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wagging my head in insane dreams, Ah, Ronzi de Begnis, thou lovely and I hope affording amusement to one! Ah, Caradori, thou smiling the company, while the feet of five angel ! Ah, Malibran ! Nay, I will hundred nymphs were cutting flicflacs come to modern times, and acknowl. on the stage at a few paces' distance. edge that Lablache was a very good Ah, I remember a different state of singer thirty years ago (though Porto things! Credite posteri. To see those was the boy for me): and then we nymphs — gracious powers, how had Ambrogetti, and Curioni, and beautiful they were ! That leering, Donzelli, a rising young ger painted, shrivelled, thin-armed, thick But what is most certain and laankled old thing, cutting dreary mentable is the decay of stage beauty capers, coming thumping down on since the days of George IV. Think her board out of time that an opera- of Sontag! Fremember her in Otello dancer? Pooh! My dear Walter, and the Donna del Lago in '28. I rethe great difference between my time member being behind the scenes at the and yours, who will enter life some opera (where numbers of us young two or three years hence, is that, now, fellows of fashion used to go), and the dancing women and singing seeing Sontag let her hair fall down
are ludicrously old, out of over her shoulders previous to her time, and out of tune; the paint is murder by Donzelli. Young fellows so visible, and the dinge and wrinkles have never seen beauty like that, heard of their wretched old cotton stockings, such a voice, seen such hair, such eyes. that I am surprised how anybody can Don't tell me! A man who has been like to look at them. And as for about town since the reign of George laughing at me for falling asleep, I IV., ought he not to know better than can't understand a
man of sense you young lads who have seen nothdoing otherwise. In my time, à la ing? The deterioration of women is bonne heure. In the reign of George lamentable; and the conceit of the IV., I give you my honor, all the young fellows more lamentable still, dancers at the opera were as beautiful that they won't see this fact, but as Houris. Even in William IV.'s persist in thinking their time as good time, when I think of Duvernay pran- as ours. cing in as the Bayadère, - I say it was Bless me! when I was a lad, the a vision of loveliness such as mortal stage was covered with angels, who eyes can't see now-a-days. How well sang, acted, and danced. When I I remember the tune to which she used remember the Adelphi, and the acto appear ! Kaled used to say to the tresses there: when I think of Miss Sultan, “My lord, a troop of those Chester, and Miss Love, and Mrs. dancing and singing gurls called Serle at Sadler's Wells, and her forty Bayadères approaches,” and, to the glorious pupils — of the Opera and clash of cymbals, and the thumping Noblet, and the exquisite young of my heart, in she used to dance! Taglioni, and Pauline Leroux, and There has never been any thing like a host more! One much-admired it
There never will be -I being of those days I confess I never laugh to scorn old people who tell me cared for, and that was the chief male about your Noblet, your Montessu, dancer - a very important personage your
Vestris, your Parisot - pshaw, then, with a bare neck, bare arms, a the senile twaddlers! And the impu- tunic, and a hat and feathers, who dence of the young men, with their used to divide the applause with the music and their dancers of to-day : ladies, and who has now sunk down I tell you the women are dreary old a trap-door for ever. And this frank creatures. I tell you one air in an admission ought to show that I am opera is just like another, and they not your mere twaddling laudator send all rational creatures to sleep. I temporis acti — your old fogy who
can see no good except in his own |“Scottish Chiefs," didn't we weep over time.
you! O “Mysteries of Udolpho," They say that claret is better now. didn't I and Briggs Minor draw pica-days, and cookery much improved tures out of you, as I have said ? since the days of my monarch Efforts, feeble indeed, but still giving of George IV. Pastry Cookery is cer- pleasure to us and our friends. “I tainly not so good. I have often say, old boy, draw us Vivaldi tortured eaten half a crown's worth (including, in the Inquisition,” or “Draw us Don I trust, ginger beer) at our school Quixote and the windmills, you pastrycook's, and that is a proof that know," amateurs would say, to boys ihe pastry must have been very good, who had a love of drawing. Perefor could I do as much now? I grine Pickle” we liked, our fathers passed by the pastrycook's shop admiring it, and telling us (the sly lately, having occasion to visit my old boys) it was capital fun, but I old school. It looked a very dingy think I was rather bewildered by it, old baker's; misfortunes may have though“ Roderick Random” was come over him - those penny tarts and remains delightful. I don't recertainly did not look so nice as I member having Sterne in the school remember them: but he may have library, no doubt because the works grown careless as he has grown old of that divine were not considered (I should judge him to be now about decent for young people. Ah! not winety-six years of age), and his against thy genius, father of Uncle hand may have lost its cunning. Toby and Trim, would I say a word
Not that we were not great epicures. in disrespect. But I am thankful to I remember how we constantly live in times when men no longer grumbled at the quantity of the food have the temptation to write so as to in our master's house - which on my call blushes on women's cheeks, and conscience I believe was excellent would shame to whisper wicked aland plentiful - and how we tried lusions to honest boys. Then, above once or twice to eat him out of house - all we had, Walter Scott, the kindand home. At the pastrycook's we ly, the generous, the pure - the commay have over-eaten ourselves (I have panion of what countless delightful admitted half a crown's worth for my hours; the purveyor of how much ewn part, but I don't like to mention happiness; the friend whom we recall the real figure for fear of perverting as the constant benefactor of our the present generation of boys by my youth!' How well I remember the monstrous confession) may type and the brownish paper of the have eaten too much, I say. We did'; old duodecimo “Tales of My Landtut what then? The school apothe- lord”! I have never dared to read cary was sent for: a couple of small “ The Pirate,” and “The Bride of globules, at night, a 'trifling prepara- Lammermoor,' or “Kenilworth,” tion of senna in the morning, and from that day to this, because the finale we had not to go to school, so that is unhappy, and people die, and are the draught was an actual pleasure. murdered at the end. But “Ivan
For our amusements, besides the hoe,” and “ Quentin Durward !” games in vogue, which were pretty Oh! for a half-holiday, and a quiet much in old times as they are now corner, and one of those books again! (except cricket, par exemple - and I Those books, and perhaps those eyes wish the present youth joy of their with which we read them; and, it bowling, and suppose Armstrong and may be, the brains behind the eyes ! Whitworth will bowl at them with It may be the tart was good ; but light field-pieces next), there were how fresh the appetite was! If the novels -- ah! I trouble you to find gods would give me the desire of my such novels in the present day! heart, I should be able to write a story
which boys would relish for the next | Rapturous bliss - the opera itself! few dozen of centuries. The boy and then perhaps to Templc Bar, to critic loves the story: grown up, he knock down a Charley there! There loves the author who wrote the story: are Jerry and Tom, with their tights Hence the kindly tie is established and little cocked hats, coming from between writer and reader, and lasts the opera - very much as gentlemen pretty nearly for life. I meet people in waiting on royalty are habited now, who don't care for Walter Scott, now. There they are at Almack's or “The Arabian Nights;" I am sor- itself, amidst a crowd of high-bred ry for them, unless they in their time personages, with the Duke of Clarence have found their romancer --- their himself looking at them dancing. charming Scheherazade. By the way, Now, strange change, they are in Walter, when you are writing, tell Tom Cribb's parlor, where they don't me who is the favorite novelist in the seem to be a whit less at home than fourth form now? Have you got in fashion's gilded halls: and now any thing so good and kindly as dear they are at Newgate, seeing the irons Miss Edgeworth's Frank ?' It used knocked off the malefactors' legs preto belong to a fellow's sisters general- vious to execution. What hardened ly; but though he pretended to de- ferocity in the countenance of the spise it, and said, “Oh, stuff for girls!" desperado in yellow breeches! What he read it; and I think there were compunction in the face of the gentleone or two passages which would try man in black (who, I suppose, has my eyes now, were I to meet with the been forging), and who clasps his little book.
hands, and listens to the chaplain! As for Thomas and Jeremiah (it is Now we haste away to merrier scenes : only my witty way of calling Tom to Tattersall's (ah, gracious powers ! and Jerry), I went to the British what a funny fellow that actor was Museum the other day on purpose to who performed Dicky Green in that get it; but somehow, if you will scene at the play!); and now we are press the question so closely, on re- at a private party, at which Corinthian perusal, Tom and Jerry is not so Tom is waltzing (and very gracefully, brilliant as I had supposed it to be. too, as you must confess) with CoThe pictures are just as fine as ever; rinthian Kate, whilst Bob Logic, the and I shook hands with broad-backed Oxonian, is playing on the piano ! Jerry Hawthorn and Corinthian Tom "After," the text says, "the Oxonian with delight, after many years' ab- had played several pieces of lively sence. But the style of the writing, music, he requested as a favor that I own, was not pleasing to me; 1 Kate and his friend Tom would pereven thought it a little vulgar - well! form a waltz. Kate without any heswell! other writers have been con- itation immediately stood up. Tom sidered vulgar- and as a description offered his hand to his fascinating of the sports and amusements of Lon- partner, and the dance took place. don in the ancient times, more curious The plate conveys a correct representhan amusing:
tation of the 'gay scene' at that preBut the pictures ! -oh! the pictures cise moment. The anxiety of the are noble still! First, there is Jerry Oxonian to witness the attitudes of arriving from the country, in a green the elegant pair had nearly put a stop coat and leather gaiters, and being to their movements. On turning measured for a fashionable suit at round from the pianoforte and preCorinthian House, by Corinthian senting his comical mug, Kate could Tom's tailor. Then away for the scarcely suppress a laugh.". career of pleasure and fashion. The And no wonder; just look at it park ! delicious excitement! The the now, and compare Master Logic's strel the saloon!! the green-room!!! I countenance and attitude with the
splendid elegance of Tom! Now | hall? Vauxhall is gone, but the every London man is weary and blase. wines which could occasion such a There is an enjoyment of life in these delightful perversion of the intellect young bucks of 1823 which contrasts as to enable it to enjoy ample pleasstrangely with our feelings of 1860. ures there, what were they? Here, for instance, is a specimen of So the game of life proceeds, until their talk and walk. If,' says Jerry Hawthorn, the rustic, is fairly LOGIC 'if enjoyment is your motto, knocked up by all this excitement you may make the most of an evening and is forced to go home, and the at Vauxhall, more than at any other last picture represents him getting place in the metropolis. It is all free into the coach at the “ White Horse and easy. Stay as long as you like, Cellar,” he being one of six inside and depart when you think proper.' whilst' his friends shake him by the - Your description is so flattering,'hand; whilst the sailor mounts on the replied JERRY, that I do not care roof; whilst the Jews hang round how soon the time arrives for us to with oranges, knives, and sealingstart. Logic proposed a bit of a wax; whilst the guard is closing the stroll' in order to get rid of an hour door. Where are they now, those or two, which was immediately ac- sealing-wax venders ? where are the cepted by Tom and Jerry. A turn or guards? where are the jolly teams? two in Bond Street, a stroll through where are the coaches ? and where Piccadilly, a look in at TATTERSALL'S, the youth that climbed inside and a ramble through Pall Mall, and a out of them; that heard the merry strut on the Corinthian path, fully oc- horn which sounds no more; that cupied the time of our heroes until saw the sun rise over Stonehenge ; the hour for dinner arrived, when a that rubbed away the bitter tears at few glasses of Tom's rich wines soon night after parting as the coach sped put them on the qui vive. VAUXHALL on the journey to school and London; was then the object in view, and the that looked out with beating heart Trio started, bent upon enjoying the as the milestones flew by, for the welpleasures which this place so amply come corner where began home and affords."
holidays ? How nobly those inverted commas, It is night now: and here is home. those Italics, those capitals, bring out Gathered under the quiet roof, elders the writer's wit and relieve the eye! and children lie alike at rest. In the They are as good as jokes, though midst of a great peace and calm, the you mayn't quite perceive the point. stars look out from the heavens. The Mark the varieties of lounge in which silence is peopled with the past; sorthe young men indulge - now a stroll, rowful remorses for sins and shortthen a look in, then a ramble, and pres- comings memories of passionate ently a strut. When George, Prince joys and griefs rise out of their of Wales, was twenty, I have read graves, both now alike calm and sad. in an old Magazine, “ The Prince's Eyes, as I shut mine, look at me, Lounge” was a peculiar manner of that have long ceased to shine. The walking which the young bucks imi- town and the fair landscape sleep tatéd. At Windsor George III. had under the starlight, wreathed in the a cat's path sly early walk which autumn mists. Twinkling among the good old king took in the gray the houses, a light keeps watch, here morning before his household was and there, in what may be a sick astir. What was the Corinthian path chamber or two. The clock tolls here recorded? Does any antiquary sweetly in the silent air. Here is know? And what were the rich night and rest. An awful sense of wines which our friends took, and thanks makes the heart swell, and which enabled them to enjoy Vaux. I the head bow, as I pass to my room
through the sleeping house, and feel Now, suppose Paterfamilias on his as though a hushed blessing were journey with his wife and children in
the sociable, and he passes an ordinary brick house on the road with an ordinary little garden in the front, we
will say, and quite an ordinary knockON A JOKE I ONCE HEARD er to the door, and as many sashed,
FROM THE LATE THOMAS windows as you please, quite common HOOD.
and square, and tiles, windows, chim
ney-pots, quite like others; or supThe good-natured reader who has pose, in driving over such and such a perused some of these rambling pa- common, he sees an ordinary tree, and pers has long since seen (if to see
an ordinary donkey browsing under has been worth his trouble) that the it, if you like - wife and daughter writer belongs to the old-fashioned look at these objects without the classes of this world, loves to remem- slightest particle of curiosity or interber very much more than to prophesy, est. What is a brass knocker to them and though he can't help being car- but a lion's head, or what not? and a ried onward and downward, perhaps, thorn-tree with a pool beside it, but on the hill of life, the swift milestones a pool in which a thorn and a jackass marking their forties, fifties — how are reflected ? many tens or lustres shall we say? But you remember how once upon a he sits under Time, the white-wigged time your heart used to beat, as you charioteer, with his back to the beat on that brass knocker, and whose horses, and his face to the past, look- eyes looked from the window above. ing at the receding landscape and the You remember how by that thorn-tree hills fading into the gray distance and pool, where the geese were perAh me! those gray, distant hills forming a prodigious evening concert, were green once, and here, and cov- there might be seen, at a certain hour, ered with smiling people! As we somebody in a certain cloak and boncame up the hill there was difficulty, net, who happened to be coming from and here and there a hard pull to be a village yonder, and whose image sure, but strength and spirits, and all has flickered in that pool. In that sorts of cheery incident and compan- pool, near the thorn? Yes, in that ionship on the road; there were the goose-pool, never mind how long ago, tough struggles (by heaven's merciful when there were reflected the images will) overcome, the pauses, the faint of the geese — and two geese more. ings, the weakness, the lost way, per- Here, at least, an oldster may have haps, the bitter weather, the dreadful the advantage of his young fellowpartings, the lonely night, the pas- travellers, and so Putney Heath or sionate grief -towards these I turn the New Road may be invested with my thoughts as I sit and think in my a halo of brightness invisible to them, hobby-coach under Time, the silver- because it only beams out of his own wigged charioteer. The young folks soul. in the same carriage meanwhile are I have been reading “ The Memolooking forwards. Nothing escapes rials of Hood” by his children,* and their keen eyes — not a flower at the wonder whether the book will have side of a cottage garden, nor a bunch the same interest for others and for of rosy-faced children at the gate : the younger people, as for persons of my landscape is all bright, the air brisk own age and calling. Books of travel and jolly, the town yonder looks to any country become interesting beautiful, and do you think they have to us who have been there. Men learned to be difficult about the dishes
* Memorials of Thomas Hood. Moxon, at the inn?
1860. 2 vols.