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spring and summer in empty trifling, or criminal indulgence.
Cousin Pindar, who is my constant companion in these expeditions, and who still possesses much of the fire and energy of youthful sentiment, and a buxom hilarity of the spirits, often indeed draws me from these half-melancholy reveries, and makes me feel young again by the enthusiasm with which he contemplates, and the animation with which he eulogizes the beauties of nature displayed before him. His enthusiastic disposition never allows him to enjoy things by halves, and his feelings are continually breaking out in notes of admiration and ejaculations that sober reason might perhaps deem extravagant. But, for my part, when I see a hale hearty old man, who has jostled through the rough path of the world, without having worn away the fine edge of his feelings, or blunted his sensibility to natural and moral beauty, I compare him to the evergreen of the forest, whose colours, instead of fading at the approach of winter, seem to assume additional lustre when contrasted-with the surrounding desolation. Such a man is my friend Pindar; yet sometimes, and particularly at the approach of evening, even he will fall in with my humour: but he soon recovers his natural tone of spirits; and, mounting on the elasticity of his mind, like Ganymede on the eagle's wing, he soars to the ethereal regions of sunshine and fancy.
One afternoon we had strolled to the top of a high hill in the neighbourhood of the Hall, which commands an almost boundless prospect; and as the shadows began to lengthen around us, and the distant mountains to fade into mists, my cousin was seized with a moralizing fit. “It seems to me," said he, laying his hand lightly on my shoulder, “ that there is just at this season, and this hour, a sympathy between us and the world we are now contemplating. The evening is stealing upon nature as well as upon us;—the shadows of the opening day
have given place to those of its close; and the only difference is, that in the morning they were before us, now they are behind; and that the first vanished in the splendours of noon-day, the latter will be lost in the oblivion of night. Our · May of life,' my dear Launce, has for ever fled: our summer is over and gone; but,” continued he, suddenly recovering himself, and slapping me gaily on the shoulder—" but why should we repine? What though the capricious zephyrs of spring, the heats and hurricanes of summer, have given place to the sober sunshine of autumn-and though the woods begin to assume the dappled livery of decay! yet the prevailing colour is still green-gay, sprightly green.
6. Let us then comfort ourselves with this reflection; that though the shades of the morning have given place to those of the evening—though the spring is past, the summer over, and the autumn come, --still you and I go on our way rejoicing; and wbile, like the lofty mountains of our Southern America, our heads are covered with snow, still, like them, we feel the genial warmth of spring and summer playing upon our bosoms."
THE FAMILY OF THE LAMBS.
The family of the Lambs had long been among the most thriving and popular in the neighbourhood: the Miss Lambs were the belles of Little Britain, and every body was pleased when Old Lamb had made money enough to shut up shop, and put his name on a brass plate on his door. In an evil hour, however, one of the Miss Lambs had the honour of being a lady in attendance on the Lady Mayoress, at her grand annual ball, on which occasion she wore three towering ostrich feathers on her head. The family never got over it; they were immediately smitten with a passion for high life; set up a one horse carriage, put a bit of gold lace round the errand boy's hat, and have been the talk and detestation of the whole neighbourhood ever since. They could no longer be induced to play at Pope-Joan or blindman's buff; they could endure no dances but quadrilles, which nobody had ever heard of in Little Britain; and they took to reading novels, talking bad French, and playing upon the piano. Their brother too, who had been articled to an attorney, set up for a dandy and a critic, characters hitherto unknown in these parts, and he confounded the worthy folks exceedingly by talking about Kean, the Opera, and the Edinbro' Review.
What was still worse, the Lambs gave a grand ball, to which they neglected to invite any of their old neighbours; but they had a great deal of genteel company from Theobald's Road, Red-lion Square, and other parts towards the west. There were several beaux of the brother's acquaintance from Gray's Inn Lane and Hatton Garden; and not less than three Aldermen's ladies with their daughters. This was not to be forgotten or forgiven. All Little Britain was in an uproar with the smacking of whips, the lasbing of miserable horses, and the rattling and jingling of hackney coaches. The gossips of the neighbourhood might be seen popping their night caps out at every window, watching the crazy vehicles rumble by; and there was a knot of virulent old crones, that kept a look-out from a house just opposite the retired butcher's, and scanned and criticised every one that knocked at the door!
This dance was a cause of almost open war, and the whole neighbourhood declared they would have nothing more to say to the Lambs. It is true that Mrs. Lamb, when she had no engagements with her quality acquaintance, would give little hum-drum tea junketings to some of her old cronies, " quite," as she would say, “in a friendly way:" and it is equally true that her invitations were always accepted, in spite of all previous vows to the contrary, Nay, the
good ladies would sit and be delighted with the music of the Miss Lambs, who would condescend to strum an Irish melody for them on the piano; and they would listen with wonderful interest to Mrs. Lamb's anecdotes of Alderman Plunket's family of Port-sokenward, and the Miss Timberlakes, the rich heiresses of Crutched Friars; but then they relieved their consciences and averted the reproach of their confederates, by canvassing at the next gossiping convocation every thing that had passed, and pulling the Lambs and their rout all to pieces.
The only one of the family that could not be made fashionable, was the retired butcher himself. Honest Lamb, in spite of the meekness of his name, was a rough hearty old fellow, with the voice of a lion, a head of black hair like a shoe-brush, and a broad face mottled like his own beef. It was in vain that the daughters always spoke of him as “the old gentleman,” addressed him as “papa," in tones of infinite softness, and endeavoured to coax him into a dressing-gown and slippers, and other gentlemanly habits. Do what they might, there was no keeping down the butcher. His sturdy nature would break through all their glossings. He had a hearty vulgar good humour that was irrepressible. His very jokes made his sensitive daughters shudder; and he persisted in wearing his blue cotton coat of a morning, dining at two o'clock, and having a “ bit of sausage with his tea."
He was doomed, however, to share the unpopularity of his family. He found his old comrades gradually growing cold and civil to him; no longer laughing at his jokes; and now and then throwing out a fling at “some people,” and a hint about “quality binding.” This both nettled and perplexed the honest butcher; and his wife and daughters, with the consummate policy of the shrewder sex, taking advantage of the circumstance, at length prevailed upon him to give up his afternoon's pipe and tankard at Wagstafi's; to sit after dinner by himself and take
his pint of port-a liquor he detested—and to nod in his chair in solitary and dismal gentility.
The Miss Lambs might now be seen flaunting along the streets in French bonnets, with unknown beaux; and talking and laughing so loud that it distressed the nerves of every good lady within hearing: They even went so far as to attempt patronage, and actually induced a French dancing-master to set up in thie neighbourhood; but the worthy folks of Little Britain took fire at it, and did so persecute the poor Gaul, that he was fain to pack up fiddle and dancingpumps, and decamp with such precipitation, that he absolutely forgot to pay for his lodgings.
I had flattered myself, at first, with the idea that all this fiery indignation on the part of the community, was merely the overflowing of their zeal for good old English manners, and their horror of innovation; and I applauded the silent contempt they were so vociferous in expressing, for upstart pride, French fashions, and the Miss Lambs. But I grieve to say that I soon perceived the infection had taken hold; and that my neighbours, after condemning, were beginning to follow their example. I overheard my landlady importuning her husband to let their daughters have one quarter at French and music, and that they might take a few lessons in quadrille. I even saw, in the course of a few Sundays, no less than five French bonnets, precisely like those of the Miss Lambs, parading about Little Britain
AFTER the dinner table was removed, the hall given up to the younger members of the family, who, prompted to all kinds of noisy mirth by the Oxonian and Master Simon, made its old walls ring with their merriment, as they played at romping games. I de