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If thy neglect within me spring,
Or ought I do, but Salem sing.
To quit the pains of Edom's race,
Thy holy city to deface;
Down, down with it at any hand,
Make all a waste, let nothing stand!'
Thyself shall one day wasted be:
Unto us done, shall do to thee;
Yea, happy who thy little Ones
Shall take and dash against the stones.” This paraphrase has never, to my knowledge, been printed in any collection of sacred poesy; although a much inferior version of the same Psalm is continually quoted. The reader can compare Sir Philip's manly lines with the spangled meanness of Brady and Tate ; and if he does, so he will need no more cogent proof of the vast gulf that exists between the true poet and the poetical trickster.
Sternhold and Hopkins's version being confessedly antiquated, we cannot yet be said to possess a worthy metrical translation of the Psalms. Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hymns have obtained great popularity ; but, however excellent in comparison with others, they are far from being good per se. Their chief fault is an unwarranted mutilation of the portions of Scripture they profess to copy. If I might be allowed to attack an author so universally respected, I should adduce bis versification of one of the finest passages of Isaiah in support of my opinion: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength ? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me : for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come."--Isaiah, lxiji. 1-4.
DR. WATTS. (Hymn 28.)
Comes travelling in state,
Away from Bozrah's gate ?
"Tis some victorious king :
That your salvation brings.'
Why, mighty Lord! thy saints inquire,
Why thy apparel red ?
Who in the wine press tread ?
And crushed my foes alone;
My fury stamped them down.
With joyful scarlet stains;
Sprung from their bleeding veins.
That dare insult my saints;
An ear for their complaints.” It would be invidious to deny to this hymn a certain vigour; but it emulates the grandeur of Isaiah in much the same proportion as the rumbling thunder of a theatre resembles the real thunder of the heavens! The Doctor's omissions are not, in my mind, well judged; for it is evident, that if a paraphrase of this sort is not faithful, it loses at once all its significance, and all its propriety. I admit that the sublimity of Isaiah is such that no poet can do justice to it, who does not equal the prophet in inspiration ; yet is not this the case with the whole of Holy Writ? I am uncertain whether it would not be better for us to rest contented with the vulgate translation of the Bible, instead of subjecting the sacred writers to a process which can scarcely fail of adulterating the breathings of eternal truth with human folly and human imperfection.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF FITZROY PIKE.
The History of Eustace Weston. Through all the merry stages of my subsequent career, the memory of my old school-friend, Eustace Weston, had been most sacredly preserved. The mystery that surrounded him bad often, in a reflective hour, afforded subject for conjecture; and the recollection of his quiet and amiable disposition had rendered permanent in my mind the affectionate feelings with which I had been wont to regard him : the delight, therefore, which I now felt, when, for the first time encountering each other in the world, our hands were warmly clasped together, may, without difficulty, be imagined. Dear Eustace! what would I not give to embrace thee now,—to call thee from the cold, untimely grave,- to see thee as I saw thee, then, ere thy noble heart was broken!
With as much of his story, as I was at this period able to ascertain, the reader shall be made acquainted; I myself derived it from various sources; partly from Anne Atherley and her father, who were his
neighbours, partly from other friends, in part also from Eustace himself.
Father and mother he had never known: thrown by accident, while yet an infant, upon the bounty of strangers, he had met with a generous heart that warmed towards his suffering helplessness : he had been an adopted child, educated well, and loved; but that love he knew to be the love of strangers; and while he tenderly returned it, his soul was sad- he felt that he was an orphan. Those only who have never heard a father's voice, or seen a mother's smile, can understand the orphan's sorrow. With a heart in which every sweet affection flourished, Eustace yearned for the parent into whose bosom he might pour its treasures. Father-Mother—were names that caused his soul to writhe with the torture of desire, that called the tear-drops to his young eyes. Father-mother, — why were they denied to him? He could not look up at the bright stars, and think of beaven, and say, that from thence they looked down upon him ;-he knew not that they were dead. Perchance on earth they were watching over him, moving around him, yet he knew them not.
Returning from college, and having taken orders, he was placed, by the aid of his early friend, in the vicarage of Ashbrook, a pretty village not far from old Atherley's cottage; and there almost his first duty was to consign the body of his benefactor to the dust. With a tremulous voice, he performed the solemn rite, and saw, with an aching heart, the earth heaped upon the coffin: on the margin of that grave he stood alone. But in the performance of his duty, his heart was opened; he made himself acquainted with each one of his parishioners—became to each the dearest friend. When in the pulpit, on a Sabbath day, he would tell them of the mercies of their God, old and young listened intently to the rich flow of his enthusiastic eloquence: he spoke, addressing those he loved—those that he knew loved him. The old grandmother, at the close of life, would delight to hear his words, and, gazing on his slender graceful form, declare that “ Parson Weston was an angel from heaven; she feared he was too good to live :" and little children would clamber on his knee and kiss his pale cheek, and, marking the melancholy of his dark eye, ask why he was sad : then he would sigh, and teach them to love father and mother ; to thank God that they were not orphans.
In his whole flock, Eustace had not one stray sheep; he knew how to lead every heart, and infused into the villagers a measure of his own deep feeling. Thus Ashbrook flourished; and thus Eustace lived.
When I now met with him, he was married, and had been so for more than a year. Isabel, the only daughter of Lord Varadaine, surrounded by a crowd of suitors, gloried in possession of the noble Weston's love ; for him she braved a father's anger; for him, whose qualities her pure soul could so well appreciate, she left her home, and shackled wealth and honours; content-deserted by sunshineloving friends, cast off by a sordid parent-to live a clergyman's wife in Ashbrook parsonage, joining with Eustace, for whom she had willingly lost so much, in all his little schemes of benevolence and charity. A glorious theme! Isabel Varadaine, a noble maiden in the pride of beauty, having at her command wealth, friendship, flattery, all that the world offers to its favourites, cast them aside for the possession of one true heart--and Eustace Weston was not unworthy of the sacrifice.
I know not whether I shall ever excite in my reader's bosom an idea of the feeling that I myself have towards the memory of my unfortunate friend ; for my own part, I cannot hear his name pronounced, without a swelling heart,-nay, so great is my admiration of his character, that I feel pride in being a man as Eustace was-in belonging to a race that he has adorned ;-to have been called bis friend, is honour prouder than all else earth can offer. This being the case, the pain I feel in tracing his fearful history may be conceived : I would have shunned the task; and yet a stronger feeling urges me to rescue from oblivion, to hold up to the admiration which in life it shunned, to make known for the glory of humanity, the character of a virtuous man. I cannot write of Eustace Weston in the cool and well judged language of a business biographer, -I cannot command my feelings or my thoughts when Eustace is my theme; if, therefore, my words be at times rambling or obscure, the cause is known, and pardon surely will not be denied.
Among the numerous suitors for the maiden hand of Isabel, was one Sir Robert Chervil, a rich landowner in the neighbourhood,-a man without feeling or principle, whose advances had been favoured by Lord Varadaine. His intended bride being lost, his every day was spent in the prosecution of a vindictive resentment against the wedded pair. Vile rumours were, at his instance, circulated through the village, to injure the character of the young vicar; but to shake the love and respect (I had almost said the devotion) with which Eustace Weston was universally regarded, he soon found to be a task far beyond his power. Thus foiled in his unmanly attempts, Sir Robert's hate grew stronger; he heaped on Eustace and his wife every petty annoyance or public insult that he could devise, and fumed with rage when he saw the calmness with which all these were borne. He thought Eustace wanted the spirit to resent, little understanding how far beneath the notice of a noble spirit was the anger of a mind like his.
Of the other candidates for the hand of Isabel, the heiress, all Auto tered off save one. Henry Stanfield had loved her too well for his own happiness : he saw that the affections of Isabel rested upon Eustace, and, prompted by honourable principle, concealed his own emotion : when Isabel married, his voice was first,—ay and most sincere—in wishing her every happiness; then, partly that she might not be pained by an accidental discovery of his attachment, partly that he might seek to divert his own attention from it, with a mind bordering on distraction, he left the country for the purpose of foreign travel. Thus much concerning Henry Stanfield, which only became known towards the completion of the tragedy, for the sake of distinctness, has beco related in this place.
Mutual congratulations having been exchanged, and mutual inquiries made at this our first meeting, I walked, at the invitation of Eustace, with him to Ashbrook Vicarage. The way lay for half a mile through green mea:lows, and the little spire of Weston's church,
rising among the trees, was soon apparent. Ashbrook was a pretty, rural village, with whitewashed houses and thatched roofs, and trees rising between them; everything looked clean and peaceful. The church was an old building with ivy-grown porch; and the vicarage near it, a tasteful gothic cottage with green lawn and shrubbery in front, and clustering elins with a rookery behind, had an indescribable air about it that I can only inadequately express by saying that it looked purely English,-a country clergyman's home.
Eustace introduced me to his wife, a blue-eyed merry being, who fondly repaid his love, while on her he poured down all that pure affection which had been so long restrained in the orphan's breast. Father or mother his warm heart had never known to love,- he doted on his wife. I remained an hour at the vicarage, witnessing the most perfect domestic happiness that the imagination of poet could conceive. I will not tire my reader by superfluous description, nor pain myself by dwelling on the former peace of that which is now a house of desolation ; sufficient that I left Ashbrook with my heart warmed towards Eustace and Isabel into feelings of unbounded love and admiration.
CHAPTER X. The Sorrows of Snibs.-An important Secret is disclosed which nearly affects the Happiness of two Individuals.-The Delights of a Richmond Packet, and the Dangers of a Dance.
Seated upon a stile near the entrance to Ashbrook, the first person that I met on my return home was Mr. Snibs. To judge from his face, he was certainly in no amiable mood, whilst repeated groans indicated that he was a martyr either to bodily or mental pain.
"Mr. Snibs here!" said I.
"Mr. Snibs here !”-yes, Mr. Snibs is here, and here he's likely to remain.-Confound that swaggering major !"
" Why, my dear sir, what can be the matter ?”. “Matter! Where's my shoe ? Look here, look at my feet! look at these boots ! they don't fit! Mr. Atherley lent them to me, and they jam my toes into a-confound the major ; I should like to know how my shoe got into his pocket!”
"But tight boots," said I,“ every one must sometimes endure."
"Tight boots !" cried the martyr; “ were not tight boots one of the tortures of the middle ages? Don't they keep them as relics in old castles? Were they not one (or a pair of the curses of the feudal system, or something of that kind ? What business have they on my feet? For my part, I don't see why people wear boots or shoes at all."
"It is by acting up to that theory, Mr. Snibs, that you have placed yourself in the present predicament."
"Confound the major !- Is this May-day?" "No," said I,“ what brings that to your mind ?" “Because I have just seen a Jack-in-the-green.” “ Indeed!" “Yes, there's a woman in Ashbrook all covered with flowers and leaves, quite a walking summer-house : she talked gibberish to me, and began to sing; but I don't like singing-especially with tight