Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Οι δε πανημέριοι μολπη θεόν ιλάσκοντο, ,
Καλόν άειδοντες Παιήονα κούροι Αχαιών.
Μέλποντες “Εκάεργον ο δε φρένα τέρπετ' ακούων.

I rather flatter myself that when Ormington House shall exhibit over its portico the achievement of the 13th Lord of that name, London will testify its respect and sorrow in crape and bombazine.

Among the few youthful follies I have survived, is the chimerical and romantic love of solitude. I am quite of St. Paul's opinion concerning the mischiefs of a lonely life;—and shall take leave to do into English a few lines of the Byron of France upon that subject, which seem to understand my meaning better than I understand it myself.

“ Man was not made for companionship with trees and stones, with azure skies and purple seas, with flowers or mountains,—but with his fellow.men. In the stormier days of youth, we fancy solitude a refuge from the attacks of the world,-a balm for the wounds received in its struggles ; but experience teaches

us that in a spot remote from the sympathy and good-will of our fellow creatures, no degree of poetical enjoyment or intellectual imagining is capable of filling the hollow abyss of the soul. I once longed for the life of the desart; and most honest enthusiasts will confess to the same early illusion.—But trust me, my brethren, Nature has created our hearts of too kindly a texture to intend us to dispense with each other's society.-Mutual support is our best policy and surest happiness. Like children of the same household, who fight and scratch yet inevitably make up their quarrels and play together,-our pains and pleasures are fated to be in common. We cannot fling off the tie!"

By the way, I suppose it is because poor old Lady Harriet Vandeleur finds it difficult to draw around her the society indispensable to human happiness, that she takes refuge in Associations: always getting up some joint Stock Company or other, for the purpose of redressing wrongs, or setting the world to rights.—The last Prospectus sent to me in her ladyship’s naine, with four and twenty Queen’s Heads, all of a row upon the cover, was "A Proposal for the formation of an Antiworks-of-Fiction Society; for the promotion of Matter of Fact;" offering premiums to nonnovel-readers, and bonuses to total-abstainers from romance; the perusal of a Magazine to be finable, and of a poem, expulsion from the society.--The Prospectus did not particularize the historical books that were to be included under the head of works of fiction; but it strikes me that such a project opens the door to singular condemnations.

For the name of Cecil or even Ormington to appear in the lists of such an Association, were to publish an epigram upon myself.

For there is a vast deal of romance in me yet. I am only what the Aberdeen metaphyscians would call a hypothetical realism. -I appear to eat well,-drink well, -sleep well.

Et cependent il est d'borribles agonies
Qu'on ne saura jamais,-des douleurs infinies,

Que l'on n'aperçoit pas.
Il est plus d'une croix au Calvaire de l'ame,
Sans l'auréole d'or et sans la blanche femme

Echevelée au bas!

Toute ame est un sépulcre où gisent mille choses,
Des cadavres hideux dans des figures roses

Dorment ensevelis ;
On retrouve toujours les larmes sous le rire;
Les morts sont les vivans, et l'homme est à vrai dire

Une nécropolis.

Les tombeaux déterrés des vieilles cités mortes
Les chambres et les puits de la Thèbe aux cent portes,

Ne sont pas si peuplés!
On n'y recontre pas de plus affrenx squelettes
Un plus vaste fouillis d'ossemens et de têtes

Aux ruines mêlés.

L'on en voit qui n'ont pas d'épitaphe à leurs tombes,
Et de leurs trépassés font comme aux catacombes

Un grand entassement;
Dont le coeur est un champ sans croix ni pierres,
Et que l'aveugle Mort, de diverses poussiéres,

Remplit confusément.

D'autres, moins oublieux, out des caves funébres
Où sont rangés leurs morts comme celles des Guébres

Ou des Egyptiens ;
Tout autour de leur cæur sont debout les momies,
Et l'on y reconnait les figures blémies

De leurs amours anciens.

Dans un pur souvenir, chastement enubaumée,
Ils gardent au fond d'eux l'ame qu'ils ont aimée

Triste et charmant trésor;
La mort habite en eux au milieu de la vie
Ils s'en vont poursuivant la chère ombre ravie

Qui leur sourit encore ! My Public must pardon my endeavouring to depict the state of my beart and soul, in any other tongue than the Queen's English. It pretended to understand and admire French tragedy acted by Mademoiselle Rachel, because she was the fashion; let it admire and understand French poetry, quoted by Cecil,for the same reason.

At all events, be it understood, matter through what language or exposition, that, in spite of the familiarity with which it contemplates me driving up St. James's Street in my Brougham, on the damp days when twinges of the gout remind me as accurately of my age as Burke's peerage,—they behold in me as it were, A HAUNTED MAN!- My brain has galleries, my heart chambers, as full of spectres as those of the Castle of Otranto!

no

« ForrigeFortsett »