페이지 이미지

Prince's every wish and object, I could neither have respected the gift, the giver, or myself; but when I consider how recently it was my misfortune to find myself compelled by a sense of duty, stronger than my attachment to him, wholly to risk the situation I held in his confidence and favour, and that upon a subject * on which his feelings were so eager and irritable, I cannot but regard the increased attention, with which he has since honoured me, as a most gratifying demonstration that he has clearness of judgment and firmness of spirit to distinguish the real friends to his true glory and interests from the mean and mercenary sycophants, who fear and abhor that such friends should be near him. It is satisfactory to me, also, that this appointment also gives me the title and opportunity of seeing the Prince, on trying occasions, openly and in the face of day, and puts aside the mask of mystery and concealment. I trust I need not add, that whatever small portion of fair influence I may at any time possess with the prince, it shall be uniformly exerted to promote those feelings of duty and affection towards their Majesties, which, though seemingly interrupted by adverse circumstances, I am sure are in his heart warm and unalterable

-and, as far as I may presume, that general concord throughout his illustrious family, which must be looked to by every honest subject, as an essential part of the public strength at this momentous period. I have the honour to be, with great respect and esteem,

Your obedient servant,

R. B. SHERIDAN. Right Hon. Henry Addington.

SHERIDAN'S PERSONAL APPEARANCE. WHEN young, he was generally accounted handsome; but in later years his eyes were the only testimonials of beauty that remained to him. It was, indeed, in the upper part of his face that the spirit of the man chiefly reigned, the dominion of the world and the senses being rather strongly marked out in the lower. In his person he was about the middle size, and his general make was robust and well proportioned. It is remark. able that his arms, though of powerful strength, were thin, and appeared by no means muscular. His hands were small and

The offer made by the Prince of his personal services in 1803,-on which occasion Sheridan coincided with the views of Mr. Addington some. what more than was agreeable to his Royal Highness.

delicate ; and the following couplet, written on a cast from one of them, very livelily enumerates both its physical and moral qualities :

Good at a Fight, but better at a Play,
Godlike in Giving, but—the Devil to Pay!

THE PRINCE ON MOORE'S “LIFE OF SHERIDAN." From a work called “Sheridan and his Times” the following is extracted :

“Watson, the Prince Regent's purse-bearer, having approached his royal master when the latter was busily engaged in scanning the pages of Moore's Life of Sheridan,' the Prince, rising from his seat, said,

“Let your business wait a little until you have answered my question. Have you seen Moore lately, or does he keep himself hidden from public observation ?

“I have not seen Mr. Moore lately, your Royal Highness, but I understand he is staying at Lansdowne House,' was Watson's reply.

On which the Prince rejoined, 'Look him out, sir, if you have any charity for the man. Bid him abscond, if he would avoid the penalty of the law, and escape indictment under Lord Ellenborough's Act rendering cutting and maiming a capital felony.'

“With a look of astonishment, Watson exclaimed, 'Impossible, your Royal Highness !

“Impossible, sir? Why, I have before me,' retorted the Prince, the most conclusive evidence of his having barbarously attempted the life of Sheridan.'"


By Lord Byron. Spoken by Mr. Rae, at Drury Lane, on the 7th Sepiember,

When the last sunshine of expiring day
In summer's twilight weeps itself away,
Who hath not felt the softness of the hour
Sink on the heart, as dew along the flower,

With a pure feeling which absorbs and awes,
While nature makes that melancholy pause
Her breathing moment on the bridge where Time
Of light and darkness forms an arch sublime ?
Who hath not shared that calm so still and deep,
The voiceless thought which could not speak but weep,--
A holy concord, and a bright regret,
A glorious sympathy with suns that set?
'Tis not harsh sorrow, but a tender woe,
Nameless, but dear to gentle hearts below;
Felt without bitterness, but full and clear;
A sweet dejection-a transparent tear
Unmix'd with worldly grief or selfish stain,
Shed without shame, and secret without pain.
Even as the tenderness that hour instils
When summer's day declines along the hills,
So feels the fulness of our heart and eyes
When all of genius which can perish dies.

A mighty spirit is eclipsed-a power
Hath pass'd from day to darkness, to whose hour
Of light no likeness is bequeath'd-no name,
Focus at once of all the rays of fame!
The flash of wit, the bright intelligence,
The beam of song, the blaze of eloquence,
Set with their sun-but still have left behind
The enduring produce of immortal mind;
Fruits of a genial morn and glorious noon,
A deathless part of him who died too soon.
But small that portion of the wondrous whole,
These sparkling segments of that circling soul,
Which all embraced and lightened over all,
To cheer, to pierce, to please, or to appal;
From the charm'd council to the festive board,
Of human feelings the unbounded lord,
In whose acclaim the loftiest voices vied-
The praised, the proud, who made his praise their pride
When the loud cry of trampled Hindostan
Arose to Heaven in her appeal from man,
His was the thunder, his the avenging rod-
The wrath, the delegated voice of God!
Which shook the nations through his lips, and blazed
Till vanquished senates trembled as they praised.

And here, oh, here I where yet, all young and warm,
The gay creations of his spirit charm,-
The matchless dialogue, the deathless wit
Which knew not what it was to intermit,
The glowing portraits fresh from life that bring
Home to our hearts the truth from which they spring
These wondrous beings of his fancy wrought
To fulness by the fiat of his thought,
Here, in their first abode, you still may meet,
Bright with the hues of his Promethean heat,
A halo of the light of other days
Which still the splendour of its orb betrays.

But should there be to whom the fatal blight
Of failing wisdom yields a base delight-
Men who exult when minds of heavenly tone
Jar in the music which was born their own
Still let them pause-ah ! little do they know
That what to them seemed vice might be but woe

Hard is his fate on whom the public gaze
Is fixed for ever, to detract or praise ;
Repose denies her requiem to his name,
And Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame.
The secret enemy, whose sleepless eye
Stands sentinel, accuser, judge, and spy;
The foe, the fool, the jealous, and the vain ;
The envious, who but breathe in others' pain :
Behold the host ! delighting to deprave,
Who track the steps of Glory to the grave,
Watch every fault that daring genius owes
Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,
Distort the truth, accumulate the lie,
And pile the pyramid of calumny!
These are his portion; but if, joined to these,
Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease ;
If the high spirit must forget to soar,
And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,
To soothe Indignity, and face to face
Meet sordid Rage, and wrestle with Disgrace;
To find in Hope but the renewed caress,
The serpent-fold of further faithlessness
If such may be the ills which men assail,
What marvel if at last the mightiest fail?

Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given,
Bear hearts electric, charged with fire from heaven;
Black with the rude collision, inly torn,
By clouds surrounded, and on whirlwinds borne,
Driven o'er the louring atmosphere that nurst
Thoughts which have turned to thunder, scorch and burst.

But far from us, and from our mimic scene,
Such things should be, if such have ever been :
Ours be the gentler wish, the kinder task,
To give the tribute Glory need not ask ;
To mourn the vanished beam, and add our mite
Of praise in payment of a long delight.

Ye orators, whom yet our councils yield,
Mourn for the veteran hero of your field !

The worthy rival of the wondrous Three, *
Whose words were sparks of immortality.
Ye bards, to whom the drama's muse is dear,
He was your master-emulate him here!
Ye men of wit and social eloquence,
He was your brother-bear his ashes hence !
While powers of mind almost of boundless range,
Complete in kind as various in their change;
While eloquence, wit, poesy, and mirth,
That humbler harmonist of care on earth,
Survive within our souls ; while lives our sense
Of pride in merit's proud pre-eminence,
Long shall we seek his likeness, long in vain,
And turn to all of him which may remain,
Sighing that Nature formed but one such man,
And broke the die, in moulding Sheridan!


“ WHATEVER Sheridan has done or chosen to do has been, par excellence, always the best of its kind. He has written the best comedy, 'The School for Scandal ;' the best opera, 'The Duenna' (in my mind far before that St. Giles's lampoon, “The Beggars' Opera'); the best farce, “The Critic'—it is only too good for a farce; and the best address, the 'Monologue on

* Fox, Pitt, Burke.

« 이전계속 »