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A Farewell to Tobacco.
May the Babylonish curse
Brother of Bacchus, later born, The old world was sure forlorn Wanting thee, that aidest more The god's victories than before All his panthers, and the brawls Of his piping Bacchanals. These, as stale, we disallow, Or judge of thee meant; ouly thou His true Indiau conquest art; And, for ivy round his dart, The reformed god now weaves A finer thyrsus of thy leaves.
a hyperroceed weed.
Sooty retainer to the vine, Bacchus' black servant, negro fine; Sorcerer, that mak'st us dote upon Thy begrimed complexion, And, for thy pernicious sake, More and greater oaths to break Taan reclaimed lovers take 'Gainst women: thou thy siege lost lay Much too in the female way, While thou suck'st the lab'ring breath Faster than kisses or than death.
Scent to match thy rich perfume Chemic art did ne'er presume; Through her quaint alembic strain, None so sov'reign to the brain : Nature, that did in thee excel. Framed again no second smell. Roses, violets, but toys For the smaller sort of boys, Or for greener damsels meant ; Thou art the only man y scent.
Thou in such a cloud doth bind us,
Thou through such a mist dost shew us
Bacchus, we know, and we allow
Stinking'st of the stinking kind, Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind, Africa, that brags her foison, Breeds no such prodigious poison; Henbane, nightshade, both together, Hemlock, aconite
Nay, rather, Plant divine. of rarest virtue; Blisters on the tongue would hurt you. 'Twas but in a sort I blamed thee; None e'er prospered who defamed thee; Irony all, and feigned abuse, Such as perplexed lovers use At a need, when, in despair To paint forth their fairest fair, Or in part but to express . That exceeding comeliness Which their fancies doth so strike, They borrow language of dislike; And, instead of Dearest Miss. Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss, And those forms of old admiring, Call her Cockatrice and Siren, Basilisk, and all that's evil, Witch, Hyena, Mermaid, Devil, Ethiop, Wench, and Blackamoor, Monkey, Ape, and twenty more; Friendly Traitress, loving Foe Not that she is truly so, But no other way they know A contentment to express, Borders 80 upon excess, That they do not rightly wot Whether it be pain or not.
Or, as men, constrained to part
Ever after, nor will bate
Any tittle of her state,
So I, from thy converse forced,
The old name and style retain, To appease their frantic gall,
A right Katherine of Spain; On the darling thing whatever,
And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys Whence they feel it death to sever, Of the blest Tobacco Boys; Thongh it be, as they, perforce,
Where though I, by sour physician, Guiltless of the sad divorce.
Am debarred the full fruition For I must-nor let it grieve thee,
Of thy favours, I may catch Friendliest of plants, that I must-leave Some collateral sweets, and snatch thee;
Sidelong odours, that give life For thy sake, Tobacco, I
Like glances from a neighbour's wife; W onld do anything but die,
And still live in the by-places And but seek to extend my days,
And the suburbs of thy graces; Long enough to extend thy praise.
And in thy borders take delight, But as she, who once hath been
An unconquered Canaanite. A king's consort, is a queen
The following are selections from Lamb's Essays,' some of which, amidst their quaint fancies, contain more of the exquisite materials of poetry than his short occasional verses.
Dream-children-A Reverie. Children love to listen to stories about their elders, when they were children; to stretch their imagination to the conception of a traditionary great-uncle, or granddame, whom they never saw. It was in this spirit that my little ones crept about me the other evening to hear about their great-grandmother Field, who lived in a great house in Norfolk-a hundred times bis than that in which they and papa lived which had been the scene-80 at least it was generally believed in that part of the country-of the tragic incidents which they had lately become familiar with from the ballad of the Children in the Wood. Certain it is that the whole story of the children and their cruel uncle was to be seen fairly carved ont in wood upon the chimney-piece of the great hall, the whole story down to the Robin Redbreasts, till a foolish rich person pulled it down to set up a marble one of modern invention in its stead, with no story upon it. Here Alice put out one of her dear mother's looks, too tender to be called upbraiding. Then I went on to say how religious and how good their great-grandmother Field was, how beloved and respected by everybody, though she was not indeed the mistress of this great house, but had only the charge of it-and yet in some respects she might be said to be the mistress of it too-committed to her by the owner who preferred living in a newer and more fashionable mansion which he had purchased somewhere in the adjoining county! and still she lived in it in a manner as if it had been her own, and kept up the dignity of the great house in a sort while she lived, which afterwards came to decay, and was nearly pulled down, and all its old ornaments stripped and carried away to the owner's other house, where they were set up, and looked as awkward as if some one were to carry away the old tombs they had seen lately at the Abbey, and stick them up in Lady C.'s tawdry gilt drawing-room. Here John smiled, as much as to say, 'That would be foolish indeed. And then I told how, when she came to die, her funeral was attended by a concourse of all the poor, and some of the gentry too, of the neighbourhood for many miles round, to shew their respect for her memory, because she had been such a good and religious woman; 80 good, indeed, that she knew all the Psaltery by heart, ay, and a great part of the Testament besides. Here little Alice spread her hands.Then I told what a tall, upright, graceful person their great-grand mother Field once was, and how in her youth she was esteemed the best dancer. Here Alice's little right foot played an involuntary movement, till, upon my looking grave, it desisted--the best dancer, I was saying, in the county, till a cruel disease, called a cancer, came, and bowed her down with pain; but it could never bend her good spirits, or make them stoop. but they were still upright, because she was so good and religious. Then I told
how she was used to sleep by herself in a lone chamber of the great lone house: and how she believed that an apparition of two infants was to be seen at midnight gliding up and down the great staircase near where she slept; but she said those innocents would do her no harm ;' and how frightened I used to be, though in those days I had my maid to sleep with me, because I was never half so good or religious as she and yet I never saw the infants. Here John expanded all his eyebrows, and tried to look courageous. Then I told how good she was to all her grandchildren, having us to the great house in the holidays, where 1, in particular, used to spend many hours by myself in gazing upon the old busts of the twelve Cæsars that had been emperors of Rome, till the old marble heads would seem to live again, or I be turned into marble with them; how I never could be tired with roaming about that huge mansion, with its vast empty rooms, with their worn-out hang. ings, fluttering tapestry, and carved oaken panels, with the gilding almost rubbed out--sometimes in the spacious old-fashioned gardens, which I had almost to myself, unless when now and then a solitary gardening man would cross me-and how the nectarines and peaches hung upon the walls, without my ever offering to pluck them, because they were forbidden fruit. unless now and then, and because I had more pleasure in strolling about among the old melancholy-looking yew-trees, or the firs, and picking up the red berries and the fir apples, which were good for nothing but to look at; or in lying about upon the fresh grass, with all the fine garden smells around me; or basking in the orangery, till I could almost fancy myself ripening, too, along with the oranges and the limes, in that grateful warmth; or in watching the dace that darted to and fro in the fishpond at the bottom of the garden, with here and there a great sulky pike hanging midway down the water in silent state, as if it mocked at their impertinent friskings. I had more pleasure in these busy-idle diversions than in all the sweet flavours of peaches, nectarines, oranges, and such-like common baits of children. Here John slyly deposited back upon the plate a bunch of grapes, which, not unobserved by Alice, he bad meditated dividing with her, and both seemed willing to relinquish them for the present as irrelevant. Then, in somewhat a more heightened tone, I told how, though their great-grandmother Field loved all her grandchildren, yet in an especial manner she might be said to love their uncle, John L- , because he was so spirited a youth, and a king to the rest of us; and, instead of moping about in Solitary corners, like some of us, he would mount the most mettlesome horse be could get, when but an imp no bigger than themselves, and make it carry him half over the county in a morning, and join the hunters when there were any out; and yet he loved the old great house and gardens too, but had too much spirit to be always pent up within their boundaries; and how their uncle grew up to man's estate as brave as he was handsome, to the admiration of everybody, but of their great-grandmother Field most especially; and how be used to carry me upon his back when I was a lame-footed boy- for he was a good bit older than me-many a mile when I could not walk for pain; and how, in after-life he became lame-footed too, and I did not always, I fear, make allowances enough for him when he was impatient and in pain, nor remember sufficiently how considerate he had been to me when I was lame-footed ; and how, when he died, though he had not been dead an hour, it seemed as if he had died a great while ago, such a distance there is betwixt life and death; and how I bore his death, as I thought, pretty well at first, but afterwards it haunted and haunted me; and though I did not cry or take to heart as come do, and as I think he would have done if I had died, yet I missed bim all day long, and knew not till then how much I had loved him. I missed his kindness, and I missed his crossness, and wished him to be alive again, to be quarrelling with him -for we quarrelled sometimes-rather than not have him again; and was as uneasy without him, as he, their poor uncle, must have been when the doctor took off his limb. Here the children fell a-crying, and asked if their little mourning which they had on was not for Uncle John; and they looked up and prayed me not to go on about their uncle, but to tell them some stories about their pretty dead mother. Then I told how, for seven long years, in hope sometimes, sometimes in despair, yet persisting ever, I courted the fair Alice W- ; and, as much as children could understand, I explained to them what coyness, and difficulty, and denial meant in maidens: when suddenly turning to Alice, the soul of the first Alice looked out at
eality of re-presentment, that I became in doubt which of them stood there before me, or whose that bright hair was; and while I stood gazing, both the children gradually grew fainter to my view, receding, and still receding, till nothing at last but two mournful features were seen in the uttermost distance, which, without speech, strangely impressed upon me the effects of speech : We are not of Alice, nor of thee; nor are we children at all. The children of Alico call Bartrum father. We are nothing, less than nothing, and dreams. We are only what might have been, and must wait upon the tedious shores of Lethe millions of ages before we have existence and a naine;' and immediately awaking, I found myself quietiy seated in my bachelor arm-chair, where I had fallen asleep, with the faithful Bridget unchanged by my sider-but John L. (or James Elia) was gone for ever.
Poor Relations. A poor relation is the most irrelevant thing in nature, a piece of impertinent correspondency, an odious approximation, a haunting conscience, a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noontide of your prosperity, an unwelcome remembrancer, a perpetually recurring mortification, å drain on your purse, a more intolerable dun upon your pride, a drawback upon success, a rebuke to your rising, a stain in your blood, a blot on your scutcheon, a rent in your garment, a death's-head at your banquet, Agathocles' pot, a Mordecai in your gate, a Lazarus at your door, a lion in your path, a in your chamber, a fiy in your ointment, a mote in your eye, a triumph to your enemy, an apology to your friends, the one thing not needful, the hail in harvest, the ounce of sour in a pound of sweet.
He is known by his knock. Your heart telleth you, . That is Mr A rap between familiarity and respect, that demands, and at the same time seems to despair of entertainment. He entereth smiling and embarrassed. He holdeth out his hand to you to shake, and draweth buck again. He casually looketh in about dinner-time. when the table is full. He offereth to go away, seeing you have company, but is induced to stay. He filleth a chair, and your visitor's two children are accommodated at a side-table. He never cometh upon open days, when your wife says with some complacency: My dear, perhaps Mr will drop in to-day.' He remembereth birthdays, and professeth he is fortunate to have stumbled upon one. He declareth against fish, the turbot being small, yet suffereth himself to be importuned into a slice against his first resolution. He sticketh by the port, yet will be prevailed upon to empty the remainder glass of claret, if a stranger press it upon him. He is a puzzle to the servants, who are fearful of being too obsequious, or not civil enough to him. The guests think they have seen him before. Every one speculateth upon his condition; and the most part take him to be a tide-waiter. He calleth you by your Christian name, to imply that his other is the same with your own. He is too familiar by half, yet you wish he had less diffidence. With half the familiarity. he might pass for a casual dependent; with more boldness he would be in no danger of being taken for what he is. He is too humble for a friend, yet taketh on him more state than befits a client. He is a worse guest than a country tenant, inasmuch as he bringeth up no rent; yet 'tis odds, from his garb and demeanour, that your guests take him for one. He is asked to make one at the whist-table; refuseth on the score of poverty, and resents being left out. When the company break up, he proffereth to go for a coach, and lets the servant go. He recollects your grandfather : and will thrust in some mean and quite unimportant anecdote of the family. He knew it when it was not quite so flourishing as he is blest in seeing it now.' He reviveth past situations, to institute what he calleth favourable comparisons. With a reflecting sort of congratulation he will inquire the price of your furniture; and insult you with a special commendation of your window-curtains. He is of opinion that the urn is the more elegant shape; but, after all, there was something more comfortable about the old tea-kettle, which you must remember. He dare say you must find a great convenience in having a carriage of your own, and appealeth to your lady if it is not so. Inquireth if you have had your arms done on vellum yet; and did not know till lately that such and such had been the crest of the family. His memory is unseasonable, his complimente perverso, his talk a trouble, his stay pertinacious; and when he goeth away, you dismiss his chair into a corner as precipitately as possible, and feel fairly rid of two nuisances.
There is a worse evil under the sun, and that is a female poor relation, You may do something with the other; you may pass him off tolerably well; but your indigent she-relative is hopeless. He is an old humorist,' you may say, and affects to go
threadbare. His circumstances are better than folks would take them to be. Yon are fond of having a character at your table, and truly he is one. But in the indi. cations of female poverty there can be no disguise. No woman dresses below herself from caprice. The truth must out without shafning. She is plainly related to the I- s, or what does she at their house?' She is, in all probability, your wife's cousin. Nine times out of ten, at least, this is the case. Her garb is something between a gentlewoman and a beggar, yet the former evidently predominates. She is most provokingly humble, and ostentatiously sensible to her inferiority. He may require to be repressed sometimes aliquando su flaminandus erat-but there is no raising her. You send her soup at dinner, and she begs to be helped after the gentlemen. Mr.---requests the honor of taking wine with her; she hesitates between port and Madeira, and chooses the former because he does. She calls the servant sir; and insists on not troubling him to hold her plate. The housekeeper patronises her. The children's governess takes upon her to correct her when she has mistaker the piano for a harpischord.
The Origin of Roast Pig. Mankind, says a Chinese manuscript, which my friend M. was obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw, clawing or biting it from the living animal, just as they do in Abyssinia to this day. This period is not obscurely hinted at by their great Confucius in the second chapter of his Mundane Mutations, where he designates a kind of golden age by the term Cho-fang, literally the Cooks' Holiday. The manuscript goes on to say, that the art of roasting, or rather broiling (which I take to be the elder brother) was accidentally discovered in the manner following. The swineherd Ho-ti, having gone out into the woods one morning, as his manner was, to collect mast for his hogs, left his cottage in the care of his eldest son, Bo-bo, & great lubberly boy, who being fond of playing with fire, as younkers of his age commonly are, let some sparks escape into a bundle of straw, which kindling quickly, spread the conflagration over every part of their poor mansion, till it was reduced to ashes. Together with the cottage (a sorry antediluvian make-shift of a building, you may think it), what was of much more importance, a fine litter of new-farrowed pigs, no less than nine in number, perished.* China pigs have been esteemed a luxury all over the East, from the remotest periods that we read of. Bo-bo was in the utmost consternation, as you may think, not so much for the sake of the tenement, which his father and he could easily build up again with a few dry branches, and the labour of an hour or two, at any time, as for the loss of the pigs. While he was thinking what he should say to his father, and wringing his hands over the smoking remnants of one of those untimely sufferers, an odour asgailed his nostrils, unlike any scent which he had before experienced. What could it proceed from ?-not from the burnt cottage-he had smelt that smell before-indeed this was by no means the first accident of the kind which had occurred through the negligence of this unlucky young fire-brand. Much less did it resemble that of any known herb, weed, or flower. A premonitory moistening at the same time overflowed his nether lip. He knew not what to think. He next stooped down to feel the pig, if there were any signs of life in it. Hebu aed his fingers, and to cool them he applied them in his booby fashion to his mouth. Some of the crumbs of the scorched skin had come away with his fingers, and for the first time in his life (in the world's life, indeed, for before him no man had known it) he tasted-crackling! Again he felt and fumbled at the pig. It did not burn him so much now, still he licked his fingers from a sort of habit. The truth at length broke into his slow understanding that it was the pig that smelt so, and the pig that tasted so delicions; and surrendering himself up to the new-born pleasure, he fell to tearing up whole handfulls of the scorched skin with the flesh next it, and was cramming it down his throat in his beastly fashion, when his sire entered amid the smoking rafters, armed with retributory cudgel, and finding how affairs stood, began to rain blows upon the young rogue's shoulders, as thick as hail-stones, which Bo-bo heeded not any more than if they had been flies. The tickling pleasure which he experienced in his lower regions had rendered him quite callous to any inconveniences he might feel in those remote quarters. His father might lay on, but he could not beat him from his pig, till he had fairly made an end of it, when, becoming a little more sensible of his situation, something like the following dialogue ensued: