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finished their dinner, and proceeded in their Jonson for a retainer in a similar capacity ; pamphlet, which they concluded in the after- and Jonson's link with the preceding writers
could be easily supplied through the medium "Mr. Savage then imagined that his task of Greville and Sidney, and indeed of many was over, and expected that Sir Richard would others of his contemporaries. Here then we call for the reckoning, and return home; but arrive at Shakspeare, and feel the electric his expectations deceived him, for Sir Richard virtue of his hand. Their intimacy, dashed a told him that he was without money, and that little, perhaps, with jealousy on the part of the pamphlet must be sold before the dinner Jonson, but maintained to the last by dint of could be paid for, and Savage was therefore the nobler part of him, and of Shakspeare's obliged to go and offer their new production for irresistible fineness of nature, is a thing as sale for two guineas, which with some difficulty notorious as their fame. Fuller says : "Many he obtained. Sir Richard then returned home, were the wit-combates betwixt (Shakspeare) having retired that day only to avoid his cre- and Ben Jonson, which two I behold like a ditors, and composed the pamphlet only to Spanish great galleon and an English man-ofdischarge his reckoning.”
war: master Jonson (like the former) was Steele's acquaintance with Pope, who wrote built far higher in learning : solid, but slow in some papers for his Guardian, appears in the his performances. Shakspeare, with the English letters and other works of the wits of that man-of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailtime. Johnson supposes that it was his friendly ing, could turn with all tides, tack about, and interference, which attempted to bring Pope take advantage of all winds, by the quickness and Addison together after a jealous separa- of his wit and invention.” This is a happy tion. Pope's friendship with Congreve appears simile, with the exception of what is insinuated also in his letters. He also dedicated the Iliad about Jonson's greater solidity. But let Jonson to Congreve, over the heads of peers and show for himself the affection with which he patrons. The dramatist, whose conversation regarded one, who did not irritate or trample most likely partook of the elegance and wit down rivalry, but rose above it like the sun, of his writings, and whose manners appear to and turned emulation to worship. have rendered him a universal favourite, had
Soul of the age ! the honour, in his youth, of attracting the Th’applause! delight! the wonder of our stage ! respect and regard of Dryden. He was pub- My Shakspeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by licly hailed by him as his successor, and affec
Chaucer or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room; tionately bequeathed the care of his laurels.
Thou art a monument without a tomb; Dryden did not know who had been looking at
And art alive still, while thy book doth live, him in the coffee-house.
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
He was not of an age, but for all time.
The anglers are a race of men who puzzle Against your judgment, your departed friend !
us. We do not mean for their patience, which Let not th' insulting foe my fame pursue, But shade those laurels which descend to you.
is laudable, nor for the infinite non-success of
some of them, which is desirable. Neither do Congreve did so, with great tenderness.
we agree with the good old joke attributed to Dryden is reported to have asked Milton's Swift, that angling is always to be considered permission to turn his Paradise Lost into a “a stick and a string, with a fly at one end rhyming tragedy, which he called the State of | and a fool at the other.” Nay, if he had books Innocence, or the Fall of Man; a work, such as with him, and a pleasant day, we can account might be expected from such a mode of alter- for the joyousness of that prince of punters, ation. The venerable poet is said to have who, having been seen in the same spot one answered, "Ay, young man, you may tag morning and evening, and asked whether he my verses, if you will." "Be the connexion, had had any success, said No, but in the course however, of Dryden with Milton, or of Milton of the day he had had “ a glorious nibble.” with Davenant, as it may, Dryden wrote the But the anglers boast of the innocence of alteration of Shakspeare's Tempest, as it is now their pastime; yet it puts fellow-creatures to perpetrated, in conjunction with Davenant. the torture. They pique themselves on their They were great hands, but they should not meditative faculties; and yet their only excuse have touched the pure grandeur of Shakspeare. is a want of thought. It is this that puzzles The intimacy of Davenant with Hobbes is to us. Old Isaac Walton, their patriarch, speakbe seen by their correspondence prefixed to ing of his inquisitorial abstractions on the Gondibert. Hobbes was at one time secretary | banks of a river, says, to Lord Bacon, a singularly illustrious instance
Here we may of servant and master. Bacon also had Ben
Think and pray,
There whilst behind some bush we wait
poet and a man of wit, is more good-natured Stops our breath.
and uneasy.* Cotton's pleasures had not been Other joys Are but toys,
confined to fishing. His sympathies indeed And to be lamented.
had been a little superabundant, and left him, So saying, he “stops the breath” of a trout, he pleased. Accordingly, we find in his writ
perhaps, not so great a power of thinking as by plucking him up into an element too thin ings more symptoms of scrupulousness upon to respire, with a hook and a tortured worm in his jaws
the subject, than in those of his father. Other joys
Walton says, that an angler does no hurt Are but toys.
but to fish ; and this he counts as nothing.
Cotton argues, that the slaughter of them is If you ride, walk, or skate, or play at cricket, not to be “repented ;” and he says to his or at rackets, or enjoy a ball or a concert, it is father (which looks as if the old gentleman
to be lamented.” To put pleasure into the faces of half a dozen agreeable women, is a
sometimes thought upon the subject too) toy unworthy of the manliness of a worm
The scaly people to betray, sticker. But to put a hook into the gills of a
We'll prove il just, with treacherous bait, carp—there you attain the end of a reasonable
To make the preying trout our prey. being ; there you show yourself truly a lord of
This argument, and another about fish's the creation. To plant your feet occasionally in the mud, is also a pleasing step. So is being made for “ man's pleasure and diet,” are cutting your ancles with weeds and stones
all that anglers have to say for the innocence
of their sport. But they are both as rank Other joys
sophistications as can be ; sheer beggings of Are but toys.
the question. To kill fish outright is a different The book of Isaac Walton upon angling is matter. Death is common to all; and a trout, a delightful performance in some respects. It speedily killed by a man, may suffer no worse smells of the country air, and of the flowers fate than from the jaws of a pike. It is the in cottage windows. Its pictures of rural mode, the lingering cat-like cruelty of the scenery, its simplicity, its snatches of old songs, ngler's sport, that renders it unworthy. If are all good and refreshing; and his prodigious fish were made to be so treated, then men relish of a dressed fish would not be grudged were also made to be racked and throttled by him, if he had killed it a little more decently. inquisitors. Indeed among other advantages He really seems to have a respect for a piece of angling, Cotton reckons up a tame, fishlike of salmon ; to approach it, like the grace, with acquiescence to whatever the powerful choose his hat off. But what are we to think of a to inflict. man, who in the midst of his tortures of other
We scratch not our pates, animals, is always valuing himself on his harm
Nor repine at the rates lessness; and who actually follows up one of
Our superiors impose on our living: his most complacent passages of this kind,
But do frankly submit,
Knowing they have more wit with an injunction to impale a certain worm
In demanding, than we have in giving. twice upon the hook, because it is lively, and might get off! All that can be said of such
Whilst quiet we sit,
We conclude all things fit, an extraordinary inconsistency is, that having
Acquiescing with hearty submission, &c. been bred up in an opinion of the innocence of his amusement, and possessing a healthy And this was no pastoral fiction. The anglers power of exercising voluntary thoughts (as far of those times, whose skill became famous as he had any), he must have dozed over the from the celebrity of their names, chiefly in opposite side of the question, so as to become divinity, were great fallers-in with passive almost, perhaps quite, insensible to it. And obedience. They seemed to think (whatever angling does indeed seem the next thing to they found it necessary to say now and then dreaming. It dispenses with locomotion, upon that point) that the great had as much reconciles contradictions, and renders the right to prey upon men, as the small had upon very countenance null and void. A friend of fishes; only the men luckily had not hooks ours, who is an admirer of Walton, was struck, put into their jaws, and the sides of their just as we were, with the likeness of the old cheeks torn to pieces. The two most famous angler's face to a fish. It is hard, angular, anglers in history are Antony and Cleopatra. and of no expression. It seems to have been These extremes of the angling character are “ subdued to what it worked in ;" to have very edifying. become native to the watery element. One
We should like to know what these grave might have said to Walton, “ Oh flesh, how divines would have said to the heavenly maxim art thou fishified !” He looks like a pike, of “Do as you would be done by." Let us dressed in broadcloth instead of butter. imagine ourselves, for instance, a sort of The face of his pupil and follower, or, as he
* The render may see both the portraits in the late fondly called himself, son, Charles Cotton, a
editions of Walton.
human fish. Air is but a rarer fluid ; and at triumph, an everlasting bonfire light ;” and present, in this November weather, a super- says it has saved him " a thousand marks in natural being who should look down upon us links and torches,” walking with it "in the from a higher atmosphere, would have some night, betwixt tavern and tavern." See how reason to regard us as a kind of pedestrian he goes heightening the account of his recruits carp. Now fancy a Genius fishing for us. at every step :-“ You would think I had a Fancy him baiting a great hook with pickled hundred and fifty tattered prodigals, lately salmon, and twitching up old Isaac Walton come from swine-keeping, from eating draff from the banks of the river Lee, with the hook and husks. — A mad fellow met me on the through his ear. How he would go up, roaring way, and told me, I had unloaded all the and screaming, and thinking the devil had got gibbets, and pressed the dead bodies—No eye him !
hath seen such scarecrows.- I'll not march Other joys
through Coventry with them, that's flat.-Nay, Are but toys.
and the villains march wide betwixt the legs, We repeat, that if fish were made to be so as if they had gyves on; for indeed I had most treated, then we were just as much made to of them out of prison. There's but a shirt be racked and suffocated ; and a footpad might and a-half in all my company ;-and the half have argued that old Isaac was made to have shirt is two napkins, tacked together, and his pocket picked, and be tumbled into the thrown over the shoulders like a herald's coat river. There is no end of these idle and without sleeves." selfish beggings of the question, which at last
An old schoolfellow of ours (who, by the argue quite as much against us as for us. And way, was more fond of quoting Falstaff' than granting them, for the sake of argument, it is any other of Shakspeare's characters) used to still obvious, on the very same ground, that be called upon for a story, with a view to a men were also made to be taught better. We joke of this sort ; it being an understood thing, do not say, that all anglers are of a cruel that he had a privilege of exaggeration, withnature ; many of them, doubtless, are amiable out committing his abstract love of truth. The men in other matters. They have only never
reader knows the old blunder attributed to thought perhaps on that side of the question, Goldsmith about a dish of green peas. Someor been accustomed from childhood to blink body had been applauded in company for it. But once thinking, their amiableness and advising his cook to take some ill-dressed their practice become incompatible ; and if peas to Hammersmith, because that was the they shonld wish, on that account, never to way to Turn’em Green ;” upon which Goldhave thought upon the subject, they would smith is said to have gone and repeated the only show, that they cared for their own pun at another table in this fashion :-“ John exemption from suffering, and not for its should take those peas, I think, to Hammerdiminution in general.*
smith." Why so, Doctor ?” “Because that is the way to make 'em green.” Now our friend would give the blunder with this sort
of additional dressing :“At sight of the dishes XII.-LUDICROUS EXAGGERATION. of vegetables, Goldsmith, who was at his own Men of wit sometimes like to pamper a joke with great anxiety, till he found that peas
house, took off the covers, one after another, into exaggeration ; into a certain corpulence of facetiousness. Their relish of the thing hands with an air of infinite and prospective
were among them; upon which he rubbed his makes them wish it as large as possible ; and satisfaction. You are fond of peas, Sir! the enjoyment of it is doubled by its becoming said one of the company. Yes, Sir," said more visible to the eyes of others. It is for Goldsmith,' particularly so :-I eat them all this reason that jests in company are sometimes built up by one hand after another,
the year round ;-I mean, Sir, every day in the season.
I do not think there is anybody "threepiled hyperboles," — till the over-done Babel topples and tumbles down amidst a
so fond of peas as I am.' 'Is there any parmerry confusion of tongues.
ticular reason, Doctor,' asked a gentleman Falstaff was a great master of this art : he present, 'why you like peas so much, beyond loved a joke as large as himself ; witness his
the usual one of their agreeable taste?'— No, famous account of the men in buckram. Thus Sir, none whatsoever :-none, I assure you? he tells the Lord Chief Justice, that he had (here Goldsmith showed a great wish to lost his voice“ with singing of anthems ;" and impress this fact on his guests): 'I never
heard he calls Bardolph's red nose a perpetual
any particular encomium or speech
about them from any one else : but they carry Perhaps the best thing to be said finally about angling their own eloquence with them : they are is, that not being able to determine whether fish feel it things, Sir, of infinite taste.' (Here a laugh, very wnably or otherwise, we ought to give them the
which put Goldsmith in additional spirits.) benefit rather than the disadvantage of the doubt, where we can help it; and our feelings the benefit, where we
But, bless me !' he exclaimed, looking narrowly into the peas :—'I fear they are very ill-done :
they are absolutely yellow instead of green'
And so much carth as was contributed (here he put a strong emphasis on green);
By English pilots, when they heaved the lead;
Or what by the ocean's slow alluvion fell, and you know, peas should be emphatically
Of shipwrecked cockle and the muscle-shell. green :- greenness in a pea is a quality as essential, as whiteness in a lily The cook Glad then, as miners who have found tho ore, has quite spoilt them :—but I'll give the rogue They, with mad labour, fished the land to shore: a lecture, gentlemen, with your permission.'
And dived as desperately for each piece
Of earth, as if it had been of ambergroece; Goldsmith then rose and rang the bell violently
Collecting anxiously smal loads of clay, for the cook, who came in ready booted and
Less than what building swallows bear away ; spurred. 'Ha!' exclaimed Goldsmith, 'those Or than those pills which sordid beetles rowl, boots and spurs are your salvation, you knave. Transfusing into them their dunghill soul. Do you know, Sir, what you have done ?'— No,
He goes on in a strain of exquisite hyper. Sir. '-—'Why, you have made the peas yellow, bole :Sir. Go instantly, and take 'em to Hammer
How did they rivet with gigantic piles smith.''To Hammersmith, Sir?' cried the man, Thorough the centre their new-catched miles ; all in astonishment, the guests being no less so : And to the stake a struggling country bound. — please Sir, why am I to take 'em to Ham- Where barking waves still bait the forced ground;
Building their watry Babel far more high mersmith ?'-_Because, Sir,' (and here Gold
To catch the waves, than those to scale the sky. smith looked round with triumphant antici- Yet still his claim the injured oocan layed, pation) that is the way to render those peas And oft at leap-frog o'er their stoeples played ; green.'
As if on purpose it on land had come There is a very humorous piece of exaggera
To shew them what's their Mare Liberumt;
A dayly deluge over them does boil ; tion in Butler's Remains,-a collection, by the The earth and water play at level-coyl ; bye, well worthy of Iludibras, and indeed of The fish oft-times the burgber dispossessed, more interest to the general reader. Butler And snt, not as at meat, but as a guest : is defrauded of his fame with readers of taste
And oft the Tritons, and the Sea-nymphs, saw
Whole shoals of Dutch served up for cabillau. who happen to be no politicians, when Hudibras
Or, as they over the new level ranged, is printed without this appendage. The piece
For pickled herrings, pickled Heeren changed. we allude to is a short description of Hol- Nature, it seemed, ashamed of her mistake,
Would throw their land away at duck and drake:
Therefore necessity, that first made kings, A country that draws fifty foot of water,
Something like government among them brings: In which men live as in the hold of nature;
For as with Pigmys, who best kills the crane, And when the sea does in upon them break,
Among the hungry he that treasures grain, And drowns a province, does but spring a leak.
Among the blind the one-eyed blinkard reigns,
bo rules among the drowned he that drains. That feed, like cannibals, on other fishes,
Not who first sees the rising sun, commands ; And serve their cousin-germans up in dishes.
But who could first discern the rising lands; A land that rides at anchor, and is moored,
Who best could know to pump an earth so leak, In which they do not live, but go aboard.
Him they their lord and country's father speak ; We do not know, and perhaps it would be To make a bank was a great plot of state ;impossible to discover, whether Butler wrote
Invent a shovel, and be a inagistrato. his
minor pieces before those of the great patriot We can never read these and some other Andrew Marvell, who rivalled him in wit and ludicrous verses of Marvell, even when by excelled him in poetry. Marvell, though born ourselves, without laughter. later, seems to have been known earlier as an author. He was certainly known publicly before him. But in the political poems of Marvell there is a ludicrous character of Hol
XIII.-GILBERT ! GILBERT ! land, which might be pronounced to be either
The sole idea generally conveyed to us by the copy or the original of Butler's, if in those historians of Thomas à Becket is that of a anti-Batavian times the Hollander had not haughty priest, who tried to elevate the relibeen baited by all the wits ; and were it not gious power above the civil. But in looking probable, that the unwieldy monotony of his more narrowly into the accounts of him, it character gave
rise to inuch the same ludicrous appears that for a considerable part of his life imagery in many of their fancies. Marvell's he was a merry layman, was a great falconer, wit has the advantage of Butler's, not in learn- feaster, and patron, as well as man of business; ing or multiplicity of contrasts (for nobody and he wore all characters with such unaffected ever beat him there), but in a greater variety of pleasantness, that he was called the Delight of them, and in being able, from the more poetical the Western World. turn of his mind, to bring graver and more On a sudden, to every body's surprise, his imaginative things to wait upon his levity. friend the king (Henry II.), from chancellor He thus opens the battery upon our amphi
* Dryden afterwards, of fighting for gain, in his song of bious neighbour :
Come, if you darem Holland, that scarce deserves the name of land,
“ The Gods from above the mad labour behold." As but the off-scouring of the British sand;
† A Free Ocean.
made him archbishop; and with equal sudden- her heart in slavery, was living in good con Dess, though retaining his affability, the new dition. The crowd drew the family to the bead of the English church put off all his window ; his servant recognised her; and worldly graces and pleasures (save and except | Gilbert Becket took to his arms and his bridal a rich gown over his sackcloth), and in the bed, his far-come princess, with her solitary unidst of a gay court, became the most mortified fond word. of ascetics. Instead of hunting and hawking, he paced a solitary cloister ; instead of his wine, he drank fennel-water; and in lieu of
XIV. FATAL MISTAKE OF NERVOUS soft clothing, be indulged his back in stripes.
DISORDERS FOR MADNESS. This phenomenon has divided the opinions of the moral critics. Some insist, that Becket Some affecting catastrophes in the public was religiously in earnest, and think the change papers induce us to say a few words on the natural to a man of the world, whose heart mistaken notions which are so often, in our liad been struck with reflection. Others see opinion, the cause of their appearance. It is in his conduct nothing but ambition. We much to be wished that some physician, truly suspect that three parts of the truth are with so called, and philosophically competent to the latter ; and that Becket, suddenly enabled the task, would write a work on this subject. to dispute a kind of sovereignty with his We have plenty of books on symptoms and prince and friend, gave way to the new tempt. other alarming matters, very useful for ination, just as he had done to his falconry and creasing the harm already existing. We fiue living. But the complete alteration of his believe also there are some works of a difway of life,- the enthusiasm which enabled ferent kind, if not written in direct counterhiin to set up so different a greatness against action ; but the learned authors are apt to be his former one — shows, that his character so grand and etymological in their title-pages, partook at least of as much sincerity, as would that they must frighten the general under. cuable him to delude himself in good taste.standing with their very advertisements. In proportion as his very egotism was con- There is this great difference between what cerned, it was likely that such a man would is generally understood by the word madness, exalt the gravity and importan
of his new and the nervous or melancholy disorders, the calling. He had flourished at an earthly excess of which is so often confounded with court: he now wished to be as great a man in it. Madness is a consequence of malformation the eyes of another; and worldly power, which of the brain, and is by no means of necessity was at once to be enjoyed and despised by attended with melancholy or even ill-health. virtue of his office, had a zest given to its pos- The patient, in the very midst of it, is often session, of which the incredulousness of mere strong, healthy, and even cheerful. On the insincerity could know nothing.
other hand, nervous disorders, or even melanThomas à Becket may have inherited a choly in its most aggravated state, is nothing romantic turn of mind from his mother, whose but the excess of a state of stomach and blood, story is a singular one. His father, Gilbert extremely common. The mind no doubt will Becket, a flourishing citizen, had been in his act upon that state and exasperate it ; but youth a soldier in the crusades ; and being there is great re-action between mind and taken prisoner, became slave to an Emir, or body : and as it is a common thing for a man Saracen prince. By degrees he obtained the in an ordinary fever, or fit of the bile, to be confidence of his master, and was admitted to melancholy, and even to do or feel inclined to his company, where he met a personage who do an extravagant thing, so it is as common became more attached to him. This was the for him to get well and be quite cheerful again. Emir's daughter. Whether by her means or Thus it is among witless people that the true not does not appear, but after some time he madness will be found. It is the more intellicontrived to escape. The lady with her loving gent that are subject to the other disorders ; heart followed him. She knew, they say, but and a proper use of their intelligence will two words of his language,
London and show them what the disorders are. Gilbert ; and by repeating the former she But weak treatment may frighten the intelobtained a passage in a vessel, arrived in ligent. A kind person, for instance, in a fit of England, and found her trusting way to the melancholy, may confess that he feels an inclimetropolis. She then took to her other talis-dation to do some desperate or even cruel man, and went from street to street pronounc- | thing. This is often treated at once as mading“ Gilbert !” A crowd collected about her ness, instead of an excess of the kind just wherever she went, asking of course a thou- mentioned ; and the person seeing he is thought sand questions, and to all she had but one out of his wits, begins to think hiinself so, and answer-Gilbert ! Gilbert !-She found lier at last acts as if he were. This is a lamentfaith in it sufficient. Chance, or her determi-able evil ; but it does not stop here. The nation to go through every street, brought her children or other relatives of the person may at last to the one, in which he who had won become victims to the mistake. They think