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with which it abounds-one of the ark, in such unfit sustenance as these husks afforded, particular, and another of Solomon's temple, but for a fortunate piece of ill-fortune, which delineated with all the fidelity of ocular ad- about this time befel me. Turning over the measurement, as if the artist had been upon picture of the ark with too much haste, I unthe spot-attracted my childish attention. happily made a breach in its ingenious fabricThere was a picture, too, of the Witch raising driving my inconsiderate fingers right through up Samuel, which I wish that I had never seen. the two larger quadrupeds—the elephant, and We shall come to that hereafter. Stackhouse the camel-that stare (as well they might) out is in two huge tomes—and there was a pleasure of the two last windows next the steerage in in removing folios of that magnitude, which, that unique piece of naval architecture. Stackwith infinite straining, was as much as I could house was henceforth locked up, and became manage, from the situation which they occupied an interdicted treasure. With the book, the upon an upper shelf. I have not met with objections and solutions gradually cleared out of the work from that time to this, but I remem- my head, and have seldom returned since in ber it consisted of Old Testament stories, any force to trouble me.—But there was one orderly set down, with the objection appended impression which I had imbibed from Stackto each story, and the solution of the objection house, which no lock or bar could shut out, regularly tacked to that. The objection was a and which was destined to try my childish summary of whatever difficulties had been nerves rather more seriously.—That detestaopposed to the credibility of the history, by ble picture ! the shrewdness of ancient or modern infidelity, I was dreadfully alive to nervous terrors. drawn up with an almost complimentary The night-time, solitude, and the dark, were excess of candour. The solution was brief, my bell. The sufferings I endured in this modest, and satisfactory. The bane and an- nature would justify the expression. I never tidote were both before you. To doubts so laid my head on my pillow, I suppose, from put, and so quashed, there seemed to be an the fourth to the seventh or eighth year of my end for ever. The dragon lay dead, for the life-so far as memory serves in things so long foot of the veriest babe to trample on. But-ago—without an assurance, which realised its like as was rather feared than realised from own prophecy, of seeing some frightful spectre. that slain monster in Spenser—from the womb Be old Stackhouse then acquitted in part, if of those crushed errors young dragonets would I say, that to his picture of the Witch raising creep, exceeding the prowess of so tender a up Samuel-(0 that old man covered with a Saint George as myself to vanquish. The mantle !)-I owe-not my midnight terrors, habit of expecting objections to every passage, the hell of my infancy—but the shape and set me upon starting more objections, for the manner of their visitation. It was he who glory of finding a solution of my own for them. dressed up for me a hag that nightly sate upon I became staggered and perplexed, a sceptic my pillow—a sure bedfellow, when my aunt in long-coats. The pretty Bible stories which or my maid was far from me. All day long, I had read, or heard read in church, lost their while the book was permitted me, I dreamed purity and sincerity of impression, and were waking over his delineation, and at night (if I turned into so many historic or chronologic may use so bold an expression) awoke into theses to be defended against whatever im- sleep, and found the vision true. I durst not, pugners. I was not to disbelieve them, but- even in the day-light, once enter the chamber the next thing to that I was to be quite sure where I slept, without my face turned to the that some one or other would or had disbelieved window, aversely from the bed where my them. Next to making a child an infidel, is witch-ridden pillow was. Parents do not the letting him know that there are infidels at know what they do when they leave tender all. Credulity is the man's weakness, but the babes alone to go to sleep in the dark. The child's strength. O, how ugly sound scriptural feeling about for a friendly arm—the hoping doubts from the mouth of a babe and a suck- for a familiar voice—when they wake screamling!- I should have lost myself in these ing—and find none to soothe them—what a mazes, and have pined away, I think, with terrible shaking it is to their poor nerves !
Doth close behind him tread *.
The keeping them up till midnight, through can
And having once turn'd round, walks on
And turns no more his head; dle-light and the unwholesome hours, as they
Because he knows a frightful fiend are called,—would, I am satisfied, in a medical point of view, prove the better caution.—That detestable picture, as I have said, gave the
That the kind of fear here treated of is fashion to my dreams—if dreams they were
purely spiritual—that it is strong in proportion for the scene of them was invariably the room
as it is objectless upon earth—that it predomin which I lay. Had I never met with the pic- inates in the period of sinless infancy-are ture, the fears would have come self-pictured difficulties, the solution of which might afford in some shape or other
some probable insight into our ante-mundane
condition, and a peep at least into the shadowHeadless bear, black man, or ape
land of pre-existence. but, as it was, my imaginations took that form.
My night-fancies have long ceased to be -It is not book, or picture, or the stories of afflictivę. I confess an occasional night-mare; foolish servants, which create these terrors in but I do not, as in early youth, keep a stud of children. They can at most but give them a them. Fiendish faces, with the extinguished direction. Dear little T. H., who of all chil- taper, will come and look at me; but I know dren has been brought up with the most scru- them for mockeries, even while I cannot elude pulous exclusion of every taint of superstition their presence, and I fight and grapple with -who was never allowed to hear of goblin or them. For the credit of my imagination, I apparition, or scarcely to be told of bad men, am almost ashamed to say how tame and proor to read or hear of any distressing story—finds saic my dreams are grown. They are never all this world of fear, from which he has been romantic, seldom even rural. They are of so rigidly excluded ab extra, in his own “ thick- architecture and of buildings-cities abroad, coming fancies ;” and from his little midnight which I have never seen and hardly have hope pillow, this nurse-child of optimism will start
I have traversed, for the seeming at shapes, unborrowed of tradition, in sweats length of a natural day, Rome, Amsterdam, to which the reveries of the cell-damned mur- Paris, Lisbon—their churches, palaces, squares, derer are tranquillity.
market-places, shops, suburbs, ruins, with an Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimæras dire— inexpressible sense of delight-à map like stories of Celano and the Harpies—may re- distinctness of trace--and a day-light vividness produce themselves in the brain of superstition of vision, that was all but being awake.-I - but they were there before. They are have formerly travelled among the Westmoretranscripts, types—the archetypes are in us, land fells--my highest Alps,—but they are and eternal. How else should the recital of objects too mighty for the grasp of my dreamthat, which we know in a waking sense to be ing recognition ; and I have again and again false, come to affect us at all ?-or
awoke with ineffectual struggles of the inner -Names, whose sense we see not,
eye, to make out a shape in any way whatFray us with things that be not?
ever, of Helvellyn. Methought I was in that Is it that we naturally conceive terror from country, but the mountains were gone. The
There is such objects, considered in their capacity of poverty of my dreams mortifies me. being able to inflict upon us bodily injury ?
Coleridge, at his will can conjure up icy domes, 0, least of all! These terrors are of older and pleasure-houses for Kubla Khan, and standing. They date beyond body-or, without Abyssinian maids, and songs of Abara, and
caverns, the body, they would have been the same.
Where Alph, the sacredi river, runs, All the cruel, tormenting, defined devils in Dante—tearing, mangling, choking, stifling, to solace his night solitudes—when I cannot scorching demons—are they one half so fear
muster a fiddle. Barry Cornwall has his triful to the spirit of a man, as the simple idea
tons and his nereids gamboling before him in of a spirit unembodied following him
nocturnal visions, and proclaiming sons born activity can hardly, in the night season, raise up the ghost of a fish-wife. To set my failures in somewhat a mortifying light-it was after reading the noble Dream of this poet, that my fancy ran strong upon these marine spectra ; and the poor plastic power, sud as itis, within me set to work, to humour my folly in a sort of dream that very night. Methought I was upon the ocean billows at some sea nuptials, riding and mounted high, with the customary train sounding their conchs before me, (I myself, you may be sure, the leading god,) and jollily we went care
to Neptune--when my stretch of imaginative Like one that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread,
* Mr. Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.
areering over the main, till just where Ino Leucothea should have greeted me (I think it was Ino) with a white embrace, the billows gradually subsiding, fell from a searoughness to a sea-calm, and thence to a river motion, and that river (as happens in the familiarization of dreams) was no other than the
gentle Thames, which landed me in the wafture of a placid wave or two, alone, safe and inglorious, somewhere at the foot of Lambeth palace.
The degree of the soul's creativeness in sleep might furnish no whimsical criterion of the quantum of poetical faculty resident in the same soul waking. An old gentleman, a friend of mine, and a humorist, used to carry this notion so far, that when he sawany stripling of his acquaintance ambitious of becoming a poet, his first question would be,_“Young man, what sort of dreams have you ?” I have so much faith in my old friend's theory, that when I feel that idle vein returning upon me, I presently subside into my proper element of prose, remembering those eluding nereids, and that inauspicious inland landing.
Hail to thy returning festival, old Bishop and turning. The weary and all for-spent twoValentine! Great is thy name in the rubric, penny postman sinks beneath a load of delicate thou venerable Arch-flamen of Hymen! Im- embarrassments, not his own. It is scarcely credimortal Go-between ; who and what manner of ble to what an extent this ephemeral courtship person art thou ? Art thou but a name, typifying is carried on in this loving town, to the great enthe restless principle which impels poor humans richment of porters, and detriment of knockers to seek perfection in union ? or wert thou and bell-wires. In these little visual interpreindeed a mortal prelate, with thy tippet and tations, no emblem is so common as the heart, tby thy apron on, and decent lawn
—that little three-cornered exponent of all our sleeves? Mysterious personage ! like unto hopes and fears,—the bestuck and bleeding thee, assuredly, there is no other mitred father heart ; it is twisted and tortured into more in the calendar; not Jerome, nor Ambrose, allegories and affectations than an opera-hat. nor Cyril ; nor the consigner of undipt infants What authority we have in history or mythoto eternal torments, Austin, whom all mothers logy for placing the head-quarters and metrohate ; nor he who hated all mothers, Origen; polis of God Cupid in this anatomical seat nor Bishop Bull, nor Archbishop Parker, nor rather than in any other, is not very clear ; Whitgift. Thou comest attended with thou- but we have got it, and it will serve as well as sands and ten thousands of litle Loves, and the
Else we might easily imagine, air is
upon some other system which might have preBrush'd with the hiss of rustling wings.
vailed for anything which our pathology knows Singing Cupids are thy choristers and thy pre- to the contrary, a lover addressing his mistress, centors; and instead of the crosier, the mystical in perfect simplicity of feeling, “Madam, my liter arrow is borne before thee.
and fortune are entirely at your disposal ;” In other words, this is the day on which those or putting a delicate question, “ Amanda, have charming little missives, ycleped Valentines, l you a midriff to bestow?” But custom has cross and intercross each other at every street i settled these things, and awarded the seat of
sentiment to the aforesaid triangle, while its of his profession, but no further ; for E. B. is less fortunate neighbours wait at animal and modest, and the world meets nobody half-way. anatomical distance.
E. B. meditated how he could repay this
young Not many sounds in life, and I include all maiden for many a favour which she had done urban and all rural sounds, exceed in interest him unknown; for when a kindly face greets us, a kncck at the door. It “gives a very echo to the though but passing by,and never knows us again, throne where Hope is seated.” But its issues nor we it, we should feel it as an obligation : seldom answer to this oracle within. It is so and E. B. did. This good artist set himself at seldom that just the person we want to see work to please the damsel. It was just before comes. But of all the clamorous visitations Valentine's day three years since. He wrought, the welcomest in expectation is the sound unseen and unsuspected, a wondrous work. that ushers in, or seems to usher in, a Valen- We need not say it was on the finest gilt paper tine. As the raven himself was hoarse that with borders—full, not of common hearts and announced the fatal entrance of Duncan, so heartless allegory, but all the prettiest stories the knock of the postman on this day is light, of love from Ovid, and older poets than Ovid airy, confident, and befitting one that bringeth (for E. B. is a scholar). There was Pyragood tidings. It is less mechanical than on mus and Thisbe, and be sure Dido was not other days; you will say, “That is not the forgot, nor Hero and Leander, and swans post I am sure.” Visions of Love, of Cupids, more than sang in Cayster, with mottos and of Hymens!—delightfuleternal common-places, fanciful devices, such as beseemed,-a work which “having been will always be ;" which in short of magic. Iris dipt the woof. This no school-boy nor school-man can write away ; on Valentine's eve he commended to the having your irreversible throne in the fancy and all-swallowing indiscriminate orifice—(0 igaffections—what are your transports, when the noble trust !)—of the common post; but the happy maiden, opening with carefulfinger, care- humble medium did its duty, and from his ful not to break theemblematic seal, bursts upon watchful stand, the next morning he saw the the sight of some well-designed allegory, some cheerful messenger knock, and by and by the type, some youthful fancy, not without verses- precious charge delivered. He saw, unseen, Lovers all,
the happy girl unfold the Valentine, dance A madrigal,
about, clap her hands, as one after one the or some such device, not over abundant in sense pretty emblems unfolded themselves. She -young Love disclaims it,--and not quite silly danced about, not with light love, or foolish --something between wind and water, a cho- expectations, for she had no lover ; or, if she rus where the sheep might almost join the had, none she knew that could have created shepherd, as they did, or as I apprehend they those bright images which delighted her. It did, in Arcadia.
was more like some fairy present ; a God-send, All Valentines are not foolish ; and I shall as our familiarly pious ancestors termed a not easily forget thine, my kind friend (if I benefit received where the benefactor was unmay have leave to call you so) E. B.--E.B. lived known. It would do her no harm. It would opposite a young maiden whom he had often do her good for ever after. It is good to love seen, unseen, from his parlour window in the unknown. I only give this as a specimen C—e-street. She was all joyousness and in- of E. B. and his modest way of doing a connocence, and just of an age to enjoy receiving cealed kindness. a Valentine, and just of a temper to bear the Good morrow to my Valentine, sings poor disappointment of missing one with good-hu- Ophelia ; and no better wish, but with better mour. E. B. is an artist of no common powers ; | auspices, we wish to all faithful lovers, who are in the fancy parts of designing, perhaps infe- not too wise to despise old legends, but are rior to none ; his name is known at the bottom content to rank themselves humble diocesans of many a well-executed vignette in the way of old Bishop Valentine and his true church.
I AM arrived at that point of life at which hinted at, she was a steadfast, friendly being, a man may account it a blessing, as it is a sin- and a fine old Christian. She was a woman of gularity, if he have either of his parents sur- strong sense, and a shrewd mind-extraordiviving. I have not that felicity-and some- nary at a repartee ; one of the few occasions of times think feelingly of a passage in Browne's her breaking silence—else she did not much Christian Morals, where he speaks of a man value wit. The only secular employment I that hath lived sixty or seventy years in the remember to have seen her engaged in, was, world. “In such a compass of time,” he says, the splitting of French beans, and dropping
a man may have a close apprehension what them into a china basin of fair water. The
Male aunts, as somebody calls them, I had I had an aunt, a dear and good one. She
none—to remember. By the uncle's side I was one whom single blessedness had soured may be said to have been born an orphan. to the world. She often used to say, that I Brother, or sister, I never had any—to know was the only thing in it which she loved ; and, them. A sister, I think, that should have been when she thought I was quitting it, she grieved Elizabeth, died in both our infancies. What
me with mother's tears. A partiality a comfort, or what a care, may I not have quite so exclusive my reason cannot altogether missed in her !—But I have cousins sprinkled approve. She was from morning till night about in Hertfordshire besides two, with poring over good books, and devotional ex- whom I have been all my life in habits of the ercises. Her favourite volumes were, Thomas closest intimacy, and whom I may term cousins a Kempis, in Stanhope’s translation ; and a par excellence. These are James and Bridget Roman Catholic Prayer Book, with the matins Elia. They are older than myself by twelve, and complines regularly set down,-terms which and ten, years; and neither of them seems I was that time too young to understand. She disposed, in matters of advice and guidance, persisted in reading them, although admonished to waive any of the prerogatives which primodaily concerning their Papistical tendency; and geniture confers. May they continue still went to church every Sabbath as a good Pro- in the same mind; and when they shall be testant should do. These were the only books seventy-five, and seventy-three, years old (I she studied ; though, I think at one period of cannot spare them sooner), persist in treating her life, she told me, she had read with great me in my grand climacteric precisely as a stripsatisfaction the Adventures of an Unfortunate ling, or younger brother ! Young Nobleman. Finding the door of the James is an inexplicable cousin. Nature chapel in Essex-street open one day — it was hath her unities, which not every critic can in the infancy of that heresy-she went in, penetrate ; or, if we feel, we cannot explain liked the sermon, and the manner of worship, them. The pen of Yorick, and of none since and frequented it at intervals for some time his, could have drawn J. E. entire—those fine after. She came not for doctrinal points, and Shandean lights and shades, which make up never missed them. With some little aspe- his story. I must limp after in my poor antitherities in her constitution, which I have above tical manner, as the fates have given me grace