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Spirit of Evil, when he beset me? young and amorous story of Verona, Had he stood before me, visible, which tells of times when morning tangible, indeed, I might have hurled shone upon the world, and Love my inkstand at his head, after the was a god indeed. Oh! that bright fashion of Luther ; but times are als couple whom Death and Hymen tered since the Reformation, and the crowned together-whose sepulchre Devil is more cautious than formerly. was hidden by roses !- I vowed that We have no witches or killcrops here, my first money should be spent upon as in Germany, and our stock of con- Shakspeare, and I kept my word. jurers has been much reduced. We It was a school present that I reoccasionally, perhaps, hearone spokenceived, and just enough to compass of, and it is said, in palliation, that a cheap edition. These books were « Mr. is not much of a con- a treasure to me. I read them through jurer,” &c. but even these accusa- and through in my bedchamber, negtions become less frequent. The lecting (or indifferent to) meals and Evil One himself seldom comes for- exercise, and all other amusements ward, except as a mere phantom, or while they lasted ; and they lasted a desire, seizing upon our hopes or long, for a young boy reads but our fears; though now and then, slowly. Then I burned to personate indeed, he ventures abroad in the the heroes. I became Constance, and shape of a pig, or a bottle of wine at raved : I towered as Richard : I grew a parish or tythe dinner, and van- pensive as Hamlet: I was Othello, quishes the sinful laity,—aye, even with a face all over soot (I could not
get it off readily, I remember, and -the parson of the parish, And the attorney:
met with a reproof),-- and, in short,
in my way, I “played many parts ;' for there is no “ benefit of clergy," without an auditor, it is true, to apI am told, with him; and as to the plaud, but then there were no bitter poor follower of law, he has always critics, no inattentive loungers, no been held an animal “feræ naturæ," ladies who talked throughout all my and liable to be hunted down with- performance, and I was satisfied and out pain or penalty.
happy. As to my amusements, my first These pleasures were somewhat love was Poetry. I remember many, interrupted by my going to a public many years ago, how I sate on the school. What excellent things I, a knee of my uncle's old housekeeper, child, unlearned, when I became a and listened to her tales of Shak- denizen of that premature world! My speare. She was a woman who had imagination was seared by the light known better days, and had some let in upon me. No mystery was left taste for books. She had an excel- unexplained. I lost my faith in all lent memory, and repeated to me fiction.-Do not smile at this: it is the numberless stories,-Clarissa,—The straight road to all infidelity. An Vicar of Wakefield,- Pamela,-(she incredulous boy that man without repeated Pamela to me almost as man's capacity) is odious. I disminutely as Richardson)-and then trust him as well as hate him. Oh! she would tell me of Lear, that mad there is something fine in the confiold king, and of his three daughters, dence of youth. It is like the gentle (one so good and fair,)-of Richard, reliance of women. They lean upon us, Hubert, and Arthur, Constance, &c. the sterner sex, how beautiful in their -interspersing her narrative with weakness ! Fair creatures, who are copious quotations from the plays. in our eyes the models of angels, how These pretty evening tales I was ac- excellent ye are ! More true, more cumstomed to listen to hour after delicate, more heroic, more generhour; always stealing from the par- ous than we, how is it possible too . lour to my old friend's room at the much to praise ye! At what Enortime when she said “ her work would MOUS USURY was the seventh rib of be done,” and never willingly return- man lent out when it produced ye! ing. What feasts were those! How If we could part with the othersI loved Cordelia, Arthur, Imogen! but no: Nature has nothing of equal What tears and pity I showered upon beauty left; and moreover we are them! How fond was I, too, of that all content.
In the intervals of school (the holi- shut soul of man, yield up their days) I ran through the whole range secrets before her: her touch is like of romance, from the preux chevaliers that of the painter in his power, of the ancient time, to the banditti and her tones leave all melody far who frown through the pages of our behind. modern stories. From these I pro- Music, then, became my study. ceeded to novels, and from novels,- I followed it, as I have done all purinstigated, I believe, by the scraps suits, enthusiastically. My first atof verse at the head of each chapter tempts at producing a note on the -to poetry again. I had leisure flute were sufficiently ludicrous. I when I was at C and accord- practised before a mirror, in order to ingly, from Spenser down to Beattie attain the proper embouchure, and the and Cowper, there was nothing that distortions of face, and the hideous escaped me. Not that I had then noises that followed, are still alive in. much relish for the better order of my memory, like the “accidents and poets : on the contrary, I read Dry- offences” of yesterday. I recollect den's and Pope's odes to Saint Ceci- with pain those horrid approxima lia in preference to Comus or Para- tions to a tune; those creaking, jardise Regained, or Timon, or An- ring melodies, tony and Cleopatra, or Pericles, the three last acts of which, by the
Never ending, still beginning, bye, I maintain to be undoubtedly with which I was wont to serenade shakspeare's. This period I con- the neighbourhood from sunset till sider to be that in which my percep- midnight. And then the difficulty— tions were duller than either before I once read mathematics (by way of ôr since. It was indeed a night of amusement!) and did not find them so taste with me, when I read Dryden insurmountable as I had apprehended. and Pope (and not their best wri- The “ pons asinorum," more espetings,-not their satires) in preference cially, I passed over easily. But, in to our two great poets. However, music, * Haydn's minuet," and I was soon fatigued, because never « The Dusty Miller," were real promuch delighted, and quitted the lof- blems, not to be mastered like lines tier muse for her sister -Music. and circles. They took an age of
Music has been much celebrated labour, a world of constancy. But by poets, much oftener than paint- then, what unmixed delight I felt ing, and beyond it. This is very na- when I was once master of a tune! tural. There never could be much The rooms and garden echoed with jealousy where the one is so inferior my strains. Every visitor became to the other. But between poetry acquainted with my accomplishand painting (though I hold the ments, and every one with whom I first to be clearly the higher and was familiar was requested in turn more comprehensive art), the dis- to “ hear me play." Spirit of Ortinction is not so great. It has been pheus! what visions were mine—what said, that there is a closer alli- a heaven of harmony was opened to ance between poetry and music, my fancy! It was then that I bought than between painting and poetry. “ theories of music,” and “ dictionI do not think so. A poetical sen- aries of music,” and “ practical lestence does not of necessity so much sons,” and “ introductions to the imply harmony, as that there shall German flute." I talked of great exist in it some image, detailed or musicians, and listened with a hungry referred to. Like all things of smaller ear to every tale concerning them. power, painting and music are, I heard of Corelli
, who could play perhaps, more perfect, within their the most divine airs with the strings own limits, than poetry herself. But of his violin loose-of Farinelli, whose her range is magnificent and bound- voice was so touching, that it held less-it reaches over earth and captive in its airy chains the wills of heaven, over air and ocean, and tyrants. Then it was, that the tale through all illimitable space. She of Amphion was no more a fable, can track the most subtle theories, nor the story of Eurydice a poet's the finest and most airy abstrac- feigning. Music seemed to me the tions; passion, and prejudice, and the beginning and end of all :
From harmony, from heavenly harmony, Hoffmeister,--to the crabbed but useThis universal frame began.
ful works of Kreith,—to Mozart, to So I sang, and so I determined it Beethoven ; — sometimes even minshould continue, as far at least as ļ gling, a humble fourth, in the fine was concerned.
quartetts of Gabrielski, or startling At the time of which I am writing the dull silence with capriccios of my
park (the seat of the Mars In the end I became tired of quisses of L—-) was not in the pos- my own music, and seceded to the session of the present lord. It was oratorio and the opera, for pleasure unoccupied, and in a manner disman, which I could no longer afford to tled. The furniture had been sold, myself. Catalani was then in her the plants, the garden ornaments ;- prime, and she outwent even all my the avenues and old stately trees had anticipations. I heard her sing her been cut down, or were marked for almost last song on the stage of the « falling ;"—the large rooms were Italian Opera. It was like a crown deserted :-no human tread, no fami- ing hymn,- the last and most melo, liar voice, was to be heard, except dious: from one or two of the servants' The setting sun, and music at its close, apartments. The steward, the gar. As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last; dener, the game-keeper, were there, Writ in remembrance more than things each lord of his separate domain, but long past. the master of all was a stranger. After Catalani followed Bertinotti, The country people “ about” walked and then (returned) Grassini, Fodor, thither on Sundays and holydays, and and others. These pleased me in sighed to see huge marks of chalk various degrees; but I have been staining the brown barks of the tall more touched by the Oratorio of elms and branching oaks : they said, “ Acis and Galatea,” than by any of “ it was a pity,” so it was, “ that them. It was Mrs. Vaughan who so fine a place should be left to ser- used then to sing “ The flocks shall vants only;" and the tenants re- leave the mountains," so sweetly, that gretted that “my lord” did not come I could have listened for ever. I down to see them. At last, indeed, have heard her again, lately; but he came; but he enjoyed his honours she is quite another person. Harribut a short time. After his death, son and Bartleman then sang togethey descended with the parks and ther, and very delightfully. Any one possessions to his younger brother, who recollects their “ Here shall soft who, I am told, keeps up the state charity repair,” will I am sure bear of the old mausion with hereditary testimony to this opinion. Besides hospitality and pride. During the these, there were Braham, (with interregnuin, if I may so call it, of his peerless voice)-the Knyvetts, possession (I mean during the life, Yaniewicz, and others, all in their and absence, of the late Marquis) way meritorious. I used often to wander there. I In one of the intervals, when muwould stray along the green forest sic had ceased for a time to give paths, scaring the bird or timorous me great pleasure, a book fell into hare from its shady haunt; or else, my hands which gave a new turn to with my flute and “ Handel's water- my thoughts. It was “ A Treatise piece,” safely stowed in the game, on the Art of Self-defence, by Thomas keeper's boat, I would row to the Fewtrell.” The book had not much middle of the broad blue lake, and merit, but it introduced great names there lie tossing among the rippling to me, which I had before known but waters, hour after hour, while the by imperfect report. Broughton, woods and sounding shores re-echoed Slack, Perrins the giant, Big Ben, to my song
the celebrated Thomas Johnson, and But I should tire the reader were I other manly spirits, were made manito go on thus. Be it sufficient to say fest to me. They were as brave as that I continued this pursuit (with the heroes of the Iliad, and, generally intervals) for some years, rising from speaking, pretty nearly as worthy: “Wheatstone's last Number of Coun- most of the difference lies in the histry Dances”--to the duetts and solos torian :-Homer or Thomas Fewof Pleyel ; ---thence to Haydn and trell?-the odds are certainly against the boxer. So much has been said and when the study of the law drew lately about boxing, that it may be down upon me the evil spirit of Hypomore agreeable to pass over this sub- chondria, I resorted, as I have said, to ject, adverting merely to one or two the elder dramatists and poets, and circumstances connected with it. their contemporaries, for relief. My Boxing (or rather sparring) is an ami- delight, when a child, in plays and able amusement. The Hypochondriac, stories, had of course little to do with however, should not rush at once any critical faculty. Afterwards I into the pursuit, in the hope that, read verse with somewhat of a dislike a sudden plunge into the water, eased taste; and finally, I returned the shock may benefit his nerves. It to it for comfort, at a time when my should be contemplated and toyed spirit was broken by ill health, though with for a time, until the exercise my intellect was better than it had becomes familiar. Flute playing is ever been. It was now that poetry butan indifferent help to a Hypochon- became to me a passion. Lord Byron driac: at least, I discovered that lean- had just published his “ Childe Haing over a music took for six hours rold.” I have no words to tell how daily (which I did, at one time) by I felt, how I fed upon his lines. I had no means tends to brighten our vie seen him (several times), when I was sions of the future or to strengthen a boy, and the recollection of his the nerves. A little even of that may person riveted my attachment to his be good, because it is an amusement, verse. Oh, the giddy pleasure of and withdraws the spirit from that that time! Never shall I worship fierce self-inspection which so much any thing again as I did then. His torments the melancholy man.
Box- name, his fame, were holy things to ing, in moderation, is excellent; for me; and his lines, good or indifferthat too is an amusement, and makes ent, I loved and defended them all. the body robust, and the spirit light- Some persons say that they are “rasome and brave. I and my friend ther (rather!) fond of poetry,”—and H devoted our souls' to this they believe it: they do not know fine art. We read how great fighters that it is a story in verse which deare trained, and adopted the system lights them,-a plot, a character, or without delay. I must own that an incident. My love required not H- persevered more than 1. such nourishment: it thrived upon He ran up hills wrapped in two or the word and the sentiment alone, three great coats--he slept on the and turned aside from all grosser hard floor ;-he rose early (oh, what food. The world were then devoura sluggard then was I !);-hé ate - ing the very amusing verses of Sir like a young fighter in his noviciate. Walter Scott, or were giving up their I must own that his resolution here minds to didactic rhyme: I was was greater than mine.
My aspi- Spell-bound amidst the clustering Cyclades. rations were as high-my hopes as great; but I had my infirmities, like I lived in sunnier climes and on a person who has never been melan
The blue skies of choly. I liked the smoked atmos- Greece, the Egean islands, the Asian phere of a room in which there was shore (that heroic strand, where gods à fire, better than the wholesome air and men contended), — Leucadia, of March, or the varying but lovely Parnassus, Tempe were my doskies of April—I read idle stories, main ; and the spirit that led me on instead of looking at the opening was one with whom I had stood face bloom, or gazing on the green face of to face in boyhood, and thought no nature. I have been punished for more of than of “the idle wind which this; almost, would think, men regard not." Now, with what enough. I am now a lover of the reverence did I turn back upon my fields, of clear skies and balmy old recollections, and trace every feaairs; somewhat later perhaps than ture of a poet so illustrious with many love them,-but not I hope too what deep regard did I think of him! late.
I saw again his full and bold blue When I became a law student I eye-his high forehead-his scornful Jeft music-(I returned to it after- lip. They were all before me. I ward3—once, for a short time);- remembered even a few of his ex
pressions, and they often solaced me for something: if not,- let him try in my sad retirement.
again. The love of poetry now begat in The transition from poetry to me a spirit of imitation ; i. e. I mye painting is easy. I was instigated, self strove to write poetry. My friends I believe, originally by a line of (those dangerous confidants) protest. Thomson to inquire into the beaued that it was “really not so bad." ties of painting. 66 The Castle of I kept it for a couple of years, and Indolence," has always been with found out that it was execrable. Yet me the most favourite of his works, it was not worse than young begin- though perhaps it is neither the best, ners commonly write. It was sim- nor the most characteristic of his ply not good ;-neither more nor less. genius. Therein you may read of This, by some persons, ' would be enchanted things, -of idleness and considered as worse than total failure. ease, of perfumes, and silken couches, Even that witty wicked person Don of bright wines, and statues, and picJuan speaks of some good gentle- tures, which
Showered all the Arabian heaven upon their Sweating plays so middling, bad were better; nights ; but I cannot agree with the son of and among others there are living Don José on this more than on one landscapes, full of the light of setting or two other subjects. I wrote poetry, suns, or solemn and classical, or then-shall I confess that I derived
wild, great pleasure from my own verses ? Yes; in truth it was so. A fresh Such as Lorraine light-touch'd with soften
ing hue, image, a happy combination, a mu
Or savage Rosa dash'd, or learned Poussin sical line, carried with them more drew. than ordinary delight. It was not merely my own skill or fortunate in. There was a music in the names, (there
These were magical words to me. vention that I was enamoured of is something fine,is it from asso No; it was because they had high ciation ?-in the names of all poets associations with them ;-because they bore me back through years and and artists), and I did not rest conages of romance,-by fable, and tented till I knew more of them, and elegy, and holy amorous song.-past and Bologna, of Venice and Rome.
of their mighty brothers of Florence tales of love forgotten,
It was not long before I saw beauna D'er perilous seas and faery lands forlorn,
ties in the elder artists which I could unto times made famous by immora not discover in the moderns. I do tal verse, and the loves (or deaths) not pretend to what is called “natuwhich are therein recorded.
ral” taste: indeed, I do not believe In time, poetry, to which I had in its existence. Taste in art is an turned for refreshment and comfort, acquired thing. It is unlike genius. excited me more than the study of It does not flash upon you like an the law. All the imagery of my inspiration : but it comes streaming rhymes haunted me. Throngs of ra- and bright,--and brighter, and diant creatures which had eluded me brighter still, through the channels in the day thronged about me at of the intellect, clearing the eye and night ;-tropes and metaphors of all refining the opinion. Taste has sorts, personifications of Hope and been much abused. It is the “ para Charity, of Love and Jealousy, and cel of our fortunes” that is most Despair, presented themselves. What valuable. It is a subtle operation of golden couplets I composed! what the mind, finer and more precious lofty designs I meditated! but the than the art of making true a theorem morning came, with its cold and or unwinding an enigma. sober dews, and all the fabric of my My first introduction to the great nights dissolved. Sleep sobers the painters was through the medium judgment wonderfully. I advise of prints,—an indifferent one, it is every young poet of heated ima- true, but it was the best in my gination to put aside his verses for a power. I looked with profound reweek, and then to let them undergo verence on the immortal features of inspection early in the morning. If their minds, spread through countless they will bear this test, they are good generations, or concentrated in a sinVOL. VI.