« PreviousContinue »
my auricular organs became more exquisitely sensible to the tide of heavenly melodies, now rolling in uwful and inexpressible beauty around me; my spirit, lapped in ecstacy, quaffed with avidity the majestic stream, and upon me seemed opening the light and loveliness of worlds more enrapturing even, andineffuble, than this! But there was a pause in the music, and anon the magic bells of the Golden City were heard chiming in harp-like notes, which dropped upon the ear, small, distinct, and purely brilliant as the melodious tears of the rtenealmia into the near bosom of the waters. A rush of fervent feeling and exhaustless poetry bore upon my yet subdued spirit;—resistless, hut pleasant sadness enwrapt my soul;— yes! an unearthly and delicious mournfulness it was, more precious far than the transient sparklings and flashes of unalloyed mirth. But, alas! inadequate are words to convey an idea of the heavenly sensations—love, awe, sweet melancholy, divine joy, and unspeakable devotion—which then struggled for ascendancy in my softened, purified soul! An odorous, strong wind swept past me—in it was the sound of a rushing multitude who trod not upon earth, but cut the air alone; and in it, too, with the murmur of voices, was that of many instruments, touched only by the breeze.
"Hark!'' cried my exquisite companion, " they pass to meet, and to welcome, to honour, to felicitate, and to crown, a Fairy emancipated from mortal toil; and those bells, all tones of which speak so eloquently of immortal peace and life—those liquid bells, at once so mysteriously sad and so blessed, send forth, in token of gratulation, their charmed songs. But hearken! for thou, O mortal! art permitted to hear the lay of welcome and victory chanted by heavenly essences, upon the arrival in this glorious region of our dear companion, who shall depart from it no more!"
Thereupon ensued a delicious burst of young, glad voices, and rich, sweet instruments; but, as a shadow to reality, as man to those immortal and spotless beings, so to their glorious Paean is the subsequent faint memory of
rKE ELFIN TRIUMPHAL SONG.
Beautiful! beautiful'—ou tliey float
Beautiful! beantiful — halcyon rest
Beautiful! beautiful!—thon shall feel
With the light, the life, and the joy—Now thine.
Beautiful! beautiful'—each glad belt
SPIRIT OF THE
MR. HUNT, M.P. FOR PRESTON.
(From Speakers and Speeches in Parliament, in the New Monthly Magazine.) Feb. 3. Mr. Hunt.—I was particularly curious to witness the debut of the Hon. Member for Preston, in an assembly so little accustomed, as that so long misnamed the House of Commons, to such an out-and-outer of the Demos coming between the wind and their nobility—to see whether any gaucherie of manner would betray an uneasy consciousness of his not being quite at ease among those scions of aristocracy, who occupy benches originally intended for, the virtual representatives of the people. Mr. Hunt, on the whole, bore himself well; and, by a total absence of affectation, of either tone or manner—that surest test of the gentleman, at least of Nature's forming—disappointed his audience of their ready smiles at demagogue vulgarity. But once, and that for a moment, did his self-possession seem to fail him while going through the ceremonies preceding a new member's taking his seat. After the member has signed his name and taken the oaths, he is formally introduced by the Clerk of the House to the Speaker, who usually greets the new trespasser on his patience by a shake of the hands. This ceremony is in general performed by the present Speaker with a gloved hand towards those not particularly distinguished by wealth or pedigree. When the new member for Preston was introduced to him, he was in the act of taking snuff, with his glove off. Mr. Hunt made a bow, not remarkable for its graceful repose, at a distance—apprehensive, as it struck me, that the acknowledgment would be that of a noli me iangere, exclusive. He was agreeably disappointed: the Speaker gave him his ungloved hand at once, in a manner almost cordial; and Mr. Hunt took his seat, evidently pleased by the flattering courteousness of his reception.
1 lake it that the personal appearance of Mr. Hunt is too well known to require description. He is, take him altogether, perhaps the finest looking man in the House of Commons—tall, muscular, with a healthful, sun-tinged, florid complexion, and a manly Hawthorn deportment—half yeoman, half gentleman sportsman. To a close observer of the human face divine, however, his features are wanting in energy of will and fixedness of purpose. The brow w weak, and the eyes flittering and restless; and the mouth is usually garnished with a cold simper, not very compatible with that heart-born enthusiasm which precludes all doubt of truth and sincerity.
Friend, Truth is best of all. It is the bed Where Virtue e'er must spring, till blast of doom;
Where every bright and budding thought is bred, Where Hope doth gain its strength, and Love iisblootn.
A* white ax Chastity is single Truth,
And Love doth lean on it, in age and youth,
Oh' who would face the blame of just men's eyes.
And bear the fame of falsehood all his days, Ami wear out scorned life with useless lies. Which still the shifting, quivering loos, betrays?
For what is Hope, if Truth be not its stay?
And what were Love, if Truth forsook it quite? And what were all the Sky.—if Falsehood gray Behind it like a Dream of Darkness lay.
Ready to quench its stars in endless, endless night?
New Monthly Magazine.
SCENE FROM "THE FROGS OF ARISTOPHANES"
Translated in the Quarterly Review. We are not at present breathing the air either of Christ Church meadow or Trinity gardens; and if our version of a piece of mere pleasantry, which involves nothing in it beyond a moment's laugh, should be so happy as to satisfy the 'general reader,' we shall affiect 'for the nonce,' to know nothing of the objections which more scientific persons, the students of the brilliant Hermann, and acute Reisigius, might he supposed to make to our arrangement of this little extruvaganza.
Scene, the Acherusian Lake. Bacchus at the oar in Charon's Boat; Charon ;—Chorus Offroos: in the background a view of Bacchus s Temple or Theatre, from which are heard the sound of a scenical entertainment.
. Semi-chorus. Croak, croak, cronk.
Semi-chorus. Cr«ak, croak, croak. (In answer, ami with the music an octave lower.)
Full Chorus. Croak, croak, croak.
Leader of the Chorus. When * flagons were foaming, And roisterers were roaming, And bards flung about them their gibe and their joke;
The holiest sons 'Still was found to belong To the f oris of the marsh, with their
Full Chorus • Croak, croak.
Leader. Shall we pause in oar strain, Now the months bring again The pipe and the minstrel to gladden the folk? Rather strike on the ear With a note strong and clear, A chant corresponding of—
Chorus. Croak, croak.
Bacchus (mimicking.) Croak, croak, by ine gods I shall choke. If you pester and bore my ears any more With your croak, croak, croak.
Leader. Rude companion and vain.
(To Chor t But keep in the Tem,
Chnrus (crescendo.) Croak, croak, croak. - Bacchus (mimickmg.) Croak, croak, vapour
Chorus (fortissimo.) Croak, croak, croak.
Bacchus. Now fires light on thee,
Leader. And what else, captious Newcomer,
(With dignity ) I'm the friend of the Muses,
and Pan with bis pipe. Holds me dearer by far than a cherry that*' ripe: For the reed and the cane which his music
Who flives them their tone and their moisture
Chorus. Croak, croak, croak.
Bacchus. I'm blister'd, I'm fluster d, I'm
sick, I'm ill— Chorus. Croak, croak. Bacchus. My dear little bull-frog, do prithee
•Tis a sorry vocation—that reiteration,
Leader (maestoso.) When the sun rides In
Then hey bubble, bubble—
For a knave's petty trouble,
* The comic performances of the Athenians were usually brought out at a festival of Bacchus, which lasted for three days. The first of these was devoted to the tapping of their winecasks ; the second to boundless jollity (Plato specifies a town, but not Athens, every single inhabitant of which was found in a state of intoxication on one of these festivals,) and the third to theatrical exhibitions in the temple of the patron of the feast. In this state of excitement it will be easily imagined that some coarser ingredients were required by the clever but licentious rabole of Athens, to whom these representations were more particularly addressed, besides the belter commodities of rich poetry and wit; and hence the deformities which have been so much complained of in the writings of Aristophanes.
Slmll I my high charter And birth-right revoke?
Nay, my efforts I'll double,
And drive bim like stubble Before me, with—
Chorus. Croak, croak, croak.
Bacchus. I'm ribs of steel, I'm heart of oak,
Let us see if a note
May be found in this throat
Leader. Poor vanity's so And dost think me outdone, With a clamour no bigger Than a maiden's first snigger?
(To Chorus ) But strike up a tune, He shall not forget sooth.
(Chorus.) Of our croak, croak, croak,
Bacchus. I'm cinder, Iln coke,
Leader. Friend, friend, I may not be still:
make application F»,r a—
Chorus. Croak, croak, croak.
Bacchus (in a minor key.) Nay, nay—take your own way, I've said out my say, i t4
And care naught, by my flu',
For your croak, croak, croak. Leader. Care or care not, 'tis the same thing to me,
My voice is my own and my action* are free;
Bacchus. Nay then, old rebel, bat I'll stop your treble, -('
With a poke, poke, poke:
frogs)—and that from my oar,
Leader. You may halter and bore, > You may thunder and roar, , t\
Yet 1'11 never give o'er
Semi-chorus With my croak, croak, croak.
croak, croak. Full Chorus (in a dying cadence.) With my : croak—croak— croak.
(The Frogs disappear.) Bacchus (looking over the Loafs edge.) 'j Spoke, spoke, spoke. To Charon.) Pull away, my old friend, For at last there's an end To tneir croak, croak, crook. (Bacchus pays his two obols, and is landed.)
Jiotes of a Beagcr.
LAYING A GHOST.
In the Memoirs of J. F. Oberlin, Pastor of a poor Protestant flock, in one of the wildest parts of France, we find the following pleasant recipe for laying a
An honest tradesman, relying on the power of his faith, came to him one day, and after a long introduction, informed him, that a ghost, habited in the dress of an ancient knight, frequently presented itself before him, and awakened hopes
of a treasure buried in his cellar; he had often, he said, followed it, but had always been so much alarmed by a fearful noise, and a dog which he fancied he saw, that the effort had proved fruitless, and he had returned as he went. This alarm on the one hand, and the hope of acquiring riches on the other, so entirely absorbed his mind, that he could no longer apply to his trade with his former industry, and had, in consequence, lost nearly all his custom. He therefore urgently begged Oberlin would go to his house, and conjure the ghost, for the purpose of either putting him in possession of the treasure, or of discontinuing its visits. Oberlin replied, that he did not trouble himself with the conjuration of ghosts, and endeavoured to weaken the notion of an apparition in the man's mind, exhorting him at the same time to seek for worldly wealth by application to his business, prayer, and mdustry. Observing, however, that his efforts were unavailing, he promised to comply with the man's request. On arriving at midnight at the tradesman's house, he found him in company with his wife and several female relations, who still affirmed that they had seen the apparition. They were seated in a circle m the middle of the apartment. Suddenly the whole company turned pale, and the man exclaimed, " Do you see, sir, the count is standing opposite to you i" '-. "I see nothing."
"Now, sir," exclaimed another terrified voice, "he is advancing toward* y°u f' .v „,i
, "I still do not see him.'',
"Now he U standing just behind your chair." , >
"And yet I cannot see him; but, as you say he is so near me, I will speak to him." And then rising from his seat, and turning towards the corner where they said that he stood, he continued, Sir Count, they tell me you are standing before me, although I cannot see you; but this shall not prevent me from informing you that it is scandalous conduct on your part, by the fruitless promise of a hidden treasure, to lead an honest man, who has hitherto faithfully followed his calling, into ruin—to induce him to neglect his .business—and to bring misery upon his wife and children, by rendering him improvident and idle. Begone! and delude them no longer with such vain hopes."
Upon this the people assured him that the ghost vanished at once, Oberlin went home, and the poor, nxirv taking the hint which in his address to the count he had intended to convey, applied to business with his former alacrity, and never again complained of his nocturnal visiter.
No ghost was ever more easily laid; bnt supposing the story to be accurately related, Oberlin's presence of mind is not more remarkable, than that the whole company should have concurred in affirming that they saw an apparition which was invisible to him.
A SCHOOLMASTER "ABROAD."
Bishop Percy has observed, that it might be discerned whether or not there was a clergyman resident in a parish, by the civil or brutal manners of the people; he might have thought that there never had resided one in the Ban de la Roche, if he had seen the state of the inhabitants when M. Stouber went thither to take possession of the cure in the year 1750. He, who entered upon it with a determination of doing his duty like a conscientious and energetic man, began first by inquiring into the manner of education there; and asking for the principal school, he was conducted to a miserable hovel, where there were a number of children "crowded together without any occupation, and in so wild and noisy a state, that it was with some difficulty he could gain a reply to his inquiries for the master."
"There he is," said one of them, as soon as silence could be obtained, pointing to a withered old man, who lay on a little bed in one corner of the apartment.
"Are you the schoolmaster, my good friend ?" inquired Stouber. "Yes, sir."
"And what do you teach the children?"
"Nothing !—how is that?"
"Because," replied the old man, with characteristic simplicity, " 1 know nothing myself."
"Why, then, were you instituted schoolmaster?"
"Why, sir, I had been taking care of the Waldbach pigs for a great number of years, and when I got too old and infirm for that employment, they sent me here to take care of the children."
A Custom prevailed in the neighbouring parts of Germany, where no farmer was allowed to marry till he had planted and was " father of a stated number of walnut trees, that law being inviolably observed," gays Evelyn, " lor the extraor
dinary benefit which the trees afford the inhabitants." What the Germans thus provided for by a wise law, Oberlin, a pious pastor of Waldbach, required as an act of religious duty, bringing that great principle into action on all occasions. Late in autumn he addressed his parishioners thus :—
"Dear Friends—Satan, the enemy of mankind, rejoices when we demolish and destroy; our Lord Jesus Christ, on the contrary, rejoices when we labour for the public good.
"You all desire to be saved by Him, and hope to become partakers of His glory. Please him, then, by every possible means, during the remainder of the time you may have to live in this world.
"He is pleased when, from the principle of love, you plant trees for the public benefit. Be willing, then to plant them. Plant them in the best possible manner. Remember, you do it to please Him.
"Put all your roads into good condition; ornament them; employ some of your trees for this purpose, and attend to their growth."
In the churchyard at Waldbach was formerly a monument, which bore thisepitaph:—
During three years of marriage Margaret Salome, wife of O. Stouber, minister of this parish, Found at the Ban de la Roche, in the simplicity of a peaceable And useful life, The delight of her benevolent heart; and in her first confinement, The' grave of her youth and beauty, She died, August 9. 1764, aged 20 years. Near this spot Her husband has sown for immortality all that was mortal;
Uncertain whether he is more sensible of thegrief of having lost. Or the glory of having possessed her.
MURDER OF THE LAIRD OF WARRI8TON, BY HIS OWN WIFE.
This is the subject of a Scottish ballad, well known to collectors in that department; and the history of the conversion of the murderess, and of her carriage at her execution, compiled apparently by one of the clergymen of Edmburgh, has been lately printed by Mr. Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, whose merits as an author, antiquary, and draughtsman, stand in no need of our testimony.
The story of the young lady is short and melancholy. She was a daughter of Livingston of D unipace, a courtier, and a favourite of James VI.; an ill-assorted marriage united her at an early age with'
tie Laird of Warriston, a gentleman whom she did not love, and who apparently used her with brutal harshness. The Lady Warriston accused her husband of having struck her several blows, besides biting her in the arm; and conspired with her nurse, Janet Murdo, to murder him. The confidante, inspired by that half-savuge attachment which in those days animated the connexion between the foster-child and the nurse, entered into all the injuries of which her datt (i. e. foster daughter) complained, encouraged her in her fatal purpose, and promised to procure the assistance of a person fitted to act the part of actual murderer, or else to do the deed with her own hands. In Scotland, such a character as the two wicked women desired for their associate was soon found in a groom, called Robert Weir, who appears, for a very small hire, to have undertaken the task of murdering the gentleman. He was ushered privately into Warriston's sleeping apartment, where he struck him severely upon the flank-vein, and completed his crime by strangling him. The lady in the meantime fled from the nuptial apartment into the hall, where she remained during the perpetration of the murder. The assassin took flight when the deed was done; but he was afterwards seized, and executed. The lady was tried, and condemned to death, on the 16th of June, 1600. The nurse was at the same time condemned to be burnt alive, and suffered her sentence accordingly; but Lady Warriston, in respect of her gentle descent, was appointed to die by the Maiden, a sort of rude guillotine, imported, it is said, from Halifax, by the Earl of Morton, while regent, who was himself the first that sutl'ered by it.
The printed account of this beautiful murderess contains a pathetic narrative of the exertions of the worthy clergyman (its author) to bring her to repentance. At first, his ghostly comfort was very ill received, and she returned with taunts and derision his exhortations to penitence. But this humour only lasted while she had hopes of obtaining pardon through the interest of her family. When these vanished, it was no longer difficult to bring her, in all human appearance, to a just sense of her condition; her thoughts were easily directed towards heaven, so soon as she saw there was no comfort upon earth.
The pride of Lady Warriston's parents suggested a petition that she might be executed betwixt five and six m the morning; but both the clergyman and magistrates seem to have consented un
willingly to this arrangement. The clergyman was particularly offended that the display of her penitence should not be as public as that of her guilt had been, and we may forgive the good man if there was any slight regret for a diminished display of his own success, as a religious assistant, mixed with this avowed dissatisfaction.—Quarterly Rev.
The difficulty of transmitting sounds to a great distance arises from the sound spreading and losing itself in the surrounding air; so that if we could confine it on one side, as along a well—on two sides, as in a narrow street—or on all sides, as in a tube or pipe—we should be able to convey it to great distances. In the cast-iron water-pipe of Paris, which formed a continuous tube with only two bendings near its middle, the lowest whisper at one end was distinctly heard at the other, through a distance of 3,120 feet. A pistol fired at one end actually blew out a candle at the other end, and drove out light substances with great violence. Hence we see the operation of speaking tubes which pass from one part of a building to another, and of the new kind of bell which is formed of a wooden or tin tube, with a small piston at each end. By pushing in one piston, the air in the tube conveys the effect to the piston at the other end, which strikes against the bell—this piston being, as it were, the clapper on the outside of the bell. The mtensity of confined sounds is finely exhibited at Carisbrook Castle, in the Isle of Wight. There is here a well 210 feet deep, of twelve feet in diameter, and lined with smooth masonry; and when a pin is dropped into it, the sound of its striking the surface of the water is distinctly heard. —Ibid.
Various remarkable echoes, and some not very credible, have been described by different authors. Dr. Plott mentions an echo in Woodstock Park, which repeats seventeen syllables by day and twenty by night. The famous echo at the Marquess Simonetta's villa, near Milan, has been described both by Addison and Keysler. According to the last of these travellers, it is occasioned by the reflection of the voice between the opposite parallel wings of the building, which are fifty-eight paces from each other, without any windows or doors, and perpendicularly to the main body of the building. The repetition of the