« PreviousContinue »
Are scenes like these; yet, in the book of Time,
Far different are the days in which 'tis ours,
Thou, Nature, ever-changing, changest not-
Remains a landmark for the pilgrim's path!
And thus the months shall come, and thus the years
Farewell, ye placid scenes! amid the land Ye smile, an inland solitude ; the voice Of peace-destroying man is seldom heard Amid your landscapes.. Beautiful ye raise Your green embowering groves, and smoothly spread Your waters, glistening in a silver sheet. The morning is a season of delightThe morning is the self-possession’d hour 'Tis then that feelings, sunk, but unsubdued, Feelings of purer thoughts, and happier days, Awake, and, like the sceptred images Of Banquo's mirror, in succession pass ! :
VIII. And first of all, and fairest, thou dost pass In memory's eye, beloved ! though now afar From those sweet vales, where we have often roam'd Together. Do thy blue eyes now survey The brightness of the morn in other scenes ? Other, but haply beautiful as these, Which now I gaze on ; but which, wanting thee, Want half their charms; for, to thy poet's thought, More deeply glow'd the heaven, when thy fine eye, Surveying its grand arch, all kindling glow'd; The white cloud to thy white brow was a foil ; And, by the soft tints of thy cheek outvied, The dew-bent wild-rose droop'd despairingly.
A June 4.
RUSKISSON'S COMPLETE LETTER-WRITER.*
We do not remember ever to have and gloomiest weather would probaseen the country looking more beauti- bly, to a person of our political tem. ful than it did during the month of perament, have felt warm and bright, May, or than it continues to do now as the Liberals were seen slinking bethat it is Midsummer. It was al- hind the horizon—nothing left of them together such a month of May as we but so manyjellies, which are popularly read of in the old poets. Dädala Tel. supposed to be shot-stars. Politics lus is an expression of which we now are a subject on which we never speak thoroughly understand and feel the seldom think-and still seldomer beautiful spirit. Thomson's Seasons write. But it would appear that when by no means do justice to Spring and we do think on politics we think deep Summer—at least those of 1828 have ly; and as deep thoughts generally are far transcended his richest descripe allied to deep feelings, our emotions tions, which absolutely seem poor, on the late “occasion” have been protame, and wishy-washy, when com found-partly tragic and partly copared with the glowing and glorious mic, such as are beautifully expressed originals. Our face and frame have by those two fine lines: undergone a change most pleasing to “ Says a smile to a tear ourselves and others; the crowfeet at On the cheek of my dear!” the corner of our eyes have disappear. Perhaps not one of all our many huned; spectacles we have laid aside; dred thousand readers had ever seen our forehead is without a wrinkle; à gentleman kick himself out of a cheeks full-complexion clear lips company. They may, one and all of ruddy-nose not so-pricked-up ears them, have seen a gentleman kicked quite pinky—and our queue, or tail, out of a company by another gentlem bobbing upon our shoulders (not so man; but there is nothing particu. narrow as many suppose) as we walk larly laughable in that
on the conalong, with all the vigour and alacrity trary it is, what the Americans would of a Jack-Tar's tie in a jig. As we call, tedious. Mr Huskisson has prowalk along? Yes! For, would you ved himself a man of a very original believe it, for the first time these twen, mind a man of genius-by anticipa ty years, the gout has left his card, ting and preventing, and improving
pour prendre congé," at our feet; upon, the ancient practique. He fore. We have kicked our cloth-shoe to the saw the foot of Wellington slowly devil and over the back-of-beyond, uplifted ; turned suddenly and shortlike an old bauchle; our crutch is ly round upon himself, and with now at this blessed moment not for pump applied to his own posteriors, use but ornament; we can shew a toe absolutely kicked himself out of the with any man of our years, weight, Cabinet, with apparently the most per. and inches, in all Britain ; and intend fect resignation. accompanying that active old Irish- Of all things in this world, the most woman, Mrs M'Mullan, on her next difficult to us is the writing of a letter. match of a hundred miles within the Yet, when we have occasionally overtwenty-four hours. No such instance come the difficulty, and got through a of the renewing of youth has been ex. letter, we find it the easiest thing in hibited by any
other Eagle of modern the world to understand what we, the times.
writer, would be at; nor does it ever With all possible affection and re. enter our heads to maintain that yes spect for the seasons of spring and sum- means no, that we have said no when mer, candour obliges us to confess that we said yes, or that black and white the effects on our health and happiness are convertible terms. Not so with little short of magic, to which we have Mr William Huskisson. He is as bad now alluded, have, we verily believe a letter-writer as you may meet with it, been produced partly by the change during the 22d of June ; but though in the atmosphere, and partly by the clumsy, he is clear ; intelligible to change in the Cabinet. The coldest all mankind but himself ; and his text
• London, 1828.
can be understood without a commen, stead of such Christian course of contary, by all men, women, and children, duct, nothing would satisfy the Sesaving and excepting the late Colonial cretary but to keep prancing about the Secretary. His late correspondence parlour, with his tail cocked like that with the Duke of Wellington must of a nag under ginger, his eyes fiery be included in all subsequent editions as a ferret's, lips pale and quivering, of the Complete Letter-Writer. sallow cheeks, discoloured with crim
Having no room for a Noctes this son, dilated nostrils, and clenched month, our readers must be contented fists, big with inflating self-importwith a laugh at Mr Huskisson in his ance, as an elderly matron with what epistolic character. Not to mince the she vainly imagines to be a child, but matter, no man ever made of himself known to all the rest of the wise, but such a fool, (at the least,) as our late wicked world, to be but wind_and Atlas, on whose shoulders was thought then pulling a chair with great vio. to repose, in succession, the weight of lence to his escritoire, down with a the last half-dozen administrations. thud on his hurdies, determined to In the first place, who in his senses demolish, by one magnanimous episwould dream of writing a letter on tle, the poor helpless creature, scarcebusiness at two o'clock in the morn- ly known by any greater achievement ing? You might as well write an than having had the good fortune to article for Maga after ten tumblers. win Waterloo ! It won't do. Mr Huskisson had been Surely there was a sad want of bothered, and badgered, and bitten judgment in all this, betokening -for hours; and yet nothing would sa- diseased mind, that must have rentisfy him, before going to bed, but to dered its owner unfit for a place in the indite an epistle to the Duke of Wel- Cabinet. Hear the words of his vain lington, at that moment, it is to be regret, his imperfect penitence, and hoped, in a sound, strong, snoring his angry remorse-“For that statesleep. Had Mr Huskisson felt disin- ment I am sure I shall receive the clined to tumble in, we should have indulgence of every gentleman, when had no objection whatever to his sit- I say it was made under a state of ting up all night long, and cruelhealth far from good, and after sixly braying Lord Sandon, with un- teen hours toil of mind between offi. sparing pestle, in the mortar of his cial business in Downing-street and imagination. After a few broiled attendance in the House of Commons: chickens, and pots of porter, the lan- under these circumstances I wrote guor, and irritation, and excitement, that letter, which I now acknowledge thé frail and feverish being of an
it would have been better to postpone hour,” would have given place to ala- till next morning." crity, composure, and strength of Let us have a look at the letter. his vote on the East Retford
“ Downing-street, Tuesday Morning, question,
Two a. m. May 20. “ In his flowing cups freshly remember- 66 MY DEAR DUKE,-After the vote ed,"
which, in regard to my own consistency 'would have been dismissed with a
and personal character, I have found mychuckle or a hiccup; the sour looks of self, from the course of this evening's de. friends with forbidding faces, which ford question, I owe to you, as the head of
bate, compelled to give on the East Rethe complains frowned on him at the the administration, and to Mr Peel, as the close of the debate, “ however unim- leader of the House of Commons, to lose portant in itself the question which no time in affording you an opportunity of had given rise to that appearance, placing my office in other hands, as the would have risen before him through only means in my power of preventing the the misty vapours of the hot toddy, injury to the King's service, which may clothed in the tenderest effulgence of ensue from the appearance of disunion in their wonted smiles ; pen, ink, and his Majesty's councils, however unfounded paper, would have appeared things not
in reality, or however unimportant in itself of use, but ornament; and he would
the question, which has given rise to that
appearance. ultimately have lain down to balmy
Regretting the necessity of troubling slumbers, with his fine countenance
you with this communication, believe me, placid beneath its tufted night-cap, my dear Duke, ever truly yours, as the face of a child asleep in its sim- (Signed) “ W. Huskisson.” plicity, after its lisped prayers. In
This is the only good letter of the tle; for all parties have unanimously whole batch-and is as plain as any pronounced it the very best letter he pike-staff. Neither does it betray any ever wrote during the course of his symptoms of having been written at pretty long, active, and miscellaneous two o'clock of the morning, after 16
life. hours' toil, in a state of bad health, Well-off went the letter in a box hastily, or under the influence of strong by itself-to the Duke of Wellington. feelings. It is an honest-looking epis- It had not far to go-only a few yards tle--and good for sore eyes. But we - but the more hurry the less speed ; have Mr Huskisson's own word for it and though written at two, it did not —that it did not express his real sen- meet the eyes of his Grace till ten timents, wishes, and intentions. It is, o'clock of the morning. For eight be has himself told us, a piece of mere hours it enjoyed a private and confihumbug. It was not intended to be- dential nap in its cabinet-box. Did it is not a resignation.
Mr Huskisson expect that the Duke Now, gentle and hungry reader, was to be wakened out of his sleep at suppose that you had been engaged to two or three o'clock of the morning ? dipe with a friend in his own house– That would have been most unreasonday and hour distinctly. specified, and able indeed; and if he knew that the that you had, on the morning of the Duke seldom sat down to the dispatch feast, written a letter to himself or of public, till he had finished private lady, expressing your sorrow that it business--say about ten o'clock-after would not be in your power to appear a hearty breakfast--why not wait for before your plate, what would you now a few hours-why all this strangely think of yourself, and what would the mingled impatience and resignation ? whole world think of yourself, had Mr Huskisson has not favoured us you complained that your chair had with a detailed account of his meditabeen occupied by another bottom- tions between the hours of two of the that it never had been your foolish in- morning and one of the forenoon of tention to lose your dinner and that May 20, 1828. He must have thought had Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom, in great the Duke of Wellington a very dilaalarm and consternation at your inti- tory correspondent. Eleven hours had mated absence, written, conjointly and elapsed, and no reply to his letter. severally, calling upon you for Godsake Lord Dudley, it seems, had meannot to leave their table desolate at such while called upon the Secretary, about a crisis, you would have been prevailed one o'clock; and after transacting some on to eat in your words, as well as business connected with his departtheir turtle-soup and venison-pasty, ment-business which occupied about and played a knife and fork to the ad- an hour-Mr Huskisson “ Observed to miration of all beholders ?
my noble friend, in a passing jocular This first letter of the series is cer- way, that I was guilty of a little act tainly what Mr Coleridge would call a of insubordination last night, in the " Psychological curiosity.' Written East Retford Bill, but felt myself hastily and hurriedly, it is as cool as bound, in point of honour, to vote as a cucumber-produced at midnight, I did. Allusion to the subject began the very witching hour of night, it is and ended there, and my noble friend clear as day-penned at an hour when was still sitting with me when I rem Mr Huskisson “ could drink hot ceived from the noble Duke a letter" blood,” it is mild as milk,-composed yes,-a letter-which there can be no " after sixteen hours toil of mind, doubt Mr Huskisson snatched off the between official business in Downing- salver-for we are not told that it was Street, and attendance in the House in a cabinet-box-with an eagerness of Commons," it has all the charac- that must have astonished his orderly. ter of a composition by an elderly gen- We shall suppose the letter read-once tleman, sitting by the side of a purl
--twice-tbrice-that there might be ing stream in literary leisure,-and no misunderstanding of its contents, though the writer himself has the and on the close of the final perusal, amiable modesty to say that" it would we think it will be granted, that a have been better had 'he postponed it sight of Mr Huskisson's face must till the next morning,” we beg leave have been worth a trifle. As the to assure him that he, in saying so, Duke's letter is not long, we shall does injustice to himself and his epis. quote it.