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bits from which you would induce others never to swerve ? if the blessing be worth preserving, is it not worth recovering.
Recovering !-0 if a wish could transport me back to those days of youth, when a draught from the next clear spring could slake any heats which summer suns and youthful exercise had power to stir up in the blood, how gladly would I return to thee, pure element, the drink of children, and of child-like holy hermit. In my dreams I can sometimes fancy thy cool refreshment purling over my burning tongue. But my waking stomach rejects it. That which refreshes innocence, only makes me sick and faint.
But is there no middle way betwixt total abstinence and the excess which kills you ?For your sake, reader, and that you may never attain to my experience, with pain I must utter the dreadful truth, that there is none, none that I can find. In my stage of habit, (I speak not of habits less confirmed for some of them I believe the advice to be most prudential,) in the stage which I have reached, to stop short of that measure which is sufficient to draw on torpor and sleep, the benumbing apoplectic sleep of the drunkard, is to have taken none at all. The pain of the selfdenial is all one. And what that is, I had rather the reader should believe on my credit, than know from his own trial. He will come to know it, whenever he shall arrive at that state, in which, paradoxical as it may appear, reason shall only visit him through intoxication : for it is a fearful truth, that the intellectual faculties by repeated acts of intemperance may be driven from their orderly sphere of action, their clear day-light ministeries, until they shall be brought at last to depend, for the faint manifestation of their departing energies, upon the returning periods of the fatal madness to which they owe their devastation. The drinking man is never less himself than during his sober intervals. Evil is so far his good.*
Behold me then, in the robust period of life, reduced to imbecility and decay. Hear me coun my gains, and the profits which I have derived from the midnight cup.
Twelve years ago I was possessed of a healthy frame of mind and body. I was never strong, but I think my constitution, (for a weak one,) was as happily exempt from the tendency to any malady as it was possible to be. I scarce knew what it was to ail any thing. Now, except when I am losing myself in a sea of drink, I am never free from those uneasy sensations in head and sto
mach, which are so much worse to bear than any definite pains or aches.
At that time I was seldom in bed after six in the morning, summer and winter. I awoke refreshed, and seldom without some merry thoughts in my head, or some piece of a song to welcome the new-born day. Now, the first feeling which besets me, after stretching out the hours of recumbence to their last possible extent, is a forecast of the wearisome day that lies before me, with a secret wish that I could have lain on still, or never awaked.
Life itself, my waking life, has much of the confusion, the trouble, and obscure perplexity of an ill dream. In the day-time I stumble upon dark mountains.
Business, which, though never particularly adapted to my nature, yet as something of necessity to be gone through, and therefore best undertaken with cheerfulness, I used to enter upon with some degree of alacrity, now wearies, affrights, perplexes me. I fancy all sorts of discouragements, and am ready to give up an occupation which gives me bread, from a harassing conceit of incapacity. The slightest commission given me by a friend, or any small duty which I have to perform for myself, as giving orders to a tradesman, &c. haunts me as a labour impossible to be got through. So much the springs of action are broken.
The same cowardice attends me in all my intercourse with mankind. I dare not promise that a friend's honour, or his cause would be safe in my keeping, if I were put to the expense of any manly resolution in defending it. So much the springs of moral action are deadened within me.
My favourite occupations in times past, now cease to entertain. I can do nothing readily. Application for ever so short a time kills me. This poor abstract of my condition was penned at long intervals, with scarcely any attempt at connexion of thought, which is now difficult to
The noble passages which formerly delighte me in history or poetic fiction, now only draw a few weak tears, allied to dotage. My broken and dispirited nature seems to sink before any thing great and admirable.
I perpetually catch myself in tears, for any cause, or none. It is inexpressible how much this infirmity adds to a sense of shame, and a general feeling of deterioration.
These are some of the instances, concerning which I can say with truth, that it was not always so with me.
Shall I lift up the veil of my weakness any further? or is this disclosure sufficient?
I am a poor nameless egotist, who have no vanity to consult by these confessions. I know not whether I shall be laughed at, or heard seriously. Such as they are, I commend them to the reader's attention, if he finds his own case any
* When poor M-painted his last picture, with a pencil in one trembling hand, and a glass of brandy and water in the other, his fingers owed the comparative steadiness with which they were enabled to go through their task in an imperfect manner, to a temporary firmness derived from a repetition of practices, the general effect of which had shaken boch them and him so terribly
way touched. I have told him what I am come but which, in her better days, must have competto. Let him stop in time.
od with the silver tones of Barry himself, so enchanting in decay do I remember it-of all her lady parts exceeding herself in the Lady Quakeress, (there earth touched heaven,) of O'Keefe,
when she played it to the “merry cousin” of LewTHE OLD ACTORS.
is-and Mrs. Mattocks, the sensiblest of viragos
-and Miss Pope, a gentlewoman ever, to the I do not know a more mortifying thing than to
verge of ungentility, with Churchill's complibe conscious of a foregonè delight, with a total ment still burnishing upon her gay honeycomb oblivion of the person and manner which conveyed lips. There are the two Bannisters, and Sedgit. In dreams I often stretch and strain after the
wick, and Kelly, and Dignum, (Diggy,) and the countenance of Edwin, whom I once saw in Peep
by-gone features of Mrs. Ward, niatchless in ing Tom. I cannot catch a feature of him. He
Lady Loverule; and the collective majesty of is no more to me than Nokes or Pinkethman.
the whole Kemble family, and (Shakspeare's woParsons, and still more Dodd, were near being man,) Dora Jordan; and, by her, two Antics, lost to me, till I was refreshed with their por- who, in former and in latter days have chiefly betraits, (fine treat,) the other day at Mr. Mathews's
guiled us of our griefs; whose portraits we shall gallery at Highgate; which, with the exception strive to recall, for the sympathy of those who may of the Hogarth pictures, a few years since exhi- not have had the benefit of viewing the matchless bited in Pall Mall, was the most delightful col- Highgate collection. lection I ever gained admission to. There hang the players, in their single persons, and in grouped O for a “slip-shod muse,” to celebrate in numscenes, from the Restoration-Bettertons, Booths,
bers, loose and shambling as himself, the merits Garricks, justifying the prejudices which we enter- and the person of Mr. Richard Suett, comedian ! tain for them—the Bracegirdles, the Mountforts, Richard, or rather Dicky Suett-for so in his and the Oldfields, fresh as Cibber has described lifetime he was best pleased to be called, and time them—the Woffington, (a true Hogarth,) upon a hath ratified the appellation-lieth buried on the couch, dallying and dangerous—the Screen Scene north side of the cemetry of Holy Paul, to whose in Brinsley's famous comedy, with Smith and service his nonage and tender years were set apart Mrs. Abingdon, whom I have not seen, and the and dedicated. There are who do yet remember rest, whom having seen, I see still there. There
him at that period—his pipe clear and harmoniis Henderson, unrivalled in Comus, whom I saw at ous. He would often speak of his chorister days, second hand in the elder Harley-Harley, the rival when he was "Cherub Dicky.” of Holman, in Horatio-Holman, with the bright What clipped his wings, or made it expedient glittering teeth in Lothario, and the deep paviour's that he should exchange the holy for the profane sighs in Romeo—the jolliest person, (“our son is
whether he had lost his good voice, (his fat,”) of any Hamlet I have yet seen, with the best recommendation to that office,) like Sir John, most laudable attempts, (for a personable man,) “with hallooing and singing of anthems ;" or at looking melancholy—and Pope, the abdicated whether he was adjudged to lack something, even monarch of tragedy and comedy, in Harry the in those early years, of the gravity indispensable Eighth and Lord Townley. There hang the two to an occupation which professeth to " Aickins, brethren in mediocrity-Wroughton, who with the skies”-I could never rightly learn ; in Kitely, seemed to have forgotten that in proud- but we find him, after the probation of a twelveer days he had personated Alexander--the spe- month or so, reverting to a secular condition, and cious form of John Palmer, with the special ef- become one of us. frontery of Bobby–Bensley with the trumpet- I think he was not altogether of thạt timber, out tongue, and little Quick, (the retired Dioclesian of which cathedral seats and sounding boards are of Islington,) with his squeak like a Bartlemew hewed. But if a glad heart--kind and therefore fiddle. There are fixed, cold as in life, the im- glad--be any part of sanctity, then might the moveable features of Moody, who, afraid of o'er- robe of Motley, with which he invested himself stepping nature, sometimes stopped short of her- with so much humility after his deprivation, and and the restless fidgetiness of Lewis, who, with no which he wore so long with so much blameless such fears, not seldom leaped o' the other side. satisfaction to himself and to the public, be acThere hang Farren and Whitfield, and Burton cepted for a surplice-his white stole, and albe. and Phillimore, names of small account in those The first fruits of his secularization was an entimes, but which, remembered now, or casually gagement upon the boards of Old Drury, at which recalled by the sight of an old play bill, with theatre he commenced, as I have been told, with their associated recordations, can“ drown an eye adopting the manner of Parsons in old men's unused to flow.” There too hangs, (not far remov- characters. At the period in which most of us ed from them in death,) the graceful plainness of knew him, he was no more an imitator than ho the first Mrs. Pope, with a voice unstrung by age, was in any true sense himself imitable.
He was the Robin Good-Fellow of the stage. and when we retired to our pillow, his whimsical He came in to trouble all things with a welcome image still stuck by us, in a manner as to threaten perplexity, himself no whit troubled for the mat- sleep. In vain we tried to divest ourselves of it ter. He was known, like Puck, by his note by conjuring up the most opposite associations. Ha! Ha! Ha! sometimes deepening to Ho! Ho! We resolved to be serious. We raised up the Ho! with an irresistible accession, derived per- gravest topics of life; private misery, public cam haps remotely from his ecclesiastical education, lamity. All would not do. foreign to his prototype, of,0 La! Thousands
There the antic sato of hearts yet respond to the chuckling 0 La! of
Mocking our state Dicky Suett, brought back to their remembrance his queer visnomy --his bewildering costumeoy the faithful transcript of his friend Mathews's all the strange things which he had raked togemimicry. The “force of nature could no further ther his serpentine rod swagging about in his go." He drolled upon the stock of these two syl- pocket-Cleopatra's tear, and the rest of his re lables richer than the cuckoo.
lics--O'Keefe's wild farce, and his wilder comCare, that troubles all the world, was forgot- mentary-till the passion of laughter, like grief ten in his composition. Had he had but two in excess, relieved itself by its own weight, invitgrains, (nay, half a grain,) of it, he could never ing the sleep which in the first instance it had have supported himself upon those two spiders' strings, which served him, (in the latter part of But we were not to escape so easily. No his unmixed existence,) as legs. A doubt or a sooner did we fall into slumbers, than the same scruple must have made him totter, a sigh have image, only more perplexing, assailed us in the puffed him down; the weight of a frown had shape of dreams. Not one Munden, but five staggered him, a wrinkle made him lose his ba- hundred, were dancing before us, like the faces lance. But on he went, scrambling upon those which, whether you will or no, come when you airy stilts of his, with Robin Good-Fellow, have been taking opium-all the strange combina" through brake, through briar,” reckless of a tions, which this strangest of all strange mortals scratched face or a torn double.
ever shot his proper countenance into, from the Shakspeare foresaw him, when he framed his day he came commissioned to dry up the tears of fools and jesters. They have all the true Suett the town for the loss of the now almost forgotten stamp, a loose gait, a slippery tongue, this last Edwin. O for the power of the pencil to have the ready midwife to a without-pain-delivered fixed them when we awoke! A season or two jest; in words light as air, venting truths deep as since there was exhibited a Hogarth gallery. We the centre; with idlest rhymes tagging conceit do not see why there should not be a Munden when busiest, singing with Lear in the tempest, gallery. In richness and variety the latter would or Sir Toby at the buttery hatch.
not fall far short of the former. Jack Bannister, and he had the fortune to be There is one face of Farley, one face of Knight, more of personal favourites with the town than one face, (but what a one it is !) of Liston ; but any actors before or after. The difference, I take Munden has none that you can properly pin down, it, was this :--Jack was more beloved for his and call his. When you think he has exhausted sweet, good-natured, moral, pretensions. Dicky his battery of looks in unaccountable warfare was more liked for his sweet, good-natured, no with your gravity, suddenly he sprouts out an en. pretensions at all. Your whole conscience stir- tirely new set of features, like Hydra. He is not red with Bannister's performance of Walter in one, but legion. Not so much a comedian, as a the Children in the Wood-how dearly beautiful company. If his name could be multiplied like it was !--but Dicky seemed like a thing, as Shak- his countenance, it might fill a play-bill. He, and speare says of Love, too young to know what he alone, literally makes faces : applied to any conscience is. He put us into Vesta's days. Evil other person, the phrase is a mere figure, denoting fled before him-not as from Jack, as from an certain modifications of the human countenance. antagonist—but because it could not touch him, Out of some invisible wardrobe he dips for faces, any more than a cannon-ball a fly. He was de- as his friend Suett used for wigs, and fetches them livered from the burthen of that death; and, when out as easily. We should not be surprised to see death came himself, not in metaphor, to fetch him some day put out the head of a river horse; Dicky, it is recorded of him by Robert Palmer, or come forth a pewit, or lapwing, some featherwho kindly watched his exit, that he received the ed metamorphosis. last stroke, neither varying his accustomed tran- We have seen this gifted actor in Sir Christo quillity, nor tune, with the simple exclamation, pher Curry—in Old Dornton-diffuse a glow of worthy to have been recorded in his epitaph-0 sentiment which has made the pulse of a crowded La!-0 La! Bobby !
theatre beat like that of one man; when he has come in aid of the pulpit, doing good to the moral
heart of a people. We have seen some faint ap Not many nights ago we had come home from proaches to this sort of excellence in other players. seeing this extraordinary performer in Cockletop; But in what has been truly denominated the
"sublime of farce,” Munden stands out as single ices are kept, whereinto she descendeth when Siand unaccompanied as Hogarth. Hogarth, strange rius rageth. She dates from a hot Thursday-to tell, had no followers. The school of Munden some twenty-five years ago. Her apartment in began, and must end, with himself.
summer is pervious to the four winds. Two doors, Can any man wonder, like him ? can any man in north and south direction, and two windows, see ghosts, like him? or fight with his own shadow fronting the rising and the setting sun, never closmessa—as he does in that strangely-neglected ed, from every cardinal point, catch the contributhing, the Cobler of Preston--where his alterna- tory breezes. She loves to enjoy what she calls tions from the Cobler to the Magnifico, and from a quadruple draught. That must be a shrewd the Magnifico to the Cobler, keep the brain of zephyr, that can escape her. I owe a painful facethe spectator in as wild a ferment, as if some Ara- ache, which oppresses me at this moment, to a bian Night were being acted before him, or as if cold caught, sitting by her, one day in last July, at Thalaba were no tale! Who like him can throw, this receipt of coolness. Her fan, in ordinary reor ever attempted to throw, a supernatural interest sembleth a banner spread, which she keepeth conover the commonest daily-life objects ? A table, tinually on the alert to detect the least breeze. She or a joint stool, in his conception, rises into a diga possesseth an active and gadding mind, totally innity equivalent to Cassiopeia's chair. It is invest- commensurate with her person. No one delighted with constellatory importance. You could not eth more than herself in country exercises and speak of it with more deference, if it were mounted pastimes. I have passed many an agreeable holyinto the firmament. A beggar in the hands of day with her in her favourite park at Woodstock. Michael Angelo, says Fuseli, rose the Patriarch of She performs her part in these delightful ambulaPoverty. So the gusto of Munden antiquates tory excursions by the aid of a portable garden and ennobles what it touches. His pots and his chair. She setteth out with you at a fair foot galladles are as grand and primal as the seething. lop, which she keepeth up till you are both well pots and hooks seen in old prophetic vision. A breathed, and then she reposeth for a few seconds. tub of butter, contemplated by him, amounts to a Then she is up again for a hundred paces or so, Platonic idea. He understands a leg of mutton in and again resteth—her movement, on these its quiddity. He stands wondering, amid the sprightly occasions, being something between common-place materials of life, like primæval walking and flying. Her great weight seemeth man, with the sun and stars about him.
to propel her forward, ostrich-fashion. In this kind of relieved marching I have traversed with her many scores of acres on those well-wooded and
well-watered domains. Her delight at Oxford is THE GENTLE GIANTESS.
in the public walks and gardens, where, when the
weather is not too oppressive, she passeth much of The widow Blacket, of Oxford, is the largest her valuable time. There is a bench at Maudlin, or female I ever had the pleasure of beholding. rather, situated between the frontiers of that and Theren
may be her parallel upon the earth, but ******'s college-some litigation, latterly, about surely I never saw it. I take her to be lineally repairs, has vested the property of it finally in descended from the maid's aunt of Brainford, who ******'g—where at the hour of noon she is ordicaused Master Ford such uneasiness. She hath narily to be found sitting-so she calls it by courAtlantean shoulders; and, as she stoopeth in her tesy—but in fact, pressing and breaking of it down gait—with as few offences to answer for in her with her enormous settlement; as both those founown particular as any of Eve's daughters-her dations, who, however, are good natured enough back seems broad enough to bear the blame of all to wink at it, have found, I believe, to their cost. the peccadillos that have been committed since Here she taketh the fresh air, principally at vacaAdam. She girdeth her waist—or what she is tion times, when the walks are freest from interpleased to esteem as such-nearly up to her shoul- ruption of the younger fry of students. Here she ders, from beneath which, that huge dorsal ex- passeth her idle hours, not idly, but generally ac panse, in mountainous declivity, emergeth. Re- companied with a book-blest if she can but interspect for her alone preventeth the idle boys, who cept some resident Fellow, (as usually there are follow her about in shoals, whenever she cometh some of that brood left behind at these periods ;) abroad, from getting up and riding.–But her pre- or stray Master of Arts, (to most of whom she is sence infallibly commands a reverence. She is better known than their dinner bell ;) with whom indeed, as the Americans would express it, some- she may conser upon any curious topic of literature. thing awful. Her person is a burthen to herself, I have seen these shy gownsmen, who truly set no less than to the ground which bears her. To but a very slight value upon female conversation, her mighty bone, she hath a pinguitude withal, cast a hawk's eye upon her from the length of which makes the depth of winter to her the most Maudlin grove, and warily glide off into another desirable season. Her distress in the warmer sol- walk-true monks as they are, and ungently nego stice is pitiable. During the months of July and lecting the delicacies of her polished converse, for August, she usually renteth a cool cellar, where their own perverse and uncommunicating solitari
ness! Within doors her principal diversion is music, vocal and instrumental, in both which she is no mean professor. Her voice is wonderfully
but till I got used to it, I confess it staggered me. It is for all the world like that of a piping bulfinch; while from her size and stature you would expect notes to drown the deep organ. The shake, which most fine singers reserve for the close or cadence, by some unaccountable flexibility, or tremulousness of pipe, she carrieth quite through the composition; so that her time, to a common air or ballad, keeps double motion, like the earth -running the primary circuit of the tune, and still revolving upon its own axis. The effect, as I said before, when you are used to it, is as agreeable as it is altogether new and surprising. The spacious apartment of her outward frame lodgeth a soul in all respects disproportionate. Of more than mortal make, she evinceth withal a trembling sensibility, a yielding infirmity of purpose, a quick susceptibility to reproach, and all the train of diffident and blushing virtues, which for their habitation usually seek out a feeble frame, an attenuated and meagre constitution. With more than man's bulk, her humours and occupations are eminently feminine. She sighs--being six foot high. She languisheth--being two feet wide. She worketh slender sprigs upon the delicate muslin--her fingers being capable of moulding a Colossus. She sippeth her wine out of her glass daintily-- her capacity being that of a tun of Heidelburg. She goeth mincingly with those feet hers—whose solidity need not fear the black ox's pressure. Softest, and largest of thy sex, adieu! by what parting attribute
I salute thee--last and best of the Titanesses--Ogress, fed with milk instead of blood—not least, or least handsome, among Oxford's stately structures--Oxford, who, in its deadest time of vacation, can never properly be said to be empty, having thee to fill it.
The gentle Pr, in a whisper, signified his intention of devoting an Elegy; and Allan Cnobly forgetful of his countrymen's wrongs, vowed a memoir to his manes full and friendly as a Tale of Lyddalcross.
To say truth, it is time he were gone. The humour of the thing, if there was ever much in it, was pretty well exhausted ; and a two year's and a half existence has been a tolerable duration for a phantom.
I am now at liberty to confess, that much which I have heard objected to my late friend's writings was well-founded. Crude they are, I grant youa sort of unlicked, incondite things-villanously pranked in an affected array of antique modes and phrases. They had not been his, if they had been other than such ; and better it is, that a writer should be natural in a self-pleasing quaintness, than to affect a naturalness, (so called,) that should be strange to him. Egotistical they have been pronounced by some who did not know, that what he tells us, as of himself, was often true, only, (historically,) of another; as in his Fourth Essay, (to save many instances,)--where under the first person, (his favourite figure,) he shadows forth the forlorn estate of a country-boy placed at a London school, far from his friends and connections in direct opposition to his own early history.-If it be egotism to imply and twine with his own identity the griefs and affections of another --making himself many, or reducing many unto himself-then is the skilful novelist, who along brings in his hero, or heroine, speaking of themselves, the greatest egotist of all; who yet has never, therefore, been accused of that narrowness. And how shall the intenser dramatist escape being faulty, who doubtless, under cover of passion uttered by another, oftentimes gives blameless vent to his most inward feelings, and expresses his own story modestly?
My late friend was in many respects a singular character. Those who did not like him, hated him ; and some, who once liked him, afterwards became his bitterest haters. The truth is, he gave himself too little concern what he uttered, and in whose presence.
He observed neither time nor place, and would e'en out with what came uppermost. With the severe religionist he would pass for a free-thinker ; while the other faction set him down for a bigot, or persuaded themselves that he belied his sentiments. Few understood him ; and I am not certain that at all times he quite understood himself. He too much affected that dangerous figure-irony. He sowed doubtful speeches, and reaped plain, unequivocal hatred. He would interrupt the gravest discussion with some light jest; and yet, perhaps, not quite irrelevant in ears that could understand it. Your long and much talkers hated him. The informal habit of his mind, joined to an inveterate impediment of speech, forbade him to be an orator ; and he seemed determined that no one else should play
A CHARACTER OF
THE LATE ELIA.
BY A FRIEND.
This gentleman, who for some months past had been in a declining way, hath at length paid his final tribute to nature. He just lived long enough, (it was what he wished,) to see his papers collected into a volume. The pages of the LONDON MAGAZINE will henceforth know him no more.
Exactly at twelve last night his queer spirit departed, and the bells of Saint Bride's rang him out with the old year. The mournful vibrations were caught in the dining room of his friends T. and H.; and the company, assembled there to welcome in another First of January, checked their carousals in mid-mirth, and were silent. Janus wept.