« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
drew his own chair closer to the fire, month ago,-in one of their theatres,
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 lá 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,
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.
Where Pride is buried,- like its very ghost
In novel flesh, clad in the silent boast
Shedding its chilling superstition most
Behold two maidens, up the quiet green
That flaunts their dewy robes and breathes between
Two far-off ships—until they brush between
God's holy house, that points towards the skies-
And tempting homage from unthoughtful eyes :
Breathing its wishes in unfruitful sighs
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.
Thy sorrow for a garb, and constantly
Of this ungodly shine of human pride, And sadly blends his reverence and blame
In one grave bow, and passes with a stride
Turns her pain d head, but not her glance, aside
Quoth one, “and by the blessed Sabbath day
And read a lesson upon vain array ;-
Give place, I'll shake it in proud eyes and say
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 ?
And lilies too but I were sorely vext
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
I heard the little Tomkins ask aloud
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;
A sable covenant with grief-alas !
While the poor kindly-hearted, as they pass,
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
How the warm vanity abused the cold;
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,
Of sun, but put staid sorrow in their tread,
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;
Warming with rose and purple and the swim
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
Its virgin passion from the glorious face
And the poor excellence of vain attire?
The visible ruler of the starry quire,
Dazzling the brain with orbs of living fire; And the faint soul down darkens into night, And dies a burning martyrdom to light.
Breathe hymns, and Nature's many forests nod
Sun-ripen'd give their blushes up to God;
By founts of fire, as smitten by the rod
Day into darkness-darkness into death-
The blooms of summer, the rich glowing breath
Like the frail furniture of dreams beneath
They hear, soul-blushing, and repentant shed
Unwholesome thoughts in wholesome tears, and pour
Receive the solemn blessing, and implore
They meekly press towards the gusty door,