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fore cock-crow, with strains and What a rioter was he that wrote
men, and to show them that the Many years ago (some forty-one,- earth is never dead, never parsimoor two,-or three) when we were at nious. Then, what gay dresses are home “ for the Christmas holidays,” intermixed,-art rivalling nature ! we occasionally heard these things. Woe to the rabbits and the hares, What a budget of songs we had! and the nut-cracking squirrels, the None of them were good for much; foxes, and all children of the woods, but they were sung by joyful spirits, for furriers shall spoil them of their amidst fun and laughter, loud and coats, to keep woman (the wonder in defiance of tune, and we were of creation) warm! And woe to enchanted. There was “ Bright those damsels (fair anachronisms) Chanticleer proclaims the dawn, who will not fence out the sharp and“ 'Twas in the good ship Rover,” winter; for rheumatisms and agues -and, “ Buy my matches,” -(oh! shall be theirs, and catarrhs shall be what an accompaniment there was their portion in spring.–But, look ! with the flat hand and the elbow)- what thing is this, awful and colour“ The lobster claw,"—and others. ed like the rainbow,-blue, and red, We should be sorry to strip them, and glistening yellow? Its vest is like “ majesty in the riddle, of sky tinctured! The edges of its gartheir merit first and last. (our re- ments are like the sun! Is it collection) and reduce them to “ a
-A faery vision jest." Yet they were indeed a jest, Of some gay creature of the element, and a very pleasant one.-Of all the That in the colours of the rainbow lives, songs, however, which become a And plays i' the plighted clouds ?time of feasting, there is none com- No:-- it is the Beadle of St. 's! parable to one written by Beaumont How Christmas and consolatory he and Fletcher. It is racy, and rich, looks!. How redolent of good cheer and sparkling. It has the strength is he! He is a cornu-copia-an and regal taste of Burgundy, and abundance! What pudding-sleeves ! the etherial spirit of Champaigne. what a collar, red and a like beefDoes the reader wish to see it? Here steak, is his ! He is a walking refreshit is: the words seem floating in ment! He looks like a whole parish, wine.
full, important, but untaxed. The God LYÆUS-ever young,
children of charity gaze at him with Ever honour'd, ever sung;
a modest smile. The straggling boys Stain'd with blood of lusty grapes,
look on him with confidence. They In a thousand lusty shapes,
do not pocket their marbles. They Dance upon the mazer's brim,
do not fly from the familiar gutter. In the crimson liquor swim ;
This is a red-letter day; and the
London is not too populous at Christ
mas. But what there is of popula- him; and figures (only real on the tion looks more alive than at other 6th of January) pass by him, one times. Quick walking and heaps of by one, like ghosts before the vision invitations keep the blood warm of the king of Scotland. Even the Every one seems hurrying to a din- servant has his “ once a year” botner. The breath.curls upwards like tle of port; and the beggar his “alsmoke through the frosty air ; the derman in chains.” eyes glisten; the teeth are shown; Oh! merry piping time of Christthe muscles of the face are rigid, and mas! Never let us permit thee to the colour of the cheek has a fixed degenerate into distant courtesies look, like a, stain. Hunger is no and formal salutations. But let us longer an enemy. We feed him, shake our friends and familiars by the like the ravenous tiger, till he pants hand, as our fathers and their faand sleeps, or is quiet. Every body thers did. Let them all come around eats at Christmas. The rich feast as us, and let us count how many the usual; but the tradesman leaves his year has added to our circle. Let moderate fare for dainties. The ap- us enjoy the present, and laugh at prentice - abjures his chop, and the past. Let us tell old stories and plunges at once into the luxuries of invent new ones innocent always, joints and puddings. The school- and ingenious if we can. Let us not boy is no longer at school. He meet to abuse the world, but to make dreams no more of the coming lesson it better by our individual example. or the lifted rod; but mountains of Let us be patriots, but not men of jelly rise beside him, and blanc- party. Let us look of the time, mange, with its treacherous founda- cheerful and generous, and endeations, threatens to overwhelm his vour to make others as generous and fancy; roods of mince pies spread cheerful as ourselves. out their chequered riches before
ON A SLEEPING CHILD.
O 'tis a touching thing to make one weep
A tender infant with its curtain's eye,
Had lined its slumbers with a still blue sky;
So that the passive cheeks unconscious lie,
The blushes warm and the mild odorous breath :
So sweet a compromise of life and death,
For Memory to stain their inward leaf,
Thine eyelids slept so beauteously, I deem'd
No eyes would wake more beautiful than they ;
Thy glossy cheeks so unimpassion'd lay,
I did not think a smile could sweetlier play,
Now slumber lies in dimpled eddies drown'd,
And odorous silence ripens into sound,
How dost thou waken into smiles, and prove,
A COCKNEY'S RURAL SPORTS.
Guns, horses, dogs, the river, and the field,
I was lately invited by a French crumbs into the duck-pond ; then to gentleman to pass a few weeks with walk leisurely to the bridge, lean him at his chateau in the Auxerrois, over the parapet, and watch for hours at fifty leagues from Paris. As í together the leaves, twigs, and other am fond of the country, and Jone light objects floated through it by the sieur De V-, moreover, being an stream, occasionally spitting into the excellent fellow, I did not long hesi- water-the quintessence of rural ease tate in accepting his invitation. Ah! and idleness !- and so on the livewhen I pronounced the fatal “ Oui," long day. These are my notions of little did I suspect that, by the utter, the country, and of the pleasures it afing of that one word, I had devoted fords; and though my late excursion myself to a week of bitter suffering. has instructed me, that other pleaBut that the tortures I endured may sures than those I have enumerated be fully appreciated, it is necessary exist, to me they present no charms; to state what are my notions of the they are adapted to tastes and habits country, and what my occupations far different from mine.
I never and amusements there.
loved them; and now, for the sufferThe country, then, is a place where, ings they have recently occasioned instead of thousands of houses rising me, I hate, loathe, and detest them, about us at every turn, only one is to and cling with increased fondness to be seen within a considerable space;- my own first ideas of rural enjoywhere the sky is presented in a large, ment. Would I had but been allowed broad, boundless expanse, instead of the undisturbed indulgence of them! being retailed out, as it were, in long The evening for our departure arstrips of a yard and a half wide ;- rived.
rived. We took the diligence to where the trees grow naturally and Auxerre. At intervals, during our in abundance-by dozens in a clump! nocturnal progress, I was saluted --and are of a fresh, gay, healthy with a friendly tap on the back, acgreen, instead of being stuck about companied with the exclamation, here and there, sad exiles from their “ Ah, ça, mon ami, nous nous amunative forests, gasping to refresh their serons, j'espere.” This brought to my lanky forms with a puff of air caught mind pleasant anticipations of my from above the chimney tops, smoke- friend's clumps, his meadows, and dried, sun-burnt, and covered with his silver streams. Day-light openurban dust, the sack-cloth and ashes ed to us the prospect of a delightful of the unhappy mourners ;-where, country. Every now and then a hare for flags and pebbles, one is provided scampered across the road, or a parwith the soft and beautiful tessella- tridge winged its way through the tions of nature ;-where the air may air. On such occasions Monsieur be respired without danger of suffo. De V-would exclaim, “ Vois-tu cation,--and the rivers run clear wa- ça, mon cher ?” his eyes sparkling ter instead of mud. This is the coun- with delight. This I attributed to try. Its pleasures are to sit still in his fondness for roasted hares and a quiet room during the early hours partridges, and promised myself a of the morning; then to stroll forth plentiful regale of them; little did I and ramble about, always within sight foresee the torments these reptiles of the house, avoiding long walks, and were to occasion me. On our arthe society of all such walkers as rival at Auxerre, owing to some uncompute their pedestrian excursions usual delays on the road, we found by miles; then to sit down in some we were too late for the regular shady place with a book' in one's coach to Vilette, the place of our hand, to read, ruminate, or do nei destination. “ C'est un petit malther; then to take a turn into the farm- heur,” said my companion (a Frenchard, and look at the fowls, or throw man is so happily constituted that
he seldom encounters a grand mal- I passed the whole of that day on heur): “ It is but fifteen leagues to a sofa, and at night I slept soundly. Vilette, and at nine this evening we'll The next morning, after arranging take the Patache."
my writing materials on a table, i Now the Patache, though' a very selected a book as my intended comcommodious travelling-machine, is panion in my rambles, put pencil not quite as easy in its movements as and paper into my pocket, that I a well-built English chariot, nor as a might secure such bright ideas as I post-chaise, nor as a taxed-cart, nor, doubted not the country would inindeed, as a common English roads spire, and went into the breakfastwaggon. It is a square box, with- room. A party of ladies and gentle out springs, fastened flat down upon men, visitors at Vilette, were already poles, and dragged along upon two assembled. The repast ended, this heavy ill-constructed wheels. The was Monsieur De V-'s address to night was dark; our route lay along me: “ Maintenant, mon cher, nous a bye-road, not paved, but covered nous amuserons. You are an Engwith large stones, thrown loosely and lishman, consequently a fine sportscarelessly along it, and our driver man. You will find here every thing was half drunk and half asleep. We you desire. Fishing-tackle, were jolted to the right and to the dogs, guns, horses-par exemple, you left, backwards, forwards, bumped shall ride Hector while you stay-no up to the roof, and, in heavy rebounds, one here can manage him, but you'll down again upon the hard seat. It soon bring him to reason. Allons ! was making a toil of a pleasure. For we'll ride to day. Sacristi! Hector some time we laughed, or affected will fly with you twelve leagues an to laugh, but at length our suffer- hour! Only remember, that as we ings grew too real for a jest. We shall not be equally well mounted, were bruised from head to foot, and you must keep him in a little, that our situation was not rendered more we may not lose the pleasure of your agreeable by the reflection that it conversation by the way. Then was without remedy. « C'est egal," turning to some others of the party, exclaimed my friend, in the intervals he said, “ The English are in genebetween his groans. I did not find ral better horsemen than we; il n'y it so. After five hours' pulverising, a pas de comparaison, Messieurs, vous at two o'clock in the morning, and allez voir.” having made but little progress on This was an unexpected blow. I our journey, our driver stopt at a wished the earth would open and miserable village, and resolutely re- hide me in its deepest recesses. 1, fused to proceed any further till day- who had never in my life caught a break. * N'importe," said Monsieur flounder! I, who had never pulled De V-," that will allow us an å trigger to the annoyance of beast hour and a half's rest, et ça sera or bird! I, who had never performed charmant." Charming! What is there any very extraordinary equestrian 80 perversely tormenting as the short feat, suddenly called upon " to period of unrest thrust upon one in witch the world with noble horsethe course of a fatiguing journey? It manship,” and sustain the sporting is scarcely sufficient to recover one credit of England !-1, who am the from the state of feverish agitation, exact antipode to Colonel Thắn, excited by long-continued motion, and and stand at opposite points of prewhich it is necessary to subdue before eminence with him ; he being the very sleep will operate, and the instant it best sportsman in the world,
and I the begins to do so one is cruelly dragged very worst,-a superiority which, in forth again. However, any thing each case, leaves competition so far was better than the Patache. I was behind, that I have sometimes been lifted out, for I was totally deprived proud of mine. Now it availed me of the power of self-exertion. At nothing. What would I not have day-break I was lifted in again; and given for my great opposite's dexteat eleven o'clock of the third day rity of hand, his precision of eye, his after our departure from Paris, we celerity of foot ! How did I envy arrived at Vilette. “And now,” ex- him his power of riding more miles claimed my friend, “ Nous nous amu- in a minute than any horse could serons."
carry him! How did I yearn to be
able, like him, to spit with a ramrod would be occupied by ladies : each a dozen partridges flying, or angle man, except myself, was provided with six hooks upon the same line, with a horse, and the important and simultaneously catch a pike of question arose – 6. How is P.* to get twenty pounds weight with each! there?” It was soon settled, howThese were vain longings, and some- ever, by some one saying,
« Oh! thing was necessary to be done. It I'll lend him a horse ;
and my acseemed to me that the equestrian cepting his proposition, and thankhonour of England was confided to ing him for his civility, in just the my keeping, and depended on my same tone of nonchalance as if he exertions that day; and with the des- had offered me a place in a postperate reflection that, at the worst, chaise. No doubts, no misgivings, I should be quits for a broken neck, concerning the successful result of the I went with the rest into the court- morrow's undertaking, came across yard, where the horses were waiting me: I had nothing to do but get
I must here beg permission upon a horse, and ride him to Weyto digress; for that my readers may bridge. That night I slept soundly;
I fully appreciate the horrors of my si- the next morning I rose in a placid tuation, their attention to my eques- state of mind, ate my breakfast as trian memoirs is indispensable. I usual, and conducted myself with will be as brief as possible.
becoming decency and composure till Till somewhat an advanced pe- the appointed hour' of starting. I riod of my life, learning to ride had was the first at the place of rendezalways appeared to me a superfluous vous. The horse intended for me part of education. Putting one foot was led to the door, I walked tointo the stirrup, throwing the other wards it with a steady and firm step, across the saddle, and sitting astride mounted-gallantly, I may say—and, it, as I had seen many persons do, to the last, exhibited no signs of seemed to me to be the mere work of emotion. The carriage drove off. intuition, common matter of course, In consequence of some little deas easy and as natural to man as rangements, a full quarter of an hour walking. Having principally inha- had passed before the whole of the bited the capital, horse-riding, as a cavalry was assembled ; I waited pathing of necessity, had never once tiently at the street-door; and without occurred to me. I had never con- pretending to rival Mr. Mackean or sidered' it as a recreation; and my young Saunders, I may boast that journeys, whether of business or plea- during the whole of that time I kept sure, I hall always performed in my seat with wonderful tenacity: 1 carriages. Thus I had attained the sat in a way that might have excited age of manhood-confirmed man- the
of the statue in Don Juan. hood, reader !-without ever having At length the signal for starting was mounted a horse; and this, not from given. I advanced with the rest, any suspicion that I was incompe- neither ostentatiously taking the tent to the k, nor from any un- front, nor timidly seeking the rear, willingness to the effort, but simply, but falling in just as chance directed as I have said, from never having -in short, as any experienced rider experienced the absolute necessity of would have done, who attached no so doing.
sort of importance to the act of It happened that I was chosen one sitting across a horse. Our road lay of a numerous party to Weybridge, down St. James's-street, (the place of in Surrey ;-alas ! though but very meeting) through the Park and along few years have elapsed since then, the King's-road. Arriving opposite how are its numbers diminished! the Palace, my companions turned Death has been fearfully industrious their horses to the right, while my among us; and the few whom he horse turned me to the left. This occahas spared are separated from each sioned a general cry of, " This is the other, some by intervening oceans, way, this is the way;" and already others by the wider gulph formed I fancied I perceived among them by the decay of friendship, the wither signs of distrust in my equestrian ta. ing of affection. -No matter. On the lents. For my own part, I was all eve of our departure, it was discover- confidence, and just giving my horse's ed that all the places in the carriages head a twitch to the right, I soon