Or the Power of Association and Sculpture.
It was a bright and lovely afternoon,

Some years ago—such as we see in May,
Given in our northern climate like a boon,

And dearly cherish'd for its rarity-
That entering in my garden I was soon

Led in a meditative mood away,
Thinking how art might best improve on nature,
Or both in union show a fairer feature.
I'll make, thought I, a scene of beauty here,

Joining with garden, orchard, shrubbery, field,
Flowers of all hues, all fruits the clime will bear,

And every shrub and tree the earth will yield:
I'll tread upon a living carpet, clear

Of weeds and rankness, and my walks I 'll shield
From summer heats with foliage cool and green,
And sparry grots shall variegate the scene.
And then I'll build a mossy hermitage

With Gothic door, and all things à propos ;
And there beneath those elms, grotesque from age,

I'll place an urn to Friendship, so and so ;
A Brown or Repton I'll at once engage

To wind my walks, direct the water's flow,
Plan out the whole, revise, and execute,
Scoop the ha-ha, and make the cascades shoot.
Art shall with error be so temper'd too,

That order shall be mingled with confusion,
Appearing ever in an aspect new,

Or a fresh shape, or scene of sweet delusion;
And here I'll have a basin clear to view

Shaking its crystal waves in bright profusion,
Reflecting sunbeams, painting earth and sky,
And foliage rich, in its transparency.
I'll have a kiosk there; a fountain nigh

Shall murmur music all the summer day,
In that I'll take my books and read, or ply

The pinions of my fancy far away, Ainong dim scenes of eld, delightedly,

Mid classic lore or the romantic lay; Steeping the soul in the unearthly bliss Of time long past, or any time but this. As I design’d, I did-all was complete;

No spot in Britain, garden of the earth, Could equal mine, where art precise and neat

Was temper'd by rude nature, and the birth Of flowers in seas of odour did create

Voluptuous inebriety-dancing mirth Laugh'd round in lightness : heaven's own tenants there Secure from man poured gladness on the air. Now with my books, and home, and competence,

I had no more to wish ; and so I thought My life would smoothly travel-no expense,

For I had riches, barr'd me out from aught
That reason might desire—then, reader, hence

Scorn not by my experience to be taught-
I was a bachelor in middle life,
And the last thing I dream'd of was a wise :

Not that I hated woman, Heaven forefend !

I deem'd her well enough in her own way“ But being given to virtù, thought a friend,

As Pomfret says, was better then delay
Is sure on every study to attend,

If Bacon be believed, the marriage sway:-
I was a student, connoisseur, collector,
And I may also add confirm'd projector.
Could I have found a perfect woman !- this

I would not hope,-Mahomet found but four Throughout the teeming East, where wedded bliss

Consists in marrying by the gross or score,
Till you can find one to be Sultaness,

And favourite of your bed, to ride all o'er,
And trample on the entire horde beside,
Like Austrian satrap on Italian pride.
My paradise had therefore got no Eve,

Or, to be plain, no woman, the same thing,
Save ancient casts of her that seem'd to gricve

Like Niobe, or haply simpering As Flora, might a ready eye deceive

By Nature's self so closely mimicking ; Or carved in rapture of the beau ideal That's something out of nature and unreal. Such as the Venus with her witchery,

Outrying earth's creation, heaven's own love, The essence of all beauty, save of eye

That she might not be perfect, though above Her full rich eye-glance flashes ceaselessly

The arrowy beams of passion, and old Jove Himself had tempted been, but for his mate Who awes the thunder-god with threats and prate Thus I had all things reason could demand

I now might study, write, climb up to fame From this my loved retreat, or cash in hand

Swell my revenues, or enhance my name
Like Coke by rural honours, and thus stand

The benefactor of a realm, and frame
Codes of Agrarian law, feed kine, give dinners,
Make rustic matches and reward the winners.
Fate order'd differently-one idle day,

Lolling in indolence within a bower,
Prank'd out with flowers, the sober and the gay,

Breathing their fragrance in a ceaseless shower Around my seat, my fountain in full play,

Its bright drops sparkling in the noontide hour In silvery coolness, and the dark green dress Of the soft shade casting voluptuousness; I'll have, I said, a marble statue here,

Its white will well contrast with this dark shade, And it shall be a female ; I've no fear

That the dumb image will my peace invade,
Or cause me interruption-she'll appear

In Nature's character, and I'll have made
At her full breast a child carved as alive,
Of Nature and her offspring figurative.

I spoke to Chantrey, and the work was done,

Finish'd consummately the naked form; Our common mother scarcely look'd in stone,

But instinct quite with life, though she had none, And the child lay her polish'd arm upon

And gazed into her eyes and smiled, as warm With its infantine joy—the parent stood, Love gushing from her heart in a full flood. Her head was small, with fair locks clustering round,

And shoulders low, and smooth her ample chest, With blue veins branching on each glorious mound

That rose luxuriant on her spotless breast, The pillow of love's happiness, the ground

Whence Aows the stream of being, duly prest
By infant lips--fed from the heart's best veins
As from a life-spring pure and free of stains.
Proud of my statue, hours I sat and gazed

Upon the figure, and I liked it more
Each time I looked upon it-nought erased

Its image from my memory--who could pore
On so much loveliness and not be pleased ?

Who could so contemplate and not adore?
In brief, at last, like Paphos clever sire,
To hear it speak I felt a strong desire.
But he of whom I tell, Pygmalion hight,

Was cleverer far than I can ever be,
I had no hope to realize the sight

Of speaking statuary, yet long’d to see
The marble lips move in the summer light,

And call me by my name as much as he;
Or the poor girl who the French Louvre near,
Died mad of love for Phæbus Belvedere.
I long'd in vain-at last by the strong charm

Of what most folks association call,
I thought if stone and Chantrey thus could warni

By sight alone, where life was not at all,
There could not to a bachelor be harm

From granting love and beauty had some sınall
And meet proportion of attractiveness-
In short, Inight have a sovereign power to bless.
And then the infant-who would nameless be

lo future time and die with his own death, When he might have a fair posterity

To close his eyes and drink his latest breath ?-
Yet who would venture in the lottery,

Of marriage registers, when St. Paul saith
“ 'Tis better to live single as I do!” —
A wise authority to keep in view.
Ruosseau, I think, says that deliberation,

Halting, and reasoning, pausing, and what not,
Is certain ruin in a virgin's station,

Who for a lover has a roue got;
A firm, decisive, prompt, downright negation,

Is safety's path-alas, it was my lot
Not to remember Rousseau's good advice,
Or I had settled all things in a trice.

And so I mused, and ponder'd-spite of boast,

Thought brought on thought, and we are prone to end
With that sly felon one, the upperinost,

That sought insidiously our will to bend
Till it became a favourite to our cost :

And thus mine prompted me whole hours to spend
Before that statue, resolution blinking: -
Of beauty, love, and woman erer thinking.
Yet sometimes, too, I scarcely could help siniling

At my own folly, but no orders gare
For its removal, though I knew beguiling

My brain with wife and offspring it inust slave
My bachelorship at last-till by its wiling

Inch after inch, like Benedict the brave,
I deem'd that marriage inust be quite divine,
If one of thousand of the sex were mine-
One perfect as an angel of the sky,

Could such be found,-one that would look as sweet
As Chantrey's statue, and with living eye,

And glance more lovely her young innocent greet,
Bound strong as death by the maternal tie;

How swift would my delicious moments fleet!-
Such was at last the humbling termination
Of my vow'd bachelorship’s long cogitation !
At last chance gave me Leila in her youth

I wedded-had a son—and now set by
That statue fair, the son and mother both;

And then I find how poor is art's supply,
Even in sculpture, for the breathing truth

Of Nature's self; but still most thanksully
I cherish art, by whose directing feature
I was first led from dead to living nature.
'Tis customary at a story's tail

To pin a moral for a warning voice,
As if the sense of those who read could fail

To see its drift, and make their hearts rejoice.-
I hope this will not happen to my tale;-

But lest it should—“O bachelors froin choice,
When against woman you your bosoms harden,
Banish her semblance eveu from your garden!”




the Law Books. Mrs. CULPEPPER'S “uncle the Sergeant,” of whom reverential mention has been made in one of these immortal epistles, has fallen in love ! He felt a slight vertigo in Tavistock-square, of which he took little notice, and set off on the home circuit; but imprudently venturing out with the widow Jackson in a hop-field, at Maidstone, before he was well cured, the complaint struck inward and a mollities cordis was the consequence. Mr. Sergeant Nethersole had arrived at the age of fiftynine, heart-whole; his testamentary assets were therefore looked upon by Mrs. Culpepper as the unalienable property of her and hers. Speculations were often launched by Mr. and Mrs. Culpepper as to the

quantum. It could not be less than thirty thousand pounds ; Bonus the broker had hinted as much to the old slopseller in the bow-window of Batson's, while they were eying “ the learned in the law” in the act of crossing Cornhill to receive his dividends. Hence may be derived the annual turtle and turbot swallowed by “my uncle the Sergeant” in Savagegardens: hence Mrs. Culpepper's high approbation of the preacher at the Temple Church : and hence her horse-laugh at the Sergeant's annually repeated jest about “ Brother Van and brother Bear.

As far as appearances went, Plutus was certainly nearing point Culpepper : Nicholas Nethersole, Esq. Sergeant-at-law, was pretty regularly occupied in the Court of Common Pleas from ten to four. A hasty dinner swallowed at five at the Grecian, enabled him to return to Chambers at half-past six, where pleas, rejoinders, demurrers, cases, and consultations occupied him till ten. All this (not to mention the arrangement with the bar-maid at Nando's) seemed to ensure a walk through this vale of tears in a state of single blessedness. “I have no doubt he will cut up well,” said Culpepper to his consort.

“I have my eye upon a charming villa in the Clapham Road: when your uncle the Sergeant is tucked under a daisy quilt, we'll ruralize : it's a sweet spot : not a stone's throw from the Swan at Stockwell!" Such were the Alnascar anticipations of Mr. Jonathan Culpepper. But, alas ! as Doctor Johnson said some forty years ago, and even then the observation was far from new, “ What are the hopes of man!” Legacy-hunting, like hunting of another sort, is apt to prostrate its pursuers, and they who wait for dead men's shoes, now and then walk to the churchyard barefooted. Mr. Sergeant Nethersole grew fat and kicked : he took a house in Tavistock-square, and he launched an olive-coloured chariot with iron-grey horses. There is, as I am confidently told, an office in Holborn where good matches are duly registered and assorted. Straightway under the letter N appears the following entry, “Nethersole, Nicholas, Sergeant-at-law, Tavistock-square, Bachelor, age 59. Income 35001. Equipage, olive-green chariot and iron-grey horses.Temper, talents, morals,- blank ?" That numerous herd of old maidens and widows that feeds upon the lean pastures of Guildford-street, Queen-square, and Alfred-place, Tottenham-court-road, was instantly in motion. Here was a jewel of the first water and magnitude to be set in the crown of Hymen, and the crowd of candidates was commensurate. The Sergeant was at no loss for an evening rubber at whist, and the ratifia cakes which came in with the Madeira at half-past ten, introduced certain jokes about matrimony, evidently intended as earnests of future golden rings.

The poet Gay makes his two heroines in the Beggar's Opera, thus chant in duett:

A curse attends that woman's love

Who always would be pleasing ! And in all cases where the parties are under thirty, Polly and Lucy are unquestionably right. No young woman can retain her lovers long if she uses them well. She who would have her adorer as faithful as a dog, must treat him like one. But when middle-aged ladies have ex. ceeded forty, and middle-aged gentlemen have travelled beyond fifty, the case assumes a different complexion. The softer sex is then al

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