Imatges de pÓgina

on searching among them, found his own, which he brought home in triumph. Another friend was still more fortunate ; he entrusted a valuable scrutoire, containing money and other property hummal, who disappeared. After fruitless inquiries he gave up all for lost, when, some days after, he was accosted in the streets by a Turk, who brought him home to his house in Galata, where he showed him his scrutoire, told him he had been separated from him in the crowd, and was ever since looking for him to restore it.

It is impossible to see any thing more dismal and dreary than the aspect that once gay Pera now presents. The Turks are already beginning to run up their wooden houses, which they are projecting farther, and making the streets narrower than ever ; but all the stone edifices remain, and will remain, in ruins. It is very doubtful if any of the natives can, or will, incur the expense of rebuilding their palaces; and merchants will hardly hazard their property again on such expensive edifices as they formerly occupied. Pera, therefore, is likely to consist, in future, of wooden houses, among stone rubbish.

Oh! think not I can calmly see

Thy second nuptial morn,
Thou knowest with what delighted glee

I bail'd its former dawn;
How proud, how joyous did I feel

Thy loved one to attend,
And with a bridesmaid's eager zeal

Adorn my gentle friend.
I clasp'd the string of costly pearls,

Thy gift in courtship’s hours,
I placed upon her shining curls

The wreath of orange flowers;
O'er her sweet face I flung the veil,

Yet drew it half aside,
That thy triumphant gaze might hail

The beauty of thy bride!
And when I knew her in the sphere

Of calm, domestic life,
How did I honour and revere

The virtues of the wife;
She turn'd from Flattery's syren voice,

And Pleasure's splendid dome,
To bless the husband of her choice,

grace his tranquil home.

Nay, weep not thus !-new duties bind

Thy thoughts to this low span,
Thou ever, while she lived, wert kind-

Thine is the faith of man !
Mine is more firm--my woman's heart

Loves on, though hope be fled-
This day can nought but grief impart

To one who mourns the dead !

M. A.

The com

THE MINISTERIAL DINNER. I PROCURED an admission to witness the dinner to Lord Althorp and Lord John Russell from the gallery where the musicians were placed in Stationers' Hall. Here I took my seat, and surveyed one of the most striking spectacles which I have ever seen. pany, consisting exclusively of the members of the House of Commons who had supported the Reform Bill, with the exception of the new peers, were assembled when I entered. I thus avoided the details of preparation, which mar the effect of these convivial gatherings, and beheld at a glance the whole of this splendid company, with Sir Francis Burdett at their head, filling the entire of the room which was selected for the banquet of Reform. The genuine representatives of the British people were there. The nominees indeed—those who are no better than mere proxies of the great oligarchy—were absent; but the men who may be justly considered as affording an express image of the nation's mind, were all collected upon one of the most signal occasions on which they could have been convened. Public virtue, genius, talents, great rank, and boundless opulence, lay beneath me in a splendid array; and as my eye, from the elevated position where I was placed, traversed the hall, I noted almost every man who is distinguished by the union of eminent abilities with a lofty integrity in England. It was most pleasurable to perceive the illustrious president of this great meeting at the head of such a body. From the distance at which I stood, I was obliged to have recourse to a glass, in order to observe his features, and perceived that they were suffused with joy, and that his natural smile, without losing any of its sweetness, had in its suavity a mixture of exultation. Nor was it wonderful. He beheld, after so many years of his political life dedicated to that great cause of Reform, which he had never deserted under all the vicissitudes of its fortune, the triumph of principles to which, at one period, a sort of disrepute, amounting almost to ignominy, was attached. As I looked at him, the recollections of the Tower of London came upon me. It rose in the background of the picture, in strong and gloomy contrast with the splendour in which I now beheld him. Dinner having concluded, and the old Roman Catholic grace having been sung in Latin, (how many remnants do we everywhere find of a religion which is associated with so much of all that is solemn and touching in our public ceremonies !) Sir Francis Burdett proposed the health of the King. It was received with shouts of reiterated acclamation—applause burst out after applause from every part of the assembly; and the clapping of hands, the waving of handkerchiefs, the cries of joy and of victory lasted for minutes. I several times imagined that the enthusiasm had subsided, and that the applause had ceased, when it rose again suddenly on my ear, and broke out in new peals of loyal affection to the monarch who has, indeed, deserved the unparalleled popularity which has given him the heart of England for his throne. At length Sir Francis Burdett addressed the Meeting. His sweet voice, which is so remarkable for the delicacy and the distinctness of its beautiful tones, went in music to every ear, as the sentiments which he expressed reached to every heart. I could have desired,

however, I must confess, that before he had come to the Meeting, he had taken the trouble to set down' his words in his memory, because, although extemporaneous language may be the best vehicle for reasoning, and where business only is to be dispatched, it strikes me that, on occasions in which the speaker's single office is to awake the finer emotions, to touch the feelings, and kindle the minds of his auditors, without making any appeal to the reasoning faculties, he owes it to himself, and to those whom he addresses, to have recourse to those artifices of diction, and to those decorations of phraseology, without which the best sentiments fail to produce their full and legitimate effect. I confess myself to be one of those who listen with incredulity to the asseverations of those by whom it is alleged that their noblest effusions are the sudden wellings out of abundant thought from their minds. I suspect that much of what is passed off as the result of unpremeditating enthusiasm, belongs to that department of oratory which has been well designated as the “impromptu fait à loisir." Lord Brougham is honest, as to his rhetoric at least. He candidly acknowledges that his achievements in eloquence are the products of great labour, and has avowed that he wrote the peroration of his speech on the Queen's trial some dozen times. Canning was notoriously elaborate ; his corrections are most singularly minute. The best speeches of Edmund Burke were composed. Among his papers, after his death, a quantity of matter was found, which was supposed to have been uttered without the least previous reflection in the House of Commons. His speech on Reform, which has been recently published, and which so far surpasses all that has been said by the opponents of that measure, was discovered in his portfolio. “ Stilus optimus dicendi magister !” This aphorism of eloquence has been almost uniformly verified by the most eminent speakers in every language; and those who feel the power of a single monosyllablewho know that the effect of the finest passage may be neutralized by the least infelicity of expression—that the most harmonious cadence may be converted into abruptness by the unhappy position of an adjective, and that an unfortunate adverb may affect the melody of the best sustained sentence, will feel how impossible it is, without great care and studious diligence, to evolve a series of beautiful conceptions in expressions corresponding with their gracefulness and their elevation, and that, after all, the criticism in the “Midsummer Night's Dream" on the facility with which Bottom might play his part, is founded in just observation, "you may speak it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring."

To return to Sir Francis. He is evidently one of those who leave to the inspiration of the instant, the entire diction in which their arguments and their feelings are to be conveyed. Accordingly, in the House of Commons, when he is greatly roused, and some incident arises that brings all his faculties into play, he speaks perhaps better than he would have been able to speak if prepared, from the very circumstance that he trusts to his emotions for the supply of his expression; but when he is calm, and does not ascend beyond the level of solemn discourse, his phraseology becomes broken; he wants words, and such words as he does at last produce are not only not fortunately, but are scarcely accurately put together. The sentences

are dislocated and out of joint; and instead of being pervaded by a singleness or continuity of thought, are stuck together in fragments of irrelevancy, and exhibit an utter dissociation with each other. These are serious defects, into which almost every extempore speaker (where he does not argue) is almost sure to fall, and in an afterdinner speech, where the passions are not to be stirred, nor the understanding to be convinced, but where a calm sensation is to be awakened, and our feelings are to be agreeably but not vehemently stirred, the orator of the occasion should be as careful of every phrase, and as solicitous in the construction of his language, as if he were engaged in the laborious task of composition, and speaking what was to be read as well as what was to be uttered.

But the imperfections in the speaking of Sir Francis Burdett were redeemed, as far as it was possible that they should be so, by his noble bearing, his sweet distinctness, and by the peculiarity of his position under the illustrious circumstances, which were in themselves sufficient to impart value and dignity to all that he said and looked upon this conspicuous occasion. He proposed Lord Althorp's health: to him and to Lord John Russell the dinner was given. The toast was hailed as it ought to have been; and the feeling of personal regard in which Lord Althorp is held, mingled itself in the testimonies which were given in universal acclamation to his public conduct. When Sir Francis Burdett pronounced an encomium on his incomparable temper, there was a loud and unanimous response to the praise, which every one felt to be founded upon unquestionable truth. Lord Althorp rose. I have often seen him, but never beheld him so excited as he was at this moment. His countenance preserved its expression of predominant bonhommie, but lost that aspect of qui. escence which it ordinarily wears, and became animated by emotions of lofty and triumphant goodness. He underwent a singular change. The low, obscure, uncertain, and hesitating tones in which he speaks in the House of Commons were put by. He even laid aside the huskiness of thought as well as of voice in which he too frequently delivers himself, and showed that he has within him a far better oratorical materiel than he generally conveys to his hearer the idea that he possesses. Clear, distinct, and even impassioned; conscious at once of the purity of his purpose, and of its glorious success, he spoke with a fervid integrity, and a forcible impressiveness, which, if transferred to his Parliamentary enunciation, would be of signal service, not only to himself, but to the public. He owned that pride which he felt in the victories of peace which he had won; he avowed his passion for a meritorious and honourable fame, and acknowledged the pleasure which he derived from the popularity which he had obtained by measures as useful to his country as they are creditable to himself. This speech was hailed with rapturous concurrence in every sentiment which it contained, and brought out the expression of a feeling, which induces me to consider Lord Althorp as one of the main sustainments of the Government. He is evidently an object of warm individual liking, as well as of public respect. He commands the confidence of all those who know, or even hear him. He is a personification of old English unadulterated honesty, and gets an easy possession of the understanding by making a ready lodgment in the

heart. The health of Lord John Russell was next proposed. He rose, with a countenance “ sicklied o'er by the pale cast of thought," to thank his friends for their acclamations to his health. He was evidently exhausted by the labours which the long debates on the Reform Rill had produced; and even this occasion, so full of cheerfulness, did not banish from his face the shadows of solicitude which habits of deep care have left upon it. It is to be lamented, that his rhetorical physique is so imperfect. He has not strength sufficient to enforce his sentiments with tones and gesture at all appropriate to their vigour; and we hear from him the strongest opinions enunciated in the feeblest way. This imperfection is referrable, in a great degree, to his lack of constitutional energy. But he does not only want physical strength, but is deficient in the oratorical temperament. His pulse scarcely beats when he speaks beyond its customary pulsation; and the only difference between his public expositions and his ordinary discourse, consists in the loudness of his voice, and not in the change of emphasis and the force of intonation. The consequence is, that it requires no ordinary attention, as well as discrimination, to perceive the great merit which is to be detected in much of what he says. His language is of the best and purest English, and is decorated by his literature, and dignified by his generous feelings. But a large audience are not sensible of these merits : so much so, that his beautiful illustration, drawn from the lamp of Aladdin, produced, when it was uttered by himself, not the least effect; although, when repeated by Sir Robert Peel in the way that became it, it was heard with admiration. His speech at this dinner was of the same order as his habitual oratory in the House of Commons ;-exact in composition, precise in expression, easy in enunciation, pregnant with just sentiment and wise opinion ; but deficient in the natural energy which sets off all other accomplishments, and makes amends so frequently for the want of almost every other endowment.

Lord Ebrington, who is singularly like John Kemble, except that he expresses a dignified goodness with the features which were employed by the other to represent the heroism of the stage, rose to return thanks upon the proposal of a toast which I did not distinctly hear. This nobleman is universally beloved. The feeling entertained towards him was strongly testified by the applauses with which his rising was hailed. He adverted to the condition of Ireland, with which he stated himself to be nearly connected, and enlarged upon the strenuous and faithful support given to the Government by the Irish Members, who had especially contributed to the success of the measure of Reform. This sentiment was adopted by Mr. Stanley, who, upon this occasion, appeared to be anxious to remove some of the impressions made by his speeches in one or two instances in the House of Commons. His spontaneous and unnecessary championship in the cause of the Irish Church, and his unfortunate “ Ārms Bill,” had led many persons to conjecture that his Whiggism was to be confined to England, and that he was in Ireland to act on a worse than Tory policy. But this opinion is, I believe, erroneous ; although the circumstances which gave rise to it prevent it from being unjust. He distinctly stated, that he felt the obligations conferred on the

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