« ForrigeFortsæt »
who had been given up by his parents as a personal defect whatsoever; and, altoborn idiot and incapable of any instruction | gether, his sermon proved one of the most whatsoever. Miss Fanny, however, volun- impressive that he had ever preached. teered the task of his tuition. She suc Upon another occasion, when about to ceeded in teaching him to read, and to re- || preach before a congregation in the counpeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer ; but, | try composed of none but the poorest and suddenly, in the midst of her exultation most illiterate classes, he found that, in a at the“ surprising proficiency of her pupil,” || fit of absence of mind (not unusual with a strange and ludicrous question put by him), he had brought, in the place of the him, on a mysterious point of religion, shew- | discourse he intended to have pronounced, ed that he was utterly deficient in compre- another written for the purpose of being hension of what he had thus acquired by delivered before a genteel audience in Dubrote, and drew upon his fair instructress lin. A pause ensued. What was to be the good-natured raillery of her brothers. done? 'Lord bless my soul !' muttered Notwithstanding this, she, by patience and Walter Chamberlaine, 'I bave put the perseverence, effected much improvement | wrong sermon in my pocket !' Then, in the moral state of the unfortunate out- composing himself to address his hearers cast, who was accustomed to take his with becoming solemnity, 'I find, my place regularly every Sunday at church, in brethren,' he said, 'I have brought with somewhat of the restored dignity of a me, by mistake, a sermon utterly above rational being.
your comprehensions; I, therefore, shall The Rev. Walter Chamberlaine, her bro- | not deliver it; but, though unprepared, ther, evidently inherited much of the dry || shall endeavour, with the blessing of God, humour of his father. He was also a poet to give you something from myself, that of considerable merit.* “ When he was
may be of benefit to you.' He accordingly going to perform duty one Sunday at his chose a text, and pronounced another adparish church, some rude boys, struck with | mirable extempore sermon; as well suited something singular and whimsical in his to the wants and capacities of his ignorant manner and appearance, pursued him with hearers, as the written one was ill adapted hooting and laughter to the very doors. || to them.” Walter Chamberlaine marked the offenders; Miss Chamberlaine's talent for literary and, being that day to preach as well as to composition was proved at the early age of read prayers, he substituted, in the place of fifteen. A portion of the coarse ill-colourthe sermon he had previously intended to ed paper which her father had given to the give, an extempore one, with the following housekeeper to keep her accounts, Miss text from the second chapter of the Second Fanny thought it no robbery to appropriate Book of Kings, v. 23:— And as he was to the far nobler purpose of writing a ro. going up by the way, there came forth | mance, in two volumes, entitled “ Eugenia little children out of the city and mocked and Adelaide.” This production, although him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald sanctioned by the favourable opinion of head; go up, thou bald head:'
'-v. 24, ‘And || Richardson, the novelist, and which dishe turned back and looked on them and plays unquestionable proofs of a fertile cursed them in the name of the Lord. || imagination and inventive skill, was not And there came forth two she-bears out of || published until after the author's death. the wood, and tore forty-and-two children | The next efforts of Miss Chamberlaine's of them.'”—As soon as the preacher had pen appeared in two sermons.* pronounced this terrible text, his eyes About the time when she was one-andsought out the trembling culprits-he be- twenty, Miss Chamberlaine, warmly sengan a discourse upon the reverence due to sible to the impression of scenic represenage and to the sacred character-enlarged tation, had seen and admired Mr. Sheriupon the sin of those who mocked their dan, who, at that time, though a very young neighbour for any infirmity, misfortune, or man, had undertaken the management of
the Dublin Theatre. In consequence of Vide“ The Travellers," a Tale, in Miss Lefanu's Memoirs of Mrs. Sheridan, page 53.
• Vile Memoirs, page 93.
his spirited resistance to an attempt made || Amongst an extended circle of friends, it by a young gentleman to force his way be- was her happiness to enumerate Dr. Young, hind the scenes, whither he had pursued | Dr. Johnson, Dr. Parr, Mr. Wedderburne one of the actresses (the celebrated George || (afterwards Lord Loughborough), LordShelAnne Bellamy) an alarming and dangerous burne, Richardson the novelist, Mrs. Peckriot occurred, in which Mr. Sheridan’s life hard, the Hon. Mrs. Cholmondeley, &c. ard property were equally threatened. A The merits of her excellent novel,“ Mepaper war ensued : Miss Chamberlaine pub- | moirs of Miss Sidney Biddulph,” which, lished first, “ The Owls, a Fable,” and on its publication, became an immediate afterwards a prose pamphlet in vindication and permanent favourite, are too well of Mr. Sheridan's conduct. After the affair known to require illustration here. А had blown over, Mr. Sheridan sought and copious analysis of the work will be found discovered his anonymous champion-he || in Miss Lefanu's volume. obtained an introduction to her at the The success of her first comedy, “ The house of her sister-a lively and reciprocal Discovery," in which Garrick played a attachment was the result of their meeting || principal and favourite part, was not less -and, in a short time (1747) the drama striking. She passed the evening of its was wound up with a romantic and happy | first representation at home, tremblingly marriage.
anticipating the final decision of the public. It is a maxim which never fails, that a A joyous party from the theatre, headed by good daughter will make a good wife, a the Hon. Mrs. Cholmondeley, at length good mother, and a good friend. Of this | burst into the drawing-room, and warmly truth Mrs. Sheridan was an admirable congratulated her on the complete success exemplar. In the education of her daugh- of her play. Mrs. C., in the fashion of those ters she displayed the finest judgment. | days, wore a chip hat, and linen gown, as a When Mr. Sheridan's family had removed suitable costume for the first gallery, in to London, Dr. Johnson was one of their which she had been seated; her beautiful frequent visitors. Observing that their white hands were sore with applauding. eldest daughter (afterwards married to The strong characters of Lord Medway Joseph Lefanu, Esq., of Dublin) began to and Mrs. Knightly, and the humorous give signs of that love of literature for ones of Sir Anthony Branville (Garrick's) which she was afterwards distinguished, | Sir Harry and Lady Flutter, she felt asand that she was very attentively employ- sured would be justly appreciated by the ed in reading his “ Ramblers,” her mother | pit and boxes; but, as the general comhastened to assure Dr. Johnson it was only || plexion of the piece was that of high and works of that unexceptionable description genteel comedy, rather than of broad and which she suffered to meet the eyes of her | farcical humour, she thought the respectalittle girl. “ In general,” added Mrs. Sheri- ble supporters of the first gallery might dan, “ I am very careful to keep her from require a little leading; and there she acall such books as are not calculated, by || cordingly placed herself with a considerable their moral tendency, expressly for the body of friends, to point out to them perusal of youth.”—“ Then you are a fool, || when they should admire, and contribute madam !” vociferated the Doctor.“ Turn their share to the success of the play, by your daughter loose into your library; if obstreperous thunders of applause. This she is well inclined, she will choose only manœuvre, which produced the anticipated nutritious food; if otherwise, all your pre- || result, has been since very often practised. cautions will avail nothing to prevent her Moore has mentioned, from Miss Lefollowing the natural bent of her inclina- | fanu's work, that, during the run of “ The tions." The politeness and the good | Duenna," at Covent Garden Theatre, in taste of this reply are equally obvious. the season of 1775-6, Garrick, to coun
Mrs. Sheridan's colloquial powers were teract the great success of his rival, found of a high order; and it was a remark of Dr. it necessary to bring forward all the weight Sumner's that, in clearness of intellect, de- l of his own best characters; and, that he licacy of taste, and purity of heart, she was even had recourse to the expedient of playone of the first women he ever knew. || ing off the mother against the son, by re
viving Mrs. Sheridan's comedy of “ The Sheridan's character, we rather wonder Discovery,” and acting the principal part Mr. Moore should not have noticed. It in it himself. He should have added, from || displays his love of frolic, and his tendency the same source, that this setting up of the to extravagance, in opposition to his unele mother against the son appeared, to old Chamberlaine's prudent economy, in a luMr. Sheridan, something so strange and dicrous point of view. At school, on the unnatural, that he would not allow his l grand annual contest for the silver arrow, daughters, though in London, to visit the || Richard was not a competitor for the theatre; a restraint by which they were prize of archery, but he distinguished himdeprived of the double and exquisite treat self by the delivery of a Greek oration. of witnessing the inimitable performance of || This, as he was intended for one of the Garrick, in a comedy of their mother's || learned professions, was a judicious arwriting.
rangement, as it exhibited his proficiency The origin or first conception of Mrs. in scholarship; and, in the embarrassed Sheridan's latest work, the oriental tale of state of his father's circumstances, it was “Nourjahad,” was remarkable. One sleep- far preferable to a frivolous competition, less night, when, from reflecting upon the which involved a considerable degree of inequality in the conditions of men, she expense. The oration was to be delivered was led to consider that it is in the due in the character of a military commander; regulation of the passions, rather than on and our hero, not then very strict in his the outward dispensations of Providence, || notions of costume, ordered the uniform of that true happiness or misery depends, she || an English general officer to be made up conceived the idea of the probable con for the occasion. “Accordingly, on the dition of a human being, of a violent and important day he appeared, not, indeed, perverse disposition, supposing his wealth in the elegant dress of an archer of Harto be inexhaustible, and his days extended | row, but in the equally expensive one of to infinity. She imagined this being pos- || a military chief. Mr. Chamberlaine, to sessed of the two greatest apparent goods, whom, of course, his tailor's bill was deriches and immortality, yet devoid of any || livered, severely remonstrated with him on inward principle to restrain the unbounded this unexpected piece of extravagance. indulgence of his passions. Those grati- | Sheridan respectfully replied, that, as the fied, yet still unfortunate passions, became speech was to be delivered in a martial his tormentors; and the two blessings he character, he did not think the effect would had impatiently coveted were transformed || have been complete without an appropriate into insupportable evils. “When, after dress, and that indeed so deeply was he the death of the author, the romantic east himself impressed with that feeling, that he ern tale of “ Nourjahad" appeared in print, I was sure, if he had not been properly habiMiss Alicia Sheridan perfectly recollected || ted, he could not have delivered a word of this circumstance of her mother's having || the oration.” Mr. Chamberlaine had a related to her the outline of the tale before shrewd suspicion, we know not how justly, it was thrown upon paper, as complete as that the pleasure of hoaxing him had a when it received its rich and interesting share in Brinsley's suddenly declared marcolouring."
tial taste. Mrs. Sheridan died at Blois, in France, As we commenced with a remark upon at the early age of 42. The scene of her the hereditary genius of the Sheridan fadeath, as described by Miss Lefanu, is ex- || mily, let us close with another. Having ceedingly affecting ; but we have already || mentioned Miss Lefanu, and “her interesttransgressed our limits too far to give it | ing memoirs of her grandmother,” Moore insertion here. “ To her husband her loss thus expresses himself in a note:-“ The was,” to use his own eloquent expression, talents of this young lady are another “ the most fatal event that could befal him | proof of the sort of gavel-kind of genius in this life; what the world could not re allotted to the whole race of Sheridan. I pair-a bosom friend, another self.” find her very earliest poetical work, “The
We shall relate only one other anecdote, || Sylphid Queen,' thus spoken of in a letter which, as illustrative of Richard Brinsley || from the second Mrs. Sheridan to her
mother, Mrs. Lefanu :- I should have ac We wish to add our humble tribute of knowledged your very welcome present applause to Miss Lefanu, by the simple immediately, had not Mr. Sheridan, on my statement, that we consider her book to telling him what it was, run off with it, and be written with delicacy, taste, and judgI have been in vain endeavouring to get it | ment. It abounds with interesting anecfrom him ever since. What little I did | dotes of a literary, dramatic, and theatrical read of it, I admired particularly; but it cast; and, as a noble memorial of the will be much more gratifying to you and genius and talent of the family of Sheridan, your daughter to hear that he read it it ought to be associated, in every library, with the greatest attention, and thought it || with the volumes of Moore. showed a great deal of imagination.'
ON THE WORD " OLD."
There is scarcely any term in the Eng- 1) compared by Shakspeare to that of wearing lish language, which does not imply actual new clothes; but old clothes are quietly wickedness or malignity, of such general || consigned to the bag of the Israelite, or to degradation as the word Old. A young | the rag-shop. Houses, carriages, furniture, man, how pleasing ! an old man, how | suffer the like disgrace; or, if they are reworthless! A young woman, how charm- | tained, they fix the stigma of poverty or ing, and how courted! an old woman, how | parsimony on their occupier or owner. contemptible and neglected !
But, as I am not, myself, the enemy of fool may become a wise man; but of an any creature or thing, merely because it is old fool there are no hopes. A young || old, I have great pleasure in adding, from rogue is a sprightly fellow, who may be indisputable authority, that friends and come a man of spirit; an old rogue is the wine are not included in the general odium outcast of the creation. A young thief of being deteriorated by age; on the conmay be pardoned, while an old one is || trary, they are said to be improved by doomed to the gallows.
time. Old books might form another exWith respect to external appearance, it ception, if the price given for them were was well said, by Philip Thicknesse, that the criterion of their value; but I rather "youth is beauty; nothing can be com suspect that their scarcity, not their merit, pletely ugly that is not old.”
is the occasion of it; and I incline to the What deformity does the word Old en- opinion that, for reading, which may have tail upon fashion ! How has it transform- || been originally the purpose for which books ed magnificent hoops, pompous bustles, were intended, the old are not preferable and stupendous head-dresses, into objects to the new. Impartiality requires me to which would be hooted at, if they made mention old shoes ; as their claim to supetheir appearance; and now that the exu- | riority is asserted by the well-known adage, berance has descended to the bottom of as easy as an old shoe : but this appears to the skirt, the effect will be the same when me a doubtful case; for, if old and new the skirt is touched by the magic wand of shoes were placed before a number of perthis powerful agent. Such is its dominion sons, for them to take their choice, I beover fashion, that it makes long waists lieve, however the shoe might pinch, few and short waists, wide sleeves and narrow would take the old. sleeves, few petticoats and many petticoats, As no living creature can escape the frightful in their turn. Let the padded hateful appellation of Old, if not cut off cravats and starched collars of the men prematurely by accident or disease, it might tremble; for their beauty will have vanish- mitigate the penalties imposed upon age, ed when they are grown old.
if old men were respected, old women Clothes, themselves, of every descrip- | tolerated, and old horses and asses treated tion, sink under the influence of the word with humanity. Old. The impatience of love has been
AN OLD WOMAX.
Fitted such converse—such high thoughts and THE OCEAN BOWER.
hopes ! how oft
For all was lovely-all was fresh and bright In darkness, and amid the many shapes
As on that golden morn, that primal day,
When first the proud sun gazed on Eden's
E'er Sin and Sorrow yet had entered there.Wordsworth.
Shades of Elysium-0, farewell_farewell! Yes, there are moments in this life's dull tide, My Ocean-bower-my own loved OceanOf such bright tincture, such surpassing bliss,
bower, That, while they beam on us, the soul takes wing Never again may these sad eyes behold To purer worlds, and there luxuriates
Thy well-known charms! but thou shalt freshly In fields of rapture !-Such, 0, such an hour
live I would recall. — The morning sun was shining || Within the hidden chamber of my breast Upon the summer sea, whose azure wave For many a day; and when my weary soul Stole on-and on-to kiss the yellow sands, Pines 'mid the crowd that worst, worst solitude, With low and soothing murmur.-O'er the deep,
Wherein the spirit thirsts in vain for peace The skiff, her white wings spreading, like some And fond companionship-0, then, my bower, bird
I'll turn to thee, and people thy fair paths That speeds to fairer climes its pleasant way, With fairer guests !-Forms that I know and Skimmed o'er the waters. From her dewy nest
love The lark was soaring, singing, as she soared, Shall greet a world-tired wanderer with their Her matin song of liberty and joy.
smiles, The rose was lifting her fond virgin head And breathe a balmy blessing on my name, To greet her ocean-lore, the wandering gale, And softly whisper “ Cherish-cherish well With her first fragrant sigh. That bour-that The bright and pure remembrance of this scene ! scene !
Bind it around thy heart !-in life, in death, That scene that hour, steals o'er my wistful | Its memory shall cheer thee !-- When the world heart,
And the world's cares weigh on thee-fly, 0, Ay Like some delicious and entrancing strain To this lone haven, and thou shalt find peace ! Of far-off music, whose half-uttered cadence And 0, in that dread hour, when Death's dark Whispers of peace of hope of Paradise !
wing And was not Paradise around us then ?
Waves o'er thy couch of anguish then, even Ay! the vitality of heaven was there !
THEN, The living essence of all things most sweet, Think of the scene, where to thy mortal sense Most pure and beautiful, made that blest haunt Glimpses were yielded of a better world, Its dwelling-place. And forms of light were Proud hopes—“the foretaste of Eternity”near us,
And in that hour, thou also shalt find peace. Waving their seraph wings. There was a smile
L. S. S. That shone upon me, while my secret soul Was vowing its deep vow; and, lo! it seemed To sanctify the oath that soul was breathing. Spirit of Her of Her, whose worshipped form
In moments like this, Sleeps in the dust--of Her, whose hallowed bier
To a soul full of feeling, My tears bedewed of Her, whose dying
When visions of bliss prayer
O'er the senses are stealing, Yet rings upon mine ear-whose blessing wraps
The fond sigh of love A guardian spell around me, to preserve
Is dearest aıd sweetest; My soul from evil-O, be Thou my witness
But oh, it will prove
The falsest and fleetest!
The dark blue of night,
The moon faintly peeping
From her thin veil of light, The bower that clasped us in its verdant arms,
That in dew-drops is weeping