Page images

perior to, and inclusive of every other


privileges, and prerogatives in a state, are constituted for PATIENCE OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE.

the good of the state ; and those who enjoy them, whether

they be called Kings, senators, or nobles, or by whatever The people of this country have always borne extreme names or titles they be distinguished, are, to all intents oppression for a long time, before there has appeared any and purposes, the servants of the public, and accountable danger of a general insurrection against the Government. to the people for the discharge of their respective offices. If What a series of encroachments did even the feudal bar- such magistrates abuse their trust, in the people lies the ons, whose number was not very considerable, and whose power of deposing them, and consequently of punishing power was great, bear from William the Conqueror, be- them. And the only reason why abuses which have crept fore they broke into actual rebellion, on that account; as into offices have been connived at, is, that the correcting in the reigns of King John, and Henry III. And how them, by having recourse to first principles, is far from much were the poor Commons trampled on till a much being easy, except in small states, so that the remedy later period. After the people had begun to acquire pro- would often be worse than the disease

With perty, independence, and an idea of their natural rights, respect to large societies, it is very improbable that the how long did they bear a load of old and new oppressions people should be too soon alarmed, so as to be driven to under the Tudors, but more especially under the Stuarts, extremities ; and so obvious are the difficulties that lie in before they broke out into what the friends of arbitrary the way of procuring redress of grievances by force of arms, power affect to call the grand rebellion! And how great that I think we may say, without exception, that in all did that long civil war shew the power of the King to be, cases of hostile opposition to government, the people must notwithstanding the most intolerable abuse of it. At the have been in the right ; and that nothing but very great close of 1642 it was more probable that the King would oppression could drive them to such desperate measures. have prevailed than the Parliament; and his success would The bulk of a people seldom so much as complain without have been certain, if his conduct had not been as weak as reason, because they never think of complaining till they it was wicked. So great was the power of the Crown, feel; so that in all cases of dissatisfaction with govern. that after the Restoration, Charles II. was tempted to act ment, it is most probable that the people are injured. the same part as his father, and actually did it in a great Priestley. measure with impunity, till he was at last even able to

BOUNDLESSNESS OF THE CREATION. reign without Parliaments; and if he had lived much Jonger, he would probably have been as arbitrary as the other instrument was formed, which laid open a scene no

About the time of the invention of the telescope, an. King of France. His brother James had nearly subverted less wonderful, and rewarded the inquisitive spirit of man. both the civil and religious liberties of his country in the This was the microscope. The one led me to see a sysshort space of four years; and might have done it completely, had he been content to proceed with more cun

tem in every star; the other leads me to see a world in ning and caution. In our own days the Ministers Castle. every atom. The one taught me that this mighty globe, reagh, and Sidmouth, suspended

with the whole burden of its people and its countries, is

but a grain of sand on the high field of immensity; the We must not go farther, lest we get involved in news.

other teaches me that every grain of sand may harbour

within it the tribes and the families of a busy population. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FREE AND A DESPOTJC

The one told me of the insignificance of the world I tread The difference consists in the manner in which that upon; the other redeems it from all its insignificance ; for whole mass of power, which, taken together, is supreme, flowers of every garden, and in the waters of every rivulet,

it tells me, that in the leaves of every forest, and in the is, in a free state divided among the several ranks of per- there are worlds teeming with life, and numberless are sons who are sharers in it :-in the source from whence the glories of the firmament. The one has suggested to their titles to it are successively derived ; in the. frequent and easy changes of condition between the govern- me, that beyond and above all that is visible to man, ors, and governed ; whereby the interests of one class are

may be fields of creation which sweep immeasuramore or less undistinguishably blended with those of the bly along, and carry the impress of the Almighty's hand other; in the responsibility of the governors ; or the right to me, that within and beneath all that minuteness which

to the remotest scenes of the universe ; the other suggests a subject has of having the reasons publicly assigned and the aided eye of man has been able to explore, there may canvassed, of every act of power exercised over him ;—in be a region of invisibles ; and that, could we draw aside the liberty of the press ; or the security, with which every man, be he of the one class or the other, may make known the mysterious curtain which shrouds it from our senses, his complaints and remonstrances to the whole commu- has unfolded, a universe within the compass of a point so

we might see a theatre of as many wonders as astronomy nity :-in the liberty of public associations ; or the secu- small as to elnde all the powers of the microscope, but rity with which mal-contents may communicate their sena where the wonder-working God finds room for the exertiments, concert their plans, and practise every mode of cise of all his attributes, where he can raise another me. opposition, short of actual revolt, before the executive chanism of worlds, and fill and animate them all with the power can be justified in disturbing them.-Bentham.


WANT OF SENSIBILITY TO NATURAL BEAUTY. It is then, and not till then, allowable, if not incum “ It is unfortunate," says Foster, “ I have thought with. bent, on every man, as well on the score of duty as of in- in these few minutes, while looking out on one of the most terest, to enter into measures of resistance, when according enchanting nights of the most interesting season of the to the best calculations he can make, the probable misa year, the calm sky, the beautiful stripes of clouds, the chiefs of resistance (speaking with respect to the commu. stars, and waning moon just risen, to hear the voices of a nity in general) appear less to him than the probable mis. company to whom, I can perceive, these things are not in chiefs of submission. This is the juncture of resistance : the least more interesting than the walls, ceiling, and canBy what sign shall it be known ? By what common sig- Ile-light of a room.” nal, alike conspicuous to all. A common sign there is “ The sweet shady side of Pall Mall” is to many far

Every man must therefore be determined, by his before the finest rural scene in the world. “ Is not this own internal persuasion of a balance of utility upon the very fine ?” said Johnson to Boswell, in Greenwich Park. side of resistance ; for utility is the test and measure of Boswell, who owns that he preferred “the busy hum of loyalty. Utility the test and measure of all govern- men ” to any thing else, sai was, “ but Fleet Street was ment; and the obligation of governors of every denomina- finer.” “Sir, you are right," replied the Sage, the Philo. tion to minister to general happiness, is an obligation su. ! sopher of streets and lanes.




[ocr errors]


the third boy of Westminster school, received, in Oriental

state, homage, paid with the lowliest prostrations of the THE THREE WESTMINSTER BOYS.

East, from a long train of nawaubs, rajahs, and envoys, BY MRS. JOHNSTONE.

illustrious captives or princely tributaries, whom his po. The Magic Lantern, which belonged to Mr. Dodsley, licy or his prowess had subdued to the dominion of Engwas elegantly and ingeniously formed. He chose to ex-land. Royal and magnificent was all about him; his ashibit its wonders himself; and story, and picture, aiding pect grave, dignified, and elate, his step and air majestic ; and illustrating each other, agreeably occupied several yet the shadow of deep, anxious thought, of heart-struck NIGATS OF THE ROUND-TABLE.

care, at times darkened his embrowned visage. Whence “ Peep, and tell us what you see, Charles," said the then had fled the generous, sunny, open smile, that lightReverend showman to our old friend Charles Herbert.-ened the grey walls of Westminster school ?—the noble, .“ An old building, forms, desks, a lofty large room, many free expression of the younger man, who so proudly trode boys and youths, and three apart and prominent."-"Let the deck of the outward-bound Indiaman ? Re look," cried Sophia,-“Westminster school, I declare! “ Alas! what change !” said Sophia; “I almost dread, and those three boys l_one very noble and graceful; the yet long to follow him farther.” next dark, thoughtful, resolute, with keen eyes, and com Dim, troubled, misty scenes next flitted by ; battles bid pressed lips; and the third_01 how gently, yet brightly in smoke and obscurity; the wide plain of Hindostan he smiles, dear bashful boy, as his dark, bold companion flooded or desolate,-naked huddled millions,- signs of extends his arm, haranguing and pointing forward to some disaster, famine, and misery; and in the foreground still high distant object A picture is it- figure in state that princely man, his features ploughed with care, knit. robes :-or is it to the insignia blazoned on that desk ?— ting his brows in fierce anger and disdain, stamping on the Nay, I daresay he wishes to be head-master.”

ground, while his eastern slaves cowered around him, as “ Have you all seen the three school-fellows ?" asked he hastily perused letters and despatches, his English secreMr. Dodsley ; “look at them well, for here they part on tary, attendants, and aids-de-camp standing back, anxithe path of life, never to meet again. Presto! change :- ously scanning his looks, and reading his troubled mind in What see you now, Sophia ?”—“Still the dark stern youth, his working and eloquent features. and the gentle timid one :—they are older now, but I This scene passed, and he was next seen in an English know them well. The noble-looking boy has disappeared. ship, more stately if possible than the former vessel, The scene seems chambers in the Temple. Through an freighted with all the rich and rare productions of the open window I have a glimpse of gardens : piles of huge East; but the bright look had waxed dim, the buoyant books are lying on tables, floors, and shelves. The dark step of the outward-bound voyager was now heavy and resolute youth pores on a black-letter folio, and makes as slow. Anon, and he lay reclined on a couch on the deck, it were notes or extracts. The other leans by the window, under a silken and gold awning. A physician felt his gazing over the gardens, a small open volume fluttering in pulse ; black servants in splendid costumes fanned him ; his relaxed hand. Hal I read on it "Thomson's Sea- others approached with profound salams, bearing persons.'”_“Yes, Sophia, your gentle law-student is an idle fumes, and offering service, as they might have done to a rogue ; he has been seduced into the primrose paths of divinity. Indifferent to all, his eye remained riveted on poesy?-_let us see the result;-meanwhile here is another one paper, on a few cabalistic words, which, like the picture.”—“ Beautiful! beautiful!" cried the admiring damned on the hand of Lady Macbeth, would girl, “A large ship !"_“An outward-bound Indiaman," not out, could not sweeten. said Mr. Dodsley.--"All her sails set,” continued Sophia. “ Turn we again to England," said Mr. Dodsley, shift. “How proudly, how statelily she ploughs her way, breast- ing the scene, " to our stern, ambitious, iron-minded man, ing the waters like a swan. And there, on her deck, that of invincible purpose, of unconquerable perseverance, and, noble gentleman, the third Westminster boy,—and yet not let me add, of strong intellect, and yet stronger ambition : hey-walking so proudly as if in accordance with the ma

_there you see him, the slough of the Temple cast, in the jestic motion of the brave ship. I am glad to meet him King's Bench, in the Court of Chancery, in the Commons again :-and all those military attendants-the gaudily House of Parliament, every energy of his mind in perpetual dressed musical band,—the plumed officers,—and he the activity, already surrounded by satellites, the ministers or centre of all! What a great man he must be, and how slaves of his will, subdued by that mighty and resistless well honour becomes him !"

will to its own purposes of selfish aggrandizement, of in. . * Shall we follow his progress to the East, or return to trigue and political ambition, and, it may occasionally be, Fonder gloomy, sombre chamber in the Temple ?" of pure patriotism. And now every obstacle overcome, és Both,” cried several young eager voices ; “we must undermined, or boldly trampled under foot, see him make trace them all,-all the three school-fellows."

one grand spring to reach the height at which every act of The next view was of a large Oriental city, its architec- his life has aimed; while all men, the stronger as well as tural splendour and magnificence of outline glittering in the feebler spirits, give way to his resistless progress, or the dazzling, but uncertain brilliance of the morning sun ; cheer him on to the spot where lie the coveted rich robes, domes and minarets, Mahomedan mosques, and Indian pa- the patents, and the purses, and by these the mighty in. godas, fountains, and palaces, and stately dwellings, spark- signia of the Lord High Chancellor of England.” ling in the out-pouring of the increasing flood of intense “ I begin to long for a glimpse of our gentle boy now," and golden light. Over this scene were grouped and scat- said Sophia, “ dreaming over his “ Thomson's Seasons.' Has tered Mussulmans, Arab warriors, Brahmins and Sepoys, he been borne down by the torrent which has carried his -all in diversified and picturesque costumes, ornamented bold and daring companion so high and far?-Our gentle palanquins, European officers richly dressed, and mounted interesting boy !-has he been cast away like a weed, or on beautiful horses ; elephants prancing in their splendid has he cast away himself ?"_“You shall judge,” said Mr. trappings; females and children, their dark skins and Dodsley," Here is our lost one" And there he was, silky hair, and large black eyes, contrasting with their the very boy, developed in the thin, melancholy, wo-worn white and gaudily spangled dresses ; dancing girls, and man, sitting lonely ou a tombstone, under the elms of a marabouts,_all, in short, that could compose a picture of country church-yard.—“ He is curate of that church," Oriental beauty and splendour; and that princely man, said Sophia ; “and I daresay he has lost his wife or his now of middle age, on the large white elephant, still the child. How refined and how expressive are his faded feacentre of all.

tures; a look of meek resignation, stealing over the traces The scene changed slightly, and discovered the interior of some deep mysterious affliction." of the inagnificent saloon of a residence that appeared royal, “ He never was in orders, nor yet had wife or child, my where the noble figure, whom Sophia still rightly declared sprightly guesser,” said Mr. Dodsley. “ Mental blight,

dark and fearful trial, and the utter desolation of worldly From "Nights of the Round Table," published by Oliver & Boyd. I prospects, have all passed over him ; but he is, as you see,

better now, there is even an occasional flash of humour “ I suppose Lord Thurlow was Chancellor before Henry kindling over those placid features,—of which, however, VII.'s time," said Fanny Herbert ; and Charles added in gentle kindness, deep, holy submission, is the fixed and explanation, “Our history of England only begins then, habitual expression."

so we don't know Lord Thurlow. Sir Thomas More, you “ It makes my heart ache to see him so far thrown out,” remember, Fanny ?--he was a merry, kind man that said Sophia; “ for even at Westminster I liked him best." Chancellor." -"He was my boy too,” cried Fanny. This was not “ Your history goes back to a decently remote period," quite correct, for Sophia had expressed strong sympathy said Mr. Dodsley, smiling at the observation of the young with the “ noble boy," as she called him, and great ad. historians. “ Lord Thurlow held this high office at a very miration of the Oriental Vice-king ; but Mr. Dodsley ac recent date, in the reign of George III., at the same time cepted her own interpretation of her altered feelings, and that Mr. Hastings exercised the mighty government of the said “ He was a stricken deer that left the herd'—nor East, and Mr. Cowper lived in neglect, and obscurity, comwas he free from blame; but his dark hour is past. Shall posing his poetry.' we follow him to his humble abode, not far from those “ If we were to judge by our little audience," said Mrs. churchyard elms, or return to those scenes of splendour, Herbert, “ one of your questions, nay, perhaps two, are of grandeur, of substantial wealth, of real power, in which already answered. The modest poet, living apart in that his early compeers preside, guiding or wielding the energies nameless obscurity, already enjoys not only a higher, but and the destinies of nations ?"

a more universal fame than either of his youthful com. “ Follow him, sir,” said Sophia ; and the boys, though peers. All our good little folks here know him, less or anxious for more stirring pictures of life, politely yielded more, in his daily life, as well as in his beautiful verse ; to her wish. The quickly shifting scenes exhibited a dull, they read him, and quote him, and love him, and, by daily dingy, and even mean-looking house, in the centre of a draughts from his stores of wisdom and of love, nourish small fifth-rate rket town, and again a low-roofed par- their moral and intellectual nature to a strength and stature lour in that house, very plainly furnished with things it might never otherwise have attained.” neither fine nor new, and still less fashionable. Here sat “ I fear you are a confirmed Cowperite," said Miss Har. an elderly, but comely gentlewoman knitting ; and before ding, to her sister. “ But what say you, young gentlemen ?" her stood a plain tea equipage, waiting, as the next scene “ Hastings for me !" cried Mr. Frank Consadine, the shewed, the arrival of the loiterer under the churchyard Irish youth. “ Hastings, Prince and Conqueror !” “ And elms, whom she seemed to welcome with the placid smile for me the woolsack,” cried George Herbert. “I would of long-tried affection. This scene looked brighter than rather, I think, just now, but I may change my mind, be the former. The old window curtain was let down, the High Chancellor of England, than England's Sovereign : old sofa wheeled in, the tea-kettle was steaming, and it to the one a prince is born, the other a man must achieve." was singing also, no doubt, if pictures could give out “ If,” said Norman Gordon, the Scottish youth, “ one sounds ; the shadows of a blazing fire of wood were danc- could be an Eastern Vice-king, or English Chancellor, and ing and quivering on walls and roof, and shining on all the author of the Task' at the same time, one would be at no polished surfaces of the furniture ; and a couple of hares loss to decide ;" and he half-laughed at the profound silli. at a touch were seen in another scene, leaping from a box. ness of his own cautious conclusion. They gamboled and wheeled on the well-brushed carpet, “ You would unite impossibilities, Mr. Norman,” said their benevolent master and protector looking on their the Curate. “ Cowper's poetry required not only an ori. sports, and caracoles, and gambades, with pleased, affec-ginal cast or bias of mind, but a preparatory course of life, tionate, and even interested eyes.

and a mental discipline quite peculiar--very different, in“ How lively those scenes they are nature itself, Mr. deed, from that of a lawyer and politician, or Eastern legis. Dodsley," said Miss Jane Harding—“ Your magic lantern lator and conqueror. We must take our three school-boys is the finest mimic representation of life I ever saw." and men exactly as we find them; and determine the claims,

“ I know whereabouts we are now,” cried Sophia, in a and estimate the happiness of each on his own merits, nor low, earnest, yet delighted tone of voice. “ Olney ! Cow. think of what might have been." per! Mrs. Unwin !

-Ah ! sulky Tiney, and Mistress Bess The younger children liked pictures better than discusthe vaulter !”-“ Let me see, let me see," cried the younger sion, so the whole group solicited Mr. Dodsley to proceed children ; and Sophia had now a much stronger object of with his exhibition, which he did, still adhering to the ori. interest than the pictured scene, which she left to Fanny ginal idea. and Charles, and the other little ones.

“ To afford you wider grounds for forming your opin. “ But the studious, thoughtful youth, who pored over ions, my little friends, you shall see each of our heroes by the folio in the Temple," she cried," the dark-browed, his own fireside, and also in more active and distinguished stern man of the Chancery Court, Cowper's early friend scenes. This first, is the Lords' House of Parliament, so. who was he?"

lemn and antique, with its Gothic, tag-rag decorations. “ Edward Thurlow, Lord High Chancellor of England.” “ It is the day of a trial. These are the peers of Bri. -“And that other boy—the noble boy—the Westminster tain--yonder the judges and prelates of the land, scholar p” said Sophia.

there some of the young princes of the blood-royal, hon. “ Warren Hastings, Governor-General of India. These oured in being created members of this House. Taken all three youths started from the same point.-In birth, Cow in all, the scene before you represents the most august triper was certainly the most distinguished of the three ;-of bunal in the world; and before that tribunal is arraigned their respective talents we will not now speak-great men Warren Hastings, the victim of a triumphant faction, the they all were-good men too, let us hope. The lot was object of much ignorant clamour, and of popular hatred, cast into the lap. All started for the prize :—by routes which one can yet hardly condemn, as it sprung from the how different did each gain the appointed place where all best feelings of humanity. You see the long perspective of human travellers meet | What then were their gains ?- counsel, and clerks, and ushers, and reporters. That is which was happiest in his course of life ?-But we must Burke, who, with the lightnings of his eloquence, blights follow them farther : true is the Italian proverb, which and withers the once flourishing and princely Hastings. says that no man can be pronounced happy till he is dead ! | And there stands Sheridan, ready to pounce on his victim, Which of the three Westminster boys became the best man? -to hold up the proud-minded vice-king to the abhor. Which most nobly fulfilled his duties to his God, his coun rence and execration of the world, as a monster of rapa. try, and his kind ? Which—now that they all are gone to city, cruelty, and tyranny, swollen with wealth and bloat. their reward-enjoys the widest, the purest, the highest ed with crime, the desolator of the fairest portion of the fame? Which remains the best model to the youth of east, the wholesale, cold blooded murderer of millions of England ?-Not one of the three faultless, without doubt ; Asiatics. but which of these three great men comes nearest the mark “ The partisan orator may be half-conscious of the false. at which you, my boys, would aim :"

hood of many of his representations, and entirely so of

their artificial gloss and high-colouring ; but candour and in his spirit on the first perusal of offensive strictures, that truth are not the object of the party man; he vehemently is past now. He lays down the book with a quiet sigh ; proceeds in his statements, boldly makes his charges, and and, striving to fix his mind upon all that has been most eloquently supports them.

brilliant in his fortunes, can only remember how many “We shall now presume the House adjourned, and fol. years have elapsed since he was a Westminster school-boy ; low Hastings to his retirement. Where now, Sophia, is and that both he and William Cowper have long since the gay Westminster boy, the gallant, ambitious, high- passed the meridian of life. minded statesman and soldier of the east ? Can you trace “ Are you not yet tired, Miss Fanny, of gazing on that him in that sallow, drooping, arraigned criminal, whose gorgeons bed-chamber," said the curate; “ the bed of spirit is chafed almost to madness. In public he folds up carved ivory and gold, the silken draperies, and couches of bis arms in self-supporting disdain; he tries to smooth his crimson and gold curiously worked; the silver-framed care-worn brow, and to teach his quivering lip to curl in mirrors, the rich porcelain vases and foot-baths ; the splencontempt of his open accusers, and more rancorous secret aid toilette, with its jewelled ornaments; the ivory and enemies. But, alas! contempt and disdain of our fellow- ebony cabinets, richly inlaid with gold, and in the highest men are not calm, much less are they happy feelings. The style of castern decoration, exhibiting groups exquisitely persecuted, if not yet degraded man, is sick at his very executed ; religious processions, festivals, marriages, in soul; his heart is bursting with the indignant anguish short, a series of gorgeous pictures of eastern manners. which will break it at last. There may have been, and in those caskets on the toilette contain some of the rarest this still hour of self-communion conscience so whispers, jewels of the cast. That large emerald is to be sent tothings faulty and blame-worthy in his bold and illustrious morrow morning to a certain lady of questionable fame,' career. Nor is he free of guilt; for his station was one of but of great influence ; for the proud Hastings must stoop great difficulty, and loaded with responsibility which might to make friends, at this crisis, by arts he would once have make even the strongest and best-hearted man tremble. spurned, and still loathes. That gold bed, preserved with Images of long-acted, painful scenes rise before him in his such care in his own chamber, is intended for a gift or tri. solitude; actions justified, in their passing, by the plea of bute to the Queen of England." a strong necessity, which he dislikes and dreads to think The children were not yet satisfied with gazing ; and of now. And here, the world shut out, surrounded as he Mrs. Herbert said, “ I fear, my dears, if thus fascinated by is with all the wealth and Inxury of the eastern and west. grandeur, you will ill bear a transition to the dull, lowern hemispheres, the hootings of the London rabble, and roofed parlour at Olney.” “No: were it a dungeon with the hissings of the adder-tongues of his enemies, still ring such inmates,” cried Sophia, resolutely turning from the in his ears; and to these envenomed sounds conscience in beautiful picture of the interior of Mr. Hastings' bed. his own bosom returns a faint, yet an undying echo. Per-chamber.-" Well said, Sophia, if you stand to it,” re. haps he may wish, in this anguished hour, that his lot, turned her mother-“But I see Charles and Mr. Norman though less splendid, had been more safe.

long for another peep of those Eastern weapons suspended “ To beguile an hour of care he takes up a volume of over the chimney.”—“That most beautiful scimitar, the the poetry of his old school-fellow, the lost William handle studded and blazing with jewels l" cried the peeping Cowper. He has little leisure for literature, but a linger- hoy,—“and those exquisite pistols! how was it possible to ing taste remains for what engrossed so many of the happy paint them so truly? And that—Damascus blade, did you hours of happier days. He turns up one passage after ano- call it ?” ther; and the map and history of Cowper's life lie before « Lest the transition to sad, sombre, puritanic Olney, be him. Are his feeling those of pity or of envy? Probably too violent, we will first, if you please, visit the Lord they are a strangely-entangled mixture of both. His eye Chancellor,” said Mr. Dodsley.-“Presto! There he is at is riveted on a passage in the poem of Expostulation; he the head of the state council-board ; these are his colleagues reads on and on ; and, as if spell-urged, pronounces aloud, -his party friends, his rivals, his flatterers, his under. • Hast thou, though suckled at fair Freedom's breast,

miners, ranged on each side of him; and he knows them all Exported slav'ry to the conquered East ?

well : they may injure, but they cannot deceive him. He Pulled down the tyrants India served with dread,

looks grim, and stern, and unhealthy. Even now there is And raised thyself a greater in their stcad ?

spasm upon him; a youth of hard sedentary study, a Gone thither armed and hungry, returned full,

manhood of incessant labour, and latterly, a weight of pub. Fed from the richest veins of the Mogul,

lic and of private cares, have weighed and broken down A despot big with power, obtained by wealth,

Lord Thurlow. He looks old before his time. His temAnd that obtained by rapine and by stealth ?

per, even his friends allow, has become rugged, boisterous, Hastings can read no farther. This passage could not, did arrogant,_almost brutal. But they know not the secret not apply to himself; in his proud integrity of heart he pangs that torture him, or they might bear with patience, felt assured of this. The opinions too were those of ignor. or pardon with gentleness, those fierce ebullitions of rage ance. What could Cowper know of the east. And then that will not acknowledge sickness nor infirmity. Even he wonders at the latitude of discussion, and the licentious- in the death-gripe, he will clutch those magic seals. But ness of the press in England. He dips again ; his fortune now he presides at that Board, where the subject of discus. may be better this time; for in these rich volumes he per- sion is the glory and safety of the Empire,—the weal or so aires that there is much poetic beauty. He is more for- of millions yet unborn. If the feeling of bodily languor tunate now, for he opens at the admired description of the for an instant overpower his intellectual energies, alarmed coming in of the Post. How fine an opening; and he ambition stings his mind into preternatural strength, for read aloud

he penetrates the arts of a wily rival, who, affecting to acHark! 'tis the twanging horn

quicsce in his measures, secretly labours to thwart them,

and to undermine him in the favour and confidence of his But oh! the important budget! ushered in

sovereign. He puts forth all his strength, tramples the With such heart-shaking music, who can say

reptile in the dust, and seats himself at the head of empire What are its tidings ?-have our troops awaked ?

more firmly and securely than ever. Is he happy now? Or do they still, as if with opium drugged,

He thinks he should be so, but he thinks little of it; he Snore to the murmurs of the Atlantic wave?

has leisure for nothing, heart for nothing, memory for noI. INDIA FREE ? and does she wear her plumed

thing, save his high function, and the arts necessary to And jewelled turban with a smile of peace, Or do we grind her still 7

maintain himself in it. He has no time, and indeed no

wish to ascertain his own state either of body or mind. If 15 The heart-struck but fascinated reader proceeds on, in he has no leisure to attend to his health, how can he be spite of himself, till he finishes the finest passages of the supposed to have time for self-examination, or for serious poem, those which unveil the habits and amiable character thought. He once had many schemes, the growth of his of his carly friend. If there were some stir and bitterness strong and even enlarged mind, for the welfare of the State,

and the happiness of his old private friends, but they | sure, there is no great hardship visible here, still I could must be delayed. And now he loses even the wish for have wished the Lord Chancellor a longer and sounder their accomplishment ; his heart, never either very kind or sleep; and it is very wise, Fanny, to learn young, that soft, has become narrowed as well as callous ; his temper all is not gold which glisters.' But now we shall suppose waxes more and more hard, and gloomy, and repulsive; the Chancellor shaved and booted, his hasty cup of coffee his private friends fall off, disgusted by his neglect, and swallowed as the Jews did the Passover-standing, his surly, arrogant haughtiness. They have no longer any loins girt ; for he too is bound for the wilderness. In common sympathies with Edward, Lord Thurlow. He short, he detests Windsor interviews. A secretary bears stalks through his magnificent house alone ; he writes, his portfolio ; his carriage is at the door ; he hurries erases, burns, knits his brows over communications and through the circle of adulators, solicitors of his patronage, despatches which offend him, and many things offend him, understrappers of all kinds, that wait his appearance, -he sits up half the night plunged in business ; the sur- the whole herd hateful to him, and he to them; and he is geon who of late sleeps in his house administers a sleeping not a man of glozing words or feigning courtesy. No man draught, and he will try to obtain a few hours of troubled in England can say 'No' more gruffy or decidedly. A repose. Had pride allowed him, he could almost have ad- few indispensable words uttered, he hurries on. Near the dressed the obsequious medical man in the well-remembered door you note a young clergyman, his fine features ' sickwords of Macbeth,

lied o'er with the pale cast of thought.' His profile strik. •Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased ?'

ingly resembles that of William Cowper, and Lord Thur.

low recals his dream, and Charles Fox's quotation ; and, Many, many years ago, he had seen Garrick play that with his old accurate Temple habits, takes the port-folio character and many others, when William Cowper, of the himself, and directs his secretary to return and bring him Inner Temple, was his companion to Drury Lane. They a volume "lying on the third shelf of a certain cabinet in had spouted the favourite passages together fifty times, af. his business-room, between a pamphlet on India affairs, ter returning home to sup, now in Cowper's chambers, now and that something about Lord George Gordon. He now in Thurlow's. Of rhetoric and declamation Edward Thur- perfectly recollected for his memory was tenacious of every low was ever an admirer ; young Cowper relished more thing--that Cowper had lost his paltry sort of appointment, the intense passion, or the deep pathos of the scene. —had gone deranged, -was always swainish, and now

“ The memory of his old fellow-student and companion piped in some rural shades or other, sunk into nobody, with had been revived on this night, by the arrival of a volume, probably not political interest sufficient to influence the just published, of Cowper's poetry. With a feeling border- election of the neighbouring borough-reeve. There had ing on contempt, Lord Thurlow threw it from him un- been a degree of impertinence in sending such a wook to opened. Now another scene of our magic glass, and be- him ; or it was, at least, an act of silliness, and shewed hold the High Chancellor lays his throbbing but ever clear small knowledge of life. But Fox had quoted it ; so once head on a downy pillow, and sets his alarum-watch to an beyond the smoke of London, Thurlow turns over the early hour; for, sick or well, he must be at Windsor by leaves. The carriage rolls on, post-haste, to the audience ten to-morrow. He, however, leaves orders, that at what of Majesty ; but habit has enabled the Lord Chancellor ever hour his private secretary, who is waiting the issue of to read even in the most rapid whirling motion.

He an important debate in the House of Commons, shall re- dips at random in search of Fox's passage, and stumbles on turn, he be admitted to him ;-Lord Thurlow has an im- that splendid one~ All flesh is grass.' Cowper should pression, that, though he may stretch his limbs on that bed have been in the church,' thought he; 'a dignified church. of state, sleep will not visit him till he learn the fortune of man he is unfit for, but he might have made a tolerable the day-hears how the vote has gone. It was a debate on parish priest, if he would steer clear of Methodistical zon. the African slave-trade. He first inquired the vote_it was sense.'--He dips again—One sheltered hare ; ' 'whining favourable. He glanced over the reports of the leading stuff! or is he mad still ?" His eye falls on that passage speeches : the vote was his—but the feeling, the spirit of beginning— How various his employments whom the the night was strongly against him. There was the speech world calls idle ;' and he reads on, not with the natural of Charles Fox; and he had quoted Cowper!—a beautiful feelings of Hastings, but yet not wholly unmoved, till he apostrophe to Freedom, cheered by all the members on both got to the words, Sipping calm the fragrant lymph which sides of the House, forced to admire, vote afterwards as they neatly she prepares,' when, throwing down the book, the might.

man, strong in the spirit of this world's wisdom, mutters « Lord Thurlow now sets himself to sleep in good ear to himself, piperly trash and is it this Charles Fox nest, and his strong will is omnipotent even here. But quotes ? The devil quotes scripture for his use, and Fox over the empire of dreams the Lord High Chancellor had no would quote the devil for his.' Lord Thurlow then plunges power,--Fancy is not a ward of Chancery. His visions into that red portfolio which engrosses so much of his time were gloomy and distempered. His youth, his manhood, -so much of his soul. his present life are all fantastically, but vividly blended. “And now the proud keep of Windsor rises on the Sometimes the spirit that haunts him is the Prince of ambitious, and prosperous, and proud statesman :-he Wales, then it becomes Charles Fox, and anon it changes smooths his brow; his sovereign welcomes him graciously; to William Cowper, and again back to Fox. But his his audience passes off well ; he hastens back to London, hour comes, the alarum wakes him, and he is almost glad where a thousand affairs await to occupy and torture though of the relief.”

they cannot distract him. He snatches a morsel of cold meat ; “Would you choose to see the Chancellor's dressing- swallows a glass of wine : and off to the House of Peers, to room, Fanny, and his anti-chamber, and the persons met in be baited for six long hours by the bull-dogs of Opposition." levee there, thus early, in a chill, foggy, winter's morn. “ And what has the poor gentleman for all this?” said ing?" Fanny chose to do so.

little Fanny. “I am sure he has hard work of it." And there was seen the plain chamber of the English “ How idly you do talk, Fanny ; is he not Lord ChanMinister, lights burning dimly in the cold, heavy air,-a cellor of England ?” cried her sister. fire choked with smoke.

“ And fills high-I may say, the highest place ; has im. “ Ah, poor old gentleman,” cried Fanny, “there he is, so mense patronage ; is the maker of bishops, and deans, and cold, I am sure, and so very cross he looks,-the poor ser- judges, and every thing,” said George. vant that shaves him looks so terribly frightened. Well, “ And has immense revenues," added the Curate; considering how late he was of getting to bed, and all, i tates, mansions,—all that money can command.” don't think, brother George, it is very pleasant to be a High “ Poor old gentleman," said Fanny, “I am glad he has Chancellor at least in winter; particularly when the King also that wool-sack to rest himself on, for I am sure he wishes to see him so early at Windsor, to scold him perhaps." must be sadly tired and worried.”

“0, you silly child,” said her sister. “ Not so silly, Miss Sophia," said the Curate. “To be “ Turn we to Olney—to that dwelling in the very heart


« PreviousContinue »