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less above it, sunny as a maiden's eyes by day, and tender as a lover's by night, with the glorious moon shining over the calm waters, and “making all lovely, that she gazes on.
The gondolas are all graceful and softly tinted, and no ruder sounds are heard, than the ripple of the waves beneath the prow, the music of sweet voices, the sweep of a guitar, or perhaps a distant barcarole wafted faintly to us on the breeze, amid the scent of orange flowers; and the moonlight silvers marble palaces, and gilded dooms, till they seem fairy creations--that is our Venice, and we are obstinately deterinined to believe in no other. Then remember the innumerable associations with which it is enwound. There is the “Bridge of Sighs,” that makes us sigh even now as we write the name, and the Rialto, where we can yet imagine Shylock debating of his store, and balancing revenge with interest. “Three thousand ducats," ah ! we should like to stop awhile, and read the scene; but we must not. Then we have the palace of the Doge, and fancy we see the old Foscari descending the staircase, with honour and grey .hairs for his crown. We have the gay bridal of the sea, and the train of lovely maidens, white-robed, and garlanded with sweetest flowers, amongst whom the Rover swooped, like an eagle among doves, and seized them as his prey, though ere the set of sun, their lovers bore them back, victorious. But we must tear ourselves away.
Rome is another favourite place, and her triumphal arches are again reared, and the capitol renewed in all its former glory, when she sat upon her seven hills, and gave laws to the world. Upon the Tiber, rolling so darkly along, we look with awe and reverence, and wonder at the strange tales it could tell. And as for the Colosseum, it is perfectly haunted. Then again, Athens—that's a famous place, but not quite so much liked, we think, as Pompeii. Oh! how delightful to walk through those silent streets, to sit down in the theatre, or think of old times in the poet's house.
Speaking of our own individual taste, we are very fond of hieing to Bagdad, and wandering about with the Caliph Haroun Al Reschid, and his faithful Mesrour, and when wearied with our visits to the little hump-backed tailor, and the one-eyed Calenders, we step into Hassan's shop, and have an ice and sherbet, perhaps with Ali Baba, to recount his adventures to us for the thousandth time. And then in the cool of the evening we stroll about the delightful gardens of the seraglio, catching glimpses of the lovely Zobeide herself, as she strays down the flowery aisles.
The Tigris is a memorable stream to us; if we see the fishermen drawing their nets, we are immediately breathless in the
expectation of beholding an ape come up therein, or a great chest, or a leaden casket, with a seal on the top, to shut in the Genius of the Sea ; and the launch of an anchor makes us shudder at the recollection of beautiful slaves sewn up in sacks, and cast into the remorseless tide.
Then again, to put off our seven league boots, what delightful society Fancy can procure you. You sit in your easy chair in your study, “all alone by yourself,” as Paddy says, with your lamp lit before you, and closing your book, you lean your head back on the cushion, and looking up at the halo on the ceiling, you think how delightful it would be to have such companions as Shakspere, or Petrarch and Laura, or Dante and Beatrice, and a whole host of others that cross your mind as the mood may be, and immediately your guests arrive, and talk with you by the hour-and what is still better, talk just as well as they wrote, which is not always the case : and your visitors are never uncongenial to the state of your temper at the time. Mercutio never comes when you are sad, nor Hamlet when you are frivolous, Touchstone when you are sentimental, nor Rosalind when you are misanthropic; but you invite whom you will. If you are crabbed and want to be contradicted, you have Dr. Johnson to tea with you, with a spare cup for his shadow, Boswell, who retires into corners every now and then, to jot down the great man's remarks, with stereotype dashes for the “yes, sirs,” and “no, sirs.” If you want a pleasant companion, gentlemanly, acute, and witty, you bring Horace from his Tusculum, and talk to him about Mæcenas and other old friends. Are you prosyyou call for Butler, and tell him to bring Hudibras with him, and maybe ask Cervantes and Don Quixote to meet them, if you don't fear that people so very much alike will quarrel; and, if you are poetically inclined, why, you have dear old Spenser,, with a gay company of knights and ladies, not forgetting
heavenly Una, with her milk-white lamb." We ourselves have a pretty little friend sitting beside us as we write this paper (at whose instance, indeed, we do it), and every minute we look up at her to see whether she is laughing, and how she likes the article ; for she is such a charming critic that we absolutely tremble at the idea of being "cut up” by her, and "protest her frown would kill us,” though she is such a good little soul that we are tempted to forswear ourselves immediately afterwards, and make oath again, “Now, by this hand, it would not kill a fly!”
But besides being a luxury, Fancy is almost a requisite. What would people of fashion do, if they did not fancy they liked olives before their wine? What a waste of game, if they didn't fancy it much improved by being very “high !” What a loss of pleasure and life, if they did not fancy it absolutely necessary, to leave town for a couple of months in the summer, and thus make the roses blossom again in the fading cheeks of beauty, beneath the pure country air !
Yes; fancy is the gilt on the gingerbread of life, which renders palateable what would otherwise be unsavoury enough. We need say nothing further on this head, nor mention those who drink their gooseberry wine, and fancy it is champagne, or their cape, and fancy it is rich old sherry; nor those who make fools of themselves, and fancy they are "doing it rather;" nor those who squeak out a note or two, and fancy they can sing, or thump the piano, and fancy they can play. No: all this were work of supererogation ; but, nevertheless, the tendency of the whole is to show how decidedly useful and pleasant fancy is.
Therefore, whatever the sober plodders on the way of life,who never raise their eyes from the dust throughout their pilgrimage, though there be many flowers by the wayside to bid them,—whatever they may say against it, let us advise you to cherish fancy,-pleasant, happy, blessed fancy,—and we warrant you will be better and wiser in the end for it, and will preserve the freshness and kindliness of youth about your hearts, when theirs are frozen, and soured, and distrustful, and they themselves only fit to set up tubs, and out-rival Diogenes.
WOMEN AS THEY ARE.
BY THE EDITOR.
GENTLE reader, pity our embarrassment, our palpitation of heart, our confusion of head. Here we have been sitting in vain, lighting up successive cigars, invoking all pleasant memories of the past, all glorious hopes and aspirations, all legends of good women, from Chaucer to the Muse's last, but not least beloved son, the noble Alfred Tennyson, and in vain
The oracles are dumb."
Yet within us there is a feeling, struggling to find vent, which
“Can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.” About fifteen-in some the attack commences earlier, in others later-most of us males are conscious that, besides our. selves, our respected parents, our amiable sisters, our tyrannical schoolmaster, there are other beings in the world, the most agreeable young creatures imaginable, with clear complexions, red lips, heavenly eyes, on whose marble foreheads float clustering curls, and from whose mouths flow silvery strains, by which the ear and heart are rapt alike in ecstacy divine. The probability is-nay, the certainty, that towards one of these you are drawn in a most mysterious manner. Some ripe damsel of twenty-one puts her arm in yours, one voluptuous summer evening, and in that moment an age has gone, old things have passed away,--the schoolmaster and his cane, tarts and nonsense, verses, rabbits, pigeons, ponies, your terrier who is "a warmint for rats," all have faded from your memory-poetry and passion, never more to die, if sensualism does not do its hellish work, have come to your heart, as a revelation from above; you feel manhood in the fire of your young heart, in your firmer tread, your thicker pulse; then come stolen glances, lonely walks, invocations to that
“ Pale eyed maiden,
With white fire laden,
restless nights, fever and romance, and for a time overwhelming agony, when after a month or two, you hear your lovely enamorata has married her Mr. Smith. This melancholy OCcurrence, however, does not break your heart, nor kill you, though you think it must, and have written, and sent to the Little Peddlington Gazette more than one poem intended to show such must be the inevitable result of the bitter blow your young spirit has sustained. You do survive it notwithstanding, and when twelve years after you meet Mrs. Smith, a demure matron, with half a dozen children of various size and sex, you wonder what the
-you ever could have seen in her to admire. Such is generally man's first realization of woman, as a presence and a power; thus generally does he first wake up to a passion, that all men have felt, all poets have sung; then first does desire seize the will, and guide with most imperious hand; then first, does life with its golden exhalations dawn on the enraptured eye, and earth is flooded with
"The purple light of love." April, 1819.--VOL. LIV. NO. CCXVI.
But this is but a dream, bright, glorious, divine; but still a dream, a flash from heaven lighting up life's dark way, but gave almost in the moment of its birth, sic transit gloria mundi. You become conscious, that the world has but little room for such romance, as for a time held you captive—that ignorance is not merely the mother of devotion, but in some degree of love,-that the gorgeous hues of fancy and passion are not exactly in strict accordance with truth,—that her colouring is a far more sober hue. In short, you turn to the perception of women, as they are, not women as the old Platonist paints them; the beautiful, leading man, by a love of the beautiful, to the love of the divine, turning his heart from each thought of sin and guilt, expelling each unhallowed desire, shedding a holy light on the sins and sorrows, and shadows of earth-fitting man for beauty and blessedness above, nor exactly as Mrs. Ellis has drawn them, necessary appendages to a domestic establishment, as essential in their way, to the complete happiness of their lord and master, man, as a cook, or a groom; amiable young creatures, intended to work man's worsted slippers, mend his gloves, put buttons on his shirt, and strings to his collars, to smile when he is cross, sing when he is tired, and sit still when it pleases his magnanimous will; but to women as they are, man's toy and delight, and plague, and wonder, and joy- to women as they are, whom the Hebrew Solomon, in the far distant ages that are gone, found a mockery, a delusion, and a snare; whom Horace found in his day,
“ Varium et semper mutabile."
Of whom Terence thus spoke
“Nosti mulierum ingenium,
Of whom that old cynic Diogenes, said things yet more ungallant, so much so indeed, that we do not care to quote the original Greek, and of whom even Scott, the poet pre-eminently of chivalry and romance, was compelled by his sense of truth to confess that they were
“Coy, and hard to please.”
Far from us, be the wicked presumption to depict woman as she might be,
“That faultless monster, whom the world ne'er saw;"
whose every grace is exerted but for man's lasting good; by