Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

That I, like other “airy nothings," claim
“ A local habitation and a name;'
And that the atoms of the colour Blue
Should club, as other angry atoms do,
And this petition, or remonstrance, frame.

Sir, in the world's first ages,

By poets, painters, sages,
Was I not ever termed celestial Blue?
Cerulean, colour of the arching sky,
Reflected in one grand expansive hue,
On the broad oceans that beneath it lie?
Young Green was nursed upon the lap of earth,
But I from the empyrean sprang to birth.

Such was my greatness and my power!
And yet within a lady's bower,

What colour deckt the meekest flower ?
The same that on the firmament was set,

Arrayed the perfum'd violet;
Or dwelt within the depths of beauty's eye,

Calm in its shrouded purity;
Or on her snowy temple lightly drew

The wandering vein of heaven's own hue.
I weep-and azure tears o'erflow
My gilt-edged paper, white as snow;
I weep to think

upon

the

rage,
That hath possessed this scorning age;
This age of pun and soubriquet,
When not e'en I escape the play,
Of wordy witlings ever mocking;
Who, when a lady reads and writes,
Or such lines as these indites,
Or talks of nations and their rights,

Dub her Blue stocking” When gentlemen and ladies, with lank hair, And turned-up eyes, and long grave faces, Distribute tracts, exhort you to beware,

In unknown tongues, with sad grimaces,
Proving the world one universal suare,

Baited with folly and disgraces:
To wound my feelings, such unhappy wights

Are named Blue lights.
Behold yon war-ship in her pride!
Soon will she stem the battle's tide,

Her sides are big with death;
But her sails are yet unfurled,
And her pennon lightly curled,

Waves to the breeze's breath.

Why are those women rushing,
All pale and breathless to the shore,

Hearts beating and brows flushing,
For those they never may see more?
Wherefore at this moment run to greet her?

Alas! they spy,

With straining eye,
The ominous Blue Peter !

a

When hungry husbands coming late,

Important from affairs of state,
From City or the House, are made to wait
For that first object in their daily fate,

Their dinner :-When mammas perceive
Their giddy daughters, without leave,
The rich peer's eldest son to grieve,
And with the handsome young one weave

A merry waltzing measure,

Thoughtless of all but pleasure :-
When a young lordling full of life and fun,
Turning a sudden corner meets a dun :-
What colour do these people take? is't true

They all look Blue ?
Another point I wish to clear;
Pray tell me why, when ghosts appear,
Or other goblins are expected

From the dark shades below;
The coming of spirits are all reflected

In flames of bluish glow?
Fires, candles, lamps, assume the fatal hue,

They all burn Blue.

And there's another kind of spirit,
That doth my luckless name inherit;
A spirit more destructive far
Than pestilence, or dark-browed war:
In want, and woe, and dire disgrace,

The monster showed its haggard face,
And the affrighted world, as it flew in,

Groaned out Blue ruin !

Nor is this all—the tint of heaven,
E’en to the imps of ill are given ;
Their brimstone jackets thrown aside,

They robe themselves in Blue ;
And then 'tis said, blown up with pride,

Their course on earth pursue.
So, when madam takes the dumps,
Or when her spouse looks grave and mumps,
Or aunty moans o’er this world's folly,
Or fair Miss Kate is melancholy :
Whence the source of all their evils ?

They're haunted by Blue devils.,

O shame!
Yet pardon me, there's one nickname
I love, and never will disclaim:
English sailors gave it me;
It is their type-and chivalry,
Among her banners proud and free,
Boasts none more stainless or more bold;
To honour I indeed were cold,
Could I withhold it where 'tis due ;
So, gallant sir, with pride to you,

I sign myself “ True Blue !"

E. B. E. N.

Rio de Janeiro, April 1835.

DIARY OF A BLASÉ.1

CHAPTER X.

Brussels, May 22nd. AMONG the lions of Brussels, a dog was pointed out to me, as he lay on the pavement in front of the House of Assembly. It was a miserable looking cur; but he had a tale extra attached to him, which had magnified him into a lion. It was said that he belonged to a Dutch soldier, who was killed in the revolution, at the spot where the dog then lay, and that ever since, (a period of four years,) the animal had taken up his quarters there, and invariably lain upon that spot. Whether my informant lied, and the dog did not, I cannot pretend to say ; but if the story be true, it was a most remarkable specimen of fidelity and ugliness. And he was a sensible dog, moreover; instead of dying of grief and hunger, as some foolish dogs have done, he always sets off for an hour every evening to cater for his support, and then returns to pass the night on the spot. I went up to him, and when within two yards, he thought proper to show his teeth, and snarl most dogmatically; I may therefore, in addition to his other qualities, state that he was an ill-natured dog. How far the report was correct, I cannot vouch; but I watched him three or four days, and always found him at his post; and after such strict investigation, had I asserted ten years instead of four, I have a prescriptive right, as a traveller, to be believed.

It is singular that it is only in England that you can find dogs, properly so called ; abroad they have nothing but curs. I do not know any thing more puzzling than the genealogy of the animals you meet with under the denomination of dogs in most of the capitals of Europe. It would appear as if the vice of promiscuous and unrestricted intercourse had been copied from their masters; and I am almost tempted to assert, that you may judge of the morality of a capital from the degeneracy of the dogs. I have often, at Paris, attempted to make out a descent, but found it impossible. Even the late Sir G. Naylor, with all the herald's office even for double fees, could not manage to decipher escutcheons obliterated by so many crosses.

I am very partial to dogs, and one of my amusements, when abroad, is to watch their meetings with each other; they appear to me to do every thing but speak. Indeed, a constant and acute observer will distinguish in dogs all the passions, virtues, and vices of men; and it is generally the case, that those of the purest race have the nobler qualifications. You will find devotion, courage, generosity, good temper, sagacity, and forbearance; but these virtues, with little alloy, are only to be found in the pure breeds. In a cur it is quite a lottery; he is a most heterogeneous compound of virtue and vice, and sometimes the amalgamation is truly ludicrous. Notwithstanding which,

I Continued from vol. xiii.

P.

356.

For no

He

a little scrutiny of his countenance and his motions, will soon enable you to form a very fair estimate of his general character and disposition.

One of the most remarkable qualities in dogs is the fidelity of their attachments; and the more so, as their attachments are very often without any warrantable cause.

reason that can be assigned, they will take a partiality to people or animals, which becomes so dominant, that their existence appears to depend upon its not being interfered with. I had an instance of this kind, and the parties are all living. I put up at a livery stables in town, a pair of young ponies, for an hour or two. On my taking them out again, the phaeton was followed by a large coach dog, about two years old, a fine grown animal, but not marked, and in very poor condition. He followed us into the country; but having my establishment of dogs, (taxes taken into consideration) I ordered him to be shut out. would not leave the iron gates, and when they were opened, in he bolted, and hastening to the stables, found out the ponies, and was not to be dislodged from under the manger without a determined resistance. This alternate bolting in and bolting out continued for many days; finding that I could not get rid of him, I sent him away forty miles in the country; but he returned the next day, expressing the most extravagant joy at the sight of the ponies, who, strange to say, were equally pleased, allowing him to put his paws upon them, and bark in their faces. But although the ponies were partial to the dog, I was not; and aware that a voyage is a great specific for curing improper attachments, I sent the dog down the river in a barge, requesting the men to land him where they were bound, on the other side of the Medway; but in three days the dog again made his appearance, the picture of famine and misery. Even the coachman's heart was melted, and the rights and privileges of his favourite snowwhite terrier were forgotten. It was therefore agreed, in a cabinet council held in the harness room, that we must make the best of it ; and, as the dog would not leave the ponies, the best thing we could do, was to put a little flesh on his bones, and make him look respectable. We therefore victualled him that day, and put him on our books with the purser's name of Pompey. Now this dog proved that sudden as was his attachment to the ponies, it was of the strongest quality. He never would and never has since left these animals. If turned out in the fields, he remains out with them, night as well as day, taking up his station as near as possible half way between the two, and only coming home to get his dinner. No stranger can enter their stables with impunity, for he is very powerful, and on such occasions very savage. A year or two after his domiciliation, I sold the ponies, and the parties who purchased were equally anxious at first to get rid of the dog; but their attempts like mine were unavailing, and like me, they at last became reconciled to him. return from abroad, I repurchased them, and Pompey of course was included in the purchase.

We are none of us perfect—and Pompey had one vice; but the cause of the vice almost changed it into a virtue. He had not a correct feeling relative to meum and tuum, but still he did not altogether

On my

steal for himself, but for his friends as well. Many have witnessed the fact of the dog stealing a loaf, or part of one, taking it into the stables, and dividing it into three portions, one for each pony, and the other for himself. I recollect his once walking off with a round of beef, weighing seventeen or eighteen pounds, and taking it to the ponies in the field—they smelt at it, but declined joining him in his repast. By-the-by, to prove that lost things will turn up some day or another, there was a silver skewer in the beef, which was not recovered until two years afterwards, when it was turned up by the second ploughing. One day as the ponies were in the field where I was watching some men at work, I heard them narrating to a stranger the wonderful feats of this dog, for I have related but a small portion. The dog was lying by the ponies as usual, when the servants' dinnerbell rang, and off went Pompey immediately at a hard gallop to the house to get his food. “Well, dang it, but he is a queer dog," observed the man, “for now he's running as fast as he can, to answer the bell.

CHAPTER XI.

May 23rd. With all the errors of the Catholic religion, it certainly appears to me that its professors extend towards those who are in the bosom of their own church a greater share than most other sects, of the true spirit of every religion—charity. The people of the Low Countries are the most bigoted Catholics at present existing, and in no one country is there so much private as well as public charity. It is, however, to private charity that I refer. In England there is certainly much to be offered in extenuation, as charity is extorted by law to the uttermost farthing. The baneful effects of the poor laws have been to break the links which bound together the upper and lower classes, produced by protection and good will in the former, and in the latter, respect and gratitude. Charity by act of parliament has dissolved the social compact--the rich man grumbles when he pays down the forced contribution—while the poor man walks into the vestry with an insolent demeanour, and claims relief, not as a favour but as a right. The poor laws have in themselves the essence of revolution, for if you once establish the right of the poor man to any portion of the property of the rich, you admit a precedent so far dangerous, that the poor may eventually decide for themselves what portion it may be that they may be pleased to take, and this becomes the more dangerous, as it must be remembered, that the effect of the poor laws is repulsion between the two classes, from the one giving unwillingly, and the other receiving unthankfully. How the new Poor Law Bill will work remains to be proved; but if we may judge from the master-piece of the Whigs, the Reform Bill, from which so much was expected, and so little has been obtained, I do not anticipate any good result from any measure brought forward by such incapable bunglers. But to

return.

That the Catholic laity are more charitable is not a matter of surprise, as they are not subjected to forced contributions ; but it appears

« ForrigeFortsæt »