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St. George's Hall, about which so much has been talked, is sadly out of character with its chivalrous associations. Verrio, with the wretched taste of his age, has painted a Roman triumph on the walls, in which the principal personages are Edward the Black Prince and his royal prisoner of France; and with the same spirit of absurdity, and with a more hateful spirit of gross flattery, he has scrawled the ceilings of the whole palace with gods and goddesses welcoming Charles II. to their banquets. In one respect he was right; for this most mean and heartless profligate was a fit companion for the scoundrels of the Mythology-for the tyrant and the sensualist, the betrayer and the pander, whether called by the names of Jupiter or Bacchus, of Mercury or Mars. And yet this Verrio (insolent puppy!) has written up in this banquetting-room, set apart for high and solemn festivals
“ Antonius Verrio, Neapolitanus,
Non ignobili stirpe natus,
Molem hanc Felicissima Manu decoravit.” The double conceit of the Italian,—his pride of birth, and his pride of skill in his art,-is altogether too ludicrous.
Next to St. George's Hall there was a Guard Chamber, with matchlocks and bandaliers, and such like curiosities, and a rapid sketch of the Battle of Nordlingen, painted for a triumphal arch by Rubens, worth all the works of Verrio, plastered as they are with real ultramarine. They say it was painted in four-and-twenty hours. Certainly genius can do great things. The last time I saw this Guard Chamber was on a solemn occasion ;-but I shall never forget the scene which it presented. In costume, in arrangement, in every particular, it carried the imagination back three centuries, That occasion was when George III. closed his long years of suffering, and lay in state previous to interment. This chamber was tenanted by the yeomen of the guard. The room was darkened—there was no light but that of the flickering wood fire which burnt on an ancient hearth, with dogs, as they are called, on each side the room ; on the ground lay the beds on which the yeomen had slept during the night : they stood in their ancient dresses of state, with broad scarves of crape across their breasts, and crape on their halberds—and as the red light of the burning brands gleamed on their rough faces, and glanced ever and anon amongst the lances, and coats of mail, and tattered banners that hung around the room, -all the reality connected with their presence in that place vanished from my view, and I felt as if about to be ushered into the stern presence of the last Harry,and my head was uneasy. In a few moments I was in the chamber of death, and all the rest was black velvet and wax lights.
The sun is in the West,
The stars are on the sea, Each kindly hand I've press'd,
And now-farewell to thee! Our cup of parting's done,
'Tis the darkest I can sip, And I've pledged them, every one,
With my heart, and with my lip; But I came to thee the last
That in sadness we might throw One long look o'er the past
Together, -ere I go.
I met thee in my spring,
When my heart was like the fly That on it's airy wing
Sports the live-long summer by ; I loved thee with the love
Of a wild, and burning boy, Thy being was inwove
With my grief-and with my joy; Thou wert to me a star
In the silence of the night,A thing to see from far,
With a fear-and a delight. The hour of joy is gone.
When man and man depart, The deep-wrung hand alone
May tell the anguish'd heart; No tear may stain the eye,
And their parting look must be Like the stillness in the sky,
Ere the storm hath swept the sea : But when we say farewell
To her we love the best, One bitter tear may swell
Nor shame the stoutest breast.
I would not that my name
Should ever meet thine ear;
For their censure, not a fear:-
Looks joyously, and bright, That the thought of me should come
To sadden thy delight:
I would dwell a thing apart
For thy spirit to descry,
A shadow on thine eye.
When the wine cup circles round,
I will quaff it with the rest,
At the revel, or the feast :
When the banquet-hall is lone,
We will pledge thee-lovely one!
With a prayer, if heav'n allow,
As close as I do now.
And tho' no hope be given,
To turn my thoughts to Heaven;
What the dew is to the rose,
In the hour of my repose ;
A lamp within a tomb
To light-tho' but a gloom.
And the murmur on thine ear,
And the landscape dark—and drear;
To flatter—and to smile,
And many to beguile,
And all unlink'd the chain,
I may kneel to thee again.
FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY.
10th.-We concluded our Diary, last month, with some notice of the Duke of Wellington's letter on the Catholic Question: we shall begin that for the present month with Lord Anglesey's. But, though the subject is the same, the task of commenting upon these two productions is, indeed, most different. In the present case, there is no need to strain the mind to guess the meaning of words, which, as their direct sense would involve an impossibility, must be used in some qualified signification. We do not find here hot and cold from the same mouth-a"sincere desire” expressed in one sentence, with a recoiling from putting it into action in the next. No; Lord Anglesey's letter is a fine, manly, outspoken effusion of a mind which is clear in its opinions, firm in its principles, generous in its feelings. It is one of the frankest and most direct professions of faith ever made by a man in high office. His lordship may be proud of the document in itself, and proud of the contrast it affords to the production of his superior-in military rank and political power.
We shall not enter into the turmoil that has been made about this letter having caused Lord Anglesey's recal, or being written in retaliation for it: for, it has been proved by dates—the most stubborn of all facts in a discussion that the letter was not known in London when the recall was despatched, and that the recall did not reach Dublin till after the letter was written and sent. That Lord Anglesey might, when he thus addressed Dr. Curtis, have believed his recall to be highly probable, is a very natural supposition. But we wish to notice the letter itself, and not enter into the gossip about the moment of its composition.
The first thing which strikes you, is that the Lord Lieutenant had been kept in ignorance of the Duke of Wellington's opinion on the Catholic Question. On the subject which affected Ireland more than all others together, the Prime Minister had not condescended to inform the Viceroy what his views were ! Truly, this self-enwrapped dignity—this silence of the oracle without its recompensing dictaare pleasing qualities to bring into the government of such a country as our's! The first Lord of the Treasury leaves the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in ignorance of his “sentiments upon the present state of the Catholic Question”! If the Lord Lieutenant were not fit to be trusted, he ought not to have been there; if he were fit, he should not have been kept in ignorance on such a subject.
Lord Anglesey, then, proffers his opinion as to the most advisable course, grounded on his newly-acquired knowledge of the Duke of Wellington's views. He repeats his conviction of the impossibility of Ireland enjoying happiness or peace while Catholic emancipation is withheld, and expresses his disappointment at there being no prospect of its being granted in the approaching session of Parliament. “I, however," adds his Lordship, " derive some consolation from observing that his Grace is not wholly adverse to the measure ; for if he can be induced to promote it, he, of all men, will have the greatest facility of carrying it into effect.” And then Lord Anglesey, with a forgetfulness of personal feeling, which, at that moment, proves beyond doubt that the good of Ireland was the idea paramount in his mind, urges that the Duke should be propitiated, “and that ample allowances should be made for the difficulties of his situation." He admits that he differs from the Duke as to the attempt to throw the question into oblivion for a time, because he does not believe it to be possible, and does not think it desirable, if it were. But while he urges the utmost forbearance and temper, he recommends the most constant and unceasing perseverance in pressing the question forward :
What I do recommend is, that the measure should not be for a moment lost sight of; that anxiety should continue to be manifested ; that all constitutional (in contradistinction to merely legal) means should be resorted to, to forward the cause; but that, at the same time, the most patient forbearance, the most submissive obedience to the laws should be inculcated, that no personal and offensive language should be held towards those who oppose the claims.
On the whole, we cannot look upon this letter otherwise than as a production calculated to do Lord Anglesey honour, both as to heart and to mind, at any time: but when we consider the circumstances under which it was written, it must encrease almost twofold our admiration of his temper, his magnanimity, his pure and fine singleness of public purpose, and his total carelessness of self.
Lord Anglesey's recall bas now been announced; we may, therefore, take a quick glance at the brief period of his government. It is little more than a year since he went to Ireland, and undoubtedly there seldom has been a period of twelve months so productive of fame to an individual statesman. Lord Anglesey had certainly given the friends of religious liberty no ground for hope: his last public declaration on that subject had been singularly inimical to it. But his ideas must have undergone considerable change even before bis going to Ireland; for he seems from the first to have determined to view every thing with fairness and impartiality, and to have most completely shaken his mind free from those sentiments of violence into which he had suffered himself to be betrayed with regard to Ireland. From his very arrival, he was immovable in his uprightness, and it soon became clear to him which side uprightness tended to foster. The Orange idea of uprightness is lop-sided to a very singular degree.
We remember, on Lord Anglesey's assuming the government, we feared that the old times of the Duke of Richmond were to be revived. It had been with pain we heard of his appointment, and with fear that we saw him go to fulfil it. But, from the first, he surprised all parties : he was mild, firm, and even-handed; there was no violence displayed, no corruption used-there was no appealing, as in the old times to which we have alluded, to a narrow