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nib a pen--with what deliberation would he wet a wafer !
But it is time to close-night's wheels are rattling fast over me—it is proper to have done with this solemn mockery.
Reader, what if I have been playing with thee all this while ?-peradventure the very
names, which I have summoned up before thee, are fantastic-insubstantial—like Henry Pimpernel, and old John Naps of Greece:
Be satisfied that something answering to them has had a being. Their importance is from the past.
OXFORD IN THE VACATION.
Casting a preparatory glance at the bottom | carpet-ground of a midnight dissertation. It of this article—as the wary connoisseur in feels its promotion. prints, with cursory eye, (which, while it reads, So that you see, upon the whole, the literary seems as though it read not,) never fails to dignity of Elia is very little, if at all, comproconsult the quis sculpsit in the corner, before he mised in the condescension. pronounces some rare piece to be a Vivares, or Not that, in my anxious detail of the many a Woollet- -methinks I hear you exclaim, commodities incidental to the life of a public Reader, Who is Elia ?
office, I would be thought blind to certain Because in my last I tried to divert thee flaws, which a cunning carper might be able to with some half-forgotten humours of some old pick in this Joseph's vest. And here I must clerks defunct, in an old house of business, long have leave, in the fulness of my soul, to regret since gone to decay, doubtless you have already the abolition, and doing-away-with altogether, set me down in your mind as one of the self- of those consolatory interstices, and sprinklings same college a votary of the desk—a notched of freedom, through the four seasons,--the redand cropt scrivener—one that sucks his sus- letter days, now become, to all intents and purtenance, as certain sick people are said to do, poses, dead-letter days. There was Paul, and through a quill.
Stephen, and BarnabasWell, I do agnize something of the sort. I Andrew and John, men famous in old times confess that it is my humour, my fancy-in i —we were used to keep all their days holy, as the fore-part of the day, when the mind of long back as I was at school at Christ's. I your man of letters requires some relaxation, remember their effigies, by the same token, in (and none better than such as at first sight the old Basket Prayer Book. There hung seems most abhorrent from his beloved studies) Peter in his uneasy posture- -holy Bartlemy -to while away some good hours of my time in the troublesome act of flaying, after the in the contemplation of indigos, cottons, raw famous Marsyas by Spagnoletti. I honoured silks, piece-goods, flowered or otherwise. In them all, and could almost have wept the the first place
defalcation of Iscariot-so much did we love to and then it sends you home with such increased keep holy memories sacred :-only methought appetite to your books
I a little grudged at the coalition of the better not to say, that your outside sheets, and waste Jude with Simon-clubbing (as it were) their wrappers of foolscap, do receive into them, sanctities together, to make up one poor most kindly and naturally, the impression of gaudy-day between them—as an economy sonnets, epigrams, essays-so that the very unworthy of the dispensation. parings of a counting-house are, in some sort, These were bright visitations in a scholar's the settings up of an author. The enfranchised and a clerk’s life—“far off their coming shone.” quill, that has plodded all the morning among - I was as good as an almanac in those days. the cart-rucks of figures and ciphers, frisks I could have told you such a saint's-day falls and curvets so at its ease over the flowery out next week, or the week after. Peradven
ture the Epiphany, by some periodical infeli- kitchens, kitchen fire-places, cordial recesses; city, would, once in six years, merge in a ovens whose first pies were baked four centuries Sabbath. Now am I little better than one of ago; and spits which have cooked for Chaucer ! the profane. Let me not be thought to arraign Not the meanest minister among the dishes the wisdom of my civil superiors, who have but is hallowed to me through his imagination, judged the further observation of these holy and the Cook goes forth a Manciple. tides to be papistical, superstitious. Only in Antiquity! thou wondrous charm, what art a custom of such long standing, methinks, if thou ? that, being nothing, art everything! their Holinesses the Bishops had, in decency, When thou wert, thou wert not antiquity—then been first sounded- -but I am wading out of thou wert nothing, but hadst a remoter antiquity, my depths. I am not the man to decide the as thou calledst it, to look back to with blind limits of civil and ecclesiastical authority- veneration; thou thyself being to thyself flat, I am plain Elia-no Selden, nor Archbishop jejune, modern ! What mystery lurks in this Usher—though at present in the thick of their retroversion ? or what half Januses * are we, books, here in the heart of learning, under the that cannot look forward with the same shadow of the mighty Bodley.
idolatry with which we for ever revert! The I can here play the gentleman, enact the mighty future is as nothing, being everystudent. To stich a one as niyself, who has thing ! the past is everything, being nothing ! been defrauded in his young years of the sweet What were thy dark ages ? Surely the sun food of academic institution, nowhere is so rose as brightly then as now, and man got him pleasant, to while away a few idle weeks at, to his work in the morning. Why is it we can as one or other of the Universities. Their never hear mention of them without an accomvacation, too, at this time of the year, falls in panying feeling, as though a palpable obscure 60 pat with ours. Here I can take my walks had dimmed the face of things, and that our unmolested, and fancy myself of what degree ancestors wandered to and fro groping ! or standing I please. I seem admitted ad Above all thy rarities, old Oxenford, what eundem. I fetch up past opportunities. I do most arride and solace me, are thy reposican rise at the chapel-bell, and dream that it tories of mouldering learning, thy shelves rings for me. In moods of humility I can be What a place to be in is an old library! It a Sizar, or a Servitor. When the peacock seems as though all the souls of all the writers, vein rises, I strut a Gentleman Commoner, that have bequeathed their labours to these In graver moments, I proceed Master of Arts. Bodleians, were reposing here, as in some Indeed I do not think I am much unlike that dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to respectable character. I have seen your dim- handle, to profane the leaves, their windingeyed vergers, and bed-makers in spectacles, sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I drop a bow or a curtsy, as I pass, wisely mis- seem to inhale learning, walking amid their taking me for something of the sort. I go foliage ; and the odour of their old mothabout in black, which favours the notion. scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom Only in Christ Church reverend quadrangle, of those sciential apples which grew amid the I can be content to pass for nothing short of a happy orchard. Seraphic Doctor.
Still less have I curiosity to disturb the The walks at these times are so much one's elder repose of MSS. Those carice lectiones, own,—the tall trees of Christ's, the groves of so tempting to the more erudite palates, do Magdalen! The halls deserted, and with open but disturb and unsettle my faith. I am no doors inviting one to slip.in unperceived, and Herculanean raker. The credit of the three pay a devoir to some Founder, or noble or witnesses might have slept unimpeached for royal Benefactress (that should have been me. I leave these curiosities to Porson, and ours), whose portrait seems to smile upon their to G. D.-whom, by the way, I found busy as over-looked beadsman, and to adopt me for a moth over some rotten archive, rummaged their own. Then, to take a peep in by the out of some seldom-explored press, in a nook way at the butteries, and sculleries, redolent at Oriel. With long poring, he is grown of antique hospitality : the immense caves of * Januses of one face.-SIR THOMAS BROWNE.
almost into a book. He stood as passive as one was ushered into the hall, where, asking for by the side of the old shelves. I longed to new- pen and ink, with great exactitude of purpose coat him in russia, and assign him his place. he enters me his name in the book—which He might have mustered for a tall Scapula. ordinarily lies about in such places, to record
D. is assiduous in his visits to these seats of the failures of the untimely or unfortunate learning. No inconsiderable portion of his visitor — and takes his leave with many moderate fortune, I apprehend, is consumed ceremonies, and professions of regret. Some in journeys between them and Clifford's-inn two or three hours after, his walking destinies
where, like a dove on the asp’s nest, he returned him into the same neighbourhood again, has long taken up his unconscious abode, amid and again the quiet image of the fire-side circle an incongruousassembly of attorneys,attorneys' at M's—Mrs. M. presiding at it like a Queen clerks, apparitors, promoters, vermin of the law, Lar, with pretty A. S. at her side-striking among whom he sits “in calm and sinless irresistibly on his fancy, he makes another call peace.” The fangs of the law pierce him not (forgetting that they were certainly not to --the winds of litigation blow over his humble return from the country before that day week”), chambers—the hard sheriff's officer moves his and disappointed a second time, inquires for hat as he passes—legal nor illegal discourtesy pen and paper as before : again the book is touches him-none thinks of offering violence brought, and in the line just above that in or injustice to him—you would as soon “strike which he is about to print his second name an abstract idea."
(his re-script)— his first name (scarce dry) D. has been engaged, he tells me, through a looks out upon him like another Sosia, or as course of laborious years, in an investigation if a man should suddenly encounter his own into all curious matter connected with the two duplicate !—The effect may be conceived. D. Universities; and has lately lit upon a MS. made many a good resolution against any such collection of charters, relative to CM by lapses in future. I hope he will not keep them which he hopes to settle some disputed points too rigorously. --particularly that long controversy between For with G.D.—to be absent from the body, them as to priority of foundation. The ardour is sometimes (not to speak it profanely) to be with which he engages in these liberal pur- present with the Lord. At the very time suits, I am afraid, has not met with all the when, personally encountering thee, he passes encouragement it deserved, either here, or at on with no recognition- -or, being stopped, a. Your caputs, and heads of colleges, starts like a thing surprised—at that moment, care less than anybody else about these ques- reader, he is on Mount Tabor—or Parnassus tions.-Contented to suck the milky fountains or co-sphered with Plato—or, with Harrington,
their Alma Maters, without inquiring into | framing “immortal commonwealths"--devisthe venerable gentlewomen's years, they rather ing some plan of amelioration to thy country, hold such curiosities to be impertinent-un- or thy species peradventure meditating reverend. They have their good glebe lands some individual kindness or courtesy, to be in
manu, and care not much to rake into the done to thee thyself, the returning conscioustitle deeds. I gather at least so much from ness of which made him to start so guiltily at other sources, for D. is not a man to complain. thy obtruded personal preser.ce.
D. started like an unbroke heifer, when I D. is delightful anywhere, but he is at the interrupted him. A priori it was not very best in such places as these. He cares not probable that we should have met in Oriel. much for Bath. He is out of his element at But D. would have done the same, had I Buxton, at Scarborough, or Harrowgate. The accosted him on the sudden in his own walks Cam and the Isis are to him “better than all in Clifford's inn, or in the Temple. In addition the waters of Damascus.” On the Muses' hill to a provoking short-sightedness (the effect of he is happy, and good, as one of the Shepherds late studies and watchings at the midnight oil) on the Delectable Mountains ; and when he D. is the most absent of men. He made a call goes about with you to show you the halls and the other morning at our friend M's in Bed colleges, you think you have with you the ford-square; and, finding nobody at home, Interpreter at the House Beautiful.
CHRIST'S HOSPITAL FIVE-AND-THIRTY YEARS AGO.
In Mr. Lamb's “ Works,” published a year excited our appetites, and disappointed our or two since, I find a magnificent eulogy on stomachs, in almost equal proportion)-he had my old school *, such as it was, or now appears his hot plate of roast veal, or the more temptto him to have been, between the years 1782 ing griskin (exotics unknown to our palates), and 1789. It happens, very oddly, that my cooked in the paternal kitchen (a great thing), own standing at Christ's was nearly corre- and brought him daily by his maid or aunt ! sponding with his ; and, with all gratitude to I remember the good old relative (in whom him for his enthusiasm for the cloisters, I love forbade pride) squatting down upon some think he has contrived to bring together odd stone in a by-nook of the cloisters, diswhatever can be said in praise of them, closing the viands (of higher regale than those dropping all the other side of the argument cates which the ravens ministered to the most ingeniously.
Tishbite); and the contending passions of L. I remember L. at school; and can well at the unfolding. There was love for the recollect that he had some peculiar advan- | bringer; shame for the thing brought, and the tages, which I and others of his schoolfellows manner of its bringing ; sympathy for those had not. His friends lived in town, and were who were too many to share in it; and, at near at hand ; and he had the privilege of going top of all, hunger (eldest, strongest of the to see them, almost as often as he wished, passions !) predominant, breaking down the through some invidious distinction, which was stony fences of shame, and awkwardness, and denied to us. The present worthy sub-trea- a troubling over-consciousness. surer to the Inner Temple can explain how I was a poor friendless boy. My parents, that happened. He had his tea and hot rolls and those who should care for me, were far in a morning, while we were battening upon away. Those few acquaintances of theirs, our quarter of a penny loaf—our crug-moist- which they could reckon upon being kind to ened with attenuated small beer, in wooden me in the great city, after a little forced notice, piggins, smacking of the pitched leathern jack which they had the grace to take of me on my it was poured from. Our Monday's milk first arrival in town, soon grew tired of my porritch, blue and tasteless, and the peas soup holiday visits. They seemed to them to recur of Saturday, coarse and choking, were enriched too often, though I thought them few enough ; for him with a slice of “extraordinary bread and, one after another, they all failed me, and and butter," from the hot-loaf of the Temple. I felt myself alone among six hundred playThe Wednesday's mess of millet, somewhat mates. less repugnant-(we had three banyan to four O the cruelty of separating a poor lad from meat days in the week)—was endeared to his his early homestead! The yearnings which I palate with a lump of double-refined, and a used to have towards it in those unfledged smack of ginger (to make it go down the more years ! How, in my dreams, would my native glibly) or the fragrant cinnamon. In lieu of town (far in the west) come back, with its our half-pickled Sundays, or quite fresh boiled church, and trees, and faces ! How I would beef on Thursdays (strong as caro equina), with wake weeping, and in the anguish of my heart detestable marigolds floating in the pail to exclaim upon sweet Calne in Wiltshire ! poison the broth—our scanty mutton scrags on
To this late hour of my life, I trace impresFridays—and rather more savoury, but grudg- sions left by the recollection of those friendless ing, portions of the same flesh, rotten-roasted | holidays. The long warm days of summer or rare, on the Tuesdays (the only dish which never return but they bring with them a gloom * Recollections of Christ's Hospital.
from the haunting memory of those whole-dayleates, when, by some strange arrangement, we dared to commit, nor had the power to hinder. were turned out, for the live-long day, upon The same execrable tyranny drove the younger our own hands, whether we had friends to go part of us from the fires, when our feet were to, or none. I remember those bathing-excur- perishing with snow ; and, under the cruelest sions to the New-River, which L. recalls with penalties, forbade the indulgence of a drink such relish, better, I think, than he can—for of water, when we lay in sleepless summer he was a home-seeking lad, and did not much nights, fevered with the season, and the day's care for such water-pastimes :—How merrily sports. we would sally forth into the fields; and strip There was one H- , who, I learned, in under the first warmth of the sun; and wanton after days, was seen expiating some maturer like young dace in the streams; getting us offence in the hulks. (Do I flatter myself in appetites for noon, which those of us that were fancying that this might be the planter of that pennyless (our scanty morning crust long since name, who suffered-at Nevis, I think, or St. exhausted) had not the means of allaying— Kitts, - some few years since ? My friend while the cattle, and the birds, and the fishes, Tobin was the benevolent instrument of were at feed about us and we had nothing to bringing him to the gallows.) This petty satisfy our cravings—the very beauty of the Nero actually branded a boy, who had offended day, and the exercise of the pastime, and the him, with a red-hot iron ; and nearly starved sense of liberty, setting a keener edge upon forty of us, with exacting contributions, to the them !-How faint and languid, finally, we one half of our bread, to pamper a young ass, would return, towards night-fall, to our desired which, incredible as it may seem, with the morsel, half-rejoicing, half-reluctant, that the connivance of the nurse's daughter (a young hours of our uneasy liberty had expired ! flame of his) he had contrived to smuggle in,
It was worse in the days of winter, to go and keep upon the leads of the ward, as they prowling about the streets objectless-shiver- called our dormitories. This game went on ing at cold windows of print-shops, to extract a for better than a week, till the foolish beast, little amusement; or haply, as a last resort in not able to fare well but he must cry roast the hopes of a little novelty, to pay a fifty- meat-happier than Caligula's minion, could times repeated visit (where our individual faces he have kept his own counsel—but, foolisher, should be as well known to the warden as those alas! than any of his species in the fablesof his own charges) to the Lions in the Tower waxing fat, and kicking, in the fulness of bread, -to whose levee, by courtesy immemorial, we one unlucky minute would needs proclaim his had a prescriptive title to admission.
good fortune to the world below; and, laying L.'s governor (so we called the patron who out his simple throat, blew such a ram’s-horn presented us to the foundation) lived in a blast, as (toppling down the walls of his own manner under his paternal roof. Any com- Jericho) set concealment any longer at defiplaint which he had to make was sure of being ance. The client was dismissed, with certain attended to. This was understood at Christ's, attentions, to Smithfield ; but I never underand was an effectual screen to him against the stood that the patron underwent any censure severity of masters, or worse tyranny of the on the occasion. This was in the stewardship monitors. The oppressions of these young
of Li's admired Perry. brutes are heart-sickening to call to recollection. I have been called out of my bed, and have forgotten the cool impunity with which waked for the purpose, in the coldest winter the nurses used to carry away openly, in open nights—and this not once, but night after night platters, for their own tables, one out of two of -in my shirt, to receive the discipline of a every hot joint, which the careful matron had leathern thong, with eleven other sufferers, been seeing scrupulously weighed out for our because it pleased my callow overseer, when dinners? These things were daily practised in there has been any talking heard after we that magnificent apartment, which L. (grown were gone to bed, to make the six last beds in connoisseur since, we presume) praises so the dormitory, where the youngest children of highly for the grand paintings " by Verrio, us slept, answerable for an offence they neither and others, with which it is “hung round
& Under the same facie administration, can L.