Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

speculation, exhausted themselves; and like other people in a similar situation, they began to console themselves by jesting on their own misfortunes. In this they succeeded better, having the assistance of some skilful and experienced practitioners to help them out; and there was Joyeuse's good thing, and Murray's good thing, and Rivers's good thing, and brother Edward's good thing; and all history and all fable were ransacked for parallels, from the days of Pandora to the present hour; and then they turned to speculating and regretting again.

In this state of things, the only resource was sister Catherine's wardrobe. That Catherine loved her sister is certain; that she was not wholly without that sensibility to appearance which distinguishes her sex, is matter of deduction. Now we all know how particularly annoying it is to have just half enough of any thingCatherine's little store was like bread in a besieged town; and the struggles between womanly vanity and sisterly affection-Catherine's endeavours to persuade herself that such a gown, and such a pelisse, and such a bracelet were unsuitable to her sister, because it agreed with her-but as we were not admitted to the conference, we can only imagine what passed.

The concert came we cannot dwell on the humiliations of that night-the concert past. Still the county-ball was to come; and the portmanteau might turn up just in time.-Vain hope!

*

*

*

*

We might feign a prosperous catastrophe to our history, even as Tate did for King Lear; we might trace the portmanteau through its wanderings, and paint the exstasies which attended its recovery; or we might follow it to the well-known receptacle of all things lost on earth; indeed we fancied we had discovered the long-lost treasure on our last monthly journey to the moon, but, on inspection, it proved to be only a set of the Critical Review. Such a fabrication, however, in the face of acknowledged facts, would be only (as Johnson has it in his Rejected Addresses) "disseminating falsehood without incurring favour, and risking the disgrace of detection without participating the advantages of success. We must be content, therefore, to leave the affair in its original obscurity. E. H.

99

Moral.

They who travel ought always to carry their portmanteaus with H. M.

them.

VERNON.

Gentlemen, Gentlemen.-Ohe jam.-Ring, Sir Thomas.-Take away the inkstands, waiter, and produce the magnums. I would rather work for eight and forty hours before publication, than have this bore of reading and discussion for another ten minutes. Mr. Haselfoot, I call upon you for a song.

Mr. Haselfoot, after certain apologies, which it is unnecessary here to repeat, begged to offer an excellent New Ballad, founded on facts:

Thro' Cambridge town two authors past,

They braved the damp, and they stemm'd the blast;

One was Murray, high of repute,

And t'other was cynical Haselfoot.

[ocr errors]

The townsfolk grinn'd as the pair past by,
And the proctor stared suspiciously;
But little reck'd they, the scribbling pair,
Of the townsman's grin, or the proctor's stare.

The lamps in the market shone dim to see,
And Cambridge was filthy as Cambridge might be ;
Yet on they skurried, thro' thick and thin,
Till they reach'd the gate of the Wrestlers' Inn.

The arch it was low, and the porch it was narrow,
Yet the critics shot thro' with the flight of an arrow;
They bounded the darkling court-yard o'er,

And in they bounc'd at the coach-office door,

"What ho? what ho?" bold Murray he cried,
"Tis on an errand of weight we ride!"
"We ride in haste," brave Haselfoot said,
"So rede us thy tidings, and let us be sped."

"Now who be ye, and what your freight,
That seek my cell so lone and so late?
And wherefore come ye," the book-keeper said,
"When all but proctors and cats are abed?"

"Two gallant Troubadours are we,
We sing of love and chivalry;
This freight we bear for a noble Knight,
It must speed by the Boston mail to-night."

"The Boston mail drives stout and fast,
The witching hour of night is past;
Ere the sun has dried the mountain dews,
The noble Knight shall hear your news."

Now joy to the mail, such a freight that bears!
And joy to Knight, when these tidings he hears!
And joy to dev'let* and pressman stout,
For their toils are o'er, and the number is out.

"To meet the printer's dev'let face to face."-Pursuits of Literature.

Southey has deviling; but the true ancient diminutive is devilkin.

And joy to you, gentle readers all,
In court or cloister, in bower or hall;
'Squire and priest, and lady fair,
Who take delight in our book so rare.

The ballad failed to produce an impression upon the company. It was, like many other ballads, written to be printed, and not to be sung. Mr. Haselfoot, seeing the feeble impression his vocal efforts had produced, requested leave to put in an anecdote: which was refused from the chair.

Mr. Haselfoot's ballad, and Mr. H.'s proposed anecdote, gave a turn to the conviviality of the evening. The labour of discussion was passed-there was ballast enough on the table to prevent any Number upsetting, even without the aid of the Editor of the European Review. The conversation became as interesting as it was general;-Merton was right eloquent-and Murray right learned-and Haller right historical-and Haselfoot right silentand Gentian right noisy-and Heaviside right sleepy. We regret that our limits (as the Morning Post says) will not permit us to complete the description of that night's joy-a joy so tempered with discretion, that the narration of it would be truly edifying. We can only recur to our Note Book for the heads of that exquisite Convivium:

Publisher, having discussed several bumpers of Claret, prepareth to read Chancery Injunction-voted a bore. Gerard deseribeth the two beauties of Windsor that hold divided empire over his heart, and compareth his situation to Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy. Gerard quite local in all his allusions, and likely therefore to compete for the honour of succession to a certain nameless Poet. Gerard complaineth of the municipality of Windsor for prolonging the building of an iron bridge over the Thames, and thus apostrophizeth in verse:—

I stood at Windsor on the bridge of wood,
A castle and a college on each hand,

And mark'd the iron arches o'er the flood,

Their ponderous length, by slow degrees, expand.
I wish they'd build them quicker, if they could.

'Tis a long time since first the bridge was plann'd ;
And I'm beginning to dislike taxation,

And grudge my half-pence to the corporation.

Corporation voted a bore.

Variety of Toasts, "The Editor of Gilbert Earle, and the absent Contributors."-" Mr. Martin Sterling, and the Memory of the Etonian."—" Mr. Gifford, and the Quarterly Review." "Mr. Jeffrey and the Edinburgh."-" Mr. Odoherty and Blackwood."-" Mr. Campbell and the New Monthly."-“ The

Opium Eater and the London."-" Mr. Walker and the European Review."-" Mr. Martin M'Dermot and the European Magazine."-" Mr. Pierce Egan and Life in London.”—Some notice of the forthcoming Memoirs of Lord Byron, by Mr. Egan, Mr. Moore, and Mr. Theodore Hook. Murray expresseth his belief in Craniology, to which Merton demurs-argument ran so high that Vyvyan broke a magnum, in the endeavour to shew that its bumps were as clear as those of the cranium. Aymer embraces occasion to sing

A CRANIOLOGICAL INVITATION TO CONTRIBUTORS.
Come here, each wit, with his head in his hand;

Come here each scribe with his sconce ready scored;
Come here tattooed from De Ville's in the Strand,
And shew up your skull to our critical board.

A poet we want, for our Gerard is fled

Exhibit no elegy, epic, or ode,

But tell us the organs that rhyme in your head

We'll squeeze verse from them like the gem from the toad,

Bring us the bump of delight, the sweet Ama

tiveness, that's hail'd as the faculty prime;

From that and a large Self-Esteem we can hammer
A legion of sonnets, in tune and in time.

A critic we want, for our Haselfoot rash

Is meddling with books that the hangman might burn-
With Destructiveness send to the devil our trash-

Your Caution shall teach us to read ere we spurn.

Bring here no Philoprogenitiveness,

Bring here no Order, Weight, Colour, or Size ;
Bring no Secretive-Acquisitiveness,-

But come with high crowns and protuberant eyes.
Ye that are curs'd with the dread Number eight,

The bump of Bill Soames and of Mat o' the Mint,
Keep from Newgate awhile-if ye yield to your fate
Enlist with the legion who steal what they print.

--

Ye that are blest with the fam'd Number five,

That clapper and claw whether empty or full;
Ye hornets that worry each peaceable hive,

Go-join the mild minions of Blackwood and Bull.

Come here, with your big bumps of talent and taste,

To the glory of Spurzheim, and Gall, and De Ville,
Be ye witty, and learned, and ardent, and chaste-
And cut your hair close, ere your sconces we feel.

Great applause. Bishop-Punch Royal-Devilled KidneysAnchovy Sandwiches-Heaviside vacates-Lights burn blueWe sleepy-Chimeras-Woke, and found ourselves alone with the Opium Eater.

KNIGHT'S

QUARTERLY MAGAZINE.

NEW TRANSLATION OF DANTE'S INFERNO*.

THERE is, we believe, no work in any of the modern languages of Europe, that has given rise to so much criticism, so many commentaries, and so many translations, or attempts at translation, as Dante's Divina Commedia. Although written in a half-barbarous age, in a country distracted by political dissensions, and long before the discovery of printing, Dante's poem became known, and spread over Italy even during the life-time of the Author. As Tasso's rhymes ushered to the world long after, and in a more polished age, became familiar in the mouths of " Adria's gondoleers," so Dante's verses were, in the life-time of the poet, sung by mechanics and people of the lower classes as an accompaniment to, and a relaxation from, their daily labours; and they penetrated even the gloomy recess of the cænobite's cell. Soon after the poet's death, commentaries on the Divina Commedia began to appear, and the most learned men of Italy were employed in this task. Public lectures were appointed in the different Italian cities, to explain Dante's poems; and Boccaccio himself was one among the lecturers. The number of works written upon this subject is almost incredible; they alone would form a library. And, although pedantry, scholastic subtility, and visionary superstition, have often mixed in these erudite labours, yet there is no doubt but they have served to throw much light upon the Divina Commedia, which, from many causes, is often remarkably obscure even to Italian literary men. This obscurity arises, 1st, from the mixture of reality and allegory in the sense of the poem; 2d, from its comprehensive, and, at times, highly-figurative language; 3d, from the frequent

* "L'Enfer de Dante Alighieri, traduit en Français, accompagné de Notes explicatives, raisonnées, et historiques, &c. Par J. C. Tarver." 2 vols. C. Knight.

VOL. III. PART II.

R

« AnteriorContinuar »