Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

For the Olio.

» said

" Many

Subject of the Vignette. I could handle the pipes myself at one

time, and was lighi o'heel in pavise or

galliard ; but come, give us a tune, old THE PIPER OF NITON.

sir.," “A SRTANGE STORIE.".

“Wait awhile, good gentleman," said the piper, “I am sore weary and my fingers are benumbed with the

cold; I would fain warm myself ere I “Here beginneth a litel storie, how ye Dery begin.” did appeare intoe certaine souldiers, and plaied manie strange pranks, as to ye chrysien reader

Then do't a God's name, shall bee fully shewen.”

OLD TITLE. Ralph; we'll ha' a merry night on't, by

St. Botolph." The night was dark and stormy, but “ The little old man drained his horn, the guests of mine host of the Green and sat eyeing the company for some Dragon at Niton, in the Isle of Wight, time, when Ralph again pressed him to recked not the war without whilst a play'; whereat the piper took his pipes good fire blazed before them, and plenty and played a most curious air, such as of good ale mantled in the black jack, never was heard before. His hearers which_passed rapidly from hand to were delighted, but none more so than hand. The company consisted of a party Ralph, who patted the old man on the of soldiers, belonging to a regiment sent back, and wore “his music was fit to protect the island from the anticipated for the ear of the king's grace. attack of the French, and had been times did the piper play, and at the stationed at this spot in case of emer- conclusion of each, Ralph Thunderly gency. Now there was among this plied him with the black jack, no party a soldier named Ralph Thun- doubt with the intention of making derly, a burly grim-visaged matchlock- the musician drunk ; but he might as man who had served in the wars well have poured the good liquor into abroad, who drank and sung, and roar a sieve, for the piper was none the ed, and swore with true vehemence. worse for his repeated draughts, al. He was an athletic and active fellow, though his eyes twinkled with a lustre and not one of his comrades could run, that some of the company thought saleap, wrestle, or pitch the bar like voured not of this world. Ralph, in the Ralph, who as far exceeded them in mean time, while endeavouring to inthese exercises as he did in reprobate toxicate the old man, forgot that the conduct. It was rather more than two fumes of the ale were fast mounting to hours after nightfall, when a knocking his own head, and he roared and sung was heard at the door of the rude inn, profane songs, and uttered ribald jests, and a shrill voice begged admittance and swore deep and bitter oaths, with for a poor wandering piper. Mine even more than his accustomed 'vehehost opened the door, and a strange mence. Midnight came, and Ralph, being entered. He was a little shrivel- with a loud horse laugh, proposed that led, old man, scarce four feet high, they should drink the health of the pawhose wizzened visage, half concealed tron of martial men—the Devil-when by a tattered hood, was lit up by a pair his companions, though not the most of sharp grey eyes which twinkled like scrupulous themselves, interfered; but stars under his singularly shaped Ralph in a rage, dashed down the empty brows. His bow legs were cased in black jack, and called loudly for a stoop hose of serge, and he wore shoes of an of wine. antique fashion with long pikes. Un “ Pshaw," said he, “let your roisterder his arm he carried a pair of pipes ing German Lanznecht, and your bully. of a curious shape.

ing Genoese, pray to their saints--I'll “Right welcome, master piper," pledge mine in a cup of mine host's roared Ralph Thunderly, presenting particular-Sathanas, our guardian and the visitor with a horn brim-full of ale. protector !” “We have a marvellous lack of sweet The daring reprobate raised the lisounds here, for we have heard not the quor to his lip-But, mark! in an invoice of maid, wife, or widow, these stant the vessel was dashed from his three days past."

grasp, by an invisible hand, and a peal “God keep all three out of thy path," of unearthly laughter, in which the cried one of his comrades ; but Ralph strange piper joined, sounded without. heeded him not, and continued

“How now?” cried Ralph, furiously, “ By the mass, thou hast come in the "what means this, sir piper ?"-but nick of time, goodman piper. Marry, his cheek whitened, and his voice sudVol. VI. 2 H

167

FOR THE OLIO.

denly fell as he saw the eyes of the old It set all the Sycophants sigling, musician dilate and glow like coals.

And taught tbem to blush and look shy ;

It made, though unfitted for fying. “What ails thee, valiant sir ?” en Proh pudor, a Marchioness fly. quired the piper, in a jeering tone; but How many it found looking hig, the terrified soldier answered not ; and

Till it pucked out the leathers they sore!

On the woolsack it placed such a Whiz his comrades stared in speechless hor As bad ne'er graced the woolsack before. ror, while the host fell on his knees with a prayer to the saints. Suddenly It brought Captain Swing in a flame, the old man played an air, which caused

With his wild game of fright to our cost;

While, skilled in a different game, Ralph Thunderly to bound and caper

Surgeon Loog played a rubber-and lost. like one forsaken of his senses-the It gratified Hunt in his thirst piper himself joined in this fantastical To sit as a patriot member; dance; and those who beheld it say that And it brought us hack April the First,

When we thought it the Ninth of Novemhis steps were such as they had never

ber. seen before. Loud sounded the pipes, and round whirled the soldier and his And oh! it made Freedom the Pashion

In France-who can never have too much, strange companion, who laughed at his

And who put all the rest in a passionpiteous signs of distress, and played still The Russians, Poles, Belgians, and Dutch. faster while Ralph, though convulsed Let this be the end of its story: in every limb, had not power to stop;

May the Year that now breaks o'er its tomb,

Have a gleam or two more of its glory, when anon the door flew open with a A shade or two less of its gloom ! loud noise and the piper danced out,

Mon. Mag. followed by his victim. A broad streak of flame now marked the track of the piper, who capered towards the sea, still

THE TINKER. followed by Ralph ; when, as they reached the water, a dark vapour rose and suddenly obscured them both Have you any work for the Tinker ? from sight, Loud yells and shouts of The bird called the Tinkerbudget may riotous laughter, and piercing shrieks have derived its name from a travelling of distress resounded along the shore, tinker, or the latter may have had the and a noise as if the sea were violently prior claim to the originality of conagitated succeeded, and then all was structing its kit. The bird's bulky dohushed, save the screaming of the micile, differing from those of other startled sea birds; but the hellish mu- birds, is very similar. It is, indeed, a sician and his miserable victim were decided budget, yet so small at the enseen no more!

ALPHA, trance, that its constructors can only

creep into it. The tinker, like the bird, is limited in his means, and circumscribed in his rounds. He is sometimes,

however, more discursive, being of the THE EPITAPH OF 1530.

gipsy caste, with black eyes. olive

skin, and raven hair. From the unHERE lie, although shorn of their rays,

compromising independence which he In the family-vault of old Time,

preserves by dwelling in the outskirts Three hundred and sixty-five days

of cities, towns, and villages; and by of folly, priile, glory, and crime.

living in a tent with those of his tribe, You may mourn o'er tbeir miseries still, You may dance o'er their desolate bier ;

he has not learned to be civil, nor cares Vou may laugh, you may weep, as you will for support beyond his daily wants, Eighteen-Hundred-and-1 hirty lies here!

partly supplied by filching. He will, It brought us some good on its wings,

generally, keep a female to carry the Much ill has it taken away ;

charcoal pan and assist him in catering For it gave us the best of Sea-Kings,

for business ; and, if she can parm her And darkened the Conqueror's day. plausible episodes by way of consulting It narrowed Corruption's dominion, And crushed Aristocracy's starch,

young women's pockets in diving into Gave nerve to that giant, Opinion,

them and futurity, so much the better. And spurred up old Mind on his march. The gipsey tinker is an idle smutch;

an artist with his fist, that would as It drew a new line for Court-morals,

easily pick a quarrel, as a lock; or Laid hands on the Pensioner's treasure, And told us-we'll crown it with laurels

break the hedge of a clover field, as he Reform is a Cabinet-measure,

would your head. But the regular It brought, to the joy of each varlet, Both sides of a coat into play;

tinker is quite a different character, For it stripped off the faded old Scarlet,

His cry is his freehold property. It is And turned the court-livery Grey!

known as regularly as the Bo'clock bell.

It comes in the wind down the street pires not beyond the power of making and winds his steps nearer till, "'ris vessels • fire and water proof;' that does palpably sure!' He is anxious, like a not invade the slumbers of the fireside, livery stable keeper, to get a job. Like but adds the means of protecting our a plumber, he can solder. He can rivet peace by his patchwork pieces; and he, like Cupid, and botch like a tailor. His being a resinous fellow, is a practical fire, like Hymen's, is increased by curer of metal aneurisms. To him the kindling; and if ribs, handles, legs, cook, the wife, and washerwoman are arms, or bottoms, are defective, like a indebted. He makes the kettle sing for surgeon he can set them. His dog, like joy! The pot cry hubble, bubble.' himself, is a tin-cur, not frightened by The tin cup and the saucepan unite in a saucepan near his tail, like others of a simmering duel ; the pot wallopers his species. He is a man of metal. vote in his favour, and the furnace, sighLike a soldier, he knows not where he ing like a lover at his mistress's eyewill be called upon to repair a breach brow, invites to a well-boiled repast in the tin fortress, or, like Captain Dal with ignipotent ferrour.

P. getty, be obliged to erect a sconce. He has brazen pretensions to armoury: Vulcan's powers in withstanding fire.

MOUNT ST. MICHEL. His wife is not like Venus rising from the sea, but a fruitful Pomona-guarding Mount St. Michel, where the Prince the six-fold offspring of wedded love. de Polignac is to be contined, is al the Their smutty faces are healthy, and if southern extremity of the ancient proaway from the dingy occupation, would vince of Normandy. It lies in the midst shewa bloom ladies of dissipation can- of extensive sands, which are covered not wear. However the linker may be by the sea at spring tides. The approach wanted in society, to mend our manners to it from the continent being very danand cobble our habits, he is not diverted gerous, it is necessary to take guides at from bis smoky course,' but leads an Ardevon. inoffensive career through three or four Its most ancient name was Belenus, districts. Well, it would be, were he, when it was inhabited by Druidesses. in the world, the only craftsman of de- After the abolition of the Druids, it took cayed wares and accidental burners. the name of Mons Jovis, to which was But, alas! his profession is popular. substituted that of Tumba, when a moAre there not senatorial tinkers? Tink- nastery was erected upon it.

In 708, ers in the law ? Tinkers in physic? It Bishop Auber raised upon it a church, is a misfortune that well’ will not let which he dedicated to St. Michel. well alone. We have a tinker travers- Ethelred, the second king of England, ing the country, pretending to improve had a particular veneration for Mount the memory. Another, baranguing the St.-Michel. people to improve their politics. Ano Abbot Rogers had been almoner to ther, bolstering his schemes by stubble. William the Conqueror. There are ranting tinkers. Cricketters' Henry II. of England made a 'pilgritinkers. Floating tinkers. Booth tink- mage to Mount St. Michel, where he ers. Tax assessor tinkers. Informing met Louis VII., King of France, with a tinkers. Daubing tinkers ; and literary splendid suite. tinkers. Sometimes a publican's tinker In 1203, the fortification consisted trifles with the beer. A baker's tinker only of wooden pallisades. Being alkneads the flour. Go where we will, tacked hy the bretons, they set fire to seek what we will, do what we will, them : the fire reached the church and the tinker's province is apparent. But abbey, which were completely defor the produce of education, the well stroyed. being of the state, the good of the pro The monastery was restored in 1326, fessional community, the increase of by Abbot Adulph de Villedieu. knowledge, the advancement of the fine His successor, Richard Tustin, ob. arts, the general advantage of literature, tained from the Pope the mosi dis inthe happiness of society, we are aware guished privileges. of the superabundance of tinkers, and In 1418, the English made a fruitless onr duties are better performed by con attack upon it. sulting those only who constitute the In 1423, it was attempted again, with basis of our well being, and by whose a very considerable force and powerful ways and works we are mutually bene artillery, to pieces of which now refitted. Look not, then, down with con main at the gate : one has a stone ball tempt on the humble individual that as. in it of about fifteen inches diameter.

Among the distinguished English offi SELF TAUGHT POETS. cers who perished at that siege, was a

Stephen Duck. Chevalier M. Burdet.

In 1577, a Protestant chief (Detou of the numerous tribe of self-taught chet) succeeded by stratagem in getting verse-makers, especially, the great mapossession of it. After two days pos- jority have been the merest imitators. session he was obliged to evacuate it. A fair specimen of this race, the indi

In 1591, a similar attempt proved viduals of which, although they somemost destructive to the assailants. times excite a temporary attention, ge

In 1594, the spire, the bells, and the nerally drop very speedily into oblichurch, were considerably injured by vion, we have in a writer named Stelightning

phen Duck, who flourished in the early Mount St. Michel was visited in 1518 part of the last century. Duck was by Francis I. King of France.

born about the year 1700, at the village In 1561, by Charles IX.

of Charlton, in Wiltshire. He was at In 1576, by the Duchess de Bourbon. school for a short time in his boyhood, In 1624, by the Duke de Nevers, when he learned a little reading, wriwho made a rich present to the Abbey. ting, and arithmetic. When about four

In 1689, by Madame de Sevigne, teen, however, he was sent to work as who designated it Le Mont fier et or an agricultural labourer ; and, being gueilleux.

employed for several years in the lowe In 1699, Philip, Duke of Orleans, est of rural occupations, without ever brother to Louis XIV., was one of its opening a book, he soon forgot what lite visitors.

tle learning he had ever possessed. Still, The most remarkable circumstance as he used afterwards to tell, even at is the visit paid to it on the 10th of this time his thoughts were often enMay, 1777, by the ex-King of France, gaged on subjects very foreign to his the Count d'Artois then twenty years old. daily employments. At last he began In inspecting the state prison, a wooden to read a little, and this gradually incage was shewn to him. The Prince spired him with a desire to recover his struck with horror at the sight of it, or- lost knowledge, scanty as it had been. dered it to be destroyed.

At this time he was about twenty-four Shortly after, the young Princes of years of age, with a wife and family to Orleans, among whom the present King support: and being engaged in hard Philip, accompanied by Madame de Sil- work all day, he had but very little lery, stopped at Mount St. Michel. Af- time for study. He was also without ter having inspected the subterraneous books, and had no money to buy any. passages and magazines, the wooden Yet such was his ardour to obtain the cage was shewn to them. They asked means of instructing himself, that for for workmen and axes, and giving the some time, whenever he had an hour's first blows themselves, this infernal release from his regular employment, machine was completely destroyed. he devoted it to extra work ; and in this

The original rock, which is of gra- way he saved money enough to parnite, was reduced to 188 feet, in order chase, first, a treatise on vulgar fractions, to obtain sufficient room for the build- then one on decimal fractions, and lasting. The circumference of the rock at ly, one on land-surveying. All these the base is a little above half a mile. works he made himself master of, by The height, including the turret over studying them during the night, when the tower, is equal to that of St. Paul's. every body about him was asleep.

It is surrounded on almost every side Soon after this, he became intimately with lofty walls, flanked with towers. acquainted with a person in the same The north and west sides are nearly condition of life as himself, but who perpendicular. The south side is in- had passed some years in service in habited. The houses are, as it were, London, whence he had brought down on the top of each other. The ascent a few dozens of books with him to the to the abbey is by winding stairs. The conntry. Of these some were treatises abbey is strongly protected by towers on arithmetic; among the others were and strong gateways.

the Bible, Paradise Lost, the Spectator, Since the revolution it has been used Seneca's Morals, Telemachus, an Enas a department or prison for convicts, glish Dictionary and Grammar, Orid, of which there are now from seven Josephus, seven plays by Shakspeare, to eight hundred.

and a few more by other writers; DryTimes Jour. den's Virgil, Hudibras, and the works

of Waller and Prior. Duck had, it

seems, been always fond of poetry and the claims of his protege before the music; though hitherto the best speci- public in the most effective manner, mens of either which he had had an op- through the press; and, accordingly, portunity of enjoying, had been only a as many of his poems were collected few rustic ballads. But his perusal of as formed a quarto volume, which made some of the above works inspired him its appearance in that year. Besides with new enthusiasm, and in no long the general reputation which the author time he began to attempt writing verses acquired by this publication, it procur. himself. The first poetical work by ed for him the particular favour and which he was greatly struck, was Para- patronage of Queen Caroline, who imdise Lost. Yet he read it through mediately settled upon him a pension twice or thrice, with the aid of his dic- of thirty pounds a year. In 1773 he tionary before he understood it. The was made one of the Yeomen of the new beauties he was continually dis- Guard, He now applied himself to covering, however, made all this labour the study of the Latin language-in delightful. He studied the book, we which, having made some progress, he are told, as a student of Greek or Latin was admitted into holy orders. On would do one of the ancient classics, this the queen appointed him, in the and making all the while as much use first instance, keeper of her library at of his dictionary and grammar as if it Richmond, and in a short time after he had been written in a foreign language. was preferred to the living of Byfleet, These literary labours were still gene- in Surrey. Meanwhile, a second edirally pursued during the night. Some- tion of his poems had appeared in 1726, times, however, he used to take a book to which we find the names of the queen with him in his pocket when he went and other members of the royal family out to his daily work in the fields; prefixed as subscribers. Duck became and if by working with more activity much beloved and respected by the than usual he could get through what people of Byfleet in his capacity of he had to do in less than the usual pastor, and lived there happily for time, he would devote the few precious many years:

But the termination of moments he had gained to the perusal his history is very melancholy. He at of his book,

last fell into low spirits, and drowned Even while at work he often em himself in the Thames near Reading, in ployed himself in composing verses. the year 1756. His poems have now It was some time before he thought of long been forgotten. They had little committing any of his positions to merit, except considerable smoothness paper ; but at last he was induced to of versification, which even in those address a letter in verse to a gentleman, days the example of Pope had rendered who, having heard of his acquirements, a common quality. had sought him out, and made his acó quaintance ; and this effusion having been shewn to several other persons,

WONDERFUL MEMORIES. was generally regarded as a very surprising performance for one in his cir It is said of Joseph Scaliger, that he cumstances. Some clergymen, in parti- was but one-and-twenty days learning cular, to whom it was submitted, were by heart the Iliad and Odyssey of How so much pleased with it, that they re mer, although in the former alone there warded the author with a small gra are several thousand verses. tuity. From this time his talents began Mithridates, King of Pontus, had so to be generally talked of; and, encou- good a memory that Plutarch relates of raged by the praise he received, he him, that, though his dominions condid not suffer his poetical faculty to lie tained no less than twenty-two entire dormant. The consequence was, that countries, yet he was qualified to ansin a short time he had accumulated a wer every ambassador that approached respectable store of verse. · It seems to him in the respective language of the have been not long before the year country from whence he came, without 1720, that Duck attracted the notice of the assistance of an interpreter. the Reverend Mr. Spence, already men Jerome of Prague was also famous tioned as the patron of Robert Hill, the for a great memory, of which Paguis, in learned tailor, and the blind poet his epistle to Leonardus Aretinus, gives Blacklock. Spence, who did himself the following specimen, viz—" that great credit by the interest he took in after he had been confined three hunthese cases of indigent merit, immedi- dred and forty days in a dark dungeon, ately conceived the idea of bringing without bight either to see or read, yet,

« AnteriorContinua »