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THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON.
By DELLA CRUSCA.
Isle of the never dying dead !
Across the ocean wave,
Has sought Napoleon's grave!
For there the spirit pass'd
Upon yon cloud-plumed height, Comes hither with his glance of fire
To fold his wings by night :And meet it is the vast and lone
Of nature's scenes should be
Doth glory's star illume
That broodeth o'er thy tomb;
That will not pass away,
The sword to follow now
Upon the Alps' wild brow ;-
The diadem of Gaul;
She mourns her hero's fall !
Ha! was it while ambition told
, That destiny appeared to crouch
Submissive to thy will ?
To which thou wast allied,
A footstool for thy pride?
But thou art silent! Never more
Can thy proud bugles' strain
Of victory again.
Whose peeling-loud and deep-
The Holy One and Just,
Of battle to the dust,
Where war's mad brunt was borne,
This hand should tear away
The cold and coffined clay-
Ånd lay thine actions bare:
May'st thou find mercy there.
PERSONS, PLACES, AND THINGS.-No. I.
Being Selections from the Diary of a Tourist ; BY THE AUTHOR OF “ Edwin,"_“THE REIGN OF TERROR,"–
“ LETTERS TO DR. SOUTHEY," &c. &c.
• The eye upon the heart would brood,
And feelings of an earlier mood,
Like lights and shadows on the lake,
Yet seem each transient hue to take,
It was the eve of Saint Mark's day, when the town of Alnwick was reached. The White Swan was, of course, the Ion to which a traveller would naturally direct his steps, being the “ Head;" and yet, strange as it may seem, for the county town of Northumberland, it did not carry its head higher than a single story above the ground foor. But what it wanted in height, it added in width; it was sufficiently large for the business of the place; and was a complete multum in parco, compared with many of the large Inns in the Metropolis and elsewhere. Thomas Liddel—for that was the name of the ostler, who resembled the building for height, was attentive to the horse ; —Robert Thompson, more like the master of the house than the waiter, took care to adorn and enrich the table ;-and Mrs. Wilson, good lady, like a portly folio, had bound up in the pages of her heart, the whole of the kindly feeling and attention comprised in the endearing appellation of_MOTHER. Of the names of these personages, there can be no more doubt than of their existence. A reference to the Pocket Companion, always carried about with me, and headed with the comprehensive sentence, “Persons, places, and things,” is a security against error. Here all first impressions are entered, as they come burning from the brain, and afterwards elaborated as occasion requires.
After reposing the limbs, and taking a comfortable cup of tea, some of the principal streets were perambulated. On coming to the market-place, which formed a spacious square in the centre of the town, a concourse of people were perceived, of both sexes, and of all ages, from nearly the first spoke in the ladder of life to the last. Having the organ of Inquisitiveness largely developed—and this, be it observed, was long before the faculty was either thought of or manufactured by Phrenologists—an enquiry was naturally instituted into the occasion which brought them together, and which was as satisfactorily answered. But before the occasion is noticed, it may be further remarked, that this said faculty of Inquisitiveness was so lively during this tour, that it rarely ever slept—that, on the slightest intimation of any thing at hand, it would have instantly risen from the organ in which it was seated_looked out at the window of the eye-gone from thence to the loop-hole of the ear-and, if still dissatisfied, would have descended the circular staircase, and sallying out at the door of the lips, would have exclaimed, “What is to be done now?” Such was the case here. So much for the truth of Phrenology !" ASCERTAINED," of course!
To proceed; Mr. Thomas Twaddle, a worthy knight of the thimble, as was afterwards learned, was the person to whom the question was proposed. This gentleman belonged to the corporate body, and was a fair specimen of the British Constitution, which he took every legal means to support, by good eating and drinking. His hat was the very “tip of fashion,” as old fashions went in those days with a few of the ancients of the town. It was turned up on three sides, as if each corner had been sent a star-gazing, or had been intended to answer the purpose of a water-spout, in order to conduct the skirts of a shower of rain to the bottom of the brim, and there form a kind of moat round the head, to protect the brain from all feverish attacks from without, as well as to enable it to vegetate within by preserving it in a state of moisture. The hat, thus looking in three directions at one and the same moment, was mounted on a large bush wig--an emblem of the solidity, profusion, and magnificence of the times
and would be sufficient to convert a man, with a proboscis like that of the Duke of Wellington, into an owl of the night. With Mr. Twaddle, it was far otherwise ; he had a round, full face, with a set of regular featurés. A single breasted coat, with the front covering about two thirds of the abdominal regions, swept down either side in a half cir.' cle,—the waistcoat, meanwhile, flapped at the pockets, and exhibiting the same graceful curviture towards the bottom, with a slight display of white linen, looking out from between the nethermost button of the self-same waistcoat, and the waistband of the inexpressibles. Braces were unnecessary. A pair of large buckles, doctored by poor old “Davy the Buckle-mender," adorned his feet. Every other part of the costume was in character. He had a tolerable stock of low anecdote-a little humour—but was bankrupt in wit. To this remnant of the preceding century, I addressed myself,
“ Allow me to ask you, Sir, the occasion of this apparent tumult?"
“Why, Sir,” returned the man of the goose—hawking the letter r up the windpipe like the croaking of a rook, abridging almost every word that came in his way, plaintively singing out some of the vowels like the more affecting notes of a funeral dirge, and whose pronunciation it would be as difficult to pen as it would be in every instance for a stranger to understand- Why, Sir," said he, “this is the eve of St. Mark's day.”
“I am not to infer from thence, Sir, that these are his followers," I returned, “and that they are rendering homage to his saintly virtues?"
“You are a stranger, I perceive," was the reply, “and have to be informed, that the chamberlains and common council are now meeting in the town-hall, where persons qualified to become free burgesses are in attendance. After the candidates discharge the usual demands, and take the oaths, they then quit the hall, and parade the streets with the best music the town can afford, closing the scene with a friendly bowl of punch, at the separate public houses they select for the occasion. But,” added he, “to-morrow will be the day !
“And pray, Sir,” I enquired, “what of to-morrow?"
“Why, Sir," was rejoined, “the young freemen will have to go through the well." “ Past it, Sir, I suppose you mean.”
No, Sir, through it,” said Mr. Twaddle sharply; "otherwise, no freelidge.” He then proceeded to give me a brief view of the proceedings of the day; to which I appended, “If the ceremony had taken place on the first instead of the twenty-fifth of April, the candidates would have been in danger of being dubbed, what you call in this neighbourhood - April gowks.
Resolved to see the ceremony, I enquired whether horses were let out for hire by any person in the town, and was directed to Mr. Hurtim-an ominous name—a Crispin by trade. Jackey,"—that being the name by which he was called-was soon found, and pledged himself to let me have one of the best of his stud. . This son of Crispin was a little active man--full of points and resided in a house that made some fair promises, not only to shelter him in life, but to be a grave for him in death. His horses had a thorough knowledge of the barest spots of the moor; they were of all colours and dimensions of all forms, except the beautiful-of all ages, except the young-of all joints, except the straight and supple ; and the “ set out” invariably corresponded with the animal. Having placed the trump of praise to his lips, and given a full blast in their favour, as the best of the kind in the town, I departed to my Inn, supped, slept soundly, and was up betimes in the morning.
Walking out at an early hour, I was surprised to see persons engaged in planting large holly-trees in the front of different houses; but found, on enquiry, that they were so many signals, placed at the doors of the several candidates of the dipping order, to tell their friends to come and make merry. A few ribbons, knotted to some of the higher boughs, floated like pennons in the breeze. At eight o'clock, I hastened, as advised, to the market-place, where I found each chevalier on horseback, provided with a sword, and soon joined by the chamberlains, and officers of his Grace the Duke of Northumberland, armed with old halberts, and other instruments of destruction, in rather hudibrastic style, as though great opposition had been anticipated, and they had to fight their way to freedom like some of their forefathers, who had probably wielded the same weapons in the field in the battle of “Chevy Chase.” This part of the ceremony having been omitted in the description given by the knight of the thimble, the evening before, the faculty of Inquisitiveness was naturally brought into play: and on asking a gentleman near me, whether they expected to meet an enemy, I received for reply, “O no, Sir,"—the Northumbrian smiling at my simplicity ;-“from the frequent inroads of the Bor. derers in ancient times, it became expedient for the party to be armed; and hence the custom is still observed, though the weapons are now no longer necessary.” The gentleman had scarcely concluded his explanatory remarks, when the intended freemen-some of them looking through the haze of a night's hard drinking, being arranged in due order, like a troop of horse, drew—though not without some difficulty—their rusty swords, whose blades had not witnessed the light of heaven since that day twelve months, or gleamed in sunshine for a century or two; and accompanied by no small portion of the inhabitants in carriages, gigs, carts-on horseback and on foot—with music playing, proceeded round part of their extensive domains. The mu. sicians, each mounted on his palfrey—the one scraping a piece of catgut, and the other blowing the snout of a hautboy-were persons who received a salary from the town, and were the principal performers on all public occasions; they were dressed in their uniform, blue turned up with yellow, adorned with a silver plate, with an appropriate device on one of their arms, between the shoulder and the elbow-the head being roofed with a hat similar to that of the remnantist, with this exalted distinction—the brims of each were bound with silver lace. These helps to hilarity were denominated, in the language of the town, “ The Waits.” In the front of these, a poor idiot, known by the name of Bobby Daglish—and in perfect keeping with the ceremony, performed a number of antics, to the great amusement of the chil. dren, both old and young.