Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

the softness of the succeeding twilight, are characteristic of the undisturbed peace and domestic happiness that have their dwelling-place in that land upon which the shadows of night always steal softly and unobtrusively.

THE DYING BOY.

It must be sweet, in childhood, to give back
The spirit to its Maker, ere the heart
Has grown familiar with the paths of sin,
And sown—to garner up its bitter fruits.
I knew a boy, whose infant feet had trod
Upon the blossoms of some seven springs,
And when the eighth came round, and call’d him out
To gambol in the sun, he turn’d away,
And sought his chamber, to lie down and die!
'Twas night—he summon’d his accustom'd friends,
And, in this wise, bestow'd his last bequest:-

“ Mother! I'm dying now
There is deep suffocation in my breast,
As if some heavy hand my bosom press’d;

And on my brow
I feel the cold sweat stand;
My lips grow dry and tremulous, and my breath
Comes feebly up. Oh! tell me, is this death ?

Mother! your hand-
Here_lay it on my wrist,
And place the other soft beneath my head,
And say, sweet Mother!—say, when I am dead,

Shall I be miss'd ?
Never beside your knee
Shall I kneel down again at night to pray,
Nor with the morning wake, and sing the lay

You taught to me!

Oh, at the time of prayer, When

you

look round and see a vacant seat, You will not wait then for my coming feet

You'll miss me there!"

“ Father! I'm going home-
To the good home you spoke of, that bless'd land
Where it is one bright summer always, and

Storms do not come.
I must be happy then:
From pain and death you say I shall be free-
That sickness never enters there, and we

Shall meet again!"

“ Brother! the little spot
I used to call my garden, where long hours
We've stay’d to watch the budding things and flowers,

Forget it not!
Plant there some box or pine-
Something that lives in winter, and will be
A verdant offering to my memory,

And call it mine!"

“ Sister! my young rose-tree,
That all the spring has been my pleasant care,
Just putting forth its leaves so green and fair,

I give to thee.
And when its roses bloom,
I shall be gone away—my short life done!
But will you not bestow a single one

Upon my tomb ?”

[ocr errors]

“ Now, Mother! sing the tune You sang last night, I'm weary,

and must sleep! Who was it call’d my name?- Nay, do not weep,

You'll all come soon!”

Morning spread over earth her rosy wings,
And that meek sufferer, cold and ivory pale,
Lay on his couch asleep! The gentle air
Came through the open window, freighted with
The savoury labours of the early spring-
He breathed it not!— The laugh of passers by,
Jarr’d, like a discord in some mournful tune,
But marred not his slumbers.—He was dead!

HENRY IV.'s SOLILOQUY ON SLEEP.

How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse! how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Vhy rather, sleep! liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulld with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god! why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case to a common larum-bell?
Wilt thou, upon the high and giddy mast,
Seal

up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains In cradle of the rude imperious surge! And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them With deafening clamours in the slippery shrouds, That with the hurly death itself awakes: Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;

P

And in the calmest and the stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy lowly clown;
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

PUFF.

I am, sir, a practitioner in panegyric, or to speak more plainly, a professor of the art of puffing, at your service, or any body else's. Even the auctioneers now, the auctioneers I say, though the rogues have lately got some credit for their language, not an article of the merit their's, take them out of their pulpits, and they are as dull as catalogues; no, sir; —'twas I first enriched their style—'twas I first taught them to crowd their advertisements with panegyrical superlatives, each epithet rising above the other, like the bidders in their own auction-rooms; from me they learned to inlay their phraseology with variegated chips of exotic metaphor: by me, too, their inventive faculties were called forth. Yes, sir, by me they were instructed to clothe ideal walls with gratuitous fruits, to insinuate obsequious rivulets into visionary groves, to teach courteous shrubs to nod their

approbation of the grateful soil, or, on emergencies, to raise upstart oaks, where there never had been an acorn; to create a delightful vicinage without the assistance of a neighbour; or fix the temple of Hygeia in the fens of Lincolnshire.

Puffing is of various sorts—the principal are, the puff direct-the puff preliminary--the puff collateral—the puff collusive, and the puff oblique, or puff by implication.These all assume, as circumstances require, the various forms of " letter to the editor”-“ occasional anecdote”. “impartial critique”—“ observation from correspondent”or “advertisement from the party.”

For instance—the puff direct:-a new comedy or farce is to be produced at one of the theatres. The author, sup

pose Mr. Smatter, or Mr. Dapper-or any particular friend of mine-very well; the day before it is to be performed, I write an account of the manner in which it was received. I have the plot from the author, and only add—characters strongly drawn-highly coloured-hand of a master—fund of genuine humour-mine of invention-neat dialogueattic salt. Then for the performance—Mr. Dodd was astonishingly great in the character of Sir Harry; that universal and judicious actor, Mr. Palmer, perhaps never appeared to more advantage than in the Colonel; but it is not in the power of language to do justice to Mr. King! indeed, he more than merited those repeated bursts of applause which he drew from a most brilliant and judicious audience. As to the scenery—the miraculous power of Mr. De Loutherbourg's pencil are universally acknowledged -in short, we are at a loss which to admire most, the unrivalled genius of the author, the great attention and liberality of the managers, the wonderful abilities of the painter, or the incredible exertions of all the performers!

The puff preliminary, does well in the form of a caution. In a matter of gallantry now: Sir Flimsy Gossimer wishes to be well with Lady Fanny Fete; he applies to me; I open trenches for him with a paragraph in the Morning Post:- It is recommended to the beautiful and accomplished Lady F four stars F dash E, to be on her guard against that dangerous character, Sir F dash G; who, however pleasing and insinuating his manners may be, is certainly not remarkable for the constancy of his attachments—in italics. Here, you see, Sir Flimsy Gossimer is introduced to the particular notice of Lady Fanny—who, perhaps, never thought of him before—she finds herself publicly cautioned to avoid him, which naturally makes her desirous of seeing him; the observation of their acquaintance causes a pretty kind of mutual embarrassment, this produces a sort of sympathy of interest, which, if Sir Flimsy is unable to improve effectually,

« AnteriorContinuar »