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of cooing Corydons. But the race of these fancied creatures is extinct, and we only recall the remembrance of an absurdity when we dwell upon them; for they have none of the redeeming beauty of the pastoral images of Greece to preserve them from oblivion. Our country wenches and stiff-jointed ploughboys never remind us of Fauns and Silvani and Nymphs or Naiads. In short, we must dismiss from our minds the whole machinery of the poets in making our comparisons, and place ourselves among the stern realities of life. There is much more of the imaginary character of a nymph in a pretty London shopgirl, or a neat-footed little milliner, than can be found in half-a-dozen country villages among the assembled Blouzelindas. Churchill has drawn a picture of a modern Naiad :
“ Beneath an aged oak Lardella lies
Green moss her couch, her canopy the skies.
And the full chorus dies adown the stream.” The London chambermaid, or the smirking waiting-woman of my lady, are far before the rustic in neatness of dress, elegance of appearance, and intelligence. What is there captivating in the drabs of a farmer's kitchen, or the Pastoras of his turnip-field ? A cottage and cottage love may sound well in a tale, and may be very pretty things to hang poetical associations upon; but I hate hogsties, and smoky peat fires are, to my seeming, a bad substitute for Wallsend and Russel's Main, blazing through the polish of a London grate.
Then, as to rural sports, what an animal is a foxhunter; yelling, like an Indian savage, after an unfortunate animal, that he pursues over hedge and ditch, for twelve successive hours, with a regiment of yelping curs; and finishing his day's diversion with a drunken debauch! That statue-like being the angler, also, who stands a whole day among wet flags to be repaid with a "glorious nibble," the very image of unproductive population, of stagnant bodily and intellectual powers! A walk in Hyde Park, a Thames water-party, a visit to Vauxhall, or to the theatre, are superior pleasures, giving and communicating social delight. The good health enjoyed by that portion of the city's population which is not confined to labours directly prejudicial to being, shews that the violence of country exercise is not essential to good health. Men live to as great an age in London as in the remotest villages of the country. I would not be thought to disparage the beauties of nature; on the contrary, I think they are very delightful in their way; but -“ the loveliest prospects may,
be seen Till half their beauties fade.” We cannot look at a green field for ever, and I always feel in a state of widowhood when I am long among them. I am isolated, and become melancholy and dull; nor do I recover until I find myself again on
“The sweet shady side of Pall Mall;" or watching“ the full tide of human existence" rolling its triple current
at Charing Cross. If we must see trees, we have them in the parks, and our rooms are filled with exotic plants, to which both “ Perse and Ind" have contributed their share. London, excellent as it is, cannot give every thing, we cannot have town and country too; but we have almanacks to inform us how the year passes on, and, if we do not choose to consult these,
“ Successive cries the season's change prepare,
And mark the monthly progress of the year :-
To sell the bounteous product of the spring.' In the country, it is true, a man may be intellectually busy. Having first stored his mind in London, he may go into the country and rest quiet till he has digested, like a gorged serpent, what he has swallowed ; but cannot he do this as well in London? The seclusion of a chamber in the Temple, or a back room up two pair of stairs in a peaceable street, has the advantage of a vicinity to life and bustle, and to the lively scenes of fashion, without going fifty miles to relax among
them. There are hermits in London, who, for twenty years together, have scarcely teoked out of their front doors, and have had little reason to complain of interruption.
The charities of life are no where exhibited to such perfection as in London; there they go hand in hand with the refinements of luxury. There is more good done in London in the space of a year, and done, too, from praiseworthy motives, than in all the rest of the kingdom besides in double that space of time. While the country housewife is doling out “ farthings to the poor,” the town lady is giving away pounds, and that, too, where the value of money is most sensibly experienced. Close living and hoarding are the bane of benevolence: the prodigal is always charitable, the miser cruel: generosity is most rife where all is on the largest scale, and the mind accustomed to contemplate things of magnitude scorns to be little only in its measures of beneficence. Thus great good is done in London with far less effort than accompanies the microcosmic charities of the country.
To the disciple of literature, London is the great focus of enjoyment. The student may, as before observed, go into the country to digest what he has taken of intellectual food, but he can enjoy the feast no where but there. Men and books in all possible variety may be there contemplated, and that knowledge acquired, which alone leads to literary excellence. The greatest men the schools have sent forth were unknown to the public until they had unlearned much of what they had learned in them, discarded the stiffness of pedantic rules, and caught, almost by intuition, that knowledge which London and its society affords, re-modelling also their opinions before they could attain celebrity. Many who were only thought dunces at Oxford or Cambridge, or were scarcely noted for parts there, have been drawn forth by the inspiring effect of London, and attained immortal eminence. Thus London has matriculated all in her more liberal circle, and without her genial power many a man, now great, would have remained “unknowing and unknown." Her institutions, libraries, lectures, museums, her booksellers' shops and rendezvous of talented men, are advantages which the country cannot afford, and must ever confer upon her the pre-eminence in the eyes of literary men. In the country, except among the better class of persons, the ignorance of the people respecting all that they do not sce, and even some part of what they do, is surprising. In London, every class is comparatively wise. Burke said, that one of the best speakers and plain sensible men he had ever heard was a journeyman carpenter, at a debating society which he had himself attended in London.
A man is more independent in London than he can ever be in the country.
may utter his opinions in the public coffee-room without fearing the revenge of the parson, the attorney, or the exciseman—those tyrants of the village,-in case he presume to oppose their dicta in matters of religion or politics. In London, people mind their own affairs, and are liberal and tolerant towards such as differ from them in opinion--the sure sign of superior mental cultivation. Scandal is not propagated there, as it is in the country, for the actions and conduct of nextdoor-neighbours raise little curiosity. London is adapted to all pursuits, and every man finds his own followed up to a pitch of excellence of which he had little idea till he witnessed it. The politician may there study politics, and observe the vox populi of the most discriminating multitude in the world; the merchant find himself in the first of commercial cities; the lover of the drama in the best field for dramatic excellence; the man of pleasure in the best scene of enjoyment; the philosopher on the spot where every subject for observation is congregated, upon which he may meditate undisturbed ; and the philanthropist at the place of all others where there is the widest field for the exercise of his benevolence. Can all these things be said of the country? Shades of Johnson and of De Staël! names not easily forgotten, how wisely ye preferred the advantages of city life! The "literary colossus" has left testimonies to his conviction of the superiority of London not easily overturned. Hail to thee, mighty city of Cockaigne ! they who impudently jeer thee, whether the insidious fry of northern libellers, or the ill-judging race who assert the superiority over thee of spring hedge-rows, green-mantled pools, mud cottages made for poverty and love, cawing rookeries, village Cinderellas, flail-swinging Corydons, unsophisticate Delias, pickle-making aunts,
“ Demurest of the tabby kind,” foxhunting 'squires, rural parsons "much bemused in beer,” and the whole race of thy traducers—may they, one and all, be condemned to slumber for ever in the rust of dulness, and die fattened in the sties which they have erected for themselves in the “bliss" of their own "ignorance!" Whilst thy empire, dark-brown Augusta, shall extend on every hand, and over thousands of additional population. Highgate and Hampstead, Greenwich and Deptford, shall ere long be domiciliated with thee; and even Richmond Hill be within thy circuit, on which thou mayst erect thy capitol, so that the city of the seven hills can no more be said to have outshone thee in extent than in freshness of glory!
Thus to his mate Sir Richard spoke “ The House is
from London smoke
My dear, let's give a dinner.”
Agreed,” his lady cries," and first Put down Sir George and Lady Hurst.”
“ Done! now I name-the Gatries !" “ My dear, they're rather stupid.”—“Stuff! We dine with them, and that's enough:
Besides I like their paties." “ Who next?” “ Sir James and Lady Dunn.” “ Oh no.”—“ Why not?”—“ They'll bring their son,
That regular tormentor;
Whene'er abroad they venture.” “ Who next?”_" John Yates.”_ _" What! M.P. Yates; Who o'er the bottle, stale debates
Drags forth ten times a minute?” “ He's like the rest : whoever fails, Out of St. Stephen's school tells tales
He'd quake to utter in it."
Well, have him if you will."-" The Grants.” “My dear, remember, at your aunt's
I view'd them with abhorrence.” “ Why so?”—“Why, since they've come from Lisle, (Which they call Leel) they bore our isle
With Brussels, Tours, and Florence.
“ Where could you meet them ?"_" At the Nore.” “ Who next?"-" The Lanes.” “ We want two more,
Lieutenant General Dizzy.” “ He's deaf.” “ But then he'll bring Tom White." “ True! ask them both : thc boy 's a bite;
We'll place him next to Lizzy.” 'Tis seven-the Hursts, the Dunns, Jack Yates, The Grants assemble : dinner waits :
In march the Lanes, the Gatties.
As so many Donatties.
Dunn with the beef is busy.
Tom White sits next to Lizzy.
All trot their hobbies round the room ;
The bard who won't lie fallow,
Jump'd down from Mount Carallo.
None pout; all seem delighted :
So taunted, when invited ?
In arms; the bard astounded;
“ Confusion worse confounded.”
Enact with due decorum. Such is the gulph that intervenes 'Twixt those who get
behind the scenes, And those who sit before 'em !
FROM DON ESTEVAN MANUEL DI VILLEGAS.
Sweet inmate of the verdant wood,
Of flowery April aye the friend,
When Aoated on thy breast my sigh!
Say, that I die.
My sorrows once would Phillis mourn;
I fear her scorn. So may the gods propitious prove,
The Heavens with kindly ardour glow, And free the earth, where'er you rove,
From chilling snow! Ne'er may thy airy fight be bound
By those dark clouds that morning brings, Ne'er may the hail-storm rudely wound
Thy balmy wings!