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ture with his hand, and, to fulfil his father's dream, he so lacerated it with a nail, hy which this picture was suspended from the wall, that his death ensued.
To return: my opinion is that people when really alone will always ruminate upon those matters which have employed their more active moments. For instance, I should suppose that if Sir R. Peel, or his brother, were shut up in a castle, they would think about the Swan River settlement, and the most econo. mical plan of transporting (no, that word associated with New Holland, whether east or west, has some. thing felonious about it, so I'll choose another, and say exporting,) settlers and so forth. Well, Sir Charles Wetherell would think about the woolsack; the Rev. Edward Irving, of prophetic memory, would think about some new plan of lessening the respectability of Christianity; Mr. O'Connell would think about repealing the Union; and Mr. Cobbett, of grid. iron notoriety, would think about Radical Reform. Think! yes, indeed! don't laugh at me ; I'll engage that they do think sometimes, as well as address juries, preach sermons, expound law, and write politics.
I wish, Mr. Editor, that you, or some member of your cloth, would invent a literary finger-post, and set it up, as occasion might require, to show the connexion (if any!!) between one paragraph and another, and which paragraphs should be connected; for you are aware that I, like some others of the brotherhood to which I belong, have a wonderful gift of wandering.
But to return, at least to endeavour to do so : if I were the old gentleman whose story began this paper, I would give my son (mark me, I am a bachelor, and I vow I haven't one ; its only a simile,) a list of subjects, some one of which he should think of for an hour each day--that is, if I had determined to put him in exile for that period-and then I should suppose that if his mind were vigorously employed on the subject for the day, all loss and damage might be prevented, that is, as far as concerns the infernals, with as great certainty as the County Fire Office can prevent them in the case of fire.
There is nothing like order and activity, depend upon it, Mr. Editor, as the old Doctor says, ' air and exercise;' and, by the by, while my son is meditating, I should recommend him to walk about at a good brisk four-mile-and-a-half-an-hour pace, and then, if he could not out-think the devil of the day, at all events he would out-walk him; however, it is my firm opinion that a pedestrian of such pretensions would be more than Satan or Beelzebub, seconded by half a dozen subs,' would attack; he would not be 'fish for their net; a sleepy balf-and-half fellow would answer their purpose much better. Why, Watts says,
“Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do ;' and in another part of the same hymn, he recommends
• Books, or work, or healthful play,' the very things that I should recommend to the person about to be shut out from the world for an hour. This solitude might do, and accords somewhat with Zimmerman's idea, viz. the company of a learned friend at his secluded villa, with admission to his valuable library. Reason speaks in favour of this solitude; but that a man should grumble in a grotto, or growl on a gravel walk, for an hour together every day, and all for the sake of avoiding the whole host of infernals except one, is shocking, is repulsive in the bare idea, and is most admirably calculated to defeat its own purpose ; that is to say, if the purpose is to avoid temptations; for in some, I mean such company as may be selected, the whole host, none except, may be avoided.
But while, under certain regulations, I would allow some persons to enter into solitude, there are others whom I would hardly allow to think, much less to spend, an hour alone. The first and foremost of this class are-do you wonder-do you question my judgment-are L, À, W, Y, E, R, S-in full practice ; are there any who are readers of the · Pocket Magazine ? The second are lovers-• A lover's ne'er so safe as in a crowd.
If to the gloomy desert you repair,
Endures the blast, or plunges in the main.' Other persons are bad poets ; I forbid them, lest the chaotic mass of doggrel poetry slould be augmented. In fact, with a certain few exceptions, I forbid all the bads, whether positive, comparative, or superlative.
Amongst the certain few whom I have just spoken of, who would do well to spend an hour alone, are cigared puppies who blow clouds on the finest evening in June, as though they wished to make it resemble a drizzly, dripping, dulí November night; also those ladies with immeasurable bonnets and tremendous sleeves, who are to be seen, to the exception of every thing else, in our public walks. Haven't you, Mr. Editor, often been obliged to retreat (that's military, I confess, but I hear that you are concerned in magazines and reviews) after having safely deposited your lower extremities in front of ladies wearing the aforesaid incon. sistencies, because the path was blockaded right and left, from the shoulders and upwards, by lutestrings and muslins, &c. Why, sir, the famous Indian tree (I forget its name) which we read of in natural history, and the fabled tent which we read of in oriental romance, are as nothing, ' no, not nothing,' when com. pared with the bonnets of the present day; and as regards sleeves, its a matter of folly to talk of a man's head being wrapped in one.* Will you not set your hearty amen' when I tell your readers, Mr. Editor, that one of them would be sufficient for a windingsheet for a Daniel Lambert, or for a tent-covering, beneath which all the living skeletons' in the world might dine, or in which all the dead skeletons at Bartholomew's Hospital might be thrice euwrapt!
But to return (as I have said some one, two, or three times before) to my original subject, other per. sons who ought to spend an hour alone each day, are bad readers, bad writers, partial judges, and biassed re
* New Monthly