Abbildungen der Seite

of precedence runs thus: Robe, gown, pan-I of society; and neither are conferred for sertaloon, breeches. Robe is sublime, and may vices of a very eminent kind. The kind be used in epic poetry. Gown, that is to say, j of merit which procures a pair of breeches an academical gown, is sufficiently staid and for an agricultural laborer is very much

dignified to be mentioned in high-flying piose. Pantaloons never find their way into any composition superior to a comedy or a novel; and breeches are usually buried altogether under some euphemism. The rural magnates who preside over Agricultural Societies have fallen into great trouble from ignoring

the same kind of merit as that which usually procures the garter for a peer. It consists chiefly in having kept himself out of mischief, and having got together more money than his neighbors. Yet how different is the grandeur of the two words! Perhaps, however, that is a mere question of

the Pariah character of this last word. No class. Very possibly the breeches are looked

[blocks in formation]

The First Paper Monet In Europe.— The following account of the first issue of paper money in Europe is taken from Washington Irving's "Chronicle of the Conquest of Grenada : "—

"After the city of Alhambra was taken from the Moors, the veteran Count ilc Tcndilla was left governor, and we wcro informed that this cavalier at ono time was destitute of gold and silver wherewith to pay the wages of his troops, and the soldiers murmured greatly, seeing that they had not the means of purchasing necessities from the people of tha towns.

"In this dilemma what docs this most sagacious commander? He takes him a number of little morsels of paper, on which he inscribes various sums, large and small, according to the nature of the case, and signs them with his own hand, and these did he give to the soldiery in earnest of their pay. How, you will say, arc soldiers to be paid with scraps of paper? Even Bo, I answer, and well paid too, as I will presently make manifest; for the good count issued a proclamation ordering the inhabitants of Alhambra to take these morsels of paper for the fall amount thereon inscribed, promising to redeem them at a future time with silver and gold, and threatening severe punishment on all who should refuse.

"The people having full confidence in his


words, and trusting that he would be as willing to perform the one promise as ho certainly was able to perform the other, took these curious morsels of paper without hesitation or demur. Thus by a subtle and most mysterious kind of alchemy did this cavalier turn a useless paper into precious gold, and make his impoverished garrison abound in money. It is but just to udd that the Count of Tcndilla redeemed his promise like a loyal knight; and this miracle, as it appeared in the eyes of Antonio Agrepieda, is the first instance on record in Europe of paper money, which has since inundated the civilized world with unbounded opulence."

Death Op Adam The Battle-painter.— Albrecht Adam, the German battle-painter and the Nestor of Munich artists, is just dead, at the age of fcvcnty-six. He began life, like Claude, as a pastry-cook's apprentice; and after quitting that profession, passed through stirring scenes, and saw a good deal of the life of camps. He went through the campaign in Russia as far as the burning of Moscow, in the suite of Eugene Bcauharnais, and ihe Austrian campaign. Two of his large battle-pieces, " Novaro " and " Custozza," are in the new Finacothek in Munich; and a third, "Zorndorf" was finished shortly before his death for the Maximilianeum.

From Tho Saturday Review. ROBERT STORY.*

A Man who has been successively, or simultaneously, a shepherd, plowman, private tutor, schoolmaster, fiddler, newspaper contributor and editor, rate collector, parish clerk, and Civil Servant in Somerset House, and all along a poet, besides trying once to be a sailor, must, on the whole, be something extraordinary, and his biography cannot fail to have the interest of abrupt transitions and sudden surprises. Such was Robert Story. When we add to this large variety of the external phases of human existence, the intrinsic qualities of a fond and feeling heart, a social and genial temperament, and a firm bottom of religious principle unalloyed by cant or extravagance, and tested by many severe crises of financial distress and domestic bereavement, we must be allowed to have before us a man worthy of mark while living, and of memory when dead. A passing trance of Deism in the dreamily eager period of his intellectual development, and a youthful sin of incontinence which charged his later life with embarrassment, are all the inconsistencies with his better self which a candid examination of Story's biography reveals. No doubt the examples of imprudence, in several rash steps which he took in quest of fame, or livelihood, or mere vicissitude of task and scene, are a proper complement of his sanguine and uncalculating character. Throughout his shiftful life a man of small means but many friends, Story seems always to have found the amicus certus a substantial resource amidst the res incerta. If he was not backward to claim assistance, he found the wide circle who loved and admired him even more ready to respond to his cry of distress, or to relieve it unsolicited, than he was to invoke their aid. The fact that only in a few fitful flashes did his fame emerge from the mezzotint of provincial celebrity, is really to be set down among the substantial successes of his career. Perhaps no man ever went so far in reversing the adage of the "prophet" in "his own country." In London, he was a mere jovial, somewhat thriftless, Civil Service clerk, with a scanty inner circle of warm bosom friends. In all the land from the Humber to the

* The Lyrical and Minor Potms of Kobert Story, with o Sketch of hit Life and Wriiinm. By John James, F.S.A. London: Longman & Co.

Cheviot-side he was invited, welcomed, feted, and caressed, by duke, by mill-owner, by bagman, by tapster, and by peasant. No man, perhaps also, has ever made so much real hard cash by publication of poems by j subscription. His canvassing tours for names were invariably successes, though not, of course, equally remunerative in all cases. On one occasion—

"The subscription-list did not fill as he expected; but the late Miss Currer, the amiable proprietor of Eshton Hall, and a true friend of literary merit, to whom he had dedicated the work, somewhat made up the deficiency by presenting him with twenty pounds."

On the publication of his longest poem, OutTirum the Dane, his biographer remarks :—

"He dedicated it, at my suggestion, to his stanch friend, Miss Reaney of Bradford, now Mrs. Thornton, who (in this and many other instances) proved that «he was the worthy patroness of a worthy poet by subscribing for eighty copies."

Again, when towards the close of his life he projected a collected edition of his works, and invoked the patronage of the Duke of Northumberland, that nobleman—

"not only gave permission for the volume to be dedicated to him, but suggested that it should be adorned at his expense, in a manner befitting the contents. . . . The work was printed in colors, by Messrs. Pigg of Newcastle, and in a style of beauty and magnificence which I do not remember to have seen equalled by the provincial press. . . . The mere expense of adorning the work cost his Grace five hundred pounds."

To turn from the m&re bulky and elab* orate to the lighter and more fugitive pieces of the volume now before us, these latter are the genuine effusions of the man in the mood of the moment. They consist of artless raptures evoked by the presence of the hills, streams, woodlands, birds, breezes, and wild-flowers of the poet's native scenery, or by the remembrance of the same, stirred up amid the contrast of other scenes. There., arc also addresses to friends on all occasions —the marriage-bell, the mourning, the parting, the meeting again, the festive-board, the reminiscences of the dead. These are interspersed with occasional patriotic outbursts to the "Altar," the "Throne," the "old

war-flag," the " ancient barons," " our Saxon fathers," "the wives and the mothers of Britain," and come down to the period when "Sebastopol " was " low." In all these our poet rather rings the changes pleasantly on a sweet peal of village bells than yields the broad swell and full deep compass which mark the higher masters of the lyric art. In the manner, too, there is sometimes a bare escape—even if an escape—from a somewhat bold and prosaic form of expression, and an occasional dip into the penny-a-liner's empty-bottle style, which makes us remember the provincial journalist in the poet. Still, with a few such exceptions, though he flies low, like a swallow skimming summer meads and streams, he is undeniably on the wing, and hardly ever drops into a sermopedestris; and, though he chases the bee and butterfly, his movements are lively and varied, his flight nimble, and his turns of thought, if obvious, yet graceful. Though called the "Burns of Beaumont Side," he will remind every reader far more of Moore than of Burns. He lacks, indeed, the exquisite polish and finish of the Irish songster, and the perfect execution in rendering the thought to the ear, yet he has more of the genuine charm of sincerity, and a purer rustic grace of nature and truth. A few of Burns's lighter verses might be fairly compared with his. Yet, taking " Ye banks and braes " as a specimen of Burns in the mood of a simple nature-worshipper—in which Story, on the whole, shines most fairly and frequently —there is something quaint and exquisite in the earlier poet's simple contrast of the things without and the thoughts within the mind, which passes far beyond the superficial assonance with nature to be found in Story's endless variations on his loved Roddam, Craven, Howsden, Cheviot, and Homil-Heugh. Yet we mark the contrast in no spirit of depreciation; but rather to indicate the standard up to which our author comes more effectively, if negatively, by showing that of which he falls short.

The following, probably, treads more closely on the heels of Burns than anything in the volume. The bard, revisiting, as usual, the hills of his youth, relieves his feelings in rhyme, which turns on a flower, " a bonnie pink," he had thought of plucking; but a second and "tenderer" thought checked his hand :—

"' For wha kens,' pled the thought, 'but this

bonnic flower bloomin' May have some kin' o' feclin' or sense of its


It'll change wi' the lift, be it smilin' or gloomin' Exult in the sunshine, an' droop in the rain.

"' An' v. ]i:i kens that it has na some pleasure in gi'ein'

Its bloom to the e'e an* its sweets to the day * That it has na a secret an' sweet sense o' btin'?'

So I left it to bloom on its ain native brae 1"

The poet then proceeds to point the moral

j in the next stanza—the more forcibly, we

grieve to remember, as it had been the very

lesson which he himself in youth forgot.

i The "bonnie pink " is a "bonnie lass," and

the finder is admonished—

"Then if he can mak' her a wife, let him tak'


An' bear her in joy an* in triumph away! But oh ! if he canna—beguile her lie manna, But leave her to blooin on her own native brae!"

To say that a lyrist may be compared at once with Moore and with Burns, even though we necessarily apply each comparison with limitation, is of itself no mean i praise. There is a wide range of points on 'which no poet can be matched with Burns. 'The powerful, homely vigor which drives deep the thought with a stroke, the native ! edge of mind that hews Scotch granite i whilst others arc scratching in alabaster, were the Muse's gift to him. While others, Story for example, gently tickle, Burns pokes his finger into your ribs right home upon the laughing nerve. Where others ! send up lively jets of sentiment, Burns unsluices his great waters of pathos. Yet in Story, too, when plaintively roused, we feel j that it is a human heart pleading artlessly i the bitterness of loss in those we love, or I the desolating contrast in the promises of j hope broken by time. Three sets of brief ! and tender verses, in which he mourns the . deaths of three children within two yean, ; in pages 143, 145, 148-9, are fair samples. We will quote one or two stanzas, which may bear comparison with average specimens of Hood:—

"We often laughed at Fanny,

But we loved her while wo laughed;
She was so odd a mixture
Of simplicity and craft.
Whatc'cr she thought she uttered,

And her words—she " reckoned non't"
Of the fine flash talk of London—
She was Yorkshire out and out!

And we oft recall her sayings,

Her playfulness and craft;
But now, 'tis odd, we weep the most

At what the most we laughed!"

Again, the poet has lost a son, and sings:—

"Mv William died in London,

In London broad and brave;
His life was but a little drop

Dashed from her mighty wave!
And few there were that mourned my boy,
When he went to his grave.

0 London! fatal London!

How proud to come was I!
How proud was he 1 how proud were all!

And all have come—to die!
Pass on, sad years, and close the tale

With its best words—' Herb Lie.'"

And again, a daughter has dropped into an early grave :—

"Sleep, my Mary' Sleep, my Mary!

Dream not th'ou art left alone; Listen, Mary! Listen, Mary!

Well was once my footstep known! Hush! that sob was much too loud;

Glad am I the grave is deep! It would pain her in her shroud,

Could she hear her father weep!"

Here is a lighter specimen of thought struck out by the damp of a new house; but the bard—audacious trifler—is playing with edge tools:—

"The walls yet sparkle to my lamp—
May Heaven protect us from the damp!
But if it must destroy one life,
Suppose, just now, it take my wife.
Well, free again, I chat and rove
With beauty in the moonlight grove,
Till my heart dances to the tune
Sweet of a second honeymoon.
'Tis a most pleasant thought!—Bat stay!
Suppose it just the other way;
Suppose it spares my loving wife,
And takes her loving husband's life;
And further, that another swain
Assumes the matrimonial rein,
And drives the team 1 drive at present,
By Jove! this thought is not so pleasant."

The troubled political waters of the period immediately before and after the passing of the Beform Bill colored Story's existence deeply, and brought out his heart warmly on the Conservative side. His partisan warmth was such as to kindle for him the fires of representative martyrdom, and

he was burnt "in effigy" out of the little town of Gargrave, near Skipton, where he had for some time had a thriving school. He lost thereby his clerkship of the parish, and threw himself for a livelihood yet deeper into the same troubled stream, becoming editor of the Carlisle Patriot, for which town Sir James Graham was then the Conservative candidate, in whose behalf he wrote "vigorous leaders," and who promised permanent assistance, perhaps on the chance of success, but who, it seems, on losing the election, straightway forgot his humble backer, and Story returned to the schoolroom once more, but not for long. On a registration objection, he was struck off the list of voters by the influence of the hostile faction, and being resolved to retain the .sweet pleasure, at all hazards, of "plumping" for the Conservative candidate, made a rash investment in cottage property, which enabled his creditors to bring him to great temporary straits. He returned, on his school dwindling through his political zeal, to Gargrave again for a short while, and was soon after appointed a " supernumerary," as he too late discovered, in the audit office, through the instrumentality of the late Sir Robert Peel.

The rest of his tale is soon told. He removed on this to London, where scanty means, a precarious appointment, a sickly family, and several unhealthy abodes in succession soon brought him sore trials. His friends, however, rallied to his support, and his clerkship was made permanent, and in a few years his salary increased. Placed for the first time beyond the shifts and straits of want, his health soon began to fail. He contracted a heart-complaint, which was supposed almost to the last to be but a temporary ailment, and was cut short while yet apparently in the prime of his powers. He cherished to the last his love of friends and of the muse, and was solaced in his final sickness by the kindness of the Duke of Northumberland. But the candle of life burnt suddenly out, and a widow and several children are left to hang with trembling hopes on the profits of this and his other works.



The Scene represents the Breakfast-Table at Mr. and Mrs. Naggleton's lodgings at a Watering-Place. The distinguished couple at breakfast.

Mr. Naggleton (who is Justifiably cross, because he went out late to buy a " Times" and all the copies had been sold to unknown persons, whom he therefore hates). What bad tea!

Mrs. N. There's coffee.

Mr. N. That's worse.

Mrs. N. It was not my fault that water didn't boil, I suppose.

Mr. N. No. But I suppose it was your fault for using water that didn't boil.

Mrs. N. Do you want to have a fire in the parlor with the thermometer at 70°? or do you wish your wife to go down into the kitchen of a lodging-house, and heat the kettle?

Mr. N. I only wish to have decent tea or coffee.

Mrs. N. You have managed to drink both such as they are; so if I were you I would «ay no more about it.

Mr. N. I am much obliged for your advice, and should be more obliged if you would condescend to attend to what I believe is a woman's department.

Mrs. N. If you had gone to an hotel, you could have bad all the luxuries, the want of which makes you so amiable.

Mr. N. I didn't choose to go to an hotel.

Mrs. N. Then you must take things as you find them.

Mr. N. I have had good breakfasts at the sea-side in other days.

Mrs. N. I am happy to hear it. That makes it all the fairer that you should sometimes put up with bad ones. Not that the breakfast has been bad to-day, only your temper.

Mr. N. I say it has been bad. The shrimps were anything but fresh.

Mrs. N. Do you wish me to get up early in the morning, and go out shrimping?

Mr. N. I certainly wish you would get up early in the morning as it is ridiculous to be breakfasting at ten o'clock at the sea-side.

Mrs. N. I don't see why people should come to the sea to make themselves uncomfortable.

Mi: XT. Not I; nor why they should make other people so.

Mrs. N. Well, as you are in a sweet humor, I shall take my novel and go down to the beach and read, and perhaps you'll be in a happier frame of mind by lunch-time.

Mr. N. When a novel-fit is on you, it is useless for me to expect any attention. If you imitated some of the perfection you are so fond of reading about, it might not be amiss.

Mrs. N. Very neat, dear, and very new, and very much calculate'd to make an impression.

Mr. N. (who is, somehow, getting the worst of it, and is aware of the fact). Of course. Any scribbler's sentiments have more weight with you than your husband's.

Mrs. N. Well, dear, I am not unreasonable. I do not ask you for sentiments. Sentiment at your time of life would be about as suitable to you as leap-frog.

Mr. N. (in despair, castles). Pray don't let that anchovy paste come up any more— it is not fit to be upon the table.

Mrs. N. You bought it yourself.

Mi: N. Because I could get nothing else provided for me. I shall throw it out of the window if I see it again.

Mrs. N. Pray do, or commit any other act of boyish impatience. I suppose you conduct yourself in that ridiculous way in the hope of seeming younger than you are.

Mr. N. (think> he sees an opening). No, my dear. I have given sufficient proof, in the later part of my life, of not being as wise as I ought to be, considering.

Mrs. N. (carelessly). Have you, love? Never mind. It's too late for regrets now. But (arrested in the midst of her victory, and angrily) it's too early to begin smoking that abominable pipe.

Mr. N. (availing himself of the enemy's indiscretion). I observe, my dear, that the names of things vary with the temper of the speakers. This is a pipe, when you are in a rage, but it is a meerschaum, when you are going to fill and light it, preparatory to some little domestic manoeuvre.

Mrs. N. A man who deserved to be called a husband would not make domestic manoeuvres necessary, and a husband who deserved to be called a man would not reproach a wife with any little display of kindness. However, such a thing will not occur again.

« ZurückWeiter »