« ForrigeFortsæt »
but inwardly thanking God heartily for pitiful sight his eyes ever beheld; a poor my deliverance from jeopardy.
man and his wife, surrounded with seven “ Yes,” continued Frank, “ so it is; helpless infants, almost all perishing for but come, we must take our ground, want of food, raiment, and lodging, and and give the vagabond an hour's law.” their apartment was as dreary as the
“With all my heart,” said I; and in street itself, from the weather beating in five minutes I was dressed and on my upon them from all quarters; that, upon way to the spot, with a lighted che inquiry, he found the parents were in my mouth, and truth to say, entre honest and sober, and wished to be indusnous, a lighter heart under my waistcoat trious, if they had employment, and that than I think I should else have carried he had calculated the expense of making to the field.
the whole family comfortable and happy. On the ground we found Captain M., “How much money,” exclaimed Nash, the fellow's second, who informed us he “ would relieve and make them happy?” understood his principal had taken flight, “ About ten guineas,” replied the and vowed summary vengeance on him friend, “would be sufficient for that when and wherever he should meet him, purpose.' for the insult he had offered him by his Nash instantly went to his bureau, pusillanimous conduct. To be brief, we and gave him the cash, at the same waited one hour, and my antagonist did time pressing him to make all possible not appear. Frank thus addressed him- haste, for fear of the sudden dissolution self to his second :
of the miserable family. “ Captain M.,” he said, “you will do “I need not go far,” said the friend, my friend the justice to say he has be- smiling and putting the money into his haved as becomes a brave and an honor- pocket: “you know you have owed me able man?”
this money a long while, and that I have “ Most certainly,” said the Captain : dunned you for it, for years, to no manand we quitted the ground, and I pro- ner of purpose : excuse me, therefore, ceeded to post the recreant; after which for having thus imposed on your feelings, the Captain, Frank, and I together took not being able to move your justice, for steaks and claret for breakfast. And there are no such objects as I have dethus ended “the first duel" of a half- scribed, to my knowledge: the story is a bearded boy.
EPHRAIM Twigg. fiction from beginning to end, you are a New Monthly Mag.
dupe, not of justice, but of your humanity.”
W.G. NASH, KING OF BATH. (For the Parterre).
POPPING THE QUESTION.
BY AN OLD BACHELOR.
Of the many instances of humanity recorded of this celebrated individual, the “ Faint heart,” says the adage, Spectator takes notice of one, though his won fair ladye.” I know not who it name is not mentioned.
When he was
was that gave birth to this “ wise saw” to give in his account to the Master of whether it is to be found in Homer, the Temple, among other articles, he as some say all things may, (it is a long charged, “For making one man happy, time since we read Homer) or whether 101.” Being questioned about the some gallant son of Mars introduced it meaning of this strange item, he frankly to the world by way of forwarding the declared, that, happening to overhear a views of himself and comrades. But poor man declare to his wife, and a this I know, that whoever the person large family of children, that 101. would may be, he has much to answer for : make him happy, he could not avoid much to answer for to the ladies for subtrying the experiment. He added, if jecting them to the affectations and imthey did not choose to acquiesce in his pertinences of our sex—much to answer charge, he was ready to refund the money. for to us, for encouraging the belief that The Master, struck with such an un- such a behaviour is pleasing to the fair. common instance of good nature, publicly Perhaps it may be urged that a misthanked him for his benevolence, and apprehension and misapplication of the desired the sum might be doubled, as a adage have caused the grievance I comproof of his satisfaction.
plain of. It may
so: but it is not The above circumstance probably took enough that a law is made with a view its rise from the following story-A to encourage merit; it should be so gentleman told Mr. Nash one day that framed as to defy a perversion to the be had just come from seeing the most purposes of evil. In the blessed days of
chivalry, no doubt, the bravest knights But to my tale. About twenty years were--as they deserved to be the most ago, (I was not then so bald as I am successful pleaders in the bower of beauty. now,) I was spending the Midsummer But let it be remembered that, in those with my old friend and school-fellow, days, the gallants were bold as lions in Tom Merton. Tom had married early battle, but in a lady's boudoir, (if such in life, and had a daughter, Mary Rose, an anachronism may be allowed.) meek who, to her “father's wit and mother's as so many lambs. Now, I much fear, beauty,” added her uncle Absalom's the high bearing of our gallants is chiefly humour, and her aunt Deborah's notadisplayed in the chambers of their mis- bility. In her you had the realization of tresses, while craven hearts are found to all that the poets have sung about fairy tremble in the tent. Alas, for the days forms, dulcet voices, and witching eyes. of chivalry! In a word—though I speak She was just such a being as you may it with the most perfect good humour, imagine to yourself in the heroine of and without a particle of jealousy-I some beautiful romance - Narcissa, in consider the young men of the present Roderick Random, for instance-or Soday a saucy, empty, assuming, ill-bred phia, in Tom Jones—or Fanny, in Joseph set of fellows, and altogether unworthy Andrews not the modern, lackadaisical the favours of the belles of the nineteenth damsels of Colburn and Bentley. If she century.
had met the eye of Marc Antony, CleoI am not a nineteenth-century man patra might have exerted her blandishmyself, and I thank the gods (particularly ments in vain : if Paris had but seen the god of love) for that consolation in Mary Rose Merton, Troy might have the midst of all my sorrows. Forty been standing to this day. Such was the years ago things were very different : presiding divinity of the house where I the young folks of that age were men of was visiting. My heart was susceptible, another calibre, men who paid some re- and I fell in love. No man, I thought, gard to decency, and were not ashamed had ever loved as I did—a common fancy to wear the blush of modesty upon all among lovers--and the intensity of my proper occasions. I was a lover then; affection I believed would not fail to se and I confess, (though at the risk of cure a return. One cannot explain the getting laughed at for my pains,) felt as secret, but those who have felt the influmuch alarm at the idea of “popping the will know how to judge of my feelred-hot question,” as facing a fifteen- ings. I was as completely over head and pounder. An offer of marriage at that ears as mortal could be: I loved with time of day was matter of deliberation that entire devotion that makes filial for weeks, months-nay, frequently for piety and brotherly affection sneak to a years: not as now, an affair of three in- corner of man's heart, and leave it to terviews—a ball, a morning call, and an the undisputed sovereignty of feminine evening at the opera.
No, no: Gretna beauty. Green was a terra incognita in those days; The blindness incidental to my passion, and except in plays and romances, no and the young lady's uniform kindness, man ever dreamt of stealing a heiress led me to believe that the possibility of burglariously, (for I can find no softer her becoming my wife was by no means term for it,) or running away with a so remote as at first it had appeared to beauty, and asking her consent after be; and, having spent several sleepless wards.
nights in examining the subject on all The manner of popping the question, sides, I determined to make her an offer certainly, must always vary considerably of my hand, and to bear the result, pro with the varying dispositions and habits or con, with all due philosophy. For of men. The young lawyer, for instance, more than a week I was disappointed in would put it in a precise, parchment an opportunity of speaking alone with my sort of way,—I, A. B., do hereby ask adored, notwithstanding I had frequently and solicit, &c.—while the poet, no doubt left the dinner-table prematurely with would whip in a scrap of Ovid, and that view, and several times excused mymake it up into a sonnet, or moonlight self from excursions which had been impromptu. I remember the opinion of planned for my especial amusement. a young beau of Gray's Inn, (macaronies At length the favourable moment we used to call them in those days) who, ned to be at hand. A charity sermon on its being suggested that the best way was to be preached by the bishop, for the of putting the
query was by writing, benefit of a Sunday school, and as Mr. replied, “ No, that would never do ; for Merton was churchwarden, and destined then the lady would have it to shew to hold one of the plates, it became imagainst you.”
perative on his family to be present on tation-his face glowing with affection, the occasion. I, of course, proffered my thine suffused with blushes -- his eyes services, and it was arranged that we beaming with smiles, thine gushing with should set off early next morning, to se- tears-love-tears, that fall, drop_drop-cure good seats in the centre aisle. I slowly at first, like the first drops of a could hardly close my eyes that night for thunder storm, increasing in their flow, thinking how I should “ Pop the Ques- even as that storm increaseth, till finding tion;" and when I did get a short slum. it no longer possible to dissemble thy ber, was waked on a sudden by some one weeping, thou raisest the duster to thy starting from behind a hedge, just as I cheeks, and smearest them with its pulwas disclosing the soft secret. Some- verized impurities. But Love knows times, when I had fancied myself sitting best how to bring about his desires : that by the lovely Mary in a bower of jasmine little incident, simple—nay, silly as it and roses, and had just concluded a beau- may seem, has more quickly matured the tiful rhapsody about loves and doves, project than hours of sentiment could myrtles and turtles, I raised my blushing have done ; for the begrimmed countehead, and found myself tete•u-tete with nance of the maiden sets both the lovers her papa.
At another moment, she would a laughing—she is anxious to run away, slip a beautiful, pink, hot-pressed billet- to wash “the filthy witness” from her doux into my hand, which, when I un- face—he will not suffer her to depart folded it, would turn out to be a challenge without a promise, a word of hope-she from some favoured lover, desiring the falters forth the soft syllables of consent satisfaction of meeting me at half-past—and the terrible task of “ popping the six in the morning, and so forth, and question” is over. concluding, as usual, with an indirect Breakfast-time at length arrived. But allusion to a horsewhip. Morning dreams, I shall pass over the blunders I committhey say, always come true. It's a gross ted during its progress; how I salted falsehood-mine never come true. But Mary Rose's muffin instead of my own, I had a pleasant vision that morning, poured the cream into the sugar basin, and recollecting the gossip's tale, I fondly and took a bite at the teapot lid. “ Pop believed it would be verified. Methought the question” haunted me continually, I had ventured to “pop the question” and I feared to speak, even on the most to my Dulcinea, and was accepted. I ordinary topics, lest I should in some jumped out of bed in a tremor. “ Yes,” way betray myself. Pop-pop-pop! I cried, “I will pop the question : ere every thing seemed to go off with a pop; this night-cap again envelope this un- and when at length Mr. Merton hinted happy head, the trial shall be made!” to Mary and her mother that it was time and I shaved, and brushed my hair over for them to pop on their bonnets, I the bald place on my crown, and tied my thought he laid a particular stress on the cravat with unprecedented care; and horrible monosyllable, and almost exmade my appearance in the breakfast- pected him to accuse me of some sinister parlour just as the servant maid had design upon his daughter. It passed off, begun to dust the chairs and tables. however, and we set out for the church.
Poor servant maid! I exclaimed to Mary Rose leaned upon my arm, and myself—for I felt very Sterne-ish--was complained how dull I was. I, of course, it ever thy lot to have the question pop- protested against it, and tried to rally: ped in thy unsophisticated ear? May- vivacity, indeed, was one of my charachap, even now, as thou dustest the ma- teristics, and I was just beginning to hogany chairs, and rubbest down the legs make myself extremely agreeable, when of the rosewood tables, pangs of unre- a little urchin, in the thick gloom of a quited affection agitate thy tender bosom, dark entry, let off a pop gun close to my or doubts of a lover's faith are preying ear. The sound, simple as it may seem, upon thy maiden heart !
I can fancy made me start as if a ghost had stood thee, fair domestic, standing in that neat before me, and when Mary observed that dress thou wearest now—a gown of dark I was “very nervous this morning," I blue with a little white sprig, apron of felt as if I could have throttled the lad; criss-cross, (housemaids were not above and inwardly cursed the inventor of popchecked aprons in those days), and black guns, and doomed him to the lowest pit cotton stockings—that identical duster, of Acheron. perhaps, waving in thy ruby hand—I I strove against my fate, however, and can fancy thee, thus standing, sweet help, made several observations. with thy lover at thy feet-he all hope cried Mary Rose, as we gained the end and protestation, thou all fear and hesi- of the street, “what a beautiful child !”
MORAL FORTITUDE DEPENDENT ON HALIT.
I turned my head to the window, I had purposely enclosed in the bookwhen the first object that met my eyes and she marked a passage. O ye gods was a square blue paper, edged with yel- and demigods! what were my sensations low, on which was written in too, too at that moment! not Jove himself, legible characters, “Pop.” I believe I when he went swan-hopping to the was surprised into an exclamation strong- lovely Ledamnor Pluto, when he perer than the occasion would seem to war- petrated the abduction of the beautiful rant, and the poor child came in for a Proserpine, could have experienced a share of my anathema. I didn't intend greater turmoil of passions than I that it, however, for I am very fond of chil- moment. I felt the score--felt it, as if dren: but it served Mary Rose to scold it had been made across my very heart : me about till we came to the church and I grasped the book—and I squeezed door; and if possible, bewildered me the hand that presented it; and, opening more than ever. We had now arrived the page tremblingly, and holding the in the middle aisle, when my fair com- volume close to my eyes, (for the type, panion, whispered me "My dear was small, and my sight not quite so Mr. won't you take off your good as it used to be), I read-O Mary hat?" This was only a prelude to Rose! O Mary Rose! that I should still greater blunders. "I posted myself live to relate it! -“A woman may not at the head of the seat, sang part of the marry her grandfather." hundredth psalm while the organist was
Metropolitan Magazine. playing the symphony, sat down when I should have stood up, knelt when I ought to have been standing, and just at
MISCELLANIES. the end of the creed found myself pointed due west, the gaze and wonder of the congregation.
When life is in danger either in a storm The sermon at length commenced; or a battle, it is certain that less fear is and the quietness that ensued, broken felt by the commander or the pilot, and only by the perambulations of the beadle even by the private soldier actively enand sub-schoolmaster, and the collision gaged, or the common sailor laboriously ever and anon of their official wands occupied, than by those who are exposed with the heads of refractory students, to the peril, but not employed in the guilty of the enormous crime of gaping means of guarding against it. The reaor of twirling their thumbs, gave me son is, not that the one class believe the an opportunity of collecting my scatter- danger to be less. They are likely in ed thoughts. Just as the rest of the many instances to perceive it more congregation were going to sleep, I be- clearly. But having acquired a habit gan to awake from my mental lethargy; of instantly turning their thoughts to and by the time the worthy prelate had the means of counteracting the danger, discussed three or four heads of his text, their minds are thrown into a state which felt myself competent to make a speech excludes the ascendancy of fear.—Mental in parliament. Just at this moment, fortitude depends entirely upon this too, a thought struck me, as beautiful habit. The timid horseman is haunted as it was sudden-a plan by which I by the horrors of a fall. The bold and might make the desired tender of my skilful thinks only about the best means person, and display an abundant share of of curbing or supporting his horse. wit into the bargain.
Even when all means are equally unavailTo this end I seized Mary Rose's able, and his condition appears desperate prayer-book, and turning over the pages to the by-stander, he still owes it to his till I came to matrimony, marked the fortunate habit that he does not suffer passage, “ Wilt thou have this man to the agony of the coward. Many cases thy wedded husband ?" with two empha- have been known where fortitude has tic dashes, and pointing significantly reached such strength that the faculties, and confidently to myself handed it to instead of being confounded by danger, her with a bow. She took it !-she read are never raised to their highest activity it!!- she smiled !!! Was it a smile of by a Jess violent stimulant. The disassent? O how my heart beat in my tinction between such men and the coward bosom at that instant-so loud, that I does not depend upon difference of opifeared the people around us might hear nion about the reality or extent of the its palpitations; and looked at them to danger, but on a state of mind which see if they noticed me. She turned over renders it more or less accessible to fear. a few leaves-she took my pencil, which
Sir James Mackintosh.
A PAGE FROM A BLUE JACKET'S in instilling into the minds of his boys LOG BOOK.
high ideas of the antiquity of their race. (For the Parterre.)
The armorial shield of the Elliotts, cut
from the panel of his old - fashioned It may be of his wish to roam
chair before it was sold, did not certainly Repented he; but in his bosom slept
serve, like the clay of Cæsar, " to stop The silent thought, nor from his lips did come a hole to keep the wind away ;" but it One word of wail.- Byron.
occupied a conspicuous station on the
bare wall of the cottage, which sheltered The Elliotts of Swingdale, till towards the last laird of the once proud race. To the beginning of the last century, had this monument of the rank of his family, been for time immemorial, a family of no he would often point with pride, when mean note amongst the border aristo- recounting to his sons the “ tales of other cracy of Scotland. But from this period, days," and the part taken by their ancesowing to the improvidence of two or tors in the border feuds; and in such three successive proprietors, it became reminiscences the old man contrived to gradually reduced; and the last of the soften the mortification of his fallen conlairds, still more profuse and hospitable dition. than his predecessors, with greatly dimi- Not such were the instructions of nished means, was, after a fruitless strug. Mrs. Elliott; she performed towards gle, compelled to part with the last rood of them a far better part, by impressing his paternal lands, and seek refuge with on their ductile minds the necessity for his faithful, uncomplaining partner and self-exertion as the only sure path to their boys, in a small mountain dwell- honour and happiness. ing, provided for them by the humanity But she did more: she relinquished, of his relations.
though not without a severe struggle, Mr. Elliott, as he was designated her two eldest boys, when they had from courtesy, passed his time in alternate scarcely attained the age of adolescence, grumblings at his fallen fortunes, which to the care of a relative, a man of he imputed to every cause except the wealth and importance in the East, who true one-his own improvidence, and kindly promised to forward their for