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crates, or Galen, nor the many thousand apothecaries and quacks down to the present day, have ever discovered an effectual remedy.
But I already perceive, friend Bouverie, sundry manifestations of impatience on your brow, sundry rubs of the eyes, yawns, and scratches of the head, and many a wistful ogle cast towards the conclusion of my paper; I shall not, therefore, detain you any longer, but promise to renew my attacks upon your mental faculties on some future occasion, when I see you more disposed to attend to my tedious and uninteresting lucubrations. W.
ON THE DEATH OF A PATRIOT.
'Tis morn ;
the sound of muffled drum
his crime? could such a breast
Till tyrants ceas'd to live?
He knew him proof against each wile,
By treacherous bribes suborn’d,
Who proffer'd mercy scorn'd. Should he to despots bend a knee? Should he submit to tyranny ? And lead a life of endless pain, Beneath his master's galling chain ? But now the neighbouring convent's tower Proclaim'd the long-expected hour. Forth from the gate the captive came; His step, his voice, his cheek the same, Save, that of rage, a deeper trace Was pictur’d in his glowing face: And on his fetter'd arm each vein With throbbing seem'd to burst its chain ; While frequent heavings of his vest Show'd the wild tumults of his breast. And now the dreaded spot appear’d, Where its sad form the scaffold rear'd ; Where instruments of deadly fate, The block, the axe, the prisoner wait. Not e’en this new unwonted sight Had power the patriot's soul to fright; With eye unchang'd, with thoughts on God, Firmly the fatal stair he trod: Once to his lips the cross he press’d,
And breath'd one prayer to Heaven ; His wrongs forgave, his sins confessid,
And bade the blow be given !
[I have received the following contribution from a correspondent, who
chooses to use the editorial “we.” I give it to the public as I received it.]
REMARKS ON GIFFORD'S “FORD."
We were always very partial to John Ford. He was, we believe, the last of those potent enchanters, who, in the days of Elizabeth and James, awoke the dormant spirit of our literature into gigantic strength. Happy, indeed, we must consider him, looking only at his early life, in the period to which he belonged : to have moved in the same hemisphere in which that great luminary of all that is graceful and beautiful in language, of all that is intense and vigorous in conception, WILLIAM SIIAKSPEARE, was lord of the ascendant; to have seen him in the endearing intimacies of private life ; to have conversed with him, or rather to have listened with meek reverence to the rich flow of his conversation, and to the outpourings of that wisdom which seems to have been familiar to him from the very cradle; to have felt in our old age the proud consciousness, that the recollections of Shakspeare were imprinted on our memory so deep, that nothing, till death, could injure or efface them, and so bright, that they would cast a cheering radiance over the agonies of dissolution : this is a lot which few, who either have, or pretend to, taste, can help envying; and to obtain which, for our own parts, we should be much inclined to surrender each and all of the advantages of the nineteenth century, the march of intellect, and the invention of steam-engines.
But it was not to the creator alone of our drama, that we referred, when we said Ford's youth had fallen on fortunate days. Bright and glorious, beyond all imaginings, as the flight of the Eagle was, yet many were the pinions that could wing a separate course, and the eyes, , whose piercing lustre could bear undazzled the noon-day effulgence of that sun, at which they kindled the energies of their nature. Beyond all question, the pinnacle that Shakspeare holds is far above that of the Jonsons, the Beaumonts, the Marlows, and the Fletchers of his age.
. But it is the superiority of Chimborazo, to the Andes that surround his throne! And, we confess, we have often amused ourselves with reveries of the pleasure, we should have felt in sitting round the table at the Mermaid, amidst the choice, and master spirits we have enumerated; listening to the wild exuberances of their fancy, and the sportive gambols of their wit; yet, what with us is a mere humour of the brain, a sort of Macadamizing in the air, with Ford was actual truth. Of his personal character, and of any events that might interest us as bearing on his conduct through life, we are, however, almost entirely ignorant; nor has the present edition done much to remove the obscurity in which former biographers had left our author. The few traditions that have been preserved, point him out to us as of a reserved and melancholy temper : an old doggrel couplet assures us, that
Deep in a dump John Forde was alone got,
With folded arms, and melancholy hat.”. He makes frequent allusions in his prologues to his having early embraced the profession of the law; but always coupled with anxious disavowals to his patrons
of permitting his dramatic labours to encroach on his proper business. The first fruits of his poetic vein was an elegy in quarto! dedicated to the countess of Devonshire, and professing to bewail the death of her husband. We shall not detain the reader any longer with this unworthy performance, than to quote the following exquisite passage :
« Life? ah ! no life, but soon-extinguish'd tapers !
Tapers ? no tapers, but a burnt-out light!
Sight? ah! no sight, but hell's eternal night!
Fame's Memorial. That any one, who at twenty could write such execrable stuff as this, should start forth at forty-three a fervid, delicate, impassioned votary of the Muses, is one of those phenomena which awaken the interest even of the obtuser portion of mankind (because even to them is held out the excitement of vanity), and serve to vary the somewhat monotonous prospect of the literary world.
His first play was published in 1629; and he retired from his dramatic, as well as professional life in 1640. “ Faint traditions in the neighbourhood of his birth-place “ lead to the supposition, that having, from his legal
pursuits, acquired a sufficient fortune, he retired to his “ home to pass the remainder ofhis days among the youth“ ful connections whom time had yet spared him. Nor “were there wanting powerful motives for the retirement “ of one of Ford's lonely and contemplative mind, who “ watched the signs of the times. - Deep and solemn notes