Imatges de pÓgina
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cannot become greater, and have nothing left but to decline and wane ; the high tide twits them with the consciousness that they have been raised by the flood of fortune, and may subside again with its ebb; a natural storm catechises them about the chances of a political one ; a volcano thunders them a lesson upon conspiracies of the Carbonari; and they cannot open a book without being schooled by. croaking ravens as to the instability of human grandeur. All the dethroned monarchs, from Nebuchadnezzer and Belshazzar down to Napoleon, are flung in their face; they are pleasantly reminded that the lightning strikes the tallest towers first; that those who are the most elevated have the farthest to fall; that when the sportsman Death goes out a-shooting, it is a matter of perfect indifference to him whether he launches his arrow through the cottage casement, or the window of the palace ; and that in many a royal cemetery

“ Here's an acre sown, indeed,
With the richest royal seed
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin.
Here are sands, ignoble things,

Dropt from the royal sides of kings." Well might Napoleon, in the plenitude of 'his power, revert with a sad complacency to the days of his childhood, declaring that he even recollected with delight the smell of the earth in Corsica ; and that the happiest period of his existence was when he was roaming the streets of Paris as an engineer subaltern, to discover a cheap place for dining !

As the ocean is subject to unreposing tides, to prevent it from stagnating, so is the human mind destined to a perpetual ebb and flow of excitement, that it may be stimulated to fresh enterprises, and thus conduce to the general advancement of the species, by the development of individual activity. The mental hunger must be gratified as duly as the

corporeal ; and, unfortunately, there is this analogy between them, that whatever either of them tastes it destroys; the vulgar adage, that we cannot have our cake and eat it too,” is equally applicable to the feast of reason. Air that has remained a certain time in the lungs becomes unfit for the purposes of respiration, and whatever has once passed through the mind loses with its novelty its power of future gratification. Some pleasures, like the horizon, recede as we advance towards them ; others, like butterflies, are crushed by being caught. Reader, didst thou ever see a squirrel in a cage, galloping round and round, without moving a step forward? or the same animal at liberty, jumping from bough to bough of a hazel-tree, and shaking the ripe nuts into a pond beneath, in his anxiety to catch them? Art thou bustling-enterprising-grasping, and yet disappointed, thou hast seen an exact portrait of thyself. Pleasure' unattained is the hare which we hold in chase, cheered on by the ardour of competition, the exhilarating cry of the dogs, the shouts of the hunters, the echo of the horn, the ambition of being in at the death. Pleasure attained is the same hare hanging up in the sportsman's larder, worthless, disregarded, despised, dead,

As an epicure in the enjoyment of life, I thank the gods that, by placing me above want and below riches, they have given me little to fear and much to hope. I rejoice that so large a portion of enjoy. ment remains unpossessed, that I have spoilt so little by usage, and that seven-eighths of the world remain yet to be conquered, at least in hope. The ancients were quite wise in placing that goddess at the bottom of Pandora's box: it was like making the last drawn ticket, after a succession of blanks, the capital prize. Oh the matter-of-factness of imagination--the actuality of reveries--the bona fide possession of those blessings which we enjoy in hope-the present luxury of anticipation ! . These

are the only enjoyments which cannot be taken from us, which are beyond the reach of the blind fury with the abhorred shears, or her sightless sister of the ever revolving wheel. To the winds do I cast the counting house morality inculcated in the story of the milk maid with her basket of eggs, Alnaschar with his parinier of crockery, and all such musty apologues of the fabulists. There is a loss in breaking eggs or cracking teapots, but is there no gain in fancying oneself, for however short a period, a princess or a grand vizier, and revelling in all the delicinus sensations which those respective dignities confer upon the imaginary, but withhold from the real incumbent? Surely, if the fancied delight be real, and the positive enjoyment of those stations illusory, the non-possessor has the best of the bar. gain. Credo quod habeo, et habeo. It is incredible what riches and estates I hold by this tenure. I pity the title-deed proprietors of inanors, parks, and mansions, who, keeping them in fear, and quitting them with regret, may truly exclaim from their narrow tombs

« Of woods and plains, and hills and vales,
Of fields and meads and parks and pales,
Of all I had, this I possess-
I need no more-l have no less."

I have but to put on my Fortunatus's cap, and alt such domains are mine, for I have the full enjoyment, as I walk through them, or gaze over the park paling, of all the prospects they present-the breezes they waft, the song of their birds, the hum of their bees, the fragrance and the beauty of their flowers. Liké Selkirk in Fernandez, “I am monarch of all I survey,” and “my right there is none to dispute." Nor is my omniverous mind easily satiated. The Marquis of Stafford's gallery is mine-Lord Spencer's collection is mine; and mine more than theirs, for I am probably less satiated with gazing upon

their beauties. Fonthill, Knole, Petworth, Blenheim, Piercefield, the Leasowes, are not only mine, but Windsor Castle and Hampton Court; and as I have as unbounded a stomach for palaces as the builder of the latter, I keep the Louvre, Versailles, Fontainebleau, and Compeigne for my summer residences, when I make my annual excursion to Calais in the steam boat. All these my establishments cost me not a farthing for their maintenance. I live in no fear of losing them; I stand in no awe of thieves; fire gives me no apprehension ; I as little dread the watery St. Swithen, lest the damp should injure my pictures and statues ; I am unvisited by tax gatherers, and untormented by servants. Mine is the only secret by which so rich a man may be so perfectly at his ease. Then my literary distinctions ! I am a regular lion among the blues every time that my imagination walks out of its den: I am conversa. zioned by the Countess of C-, routed by the Marchioness of S—, read by the public, praised by the critics, courted by the Row. In due course I become as good an L.L.D. as Dr. Pangloss; and were I to recapitulate all the literary honours I achieve by the same process, I fear the reader would extend to me the worthy Doctor's subsequent dignity, and set me down for an A double s.

FERDINAND MENDEZ PINTO.

“ Ferdinand Mendez Pinto was but a type of thee, thou liar

of the first magnitude !"--Love for Love.

Most of our book collectors are familiar with The Voïyage and Travaile of Sir John Maundevile, Knight, which treateth of the way to Hierusalem, and marvayles of Inde; and it is well known that this bold seeker, and fearless assertor, of incredible adventures, left England in 1322 ; visited Tartary

VOL. II.

X

about half a century, after Marco Polo ; religiously declined marrying the Soldan of Egypt's daughter, because he would not renounce Christianity ; and, after wandering for thirty-four years through the realms of Inde, and being long reputed dead, returned to publish his adventures, scrupulously qualifying his most astounding relations with some such words as these : thei seyne, or men seyne, but I have not sene it. The original English MS. is in the Cotton Library, but the reader, on referring to the Tatler, No. 254, will be amused with Addison's pretended discovery of these writings, and the pleasant fiction of the freezing and thawing of several short speeches which Sir John made in the territories of Nova Zembla."

Although the name of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, the Mandeville of Portugal, have passed into a byword in England, being commonly used as a paraphrase for mendacity, little or nothing is known of his history or travels; and as this strange work is not now of common occurrence, I propose to translate, for the benefit of your readers, such occasional passages as most amusingly illustrate his circumstantial exaggerations—all of which he narrates as an eye-witness; and thus at the same time exemplify the credulity of an age which was content to receive such marvels as authentic records.

His first chapter is a short biographical sketch of his life, before embarking for India, probably the most veracious portion of the whole narrative, and I shall therefore give it as nearly as possible in his own words, using only the privilege of abridgment. “Whenever I reflect on my continual struggles, troubles, and anxiety, since my very infancy, I feel great reason to reproach fortune, as if her glory were only founded upon

her cruelty : but when I call to mind my manifold perils and trials in the Indies—that it has pleased God to relieve me from the persecution of the blind fury--to preserve my life, and place me safe

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