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ORIGINAL LETTERS

FROM COWPER, THE POET.
Now first published by his nephew, John Johnson, LL.D.
(New Mon.)

, than the first portion of the fol- it, had filled his left band with red ochre, lowing extract, por more amiably easy the lash of his whip, leaving the appearance

through which, after every stroke, he drew than the second.

of a wound upon the skin, but in reality not “ At seren o'clock this evening, being hurting him at all. This being perceived the seventh of December, I imagine I see

by Mr. Constable H -, who followed you in your bos at the coffee-house. No the beadle, he applied his cane, without doubt the waiter, as ingenious and adroit any such management or precaution, to the as his predecessors were before him, raises shoulders of the too merciful executioner. the tea-pot to the ceiling with his right The scene immediately became more interhand, while in his left the tea-cup descendo esting: The beadle could by no means be ing almost to the floor, receives a limpid soked the constable to strike harder; and

prevailed upon to strike hard, which prostream; limpid in its descent, but no sooner bas it reached its destination, than froth- this double flogging continued, till a lass of ing and foaming to the view, it becomes a

Silver-end, pitying the pitiful beadle thus roaring syllabub. This is the nineteenth suffering under the hands of the pitiless winter since I saw you in this situation ; constable, joined the procession, and placand if nineteen more pass over me before ing herself immediately behind the latter, I die, I shall still remember a circumstance seized him by his capillary club, and pullwe have often laughed at.

ing him backwards by the same, slapped "How different is the complexion of his face with a most Amazonian fury. This your evenings and mine! yours, spent concatenation of events has taken up more amid the ceaseless hum that proceeds from of my paper than I intended it should ; but the inside of fifty noisy and busy periwigs ; beadle threshed the thief, the constable the

I could not forbear to inform you how the mnige, by a domestic fire-side, in a retreat as silent as retirement can make it ; where beadle, and the lady the constable, and how no poise is made but what we make for our

the thief was the only person concerned own amusement. For instance, here are

who suffered nothing." two rustics, and your humble servant in company. One of the ladies has been

We shall conclude our extracts from playing on the harpischord, while I, with the first volume, with a charming!y the other, have been playing at battledore light and lively passage, on the manand shottiecock. A little dog, in the mean time, bowling under the chair of the for. these short postdiluvian days :

ner in which time escapes from us in mer, performed, in the vocal way, to adpiration. This entertainment over, I be “It is wonderful how, by means of such gaa my letter, and having nothing more real or seeming necessities, my time is important to communicate, have given you stolen away. i have just time to observe an account of it. I kdow you love dearly that time is short; and, by the time I have to be idle, when you can find an opportu. made the observation; time is gone. I have aity to be so; but as such opportunities wondered in former days at the patience of are rare with you, I thought it possible the aptediluvian world; that they could that a short description of the idleness [ endure a life almost millenary, with so little enjoy wight give you pleasure. The hap- variety as seems to fall to their share. It piness we cannot call our own, we yet seem is probable that they had much fewer emto possess, while we sympathize with our ployments than we. Their affairs lay in a friends wbo can."

narrower compass; their libraries were inHere is an exceedingly droll de. searches were carried on with much less in

differently furnished ; philosophical rescription, written in Cowper's own dustry and acuteness of penetration, and genuine and exquisitely humourous fiddles, perhaps, were not even invented. inanner :

How then could seven or eight hundred

years of life be supportable? I have asked * He had stolen some iron-work, the ihis question formerly, and been at a loss tu property of Griggs, the butcher. Being resolve it; but I think I can answer it now. convicted, be was ordered to be whipt; I will suppose myself born a thousand years which operation be underwent at the cart's before Noah was born or thought of 1 tail, froin the stone-house to the high arch, rise with the sun; I worship; I prepare and back again. He seemed to show great my breakfast; I swallow a bucket of goats'fortitade, but it was all an imposition op milk, and a dozen good sizeable cakes

ATHENEUM VOL. 1. new series.

11

fasten a new string to my bow; and my his fingers, and were passed away like a youngest boy, a lad of about thirty years of shadow. What wonder then that I, who age, having played with my arrows till he live in a day of so much greater refinehas stript off all the feathers, I find myself ment, when there is so much more to be obliged to repair them. The morning is wanted, and wished, and to be enjoyed, thus spent in preparing for the chace, and should feel myself now and then pinched in it is become necessary that I should dine. point of opportunity, and at some loss for I dig up my roots; I wash them; I boil leisure to fill four sides of a sheet like this? them ; I find them not done enough, I boil Thus, however, it is ; and if the ancient them again; my wife is angry : we dis gentlemen to whom I have referred, and pute ; we settle the point; but in the their complaints of the disproportion of inean time the fire goes out, and must be time to the occasions they had for it, will kindled again. All this is very amusing. not serve me as an excuse, I must even I hunt; I bring home the prey ; with the plead guilty, and confess that I am often in skin of it I mend an old coat, or I haste, when I have no good reason for bemake a new one. By this time the day is ing so." far spent; I feel myself fatigued, and retire to rest. Thus, what with tilling the ground,

It seems almost superfluous for us to and eating the fruit of it, hunting and walk say, that a work, from which such exing, and running, and mending old clothes, tracts as these can be culled in the and sleeping and rising again, I can sup. space of a few pages, recommends itself much occupied as to sigh over the short- to general attention, as a source of the ness of life, and to find, at the end of many most agreeable amusement. centuries, that they had all slipt through

VARIETIES.

Original Anecdotes, Literary News, Chit Chat, Incidents, &c.

66 The sun,

ON THE DEATH OF YOUNG CHILDREN. onwards to noon-day :

Ephemera die all at sun-set, and no said the child,“ has chased them away insect of this class has ever sported in with his heat-or swallowed them in the beams of the morning sun.* Hap- his wrath.” Soon after came rain and pier are ye, little human ephemera! a rainbow; whereupon his father poinYe played only in the ascending beams, ted upwards—“See,” said he, “ihere and in the early dawn, and in the eas- stand the dew-drops gloriously re-settern light; ye drank only of the pre a glittering jewellery-in the heavens ; libations of life; hovered for a little and the clownish foot tramples on them space over a world of freshnesss and of no more. By this, my child, thou art blossonis ; and fell asleep in innocence taught that what withers upon earth before yet the morning dew was ex- blooms again in heaven.” Thus the haled !

father spoke, and knew not that be

spoke prefiguring words; for soon after THE PROPHETIC DEW-DROPS.

the delicate child, with the morning A delicate child, pale and prema- brightness of his early wisdom, was turely wise, was complaining on a hot exhaled, like a dew-drop, into heaven. morning that the poor dew-drops had been too hastily snatched away and not

ADVANTAGES OF A MILD WINTER. allowed to glitter on the flowers like

The old proverb, “An open winter other happier dew-drops,t that live the makes a fat church-yard,” or, more litwhole night through, and sparkle in the erally, “A green yule makes a fat moon-light and through the morning kirk-yard,” is contradicted by experi

ence and observation. The influence * Some class of ephemeral insects are born about of the weather on the human frame is five o'clock in the afternoon, and die before midnight not to be estimated merely by the ther-supposing them to live to old age.

mometrical changes in the atmosphere. ¡ If the dew is evaporated immediately upon the An east wind with the thermometer at sun-rising, rain and storm follow in the afternoon i .but, if it stays and glitters for a long-time after sun

50 degrees will impress the body with rise, the day continues fair.

a more chilling effect, than a southwest

RATS.

vind, when the thermometer indicates years ago black currants were generally a temperature ten degrees lower; and used, and gave a very pleasant flavour ; a foggy atmosphere, in like manner, is but, unfortunately, some doctor happenmuch more injurious than a clear one ed to take it into his head, that the curof equal cold , in fact, there is no con- rants made the whiskey very urinal and dition of the air so invariably perni- enervating, and immediately the influcious, so chilling, and oppressive to the ence of the gentle sex became evident: organs of respiration, as the frequent currant whiskey disappeared from evecombination of frost with fog. The ry table in the island, and has not since sudden vicissitudes of the weather, es- been seen. pecially from heat to cold, are among the most active causes of inflammatory saGACITY AND RAPACITY OF WATER disease. As, then, the vicissitudes of the weather, and especially its cold,

Naturè certainly shows less wisdom are by far the most prolific source of in some parts of her management for disease, is it not a little extraordina- the preservation of species than in othry, that opinions so diametrically the ers : let the following fact suffice. That reverse of truth, as the wholesomeness species of water-fowl called moor-hen is, of frost and the fatality of mild weath- during the progress of incubation, in the er, should not only be generally preva. habit of uttering a frequent and plainlent, but even supported by the pro- tive cry, which is pleasing, though verbial authority that “An open winter mournful: this note serves to betray makes a fat church-yard ?"-Ask any the otherwise attentive bird into the attentive observer, he will not fail to hands of sauntering boys, who are wantell you, he has remarked, that during dering on the sedgy banks of rivers a Christmas of severe frost, how much which they haunt, and where their nests the gaiety of the season has been cheq. are invariably found. It likewise tends uered by the numerous funerals which to draw the attention of its direst enedaily pass along the streets, evincing at

my, that keen sporting animal the waonce the bracing and wholesome influ- ter-rat; than whom there is not a more ence of frost!—The origin of this erro- active rapacious “ hunter of prey,” neous doctrine, which is so palpably throughout the domains of every river. contradicted by facts, may probably During the many hours I bave sat sibe traced to the sensations of alertness lent on the banks of the Darent, which and the disposition to activity, and the is an asylum for thousands of those noxconsequent glow of the circulation, ex- ious animals, I have seen them repeatperienced by the vigorous and healthy edly on hearing the moor-hen's pitiful in a clear and moderately frosted atmos- plaint from her nest, dash immediately phere. But such persons forget how into the water from the opposite side, much the weak and infirm, the aged and, swimming across to the spot, imand the invalid, suffer under such cir- mediately dart into the nest, and, havcumstances.

ing scared the mother from her eggs or

brood, would either devour the former IRISH WHISKEY.

by sucking them on the spot, or, seizing The fondness of the Irishman for his hold of a young bird in its mouth, would whiskey, I have often curiously ob- re-plunge with it into the water, and served; above the wines of France, he carry it across, to be devoured in its quaffs his native punch; and among own nest. The otter himself, is not the vines of Spain he longs for it. This more bold, quick, rapacious, than this love is only like the Swiss emotion for spirited animal; he will frequently dive the Ranse des Vackes ; but this pre- and bring up small fish, such as gudgference did not appear so strange when eons, minnows, fry, &c. and quite in a I found their faculty declaring they manner similar to the “water-dog," knew no spirit less noxious in dilution. the otter himself. None of the watery It is still the custom in Ireland to im- tribe, not even the largest trout, as he pregnate their whiskey with fruit: some swims across, dare attack him, except

the larger species of pike, who proves A NOVEL METHOD OF INTERPREan overmatch for him, and draws him,

TATION. after a short struggle, a shrieking vic I was one day dining at an eminent tim, into the watery gulph, where suf- restaurateur’s,when I observed a Cockfocation precludes the exercise of his na- ney-looking gentleman regarding a tural powers and courage. It is not plate of roast duck at an opposite table, uncommon, in opening a large-sized with an eagerness which evinced a pike, to find one, or sometimes two, wa- strong desire to partake of the same ter-rats in his maw; and these fish cer- delicious morsel, he seized hold of a tainly do good in large pools, ponds, waiter's arm, and ineffectually endeaand rivers, by diminishing the race of voured to make him comprehend the such depredators as water-rats ; for, al- cravings of his appetite, by pointing to though their natural propensities cause the quickly-vanishing wing; finding them to prefer any spot where water is, bis efforts unsuccessful, he bawled out, to other places, they are great depreda- equally to the astonishment and amusetors, of all field produce, and their dis- ment of the guests,-“ Apportez-moi !" position for eating is almost unceasing and then imitated to perfection the

quacking of a duck; and, as animals ANECDOTE OF Fox.

were not included in the curse of Ba. An anecdote of Fox, at a time when bel, he succeeded in obtaining the obdeclining lise had taught him the more

ject of his desires. sober views of character, is interesting. He had now lost his old homage for

SINGULAR HABIT OF ROOKS. our republican imperial neighbours.

It is a fact that these busy noisy “ In one of the latest days of Fos, the trees to any other. As an illustrative

birds preser building their nests in elmconversation turned wisdom of the French and English charac fact, I beg to mention, that there is a ter. The Frenchman,' it was observed, fine mingled assortment of elms and delights himself with the present; the horse-chesnut trees growing in beautiEnglishman makes himself anxious about ful diversification on the banks of the the future. Is not the Frenchman the wi river Darent, at Hawley, in Kent, and ser ?'— He may be the merrier,' said Fox ; " but did you ever hear of a savage who did yet not in one of the latter species of not buy a mirror in preference to a teles- trees do the rooks ever build their

nests. Every frequenter of rural na

ture knows what a grand picturesque ANECDOTE OF SAERIDAN.

object a full grown horse-chesnut tree Sheridan's pleasantries are proverbi- forms; it possesses much of the mascual; but the following instance of his line majesty of the oak in the breadth conversational sportiveness is new : and heighth of its structure ; and in

“ Sheridan used to say, that the life of a autumn, when its full shining leaves manager was like the life of the Ordinary are spread in perfection, and their verof Newgate-a constant superintendence of dant drapery is intermingled with its' executions. The number of authors whom he was forced to estinguish, was," he said, prolific round prickly fruit, the sight is a perpetual literary massacre, that inade beautiful, as well as it is in spring, St. Bartholomew's shrink in comparison. when its full dotted blossoms form a Play-writing, singly, accounted for the em- variety of snow-like festoons, delightployment of that immense multitude who ing the climbing and searching eye, as drain away obscure years beside the inkstand, and haunt the streets with iron. it views them. mouided visages, and study-coloured clothes, I consider it singular that rooks It singly accounted for the rise of paper, should dislike building their nests in which liad exhausted the rags of England these trees, which are far better adaptand Scotland, and had almost stripped oti ed to shelter them and their young, eithe last covering of Ireland. counted plays until calculation sank under ther from a too intense heat of the sun, the number; and every rejected play of or the visitation of unpleasant rains, them all seemed, like the clothes of a Span- than the elm-tree is : but such is the ish beggar, to turn into a living; , restless, fact

, that they uniformly reject the merciless, indefatigable progeny.'"

cope Pin

M. DUCIS.

horse-chesnut trees, and fix their airy LETTERS FROM PARIS.
settlements among the elms.
If that eminent naturalist, Bingley,

Paris, Feb. 7, 1624. were alive, I would ask him for a solution of so singular a phenomenon; as Life and Writings of Ducis.

I MENTIONED to you M. Campenon's

J. T. he is not, I will endeavour to answer it Life and Writings of Ducis. myself. I consider this strong objec Ducis, who died in 1817, was one of tion to arise from a rankness of vegeta- first of his day. His Hamlet, Romeo

our first tragic poets, and perhaps the Fhion wbich is inherent in the horsechesnut tree, and which proves so of- et Juliette, Othello, Roi Lear, d'Abufensive and unpleasant to the sensitive the stage, and demanded from the press,

far, Macbeth, will always be popular on organs of these birds, that they cannot dwell comfortably in their branches : M. Campenon was the poet's intimate the bitter quality of the fruit, when friend, and he relates a variety of anecripe, is well known to be of so repul- dotes, which friendship only could have

known. Ducis had a sort of antique sive a nature that even hungry swine will not eat them. It is likewise sin- spirit. Napoleon sought his acquaingular with what strength (and wisdom tance, and was esteemed by him, while of instinct,) rooks attach their nests to

he thought him the champion of liberty;

but when he became its oppressor, he the highest branches of those trees where they form their colonies; so

was deserted. The most brilliant plamuch so, that village boys inform me

ces were offered to Duris, but he refused they can stand on them without dis- them all, and preferred' his indepentarbing in the least the equilibrium of dence to splendid slavery. Even in their position.

old age this firmness of character was

unyielding and intact. The first interHUME'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

view with Bonaparte took place at MalIt is not generally known how much maison, on the invitation of the first Hume revised his History. When liv

Consul.“ M. Ducis presented himself ing in Edinburgh, busy with that clas in the costume he usually wore in his sical composition, he was intimate with

walks-a gray coat, worsted stockings, an old Jesuit, who, like most of the or- occurred at dinner, which was simple.

round hat, and walking stick. Nothing der, was a scholar, and a man of taste; to his opinion, as the parts were finish. During the evening the conversation ed, the manuscript work was submitted first Consul spoke of his projects as one

turned on the events of the day. The Soon after the publication of Elizabeth's reign, the priest happened to turn over obstacles. “You want, (said he, to his

accustomed by victory to vanquish all the pages, and was astonished to fird on the printed page sins of the Scottish miests,) laws altogether different from

those queen that never sullied the written

you

have hitherto had- Quand one ; Mary's character was directly the tout le monde marche au hasard, tout

le monde se heurte--I see nothing regureverse of what he had read before. He sought the author, and asked the cause :

lar any where—your administration is “ Whs, (answered Hume, the printer

still without system, because your late said he should lose 5001. by that sto government was without will and enerry; indeed he almost refused to print France in a condition to give law to

gy. I will establish order; I will place it: so I was obliged to revise it as you Europe. I shall make all the wars acsaw.” It is needless to add, the Jesuit reviewed no more manuscripts.

cessory to a stable peace,-give you solid institutions, harmonize your wants

and your habits,-- protect religion, and FLOWER-POTS. Plants may be completely protected place its ministers above necessity”_ from the depredations of insects, by wash

Et après cela, General ?' interrupted ing them with a solation of bitter aloes, Ducis, in a gentle tone. Après cela ! and the use of this wash does not appear resumed Bonaparte, somewhat surpri10 afect the health of the plants in the sed, Après cela, bon homme Ducis, slightest degree ; and, wherever the solubion has been used, insects have not been

vous me nommerez juge de paix dans observed to attack the plants again. quelque village.The modest reply

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