare a better man !**
Ah, where is now thy rolling head!
Thy winking, reeling, drunken eyes, (As old Catullus would have said,)
Thy oven-mouth, that swallow'dpies—
Ah, where thy ears, so often cufPd I—
Thy partridge body, always stuff'd
Oh, who like thee could ever drink,
Nod, weep, and hiccup—sneeze and wink?—
Tho' Joseph, iunior, acts not ill,
". There's no Fool like the old Fool" still I
Joseph, farewell I dear funny Joe!
We met with mirth,—we part in pain!
Ere Fun can see thy like again—
Then follows an epistle to the venerable Sylvanus Urban, gent,—"the Old Parr of periodicals"—with a bit of pleasant banter on his never-dying A, B, C correspondents, and his old-fashioned gossip on country churches. The " Letter of Remonstrance from Bridget Jones to the Noblemen and Gentlemen forming the Steam Washing Committee,'* is excessively facetious: but we can only spare room for a plaintive and more serious stanza from the "Address."
Ah, look at the laundress, before you begrudge Her hard daily bread to that laudable
drudge— When chanticleer singeth his earliest matins She s4ips her amphibious feet in her pattens, And beginneth her toil while the morn is
still grey, As if she was washing the night into day—
Not with sleeker or rosier fingers Aurora Beginneth to scatter the dew-drops before
her; Not Venus, that rose from the billow so early, Look'd down on the foam with a forehead
more pearly *— Her head is involv'd in an aerial mist, And a bright-beaded bracelet encircles her
wrist; Her visage glows warm with the ardour of
duty; She*s Industry's moral—she's all moral
beauty I Growing brighter and brighter at every
rubWould any man ruin her 1—No, Mr. Scrub! No man that is manly would work her mishap— No man that is manly would covet her
cap— Nor her apron—her hose — nor her gown
made of stuff— Nor her gin—nor her tea—nor her wet pinch
of snuff! Alas! so she thought—but that slippery hope Has betrayed her—as tho' she had trod on
her soap I And she,—whose support,—like the fished
that fly, Was to jhave her fins wet, must now drop
from her sky— She whose living it was, and a part of her
fare, To be damp'd 1 once a day, like the 'great
white sea-bear, With her hands like a sponge, and her head
like a mopQuite a living absorbent that revell'd in
slop— She that paddled in Water, must walk upon
sand, And sigh for her deeps like a turtle on 'land!
The " Ode to Captain Parry " is spirited and fanciful :—
Parry, my man! has thy brave leg
Yet struck its foot against the peg <
On which the world is spun 7
Perchance thou'rt now—while I am writ-
About thy frozen spine I
That, haply, cross'd thy line!
But I'll not dream such dreams of ill—
Safe cellar'd in the show,—
To crony Esquimaux—
Cheering that dismal game where night
Thro* all the tedious year,—
Wooing a seal-skin dear!
ODES AND ADDRESSES TO GREAT PEOPLE.
But ah, ete thou art fixt to marry,
Think of a six months' gloom—
Think of thine icy dome!
There are some complete failures as well as the happiest hits in these jeux d'esprits t among the former we class the effusion to EUiston, and the " Address to Maria Darlington:" the first is totally unworthy of notice, and the last is the poorest, cockneyfied, namby pamby thing we ever saw. Indeed, our Democritus is clearly not au fait to the merits of Maria Darlington; and we are more surprised at finding him so purblind, in this case, after the good sense and penetration evinced in investigating the political economy of Mrs. Fry. We push on, however, to the great prince of gastronomy and music, Dr. Kitchener, who is thus invoked:
Hail! multifarious man! Thou wondrous, admirable, kitchen Crichton!
Born to enlighten
Oh, to behold thy features in thy book! Thy proper head and shoulders in a plate,
How it would look! With one rais'd eye watching the dial's
date, And one upon the "roast, gently cast down—
Thy chops—done nicely brown— The garnish'd brow—with " a few leaves of bay "— The hair—" done Wiggy's way 1" And still one studious finger near thy brains, As if thou wert just come From editing some New soup — or hashing Dibdin's cold remains! Or, Orpheus-like, — fresh from thy dying
• strains Of music,—Epping luxuries of sound, As Milton says, " in many a bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out," Whilst all thy tame stuff'd leopards listen'd round!
Oh, hast thou still those conversazioni, Where learned visitors discoursed — and fed?—
There came Belzoni,
And gentle Poki—and that royal pair, Of whom thou didst declare— "Thanks to the greatest Cooke we ever
read— They were what Sandwiches should behalf bred/" There fam'd M'Adam from his manual toil Kelax'd—and freely own'd he took thy hints
On " making Broth with Flints*'— There Parry came, and show'd thee polar oil
For melted butters-Combe with his medullary
Notions about the Skullery, And Mr. Poole, too partial to a broilThere witty Rogers came, that punning elf! Who used to swear thy book Would really look A Delphic " Oracle" if laid on Delf— There, once a month, came Campbell and
dweuss'd His own—and thy own—" Magazine of Taste "— There Wilberforce the just Came, in his old black suit, till once he trae'd Thy Bly advice to Poachers of Black Folks, That." do not break their yolks,"—Which huff'id him home, in grave di.sgu.st and haste!
There came John Clare, the poet, nor forbore , Thy Patties—thou wert hand-and-glove with
Moore, Who call'd thee" Kitchen Addison" — for
why? Thou givest rules for health and pepttc
pills, Forms for made dishes, and receipts for
Wills, "Teaching us how to live and how to die /" There came thy cousin-cook, good Mrs.
FryThere Trench, the Thames projector, first
His sine Qtiay non,—• There Martin would drop in on Monday
eves, Or Fridays, from the pens, and raise his
breath 'Gainst cattle days and death,— Answer'd by Mellish, feeder of fat beeves, Who swore that Frenchmen never could
be eager For lighting on soup meagre— "And yet, (as thou wouldst add,) the French
A marshall Tureen /"
Great was thy evening cluster! — often
grae'd With Dollond—Burgess—aud sir Humphry
Davy! ,T\vas there M'Dermot first inclined to
Taste,— There Colburn learn'd .the art of making
paste For puffs—and Accum analysed a gravy. Colman—the cutter of Coleman-street _'tis
said Came there,—and Parkins with. his ex-wise
hcad, (His claim to letters,) — Kater, too, the
Moon's Crony,—and Graham, lofty on balloons,— There Croly stalk'd with holy humour heated, (Who wrote a light-horse play, which Yates
completed)— And lady Morgan, that grinding organ. And Brasbridge telling anecdotes of
spoons,— Madame Valbreque thrice honour-d thee,
and came With great Rossini, his own bow and fiddle— And even Irving spar'd a night from fame, And talk'd—till thou didst stop him in th«
middle, To serve round Tewafi-diddle !*
* The doctor's composition for a night-cap.