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of any other resources. Houses, it is true, have very often trap, doors to the roof; but these are not kept in readiness for use; a ladder is wanting; or the door is hard to be got up; the passage to it is most likely difficult, and involved in the fire ;' and after all, the roof may not be a safe one to walk wer; children cannot act for themselves ; terror affects the older people; and therefore, on all these accounts, nothing is more desirable than that the means of escape should be at hand, should be facile, and able to be used in concert with the multitude below. People out of doors are ever ready and anxious to assist. Thoše brave fellows, the firemen, would complete the task, if time allowed, and circumstances had hitherto prevented it; and handle the basket, and the little riders in it, with confidence, like so many chickens. A time perhaps will come, when every window in a high bed-chamber will have an escape to it, as a matter of course; but it is a terrible pity meanwhile, that for want of a little imagination out of the common pale of their Mondays and Wednesdays, a whole metropolis, piquing themselves on their love of their families, should subject themselves and the dearest objects of their affection to these infernal accidents.
.. .! POETRY OF BRITISH LADIES.
! (Continued from p. 336.) Mrs Sheridan's verses are not so good as her novels. Miss Jones has a compliment to Pope, which Pope bimself may have admired for its own sake.
“ Alas! I'd live unknown, unenvy'd too; .. ... 3"Tis more than Pope with all his wit can do." 1«Mi ampa 10,36W 931
" Miss Jones," says a note in Boswell quoted by Mr Dyce, “ lived at Oxford, and was often of our parties. She was a very ingenious poetess, and published a volume of poems; and on the whole, was a most sensible, agreeable, and enviable woman. She was sister to the Rev. River Jones, Chanter of Christ-church Cathedral, at Oxford, and Johnson used to call her the Chantress. I have heard him often address her in this passage from 1 Pen-> seroso, “ Thee, chantress, oft the woods among, I woo, &c.". ; 348
This puts in a pleasant light both Johnson and the poetess. How is it that these women, who are at once clever and amiable, should so often die unmarried? A clever woman, who is unamiable, we can easily conceive to remain single. Amiableness without cleverness beats her to nothing (to use a very Irish metaphor). If we were a Shakspeare, we would rather marry a good-natured girl, who had nothing but the instinctive wisdom of her disposition to go upon (and there is a good deal in that) than the cleverest woman
upon earth, who would plague us with the folly of her bad temper. But head and heart at once, how is it that these are resisted? Want of fortune on the lady's part, and want of sense on the men's, are, we fear, the chief and the sordid reasons. It is curious to see the numbers of young men, who can pass by the most amiable of the other sex, and wait for what they call good matches. Indeed, it is thought a matter of common prudence, and admired as such, whereas, even considered in that light, it is prudence only as far as . a bad state of society is concerned, and is at once a consequence and a cause of it: and one thing is always meanly kept in the background on these occasions ; namely, that the men, however wanting meanwhile in a proper and tender imagination, are alive enough to the call of their senses, which they indulge at the expense of another part of the sex; ruining, in fact, one set of women, that they may not be able, now or ever, to do justice to another. But the cause of our poetess is carrying us away from the subject. There are some fine chants by a Mr Jones, one especially which is sung in St Paul's on some anniversary, and used to affect Haydn. Was this « Chanter" the Jones of Oxford ? The composition we allude to is to be found in the · Harmonicon.' We forget whether it is exactly a chaunt or a hymn; but remember being forcibly struck even in imagination with the effect which must result in a great cathedral from the alternate softness and loudness of the strains, one of them being sung gently by the choir, and then the response being shouted out by an army of young voices.
Frances Brooke, author of Rosina, of Lady Julia Mandeville, &c. was a better poetess in her prose than her verse. Her Ode to Health, here given by Mr Dyce, is not much. We should have preferred a song out of Rosina. But we will venture to affirm, she must have written a capital love-letter. These clergymen's daughters somehow (her father was a Rev. Mr Moore) contrive to have a double zest in those matters. Mrs Brooke was for some time, if we are not mistaken, one of the managers of the Italian Opera. Her novel of Lady Julia Mandeville, may be had of Mr Limbird for eight-pence, or some such modicum. One is almost ashamed to give so little for knowledge: yet the time will come, we trust, and that before long, when it will be still cheaper. If newspapers (which are so many thick volumes printed miraculously on a sheet) can be tossed off so cheaply, by thousands, through the means of the new might of the steam-engine, why may not books be printed in like manner, a hundred at a blow ? . .
In the well-known Prayer for Indifference, by Mrs Greville, is a stanza, which has the point of epigram with all the softness of a gentle truth
1259 180 W
1904 provolo “ Nor peace, nor ease, the heart can know, . . !
That, like the needle true,
(The pause in this last line is very exquisite. We are sorry we have not our books near ús; or we could surely find out something respecting Mrs Greville, to make up for the Editor's want of information on that point. Is there nothing in Miss Hays's biography? In Nichols's collections? Or Collins's Peerage, by Egerton ? We think we have a recollection, that Mrs Greville was allied by marriage to the noble family of that name. s. Two poems by Lady Henrietta O'Neil, are taken out of her friend Mrs Charlotte Smith's novel of Desmond,-a work, by the way, from which Sir Walter Scott has borrowed the foundation of his character of Waverley, and the name besides. In a novel by the same lady, we forget which, is the first sketch of the sea-side incident in the Antiquary, where the hero saves the life of Miss Wardour. Lady Henrietta's verses do her credit, but seem to imply a good deal of suffering. One “ To the Poppy," begins with the following melodious piece of melancholy:- JA 901 Dnali! sosial "Not for the promise of the laboured field, uid igid bedi
her. Not for the good the yellow harvests yield, ogtud 13 10
I bend at Ceres' shrine;
:30ID E3390117 100"?TIT: 113-3') The golden glories of the year :
TT11.2011 9: istii nofts 1997 "Alas! a melancholy worship's mine : 1;6?OITA. $113:12 :: boil the Goddess for her scarlet flower,” &c. 101 agv198
19 Is abiswo 1589 31 hail the coudess for ner scarlet nov
'In other words, the fair and flourishing lady of quality took opium; which, we believe, was the case with her poorer friend. We believe the world would be astonished, if they knew the names of all the people of genius, and of all the rich people as well as poor, who had recourse to the same consolatory drug ;-thousands upon thousands take it, of whom the world have no suspicion; and yèt many of those persons, able to endure perhaps on that very account what requires all the patience of those who abstain from it, will quarrel with you for trying to alter the condition of society.
[TO BE CONTINUED.)
THE FENCING-MASTER'S CHOICE. ... As we have a great aversion to the repetition of old jokes, and in our ignorance of what is going forward in the festive parts of the town, can never be certain that any story we take for a new one is not well known, we always feel inclined to preface a relation of this kind with something that should serve for an apology in case of necessity, or give it a new grace in default of newness of a better sort. And this reflection always reminds us of that pleasant Milanese, whom nature made a wag and a jolly fellow, and Francis
the First made a bishop; to wit, Master Matthew Bandello, the best Italian novelist, after Boccaccio, and one who could tell, a grave story as well a merry one. Monsignore Matteo, before he proceeds to relate how", a jealous enamoured himself” of a young widow, or how a pleasant “ beff” was put upon a priest who became “ furious of it,” and “ remained stordited,"--makes a point of informing the reader, where he first heard the story, who told it, and in whose company, and how much better it was told than he, with his Lombardisms, can have any pretence to repeat it; on all which accounts he wishes to God, that people could have heard it fresh from the lips of that very amiable and magnificent Signor, the before-mentioned Signor Antonio, whom he recollects as if it was but yesterday, because he was standing at the time with a right joyous and genteel company by the balustrade of the gardens of the very illustrious and most adorned Signor, his singularly noble friend the Signor Gherardesco dei Gherardi, Conte di Cuviano, where there happened to be present the ladies equally eminent for their high birth and most excellent endowments, to wit, the right courteous, virtuous, and most beautiful Ladies the Lady Vittoria, Princess of Colombano, and the Lady Hippolita D’Este, widow of the most valorous and magnificent Signor, the ever-memorable Alfonso, Prince of Ferrara; which ladies, being very affectionate towards all argute sayings and witty deeds, did nigh burst themselves for laughter, in the which the very illustrious Signor Gherardesco aforesaid did heartily join, to the great contentment of that princely company, and all who overheard those urbane conceits and most graceful phrases, which he (the Bishop) utterly despairs of rendering anything the like to the reader. ; But he will do his best; and as the story is exceedingly curious (to wit, a little free) he had addressed it to the right virtuous and most adorned with all feminine dowries, the Lady Lucretia di San-Donnato, in return for one of a like nature which she was graciously pleased to relate to him one day; to wit, on the eve of the day of Corpus Domini, sitting in the windows of the Palazzo Rospoli, at that time inhabited by the very magnificent, most adorned, and most worthily given Signor, the Signor Prince Cesare Ottoboni, nephew of the most. Holy Father.
By this process, the reader feels bound to like the story, if only out of a proper sense of the company he is in, and the respect that is due to all those fair and magnificent names; and then follows the novella, or new tale, perhaps not at all new, and no longer than the one we are about to relate.
We should like to call to ourselves an aid of this sort, and be able at the head of every one of our stories to state how it was told us by this person or that; how that, sitting one day in the gardens of Kensington, at a time when the dust of the streets rendered an escape into those green and quiet places agreeable, we had the pleasure of hearing it from the lips of that very
adorned and witty Mister, the Reverend Mister Samuel Smith, or the extremely magnificent and choice in his neckcloths, the admired Mr Tomlinson; or how dining with the very magnificent and grave Esquire, the Squire Jinks, of Jinks Hall, it was related to us by the facetious and extremely skilled in languages, the bachelor of arts, the hopeful Dick Watts, cousin of the high born and most beautiful lady, the Lady Barbara Jinks, consort of the said esquire, who being at that moment in the act of swallowing a cherry, was nigh to have thrown all the lovers of wit and elegance in those parts into mourning, in consequence of the ex. treme difficulty she found in swallowing the fruit and the facetiosity at once.
The story is this: that in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, the celebrated fencing-master, Monsieur de la Rue, being at that time fencing-master to the gentlemen of the university of Cambridge, and grievously tormented in his vocation by the said gentlemen, who made no end of mimicking his grimaces, groaning out of measure at his thrusts, not repenting at his remonstrances, and shewing themselves otherwise insensible of the dignity and pains-taking of his profession, did one day, towards the end of the month of June, the weather being hot, the said Monsieur de la Rue in his jacket and night-cap, and divers of the said gentlemen standing idly about, laughing and making a vain sport, instead of pinking him as they ought to have done,-he, the said Monsieur de la Rue, did, I say, then and there sit down on the floor in the room in which he was fencing, and placing, one on each side of him, the two foils which he then happened to be holding in his hands, and being provoked out of the ordinary measure of his patience by the eternal gibes and ungrateful levities of those his tormentors, the said gentlemen, was moved to utter the following speech, or representation expostulatory; which he did with great passion and vehemence, his eyes wide open, his hands and face trembling, and emphasis rising at every sentence:
If Got Almaighty-vere to come down from hevven,—and vere to say to me, “ Monsieur de la Rue,---vill you be fencing-master at Osford or Cambreege, or vill you be ETAIRNALLY danı?”
I should answer and say,“SARE,-if it is all the same to you, I vill be ETAIRNALLY, dam.”
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