Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

just been cut, and numerous fields were lying and a sort of double fife, also a tambourine ; allow. We saw the next day a number of and the women sounded castanettes. The Arabs fields planted with a sort of beans which were in Egypt, both male and female, are the most im. used for fodder to the cattle. Their produce modest race I have erer come in contact with. is bought by the Pasha and exported from We passed two fine palacelike-looking houses, the country. The Pasha has a monopoly, of one belonging to an Italian, and the other to the all the cotton, sugar, beans, and corn, which Greek consul. We also saw the large glassis grown in the country. He has agents all manufactory of Mohammed Ali. These are all through the country, who make the people work, built of stone. We passed some large ruined and they punish those who are indolent or re- towers which had been formerly used to garri. fractory with the bastinado. : The Pasha takes son the guards who acted as protectives to the the produce at his own price, and this arbitrary convoys of supplies which came down the mode prevails through all Egypt. As we sailed country to Alexandria, and who were stationed onwards to Etfou the country seemed much there by the Pasha, to prevent the incursions of more populous. The villages seen from the the different wild tribes of Arabs. However, as boat were much more numerous also. We these are no longer apprehended, the towers arrived at Etfou at 6 A.M. on the 21st June. have been allowed to go to decay. We saw, at This is a large, mean-looking village. The 7 in the evening, the great salt lake, Meriotis; houses resemble mud pigeon-houses very much and, as we had no wind, we proceeded but crowded together. The people were in great slowly, and did not reach Alexandria until 7 a.m. numbers, apparently very well dressed and com. ou the 22nd June. We landed, and proceeded fortable. Neither here nor elsewhere in Egypt straight to the gate of entrance, and the guide have we met with a single beggar. Here we had our luggage on camels, and followed us entered another large canal boat, which had been close. When we got to the gate a guard of prepared for our use by the agent at Alexandria fellows dressed in wbite, with old ricketty and sent up for us. We then commenced our muskets, turned out, and the sentry who walked voyage on the large canal which was dug by inside stopped the guide who was with the Mobammed Ali, commencing here and ter camels and said something to him in Arabic. minating in Alexandria. It is twenty-five yards Our guide forthwith took a small cloth from across, and for the first m well lined with his girdle, and handed the said sentry a coin or trees, and afterwards it was through a flat un. two, and after this the whole party passed interesting country. Of the manner in which on and “all was well ;” but such open-handed this canal was dug, and the conduct of the bribery I had never before seen. We then proPasha, much bas been written. He is, however, ceeded to the city, passing Pompey's Pillar and only one of the numbers of eastern potentates a burying ground. There are walls all round who have been

the city and a dry ditch. After we entered we

passed through some clean lanes, with stone “ Content to wade thro' slaughter to a throne, walls on each side, surrounding gardens which And shut the gates of Mercy on mankind.” evidently belonged to rich gentry. We arrived

at a very large broad street,' in which are the We met some boats full of soldiers, bound from hotels, and where the houses are regular and Alexandria to Cairo. We observed the costume fine. This, which is called the French quarter of the women, both on board the boats wbich of the town, is really, for a foreign town, rather we met on the river and also near the shore.

a desirable place of residence. They all wore the half veil which conceals the

In Alexandria there are plenty of shops, whole of the face except the eyes; it is fastened principally kept by French, Maltese, or Italians. by a wire frame to the bridge of the nose, The shopkeepers or merchants would not come and is tied behind the back of the head.

near us, or take anything, even coin, except by We had several Arabs in the boat with pincers, as we had passed through the plague us, who kept up a continuous chorus, country. We found that we should have to and did not

singing either day wait at least five days, as the French steamer or night. One song treated of a bird had not yet arrived. We took up our quarters which they considered presided over their des at an hotel which was a very convenient one. tiny; another was a chorus-song inciting one It was built as all the large houses here are. another to work, another one of congratulation There is a large court in the centre, to enter to each other as having finished their journey, which are doors at the back of the building, 80 far, in safety. Their attention to their forms which is the same size as its front, and the wings of devotion might shame the Christian, and of the house have all back entrances to it: they show also to him how little true religion lived are built at right angles to the front of the in the “mere lifeless forms of devotion.". They house ; so this square affords a thorough draft also went on during the day with their dances, to all the chambers. We transacted all our and played on the rude instruments which they business satisfactorily, and found that we were esteem as music: these produced an uncouth obliged to get certificates of health from a doctor, and most inharmonious sound. Their dance and a passport from a consul previous to being consisted in clapping hands and jogging about allowed on board the French steamer. We their hips in a most ungraceful manner. The went in the evening to see Cleopatra's Needle. instruments which they moved to were a pipe ! It is a fine obelisk of granite, apparently about

cease

[blocks in formation]

70 feet in height, not so large as the one which Dow stands at Luxor, but the hieroglyphics were very deeply cut. Some, distance from this another similar one lies prostrate. Some people insist that the fallen one is the true Cleopatra's Needle. We also extended our walk round the town. The vaults, wbich are made of stone and extend several miles round Alexandria, are inhabited by the poor Arabs. They are the remains of the old town; they are wretched and must, I should think, be unhealthy. The fountains in the centre of the streets of the Frank part of the town are large and pretty. On all were inscribed, in Arabic, the following words: “ Drink, and be grateful to Mohammed for the gift of water.” The lanes are narrow, close, and dirty. The next day we went to the shipping which lies in the spacious harbour. They were in great numbers, and the Pasba's crafts of war looked very large, but I wsa told, by persons qualified to judge, were not of a seaworthy description. We saw and went on board several English men-of-war. This is a famous place for trade, and there is a fine wooden pier to the western side of the town. I was mucb interested by seeing the new war steamers, which were quite a novelty to us after a residence of such duration in India, and the French one wbich we hoped to sail by w in the harbour.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

was

-!16,7 47"TRUE LOVE.

[ocr errors][merged small]

SPRING LONGINGS. !

I shall be better, sister dear,

When the gentle springtime comes ; When the primrose peeps from out the moss, ****

And the fragrant violet blooms.

What though they tell me in fancy you range from me,

* Pledging to others a lightly-breathed vow; Never has time found one shadow of change in me;

True as when first we met is my love now. Every hope in my fond heart that trembles

Into its timid life twines around you; Every jealons pang that heart dissembles

E'en to itself will not own you untrue. :!: luent Love,' who would call it love meanly to doubt you,

Creeping with petty fears still on your track; True love is my love, though grieving without you,

Still leaping to joyous life. Hailing you back, Ever around my lips deep’ning each dimple,

As my glad smiles speak my welcome to you Nought do I care that they say I am simple,

The bliss but to see you gives they never knew.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

What though you left me for aye on the morrow,

Wedding another for choice or for gold, Silently bearing its burden of sorrow,

Still should my love live on deep as untold. Loving you ever, far from me or near to me,

Ever more seeking your weal--not my own; Musing on all the sweet time I was dear to you,

Until I dreamed it could never have flown.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ON THE VICISSITUDES OF KEATS'S FAME.

“He [Keats) was accompanied to Rome and at-, daughter so betrothed, and pleased that her intended in his last illness by Mr. Severn (the author of heritance would fall to so worthy an object 28 the following paper), a young artist of the highest pro- Keats. This was all well settled in the minds miso, who, I have been informed, “almost risked his and hearts of the mutual friends of both parties, own life, and sacrificed every prospect, to unwearied when poor Keats, soon after the death of his attendance upon his dying friend.' Had I known these circumstances before the completion of my poem of consumption : at least, he himself thought

younger brother, unaccountably showed signs applause to the more solid recompense which the vir: so, though the doctors were widely undecided tuous man finds in the recollection of his own motives. about it. By degrees it began to be deemed Mr. Severn can dispense with a reward from such needful that the young poet should go to Italy, 'stuff as dreams are made of. His conduct is a even to preserve his life. This was at last acnoble augury of the success of his future career. May complished, but too late; and now that I am the unextinguished spirit of his illustrious friend ani- reviewing all the progress of his illness from his mate the creations of his pencil, and plead against first symptoms, I cannot but think his life might oblivion for his name!"-SHELLEY'S "Adonais." have been preserved by an Italian sojourn, if it

had been adopted in time, and if circumstances . The following was written by Mr. Joseph had been improved as they presented themselves. Severn, during his residence in Rome:

And, further, if he had had the good fortune

to go to America, which he partly contemplated I well remember being struck with the clear before the death of his younger brother, not and independent manner in which Washington only would his life and health have been preAllston, in the year 1818, expressed his opinion served, but his early fame would have been of John Keats's verse, when the young poet's insured. He would have lived independent of writings first appeared, amid the ridicule of the London world, which was striving to drag most English readers. Mr. Allston was at that him down in his poetic career, and adding to time the only discriminating judge among the the sufferings which I consider the immediate strangers to Keats who were residing abroad, cause of his early death. and he took occasion to emphasize in my hear- In Italy he always shrank from speaking in ing his opinion of the early effusions of the direct terms of the actual things which were young poet in words like these : “ They are killing him. Certainly the “Blackwood" atcrude materials of real poetry, and Keats is sure tack was one of the least of his miseries, for he to become a great poet."

even men tioned it to me. The greater It is a singular pleasure to the few personal trouble which was engulfing him he signified in friends of Keats in England (who may still have a hundred ways. Was it to be wondered at, to defend him against the old worn-out slanders) that at the time when the happiest life was prethat in America he always had a solid fame, in- sented to his view, when it was arranged that be dependent of the old English prejudices. was to marry a young person of beauty and

Here in Rome, as I write, I look back through fortune, when the little knot of friends who more than forty years of worldly changes to be- valued him saw such a future for the beloved hold Keats's dear image again in memory. It poet, and he himself, with generous, unselfish seems as if he should be living with me now, feelings, looked forward to it more delighted on inasmuch as I never could understand his their account-was it to be wondered at, that, on strange and contradictory death, his falling the appearance of consumption, his ardent mind away so suddenly from health and strength. should have sunk into despair ? He seemed He had that fine compactness of person, which struck down from the highest happiness to the we regard as the promise of longevity, and no lowest misery. He felt crushed at the prospect mind was ever more exultant in youthful feel- of being cut off at the early age of twenty-four, ing. I cannot summon a sufficient reason why when the cup was at his lips, and he was beginin one short year he should be thus cut off, ning to drink that draught of delight which

with all his imperfections on his head.” Was was to last bis mortal life through, which it that he lived too soon-that the world he would have insured him the happiness of sought was not ready for him?

home (happiness he had never felt, for be For more than the year I am now dwelling was an orphan) and which was to be a barrier on, he had fostered a tender and enduring love for him against a cold and (to him) a malignant for a young girl nearly of his own age, and this world. love was reciprocal, not only in itself, but in all He kept continually in his hand a polished, the worldly advantages arising from it of for- oval, white cornelian, the gift of his widowing tune on her part and fame on his. It was en love, and at times it seemed his only consolacouraged by the sole parent of the lady; and tion, the only thing left him in this world clearly the fond mother was happy in seeing her tangible. Many letters which he was unable to

never

own

read came for him. Some he allowed me to fort in him to embrace the Holy Spirit in tliese read to bim, others were too worldly; for, as comforting works. he said, he had "already journeyed far beyond Thus he gained strength of mind from day to them.” There were two letters, I remember, day just in proportion as his poor body grew for which he had no words, but he made me weaker and weaker. At last I had the consolaunderstand that I was to place them on his tion of finding him calm, trusting, and more heart within his winding-sheet.

prepared for his end than I was. He tranquilly Those bright falcon eyes, which I had rehearsed to me what would be the process of known only in joyous intercourse, while his dying, what I was to do, and how I was to revelling in books and Nature, or while bear it. He was even minute in his details, he was reciting his poetry, now evidently rejoicing that his death was at band. beamed an unearthly brightness and a pene. In all he then uttered he breathed a simple, trating steadfastness that could not be looked Christian spirit; indeed, I always think that he at. It was not the fear of death--on the con. died a Christian, that “Mercy” was trembling trary he earnestly wished to die—but it was the on his dying lips, and that his tortured soul fear of lingering on and on that now distressed was received by those Blessed Hands which him, and this was wholly on my account. could alone welcome it. Amidst the world of emotions that were crowd- After the death of Keats, my countrymen in ing and increasing as his end approached, I Rome seemed to vie with one another in evinccould always see that his generous concern for ing the greatest kindness towards me. I found me in my isolated position at Home was one of myself in the midst of persons who admired his greatest cares. In a little basket of medi- and encouraged my beautiful pursuit of painting, cines I had bought at Gravesend at his request in which I was then indeed but a very poor there was a bottle of laudanum, and this I af. student, but with my eyes opening and my soul terwards found was destined by him "to close awakening to a new region of Art, and behis mortal career," when no hope was left, and ginning to feel the wings growing for artistic to prevent a long, lingering death, for my poor fights I had always been dreaming about. sake. When the dismal time came, and Sir In all this, however, there was a solitary James Clark was unable to encounter Keats's drawback: there were few Englishmen at Rome penetrating look and eager demand, he insisted who knew Keats’s works, and I could scarcely on having the bottle, which I had already put persuade anyone to make the effort to read away. Then came the most touching scenes. ihem, such was the prejudice against him as a He now explained to me the exact procedure of poet; but when his gravestone was placed, his gradual dissolution, enumerated my depri. with his own expressive line, " Here lies one vations and toils, and dwelt upon the danger to whose name was writ in water," then a host my life, and certainly to my fortunes, from my started up, not of admirers, but of scoffers, and continued attendance upon him. One whole a silly jest was often repeated in my hearing, day was spent in earnest representations of this “ Here lies one whose name was writ in water, sort, to which, at the same time that they wrung and his works in milk and water;" and this i my heart to hear and his to utter, I was obliged was condemned to hear for years repeated, as to oppose a firm resistance. On the second though it had been a pasquinade; but I should day his tender appeal turned to despair, in all explain that it was from those who were not the power of bis ardent imagination and burst. aware that I was the friend of Keats. ing heart.

At the first Easter after his death I had a sin. From day to day, after this time, he would al- gular encounter with the late venerable poet, ways demand of Sir James Clark, “How long Samuel Rogers, at the table of Sir George Beauis this posthumous life of mine to last?” On mont, the distinguished amateur artist. Perhaps finding me inflexible in my purpose of remain in compliment to my friendship for Keats, the ing with him he became calm, and tranquilly subject of his death was mentioned by Sir said that he was sure why I held up so patiently George, and he asked Mr. Rogers if he had was owing to my Christian faith, and that he been acquainted with the young poet in England. was disgusted with himself for ever appearing | Mr. Rogers replied, that he had had more acbefore me in such savage guise ; that he now quaintance than he liked, for the poems were felt convinced how much every human being re- tedious enough, and the author bad come upon quired the support of religion, that he might die him several times for money. This was an indecently: " Here am I,” said he, with despera- tolerable falsehood, and I could not restrain mytion in death that would disgrace the commonest self until I bad corrected him, which I did with fellow. Now, my dear Severn, I am sure, if my utmost forbearance--explaining that Mr. you could get some of the works of Jeremy Rogers must have mistaken some other person Taylor to read to me, I might become really a for Keats-that I was positive my friend had Christian, and leave this world in peace.” Most never done such a thing in any shape, or even fortunately I was able to procure the “ Holy had occasion to do it—that he possessed a small Living and Dying.”. I read some passages to independence in money, and a large one in mind. him, and prayed with him, and I could tell by The old poet received the correction with the grasp of bis dear hand that his mind was much kindness, and thanked me for so effecreviving. He was a great lover of Jeremy tually setting him right: indeed, this encounter Taylor, and it did not seem to require much ef- was the groundwork of a long and to me advantageous friendship between us. I soon dis- | manners and morals of Englishmen generally : covered that it was the principle of his sarcastic the foppish love of dress was in a great measure wit not only lo sacrifice all truth to it, but even abandoned, and all intellectual pursuits were all his friends, and that he did not care to know caught up with avidity, and even made fashionany who would not allow themselves to be able. abused for the purpose of lighting up his break- The most remarkable example of the strange fast with sparkling wit, though not quite, in- capriciousness of, Keats's fame which fell under deed, at the expense of the persons then present. my personal observation, occurred in my later I well remember, on one occasion afterwards, Roman years, during the painful visit of Sir Mr. Rogers was entertaining us with a volley of Walter Scott to Rome in the winding-up days sarcasms upon a disagreeable lawyer, who made of his eventful life, when he was broken down pretensions to knowledge aud standing not to not only by incurable illness and premature old be borne, on this occasion the old poet went age, but also by the accumulated misfortunes of on, not only to the end of the breakfast, but to fatal speculations and the heavy responsibility the announcement of the very man binself on of making up all with the pen, then trembling an accidental visit, and then with a bland smile in his failing hand. and a cordial shake of the hand, he said to him, I had been indirectly made known to him by “My dear fellow, we have all been talking about his favourite ward and protégée, the late Lady you up to this very minute,” and, looking at his Northampton, who, accustomed to write to him company still at table, and with a significant monthly, often made mention of me; for I was wink, he, with extraordinary adroitness and on terms of friendship with all her family, an experienced tact, repeated many of the good intimacy which in great part arose from the dethings, reversing the meaning of them, and light she always had in Keats's poetry, being giving us the enjoyment of the double entendre. herself a poetess, and most enlightened and The visitor was charmed, nor, even dreamed liberal critic. of the ugliness of his position. This incident When Sir Walter arrived, he received me like gave me a painful and repugnant impression of an old and attached friend ; indeed, he inMr. Rogers, yet no doubt it was after the voluntarily tried to make me fill up the terrible manner of his time, and such as had been the void then recently created by the death of Lady fashion in Walpole’s and Johnson's days. Northampton at the age of thirty-seven years.

I should be unjust to the venerable poet not I went at his request to breakfast with bim to add, that notwithstanding what is here re- every morning, when he invariably commenced Jated of him, he oftentimes showed himself the talking of, his lost friend, of her beauty, generous and noble-hearted man. I think that in her singularly varied accomplishments, of his all my long acquaintance with him he evinced growing delight in watching her from a child in a kind of indirect regret that he had commenced the Island of Mull, and of his making her so with me such an ugly attack on dear Keats, often the model of his most successful female whose fame, when I went to England in 1838, characters, the Lady of the Lake, and Flora was not only well established, but was increasing Miclvor particularly, Then he would stop from day to day, and Mr. Rogers was often at short to lament her unlooked for death with the pains to tell me so, and to relate the many tears and groans of bitterness such as I had histories of poets who had been less fortunate never before witnessed in anyone; his head than Keats.

sinking down on his beaving breast. When he It was in the year of the Reforın Bill, 1830, revived (and this agonizing scene took place that I first heard of the Paris edition (Galig- every morning), he implored me to pity him, nani's) of Keats's works, and I confess that I and not heed bis weakness; that in his great was quite taken by surprise, nor could I really misfortunes, in all their complications, he had believe the report until I saw the book with the looked forward to Rome and his dear Lady engraved portrait from my own drawing : for, Northampton as his last and certain hope of after all the vicissitudes of Keats's fame which repose : she was to be his comfort in the I had witnessed, I could not easily understand winding-up of life's pilgrimage : now, on his his becoming the poet of the "million.". I had arrival, his life and fortune almost exhausted, now the continued gratification in Rome of re- she was gone! gone! After these pathetic outceiving frequent visits from the admirers of pourings, he would gradually recover bis Keats and Shelley, who sought every way of old cheerfulness, his expressive grey eye would showing kindness to me. One great cause of sparkle even in tears, and soon that wonderful this change, no doubt, was the rise of all kinds pouver he had for description would show itself, of mysticism in religious opinions, which often when he would often stand up to enact the inciassociated themselves with Shelley's poetry: dent of which he spoke, so ardent was he, and And I then, for the first time, heard him named so earnest in the recital. the growing fame of Keats I can attribute some examination some little picture or sketch that of the pleasantest and most valuable associations might interest him, and amongst the rest a of my after-life, as it included almost the whole picture of Keats (now in the National Portrait society of gifted young men, at that time called Gallery,) but this, I was surprised to find, was

Young England." "Here I may allude to the the only production of mine that seemed not xtraordinary change I now observed in the to interest him; he remained silent about it, but

age request

, I took for his

« ForrigeFortsett »