Imatges de pÓgina

As regards ourself, we very strongly object to all these "ready cut and dried " effusions. They are tasteless-spiritless-meaningless. They have no point. They will do for one; they will do for all. Over-grown Cupids rolling over clouds, their cheeks bedaubed with vermillion-ugly little hump-backed churches, botched with imitation-ivy (where no sane mortal could ever think of getting married); and top-heavy chariots shining in ochre-such attempts at heart-stealing as these, delight us not. Nor have we ever been seriously smitten by those hosts of little nude Cupids,who so mysteriously creep out of fullblown cabbage-roses, making the best of their way to large over-grown hearts, stuffed with

double-headed arrows-these said hearts uttering dolorous complaints in SO -called verse, whilst frying in their own flames. These never took our fancy.

We believe we were the first to originate the idea, of sending the girl of our heart an emblematical device on pasteboard of a closed cabinet, with a latch attached. On lifting this, the doors flew open; and an elegant silvered mirror, concealed by a veil of silver gauze, was seen suspended in the front. Beneath it was written :


Remove this veil with care, and see
The ONLY girl who's dear to me;
If she will let me call her "mine,"
I'll seek NO OTHER Valentine.

This, though a boyish effusion, was, we remember, a dead shot. The idea was a pretty one; we were suspected, accepted, beloved, and caressed (of course).

HURDIS says, writing of this memorable day :

This day doth herald in St. Valentine!
Now maids are brisk, and at the break of day
Start up and turn their pillows, curious all
To know what happy swain the fates provide
A mate for life. Then follows thick discharge
Of true-love knots, and sonnets nicely penned;
But to the learned critic's eye no verse,
But prose distracted.

We have not made much progress since the days of Hurdis. If ladies' hearts fall before the poetry of modern Valentines, they must, we think, be indeed made of " melting


It is said that the sweet air of "Rousseau's Dream" was first imported into this country some fifty years ago; and that the first English words ever written to it were in the form of a serenade from a lover to his betrothed, on the morning of St. Valentine's Day. We have a copy of the lines in our possession, and we subjoin them :-

Health to thee, mine own sweet lady!

Health and blessing, first and last! Now may Heaven, all bounteous, aid me Round thy path new spells to cast.

Blessed be thine early morning!

Blessed be thine evening close! Blessed thy going and returning,

Summer hours and winter snows!

Not to thee, all undeceiving,

Pure of spirit, frank of heart, Shall the Muse, her fictions weaving, Act the faithless flatterer's part. Win and wear thy prize, fair lady! Faith as true, as pure as thine, Love and service ever ready,

From thy well-known Valentine.

We must confess that, as we grow older, we cling more to the poetry of love than to the rattling jingle of School-boy sonnets. Love is an expansive element-not a mere simpering look of yes or no. It is a deep stream, into which the lower you plunge the sweeter the feeling. We could write on this subject for ever; but we forget that this is a mere pièce de circonstance. Let us conclude, therefore, with the "Valentine Wreath," by Montgomery. It is a gem worth "setting" in OUR OWN JOURNAL:


[blocks in formation]




Ir is a curious fact connected with our race, that whilst one part is progressing with railway speed towards perfection, the other part is retrograding in intellect in an inverse ratio. If any proof of this be wanting, see it in the blind allegiance paid by the million to newspaper advertisementsall of them just so many "shams."


Let us take up any one of the daily sheets of the Times newspaper. What see we there? Why, advertisements innumerable of every kind of "want"--whether applied to things, people, or money. It has been said, that the public may be divided into ten parts. Nine of these parts are fools, the tenth consists of wise men. It has been further said, and truly-that the tenth part swallows up the other nine! This is a fact !

The tenth part of the public, then, are those who live by putting specious advertisements into the " Times," so artfully worded as to work upon the passions or the weak point of an erring mortal. The hook is, for the most part, so nicely, so temptingly baited, that it is sure of securing a victim: when secured, bis "fate" may be guessed: ex.



It is well known that many of our work ing clergy are very poor (all "worthy" clergymen must be very poor. This is nature's law). Well; to meet their views," money is advertised as forthcoming 66 on easy terms.' The poor clergyman sees the bait; swallows it; corresponds; sends up his acceptance on blank paper, gets no money in return; finds himself "done" on coming up to town, and his acceptance originally sent for £100 altered to £400. The bill is passed away; it becomes due; the clergyman is sued; persecuted; ruined! The same trick, in different disguises, fills the columns of the "Times" daily. The advertisers live in style; whilst their victims are plundered, and frequently commit suicide.

As for the simple who believe every thing on a small scale, they are plundered very easily. Thus, if a man be bald headed, he reads, in the advertisement of a swindling advertiser," hair is perfectly restored after seven years baldness." Miss Dean tells him the "fact" so positively, that he cannot but believe her. He pays 2s. for the "elegantly scented compound," and finds himself "done,"―besides being more bald than ever he was. He is exhorted to "persevere." He does so; buys some dozen pots, and finds himself without a single hair on his head! The same with quack medicines,-in fact with nearly all the marvellous advertise

ments. The greater the fabrication, the more impossible the cure,-the greater the credit given to the wonderful heal-all! One "Professor" tells us daily in the "Times," that his ointment cures broken legs, after two or three applications; and that his pills will make an old man young again. He says so; and people believe him. They take his physic and die; he takes their money and laughs at them. The fact is, none of these advertisements can be believed. "They lie like truth."

It is vain for us, to hope to effect much good by any expose that we might make; still if we only save one intended victim, we shall be more than satisfied. We will now introduce a brief account of a recent case of extortion made by a "Matrimonial Alliance Association," who had volunteered by advertisement to procure wives or hus"done" on bands "to order." The person this occasion, was MR. PELLAS-a merchant of Fenchurch Street; but it turned out, case of "the biter bit." subsequently, a We record the circumstances of the trial in OUR JOURNAL, by way of a warning to all who want wives, or husbands "by proxy." Rely on it, good people, the old way is best. If a woman is not worth winning and wooing, she is not worth having :—

An action was brought in the Westminster County Court, by a foreigner named Pellas, a merchant, of Fenchurch Street, City, against a person of the name of Hunter, a manager of the Legal Matrimonial Alliance Association, the offices of which were stated to be at No. 2, Portsmouth-street, Lincoln's-inn-fields, to recover the sum of £10, which he had paid under a promise of being introduced by the "Society" to a lady destined to be his wife, but which promise had not been performed.

From the statement of Mr. De Jersey, who detailed the facts in an unusually humorous style, it appeared that in September last his client, who was a native of Genoa, observed in a weekly newspaper an article headed "Important to Bachelors and Spinsters," wherein all who were single were invited to become members, if they riage to be of mutual advantage. The plaintiff desired to taste the joys of wedlock; the marBeresford, to whom applications were to be made wishing to try such an event, wrote to Mr. Hugo at the above address, he being secretary, the following letter:


"Sept. 3, 1852. "Sir,-Some time ago, the writer saw advertisement of yours in the London paper, under the title of The Matrimonial Alliance Association,' and now should feel obliged by your letting him know, at the earliest convenience, what you think you could really do for him, most honorable and respectable he being a unmarried gentleman desirous of getting married to a respectable lady-no matter her age -possessing a handsome fortune, and who, after satisfactory inquiries, might be disposed to help him with a loan of £2,000, purposely to increase

his business which is most lucrative, and presents the greatest security. He has for several years been an established foreign commissionmerchant in the city of London, enjoys great respectability and credit in the trade, is banking with a first-rate firm in Lombard-street, and in fact, can give the best references for the period of the last twenty years. He is only hardly a middle-aged gentleman, foreigner by birth, and is living in London. He has a dwelling-house for himself, entirely for him, and it is furnished the same as any lady or gentleman of style can wish. With the rest, please to state your terms, as these must be settled beforehand. Enclosed you will find five postage stamps. I remain yours truly, A B. - P.S. Please address the letters only Mr. W. Jones, No. 10, the Grove, Claphamroad, Surrey."


A prompt reply from Mr. Hugo Beresford was sent, asking for the usual registration fee of 5s. in postage stamps, on the receipt of which a printed form of application would be forwarded. The stamps were sent, the plaintiff in exchange being supplied with the said form. In this he was to state his age, weight, height, complexion, color of hair and eyes; and, in fact, describe himself as he would a horse he had to dispose of laughter). He did all that, after which Mr. Hugo Beresford again wrote to him, intimating that he had a very choice collection of ladies on hand, the charge on an engagement with either of which would be between £30 and £40; and that a small deposit was required, which, if, after forwarding, the plaintiff should not be "suited," it would be placed to his credit, and deducted from the gross amount when he was. Plaintiff thereupon enclosed in an envelope to Mr. Beresford a cheque upon Messrs. Glynn, his bankers, for £5, which had the effect of causing Mr. Beresford to make another demand upon plaintiff's purse, at the same time intimating that the Christian name of the lady he was to be introduced to was “Fanny" (loud laughter). His client, still under the impression that this was only the legalised ordeal of bachelorship, and the name of his perspective wife invigorating him, transmitted another cheque of £5-hoping he should be introduced to the lady. Mr. Beresford, however, judged he had got a flat in plaintiff, to whom he made a communication that on the receipt of another £10, his wish should be gratified, but otherwise it could not be. The plaintiff then, for the first time, began to feel a little doubtful of the affair he had blindly embarked in, and resolved to go to the company's office, in Portsmouth-street, where on asking for Mr. Beresford, he was introduced to the defendant, who, having taken him into a dark, dirty apartment, more like a den than a room, asked him his business, which he told. Defendant upon that, having locked the door, said, Mr. Beresford's abroad; my name's Hunter; I have been corresponding with you for him, and I suppose you have come to pay the required £10." Plaintiff assured him that he meant no such thing, and should not advance any more money till he could see the lady, or have some reference given him as to the respectability and honor of the company he had entered into dealings with. On uttering these words, the defendant complained of the slur thus cast upon

an association having in its banker's hands upwards of £3,000; and his fierce looks frightening the plaintiff, he promised to send £10 on the morrow, and was allowed to depart. On reaching the street, he ran away; not stopping till within a few paces of his own residence. Thiswas on the 29th of September, and on the following day he sent a note, declining any further transactions with the Matrimonial Alliance Association. The Association was, however, not to be so easily disenthralled from a person who had got into their meshes, and threats of proceedings against him in the Sheriff's Court were made unless he paid the £10 by twelve o'clock on a certain day; when, if the lady, on an interview did not suit, it would be returned. His client was inflexible; and being on two occasions refused the £10, which had been fraudulently, as he considered, obtained from him, he instituted these proceedings. Subsequently to that event, Mr. Hugo Beresford was loth to lose his game in the person of the plaintiff, and sent him the following rich morceau:-"Mr. Beresford would be happy to arrange a meeting with a lady, another 'likely' character, with whom an interview can be given." Plaintiff was proof against this and other overtures made to alter the course he had adopted, and he was determined that, through an exposure by the press, the public should be put on their guard from being defrauded by an alleged bona fide association, not worth a straw.

The plaintiff, a good-looking gentlemanly young man, of mild demeanor, in broken English corroborated the facts in chief, as narrated by his solicitor.

Cross-examined by Mr. Roberts: He had never before speculated in marriage. His father wanted to bring him up a priest; but he did not like it, and came to this country. He was under thirty years of age. He did not care about his wife's age, as he wanted a companion in a woman, and money might give her a favorality (laughter). He should, he thought, have objected to marry

woman more than middle aged. On seeing the Matrimonial Alliance, he said let us try. He knew of no firm of that name (laughter), but said so to himself.

His honor observed, that no doubt the money had been obtained by fraud upon the plaintiff, and the defendant, who was the only person he had seen throughout the transaction, was liable, and he should, therefore, make an order for its payment.-I propose, then, ten shillings a month.

Mr. De Jersey: What!! By an association boasting of having in their banker's hands £3,000 (laughter)! I press for order was then made for immediate paymentpayment forthwith.-An


[blocks in formation]

outlay. It is headed, "8107 marriages suit us nicely;" and others wanted to take last year," and proceeds thus:"instant possession" of our royal person. Vain was it for us,-then a blooming youth, to remonstrate. It would not do. Every one of ese besetting, besieging housekeepers,tried to vanquish us by saying she was "just the thing"; and we barely escaped with the skin of our teeth. At last, out of revenge we selected, as a safeguard, one of the ugliest and silliest; and then made a sortie, we remember, by a side door, whilst the fair would-be invaders of our domestic felicity trooped off most reluctantly one by one. The day following they again dropped in, by couplets and triplets, to see as they said "which way the wind lay." But we were firm, a martyr to our principles.

We had taken a servant who was an adver

tisement-hunter. Of course therefore we were
robbed. We had been told it would be so;
but we thought we knew woman-kind better,
and so we paid for our experience.
four months; our brown brandy became
wardrobe diminished one half at least, in
"pale," by coming into too close contact
water bewitched;" and the rum was, as
with water; the Geneva turned out
our bachelor-friends expressed it,-"Rum
indeed!" A double set of keys too, placed
all our secrets at the mercy of Madame;
and we found ourselves fairly obliged to
This over-polite
give her notice to quit.
woman was always an eye-sore to us. We
had taken her in a pet, we kept her as a
matter of philosophical necessity. When
she was gone, we shouted for joy; and vowed
soon to commit Matrimony as a panacea
for all such evils. We kept our vow.

We again repeat,-shun all wants and wishes made known through tricky advertisements. They are webs-woven by the few for the destruction of the many.


It is winter-veritable winter-with bona fide frost, and cramping cold, and a sun as clear and powerless as moonlight. The windows glitter with the most fantastic frost-work. Cities, with their spires and turrets, ranks of spears, files of horsemen-every gorgeous and brilliant array told of in romance or song, start out of that mass of silvery tracery, like the processions of a magic mirror. What a miraculous beauty there is in frost! What fine work in its radiant crystals! What mystery in its exact proportions and its maniform varieties! The feathery snow-flake, the delicate rime, the transparent and sheeted ice, the magnificent iceberg moving down the sea like a mountain of light-how beautiful are they all, and how wonderful is it, that, break and scatter them as you will, you will find under every form the same faultless angles,

"Matrimony made easy, or how to win lover.-Madame M, London, continues to send free to any address, on receipt of thirteen postage stamps (uncut), plain directions to enable Ladies or Gentlemen to win the devoted affections of as many of the opposite sex as their hearts may desire. The process is simple-so captivating and enthralling, that all may be married, irrespective of age, appearance, or position; while the most fickle, or cold-hearted, may readily bow to its attractions. Young and old, peer and peeress, as well as the peasant, are alike subject to its influence; and last, though not least, it can be arranged with such ease and delicacy that exposure is impossible,-Beware of ignorant pretenders."

The winning of a lover, it will be seen, is herein described as simple, captivating, and enthralling. All may be married, irrespective of age, or appearance, whilst the fickle and cold-hearted may be rendered constant and ardent as fire. Then, "ease" and " delicacy" are called in; and "exposure" rendered "impossible." This is rich,-and only exceeded by the last concluding sentence, cautioning the public against herself.-Beware of" ignorant pretenders!"

It is worthy of note, that the greater the impudence put forward in advertisements, the greater the success in procuring dupes. Is not the subjoined, cut out of the paper only a day or two since, rich and rare? thou most gullible John Bull!

Oh !



"Bashfulness.-Those persons who are troubled with bashfulness, timidity, disinclination to enter room full of company," inability to speak freely when in company, &c., should at once write to Mr. J. Parkinson, who will forward them his advice on the means to be employed for obtaining confidence, the power of conversing and mingling freely in society without being annoyed by any disagreeable feeling of restraint; in short, the comfortable assurance of easy gentility.Direct (enclosing two dozen postage-stamps and a directed envelope) to Mr. J. Parkinson, care of the Post Office, &c., &c."

The "two dozen postage stamps" is nothing, in comparison with "the comfortable assurance of easy gentility." Whether the latter be forthcoming or not, is beside the question. The "two dozen stamps," value 2s., will never be refunded! There are two sides to every question. WE remember once advertising for "a housekeeper." Being young and inexperienced, we perhaps worded our "want" rather loosely; at all events, no sooner had the advertisement appeared, than we were besieged on every hand by the hunters-up of advertisements. We were looked upon as fair game by old and young, ugly and pretty. Some smirked at us, some winked at us; some said, "they knew they should

the same crystalline and sparkling radiation. It sometimes grows suddenly cold at noon. There has been a heavy mist all the morning, and, as the north wind comes sharply in, the air clears and leaves it frozen upon everything, with the thinness of palpable air. The trees are clothed with a fine white vapor, as if a cloud had been arrested and fixed motionless in the branches. They look, in the twilight like gigantic spirits, standing in broad ranks and clothed in drapery of supernatural whiteness and texture. On close examination, the crystals are as fine as needles, and standing in perfect parallelism, pointing in the direction of the wind. They are like fringes of the most minute threads, edging every twig and filament of the tree, so that the branches are thickened by them, and have a shadowy and mysterious look, as if a spirit-foliage had started out from the naked limbs. It is not

so brilliant as the common rime seen

the trees after a frozen rain, but it is infinitely more delicate and spiritual, and to us seems a phenomenon of exquisite beauty.


DEAREST, I'M THINE, whate'er this heart betide,
For ever thine, where'er our lot be cast;
Fate, that may rob us of all wealth beside,
Shall leave us LOVE, till death itself be past.
The world may wrong us, we will brave its hate;
False friends may change, and false hopes decline;
Tho' bowed by cankering cares we'll smile at fate,
Since thou art mine, belov'd, and I am thine!
For ever thine,-when circling years have spread
Time's snowy blossoms o'er thy placid brow;
When youth's rich glow, its purple light is fled,
And lilies bloom where roses flourish now.

Say, shall I love thy fading beauty less,
When spring-tide radiance has been wholly mine?
Let come what will, thy steadfast truth I'll bless,
In youth, in age,-thine own, for ever thine!
For ever thine-at evening's dewy hour,
When gentle hearts to tend'rest thoughts incline;
When balmiest odors from each closing flower
Are breathing round, I'm thine, for ever thine.
For ever thine, 'mid fashion's heartless throng,
In courtly bowers, at folly's gilded shrine;
Smiles on my cheek, light words upon my tongue,
My deep heart still is thine, for ever thine.
For ever thine, amid the boisterous crowd,
Where the jest sparkles with the sparkling wine;
I may not breathe thy gentle name aloud,
But drink to thee in thought,-for ever thine!

[blocks in formation]



Hold! hold! what would these endless clouds be at!
These five days it has been but pour-pour-pour;
Methinks 'twill float again the ark of Noah
From its old station on Mount Ararat,
Oh! 'tis a pleasant time for cloak and hat;
And for umbrellas, laid in dozens by,
That, as one drops, another may be dry:
For cork-soled shoes, stilts, oilcase, and all that.
Out, cat! why turn thy back upon the fire?

We've rain enough, I say!-We'll try again
This weather glass;-sweet finger, pray mount higher!
Down!-down it goes!-oh mercy!-yet more rain?
Shall the world drown? no dry spot left upon it,
And fishes swim where I now pen this sonnet?

FEBRUARY IS, WITHOUT DOUBT, the most cheerless month of the year. There may be pleasant varieties of it. The latter end may, and frequently is, much more agreewhole, it is at once cold, damp, and foggy. able than the commencement; but, as a Besides the earth being saturated with a abundance of rain during this month; so whole winter's moisture, there is, generally, much so, that it has acquired the cognomen of February-fill-dike.'

The frosts and snows which have been locking up, and burying the earth for weeks and months, are giving way; and what is so cheerless and chilling as a great thaw? There is a lack of comfort felt every where. In real winter-weather, when the clear frosty air sharply saluted the face by day, and revealed to the eye at night, a scene of sublime splendor in the lofty and intensely blue sky, glittering with congregated stars, or irradiated by the moon,-there was a sense of vigor, of elasticity, and of freshness, which made it welcome; but now, most commonly, by day and night, the sky is hidden in impenetrable vaporthe earth is sodden and splashy with wet;

and even the very fireside does not escape the comfortless sense of humidity.

Everything presents to the eye, accustomed so long to the brightness of clear frosts and the pure whiteness of snow, a dingy and soiled aspect. All things are dripping with wet. It hangs upon the walls like a heavy dew; it penetrates into the drawers and wardrobes of our warmest chambers; and we are surprised at the unusual dampness of our clothes, linen, books, paper, and, in short, almost every thing which we have occasion to examine. Brick and stone floors are now dangerous things for delicate and thinly-shod people to stand upon. To this source, and, in fact, to the damps of this month, operating in various ways, may be attributed not a few of the colds, coughs, and consumptions so prevalent in England. Pavements are frequently so much elevated by the expansion of the moisture beneath, as to obs the opening and shutting of doors

« AnteriorContinua »