« PreviousContinue »
out the heavens as a curtain, and laid the beams of his chambers in the waters?" It is not easy to collect and enumerate all the grand representations of God in Scripture. "He is the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity," in whose sight a "thousand years are but as yesterday;" so pure and holy, that "the very heavens are unclean before him; "" so powerful, that "he killeth and maketh alive; " of such omniscience, that he "knoweth the thoughts of man afar off;" and of such mercy and goodness, that "he waiteth to be gracious and to forgive." In this presence as it were of the true and living God, how does the whole system of Pagan superstition melt away as mist before the morning sun! These descriptions of him as far transcend, the descriptions of Jupiter and Olympus, which the poets give us, as the thunder and lightning of the heavens do the rattling and flashes of Salmoneus.
and figures, are his truly sublime and vigorous ideas habited ! Eschylus is no longer bold and daring in his expressions, when compared with Isaiah, who rolls them on in rapid and continued succession, whilst the other at intervals only breaks forth into them and what are they in the Grecian, but faint and sickly glimmerings of light, that cast a transient gleam over the sky, before the sun arises upon the morn? But the Jewish writer, like the noon-day sun, shines forth in full brightness and splendor; nor need we look further than to the difference of their subjects, in order to see the reason why that fire of imagination, which has subjected the tragedian to some censure, blazes out in the prophet with so general applause and approbation: it is because the sense of the one seems often overstrained, and will not bear the image applied; whereas so great and glorious is the matter of the other, that to treat it in a less exalted manner would be to disgrace it, and the only danger was, lest throughout the whole range of diction no words could be found strong enough to convey an adequate sense of his conceptions.
WE select the following anecdotical reminiscences from "Bernard's Retrospections of the Stage," just published in London.
"In 1778," says Mr. Bernard, "I became acquainted with the celebrated Dr. Jackson, and commenced an early and lasting intimacy with that son of song,' Charles Incledon; an intimacy continued in England twenty, and renewed in America forty years afterwards. Incledon was at this time a thin, lanky youth, giving some promise of his future powers, but more noted for a disposition like that of a Newfoundland dog-compounded of courage, gratefulness, and love of the water. All the sto
ries in circulation respecting him were illustrative of one or the other of these qualities. The best known features of his early life, I believe, are his rumpus at school, and departure to sea; over which I willingly pass, to record a circumstance more in honor of his character, and neither well known nor insignificant. Some aquatic sportsman of Exeter had offered a considerable sum to any man who would swim down the river a certain distance, to a boat moored, with a rope round his middle, and bring back to his startingpoint another. Several had attempted this feat, and failed. Young Incledon accomplished it; but this was not his ground of glory he
took the entire amount of his reward to a poor widow in the city, who had occasionally been kind to him, and was now fallen into distress. When Dr. Jackson heard of the circumstance, he was naturally alarmed lest his pupil should have contracted a cold which might injure his voice; but when Incledon explained the manner in which he had appropriated the money, the benevolent man was immediately subdued, and dismissed him with these words' Well, Charles, I'm not angry at what you've done; for if your lungs should be affected, your heart's in good order.' The companion of Incledon, as all the world knows, was Davy the composer. Davy, it appears, was an orphan child, left to the care of a poor relative, a weaver, at Crediton. This man was a humble musician, teaching the science of psalmody to the village, and playing the bas-viol at church. He had an old spinet in his house, (the gift of a wealthier relative,) upon which he used to practise his tunes. Young Davy was always by his side on such occasions, and whenever he went away would mount his stool, and strike the instrument, in the endeavor to distinguish the notes. This amusement, however, not benefiting the spinet, it was locked up; and the young musician, thus thrown upon his own resources, invented an instrument. He was at this time about six or seven. Next door to the weaver's was a blacksmith's shop, into which young Davy was continually running to watch the operations of the modern Cyclopides. He was thus enabled, unperceived and unsuspected, to convey away at different periods a number of horse-shoes, which he secreted in the unoccupied garret of the weaver's dwelling. Then procuring a piece of wire (from the same magazine), he attached it to two cross-beams, and on this suspended the shoes, assigning each its place in succession, and graduating a correct scale by the strength of
his ear. He then obtained two sticks to strike them with, in imitation of the hand-bells which he had no doubt seen, as they were very prevalent in that part of England. So engrossed did he become in this new employment, that he not only gave up all his customary sports, but neglected his lessons and the family errands. He had sagacity enough, however, to keep the cause a secret, and fortune assisted him, till one day the weaver's wife going up stairs to search among the lumber that the upper room contained, heard musical sounds, and stopping to listen, distinguished the outline of a psalm tune. However extraordinary the diversion, she could only attribute it to the presence of the devil, and her fright had nearly the effect of precipitating her to the bottom of the stairs. Her husband was at home, and to him she descended and made known this mysterious circumstance. He had less superstition than herself, and ascended the stairs more boldly. The same sounds were audible, and peeping up, he perceived the young musician perched on a rickety, broken-backed chair, with his legs tucked under him, and his tiny hands thumping the horse-shoes, in the endeavor to form the same tunes he had heard his relative play. The weaver was too pleased and astonished at this discovery either to chide or disturb him, but retired with his wife, and, after some cogitation, determined to go over to Exeter and tell Doctor Jackson his boy's story, presuming that if he had abilities for music, that would be a better business for him than weaving, and knowing the doctor's character to be as eminent for generosity as musical science. following day was accordingly devoted to the walk. The doctor heard his narrative with mingled pleasure and surprise, and agreed to ride over to Crediton and witness the phenomenon. He did so, and was introduced by the weaver to his house and stair-case, where the
same sight presented itself as on a former occasion. The youngster was seated on his chair, thumping his horse-shoes, and distinguishing their sounds. The doctor could not control his transports, but sprang up into the garret, seized little Davy in his arms, and exclaimedThis boy is mine!' My reader can imagine the scene that ensued. This was good fortune, far above the poor people's expectations. Young Davy was then taken home to Exeter, and regularly apprenticed to his patron. His subsequent career is well known.
"Jemmy Whitely, an eccentric manager of a traveling corps, was not particular, in poor communities, whether he received the public support in money or in 'kind.' He would take meat, fowl, vegetables, &c., value them by scales, and pass in the owner and friends for as many admissions as they amounted to. Thus his treasury very often, on a Saturday, resembled a butcher's warehouse rather than a banker's. At a village on the coast, the inhabitants brought him nothing but fish; but as the company could not subsist without its concomitants of bread, potatoes, &c., a general appeal was made to his stomach and sympathies, and some alteration in the terms of admission required. Jemmy accordingly, after admitting nineteen persons one evening for a shad a-piece, stopped the twentieth, and said—' I beg your pardon, my darling-I am extramely sorry to refuse you; but if we ate any more fish, by the powers! we shall all be turned into mermaids!'
"Quin was distinguished for his attachment to the society of females; though the accounts which have been handed down of his rugged habits and propensities, may have led the reader to the contrary supposition. There was infinite delicacy in the following:-Being asked by a lady why it was, as reported, that there were more women in the world than men, he replied
It is in conformity with the ar
rangements of nature, madam: we always see more of heaven than earth!""
The latter portion of the first volume is dedicated to a dramatic trip to Ireland, and is full of characteristic traits; but we can only introduce one or two of the Hibernian characteristics.
At Mallow: "On returning to the inn, we were struck for the first time with the sign, which was a red, round-faced Hibernian, grasping a punchbowl, and saying these words, Pay to-day, and trust to As this seemed to involve rather an important contradiction to us who were travellers, we required an explanation of the landlord (a baldheaded, bandy-legged little fellow, with a mouth which, when unclosed, explained the clown's idea of an open countenance), and were informed, that when his old sign of the 'Man and Punchbowl' was worn out, Mr. Mic M'Cormick, a friend of his, had agreed to paint him a new one; but he being desirous that the latter should contain some motto or general rule of his establishment, as a guide to the traveller who gazed on it, agreed with Mr. Mic M'Cormick that the words
Pay to-day and trust to-morrow' should be inserted; the artist to be paid at the rate of twopence a word. When the sign was completed, Mr. M'Cormick had brought it home, but with the deficiency of the word 'morrow,' as above, which was owing to a want of room. The worthy host was not then, it appeared, so much concerned at this alteration, or rather destruction of his meaning, as about the settlement of the question whether to-morrow' was to be considered one or two words
upon that fact depending the number of twopences he was to pay. After some argument between themselves, an umpire was called in, who deciding that 'to-morrow' was but one word, the painter was deducted twopence, and the sign was put up."
Irish Traveling." The first day
of our journey passed over without much event; but we derived sufficient amusement from the peculiarities of the carman, a mop-headed, lark-limbed beauty, whose clothes were so ragged, that as he strode along, with his coat, shirt, and breeches, fluttering behind him, he put us in mind of a persevering ship making its way against a headwind. This gentleman never whipped his horses when they were lowspirited and lazy, but reasoned with them, as though they had been a pair of the Houynhmns, mentioned by Gulliver, or intelligent Christian beings. Arrah, Barney,' he'd say to the leader, arn't you a pretty spalpeen to suffer your own brother Teddy to lug the car up the hill by himself? Haven't I set you before him as an example? Have you any heart to forget a friend bekase you don't see him? Oh! bad luck to your faalings! Arrah, Teddy (to the other), don't you see, my darling, what Barney is at ? he wants to rin away from you, and get to the little shebeen-house half a mile off, and ate up all your corn before you come. Hurry, hurry, my darling, or divil the mouthful will he lave you !' Strange as it may seem, these addresses produced the desired effect; and Barney and Teddy, as shaggy as a pair of lions, would pluck up courage, and pull along like a couple of camels. Observing that one of them was lame, we noticed it to their owner, as an infringement of our contract. 'Lame! your honor,' he replied; 'no sich thing-the boy's quite parfect; only, you see, it's a way he has of resting one leg till the other three are tired.' * "Isaac, or Iky Sparks as he was commonly termed, lodged for a time in a house with a Scotch doctor, who amused his leisure hours by learning to play the fiddle. These gentlemen, it must be remarked, were not upon the most amicable terms; the Scotchman turning up his nose at Sparks as a 'vogabond plee-actor;' and the lat
ter retorting by calling him a 'legal vampire,' since he lived by the death of other people. The doctor made it an invariable rule to rise at daylight to practise, about which time the convivial Mr. Sparks was getting into his first nap. As their rooms were adjoining, it was a necessary result that Sparks lost his sleep; and it soon became another, that he should lie awake to meditate revenge. He did not like to leave the house (perhaps he could not); but he resolved, if possible, to expel this fiddling Macbeth' who murdered sleep' and was instrumental to his annoyance. One morning, he heard Mr. M'Intosh the doctor desire Judy the servant, who waited on both of them, to go out and buy him a pennyworth of rosin for his feedle;' and as she passed his door, he called her in and inquired her errand. 'Sure I'm going to get some ros'n, Mr. Sparks, for Mr. M'Intosh's fiddle.' Ros'n, ros'n, you crachur!' said Sparks; and isn't ros'n you are going to ax for, Judy, arrant nonsense?' 'Arrah, Mr. Sparks ! '
'Ros'n's Latin, my jewel the shopkeeper won't understand you !' 'Latin! och sure, Mr. Sparks, I know nauthing_of Latin; will your honor tell me what am I to ax for?' 'Say you want a piece of stick-brimstone, darling; that's English to spake, and good Irish in the bargain.' The girl complied with his direction, procured the brimstone, and returning to Mr. M'Intosh, presented it to him. You dom !' exclaimed the Scotchman, 'what hae ye broot me?-what do ye ca' this? Brimstone, sirr !' Breemstun! did I na send ye for roosin ?' 'Plase your honor, and so you did; but Mr. Sparks tould me that brimstone was the raal thing to ax for.' Foaming with rage, away flew the doctor into Isaac's room (who was listening to the result), and demanded of him how he dared to interfere with another person's affairs, and alter his commands to the servant? Why, Mr. M'Intosh,' said Isaac,
host informed me, that this room being the largest and natest in the town,' whenever its gentlemen fell out, here they took occasion to fall in, and settle their differences in a gentlemanly way. I need not point out the advantages of such a place for such a purpose over the open field, both as respected its retirement and security, and the means it afforded the parties of recording their claims to honor. I would merely assure my reader hereby, that the old joke of 'pistols and coffee for two' originated in a very serious truth."
Whom calls the poet's native land?-
What would the poet's native land?
She would beat down the usurping race,
And hopes the poet's native land?
"WHAT is the use of thee, thou gnarled sapling?" said a young Iarch-tree to a young oak; "I grow three feet in a year, thou scarcely as many inches; I am straight and
taper as a reed, thou straggling and twisted as a loosened withe." And thy duration," answered the oak, "is some third part of man's life; and I am appointed to flourish for a thousand years. Thou art felled