« ForrigeFortsett »
ing the seconds of time, as Mr. Flamstead its last and eternal cabin, and how makes his observations, with his great glorious was the wood of which it mural arch and tube, on the descent of the
was constructed, it is affecting little Moon on the Severn; which at certain to say that it inspires gentle, and times forms such a roll of the tides, as the proud, and melancholy thoughts. sailors corruptly call the Hygre, instead of
The kitchen, and the dinner room, the Eagre, and is very dangerous to all with their homely furniture and peaseships in its way. This is also expressed by rivers tumbling down, by the moon's influ. soup atmosphere, are refreshing to be
hold, provided you have not allayed ence, into the Severn. In this gallery are more arts and sciences relating to Naviga- the cravings of your appetite; and tion.
the cleanliness observable around is
the pleasantest provocative of hunger Mr. Flamstead looks down, with his in the world. When we passed ingenious disciple, in a way to awe through these rooms, the scouring all sublunary objects. The mixture was going on, and there was a thoof gods, rivers, virtues, fame, king, rough sloppiness apparent over everyqueen, and Tycho Brahe, is sufficient, thing. The bread-room had a dely various to hit the taste of the most lightful wheaten odour, which took dainty admirer of variety. I do not, my senses mightily. Agnes, as she however, see in this description any peeped with her pretty face through account of the portrait of the first the grating at the imprisoned loaves, pensioner, the original man of blue, heaved a sigh as though she pitied the Adam of Greenwich Hospital, the confinement of even a half-quarwhom death turned out of his water- tern !--so much like a prison did this side Paradise :- I see no mention of huge pantry look, and so ready was him, although the little stunted boat- her pity for any thing that reminded swain pointed him out in the ceiling, her of a prison. and dared us to get to any part of the We took a survey of the rooms, in hall without encountering the eyes of which were the little cabins of this this seaman in the shrouds. I think, happy crew, all as smart and neat as however, in spite of this, that he was the peaceful hearts and golden leisure blind. At the end of the hall are the of their tenants could make them. portraits of George I. and his family, Each pensioner appeared to have all little well-wigged princes, and forbrought with him the hammock from midable princesses, doubtless very his favourite vessel ; and the clean siç staring likenesses. Sir James Thorn- lence of the long apartments seemed hill figures away also himself, in a one perpetual sabbath. On entering, splendid suit, and enclouded in a wig --there sat our good friend Ball, of inestimable curl. “ The whole of reading near the window, with his this celebrated work was not com- comely blue legs crossed placidly pleted till 1727; and cost 6,635l. be- over each other, and his bright old ing after the rate of 8l. per yard for eyes twinkling with a roguish joy the ceiling, and il. per yard for the peculiar to himself. He did not rise sides.” This appears to me, Russell, up,- neither did he lay aside his voto be very cheap workmanship, and lume-Robinson Crusoe, or Philip might well be adopted by private fa- Quarll it might be,—but he looked milies. The sides of the hall have re- archly upon us, and answered our presentations of fluted columns,which, queries with an honest merriment that as the boatswain says, “ you would made me wish myself an old baldbelieve were carved ;--they are all as headed sailor of some sixty years of smooth as this wall.” Mrs. Morton age, sitting in a long room at Greenengraved a smile upon his copper vi- wich Hospital, and answering three sage, by examining closely, and very inquisitive visitors without a care as generously still professing a disbe- to what queries were put to me. The lief;—he drew his willow wand across little cabins, or bed-rooms, are small, it, winked at me, and re-assured her and decked after the taste of the prothat it was “nothing but painted.” prietors :-here you shall see a flamLord Nelson's car stands in one cor- ing ship,—there a picture of Nelson, ner, and when it is remembered how done on glass, with desperate blue great were the remains which it bore, coats, and alarming yellow breeches, through a grateful weeping people, to and sold by those foreign pedlars at
a price which almost persuades one tire you with the minute details, that they must have stolen the co which you will read in the agreeable lours, or pilfered the pictures ready and intelligent little pamphlet, sold framed and glazed.
at the hospital (a copy of which I We were shown into some of the now send you).-We sauntered into rooms of state, and were hurried the park, and buried ourselves for from portrait to portrait in cruel some hours in the green solitude of haste. In one room we beheld Cap that solemn and peaceful retreat. tain Spearing, the marvellous gentle The rich trees, spreading and mingman that lived seven days in a coal- ling their ample foliage--the soft verpit without food, and afterwards dure of the grass—the deep and silent married and had nine children, as he dells—the lofty and green eminences by his own ingenious and entertain- (commanding a view of the mighty ing narrative avoucheth. The be- city, and its spacious living river), lief among the sailors, however, is, all well and wondrously contrasted that a Robin Redbreast brought him with the scene we had been witnessfood, but I do not altogether side ing, and disposed our hearts to feel with the pensioners in this creed. brimmed with peace and grateful He looked so well and neat in joy, and gently to marvel“ why there his light flaxen wig, though up was misery in a world so fair !” I wards of ninety, as I was told, that shall never forget Mrs. Morton's I had serious thoughts of trying a voice, musical and eloquent in that coal-pit myself, and could well en blessed place, and Agnes letting her dure the Robin Redbreast's victuals sweet nature breathe itself in un. to survive so well and flourish so restrained freedom. We returned to merrily.
town, and recounted to Mr. Morton, Age, indeed, in this matchless late into the night, the wonders we building, is as verdant and pleasant had seen! as youth elsewhere. You see white Forgive this letter of fearful length; hairs in every direction-but no white not often will I so err; but the Morfaces. The venerable chaplain, whom tons are described, and you will not I saw, had a cheerful vivacity, and have that description to undergo a sprightly vein of conversation, quite again. Miss Prudence had seen Mr. captivating and instructive; and I the tragedian, and was proam very sincere in wishing, Russell, foundly pensive :-Tom was tired to that you and I could have a cozey death, and slept in his chair a sort dish of tea with him, and a long chat of dog-sleep, learned, I believe, at over the early governors and the the strife he had been witnessing:golden days of Greenwich Hospital. Farewell.-Love to all the Powells
I have given you, my good friend, - not forgetting yourself, my dear a very imperfect and hasty sketch of Russell. Your's faithfully, this great charity; but I' would not Albany. EDWARD HERBERT,
LETTER TO CORNELIUS VAN VINKBOOMS, ESQ.
ON THE EXETER EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS.
Exeter, 16 Oct. 1821. Dear Mr. Van Vinkbooms,
city. As you are a sort of foster, I am an old man and a lover of father to the fine arts, and look after old pictures, and I take the privilege the sister Muses with a careful and of age to address you with that mark- parental eye, I am quite sure that ed affection which you will not dis- you will regard any advancement of like, when you know that I read your their influence and welfare as so dogmas the first among the articles much achieved by your constant lain the LONDON MAGAZINE, and that bours in their behalf; and I therefore I learn enough from them to set me venture, for nearly the first time in up as a connossieur in this western my life (having only written paperg
on political economy in a country works; but let me not undervalue newspaper, which, however, were the sanction of his name to an underreadily inserted on my merely paying taking in the bud, as I may poetically the common price of an advertise- call it. Sir Stafford Northcote (a ment), to address these few lines to relation of the great Northcote the inform you that Painting hath set painter, I presume,) indeed, discouher blessed foot in the west — that raged the attempt at first, as I am she is rising like a sun in this quarter informed, -but on seeing that others (which, let alone its not being the thought it practicable, he begged east, is the truest and most apposite that one of his pictures might be infigure that I can adopt). The mists serted in the room, and his name in of ignorance are rolling away towards the catalogue. There appears to be the distant villages, and we are be- a cowardly feeling of the way, and not ginning to break forth with a splen- a march at once to success! The best dour which will rival the proud lustre works— indeed I may say almost of Plymouth (the birth-place of Sir the only works worth seeing, are Joshua Reynolds and Eastlake) and from the collection of a Mr. W. Kenthe enlightened glories of Birming- dall,-a worthy and intelligent gentleham (the birth-place of no one). man of these parts, who has contri
It has long been considered, dear buted with a liberal hand. There Mr. Cornelius, a desideratum, or, an are a few, a very few, fine
portraits, by glici, a thing to be desired, that Opie, Northcote, and Owen ;-parExeter should add to its agreeable ticularly one of Northcote's own fine theatre (that theatre from which the sensible head !-And a very rich, ripe, great Mr. Kean was selected), to its old landscape, A Flemish Revel, by public assemblies, and its architec- Ostade and Teniers (worth the price tural riches,-an institution for the of admission and catalogue in itself), encouragement of the fine arts; and which I look at again and again withat length, partly by the exertions of out tiring, and which I point out to a respectable tradesman of the name my children as a warm, glowing, fruitof Cole (a dealer in drawings and ful specimen of the old masters. You looking-glasses), and chiefly by the will be glad to hear that the fine arts instantaneous exertions of the nobis (to take up my first figure) are dawne lity and gentry of Devon—such an ing in the west-and I rejoice, that I institution has been formed. Appli- am one of the first to announce to cation having been made to the prin- you such gratifying intelligence. cipal persons of wealth and taste in Pray encourage us, Mr. Van Vinkthe county for the loan of their pictures, booms !–Pray tell Mr. Cole that he to form an exhibition, for the delight, is a laudable person-pray impress glory, and instruction of the inhabit- upon the nobility and gentry of ants of Exeter, the Earl of Morley, Devon, that by taking a lukewarm Sir Thomas Ackland, Lord Clifford, interest in this important work they Mr. Bielfield, and others, with a most are letting slip an opportunity of praiseworthy alacrity, supplied a few doing a great service to their county. of their paintings towards forwarding Up with your voice, Mr. Van Vinkthe plan; and with many disappoint- booms, up with it, and awaken this ments, and under considerable dis- slumbering enthusiasm of Devonshire advantages, a small and interesting men! Halloo! to the heart of Sir exhibition has been opened. I my- Thomas Ackland! Speak aloud into self furnished my solitary little land- the ears of the Earl of Egremont, scape, leaving a great yellow stain and spare not! Thunder into the on the white pannel of my best draw- mind of Mr. Dickenson! Call out, ing-room, to bear testimony of my and waken to the watch, Mr. W. A. zeal in the cause. Certain it is, Mr. Harris ! The sister Muses are now Cornelius, that more might have been likely to obtain a seat here; and I done ; for it is not to be supposed, trust, I do trust, Mr. Cornelius will that Sir Thomas Ackland's best pic- give them his vote, which, in the electure is the faded portrait of one of tion for fame, is a plumper ! his ancestors by Sir Joshua Reynolds; I am, dear Mr. Van Vinkbooms, or that his collection is so limited,
Your's extremely, as to afford no more than four trifling
A VISIT TO JOHN CLARE,
Wansford, Oct. 12, 1821. I have just returned from visit- steps there. “ Tradition gives these ing your friend Clare at Helpstone, brigs renown," but their antiquity is and one of the pleasantest days I ever visible only to the poet's eye--the date spent, was passed in wandering with of the present structure is 1641 ; still, him among the scenes which are the the Roman road crossed over on subject of his poems. A flatter coun the same foundation, and that is try than the immediate neighbour- enough; or if more certain evidence hood can scarcely be imagined, but of Roman origin were wanted, a fragthe grounds rise in the distance cloth- ment of a most ancient wall runs ed with woods, and their gently into the road diagonally at this place, swelling summits are crowned with leaving the mind in that degree of village churches; nor can it be call- obscurity, with respect to its age or ed an uninteresting country, even use, which Burke esteenis to be essenwithout the poetic spirit which now tially connected with the sublime. breathes about the names of many of Of the Poem, Clare gave me the folits most prominent objects, for the lowing account. He was walking in ground bears all the traces of having this direction on the last day of been the residence of some famous March, 1821, when he saw an old people in early days. “ The deep acquaintance fishing on the lee side sunk moat, the stony mound," are vi- of the bridge. He went to the near. sible in places where modern taste est place for a bottle of ale, and they would shrink at erecting a temporary then sat beneath the screen which the cottage, much less a castellated parapet afforded, while a hasty storm mansion ; fragments of Roman brick passed over, refreshing themselves are readily found on ridges which with the liquor, and moralizing somestill hint the unrecorded history of a what in the strain of the poem. I far distant period, and the Saxon question whether Wordsworth's pedrampart and the Roman camp are lar could have spoken more to the in some places seen mingled toge- purpose. But all these excitations gether in one common ruin. On the would, I confess, have spent their line of a Roman road, which passes artillery in vain against the woolpack within a few hundred yards of the of my imagination ; and after well village of Helpstone, I met Clare, considering the scene, I could not help about a mile from home. He was looking at my companion with sura going to receive his quarter's salary prise: to me, the triumph of true from
the Steward of the Marquis of genius seemed never more conspicuExeter. His wife Patty, and her ous, than in the construction of so sister were with him, and it was the interesting a poem out of such comintention of the party, I learned, to mon-place materials.
With your proceed to their father's house at
own eyes you see nothing but a dull Casterton, there to meet such of the line of ponds, or rather one continued family as were out in service, on their marsh, over which a succession of annual re-assembling together at Mi- arches carries the narrow highway: chaelmas. I was very unwilling to look again, with the poem in your disturb this arrangement, but Clare mind, and the wand of a necromancer insisted on remaining with me, and seems to have been employed in conthe two chearful girls left their com- juring up a host of beautiful accompanion with a good bye, John !” paniments, making the whole waste which made the plains echo again, populous with life, and shedding all and woke in my old-bachelor heart around the rich lustre of a grand and the reflection “ John Clare, thou art appropriate sentiment. Imagination a very happy fellow.”
has, in my opinion, done wonders here, As we were within a hundred yards and especially in the concluding verse, of Lolham Brigs, we first turned our which contains as lovely a groupe as
* The Village Minstrel and other Poems. By John Clare, the Northamptonshire Poet. 2 vols.Taylor and Hessey, 1821.
ever was called into life by the best Along the bank, beside the rill, « makers” of any age or country.
The happy lambkins bleat and run,
Then weary, 'neath a sheltering hill
Drop basking in the gleaming sun.
At distance from the water's edge,
On hanging sallow's farthest stretch, Old ambush'd winter frowning flies,
The moor-hen 'gins her nest of sedge And faintly drifts his threatenings still
Safe from destroying school-boy's reach. In snowy sleet and blackening
skies ; Yet where the willow leaning lies
Fen-sparrows chirp and fly to fetch
The wither'd reed-down rustling nigh, And shields beneath the budding flower,
And, by the sunny side the ditch, Where banks to break the wind arise,
Prepare their dwelling warm and dry. 'Tis sweet to sit and spend an hour.
Again a storm encroaches round, Though floods of winter bustling fall
Thick clouds are darkening deep behind; Adown the arches bleak and blea, Though snow-storms clothe the mossy wall, And, through the arches, hoarsely sound
The risings of the hollow wind: And hourly whiten o'er the lea ;
Spring's early hopes seem half resign'a, Yet when from clouds the sun is free
And silent for a while remain; And warms the learning bird to sing,
Till sunbeams broken clouds can find, ’Neath sloping bank and sheltering tree
And brighten all to life again. "Tis sweet to watch the creeping Spring.
Ere yet a hailstone pattering comes,
Or dimps the pool the rainy squall,
One hears, in mighty murmuring hums,
The spirit of the tempest call : And primrose bursting into flower ;
Here sheltering 'neath the ancient wall And snugly, where the thorny bower
I still pursue my musing dreams, Keeps off the nipping frost and wind,
And as the hailstones
round me fall Excluding all but sun and shower,
I mark their bubbles in the streams. There, children early violets find.
Reflection here is warm’d to sigh, Here 'nea:h the shelving bank's retreat
Tradition gives these brigs renown, The horse-blob swells its golden ball ; Nor fear the lady-smocks to meet
Though heedless Time long pass'd them by
Nor thought them worthy noting down : The snows that round their blossoms fall:
Here in the mouth of every clown Here by the arch's ancient wall
The “ Roman road” familiar sounds; The antique elder buds anew ;
All else, with everlasting frown, Again the bulrush sprouting tall
Oblivion's mantling mist surrounds. The water wrinkles, rippling through.
These walls the work of Roman hands! As spring's warm herald April comes, As nature's sleep is nearly past,
How may conjecturing Fancy pore,
As lonely here one calmly stands
On paths that age has trampled o'er.
The builder's names are known no more; Of feather'd minstrels first and last, The robin's song's again begun;
No spot on earth their memory bears; And, as skies clear when overcast,
And crowds, reflecting thus before, Larks rise to hail the peeping sun.
Have since found graves as dark as theirs. The startling peewits, as they pass,
The storm has ceas'd,--again the sun Scream joyous whirring over-head,
The ague-shivering season dries;
Short-winded March, thou'lt soon be done, Right glad the fields and meadow grass Will quickly hide their careless shed :
Thy fainting tempest mildly dies. The rooks, where youder witchens spread, Shall spread a couch for lovely May,
Soon April's flowers and dappled skies Quawk clamorous to the Spring's approach; Here silent, from its watery bed,
Upon whose bosom Nature lies
And smiles her joyous youth away. To hail her coming, leaps the roach.
(V. ii. p. 118.) While stalking o'er the fields again In stripp'd defiance to the storms,
From Lolham Brigs we turned toThe hardy seedsman spreads the grain,
wards the village of Helpstone, and And all his hopeful toil performs,
at a distance I saw Langley Bush," In flocks the timid pigeon swarms,
which Clare regretted was fast hasta For scatter'd kernels chance may spare ;
ening to utter decay ; and could he And as the plough unbeds the worms,
have the ear of the noble proprietor, The crows and magpies gather there. he said, he would beg that it might Yon bullocks lowe their liberty,
be fenced round to preserve it from The young grass cropping to their fill;
unintentional as well as wanton inAnd colts, from straw-yards neighing free, jury. There is a melancholy cadence,
Spring's opening promise 'joy at will: in the construction of the little poem