« ForrigeFortsæt »
H. M. B.
Spring and summer, autumn, winter!
Storm and tempest, cloud and sunshine!
Light and shadow transient throw;
Never let the dark looks wound us,
Health and sickness hovering near us
Sickness droops; hope comes to cheer us;
Healthier breezes soon may blow!
All is change about, above us,
As we wander here below: Constant only hearts that love us,
Till life's fountains cease to flow.
PAGE IV.-In the original preface to the Rejected addresses, the authors describe the great difficulty they found in getting their work published, although they asked nothing for the copyright. Our manuscript" they say "was perused and returned to us by several of the most eminent publishers." The query here will obtrude itself, was it perused? and if so, what degree of attention could have been given to it? This was in 1812. Seven years afterwards, when the book had run through sixteen editions, Mr. Murray bought the copyright for £131, and published a twenty-third edition in 1852. Not very long after the first success of the addresses the authors were advised to "collect" some of their imitations of Horace, and eventually sold their interest in the two works to Mr. Miller for one thousand pounds.
The remarks of the brothers James and Horace Smith on these and other contingent circumstances were, no doubt, kindly introduced in the same way, as other eventually successful authors have related the difficulties they at first experienced with their earlier works,-by way of encouraging a Nil desperandum rallying cry among those whose names have not undergone a course of public advertisement; but the writer whose MSS. are many, and whose acquaintances in the publishing world are in an inverse ratio, finds but sorry satisfaction in knowing that Pelham was looked upon coldly at his first presentation; and Eöthen went nearly the whole round of the London publishers; and Jane Eyre was declined with thanks until the authoress lost all hope of ever seeing it in print, and to take an example from the musical world, Handel's Israel in Egypt failed entirely when first represented. In the History of Publishers it is amusing to discover that Mrs. Markham is a myth, and a certain well known History of England was at first a failure; and as such was sold by Constable to Mr. Murray who reproduced it with a new title, under which it has achieved its present well deserved popularity.
PAGE VII.-The composer of the music to Galatea solemnly declared to me his perfect conviction, founded on the appearance of the roll of MS. when returned, that the piece had never been tried, and in all probability had remained unopened. The following notice is copied from the The Theatrical and Musical Review, vol. I, No. 13, p. 146, December 24, 1868."Mr. Curle has caught somewhat of the spirit of the old madrigalian poets. His" Galatea" is fashioned on the Oriannas, set by Gibbons, Morley, &c., and is a close imitation in humour and stanza. **** Thoroughly effective as Mr. Beale's composition is,-bright, easy and pleasing,-it yet wants the broken subjects and their imitations to render it akin to the older school. The change on the words, Why seeketh she,' is most happy, so again at 'The sportive girl,' the transition, by contrary motion, from the key of A, three sharps, to G, one sharp, is thoroughly in keeping with the Tudor school; but if Mr. Beale would excel in this style of writing he should carefully look at those gems of his father's. *** As it stands, Galatea' only needs to be heard once to become popular in Glee and Madrigal Societies."
PAGE VII.-New National Anthem. The old one is certainly a curiosity. The music was composed by a Frenchman, Jean Baptiste Lully, and the original words applying to Le Grand Monarque "Grand Dieu sauvez le roi," were, oddly enough, turned by the English into God save great George our King. There is something ridiculous in this part of the affair, and at the same time a sense of shame accompanies the reflection that when the English people were in want of a hymn to welcome the first of the Guelphs to the throne of Great Britain, they so far humiliated themselves as to plagiarize upon the song first sung at the reception of Louis XIV. at the school of St. Cyr. When the pupils vocalized:
"Grand Dieu, sauvez le roi!
Qui toujours glorieux
and so on, the last two lines evidently suggesting our
"Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,"
The "send him victorious long to reign over us," had some sense in it when applied to George I, who came over from his Electorate of Hanover. In the after reigns it becomes mere stultiloquy, and worse than silly, because disgracefully profane; that is if we consider those words as having any meaning of their own. As to the music itself, the writer of the libretto of Oberon informed me that a difficulty of adapting words to it arose, he believed, from grammatical inaccuracy. The history of this air remains to be written. Whoever undertakes the task must not forget to notice how Prussia and England, so long and so frequently at war with France, each took up the same French air and used it for their National Anthem.
From the eleven favorable notices of the press, occupying the last page of the second edition of my humble attempt at introducing a new National Anthem, I select one because it shews that "PUNCH" was on my side.
"Our talented funny contemporary, Punch, in his determination to catch the passing folly as it flies,' has seized on the poetic composition of our National Anthem, which certainly yields plenty of room for criticism, and in defence of the rhyming of Mr. Tennyson's late edition to what might fairly be termed a disgrace to our national qualification for rhyme, says, would any discerning tailor, who had a pair of corduroy breeches to let out, perform that job by inserting in their waist-band a piece of best super Saxony.' Punch should be immortalized for his endeavour to improve our National Anthem. Mr. Curle has been singularly fortunate in his composition. We should think it would be accepted at all hands as a graceful substitute for Monmouth Street poetry. Mr. Curle here renders, what the National Anthem should be, a prayer to the Deity for our Sovereign and our Country. It is well worthy of favour, and we fervently recommend it to notice."- West London Observer, Feby, 27, 1858.
PAGE VII.-Hattie. One of the pieces published under this signature found its way, by a circuitous route, to Marlborough House, where through the instrumentality of one of the Ladies of the household, its representative, I am told, met with the approbation of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales." When found make a note of," recipe for roasted hare.
First daintly prepare
This must be chopped up quite small,
Use the juice from out the fruit,
And add Cayenne your taste to suit.
From a sirloin take a pound,
Where the undercut is found,
Called the fillet, clean and sound:
Chop it into mince-meat small,
And, having mixed the ingredients all
Well together, then with care
Fill the stomach of your hare :
Spread the oysters well about,
And sew up tight with thread that's stout. N.B.
Take pains to see,
When the hare to roast is hung,
That the head be upwards slung:
Then rich juices will descend
And with the legs and loin part blend.
Serve all up in pieces which
Should be moist with gravy rich.
PAGE VIII.-OCCULT SCIENCE. The work alluded to in the foregoing preface is entitled "Astrology as it is, not as it has been represented." It was published in 1856. After reading in Blackwood the early chapters of "What will he do with it," by Lord Lytton, then Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, I was
much struck by a somewhat curious circumstance which happened about the same time. My friend, "The Cavalry Officer," called on me one day immediately after his return from a week's stay at Knebworth; bringing with him a crystal which Lord Lytton had kindly lent for experiment. It was such an one as that of which mention is made in the beginning of "What will he do with it;" and we were both much disappointed at finding no after allusion to the subject in the progress of the tale. This crystal remained in my care for some time, and was eventually returned to its owner without trial of its properties, which were understood to have had some affinity with those belonging to the little pools of inky fluid, in which many Indian travellers testify to having witnessed the exhibition of certain marvellous portraitures.
In referring to the prefatory address from which the "Sunday Times" quoted so freely, I am reminded of having therein introduced an example of the marvellous change taking place in the series of natural numbers, as demonstrated in the working of the calculating machine invented by the late Mr. Babbage, and described in the Ninth Bridgewater Treatise; and which information I think may be new, as well as interesting to many readers.
The machine having been set going, the numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and so on, present themselves in the succession to which we have been accustomed, and continue this regular course up to 100,000,001; and then, instead of 100,000,002, a new law commences, and we find 100,010,002; and this new law proceeds thus:
But this second law after increasing in the proportion last shown for 2761 terms, gives place to a third law. This third law continues regularly through 951 terms, and then gives place to a succession of other laws.
Now the law of figures to which we are accustomed is not the true law which regulated the action of the machine! this is obvious, because at a certain point the ratio of increase alters, and therefore the occurrence of the increase of numbers, as the 10,000, 30,000 and 60,000, &c., was a part of the consequence of the original adjustment of the engine, although it operated 100,000,001 times before the first of these laws was destined to commence an altered course. With regard to other deviations from the first new law, it is observed that, "whilst their consecutive introduction at various definite intervals is a necessary consequence of the mechanical structure of the engine, our knowledge of analysis does not enable us to predict the periods themselves at which the more distant laws will be introduced."
At page 158 of this work on Astrology the table of the nativity of Napoleon III is introduced; and under it are these words:-"Here also we find Saturn unfortunately placed in an angle, the Midheaven; the moon also in an angle, in Square to Saturn. Time will show whether his Imperial Majesty will suffer losses and disgrace in his advanced years, the same as his predecessor and imperial uncle, it is ominous of evil."
PAGE VIII.-Buds of late Summer Days. Two lines of this song have been several times requoted. I used them myself in a letter to Public Opinion, and in all cases where this letter was noticed the lines were introduced. Here is one-"Deliver us from evil"-"Men conscia Recti" writes an able and sensible letter to Public Opinion by way of protest against the intended alteration of the above passage, in our Lord's prayer, into "Deliver us from The Evil one." He challenges the alteration upon philological grounds, and adduces more than one good argument against it. He also bases his protest upon more general ground, and here one passage of his letter is well worth quoting. "I am fully conscious," he says, "of being merely the exponent of a strong feeling that exists among the great majority of thoughtful and educated persons in opposition to what is felt to be a retrogade movement, not only carrying us back to the literature of the dark ages of St. Dunstan and holy St. Romaunt, but introducing Bogie, with his horns and hoofs, to the side of each little bed, where