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It was not that every feature apart,
But on her lip, and cheek, and brow,
There was a cloud on that warrior's face,
She, bis enchantress, mark'd his fear,
Her smile shone over their bloom like a charm,
He drank of the wine, he gasped for breath,
L. E. L.
THE UNIVERSAL CULPRIT.
SHAKSPEARE “ Then first the Culprit answer'd to his name."-DRYDEN. The manifold intricacies and subtleties of the law have too long occasioned it to be compared to a cobweb, which catches the small flies, and allows the great ones to break through ; or to a bramblebush, through which the most innocent lamb cannot force a passage without leaving a considerable portion of his wool behind ; or to a gridiron, which greases the bar by roasting and extracting all the fat out of the clients; or to the well-known arbitrator, who swallowed the oyster, and left the shells for the plaintiff and defendant ; or to the honest fellow in a mob, who eases you of your purse and watch while assisting you to secure the rogue that ran away with your handkerchief; or, finally, to fifty disparaging similitudes which we hold it not seemly to enumerate. It is high time to remove this stigma from a profession the members of which have invariably been upright when it was better policy not to stoop, who have been loudly and even indignantly virtuous, when it was their interest to be just, and have nobly preferred truth, even to Plato himself, whenever she stood arrayed on the winning side. This expurgation, so devoutly to be desiderated, could not be more satisfactorily accomplished than by their immediately and gratuitously bringing to condign punishment a high and hardened criminal, whose mysterious character, Protean devices, and subtlety in eluding all proofs of his identity, have hitherto enabled him to perpetrate enormities of every description with an absolute impunity as to any legal penalty; though his scandalous misdemeanours have fixed an indelible brand of infamy upon his moral character. To enable our readers to escape his machinations, as well as to assist the public in general in the great purpose of his apprehension, we think it right to apprise them that this notorious delinquent was not only the real author of the disastrous expedition to Walcheren, and of every other great government failure, but that he is responsible for all the gross
robberies and abuses of the Ecclesiastical and Chancery Courts, and has been the original projector of the bubbles, chimæras, and joint-stock companies, by which the most thinking people of England have been lately gulled, cajoled, and bamboozled.
Nor are his mischiefs and misdeeds in private families a whit less flagrant and notorious than his public guilt. Neither Puck himself, nor all the evil gnomes and fairies of the household, ever equalled him in domestic atrocity. He is universally admitted to be the real party to blame in all matrimonial squabbles; and as to the demolition of household furniture, and more particularly of crockery and glass, from common pots and pans up to French mirrors, cut chandeliers, real china bowls, and porcelain vases, every housekeeper who wants to discover the author of the mischief may say to this ubiquitous and Briarean-handed felon, as David said unto Nathan, “ thou art the man." Not contented with these malignan; pranks, he is perpetually spilling oil upon costly carpets, leaving finger-marks upon silk curtains and white doors, or scratching varnished tables in a most frightful and disfiguring manner ; while it is notorious, that whenever a win
dow has been left unfastened so that the thieves have entered and made away with the plate, it was his business to have shut it, and that he is to blame for the robbery.
With all these misdeeds upon his head, and in defiance of the old adage, that honesty is the best policy, this unprincipled rogue is singularly fortunate in his operations of every description. He gets all the great prises in the lottery, is a constant wioner at the gamingtable, even including Fishmongers' Hall, and holds Foreign Stocks without quaking for the payment of the dividends, beyond those that have been retained in this country. Moreover, he is the general finder of all lost and missing articles, except the wits of the crazy, which the man in the moon preserves in jugs, under a patent granted to him by Ariosto. All wails and strays find their way to this universal receiver, though the real owners seek his address in vain ; and he comes in for the whole of the unclaimed dividends upon bankrupt estates, together with the secret fees and official pickings of all sorts which are extorted without due authority.
Knave as the fellow is, he is by no means a fool. Nay, his knowledge upon many subjects is almost peculiar to himself. He knows a person who was really cured by one of Prince Hohenlohe's miracles. Perhaps, however, his own character has a small tendency to credulity, for he conscientiously believes there would be political danger in Catholic emancipation; and maintains the efficacy of the Sinking fund, which creates Stock at fifty or sixty to buy it back at ninety or a hundred. He has great faith in the visions of the night, although, anong other vageries, he actually dreams of going to afternoon church, a benefit play, the exhibition of the British Artists in Suffolk-street, and the Gresham Lectures at the Royal Exchange ; of success in converting the Hindoos; of Harriette Wilson's veracity; of wearing topped boots and buckskin breeches, or long cloth gaiters and hair powder ; of the Parliament reforming itself, and of the Chancery commission inculpating its own chairman ; of a certain pea-green personage being worth ten pounds next year; of reading Richardson's novels, and Southey's History of Brazil; of eating roasted pig, water Sootje, toasted cheese, and sour krout; or of drinking Cape wine and cyder; of knowing the way to Bloomsbury and Russel squares; of being in London in September, and other similar extravagances.
Some of his waking opinions are not less liable to the charge of singularity, for he thinks the latter novels of the Great Unknown (of whose real name he is ignorant) as good as his earlier productions ; while he maintains that there are no abuses in the church of Ireland, and that it is by no means overpaid. As a proof that he knows himself, a species of wisdom which is perhaps peculiar to the individual, be confesses that he is rather wrinkled, and not quite so good-looking as he was; while he candidly admits that his faculties begin to fail him, and frankly discloses his real age whenever the question is asked. As to his genealogical claims and honours, few persons can compete with him, for there is reason to believe that he was born before the beginning of the world, and it was unquestionably one of his descendants that put out the eye of Polyphemus, if we may take the word of the Cyclops himself, who expressly accused him by name, when denouncing him to his companions, as the author of his total blindness. There is also an
ancient ballad, written about the year 1550, preserved in the Pepys collection, British Museum, and Strype's Memoirs of Cranmer, entitled “ Little John Nobody," which evidently immortalizes some member of the same family, who is therein accused by a splenetic Papist, as being the author of the then recent Reformation in religion. Alas! how has his descendant of the present day fallen off from the glorious reputation of his ancestors, for the existing inheritor of the name denies any reform to be necessary either in church or state, and will not of course ever signalize himself as the champion of improvement. But we trust that we have said enough of him and of his delinquencies to raise a general hue and cry for his apprehension; or if this article should meet the eye of the great offender, he may perhaps be induced to spare us any further trouble, by surrendering himself forthwith to justice. Should we be disappointed in this expectation, he may depend upon it that, although we have for the present forborne any mention of his real name, otherwise than by implication, he will shortly be advertised with an accurate description of his person, and his patronymic appellation at
ON THE OLD SCHOOL OF DRESS.
«« Τα ωρύγια άριστα.” I am a very Cockletop in antiquarian enthusiasm ; and though perhaps not quite egregious enough to be duped with a brass farthing for a copper Otho, or a cracked pipkin for a Roman vase, I can well conceive the pleasure of possessing a relic of the “antique world," and can enter into the spirit of musty research, with the keenness of an adept, and the gusto of a connoisseur. There is a poetical character about the pursuit too ethereal for the gross conceptions of the vulgar, who, in this case at least, even deny that
The value of a thing
Is so much money as 't will bring ; and are barbarous enough to appreciate its excellence by its utility. The Elgin statues appear to their uninitiated eyes mere mutilated blocks of marble; and the Medicean Venus, deprived of her head, would, in their bourgeois estimation, deserve no better fate than to be broken into pieces, to mend old roads, or fill up cart-ruts. Procul este profani! Hence, ye unimaginative! who would have the principles of taste laid down to your obtuse comprehensions with the square and rule. Ye cannot sympathise with the exalted fancies of the antiquarian. Ye cannot dive into the reflections that crowd upon his soul, while contemplating some precious memento of the gone-by world, saved from the devouring grasp of Time. By your unenlightened visions, a Roman casque would be regarded with no more veneration than a brass skillet ; the Grecian odpv (spear) you would mistake for a spit, and their actis (shield) for a pot-lid. I have a profound respect for the whole tribe of antiquaries -
(Tros Tyriusve mihi nullo discrimine agetur) from the gatherer of petrified fossils, to the dabbler in coins, and the collector of broken-nosed deities. Nay, I am even content to admire a reliquary, enriched from more modern sources; and a piece of Queen Elizabeth's ruff, one of Oliver Cromwell's gloves, or a Queen Anne's farthing, are sure to receive from me their due share of honage. I derived much pleasure, some years ago, from observing, in the vestryroom of St. Helen's church, an old helmet, which was indubitably proved to belong to the crookbacked Richard, and which the churchwardens, in their zeal to preserve from the further ravages of time, had caused to be covered with a goodly coat of black varnish. I confess, this expedient for defrauding old Edax Rerum had in my eyes somewhat the appearance of profanation, and seemed little less sacrilegious than the whitewashing of Shakspeare's monument. However," let that pass !" Better daub it with paint, thought I than convert it into a porringer, or throw it into the dust hole, to either of which ignoble destinies its outward seeming would appear to have entitled it.
The bibliomaniacs, too, come in for a large share of my regard. I love an unique library, composed of few books, and each a rarity. There is something so mechanical in drudging through ponderous volumes with slavish application, for no other purpose than to gather knowledge (superfluous acquisition !)-but I envy the man who can lay his hand on a Caxton, or a Wynkyn-de-Worde, and say “ Hoc meum est, (this is mine,) and I have no participators." I laud, I venerate that inspired bibliomaniac, who roamed over Europe in search of musty tomes and black-letter relics ; insinuating himself, with book-worm dexterity, into the innermost recesses of convents and monasteries; prating bad Latin to the jolly friars, and cajoling them (good easy souls !) out of their “ leafy” treasures. I have him before me now, at the hospitable board of some reverend abbot, sitting cheek by jowl in a company of fat monks, with rosy gills and comely protuberances, revelling amid the luxuries of mountain goat's flesh, cream-cheese, sweetmeats, grapes, dates, figs, and pomegranates ; and thumbing, "ever and anon," with joyous satisfaction, some curious MS. unique Guttemberg, or unquestioned Faust! I see him cracking pistachios and puns ; " setting the table in a roar” with Latin jokes and Greek witticisms, rivalling the Pangrammatists and Lippogrammatists of old in quaint and laughter-stirring conceits, provoking the risibility of the ascetic gourmands, and pouring out copious libations of old Cyprus to the genius of Bibliomania!
But of all my antiquarian associations, not one clings to me with such obstinate pertinacity as an affection for the old style of dress : 1 mean, from the reign of Anne to the early part of George the Third. Before that period, the garb of our ancestors assumes a classical aspect from its antiquity, and is hallowed in our memories with the costume of the Greeks and Romans. But the æra I allude to is just sufficiently distant to acquire a romantic interest ; the absurdities of dress are consecrated by the touch of time, and the ridiculous merges into the poetical. Even the family picture of the Flamborough family might now prove an interesting group, and Thornhill's portraits, spite of their flashy colouring, are becoming valuable for their delineation of the apparel of an age which no longer exists in the memory of the living. Old dresses associate themselves in our minds with old deeds and old times; they spirit up all the substantialities of the glorious