Imatges de pàgina
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fortable; but, it is curious to observe, that Don Quixote is unable to suppress a reference to his position as a gentleman, while my uncle Toby thinks exclusively of the convenience of his faithful adherent. Both servants are disposed to decline availing themselves of their master's kindness, Trim from pure respect, and Sancho Panza with characteristic selfishness and vulgar cunning, because, he thinks he shall enjoy himself better in taking his meals alone :—

“My uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard, I say, sitting, for, in consideration of the Corporal's lame knee (which sometimes gave him exquisite pain) when my uncle Toby dined or supped alone, he would never suffer the Corporal to stand; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that, with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself, with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him; for many a time when my uncle Toby supposed the Corporal's leg was at rest, he would look back, and detect him standing behind him with the most dutiful respect.—This bred more little squabbles betwixt them, than all other causes for five-and-twenty years together.” Let us contrast the above with the account of Don Quixote’s condescension to his squire in the goatherd's hut. Perhaps in a finer dwelling and in a finer company he would have been less obliging :“The knight sat down, and Sancho remained standing to serve the cup, which was of horn. His master, seeing him thus stationed, said to him: “That you may see, Sancho, the intrinsic worth of knight-errantry, and how fair a prospect its meanest retainers have of speedily gaining the respect and esteem of the world, my will is, that you sit here by my side, and in company with these good folks, and that you be one and the same thing with me, who am your master and natural lord ; that you eat from off my plate, and drink of the same cup in which I drink: for the same may be said of knight-errantry, which is said of love, that it makes all things equal.” “I give you my most hearty thanks, sir,’ said Sancho; “but let me tell your worship, that, provided I have victuals enough, I can eat as well, or better, standing, and alone by myself, than if I were seated close by an emperor. And farther, to tell you the truth, what I eat in my corner, without compliments or ceremonies, though it were nothing but bread and an onion, relishes better than turkeys at other folks' tables, where I am forced to chew leisurely, drink little, wipe my mouth often, neither sneeze nor cough when I have a mind, nor do other things, which I being alone and at liberty. So that, good sir, as to these honours your worship is pleased to confer upon me, as a menial servant, and hanger-on of knight-errantry, being squire to your worship, be pleased to convert them into something of more use and profit to me; for, though them to account, as received in full, I renounce them from this

may do

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time forward to the end of the world.

The humour and pathos of Sterne are too well known and too

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appreciated to require the aid of criticism to enforce his

SONNET-NATURE.

The breezy cliff, the softly-swelling hill,
The quiet valley, and the cheerful plain,
The calm romantic lake, the rolling main,
Are now my haunts Their varied graces fill
My soul with pleasant dreams, and soothe and still
The passions' strife, and fever of the brain.—
Oh! how resistless thy mysterious reign,
Benignant Nature O'er the sense of ill
Thy smiles have holy power . When the proud glow
Of wild ambition fades, and the world's brow
Grows stern and dark, thy lone but fair domain
Is Sorrow's sweetest home. There cold disdain
Ne'er wakes the tear of unregarded woe,

Nor sickening envy dreads a rival's gain.

II. 2 H

THE LADY TO HER BIRD*.

I. Gay minstrel-bird | Those prison bars Ne'er check thy song, nor chill thy breast; Thy bliss no sad remembrance mars, No wildering visions haunt thy rest. The past's soft hue, the future's veil, With vain regrets and idle fears Ne'er make thy merriest music fail,

Nor dim thine eye with tears.

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* These verses were written to illustrate an engraving in the Bengal Annual.

But as the rose with bright tints dyed
To summer's rule alone belongs,
So thou to kindred fate allied

Can’st breathe but summer songs.

IV. Yet oh! when he who charmed this breast Is far away—what sound is sweet 2 And earth in wintry gloom is drest When I no more his smile may meet. On thee, his living gift, I gaze— My hand his golden token bears— While he o'er unknown regions strays, And unknown danger dares. W. In vain I seize the lute he loved, In vain his favorite airs would try, The songs that once but softly moved My heart, now wake too wild a sigh ; And lighter strains but mock the mind Intently turned on happier hours;– The sad no charm in mirth can find,

And kindred grief o'erpowers.

TO A LADY ON HER BIRTH-DAY.

I will not hail thy natal day
With custom's cold unmeaning words;
The hopes and fears that haunt thy way
My fond heart silently records.

I will not wish its glad return,
With lifted bowl and hacknied phrase ;
Thy breast for better meed would yearn

Than idle forms and fulsome praise.

Thou knowest that in my secret soul
Thine hallowed image, aye must dwell; -
And faithful passion's strong controul

In vain the feeble tongue would tell.

If then amidst the formal crowd
I fail to breathe the formal prayer,
A fervid love more deep than loud

Thine heart will not disdain to share.

When thou no more deceit canst brook,
And fain the lines of truth wouldst trace,
Dear Lady! watch thy lover's look,
And read the language of his face |

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