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lecture on George II. in “ The Corn- | the lonely drawing-room, poring over hill Magazine ") assembled here and “Manfroni, the One-Handed entertained each other with gaming, Monk,” so frightened that he scarcedancing, fiddling, and tea ? There ly dares to turn round. are fiddlers, harpers, and trumpeters performing at this moment in a weak old balcony, but where is the fine company? Where are the earls, duchesses, bishops, and magnificent
DE JUVENTUTE. embroidered gamesters? A half-dozen of children and their nurses are OUR last paper of this veracious listening to the musicians : an old la- and roundabout series related to a dy or two in a poke bonnet passes, period which can only be historical to and for the rest, I see but an uninter- a great number of readers of this esting population of native tradesmen. Magazine. Four I saw at the station As for the library, its window is full to-day with orange-covered books in of pictures of burly theologians and their hands, who cán but have known their works, sermons, apologues, and George IV. by books, and statues, so forth. Can I go in and ask the and pictures. Elderly gentlemen were young ladies at the counter for “Man in their prime, old men in their middle froni, or the One-Handed Monk,” age, when he reigned over us. His and “Life in London, or the Adven- image remains on coins; on a picture tures of Corinthian Tom, Jeremiah or two hanging here and there in a Hawthorn, Esq., and their friend Bob Club or old-fashioned dining-room; Logic”? absurd. I turn away on horseback, as at Trafalgar Square, abashed from the casement- from for example, where I defy any monthe Pantiles — no longer Pantiles but arch to look more uncomfortable. He Parade. I stroll over the Common, turns up in sundry memoirs and hisand survey the beautiful purple hills tories which have been published of around, twinkling with a thousand late days; in Mr. Massey's “ History;" bright villas, which have sprung up in “ The Buckingham and Grenville over this charming ground since first Correspondence;" and gentlemen who I saw it. What an admirable scene of have accused a certain writer of dispeace and plenty! What a delicious loyalty are referred to those volumes air breathes over the heath, blows the to see whether the picture drawn of cloud shadows across it, and murmurs George is overcharged. Charon has through the full-clad trees! Can the paddled him off; he has mingled with world show a land fairer, richer, more the crowded republic of the dead. His cheerful ? I see a portion of it when effigy smiles from a canvas or two. I look up from the window at which Breechless he bestrides his steed in I write. But fair scene, green woods, Trafalgar Square. I believe he still bright terraces gleaming in sunshine, wears his robes at Madame Tussaud's and purple clouds swollen with sum- (Madame herself having quitted mer rain - nay, the very pages over Baker Street and life, and found him which my head bends disappear she modelled t’other side the Stygian from before my eyes. They are look- stream). On the head of a five-shiling backwards, back into forty years ling piece we still occasionally come off, into a dark room, into a little upon him,with St. George, the dragonhouse hard by on the Common here, slayer, on the other side of the coin. in the Bartlemy-tide holidays. The Ah me! did this George slay many parents have gone to town for two dragons ? Was he a brave, heroic days: the house is all his own, his champion, and rescuer of virgins ? own and a grim old maid-servant's, Well! well! have you and I overand a little boy is seated at night in I come all the dragons that assail us ?
come alive and victorious out of all, George was still fighting the dragon. the caverns which we have entered in As for you, my pretty lass, with your life, and succored, at risk of life and saucy hat and golden tresses tumbled limb, all poor distressed persons in in your net, and you, my spruce whose naked limbs the dragon Pov- young gentleman in your mandarin's erty is about to fasten his fangs, cap (the young folks at the countrywhom the dragon Crime is poisoning place where I am staying are so atwith his horrible breath, and about to tired), your parents were unknown to crunch up and devour? O my royal each other, and wore short frocks liege! O my gracious prince and and short jackets, at the date of this warrior! You a champion to fight five-shilling piece. Only to-day I that monster? Your feeble spear ever met a dog-cart crammed with children pierce that slimy paunch or plated - children with mustaches and manback? See how the flames come darin caps children with saucy hats gurgling out of his red-hot brazen and hair-nets – children in short throat! What a roar! Nearer and frocks and knickerbockers (surely the nearer he trails, with eyes flaming like prettiest boy's dress that has appeared the lamps of a railroad engine. How these hundred years) — children from he squeals, rushing out through the twenty years of age to six;
and father, darkness of his tunnel! Now he is with mother by his side, driving in Now he is here.
front- and on father's countenance what? — lance, shield, knight, feath- | I saw that very laugh which I reers, horse and all ? O horror, horror! member perfectly in the time when Next day, round the monster's cave, this crown-piece was coined — in his there lie a few bones more. You, who time, in King George's time, when wish to keep yours in your skins, be we were school-boys seated on the thankful that you are not called upon same forun. The smile was just as to go out and fight dragons. Be broad, as bright, as jolly, as I rememgrateful that they don't sally out and ber it in the past – unforgotten, swallow you. Keep a wise distance though not seen or thought of, for from their caves, lest you pay too how many decades of years, and quite dearly for approaching them. Re- and instantly familiar, though so long member that years passed, and whole out of sight. districts were ravaged, before the Any contemporary of that coin warrior came who was able to cope who takes it up and reads the inscripwith the devouring monster. When tion round the laurelled head, that knight does make his appearance, Georgius IV. Britanniarum Rex. with all my heart let us go out and Fid. Def. 1823,” if he will but look welcome him with our best songs, steadily enough at the round, and huzzas, and laurel wreaths, and ea- utter the proper incantation, I dare gerly recognize his valor and victory. say may conjure back his life there. But he comes only seldom. Count. Look well, my elderly friend, and less knights were slain before St. tell me what you see? First, I see a George won the battle. In the battle Sultan, with hair, beautiful hair, and of life are we all going to try for the a crown of laurels round his head, honors of championship? If we can and his name is Georgius Rex. Fid. do our duty, if we can keep our place Def., and so on. Now the Sultan has pretty honorably through the coinbat, disappeared ; and what is that I see? let us say, Laus Deo! at the end of it, A boy, boy in a jacket. He is at a as the firing ceases, and the night desk; he has great books before him, falls over the field.
Latin and Greek books and dictionThe old were middle-aged, the aries. Yes, but behind the great elderly were in their prime, then, books, which he pretends to read, is a thirty years since, when yon royal little one, with pictures, which he is
really reading. It is - yes, I can the young man gets up and speaks to read now — it is “The Heart of him. And now what is here? Ho Mid Lothian,” by the author of is in a room with ever so many chil“Waverley” – or, no, it is “Life in dren, and the miniature hanging up. London, or the Adventures of Corin- Can it be a likeness of that woman thian Tom, Jeremiah Hawthorn, and who is sitting before that copper urn, their friend Bob Logic,” by Pierce with a silver vase in her hand, from Egan; and it has pictures,- oh! such which she is pouring hot liquor into funny pictures! As he reads, there cups? Was she ever a fairy? She is comes behind the boy, man, a der- as fat as a hippopotamus now. He vish, in a black gown, like a woman, is sitting on a divan by the fire. He and a black square cap, and he has a has a paper on his knees. Read the book in each hand, and he seizes the name of the paper. It is “The Suboy who is reading the picture-book, perfine Review.” It inclines to think and lays his head upon one of his that Mr. Dickens is not a true gentlebooks, and smacks it with the other. man, that Mr. Thackeray is not a true The boy makes faces, and so that gentleman, and that when the one is picture disappears.
pert and the other is arch, we, the genNow the boy has grown bigger. tlemen of “ The Superfine Review,” He has got on a black gown and cap, think, and think rightly, that we something like the dervish. He is at have some cause to be indignant. a table, with ever so many bottles on The great cause why modern humor it, and fruit, and tobacco; and other and modern sentimentalism repel us, young dervishes come in. They seem is that they are unwarrantably faas if they were singing. To them miliar. Now, Mr. Sterne, “The Suenters an old moollah, he takes down perfine Reviewer” thinks, “was a true their names, and orders them all to sentimentalist, because he was above go to bed. What is this? a carriage, all things a true gentleman.” The with four beautiful horses all gallop- Aattering inference is obvious : let us ing - a man in red is blowing a be thankful for having an elegant trumpet. Many young men are on moralist watching over us, and learn, the carriage - one of them is driving if not too old, to imitate his high-bred the horses. Surely they won't drive politeness and catch his unobtrusive into that? - ah ! they have all disap- grace. If we are unwarrantably fapeared. And now I see one of the miliar, we know who is not. young men alone. He is walking in repel by pertness, we know who never a street - a dark street - presently a does. If our language offends, we light comes to a window. There is know whose is always modest. O the shadow of a lady who passes. He pity! The vision has disappeared off stands there till the light goes out the silver, the images of youth and Now he is in a room scribbling on a the past are vanishing away! We piece of paper, and kissing a minia- who have lived before railways were ture every now and then. They seem made, belong to another world. In to be lines each pretty much of a how many hours could the Prince of length. I can read heart, smart, dart ; Wales drive from Brighton to LonMary, fairy ; Cupid, stupid ; true, you ; don, with a light carriage bụilt exand never mind what more. Bah! it pressly, and relays of horses longing is bosh. Now see, he has got a gown to gallop the next stage? Do you on again, and a wig of white hair on remember Sir Somebody, the coachhis head, and he is sitting with other man of the Age, who took our halfdervishes in a great room full of them, crown so affably? It was only yesand on a throne in the middle is an terday; but what a gulf between now old Sultan in scarlet, sitting before a and then! Then was the old world. desk, and he wears a wig too — and Stage-coaches, more or less swift
If we one
riding-horses, pack-horses, highway- | Suppose you deny there was such a men, knights in armor, Norman in-day as yesterday? vaders, Roman legions, Druids, We who lived before railways, and Ancient Britons painted blue, and so survive out of the ancient world, are forth — all these belong to the old like Father Noah and his family out period. I will concede a halt in the of the Ark. The children will gather inidst of it, and allow that gunpowder round and say to us patriarchs, “ Tell and printing tended to modernize the us, grandpapa, about the old world.” world. But your railroad starts the And we shall mumble our old stories; new era, and we of a certain age belong and we shall drop off one by one; to the new time and the old one. We and there will be fewer and fewer of are of the time of chivalry as well as us, and these very old and feeble. the Black Prince or Sir Walter Man- There will be but ten pre-railroadites ny. We are of the age of steam. We left: then three then two — - then have stepped out of the old world on - then 0! If the hippopotamus to “Brunel's” vast deck, and across had the least sensibility (of which I the waters ingens patet tellus. Towards cannot trace any signs either in his what new continent are we wending? hide or his face), I think he would go to what new laws, new manners, new down to the bottom of his tank, and politics, vast new expanses of liber- never come up again. Does he not ties unknown as yet, or only sur- see that he belongs to bygone ages, mised? I used to know a man who and that his great hulking barrel of had invented
flying-machine. a body is out of place in these times ? “Sir,” he would say, “ give me but What has he in common with the five hundred pounds, and I will make brisk young life surrounding him ? it. It is so simple of construction In the watches of the night, when the that I tremble daily lest some other keepers are asleep, when the birds are person should light upon and patent on one leg, when even the little armamy discovery." Perhaps faith was dillo is quiet, and the monkeys have wanting; perhaps the five hundred ceased their chatter, - he, I mean the pounds. He is dead, and somebody hippopotamus, and the elephant, and else must make the flying-machine. the long-necked giraffe, perhaps may But that will only be a step forward lay their heads together and have a on the journey already begun since we colloquy about the great silent antequitted the old world. There it lies diluvian world which they remember, on the other side of yonder embank- where mighty monsters floundered ments. You young folks have never through the ooze, crocodiles basked seen it; and Waterloo is to you no on the banks, and dragons darted more than Agincourt, and George out of the caves and waters before IV. than Sardanapalus. We elder- men were made to slay them. We ly people have lived in that pre-rail- who lived before railways are antediroad world, which has passed into luvians — we must pass away. We limbo and vanished from under us. are growing scarcer every day; and I tell you it was firm under our feet old — old – very old relicts of the once, and not long ago. They have times when George was still fighting raised those railroad embankments the Dragon. up, and shut off the old world that Not long since, a company of horsewas behind them. Climb up that riders paid a visit to our wateringbank on which the irons are laid, and place. We went to see them, and I look to the other side - it is gone. bethought me that young Walter There is no other side. Try and Juvenis, who was in the place, might catch yesterday. Where is it? Here like also to witness the performance. is a “ Times” newspaper, dated Mon- A pantomime is not always amusing day 26th, and this is Tuesday 27th. I to persons who have attained a cer. tain age; but a boy at a pantomime point. Walter Juvenis, Esq., Rev. is always amused and amusing, and Doctor Birch's, Market Kodborough, to see his pleasure is good for most if you read this, will you please send hypochondriacs.
me a line, and let me know what was We sent to Walter's mother, re- the joke Mr. Merryman made about questing that he might join us, and having his dinner? You remember the kind lady replied that the boy had well enough. But do I want to know? already been at the morning perform- Suppose a boy takes a favorite, longance of the equestrians, but was most cherished lump of cake out of his eager to go in the evening likewise. pocket, and offers you a bite ? Merci ! And go he did ; and laughed at all. The fact is, I don't care much about Mr. Merryman's remarks, though he knowing that joke of Mr. Merryremembered them with remarkable man's. accuracy, and insisted upon waiting But whilst he was talking about his to the very end of the fun, and was dinner, and his mutton, and his landonly induced to retire just before its lord, and his business, I felt a great conclusion by representations that interest about Mr. M., in private life the ladies of the party would be - about his wife, lodgings, earnings, incommoded if they were to wait and and general history, and I dare say undergo the rush and trample of the was forming a picture of those in my crowd round about. When this fact mind : wife cooking the mutton ; was pointed out to him, he yielded at children waiting for it; Merryman in once, though with a heavy heart, his his plain clothes, and so forth; dureyes looking longingly towards the ing which contemplation the joke ring as we retreated out of the booth. was uttered and laughed at, and Mr. We were scarcely clear of the place, M., resuming his professional duties, when we heard “God save the Queen,' was tumbling over head and heels. played by the equestrian band, the Do not suppose I am going sicut est signal that all was over. Our com- mos, to indulge in moralities about panion entertained us with scraps of buffoons, paint, motley, and mountethe dialogue on our way home banking. Nay, Prime Ministers reprecious crumbs of wit which he had hearse their jokes; Opposition leaders brought away from that feast. He prepare and polish them ; Tabernacle laughed over them again as we walked preachers must arrange them in their under the stars. He has them now, minds before they utter them. All I and takes them out of the pocket of mean is, that I would like to know any his memory, and crunches a bit, and one of these performers thoroughly, relishes it with a sentimental tender- and out of his uniform ; that preacher, ness, too, for he is, no doubt, back at and why in his travels this and that school by this time; the holidays are point struck him ; wherein lies his over; and Doctor Birch's young power of pathos, humor, eloquence ; friends have re-assembled.
that Minister of State, and what Queer jokes, which caused a thou- moves him, and how his private heart sand simple mouths to grin! As the is working ; - I would only say that, jaded Merryman uttered them to the at a certain time of life, certain things old gentleman with the whip, some to interest: but about soine of the old folks in the audience, I dare things when we cease to care, what say, indulged in reflections of their will be the use of life, sight, hearing ? own. There was one joke - I utterly Poems are written, and we cease to forget it — but it began with Merry- admire. Lady Jones invites us, and man saying what he had for dinner. we yawn; she ceases to invite us, and He had mutton for dinner, at one we are resigned. The last time I saw o'clock, after which " he had to come a ballet at the opera – oh! it is many to business." And then came the l years ago — I fell asleep in the stalls,