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whose general style and accessory ornaments place in a very so lately shown how entirely destitute they are of every remarkable point of view the connexion of the ancient spark of noble sentiment, by remaining quietly and voEtruscan with Egyptian art. The same conclusion is luntarily in the chains of the most corrupted government drawn from the architectural mouldings with which of Europe ? many of these subterranean chambers are adorned, and Before I leave Vulci, I may just give you a slight inwhich very often exhibit a confused insieme of the timation of the great literary controversy which the vases Egyptian style, and the most ancient Doric architecture here brought to light have lately produced, and which has of the Greeks. But of the architecture I must speak caused a division between the foreign literati resident in again, when I come to mention the superb amphitheatre Rome, and the Coryphæus of the Roman Grecians, the of sepulcbral monuments sculptured in the natural rock, well-known Abbate Amati. Lucian Bonaparte, not which exist in the district between Corneto and Viterbo. content with having in his own private possession the
But to be more particular. The grotte sepolcrali of largest and most valuable collection of vases in Europe, Vulci are distinguished from those of Tarquinii, by being took it also into his head to refuse to other countries the dug in theground, and then covered up, without the addition possession of such vases, and even went so far as to deny of any artificial tumulus, if we except the single immense that certain vases, which Herr Wolff, a Prussian sculptumulus, called the Cocumella, where the Prince of Canino tor, brought from Greece, could possibly have been found has made such interesting discoveries. These sepulchral in that country, asserting that if it really was the case that chambers are about the size of a small closet, cut out in said vases were found in Egina by Mr Wolff, nevertheless the natural rock, or rather earth; for the soft volcanic they were not to be esteemed Grecian vases, properly so tufa which here abounds deserves more the name of an called, but were merely exportations from Etruria, the only earth than of a rock. They are, for the most part, sim- country which was able to produce these singular works ple aud devoid of ornament; at the farther end, and on of art. Once determined to claim exclusively for Etruria the two sides, are cut out in the same mass simple banks, those works of art, which the universal consent of the which serve for the resting-place of the dead body; for learned had united to denominate Grecian, the Prince of here, as well as in Nola, was it the general custom to Canino did not hesitate to sacrifice to this patriotic feelbury, and not to burn the dead. Nor do the Vulcian ing, for his own Etrurian property, the united testimony vases, in whatever abundance they have been found, ever of ancient writers, that the arts were brought from contain ashes. The vases are found beside the banks on Greece into Etruria by Demaratus of Corinth. As soon which the dead body was laid, though in many tombs as historical testimony was disregarded, it was no difficult there are decided indications that they were, along with matter to create out of nothing a splendid Etrurian other ornaments, suspended from nails on the walls of dynasty, flourishing in all the highest culture of art, bethe sepulchral chamber.
fore even the first rude attempts at design were made in It would be tedious and uninteresting to particularize the Grecian islands-whose inhabitants, hitherto conu pon the plans of the sepulchres, and the architectural sidered as the parents of all that is elegant in the Euromouldings with which they are often ornamented ; such pean arts of design, were indebted for their knowledge an extended description belongs more to a separate treatise, in these arts, and especially in the art of painting vases, than to the limits of a common letter. We can, how. to those numerous artists, who, proceeding from Etruria, ever, assure the British archæological public, that it will as the centre of civilisation, spread a refined taste for the not be long ere their curiosity on these points be grati arts through the republics of Greece, from which, as we fied, the indefatigable German architect Herr Knapp know, they at last proceeded back to their native Italy. His being at present engaged in preparing an accurate account excellence had certainly the merit of producing a singular of the Etruscan sepalchral architecture, to be submitted opinion, and might, perhaps, have had the satisfaction of to the European public in the Annals of the Archæologia remaining alone in his singularity, had not the above-mencal Institution.
tioned Abbate Amati, no contemptible Hellenist, conceived While on this subject, however, I cannot forbear to it his duty as a true Italian patriot, to join with the prince mention, in suitable terms of censure, the conduct of the in defending as Etruscan the origin of vases, which the present excavators, in regard to the interests of archæo strongest internal, as well as external, evidence proclaims logical science. The interesting excavations which we to be Grecian. The external historical evidence I have have just been describing, bave unfortunately fallen into already alluded to--the internal evidence is no less strong the hands of men, who are actuated much more by the and convincing to every one who is not predetermined to Italian spirit of personal gain, than by any the least zeal believe the contrary. The Vulcian yases resemble, in every for the interests of science; insomuch, that we do not respect, those found in Greece and Magna Grecia,—in speak too harshly when we assert, that their great and their style of art,-in the subjects represented, which are only object is to spoil the dead of the precious treasures found in the Grecian, and not in the Etruscan mythowhich were buried along with them, with a view to their logy, in the inscriptions, which in all vases yet found own personal gain, without the least regard to the advan are Greek, and never Etruscan. And yet all this weight tages which science may reap from their discoveries. The of evidence will not prevent men, fonder of singularity subterranean recesses of the immense Vulcian sepolcretum than of truth, from recalling the old and almost forgotare scarce brought to light, and emptied of the vases and ten idea of the Etruscan origin of these vases-- an attempt bronzes which they may contain, when they are imme- from which they might have been deterred, by the diffidiately covered up again, before the archæologian or the culties in which Passeri and others found themselves inarchitect have had time to visit them, and draw from volved, who, in the past century, attempted to explain their general disposition and particular decorations infe the vases on this false supposition. rences of the highest importance, not only in themselves, But enough. We shall allow the airy speculations of but as tending to the elucidation of the singular objects theoretical antiquarians to vanish in their own inanity; of which they have been for ages the repository. Science we hope the time is at length arrived when archæolois as much degraded as religion, when it becomes an ob- gians are convinced, that solid testimony, and a collecject of selfish merchandise ; but it is a lamentable truth, tion of incontestible facts, form the only foundation on that Signor Campanari and his associates do not show which the building of their science can be raised; and the least desire to render their discoveries of any use to that though this fact-founded building may not be so archæological science, but rather use every means in their splendid and so complete in all its parts, as those perfect power to prevent every person but themselves from de edifices, which rise of a sudden into complete existence riving any advantage from their monopolized treasures of before the magic wand of hypothetical speculation, still art. But let us leave this disagreeable subject; for what they have this one decided advantage, that they are not can we expect from the base-minded Romans, who have liable to vanish away from their mushroom-like existe
their studies was just at a close when", a taj period of be all very well," answered the tutor, “if one guided
ence, before every new wind of doctrine to which the notière. It was an order from his father for him to come restlessness of human nature is continually giving birth. to Paris. Jeannot, in mounting the carriage, held out his
I had intended to conduct you from Vulci to Viterbo, hand to Colin with a patronising smile. Colin felt his in the vicinity of' which 'latter city many interesting insignificance and wept. Jeannot set out in all the pomp Etruscan antiquities are to be found, and thence to Bo- of his glory. manzo (the ancient Pomartium), where, on the declivity Inquisitive readers may wish to know how M. Jeanof the hills which, eastward from Viterbo, fatt gently not bad acquired wealth so rapidly. Listen then. M. down to the right bank of the Tiber, a forest of aged oaks Jeannot and his wife went to Paris on account of a law. shades the venerable abodes of the ancient Etruscan dead sait, which ruined them, when fortune, who elevates and -abodes which, after remaining for above'two thousaria humbles men according to her pleasure, brought them years undisturbed by the light of day, and'unapproached acquainted with a contractor for building military hospiby the foot of the living, are now at length'exposed and tals,' a man of great talent, who could boast of having made to yield their treasures of ancient art-useless to the killed more soldiers in a year than the cannon in ten. dead-for the gratification and admiration of the living. Jeannot took a share in the business, and embarked also But the limits of a letter prevent me from entering on in other pursuits. When one is fairly afloat they have this theme; so that you will be obliged' to wait till the only to go on and their fortune is made. The poor annals of the Archæological Institution may afford you rogues, who from the shore observe you flying in full some more particular information on these latest and sail, open their eyes in astonishment, they don't know exceedingly interesting excavations, though I am afraid how you have been able to manage it, they envy you, but few copies of that splendid work reach the Ultima and they write pamphlets against you, which you Thule of the Caledonian shores. We are-I say it with never read, All this happened to Jeannot, who was regret-rather behind our continental neighbours in our soon M. de la Jeannotière, and who, having bought a interest for the science of archæology and indeed before marquisate at the end of six months, withdrew from our universities become seminaries for men, and not for school monsieur le marquis his son, to introduce him to boys, there is little hope that classical erudition will be ge- the beau monde of Paris. The affectionate Colin wrote nerally enough extended to give the preparatory studies a letter to his old playfellow to congratulate him; the necessary for relishing the monuments of ancient art. 1 little marquis made no answer ; Colin was ready to die hope my countrymen will not be offended that I thus of grief. freely express my opinion on the defects of our Scottish The father and mother engaged a tutor for the young universities ; though I must lament that the standard of marquis—this tutor, who was a very fashionable but literary attainment is not higher in these seminaries : and a very ignorant man-could of course teach his pupil I am so much of a true Scotchman as to look with con- nothing. Monsieur wished his son to learn Latin. Mafidence for great and important improvements, knowing, dame disapproved of this. They chose for arbiter an as I do, that the national character of the Scotch is such author who was celebrated for his agreeable works, and as fits them to vie with, and even surpass, the most in- they invited him to dinner. The master of the house tellectual nations of Europe, as in other 'branches of began by saying to him, “ Monsieur, as you know science, so particularly in philological and archæological Latin, and as you are a man of the world”—-" I know researches, which, in the opinion of your correspondent, Latin ! I do not know a single word of it,” replied the bave, in his native country, by no means kept pace with bele sprit. “ It is quite clear that one speaks one's own the gigantic advances of the present age.
language much better when the attention is not divided I have the honour to be, between that and foreign tongues. Observe our ladies,Sir,
they have more wit than men, their letters are written Yours, &c.,
with a hundred times more grace, and they have this su A SCOTCHMAN IN ROME. periority over us because they are ignorant of Latin."Rome, 12th May, 1831,;
“ Ah! well, was I not in the right ?" said madame." I
wish my son to be a man of wit, that he may succeed in Most : +3813
the world, and you see if he had learnt Latin he would
have been ruined. Are our comedies and operas performJEANNOT AND COLIN.
ed in Latin ? Are lawsuits conducted in Latin ? Does one make love in Latin ?"
Monsieur, dazzled with these reasons, passed sentence, By one of the Authors of the Odd Volume.
and it was resolved that the young marquis should not Many persons worthy of credit have seen Jeannot and lose his time in becoming acquainted with Cicero, HoColin at school the town of Issoire, in Auvergne, a race, and Virgil. “ But what then shall he learn, for it
over the world for its college and its is necessary for him to know something?" said monsieur; kettles. Jeannot was the son of a celebrated mule dealer ; “suppose you teach him a little geography.”—“ For what Colin owed his birth to a hardy peasant, who cultivated purpose ?" replied the tutor. “ When monsieur le marthe ground, and who, after having paid the land-tax, the quis shall go to his estate the postilions will know the poll-tax, the salt-tax, and sundry other taxes, did not find road--they will surely not wander ; one does not require himself overburdened with riches at the end of the a quadrant in travelling, and one may go very easily from year.
Paris to Auvergne without knowing precisely under what Jeannot and Colin were handsome, at least for natives latitude they
may be found."-" You are in the right,”
and they played replied the father ; w but I have heard of a charming many pranks together, which people recollect with plea-science, which I think is called astronomy.”—“ It would sure when they meet again in the
brought themselves by the stars in this world ; but is it necessary to Jeannot a velvet coat of three colour's, and'á' vest of för the marquis to kill himself in calculating an eclipse Lyons silk , in the best taste these were accompanied by when
find it in the Almanack, which will also a letter to M. de la Jeannotière.''Colin admirea Pthe teach him all the movable feasts, the age of the moon, and dress, he did not envy it, but Jeannot adopted an ait of that of all the princesses of Europe ?" superiority which afflicted him. From this moment Madame was entirely of the tutor's opinion—the little Jeannot studied no more; he looked in the mirror and marquis was enchanted--the father was undecided. despised every one.
“ What, then, should my son learn ?" asked he. “ To be Some time after, a valet de chambre arrived post, and agreeable,” replied the friend ; “if he knows the way to brought a second letter to M. le Marquis de la Jean. please, he knows every thing, it is an art which he will
FROM THE FRENCH OF VOLTAIRE.
town famous call in the
acquire from madame without occasioning trouble to rate of twenty louis-d'or for each song, and he was placed either party.” Madame at this discourse embraced the in the rank of the Fares, the Chalieus, the Hamiltons, courteous blockhead, and said to him, “ It is evident, the Sarrasins, and the Ecotureș. monsieur, that you are the most learned man in the The marchioness, believing herself the mother of a world—my son will owe all his education to you. I ima- bel esprit, gave suppers to the beaux esprits of Paris. The gine, however, it would not be amiss if he learnt a little head of the young marquis was completely, turned. He of history.”
.”—“ What good would that do ?" replied he ; acquired the habit of speaking, without understanding, “ it is only the history of the day that is either useful or and he arrived at great perfection in the happy art of agreeable—all ancient histories, as one of our wits re- speaking without having any thing to say, marks, are nothing but fables ; and as to modern history, When his father saw him so eloquent, he regretted not it is a chaos which no one can disentangle. Of wbat having made him
learn Latin, as he would have bought consequence is it to your son that Charlemagne instituted him a post in the law. The mother, who had more ele. the twelve peers of France, and that his successor was a vated, sentiments, took on herself the task of soliciting a stutterer ?"-" Nothing can be more just,” said the tutor, regiment for her son and in the meanwhile, the mar** they stifle the minds of children under a mass of use- quis made love. Love sometimes costs more than a reless learning; but of all the sciences, the most absurd, in giment the marquis spent lavishly, and his parents spent my opinion, is that of geometry, which has for its object, still more in living like the great. A young widow of surfaces, lines, and points, which have no real existence. some rank, but of small fortune, resolved to appropriate Truly geometry is but a sorry kind of amusement.” to herself the wealth of Monsieur de la Jeaunotière by Monsieur and madame did not understand one word of marrying the young marquise She drew him to her house the tutor's discourse, but that did not prevent them from --she allowed berself to be loved—and she permitted him
“ A nobleman like the marquis," to see that he was not indifferent to her. This conduct continued he, Phought not to dry up his brain with these enchanted him, and she
gave him so much praise and so useless studies. If he requires geometry to lay out the much good advice, that she became the dear friend of the plan of his estates, gold will enable him to get them sur- father and mother. An old neighbour proposed the marveyed. If he wishes to investigate the antiquity of his riage, and the parents, dazzled with the splendour of this family, which may be traced to remote ages, he sends for alliance, accepted the proposition with joy. The young a Benedictine. It is the same with all the arts. A marquis was about to marry a woman whom he adored, young gentleman of good birth is neither a painter, mu- and by whom he was beloved the friends of the family sician, architect, nor sculptor ; but by munificently en congratulated them the settlements were in progress couraging these arts he causes them to flourish. It is and the marriage dresses and epithalamium were nearly without doubt much more pleasant to protect than to ready. exercise them—it is enough if the marquis has taste-it He was one morning at the feet of the charming is the artists' business to work for him; and it is on this spouse, whom love, esteem, and friendship were about to account that one has so much reason to say that per- bestow on him—they enjoyed, in a tender and animated sons of quality (I mean those who are very rich) know conversation, a foretaste of their happiness—they arranevery thing without having learnt any thing, because, ged to lead a delicious life, when a valet-de-chambre of in the long run, they know how to judge of the thing Madame la Mère arrived in a fright.
" Here is fine which they order and for which they pay."
news,” cried he; the officers of justice are stripping the The courteous blockhead then took the word. “ You house of monsieur-every thing is seized by the credihave well remarked, madame, that the great end of man tors—they speak of arresting monsieur. I must run and is to succeed in society; and is it by the sciences that this get my wages. "Let us see what all this is about,” said success is obtained ? Who ever speaks, in good company, the marquis. Yes," answered the widow; pray go of geometry, or thinks of asking a man what star rose and punish these rogues." with the sun to-day? or who ever enquires at supper if He hastened away, and arrived at the house. His faClodius the Long-haired passed the Rhine?”—“ No one, ther was already imprisoned—the domestics had abscondcertainly," exclaimed the Marquise de la Jeannotière; ed, taking with them whatever they could lay their hands "and my son ought not to extinguish his genius by the on-his mother was alone-deserted by every onestudy of all this trash; but, after all, what should he bathed in tears—nothing remained but the remembrance learn-for a young man should be able to shine occasion of her fortune, her beauty, her errors, and her extravaally? I have heard an abbé say, that the most agree- gance. able science was one of which I have forgotten the name, After the son had wept a long while with his mother, but it began with an H and ended with a y.”—“ Ab, I he said to her," Do not despair ; this young widow understand, madame, it is Heraldry-a very deep science, loves me ardently, she is even more generous than she but it is now quite out of date, and has become unfashion- is rich—she will fly to you. ,, I go to bring ber." He able, since we no longer paint our coats of arms on the returned to the house of his mistress, and found her têtepanels of our carriages. In a well-governed state it is h-tête with a handsome young officer. " What! is it a most useful study, but it would be endless, as now-a- you, Monsieur de la, Jeannotière ?
What brings you days there is not a barber who has not his coat of arms; here? Why do you abandon your mother? Go home and you know that whatever becomes common ceases to to the poor woman, and teil her I am interested in her be valued.”
welfare. I am in want of a femme de chambre-I will give At length, having passed all the sciences under review, her the preference.”—“Young man,” said the officer, it was decided that the young marquis should learn to you are tolerably well made if you are willing to endance.
ter into my company, I will give you a good engagement.” Nature had bestowed on him a talent which soon de. The marquis was stupified; with rage in his heart he veloped itself with prodigious success it was that of went to seek his tutor to deposit his griefs in his bosom, singing vaudevilles in a charming style. The graces of and to ask his advice. He proposed that the marquis youth, joined to this superior gift, caused him to be re- should become a tutor like himself. “ Alas," said the garded as a young man of the greatest hopes. He was marquis, : I know pothing you have taught me nothing admired by the ladies, and having his head full of songs, -you are the first cause of my misfortune."--" Write he composed some on his fair adorers. He pilfered Bac- romances," said a wit who was present, “ it is an excelchus et l'Amour from one vaudeville, le Nuit et le Jour lent resource at Paris.” The marquis was ready to faint; from another, les Charmes et les Alarmes from a third; he was treated much in the same manner by all his friends, but as there were always in his verses some feet more or and he gained more knowledge of the world in balf a day, less than were necessary, he got them corrected at the than in all the rest of his life,
As he stood plunged in the depths of despair, he saw
ORIGINAL POETRY. approaching a strange-looking machine, a kind of covered cart, with leather curtains, followed by four well-loaded Waggons. There was in the carriage a young man, coarsely
A MIDSUMMER DAY'S DRRAM. dressed, whose round face bore an expression of sweetness | Orten it chances that a dreamy mood and gaiety—his wife, a pretty brunette, jolted at his side. Comes stealing o'er me, and my rapt thoughts brood The machine not moving so rapidly as the cabriolet of a On things long past, or things that ne'er can be, petit maitre, the traveller had time to contemplate the mar Until my mind, like a small skiff at sea, quis, who stood' immersed in grief. " Ah, heavens,” cried Goes dipping up and down from wave to wave, he, surely that is Jeannot." At this name the mar- Dancing o'er billows that might be its grave; quis raised his eyes, the carriage stopped, " It is Jeannot To no point steering, holding no fix'd course, Lit is Jeannot ;" and the little man leapt out, and ran to
But yielding to the fickle current's force. embrace his old playfellow. Jeannot recognised Colin; I love the idlesse of that tranquil hour, shame and tears covered his face. “ You have abandon And all my nature hath confess'd its power. ed me," said Colin ; " but in spite of your being a great The landscape then that stretches far away, lord, I shall always love you." Jeannot, confused and Till in the distance fields and woods look gray, softened, recounted to him a part of his story, . "Let us Is present to the sense, yet is not seen, go into the auberge where I lodge," said Colin, “and you
For many aërial fancies float between, shall tell me all about it-embrace my little wife, and Though whence they come, and whither they may go, let us go and dine together." He walked on, follow- I never knew, and never hope to know ;ed by the waggons. “ What are all these things in the Fair fleeting fancies ! like a morning mist, carts ?" asked the marquis; “ do they belong to you ?" Whose fleecy robe the golden sun bath kiss'd, “ Yes, to me and my wife; we come from the country. Breaking it down to many a phantom shape I am at the head of a manufactory for tinning iron and of banner'd castle, or high jutting cape, copper utensils. I have married the daughter of a rich Romantic city crown'd with tower and spire, tradesman; we work hard-Heaven blesses us--we have Or fairy palace bursting into fire: not changed our condition-we are happy we will assist The pageant changes-disappears-returns ;our friend Jeannot. Be no longer a marquis all the In richer hues the shatter'd rainbow burns, grandeurs of the world are not worth a true friend. You | Till one by one they fade, and who can tell shall return with me to the country. I shall teach you Where now they throw their unsubstantial spell. my trade—it is not difficult. I will take you into partnership, and we shall live gaily in the corner of the world How many thoughts are but the mists of mind! where we were born.” Jeannot was divided between joy Which he who thinks them, cannot chain or bind;and grief, tenderness and shame.“ All my fashionable Less useful they in nature's general plan, friends," ejaculated he,“ have betrayed me, and Colin Than the least atom in the frame of man,alone, whom I neglected, has come to my succour.
." What Less gross in essence, and less known in space, a lesson !
Gone in a moment, and without a trace! The goodness of Colin developed in the heart of Jean-Yet did they spring perchance in some high mind, not the germs of the amiable disposition which com Whose thoughts are register'd to bless mankind; merce with the world had not yet stifled; he felt that be There did they spring, and there they buried lie, could not abandon his parents. “ We shall take care of Wrapp'd in the shroud of that great mystery, your mother,” said Colin ; " and as to your father, who Beneath the shadow of whose wings we live, is in prison-I understand these matters his creditors And know not why, or what it is we give seeing he has nothing, will be satisfied with a small com When we surrender life, and lay us down pensation. I take it on myself.” Colin accordingly re In the green churchyard with the prince and clown. leased the father from prison, Jeannot returned to the We nothing know-not even the cause that brings country with his parents, who resumed their original pro- Before our eyes these poor imaginings, fession. He married the sister of Colin, who being of the
H. G. B. same disposition as her brother, rendered him very happy; and Jeannot the father, Jeannotte the mother, and Jeannot the son, acknowledged that happiness is not to be found LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES. in vanity.
Mr John LOTHIAN has nearly ready for pnblication, an Atlas of EDINBURGH DRAMA.
an intermediate size between the common school Atlas, and the Alfred presents compliments to his constant readers, kind was needed.
larger and more expensive works of this class. Something of this and doubts not that they will be as much concerned as he CHINESE Advertisement.-Chang-chaou-lai, who issues this is to learn old Hurlothrumbo positively declares that he thanksgiving advertisement, lives outside the south gate, in Great has no room for a regular theatrical article this week. Tranquillity Lane, where he has opened an incense smoking mes. Meanwhile he begs leave to inform them that he has been quito shop. On the evening of the 12th instant, two of his fellow.
workmen in the shop, Ne-ahung and Atik, employed a stupifying highly pleased with the Edinburgh Adelphimits beauti
drug, which, by its fumes, sunk all the partners in a deep sleep, ful scenery, clever actors, and precision of acting and during which they robbed the shop of all the money, clothes, de, scene-shifting. In particular, he has been much amused which they could carry away.
Next morning, when the partners by the comic dance by Constance and Celeste, who, he is awoke, no trace was to be found of these two men. If any goot of opinion, far excel Ducrow's celebrated grotesque. people know where they are, and will give information, a thanks Yates has not made his appearance yet, but Murray is
offering, in flowery red paper, of four dollars will be presented
If both the booty and the two men be seized, and delivered there in all his greatness. He was particularly sublime,
over at my little shop, ten dollars will be presented. Dea few evenings ago, as Marmaduke Magog, a parish con cidedly I will not eat my words. This advertisement is true. stable. The air with which, when the Squire ordered Ne-ahung is about twenty years of age, short stature, has a white the servants to turn him out of doors, he held his baton face, and no beard. Atik, whose surname is not remembered, is over the offender's head—“Sir, consider yourself taken upwards of twenty years, is tall, has a sallow face, and no beard up"_was the most sublime instance of the insult con
Reign of Taou-kwang, 9th year, 9th moon, 3d day.--Canton ke
gister, structive upon record. An attempt shall be made next
Mr Carew, the sculptor, is at present employed upon a Statue Saturday to do justice to the new-comers, They deserve of the late Mr Huskisson, which is intended for erection in the a welcome, and shall have it.
Cathedral Church of Chichester,
on the contrary, who are kept silent, by a resolve never THE BYSTANDER,
to say any thing but what is striking or profound—who No. VII.
allow the conversation to flag while they are straining
after some witticism, are only suffering the just punishON CONVERSATION.
ment of their vanity, when they undergo such mortificaIr is strange, considering the great portion of our life tion. that is spent in society, and the dependance of our happi It is not every one who can talk that is capable of ness upon the power of thus spending it, the small num. holding conversation. Some, from an overflow of animal ber wbo know how to converse.
spirits, cbatter on continually, never enquiring whether Conversation is at once the bond which holds society their hearers are amused, nor greatly caring for their together, and the ingredient which renders it pleasant. admiration, blest in the consciousness that their tongues It is true, that so gregarious an animal is man, even a
are wagging. Others enter into company with a desperate mute gains upon our affections and becomes indispensable resolution to be amusing, and a long stock of commonto us, if any connexion of birth or affiance, or the neces- places, with which they overwhelm every one who comes sities of business, bring us constantly together. There is within the sphere of their attraction.
What some pera fine example of this in Sir Walter's story of the two
suade themselves is conversation, is in reality nothing else drovers-neither of them men with many ideas, or great than the engrossing consciousness of their own projects power of expressing even their limited range, yet going and actions overflowing in talk. None of these people on most sociably together, whistling as they went. i converse—they only hold soliloquies in public. have known two divinity students live, during the entire Nothing more annoys and surprises men of genius, course of their academic career, in the same apartment, than to see persons, whom they regard as of plodding each immersed in his books the whole of the long winter natures and limited capacities, preferred to themselves as evening, serving each other at mealtimes rather by the companions, and taking the lead in conversation. We intervention of signs than of words, yet dearly attached, have often discovered this jealousy in their carping and as the events of their after life clearly showed. Nay, I cavilling at such persons. They are in the wrong to be am by no means certain, that had not the affections of astonished, for the essence of that genius upon which Jeanie Deans been pre-engaged, even the mute attentions they pride themselves is the depth and richness of its of Dumbiedikes would not have been successful at last. emotions, its susceptibility of being engrossed and overIn these instances, however, we remark no more than an mastered by its own conceptions. Now, it is quite in instinctive aversion to solitude, and a clinging to the the order of nature, that a person who has but a limited object which redeems us from it, that man shares in range of ideas, and can easily command his shallow feelcommon with the brutes.
ings, should, like a certain American hero, be “ always By society, is meant those wider reunions of human ready for action." His thoughts are neither so grand nor beings, in which the interchange of ideas expands the
so subtle, as to leave him at a loss for words, and he is mind, at the same time that the necessity of mutual de always aware of his situation for the time being. But ference smoothes away its harshnesses. No one who has men of genius are not only mistaken, they are showing a had the ill-luck to be seated at dinner next to some mo
weakness and unworthiness of nature, when they allow nosyllabic neighbour, wbo replies to the first attempt to their annoyance at being outshone by such a person to draw himn into a conversation with “No"-to the second lead them to decry his peculiar talent. Although of a with “ Yes"_and to the third with “ Perhaps ;” and lower grade than those with which they are endowed, it who has felt the load of discomfort which lies upon the is nevertheless of rare occurrence, and great utility. heart, while sitting amidst an assemblage of such non
He who feels contempt intercourse gentlemen, in a room dimly lighted with
For any living thing, hath faculties half-snuffed candles, can doubt of the importance of small.
Which he hath never used. talk to the well-being and comfort of society.
There are a great many causes, each of wbich is singly It is not meant to deny that there is both pleasure and capable of rendering one unable to discharge this social profit in having access and habitual intercourse with men duty. Some are prevented from talking by sheer stupi- of genius. There is always something in a man's most dity. Others, who have ideas enough, are hindered by trivial words and actions expressive of his character, and constitutional phlegm—they like to follow out the trains it is impossible to associate with a man of high mind, of thought which cross their brains, and are too indolent and not be continually receiving suggestions and impresto care for the amusement of their neighbours. These sions which instruct and elevate us. The mistake on are comparatively happy in their silence; but there is a our part lies in thinking that these can be obtained by class of mortals who are anxious to join in conversation, meeting him once in crowded society--that he is like a but who never can hit upon a subject. People of this schoolmaster or a comedian, ready to fulfil his vocakind sit upon thorns the whole time that they are in tion at a moment's warning—that he is not rather like a company, fretting under the consciousness of appearing seer, over whom the spirit comes, possessing him, he knows stupid and uninteresting. They are deserving of our
not how, nor can forbode when. The mistake on his pity, for their annoyance is simply the consequence of a
part lies in supposing that he must vindicate his situaconstitutional want of readiness and self-possession. Those, tion in society as other men. Every man takes his place