« ForrigeFortsett »
“Sweet kerchief, checked with heavenly blue,
Which once my love sat knitting in-
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen. (At the repetition of this line Rogero clanks his chains in cadence.)
“ Barbs ! barbs! alas ! how swift you flew,
Her neat post waggon trotting in!
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.
This blood my veins is clotting in ;
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.
at the U-
If the authority of the most recent editor may be trusted, the best stanza of the best poem was added to the original manuscript by Pitt :
“Sun, moon, and thou, vile world, adieu !
Which kings and priests are plotting in ;
niversity of Gottingen.”
During the last stanza, Rogero dashes his head repeatedly against the walls of his prison; and finally, so hard as to produce a visible contusion. He then throws himself on the floor, in an agony. The curtain drops, the music still continuing to play till it is wholly fallen.
THE FRIEND OF HUMANITY AND THE KNIFE
GRINDER. In this piece, Canning ridicules the youthful Jacobin effusions of Southey, in which, he says, it was sedulously inculcated that there was a natural and eternal warfare between the poor and the rich. The Sapphic rhymes of Southey afforded a tempting subject for ludicrous parody, and Canning quoted the following stanza lest he should be suspected of painting from fancy, and not from life“Cold was the night : drifting fast the snow fell ; Wild were the downs, and shelterless and naked; When a poor wanderer struggled on her journey,
Weary and waysore.”
So have your breeches !
Scissors to grind, O!”
Did some rich man tyrannically use you?
Or the attorney ?
All in a law-suit? “ Have you not read the “Rights of Man," by Tom Paine?
Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
Only last night, a-drinking at the "Chequers,
Torn in a scuffle. 6 Constable came up for to take me into
Custody ; they took me before the justice ;
Stocks for a vagrant.
“I should be glad to drink your honour's health, in
A pot of beer, if you give me sixpence ;
With politics, sir.'
FRIEND OF HUMANITY. "I give thee sixpence! I will see thee d- -d firstWretch, whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to vengeanceSordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded,
Spiritless outcast !'” (Kicks the knife-grinder, overturns the wheel, and exit in a transport of republican enthusiasm and universal philanthropy.)
THE KING AND QUEEN OF THE SANDWICH
In the year 1821 their “savage majesties” of the Sandwich Islands visited England. They were seen by Miss Berry, who, in her entertaining journal, has thus described their visit:
“At half-past ten o'clock, I went with the Prince and Princess Lowenstein, their son, and my sister, to Mr. Canning, the Secretary of State, who received for me, for the first time, the King and Queen of the Sandwich Islands. They arrived in the midst of a numerous assembly, all of the best society, and all en grande toilette for a large assembly given at Northumberland House. Mr. Canning entered, giving his hand to a large black woman more than six feet high, and broad in proportion, muffled up
in a striped gauze dress with short sleeves, leaving uncovered enormous black arms, half covered again with white gloves ; an enormous gauze turban upon her head ; black hair, not curled, but very short; a small bag in her hand, and I do not know what upon her neck, where there was no gauze. It was with difficulty that the Minister and his company could preserve a proper gravity for the occasion. The Queen was followed by a lady in waiting, as tall as herself, and with a gayer and more intelligent countenance. Then came the King, accompanied by three of his subjects, all dressed, like him, in European costume; and a fourth, whose office I did not know, but he wore over his ordinary coat a scarlet and yellow feather cloak, and a helmet covered with the same material on his head. The King was shorter than his four courtiers, but they all looked very strong, and, except the King, all taller than the majority of those who surrounded them. The two ladies were seated before the fire in the gallery for some time. Mrs. Canning was presented first to' them, and then the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the
Prince Leopold. The Queen took the Duchess of Gloucester by the arm and shook it. One should have pitied them for the way in which all eyes were turned upon them, and for all the observations they occasioned ; but it seemed to me that their minds are not sufficiently opened, and that they are not civilized enough either to notice or to suffer from it. From the gallery, Mr. Canning, still holding the Queen's hand, conducted them through the apartment, and under the verandah of the garden, where the band of the Guards' regiment, in their full uniform, was playing military airs. Her savage Majesty appeared much more occupied by the red-plumed hats of the musicians than by the music. She ought to have been pleased to see that the officers' helmet of her Court surpassed them as to colour. From there they were conducted into the dining-room, where there was a fine collation. The two ladies were seated alone at table placed across the room, and ate some cake and drank wine. They appeared awkward in all their movements, and particularly embarrassed in their walk ; there was nothing of the free step of the savage, being probably embarrassed by the folds of the European dress.”
The King and Queen and their suite were wantonly charged with gluttony and drunkenness by persons who ought to have known better. “It is true," observes Lord Byron, in his “ Voyage to the Sandwich Islands," “ that, unaccustomed to our habits, they little regarded regular hours for meals, and that they liked to eat frequently, though not to excess. Their greatest luxury was oysters, of which they were particularly fond; and one day, some of the chiefs having been out to walk, and seeing a grey mullet, instantly seized it and carried it home, to the great delight of the whole party; who, on recognizing the native fish of their own seas, could scarcely believe that it had not swum hither on purpose for them, or be persuaded to wait till it was cooked before they ate it.” The best proof of their moderation is, however, that the charge at Osborne's Hotel, in the Adelphi, during their residence there, amounted to no greater an average than seventeen shillings a-head per day for their table. As they ate little or no butcher's meat, but lived chiefly upon fish, poultry, and fruit, by no means the cheapest articles in London, their gluttony could not have been great. So far from their always preferring the strongest liquors, their favourite beverage was some cider, with which they had been presented by Mr. Canning.
The popular comic song of “ The King of the Cannibal Islands,” was written apropos to the above royal visit.
HAYDON AND DR. MACKAY. One of the “strange bedfollows" with which the misery of Haydon, the painter, made him acquainted, was a Dr. Mackay, who was employed by Canning to arrange and negotiate the treaty of commerce and independence with South America. Dr. Mackay (Haydon tells us) had resided many years in Mexico, and knew all the parties thoroughly. He made a fortune, and returned to England. He was sent for by Canning, and after all due preliminary caution, sent out to Mexico. Mr. Haydon met him in 1827 : like a true politician, or employé politique, he began to suspect the painter. “Remember,” said the doctor, “ before I proceed, you make no use of this.” Haydon gave him his word, and he proceeded. Vittoria was his old friend. On his way to Mexico, under pretence of pressing business, he called on Vittoria, and found him in actual negotiation with Spanish commissioners. That evening, a treaty was to be signed and settled. Vittoria begged him to dine. He refused a long time, but Mackay making him promise to put off the commissioners till next day, he agreed. Vittoria sent word he was ill, and Mackay was received as an English physician and friend. That night the ground was broken. Vittoria complained they were forsaken by England. Mackay opened his powers, and it was agreed that Vittoria should continue ill, Mackay visiting and prescribing every day. He did so, and at last Vittoria got better, and received full authority from Mexico, and Mackay and he used to walk out to take a little air, and retire unobserved into a by-street, to a room hired for the purpose.
In this way the treaty of independence and commerce was finally settled. One party proposed an article; after discussion, it was written in a book, each party being at liberty to reflect till next day. When they met again, the article proposed and agreed to was re-stated and discussed again, and, if nothing had occurred to alter and amend, it was finally entered into a separate book, whence there was no appeal. In this way, Dr. Mackay said, the whole treaty was settled. As he knew the Spaniards well, and that pride was their failing, he got nothing by downright opposition, but carried everything by yielding and persuading them that even he would not have so favoured England by such a proposition, etc. Mr. Canning was highly delighted, and gave him great praise.