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GRAVITIES AND GAIETIES OF THE MONTH.
INSTANCE OP EXTRAORDINARY DEVOTION. When we tell our readers that we have another martyr to record, who fell a sacrifice to unqnenchable affection, they will doubtless imagine we have a most melancholy tale to relate,
“ Of all love's thousands hopes, its many fears,
Its morning blushes, and its evening tears," We hardly know whether to look grave or smile, when we say, that the object of the modern Werter's affection, was a goose ! of which, as one of the papers inform, be was pessimately fond. The author of " Smiles and Tears" has truly observed, that there is a close sympathy between the heart and the stomach ;* and this unfortunate individual verified it by making a supper of the object of his attachment. An inquest has been held on his body, and a verdict was found, " died of suffocation.” He is, however, not without a' parallel in the records of romantic devotion to the good things of this life;---an equally enthusiastic being entertained as ardent an affection---for buttered crumpets, but
“ The course of true love never did run smooth ;" and Indigestion was the monster who marred his happiness, and forbid any future intercourse. With a resolution worthy of a better fate, this unhappy votary of love determined upon taking a last farewell of his affection's choice, for without which he felt life was insupportable, and then relinquish his existence. The crumpets were brought hot, and nicely buttered; he threw at them a pitiful look, never did they look so lovely before" at one fell swoop,” he devoured eleven! The bile rose---Indigestion already racked,--here throwing a long and lingering look on the remaining one, be seized his pistols which lay on the table, and in five minutes he was a sacrifice to an unconquerable affection for buttered crumpets !
BOOTS, A BLACK LEG. A country paper informs us that the boots,' of the Three Tuns Inn, Newcastle, decamped with 125l. of the hostler's money, with such a celerity, as to induce his pursuers to believe he was the seven league boots,' mentioned in ancient history. When hostlers carry 125l. in loose cash about them, we shall not be surprised at hearing of the stable boy defrauding the scullion of her estate in Yorkshire.'
BIBLE SOCIETY FLUMMERY.
By a report in the Maidstone Journal, we are informed, that the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Kent Aux-(query) Hoax-iliary Bible Society, took place at the TownHall in Maidstone, some Thursday in the last month. When, notwithstanding the rain came down in torrents, to the detriment of the reverend gentlemen, “parsons grey," and of the ladies' best satin gowns, Lord Bexley and several other old ladies were present, together with a few young ones, and a numerous party of gentlemen, piously inclined.
Several long speeches were made, of which we cannot reproach ourselves with reading one; a fact, however, came out, on which we cannot help remarking:
“ The receipts of the Parent Society, during the past year, were 82,7681. 28. 9d.; and its erpenditures, 96,0141. 13s. 7d. And it is under engagements at home and abroad to the amount of 25,876l. 17s.6d.! What! one hundred and twenty thousand pounds in one year for bibles ? This item does not simply express volumes, but, as Mr. Swallow in the farce says, it speaks “libraries."
One of the reverend gentlemen is reported to have delivered himself in the following strain ; speaking of the bible, he prettily says, “ It is the worit of the spirit---it is the word of God---it is the spirited weapon of our warfare, mighty through God, pulling down strong holds, it is the incorruptible seed of the kingdom ---it is the milk of babes, and strong meat for those of riper years---it is the bread of life, sweeter than honey to the taste, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the joint and marrow---it is more precious than fubies, &c.”
Precious indeed, if in one year 120.0001. has been expended in its distribution, at least to the pockets of those from whom it was canted. Far be it our wish, that the word
• Mr. Alaric Watts, author of “ Poetical Sketches, &c." has announced a new volume of poems, entitled “ Lyrics of the Heart ;” why not call it the " Sorrows of the Stomach ?" We are sure the subject would take, and seriously recommend it to his notice. The above pathetic tale would make an admirable sketch from private life.
of God should be withheld from the poorest and meanest of our fellow-creatures ; but, when in one short year,' a sum like that is mentioned as the cost, we confess that the fact appears too vast for our comprehension.
QUR NATIONAL MORALS. In one week there appears to be no less than four suicides * by females, in consequence of seduction, and after desertion by their betrayers. This fact, and the paper that gives us the intelligence, is a fine satire on its name, " The Englishman." The same print contains the report of a trial, " Manville v. Thompson," in which the aggression is the same crime: the party injured was a girl in service, and the defendant a shoemaker, residing in Grace-church-street, who accomplished his detestable purpose under the solemn promise of matrimony. Thus it is that these poor, confiding creatures are rided and abandoned; the love shown to them is of that vampire-like description, which invariably seeks the destruction of its object. In the latter case, the ruined one met with a reverse, or rather her natural protector was compensated for his wounded feelings by a pecuniary award; but what did these four poor wretches experience for the punishment of their errors ? death, and that the most awful of any, that of their own seeking. While our religion forbids our interfering with the most solemn dispensation of our Creator, the termination of existence, oar feelings too readily admit of a pardon for those who have committed the act under such circumstances. Can the heart of man imagine the alternate throws of anguish and shame which assailed the breasts of these unfortunate women ere they wrought themselves up to the dreadful act? Of the "hope deferred which maketh the heart sick," of the probability of treachery and desertion---of the full certainty of shame and ruin, and all the dreadful consequences. How the brain must burn, how the heart swell, with what insufferable pangs must the soul be riven, ere the mind can admit of that most horrible of all remedies for a murdered happiness, SELFDESTRUCTION. What scalding tears of repentance, what a maddening sense of undeserved injury, the sting from the serpent it nestled in her bosom; what awful struggles between conscience and her feelings before the bloody deed was committed. Well may “the angels weep” at these “ fantastic tricks;" in one word, hell, black and horrid as it is, has no parallel for the monster who wilfully seduces a woman and then betrays her.
A FORBIGNER'S TASTE OF “ENGLISH LIBERTY." of all phrases without meaning, surely the one which is in every body's mouth, “ English Liberty," is the most empty. We cannot but shrink at the contemptible ideas which Aliens must have of our much boasted national freedom, when the following case, which is one of a thousand similar others, proves its non-entity :---The Courier of the 18th instant, reports, that a Mr. Edward Vitris, a foreign gentleman, was brought before the Magistrates of Marlborough Street, from the St. Giles's Watch-house, on the charge of Marooney, a watchman, of being drunk and disorderly.
In the investigation of the case, it clearly appeared, that Mr. Vitris was quietly parting with some friends, when he was peremptorily ordered by the watchman to
go on!” Mr. Vitris, perceiving from the man's manner that he was drunk, caught hold of his sleeve, for the purpose of ascertaining his number, when the fellow collared him, and conveyed him to the wateb-house, where he was confined till the following morning. The Magistrate fined the watchman is. and suspended him from his duty for a fortnight.
Taking it for granted that this conviction was legal, the law of England appears to be, that any respectable gentleman, however high in rank and character, may be taken in custody by a dirty vagabond, whose only authority is a rattle and lanthorn, incarcerated in a filthy hole of a prison with drunken rogues and felons, to the great violence of his own feelings, and the serious anxiety of his friends, till his case is learu, when the aggressor is fined a crown, and kept suspended from his employ for a fortnight---a punishment which only keeps him in idieness. An English gentleman must acquire strange notions of national independence, when his personal liberty and private character is ever at the mercy of the lowest and most contemptible retainer of justice.
We do not include in these a story, which found its way into the newspapers, of a seduction and suicide which never oceurred except in the addle-brains of the fool who played off the hoax. We need bot, God knows, require the aid of imagination for instances of the blackness and depravity of man, when he is daily convincing us of his own brutal nature.
[Our design in the following sketches of our more distinguished contemporaries, is not to furnish full-length portraits, but, if possible, faithful etchings; not to enter into a minute detail of each event or occurrence in the life of the individual selected, but to note such as may have affected his conduct or opinion, and thereby influenced the general event, and to specify those peculiarities of manner and opinion which may characterize him amongst his fellows. These profiles of character, it is intended, sball be chiefly parliamentary. There are two good reasons for this selection. The first is, we possess, and mean to make available, peculiar opportunities of daily witnessing the display of the intellectual and officia energies of each member of the legislature, so as to impart to our decisions, the confidence of results valued by a relative as well as a positive standard. Our second reason is derived from the effects of that great engine of public opinion in a free country, a free press ; which, by giving publicity to, and freely commenting upon, the proceedings in Parliament, thereby converting every man in the empire into a vigilant and interested spectator of those proceedings---has made the character of the actors in theirs a kind of public property, which need only be defined to be duly appreciated and respected. Having no party to serve, or particular interest to promote, our sketches will have one merit, that of being impartial.]
The first impression that the British House of Commons might produce upon an intelligent foreigner, would be a curious, and perhaps not uninstructive, speculation. The oaken wall, compact size, and Spartan plainness of the chamber itself, might induce him to believe that he was among the legislators of a Helvetic or Dorian republic, did not a strange mixture of freedom and reserve, of dignity and homeliness of manner, and the peculiar business-like look of men, much less regardful of the appearance than the actual possession of wealth and distinction, persuade him the assembly before him was composed of English gentlemen. The very absence of uniformity of deportment-the heterogeneousness of the materials--the alternation of loquacity and silence--of prim decorum and careless negligence
of hats off and hats on-of buttoned up box-coats, and top boots, and embroidered waistcoats, and silk stockings, the, in fact, do-as-l-please air of men, resolved to attain their end by every means not subversive of the rights of another, must convince him that he is in the land of freedom and of wealth-thence of individuality of character-in a word, in the land of John Bull. As yet, no one member would appear to the stranger of more personal consideration than another ; for the influence of station and ability would be swallowed up in the to him apparently confused equality of the proceedings. His curiosity would therefore be naturally employed in endeavouring to identify some of the individuals before him, with his preconceived notion of the personal appearance, and the moral and intellectual character, of our leading orators and statesmen. From observing that all eyes are strained and pointed, as faithfully as the needle to the pole, to a certain seat or passage north-west of the Speaker's chair, known by the name of the Treasury benches, he will soon learn to distinguish the ins and the outs, the temporary disinterested talker about patriotism and economy, and, if they themselves can, the permanent dispensers of place, wealth, and distinction. This knowledge will greatly assist him in his attempts to identify persons with preconceived notions. He has now merely to look at the seat of power, to at once recognize the graceful mien, the classical head, the chiselled features, the speaking eye, the dilated nostril of genius, and the playful smile of wit, lurking about the mouth of the Right Honorable Secretary. Equally legible to the physiognomist are the characteristic features of that eloquent man's colleagues; the shrewd intellect, sound judgment, and patient industry of the head of the magistracy, Mr. Peel; and the manly frankness, the candour, and the insinuating ingenuousness of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nor, on the other side, will he be long at a loss as to the identity of the leading spirits of “ His Majesty's opposition." The keen penetrating intellect, cutting irony, and inimitable manner of Mr. Tierney,—the vehement sarcasm and various readings of Mr. Brougham,--the refined taste, proud integrity, and alternate energy and languor of Sir Francis Burdett,-and the Cocker scrutiny, calculating attention, indefatigable perseverance, and figurative style of Mr. Hume, betray themselves in the appearance of their posses
Without also a particular revelation, the possessors of the fee-simple of heaven (as well as of the good things on earth), are ascertainable by those who seek to find them out. The evangelical sleekness of mien and vesture, the heaven-viewing formation of vision, the Wolsey humility, the philanthropic disclosure of our neighbour failings, the sanctified African sympathies, and the holy nasal sonorousness of speech, characteristic of the disciples of Wesley, Southcote, and 'Wilberforce, are discernible in St. Fowell Buxton, and his ebony-loving brethren of the cross bench.
But the most important individual in the House yet remains unnoticed-him to whom the domestic manufactures and foreign commerce of the country are entrusted. The stranger is aware how much the high place of England, in the scale of nations, is dependant
on her commercial pre-eminence; and of the great changes that have been effected, during late years, in the system of commercial policy, by which it was supposed that pre-eminence was cherished and promoted; and, he is also aware, that the great natural opposition to these changes required an extraordinary degree of firmness, ability, and perseverance to resist and overcome; and inust, therefore, seek, with some degree of impatient curiosity, for the person of the at the same time official guardian and great revolutionist of the system of the trade of Great Britain. His curiosity will soon be gratified, and his expectations realized, in the square manly form, stern grey eye, and marked Cromwellian features of Mr. Huskisson. He will behold a man who, of all modern statesmen, would have made the most distinguished figure in the senates of ancient history; who would have been a Lycurgus at Sparta, or an Aristides at Athens. He will behold a man who, though the least classical in his language and opinions, and whose character has been cast in the truest national mould, would most strongly remind him of the stern simplicity of Cimon, the austere firmness of Cato, and the republican inflexibility of our own glorious Commonwealth-man. He will behold a man who, in a strange country, neglected his anatomical studies, to take part in the proceedings of the red-hot republicans of the French revolution. He will behold that man, without the stain of apostacy, by the mere firmness of his temper, and the solidity and inflexible structure of his intellect, some thirty years afterwards, raised from the obscure practice of a comparatively humble profession, to one of the most important stations in the government of his country; possessing withal, on every subject he discusses, a weight and authority in Parliament, and a degree of confidence and respect out of doors, that no other President of the Board of Trade could ever lay claim to. He will behold a Member of Parliament, the least observant of the adventitious means of obtaining a patient hearing, listened to with the most marked deference, respect, and attention of all parties in the House. Nor, indeed, need this great influence of character surprise him. It is founded on a system of conduct wisely adopted in early life, and firmly adhered to in all weathers, and under the most trying circumstances, and on the fact that Mr. Huskisson, take him all in all, is the ablest statesman in either House of Parliament. He does not, it is true, possess the flowing eloquence of Mr. Canning, or the quick perception of Mr. Tierney, or the logical acumen of Mr. Plunkett, or the lofty declamation of Earl Grey, or perhaps the precision of Lord Liverpool; but in shrewdness and inflexibility of judgment, comprehensiveness of views, and firmness in maintaining them, in the rare faculty of connecting the demonstrations of facts with the probability of arguments, in prophetic sagacity, and in profound knowledge of finance and the other important subjects of political economy, he is scarcely rivalled by any member of the legislature. This is high praise; the merit of deserving it is the secret of Mr. Huskisson's rise to power and distinction. In this he stands almost alone; at least, it would not be easy to find a perfect parallel