« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
My friend has described one of these newspapers, but which, with bis scenes in some lines which I believe permission, I shall now venture to appeared two years ago in your transcribe :
If with limited means you would make a display,
table first measure the feet,
Which the little must pay when they mix with the great. After saying so much above re- ple of this town have, since the specting the dinner-parties of Lon peace, been seized with a dansedon, I must add a few words on the mania Gallica. Whenever persons assemblies, with which they are ge- meet of both sexes within the exnerally concluded. Here, again, as tensive limits of this over-grown a Frenchman, I shall appear un- metropolis, no matter of whom the grateful, when I complain of the company consists, a quadrille mast old English country-dance having be got up, and in adjourning from been abandoned for one, which you the dining to the drawing-room, at now call the quadrille, but which, all the houses which I frequeni. formerly, in your rage for foreign I am sure to find an exhibition of misnames, you used to style the this sort already begun or the lady cotillon, a word in French, which of the mansion using all her inexpresses nothing but an under-petti- fuence with the young men, to offer coat, in which sense it is used in one their hands in this dance to some of of our most ancient ballads. Well, the inany anxiously expecting damit appears to me, that the good peo- sels who crowd her party.
Though nothing can be prettier else to give away their evenings in than the quadrille, when correctly apathy and ill-humour. But before and gracefully danced, it is so dif I conclude, I must beg you to underficult to attain any thing like per- stand, that in venturing to tell you fection in the performance, that, how little pleased I am with the even at Paris, none make the at ostentatious entertainments which I tempt but the youngest of our beaux have attempted to describe, lam far and belles; and those who do so from wishing to insinuate, that real devote half their mornings to previ. hospitality is effaced from the list of ous rehearsals. Is it surprising, your virtues; for though, certainly, then, that in England it is rarely a plain dinner has now become as well executed ? Indeed, nothing can rare in London as a plain coat was be more absurd to the eye of a formerly at Paris, I have, at many Frenchman than to see eight, or, sumptuous banquets, been received at inost, sixteen persons of different with the utmost cordiality and unalages and figures, monopolizing the fected kindness.-And though, at the attention of a numerous assembly, generality of houses, there is more while some unfortunate girl, dis taste displayed in the choice of the appointed of a partner, plays, un
dishes than in that of the company, willingly, the part of the musician there are not a few, where the selecat the piano-forte. On such occa tion of persons of corresponding dissions, it seems to me that this fashion positions is never neglected, and it is has the happy effect of making a in such parties that my happiest day small number of individuals ridi are spent.
Farewell. culous, and condemning every body
ADDRESSED TO MRS. H**** ON HER BIRTH-DAY.
Sweet theme of my verse, who in honour hast mounted
To womanhood's zenith, the noon of life's day;
May the years yet to come be more happy than they.
As if time had felt loth such perfection to mar,
Even envious detraction shall not trace a scar..
A long race of glory, a gay splendid vision,
A path strewn with gold, be thy public career!
Till in bliss as in beauty thou hast not a peer!
So brilliant thy talents, so spotless thy fame,
He may sum up the whole by pronouncing thy name.
THE PASTOR OF ARLEY.
It was about four o'clock in the reluctance, at least without any aeafternoon of a bleak day in Decem- knowledgment of the vicar's disber, that the benevolent Pastor of interested civility. Arley was returning home to his Being entered into the house, little parsonage, when, in crossing Erpinghat commended his comthe church-yard, which lay imme- panion to the hospitality of his diately contiguous, he observed a housekeeper, in the kitchen, while young man of very shabby yet not himself proceeded to partake, alone, vulgar exterior, and whom he did of the meal which had been, for not recognize for a parishioner, the last half hour, waiting his reresting his folded arms on the gate turn, through which he must necessarily The honours of dinner despatched, pass. Having arrived at the exs he sent for the stranger, and, inviting tremity of the pathway, he waited him to a seat on the opposite side of a minute or two, in the expectation the fire, renewed bis friendly and that the stranger would proffer the well-meant questions; when his uncourtesy of pulling open ihe wicket, wearied affability, and the exhilabut in vain; he merely retreated a rating influence of some gooseberryfew paces, and allowed Erpingham wine, shcceeded in dispelling the to perform the service for Irimself. panoply of gloom and moroseness
-A strange face was a rare sight which had hitherto invested his comin the obscure village of Arley; panion, who was induced, after some and the degree of curiosity, which hesitation, to confide the particulars this alone would have excited in the of his story, which he did, as convicar's mind, was augmented into cisely as possible, thus :a feeling of strong interest, by the “My surname," said he, “I would singular and almost wild expres- wish to be exeinpted from commusion of the countenance which he nicating; my christian name, which caught a glimpse of, as it was half will serve well enough to know and turned towards him and then hastily call me by, is Henry. My father, averted. Erpingham halted ; and, who was a military officer on foreign in a conciliatory tone, addressed the service, died when I was young, and stranger with a remark on the se I was brought up by my mother, who verity of the weather. – A sullen had me educated at à considerable inonosyllable was the only, reply expense, and withi, no doubt, great elicited, the brevity of which only privation to bersell, for her pension served but to tantalize the spirit of was but small, ---not that she ever inquiry it seemed intended to re suffered me to feel the pressure of press; he aimed a second observa- her poverty. At the age of sixteen, tion, and a third, which were no less she procured for me a writership to abruptly disposed of; till, at length, an' aitorney; she had no interest to the mild pertinacity of the one over do any thing better, in which oceacoming the other's reservedness,- pation I might have gone on soberly Erpingham was enabled to glean, and respectably enough, but that, that tlie- stranger was come there among the young wen in our office, from a neighbouring market town, was one, a wild, dissipated fellow, yet without any avowed object, since whose frank vivacity of manners led he was not acquainted with the name me into extreme intimary with him, of a single inhabitant of the village, and, at the same time, into all kinds and appeared to be devoid of any of mischief. I was naturally posfixed place of habitation.
sessed of a very powerful roice, and A violent gast of wind driving a good ear for music; and at all a cloud of sleet full in his face, re the clubs and convivial meetings, to minded the pastor of the vicinity of which he was accustomed to introa comfortable fire-side, and he ter.' duce me, my vocal talents acted as minated the parley by inviting the a letter of recommendation, and stranger to follow him to the cottage proved a passport to favourable disbefore them, which was acceded to tinction and noisy honour, though by the other, if not with manifest seldom attended with any more
substantial advantage. The vehement deed make one essay, but was so plaudits, which invariably followed hooted for the attempt, that I was my exhibitions, vihrated on my heart compelled to cancel my articles allong after they were silent to the together, while the gentleman, who ear, until, intoxicated by vanity, I undertook to supply my place, has suffered myself to be persuaded by succeeded triumphantly I applied partial, and, probably, incompetent to an apothecary at Atherstone, judges, that I was destined to arrive who, after drenching me with emul at wealth and fame, as a public sions and pectoral draughts, declarșinger of the first order; and, hav- ed that it might be several months ing acquired a smattering of musical before I regained my voice; I paid knowledge, resolved to abandon the his bill with nay last shilling, and drudgery of penmanship for the left a small portmanteau to discharge free and roving life of a player, and my reckoning at the inn, since when, obtained, through the patronage of not choosing to shew my face at one of my social friends, an engage- Atherstone where I am known, I ment with, of course, a very low spend the day in loitering about the salary, at one of the minor theatres adjacent villages, and sleep at night of the metropolis.
wherever I can find shelter; and I “I bad not been long on the am not ashamed to confess it, had stage before one of the girls, who not tasted food for nearly eight and was principal dancer belonging to forty 'hours, till your liberality supour company, cajoled me into marry- plied me with a dinner. So here I ing her. We had one little boy, am, a prisoner at large, a being iso(thank heaven lie's dead), and, forlated in society, without a single nearly three years, lived tolerably penny in my pocket, nor the means merry together ; till my Jezabel of nor prospect of procuring one;
I a wife thought proper to go off am anxious to get back to town, but with our head tragedian. I would have neither cash, clothes, nor cre. not appear to grieve greatly for dit to carry me there.” her loss at the time, but quitted “ Poor fellow !” exclaimed Ermy quarters, to rid myself of the pingham, with an unfeigned expresmockery of pity, that secretly de- sion of sympathy; " yours is a pitirided my misfortune, and united able case, truly; but take heart, myself to a strolling troop in the young man; we will see what can West of England, with whom I re be done for you ; you want to go to mained for several years. I then London; what, is your mother again visited London, and was per- there?" "My mother! no; thank mitted to make a first, and, alas ! God, she's saved from seeing me a last appearance at one of the the come to want bread. No; it was atres-royal.
among the rest of my agreeable re“This failure of my fondest hopes, fexions in the church-yard just now, this fall from the summit of my am that I was dutiful and grateful bition, just as I had touched the enough to break her heart; but she's height, together with the regret better off in heaven than here; that which I have since felt for my wife's is, if there be any such place.' treachery, and the numberless mor “I am sorry to find you have any tifications and disappointments to doubt upon the subject,” said the which those of our profession are pastor, placidly, perpetually subject, have, perhaps, Why, I guess you can't pretend operated on a naturally sanguine to be over certain about it,” rejoinand irritable temperament to render ed Henry. me cynical and misanthropic,
“ So certain, that if I was anxi• Åbout a fortnight ago I came to
ous to disbelieve it I could not. I Atherstone, having concluded a have been zealously and sincerely treaty with Mr. W the manager, to employed for thirty years in shewing perforn at his theatre there ; but, in my parishioners the way to heaven, . iny journey down on the outside of and a nan can hardly be constantly the coach, I caught a cold attended in the habit of giving instruction to with such an inveterate hoarseness, others, on any subject whatever, as to ntterly incapacitate me from without at the same time teaching fulfilling my engagement; I did in. something to himself; preaching
txught me to ask myself if the doc turies ago, had been handed down trine I preached was sound doctrine, through successive generations to and led me to try the spirits whe- the present. That a large proporther they were of God;' I read, tion of persons, some because it was sought, examined, weighed, com customary to know a little of the pared, and believed."
subject, some in the course of eduWhat, Sir! believed all the ab- cation, some for the purpose of surdities, and inconsistencies, and making money by teaching it to impossibilities, that are in the Bi- others, and some for the real pleable?"
sure they derived from listening to Every word, every letter of it; its grand and graceful movements, the seeming incongruities of the undertook to play over and practise Scriptures are to my mind one of this superb composition; but, sufthe proofs of their gennineness and fering more agreeable occupations authenticity; I do not shut the Bi- to allore them from the task, not ble in despair and disgust because I one in a thousand had mastered the find in it some things hard to be subject sufficiently to be able to afunderstood; I should not feel so ford a correct idea of its beauties: much reverence for, nor put so much though many could perform a fer faith in, a Scripture purporting to bars, here a little and there a little, be a revelation from heaven, if its they did not play it so completely sublime mysteries were capable of throughout, as to produce the sentibeing comprised within the scantyments of admiration it was so well bounds of huinan comprehension; calculated to inspire, yet, because • the ways of God are not as our this divine production was thus ic'ways, por his thoughts like our adequately executed, we should not thoughts.' 'The foundation of all be warranted in decrying it as an Christian faith, all Christian virtue, inharmonious junuble of discord : and even of all social kindness, is but should rather set to learn the humility; the impious pride of man work ourselves, and we should find disdains the mediatorial doctrine of that the more perfect we became in Christianity, while his sensual and it, the more we should delight in revengeful passions rehel against its the study." precepts; men persnade themselves “ Ay, well, you will never perto think the Bible is not true, be- suade me to be a Christian." cause they wish it to be not true.” “ Yes, I think I could, if I were
“ Well, all I know is, that some to attempt it in earnest," said Er of the greatest rogues I ever met pingham, with his wonted serenity with, cheating rascals, fellows who of manner; “ for, not to insist on did not mind what they did, so they the conclusiveness and undeniable· kept their necks out of a halter, ness of the internal evidence of
have been mighty good Christians Christianity, which, of course, you for all that; which convinces me do not recognize, but to take you that religion is nothing but a tissue merely on your own grounds, to of canting, hypocritical stuff." shew you the reasonableness, nay,
“ You are under a mistake, my the policy of adopting the Christian friend ; the persons you allude to faith ; to reduce the question to the were no more Christians than they lowest footing possible, I would arwere Mussulmans or Hottentots; a gue, that if it is wisdom in any mat. Christian is a character very rarely ter, of two evils to choose the least, met with. But as a man's reputa- it would be the lesser evil to find tion may be more materially injured oneself in a future state in the prehy a misrepresentation of the truth, sence of one God, where we expertthan by the propagation of an ac ed to meet three, than to encounter tual lie, so the cause of Christianity the avenging frown of a Savioar, sufiers more from being badly sup- whose existence we had till that romana ported, than from direct opposition. ment stoutiy denied ; and I canrat Suppose, by way of illustration, but think that it vrould be less of that a magnificent piece of music, fence to the Majesty of heaven, to replete with the most sublime and have believed so plansible a statedificult passages, the work of a ment as the Bible, though it were composer who had lived many cen. not his holy trord, than to have