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1822.]

drew his own chair closer to the fire, month ago,-in one of their theatres,
and motioned to Reynolds to place women--they were English women,
himself at his side. My lord talked to be sure, and that may serve as an
about politics, the weather, the books excuse to the politest nation in the
which happened to be scattered about world-were pelted with rotten eggs,
the table, pictures too—when any potatoes, half-pence and stones! AII
turn in the conversation naturally led were struck, some were bruised; and
to them,—the news of the day, and it is to be attributed rather to the
other casual subjects. When Rey- awkward aim than to the gentle in-
nolds rose to depart, his lordship tentions of the urbane assailants that
shook him by the hand, rang for greater ills were not inflicted. The
a servant, and expressed a hope that journals which have stood most for-
Mr. Reynolds would not be long in ward in defence of this disgraceful
repeating his visit. He left the affair admit that the assailants were
house, pleased at his reception, but not the mob, the mere rabble of
never once thinking of the immense Paris, but the students of the law
distance which separates a painter and medical schools la belle jeunesse
from a lord-so completely had the Française ! as they call them.*
nobleman set him at ease with him- “ By this we have proved our
self. Now, according to the French hatred of the English,” say they.
feeling, or, strictly speaking, the There needed no such proof of their
French system of politeness, the palm hatred. They hate the English, and
would decidedly be awarded to Mi- for reasons which it would be too
lord qui faisoit tant de révérences. humiliating to their vanity to enume-

There is no doubt that in France, rate. But like bad reasoners they Politeness, even according to French have proved more, much more, than notions of it, has been gradually de- they intended: they have proved, caying ever since the commencement what cannot now be disputed, of the Revolution. That event, what- that they are no longer la nation ever good it may have produced in plus polie du monde ; —that they are other respects, unhappily sowed the nearly bankrupt in politeness, and seeds of a barbarons spirit amongst them, and they are increasing and on the credit of what they formerly multiplying with fearful rapidity. enjoyed ;—that now that their real Woman has at all times received less funds are exhausted, they would moral consideration in France than keep up the same show with mere in most other civilized countries, par- counters, and pass them upon the ticularly England; but till the bloody rest of Europe for current coin ;and ferocious examples daily exhibited that (as it has already been said) a in the course of the Revolution fami- barbarous spirit is growing up aliarized the public mind with the mongst them; - and that, though horrors inflicted on, and committed by, they continue to play off the grimaces, women, the female person had always the monkey-tricks of politeness, the been held sacred. Woman, though real politesse Française, the politeness possessing few independent and ra- of the heart (if indeed they ever postional rights, had always been the sessed that), is gone from them forever! object of an abundance of little at- But let us turn from the recollection tentions, and the charter of protec- of the scene alluded to; it is too distion from harm and insult, granted to gusting, and, contrasted with French her by nature, was in France, as it pretensions to politeness, too ridicustill is in other European countries, lous for quiet contemplation. ratified by man. How is it with To conclude. The French are them now? Not to speak of twenty rather the favourites of Europe, or thirty years, but only a little for they are an amusing, a clever,

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5 It is really a pity to see these poor deluded lads, the unthinking dupes of a little newspaper faction, turned from their needful studies on every occasion where a riot is to

5 be got up, and excited to the work which in London is left to coal-heavers, brewers's draymen, and St. Giles's labourers. What demon is it that tempts them to set up for 4 politicians and legislators, before they have escaped from the ferule of their schoolmasters ? !

How different is this from the decent and gentlemanly conduct of the students of our Inns of Court.

and in many respects a kind people; It is evident that they are anxious and those who are best inclined to to acquire the character of being a love them are the most grieved to useful as well as a clever and pleawitness the ridicule they draw down sant people, and are growing ashamupon themselves by their ceaseless, ed of their proverbial frivolity; and of ill-timed vapourings, blusterings, and being looked to merely for the supply boastings. The merits of the French, of the most expert dancers, cooks, and they possess many, are fully and and hair-dressers. This is laudable. fairly appreciated by other nations; But to execute their purpose it is nethe praises they deserve are freely cessary that they correct themselves bestowed upon them; their excellen- of that constitutional vanity which cies, and where they are superior) considerably impedes their progress their superiorities, are acknowledged; in improvement, and, at the same but though they beplaster their Bou« time, renders them somewhat ridicu. levards with representations of their lous in the eyes of the world ; that glory, and courage, and patriotism, they learn to think more favourably ten times thicker, if possible, than of others, less favourably of themthey do,--though they continue to selves; and, above all, that they bear stun one another by their plaudits of it constantly in mind, that in what the flashy compliments paid to them way soever they may he desirous of by their own little Vaudeville-makers establishing a reputation for excelfor being the most polite, the most lence, their right to it will be esticivilized, the most enlightened peo- mated by their acts and works alone, ple on the face of the globe-it will while the only meed of their Prenot serve to place them a jot higher TENSIONS will be ridicule and conin any one's estimation but their own. tempt.

THE TWO PEACOCKS OF BEDFONT.

Tomtood

1.
Alas! that breathing Vanity should go

Where Pride is buried,- like its very ghost
Uprisen from the naked bones below,

In novel flesh, clad in the silent boast
Of gaudy silk that flutters to and fro,

Shedding its chilling superstition most
On young and ignorant natures—as it wont
To haunt the peaceful church-yard of Bedfont !

2.
Each Sabbath morning, at the hour of prayer,

Behold two maidens, up the quiet green
Shining, far distant, in the summer air

That flaunts their dewy robes and breathes between
Their downy plumes,--sailing as if they were

Two far-off ships—until they brush between
The church-yard's humble walls, and watch and wait
On either side of the wide open'd gate.

3.
And there they stand—with haughty necks before

God's holy house, that points towards the skies-
Frowning reluctant duty from the poor,

And tempting homage from unthoughtful eyes :
And Youth looks lingering from the temple door,

Breathing its wishes in unfruitful sighs
With pouting lips-forgetful of the grace
Of health, and smiles on the heart-conscious face;-

Because that Wealth, which has no bliss beside,

May wear the happiness of rich attire; And those two sisters, in their silly pride,

May change the soul's warm glances for the fire Of lifeless diamonds ;-and for health deny'd,

With art, that blushes at itself, inspire Their languid cheeks--and flourish in a glory That has no life in life, por after-story.

5. The aged priest goes shaking his grey hair

In meekest censuring, and turns his eye Earthward in grief, and heav'nward in pray’r,

And sighs, and clasps his hands, and passes by.
Good-hearted man! what sullen soul would wear

Thy sorrow for a garb, and constantly
Put on thy censure, that might win the praise
Of one so grey in goodness and in days?

6.
Also the solemn clerk partakes the shame

Of this ungodly shine of human pride, And sadly blends his reverence and blame

In one grave bow, and passes with a stride
Impatient:-many a red-hooded dame

Turns her pain d head, but not her glance, aside
From wanton dress, and marvels o'er again,
That heaven hath no wet judgments for the vain.

1.
“ I have a lily in the bloom at home,”.

Quoth one, “and by the blessed Sabbath day
I'll pluck my lily in its pride, and come

And read a lesson upon vain array ;-
And when stiff silks are rustling up, and some

Give place, I'll shake it in proud eyes and say
Making

my reverence-Ladies, an you please, King Solomon's not half so fine as these."

8. Then her meek partner, who has nearly run

His earthly course," Nay, Goody, let your text Grow in the garden. We have only one

Who knows that these dim eyes may see the next ?
Summer will come again, and summer sun,

And lilies too but I were sorely vext
To mar my garden, and cut short the blow
Of the last lily I may live to grow.”

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9. The last !” quoth she, “and though the last it were

Lo! those two wantons, where they stand so proud With waving plumes, and jewels in their hair,

And painted cheeks, like Dagons to be bow'd
And curtsey'd to !-last Sabbath after pray'r,

I heard the little Tomkins ask aloud
If they were angels—but I made him know
God's bright ones better, with a bitter blow!"

10. So speaking, they pursue the pebbly walk

That leads to the white porch the Sunday throng Hand-coupled urchins in restrained talk,

And anxious pedagogue that chastens wrong, And posied churchwarden with solemn stalk,

And gold-bedizen'd beadle flames along, And gentle peasant clad in buff and green, Like a meek cowslip in the spring serene;

11. And blushing maiden-modestly array'd

In spotless white-still conscious of the glass;
And she, the lonely widow, that hath made

A sable covenant with grief-alas !
She veils her tears under the deep, deep shade,

While the poor kindly-hearted, as they pass,
Bend to unclouded childhood, and caress
Her boy-so rosy !--and so fatherless!

12. Thus, as good Christians ought, they all draw near

The fair white temple, to the timely call Of pleasant bells that tremble in the ear.

Now the last frock, and scarlet hood, and shawl Fade into dusk, in the dim atmosphere

Of the low porch, and heav'n has won them all, - Saving those two, that turn aside and pass, In velvet blossom, where all flesh is grass.

13. Ah me! to see their silken manors trail'a

In purple luxuries--with restless gold Flaunting the grass where widowhood had wail'd

In blotted black-over the heapy mould
Panting wave-wantonly! They never quaila

How the warm vanity abused the cold;
Nor saw the solemn faces of the gone
Sadly uplooking through transparent stone:

14. But swept their dwellings with unquiet light,

Shocking the awful presence of the dead ; Where gracious natures do their eyes benight,

Nor wear their being with a lip too red,
Nor move too rudely in the summer bright

Of sun, but put staid sorrow in their tread,
Meting it into steps, with inward breath,
In very pity to bereaved death.

15. Now in the church, time-sober'd minds resign

To solemn pray'r, and the loud populous hymn,With glowing picturings of joys divine

Painting the mistlight where the roof is dim;
But youth looks upward to the window shine,

Warming with rose and purple and the swim
Of gold, as if thought-tinted by the stains
Of gorgeous light through many-colour'd panes ;

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16. Soiling the virgin snow wherein God hath

Enrobed his angels,—and with absent eyes Hearing of Heav'n,-and listening the path,

Thoughtful of slippers,-and the glorious skies Clouding with satin,—till the preacher's wrath

Consumes his pity, and he glows, and cries With a deep voice that trembles in its might, And earnest eyes grown eloquent in light:

17. « Oh that the vacant eye would learn to look

On very beauty, and the heart embrace True loveliness, and from this holy book

Drink the warm-breathing tenderness and grace
Of love indeed! Oh that the young soul took

Its virgin passion from the glorious face
Of fair religion, and address'd its strife
To win the riches of eternal life!

18.
“ Doth the vain heart love glory that is none,

And the poor excellence of vain attire?
Oh go, and drown your eyes against the sun,

The visible ruler of the starry quire,
Till boiling gold in giddy eddies run,

Dazzling the brain with orbs of living fire; And the faint soul down darkens into night, And dies a burning martyrdom to light.

19.
“Oh go, and gaze,-when the low winds of ev'n

Breathe hymns, and Nature's many forests nod
Their gold-crown'd heads; and the rich blooms of heav'n

Sun-ripen'd give their blushes up to God;
And mountain-rocks and cloudy steeps are riv'n

By founts of fire, as smitten by the rod
Of heavenly Moses,--that your thirsty sense
May quench its longings of magnificence !

20.
Yet suns shall perish--stars shall fade away-

Day into darkness-darkness into death-
Death into silence ; the warm light of day,

The blooms of summer, the rich glowing breath
Of Even-all shall wither and decay,

Like the frail furniture of dreams beneath
The touch of morn-or bubbles of rich dyes
That break and vanish in the aching eyes.”

21.

They hear, soul-blushing, and repentant shed

Unwholesome thoughts in wholesome tears, and pour
Their sin to earth,—and with low drooping head

Receive the solemn blessing, and implore
Its grace—then soberly, with chasten'd tread,

They meekly press towards the gusty door,
With humbled eyes that go to graze upon
The lowly grass—like him of Babylon.

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