« 上一頁繼續 »
PHILOSOPHY IN THE INFLUENZA.
(Scene, a Bedchamber-Sound of Revelry below.)
Sic loquitur Philosophus.
Yes ! 'tis a pleasure in my lonely cell
(There goes the bell!)
(How they do get along !)
The counterfeited flame
All are but vanity;
And lover's sighs,
And all her fascination,
What are they all
That ever upward looks,
And wisdom-giving books,
('Tis Lucy, I declare !)
(And I not there !)
Wisest and best,
With thoughtful brow
(She's waltzing now!) Come to thy votary; let us muse together O'er human follies--(now who's dancing with her ?)
Here all the world's shut out!
No worldly fear, no worldly doubt,
No! in this chamber all —
(Or putting on her shawl,)
(Rum teedle dum)
No idle quarrels come,
How pleasant is a peaceful mind !
Mine glows with love for all mankind;
No envious thoughts I know,
(Now all but I to supper go,)
(Hope it may choke 'em.)
(The table's in a roar !)
Yes! as I said before,
FORGIVE AND FORGET ;
THE YOUNG MAN'S DIARY." I was just making myself comfortable over a blazing fire, port wine on the table-gouty leg on sofa--lying in my easy chair, and all that, when I got a letter from my nephew. Opened it and read
“ MY DEAR SIR,-Hope you'll forgive-could not marry where could not love. She did not care-Miss L- not rich--but handsome, and fond of me-ran away with her-married yesterday—trusting to your generosity-hope for pardon, and a welcome. All will be forgotten when you see her.
“Charles NEVILLE.” I was thunderstruck. I had made out a match for him, and he runs away with another girl-woman without a penny. Too bad. No; cannot forgive that. I must write to say, that he has never to expect a farthing from me. John, pen ink and paper. Your
and under your leg on the sofa, Sir.”
“Oh, then, don't move my foot for them; there's an old desk in the corner, wipe the dust off, and bring it here.”
I opened it. Heavens! thought I, as I rummaged among my dusty papers, what a time since this was last unlocked. Ten long years, and here were papers written by me when a mere boy, fifty-five years ago. But I must make haste, that rascal Charles shall never have my forgiveness; never! Fool, fool that he was. Why, if I had ever dared to do such a thing, I should have been a beggar now, At this moment, I lighted on an old diary dated 17- no matter, fifty years ago. I opened the book, "Ah,” thought I, “let me see how unchanged my sentiments have remained, how little time has effected - My thoughts were checked by my eyes-1 beg pardon-my spectacles. Seeing a page in journal headed" the happiest day in my life,” I read
To-day I have again beheld Louisa; and oh! how different were my feelings when I left her, to what they had been hitherto! I feel that I cannot live without her--my youthful days will be wretched and gloomy-my old age, cheerless and lonely, unless she can share my joys and troubles, my prosperity and adversity!"
I looked on the fire, the port, and the easy chair; she was not here, yet where was their cheerlessness or loneliness?
“ Ah, never, never will I forget that smile, that blush,—that lovely modesty, as, whilst her maiden fears were combating with her love, she pressed my hand, and answered with a low “yes” to my question. I had asked whether she would become mine?”
Who the deuce can I have meant by Louisa ? I never knew any woman that made such a fool of me! "“ Become mine ?-Pressed my hand !- Never will I forget!” Pshaw!
“ I have her father's consent. Oh! God bless the old fellow !" “Old fellow!" I'm sure I never spoke so disrespectfully of old men.
* “I start to-morrow for England. All arrange. ments will soon be made, and braving the anger of my worldly parents and relations, who would have wed me merely for gold, filthy lucre, instead of love!" Insolent young fellow! Almost like my nephew.
Defying the jeers of all fashionable friends, I will retire to some quiet spot, where, although not living in luxury, I shall live in uninterrupted happiness and content with my dearest Louisa.” What fools young men are !
“ London, April 1st. Went to the Opera. Saw D—- dance-enraptured-angel. Lady C-old, fat, rich, fond of me-proposal-Gretna Green-no other resource for us. Governor in rage! Never mind.”
Holloa, what has become of Louisa ? The rascal would not commit bigamy !
“ Found out true state- Lady C- all hum ! No money! D-d narrow escape! Got a letter from—what's her name? Louisa ! Wretched about me-broken heart. Poor thing! sorry for her : can't marry a peasant girl-ticket for Almack's.” Why, the inconstant scoundrel! Does he call that “never forget.”
Proposed to Miss G-- refusal—I hate women! Marry Mrs. L- the actress. Governor swears he'll disinherit me! Divorced from my wife. Saw Lady M-; made violent love. Lord M-- brings action against me. 10001. damages. She wants me to marry her. Go to Paris. Governor all a blaze !"
Immoral and unfeeling! thought I. Here, however, the diary was discontinued, and I began abusing the young man's conduct, quite for. getting who had written it. “Terrible life young men lead !” I never did anything of the kind. I was always obedient; but this is just like my nephew, just. I went on rummaging, and at last found another paper, headed, “My last Travel Abroad.” This was written forty years later than the diary. I opened and read it :
* “Paris very gay; no pleasure for me—all my friends left it!
Germany. Baden Baden, very pretty place. Lühlenthal, the village where Louisa lived-poor girl, I fear she is dead-died of a broken heart! Passed through the village with a clouded brow. Her cottage the same as ever. Entered it. Pigs and chickens in abundance. Old man and woman sitting over the fire-three young couples and eleven children playing about the room. Looked for Louisa Old woman, most likely the nurse, gets up-she talks- I know the voice
—'tis Louisa's-going to clasp her in my arms-boxes my ears--does not know me—tell my name-recollects something about me—offers me bread and cheese! Forty years make a vast difference in a woman's looks! Grandmamma, wrinkled, ugly, coarse! Bread and cheese !
Arrived in London. Quite reformed-quite forgiven by my father, God bless him! Happy! Country house. Buy port winegreat bargain. Get the gout." Comfortable!"
Well, well! thought I, young men are not so very bad either. Repent and reform! But why this? the young man is me! Wild fellow!
- just like my nephew! but he is too wild! I found another book; in the front page was written by my father “ Forgive and forget!” Made an impression. Write a letter to my nephew.
“DEAR Fellow-Glad to see you-follies of youth forgiven and forgotten. God bless you !" And indeed I never felt more comfortable than when my nephew arrived with his wife; and they both did everything to please me. Well ! well! the best policy is to forgive and forget, depend on't.
THE Goury GENTLEMAN.
ON THE LITERATURE OF THE MONTH.
The Doctor.-" The Spirit of the Woods.” This is a very handsome volume, and on a very handsome subject,-the trees of England, and the most picturesque and striking forest vegetation of foreign countries. The volume has the additional charm that it is by a lady. The practice of my profession naturally leads me to ascertain the sources of those evils which make such fearful inroads on female life; and I have found that, among women, nearly every infirmity arises from want of employment. The trifling and sedentary occupations to which they are driven in the absence of employment more active and useful, the confinement necessary to those occupations, and even the discontent of mind consequent upon the knowledge that netting purses is not the grand business of rational beings,-produce a general sinking of the spirits, which inevitably enfeebles the frame. He would be a great benefactor to the sex who should draw up for them a code of regular and diligent usefulness, give them some daily task worthy of common sense, or find out some study, profession, or pursuit, compelling them to take habitual exercise in the open air; to fix their minds on objects of natural utility and heauty; and, by at once strengthening the frame and cultivating the mind, make woman the happy and the handsome she was intended to be.
Under the present circumstances of education, the life of the young female of the better class is spent in the severest labour of trifling acquirements; in learning music, for instance, which, though a graceful, and even a valuable, accomplishment, is, in nine instances out of ten, never acquired to any purpose; or in stooping over mediocre drawings, by which no one gains any profit but the teacher; or in needle-works,
whose value is almost wholly superseded by our progress in machinery; the entire system confining females, from the age of ten to twenty, to desks and chairs, with as much rigour and as unfortunate an effect as if they were so many culprits in a gaol, or infant operatives in a factory.
The Rector.--Foreign life certainly manages those matters better, at least for females of the humbler rank. France and Germany women are much employed. They are engravers, and engrave with remarkable elegance and dexterity; they are printers, and print with singular neatness and facility. I believe they even construct watches, and a good deal of that delicate mechanism which comes over to us in the shape of musical snuff-boxes. They receive the money in theatres, and are the chief attendants in shops. In many instances they are bookkeepers in the warehouses, and in general supersede that amphibious race who are called “young gentlemen” in our milliners' and lacesellers' shops. If those habits were introduced in England, they would confer a great boon on the humbler classes of female life, and benefit the manliness of the country, by driving its men from effeminate occupations to the more vigorous pursuits of life. But, for the higher order of females, the great points would be open air, regular exercise, and agreeable application of mind. Botany is perhaps one of the most natural studies for the purpose; but the study of flowers is comparatively trifling : it has but little utility; it is limited to a brief season of the year; and it is unconnected with any of the great uses of society. “ The Spirit of the Woods,” which is simply a treatise on trees, brought into the most engaging form, and illustrated with remarkably beautiful specimens of the pencil, opens by far the noblest department of this attractive science. For every tree has its history; every tree has its obvious use; every tree so largely connects itself with the necessities, the gratifications, or ornaments of society, that the study of a single class might lead the mind to every province of Art and Nature. Take, for instance, a sketch of the elm, as given by this writer, prefaced by the Miltonic lines
“ Follow me as I sing,
And touch the warbled string,
Follow me." The elm, in beauty, dignity, and usefulness, yields only to the oak. The Romans were probably its introducers. The timber of the elm is hardgrained, and is peculiarly fitted to bear the extremes of drought and moisture. For ornament, it has one invaluable quality. “Of all the trees which grow in our woods,” says Evelyn, “ there is none which does better suffer transplantation than the elm; for you may remove a tree of twenty years' growth with undoubted success.” It is remarkable that Spain owes some of its ornaments of this kind to us. Evelyn tells us “ that those incomparable walks and vistas of elms at Aranjuez, and other places of delight, belonging to the king and grandees of Spain, are planted with such as they report Philip II. caused to be brought out of England, before which it does not appear that there were any of those trees in Spain.”
The Barrister.—The Roman custom of training the vine round the elm enriched ancient poetry with beautiful allusions. Virgil is full of them. Beaumont too tells us that