Page images
PDF
EPUB

« O Love! that stronger art than wine,

Pleasing delusion, witchery divine,
Wont to be priz'd above all wealth,
Disease that has more joys than health;
Tho’ we blaspheme thee in our pain,
And of thy tyranny complain,

We all are better'd by thy reign.
“ When full brute Appetite is fed,

And chok'd the glutton lies, and dead ;
Thou new spirits dost dispense,
And fin'st the gross delights of sense.
Virtue's unconquerable aid,
That against nature can persuade;
And makes a roving mind retire .
Within the bounds of just desire;
Cheerer of age, youth's kind unrest,
And half the heaven of the blest.

« In vain does Hymen with religious vows

Oblige his slaves to wear his chains with ease,
A privilege alone that Love allows;

Tis Love alone can make our fetters please.
The angry tyrant lays his yoke on all,

Yet in his fiercest rage is charming still : .
Officious Hymen comes whene'er we call,

But haughty Love comes only when he will.” Aphra Behn is said to have been in love with Creech. It should be borne in mind by those who give an estimate of her character, that she passed her childhood among the planters of Surinam ; no very good school for restraining or refining a lively temperament. Her relations are said to have been careful of her ; but they died there, and she returned to England her own mistress..

[TO BE CONTINUED.]

ANATOMICAL SUBJECTS. We understand that the difficulty of procuring subjects for dissection is likely to be done away, in consequence of the number of poor persons who are found to die in hospitals, and whose bodies are unreclaimed. It appeared from a letter in the Morning Herald, dated April 26, that this is the way in which the French surgeons obtain a superabundance; and a person was said to have arrived in Paris, whose object was to arrange a supply for us: but we have

discovered, it seems, that we can furnish ourselves. As a preliminary step to any law on the subject, it would now be but decent to abolish the practice of giving up the murderer's body to the anatomist; otherwise the last wants of poverty and disgraces of crime will be most odiously confounded. It is said in the letter from Paris, on the authority of M. Dupin, that one-third of the population of that eity diés in hospitals ; to wit; 900,000 people! This appears astonishing; but there is no knowing in how reckless a manner half the inhabitants of that sprightly metropolis may live, nor how little they care where they die. It was stated the other day, that the suicides that take place there greatly exceed in number those of our own capital; and this was thought more extraordinary. People recollected the old jokes about our gloomy month of November, and wondered that the merry French should find more reasons for killing themselves. But generally speaking, suicides in England and France are most likely committed out of very different feelings; the former, from a gloomy temper, or an apoplectic, fulness of blood; the latter, out of impulse: The Englishman kills himself, because he broods over his misfortune till it becomes intolerable; the Frenchman, because the same organization which leads him to be lively and thoughtless in prosperity, makes him impatient at the first incursions of adversity, and he kills himself out of the same levity with which he lived. We suspect, even in this country, that suicides are much oftener committed out of a first impulse, than people suppose; and that many a man has been tempted to it, who having a little more patience or strength of reflection than the others, has afterwards found, that his propensity was owing to no greater cause than indigestion, or some other want of health or the doctor. A Frenchman loses his money or his mistress; and it is the toss up of a die whether he laughs or kills himself. If the circumstances that surround him at the moment are favourable, he philosopbizes and quotes a ballad : if otherwise, or some dandy, eultivator of the grim and scornful has put into his hand a translation

[ocr errors]

.

It is said, that a small steam-vessel was to be fitted out, solely to convey dead bodies from France. It would have been a very ghastly ship, roaring and fuping up the channel, with that mortal freightage,

s i steminin

of one of Lord Byron's demi-profundities, he had as lief kill him. self as not; and goes out of the world, apostrophizing the ciel, or his cour, or the miserable hopes of L'Homme. Joking apart, it is from half-thinking that most suicides are committed, whether in France or England; but we do it from a gloomy habit of halfthinking, the French from a more enthusiastic one. With us, it looks like an affair of the mind; with them, it is accompanied with a more obvious physical sensibility;--with all, the chief secret is a disturbed state of body, whether the first cause is bodily or not; and he that sets about mending his health, will stand little chance of troubling the coroner. After all, political changes must have to do with this matter in France. It was to b seeds

To return to the subject of dissection. An end is now likely to be put to all questions on the subject; the benevolent will no longer have to struggle with their imaginations, or kindred be alarmed for one another's shoulder-blades. But meanwhile, if the accounts from Dublin are true, a physician there, Dr Macartney the anatomist, well known for his zeal in behalf of the co-operative system, has done himself immortal honour by bequeathing his body for dissection; and fifty other medical men have followed his example. The Sheffield Iris mentions another instance; and we are informed, that some time ago the same thing was done by the venerable Jeremy Bentham. ... .. . : : .

.so

" ONLY ONCE." We know not whether the following joke is old. It was new to uś, who boast of being great readers of anecdotes and jest-books." If it be objected, that it turns upon an infirmity, we answer that none could be more averse than ourselves to repeating stories of that kind, unless of infirmities obtruded or turned into vanities, like those ridiculed in the imitations of Mr Mathews; for which in our critical days we unwisely found fault with him. But although the case before us is not a similar one, all ungraciousness is taken out of the jest, by the fact of its having been told us by a wag of the first water, himself a stammerer.

A good-natured elderly gentleman, sick but smiling, was recommended, for an impediment in his speech, to take the benefit of sea-bathing. He accordingly went down to Margate, and being no swimmer, but philosophical withal, committed himself into the hands of two or three strong fellows to be dipped. While preparing himself in the machine, he explained, with the usual difficulty of utterance, how it was that he came to be a bather; and then spoke of the confidence he had in the care and skill of the persons present, who took great pains to preserve their gravity before a gentleman so good-humoured ; and as soon as he was ready, took him in hand. He had repeated some of his latter observations several times, and appeared anxious to repeat another, when they assured him that there was no necessity; that they understood the case very well; and doubted not that he would be satisfied.

The gentleman had four dips in all. After the first he came up, panting, and crying Oh, but smiling; and the men, construing a gesticulation he made into “ farther orders," dipped him again. At the second, he came up, blind and panting, but still gésticulating; and was dipped again. Great earnestness and haste at the third, and was again dipped. At the fourth, he spoke, and was dipped no more ; but how he exclaimed every time, and what he spoke at last, will be best seen, as follows :

56 First dip;up comes the gentleman, drenched and panting, but met in die smiling, and crying out—"0-0-". But

Second dip ;-drench as before—“0-0-0.

Third dip ;-great vehemence and gesticulation-"0-0-0-0-” O Certainly, Šir.”-Fourth dip;--0-0-0-ONLY ONCE." He was to have been dipped “ only once;" but could not get it out.

TO CORRESPONDENTS. Correspondents next week.

A writer in a Sunday paper has done us the honour to say, that our remarks on the Duchess of St Albans have modified some of his opinions on that lady; and he has added a sentence, in a style more than handsome. Next to the pleasure one cannot help feeling on such an occasion, our first impulse is to feel nothing but deference towards a spirit of so much candour; and our final one, to hope that we may continue to think alike.

LONDON : Published by Hunt and CLARKE, York street, Covent garden: and sold by all

Booksellers and Newsvenders in town and country.-Price 4d.

PRINTED BY C. H. REYNELL, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE.

[ocr errors]

THE COMPANION.

No, XX. WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 1828.

“ Something alone yet not alone, to be wished, and only to be found, in a friend.”-SIR WILLIAM Temple.'

PASTA AND SONTAG. We were seduced the other evening to go and see, not the two rival, but the two harmonious queens, at the Opera House. The house was full to excess. The gallery hung in the air like a cloud of human faces. In the pit, despairing amateurs came in and out at the door; or tried to content themselves with sitting on the staircase, and hearing though they could not see. The boxes looked atrociously comfortable, and thereby increased the general sense of compression. This however was only while we remained; for unfortunately we could not stay long. We suppose they became as crowded as the rest of the house afterwards. The performance began very late ; which made the matter worse. Much hatred of one's neighbour prevailed among the impatient: considerable internal “ damn," and a longing to be disagreeable. Our beloved countrymen are so apt to be discontented with themselves, that even the anticipation of delight does not enable them to be willingly at ease with one another.—At length, Rossini's overture comes scampering about, like a dog before a solemnity; the curtain rises; divers prefatory“ first mobs” clamour and chorus it; a space is left in front; silence ensues; and Pasta, midst a thunder of welcome, as if the galleries were coming down, makes her appear

vol. I.

20

« PreviousContinue »