Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

را بر سر

[ocr errors]

And feign?d with callous, ear to turn

From tidings of the dubious strife;
Of glory's meed she fear'd to leam,

Yet dreaded more inglorious life. 1
Vain care !-the soul thou durst not hail

The maddening shout of victory won
Too surely caught the funeral wail

it out
That told her she had lost a son!
A son !—and which ?-oh! none could tell;

97 It matter'd not, when all were dear; She only knew that he who fell

<,!),
Would claim a mother's bitterest tear.
That tear in ignorance was shed,

And deep she mourn'd she knew not whom,"119
When “Cease!" they cried, “ to weep the dead bort'

The living come to chase thy gloom!Nyoti
Oh, Death ! how strangely thou canst twine
The ties that lightest bound before

!!!N 331
Thou never bad'st us anght resign

But in thy grasp we loved it more!
So felt she, when with anguish wild

She vaiuly strove her eyes to turn,
By gazing on each living child,

The dearer lost one's name to learn.
Her first-born came in whom revived

A gallanț father's martial fame-
She scarce blest Heaven that he survived,

And shriek d her youngest darling's name.
That son of love was spared to fly

And bid her clasp her favourite boy;
One glance, and then her closing eye

Spoke grief triumphant over joy.
The least beloved was now, as one

Whose like she ne'er again might see
To her, who in each living son

Saw but a source of agony.
“ Farewell!” she cried—“ at Duty's call,

Again ye quit a mother's side
The tears I shed must flow for all,

Nor cease till all alike have died !

[ocr errors]

1

But be it so !--for Greece to die,

Is for her sops the fairest lot
And realms there are beyond the sky

Where death and sorrow enter not!'

7

من ، )

pour

ANTI-INNOVATOR. Plague take the world! why cannot it stand still, and go on as it used to do when I was a boy ?' What do the people mean by the progress of events and the march of intellect? What good ever came by changes ? How is it possible that any man can be wiser than his father? Where can a man get his wisdom from, but from his father ? and his father cannot give him more than he has got to give. Ah dear l ah dear! I remember the time when the parish beadle was a man of some consequence, when a lord was a thing to be stared at and a sight to be talked about—and the King !—Why no man in his senses ever thought of the King, but with the profoundest respect. Every day after dinner as soon as my father had said grace,

he ed out a bumper of port and drank « Church and King.” It did one's heart good to see and hear him; it was as good as a sermon. The wine itself seemed conscious of the glory of its destination to be swallowed not unblest, and it looked bright in the glass and seemed to dance with eagerness to meet his lips. But now o' days if I venture to toast Church and King, I am forced to do it in a hurried irreligious sort of a way, with a kind of a sneer, as much as to say, it's all my eye; or my boy Tom will laugh at me and drink the Majesty of the People. The majesty of the people indeed! I should like to see it. There used to be some reverence shown to lords in former times, but how are they treated now! Snubbed at by the newspapers, elbowed in the streets, quizzed in epigrams, peppered with pamphlets, shown up in novels, robbed of their boroughs, and threatened with annihilation. People call that the march of intellect -I call it the march of insolence. When I was a boy, all the books we had in the house were the Bible and Prayer-Book and the Court Calendar ; the first two contained our religion and the last our politics : as for literature, what did we want with it? It is only the means of turning the world upside down, and putting notions into people's heads, that would never get there without.

All the evil that is in the world came by innovation ; and there is no part of the world free from innovation, neither the heavens above, nor the earth beneath, nor the waters that are under the earth. What business have men up in the air in balloons ? What good can they get there? What do they go there for, but merely to come down, and perhaps break their necks ? They would be much safer on dry ground. Our ancestors used to be content with the sun, and moon, and stars, and four or five planets, now forsooth the impertinent ones must be poking their telescopes up to the sky and discovering new planets almost every night, as if we had not got as many planets already as we know what to do with. Comets too! Why fifty years ago there used not to be above one in a century, and now they are as thick as hops and as abundant as esquires. Now with their abominable telescopes,-I wish they were all broke,--the astronomers are peering about and making their calculations about comets that are to come and burn us all up. Plague take them, I do not believe them, but they frighten one out of one's wits too.

Steam Engines - I do not think we should ever have heard a word about Parliamentary Reform, if it had not been for steam engines. I

hope Mr. Colburn will not have his magazine with this article printed with a steam press, for if he does, I shall not dare to read it for fear of being blown up. What did we want with steam engines? Did not we beat the Frenchi without steam engines ? There were no steam engines at the battle of Agincourt. Did not we drive out Pa pery without the help of steam engines ? To be sure we did. I hate innovations. I should just like to know what is to become of all the hackney coach horses, if we are to have steam carriages. The poor beasts look half starved as it is ; they will be ten times worse if they are turned out to make room for steam engines : and what shall we do for dog's meat if there are no horses to cut up ? Then we must have Macadamized roads too! our ancestors did very well without Macadamized roads. They took their time in travelling from one place to another, and if they happened to be too late for the stage, they had nothing to do but to run after it and catch it. Let them try to do so now.

Buildings too! did ever any mortal see such an overgrown place as London is now? There is not a dirty ditch within five miles of London that has not got some Paradise Row, or Mount Pleasant, of Prospect Place stuck into it. Why can't the citizens live in the city as they used to do, and stick to their shops? There is no such place as the country now, it is all come to London. And what sort of houses do they build! Look at them--a bundle of matches for the timbers and a basket of bricks for the walls.

Rail-roads—a pretty contrivance, forsooth! to pick the pockets of the good old waggon horses, and the regular legitimate coach horses that had stood the test of ages. Pray what is to become of the farmers if there are no horses to eat their oats ? And how are the rents to be paid, and the taxes, and the tithes, and the poor rates ? and who is to pay the interest of the national debt? and what will become of the Church if horses do not eat oats to enable the farmers to pay their tithes and feed the clergy ? Manchester and Liverpool were quite near enough without the assistance of rail roads, and if the building mania goes on much longer there will be no need of a road from one to the other, for they will both join, and the people may be in both places at once. People are talking now of rail roads superseding canals, the good old canals, half of wbich are already threequarters full of duck weed and dead cats.

What did the Wellington ministry mean by opening beer shops ? Why could not they let the good old gin-shops alone and stick to the regular legitimate public-houses ? Our ancestors could get as drunk as heart could wish at the genuine licensed old-fashioned pot-houses.

Look at the population too! People go on increasing and multiplying as if they never intended to leave off. Hundreds and hundreds of people are coming into the world who have no right to be born. The world is as full as it can hold already; there is positively no room for any more. There was nothing like the number of children to be seen about the streets, when I was a boy, as there is now. I'have sometimes half a mind to ask those lubberly boys that I see about the street, what right they had to be born; but perhaps they would make me some impertinent answer, for they swagger about as if they thought that they had as good right to be born as any one

else. I wish they would read Malthus's Essay on Population, they would then be convinced that they have no right to be born, and they would be ashamed of themselves for existing to the manifest inconvenience of gentlemen and ladies to whom they are exceedingly annoying.

* Look at the Reform Bill, that sink of innovation, to speak metaphorically; that climax of novelty, that abominable poke in the ribs of our, Constitution, that destroyer of all that is venerable. Its opponents have been accused of talking nonsense against it. Very likely they have talked nonsense, for they have been so flabbergusted at the innovation, that they have not known what they have been saying. The Constitution is gone-quite gone! Lord John Russell has purged it to death.

If things go on changing at this rate for the next hundred years as. they have done of late, we shall scarcely have a relic of the good old times left. The weather is not what it used to be when I was a boy. Oh! those were glorious old times, when we had sunshine all through the summer, and hard frosts all through the winter; when for one half the year we could bathe every day, and for the other half could skaite every day. There is nothing of that sort now. If a man buys a pair of skaites in the winter, it is sure to thaw next day; and if a boy buys a pair of corks one day, there is sure to be a hard frost next morning. There is nothing but wet weather all through the winter, and no dry weather all through the summer. Formerly we used to have an eclipse or two in the course of the year, and we used to look at it through smoked glass, and very good fuu it was, only it used to make our noses black, if we did not take care to hold the glass properly. If we look into the almanack for an eclipse, we are sure to. see that it is invisible in these parts ; and even if it is visible we can never see it, for there is always cloudy weather. 1 scarcely know anything that is now as it used to be when I was a boy. Day and night have not quite changed places, but night and morning have. What used to be Sunday morning when I was a little boy, has now by a strange mutation become Saturday night. I wonder why people cannot dine at dinner-time as they used to do; but everything is in disorder; a wild spirit of innovation has seized men's minds, and they will do nothing as they used to do, and as they ought to do. Things went on well enough when I was a boy; we had not half the miseries and calamities that one sees and hears of now.

What an absurd and ridiculous invention is that nasty, filthy, stinking gas ! The buildings where it is made look like prisons withoutside, and like infernal regions within ; and there always is some accident or other happening with it; people have their houses blown up with it, and it serves them right, for they have no business to encourage such newfangled trumpery. The streets used to be lighted well enough with the good old-fashioned oil lamps, which were quite good enough for our ancestors, and I think they might have done for us ; but anything for innovation! I must confess Ï liked to see the good old greasy lamp-lighters and their nice flaring torches, they were fifty times better than the modern gas-light men with their little hand lamps like so many Guy Fawkes'.

And what harm have the poor old watchmen done, I wonder, that

they must be dismissed to make“ room for a set of new police-men and blue coats? The regular old legitimate watchmen were the proper and constitutional defenders of the streets, just as regularly as the King is the defender of the faith. A more harmless set of men than the watchmen never existed; they would not hurt a fly. Things went on well enough when they had the care of the streets.

But innovations are not confined to land; they have even encroached upon the water. Were not London, Blackfriars, and Westminster bridges quite enough in all conscience? What occasion was there for Waterloo bridge, a great overgrown granite monster that cost ten times more than it is worth? And what occasion for Southwark bridge and Vauxhall bridge ? Our ancestors could go to Vauxhall over Westminster or Blackfriars bridge. But of all the abominable innovations none ever equalled the impudence of New London bridge. It was not at all wanted. I have been over the old one hundreds and hundreds of times. It is a good old bridge that has stood the test of ages, and it ought to have been treated with respect for very antiquity's sake. As for people being drowned in going under the bridge, nonsense! they would never have been drowned if they had done as I did I always made a point of never going under it: and besides, if people are to be drowned, they will be drowned elsewhere, if they are not drowned there.

Talk of innovations, what can be a more outrageous innovation than steam-boats ? they have frightened the fish out of the river already, and if they go on increasing as they have done of late, they will frighten the fish out of the sea too ; and I should like to know where all the fishes are to go to, then. · We shall be in a pretty mess if they all come ashore. · Besides, the sea is obviously made to sail upon, or else what is the use of the wind? And if we have nothing but steam-boats, what will become of the sail-makers ? People in these revolutionary times care nothing about vested interests. I hate innovation. I hate every thing that is new. I hate new shoes, they pinch my feet; I hate new hats, they pinch my forehead; I hate new coats, they put me in mind of tailors' bills. I hate every thing new, except the New Monthly Magazine, and I shall hate that if the Editor rejects my article.

ANTI-INNOVATOR.

MONSIEUR LE BRUN.

MONSIEUR LE Brun, (who must not be confused

With the great painter) jointly cultivated
Apollo's laurel and the grape of Bacchus, ·

And into mediocre verse translated,
Or rather, as the French would say, traduced,

The Odes of Flaccus.
The work, I must confess, was badly done,

For poor Le Brun,
Still scribbling, and unable still to win

A living for himself and wife,
Was like a ropemaker, condemn'd to spin
Long lines, yet still go backward all his life.

« AnteriorContinua »