Page images
PDF
EPUB

purchase ten thousand stand of arms. cumstances more propitious to a correct Two hundred thousand dollars were decision of it. Fortunately for the voted for the purchase of arms and peace of America more prudent counammunition; and various taxes were sels prevailed; a bill for modifying the imposed to cover the increased expendi. tariff, and ultimately reducing the ture. The governor, on his part, duties to a proper standard, was “ solemnly pledged himself to support brought into congress by Mr. Clay, and uphold the sovereign authority of one of the representatives of Alabama. the state." Nor, when the South It was strenuously opposed by the Carolinians were threatened with the partizans of the manufacturing interest, resentment of the general government, and gave rise to vehement debates. In did their spirits quail. The proclama- spite, however, of the utmost exertions tion of the president treating their re. of its opponents, it passed the house of sistance as rebellion, and menacing representatives on the 26th February, them with coercion, was met by a 1833, by one hundred votes against counter-proclamation, which breathed eighty four, and the senate, on the 1st defiance. War now seemed inevitable : March, by 29 against 16. As soon as the state, which had thrown down the it was passed the convention of South gauntlet was determined not to recede; Carolina again assembled to take it and the president, on his side, though into consideration. A report on the avowedly adverse to protecting duties subject was made by a committee of which caused the strife, expressed his that body. Its language was tempefirm resolution to avail himself of all rate and conciliatory; and on the the means in his power to put down grounds that the concessions were opposition. Yet, notwithstanding the satisfactory, it recommended the revodanger to which the Union would be cation of the nullifying ordinance. thus exposed, there were not wanting Congress, therefore, could only mainthose who were eager to brave it. tain the integrity of the Union by an They sturdily maintained that it was abandonment of the power of governnot consistent with the honor or well ment; and had to establish a precedent, understood interest of the country to if not a principle, that a state legislamake concessions to a state which was ture, by a menace of physical force, can in arms against the government ; that abrogate the laws of the supreme auit was not right to sacrifice great and thority of the United States. It reacknowledged principles of national quires no inspiration to foretel, that, policy to considerations of merely tem- though this fleet of nations may sail porary expediency; and that the ques- under the same flag, as long as they tion of the relative pretensions of the drift in a current, or are impelled by Union and the state governments, a trade wind, the first political storm which, they coolly remarked, must in will cause them to commence separate all probability, at one time or other, be and independent navigation, amid the settled by the sword, could never be violence of the hurricane or the horrors brought to that fearful test under cir. of the tornado.

• Hinton's History of the United States, vol. i. pp. 493, 494. London : 1834.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]

“Won from the shepherd's simple meed,
The whispers mild of Mulla's reed,
Sage Spenser wak'd his lofty lay
To grace Eliza's golden sway:
From fabling Fancy's inmost store
A rich romantic robe he bore:

A veil with visionary trappings hung,
And o'er his Virgin Queen the faëry texture dung."

Tuomas WARTON.

NOTWITHSTANDING the hosts of tourists ceived with a blessing from every lover armed with pencil and pen, and assail- of English literature. ing in every accessible quarter of We want some William Howitt in the land, that have of late sought their Ireland. Not that we hereby mean to quarry in Ireland, we have looked in assert the equal capabilities of our vain for a volume merely descriptive Esher“ friend” for description in the of our remarkable places, and which, Isle of Saints ; rather from a little omitting details of scenery that have experience on this score we should anbeen furnished to us a hundred times ticipate his failure ; but we do want already, would confine itself to spots and wish for a visitor of a similar hallowed by the efforts of genius--the stamp, who, Irish born and Irish bred, places where our “godlike men” lived will regard us with national interest, and died. William Howitt, in the and will bring to his task those pecusister island, has done his office gently liar feelings of appreciation which aland well; he has visited her old halls, most seem denied to Englishmen. As and battle-fields, and other scenes of our eye glances over the large circle of historical and poetical interest, having our own co-littérateurs in this Magaset before him objects such as we de- zine, it falls upon more than one whom scribe, and in consequence has pro- we could proudly bid to the work, duced one of the most interesting with the consciousness that it would be books of the day, which has been re- well done at their hands; but, dear public, they are, one and all, modest her mortal remains are laid. Should men and women, and their names shall you not like too, reader, mine, run continue unmentioned by us, despite out for half-an-hour to Templeoguethe temptation to the contrary. There catch our good editor in his undresswas One (alas ! that we must number and behold with your own veritable him among the past-aways,) who was eyes, his unwearied manufactory of peculiarly fitted for such writing: one Tom Burkes,” “O'Learys," and who united the skill of an antiquary “University Magazines," in full prowith the fine feelings of a poet, and cess of working ? And then relieved the dryness of historical de- “Halloo, Harry, what are you at ? tail by playful wit and unaffected You need not stare or frown so hor. pathos ; one who possessed the virtues ribly at us; we have not yet said aught of an Irishman's heart without the mal-apropos concerning you. I' faith; errors of his head ; one but you man, we'll not praise you, if you have already guessed him, reader, and don't like it ; nor were we going to will know that we have been under- do it-" stating the truth, when we name for “ Proceed, sir, mind your own busiyou the name of Cæsar Otway! ness, and let me attend to mine. Pray,

It has been a fancy of ours, perhaps don't meddle with what does not in the a vain one, that a volume, which least concern you." would thus associate Ireland with re- Ay, ay, reader, we are forbid to tell miniscences of a purely literary caste, the secrets of the printing-house, you would not only elevate our country in perceive ; and the hint is one we canthe estimation of other nations, but not choose but take ; so now, revenons would contribute essentially to an end a nos moutons. Should you object scarcely less desirable—the affording that the places we have mentioned are men of all opinions and feelings some. isolated spots, full of interest indeed, thing to think of in common. Surely, and well fitted for remembrance, but in our unhappily divided state, some unconnected with the works of the such harmony of feeling, which might respective writers, and possessing less become the opening to still further attraction from being undescribed in agreement, is a devoutly-to-be-wished. their books, we have our for consummation. Literature is the ready. While we are disposed to con. meeting-place for all classes of think- trovert your judgment in great meaers; and here we should have nothing sure, and rather assert the greatness to pain or trouble any, while we should of claims so purely personal, we shall, find in abundance enough to interest for the avoidance of argument, proall. Again we say, we want some ceed to tell you of places which have William Howitt in Ireland.

been shadowed forth to the admiration And for subjects, they are on all of the world. Two, at once, recur to sides. To begin with the metropolis : us, Lissoy, in Westmeath, the scenery there is Glasnevin, with its recollec- of the “ Deserted Village" of Gold. tions of Tickell, Addison, Parnell, smith; and Kilcolman Castle, in the and the rest of that brilliant circle county of Cork, the residence of Ed. which there met: there is Swift's mund Spenser, where his “ Faerie birthplace in Hoey's-court,* and his Queene” was written. We have chosen tomb in St. Patrick's: there is 12, the latter for the subject of our preDorset-street, where Sheridan first saw the light, and Aungier-street, If we cannot claim Spenser as our where his biographer, Thomas Moore, own, so far as birth and blood are was born. And how many a one

concerned, we can assert a welleven the admirer of her poetry, founded right to the fairest flowers of passes 20, Dawson-street, without his genius, for they have grown, als thinking of Mrs. Hemans; yet in that most all of them, on the Irish soil. house the "falcon-hearted dove" folded And not only was his lovely Land of its wing and fell asleep, and in the Faery called into being on our shores, vaults of St. Anne's church, hard by, and moulded, and fashioned, and peo

answer

sent paper.

This has lately been taken down, and we cannot discover that any drawing of it exists.-ED.

last one.

pled with its bright and living inhabi- its rich and sweeping cadence found tants amongst us ; but likewise our means for giving utterance to thoughts mountains, and glades, and rivers were that oft times wring the heart that transported thereunto, and made a reads them. Wordsworth has two very visible part of the Poet's luxu- favourite volumes—and what are they? riant creation. It has been a delight The story of her of the willow ditty, unof ours to wander over those portions complaining, ever-loving Desdemona; of country which have been so conse- and of the lovely lady, whose angel's crated, and identify them with the de- looks “made a sunshine in the shady scriptions a jealous memory has trea- place," the heroine of the “ Faerie sured up; and the little map which Queene." we furnish will enable our reader to go with us in our narrative, and under

Two shall be named pre-eminently dear,

The gentle lady married to the Moor : stand the better some extracts from

Aud heavenly Una with her milk-white Lamb. the poetry of Spenser, which it will be a delight to us to quote.

What a line of divine melody is that We do not mean here to enter into a critical examination of the “ Faerie Queene," or the other works of our Heavenly Una with her milk-white Lamb! author; the labour is un-needed, for it has been frequently done already. In very deed we should esteem the Perhaps there is no poetry which so

man a dolt and a clod who loved not entirely removes us from the actual the poem even for the sake of that material world; and instead of its single harmonious verse. noisy clamour and mournful realities,

When Sir James Mackintosh was presents us with visions of peaceful invited by some London booksellers to and tranquil beauty, and the lavish superintend a republication of the early treasures of an imagination that ap- English Poets, he remarked that the pears inexhaustible. All our Poets biography of Spenser would be athave delighted themselves in these tended with no ordinary difficulties, on writings; Shakspeare, in the “ Pas- account of the absence of ascertained sionate Pilgrim," has left us his re- details. The poet's birthday is uncord in the following sonnet :

known, but the year is fixed at 1553 ;

his worldly circumstances at his deIf Music and sweet Poetry agree,

cease have been differently stated, As they must needs, the sister and the some asserting that he died in London, brother,

in abject poverty; others indignantly Then must the love be great 'twixt thee denying this. His writings, too, have

been made matters of controversy. Because thou lov'st the one, and I the According to many, there were other other;

six books of the “ Faerie Queene" Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly written, which were lost through the touch

carelessness of a servant, on their way Upon the lute doth ravish human

to England for publication. We deem Spenser, to me, whose deep conceit is

the story most improbable, and are sasuch

tisfied that the six books we possess, As, passing all conceit, needs no de- with the fragments of a seventh, are fence :

the whole of Spenser's writings on Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious this head. The poet always journeyed sound

to London himself with his manuThat Phoebus' lute, the Queen of

script poems, and had not long reMusic makes ;

turned from the publication of the And I, in deep delight am chiefly drown'd,

second three books of the “ Faerie When as himself to singing he betakes.

Queene," when the rebellion of TyOne God is god of both, as poets feign,

rone broke out, which ushered in his One knight loves both, and both in thee

death in the year following. remain,

While these difficulties are acknow

ledged by us, we must confess our disSir Walter Scott speaks somewhere appointment that something less meagre of “my Master, Spenser;" Byron se- has not been given us of the Irish life lected his stanza for revival, and in of our poet. Twelve years, and they

and me,

sense ;

a

written by Spenser, for the vindication of the measures of his noble patron. We may imagine the following sonnet accompanied the presentation of the former work to Lord Grey. It stands in our copy without note or comment, but is addressed

reave

To the most renowned and valiant Lord, the Lord
Grey, a Wilton, Knight of the noble order of the

Garter, $c.
Most noble lord, the pillar of my life,

And Patron of my Muses' pupillage; Through whose large bountie, poured

on me rife In the first season of my feeble age, I now doe live, bound yours by vas

salage; (Sith nothing ever may redeeme, nor But of your endlesse debt, so sure a

gage ;) Vouchsafe, in worth, this small guift to

receave, Which in your noble hands for pledge I

leave Of all the rest that I am tyde tac

count; Rude rymes, the which a rustick Muse In savage soyle, far from Parnasso

mount, And roughly wrought in an unlearned

loome, The which vouchsafe, dear Lord, your

favourable doome.

We

his best ones, were spent at his resi. dence of Kilcolinan. Here he was visited by the chivalrous Raleigh ; and commemorated that visit in poem that the world will not suffer to die. Here those writings were chiefly composed which give him a place next to Milton and Shakspeare. Here the bright hours of his inarriage, a livelong summer's day, sweetly glided by. And here, too, the great misery of his life overtook him, (does not it frequently flow from the same source as our chiefest joy ?) and hence he was driven, a homeless wanderer, never more to know peace or security until he found the shelter of the grave.

We must, however, make a brilliant exception. In the “ Lives of Illustrious Irishmen,” by the Rev. James Wills, we have found the best memoir of the author of the “ Faerie Queene," with which we are acquainted, and we have looked into a great many. The reader will find in our number for January, 1841, justice done to this able work, and the greater part of the biography of Spenser extracted. must take heed, for our own sakes, lest we follow too closely in the wake of Mr. Wills; our object will help us, which is not so much to give a life of our author, as rather to offer our readers some fragments of his poems which relate to Ireland, and accompany them with a few words of running commentary, for connection's sake. We shall only supply the thread on which to string the pearls.

It was in the month of July, 1580, that Spenser, then in his twentyseventh year, first trod Irish ground. Lord Grey, of Wilton, in that month caine over lord deputy, and the future poet accompanied him as secretary; an appointment which, it is thought, he owed to the influence of the Earl of Leicester and Sir Philip Sidney. The government of Lord Grey was vigorous and energetic in repressing the discontented spirit which had, previous to his arrival, shown itself in an appeal to arms by the inhabitants of Munster; but througb court intrigue and the calumny of his enemies, he was recalled, after two years. The fifth book of the “ Faerie Queene," containing “ the legend of Artegal, or of Justice,” is in fact a history of Lord Grey's Irish administration; and the “ View of the State of Ireland" was subsequently

did weave

In the second book of the “ Faerie Queene" we find a portrait of this personage.

His shadow appears in the mirror of Merlin, to the daughter of King Ryence.

One day it fortuned fayre Britomart
Into her father's closet to repayre;
For nothing he from her received apart,
Being his onely daughter and his hayre;
Where when she had espyde that mirr-

hour fair, Herself awhile therein she vewd in

vaine, Tho' her arizing of the virtues rare Which thereof spoken were, she gan

againe Her to bethinke of that mote to herselfe

pertaine.

But as it falleth, in the gentlest harts Imperious Love hath highest set his

throne, And tyrannizeth in the bitter smarts Of them, that to him buxome are and

prone So thought this mayd (as maydens use

to done)

« PreviousContinue »