Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

He means the fourth of the series And Martial, who, living later, cane of amatory poets.

not be regarded as biased by the And again, in excusing himself to partiality of friendship, exclaims, Augustus for the licentiousness of his Cynthia, FACUNDI carmen juvenile Pro« amatory poems, by the example of

PERTÎ, celebrated writers, as Catullus, Cal

Accepit famam, nec minus ipsa dedit. vus, Cornificius, Hortensius, Gallus, and Tibullus, he ranks Propertius Cynthia, the smooth Propertius' youthful

flame, with them.

Received and gave the glory of a name. Invenies eadem blandi præcepta Properti. I leave these authorities of anti

(Trist. b. 2.)

quity to outweigh the hard words of You'll find the soft Propertius teach the the Reflector.

same.

AN IDLER.

• The elegies, of which Cynthia was the theme, were not, in his opinion, the verses, of an old mumbling poetaster of 75. The sneering remark of the Reflector, that he « continued to write elegies till the above venerable age," seems grounded on the obser. vation of Vulpius : “ fortasse ultimam senectutem exegit in studiis illis ;” but Barthius calculates that Propertius died in about his thirty-eighth year. Propertii vita per annos: digesta.

THE MARINER'S SONG.

BY ALLAN CUNNINGHAM.

1.
A wet sheet and a flowing sea,

A wind that follows fast,
And fills the white and rustling sail,

And bends the gallant mast;
And bends the gallant mast, my boys,

While, like the eagle free,
Away the good ship flies, and leaves
Old England on the lee.

2.
O for a soft and gentle wind !

I heard a fair one cry;
But give to me the snoring breeze,

And white waves heaving high;
And white waves heaving high, my boys,

The good ship tight and free
The world of waters is our home,

And merry men are we.

a

3.
There's tempest in yon horned moon,

And lightning in yon cloud ;
And hark the music, mariners,

The wind is piping loud ;
The wind is piping loud, my boys,

The lightning flashes free
While the hollow oak our palace is,

Our heritage the sea.

AN INQUIRY WHY CANDLES INVARIABLY BURN BLUE

IN THE PRESENCE OF A GHOST.

O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue-is it not dead midnight?
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.

Shakspcare.

This mysterious subject has ex- conceit, and moreover savouring of ercised the faculties of some of the the same illiberality that made Barry world's most erudite scholars and so prodigal of stars, garters, and profound thinkers. The learned Ger- mitres, when painting his scene of man Blumenbergius,* after main- Judgment for the Arts and Sciences taining that candles derive their name in the Adelphi. from Candaules, King of Lydia, who Certain mysterious ignes fatui alfirst made use of them when he ways assumé spontaneously a bluish showed his wife unattired to his mi- tint. In the Pyritegium, or Curfew nister Gyges, for which he lost his Act, passed by the Conqueror, is the crown and life, enters into a scholastic following exceptive clause :-"Hoc but somewhat far-fetched argument, nonobstante liceat ut Gulielmus de to prove that, as that monarch was Wispo, alias Johannes de Lanternâ, a great magician, and in habits of det lucem cæruleam quocunque quos frequent intercourse with ghosts and tiesque vellet.”-“Be it enacted spectres, he endued his candles with nevertheless, that Will-o'-the-Wisp, this inexplicable property, that he alias Jack-o'-Lanthorn, have permismight learn the approach of his su- sion to show his blue light wheresopernatural visitants. Suetonius, how- ever and whensoever he will.”ever, + who took his name from the Whence we learn, that so early as circumstance of his being a tallow- the Conquest this was the prevalent chandler, on which trade he has left colour of all supernatural flames, and a learned treatise, altogether derides that they were specially exempted this solution as fantastical and vain, from the jurisdiction of extinguisher asking very pertinently why this or snuffers. Swift, in a note on his ghost-indicating quality, even if ori- lines --ginally imparted, should have descended to posterity; and proceeds

This squire he dropp'd his pen full soon,

While as the lights burnt bluely,to argue first-that the colour assumed is not blue but purple, such hazards a conjecture, that as none being the proper translation of the but the ghosts of the wicked reancient word purpureus; and second- appear, and candles, if properly ly, that this being the colour sacred made, are themselves wick-ed, there to kings and bishops, the number of may be some secret sympathy or those personages in the lower regions affinity between them ; in support of may have so saturated the air with which hypothesis he affirms, that purple, that all revisitors of our they give out generally a faint blue purer atmosphere give it out, like whenever there is a thief in them. a halo, and impart its hue more par- He asserts also, plausibly enough, ticularly to the lights that surround that there may be a visual deception them. This seems to me a fond produced by the prevalent expecta

De Bluit. Candel. vide Joseph Drippinginus in his Talamon Ajax. Chronic. in Edit

. Georg. Homedidæ. Seriem" Godolia Tradit. Hebraic. Corpus Paradoseon Titulo Dips. c. 1. & 8.

4 Vide Suet. de Spect. et Apparit. lib. 4. cap. 2. where he strenuously avers in opposition to Blumenbergius, that candles came originally not from Lydia but from Greece, and were dedicated to Pan by the Dryopes; whetice, probably, our recipient of fat intended for candles is termed dripping-pan.

Vide Hawkins's Brief Abridgment of the Statutes. Folio, vol. 171, p. 14,129. Vol. VI.

L

tion of this coloured light; that no hurried about the room; the papers conthing is so varying or uncertain as taining the minutes of their transactions the hues which the same object as

were torn, and the ink-glass broken, the sumes to different optics; that men

doors all the while remaining fast, and the seem to take a perverse delight in keys in the custody of the commissioners. confounding the whole theory of The night following, Sharp, the secretary, colours, as one sees constantly writ

and two of the servants, being asleep in the ten up over various shops--Grey, much higher than their heads that they ex.

same room, had their beds' feet lifted up so greengrocer,-Brown, blacksmith,– pected to have their necks broken, and Black, whitesmith,-SCARLET, blue- then were let fall again with a violence maker, &c.; while Nature herself that shook the whole house. On the night has given us the cameleon as a of the 19th, all being abed in the same puzzle; and has so confused one of room for greater security, and lights burnour field-fruits in its progress to ma- ing by them, the candles in an instant burnt turity, that we may say with strict blae, and then went out with a sulphureous regard to truth, “ All blackberries smell, and that moment the wooden trenchare either white or red when they are and which had been locked up in the

ers whereon they had eaten the day before, green, (i.e. unripe.) * Men more

pantry, were hurled about the room with over,” he acutely remarks, “never great violence. On several following nights see spectres except when they are in the candles changed colour as before, a fit of the blue-devils, which may strange noises were heard, their honours impart their tone to surrounding received sore bruises from logs of wood objects; and that blue-devils are su- and other substances thrown upon them perinduced by the parties getting which kept rolling about the room all into hot water, which circumstance night, though next morning nothing could alone may account for a change of be seen. On the 29th, about midnight, hue as violent as it produces on

the candles went out bluely as usual, somelobsters and fleas, and occasion the thing walked majestically through the patients to imagine every thing blue, room, and opened and shut the windows, as men in a calenture fancy the great stones flew about in all directions, whole world to be green." These lucu- was heard as of forty cannon discharged to

and at about a quarter after one, a noise brations appear to me profound and gether, and again repeated at about eight philosophical, but I doubt whether minutes distance, which being heard through we may implicitly adopt them with- the country for sixteen miles round, brought out further inquiry.

all the neighbourhood into their honours' Dr. Plot, in his Natural History of room, where they gathered up the great Oxfordshire, informs us that, stones, fourscore in number, and laid them

by in the corner of a field, where in Dr. Soon after the murder of King Charles I. Plot's time they were still to be seen. The a commission was appointed to survey commissioners during this visitation gave the King's house at Woodstock, with the themselves up for lost, crying aloud for manor, park, woods, and other demesnes, help, and Giles Sharp snatching up a sword for which purpose, they met on the 13th of had well nigh killed one of their honours, October, 1649, and took up their residence mistaking him for the spirit as he ran in in the King's own rooms, sitting in the his shirt from one room to the other. Still, Presence Chamber for the dispatch of busi. however, they resolved on continuing their ness. On the 16th of this month, in the labours, when, on the 1st of November the midst of their debate, there entered a large most dreadful scene of all ensued: candles black dog howling, who overturned three were lighted up in every part of the room, of their chairs, crept under a bed, and va- and a great fire made; at midnight, the nished, although all the doors had been candles all burning blue, a noise like the kept carefully locked. The next day, sit- bursting of a cannon was heard, and the ting in a lower room, they heard persons burning billets were tossed about even on walking overhead, though the chamber their honours' beds, who called Giles and was locked up; the wood of the King's his companions to their relief, otherwise oak was brought from the dining room, the house had been burnt to the ground; and thrown with great violence into the an hour after the candles went out as usual, Presence Chamber; the chairs, stools, ta- horses' bones came pouring into the room bles, and other furniture were forcibly with great force, the curtains and windows

See his and Sir Isaac Newton's joint Essay on Chromatics, which won the prise from the Board of Longitude. Philosop. Trans. vol. 7.

were violently torn and shaken, and the record, that at the appearance of the whole neighbourhood alarmed with such skeleton guesttremendous noises, that even the rabbit stealers who were abroad that night in the All pleasure and laughter were hush'd at warren were so terrified that they fled away,

his sight, leaving their ferrets behind them. One of The dogs as they eyed him drew back in their honours this night spoke, and in the

affright, name of God asked the spirit what it was, And the lights in the chamber burnt and why it disturbed them so ? to which, blue: however, no answer was given.

One of the servants now lighted a large but neither author attempts any socandle, and set it on the door-way between lution of the phenomenon. the two chambers; and as he watched it, he My own theory, which I submit plainly saw a hoof striking the candle and with great deference, is entirely candlestick into the middle of the room, founded on the system of chromatics. and afterwards making three scrapes over the snuff, scraped it out. Upon this he Every ray of light, it is well known, was so bold as to draw a sword, but had consists of seven primary colours, and scarce got it out when he felt another invie that the colours of bodies proceed sible hand pulling it from him, and at from their disposition to reflect one length prevailing, struck him so violently sort of rays and absorb the other; on the head with the pummel that he fell such substances as reflect two or down for dead with the blow. At this more sorts of rays appearing of vainstant was heard another explosion like rious colours; the whiteness of bothe broadside of a ship of war, and at dies arising from their reflecting all about a minute or two’s distance each, no the rays of light promiscuously, and less than nineteen more such, shaking the their blackness from their inability to house so violently that they expected every reflect any. Now, if a candleminute it would fall upon their heads. but I forgot to mention in the con But what put an end to their proceedings happened the next day as they were all at clusion of Dr. Plot's marvellous nara dinner, when a paper in which they had rative, that the whole contrivance signed a mutual agreement to share a part

was subsequently discovered to be of the premises among themselves, (which the invention of the memorable Jopaper they had hid for the present under seph Collins, of Oxford, otherwise the earth in a pot in one corner of the called Funny Joe, who, having hired room, and in which an orange tree grew,) himself as secretary to the Commiswas consumed in a wonderful manner by sioners under the name of Giles the earth's taking fire and burning violently Sharp, by knowing the private trape with a blue fume and an intolerable stench, belonging to the house, and the help so that they were all driven out of the of pulvis fulminans, and other chemihouse, to which they could never again be cal preparations, and letting his fel, prevailed on to return."

low servants into the scheme, carried Thus far Dr. Plot, whose narra- on the deceit without discovery to tive, occurring in a grave and authen- the very last. Combining this cirtic county history, affords abundant cumstance with the great doubts as testimony to the fact which forms the to the existence of ghosts themselves, subject of this Essay, while it sup- I conceive it less necessary to proplies much matter for serious and ceed with the exposition of my theory, deep reflection. Later writers offer because, if there be no spectres, there concurrent evidence. Colman in can be no change of colour in the his pathetic ballad, describing the candles ; and if there be, the change appearance of the gardener's ghost, is perfectly natural, for I should like particularly notes that the candle to know which of us, standing in turned blue-". Though a large Dip such a presence, would not look of four to the pound;" and Lewis, blue. in his Lorenzo the Brave, fails not to

H.

[ocr errors]

a

THE TEA-GARDEN.
Hominem pagina nostra sapit.

I describe men and their manners. Can you spare a little room, Mr. and a cambric handkerchief in the Editor, for a humble subject, being other. Evening, however, revived little more than the adventures of an the enervated beau monde. Like the evening? If so, I shall find myself a bird of night, it hailed the darkness contributor of the London MAGA- with rapture; routs and quadrille ZINE, and put on high-heeled shoes parties were assembled in an atmoaccordingly.

sphere almost suffocating, which was The late warm weather that kept endured until sinking nature reus all, as Falstaff has it, in a conti- minded them, as Philip's valet did nual dissolution and thaw," wafted his master, that they were mortal with it a languor nearly tropical. On Such being the general character the evening of each burning day, the of this visitation, it may easily be good citizen, puffing, with his hat in conjectured, that I also, a mere bookhis hand, wandered along the City worm, and caput mortuum in crea Road, towards Islington, in search of tion, vegetating for the most part in fresh air, while his spouse moved the solitude of my study, suffered inheavily at his side, exactly as Ho- convenience from the heat even there. garth has delineated them. Others a I lost the power of fixing my attenlittle wealthier went off to the coast, tion on any thing; I could neither or, to avoid the closeness of Cheap- read nor compose, and therefore side, drove early into the country, emerging from my « nook obscure," where they reposed in a cooler at. I rambled out into the fields. It was mosphere, and arose powerfully after seven o'clock when I cleared refreshed,” as a drunkard once said the smoke and dust, of himself, when in a state of ebriety.

-The eclipse At the west end of London, the down That metropolitan volcanoes make, beds of the flaccid votaries of fashion Where Stygian throats breathe darkness all became unbearable, and they were day long, compelled to “turn out”, of them in spite of Mr. Angelo Taylor's atat noon; with irritable feelings, an

tempts to put an extinguisher upor noyed at straws and feathers, they them by means of an Act of Partrailed themselves across the pave- liament. At length I found myself ment to their carriages, and drove through clouds of dust to Grange's; not, ye who lampoon every thing in

on the top of Primrose Hill. Startle or some favoured limonadier's to kill and around London with the title of time and heat with ices and lemonade. Lady C. a withering spinster what is only to be enjoyed by less

cockney,” because ye cannot taste of my acquaintance, whose aridity vulgar perceptions than yours. Take of fibre rendered her long insensible to yourselves the rebuke of Churchill to “ skiey influences," mollified under the discipline of the caloric, and

to some foreigners who were abusing

Kensington gardens. “ Gentlemen, her countenance, which was com

when the Samoied ambassadors were monly of an ash colour, became in England, they could relish noflushed for the first time these twenty

thing but train oil.” If by confessing years. Tom RM an exquisite, so

an unaffected admiration of the view like a “ waiting gentlewoman " that from Primrose Hill, I should subject the breath of a zephyr discomposes myself to the epithet in question, I nim, seated himself in muslin trow

am ready to bear the appellation. It sers,

is enough for me that the beauty of Ten thousand mighty nothings in his face, the view must be notorious to all at his dressing room window in St. who have a relish for a noble landJames's-street, sprinkling himself oc- scape, particularly under the warm easionally with lavender water, and sun that glowed around me at the cuu de Cologne; Faublas in one hand, time. But few great cities in the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »