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tombstones. It was a pretty device of the gratify children, by letting them stand ? gardener, recorded by Marvell, who, in the Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. days of artificial gardening, made a dial out of They are awakening images to them at least. herbs and flowers. I must quote his verses a Why must everything smack of man and little higher up, for they are full, as all his mannish? Is the world all grown up? Is serious poetry was, of a witty delicacy. They childhood dead? Or is there not in the will not come in awkwardly, I hope, in a talk bosoms of the wisest and the best some of the of fountains, and sun-dials. He is speaking of child's heart left, to respond to its earliest sweet garden scenes :
enchantments? The figures were grotesque.
Are the stiff-wigged living figures, that still What wondrous life is this I lead !
Aitter and chatter about that area, less Gothic Ripe apples drop about my head.
in appearance ! or is the splutter of their hot The luscious clusters of the vine Upon my mouth do crush their wine.
rhetoric one half so refreshing and innocent The nectarine, and curious peach,
as the little cool playful streams those exploded Into my hands themselves do reach.
cherubs uttered ? Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
They have lately gothicised the entrance to Insared with flowers, I fall on grass.
the Inner Temple-hall, and the library front: to Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less Withdraws into its happiness.
assimilate them, I suppose, to the body of the The mind, that ocean, where each kind
hall, which they do not at all resemble. What Does straight its own resemblance find;
is become of the winged horse that stood over Yet it creates, transcending these,
the former ? a stately arms! and who has Far other worlds, and other seas;
removed those frescoes of the Virtues, which Annihilating all that's made
Italianized the end of the Paper-buildings ?To a green thought in a green shade. Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
my first hint of allegory! They must account Or at some fruit-tree's'mossy root,
to me for these things, which I miss so greatly. Casting the body's vest aside,
The terrace is, indeed, left, which we used My soul into the boughs does glide ;
to call the parade ; but the traces are passed There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
away of the footsteps which made its pavement Then wets and claps its silver wings,
awful! It is become common and profane. And, till prepared for longer flight, Waves in its plumes the various light.
The old benchers had it almost sacred to themHow well the skilful gardener drew,
selves, in the forepart of the day at least. Of flowers and herbs, this dial new!
They might not be sided or jostled. Their Where, from above, the milder sun
air and dress asserted the parade. You left Does through a fragrant zodiac run:
you, when you passed And, as it works, the industrious bee
them. We walk on even terms with their Computes its time as well as we. How could such sweet and wholesome hours
successors. The roguish eye of J-ll, ever Be reckon'd, but with herbs and flowers* ? ready to be delivered of a jest, almost invites
a stranger to vie a repartee with it. But what The artificial fountains of the metropolis are, insolent familiar durst have mated Thomas in like manner, fast vanishing. Most of them Coventry ?-whose person was a quadrate, his are dried up, or bricked over. Yet, where one
step massy and elephantine, his face square as is left, as in that little green nook behind the
the lion’s, his gait peremptory and path-keepSouth-Sea House, what a freshness it gives to
ing, indivertible from his way as a moving the dreary pile! Four little winged marble column, the scarecrow of his inferiors, the boys used to play their virgin fancies, spouting brow-beater of equals and superiors, who made out ever fresh streams from their innocent
a solitude of children wherever he came, for wanton lips in the square of Lincoln’s-inn, when they fled his insufferable presence, as they I was no bigger than they were figured. They would have shunned an Elisha bear. His are gone, and the spring choked up. The
growl was as thunder in their ears, whether fashion, they tell me, is gone by, and these
he spake to them in mirth or in rebuke, his things are esteemed childish. Why not then invitatory notes being, indeed, of all, the most
* From a copy of verses entitled The Garden. repulsive and horrid. Clouds of snuff, aggra
vating the natural terrors of his speech, broke parlour, where the company was expecting the from each majestic nostril, darkening the air. dinner summons, four minutes, when, a pause He took it, not by pinches, but a palmful at in the conversation ensuing, he got up, looked once, diving for it under the mighty flaps of out of window, and pulling down his ruffles, his old-fashioned waistcoat pocket; his waist- an ordinary motion with him-observed, “it coat red and angry, his coat dark rappee, tinc- was a gloomy day,” and added, “Miss Blandy tured by dye original, and by adjuncts, with must be hanged by this time, I suppose.” buttons of obsolete gold. And so he paced Instances of this sort were perpetual. Yet S. the terrace.
was thought by some of the greatest men of By his side a milder form was sometimes to his time a fit person to be consulted, not alone be seen; the pensive gentility of Samuel Salt. in matters pertaining to the law, but in the They were coevals, and had nothing but that ordinary niceties and embarrassments of conand their benchership in common. In politics duct — from force of manner entirely. He Salt was a whig, and Coventry a staunch tory. never laughed. He had the same good fortune Many a sarcastic growl did the latter cast out among the female world,—was a known toast --for Coventry had a rough spinous humour with the ladies, and one or two are said to have at the political confederates of his associate, died for love of him-I suppose, because he which rebounded from the gentle bosom of the never trifled or talked gallantry with them, or latter like cannon-balls from wool. You could paid them, indeed, hardly common attentions. not ruffle Samuel Salt.
He had a fine face and person, but wanted, S. had the reputation of being a very clever methought, the spirit that should have shown man, and of excellent discernment in the them off with advantage to the women. His chamber practice of the law. I suspect his eye lacked lustre. — Not so, thought Susan knowledge did not amount to much. When P ; who, at the advanced age of sixty, was a case of difficult disposition of money, testa- seen, in the cold evening time, unaccompanied, mentary or otherwise, came before him, he wetting the pavement of B-d Row, with ordinarily handed it over with a few instruc- tears that fell in drops which might be heard, tions to his man Lovel, who was a quick little because her friend had died that day - he, fellow, and would despatch it out of hand by whom she had pursued with a hopeless passion the light of natural understanding, of which for the last forty years—a passion, which years he had an uncommon share. It was incredible could not extinguish or abate ; nor the longwhat repute for talents S. enjoyed by the mere resolved, yet gently-enforced, puttings off of trick of gravity. He was a shy man; a child unrelenting bachelorhood dissuade from its might pose him in a minute-indolent and cherished purpose. Mild Susan P- thou procrastinating to the last degree. Yet men hast now thy friend in heaven ! would give him credit for vast application, in Thomas Coventry was a cadet of the noble spite of himself. He was not to be trusted family of that name. He passed his youth in with himself with impunity. He never dressed contracted circumstances, which gave him for a dinner party but he forgot his sword- early those parsimonious habits which in afterthey wore swords then-or some other neces- life never forsook him ; so that, with one windsary part of his equipage. Lovel had his eye fall or another, about the time I knew him he upon him on all these occasions, and ordinarily was master of four or five hundred thousand gave him his cue. If there was anything pounds; nor did he look, or walk, worth a which he could speak unseasonably, he was moidore less. He lived in a gloomy house sure to do it. He was to dine at a relative's opposite the pump in Serjeant’s-inn, Fleetof the unfortunate Miss Blandy on the day of street. J., the counsel, is doing-self-imposed her execution ;-and L. who had a wary fore- penance in it, for what reason I divine not, at sight of his probable hallucinations, before he this day. C. had an agreeable seat at North set out, schooled him with great anxiety not in Cray, where he seldom spent above a day or any possible manner to allude to her story that two at a time in the summer; but preferred, day. S. promised faithfully to observe the during the hot months, standing at his window injunction. He had not been seated in the in this damp, close, well-like mansion, to watch, as he said, “the maids drawing water all day excuse his interference—for L. never forgot long." I suspect he had his within-door reasons rank, where something better was not confor the preference. Hic currus et arma fuêre. cerned. L. was the liveliest little fellow He might think his treasures more safe. His breathing, had a face as gay as Garrick’s, whom house had the aspect of a strong-box. C. was he was said greatly to resemble (I have a a close hunks—a hoarder rather than a miser- portrait of him which confirms it), possessed a or, if a miser, none of the mad Elwes breed, fine turn for humorous poetry-next to Swift who have brought discredit upon a character, and Prior-moulded heads in clay or plaster of which cannot exist without certain admirable Paris to admiration, by the dint of natural points of steadiness and unity of purpose. One genius merely ; turned cribbage boards, and may
y hate a true miser, but cannot, I suspect, so such small cabinet toys, to perfection ; took a easily despise him. By taking care of the hand at quadrille or bowls with equal facility ; pence, he is often enabled to part with the made punch better than any man of his degree pounds, upon a scale that leaves us careless in England ; had the merriest quips and congenerous fellows halting at an immeasurable ceits; and was altogether as brimful of rogueries distance behind. C. gave away 30,0001. at and inventions as you could desire. He was once in his life-time to a blind charity. His a brother of the angle, moreover, and just such house-keeping was severely looked after, but a free, hearty, honest companion as Mr. Izaak he kept the table of a gentleman. He would Walton would have chosen to go a fishing with. know who came in and who went out of his I saw him in his old age and the decay of his house, but his kitchen chimney was never suf- faculties, palsy-smitten, in the last sad stage fered to freeze.
of human weakness—"a remnant most forlorn Salt was his opposite in this, as in all-never of what he was,”—yet even then his eye would knew what he was worth in the world ; and light up upon the mention of his favourite having but a competency for his rank, which Garrick. He was greatest, he would say, in his indolent habits were little calculated to Bayes—“ was upon the stage nearly throughout improve, might have suffered severely if he the whole performance, and as busy as a bee.” had not had honest people about him. Lovel At intervals, too, he would speak of his former took care of everything. He was at once his life, and how he came up a little boy from Linclerk, his good servant, his dresser, his friend, coln to go to service, and how his mother his “flapper,” his guide, stop-watch, auditor, cried at parting with him, and how he returned, treasurer. He did nothing without consulting after some few years' absence, in his smart Lovel, or failed in anything without expecting new livery, to see her, and she blessed herself and fearing his admonishing. He put himself at the change, and could hardly be brought to almost too much in his hands, had they not
believe that it was “her own bairn.” And been the purest in the world. He resigned his then, the excitement subsiding, he would weep, title almost to respect as a master, if L. could till I have wished that sad second-childhood ever have forgotten for a moment that he was might have a mother still to lay its head upon a servant.
her lap. But the common mother of us all in I knew this Lovel. He was a man of an no long time after received him gently into incorrigible and losing honesty. A good fel- hers. low withal, and “would strike.” In the cause With Coventry, and with Salt, in their walks of the oppressed he never considered inequa- upon the terrace, most commonly Peter Pierlities, or calculated the number of his oppo- son would join to make up a third. They did nents. He once wrested a' sword out of the not walk linked arm in arm in those days—“as hand of a man of quality that had drawn upon now our stout triumvirs sweep the streets,”him; and pommelled him severely with the but generally with both hands folded behind hilt of it. The swordsman had offered insult them for state, or with one at least behind, to a female-an occasion upon which no odds the other carrying a cane. P. was a benevoagainst him could have prevented the inter- lent, but not a prepossessing man. He had ference of Lovel. He would stand next day that in his face which you could not term unbareheaded to the same person, modestly to happiness ; it rather implied an incapacity of being happy. His cheeks were colourless even much formality of apology, for instructions how to whiteness. His look was uninviting, resem- to write down edge bone of beef in his bill of combling (but without his sourness) that of our mons. He was supposed to know, if any man in great philanthropist. I know that he did good the world did. He decided the orthography to be acts, but I could never make out what he was. --as I have given it—fortifying his authority Contemporary with these, but subordinate, with such anatomical reasons as dismissed the was Daines Barrington- another oddity—he manciple (for the time) learned and happy. walked burly and square—in imitation, I think, Some do spell it yet, perversely, aitch bone, of Coventry—howbeit he attained not to the from a fanciful resemblance between its shape dignity of his prototype. Nevertheless, he did and that of the aspirate so denominated. I pretty well, upon the strength of being a toler- had almost forgotten Mingay with the iron able antiquarian, and having a brother a bishop.hand—but he was somewhat later. He had When the account of his year's treasurership lost his right hand by some accident, and supcame to be audited, the following singular plied it with a grappling-hook, which he charge was unanimously disallowed by the wielded with a tolerable adroitness. I debench : “ Item, disbursed Mr. Allen, the gar- tected the substitute, before I was old enough dener, twenty shillings, for stuff to poison the to reason whether it were artificial or not. I sparrows, by my orders.” Next to him was old remember the astonishment it raised in me. Barton—a jolly negation, who took upon him He was a blustering, loud-talking person ; and the ordering of the bills of fare for the parlia- I reconciled the phenomenon to my ideas as ment chamber, where the benchers dine-an- an emblem of power-somewhat like the horns swering to the combination rooms at College in the forehead of Michael Angelo's Moses. much to the easement of his less epicurean Baron Maseres, who walks (or did till very brethren. I know nothing more of him.—Then lately) in the costume of the reign of George Read, and Twopeny-Read, good-humoured and the Second, closes my imperfect recollections personable – Twopeny, good-humoured, but of the old benchers of the Inner Temple. thin, and felicitous in jests upon his own figure. Fantastic forms, whither are ye fled ? Or, If T. was thin, Wharry was attenuated and if the like of you exist, why exist they no fleeting. Many must remember him (for he more for me? Ye inexplicable, half-underwas rather of later date) and his singular gait, stood appearances, why comes in reason to which was performed by three steps and a tear away the preternatural mist, bright or jump regularly succeeding. The steps were gloomy, that enshrouded you? Why make ye little efforts, like that of a child beginning to so sorry a figure in my relation, who made up walk ; the jump comparatively vigorous, as a to me to my childish eyes—the mythology of foot to an inch. Where he learned this figure, the Temple ? In those days I saw Gods, as or what occasioned it, I could never discover.
“old men covered with a mantle,” walking upon It was neither graceful in itself, nor seemed the earth. Let the dreams of classic idolatry to answer the purpose any better than common perish,-extinct be the fairies and fairy trumwalking. The extreme tenuity of his frame, pery of legendary fabling, in the heart of I suspect, set him upon it. It was a trial of childhood, there will, for ever, spring up a poising. Twopeny would often rally him upon well of innocent or wholesome superstitionhis leanness, and hail him as Brother Lusty ; the seeds of exaggeration will be busy there, but W. had no relish of a joke. His features and vital—from every-day forms educing the were spiteful. I have heard that he would
un own and the uncommon. In that little pinch his cat's ears extremely, when any thing Goshen there will be light, when the grown had offended him. Jackson—the omniscient world flounders about in the darkness of sense Jackson he was called—was of this period. and materiality. While childhood, and while He had the reputation of possessing more mul- dreams, reducing childhood, shall be left, imatifarious knowledge than any man of his time. gination shall not have spread her holy wings He was the Friar Bacon of the less literate totally to fly the earth. portion of the Temple. I remember a pleasant passage, of the cook applying to him, with
P.S.—I have done injustice to the soft shade age, or hardly dreams of their existence beyond of Samuel Salt. See what it is to trust to the Gentleman's—his furthest monthly excurimperfect memory, and the erring notices of ! sions in this nature having been long confined childhood ! Yet I protest I always thought | to the holy ground of honest Urban's obituary. that he had been a bachelor! This gentleman, May it be long before his own name shall help R. N. informs me, married young, and losing his to swell those columns of unenvied flattery ! lady in childbed, within the first year of their - Meantime, O ye New Benchers of the Inner union, fell into a deep melancholy, from the Temple, cherish him kindly, for he is himself effects of which, probably, he never thoroughly the kindliest of human creatures. Should inrecovered. In what a new light does this place | firmities overtake him--he is yet in green and his rejection (O call it by a gentler name !) of vigorous senility-make allowances for them, mild Susan P, unravelling into beauty remembering that “ye yourselves are old.” certain peculiarities of this very shy and So may the Winged Horse, your ancient badge retiring character !-Henceforth let no one and cognisance, still flourish! so may future receive the narratives of Elia for true records ! Hookers and Seldens illustrate your church They are, in truth, but shadows of fact-veri- and chambers ! so may the sparrows, in default similitudes, not verities—or sitting but upon of more melodious quiristers, unpoisoned hop the remote edges and outskirts of history. He about your walks ! so may the fresh-coloured is no such honest chronicler as R. N., and would and cleanly nursery-maid, who, by leave, airs have done better perhaps to have consulted that her playful charge in your stately gardens, gentleinan, before he sent these incondite drop her prettiest blushing curtsy as ye pass, reminiscences to press. But the worthy sub- reductive of juvenescent emotion ! so may the treasurer—who respects his old and his new younkers of this generation eye you, pacing masters—would but have been puzzled at the your stately terrace, with the same superstiindecorous liberties of Elia. The good man tious veneration, with which the child Elia wots not, peradventure, of the licence which gazed on the Old Worthies that solemnised Magazines have arrived at in this plain-speaking | the parade before ye !
GRACE BEFORE MEAT.
The custom of saying grace at meals had, of the many other various gifts and good things probably, its origin in the early times of the of existence. world, and the hunter-state of man, when I own that I am disposed to say grace upon dinners were precarious things, and a full twenty other occasions in the course of the meal was something more than a common day besides my dinner. I want a form for blessing ! when a belly-full was a wind-fall, setting out upon a pleasant walk,for a moonlight and looked like a special providence. In the ramble, for a friendly meeting, or a solved shouts and triumphal songs with which, after problem. Why have we none for books, those a season of sharp abstinence, a lucky booty of spiritual repasts—a grace before Milton-a deer's or goat's flesh would naturally be ushered grace before Shakspeare-a devotional exerhome, existed, perhaps, the germ of the modern cise proper to be said before reading the Fairy grace. It is not otherwise easy to be under- Queen ?—but the received ritual having prestood, why the blessing of food—the act of eat- scribed these forms to the solitary ceremony ing—should have had a particular expression of manducation, I shall confine my observaof thanksgiving annexed to it, distinct from tions to the experience which I have had of that implied and silent gratitude with which the grace, properly so called ; con
commending we are expected to enter upon the enjoyment | my new scheme for extension to niche in